Skip to main content

Full text of "Later Mughals;"

See other formats



1 liiu} ijji 

" ■ • 1 1 -i 


ii i] I 



WILLIAM IRVINE, i.c.s. (ret.), 
Author of Storia do Mogor, Army of the Indian Moguls, &c. 

Edited and Augmented with 
The History of Nadir Shah's Invasion 


Author of History of Aurangzib, Shivaji and His Times, Studies in 

Mughal India, &c. 

Vol. II 





Published by 

C. Sarkar o/ M. C. Sarkar & Sons 
90 /2 A, Harrison Road, Calcutta. 

Copyright of Introductory Memoir and Chapters XI — XIII 

reserved by Jadunath Sarkar and of the rest of the 

book by Mrs. Margaret L. Seymour, 

195, Goldhurst Terrace, London. 

Printer : S. C. MAZUMDAR 


71/1, Mirzapur Street, Calcutta. 



Chapter VI. Muhammad Shah : Tutelage under the Sayyids ... 1 — 101 
Roshan Akhtar enthroned as Md. Shah, 1 — peace made with Jai Singh, 
4 — campaign against Bundi, 5 — Chabela Ram revolts, 6 — dies, 8 — Girdhar 
Bahadur rebels at Allahabad, 8 — fights Haidar Quli, 11 — submits, 15 — Nizam 
sent to Malwa, 17 — Sayyid brothers send Dilawar Ali against him, 19 — 
Nizam occupies Asirgarh and Burhanpur, 23 — battle with Dilawar Ali at 
Pandhar, 28 — another account of the battle, 32 — Emperor's letter to Nizam, 
35 — plots of Sayyids against Md. Amin Khan, 37 — Alim Ali marches against 
Nizam, 40 — his preparations, 43 — Nizam's replies to Court, 45 — Alim Ali 
defeated at Balapur, 47 — Emperor taken towards Dakhin, 53 — plot of Md. 
Amin against Sayyid Husain Ali, 55 — Husain Ali murdered by Haidar Beg, 
60 — his camp plundered, 61 — his men attack Emperor's tents, 63 — Emperor's 
return towards Agra, 68 — letters between Md. Shah and Sayyid Abdullah, 72 
— Abdullah crowns Prince Ibrahim at Dihli, 75 — battle of Hasanpur, 82 — 
Sayyid Abdullah surrenders, 91 — his house at Dihli plundered, 93 — 
Abdullah's captivity and death, 95 — character of Sayyid brothers, 99. 

Chapter VII. Muhammad Shah's Reign 1720-1725 ... 102—154 

Poll-tax abolished, 103 — death of Md. Amin Khan Wazir, 104 — Nizam's 
difficulties as Wazir, 106 — revolt of Ajit Singh, 108 — army sent against him, 
113 — Ajit murdered by his son Abhai Singh, 115 — its true cause, 116 — Rohela 
settlement in the upper Duab, 117 — Jat history: Churaman, 120 — his sons 
besieged in Thun, 123 — Md. Shah's daily life, 125 — dispute over a Hindu 
convert's minor daughter, 126 — Haidar Quli's misdeeds in Gujarat, 128 — he 
feigns madness, 129 — Nizam disgusted with Emperor and his courtiers, 131 — 
story of the robber Khanna, 133 — rival factions quarrel at Court, 135 — Nizam 
returns to Dakhin, 137 — Mubariz Khan set up against Nizam, 139 — battle of 
Shakar-Khera, 145 — Nizam's letter to Emperor, 153. 

Chapter VIII. Mahrattas in Gujarat ... ... ... 155—215 

Maharashtra country, 155 — career of Shivaji, 158 — Aurangzeb's wars with 
Mahrattas, 160 — Mahratta affairs after 1707, 161 — Mahratta invasion of 
Gujarat, 165 — Hamid Khan governs Gujarat, 168 — Shujaat Khan appointed 
subahdar, 169 — is slain by Mahrattas, 172 — Ibrahim Quli Khan's attack on 
governor's palace, 174 — defeat of Rustam Ali at Aras, 177 — his death, 182 — 
Mahrattas exact ransom from Gujarat, 183 — events in Ahmadabad (1725), 
186 — Sarbuland Khan enters Ahmadabad, 187 — Hamid Khan abandons 
Gujarat, 189 — Sarbuland's government of Gujarat, 192 — grants chauth to 
Mahrattas, 193 — fresh Mahratta encroachments on Gujarat, 195 — Sarbuland's 
extortions, 199 — Bahora rising, 20! — Abhai Singh, new governor of Gujarat, 
205 — attacked by Sarbuland, 207 — Sarbuland leaves Gujarat, 213. 


Chapter IX. Bundelkhand and Malwa ... ... ... 216—256 

Bundelkhand and the Bundela tribe, 216 — Champat Rai, 219 — his 
struggle with Aurangzeb and death, 225 — Chhattarsal's early career, 228— 
Md. Khan Bangash sent against him, 230 — his despatch of battles, 233 — 
Baji Rao assists Chhattarsal, 238 — Md. Khan withdraws from Bundelkhand, 
241 — Mahratta raids into Malwa, 242 — they gain footing in Malwa, 243— 
Bhawani Ram's government of Malwa (1728), 245 — Daya Bahadur administers 
Malwa (1729-31), 247— is killed at Tarla, 248— Md. Khan Bangash in Malwa, 
249 — causes of his failure, 255 — Jai Singh governor, 255. 
Chapter X. Muhammad Shah to 1738 ... ... ... 257—306 

Shoe-sellers' riot at Dihli, 257 — Court favourites : Koki, 263 — Roshan- 
ud-daulah, 266 — Shah Abdul-ghaffur, 267 — his fall, 271 — another account of 
it, 273 — increasing Mahratta encroachments, 275 — campaign against 
Mahrattas in 1733, 277 — campaign of 1734, 279 — campaign of 1735, 280 — 
campaign of 1736, 281 — campaign of 1737, 286 — Saadat Kh. defeats Mahrattas, 
287 — Baji Rao sacks environs of Dihli, 289 — defeats imperial army 
under Hasan Khan, 293 — why he suddenly retreated, 295 — Wazir defeats 
Mahrattas at Badshahpur, 296 — Nizam invited by Emperor, 299 — Nizam 
welcomed at Dihli, 301 — is besieged by Baji Rao in Bhupal, 303 — he cedes 
Malwa to Baji Rao by convention of Duraha Sarai, 305. 
Chapter XI. India in 1738 : Rise and Progress of Nadir Shah 307—329 
Slaughter of the Mughal aristocracy in civil wars, 307 — degeneration of 
noble families settled in India, 308 — later Emperors alienate Hindus and 
Shias, 309 — later Mughals foolish idle and vicious, 311 — nobles divided into 
warring factions, 313 — insecurity and poverty, 314 — decline of Persian kings, 
315 — Nadir delivers Persia from Afghan rule, 318 — crowns himself king, 
318 — captures Qandahar, 319 — causes of his quarrel with Dihli Government, 
320 — Emperor neglects defence of Afghanistan, 322 — and of Panjab, 325 — 
Nadir conquers Afghanistan, 327. 

Chapter XII. Nadir Shah's invasion of India ... ... 330—360 

Nadir captures Peshawar and Lahor, 330 — indolence of imperial Court, 
335 — Emperor entrenches at Karnal, 337 — rival forces, 337 — Nadir arrives 
near Karnal, 339— Saadat Khan issues for battle, 342— battle of Karnal, 
345 — heavy loss of Indians, 349 — causes of Indian defeat, 350 — negotiations 
f or peace with Nadir, 353 — death of Khan Dauran, 355 — jealousy of Saadat 
Khan, 356 — Nadir imprisons Emperor and nobles, 357. 

Chapter XIII. Nadir in Dihli : His Return ... ... 361—379 

State of Dihli city after battle of Karnal, 361 — Nadir and Emperor 
enter Dihli, 363 — popular rising against Persians in Dihli, 365 — Nadir's 
massacre at Dihli, 367— the slaughter and loss estimated, 368 — extortion from 
Dihli, 370 — cruelties practised for money, 373 — Nadir reinstates Md. Shah, 
374— retires from India, 375— break-up of Mughal Empire, 379. 
Errata ... ... ... ... ... ... 380 

Index ... ... ... ... ... ... 381 




SAYYIDS, (1719-1720). 

Sec. I. — Accession. 

During the few days which elapsed between the death of 
Rafi-ud-daulah and the arrival of his successor, the Wazir and 
his brother made their usual daily visit to the imperial quarters 
and returned with robes of honour, as if newly conferred on 
them, thus deceiving the common people into the belief that 
the Emperor was still alive.* 

At length on the 11th Zul Qada 1131 H. (24th September, 
1719), Ghulam Ali Khan arrived in the camp at Bidyapur, a 
village three k°s to the north of Fathpur Sikri. He brought with 
him Prince Roshan Akhtar, the son of the late Khujista-Akhtar, 
Jahan Shah, fourth son of the Emperor Bahadur Shah.f The 
death of Rafi-ud-daulah was now (26th September, 1719) made 
public, his bier brought out, and his body despatched for burial 
to Dihli. Arrangements were at once made for the enthrone- 
ment of his successor. J 

This enthronement took place at Bidyapur§ on the 15th 
•'Zul Qada 1131 H. (28th September, 1719) and Roshan Akhtar 

* Shiu Das, 326. A newly-conferred \hilat was worn for twenty-four 
hours, and nothing was allowed to be put on over it. 

f Rustam Ali, Tarikh-i-Hindi, jol. 237a, says the Prince was brought 
from Dihli in three days, travelling in a boat down the Jamuna. 

| Kamwar Khan, 211; Khafi Khan, ii. 840. 

§ From the tahsildar' s report kindly obtained for me by Mr. Reynolds 
as already stated, I find that there is a place Tajpur, four miles west of 
Bidyapur. From the name, and the fact that the village is a perpetual 
muafi, I infer that Tajpur may be the actual place of enthronement. 


was proclaimed under the titles of Abul Fath,* Nasir-ud-din, 
Muhammad Shah, Badshah, Ghazi. He was a handsome and, 
at that time, fairly intelligent young man, and having been born 
at Ghazni on the 23rd Rabi I. 1 1 14 H. (16th August, 1702), was 
now in his eighteenth (lunar) year. Coin was issued and the 
khutba read in his name ; and it was directed that the commence- 
ment of the reign should be antedated, and fixed from the 
removal of Farrukh-siyar from the throne. All other arrange- 
ments were continued as in the last two reigns, and no new 
appointments were made. All the persons surrounding the 
sovereign were as before the nominees of the two Sayyids, and 
Himmat Khan continued as before to act as tutor and guardian. 
Muhammad Shah deferred to him in everything, and asked of 
him permission to attend the public prayers on Friday or to 
go out shooting. On the march men in the confidence of the 
Sayyids surrounded the young Emperor and prevented any 
access to him.f 

Sec. 2. — Terms Made with Jai Singh. 

It was now given out that the Emperor, after worshipping at 
the tomb of Shaikh Salim Chishti, in Fathpur, would march on 
to Ajmer and visit the shrine of Muin-ud-din Chishti. The 
hidden motive was to overawe Rajah Jai Singh who, since the 
removal of Farrukh-siyar, had been at little pains to conceal 
his hostile intentions. He had received some aid in money from 
the Rana of Udepur, as is shown by his letter to that Prince's 
minister, dated the 4th Bhadon Sambat 1776 (9th August, 1719), 
wherein he asserts that Nizam-ul-mulk had started from Ujjain 
and Chabela Ram had crossed the Jamuna at Kalpi, both of 
which statements were false. J When he learnt of the rising at 

* Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, 166. But Ghulam Ali Khan, Muqaddama-i-Shah 
Alatn-nama, 45a, states that on the 3rd Jamadi II. 1134 H. (20th March, 1722), 
the style was changed from "Abul Fath" to "Abul Muzaffar." 

t Kamwar Khan, 213; Khush-hal Chand, Berlin MS. No. 495, jol. 
995a has, for date, "middle of Zul Qada." 

% He was further encouraged in his hostility by Tahavvar Khan Turani, 
Salabat Khan, the late Mir Atash, Ruhullah Khan, and the other refugees 
from Dihli already referred to. 

1719] jai singh's hostile demonstration 3 

Agra, he came out from his capital, Amber, with much ostenta- 
tion. Following the Rajput custom when resolved on death or 
victory, he and his men had clothed themselves in saffron 
raiment and sprinkled their heads with green grass.* He 
announced publicly that he had bestowed the city of Amber 
on the Brahmans as a sacred gift (dan and arthan). He had 
marched as far as pargana Toda Tank, about eighty miles 
south-west of Agra, and there waited to see which way events 
would turn. He was watched by a force under Sayyid Dilawar 
Ali Khan, which barred his further advance northwards. 
[Qasim 294, Tod i. 380.] 

Maharajah Ajit Singh had offered himself as mediator, but 
his leisurely procedure, protracted in the way usual to him and 
his fellow-rajahs, did not accord with the fiery temperament of 
Husain Ali Khan. It was with a view to bring this matter to a 
head that an advance from Fathpur Sikri towards Ajmer was 
proposed. A few marches were made to places in the 
neighbourhood, but no real start was attempted. The camp 
was between Malikpur and Muminabad on the 24th Zul Qada 
(7th October, 1719) and here Husain Ali Khan came in from 
Fathpur to pay his respects. Another stage was travelled on 
the 26th (9th October). f 

On the 1st Zul Hijja (14th October, 1719) the Emperor's 
mother, now styled Nawab Qudsiya, and other women of the 
harem, who had been sent for from Dihli arrived in camp. The 
Begam had acted most warily, avoiding everything that could 
arouse the suspicions of the Sayyids. When the messengers of 
the Sayyids came to Dihli to fetch her son, she bestowed on 
them, on the men who were to accompany him, and on all 

* I read gyahe, "grass," in Muhammad Qasim, but Tod, i. 506, speaks 
of their wearing on such occasions the maur or bridal crown, which is 
probably much the same thing in other words — John Christian, Behar 
Proverbs, p. 197, No. 426, tells us that the bridegroom's head-dress "is 
made of talipot leaves and in some places of date (palm) leaves." That 
it is sometimes actually made of grass may be inferred from W. Crooke's 
Tribes and Castes of the N. W. Provinces, ii. 62. 

t Qasim, 294. There is a Malikpur about five miles east of Fathpur, 
Indian Atlas, sheet 50; Muminabad, I am unable to trace. 


office-holders at Dihli, the customary dresses of honour. But 
learning that this assumption of authority had displeased the 
Sayyids, she sent away all subsequent applicants. In the same 
manner, when she arrived in camp, she warned all persons 
who had any connection with her late husband, Jahan Shah, 
to abstain from appearing on the road to greet or escort her. 
She studied the susceptibilities of the Sayyids in every particular. 
A sum of fifteen thousand Rupees monthly was set apart for 
her expenses and those of the other women. [Kamwar 214, 

K. K. 841.] 

As the negotiations with Jai Singh were still in progress and 
no satisfactory terms could be arranged, Ajit Singh, who was 
extremely anxious to return home, offered to visit Jai Singh in 
person on his way to Jodhpur. Accordingly he was dismissed 
to his home, and on the 2nd Zul Hijja (15th October, 1719) the 
report came in that three days before (12th October), Jai Singh 
had quitted Toda on his return to Amber. The fugitive nobles, 
Tahawar Khan, Salabat Khan, and Ruhullah Khan, were at 
his request pardoned and left with him unmolested. The great 
persuasive in his withdrawal was the large sum of money that 
he received. Some say the amount was as much as twenty 
lakhs of Rupees. This money was paid to him on the plea that 
it was required to buy back Amber from the Brahmans. To 
the public it was announced as a gift on his marriage with the 
daughter of Ajit Singh, to whom he had long been betrothed. 
As part of these negotiations Rajah Jai Singh obtained the gov- 
ernment of sarkar Sorath {subah Ahmadabad). But the rest of 
Ahmadabad remained under Ajit Singh, with the addition of 
the whole of Ajmer. That Rajah's formal appointment to the 
latter subah was announced on the 23rd Zul Hijja (5th 
November, 1719). In this way the country from a point sixty 
miles south of Dihli to the shores of the ocean at Surat was in 
the hands of these two rajahs, very untrustworthy sentinels for 
the Mughals on this exposed frontier.* 

* Kamwar, 214, 216; Khafi Khan, 838; Qasim, 297; Shiu Das, 32a. 

1719] war for the rao-ship of bundi 5 

Sec. 3. — The Emperor moves from Fathpur to Agra. 

From the date of his arrival in camp, 11th Zul Qada (24th 
September, 1719) until the 20th Zul Hijja, Muhammad Shah had 
never moved far from Fathpur Sikri. He kept the Id festival 
(1 0th Zul Hijja) in his tents at Fathpur, and visited the tomb of 
Shah Salim Chishti, at that place on the 14th of the same month. 
On the 20th he started for Agra, and three days later (5th Novem- 
ber, 1719) he camped at Talab Khela Nath. On the 15th 
Muharram 1132 H. (27th November, 1719) quarters were taken 
up for a few days at the palace within the fort of Agra, but 
on the 2nd Safar (14th December, 1719) the Emperor returned 
to his tents at his former encampment. At this time Sayyid 
Dilawar Ali Khan, Batyishi of Husain AH Khan's army, was 
sent towards Jalesar and Sadabad in the Duaba to punish the 
Jats, who had lately carried off over one hundred of the imperial 

Sec. 4. — Campaign against Bundi. 

As already mentioned, there had been for several years a 
dispute between Budh Singh Hada, and his relation Bhim Singh, 
about the country of Bundi in Rajputana. Budh Singh, who was 
in possession, had thrown in his lot with Farrukh-siyar and 
Rajah Jai Singh Sawai. Bhim Singh had sided with the minister 
and his brother. As a reward his restoration was now decided 
upon, Budh Singh having recently added to his former iniquities 
by himself assisting Girdhar Bahadur, the rebellious governor 
of Allahabad, and instigating Chhattarsal Bundela, to do the 
same. On the 5th Muharram 1132 H. (17th November, 1719) 
Bhim Singh was sent on this enterprise and Dost Muhammad 
Khan Afghanf of Malwa was, at the rajah's request, given a 
high mansab and placed under his orders. Sayyid Dilawar AH 
Khan, Bakhshi of Husain Ali Khan's army, who had lately 
returned from his expedition against the Jats, received orders to 
proceed to Bundi with a well-equipped force of fifteen thousand 

* Karawar Khan, 215; Qasim, 2nd recension, 402. 

t Founder of the Bhopal State. At this time he was on bad terms 
with Nizam-ul-mulk, then subahdar of Malwa. 


horsemen. Gaj Singh of Narwar was also ordered to join. In 
addition to the avowed object of their march, they carried with 
them secret instructions to remain on the borders of Malwa 
until it was known whether their services might not be required 
in that direction. Bhim Singh had been promised the title of 
Maharajah and the rank 7,000 (7,000 horse), with the fish 
standard, if he took part in a successful campaign against 
Nizam-ul-mulk in Malwa.* 

On the 3rd Rabi II. 1 132 H. (12th February, 1720) the report 
was received that Rao Bhim Singh and Dilawar Ali Khan had 
fought a battle with the uncle of Rao Budh Singh, in which 
their opponent was defeated and slain, along with five or six 
thousand of his clan. [K. K. 851, Kamwar 218.] 

Sec. 5. — Chabela Ram and Girdhar Bahadur at Allahabad. 

Chabela Ram Nagar owed his fortunes entirely to Azim- 
ush-shan, fighting for whom his brother, Daya Ram, was killed 
in 1 124 H., 1712, at Lahor. He had been one of the earliest to 
declare himself in Farrukh-siyar's favour, after that Prince's 
cause had been espoused by the Sayyid brothers. In reward 
for this zeal he had obtained high rank and various important 
appointments. He had never been well affected to the Sayyids, 
and had made a good deal of underhand complaint about them 
to Farrukh-siyar. At the time of that Emperor's deposition, he 
was governor of the Allahabad province. The downfall of his 
patron was distinctly opposed to his interests ; but, as the saying 
is, "the earth is hard and the sky far off.'* From that moment 
he stood aloof from the Sayyids, in an attitude not far removed 
from rebellion ; and his name was mixed up with all the 
rumoured projects having for their object the rescue of the late 
sovereign from the hands of the Sayyid ministers. His declared 
revolt against them may be dated from the middle of Ramzan 
1131 H., (August 1719), just a little before the time that Agra 
fort was re-captured and the movement in favour of Nekusiyar 
suppressed. Troubles raised by Jasan Singh, zamindar of Kalpi, 
instigated by Muhammad Khan Bangash, and his agent, Rustam 

Khan Khan, ii. 844; Kamwar Khan, 216; Khizr Khan, 41. 

1719] girdhar Bahadur's escape to allahabad 7 

Khan Afridi of Mau-Shamsabad, had kept Chabela Ram busily 
occupied within his own province, and had prevented his 
marching to Agra. As the fort at that place had now been 
recovered and Jai Singh Sawai bought off, it was necessary to 
deal next with Chabela Ram, more especially as his contumacy 
barred the road to a remittance from Bengal, which had been 
detained at Patna. [Khush-hal Berlin MS. 999a.] 

His nephew, Girdhar Bahadur, son of the late Daya Ram, 
had been summoned to Dihli just before Farrukh-siyar's removal 
from the throne ; and after that event, Chabela Ram's dis- 
content becoming known, Girdhar Bahadur was detained at the 
capital in a sort of honorable captivity. When the Wazir 
started for Agra with the Emperor, Rafi-ud-daulah, Girdhar 
Bahadur was placed in charge of Lutf-ullah Khan Sadiq, and by 
him entrusted to his son, Hidayat AH Khan. This custodian 
visited his prisoner daily. On one occasion he happened to 
mention that Husain Ali Khan would soon march to Allahabad, 
and put an end to Chabela Ram and his opposition. That 
very night Girdhar Bahadur fled, having bought over his guard. 
At dawn fifty horsemen started in pursuit, but no trace of the 
fugitive could be discovered. Soon it was learnt that he had 
reached Allahabad and joined his uncle, Chabela Ram. 
[Siwanih, 7.] 

Girdhar Bahadur was sent out from Allahabad with a fresh 
force against Jasan Singh of Kalpi ; and after that rebel had 
been repeatedly defeated, the parties came to an agreement and 
Girdhar Bahadur returned to Allahabad. This place was 
already seriously threatened. Sayyid Abdullah Khan had 
detached Abdun-nabi Khan against it with six thousand horse- 
men ; and on Husain Ali Khan's part, Daud Khan, deputy of 
Muhammad Khan at Gwaliyar, was ordered on the same service 
at the head of three thousand men, with whom he marched 
through Karra to Allahabad. Diler Khan, a slave of the Bangash 
chief, joined Abdun-nabi Khan at Etawa with fifteen hundred 
men. [Ibid 8.] 

Chabela Ram, leaving his nephew in charge of Allahabad 
fort, came out several kps and entrenched himself. The two 
forces were not yet in sight of each other, when Chabela Ram 


was seized with paralysis and died before he could reach 
Allahabad.* His death took place in Zul Hijja 1131 H. 
(November 1719). The two brothers looked on this death as a 
special interposition of Providence, receiving the news with 
every demonstration of joy ; and they at once sent off a robe of 
honour for Girdhar Bahadur, with a request for the surrender 
of the fort of Allahabad. Active hostilities had meanwhile been 
suspended. Abdun-nabi Khan, as soon as he heard of Chabela 
Ram's death, halted at Shahzadpurf for further orders, and 
conveyed to Girdhar Bahadur the Wazir's offer that if he would 
come peaceably out of Allahabad, he should forthwith receive 
the province of Oudh with the /aufdar-ships of Lakhnau and 

Girdhar Bahadur, however, rejected all overtures. His 
excuse, an obviously insufficient one, was that he had not yet 
finished the funeral obsequies of his uncle, which could only be 
completed at the holy Tribeni (that is, Allahabad, alias Pryag), 
where the Ganges, Jamuna and Sarsuti are supposed to meet. 
For one year he would not be at liberty to leave the place. He 
employed this breathing space in active preparations for a siege, 
and in the accumulation of ample supplies within the fort walls. 
He is said to have dug a trench from the Ganges to the Jamuna 
and filled it with water from those rivers, thus protecting the 
fort on its most vulnerable side, that towards the west. Outside 
this channel he erected a number of small earthen forts. J 

At this time the Bundelas were active and troublesome, 
both to the south of their country on the borders of Malwa, 
and to the north of it between Allahabad and Agra. With regard 
to the first of these outbreaks, Nizam-ul-mulk, the subahdar of 
Malwa, was written to. For the protection of the country near 

*Khush-hal Chand, Berlin MS., No. 495, jol. 999a, reports that some 
men suggested foul play. Their story was that "a letter arrived from the 
Sayyids, and as soon as he (C. R.) had opened the envelope, he gave up 
the ghost." 

t In the Cawnpore district, Lat., 26°77', Long. 80°2', Thornton, 881. 

% Siwanih-i-Khizri, p. 8; Kamwar Khan, entry of 25th Zul Hijja; the 
Tarikh-i-Muhammadi places the death of C. R. "at the end of the year 
1131"; Qasim 300, 301, 302; Shiu Das, /. 33a. 


the Jamuna, a force was ordered to assemble under Muhammad 
Khan Bangash, Aziz Khan Daudzai, Hasan Khan, faujdar of 
Kora Jahanabad, and other jagirdars. They were to await 
orders on the south of the Jamuna. Saadat Khan, Burhan-ul- 
mulk (who had been recently, 6th October 1719, appointed 
faujdar of Hindaun and Biana) was designated as commander 
of the imperial vanguard. About this time Mir Jumla Tarkhan, 
who had lately made his peace with the Sayyids, had been 
nominated (8th Zul Hijja 1131 H., 21st October 1719) to the 
office of Sadar-ussadar, or superintendent of endowments, but 
found a difficulty in obtaining the issue of his patent of appoint- 
ment, owing to the obstructive action of Rajah Ratan Chand. 
Mir Jumla invoked the aid of Saadat Khan who spoke to Husain 
AH Khan. Ratan Chand was displeased, and soon succeeded in 
alienating Abdullah Khan from Saadat Khan. The command 
of the vanguard was taken from him and given to Haidar 
Quli Khan.* 

With reference to Ratan Chand's interference, even in 
matters belonging to other departments, they tell the following 
story : One day Ratan Chand brought to Abdullah Khan a 
man whom he wished to be made a Qazi. Abdullah Khan said 
with a smile to a bystander : "Ratan Chand now nominates the 
Qazis." The courtier replied : "He has got everything he 
wants in this world, why should he not now look after the other 
world?" Or, as Fakhr-ud-din Khan, son of Shaikh Abdul-aziz, 
remarked one day to Abdullah Khan : "Now-a-days, through 
your favour, Ratan Chand is as great a man as was Himu, the 

shopkeeper, "f 

Haidar Quli Khan started for Allahabad on the 1st Muhar- 
ram 1132 H., 13th November 1719. On the way he was joined 

* Kamwar Khan, entries of 23rd Zul Qada and 8th Zul Hijja 113! H. ; 
Khizr Khan, p. 10; Shiu Das, 33. Kora Jahanabad is in the Fatehpur 
District; Thornton, 522; Hindaun (in Jaipur territory), Lat. 26°41', Long. 
77° 16'; Biana (in Bharatpur territory), Lat. 26°57', Long. 77°20', Thornton. 
387, 119. 

t Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, Irvine MS., p. 167, Khush-hal Chand, Berlin MS. 
495, /. 1,000b. Himu Dhusar, Wazir of Adil Shah Sur, was defeated and 
taken prisoner in Muharram 964 H., November 1556, Beale, 160. 


by Sher Afkan Khan Panipati, jaujdar of Karra.* After a halt 
near Karra, they advanced to a place twenty-five kps from 
Allahabad. At this stage Shah Ali Khan arrived, bringing with 
him Daud Khan, an officer sent by Muhammad Khan Bangash. 
Shah Ali Khan was a Barha Sayyid who had been deputed by 
the Wazir and his brother to represent their interests, f 
Muhammad Khan Bangash excused himself from personal 
attendance, the Rajput clan of the Bamtelas having risen and 
tried to destroy the newly-founded town of Farrukhabad. But 
he vouched for the zeal and energy of his officers, Daud Khan 
and Diler Khan. [Siwanih, 11.] 

By this time, at the instigation of Budh Singh Hada, of 
Bundi, a large number of Bundelas had taken the field. These 
men harassed Abdun-nabi Khan and Diler Khan in their 
advance. One day Abun-nabi Khan was taken prisoner, but 
rescued by Diler Khan after a severe struggle. Before the fight 
could be renewed on the following morning, Tahawar Ali Khan 
marched in with two thousand men sent by Dilawar Ali Khan. 
The Bundelas now avoided a renewal of the engagement, but 
Tahawar Ali Khan, out of bravado, disregarding Abdun-nabi 
Khan's advice, took the initiative. Diler Khan, scorning to be 
left behind, followed in his wake, and Abdun-nabi Khan felt 
bound to support them. The Afghans, when near enough, 
began to shout out abusive words until Bhagwant Singh, the 
Bundela leader, stung by these taunts, broke off his holy thread, 
put it on the point of his sword, and swore an oath to die or 
be revenged. Spurring his mare into the space between the 
armies, he selected Tahawar Ali Khan as his opponent. Riding 
up to that officer's elephant, he brought down the driver with 
one arrow and pierced Tahawar Ali Khan's arm with another. 
Diler Khan now attempted to take the Bundelas in the rear. 
Bhagwant Singh with two hundred men turned to face him. 
Diler Khan did not flinch, and after three-quarters of an hour's 

* This man was the brother of Lutf-ullah Khan Sadiq. The Tarikh-i- 
Muzafiari, 170, has Kora, instead of Karra. 

t According to Khush-hal Chand, Berlin MS. No. 495, /. 999a, this man 
had been promised the succession to the governorship, if successful in eject- 
ing Girdhar Bahadur. He had 4,000 men with him. 


desperate fighting, Bhagwant Singh was cut down by the 
Pathan. The Bundelas dispersed and were pursued for two or 
three kos by the Afghan horse. Abdun-nabi Khan and his 
companions then rejoined Haidar Quli Khan by forced marches. 
[Khizr Kh. 11.] 

All the reinforcements having now reached him, Haidar 
Quli Khan divided his army into three divisions : one under his 
own orders ; one under Sher Afkan Khan Panipati, Bahadur 
Khan and Daud Khan ; one under Shah Ali Khan Barha and 
Abdun-nabi Khan. An advance was then made. When the 
imperialists were five k°s from the fort, the Chandela zamindars 
who had joined Girdhar Bahadur came out to oppose them, and 
a sharp engagement ensued. The Chandelas forced their way 
into the ranks of the second division, and the newly recruited 
men gave way, Shah Ali Khan being so severely wounded that 
he fell from his elephant. His troops fled in disorder. But 
Daud Khan, calling on his Afghans, maintained the struggle as 
long as there was any daylight, and during the night the third 
division reached the spot. The enemy being now outnumbered, 
took to their heels and retreated within shelter of the trenches 
outside the fort. [Khush-hal 99%, Khizr Kh. 13.] 

Haidar Quli Khan hurried up with his own division, and 
two days were spent in restoring order in the force. On the 
third day he marched close up to the entrenchments with his 
whole army. As soon as they came in sight, they were received 
with a heavy fire of cannon and rockets, and from afternoon to 
sunset the fight continued. Girdhar Bahadur in person issued 
from his trenches and created a diversion by a bold attack. At 
length, owing to the darkness, they could no longer distinguish 
friend from foe, and each army returned to its own quarters. 
Fighting went on daily for two or three days. One night an 
attack was made on Abdun-nabi Khan's camp, and great 
damage was done before Sher Afkan Khan could arrive, when 
they jointly drove back the assailants to the very ditches of their 
entrenchments. Two men were taken alive. Their story was 
that within the fort there were food and supplies enough to last 
for ten years ; Girdhar Bahadur's own men numbered ten 
thousand, and there were as many more belonging to Budh 


Singh Hada, Chhattarsal Bundela, and the Hindu landholders of 
the adjacent country. Haidar Quli Khan reported all this to 
Husain Ali Khan, and asked for reinforcements. [Siwanih, 14.] 

