Battle of Khanwa and Ghaghra

The Battle of Panipat was not enough for the establishment of the Mughal Empire. There were many Rajputs and non-Rajput kings who were supporting Babur during the first battle of Panipat. But after sensing that, Babur is not willing to go back to his native place and seeking to establish his kingdom then it triggers multiple conflicts with them. It is said that Babur had received better assistance from Rana Sangha of Mewar for his move against Ibrahim. But his accusation against Rana Sanga has been refuted by some scholars.

But it was a fact that the officials and some nobles of Delhi had sent a secret invitation to Babur against their Sultan. Babur was very much pleased to receive such invitations on the eve of the battle of Panipat. This had made him more bold and courageous.

The Battle of Khanwa

Battle of Khanwa
Battle of Khanwa

The establishment of an empire in the Indo-Gangetic Valley by Babur was a threat to Rana Sangha. He hoped that Babur like an invader would plunder health and leave India. But the situation was different now. Therefore Rana Sangha decided either to drive Babur out of the country or to confine him to Punjab. Babur on the other hand accused Rana Sangha of breach of the agreement. He said that Sangha had invited him to India and promised to join him against Ibrahim Lodi, but made no move while we conquered Delhi and Agra.

Another battle was inevitable in history and that was the battle of Khanwa. Many Afghans, including Mahmud Lodi, a younger brother of Ibrahim Lodi joined with Rana Sangha in the hope of regaining the throne of Delhi in the case of Sangha won. Sangha had also the support of many Rajput’s as he was the chief of the Rajputana confederation. Rana Sangha himself bore the title of the hero of a hundred fights. The reputation of Rana Sangha and his early success against some of the outlying Mughal posts such as Bayana demoralized Babur’s soldiers. Babur on the other hand was not the man to retreat at this stage of his progress in India.

He infused a fighting spirit in his soldiers by declaring Jihad on the eve of the war. Both the forces met at Khanwa, a place nearly 40 km. away from Agra. According to Babur, Sangha’s forces exceeded 200,000 including 10,000 Afghan cavalrymen. Babur’s forces were undoubtedly inferior in number. The battle of Khanwa (1527) was fiercely contested. Rana Sangha made ferocious attacks on Babur’s right and almost breached it.

However, the Mughal artillery took a heavy toll of life, and slowly, Sangha’s forces were pushed back. At this juncture, Babur ordered his soldiers in the center to launch an attack which drove the backbone of Sang’s army. Rana Sangha was badly wounded and was taken to a place of safety. But he came back after a short while and renewed the war. It is said that apprehending the war to be dangerous and suicidal, one of Rana’s associates poisoned him to death.

However, the battle of Khanwa ended with the defeat of Rana Sangha. The battle of Khanwa was decisive and significant. It proved the superiority of Mughal weapons upon Rajput’s.

Battle of Ghaghra

Battle of Ghaghra
Battle of Ghaghra

The next battle, a less important for Babur, was the battle of Ghaghra in which he met the combined forces of Mahmud Lodi, a younger brother of Ibrahim Lodi and Nusrat Shah who was a son-in-law of Ibrahim Lodi had marched up to Kanauja by defeating and ousting some Mughal officials in Uttar Pradesh.

However, Babur defeated the combined forces of Mahmud Lodi and Nusrat Shah in the battle of Ghaghra in 1529. This was perhaps the last battle of his life. Babur had made his position safe and secure in India. But Babur did not live long to enjoy his empire. He fell ill and died in 1530 A.D. Just a few months, before his death Babur had nominated his eldest son Humanyu as his successor and had asked him to be liberal to his brothers.