Second Battle of Panipat (1556)
Second Battle of Panipat
The Second Battle of Panipat took place on 5th November, 1556, between the Mughal Forces of Akbar and the army of Hemu. The war was ultimately won by Mughal Forces.
Bairam Khan with Akbar advanced through Thaneswar to the plain of Panipat, where thirty years earlier, Akbar’s grandfather, Babur had routed and slain Ibrahim Lodi. Himu lost his park of artillery in a preliminary engagement yet he faced his adversary with 15,000 war-elephants and a vast number of troops far superior in number to those of Akbar.
The second battle was fought on November 5, 1556, and at the initial stage Himu successfully attacked the enemy on both wings. Bairam Khan commanded the ten thousand strong army from the rear, placed Ali Quli Khan, later appointed Khan Zaman, in charge of the centre, Sikandar Khan Uzbeg in charge of the right wing and Abdullah Khan Uzbeg in charge of the left wing. Akbar was kept at a safe distance in the rear by his guardian Bairam Khan.
After a successful attack on the two wings, Himu launched an attack on the centre of the Mughal army, Himu appeared to be on the point of winning victory. But the defeated Mughal troops on two wings collected themselves and made a counter offensive on Himu’s flanks. Ali Quli Khan made a cavalry charge on the centre of Himu’s army. While fighting was raging with all fury between the two sides, Himu was struck by an arrow in his eye and he fell fainted. Himu’s elephant driver took him out of the battlefield but was pursued by the Mughal army and brought before Akbar. Thus, The Mughal army of Akbar emerged as winners in the Second Battle of panipat.
Significance of the second battle of Panipat (Nov. 5, 1556)
The second battle of Panipat marked the real beginning of the Mughal empire in India and the history of its expansion began.
The political significance of this battle was all the more far-reaching, for it shattered the military power of Himu on the one hand and put an end to the Afghan pretensions to sovereignty in Hindustan forever.
The victors occupied Delhi on the day of victory. Agra was also captured soon after.
Himu’s aged father was taken prisoner and put to death on his refusal to embrace Islam. Attempt to capture Himu’s widow, however, failed.
Sikandar Sur Afghan, pretender to the Delhi throne, was compelled to surrender in May, 1557, and was assigned a jagir in Bihar only to be expelled there from soon after. Muhammad Adil, another Afghan pretender, was killed in 1557. The third pretender Ibrahim had to flee and take refuge in Orissa.
Within two years of the second battle of Panipat there remained no other claimant to the throne of Delhi and Akbar’s sovereignty over Delhi was confirmed.