Nor did the commanders of the investing force act in unison. 
Abdun-nabi Khan declared that he would behead the two 
prisoners in retaliation for the loss of men that he had suffered. 
Haidar Quli Khan refused his consent. He said that he required 
these men in order to find out from them the condition of the 
fort and its defenders, subsequently, whatever order was given 
in regard to the prisoners by Husain Ali Khan, Amir-ul-umara, 
would be carried out. Beginning with civil words, the discus- 
sion was prolonged until they spoke harshly to each other. 
Abdun-nabi Khan thereupon withdrew his troops from the 
investment of the northern bastion, and that very night a rein- 
forcement sent by Budh Singh Hada, passed through the aban- 
doned post and entered the fort without let or hindrance. 

As already stated, Husain Ali Khan, as soon as he learnt 
of Budh Singh's encouragement of the Bundelas and of Girdhar 
Bahadur's resistance, detached Dilawar Ali Khan and others 
into the Kota-Bundi country. At the same time Muhammad 
Khan Bangash, who had obeyed the command to proceed to 
Allahabad by sending some of the officers, was pressed to take 
the field in person. Accordingly, he soon arrived at Allahabad, 
and occupied the position vacated by Abdun-nabi Khan. One 
night, shortly after his arrival, two thousand men, an hour or two 
before dawn, made a sudden attack on him. The Nawab, 
whose eyes were inflamed, was unable to take the command 
himself, but Diler Khan, for whom an urgent message had been 
sent, was soon on the spot. In the confusion and darkness, 
some two hundred of the retreating enemy lost their way and 
fell into the river ; while Salim Singh, their leader, was wounded 
and made a prisoner by Nur Khan Khatak. But before he was 
recognized, he yielded up his accoutrements, his sword, his 
turban, and all that he had of value, and was allowed to go his 
way. Diler Khan received two severe wounds in the back, but 
escaped with his life. [Ibid, 17.] 

The morning after this night surprise, Haidar Quli Khan 
ordered a general assault from two directions. One force he 


took command of himself, the other was led by Sher Afkan 
Khan, Daud Khan Bangash, and Shah AH Khan Barha. After 
repeated attacks, Haidar Quli Khan cleared the enemy out of 
the entrenchments at the foot of the north side of the fort. In 
the same way, Shah Ali Khan and the leaders with him drove 
those in front of them back to the very foot of the walls. Daud 
Khan, accompanied by Sher Afkan Khan, brought up the scaling 
ladders, hoping to make an entry, but after much struggle and 
effort he was compelled to abandon the attempt. Since the 
river flows close under the fort, and a number of boats were 
moored below the walls, it was feared that if the enemy saw the 
day going against them, they would use this means of escape. 
To prevent this manoeuvre, Muhammad Khan sent out his men 
and took possession of all the boats. 

For three days the fighting continued. By the fourth day 
the imperial army had worked its way close to the fort and began 
to mine under the walls. Girdhar Bahadur, believing the day 
was lost, made overtures through Muhammad Khan ; in these 
negotiations a long time was consumed. Girdhar Bahadur then 
found out that Muhammad Khan had received a promise of the 
Allahabad province, if he, Girdhar Bahadur, could be ousted 
from it. Ceasing to believe any longer in that noble's imparti- 
ality, Girdhar Bahadur said he would treat through no one but 
Ratan Chand. 

The retention of Allahabad in hostile hands was most detri- 
mental to the Sayyids' power. It formed a centre round which 
disaffection could rally and grow troublesome. In itself it was 
as strong a fortress as Akbarabad, but in other ways many times 
more difficult to overcome. Instead of a revolted garrison 
having no competent leaders, it was held by a well-tried and 
valiant soldier at the head of a well-disciplined force ; instead of 
a miserably provisioned stronghold there was one with sufficient 
supplies for many years. Obviously some great effort must be 

Husain Ali Khan ordered a bridge of boats to be thrown 
across the Jamuna at Agra, and sent his troops to the other side 
as a preliminary to his own advance down the Duaba. He had 
no reverence for the prognostications of astrologers, saying : 


"Whatever is chosen by the Eternal Felicity is felicitous ; what- 
ever is not adopted by Him is devoid of felicity." On the 3rd 
Safar (15th December 1719) he quitted his camp at Bagh Dahr- 
Ara, and proceeded by boat to the garden of Jahan-ara Begam. 
Negotiations continued at Allahabad ; day and night camel- 
riders came and went. But Girdhar Bahadur persisted that he 
had no faith in the Sayyids and could not trust their honour, or 
give up the place of refuge that he held. Several months 
elapsed, but no settlement was arrived at. [Qasim, 303.] 

At length, on the 23rd Jamada I. 1132 H. (1st April 1720), 
Husain Ali Khan resolved to march on Allahabad ; and quitting 
the garden of Jahan-ara, his tents were put up on the grazing 
grounds of Bagh Buland.* But Abdullah Khan did not approve 
of this move. A few weeks before this, on the 1st Rabi II. 
1132 H. (10th February 1720) the Emperor's advance tents had 
been sent off towards Dihli, but no start followed ; and on the 
1st Jamada I. (10th March 1720), they were brought back from 
Sikandra Itala.f About this time the quarrel over the Agra 
booty broke out afresh between Abdullah Khan and his younger 
brother, and it was only through the strenuous exertions of Ratan 
Chand that a settlement was made ; and these differences were 
prevented from reaching the public ear. Still sore at the role 
played by his brother at Agra, Abdullah Khan, directly Husain 
Ali Khan moved towards Allahabad, swore that he would not 
be defrauded a second time. If Husain Ali Khan had appro- 
priated the booty of Agra, he would take that of Allahabad. 
In short, he insisted on his right as Wazir to assume the supreme 
command. At length, a middle course was hit upon, both 
brothers remained at Agra, and Ratan Chand went as their emis- 
sary to Allahabad. [Qasim 306, K. K. 845, Kamwar 220.] 

On the 25th Jamada I. 1132 H. (3rd April 1720) Ratan 
Chand started with many nobles in his train, taking sixty large 
guns each drawn by one hundred to two hundred oxen and 
three or four elephants. On his way the jaujdars, the agents of 
the jagirdars, and the zamindars flocked to his standard. The 

* Khush-hal calls it Moti Bagh, across the river, opposite the fort, 
t Apparently the place west of Agra, and the site of Akbar's mauso- 
leum, is intended. 


rajah camped two k os from Allahabad fort and sent a message 
to Girdhar Bahadur that he had come thus far to see him, and 
was anxiously awaiting an interview. Rajah Girdhar Bahadur 
returned answer that to meet him was pleasure, but the period 
set apart for mourning on account of Chabela Ram's death not 
having yet expired, he must trouble his visitor to come and see 
him, which would also accord with the usages observed at con- 
dolences upon a death. Rajah Ratan Chand, leaving everybody 
behind him except Muhammad Khan Bangash, Haidar Quli 
Khan, and one or two of his most trusted subordinates, went 
into the fort. Rajah Girdhar Bahadur came as far as the door 
of his dwelling, and Ratan Chand on meeting him offered the 
usual condolences. Gifts were brought forward, of which Ratan 
Chand accepted an elephant and two horses ; then, having sat a 
moment, he left for his quarters. Next day Girdhar Bahadur 
came in full state to return the visit. Ratan Chand met him at 
the tent door and seated him on the right hand upon his own 
carpet {masnad), offering one elephant and five horses with rich 
trappings. Girdhar Bahadur, too, refused all except the 
elephant and two horses. [Kamwar 219, Shiu 34a, Khush-hal 


After they had exchanged some conciliatory words in public, 
they sat apart and consulted. The terms offered were the 
Government of Oudh with all the divisions (sarkars) dependent 
thereon, and the right to appoint all the military and civil sub- 
ordinate officers (i.e., the faujdars and diwans), Mir Mushrif, the 
former governor, and the other officials being removed. To 
these appointments was added a gift of thirty lal^hs of Rupees, 
payable from the Bengal treasure remittance, to replace the 
expenditure on his army and the defence of the fort, together 
with a jewelled turban ornament, a special dress of honour and 
an elephant from the Emperor. This conference took place 
upon the 25th Jamada II. 1132 H. (3rd May 1 720). [Siwanih 19, 
K. K. 846, Shiu 35a.] 

After binding oaths on Ganges water had been exchanged, 
Girdhar Bahadur accepted the above terms, and, with all his 
family and their belongings, his treasure and his goods, marched 
out of the fort on the 4th Rajab ( 1 1 th May 1 720) ; whereupon 


Ahmad Khan, a brother of Muhammad Khan Bangash, entered 
with five hundred men and occupied the place. Leaving Shah 
Ali Khan in charge of Allahabad, Ratan Chand started on his 
return to Agra. The Bengal treasure, until now delayed at 
Patna, was sent for, orders being left that out of the total sum 
thirty lakhs should be paid over to Rajah Girdhar Bahadur, and 
the balance sent on to head-quarters. 

On the 9th Rajab, upon the receipt of Ratan Chand's report, 
Abdullah Khan attended audience, where he had not been for 
some time, and received the Emperor's permission to beat the 
drums in honour of a victory. On the 16th Rajab (23rd May 
1 720) Husain Ali Khan recrossed the Jamuna and took up his 
old station in Bagh Dahr-Ara as before. Ratan Chand, on his 
arrival on the 2nd Shaban, 8th June 1 720, was warmly congratu- 
lated by the two brothers and promoted to 5,000 zat, 5,000 horse, 
receiving a special robe and a very valuable pearl necklace. 
Haidar Quli Khan received 50,000 Rupees and a robe of honour ; 
Muhammad Khan Bangash and Sher Afkan Khan, each twenty- 
five thousand Rupees and a necklace of pearls. During this 
period the Emperor had moved once (14th Jamada II. 22nd April 
1 720) to the village of Mumtazabad, in order to pay a visit to 
Shah Jahan's tomb ; on the 17th of the same month (25th April 
1720) the camp was brought back to Talab Khela Nath.* 

Sec. 6. — Flight of Nizam-ul-mulk from Malwa to the Dakhin. 

Between Nizam-ul-mulk and the Sayyids there were many 
reasons for mutual distrust. Spoiled in earlier years by the 
exceptional favour with which he and his father were honoured 
during the last part of Alamgir's reign, Nizam-ul-mulk was 
ever afterwards discontented with the treatment he received 
from that monarch's successors. In Bahadur Shah's reign he 
served grudgingly, more than once sending in his resignation. 
It was the same in Jahandar Shah's reign. His services to 
Farrukh-siyar at the time of Jahandar Shah's overthrow secured 

* Kamwar Khan, 220 ; Shiu Das, 33b ; Bayan-i-waqi 406 ; Khush-hal 
Chand, 1,000b; Khizr Khan, p. 20. Seventy-five lakhs of treasure from 
Bengal were received at Agra on the 19th Rajab (24th May 1720). 


him the Government of the Dakhin, a region in regard to which, 
as there can be no doubt, he had cherished secret projects ever 
since the death of Alamgir. Nizam-ul-mulk, like his father, 
had won his spurs in the Dakhin campaigns, and, as Zulfiqar 
Khan unquestionably did, he must have seen that it offered a 
splendid opening for acquiring partial, perhaps even complete, 
independence of Dihli and its sovereign. He had held the six 
subahs for hardly more than two years, when he was superseded 
by Husain AH Khan. 

Apparently this supersession rankled in his mind, for he 
withdrew to his new appointment at Muradabad, and only 
returned to the capital at Farrukh-siyar's urgent request. Unable 
to work with Farrukh-siyar, he went over nominally, as we 
have seen, to the faction of the Wazir and his brother. Being 
anxious to secure his absence from Dihli, they offered him the 
Government of Bihar, a difficult charge which they hoped would 
fully employ, even if it did not exhaust, his strength. Before 
Nizam-ul-mulk had started for Patna Farrukh-siyar had been 
dethroned, and Malwa being then vacant was offered to him. 
The brothers thought that as their own nominees and relations 
held Akbarabad on the one side, and the Dakhin on the other, 
any danger from this able man's intrigues would be obviated 
by thus placing him between two fires. Remembering how 
short his tenure of the Dakhin had been, Nizam-ul-mulk made 
his acceptance of Malwa conditional on a solemn agreement 
that he should not be removed again. The promise was given 
and the Nawab started for Ujjain on the 24th Rabi II. 1131 H. 
(1 5th March 1719), a few days after the accession of Rafi-ud- 
darjat, taking the precaution to remove the whole of his family 
and possessions, thus leaving no hostages behind him in the 
Sayyids' hands. 

Ever since his departure rumours had been rife that he had 
helped to instigate the abortive rising at Agra. Although he 
was guilty of no overt act of hostility, he failed in some matters 
to study the susceptibilities of Husain Ali Khan. Owing to a 
slight offered by him to Husain Ali Khan, Marahmat Khan had 
been superseded in his command at Mandu by Khwajam Quli 
Khan. Difficulties arose about giving over that fort, and after 



these had been overcome, Marahmat Khan, instead of being 
removed by Nizam-ul-mulk, was employed in ejecting Jai 
Chand Bundela from Ramgarh. The Nawab then applied for 
the offender's pardon. Husain AH Khan disregarded these 
requests in favour of Marahmat Khan. Soon afterwards the 
news-writers reported to head-quarters that Nizam-ul-mulk was 
enlisting men and collecting materiel of war in excess of his 
requirements as a provincial governor. 

On receipt of these reports, Husain Ali Khan sent for the 
agent who represented Nizam-ul-mulk at Court, and, after abus- 
ing him and his master, told him to report to his employer what 
had been said to him ; the grievances alleged being the above- 
mentioned matter of Marahmat Khan, the removal of a zamin- 
dar in pargana Nalam,* and some other disputes about lands. 
Nizam-ul-mulk acknowledged the letter by writing direct to 
Husain Ali Khan. After complaining of the enmity of the 
official reporters, he points out that people who had never been 
in Malwa, could not know its condition ; but Husain Ali Khan 
having lately passed through it must know the facts well. The 
Mahrattas, with over fifty thousand horsemen, were harrying it ; 
if troops in large numbers were not entertained, what hope was 
there of defending the country from their ravages ? For this 
reason he had added to his resources in men and materiel. He 
also objected to giving up Malwa just as the instalments of the 
Rabi harvest were falling due, this being the time when most of 
the revenue was paid, forming his only hope of getting back his 
heavy expenditure. None but his evil-wishers could have ac- 
cused him of intending adverse action. If that had been his 
wish he could have gratified it when at Agra, where several 
times messengers came to him from Nekusiyar. He had no such 
purposes in his heart, and his detractors ought to be silenced. 
The allusion to what he could have done at Agra, if he had 
chosen, only incensed Husain Ali Khan still more against him. 

[K. K. 851, T. Muz. 174.] 

A farman was now issued to Nizam-ul-mulk recalling him 
from Malwa, on the plea that it was necessary for the protection 

* Probably a misprint for Talam, sarkar Sarangpur, Ain ii. 203. 


of the Dakhin that Husain Ali Khan should take charge of that 
province. He was offered the choice of any one out of the four 
provinces of Akbarabad, Allahabad, Multan, or Burhanpur. 
This was a distinct breach of faith, and no doubt confirmed 
Nizam-ul-mulk in the belief that he was to be destroyed. He 
had already some reason for apprehension, due to the move- 
ments of Husain Ali Khan's Bakhshi, Dilawar Ali Khan, who 
was hovering on the western border of Malwa, attended by 
Rajah Bhim Singh of Bundi, Rajah Gaj Singh of Narwar, and 
other chiefs. The secret instructions of these generals were 
that after they had settled the matter of Salim Singh who, with 
the connivance of Rajah Jai Singh Sawai, had attempted to 
usurp Bundi, they should keep the proceedings of Nizam-ul-mulk 
under observation and await further orders. Dilawar Ali Khan 
was told to announce publicly that he had a commission to 
proceed to Aurangabad in the Dakhin, to conduct thence the 
family of Nawab Husain Ali Khan. 

This movement could not be construed otherwise than un- 
favourably by Nizam-ul-mulk. Nor was other instigation to 
action wanting. His cousin, Muhammad Amin Khan, wrote 
from Agra that the Sayyids were only waiting for the suppression 
of the Nekusiyar party and the recovery of Allahabad, when 
their next task would be to uproot and destroy him, Nizam-ul- 
mulk. With his own letter Muhammad Amin Khan sent one 
written by Muhammad Shah's own hand, and one bearing the 
seal of that Emperor's mother. These letters complained of 
the Sayyids, of their entire usurpation of authority, of their 
leaving no personal liberty to the Emperor ; and called on 
Nizam-ul-mulk to espouse his cause and effect his deliverance. 
[K. K. 850-852, Qasim 307.] 

Further details of Nizam-ul-mulk's stay in Malwa are 
obtained from another source. The night following his arrival 
at Ujjain there was heavy rain ; "this was, indeed, to him 
Gods gracious rain, for from that day he never ceased to 
prosper." Ujjain became to him in fact as well as name the 
Dar-ul-fath, the Abode of Victory. After the rains (of 1719) 
had ended, he set out to reduce his province to order. It was 
then that the friends of Husain Ali Khan wrote alarming letters 


about the strength of his army and complained that mischief 
was brewing, as he was tampering with the Court intelligencer's 
reports. Upon hearing this Husain AH Khan broke out into 
strong language. He asserted that Nizam-ul-mulk should never 
have been allowed to leave the Court, and now one "Nizam-ul- 
mulk" had multiplied into a thousand ; it would be found as 
difficult to deal with him as to tackle a young tiger in an open 

To this Qutb-ul-mulk (Abdullah Khan) replied with the 
saying, 'The past is beyond remedy, fate does its own 
pleasure." Some way must be devised. After many consulta- 
tions, a farman of recall was despatched by the hands of mace- 
bearers, while a force was moved across the Chambal. If the 
governor submitted, all would be well ; if not, they could still 
fight or negotiate. If he fled to the south, their general could 
pursue. Alim Ali Khan at Aurangabad was warned to be on 
the alert. Thus Nizam-ul-mulk would inevitably be caught 
between two fires. 

It had already been a subject of remark at Nizam-ul-mulk's 
darbar that disturbed times were at hand, that probably the first 
difficulty would arise in Malwa. Nizam-ul-mulk began to pre- 
pare for an emergency, as the only hope of being left undis- 
turbed. He argued that, though in position a great noble, 
Husain Ali Khan was in character a mere soldier, who, as soon 
as he hears anything unfavourable, burns with anger and be- 
comes at once an enemy. In that case, ' the Lord be our 
keeper." There is nothing for it but to make ready to fight. 

When the advance of Sayyid Dilawar Ali Khan was 
announced, Nizam-ul-mulk consulted his most trusted officer, 
Muhammad Ghiyas Khan. This man said there was no use in 
losing one's head, the matter could easily be carried through. 
Fortune had always been favourable, and to resist was best. The 
Nawab rejoined : "Why speak thus ! Still, I am in perplexity ; 
that I have done no wrong is plain, nor need I feel ashamed. 
I have lived respected from the days of the late Alamgir until 
now, and for the few more days that may be vouchsafed me, I 
trust I may be saved from dishonour. Why do these parvenus 
try to harm me, merely because they are puffed up by their 

1720] nizam's preparations for war in defence 21 

sudden elevation. Such an attitude is becoming in an Emperor ; 
if others gain a little rise in life, why need they lose their heads. 
Thanks to God on High, who is there that shall not himself 
receive what he has done to others? But it is not for me to 
begin. If in spite of my quiescence they attack me, there is 
no help for it. After all, I am human. What man is there 
holding my high station who would not defend his honour? 
Victory lies hidden from us, it is the gift of the Most High, and 
is not gained by the greatness of a host. I swear by the God 
that made me, that they may bring all Hindustan against me 
and I will still resist undaunted. If longer life has been decreed 
me, no harm will arrive ; if the hour of departure is at hand, 
nothing can avail me." 

Ghiyas Khan approved these words, pointing out that he 

had only meant to suggest that preparation was necessary, a 

blow after the fight" meant mere dishonour. The Nawab's 

kinsmen approved, and preparation was decided on. Ghiyas 

Khan proposed a march from Mandeshwar to Ujjain, where they 

should await the farman and leave in safety their superfluous 

baggage. The farman ought to be received with outward 

honour, to be followed by a march towards the capital. If they 

were to fight, they could fight as well there as here ; nay, at 

Court the position was better. When men have once resolved 

on death they can fight even against heaven ; as to any other 

low wretches, of what account were they? The Sayyids were 

not angels having wings and able to take flight ; men with 

bodies, however much fenced in, can be reached. Right was 

on their side. If a gracious God shielded them, Right would 

triumph. If, before they reached the vicinity of Sironj, things 

took another turn, what would it matter? On hearing of their 

ostensible return to the capital, would not their opponents be 

forthwith put off their guard. Muhammad Amin Khan, Hamid 

Khan and others at Court should be addressed, as also Iwaz 

Khan and others in the Dakhin. The commandant of Asirgarh 

should be gained over, money might be offered him for the 

cession of that fortress. That place could be easily reached 

from Sironj, "and when Asir is ours, God has given us the 

key of the kingdom of the Dakhin." Reayat Khan, Abdur-rahim 


Khan, Qadir Dad Khan and Mutawassil Khan supported 
Muhammad Ghiyas. 

Letters were written in all directions, as agreed on, and 
after a delay of two or three days they started in the direction of 
Dihli. Of this move the news-reporters immediately sent off 
announcements to the Court. Stage by stage they advanced as 
far as Doraha. Letters came from the chief men in the Dakhin, 
but no fresh orders were issued, and the soldiers rejoiced at 
being on their way to Hindustan. Suddenly they were marched 
back by the way that they had come ; the men were amazed, 
but the secret was well kept, and at last, by a night march on 
the 8th May 1720, they reached and crossed the Narmada. 
[Ahwal 155b.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk had heard that mace-bearers were on their 
way to enforce his return to the capital. A farman to this effect 
had indeed been sent, in which it was added that the province 
of Akbarabad would be given to him as soon as he arrived. 
On the 9th Rajab 1 132 H. (16th May 1720), news came to Agra 
that he had left Malwa. It was then reported that in the 
middle of Jamada II. 1132 H. (about the 23rd April 1720), at 
the head of five or six thousand horsemen, and attended by 
Abdur-rahim Khan, Marahmat Khan, Reayat Khan, Qadir Dad 
Khan Raushani, Mutawassil Khan, grandson of Sadullah Khan, 
Wazir, Inayat Khan and others, Nizam-ul-mulk had left Man- 
deshwar and marched back to Ujjain. There, giving out that he 
was on his way to Sironj, one or two marches were made as 
far as the village of Kayath ; thence he made straight for the 
Narmada, which he crossed on the 1st Rajab 1 132 H. (8th May 
1720) by the ford of Akbarpur. [K. K. 852, 860 ; Qasim 308 ; 
Kamwar 221 .] 

Husain Ali Khan was for immediate action ; he wished to 
go in person. On the other hand, Abdullah Khan and Samsam- 
ud-daulah (Khan Dauran) counselled delay ; for, as the saying 
is, "Delay is of God ; haste, of the Devil." Sayyid Dilawar 
Ali Khan and the officers with him, in one direction, and Alim 
Ali Khan, in the other, would suffice to retrieve everything. 
Even if Asir fort had been taken, there had been no time to 


place it in a state of defence and it could be easily recovered ; 
"cleverness is a good thing, be you as strong as Rustam." 

Husain AH Khan continued unappeased and blamed his 
brothers want of energy. The latter stuck to his own opinion 
and protested that it was not adopted through want of courage. 
He was surprised at being called a coward. "Am I not your 
brother? Am not I, too, a Sayyid?" Let his brother be a little 
reasonable, and he would agree to anything. He had said over 
and over again that the imprisonment of Farrukh-siyar was a 
mistake. But his words were put aside, and his brother had 
done his own pleasure. They could but reap what they had 
sown, and this rising of Nizam-ul-mulk was only the first-fruits. 
In the end the brothers sent off urgent orders to Sayyid Dilawar 
Ali Khan to follow instantly in pursuit, taking with him Rao 
Bhim Singh Hada, Rajah Gaj Singh Narwari, Dost Muhammad 
Khan Afghan, and others. In anticipation of some such move- 
ment, these men were already close to the borders of Malwa, 
and were thus able to start without delay. Alim Ali Khan, 
a youth about twenty years of age and a nephew of the Sayyids, 
who was acting at Aurangabad as deputy governor of the 
Dakhin, received orders to bar the way to the Nawab's 
advance. [Ahwal 157o, Kamwar 22!.] 

One of Nizam-ul-mulk's first acts was an attempt to buy 
over the garrison of the strong fortress of Asirgarh, which lies 
about forty-five miles south of the Narmada and not far from 
Burhanpur. Khusrau, one of his slaves, had a friend in the 
garrison named Usman Khan Qadiri, to whom he was sent 
with overtures. The very day that the Nawab crossed the 
Narmada, Khusrau came back with Usman Khan, who stipu- 
lated that he should be appointed to the command of the fort. 
Money for paying to the garrison the arrears of two years* 
pay was provided, and Usman Khan, accompanied by Hifz- 
ullah Khan, Bakhshi, and the Nawab's eldest son, Ghazi-ud- 
din Khan Firuz Jang, returned to Asirgarh. Nizam-ul-mulk 
followed as quickly as possible by way of Bijagarh Kahrgaon. 
The fort was delivered up on the 13th Rajab 1132 H. (20th 
May 1720), and the commandant, a very old man named Abu 
Talib Khan, was made a prisoner. About this time Rustam 


Beg Khan of Kahrgaon and Fath Singh, Rajah of Makrai, 
came in and joined. Ghiyas Khan was sent on to occupy the 
town of Burhanpur, lying at a distance of about twelve miles. 
After a visit to Asirgarh, to the top of which he ascended, 
Nizam-ul-mulk, leaving behind him his two sons and his spare 
baggage, followed to Burhanpur and encamped in the Lai 
Bagh at that place.* 

Hearing that Nizam-ul-mulk had crossed the Narmada, 
Alim AH Khan sent off Anwar Khan, Qutb-ud-daulah, faujdar 
of Burhanpur, who was then on leave at Aurangabad. With 
him was joined Rao Rambha Nimbalkar, a Mahratta leader 
who owed his release from imprisonment at Dihli to the inter- 
cession of that officer. They were at Adilabad.f twelve Jjos 
south of Burhanpur, when they heard that Ghiyas Khan was 
already there and preparing to invest the town, of which 
Nur-ullah Khan, diwan of the province and brother of Anwar 
Khan, was in charge. Ghiyas Khan tried to intercept the 
relieving force by sending troops across the Tapti ; but, 
favoured by the darkness of the night, they evaded his men 
and taking to by-paths passed in to the town, their litters 
(palkis) and other property falling into the hands of plunderers. 
Soon after the jaujdar's arrival, the citizens assembled and 
protested against a resistance for which they alone would 
suffer. The walls would be escaladed by Ghiyas Khan, their 
lives endangered, and their property destroyed. The faujdar 
was advised by them to fight outside in the open, for, if he 
did not, the city would be surrendered by the citizens to his 

* Khafi Khan, ii. 853, 865; Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, p. 180, and Sitoanih-i- 
Dakhin by Munim Khan, Aurangabadi, Irvine MS. No. 396, §. 131 and 152. 
The Burhan-ul-futuh, 167b, gives Islam-ullah Hazari, as the name of the 
man who was treated with, and that of Sharf Khan as the new command- 
ant. According to this author the surrender took place on the 15th Rajab. 
Kahrgaon is about 55 miles n. w. of Burhanpur, and Makrai is about 70 
miles n. e. of the same place. Lai Bagh, about two miles north of the 
town, is close to the present railway station, Bombay Gazetteer (Khandesh). 
pp. 589, 591. 

t It is in the Khandesh district, and is spelt Edilabad in Bombay 
Gazetteer, xii. 447; it lies about 15 miles n. e. of the Bhusawal station of 
the G. I. P. Railway. 


opponents. Anwar Khan, who was far from courageous, lost 
his head altogether, and on the 16th Rajab (23rd May 1720) 
applied to Ghiyas Khan for terms. The next day Nizam-ul- 
mulk arrived in person. Anwar Khan and Nur-ullah Khan, 
with all the officials and citizens, attended and made their 
submission. The town and citadel were then occupied. By 
the acquisition of Asirgarh and Burhanpur, Nizam-ul-mulk's 
position was rendered very strong.* 

At this time the mother of Sayyid Saif-ud-din AH Khan 
Barha, younger brother of the Wazir, had reached Burhanpur 
with her grand-children on her way from Aurangabad to rejoin 
her son at Muradabad, subah Dihli, where he was now faujdar. 
When Nizam-ul-mulk appeared and occupied the town, the 
men of her escort were overcome with terror, and proposed to 
send to the Nawab all the jewels and valuable property which 
they had in their charge, on condition that the family honour 
was saved and their lives guaranteed. Nizam-ul-mulk refused 
to accept the offer of the property, spoke kindly to Muhammad 
Ali, the Begam's agent, conferred on him a dress of honour, 
and sent him back with a present of fruit for the children. 
The Begam was then allowed to depart, an escort of two 
hundred horsemen going with her as far as the banks of the 
Narmada. [K. K. 873.] 

As soon as Alim Ali Khan received at Aurangabad the 
letters sent by his uncles, Abdullah Khan and Husain Ali Khan, 
he set to work to collect an army of Mahrattas and of new men. 
All the neighbouring faujdars were called in to the capital. 
His idea was that when Dilawar Ali Khan appeared from the 
north, he would march from the south, thus taking Nizam-ul- 
mulk between two fires. To encourage his men he gave liberal 
promotions, and tried in every way to win over the people of 
town and country. Alim Ali Khan then reported to head- 
quarters at Agra that he had seven thousand cavalry of his old 
establishment, two to three thousand men brought in by the 
faujdars and zamindars, and more than six thousand newly 

*Khafi Khan, 853,871,872; Burhan-ul-futuh, 168a, Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, 
p. 181. 


entertained men. In addition he counted on the aid of about 
fifteen to sixteen thousand Mahratta horsemen sent by Rajah 
Sahu. Amin Khan, late governor of Nander, i.e., Berar, al- 
though he had previously expressed great enmity towards Husain 
Ali Khan, was bought over by gifts of money, elephants and 
jewels.* Altogether Alim Ali Khan reckoned his army at thirty 
thousand horsemen, of whom he intended to take command 
in person. He commenced his march early in Shaban (lst=7th 
June 1720). [K. K. 874.] 

On his side Nizam-ul-mulk had proposed to suspend further 
active operations until the cessation of the rains, the interval 
being passed at Deogarh in an attempt to gain over or conquer 
the zamindars of that place. But, as it was pointed out, it 
would be difficult to keep the troops together for four months 
without more money than was available. In consequence, 
immediate action was resolved on. When Nizam-ul-mulk 
heard that Alim Ali Khan had sent his tents out from Auranga- 
bad, he marched from the Lai Bagh on the north of Burhan- 
pur, crossed the Tapti, and pitched his camp on the east side 
of the town. But at the end of Rajab (30th = 6th June 1720) 
he learnt that Dilawar Ali Khan, following in hot pursuit, had 
crossed the Narmada somewhere about Handiya.f Dilawar 
Ali Khan had got as far as Husainpur in the Handiya sarkar, 
about fourteen Jljos from Burhanpur. Considering this opponent 
to be the more formidable, Nizam-ul-mulk decided to encounter 
him first. [K. K. 875, Ahwal 160a.] 

