Effects of First Battle of Panipat

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The main effects of First Battle of Panipat were as under:

1. End of the Rule of Lodi Dynasty:

The Battle of Panipat is regarded as one of the decisive Battle of Indian History. It broke the back of Lodi Power and brought under Babur’s control the entire area upto Delhi and Agra. As Babur’s predecessor Timur hao Drought to an end the rule of the Tughlaq’s , similarly Babur’s success led to an end of the Lodi Rule.

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2. Foundation of the Mughal Empire:

Bubur’s victory at Panipat led to the foundation of Mughal Empire in India. Soon after the victory Babur occupied Delhi and Agra, seated himself on the throne of the Lodi’s and laid the foundation of Mughal Rule in India. Of course, the Empire founded by Babur was soon lost by his son, Humayun and its was Akbar who actually re-created the Mughal Empire. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that the actual foundation of the empire was laid with the victory of the Battle of Panipat. This empire continued for more than two centuries.

3. End of Babur’s Bad Days:

The treasures stored up by Ibrahim Lodi in Agra relieved Babur from his financial difficulties. The rich territory upto Jaunpur also lay open to Babur. Rushbrook Williams writes, “After being successful in this battle, the bad days of Babur came to an end. Now he need not bother about his personal safety or his throne.”

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4. Re-establishment of the prestige of ‘Crown’:

After the Battle of Panipat, Babur laid the Foundation of a New Dynasty and called himself “monarch”. Unlike the Sultans of Delhi Sultanate Period he never used to call himself the Deputy of the Caliph but used to call himself Emperor. Thus he revived the sovereignty of the Monarch as it used to be in ancient times in India and thus re-established the prestige of the “Crown”.

5. Use of Artillery in India:

The Battle of Panipat led to the initiation of Artillery in India. Up till now Indian were not familiar with the gun-powder. For the first time, it was used in a battle on Indian plains and since then the artillery has been used in many important battles.

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6. Birth of new struggles:

However, Babur had to wage three hard-fought battles, one against Rana Sanga of Mewar, another against Medini Rao at Chanderi and the third against the Eastern Afghans, before he could consolidate his hold on this area (Delhi, Agra etc.).

Viewed from this angle, the Battle of Panipat was not as decissive in the political field as has been made out. According to R.B. Williams. “The victory of Panipat was excellent which was actually a part of the beginning.” Same views have been expressed by Renowed Historian Dr. Satish Chandra, when he says about the battle in the following words, “Its real importance lies in the fact that it opened a new face in the struggle for domination in North India.”

7. Tulugama Became Popular in India: One of the important causes of Babur’s victory in First Battle of Panipat was the adoption of a scientific war strategy Tulugama (an Ottoman or Rumi device) by him. Gradually Indian Rulers also adopted this very system. Almost all Indian Rulers later on started adopting the policy of keeping a reserve army. The Indian Rulers were greatly impressed by the swiftness and movability of horses and gradually the place of elephants was taken by horses in the army.

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8. A Shift in the Political Interest. After this battle the centre of Babur’s political activities and ambitions was shifted from Kabul and Central Asia to Agra and India. No doubt the difficulties of Babur after his victory at Panipat were manifold. Many of his begs were not prepared for a long campaign in India.

With the onset of the hot weather, their misgivings had increased. They were far away from homes in a strange and hostile land. Babur tells us that the people of India displayed, “remarkable hostility,” abandoning their villages at the approach of the Mughal Armies.

Obviously, the Memoirs of Timur’s sacking and plundering of the towns and villages were still fresh in their minds. Babur knew that the resources in India alone would enable him to found a strong empire and satisfy his begs. “Not for us the poverty of Kabul again”, he records in his diary. He thus took a firm stand, proclaiming his intention to stay on in India, and granting leave to a number of his begs, who wanted to go back to Kabul. This immediately cleared the air. But it also invited the hostility of Rana Sanga who began his preparations for a showdown with Babur.

Thus, just as Plassey being the first decisive victory of Clive is significant in British Indian History, similarly Panipat being the first decisive victory of Babur is significant in Mughal Indian History. Both these victories like Khanwa and Buxar and eventually led to the establishment of Mughal Rule in India in case of the former, and British Rule in India in the case of the later.

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