Battle of Khanwa

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The Battle of Khanwa was fought at Khanwa on March 16, 1527. It was fought between the invading Timurid forces of Babur and the Rajput Confederation led by Rana Sanga for supremacy of Northern India.



Tuzk-e Babri

Babur. Tuzk-e Babri. (trans.) Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khanan. illuminated. Delhi: Akbar, 1589. p. Folio 318b. This manuscript is available in National Museum, New Delhi. The Persian translation was done from the original Turkic manuscript of Babur. quoted in Aabhas Maldahiyar - Babur_ The Chessboard King-Vintage Books (2024)
  • (March 17th, 1527) On Saturday the 13th day of the second Jumāda of the date 933, a day blessed by the words, God hath blessed your Saturday, the army of Islām was encamped near the village of Kānwa, a dependency of Bīāna, hard by a hill which was four miles from the enemies of the Faith. When those accursed infidel foes of Muḥammad’s religion heard the reverberation of the armies of Islām, they arrayed their ill-starred forces and moved forward with one heart, relying on their mountain-like, demon-shaped elephants, as had relied the Lords of the Elephant1 who went to overthrow the sanctuary (ka‘ba) of Islām.
    Having these elephants, the wretched Hindus
    Became proud, like the Lords of the Elephant;
    Yet were they odious and vile as is the evening of death,
    Blacker than night, outnumbering the stars,
    All such as fire is but their heads upraised
    In hate, as rises its smoke in the azure sky,
    Ant-like they come from right and from left,
    Thousands and thousands of horse and foot.
    They advanced towards the victorious encampment, intending to give battle. The holy warriors of Islām, trees in the garden of valor, moved forward in ranks straight as serried pines and, like pines uplift their crests to heaven, uplifting their helmet-crests which shone even as shine the hearts of those that strive in the way of the Lord; their array was like Alexander’s iron-wall, and, as is the way of the Prophet’s Law,
    straight and firm and strong, as though they were a well-compacted building; and they became fortunate and successful in accordance with the saying, They are directed by their Lord, and they shall prosper.
    In that array no rent was frayed by timid souls;
    Firm was it as the Shāhanshāh’s resolve, strong as the Faith;
    Their standards brushed against the sky;
    Verily we have granted thee certain victory.
    Obeying the cautions of prudence, we imitated the ghāzīs of Rūm by posting matchlockmen (tufanchīān) and cannoneers (ra‘d-andāzān) along the line of carts which were chained to one another in front of us; in fact, Islām’s army was so arrayed and so steadfast that primal Intelligence and the firmament (‘aql-i-pīr u charkh-i-aīr) applauded the marshalling thereof. To affect this arrangement and organization, Niāmu’d-dīn ‘Alī Khalīfa, the pillar of the Imperial fortune, exerted himself strenuously; his efforts were in accord with Destiny, and were approved by his sovereign’s luminous judgment.
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