It seems that the Sayyids had sent their general a letter in 
which they accused him of cowardice. Stung by the imputa- 
tion, he wrote to Nizam-ul-mulk when drunk, as he often was, 
in the following strain : "What manly virtue is there, nay is 
it not a death-blow to honour, thus to flee from death ; and 
for the sake of saving this paltry life, to climb so many moun- 

* Amin Khan was a brother of Khan Alam Dakhini ; he was killed in 
1137 H. (1724), fighting under Mubariz Khan against Nizam-ul-mulk. Af. 
U. i. 352. 

t In the Hoshangabad district, on the south bank of the Narmada, about 
92 miles n. e. of Burhanpur. It is on the old high road from the Dakhin 
to Agra, Central Provinces Gazetteer, 201. 


tains and cross so many deserts? Would it not be well to 
confide in the All Powerful and come out to meet the writer, 
so that side by side we might return to the Presence, where 
exceeding exertion will be made for the pardon of that exalted 
one. Otherwise, be it thoroughly understood, this slave at the 
head of twenty thousand horsemen thirsting for blood, follows 
like a wind that brings a destructive tempest ; and if imitating 
a deer of the plains you escape and flee to the mountains, this 
pursuer will, like a panther, spring on your back and make 
wet the teeth of desire with the blood of his enemy." Unable 
to bear the provocative language of this letter, Nizam-ul-mulk 
had begun to retrace his steps. [Warid, 159b.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk marched northwards early in Shaban (lst = 
7th June 1720), sending his family and dependents together 
with his heavy baggage for safety to Asirgarh.* Ahead of 
him went his artillery under Ghiyas Khan and Shaikh Muham- 
mad Shah Faruqi ; he soon followed in person (9th Shaban, 
15th June). When they had gone sixteen or seventeen fyos 
from Burhanpur, and were within two or three k_os of Ratan- 
pur, belonging to the Rajah of Makrai r f he encamped. Dilawar 
Ali Khan's camp was then at a distance of two or three kps 
from him. Nizam-ul-mulk proposed an amicable arrangement, 
but Dilawar Ali Khan rejected all his overtures. { 

Dilawar Ali Khan's force, although not a very large one, 
consisted of thoroughly tried and well-equipped men. As he 
was the Bafyhshi, or paymaster, he knew the quality of all the 
Sayyid's troops ; and when he was sent on this enterprise, he 
had selected six thousand of the best armed and best mounted 
horsemen out of seventeen or eighteen thousand who were 
present with the Sayyid. They were mostly Barha Sayyids, 

* Or to Burhanpur, as stated on fol. 132o of the Gulshan-i-ajaib. 

t A small independent chieftainship in the Handiya sub-division of the 
Hoshangabad district; its present area is 215 square miles. Makrai itself is 
about 30 miles s. of Handiya, Central Provinces Gazetteer, 256. 

J Khafi Khan, 875; Khush-hal /. 1002a; Qasim, 311; Bayan-i-waqi , 
Irvine MS., /. 406. The Siwanih-i-Dakhin, p. 163, says the site of the battle 
was near Raipur in pargana Charda of sarkor Handiya, and twelve kos to 
the south of the Narmada. 


Hindustanis, and Afghans. Two of the chief men placed 
under him were Babar Khan and Sayyid Shamsher Khan,* 
cousin of the two Sayyids. There were also the mail-clad 
Rajputs of Maharao Bhim Singh, of Bundi, and Rajah Gaj 
Singh, son of Anup Singh, of Narwar. The latter chief brought 
between two and three thousand men. Dost Muhammad Khan 
Rohela (afterwards of Bhopal),f also joined with three thousand 
five hundred men. The total force could not have been lesa 
than thirteen thousand, and may have amounted to eighteen 
thousand men. [K. K. 877.] 

Sec. 7. — Defeat and Death of Dilawar Ali Khan. 

On the 13th Shaban 1132 H. (19th June 1720), Nizam-uK 
mulk marched four k os > then drew up his army ready to give 
battle. Ghiyas Khan was placed in command of the vanguard, 
having under him Shaikh Muhammad Shah and his brother, 
Nur-ullah Faruqi, heads of the artillery. In the right centre 
was Iwaz Khan, nazim of Berar (Ilichpur) and the Nawab's 
uncle by marriage, with his son, Jamal-ullah Khan, Anwar 
Khan, Hakim Muhammad Murtaza and others. Marahmat 
Khan, Fii Jang, was on the left centre. To the right wing was 
posted Aziz Beg Khan Harisi ; and to the left, Abdur-rahim 
Khan (uncle of Nizam-ul-mulk) and Qadir Dad Khan Raushani ; 
while Mutawassil Khan (grandson of Sadullah Khan), Ismail 
Khan Khweshgi, Kamyab Khan and Darab Khan, Sad-ud-din 
Khan and Mir Ahsan, Ba^hshi, took their place in the centre. 
Reayat Khan, Nizam-ul-mulk's first cousin and the brother of 
Muhammad Amin Khan Chin, was left in charge of the town 
of Burhanpur, while Rustam Beg Khan was told off to protect 
the rear of the army. Fath-ullah Khan Khosti, and Rao 

* Elsewhere, p. 879, Khafi Khan has "Sher Khan," which is also in 
the copy of Nizam-ul-mulk's tumor (despatch) in Sahib Rai, Khujiata- 
kalam, where the name of Farhat Khan is added. 

t The Burhan-ul-futuh, f. 168a, calls him the "Zamindar of Bhakra." 
This is a place in sarkar Kanauj, subah Malwa, Ain ii. 200. On the other 
hand Malcolm, Central India, 1st ed., 231, says Mir Muhammad Khan, a 
brother, was in command and was slain. 


Rambha Nimbalkar, the Mahratta, with five hundred men, 
acted as skirmishers.* 

The site of the battle, as we are told, was in the hilly 
country called Pandharf between Burhanpur and the Narmada, 
and Nizam-ul-mulk himself says that he had marched forty fcos 
from Burhanpur. He moved out four fcos from his last camp 
before he met the enemy, and the battle did not begin until 
the afternoon (13th Shaban 1132 H., 19th June 1720). Dilawar 
Ali Khan had occupied a rising ground to the east of the Nawab. 
Leaving his baggage at the foot of this hillock, Dilawar Ali 
Khan sent out his advanced guard, consisting of some three 
thousand horsemen and about eight thousand matchlockmen, 
under the command of Sayyid Sher Khan and Babar Khan. 
Then, surrounded by his principal officers on their elephants, 
he followed in person at the head of the main body. [K. K. 
876, Kamwar 223.] 

The action began after midday with artillery fire and the 
discharge of rockets. Ghiyas Khan and Iwaz Khan advanced 
from two different directions to attack Dilawar Ali Khan. They 
were unable, however, to effect a junction, and Iwaz Khan was 
left to meet alone the full force of the Sayyid, Rajput, and 
Afghan onset. In spite of his elephant turning round and the 
flight of many of his men, Iwaz Khan kept the field manfully 
until he was severely wounded and forced to retire. With 
shouts of exultation, Sayyid Sher Khan and Babar Khan, riding 

* Khafi Khan ii. 876; Masir-ul-umara, iii. 877; Ahtoal-ul-hhawaqin, 
154b; Kamwar Khan, entry of 17th Shaban; Gulshan-i-ajaib, 132b. The 
date is the 11th (17th June) in Khush-hal /. 1002a, and in Burhan-ul-futuh, 
f. 168a. 

t For the position of Pandhar, and its possible connection with the 
Pindharies, see my article in the Indian Antiquary for May 1900. Rustam 
Ali, Tarikh-i-Hindi, 240b, says the battle was fought near Qasba Khandwa, 
which is not far from Asir. This place was about 32 miles n. of Burhanpur 
and about 60 miles s. w. of Handiya. It is now the civil station of the 
Nimar district of the Central Provinces (C. P. Gazetter, 383). The Tarikh-i- 
Muzaffari, p. 181, has "Husainpur, 14 k os from Burhanpur," which is alsc 
the name in the Asiatic Miscellany (1785), an account of Asaf Jah (Nizam- 
ul-mulk) translated by Henry Vansittart (the younger) from a Persian work, 
of which the title is not given. 


rein to rein, started in pursuit. Qadir Dad Khan in spite of 
his wounds fought on. Aziz Beg Khan and his brother were 
also wounded. Then Azmat Khan, one of the principal officers 
under Iwaz Khan, dismounted and continued the contest on 
foot. Mutawassil Khan now brought up reinforcements. Thus 
one attack followed another and the fortunes of the day varied 
at every turn. At length, both Sayyid Sher Khan and Babar 
Khan were cut down.* 

Dilawar Ali Khan in person now led an attack on the 
centre. Here he was struck in the chest by a bullet and killed, 
many of the Barha Sayyids losing their lives at his side. Rao 
Bhim Singh and Rajah Gaj Singh still kept the field. Soon 
Bhim Singh was shot.f Then Gaj Singh of Narwar, a fine- 
looking young man, dismounted with forty or fifty of his 
brethren, and attacked at close quarters. Taking sword and 
shield in hand, they pressed the Nawab's vanguard very hard. 
But Marahmat Khan charged them vigorously from the left. 
In the end, after the death of the remaining Rajput chief, four 
hundred Rajputs and many Barha officers, and in all some 
four thousand soldiers, fell a prey to the arrows, spears, and 
swords of their opponents. The broken remnant of survivors, 
among them Dost Muhammad Khan Afghan, withdrew from 
the field and made good their retreat into Malwa, pursued 
and plundered by the Mahratta auxiliaries of Nizam-ul-mulk. 
This somewhat unexpected victory gives an opening to one 
author to quote the lines : 

*Farah Khan was killed on Dilawar Ali Khan's side. See Ahwal-ul- 
khaivaqin, 159a; it is "Farhat" Khan in Gulshan-i-ajaib, 132b. 

f Tod's account of Bhim Singh's death, ii. 487, affords us a more than 
usually noticeable instance of his flagrant inaccuracy. The fight is made 
out to be undertaken by Bhim Singh without allies, while the scene is laid 
in the broken ground along the Sind river, near the town of Korwai Borasu. 
An additional touch of grotesque error is given by the assertion that Jai 
Singh Kachhwaha, of Amber, gave the order to Bhim Singh and Gaj Singh 
to bar Nizam-ul-mulk's road ! The town referred to is evidently Kurwai in 
Malwa (Thorton, 520) on the right or east bank of the Betwa with Borasu 
immediately opposite. A slight misreading of Khandwa, the true place, 
may have given the hint to connect the battle with Korwai Borasu. 


Bakht bawar gar bavad, 

sindan zi dandan bi-shfyanad, 
Tali-i-bargashtah ra 

faludah dandan bi-shkanad. 
'The fates aiding, you may bite a bit off an anvil. 
With the stars against you, your teeth break over flummery."* 

Nizam-ul-mulk ordered his drums to beat for victory. On 
his side the losses were few, the only men of any note who 
fell being Badakhshi Khan and Diler Khan, an officer serving 
under Iwaz Khan. Among the wounded were Iwaz Khan 
himself and Ghiyas Khan. In addition to the guns and 
elephants appropriated by Nizam-ul-mulk to his own use, 
much booty fell into the hands of the soldiers and plunderers. 
The victors encamped where they were, the night being 
disturbed by a false alarm caused by an unruly elephant which 
broke from his chains and rushed about the camp, destroying 
as he went, until his progress was arrested by an arrow from 
the bow of Mutawassil Khan. [K. K. 881.] 

The above is the official account and is, no doubt, the one 
most favourable to Nizam-ul-mulk and his army. Other writers 
describe the event differently and tell us of an ambuscade. 
Such a device would not only accord with Nizam-ul-mulk's 
scheming habits, but would also more satisfactorily account for 
the great loss sustained by the other side, more especially 
among its leaders. From these other sources we learn that 
between the two forces lay deep ravines where a large army 
could have been effectually concealed. Nizam-ul-mulk sent out 
his guns and placed them in position so as to command from 
both sides the only road across this ravine. His advanced guard 
was concealed in the hollows on each side. Then two or three 
men, closely resembling the Nawab in beard, features and age 
were dressed up, placed on elephants, and sent out to repre- 
sent Nizam-ul-mulk at the head of his main body, which showed 
itself beyond the entrance to the ravine. Dilawar AH Khan's 

* Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, f. 183. We have Nizam-ul-mulk's official report 
or tamar of the battle in Sahib Rai's Khujista-kfllam (Irvine MS., p. 323). 
A copy was sent to Muhammad Khan Bangash of Farrukhabad, under 
cover of an exulting letter. M.U. iii. 370. 


men came straight at their foe, and were drawn on and on by 
a simulated retreat. Anxious to slay or capture the opposite 
leader, who, as they believed, was in command, they pursued 
steadily, disposing on their way of several of the pretended 
Nizam-ul-mulks. When Sayyid Sher Khan at length brought his 
elephant close to that of Iwaz Khan, the Mughal, by a sign, 
caused his elephant to kneel, and by this trick escaped with 
his life. The ravine having been reached, the guns did their 
work ; and their leaders having been killed, the rest of Dilawar 
Ali Khan's army dispersed. [Shiu 37b, Qasim 314.] 

The morning after the battle the bodies of Dilawar Ali 
Khan and of Sayyid Sher Khan were prepared for burial and 
despatched to Aurangabad, where the sons of the former 
were serving with Alim Ali Khan. The same day a report 
was brought in that Alim Ali Khan had arrived at Talab 
Hartala,* seventeen ^os to the south of Burhanpur, and 
Mutawassil Khan was sent off at once with three thousand 
horsemen to reinforce the garrison and protect that town, 
where the families of many of the men had been left. 
Mutawassil Khan marched forty k_os in one day and thus 
prevented the surprise of Burhanpur. Alim AH Khan, who 
had not anticipated such a prompt movement, was perplexed 
and therefore halted where he was. [Qasim 318, K. K. 881.] 

NOTE. — Another version of the fight taken from the "Ahwal- 

ul-khawaqin," f. 162a. 

Dilawar Ali Khan, after crossing the Narmada, made four 
or five marches till he was near to Nakti Bhawani. As the 
Shab-i-barat (14th Shaban, 20th June 1720) approached, they 
made three or four halts, intending to resume their advance 
when that festival was over. But hearing of Nizam-ul-mulk's 
movement in their direction, the Sayyid came out and ranged 
his men in battle order one ^os from his camp. 

Nizam-ul-mulk's scouts reported that the Sayyid was facing 
eastwards, with his guns in front. Nizam-ul-mulk thinking a 

* Hartala, a lake of 440 acres on a tributary of the Tapti, four miles 
s. w. of Edilabad in the Bhusawal sub-division, Khandesh district. Edilabad 
is about 30 miles south of Burhanpur, Bombay Gazetteer, xii. vi. 142, 449. 


frontal attack dangerous, enquired if the rear could be reached. 
The scouts said that by a detour of six k.°s this could be effect- 
ed ; the sun was not yet in the meridian, they had time to make 
the movement. Changing direction they arrived at the Sayyid's 
rear in about three hours and were then at a distance of one kos. 

When Nizam-ul-mulk's standards began to show faintly in 
the distance, Sayyid Dilawar Ali Khan was amazed and accused 
his head spy of treachery. This accusation the man, an old 
Barha Sayyid, vigorously repudiated. As there was no help 
for it in this sudden emergency, the artillery was left behind, 
and the front changed to meet the enemy. The artillery was 
ordered to follow as quickly as it could. 

Ghiyas Khan, commanding Nizam-ul-mulk's vanguard, was 
attacked by Bhim Singh, Gaj Singh, and "Be-dost Rohela'' 
(Dost Muhammad Khan) ; while Sayyid Sher Khan, Babar 
Khan and Farah Khan turned against Iwaz Khan. Gaj 
Singh and Bhim Singh Hada dismounted and at the head 
of two thousand Rajputs fought hand to hand, breast to 
breast. Quresh Beg, Khwaja Masum, and a few others 
resisted, but they were hardly more than a pinch of salt 
in flour. Against two thousand mail-clad Rajputs what were 
forty men ! Bhim Singh and Quresh Beg fought in single 
combat ; then some forty Rajputs attacked the latter. In 
spite of these odds the Beg succeeded in killing Bhim 
Singh before he fell himself under numberless wounds. The 
bodies of the Rajputs lay piled on the top of each other. 

Meanwhile Iwaz Khan was engaged with Sher Khan and 
Babar Khan. The fighting was so hot that it was like the com- 
ing of the Day of Judgment. It went on for two hours, and 
the Sayyid's men did their best, until he and four thousand five 
hundred of his men were killed. Dost Muhammad Khan 
Rohela was the only one who turned and fled. 

Nizam-ul-mulk was not even wounded, but Khwaja Masum, 
Mirza Nairn and others of his men were killed. Sayyid Musafir 
Khan especially distinguished himself in repulsing an attack 
on Ghiyas Khan, in which he was greatly aided by Yalras Khan, 
Khwaja Abdul-haman, Mir Qutb-ud-din, Khwaja Ibrahim and 



some others, one hundred and twenty-five men in all. Some 
of the Panni Afghans, too, were killed and wounded while 
defending Iwaz Khan. Altogether some thirty men were killed 
and about one hundred wounded on that side ; while of the 
Sayyid's army four thousand five hundred were killed and the 
number of wounded was not known. 

Nizam-ul-mulk's officers asked for orders to pursue, but he 
refused. He collected the wounded near his tent and sent them 
surgeons, healing salves and clothes. For some he provided 
horses, for some palankins, for some litters. On their recovery 
he asked them to enlist with him. As their master, Husain Ali 
Khan, was still alive, they refused ; their road expenses were 
then paid and they departed. The body of Dilawar Ali Khan 
was decently buried ; those of the Hindus were burnt under the 
supervision of Rajah Indar Singh. Nizam-ul-mulk and his 
troops returned to Burhanpur. 

Sec. 8. — Perplexity of the Sayyid Brothers. 

By the end of Shaban (29th = 5th July 1720) Abdullah Khan 
and his brother received intelligence of the disaster which had 
befallen them in Khandesh. Not only had they failed to arrest 
Nizam-ul-mulk's progress, not only had they lost a general 
and an army, but the whole of Husain Ali Khan's family was 
likely to fall into the victor's hands. Saif-ud-din Ali Khan's 
children had been intercepted, as we have seen, at Burhanpur, 
though they were passed on in safety ; but Husain Ali Khan 
had left his wife and family behind him when he quitted the 
Dakhin, and they were still at Aurangabad. At all hazards, 
the family name and fame must be preserved. Both brothers 
agreed to write again to Alim Ali Khan and also try to pacify 
Nizam-ul-mulk. To the former they wrote ordering him to 
delay any decisive action until the women were safe and Husain 
Ali Khan had arrived. 

As we learn from a statement of Diyanat Khan, once diwan 
of the Dakhin, but at this time a semi-prisoner in the custody of 
Husain Ali Khan, overtures to Nizam-ul-mulk were very reluc- 
tantly undertaken. On the day that the disastrous news 


arrived, Husain AH Khan professed to seek Diyanat Khan's 
advice in this difficult conjuncture. This noble, referring to 
a Hindi proverb, which tells you to draw your hand out gently 
if it is caught beneath a stone, said that in this case the Nawab's 
own head was in danger, for was not his family in peril ? They 
should, without an instant's delay, issue a patent for the 
Government of the whole Dakhin in favour of Nizam-ul-mulk 
and thus conciliate him, leaving warfare and revenge until a 
better opportunity. 

Glancing towards Rajah Ratan Chand with a sneering smile, 
Husain Ali Khan said : "I have sent sums of money to the 
East. From this place (Agra) to the Dakhin, crowd after crowd 
of swift horses will be laid out at every stage. I will have ready 
twelve thousand torch bearers. Not for one instant, neither by 
day nor by night, will I stay my course or cease to gallop on." 
Diyanat Khan admitted that the Nawab's strength would enable 
him to undergo even more than that exertion, but in this hasty 
advance how many troops would keep up, and even then, what 
strength would be left in man or horse? Knitting his brows, 
Husain Ali Khan replied : 'The summit of a soldier's ambi- 
tion is to die. Alas for us ! when a leader with a reputation 
like yours speaks cowardly words, and is like a man who has 
lost all heart." The Khan retorted with an Arabic saying 
equivalent to "Man proposes, God disposes." In the end these 
heroics were seen to be out of place, and other means were tried. 
To Nizam-ul-mulk they enclosed a jarman in a long letter, both 
of which I proceed to give. [M. U. ii. 75.] 

The farman began by expressing His Majesty's surprise at 
hearing that the Nawab had left Malwa without orders. What 
could be the cause? What apprehensions had he? Why had 
he not submitted a representation to the Throne, and acted 
according to the reply that he might receive ? In what matter 
had his requests ever been refused ? If he longed to travel and 
shoot in the Dakhin, how was it possible that such a request 
should not be granted, or if he had asked for it, the Government 
would have been made over to him. A patent would have 
reached him, so that he might not be exposed to censure from 
evil-speakers. His Majesty was in no way ill-disposed towards 


him, but he should have avoided the appearance of offence. 
"As the disorders of the Dakhin are frequently reported to him, 
His Majesty contemplated making over to you all the subahs of 
that country. Praise the Lord ; this purpose has come to pass 
of itself, and by God's help, His Majesty's intention and your 
desire will both be satisfied. 'Heart finds its way to heart under 
this vault of heaven.' A formal patent is in preparation. 
When you have taken charge you will send off Alim Ali Khan 
and the family of the Bakhshi-ul-mamalik, Amir-ul-umara, from 
whom he has been long separated, granting them a proper escort 
and seeing to their safety." [Shiu, 33b.] 

With the farman was a letter from Husain Ali Khan. He 
wrote that Dilawar Ali Khan had been sent to Aurangabad to 
escort the writer's family to Hindustan. It was now reported 
that, pretending orders for which there was no foundation, the 
said Dilawar Ali Khan had interfered with Nizam-ul-mulk, but, 
the Lord be praised, had only received what he deserved. It 
was also said that several persons, led by love of mischief - 
making and devilish devices (shaitanat), had written untruly of 
several matters in a manner likely to sow discord between them. 
Alas ! that such suspicions should arise between old friends ! 
Envious persons, by sowing dissension, hope to open a way lor 
themselves. If, which the Lord forbid, the writer had a 
grievance, he would have written direct. "No doubt, many 
things had been brought up, which might have angered His 
Majesty ; and short-sighted men had tried to impress him un- 
favourably, but the writer, knowing your loyalty, made a 
detailed representation. By this means, I am thankful to say, 
your enemies were cast down and your friends made happy. 
His Majesty has graciously resolved to issue to you a patent for 
the Government of the Dakhin. Accept my congratulations. 
Alim Ali Khan, my (adopted) son, and my family propose to 
return to this country ; kindly furnish them with an escort and 
see that they are not molested on the way." [Shiu 39a.] 

Such was the state of consternation into which the Sayyids 
had been thrown, that every day produced some new plan of 
action, only to be discarded in its turn for one still more new. 
First, they resolved to march together to the Dakhin with the 


Emperor ; then, that Husain AH Khan should go with Muham- 
mad Shah, while Abdullah Khan returned to Dihli ; next, that 
Muhammad Shah should return with the Wazir to the capital. 
At another time, they thought they would make terms with 
Nizam-ul-mulk, as in the letter just quoted, and postpone an 
attack upon him to a more favourable opportunity. According 
to these varying decisions, the advance tents of the Emperor and 
of the two ministers were sent out first in one direction and then 
in another. 

Sec. 9. — Attacks on Muhammad Amin Khan. 

One of the Sayyids' main difficulties was the strength of the 
Mughal element in their own army. They did not know what to 
do with Muhammad Amin Khan, cousin of Nizam-ul-mulk and 
head of the Mughal soldiery. At one time they thought of leav- 
ing him behind, at another of taking him with them. By some 
accounts they tried to poison him. However much Muhammad 
Amin Khan may have rejoiced inwardly at the troubles now 
accumulating on the luckless Sayyids' heads, he continued to 
attend their darbars, and spoke there freely of the wickedness of 
Nizam-ul-mulk's conduct. [K. K. 882, Shiu 45a, Bayan 319.] 

It is said Muhammad Amin Khan had taken the Sayyids* 
part for fear of losing his great wealth. He also had a very high 
idea of his own superiority to everybody else, and his power of 
finally coming out the victor. After he had become very 
intimate with Husain Ali Khan, the latter's friends warned him 
that Muhammad Amin Khan was acting in a double-faced 
manner. The Sayyid answered : "What power has he to fight 
against me ! And at the worst, I shall easily escape from his 

Muhammad Amin Khan carried at once to Husain Ali Khan 
every insulting story he heard, hoping that the Sayyid, being 
put off his guard, might give him a chance of plunging a dagger 
into him. But Husain Ali Khan was suspicious of his covetous 
Mongol eyes. In spite of this, Muhammad Amin Khan conti- 
nued assiduous in his attendance. Those who prided them- 
selves on their strength of understanding said, over and over 
again, that he was at the root of all the trouble and the real 


cause of Farrukh-siyar's deposition. "The truth or falsehood 
of this rests on the relater ! The author must record the essen- 
tial facts, though his enemies may taunt him. If he should turn 
evil into good, the whole story would become faulty, but only 
the Knower of all hidden things can reveal the true kernel of 
the matter." [Ahwal, 146b.] 

But at length the Sayyids were supposed to have decided to 
rid themselves of this "old wolf," also of Abdus-samad Khan, 
governor of Labor, another strong pillar of the Mughal faction, 
and connected by marriage with Muhammad Amin Khan. 
Abdus-samad Khan they intended to exile to Balkh or Bukhara. 
Informers told Muhammad Amin Khan of his danger, and one 
day his soldiers thought he had been seized or killed in the 
darbar. They raised a disturbance, which was not allayed until 
they saw their general come forth unmolested. He was spared 
chiefly on the advice of Ikhlas Khan, whose opinion had great 
weight with both brothers, but more especially with Husain Ali 
Khan. Ikhlas Khan argued that his removal would stir up a 
spirit of revenge among a set of men who were not easy to 
appease. The clan of which he was the head was a large one, 
and if this "wasps' nest" was disturbed, there would be no one 
left to pacify or soothe them after Muhammad Amin Khan was 

But before a reconciliation in accordance with this advice 
had been effected, the Sayyids attempted to fight the matter 
out with the Mughals. The dispute was brought to a crisis by 
the news of Sayyid Alim Ali Khan's defeat and death, under 
the circumstances which will be related presently. Camel-riders 
brought the news of this catastrophe to Agra on the 22nd 
Shawwal (26th August 1720), sixteen days after the date of the 
battle. In their rage the Sayyids resolved to wreak their 
vengeance on Muhammad Amin Khan. At once M. Amin Khan 
fortified the house which he occupied in the quarter of Rajah 
Bhoj in Agra city. On one side of it the Jamuna flowed ; on 
the other three sides he dug a ditch. Husain Ali Khan held 
his troops in readiness for an attack, but was dissuaded from 
carrying the idea into execution. Then Muhammad Amin Khan, 
when he heard this, came out at the head of his men and sent 


a challenge to the brothers, that if they wanted him he was there 
and willing to meet them. But the Sayyids now denied that they 
had intended to harm him. [Shiu, 45a.] 

On another day they planned to send the Emperor to the 
Taj accompanied by a large force, the house occupied by 
Muhammad Amin Khan being not far from Tajganj. They gave 
out that His Majesty had only come to visit the tombs and spend 
a day or two in recreation. As is well known, it was the custom 
for nobles to take it in turn to mount guard. The brothers 
agreed that when their turn came they would proceed to Taj- 
ganj with their troops, ostensibly upon this duty only, but in 
reality with the intention, after having placed the Emperor in 
safety within the mausoleum, of leading their troops against 
Muhammad Amin Khan. That noble must have received some 
hint of what was in the air, for, seizing all the boats to be found 
on the Jamuna, he crossed the river and camped on the other 
bank, leaving enough men to defend his house. More moderate 
counsels now prevailed, Ikhlas Khan was listened to, and 
Abdullah Khan dissuaded his brother from further violence, 
pointing out the danger to themselves that might result. 
Muhammad Amin Khan was invited to a feast, they all ate 
together, and an understanding, at any rate outwardly, was 
arrived at. 

Sec. 10. — Nizam-ul-mulk' s Contest with Alim Ali Khan. 

Having disposed of Sayyid Dilawar Ali Khan and his army, 
Nizam-ul-mulk reached again the Lai Bagh at Burhanpur on 
the 21st Shaban 1132 H. (27th June 1720). In regard to his 
negotiations with Alim Ali Khan, we are told that Nizam-ul- 
mulk informed him that as he refused to yield him possession, 
he would go instead on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Accordingly 
he had turned off towards Surat and pretended to have dis- 
charged his men, leaving two to three hundred of them behind 
him at every town or village. By a public order he directed 
his cavalry to go wherever they pleased and take service where 
they could. But secretly they were instructed to halt where 
they were or go over to the enemy. When he wanted them 
they must either return to his standard, or desert him in the 


battle. He proceeded on his journey like a mere traveller or 
the member of a caravan. Induced by reports that Nizam-ul- 
mulk was almost alone, Alim AH Khan came out to bar his 
way. Nizam-ul-mulk admonished him, writing that his heart 
was now cold for worldly things, he knew nothing of public 
place or power, and only dreaded the unjust shedding of 
Muhammadan blood. At length when these remonstrances 
were not listened to, he determined to fight and recalled his 
troops. [Yahya, 126a.] 

As already stated, Alim Ali Khan, when he heard of the 
approach of Sayyid Dilawar Ali Khan, set up his tents in the 
Muhamdi Bagh on the 12th Rajab (19th May 1720) and left the 
city of Aurangabad at the head of thirty thousand horsemen. 
He marched via Phulmari.* Early in Ramzan (May 1720) on 
reaching the pass of Fardapur.f which is half-way between 
Aurangabad and Burhanpur, he provided for the transport of 
his artillery through the pass, and sent an advance guard beyond 
it. The Mahrattas and some troops under Tahawar Khan, with 
half his guns only, were through the pass, when two thousand 
or more Barha Sayyids, fugitives from the late Dilawar Ali 
Khan's army, made their appearance, bringing the disturbing 
intelligence of that officer's defeat and death. Most of the 
Mahrattas and some of his own officers counselled Alim Ali 
Khan, under these circumstances, to retreat to Aurangabad or 
even Ahmadnagar, there to await the arrival of Husain Ali Khan, 
leaving the Mahrattas outside to harass Nizam-ul-mulk 's army 
by the methods of which they were such perfect masters. J 

Alim Ali Khan, looking on a retreat as a disgrace, brought 
the rest of his army through the pass. Nizam-ul-mulk, on hear- 
ing of this movement, sent him the biers of Sayyid Dilawar 
Ali Khan and Sayyid Sher Khan ; and along with them a letter 
advising him to cease resistance and march off to join his two 

* A town 16 miles n. e. of Aurangabad, see Hossain Bilgrami and 
Willmott, Sketch of Nizam's Dominions, ii. 705. 

t A village at the northern foot of the Ajunta ghat, 20 miles south of 
Pachoda station on the G. I. P. Railway; see S'. Hossain and C. Willmott, 
ii. 467, and Constable's Hand Atlas, plate 31. 

% Burhan-ul-jutuh 166a; Ahwal 165b— 170a; K. K. 885. 


uncles with the ladies of the family. This communication pro- 
duced no effect. After this Nizam-ul-mulk marched out of 
Burhanpur to the banks of the Purna river, which flows some 
sixteen or seventeen k.os to the south and south-east of Burhan- 
pur. There he encamped. From the other direction came 
Alim AH Khan and pitched his camp at Talab Hartala, which 
is not far from the same river. [K. K. 886, Kamwar 226.] 

They remained in these positions for several days. The 
constant rain, the muddy roads, the flooded river and die 
absence of means to cross (a bridge of boats having been swept 
away) made it impossible for either side to move. Then Nizam- 
ul-mulk finding it necessary to change his place of encampment, 
made several marches up the stream towards Malkapur* in 
Berar, with the hope of finding a ford. At length, after eight 
marches, Iwaz Khan succeeded in obtaining through some 
neighbouring landlords information of a crossing-place at a 
distance of about fourteen or fifteen k_os, in the direction of the 
district of Balapurf in subah Berar. Alim Ali Khan had 
followed along the other bank, and shots had been exchanged 
daily across the river. In the middle of Ramzan ( 1 5th = 20th 
July, 1720) Nizam-ul-mulk crossed with his whole army to the 
opposite or south side of the river. Although in places the 
water was up to the men's waists, or even to their chests, no 
lives were lost or baggage swept away by the current. For one 
day they encamped on the river bank to allow the camp- 
followers to assemble. Then the following day they started to 
find a favourable position for giving battle. The camp was 
pitched and entrenched in a precipitous position full of thorny 
scrub close to Seogaon, a village in subah Berar. { 

* Malkapur lies about 40 miles south of Burhanpur. It is on the Nagpur 
branch of the G. I. P. Railway, and some miles south of the Purna. — 
Constable's Hand Atlas, plate 31. 

t Balapur is 16 miles west of Akola, 16 to 18 miles south of the Purna 
river, and about 72 miles east (up stream) from Edilabad. The field of 
battle lies between the villages of Kolhari and Pimpri Gauli, about 65 miles 
s. e. of Burhanpur and about the same distance n. e. of Aurangabad — 
Berar Gazetteer, 163. 

t Seogaon is in the Akola district ; it is now a station on the Nagpur 
branch of the G. I. P. Railway, and is about ten miles south of the left 


Exposed to incessant rain and living in the middle of deep 
black mud, they passed several days in extreme discomfort. 
First, owing to the heavy rain and the swollen streams, no 
supplies could arrive from either Khandesh or Berar. Secondly, 
the Mahrattas of Nagpur, who had crossed over from Alim Ali 
Khan's army, were plundering all round the camp ; not a single 
camel or bullock could be sent out to graze, much less could 
any supplies be brought in. Prices rose until for thirteen or 
fourteen days there was nothing left to feed the cattle but the 
leaves and young shoots of trees, which were pounded with 
stones and given them as forage. 'The smell even of grass 
or grain did not reach the four-footed animals." Many of them, 
standing up to their shoulders in mire, starved to death. As 
for food, it could only be obtained by the wealthy, who paid 
one Rupee for two to four pounds of flour. Many soldiers of 
small resources left the army and returned to their homes. 
[K. K. 888, Ahwal, 166b.] 

