Describe Battle of Panipat in detail

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Title: A Detailed Overview of the Battle of Panipat for UPSC Aspirants

The examination for the Indian Civil Services is one of the toughest and most prestigious in the country. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is responsible for conducting this examination. Aspirants must have a thorough knowledge of a variety of topics, with History being an integral part. Consequently, significant historical events like the Battle of Panipat hold a space of prime importance. This article aims to offer an in-depth understanding of the Battle of Panipat for UPSC aspirants.

Three decisive battles took place in Panipat which had far-reaching effects on the course of Indian history. They were fought in 1526, 1556 and 1761 respectively.

1. First Battle of Panipat (1526): This was a confrontation between Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, and Ibrahim Lodi, the Sultan of Delhi. Babur, with roughly 10,000 troops, faced Ibrahim Lodi who had around 100,000 troops and 1000 war elephants. Undeterred by the numbers, Babur employed the ‘Tulugma’ tactic, utilizing his troops to surround an enemy from all sides, combined with his innovative use of artillery. His cannon-bombardment immobilized Lodi’s large army and the Sultan was killed in the ensuing chaos. This marked the beginning of Mughal rule in India.

2. Second Battle of Panipat (1556): The second Panipat war was fought between the forces of Akbar, led by his regent Bairam Khan, and Hemu, the Hindu general of Adil Shah. Despite Hemu’s advanced artillery and large army, he lost the battle due to a stroke of ill luck. A stray arrow pierced his eye, and he fell unconscious, leading to his army’s panic and eventual defeat. The victory solidified Akbar’s position as the emperor of the Mughal Empire.

3. Third Battle of Panipat (1761): The most destructive of the three, it was fought between the northern Indian empire of the Marathas and the Durrani Empire of Ahmad Shah Abdali, who had the support of two Indian allies—the Rohillas of the Doab region and Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh. Despite strong resistance, the Marathas lost due to strategic errors, lack of resources, and the presence of multiple traitors within their camp. This battle marked the beginning of the end for the Maratha empire and paved the way for British colonial power in India.

Final Thoughts: As a UPSC aspirant, you should not only focus on the chronological details of the Battle of Panipat, but also interpret the socio-political influences behind these battles and their impact on the subcontinent’s fate. Remember, understanding the cause-effect relationship of historical events stands as a crucial aspect for the Civil Services Examination.

Each Battle of Panipat brought about significant political and territorial changes that left an immense impact on the course of Indian history. Having a thorough understanding of these battles will undoubtedly aid UPSC aspirants in their preparation for the Civil Services Examination.

Prince Luthra (UPSC CSE AIR 577)

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