Short Essay on the Battle of Ghagra

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Although the Rajput menace was removed, there were still the Afghans who had to be subdued. Mahmud Lodi, a brother of Ibrahim Lodi, had fled and taken refuge in Bihar and established his position there. He had a large army estimated at about one lakh strong. Supported by this army, he went to Banaras and from there to Chunar. When he laid siege to Chunar, Babur sent his own son Askari against Mahmud Lodi and later on himself marched against him.

When the Afghans came to know of the movements of Babur, they raised the siege of the Chunar and withdrew. On his way to Buxar through Allahabad, Chunar and Banaras, a number of Afghan Chiefs offered their submission to Babur. Mahmud Lodi had taken refuge in Bengal. Althout h its Ruler Nusrat Shah had assured Babur of his friendship, Babur decided to put an end to ti, Afghan menace, even at the risk of a war and marched towards Bengal. The Battle of Ghagra was fought on 6 May, 1529 and the Afghans were completely defeated. Babur’s artillery rendered him great service in his action against the Afghans. The defeat of Ghagra was final so far as the Lodis were concerned. Babur entered into a Treaty with Nusrat Shah by which both the parties agreed to respect each other’s sovereignty and Nusrat Shah agreed not to give shelter to the enemies of Babur in future.

It was in this way that “in three battles Babur had reduced Northern India to submission.” The rest of his life was spent in organizing the administration of the provinces which formed his new kingdom. His system was purely feudal. He divided his territory into a large number of Jagirs and those were distributed among his officers.

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Those officers were responsible not only for the collection of land revenue on those Jagirs but were also in charge of the civil administration of those areas. Much of the territory remained in the hands of the native land-holders whether they were Hindus or Muslims. We are told that from the provinces “West to East from Bhera and Lahore to Bahraich and Bihar and North to South from Sialkot to Ranthambhor”, Babur got an equivalent of £ 2,600,000 as land revenue.

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