Many things contributed to the confusion in the camp — the 
rising of the streams, the hunger of the soldiers, the falling of 
tents, and the incursions of the Mahrattas, who ventured them- 
selves as far even as the edge of the camp market. Seeing that 
their soldiers were worn out and dispirited, the officers made 
complaints. Accordingly, when the rain held off for a little, 
the army marched to a deserted village three fcos from Balapur, 
and there encamped again. As the Mahrattas had become 
exceedingly troublesome, Iwaz Khan, Ghiyas Khan and Rambha 
Nimbalkar, were sent against them. After some fighting the 
Mahrattas were driven off, leaving behind them many of their 
mares, spears and umbrella standards. They were pursued for 
three or four fcos. [K. K. 888.] 

The festival of the Id (1st Shawwal 1132 H., 5th August 
1720) was celebrated at this new place, where supplies of grain 
arrived in sufficient quantity ; but grass could not be got for 
the horses. It was as dear as saffron ; if any camp-follower 
went out to gather it, he came back with his nose cut off. A 
further march became imperative. Before they moved away, 

bank of the Puma, and 11 miles n.w. of Balapur, Berar Gazetteer, 164; K. 
K. 887; Kamwar 226; Burhan-ul-futuh, 168a; Qasim, 327. 


several large cannon were buried here, the muddy roads and 
the bad condition of the draught oxen rendering their removal 
an impossibility. The next camp was at Balapur itself, where 
supplies were plentiful. A halt of three days was made to 
allow the troops to rest and recruit their strength. [K. K. 889, 
Ahwal 167a.] 

[Alim Ali Khan's Preparations.] 

Instructions had been received by Alim Ali Khan from his 
uncles to collect a strong force, and prevent their family and 
dependents from falling into Nizam-ul-mulk's hands. Money, 
they wrote, must be liberally spent, and rank and promotion 
accorded freely. The measures he took to carry out these 
orders had soon resulted in the assembling of a large army 
round his standards. 

As he had been married to a young girl nearly related to 
the late Daud Khan Panni, the partisan leaders of that clan, 
who were very numerous in the Dakhin, readily joined him ; 
even Umar Khan, the nephew or cousin of that deceased noble, 
attended, although Daud Khan's blood still cried for vengeance. 
Other leaders of note were Johar Khan and Muhamdi Beg. 
The latter had long been deputy faujdar of Gulshanabad 
[Nasik], and when Nizam-ul-mulk previously held rule in the 
six subahs, he had been put in fetters and imprisoned by that 
governor as a punishment for his exactions. Subsequently he 
was pardoned and appointed to a subordinate post in the 
Nawab's army. At this time Alim Ali Khan bought him over 
with an absurdly high title, the rank of 5,000, and the right to 
beat kettle-drums. Others gained over in a similar manner were 
Matti Khan, his brother Latif Khan Banwar, and his nephews 
Sayyid Wali Muhammad and Muhammad Ashraf of Nandurbar. 
These were all promoted to the rank of 5,000, and were placed 
under Tahawar Khan, commanding the vanguard. Ghalib 
Khan, son of Rustam Khan, whose family had been for genera- 
tions in the Dakhin, joined along with Apa Pandit, his diwan or 
chief official. [Shiu 40, Qasim 325, K. K. 890.] 

Others were Mirza Ali, a noted warrior, and Sayyid Alam 
Barha. Among the rest came Amin Khan, the brother of Khan 


Alam Dakhini. This man was very ill-disposed towards the 
Sayyids, owing to the injury caused to him a few years before, 
at the time he was deputy governor of the Bidar subah, when 
at Husain Ali Khan's instigation, he was suddenly attacked by 
the adopted son of Rajah Sahu, the head of the Mahrattas. 
Amin Khan, propitiated by the gift of money and of two or 
three elephants, now became a doubtful ally in the campaign. 
Other half-hearted adherents were Turktaz Khan and Fidai 
Khan, diwan, both secret adherents of Nizam-ul-mulk. Among 
the other leaders were Ashraf Khan, Bakhshi of the Dakhin, 
Rafihat Talab Khan, Khwaja Rahmat-ullah Khan (Shujaat Khan), 
commander of Alim Ali Khan's artillery, and Shamsher Khan. 
The Mahratta commanders were Santaji Sindhia, Khanduji 
Dhabariya, the senapati or Mahratta commander-in-chief sent 
from Satara, Shankraji, Mulhar,* Kanhuji and others. Rajah 
Sahu had sent some of these men at the head of seventeen to 
eighteen thousand horsemen, and they all proclaimed them- 
selves sworn friends of Husain Ali Khan. Anwar Khan, acting 
the part of a double traitor, wrote to Alim Ali Khan from 
Nizam-ul-mulk's camp, pointing out that the latter's strength 
being as yet unconsolidated, now was the time to strike a blow, 
and the sooner it was done the better. The letter was intercept- 
ed and the result was the disgrace of Anwar Khan, followed by 
his imprisonment and the confiscation of all his property, f 

*The Barhan-ul-futuh, 167a, and Khush-hal Chand, Berlin MS. 495. 
/. 1,003a, say that all power in the Dakhin under Alim Ali Khan had 
centred in Shankraji, who had lately come back from Dihli. Grant Duff, 
206, says he was at Aurangabad as the envoy of Rajah Sahu. He was 
originally a clerk (karkun) under Shivaji, subsequently in 1690 appointed by 
Ram Raja to be Sucheo (formerly called Surnis). This was one of the 
eight principal offices of the Mahratta State, with the duties of record- 
keeper and examiner of letters. He retired from office during the siege 
of Jinji 1698, and went to Benares. Although an old man, he grew tired 
of this idle life and entered the service of Husain Ali Khan when he came 
to the Dakhin, Grant Duff. 105, 164, 171, 197, 198. 

t Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, 186 ; Khafi Khan, ii. 899. The Gulshan-i-ajaib, 
130b, adds some other Mahratta names : Babaji (Baji Rao) son of Balaji 
Bishwanath, the Peshwa ; Tukuji Gujar ; Pila Jadu ; Dawalji Sbmbanshi ; 
Chimnaji Damodar ; Mankaji Dana. The names in Khush-hal, 1003a, 


Nizam-ul-mulk, with his usual ability in such matters, soon 
sowed dissension and distrust in the huge but badly wielded 
force opposed to him. The letter from Husain AH Khan, for- 
warding a patent for the Government of the Dakhin, was 
received with all due form and ceremonial ; a special enclosure 
was erected, the Nawab rode out to meet the bearer of it, and 
it was publicly read with the proper observances and the beat- 
ing of drums. These documents were at once put to a use 
that had not been foreseen when they were despatched. A 
copy of the farman, duly attested by a Qazi's seal, was sent 
to Alim Ali Khan, and a letter informed him that, since Nizam- 
ul-mulk was now appointed governor, it was useless for him 
to keep in the field. He ought to disband his troops at once 
and relieve himself of that unnecessary expense. Should he 
desire to return to Hindustan, Nizam-ul-mulk would furnish him 
with as many men as were necessary. The news of Nizam- 
ul-mulk's appointment took the heart out of the local leaders 
and the newly enlisted soldiers, who sought their own safety 
either by flight to their homes or by joining the new subahdar. 
Or, as one writer puts it : "On the way many of the idle 
boasters and valiant trencher-men deserted." In short, Nizam- 
ul-mulk, up to this time a fugitive and a rebel, henceforth 
assumed, in full reliance on the farman, the attitude of a legally 
appointed governor, loyally fighting for his sovereign's rights. 
[Shiu 40o, Qasim 327.] 

Long answers were sent to the Emperor's farman and to 
Husain Ali Khan's letter. As usual in such cases, the comedy 
of outward deference was played through unblushingly to the 
end. After thanks for his new appointment, he met the accu- 
sation that he had left Malwa without orders, by the audacious 
assertion that his action was due to the disorders caused by the 
Mahrattas round Aurangabad, which led him to fear for the 
safety cf Burhanpur and even of Malwa ; still more, for the 
safety of the family of the Amir-ul-umara, Husain Ali Khan. 

are Kanhaji, Balaji, Pilaji and Sankara Brahman. Grant Duff, 206, has in 
addition Haibat Rao Nimbalkar. 


The great distance precluded his asking for orders or awaiting 

an answer, and for this reason he had marched at once, and the 

Mahrattas had dispersed at his approach. His acts had been 

misrepresented. Newly-risen men, who had not yet leamt the 

reverence due to His Majesty's high rank, might be guilty of 

such things ; to ancient servants like himself, whose every limb 

and very bones were built up of the salt that he had eaten, 

they were impossible. His Majesty knew the disordered state 

of the Dakhin, in spite of all that the Dweller in Paradise 

(Alamgir) had done. As it was now devoid of a ruler, what 

more likely than that some disaster should happen there ? The 

only remedy was a hasty advance. It had been his desire, for 

many a day, to make a pilgrimage to the holy Kaba, and he 

had meant, as soon as he had defeated the Mahrattas, to ask 

for leave of absence. But now, his appointment to the Dakhin 

having been sent, he could not dream of disobeying orders ; 

to carry out his sovereign's wishes he held to be far above the 

worship of God, he would soon be on the spot, and by God's 

help and His Majesty's good fortune, would carry out the 

necessary measures. [Shiu, 41a.] 

To the Amir-ul-umara, Husain Ali Khan, after quoting the 
letter sent to him, in which he was told that Dilawar Ali Khan 
had been sent only to fetch the Sayyid's family from Auranga- 
bad, he wrote: "Nawab Amir-ul-umara! May you be pre- 
served ! In spite of his knowing your kindness and friendly 
feeling, and of my writing several times and my sending trusty 
messengers, the said Khan (Dilawar Ali) would not listen to 
reason, and in the end brought on himself what happened to 
him. My feelings of friendship to you remain unchanged." 
He then repeats the story about marching to the Dakhin merely 
to protect Aurangabad and save the Amir-ul-umara's family 
from dishonour, the latter involving the suggestion, a very 
galling one to a proud and high-placed man like Husain Ali 
Khan, that he was too weak to protect them himself. "Praise 
be to God ! all has passed off harmlessly. As soon as my 
troops arrived the rebels, making no stand, fled in all directions. 
The envious have represented the matter contrary to the truth 
and induced His Majesty to be displeased with me. I thank 


God that the truth has been re-established and my word 
accepted. A report in answer to the farman is enclosed, and 
I trust it may be brought forward at a proper moment. By 
God's aid I will soon reach Aurangabad, whence I will forward 
your family and your other belongings with the greatest care." 
[Shiu, 42a.] 

[The Battle with Alim Ali Khan.] 

On the 5th Shawwal (9th August 1720), leaving his baggage 
in Balapur, Nizam-ul-mulk ranged his army in order of battle 
at a distance of two or three k os from that town.* To the 
advanced guard were appointed Mhd. Ghiyas Khan, Muham- 
mad Shah, commanding the artillery, Shaikh Nur-ullah, his 
brother, Yalburz Khan Aghariya, Anwar Khan and others. On 
the right, where the opposing Mahrattas showed in the greatest 
strength, were posted Iwaz Khan and Jamal-ullah Khan, his 
son. With the main body and left wing were Ghazi-ud-din 
Khan, the Nawab's eldest son, Marahmat Khan, Nimat-ilahi, 
Abdur-rahim Khan (Reayat Khan), Mutawassil Khan, Sad-ud- 
din Khan, Qadir Dad Khan, Darab Khan and Kamyab Khan 
(two sons of Jan Nisar Khan), Ikhtisas Khan (grand nephew of 
Khan Alam, Dakhini), Ruhullah Khan, Mutahawar Khan, with 
many other nobles and Rajput chiefs. The command of the 
rearguard, with charge of the baggage, was made over to 
Rambha Nimbalkar, and Antaji, the deshmukh of pargana 
Sanesar. [K. K. 889.] 

On the other side Alim Ali Khan, mounting his elephant 
and taking his own place in the centre, with Ghiyas-ud-din 
Khan in the seat behind him, sent forward his artillery, sup- 
ported by fourteen or fifteen thousand horsemen from the 
Karnatik. The battle began on the 6th Shawwal 1 132 H. (10th 

* The Berar Gazetteer, 163, says the battle-field lies between the villages 
of Kolhari and Pimpri Gauli, close to Balapur town (Akola district), Long. 
75°80', Lat. 20°40'. The Siwanih-i-Dakhin, 133, describes it as in the 
taluqa of Pain Ghat in subah Berar. Kamwar Khan, 226, says it was dar 
sawad-i-Balaghat. According to the Berar Gazetteer, Berar Balaghat is the 
country above the Ajanta ridge, sloping down south to the ghats or passes 
which lead up to it, while Berar Painghat lies between the Gaurigarh hills 
on the north and the outer scraps of the Ajanta hills on the south. 


August 1720), the first movement being made by Nizam-ul-mulk. 
Alim AH Khan replied by two or three shots from his guns, 
which fell to the ground without hitting any one. The first 
shot returned by Nizam-ul-mulk fell close to the elephant on 
which Latif Khan was riding, the howda was upset and the 
rider thrown to the ground. Before the smoke could disperse, 
Mutahavvar Khan, who commanded Alim AH Khan's vanguard, 
followed by seventeen or eighteen elephants and fourteen to 
fifteen thousand horsemen, fell suddenly on Nizam-ul-mulk's 
vanguard and caused many of the Mughals to give way. When 
Muhammad Shah, Nizam-ul-mulk's general of artillery, saw the 
day going against them, he, his brother Nur-ullah, and his other 
officers, following the usage of Hindustan, dismounted and con- 
tinued the contest on foot. Nizam-ul-mulk's vanguard had 
been thrown into great disorder. Shaikh Nur-ullah was slain 
and Muhammad Shah wounded. Muhammad Ghiyas Khan, 
who commanded it and was already blind of one eye, received 
a wound in his other eye. Yalburz Khan Aghariya and other 
leaders were also wounded. The division retreated. [K. K. 
891, 893.] 

At this moment the other divisions from the right and left 
of Nizam-ul-mulk's army advanced to the attack and closed 
upon the enemy. Alim AH Khan, with the chiefs immediately 
under his orders, hurried forward the centre of his army with 
such rapidity that a portion of his division was outstripped and 
left behind. Iwaz Khan, Marahmat Khan, and Qadir Dad Khan 
met and repelled him wherever he turned. But Alim AH Khan 
though wounded kept the field. Then Mutawassil Khan, a 
youth of Alim AH Khan's own age, drove his elephant to close 
quarters with that of the Barha leader. He assailed Johar 
Khan,* and the other eight or nine chiefs on elephants who 
accompanied Alim AH Khan. He fought on until compelled 
to retire by wounds and loss of blood. Qadir Dad Khan sup- 
ported him bravely in this melee. [K. K. 894.] 

* According to the Ahtoal-ul-khawaqin, f. 168, this man had borne the 
first brunt of the attack, the first shot knocked over his elephant-driver and 
carried away half his howda. 


Alim Ali Khan's elephant-driver, who was the brother-in- 
law of Mutahavvar Khan, was killed ; Ghiyas-ud-din Khan 
commanding his artillery had fallen ; so also had Ghalib Khan 
and Apaji, that officer's diwan, Shamsher Khan, Sayyid Wali 
and Sayyid Alam Barha : in all eight or nine of the chief men. 
The Mahrattas, however, had reached Nizam-ul-mulk's bag- 
gage and carried off some of his treasure of gold coins. At 
one time Alim Ali Khan's elephant had stuck in a marshy place, 
from which it extricated itself with great difficulty and came out 
on the farther side alone. The first thing its rider saw was the 
dead body of Mutahavvar Khan. Then between thirty and 
forty Barha Sayyids, sword in hand, forced their horses through 
the mud and rejoined their leader. 

Soon afterwards the elephant ridden by Alim Ali Khan 
turned tail, unable to bear any longer the rain of arrows. But 
Alim Ali Khan, his wounds dripping blood, persisted and turn- 
ing round in his seat continued to face his foe, exclaiming : 
"The elephant may turn to flee, but I do not." Three times 
did he succeed in renewing the attack, seeking everywhere for 
the invisible Nizam-ul-mulk ; and unsuccessful in his search, 
was forced to beat a retreat. His stock of arrows being 
exhausted, he drew out those sticking in his face or his body 
or in the elephant trappings, and shot them resolutely at his 
opponents. At length Ikhrisas Khan disabled him by a sword 
stroke, which cut to the bone the fingers of his right hand. 
A fourth time he renewed his challenge to Nizam-ul-mulk, 
calling out how strange it was that the leader kept out of the 
way. Nizam-ul-mulk drew his bow to the full and shouting, 
"I am Nizam-ul-mulk," let his arrow fly. Alim Ali Khan was 
again wounded, he was surrounded, and Ikhtisas Khan cut off 
his head. Thus at the age of twenty-two he bravely gave up 
his life a sacrifice on behalf of his two uncles.* 



* Khan Khan, 894 ; Tarikh-i-Muzaffari, 189 ; Muqaddama by Ghul 
Ali Khan, 34b; Khush-hal /. 1005a. Yahya Khan, /. 126b, says the Sayyid 
was struck in the forehead by a musket ball. His head was laid before 
Nizam-ul-mulk, and after being identified and displayed in public, it was 
forwarded to the Emperor. 



Altogether seventeen or eighteen noted chiefs, "riders on 
elephants," and a large number of men fell in the battle ; while 
many more were wounded. Amin Khan, Umar Khan, Turktaz 
Khan, Fidai Khan, diwan of the Dakhin, and some other men 
of note transferred their services at once to Nizam-ul-mulk. 
Shankraji, the chief officer of Rajah Sahu Mahratta, was wound- 
ed and taken prisoner. The elephants and artillery of the defeat- 
ed army became the property of the victorious general ; the rest 
of their equipage was given up to plunder. The drums were 
then beaten to announce the victory. Muhammad Qasim 
Aurangabadi thinks that Nizam-ul-mulk's case was desperate, 
if Alim Ali Khan had not been killed. The Mahrattas were in 
his rear, and against his ten thousand were ranged fully eighty 
thousand men. Six hundred and thirty-four Mahrattas were 
killed. [K. K. 895, Ahwal 169a.] 

Except Sayyid Sulaiman (known as the grandson of the 
saint Ghaus-ul-azam) Shaikh Nur-ullah, and two or three less 
important men, no one was killed in the army of Nizam-ul- 
mulk. Iwaz Khan was slightly wounded, and the other principal 
men among the wounded were Mutawassil Khan, Qadir Dad 
Khan, Mhd. Ghiyas Khan, Muhammad Shah and Kamyab 
Khan. When the fatal news reached Aurangabad, the ladies 
of Husain Ali Khan's family and those dependent on Alim 
Ali Khan became afraid, and asked for shelter from the com- 
mandant of the Daulatabad fortress, some ten miles north-west 
of the town. This man was descended from Murtaza Khan 
and Sayyid Mubarik, relations of Sayyid Jalal of Bukhara ; and 
the appointment had been in his family from the reign of Shah 
Jahan (1627-1658). In spite of the fact that Husain Ali Khan 
had reduced him in rank and appointed others in his place, 
this officer gave the ladies a refuge with all their property. 
A few days after the battle, Mubariz Khan, governor of 
Haidarabad, and his brother, Dilawar Khan, who had announced 
that they were marching to the aid of the Sayyids, came in and 
joined Nizam-ul-mulk. With their adhesion to his cause ended 
all possibility of further danger to the usurper, so far as any 
opponent in the Dakhin itself was concerned. [K. K. 896, 
Warid 161a.] 

1720j sayyids hear of alim all's death 51 

Sec. 1 1 . — The News from the Dakhin reaches Agra. 

Swift camel-riders reached Agra on the 22nd Shawwal (26th 
August 1720), bringing information of the defeat and death 
of Alim Ali Khan near Balapur. Four days before this date 
Husain Ali Khan's advance tents had gone out to Kuraoli, 
seventeen or eighteen miles from Agra, as a preliminary to his 
starting for the Dakhin. One encampment was formed at the 
village of Sihara near Sarai Khoja, five k os from Agra, there 
being a good supply of sweet water from a masonry tank or 

The new disaster threw the Sayyids into a state of conster- 
nation. When the letters were put into Abdullah Khan's hand, 
he was so agitated that he was unable to read them, and could 
do no more than gather the facts from the oral statements of the 
messengers. He then broke forth into lamentation. Husain Ali 
Khan bore the blow with more outward calm, though he was 
not completely successful in suppressing all signs of grief. Both 
brothers at once quitted their public audience room. Husain 
Ali Khan really felt the blow more acutely than his brother, nor 
did he recover his equanimity until he heard about a week 
afterwards that his women with their property had received a 
refuge in the fort of Daulatabad. Consultation now succeeded 
consultation, plan followed upon plan. As already described, 
they had made an attempt to rid themselves of Muhammad 
Amin Khan, head of the powerful clan to which Nizam-ul-mulk 
belonged. But finding that they were not strong enough to 
effect their purpose, they did their best to make friends with 
this important chief. On his side, Muhammad Amin Khan had 
endeavoured to lull their suspicions to sleep by talking loudly 
in darbar of the baseness of Nizam-ul-mulk's conduct and his 
wickedness generally. [K. K. 896, Kamwar 226, Qasim 319, 
Ahwal \7\b.] 

At length it was decided that Muhammad Shah in person, 
"with the imperial artillery and all head officials, should proceed 
to the Dakhin in charge of Husain Ali Khan ; while Abdullah 

* Sihare ki sarai, Indian Atlas, sheet 50, about 7J4 miles from the city 
on the way to Kuraoli and Fathpur. 


Khan returned to Dihli to maintain order in the northern half 
of the Empire. Husain Ali Khan, who had quite outstripped his 
elder brother in real power, had insisted on taking with him the 
offices and establishments of diwan, Bakhshi, and Sadar-us-sadur 
for all the twenty-two provinces, with the two head diwans, 
leaving to Abdullah Khan only a small office staff. Abdullah 
Khan objected, but the dispute was kept secret, and at last it 
was arranged that the complete establishment of four subahs 
only in Hindustan, that is Akbarabad, Ahmadabad, Ajmer and 
Malwa, and of all the six Dakhin subahs, with a small staff for 
the other provinces, should accompany His Majesty and Husain 
Ali Khan. [K. K. 897, Qasim 322, Yahya 127b.] Taking his 
imagery from the game of draughts, Yahya Khan's comment on 
this separation of the two brothers is that, in the general opinion, 
the player had made a wrong move by scattering his men, and 
thenceforward his piece could not be protected ; and so it 
turned out in the end. 

Instead of the more direct road through Gwaliyar and 
Narwar, the longer route through Ajmer was chosen, with the 
object of meeting Rajah Ajit Singh and reinforcing the imperial 
army by his Rajputs. Accordingly the imperial tents were sent 
out to Sarai Sihara on the 1st Zul Qada 1 132 H. (3rd September 
1720), and on the 9th (1 1th September) the first march was made. 
On the 10th they moved to Kuraoli, the camp being pitched on 
a high mound beside a sheet of water. Here Abdullah Khan 
had his audience of leave-taking and departed for Dihli, Rajah 
Ratan Chand remaining at Court as his agent and representative. 
The nobles who accompanied Abdullah Khan to Dihli were : 
Sayyid Salabat Khan Bakhshi, Ghazi-ud-din Khan Ghalib Jang, 
Hamid Khan, Hamid-ud-din Khan, Nimatullah Khan, Bairam 
Khan, Qilich Muhammad Khan, Baqir Khan (son of Ruhullah 
Khan, deceased), Hifz-ullah Khan. Murid Khan, and Amir 

Outwardly the Sayyids strove to preserve an attitude of 
unconcern. When any one condoled with them on the loss of 
their young nephew, they would say, "Praise be to God! no 
one of any importance has been lost," and express their joy 
that the youth had borne himself in a way to uphold the Sayyid 


name. But some of their chief men began to lose heart, and 
on pleas of sickness or other lame excuses declined to go on 
active service, among these being Sayyid Firuz Ali Khan, uncle 
of Alim Ali Khan. Husain Ali Khan, still full of confidence, 
thought nothing of these desertions, holding that his troops and 
those of his near relations were sufficient for every emergency. 
It was intended to raise the total numbers to 100,000 men ; and 
urgent letters were sent by the hand of Sayyid Muhammad 
Khan, son of Asad-ullah Khan, to the most noted of the Barha 
Sayyids and the Afghans, calling upon them to join the column 
at once. But the numbers did not rise beyond fifty thousand 
men, including both the old and the new troops. [K. K. 897, 
Qasim 328.] 

Sec. 12.— The Emperor's Advance to the Dakhin. 
On the 13th Zul Qada (15th September 1720) the camp 
was at a place between Mahaur and Gopalpur ; next day it was 
moved on to between Kanwari and Muminabad. Four days 
(15th to 18th) were spent in celebrating the anniversary of 
Muhammad Shah's enthronement, and on the 19th (21st 
September) a visit was made to the shrine of Shah Salim Chishti 
at Fathpur Sikri. The succeeding marches were Jalwa (21st), 
Nabahra (23rd), Salihabad (26th), Bajahra (28th), Bahadurpur 
(29th). At Qasba Bahadurpur, about four miles north of 
Hindaun, the camp was under the shade of pleasant trees and 
the water was sweet and wholesome. In the two previous 
marches the rough country, full of thorny shrubs, and the want 
of water, had caused great suffering. Two days for rest were 
allowed. They marched thence on the 2nd Zul Hijja (4th 
October 1720), and arrived at a place between Mahwa and 
Muhkampur. Next they passed through the Lakhi darra (or 
pass) and encamped at the foot of some hills in a very lonely 
and desolate country. Thence they marched on the 6th Zul 
Hijja (8th October 1720) to a position between Jiund and Biund, 
about two k°s to the east of Toda Bhon (or Bhim), a place now 
in Jaipur territory, about seventy-five miles south-west of Agra 
and about sixty miles east of Jaipur.* 

* Kamwar ; Qasim 345, 346. Mhd. Qasim was with the army and 
serving under Rai Surat Singh Multani. The map of the Rajputana States. 


During these marches there were, to all outward appearance, 
agreement and friendship between the Mir Bakhshi and his 
principal rival. Muhammad Amin Khan tried to procure terms 
for Nizam-ul-mulk, offering himself as security that the Sayyid 
ladies and children would be brought home in safety. He 
offered to send his own son, Qamar-ud-din Khan, to act as their 
escort. The proposed campaign would then be unnecessary. 
But Husain Ali Khan's pride debarred him from assenting to 
these proposals. Then Mhd. Amin Khan brought up the objec- 
tion that the army, especially his division, was full of soldiers 
who had served for years under Nizam-ul-mulk. No loyal 
service could be looked for from these men, they would do 
harm instead of good, and it would be better to leave him and 
them behind. In secret, however, Muhammad Amin Khan said 
to his confidants that, in any case, he meant to strike at the 
Sayyids. If he were ordered to go on to the Dakhin, he would 
either seek an opportunity on the way, or withdraw from the 
battle-field when victory was trembling in the balance. If left 
behind, he would make certain that the two brothers never 
joined forces again. Husain Ali Khan, who was not altogether 
blind to the difficulty in which he was placed, for to take the 
Mughals on or to leave them behind was equally dangerous, 
exerted himself to the utmost to keep Mhd. Amin Khan in good 
humour, addressing him whenever they met as "Respected 
Uncle." A large sum of money was advanced to him by way 
of pay for his Mughals. [Qasim 324.] 

Haidar Quli Khan was also taken into special favour, and 
on the 4th Zul Qada (6th September 1720), he replaced Sayyid 
Ghulam Ali Khan as Mir Atash, or general-in-chief of the 
imperial artillery, of which there was a very large display, some 
sixteen hundred cannon, large and small, besides gajnal, shutar- 
nal, kaharwal and rockets.* This man professed to be devoted 

1859, marks the pass as Kurrailee Ghaut, possibly the same as the Kariti of 
the Indian Atlas. Mahwa is on sheet 50 of the Indian Atlas, as Mhow, 
six miles west of Bahadurpur, on the Gambhir river. Jiund (Jond) is 
shown five miles n. w. of Mhow, Biund (Bond) about three miles n. w. 
of "Jond" and Toda Bhon (Toda Bhim) seven miles w. of "Jond." 

* Khafi Khan, 898, says the previous incumbent was Sayyid Khan 
Jahan. He had just died. Perhaps Ghulam Ali Khan was only his deputy. 


heart and soul to the Sayyids, and Husain AH Khan had formed 
a high opinion of his ability as an artillery officer. The men 
about the Mir Bakhshi hardly shared his fancy for this man. 
They spoke scornfully of his "low stature but high fortune" 
and afterwards the line was applied to him, "Who would have 
thought this tempest could arise from an empty oven." 
Muazzam Khan Afghan, Sayyid Ghairat Khan, Mir Mushrif, and 
others bade the Nawab beware, for there was a plot on foot 
among the Mughals. He ought not, they said, to allow their 
officers to attend audience with a crowd of armed men. Husain 
Ali Khan retorted angrily that they were thwarting him in his 
effort to win over Mhd. Amin Khan, adding: "Who is there 
who could raise a hand against me, what plot is there, what 
reason for my assassination?" It only meant that they did 
not like to see the artillery pass from the hands of a Sayyid into 
those of a Mughal. Then he would launch forth in praise of 
Haidar Quli Khan. The new general justified his appointment 
in the eyes of the army by the alterations which he at once 
introduced. Among other things he re-established the practice 
of former reigns, adopted from European models, of firing off a 
salute of ten to twenty field-pieces (rahJ^alas) whenever the 
Emperor entered his quarters from a march or a hunting expedi- 
tion. In this way notice of His Majesty's movements could be 
communicated to the whole camp. [Qasim 344, Kamwar, 
Khush-hal 1007a.] 

Another new favourite was Saadat Khan, a Persian from 
Naishapur, then chiefly known as a relation of Ganj Ali Khan, 
lately deceased ; he had been appointed a few weeks before to 
be faujdar of Hindaun and Biana, some fifty to sixty miles 
south-west of Agra, and as the route of the army lay through 
his district, he remained in attendance. He paraded his troops 
daily before Husain Ali Khan and made such a great show of 

According to Rustam Ali, Tari\h-i-Hindi, 242b, Haidar Quli Khan was 
appointed during the halt at Bhosawar, but that does not agree in date or 
place with Kamwar Khan. Warid, 161b, calls Haidar Quli Khan a Shirazi. 
He was really a native of Isfarain, a town in Khurasan ; but he may have 
been for a time at Shiraz on his way to India. In one place he is called 
an Isfahani. 


zeal that his requests for more money and new jagirs were 
willingly complied with. Perhaps, in spite of the many favours 
now conferred by the Sayyid, he may have retained in his heart 
a grudge for the way in which he had been reprimanded only a 
little time before. A poor man's buffalo had been taken from 
him, the only thing he had in the world. On the march a report 
of this was brought to Husain Ali Khan. The faujdar's agent 
at Court was sent for and warned that if an acquittance were not 
produced from the owner of the buffalo, it would not go well 
with his master. Saadat Khan thereupon told the peasant to 
take his buffalo and write his receipt. The man replied : 
'You took it forcibly, I am not content." 'Take two buffaloes 
then." This offer also was refused, and in the end fifty buffaloes 
were given him before he would sign any paper. This inter- 
ference may possibly have been rankling in Saadat Khan's 
heart ; otherwise, being a Sayyid, a Shia and protege of the 
Mir Bakhshi, it is surprising that he should have gone over to 
the other side. But being a pushing, energetic man, with his 
way still to make, he may have thought that there was more to 
gain on the side of the malcontents in the commotion attending 
a change of regime. [Rustam Ali 234b.] 

Sec. 13. — Assassination of Husain Ali Khan. 

