Battle of Talikota: Downfall of Vijaynagar /Jang-e-Samugarh

THE BATTLE OF TALIKOTA

 One of the most historical events in Indian history as it changed politics in the south. The north was captured by Mughal sultanates but the Vijaynagar empire had been preventing their entry in the south. Battle of Talikota was fought between the Vijaynagar Empire and the unified alliance of 5 Deccan Sultanates.

When and where was Battle of Talikota fought

 The battle took place at Talikoti ( a town in northern Karnataka ). Battle of Talikota was fought on 23 January 1565.

Cause of Battle of Talikota

The immense wealth of the Vijaynagar empire was eyed by the Deccan Sulatanes and they wanted to gain control of Vijaynagar Kingdom from a long time. When Brahamani Sultanate was broken into 5 divisions by Krishan Dev Raya, they got the perfect chance to attack Vijaynagar Empire.

 

Turning Point of the Battle of Talikota

Temple Statue Vijaynagar Empire
Temple and Statues of Vijaynagar Empire

Vijaynagar Empire was winning the battle, but at a critical moment the 2 Muslim Commanders “the Gilani brothers” of Aliya Rama Raya’s army betrayed Vijaynagar and fought against there own army. This was a surprise to Aliya Rama Raya and before he could figure out something, his head was chopped off by the Gilani Brothers

Who Won the Battle of Talikota

Due to the betrayal of Gilani Brothers, Aliya Rama Raya was beheaded and Deccan Sultanates alliance won the Battle of Talikota.

Outcome of Battle of Talikota

Vijaynagar Empire Battle of Talikota

The 300 years old empire’s rule was thrashed. Their capital Vijaynagar was looted and destructed which led to the slow decline of Vijaynagar Empire under the rule of weak successors of Aliya Rama Raya. Due to this, Mughal rulers became more prominent in the south.

Battle of Samugarh

 

Jang-e-Samugarh was a battle fought between two Mughal brothers in order to take the throne of the Mughal sultanate. The battle was fought on 29 May 1658 ( 100 years before Battle of Plassey ) Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was very ill and handed the throne to his eldest son Dara Shikoh. Among the four brothers, Aurangzeb and Murad Baksh did not support it at all.

Dara shikoh Son of Shah Jahan
Dara Shikoh, Son of Shah Jahan

As Dara Shikoh was a very superstitious man and was kind to Hindus as compared to other Muslim emperors. Therefore in the battle, many Hindu rulers were also on side of Dara Shikoh. It was more of a religious war with Hindus supporting Dara while the Sunni Muslims supporting Aurangzeb. Check out Kalinga War: Mystery of Ashoka

Aurangzeb had already defeated the forces of Dara at the battle of Dharma. Both the armed forces were tired and both armies needed to rest. As it was quite a long march by both the armies. The turning point of the battle was a day before the battle.

As Dara Shikoh was already aware of the fact that Aurangzeb and his men were marching towards Samugarh, he kept his forces on watch while Aurangzeb and Murad’s forces were taking a break. This helped soldiers to take a life-saving breath before the battle. On the other hand, the Dara shikoh army was not only tired but also terrified due to rumors about Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb in Battle of Samugarh
Aurangzeb with his commanders

Initially, both sides fought with the same technique and both suffered equal losses. One of Dara’s commanders betrayed him, it was Khaliluah who turned the tables for Aurangzeb. Murad started to push forward his army and was able to kill both the rulers of Rajputs. The alliance now a bit beak as Rajput rulers were killed in action.

Dara’s army started to panic therefore Dara Shikoh decided to enter the battlefield on his Elephant but soon he had to come down from his elephant for a sword fight. This was the turning point of the battle as Dara’s elephant fled away. The army thought that their commander is dead and many surrendered

Battle of Samugarh

Despite having a smaller number of men Aurangzeb was able to win the battle without letting any of his commanders die. Dara shikoh was the eldest son but he had less experience of real war that gave an upper hand to Aurangzeb. Finally, Dara was defeated by Aurangzeb. Dara was able to flee away with a few of his horsemen but soon he was captured and executed. 

Conclusion of Jang-e-Samugarh

A battle between two sons would be the last thing a father could watch. At last, Aurangzeb emerged victoriously; he kept his father captive and presented him the chopped head of Dara Shikoh. This shows Aurangzeb had many qualities but mercy was not one of them.

Shah Jahan and his eldest son Dara was kind to Hindus and allowed high posts in the empire to be taken by Hindus. No Hindus were given high posts in the kingdom even other religious festivals like Diwali were also banned.

Shah jahan, held captive then executed by Aurangzeb
Shah Jahan, held captive then executed by Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb was quite harsh on every other religion except Islam. Even he was against Shia Muslims also. His last dream was to convert Hindustan into an Islamic country. This ideology was not supported by the Hindus and soon a revolt was started against him.

The life of peasants, merchants and other workers flourished in the reign of Dara as most of the time Dara was busy with saints because he was a highly superstitious man.

But Aurangzeb was a literate man and he did not fear god. Moreover, he did not let anything come between his kingdom and his policies.His policies were quite harsh that were not pleased by many people.

The testimony to the above fact is the policy of re-establishment of Jizya a tax system where non-Muslims have to pay the taxes. All Hindus lived in terror in his reign and wanted to overthrow him from the crown.

After seeing the Mughals fighting Mughals a vast empire started to divide among itself. Despite having the largest empire in Mughal history it turned out to be very difficult to hold it together.

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