During this time, between the 9th Zul Qada (6th Septem- 
ber 1720), the date of starting from Agra, and the 6th Zul Hijja 
1132 H. (8th October 1720), a plot had been hatching for the 
destruction of Husain Ali Khan. The chief conspirators were 
Muhammad Amin Khan, Haidar Quli Khan, Abdul-ghaffur and 
Mir Jumla. It would be thought that the last-named, after 
his unfavourable experience in Farrukh-siyar's reign, would have 
declined to enter into any more projects of this sort ; and he 
does not figure as a very active sharer in the plot.* Sayyid 
Muhammad Amin Saadat Khan, the new faujdar of Biana, was 
also entrusted with the secret. A willing instrument was found 
in the person of Mir Haidar Beg Dughlat, a man from Kash- 

*Khafi Khan, 903, 905, denies that Haidar Quli Khan, Qamar-ud-din 
Khan, or the Emperor, knew anything; but this is more than doubtful. 


ghar.* Muhammad Amin Khan is reported to have made an 
appeal to the loyalty of his Mughals. Unable as they were to 
overcome Husain AH Khan's army, would any brave man devote 
his life to the Mir Bakhshi's removal? If the assassin survived, 
the Nawab would be his slave for life ; if he were killed, his 
family should be liberally cared for. At first no one spoke. 
Then Mir Haidar Beg offered himself : "I am a Sayyid and he 
is a Sayyid : if brother kill brother what matters it?" [K. K. 
902, Ahwal 175a.] 

Communications were opened with Muhammad Shah's 
mother through Sadar-un-nissa, head duenna of the harem, the 
intermediary being one Shah Abdul-ghaffur, a faqir from 
Tattha in Sind, who passed to and fro disguised in woman's 
attire as a seller of milk. We shall hear more of this man later 
in the reign. Muhammad Amin Khan also made hints several 
times to Muhammad Shah in the Turki tongue, which they both 
understood. Once this was done in Husain AH Khan's 
presence. He asked what had been said. Muhammad Shah 
replied that the noble had asked for leave to withdraw as he had 
a pain in his stomach. As Muhammad Shah thus kept his 
secret, Muhammad Amin Khan inferred that he was not un- 
favourable to the plot. Once after they had left Fathpur Sikri 
behind, Saadat Khan, in the darkness of night, came to the tent 
of Mhd. Amin Khan, and it was decided that an attempt upon 
the life of Husain AH Khan should be made next day while 
they were on the march. Bringing up their divisions on his 
right hand and on his left, they were to envelop him and his 
retinue, and slay him. Qamar-ud-din Khan supported this 
proposal warmly. But the next day it was found that Husain 
AH Khan had descended from his horse and had mounted an 
elephant. An attack was thought inadvisable ; and another plan 
was now devised. [K. K. 903, Warid 42, Yahya, Khush-hal 

* The brother of Shapur Khan (Kamwar Khan, 230). Khafi Khan, 903, 
calls him of Chaghatai race. His family bore the epithet of Mir-i-shamsher, 
and he was commonly called Mir Haidar Beg. Mirza Haidar, governor of 
Kashmir and author of the Tarikh-i-Rashidi, is said to have been his great- 


The day before his assassination Husain AH Khan uttered a 
foolish speech about making an Emperor of any one on whom he 
chose to cast his shoe. That night Muhammad Amin Khan and 
Haidar Quli Khan met, and it was decided that the next morn- 
ing their plot should be carried into execution. It is said that 
when Mhd. Amin Khan had left, Husain AH Khan chanced to 
come on a visit to Haidar Quli Khan, and began to ask his advice 
on some point. Haidar Quli Khan, who was by nature a man 
of cunning, saw an opening for securing his own safety whatever 
happened. He told Husain AH Khan that as a rumour prevailed 
through the camp of his (the speaker's) supersession in the com- 
mand of the artillery, Mhd. Amin Khan proposed to come to his 
(Haidar Quli's) tent next morning. After he, the Mir Bakhshi, 
had escorted the Emperor to the door of the female apartments, 
he could on his way to his quarters call at his, the Mir Atash's, 
tents, and there through someone ready to risk life for him could 
procure the assassination of Mhd. Amin Khan. This plan 
having been agreed on, Husain AH Khan departed. Haidar 
Quli Khan's idea was that whichever side got the upper hand, 
the winner would be grateful to him for his suggestions and 
take him into special favour. [Yahya, 128a.] 

It was the custom for Nawab Husain AH Khan to present 
himself before the Emperor at the end of every march and 
make his morning obeisance. The ceremony was known by 
the Hindi name of the Juhar. Accordingly on the morning of 
the 6th Zul Hijja 1132 H. (8th October 1720), on reaching the 
new camp pitched two k°s to the east of Toda Bhim,* Husain 

* Toda Bhim (Indian Atlas, sheet 50) lies about six miles west of a pass 
through the hills. Khan Khan, ii. 903, calls the place Tora, and says it 
is 35 reputed k°s from Fathpur Sikri. It is really about 45 miles s. w. 
in straight line from that town. The British Museum MS'. No. 1746, 
(Elliot collection) fixes the site at Ghat Karbali (query : Karkari or Kareli), 
near the village Jonda (query : the Jon Bond of the Indian Atlas), in the 
district of Bhusawar. This must be the village Kareli to the east of the 
pass (see Map of Rajputana States, 1859). The Indian Atlas, sheet 50, has 
Kariti quite close to the pass, and the village Kharela about five miles 
north-east of it. Khush-hal /. 1008a, speaks of the darra or pass of Lakhri. 
This name may be taken from the Laker ke pura of the Indian Atlas, 
which lies about two miles south of Karela. Bhusawar was a pargana in 


AH Khan and other great nobles followed Muhammad Shah as 
usual to the entrance of his tents, made their bow, and departed 
to their several camps. Husain AH Khan entered his litter 
within the imperial enclosure (jali), having in attendance seven 
or eight servants and two relations. Muhammad Amin Khan, 
Saadat Khan, and several others were present. Then Muham- 
mad Amin Khan, who is said to have filled his mouth before- 
hand with raw blood, put his fingers into his mouth, simulated 
vomiting, and complained of vertigo. He laid himself down at 
full length on the ground. Husain AH Khan sent for rose-water 
and a preparation made from an odoriferous willow {bed- 
mushk), supposed to be a restorative ; and after these had been 
administered, Muhammad Amin Khan made signs that they 
should carry him into Haidar Quli Khan's tent, which by reason 
of his office of Mir Atash was close to the imperial gateway. 
Round Husain AH Khan there then remained no more than two 
or three persons. The time was about midday. [Shiu 49b.] 

As the palanquin issued from the imperial precinct, Haidar 
Beg Dughlat, with one or two other Mughals, appeared on one 
side shouting, "A complaint! a complaint!" and drew from his 
sleeve a paper in the nature of a petition. As the Bakhshi knew 
the man by sight, he was allowed to approach, when he 
launched forth into imprecations upon Muhammad Amin Khan, 
the second Bakhshi, who bore the deserved reputation of being 
exceedingly harsh and miserly. Coming closer, the man said 
that their general embezzled their pay and, with this Dakhin 
campaign before them, they were dying of hunger and their 
horses were at the last gasp. Would not the Nawab, as chief 
Bakhshi and noted for liberality to his troops, do something to 
help them ? A body-servant advanced to take the petition, but 
the Mughal made a gesture of refusal. Husain AH Khan, in 
his usual considerate way, said : "Come here and give 
it." The petitioner came close and put the paper into his hands. 

sartor Agra of subah Akbarabad, Jarrett, Ain, ii. 132. The town lies about 
13 miles north-east of the pass (Indian Atlas, sheet 50). Toda Bhim was 
itself the chief town of a pargana, Jarrett, 133; Khush-hal /. 1009a, says 
that after leaving pargana Bhusawar, camp was at Qasba Paota, which is 
eight miles north-east of Toda Bhim, and five miles north of the pass. 


A pipe-bearer appeared at the other side of the palanquin ; the 
Nawab turned his head that way, took hold of the mouthpiece 
of the pipe-snake and began to read the petition. The Batyishi's 
attention being given to the reading of the paper, the assassin 
in an instant drew from his waistband a long dagger-like 
butcher's knife, and plunged it into Husain AH Khan's side. 
The wounded man struck with his feet at his murderer's chest, 
so that he fell and his turban tumbled off ; then exclaimed : 
"Bring a horse! I must mount." Recovering himself Haider 
Beg laid hold of the Nawab's feet, dragged him from the palan- 
quin to the ground, sat on his chest, and began to cut off his 

On foot near the palanquin was Sayyid Nur Ali, entitled 
Nur-ullah Khan, a boy of fourteen or fifteen years of age. He 
was the son of Asad-ullah Khan Bahadur, called Nawab Auliya, 
and one of Husain Ali Khan's cousins. As soon as he saw what 
had happened, the boy shouted out, "The wretches have killed 
the Nawab," quick as lightning drew a pistol from his belt and 
with a shot from it wounded Haidar Beg. Then, with three 
blows from his sword, he stretched the murderer on the ground 
dead at the side of his victim. But, before the boy could escape, 
he was attacked by the other Mughals, and fell lifeless across 
the mangled body of his cousin. Husain Ali Khan's head was 
borne in triumph to the small tent (rawati) of Haidar Quli Khan, 
whence he and Mhd. Amin Khan had hurriedly emerged 
barefoot when the shouting began. [K. K. 904, Qasim 349, 
Khush-hal 1009a, Shakir 10o.] 

Muhammad Amin Khan made his way at once to the 
imperial quarters, and called on the Emperor to come out and 
take command of his troops. The head of the murdered 
Bakhshi was thrown at his feet in the space before his private 
tents. Muhammad Shah, whether he had been in the secret 
or not, now showed some inclination to draw back, and began 
to remonstrate. His mother, too, though she had no doubt 
intrigued to get her son freed from the galling tutelage of the 
Sayyids, was now afraid for his personal safety and drew him 

* Qasim, 347; K. K. 903; Khush-hal, 1008a, 1009b; Warid, 162a. 


back within the women's apartments. Then Sayyid Ghulam 
AH Khan, cousin of the Wazir and of the Bakhshi, and 
superintendent of the privy audience chamber, who had come 
inside the private enclosure with Islam Quli, a slave, and some 
gunners {hazari) in his pay, cut through the canvas walls and 
tried to obtain possession of the Emperor's person. Muhammad 
Amin Khan and some Mughals drove them back, and Saadat 
Khan then captured and confined them. 

Further delay was dangerous. Brushing aside all the 
restraints of etiquette, Saadat Khan threw a shawl over his 
head, pushed his way into the harem, took Muhammad Shah 
in his arms, and dragged him by force to the scene of the 
assassination. It was still free of men. Elephants were called 
for and they mounted, Muhammad Shah on Qamar-ud-din 
Khan's elephant, Buland Bakht, with Mhd. Amin Khan in the 
seat behind him. They took up their station at the gateway of 
the street of shops dependent on the guardhouse where the 
kettle-drums were played. Husain Ali Khan's head was held 
aloft on the end of a long pole. 

Orders were given for the general plunder of Husain Ali 
Khan's tents and treasure. There were at first only forty or 
fifty of Mhd. Amin Khan's cavalry and some artillerymen 
present, between one and two hundred men altogether. Haidar 
Quli Khan sent urgent messengers to collect elephants, horses, 
and men, while Mhd. Amin Khan busied himself in writing 
urgent notes to the various commanders. "Now is the time to 
display your friendship. He who comes now will do a great 
service and obtain great rewards." No man of any rank ap- 
peared ; there were only Muhammad Amin Khan himself, 
Qamar-ud-din Khan, his son, Haidar Quli Khan, and Saadat 
Khan. The imperial artillery began to play upon the Sayyid 's 
camp. Just before the fight was over Khan Dauran appeared 
on the scene with some troops, but Zafar Khan, Turra-i-baz, 
continued to keep discreetly out of the way of danger.* 

Unconscious of what was happening, the officers and 

* Qasim, 350, 351 ; Khush-hal /. 1010a, Bayan-i-waqi, 424 ; Kamwar 
231 ; Warid, 162b ; K. K. 906, 908 ; Shakir Khan, 10b. 


soldiers of the Sayyid 's army were engaged in putting up their 
tents or obtaining their supplies for the day. The sound of 
firing did not alarm them. It was, they assumed, nothing more 
than the usual salute notifying the Emperor's arrival at his 
quarters. The first intimation of the assassination was brought 
to Sayyid Ghairat Khan, the nephew* of the victim, just as he 
had taken off his weapons and had begun to eat his breakfast. 
Putting back into the dish the morsel he had just taken up, and 
not even washing his hands, but wiping one hand upon the 
other, wearing nothing but a thin cotton coat, he ran out and 
mounted his elephant. He was followed by a few men, not 
more than forty or fifty altogether. f The need of delay and 
caution was impressed on him by older men ; but he would 
listen to no dissuasion. Like a roaring tiger just wounded by 
an arrow, he hurried on, venting loud oaths and curses, until 
he reached the imperial enclosure (jali) ; and as he came face 
to face with the force drawn up there, most of his companions 
were shot down and he himself received two arrow wounds. 
In the struggle part of the canvas wall enclosing the Emperor's 
camp was knocked down. 

Seated alone in his iron-clad canopy, Ghairat Khan pressed 
on, shooting his arrows, until he came near the elephant of 
Haidar Quli Khan. Stinging reproaches for base ingratitude 
were hurled at the latter. On his side Haidar Quli Khan 
retorted : ' O man, untrue to the salt you have eaten ! 
descend from that elephant and submit, and I will obtain for 
you His Majesty's pardon." The young Sayyid advanced and 
shouted : "I await your commands," adding in the most scorn- 
ful tone : "Fie upon your faithfulness and upon the quality of 
your friendship ! ' ' Ghairat Khan then shot an arrow which 
fixed itself so firmly in Haidar Quli Khan's bow, that after the 

* According to the Tarikh-i-Muhammadi his father was Sayyid Nasr- 
ullah Sadat Khan Bahadur Barha, and his mother was Husain Ali Khan's 
sister. The Burhan-ul-futuh, 168b, calls him the son of Sayyid Khan 
Jahan Barha. Khan Khan, throughout this part of his story (pp. 901, 902, 
905) distinguishes between Ghairat Khan and Izzat Khan ; according to 
him Izzat Khan was killed and Ghairat Khan survived. 

f Khafi Khan, 905, says there were four or five hundred. 

1720] sayyid's men attack imperial tents 63 

fight it was withdrawn with difficulty. Behind Haidar Quli Khan 
was an Abyssinian slave named Haji Bashir, holding a loaded 
European matchlock. His master turned and said angrily to 
him: "What are you waiting for?" The slave fired, the ball 
entered the breast of Ghairat Khan, and he fell from the 
elephant dead.* 

Sayyid Karim-ullah Khan, who had succeeded to Sayyid 
Dilawar AH Khan's office of Bakhshi, headed another onset and 
reached the entrance of the imperial enclosure (jali), but his 
men were soon killed. Shaikh Najm-ud-din, entitled Nekandesh 
Khan, superintendent of the adalat, also fought his way with 
five or six horsemen into the enclosure and tried to carry off 
the Amir-ul-umara's body. But, after receiving two or three 
wounds on the shoulder-blade and side, he fell down insensible 
and was carried away by Haidar Quli Khan's men. Mean- 
while, Rajah Muhkam Singh himself, with a troop of his men, 
stood looking on as a mere spectator ; but Churaman Hazari, 
a man long in the service of the Sayyids, did his duty well and 
forced his way to the private entrance (deorhi) of the Emperor's 
tents, but could do nothing more. Khwaja Maqbul Ahmad the 
Sayyid's nazir, followed by a water-carrier and a sweeper, 
attacked the imperial group with drawn swords, and these three 
courageously made their way as far as the imperial chapel-tent 
{tasbih-khana) where they were cut down. The Khwaja died 
of his wounds three or four days afterwards. In another 
direction Mustafa Khan, the paymaster of Rajah Muhkam 
Singh, without consulting his master, made his way with some 
men to the gate of the enclosure ; repulsed there, he turned 
off and cut through the canvas walls of the privy audience 
chamber, entering it with shouts and curses. But after losing 
a few men, he was ejected by the Mughals. During this scrim- 
mage Muhammad Shah hid behind Sadar-un-nissa, wife of Riza 
Quli Khan, Janandar-Shahi. [Qasim 354, K. K. 910, Khush-hal 

Rai Surat Singh Multani, and his son, Lala Anand Singh, 
did nothing but provide for the safety of their own persons and 

* Khush-hal /. 10 10a, says the slave handed the gun to his master. 
Qasim, 352 ; K. K. 905-908 j Yahya 128a ; Shakir 9b ; Warid, 1 62a and b. 


property. Lala Jaswant Rai, son of Sahib Rai Munshi, escaped 
by allowing his father's hoards and much of his own property 
to be plundered. Another man who escaped was Rai Saroman 
Das, Kayath, at Court on behalf of Sayyid Abdullah Khan. 
He shaved, rubbed his face with ashes, and turned himself into 
a faqir. Then, hiding a few valuables in his waist-cloth, he 
lay concealed in his friends' tents until he was able to escape 
to Sayyid Abdullah Khan. Muazzam Khan, a man from the 
east country, although of high rank did nothing, but Umar 
Khan, his brother, was killed by the plunderers. Sayyid Jan 
AH, brother of Mir Ali Khan, superintendent of horse-branding, 
fought his best and lost his life ; while his brother escaped for 
a time, only to be made a prisoner a few days afterwards. 

The confusion lasted ten to twelve hours, and during this 
time countless treasure was plundered and much property was 
destroyed. The dead body of Husain Ali Khan was subjected 
to unspeakable indignities at the hands of the low scoundrels 
and hangers-on of the army. The event yielded striking 
evidence of the want of cohesion in an Indian army under the 
pressure of any sudden disaster. When the plundering was 
done, not a trace of the Sayyid's vast encampment or his mighty 
host could be seen. It was impossible to believe that there had 
ever been a heel-rope or a tent peg on that ground. Everything 
had been burnt or carried off, and the men had disappeared. 

Muhammad Amin Khan held it wiser not to check the 
plundering, in which both friends and foes were busily occupied, 
for thereby the chance of any resistance was obviated. As an 
incident in this reckless plundering we are told that a common 
soldier carried off two bags of coin, and supposing them to be 
Rupees, he took them to a money-changer, and asked for gold 
in exchange, as being lighter to carry. When the bags were 
opened they were found to be full of gold coins ! Before the 
assassination the money-changers' shops, most of Husain Ali 
Khan's equipage, and carts said to contain a kr° r of Rupees, 
had arrived in camp from the march. All these were plundered 
and carried off. But the Bakhshi's jewels and some money 
chests, which were still on the road, were saved and confiscated 


to His Majesty's use. [K. K. 904-910, Yahya 129b, Warid 
162b, Shiu 49a, Khush-hal 1009b.] 

Rajah Ratan Chand Banya, who was much more hated by 
the general public than the Sayyids themselves, knew not which 
way to turn. The armed array of his foes barred his flight, and 
he was not the man to take the field and meet blow by blow. 
As the saying is : "A prancing ass and a shopkeeper are 
equally worthless." He told the beads of his rosary with one 
hand and with the other used his handkerchief to wipe the tears 
from his eyes. Abdur-rahman Khan and other Afghans of 
Sarhind offered to rescue him, saying: "Mount, mount." He 
refused with idle phrases. All that he could do was to write a 
hurried note of a line or two to Sayyid Abdullah Khan, and send 
it off by a camel-rider. Soon Rajah Daya Ram, the agent of 
Muhammad Amin Khan, came for him and he submitted at 
once. On the way some Mughals and low fellows from the 
bazars surrounded his palanquin, dragged him out, beat, cuffed, 
and kicked him, and tore his clothes to tatters. Brought in this 
pitiable naked condition before the new Wazir, he begged 
piteously that his life might be spared. Muhammad Amin 
Khan, after sending for a suit of clothes, ordered the Rajah to 
be put in chains and kept a prisoner. His case was an example 
of the saying: "As you do, so shall it be done unto you." 
In spite of all their efforts Ratan Chand made no disclosure of 
the Sayyid 's treasure or buried hoards. A short time after- 
wards, while they were on the march, he tried to escape. The 
Mughals who were guarding him pursued him, cut him down, 
and would have liked to slay him. But he was reserved for 
formal execution.* 

Muhkma, the son of Chura Jat, was brought in a prisoner, 
and in his despair offered to turn Muhammadan if his life were 
spared, but Muhammad Shah declined his offer and treating him 
kindly sent him away. Sayyid Asad-ullah Khan was also 
captured and was long kept in confinement, until he received 
permission to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and started for the 

*Qasim, 355; Shiu Das, 48a; Khush-hal /. 1010b; Yahya Khan, 129a- 
K. K. 909. 


Dakhin. Ghulam Ali Khan, because he had been the emissary 
sent to Dihli to bring Muhammad Shah to Agra to be enthroned 
as Emperor, was spared and protected ; but in a few days made 
use of an opportunity, and escaped to Abdullah Khan. [Shiu 
48a, K. K. 910.] 

The death of such a highly placed and powerful noble as 
Husain Ali Khan gave rise, as usual in such cases, to many 
myths and legends. One man said he dreamt that he was in the 
audience-hall of the Imam Husain. Husain Ali Khan, in blood- 
stained raiment, presented himself at the door. He was 
brought in with honour, the Imam greeting him with the words : 
Balagha wadaJ^a, Wa ghalaba adaJ^a. Strange to say these 
words yield, taken as two chronograms, the year of the Sayyid's 
martyrdom. Other chronograms were found, meaning 'The 
month Muharram of Husain arose anew" and "In the Indian 
Karbala a second Husain was martyred by a second Yazid." 

Sec. 14. — Abdullah Khan hears of his brother's death. 

As we have seen, Abdullah Khan left the imperial camp on 
the 12th Zul Qada (14th September 1720) on his way to Dihli. 
He halted for a few days at Sikandra near Agra. On the 7th 
Zul Hijja (9th October 1720) he was at a halting place near 
Sarai Chath, about forty-eight miles north-west of Agra and 
about sixty-four miles from Dihli, when at midnight, within 
eighteen hours of the event, a camel-rider brought the scrap of 
paper from Ratan Chand announcing the overwhelming news of 
Husain Ali Khan's assassination. Revenge was his only 
thought. Summoning to his presence the nobles in his train, he 
told them his heart-rending story, beseeching and imploring 
them to throw in their lot with him. Some from their hearts, 
others only out of prudence, agreed to stand by him. 

A few of the more ardent spirits proposed an immediate 
trial of strength, before Muhammad Shah could be reinforced, 
or Husain Ali Khan's troops be bought over by him. But 
Abdullah Khan, reflecting that Muhammad Shah was in full 
possession of the throne, while his own army was out of heart, 
decided that to take the field without any claimant to the throne 
was undesirable. It was better, he thought, to proceed first to 


the capital, there to collect an army, select a candidate, and 
restore the confidence of his adherents. 

That same day the march for Dihli was resumed. Dis- 
regarding the attacks of the Mewatis and the Jats, who daily 
plundered their baggage and slew their camp-followers, they 
pushed on until they came to Faridabad, twenty-one miles from 
Dihli. Shujaat-ullah Khan, son-in-law of Abdullah Khan, 
Murtaza Khan, and Sita Ram, a man in the Wazir's confidence, 
were sent forward in haste to the capital with orders to consult 
Najm-ud-din Ali Khan, the Wazir's brother, and select one of 
the imprisoned Princes of the house of Taimur for elevation to 
the throne. Disturbances had broken out at once in the jagirs 
held by the Sayyids, their agents were ejected, and the cultiva- 
tors refused the instalments of rent due on the autumn harvest.* 

Sec. 15. — Muhammad Shah's Movements. 

On the day following Husain Ali Khan's death a formal 
audience was held by Muhammad Shah. In the interval 
Muhammad Amin Khan had posted pickets of Mughals to arrest 
deserters, and instructions were given to the armed villagers to 
stop any one who tried to leave the camp. In this way many 
men, though partisans of the Sayyids and anxious to escape, 
were forced to remain. Muhammad Amin Khan went among 
them in person to try and secure their adhesion. In spite of his 
Muhammadan bigotry, he visited the quarters of Rajah Muhkam 
Singh, one of the Sayyids' principal officers. As the Rajah saw 
he was in the Mughal's power, he made his submission and at 
his first audience was presented by Daya Ram, the agent of 
Muhammad Amin Khan. He was promoted to the rank of 
6,000 with the right to beat kettle-drums. Mir Mushrif of 
Lakhnau, another of the Sayyids' chief men, after rejecting the 
first overtures made to him, was also propitiated and promoted. 
Inayat-ullah Khan Kashmiri, the Khan-saman, Rajah Gopal 
Singh Bhadauriya, and twenty-one other nobles laid their offer- 
ings at the Emperor's feet. 

Muhammad Amin Khan was promoted to 8,000 zat and 

*Kamwar 214, 238; Warid 163a; Shiu Das, 54a; K. K. 901, 911-913. 


was loaded with gifts. Khan Dauran, although at the critical 
moment his fear of the Sayyids had prevented his declaring 
himself, received the same exalted rank. The grade of seven 
thousand had been hitherto the limit for any person not of the 
blood royal. Qamar-ud-din Khan, Haidar Quli Khan and 
Saadat Khan were made respectively 7,000, 6,000, and 5,000 in 
rank. Zafar Khan and Rajah Gopal Singh Bhadauriya also 
received promotion. To celebrate the Emperor's emancipation 
from the Sayyid bondage, some poet found a chronogram : 
"He was a bright star (Roshan Akhtar) and is now a moon ; 
Like Joseph he left prison to become a king." 
The camp was about seventy-two miles from Agra, about 
one hundred and twenty-eight miles from Dihli, and the nearest 
point on the Jamuna, to the north-east, was distant about sixty- 
eight miles. Under the altered circumstances any further 
advance in the direction of the Dakhin was useless. There 
was some doubt and debate as to whether they should return 
to Agra or make for Dihli. At last it was decided to move 
northwards till they struck the Jamuna. Churaman Jat, although 
he owed a great deal to the Sayyid brothers, was for the moment 
persuaded by the offer of great rewards to join Muhammad 
Shah with a large force. A cunning answer of his has been 
preserved. Muhammad Amin Khan said to him : "Thou art 
a creature of the Sayyids, I have no reliance on thy service or 
goodwill." Swearing by his Hindu gods, he replied : "Nawab 
Sahib ! it is true that those great men have conferred on me 
such benefits that if I had a thousand lives and a thousand 
times my wealth, I would have offered up all, including my 
family and children, on their behalf. But now I am under the 
imperial flag, the true lodestone, and I swear by Bhagwan I 
will do such service on the day of battle that the Nawab him- 
self will acknowledge it." He spoke the truth, for on the day 
of battle he plundered the imperial baggage and the goods of 
many others. [Qasim 366, Kamwar 236.] 

As the route chosen would have passed through Chura- 
man's villages, he persuaded the Emperor to change it. Leaving 
his own villages on the right, he led them across Jai Singh's 
territory, and took them over high hills and through thorny 


jungles. There was a great scarcity of water : it had to be 
brought from immense distances and used most sparingly, as if it 
were oil and not water. Many were unable to quench their 
thirst and endured great hardships. On the 9th Zul Hijja (1 1th 
October 1 720) the camp was moved to a place between Bhusawar 
and Kharida, where the festival of the Sacrifice was celebrated. 
In answer to a letter from Khan Dauran, written by the 
Emperor's special order, Sayyid Nusrat Yar Khan Barha, 
faujdar of Mewat, who was on his way to the army on a summons 
from Husain Ali Khan, presented himself and was well received, 
and promoted to the rank of 7,000. Sabit Jang (Jafar Beg), 
a protege of Khan Dauran's, was another valuable adhesion. 
He joined a little later, just before the battle of Hasanpur. 
When the dust raised by his march was seen across the Jamuna, 
all exclaimed: "Rajah Girdhar Bahadur has come!" He 
and his men then crossed the river by a ford. Dost Ali Khan, 
Abid Khan, and Ghalib Khan, formerly superintendent of 
branding for the Emperor's own troops, all three officers of the 
late Husain Ali Khan's army, also came in, submitted, and were 

On the 1 1 th (1 3th October 1 720) there were many presenta- 
tions with the attendant promotions and appointments ; and on 
this day the biers of Husain Ali Khan, Ghairat Khan, and 
Nur-ullah Khan, after the bodies had been wrapped in cloth 
of gold, were despatched for burial of the bodies at Ajmer in 
the tomb of Abdullah Khan, the Nawab's father, which lies 
outside the city wall close to Abdullahganj. At the time fixed, 
no bearers to carry the biers could be found ; and after this 
difficulty had been overcome, robbers, believing that the 
coffins contained treasure, seized them, but finding nothing 
threw the bodies away. After a time they were recovered by 
the faujdars of those parts, and in the end, as was reported 
privately, they reached Ajmer and were buried. f 

* Qasim, second recension, 429; Shiu Deis, 50, 5 lb, 2a; Khush-hal /. 
1014a ; Rustam Ali, /. 245a j K. K. 910. 

t Khan Khan, 910, on the authority of Sayyid Abdullah Khan himself, 
who made the statement several times in open audience in Khan Khan's 
hearing. See also Jauhar-i-samsam, B.M. Oriental MS. No. 1898, (Fuller's 


The Emperor's next stages were Ramgarh (12th) and 
Gopalpur (13th). Here Saadat Khan was further promoted to 
6,000 and named to the Government of Akbarabad. Other 
stages were Mandugarh (15th), Malkahri (21st) ; next a place 
between Jalauri and Malikpur (22nd), then near Khori (23rd), 
Salgaon (25th), Qasba Kama (27th), and between Nandgaon 
and Barsana (28th). All towns, such as Narnol, Alwar, Tijara 
and Khohari had been avoided.* 

At Barsana on the 2nd Muharram 1133 H. (2nd November 
1720) Muhammad Khan Bangash, at the head of two or three 
thousand men, and Aziz Khan Bahadur Chaghatai, appeared 
from Akbarabad. Before Husain AH Khan's death, Muhammad 
Khan had sought an interview with Abdullah Khah while he 
was still near Agra, at which he demanded fifty thousand Rupees 
in addition to previous advances. He then, though very reluc- 
tantly, began his march, professedly to join the imperial army 
already on its way to the Dakhin. Both officers had come as 
far as Sarai Chath on the direct road from Agra to Dihli. Their 
attitude was doubtful ; and if they were hostile, they could bar 
the Emperor's way to Dihli. Abdullah Khan, who was 
Muhammad Khan's patron, had also called to his mind the 
benefits he had received, trying to win him over thus to his 
cause. f So grave were the apprehensions of the other side, 
that Haidar Quli Khan and Qamar-ud-din Khan were sent to 
interview the Bangash chief. Their mission was successful, 
and they brought the two Afghan nobles into the imperial camp. 
In addition to promotion in rank, Muhammad Khan received 
an assignment of four Jurors of dams on the revenues of 
Allahabad. Parganas Pali, Baira, and Bawan of sar^ar 

translation, MS. 30,784, /. 79) and Rustam Ali, jol. 244a. Mr. Eustace 
Kitts, formerly Assistant Commissioner at Ajmer, informs me that Ab- 
dullahganj and the tombs lie outside the town to the east, not far from 
where the Railway station now is. 

* Kamwar 236, Qasim 367. All the above places, except Mandugarh 
and Salgaon, will be found on the Indian Atlas, sheet No. 50. 

t For the letter see Sahib Rai Khujista-kalam, Irvine MS. There is a 
detailed account of the adventures of Abdullah Khan's messengers in 
Siwanih-i-Khizri, Irvine MS. pp. 68-72. 


Khairabad, and pargana Harha and part of Sandila in sarkflr 
Lakhnau, all in subah Oudh, were granted to Aziz Khan. 

At Pahari, Sher Afkan Khan Panipati, the faujdar of Kora 
and Jahanabad, subah Allahabad, also marched in and joined 
the imperialists. When near Agra, on his way from Allahabad 
to his jagirs at Sikandra, he had met some messengers riding 
from Court, and asked the news. They told him that two 
days previously Husain Ali Khan had been killed. Khush-hal 
Chand, who was near his elephant, saw his face flush with joy 
at the emancipation of Muhammad Shah, the son of his old 
master, Jahan Shah. Not long after this, a letter came to him 
from Nawab Qudsiya, the Emperor's mother, written by her 
own hand, in which he was distinguished with the epithet 
"brother". Other arrivals were Bayazid Khan Mewati, a 
powerful man in that country, and Khema Jat, one of Chura- 
man's chief officers. This Jat was placed in charge of the 
imperial rear-guard.* 

One of Muhammad Shah's first tasks had been the issue 
of reassuring letters to the provincial governors, and demands 
for reinforcements from those known to be opposed to the 
Sayyid faction. Among the men written to were Nizam-ul- 
mulk, Rajah Girdhar Bahadur, Rajah Jai Singh Sawai, and 
Abdus-samad Khan, the governor of Lahor. To a certain extent 
these letters were in identical terms, f and as was natural, a 
note of triumph is perceptible in them. "Praise be to God! 
Husain Ali Khan has obtained the punishment of his deeds 
and the penalty for his acts ; his suppression and removal, as 
my heart desired, has been effected in the easiest manner," and 
so on, in the same strain, then the date and place of assassina- 
tion are given, with other details added, Ghairat Khan appearing 
as the "Devoid of Honour."! Husain Ali Khan's head was 

* Kamwar 237; Shiu Das 57b; Khafi Khan 900, 920; Khush-hal /. 1012b. 
For the parganas named see Ain, ii. 176, 177, 178, 179, and Oudh Gazetteer, 
i. 247 ; ii. 72 ; iii. 50, 292. 

t For one of these farmans see Majma-ul-insha (lithographed edition), 
p. 85, to the effect that H. A. K. was killed on the 6th Zul Hijja of the 
2nd year, when Ghairat Khan and Mir Mushrif attacked the imperial camp, 
but were repulsed and slain. 

t Be-ghairat, a play upon his name. 


sent with the letter to Nizam-ul-mulk, and that noble was called 
upon to march at once to join His Majesty. Girdhar Bahadur, 
Jai Singh, and Abdus-samad Khan were, in the same way, 
urged to join as soon as possible. [Shiu 49a.] 

In answer to these orders Rajah Jai Singh, instead of com- 
ing in person, sent his diwan, Jag Ram, with a force of three 
or four thousand men, horse and foot, and wrote that he was 
busy enlisting more men, and as soon as this was finished he 
would attend himself. Abdus-samad Khan replied that without 
delay he had begun to prepare for a march. But lately he 
had been forced to suppress a revolt by Husain Khan, head of 
the Afghans of Qasur, and for the pay of the troops he had 
enlisted on that service he still owed four lakhs of Rupees. The 
soldiers had mutinied and hindered him from marching. The 
diwan of the province, in spite of his, the governor's, offering 
to execute a bond, would not disburse the money from the 
imperial treasury. Until some order was issued or provision made 
for the money, he was unable to move. Girdhar Bahadur 
promised a speedy arrival, and Nizam-ul-mulk reported that 
he was about to start. [Shiu 49a, K. K. 921]. 

Sec. 17. — Abdullah Khan remonstrates. 

As soon as he learnt of his brother's death, and before he 
resumed his march to Dihli, Abdullah Khan addressed a letter 
of complaint to the Emperor. It was couched in the customary 
language of respect. After referring to the disturbances in the 
Dakhin and Lahor, reports of which had already been laid 
before His Majesty, and the arrangements made by which 
Husain AH Khan, his younger brother, undertook the former 
business and he himself had started to take charge of the capital, 
Abdullah Khan goes on to say : "Although separation from my 
younger brother was distasteful to me, still in obedience to the 
exalted order, we made no objection, and of the two brothers 
one set out for the capital, the other for the Dakhin, in attendance 
on Your Majesty. This faithful one was still on his journey 
and had not yet arrived at Dihli, when finding their chance and 
seeing my brother alone, men acting unfairly and without justi- 
fication from the law, have done him, Ghairat Khan, and the 


son of Nawab Auliya, to death in Your Majesty's very encamp- 
ment, and all their goods and property have been plundered. 
O Qibla of the world and its inhabitants ! may you be pre- 
served ! If so be that all this has been carried out by Your 
Majesty's order, and these men have done all this harm, and 
spilt all this blood, by your direction, there is nothing further to 
be said. What has a slave to say against the order of his 
master? But if it was not done by your order, and they of 
themselves did these vile deeds, I rely on your acting according 
to justice and equity by ordering the murderers to be imprisoned, 
so that they may not escape. This faithful one and the heirs 
of the deceased are coming. We rest assured that this com- 
plaint will be dealt with before Your Majesty according to the 
precepts of the Holy Law. This devoted one's prayer is that 
until he arrives they be not be released. If, by any chance, 
any one asks for their release, let not the request be granted." 
[Shiu, 54a.] 

Muhammad Shah answered by asseverating his extreme 
grief and regret at recent events ; God alone knew the extent 
to which he felt them. By God's help, Haidar Beg Khan, the 
culprit, had been killed on the spot. "By God's name I swear 
that I knew absolutely nothing of this affair. When the out- 
break occurred, strict injunctions, such as were appropriate, 
were issued ; but as that wretch had carried out his purpose, 
they were of no avail. Haidar Beg Khan is dead, the names 
of the others are not known, nor do you give those names. If 
you write precise details, action will be taken. The extreme 
loyalty and the clearness of the thoughts of that Pillar of the 
State are more evident than the sun itself, and are impressed 
on my heart. By the aid of God I, too, will soon reach that 
place ; that Loyal One also purposes to come to the Presence. 
If it please the Lord Most High, this matter will then be decided 
in the most perfect and satisfactory manner according to the 
Holy Law and to Justice." [Shiu 55a.] 

After a little time had elapsed, and the rumours of Abdullah 
Khan's preparations grew louder, the Emperor addressed a 
jarman to him. His Majesty was still awaiting his arrival at 
Court, as promised in his letter, and had looked for him every 


day. "Now comes the unexpected report that he has hurried 
off to Dihli, has brought a royal Prince from the State prison, 
has placed him on the throne and enlisted a great army. If 
the cause of this conduct be the death of his brother, (although 
against God's decrees man is helpless), the Holy Law provides 
for retaliation (qisas). Through Gods favour the man in fault 
has received his punishment. If at first, owing to human weak- 
ness, angry thoughts arose, he must now submit himself to 
God's decrees. To place reliance on an army and cannon is 
not only to resist God's vicegerent, but is unfitted to the charac- 
ter of such a mighty noble. Let him come himself to the Pre- 
sence, and whatever he wishes shall be done. He has not 
made any application. Let him come without delay and lay his 
case, in his own way, before His Majesty. His Majesty has no 
other thought than his subjects' welfare, and his heartfelt desire 
is that such a nobleman may not come to be evil-spoken of 
among the people. Thus it is fitting for him to give attentive 
ear to these words ; and having understood them and well 
reflected, let him act accordingly." [Shiu 56a.] 

To this admonishment Abdullah Khan sent a final answer. 
"Certainly this true one's arrival in the presence of that Source 
of Beneficence will be to him a joy equal to that of the worship 
of God. But the things which happened to Amir-ttl-umara, 
the brother of this one of lowliest qualities, are apparent to 
Your Majesty. If this faithful slave had been at Court, he, too, 
would have undergone the same ; nay, God alone knows what 
might have occurred. From these causes, this slave sees no 
safe course or refuge for himself except in turning his face away 
from Your Majesty's presence. Although a sovereign is God's 
vicegerent upon earth, still that power is deputed to him only 
for the welfare and protection of created beings. If there were 
safety where Your Majesty is, how were it possible for a lowly 
thing like me to disobey the exalted order. Guardian of the 
Realm ! Muhammad Ibrahim, too, is of Your Majesty's family 
and brethren. Yea verily, in him I have provided an instru- 
ment for my safety. If it please the Most High God, in a 
short time, attending on his stirrup, we shall be honoured with 
the felicity of an audience, and the true state of the matter 


will be laid before you. To say more would be to transgress 
the rules of politeness." In these more or less ironical terms 
the gauntlet was thrown down by Abdullah Khan before 
Muhammad Shah and his supporters. [Shiu 56b.] 

Sec. 18.— Prince Muhammad Ibrahim raised to the Throne. 

Abdullah Khan's letter to his brother, Najm-ud-din Ali 
Khan, instructing him to begin enlistments, reached Dihli late 
on the 8th Zul Hijja 1132 H. (October 10th, 1720). Before the 
bad news could spread, he gave out a report the very contrary 
of the truth, and sent the head of the police with cavalry and 
infantry to the house of Muhammad Amin Khan. By mid- 
night the house had been surrounded. But Muhammad Amin 
Khan's people had by this time learnt the truth, and, erecting 
defences, had made ready for resistance, rejoicing and singing 
all the while, and announcing to everybody what had really 

The news spread like wildfire through every street and lane 
of the city. Soon, either a note came from Abdullah Khan 
forbidding interference with the women and family of Muham- 
mad Amin Khan, or else Najm-ud-din Ali Khan changed his 
mind. At any rate, the troops investing the house were with- 
drawn. During the night the death occurred of Kesu Rai, 
husband of Ratan Chand's sister, and himself chief official of 
the Dihli subahdar ; and although he had been then on his 
death-bed for several days, it was given out that he had poisoned 
himself. On the day of the Id (10th Zul Hijja, October 12th, 
1720), Najm-ud-din Ali Khan attended the great mosque, his 
eyes full of tears, and as he was returning home Abdullah 
Khan's emissaries greeted him. 

Forthwith he repaired to the prison-house of the Princes 
and sent men to the dwelling of Jahandar Shah's sons. At first 
the Princes shut their gates in the faces of the messengers, but 
after a long altercation, admission was accorded. On learning 
their purpose, the Princes gave a harshly expressed refusal. 
Some say the messengers next addressed themselves to Neku- 
siyar, and were again repulsed. Lastly, proposals were made 


to Prince Ibrahim, from whom they met with a more favourable 
reception. [K. K. 913-14.] 

Before Abdullah Khan arrived at Dihli, Prince Ibrahim was 
brought out of prison and placed upon the throne, the hhuiba 
was recited with the titles Abul Fath Zahir-ud-din Muhammad 
Ibrahim, and coin was issued in his name. On the latter the 
inscription was : — 

Sikk a bar sim zad dar jahan 

Ba fazl-i-Muhammad Ibrahim, Shah-i-shahan. 

Silver was stamped in the world 

By favour of Muhammad Ibrahim, king of kings. 
This enthronement took place on the 15th Zul Hijja, 1132 
H. (October 15th, 1720). The Prince, then about twenty-three 
years of age, was the eldest son of Rafi-ush-shan, third son of 
the Emperor Bahadur Shah ; and was therefore the brother of 
the Emperors Rafi-ud-darjat and Rafi-ud-daulah. He* had 
been designated by the Sayyids as the latter's successor, but 
Sayyid Khan Jahan, subahdar of Dihli, with whom the final 
choice rested, dreading Ibrahim's reputation for violent temper, 
had substituted Roshan Akhtar, now become Muhammad Shah. 
[K. K. 914, Qasim 361, Warid 161a.] 

Two days after the enthronement of the new sovereign, 
Abdullah Khan reached the capital, and possession was taken 
of the imperial treasury. The money found there, added to 
Abdullah Khan's own accumulations and Ratan Chand's 
hoards, which were now dug up, was devoted to enlisting an 
army. It is said that over one \ror of Rupees was disbursed 

* The ]am-i-jam, a modern work, places his birth on the 26th Rabi 
I. 1115 H. (August 9th, 1703), thus making him the youngest of the three 
brothers. It also gives him the same mother, Nur-un-nissa Begam, and 
assigns the enthronement to the 28th Zul Hijja, 1 132 H. (October 28th, 
1720). As however, Danishmand Khan's Bahadur Shah-nama, under date 
of 7th Ramzan, 1119 H. (December 2nd, 1707), tells us Prince Ibrahim was 
then given the rank of 7000, (2000 horse), he could hardly have been born 
later than 1107 H. (1695-6), twelve years being the earliest age at which 
mansabs were granted to Princes. The T arikh-i-Muhammadi gives his age 
at his death in 1159 H. (1746) as about fifty; this places his birth in 1109 H. 
(1697-8), and makes his age twenty-three at his accession. On the other 
hand, Rustam Ali Tarikh-i-Hind, j. 246b, says he was then forty. 

1720] Abdullah's reckless enlistment of troops 77 

in the next few days. Urgent orders were sent out far and 
near, and every Barha Sayyid, whether in the service or not, 
made it a point of honour to appear. Many Jats, Mewatis, and 
Rajputs had been collected on the way back to Dihli. As 
much as thirty thousand or forty thousand Rupees were 
advanced to each leader to meet the demands of new troops. 
Asked why he was scattering so much money, Abdullah Khan 
replied : "If I win, the realm and its treasures are mine ; if 
otherwise, it is better to give the money away than let it fall 
into the hands of my enemies." For a man with one horse 
the pay was eighty Rupees, with two horses, one hundred and 
fifty Rupees a month. Each foot-soldier received ten Rupees 
for the same period. On enlistment payment was made for 
one or two months in advance. Every animal, whatever its 
size or condition, was branded and taken into the service, 
donkeys only being refused. Every man who presented him- 
self, whatever his antecedents, was accepted as a recruit. 
[K. K. 914-17, Shiu 55b, Qasim 361.] 

In the end this liberal increase of pay to the troops pro- 
duced as much harm as benefit. The increase was made reck- 
lessly, without regard to the man's length of service, the old 
soldier receiving no more than one newly enlisted. The 
veterans were disgusted at being treated the same as the 
recruits, and men-at-arms with good horses worth two or three 
hundred Rupees were angry at receiving no more pay than any 
butcher, cook or cotton-carder who presented himself, mounted 
on some wretched pony that he had picked up for ten or fifteen 
Rupees. This carelessness was especially prevalent in Najm- 
ud-din Ali Khan's division, and many of the bazar loungers, 
as soon as they had received their month's pay in advance, 
were seen no more ; nay, many of the regular soldiery dis- 
appeared in the same way. In spite of the immense expendi- 
ture, it was noticed that the private servants and clerks of Prince 
Ibrahim had no saddles for their horses. 

In a few days as many as fifty thousand men had been 
registered. The force was poorly provided with artillery, 
having only a few large guns, about two hundred small field- 
pieces {rahk_ala), and five-hundred swivel-guns (jazair). In their 


boastful way the Sayyids said that cannon were not needed ; 
they meant at the very first onset to come to close quarters. 
Khan Khan, from the Bakhshi's records, to which he had access, 
and also from what Abdullah Khan told him, found that there 
were over ninety thousand horsemen recorded ; out of this 
number perhaps fourteen or fifteen thousand new men with 
ponies, or other miscellaneous levies, had disappeared. This 
account does not include Churaman Jat's, and Rajah Muhkam 
Singh's men, nor the fugitives of Husain Ali Khan's army and 
the zamindari contingents. It was the general estimate that one 
hundred to one hundred and thirty-five thousand men were 
assembled. [K. K. 918, Qasim 362.] 

Ghazi-ud-din Khan Ghalib Jang, who since Farrukh-siyar's 
death had retired into private life, was won over by Abdullah 
Khan. He was flattered and styled "brother," and brought 
back with the rank of 7000 (7000 horse duaspa), the title of 
Amir-ul-umara, and the office of first Batyishi. Great efforts 
were made by the other side to detach him from the Sayyid's 
party, as can be seen from the long letter addressed to him by 
Amin-ud-din Khan Sambhali, who had once more come to the 
front. Abdullah Khan, he wrote, could only collect the same 
troops that had already fled in a cowardly manner after Husain 
Ali Khan's death ; it was a true saying, "Beaten once will be 
beaten again," and the common people looked on the easy 
destruction of the one brother as an omen for the speedy defeat 
of the other. Is not the voice of the people a sign from God?* 
In spite of these arguments, Ghazi-ud-din Khan was steadfast 
in upholding the Sayyid.f 

Another adherent of some note was Hamid Khan, nick- 
named "Jangali Shahzada" or Rustic Prince, uncle of Nizam- 
ul-mulk and cousin of Muhammad Amin Khan Chin, the new 
Wazir. Although so nearly related to the leader of the opposite 

* Halq-i-khalq, kps-i-Khaliq , literally : The throat of the created, the 
drum of the Creator,' i.e., Vox populi vox Dei. 

t Shiu Das, 55b ; Mhd. Qasim Lahori, 362 ; Inshae Yar Muhammad, 
p. 44. 

1720] sayyid Abdullah's chief supporters 79 

side, Hamid Khan was on very bad terms with his cousin, and 
he was thus willing enough to support his cousin's enemies.* 

Najm-ud-din Ali Khan was promoted to 7000 (7000 horse), 
and made second Bafyhshi ; Sayyid Salabat Khan, son of 
Sayadat Khan, and Bairam Khan, son of Ruhullah Khan Nimat 
Ilahi, were made third and fourth Bakhshis. Saif-ud-din Ali 
Khan, who arrived from Muradabad when his brother Abdullah 
Khan was at Palwal, was promoted to 5000, (5000 horse). 
Other promotions were those of Shahamat Khan (Sayyid Taj 
Mahmud), 5000 (5000 horse); Sayyid Rafaat Khan, 7000 (7000 
horse) ; Itibar Khan, Darya Khan, Shaikh Sibghat-ullah Khan 
(alias Shaikhu) Lakhnawi, who joined with four sons, Sayyid 
Muzaffar Ali Khan, Sayyid Akbar Ali Khan, Said Muhammad 
Khan, Masum Khan, Rustam Ali Khan, Sayadat Khan. [Shiu 
55b, Qasim 363, K. K. 914.] 

Even men who had been in disgrace with the Sayyids 
were offered employment. Among them Itiqad Khan (Mhd. 
Murad Kashmiri) ; Mhd. Yar Khan, former governor of Dihli ; 
Shaista Khan and Saif-ullah Khan, two connections of the late 
Emperor Farrukh-siyar ; and the two brothers Islam Khan, 
once Mir Atash, and Safi Khan, lately commandant of Agra 
fort. Muhammad Yar Khan, Islam Khan and Safi Khan 
declined, but Itiqad Khan and Saif-ullah Khan accepted 
mansabs and money to pay troops. As, however, Itiqad Khan 
was not treated according to his pretensions, he returned to Dihli 
after he had marched a stage or two. [K. K. 915.] 

By the 26th Zul Hijja (October 28th, 1 720) Abdullah Khan's 
camp was formed just outside Dihli in the direction of the 

* Muhammad Qasim Lahori, 363. The nickname above noted explains 
what Tod, Annals, ii. 100, could not understand, viz., the presence of a 
Prince with the Mahrattas in Ahmadabad, Hamid Khan figuring as an ally 
of those plunderers a few years after this time. For authorities see Khush- 
hal /. 1012a, and Sharaif-i-usmani, Irvine MS., p. 319. The name was one 
given him by Farrukh-siyar's courtiers. One day in the imperial hunting 
preserves Hamid Khan dismounted and, rushing forward, shouted, "Long 
live the Emperor!" and made his obeisance. The explanation leaves us 
nearly as much in the dark as before; I presume there was some breach 
of etiquette involved, which laid him open to the depreciatory epithet, 
B.M. MS., 1832, /. 33a. 


Idgah.* He moved on the 1st Muharram, 1133 H. (November 
1st, 1720) from Sarai Sahil to the Qutb, and then next day to 
Sarai Bakhtawar Khan. Abdullah Khan's first intention had 
been to wait near the capital the attack of the other side, 
supposed then to be marching through the Rajput States. But 
he soon learnt that the Emperor was not advancing direct upon 
the capital, while the nearness of the city facilitated the secret 
return of the soldiers to their homes. He therefore changed his 
direction. Ghulam Ali Khan, who had escaped from Muham- 
mad Shah's camp, was left behind in charge of Dihli, having 
with him Najabat Ali Khan, nephew and adopted son of Abdul- 
lah Khan, a boy of fourteen years of age. 

On the 10th (November 10th, 1720) camp was at Faridabad ; 
they then moved on to Palwal, where he was joined by Saif-ud- 
din Ali Khan, Shahamat Khan, his sons and relations, Sayyid 
Muhammad Khan, the eldest son of Asad-ullah Khan, Nawab 
Auliya, and Zulfiqar Ali Khan. The last two had been sent up 
by Husain Ali Khan to raise a corps of Barha Sayyids for 
service in the Dakhin. They brought in over twelve thousand 
horsemen. In their train came cartload after cartload of Sayyids 
who although unable to raise a horse to ride on, were eager for 
the fray and looked forward to the day when they would be 
riders on elephants. Finally Abdullah Khan fixed on Bilochpur, 
a village close to the Jamuna in pargana Palwal, as the place at 
which he intended to give battle. The inhabitants were turned 
out of the villages, and he entrenched himself. [Shiu 57, 68a ; 
K. K. 917.] 

At this time the strain upon Abdullah Khan's mind was so 
great that, meaning to say one thing he would utter something 
else. If he asked a question no one listened, and if he wanted 
a thing no one brought it. The men round him had quite lost 
their heads. This was seen by what happened at the Qutb. 
Following an old custom, Prince Ibrahim was taken to that 
shrine to have a turban bound round his head. The same was 

* The old Idgah is about three-fourths of a mile from the city wall, 
and to the west of it; see Constable's Hand Atlas, plate 47. Yahya Khan, 
/. 129b, says the first march was towards the Qutb, and Khafi Khan, 917, 
places the move to the Idgah on the 17th Zul Hijja. 


done to Abdullah Khan. A sword was then attached to the 
Emperor's waist, followed by a prostration at the Khwaja's 
shrine. It was usual when an Emperor went forth to war to 
loosen the string of a bow and place it near the blessed shrine. 
If the string returned of itself to its place, it was a sign of 
coming victory. Someone reminded Abdullah Khan of this 
observance. A bow was sought for, and the demand for one 
became known even outside the shrine. They waited from half 
to three quarters of an hour, but no attention was paid to the 
order, and no bow was brought. [Yahya 12%.] 

Before the armies met there were many desertions from 
Muhammad Shah's army, and the scattered soldiers of Husain 
Ali Khan began to rally round his brother. Rajah Muhkam 
Singh Khatri, after collecting as many as he could of the secret 
adherents of the Sayyids, fled from the Emperor's camp at 
midnight, leaving his tents standing and all his property behind. 
With him came Bahadur Khan, Ghaus Khan, Sayyid Kamal 
Khan, Sayyid Muhammad Khan, and others. Churaman Jat, 
in response to letters sent him by Abdullah Khan, had also 
deserted Muhammad Shah earlier and had begun to plunder, 
he and his advisers holding that in case of the Sayyids' defeat, 
it would be much easier to secure pardon from Muhammad Shah, 
than it would be, in the reverse case, to save themselves from 
the Sayyids' vengeance. The Jat brought in with him several 
elephants and horses that he had taken. This booty was offered 
to Abdullah Khan but returned as a gift to the captor. To 
Churaman was confided the duty of harassing the imperial 
force and plundering wherever he could. His orders were ' :> 
blow up, if possible, the imperial powder magazines or carry 
off the draught oxen of the gun carriages. But in this he was 
foiled by the watchful care of Haidar Quli Khan. [Shiu 58a ; 
K. K. 919-21 ; Sitoanih 67, 76.] 

Sec. 19. — The Emperor Muhammad Shah's Advance. 

We left Muhammad Shah encamped (October 30th, 1720) 
between Nandgaon and Barsana, about twenty miles from the 
Jamuna. In that poorly watered country it was imperative to 
acquire as speedily as possible a position commanding access 



to that river. They marched ten miles north-east to Deothan 
on the 3rd Muharram, 1133 H. (November 3rd, 1720). Two 
days afterwards they moved another twelve miles to Majhwi 
on the Jamuna. The heavy baggage was sent back to Sher- 
garh, a village owned by Biloch zamindars, six or seven miles 
to the rear, and some of the greater nobles and richer traders 
sent their families and dependants to the town of Mathura, 
over thirty miles away to the south. On the 11th Muharram 
camp was moved northwards six miles to near Shahpur, and 
again on the 12th (November 12th, 1720) five miles farther to 
a place near Hasanpur. Bilochpur, Abdullah Khan's position, 
is about six miles to the north of Hasanpur. Both places are 
on the right bank of the Jamuna in pargana Palwal.* 

Sec. 20. — Preparations for Battle. 

The force told off to take the field with Muhammad Shah 
was under the command of Muhammad Amin Khan and his son 
Qamar-ud-din Khan, Haidar Quli Khan, general of artillery, 
Khan Dauran, Sher Afkan Khan, Hizbar Khan, Hizbar Afkan 
Khan and Amin-ud-din Sambhali. Haidar Quli Khan went 
on in advance of the main body for several miles, and placed his 
artillery in a strongly entrenched position. The rear-guard with 
camp and baggage was left in charge of Rajah Gopal Singh 
Bhadauriya, Rajah Bahadur Rathor, of Kishngarh.f Jag Ram, 
diwan of Rajah Jai Singh Sawai, Mir Jumla, Mir Inayat-ullah 
Khan, Ikhlas Khan, Zafar Khan, Roshan-ud-daulah, Muham- 
mad Khan Bangash, Aziz Khan Chaghatai and Mir Mushrif. 
These leaders had under them 37,000 horsemen. The total 
numbers are not given, but three of the other contingents 
amounted to 27,000 horsemen ; and Khafi Khan estimates 
Muhammad Shah's army at less than half that of Abdullah 
Khan. [Shiu 58b, K. K. 921, Bayan 42, Khush-hal 1013b.] 

* Shiu Das, /. 58a; the Bayan-i-waqi, 431, says that Rajah Muhkam 
Singh, and the others already referred to, joined Abdullah Khan in the 
night between the 12th and 13th Muharram. According to the Ahwal-ul- 
khawaqin, \77a, the armies met in the plain of Dholkot, for which see 
Indian Atlas, sheet 49, S. W. 

t Khush-hal 1013b, says "of Rupnagar." 


Khan Dauran, Samsam-ud-daulah, commanded on the left 
wing, supported by Nusrat Yar Khan, Sabit Khan, Sayadat 
Khan and others ; while the right rested on the river. The 
wings of the centre were under Azam Khan, and its advance 
guard under Qamar-ud-din Khan, Azim-ullah Khan, and Tali 
Yar Khan. The centre was held by Muhammad Amin Khan, 
the new Wazir, Sher Afkan Khan, Hadi Khan, and Tarbiyat 
Khan. In reserve were Asad Ali Khan, Saif-ullah Khan, 
Mahamid Khan, Amin-ud-din Khan, and the contingent of 
Rajah Jai Singh Sawai, ready to reinforce either the right or 
left wings as might be necessary, and to protect the imperial 
harem. [Ibid.] 

On Abdullah Khan's side, after many changes of plan, 
positions were assigned to the several commanders for the 
morrow's battle. Round the ex-Wazir gathered all the Barha 
Sayyids who had flocked to the assistance of their clansman, 
those who had no horses marching on foot round his elephant. 
Abdullah Khan took command on his right, where he was 
opposed to Khan Dauran ; making over the left, where less 
danger was anticipated, to Ghazi-ud-din Khan, the new Mir 
Bakhshi. At the head of the artillery and the vanguard 
Najm-ud-din Ali Khan was placed, aided by Saif-ud-din Ali 
Khan, Sayyid Muhammad Khan, Shahamat Khan, Tahawar 
Ali Khan, Shujaat-ullah Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Abdun-nabi 
Khan, and Muzaffar Khan. [K. K. 918, Bayan 433.] 

There was great difficulty in forcing the Sayyids into any 
sort of subordination, no one of them being ready to serve 
under another, and thus the two wings could not be properly 
constituted, each man taking up his position where it seemed 
best to himself. Other leaders who took the field for Sultan 
Ibrahim and Abdullah Khan were Hamid Khan, Saif-ullah 
Khan, Bairam Khan, Nimat-ullah Khan, Amir Khan, Sayyid 
Salabat Khan, Abdul-ghani Khan, Ikhlas Khan Afghan, 
Umar Khan Rohela, Dindar Khan, Abdul-qadir Khan, 
Sibghat-ullah Khan, (alias Shaikhu) of Lakhnau, Ghulam Muhi- 
ud-din Khan, Diler Khan, Shuja Khan Palwali, and Abdullah 
Khan Tarin. In all there were seventy chieftains riding on 


Abdullah Khan's own division numbered twenty-five 
thousand horsemen under command of his Batyishis, Abul 
Hasan Khan, Sayyid Ali Khan, and Hiraman. With the other 
details we have a total of forty thousand horse and eighteen 
thousand foot. The rest of the army, consisting chiefly of new 
levies, was left behind in charge of the baggage and of Prince 
Ibrahim. Rajah Muhkam Singh Khatri. who had escaped from 
the imperial camp the night before the battle, commanded in 
the rear, with orders to support the new troops, whose 
staunchness was doubted. With the Rajah were Khudadad 
Khan, Khan Mirza, and the seven or eight hundred horsemen 
who had followed him in his flight. [K. K. 923, Siwanih 78.] 

During the night Abdullah Khan sent out Tahavvar Ali 
Khan and Sayyid Zulfiqar Ali Khan to reconnoitre. At a little 
distance from the imperialist camp they came across some 
Rohela horsemen. Tahavvar Ali, on being challenged, went 
forward and declared himself to be one of Nusrat Yar Khan 
Barha's men, and that he had been sent by Khan Dauran to spy 
out the position of Abdullah Khan. He went on talking till 
Zulfiqar Ali Khan and his men rode up. Three of the Rohelas 
were captured, two escaped. Afraid of pursuit, the Sayyid 
made off with the prisoners to his own camp. About midnight 
the prisoners were produced before Abdullah Khan, and in 
answer to his questions they said they belonged to the force of 
Aziz Khan Chaghatai, that Bayazid Khan Mewati was in charge 
of the rear tents and the pavilion of the Emperor. Owing to the 
Jats having plundered during the preceding day in the rear of 
the camp and carried off some elephants, Muhammand Amin 
Khan had ordered Afghan patrols to be sent out. That night 
it was the turn of Aziz Khan, who sent out these men with orders 
to announce at once the approach of any Jats. Aziz Khan 
himself lay in ambush with one thousand men. The Bangash 
Afghans and Saadat Khan were on the left wing. Haidar Quli 
Khan, with the artillery, was in advance of the main body. 
This was the story got from the prisoners. 

Abdullah Khan sent for one of his officers, Umar Khan 
Rohela, to interrogate the men further. They told him of the 
gifts and honours conferred on Aziz Khan, and that he had 


brought with him over six thousand Mewati Afghans. The 
Jats, they said, were for ever plundering, and the Rohelas, 
being held equally proficient in the art of robbery, had been 
ordered out as videttes. The talk went on for several hours, 
mostly in the Afghan tongue. The men were then rewarded 
and released. [Siwanih 79.] 

Sec. 21. — The Battle of Hasanpur. 

Early in the morning of Wednesday, the 13th Muharram, 
1133 H. (November 13th, 1720), before the sun rose, Muhammad 
Shah mounted his elephant Padshah-pasand and took his place 
in the centre. In the Emperor's immediate retinue were Sayyid 
Ikram Ali Khan and Shaikh Ghaffar-ullah with the red and the 
yellow regiments, the Bhil and Karnatik matchlockmen, the 
mace-bearers and the Ahadis (gentlemen-troopers). Haidar 
Quli Khan was sent on ahead with the strong artillery force 
under his command, while Khan Dauran and Sabit Khan were 
ordered to follow and support him with the left wing. 
Muhammad Khan Bangash and Saadat Khan were sent 
towards the river and the rear. Round His Majesty's 
person were the new Wazir Muhammad Amin Khan and 
his son Qamar-ud-din Khan, Dil-diler Khan, Sher Afkan 
Khan, Hizbar Afkan Khan and others. Zafar Khan, 
Fakhr-ud-din Khan, his brother, Rajah Raj Bahadur of Kishn- 
garh, Nusrat Yar Khan, Jag Ram, Jai Singh's diwan, Aziz Khan, 
Mir Mushrif, and Rajah Gopal Singh Bhadauriya, were placed 
in charge of the main camp, which was at a distance of one kps 
from the position taken up by the Emperor. The prisoner, 
Ratan Chand, was now sent for. He was brought before the 
Emperor on an elephant ; he was then made to dismount and 
was at once executed. The severed head was thrown before 
the Emperor's elephant and trodden under foot. [Shiu 59b, 
Kamwar240, K. K. 924-28, Khush-hal 1013b.] 

Churaman Jat, who was hovering near the army on the west, 
cut off many followers and penetrated into the camp. But the 
above-named Rajahs drove him out again. Next the Jats 
attacked on the south, whence they carried off some private 
goods and part of the imperial baggage. Zafar Khan, Muzaffar 


Khan, and Muhammad Khan Bangash once more repelled 
them. They then made a further attempt on the east side. 
Here Mir Mushrif and Alwi Khan Tarin, of Lakhnau, met and 
defeated them. But the uproar was so great, that the camp- 
followers and traders in their fright jumped into the Jamuna and 
tried to swim across it, many losing their lives in the attempt. 
By three o'clock the baggage camp was moved to a safer place, 
and the confusion continuing, it was again moved still farther 
off. [Shiu 60a.] 

When Najm-ud-din AH Khan, at the head of the Sayyid 
vanguard,* appeared in the distance from the direction of the 
river, Haidar Quli Khan, the imperial Mir Atash, moved out 
his cannon into the open and encountered the advancing 
enemy with a storm of balls from his big guns and his field- 
pieces. The fire was so continuous and heavy that the artillery 
of the other side was silenced. After every volley Haidar Quli 
Khan urged on his men by lavish gifts of gold and silver. As 
the artillery advanced the rest of the army followed and 
occupied the ground. Stimulated by their commander's 
liberality the gunners worked zealously, and a second set of 
guns were loaded by the time the first were discharged. Khan 
Dauran's troops moved in support of the imperial artillery, 
Sanjar Khan and Dost AH Khan, in command of that noble's 
guns, particularly distinguishing themselves. The latter was 
wounded in the foot. Sayyid Nusrat Yar Khan and Sabit Khan 
also took a leading part, while Saadat Khan and Muhammad 
Khan Bangash created a diversion on the left. During the day 
a rocket fell on Sayyid Abdullah Khan's powder magazine, 
exploding it and causing much loss of life. [Khush-hal 1015b, 
Shiu 59b.] 

Throughout the day of the 13th the battle was chiefly one 
of artillery. The brunt of the fighting on Abdullah Khan's side 
was borne by his brother Najm-ud-din AH Khan, who was com- 
manding his vanguard. Originally the Sayyids had intended to 

* Khush-hal, /. 1014a, b, has a different distribution of commands. 
Shahamat Khan he puts in the vanguard, and Saif-ud-din Ali Khan at 
the head of the artillery. Najm-ud-din Khan was, he says, on the right 
wing, and Ghazi-ud-din Khan Kosa in charge of the left. 

1720] sayyid Abdullah's artillery overpowered 87 

rely on a general onset. But Rajah Muhkam Singh, who had 
deserted from the imperialists, dissuaded them, pointing out 
that to charge down on such a powerful artillery as the other 
side possessed would be to expose themselves to destruction. 
Their own small supply of guns ought, he said, to be entrenched 
in a good position on the edge of some ravine, and there they 
could await the favour of events. Although Muhkam Singh had 
acquired in the Dakhin the highest reputation as a soldier, his 
advice was not adopted. The Sayyids' artillery was placed on 
a high mound under the shelter of some trees near a deserted 
village, and they tried to subdue the other side's fire to the 
extent of their ability. One of their shot passed to the left of 
Muhammad Shah's elephant, at two or three yards* distance 
and close to Khush-hal Chand, the historian's horse, he being 
on the right side of Sher Afkan Khan. It struck the ground two 
arrows' flight off, ricocheted a little, and wounded a horseman. 
[Qasim 374, Khush-hal 1015.] 

In the field the usual scattered fighting with charges and 
countercharges went on all day, and at one time it looked as 
if the imperialists would give way. But Khan Dauran, Sayyid 
Nusrat Yar Khan, Sabit Khan, Dost AH Khan, Sayyid Hamid 
Khan and Asad Ali Khan, by redoubled exertions, prevented a 
catastrophe. Finding he needed reinforcements, Khan Dauran 
sent a eunuch to the Emperor, who detached Sher Afkan 
Khan from the centre to his relief. Some of the Sayyids' field- 
pieces were taken, and the remainder were forced to move 
from their sheltered position under the trees. Among those 
who lost their lives were Shaikh Sibghat-ullah of Lakhnau, three 
sons, and seventy of his men ; Abdul-qadir Khan Tatthawi, 
nephew of Qazi Mir Bahadur-Shahi, Abdul-ghani Khan (son of 
Abdur-rahim Khan Alamgiri), Ghulam Muhi-ud-din Khan, and 
the son of Shuja Khan Palwali. Many soldiers were also 

Abdullah Khan had decided to single out for attack the 
force under Sayyid Nusrat Yar Khan, who had command of the 
advanced guard near the Emperor. Against this man the 

* Bayan-i-waqi, 437; K. K. 925, 930; Khush-hal 1017a; Shiu Das, /. 61a. 


Sayyids had a special grudge, because he, one of their own 
clan and a relation, had sided against them. Having swept him 
on one side, Abdullah Khan hoped to be able to push on to 
Muhammad Shah's centre. First of all, he tried to make his 
way to his objective from his own left, but found the river such 
an obstacle that he changed his direction and moved across his 
front to the right of his own army. As soon as the movement 
was detected reinforcements were sent for, the Emperor's centre 
having been left very weak. The generals who were summon- 
ed objected to quit their posts. The artillery present with the 
Emperor's division was then despatched towards the river to 
bar the way, and part of the vanguard was also transferred to 
the same point. [Bayan, 435-44!.] 

Unfortunately the change in Abdullah Khan's line of 
advance resulted in his being drawn away from the river bank, 
and thus his main position was now some miles from the water 
side. The battle had continued till the afternoon, and so far 
Abdullah Khan showed no signs of discouragement ; but his 
men, more especially the new levies, became uneasy and soon 
lost their heads completely. On pretence of watering their 
horses and camels they rode off towards the river, or as one 
writer puts it, "flew away like so many sparrows.'' At the river 
they found the banks in the possession of their opponents. 
Group after group, on the pretext of getting water, left the 
standard ; these desertions continued until sunset, and all night 
long from the camp to Barahpula just outside Dihli, the road 
was encumbered with fugitives. At nightfall there were not 
more than a few thousands left of the huge host which had set 
out from Dihli a few days before.* 

At first Abdullah Khan had ordered a small tent to be put 
up for the night where he stood, but countermanded it when he 
reflected that it would be a target for the enemy's fire. The 
night was a moonlight one, and the imperial artillery never 
ceased its fire. If any man stirred in the Sayyid position or 
showed himself, a gun was at once pointed in that direction and 
discharged. From time to time the guns were dragged forward, 

*Qasim, 376; Shiu Das, 60b; Khush-hal 1016a; Ahwal 177b. 


the oxen being harnessed to the muzzle, instead of as usual to 
the breach end of the gun. Among the guns were those named 
Ghazi Khan and Shah Pasand. These heavy guns were fired 
oftener than had ever been done before in the recollection of 
the oldest man. Haidar Quli Khan kept up the energy of his 
men by continual largesse. Abdullah Khan's troops continued 
to abscond in small parties. On the other side, Muhammad 
Shah passed the night seated on his elephant so near the 
vanguard as to be under fire. 

When day dawned on the 14th Muharram (November 14th, 
1720) Abdullah Khan found his army reduced to a few of his 
relations and his veteran troops. They were altogether not 
more than one thousand horsemen. These resumed the fight 
to the best of their power. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan and Saif-ud- 
din Ali Khan, the ex-Wazir's younger brothers, Sayyid Afzal 
Khan Sadar-us-sadur, and Rai Tek Chand, Bali Khatri, his chief 
officer, Ghazi-ud-din Khan (Ahmad Beg), Nawab Allahyar 
Khan Shahjahani, Sayyid Salabat Khan and Ruhullah Khan 
were found among those faithful few who had passed a sleep- 
less night upon their elephants, having had neither food nor 
water for many hours. Access to the riverside was blocked by 
the Jats, who plundered impartially friend and foe. As dawn 
was drawing near a ball struck the seat upon Muhkam Singh's 
elephant. The Rajah descended, mounted his horse and 
galloped off, and for many a day it was not known whether 
he was alive or dead.* 

Early in the morning, returning to his place of the previous 
day, Abdullah Khan, joined by Najm-ud-din Ali Khan and 
many Barha chiefs, again delivered an attack in the hope of 
reaching the Emperor's centre. The imperial left opposed a 
stout resistance to this onset, and at length dismounted to 
continue the fight on foot at close quarters. Shahamat Khan 
and his son Pirzada, Fath Muhammad Khan, Tahawar Ali 
Khan (better known as Bahadur Ali Khan), and many others on 
the Sayyids' side, were slain. Darvesh Ali Khan, head of 

*Qasim, 378; Bayan-i-waqi, 438, 441, 443; K. K. 925, 928; Shiu Das, 
61a; Khafi Khan, 328, says the Sayyids had 17,000 to 18,000 men left. 


Khan Dawran's artillery, was killed ; Dost Ali Khan* and Nusrat 
Yar Khan were severely wounded. Saadat Khan and Sher 
Afkan Khan were also prominent in this encounter. Abdun- 
nabi Khan and Maya Ram, two of Haidar Quli Khan's officers, 
and Muhammad Jafar (grandson of Husain Khan) were the only 
other men of name who lost their lives on the imperial side. 
Najm-ud-din Ali Khan was wounded by an arrow near the eye,f 
and a ball from a swivel gun struck him on the knee. 

After a time the men of Khan Dauran, Haidar Quli Khan, 
Saadat Khan, and Muhammad Khan Bangash, surrounded the 
ex-Wazir, and an arrow struck him on the forehead, inflicting a 
skin wound. The soldiers then tried to make him a prisoner ; 
but, clad in chain-mail though he was, he leapt to the ground 
sword in hand, intent on fighting to the death. In spite of 
their knowing his practice of fighting on foot at the crisis of a 
battle, the Wazir's troops, when they saw his elephant without a 
rider, imagined that their leader must have fled, and each man 
began to think only of his own safety. Sayyid Ali Khan (brother 
of Abul Muhsin Khan, the Bakhshi) was wounded and taken. 
Then Tali Yar Khan charged at the head of his men and cut 
down Shaikh Nathu, commanding Abdullah Khan's artillery, 
and the Rajputs came up, took possession of the Shaikh's body 
and carried it to the imperial camp. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan and 
Gazi-ud-din Khan did their utmost to rally the men, but no 
one paid them any heed. Shujaat-ullah Khan, Zulfiqar Ali 
Khan and Abdullah Khan Tarin fled. Even Saif-ud-din Ali 
Khan thought the day was lost and left the field along with two 
or three hundred men, taking with him Prince Ibrahim, who 
quitted his elephant and mounted a horse. Ibrahim's elephant 
and imperial umbrella were afterwards found and taken to 
Muhammad Shah. The feebleness of the defence on the 
Sayyids' part would be fully proved if we believe, as Warid 

* Dost Ali Khan died of his wounds on the 9th Ramzan, 1 134 H. 
(June 23, 1722). 

t He lost his eye from this wound, and the glass ball by which he 
replaced it was a subject of wonder to the common people for the rest 
of his life, M. U. ii. 508, K. K. 930. 


tells us, that after two days' fighting only forty men were left 
dead on the field.* 

Najm-ud-din AH Khan, a drawn sword in his hand, rode on 
to enquire for and search out his brother. He found Abdullah 
Khan standing on the ground quite alone, and although wounded 
in the hand still fighting like a lion, while on every side the 
crowd of his assailants grew greater every minute. So far not 
one of them had had the courage to lay hands upon him ; al- 
though one of Khan Dauran's men had wounded him on a 
finger of the right hand. Najm-ud-din AH Khan dismounted 
from his elephant and took his position at his brother's side. 
Abdullah Khan called out to him : "Behold the inconstancy of 
Fortune, and the end of all earthly greatness," adding a verse of 
Sadi Shirazi, fitting to the occasion. f Haidar Quli Khan, who 
had noticed that the howda of Abdullah Khan's elephant was 
empty, made enquiries and was informed by one of his soldiers 
that the Nawab was on foot, bare-headed, and wounded in the 
arm. Coming up at once with a led elephant, Haidar Quli 
Khan addressed the Sayyid, in the humblest manner, with words 
of praise and flattery: "Was he not a well-wisher, and was 
not his life one with his? Except to set forth for the presence 
of the Emperor what course was there left?" Najm-ud-din 
AH Khan made a movement to cut down the speaker, but 
Abdullah Khan held his brother back. Then with a haughty 
and dignified air he took Najm-ud-din AH Khan's hand and 
mounted the led elephant. Throwing the Sayyid a shawl to 
wind round his head, Haidar Quli Khan followed on his own 
elephant, and conducted his prisoner to the Emperor Muham- 
mad Shah.l 

*Qasim\ 378; Warid, 164b; Bayan-i-waqi, 447; K. K. 931. 

t Khizr Khan, who took part in the battle as one of the Sayyid's 
army, was near enough to know that Abdullah Khan called out, but from 
the uproar could not hear his words. Some years afterwards, in 1138 H. 
(1725-6), he met at Mathura Najm-ud-din Ali Khan, then on his way to 
Ahmadabad, and obtained from him the details in the text. Khafi Khan 
makes out that Abdullah Khan claimed aman (safety for life) by announcing 
himself as a Sayyid. 

% Siwanih-i-Khizri, 92, 93; Shiu Das, 61a; Khush-hal 1018b; Khafi 
Khan, 933 ; Bayan-i-uoaqi, 446. Khush-hal attributes the capture of Najm- 


His hands bound together with Haidar Quli Khan's shawl, 
Abdullah Khan was ushered into the presence of Muhammad 
Shah. Saluting him with a "Peace be upon you," the Emperor 
said : "Sayyid, you have yourself brought your affairs to this 
extremity." Overcome with shame, Abdullah Khan answered 
only : "It is God's will." Muhammad Amin Khan, unable to 
contain himself, leapt from the ground with joy and exclaimed : 
"Let this traitor to his salt be confided to this ancient servitor." 
But Khan Dauran in respectful terms intervened: "Never! 
Never ! Make not the Sayyid over to Muhammad Amin Khan, 
for he will at once slay him in an ignominious manner ; such a 
deed is inadvisable ; what did Farrukh-siyar gain by the murder 
of Zulfiqar Khan? Let him remain with Haidar Quli Khan or 
be made over to the Emperor's own servants." The prisoner 
was accordingly made over to Haidar Quli Khan, along with 
Najm-ud-din AH Khan, his brother, whose wounds were so 
severe that he was not expected to recover. Hamid Khan was 
also taken a prisoner and brought, bare-headed and bare-footed, 
before his cousin, Muhammad Amin Khan, and Khan Dauran. 
The new Wazir calmed his fears and assured him of being 
tenderly dealt with. There were many other prisoners, the chief 
among them being Sayyid Ali Khan, brother of Abul Muhsin 
Khan, and Abdun-nabi Khan. [Qasim 379, K. K. 933, Bayan 

On the Sayyids' side the entrenchments were held and the 
fight maintained by Ghazi-ud-din Khan and others for nearly an 
hour after the capture of Abdullah Khan. When at length they 
were satisfied that the day was lost, they desisted. Ghazi-ud- 
din Khan moved off the field with such baggage as had been 
saved, and, with Allahyar Khan and many others, made straight 
for Dihli ; while the Barha Sayyids endeavoured to cross the 
Jamuna in order to make their way to their homes. Saif-ud-din 
Ali Khan had brought Prince Ibrahim off the field of battle, but 
owing to the entire absence of carriage was obliged to leave him 
in the orchard of Qutb-ud-din Khan, close to the village of 

ud-din Ali Khan to his patron, Sher Afkan Khan, giving details and 
asserting that the writer's uncle, Khem Karan, was close by. 

1720] Abdullah's camp and dihli home plundered 93 

Nekpur. Saif-ud-din AH Khan went home to Jansath, sending 
Baqir AH Khan and Khizr Khan to Dihli to bring away the 
Sayyid women and dependants. These messengers reached the 
capital before the Emperor, and carried off the ladies and 
children to the Sayyids' country. 

Late in the evening of the 14th Muharram, 1133 H. 
(November 14, 1720), news reached Dihli of the defeat and 
capture of Abdullah Khan. His wives and women, a numerous 
body, nearly took leave of their senses. Many of the concubines, 
seizing their chance, threw old veils and sheets over their rich 
clothes and made off with whatever they could lay their hands 
upon. The man in charge, one Abdullah Khan Kashi, made no 
attempt to do his duty, and in the confusion a ten-year old 
daughter of Najm-ud-din AH Khan took refuge in the house of 
a Mirasin or singer, attached to the Sayyids, where she was dis- 
covered and seized by the Emperor's adherents. The girl was 
placed in charge of the Emperor's mother, Nawab Qudsiya, 
who proposed to marry her to Muhammad Shah. Abdullah 
Khan complained to Haidar Quli Khan that such a thing had 
never been done before to a Barha Sayyid. That noble, by 
much persuasion, obtained possession of the child and sent her 
to Najm-ud-din AH Khan's house. 

To return to the field of battle. The Mughal soldiery, as 
their custom was, took to plundering, and appropriated to them- 
selves whatever horses, camels, mules and cattle fell into their 
hands. Churaman Jat followed suit, and plundering both sides 
with strict impartiality, made off with his booty to his own 
country. Among his spoils were one thousand baggage oxen 
and camels, which had been left negligently on a high sandy 
mound close to the river, several camel-loads of goods intended 
for charitable distribution, and the records of the Grand 
Almoner's Department. [Qasim 381, Shiu 61a, K. K. 930.] 

Sec. 22. — Capture of Prince Ibrahim. 

After Sayyid Saif-ud-din AH Khan had removed Prince 
Ibrahim from the battle-field, finding it impossible to escort 
him to a place of safety, he made him over to the Sayyids of the 


village Nekpur, in pargana Palwal* some miles from the field. 
Those villagers were unable to protect him and refused him 
shelter. With him were Amir Khan, whose family had been 
for generations in the royal service, and some others. He sat 
down with these few companions in a mango orchard belonging 
to Qutb-ud-din AH Khan, and not far from the houses. His 
men suggested that if he would move elsewhere, they would not 
desert him. The Prince replied that he considered this battle 
as a final teet of his fortunes ; if sovereignty had been meant for 
him, the fact would have declared itself by a different result. 
He had now nowhere to go. By this time the Prince's place of 
shelter had been traced, and Haidar Quli Khan, Zafar Khan, 
and Qamar-ud-din Khan came to arrest him.f 

When these men had made their obeisance he rose up and 
came with them. That night, when he reached the Presence, 
Muhammad Shah embraced him and made him sit down beside 
him, asking : "How have you come?" The Prince answer- 
ed: "By the way you came." His Majesty said: "Who 
brought you?" He replied : 'The person who brought you." 
The allusion is, of course, to the fact that they had both been 
set on the throne by one and the same man, Abdullah Khan. 
An allowance of forty Rupees a day was fixed for Ibrahim's 
maintenance, and he was sent back to prison in the citadel of 
Shahjahanabad. There he died on the 8th Muharram 1159 H. 
(January 30th, 1746) at the estimated age of fifty years. As a 
quatrain quoted by Khush-hal Chand says, his day of power had 
been shortlived, "like a drop of dew upon a blade of grass. "J 

* Perhaps Begpur, pargana Palwal, near the Jamuna, and about 15 
miles north of Bilochpur. See Indian Atlas, sheet 49, S. E. ; I can find no 

t The Bayan-i-waqi, p. 448, omits Haidar Quli Khan and inserts Saadat 
Khan. There is a story that at daybreak Ibrahim reached the takiya oi a 
faqir in Nekpur, and asked for a mouthful of water. The Prince rewarded 
him with four gold coins. The recluse began to prepare breakfast for 
him, but before he could eat, his pursuers arrived and seized him, Khush- 
hal, fol. 1020a. 

tShiu Das, /. 61b; Khafi Khan, 933; Rustam Ali, 249a; Tarikh-i- 
Muhammadi (year 1I59H.). 

1720] sayyid villages in barha saved from plunder 95 

Sec. 23. — End of Abdullah Khan. 

Muhammad Shah announced the victory to his adherent, 
Nizam-ul-mulk, in the following terms : "After the death of 
Husain Ali Khan we marched towards the capital, as soon as 
we had heard that Abdullah Khan had raised Prince Ibrahim to 
the throne and was planning resistance. Nor would he listen to 
our remonstrances. On the 12th Muharram of our second year 
we pitched our tents twenty /?os from Dihli. Next day the 
battle began and lasted from morn to night. On the following 
day the imperial troops charged the rebels, Abdullah Khan was 
captured, and Ibrahim, who had fled from the field, was 
brought back a prisoner." [Majma-ul-insha, 86. J 

Inayat-ullah Khan and the officers of the Escheat Depart- 
ment (buyutat) were now sent with all despatch to confiscate 
the late Wazir's property together with that of all his relatives 
and dependants. Sayyid Ghulam Ali Khan, who had been left 
in charge of Dihli as the Sayyid's deputy, directly he heard of 
the great disaster, collected all the gold and jewels he could lay 
hands upon, and in the confusion got clear away, thanks to the 
disguise he had adopted. Sayyid Najabat Ali Khan, nephew 
and adopted son of the defeated Wazir, and then a boy of 
thirteen or fourteen years, was seized and sent to share his 
uncle's prison. [K. K. 934.] 

After this seizure, there was at this time no further pursuit 
of the fugitive Sayyids ; their home villages were not confiscated 
nor their houses plundered. This forbearance is attributed to 
the intercession of SayyicJ Nusrat Yar Khan, a native of the 
Barha village of Kaithora,* who had taken the side of the 
Turanis. Muhammad Amin Khan, however, did not approve 
of this clemency, and gave orders to his amil or manager, 
Abdul-latif Beg, then present with five thousand horsemen in 
the new Wazir's fiefs of Budaon and Sambhal, to cross the 
Ganges into the Duaba and lay waste the Barha country. 
Nothing came of this attempt. The Sayyids collected the Gujars 

* Kaithora or Kathora, one of the principal of the thirty-two villages 
occupied by the Chatbanuri branch of the Barha Sayyids, see Sayyid 
Roshan Ali's MS., Sayyid-ut-tawarikh (composed in 1864 A.D.). 


and other tribes dwelling on their estates, and "broke the 
covetous teeth of the Mughals" ; and as that "old dodger," 
Muhammad Amin Khan, died soon after, they were left for the 
time in peace. [Qasim 384.] 

Meanwhile Sayyid Abdullah Khan remained a prisoner in 
the citadel of Dihli under the charge of Haidar Quli Khan, who, 
after the death of Muhammad Amin Khan, was high in the 
imperial favour. The Sayyid was treated with respect, receiving 
delicate food to eat and fine clothes to wear. But so long as he 
survived the Mughals remained uneasy, not knowing what 
sudden change of fortune might happen. Thus they never 
ceased their efforts to alarm Muhammad Shah. At one time, 
according to them, Rajah Ajit Singh, of Jodhpur, intended to 
make his own submission and loyalty conditional on the release 
of the Sayyid. From time to time other rumours were put 
into circulation. At last Abdullah Khan was removed from 
Haidar Quli Khan's care to a place near the imperial apartments, 
where he continued to be well treated. Two years elapsed, 
but the Mughals never ceased in their plotting, until at length 
they obtained the Emperor's consent to the administration of 
poison.* Sayyid Qutb-ul-mulk, Abdullah Khan, died of poison 
given in his food on the 1st Muharram 1135 H. (October 11, 
1722), being then about fifty-seven (lunar) years of age. He 
left no children. In accordance with his dying wishes he was 
buried at the side of his favourite mistress, a singing woman 
called Kesar Mahi, in a walled garden outside the Pumba gate 
of Old Dihli. This garden was situated on the high road to the 
shrine of the saint Nizam-ud-din Auliya ; it had been presented 
to Qutb-ul-mulk by Rajah Bakht Mai, diwan of the Khalsa.f 

Sec. 24.— The two Sayyids : their Character and Conduct. 

Muhammad Shah ordered that the Sayyids should be 
referred to after their death, the one as Namak-haram and the 

* Khafi Khan, 941, cannot conceive it possible that Nizam-ul-mulk, 
although a Mughal, had any share in these plots, but al ilm ind allah ! 
"God only knows !" 

t Jauhar-i-samsam of Muhsin Sadiqi, son of Hanif, B.M. Oriental MS. 
No. 1898. I quote from A. R. Fuller's translation, B.M. Addl. MS. No. 


jther as Haram-namak, an order which Nizam-ul-mulk objected 
o and refused to comply with. [K. K. 941.] 

Alamgir does not seem to have been fond of Barha Sayyids. 
Dnce in the official news-letter from Ahmadabad it was reported 
that Sayyid Hasan Ali Khan Bahadur (afterwards Abdullah 
iChan), had shown promptitude in attacking and plundering 
me Hanwant, and had also captured the nephew of Janaji and 
orced him to become a Muhammadan. Zulfiqar Khan, Nusrat 
[ang, then on a campaign against Dhana Jadon, heard of these 
:eats and sent to Court a proposal for raising the rank of both 
brothers, the elder from 800 to 1,000, and the younger from 
700 to 800. Alamgir wrote across this report: "Wherefore 
should I not offer congratulations? But the very fact of their 
being Sayyids, those fountains of felicity, demands hearty exer- 
tions from them in support of the Pure Faith of their ancestor, 
His Majesty the Lord of Apostles. Let two robes of honour 
for the two brothers be issued from my private wardrobe, and 
let them be sent together with two swords, jewel-hilted and 
provided with pearl-mounted belts. Let Jamdat-ul-mulk (i.e., 
the Wazir) write much praise and many congratulations when 
sending these presents." 

Then, on the petition received from Zulfiqar Khan, he 
wrote : The proposition of that servant of my house, who 
knows my way of thinking, was exceedingly out of place. It 
is a matter of course for men of the sword (saif) to punish 
leaders of strife (kflif)- But to agree to immediate promotion 
is difficult. Love for Sayyids, those men of high lineage, is an 
obligation imposed by the Holy Faith, nay, is a proof of having 
fully accepted it ; while to harm that clan is to expose one's 
self to the displeasure of the Most Merciful. But no action 
should be taken which produces evil in this, and disgrace in the 
next world. Undue favour to the Barha Sayyids will be dis- 
astrous in both worlds. For when promoted or exalted they 
say: 'I am and there is none other,' and stray from the path 
of duty. They lift their gaze too high and begin to cause 

30,784, p. 79. The name Kesar Mahi seems of doubtful accuracy, but the 
words are so written most plainly in the Persian text. See also Rustam 
Ali, Tarikh-i-Hindi, fat. 250a; Qasim ; Kamwar, p. 255; and Tarikh-i- 
Muhammadi (year 1 135 H.). 



trouble. If this attitude is overlooked, the business of this 
world ceases to be carried out ; if it is punished, objections will 
arise in the other world."* 

In spite of the opposition he had encountered from the 
Sayyids, Nizam-ul-mulk is said to have done his best to protect 
Abdullah Khan's life after his fall from power. Khafi Khan, 
who tells us this fact, thinks it only fair to record his tribute to 
the good qualities of the two brothers, since he has said so 
much about their misdeeds. He attributes the disrespect shown 
to Farrukh-siyar with all the bribe-taking and harshness in 
revenue-farming, to the bad influence of Ratan Chand, the 
Wazir's chief official. Up to the time of his leaving for the 
Dakhin, Husain Ali Khan had shown extreme aversion to taking 
money irregularly ; afterwards, Muhkam Singh Khatri, and 
others did their best to pervert him. But both brothers were 
really friendly to the poor and non-oppressive in disposition. 
The townsmen, who were left to live in peace, made no 
complaints against them. They were liberal to the learned and 
the necessitous, and full of consideration for the deserving. In 
these respects Husain Ali Khan was even more conspicuous 
than his elder brother. The younger brother began a reservoir 
in Aurangabad, afterwards enlarged by Iwaz Khan, which 
formed a welcome addition to the scanty water-supply in that 
town. He also built in the Barha country a sarai, a bridge, 
and other works for the public benefit. [K. K. 941, 943.] 

Abdullah Khan was remarkable for forbearance, patience, 
and extreme humanity. When Haidar Quli Khan was jaujdar 
of Surat he confiscated the estate of Abdul-ghaffur Bohra, a 
wealthy merchant recently deceased, in spite of the existence 
of legal heirs. The line of action adopted by Abdullah Khan 
was most commendable. Haidar Quli Khan was removed from 
office and the estate made over to the rightful owners. Husain 
Ali Khan, within whose jurisdiction Surat was situated, passed 
a sleepless night thinking over the matter. Upon the release of 
the property not one dam or dirham was kept back. The 
younger Sayyid is also applauded for upholding the bazar people 

Ahkam-i-Alamgiri, Irvine MS., No. 252, fol. 23b. 


against a false complaint brought by his own elephant-driver. 
{K. K. 943.] 

The conduct of the Wazir in the case of the East India 
Company's embassy to Farrukh-siyar's Court is also very much 
to be commended. Misled by his Armenian colleague, John 
Surman had negotiated through Khan Dauran, the second 
Bakhshi, instead of through the Wazir. When Khan Dauran 
had reaped all the benefit he could and had wasted nearly two 
years, he repudiated the whole affair. The envoys were at last 
forced to apply to Abdullah Khan. According to oriental 
standards of conduct, this tardy application gave a splendid 
opening for avenging the previous neglect. Nothing of the 
sort happened. Abdullah Khan, when the Englishmen went to 
him, was affable and helpful, also, for a wonder, most prompt 
in action. The preparation of the desired farmans was carried 
through in a few weeks ; and still more wonderful, the Wazir 
accepted no present. We need not be surprised that Surman 
should style him "the Good Visier." 

The Surman diaries also yield an indication that Abdullah 
Khan was not quite strict in the observance of Muhammadan 
rules. "Hearing the Visier drinks," the envoys sent him a 
handsome present of Shiraz wine and brandy ; and we are not 
told of its being returned with indignation and resented as an 

Another entry in the Surman diaries shows Abdullah 
Khan's kind heart. At the envoys* last audience Farrukh-siyar 
refused to allow the departure of William Hamilton, the 
surgeon who had attended him in his illness. In this emergency 
they invoked the aid of Abdullah Khan, and "the good visier 
readily offered to use his utmost endeavours." He wrote a 
very pathetic address to His Majesty, in which an imaginary 
wife and children in Scotland were introduced to heighten the 
effect. On Hamilton's promising a speedy return to India, 
Farrukh-siyar yielded a reluctant consent to his departure.* 

The Barha Sayyids have remained almost to our own day 
more or less Indian in their practices. Thus it is no surprise 

* C. R. Wilson's Early Annals, Vol. II, Part 2, "The Surman Diary," 
PP. 74, 131 133, 142, 143, 200, 202, 203, 205. 


to learn from a contemporary historian that Abdullah Khan 
observed the Basant or spring festival, and the Holi powder- 
throwing usual among Hindus. In another direction he dis- 
played superstition. Anand Ram Mukhlis noticed that every 
time he gave public audience, two men called majamra-gardan, 
or censer-swingers, stood at the head of his carpet swinging 
silver censers full of smoking rue-seed. This was done to avert 
the Evil Eye. We have also seen in the course of our narrative 
that he was more of a soldier than an administrator ; and that 
he was a voluptuary who in time of peace was indolent and 
negligent of business. He left his affairs too much in the hands 
of his Hindu man-of -business, Ratan Chand.* 

One of the Wazir's deeds of merit was the construction of a 
canal in Patparganj, a suburb of Dihli. It was begun in 1 127 H. 
(1715) after a great fire in that quarter of the town, and it was 
finished in the fifth year of Farrukh-siyar (1716). As to it Sayyid 
Abdul-jalil Bilgrami, wrote : — 

Bahr-i-jud o faiz, Qutb-ul-mulk, Abdullah Khan, l^ard jari an wazir-i-muhtasham ; 
Bahr-t-an Abdul-jalil-i-Wasiti tarikh hard: 
"Nahr-i-Qutb-ul-mulk madd-i-bahr-i-ashan o h^aram." 
(1127 H.) 

The same learned man and poet sings the praises of 
Abdullah Khan in his masnavi, as follows : — 

Aristu-fitrate, k.e Asaf-nishan ast, 
Yamin-ud-daulah, Abdullah Khan ast ; 
Ba diwan chun nashinad nau-bahar ast, 
Ba maidan chun darayad zulfiqar asr.f 

Husain AH Khan, Amir-ul-umara, differed considerably in 
character from his elder brother. He was prompt in action 
and inclined to the use of exaggerated and insolent language. 
Several stories showing this habit of his are on record. For 
instance, the hired flatterers in his train used to recite, even in 

* Kamwar Khan, entry of 3rd Rabi, II. 1132H. ; Anand Ram Mukhlis, 
Mirat-ul-istilah, fol. 248a. Herklots, Qanoone Islam, Glossary, p. lxxxiv, 
says the seed used is that of Mahndi (Lawsonia inermis), mixed with benzoin 
or mustard-seed. 

fM.t/. iii. 140; Khush-hal B.M. No. 3288, fol. 407a. 


the Emperor's presence, Hindi verses in praise of their master. 
A Persian translation of two lines has been handed down ; they 
are to this effect : — 

The whole world and all creation seeks the shelter of your 

Kings of the world earn crowns through your emprize.* 

Once, on the ill-fated march to the Dakhin, being intoxicat- 
ed with his own greatness, he boasted that on whosoevers head 
he cast the shadow of his shoe, that man would become the 
equal of the Emperor Alamgir. This remark gave great offence 
to those who heard it.f 

Although he put no faith in lucky or unlucky moments and 
the prognostications of soothsayers, he seems to have been 
troubled by presages of his approaching doom. Hakim Nakki 
Khan Shirazi told Warid that in the last weeks of his life, 
Husain Ali Khan was for ever extolling and finding new mean- 
ings in the following lines : — 

Ham chu man be-l^ase shahide hech k a fi r na bud, 
Subh~i-mahshar tyiud damid, wa khun-i-man tyiwabida 

* Ahwal-vl-hhatoaqin, fol. !76a. In the original they are : — 
Panah-i-chatr bigirand jumlah-i-alam o kfralq, 
Kalahdar-i-jahan ra k.alah az muqdam-i-tu. 

t Yahya Khan, Tazk.irat-ul-muluk, fol. 125a. 


J With the disappearance of the Sayyid brothers the story attains a sort 
of dramatic completeness, and 1 decide to suspend at this point my 
contributions on the history of the Later Mughals. There is reason to 
believe that a completion of my original intention is beyond my remaining 
strength. I planned on too large a scale, and it is hardly likely now that 
I shall be able to do much more. The reign of Bahadur Shah (1707-1712) 
is ready to be faired out for the press ; and the first draft for the years 
1721 to 1738 is written. I hope soon to undertake the narrative of 1739, 
including the invasion of Nadir Shah. It remains to be seen whether 
I shall be able to continue the story for the years which follow Nadir 
Shah's departure. But I have read and translated and made notes for 
another twenty years ending about 1759 or 1760. The preliminary work 
for the period 1759-1803 has not been begun. In any case I hope that 
my published studies on the period, although covering only part of the 
ground, may prove of some use; that, at the least, they may relieve some 
more fortunate successor of much drudgery, of a nature commonly thought 
to be arid, and repellent to many minds. May my reward be, as an Oxford 
historian phrases it, that "some Gibbon of the future may throw me a 
word of thanks in a footnote." (20th October, 1907). 



Sec. 25. — New appointments upon Muhammad Shah's 


On the 16th Nov. 1720 Muhammad Shah moved from 
Biluohpur and encamped near Rahimpur. Thence on the 1 7th 
he went to Chhainsa, on the 18th to Talpat, and on the 19th to 
Talab Kishn Das. The 20th was spent in a visit to the Qutb 
and to the shrine of Nasir-ud-din Oudhi, the Emperor passing 
the night in his tents close to Moth ki Masjid, and on the 21st 
he prayed at the shrine of Nizam-ud-din Auliya. A formal 
entry was made into the capital on the next day, the 22nd, by 
way of the Ajmeri Gate. On the 24th Rajah Jai Singh's 
approach from Amber was announced ; and the Wazir was 
deputed to meet and escort him. [Kamwar 242, K. K. 934.] 

On the 25th November a grand audience was held in the 
diwan-i-khas. Rajah Jai Singh was introduced by the Wazir, 
he laid his offering before the throne and received the usual 
gifts. Itimad-ud-daulah, as appanages to his office of Wazir, 
received the Government of Multan and the faujdarship of 
Muradabad. Day after day presentations continued. On the 
26th came Abdus-samad Khan from Lahor with his son Zakariya 
Khan. Jafar Khan Nasiri sent his congratulations and presents 
from Bengal, through his representative at Court (wakify- 
Ghazi-ud-din Khan, who had retired again into private life, 
was sent for through Haidar Quli Khan ; and Shapur Khan, 
brother of Sayyid Husain AH Khan's assassin, was elevated to 
the high rank of 4000 (2000 horse), with other gifts. Among 
other nobles who were promoted or received new titles were 
Lutf-ullah Khan Panipati (lately arrived at Court from exile at 
his home), Haidar Quli Khan, Zafar Khan, and Nusrat Yar 
Khan Barha. [Kamwar 244, K. K. 935.] 

Few changes were made among the provincial governors. 
The chief were as follows : Muizz-ud-daulah Haidar Quli 


Khan Nasir Jang was posted to Ahmadabad ; Kashmir was 
given to Zakariya Khan, son of Abdus-samad Khan ; Muham- 
mad Khan Bangash now received the reward for his desertion 
of Abdullah Khan by appointment to the Government of 
Allahabad, and Saadat Khan faujdar of Biana, who had been 
party to the plot to assassinate Sayyid Husain Ali Khan, 
received the Government of Agra as his reward. [Ibid.] 

The jaziya or poll-tax had always been felt by the Hindus 
as an oppression ; and at this time owing to the unsettled state 
of public affairs grain was very dear. The Hindu traders seeing 
their opportunity agreed on a remonstrance against the tax, 
and with one accord shut up their shops. Rajah Jai Singh 
Sawai then took the matter in hand and laid their case before 
the Emperor. He pointed out that the Hindus were the ancient 
inhabitants of the country, that His Majesty was Emperor of 
Hind, that men of both religions were equally loyal. Indeed 
it might be said that the Hindus were more so, as they depended 
upon the Emperor for protection from his fellow- religionists. 
When Abdullah Khan's rebellion had broken out, he, Jai Singh, 
had called on all the Hindus to pray for Mumammad Shah's 
success. If their prayers should be heard, he had bound him- 
self to ask first of all for the abolition of the poll-tax. Rajah 
Girdhar Bahadur, governor of Oudh, added his entreaties, 
reminding the Emperor how his uncle Chabela Ram had obtain- 
ed the same favour from the late Farrukh-siyar after his triumph 
over Jahandar Shah. Yielding to these appeals, the Emperor 
abolished the poll-tax permanently, although it is said to have 
yielded four krors of Rupees from the whole of the kingdom. 
After an abortive attempt at its revival made by Nizam-ul-mulk 
in 1723 and a merely nominal re-institution in Rajab 1137 
(March — April 1725) which was never carried out, we hear 
nothing more of the levy in India of this oppressive tax. [Shiu 
Das 64o ; K. K. 936, 948 ; Warid 6, 7.] 

Sec. 26. — Death of Muhammad Amin Khan. 

One night about this time, a flag was tied to the railing 
before the chief police-office (or chabutra as it was called). 


On the flag was written in the Persian character: "Let the 
Emperor beware and quite the palace." The usual reports were 
brought before the Emperor and the issue of a proclamation was 
directed in the hope of discovering the doer of this act. After 
the order had been announced throughout the city by beat of 
drum, one Naranjan, a Muhammadan mendicant of the Azad 
sect, was traced as the culprit. This man used to go about 
bare-headed, and beyond a narrow strip of cloth to cover his 
nakedness he wore no clothes. He admitted that he had placed 
the flag where it was found. When he was brought before 
the Emperor, the Wazir, Muhammad Amin Khan, was present. 
The Wazir requested that the faqir might be made over to him 
for enquiries. The man was taken to the Wazir's house and 
there severely flogged. When this was reported to Muham- 
mad Shah, he sent for the man, presented him with four gold 
coins and set him at liberty. This occurred on the 15th January 

A few days afterwards Muhammad Amin Khan fell 
seriously ill with a complication of disorders ; and as was 
inevitable it was the popular belief that the faqir's curse had 
taken effect. The illness* had lasted only 4 or 5 days when 
it terminated fatally on the 27th January 1721, and the body 
was buried within the school or Madrasa which the Wazir had 
founded just outside the Ajmeri Gate. In the short space of 
three months during which he was chief minister, Muhammad 
Amin had no time in which to display his qualities as an 
administrator, though he had shown himself a good soldier 
long before in Alamgir's reign. Warid tells us that from the 
day of his first arrival from Bukhara he had ever been inclined 
towards oppression and injustice, had forgotten to fear God 
or be tender to the lowly ; to him a Sayyid of proud descent 
and an unbeliever were the same. But strange to say, from 
the day of signal victory over the Sayyids, when the sky had 
cleared and no enemy remained, he entirely changed his ways. 

* Revolting details in Siyar i. 68, all most probably untrue and due 
to the Shia bigotry of the writer directed against a prominent Sunni. Ghulam 
Ali Khan Muqaddama-i-Shah Alam-nama, (B. M.) 41b, has 28th Rabi II. 

— an evident error. He says the illness was a fatal kind of colic. 


Men of both the city and the country had dreaded the day of 
his accession to supreme power. To their surprise, his conduct 
was opposed to his previous habits ; he treated everybody 
fairly and kindly. Even some of the Sayyids who had deserved 
punishment were spared. But as far as Muhammad Shah was 
concerned, he had obtained no benefit by the change of 
ministers ; and as one writer says, "He found over again the 
same viands on his plate." [Shiu Das 65b-66a ; Kamwar 247 ; 
Warid 2-4 ; K. K. 939 ; Ahwal 178a.] 

The vacant office of chief minister was claimed by the 
deceaseds son, Qamar-ud-din Khan, as his by right of 
inheritance ; but Khan Dauran, who was the Emperor's 
candidate, [Yahya 130b] unable to carry through his own 
appointment, persuaded Muhammad Shah to send for Nizam- 
ul-mulk from the Dakhin. Qamar-ud-din was consoled with 
his father's title of Itimad-ud-daulah (30th January 1721) ; and 
as a temporary measure the duties of the minister were made 
over to Inayat-ullah Khan Kashmiri, in addition to his previous 
office of Lord Steward (Khan-saman) . This appointment was 
made on the 14th February. [Warid 48, Kamwar 248, Shiu 
Das 66a, K. K. 939, Ahwal 178b, Khush-hal 136b.] 

Sec. 27. — The New Wazir, Nizam-ul-mulk. 

After the removal of the Sayyid brothers, Nizam-ul-mulk 
had for a time intended to return to Court. But on the whole 
he thought it better to delay. All power was in the hands of 
Itimad-ud-daulah, who was not likely to brook a rival near 
the throne. The new Wazir was, if the truth be told, a 
severer master to Muhammad Shah than the Sayyids had been. 
In his opinion he had been the sole cause of the Sayyids* dis- 
appearance, and presumed accordingly. It is true that the 
Wazir and Nizam-ul-mulk were not only near relatives but close 
friends. Still, to share power is grievous ; "a father becomes 
jealous of a son, a brother of a brother". Nizam-ul-mulk's 
arrival with a great army at his heels would have aroused many 
suspicions, leading to unending disputes. Why then, thought 
Nizam-ul-mulk, need he leave a country which he had already 


acquired by his own right hand, in order with open eyes to 
plunge into such a whirlpool of troubles? 

Instead of returning to Dihli, Nizam-ul-mulk proceeded 
southwards into the Karnatik and Maisur. It was not till his 
return to his capital of Aurangabad that he received the rescript 
calling him to Court, and, as at the same time he heard of his 
cousin's death, the dangers he had foreseen no longer existed. 
[Ahwal 180a. Gulshan-i-ajaib 61a.] 

At the end of the month Zul Hijja (October 1721) Nizam- 
ul-mulk set out from Aurangabad, leaving his relation Iwaz 
Khan in command, at the head of twenty thousand men. [Shiu 
Das 83a.] On his way through Bundelkhand he was joined 
by Durjan Singh of Chanderi, Rao Ram Chand Bundela of 
Datiya. and Chattar Singh of Narwar with their troops. He 
reached Agra on the 16th January 1722, when he was visited 
by the governor Saadat Khan. Three days afterwards he 
moved on to Gaoghat. and on the 28th he reached Barahpula, 
a few miles south of the capital. On the 20th February there 
was a grand audience at which the office of minister was 
conferred upon him with the usual gifts of robes, jewels, a 
ring, a jewelled pen-case and a large sum of money. The 
mansion on the Jamuna known as Sadullah Khan's was also 
conferred on him. [K. K. 939, Shiu Das 85a. Kamwar 250, 
M. U. in. 897, Ashob 129b, Ahwal 181b.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk in his new position was surrounded by 
difficulties. Muhammad Shah, a man of weak character, was 
in the hands of a clever woman known as Kofy or the 'foster- 
sister', the daughter of Muhammad Jan, geomancer, Hafiz 
Khidmatgar Khan, a eunuch of the palace, and others of the 
same standing, while the hostility of the next most powerful 
man in the State, Samsam-ud-daulah Khan Dauran, was barely 
concealed. Thus the new \\ azir found himself thwarted at 
every step. [K. K. 940.] 

His idea was to restore the public business to the condition 
in which it had been during the reign of Alamgir. his model in 
all things. One of the greatest abuses, to the abolition of 
which he devoted his energies, was the practice of granting 


ffices upon the receipt of a bribe to the Emperor, dignified 
th the name of peshkash or offering of the first fruits. Another 
buse which he tried to remedy was the excessive assignments 
the revenue-paying lands which had been made to the 
rinces, the Princesses and the great nobles. Lands of which 
he revenues had never been assigned before were now in the 
lands of the courtiers. By this means the receipts of the treasury 
vere much diminished, and there was never sufficient money 
o meet the pay of those drawing cash salaries, which had in 
:onsequence fallen much into arrears. He also commented on 
he unfitness of the men appointed to high rank ; while old and 
leserving officers were in want of the necessaries of life. Some 
l)f the latter were reduced to collecting grain from their jagirs 
tnd selling it in the imperial market-place. To add to their 
roubles, prices ranged very high, and more than seven sirs of 
'Tain could not be purchased for one Rupee. Every day com- 
>lainants thronged round the new Wazir on his way to 
udiences. One man would cry out, "I am a descendant of 
4ahabat Khan", another, "I am one of the grandsons of Ali 
Tlardan Khan". The populace too clamoured for the lowering 
f prices, casting dust upon their heads while they shouted 
■aryad ! Faryad I (Redress ! Redress !). It was with difficulty 
nat the Wazir could force his way through the crowd. He 
lade detailed reports on these points to the Emperor. Al- 
lough nominally approved of, Nizam-ul-mulk's proposals met 
i reality with scant attention. Being over fifty years of age, 
e was considered old-fashioned by the Emperor, a young man 
f twenty, and his youthful boon-companions. His manners 
nd appearance were ridiculed. [Siyar i. 266.] If it has any 
•uth at all, to this time belongs the story that Muhammad Shah 
aughed in open darbar at Nizam-ul-mulk's gait and attire and 
amsam-ud-daulah used the expression, "See how the Dakhin 
nonkey dances". For the present we turn from the intrigues 
t the capital to consider the disorders in the provinces of Ajmer 
nd Ahmadabad due to the discontent of Ajit Singh Rathor. 
K. K. 940 ; Shiu Das 85b ; Ahwal 181b ; /. A. S. B., Ixvi, 
ft i. 26 and 58 ; Nadir Shah 69 and 129.] 

108 the later mughals [ch. vii 

Sec. 28. — Revolt of Rajah Ajit Singh Rathor. 

During the reign of Farrukh-siyar and afterwards, so long 
as their predominance was maintained, Rajah Ajit Singh 
remained faithful to the Sayyids' cause. Two years before 
he had been appointed by them governor of Ahmadabad, 
and now declined to acknowledge the new arrangement or 
send in the usual congratulations and presents. He entered 
the province of Ajmer, assumed possession of it, and forbade 
the slaughter of cows within the two provinces. Under these 
circumstances his speedy suppression was considered urgent. 
Saadat Khan, governor of Akbarabad, Samsam-ud-daulah, 
Qamar-ud-din Khan, Haidar Quli Khan, each in succession was 
offered the command of an army with the Government of the 
province. Each of them after accepting found excuses for 
withdrawing from the undertaking. Some had gone as far as 
sending out their tents one stage upon the road. Samsam-ud- 
daulah in particular was frightened by the possible cost of the 
expedition, only part of which would be obtained from the 
royal treasury. Samsam-ud-daulah 's idea was that Ajit Singh 
might have been left in possession of Gujarat on condition of 
relinquishing Ajmer. Haidar Quli Khan objecting to this 
course, Saadat Khan was called upon to undertake the duty. 
Being a new man, he could not persuade a sufficient number 
of nobles to take service under him. Qamar-ud-din Khan 
would not stir unless Abdullah Khan, Nijabat Ali Khan and 
the other Barha Sayyids were pardoned and placed under his 
orders. As the Sayyids were distrusted by the Emperor's 
friends, the request was refused. At length on the 12th 
October 1721, Haidar Quli Khan was appointed to Ahmadabad 
and Sayyid Muzaffar Ali Khan Daipuri to Ajmer. The latter 
was a protege of Samsam-ud-daulah. Haidar Quli Khan sent 
a deputy to his province. [K. K. 937, Ghulam Ali 43a, Shiu 
Das 76b.] 

Muzaffar Ali Khan was willing to take charge in person 
of his new Government, but was a man without means. Six 
lakhs of Rupees were granted to him ; but as the money was 
not forthcoming from the treasury, he was forced to content 
himself for the time being with two lakhs. He took up his 


Nation outside the city and began to enlist recklessly, offering 
absurdly high rates of pay. By the time he had reached 
Vlanoharpur* and had collected 20,000 men under his standard, 
all his money was spent. With Jai Singh the Kachhwaha 
Rajah there was no trouble. In July 1721 he arrived at Court 
and professed abounding loyalty. He had gone in person to 
all the mosques in Amber and directed that the public call to 
worship should be made and the Friday prayer recited. The 
prohibition of the slaughter of kine was formally set aside, 
and the Rajah proclaimed himself a submissive subject of the 
Muhammadan Empire. He produced the convention entered 
into by Jahan Shah (the Emperor's father), conferring on him, 
Jai Singh, the perpetual governorship of Ajmer and Gujarat. 
This document bore an impress in sandalwood dye of Jahan 
Shahs open hand (panja). The Rajah further called attention 
to his friendly acts towards the new Emperor in previous 
reigns. His guarantors in these representations were Samsam- 
ud-daulah and Roshan-ud-daulah, and by their influence his 
overtures met with acceptance. [Ghulam Ali 43o.] 

Ajit Singh, on the contrary, showed no intention of 
evacuating Ajmer ; but had sent on his eldest son, Abhai 
Singh, to resist the approaching governor. Thereupon orders 
(2nd Oct., 1721) came from Dihli for Muzaffar Ali Khan not 
to advance beyond Manoharpur. Here he remained for 
three months. The demands for pay increased and multiplied; 
no portion of the balance of the six lakhs promised to him 
made its appearance. The soldiers in their distress began to 
sell their arms, their clothes and all that they had. After 
this they had to starve or plunder : preferring the second 
alternative, they spread over the country far and wide, bringing 
in twenty thousand head of cattle. A few villages near Narnol 
were also plundered. [Shiu Das 77 a, Ghulam Ali 44a.] 

As Muzaffar Ali Khan could not pay his men, the reins 
of authority and discipline fell from his hands. The troopers 
quarrelled over the division of the plundered cattle and even 
went the length of fighting among themselves. Night came 

* 35 m. north of Jaipur town and about 130 m. n. e. of Ajmer. 


on, the impounded cattle by a desperate rush made good 
their escape, and returned to their villages. Convinced that 
the game was now up, the soldiers recited a fatiha for good 
luck, left the place, and returned to their homes. Muzaffar 
Ali Khan felt his powerlessness and made no attempt to 
attack the Rathors ; after a time the general of Rajah Jai 
Singh arrived to his succour, and escorted him to the 
Kachhwaha capital of Amber, with his few remaining horse- 
men and infantry. He gave up all he possessed, sent back 
the robes of honour and the letter of appointment, and assum- 
ing the garb of a mendicant retired into private life. [Ibid.] 

Muzaffar Ali Khan was now superseded by Sayyid Nusrat 
Yar Khan Barha. Ajit Singh was at Ajmer, and had been 
reinforced by a Jat contingent sent by Churaman Jat under 
the command of his son Muhkam Singh. Before the new 
governor could take the field, Ajit Singh sent his eldest son 
northwards to attack Narnol and other places in the Agra 
and Dihli provinces. Abhai Singh had under him twelve 
thousand camel-riders, armed with matchlocks and bows, two 
men on each camel. After a rapid march of 140 miles, Narnol 
was reached. The officer in charge on behalf of Bayazid Khan 
Mewati, faujdar of the district, fought as well as he was able, 
but in the end retreated and made his way to his master in 
Mewat. Narnol was given up to plunder ; Alwar, Tijara, and 
Shahjahanpur were harried ; and plunderers appeared even 
as far north as Sarai Allahwirdi Khan, within sixteen miles 
of Dihli. [Shiu Das 78.] 

At Dihli the usual confusion prevailed. First, Samsam-ud- 
daulah having uttered many oaths about the sanguinary 
vengeance he would take, received orders to march ; his tents 
were sent out and elaborate preparations began ; but he made 
no further move. Even the Emperor was disgusted with him 
and showed displeasure, and in consequence Samsam-ud- 
daulah withdrew from attendance at darbar. Haidar Quli 
Khan was next called upon ; he submitted numerous demands, 
and the whole of the imperial artillery was placed at his dis- 
posal ; his tents were then erected outside the city ; but he 
thought better of it and declined to start. Qamar-ud-din Khan 


•treated an application to him with similar disrespect. At last 

Nusrat Yar Khan marched, but had not gone far in the direc- 

! tion of Ajmer when news came that Rajah Ajit Singh had 

evacuated that city and had retired to his own country. [Shiu 

Das 78o, Ghulam Ali 44a.] 

Apparently the cause of this withdrawal on the part of 
!the Rathors was the knowledge that Nizam-ul-mulk had 
accepted the office of chief minister, had left the Dakhin and 
was now not far from Dihli. As we have stated, he was 
formally placed in charge of his office on the 20th Feb. 1722. 
A month afterwards (21st March) an emissary from the Rathor 
Rajah, one Khemsi Bhandari (steward), appeared at Court in 
the company of Nahar Khan, late faujdar of Sambhar. [Shiu 
Das 83a, Kamwar 251.] 

Ajit Singh stated his case in a petition to the Emperor, of 
which the following is the substance. He begins by reciting 
his humble submission to the former Emperor Farrukh-siyar 
|at the time when Sayyid Husain Ali Khan was sent against 
him. Before the Sayyids were deposed from power, he had 
ibeen appointed governor of Ahmadabad and Ajmer. In the 
interests of the Empire it was well for someone to take charge ; 
and while he ruled, he upheld the law and practices of Islam. 
Then, when victory had crowned the imperial standards, he 
Was dismissed and the province of Ahmadabad given to Haidar 
Quli Khan. He said nothing but relinquished it. As to Ajmer 
he was ready to do the same ; but Muzaffar Ali Khan never 
appeared. Then those who were ill-disposed towards him 
(Ajit Singh) made use of the attacks at Narnol and other towns 
as proof of his disloyalty. This was an entire mistake ; those 
attacks were due to a quarrel with the Mewatis. He leaves 
the case in the Emperor's hands, confident in his justice and 
being fully convinced that not by one hair-breadth had he 
departed from the right way. He would either appear at 
Court or remain in his own country, as might be desired. 
[Shiu Das 83a.] 

In answer to this tardy submission the Emperor's jarman, 
after a vague compliment to his loyalty and an equally vague 
excuse for having taken away the two provinces, proceeded 


to state that the Government of Ajmer was for the time 
being again confided to him ; and, please God, the province 
of Ahmadabad would also in a short time be restored to him. 
Presents were forwarded, consisting of special robes, a jewelled 
turban ornament, a horse and an elephant. The rescript 
concluded : — '"What fear can there be that any single person's 
petitions or representations would be accepted in respect of 
his (Ajit Singh's) acts? Let his mind be at rest, recognizing 
that this well-wisher to God's people (i.e., Muhammad Shah) 
is occupied with his welfare." [Shiu Das 84b, Kamwar 255.] 
The next stage in Ajmer affairs is the appointment on the 
8th Dec. 1722 of Nahar Khan to be diwan of that province 
coupled with the faujdarship of Sambhar. As diwan or chief 
revenue officer, Nahar Khan was put alongside and almost on 
an equality with the nazim or military governor. His position 
was further strengthened by the conferment of the faujdari of 
Garh Patili* on his brother, Ruhullah Khan. With these men 
Khemsi Bhandari, Ajit Singh's agent, set out from Dihli on 
his return to Ajmer. [Kamwar 257.] 

On the 9th February 1723, the report was received at 
Court that on the 6th January Nahar Khan and his brother, 
Ruhullah Khan, had been assassinated by Ajit Singh. Under 
the supposition that the Rajputs were friendly, they had 
encamped close to them. At dawn their tents were attacked 
and they were both slain. Hafiz Mahmud Khan, nephew of 
the faujdar, and his other relations were captured ; twenty-five 
persons were beheaded ; and in a few moments the whole of 
the camp and baggage had been plundered and carried off. 
The few men who had escaped took refuge in the territories 
of Rajah Jai Singh of Amber, where they were assisted and 
thence escorted into the imperial territory. [Kamwar 260-261, 
Tod ii. 87.] 

* Mr. Irvine suggests that Path 94 miles s. w. of Dihli, and Kot, one 
mile north-east of the former, probably stand for Garh Patili of the Persian 
text. Tod speaks of the siege and capture of the fort on Bithli hill (modern 
Taragarh) overlooking Ajmer. [J. Sarkar.] 


Forthwith, Sharf-ud-daulah Iradatmand Khan* was selected 

j to head an army against the Rajah. He was promoted to the 

rank of 7000 (6000 horse), and the Batyishis were directed to 

place a force of 50,000 horse at his disposal. On the 26th 

i February he received his audience of leave-taking, and four 

! days afterwards he was granted two lakhs of Rupees from the 

imperial treasury for the pay of his troops. On the 10th March 

a number of nobles were detailed to accompany him ; and 

: on the 4th April express messengers were sent to Rajah 

Jai Singh, Muhammad Khan Bangash, Rajah Girdhar 

Bahadur and other great nobles who had been engaged in the 

Jat campaign, (to which we shall come presently), directing 

I them to place themselves under the orders of Sharf-ud-daulah. 

A further expedient for the injury of Ajit Singh was the grant 

on the 5th June 1 723 to Rajah Indar Singh Rathor of his former 

appanage of Nagor. At this time he was in the Dakhin with 

i Nizam-ul-mulk, but his grandson, Man Singh, carried out the 

ordinary homage done on such occasions. [Kamwar 261-264, 

Rustam Ali 251b.] 

About this time Haidar Quli Khan was on his way back 
to Dihli from Ahmadabad in disgrace, as will be more fully 
mentioned in a future section. His presence at Rewari was 
announced on the 6th April 1 723 ; Roshan-ud-daulah interceded 
for him, and his misdeeds were pardoned. Khwaja Sad-ud- 
din, superintendent of escheats, was sent to him with a rescript 
appointing him to the Government of Ajmer and the 
faujdarship of Sambhar. In obedience to these orders Haidar 
Quli Khan turned back and joined the imperial army at Narnol. 
Thence they marched on towards Ajmer. [Kamwar 263.] 

On the 30th May the news was received that before that 
date Rajah Ajit Singh, who had been posted at the village of 
Bhanhra, had retired before the imperial forces without offering 
battle and had gone in the direction of Sambhar. This was 
followed five days afterwards (4th June) by the report that 

* Khwaja Abdullah, entitled Sharf-ud-daulah Iradatmand Kh. Sadiq 
Tahavvar Jang Bahadur, died 3rd Zul Qada 1143 H. (9th May 1731) aged 
lover 70. He was brother's son and son-in-law of Mulla Iwaz Wajih, who 
died in 1088 H. 



Haidar Quli Khan and the other nobles and rajahs had entered 
Sambhar, while Rajah Ajit Singh, taking with him his famliy, 
had quitted Ajmer and moved off in the direction of Jodhpur. 
The garrison he had left in Garh Patili was making ready to 
defend that place. The new imperial governor entered Ajmer 
on the 8th June 1723, having left as his deputies Agha Qasim 
at Sambhar and Salabat Afghan at Mahrut. On the 1 7th June, 
Garh Patili was invested and one-and-a-half months afterwards 
(4th Aug. 1 723) Haidar Quli Khan sent to Court the keys of 
that fortress with a report that it had been taken.* 

Ajit Singh now thought it time to make terms and sent 
in to the imperial commander his eldest son, Abhai Singh, 
with several elephants and a large sum of money. He desired 
that his own appearance at the Dihli Court might be postponed 
for the period of one year. Haidar Quli Khan forwarded the 
Rajah's son and the presents to Court and obtained a favourable 
reception for his prayer. Abhai Singh was received with all 
honour, and gifts were conferred upon him ; but he was 
detained at Court. Upon Nizam-ul-mulk's flight to the Dakhin, 
Haidar Quli Khan was restored to favour and recalled to Court 
on the 30th Dec, 1724, to fill his former office of Mir Atash, 
being replaced at Ajmer by Sayyid Husain Khan Barha (April 
1725). [Kamwar, Rustam Ali 252a.] 

Sec. 29. — Murder of Ajit Singh by his Son. 

We shall conclude this section with the death of Rajah 
Ajit Singh. Tod admits that the bards and chroniclers pass 
over the event with a mere mention, one of them going so 
far as to leave a blank page at the critical point of his story. 
But in another part of Tod's book, we have a detailed narrative 

* Kamwar 264-266, Tod ii. Mahrut, identified with Marout of the 
Rajputana map of 1859 about 10 m. n. of the north bank of the Sambhar 
lake. Warid (130) says the Rajput garrison of Garh Patili only numbered 
four hundred, that the place was surrendered after negotiations, and that 
the garrison marched out with the honours of war, flags flying and drums 
beating. According to the Rajput account (Tod ii. 87) Taragarh close to 
Ajmer was also invested in July and held out for four months under the 
command of Umra Singh. 


of the crime.* In any case, that Ajit Singh met a violent 
death at the hand of his second son, Bakht Singh, is admitted 
by the Rajputs themselves, and even by their ardent champion 
Colonel Tod. [Tod i. 698, ii. M.] 

According to their story, Bakht Singh after saying good- 
night concealed himself in a room adjoining the one in which 
his parents were sleeping. When all was still he entered their 
room, seized his father's sword, and plunged it into him. The 
wife was awakened by feeling her husband's blood on her 
breast. Bakht Singh escaped. Ajit Singh's body was cremated 
on the 7th June 1 724, when eighty-four wives and concubines 
sacrificed themselves on his funeral pyre. A dispute about 
the succession at once arose between the sons on the spot. 
On the 25th July, 1724, Abhai Singh, then between twenty- 
one and twenty- two years of age, obtained through the interven- 
tion of Samsam-ud-daulah the title of Rajah Rajeshwar, with 
the rank of 7,000 zat, (7,000 horse), and was allowed to depart 
for Jodhpur to take possession of his father's succession. 
[Tod i. 699, K. K. 974, Khush-hal 10446.] 

The fact of Ajit Singh's murder by his son, Bakht Singh, 
is not denied by any one ; but a divergence of opinion exists 
; as to the incentives to the deed. Tod's informants told him 
that Bakht Singh acted at the instigation of his elder brother, 
Abhai Singh, f then at Dihli and in the power of the Emperor. 
The murderer's reward was to be the appanage of Nagor and 
its five hundred and sixty- five townships. To account for 
Abhai Singh's unholy desire we are told that his ambition had 
been stirred by the Machiavellian Sayyids, eager to wreak 
vengeance upon Ajit Singh for his opposition to their dethrone- 
ment of Farrukh-siyar. Now let us apply some of the simplest 
critical tests. Can the offered reward be looked on as sufficient 

* Tod, i. 699. This passage shows Tod at his weakest as an historian. 
His fastening of Ajit Singh's murder upon the Sayyids is a gross chrono- 
logical error. Hardly less absurd is his assertion that Ajit Singh ever 
refused "sanction to the nefarious schemes of the Sayyids". He was their 
friend and partisan up to the end. 

t Warid 130 assigns the same reason as Tod for the murder. Cf. M. U. 
■ iii. 758. 


to impel BakLi: Singh to an act of parricide? He may not 
have been a very clever man, but he was hardly such a simple- 
ton as to incur the infamy of such an act (1) for the benefit 
not of himself but of a brother and (2) for the grant of an 
appange which, by universal Rajput practice, would have been 
his as a matter of course whenever his father died a natural 
death. But coming finally to external tests, what is there left 
of the story? We find that its very foundation vanishes. The 
assassination of Ajit Singh took place in June 1 724 ; one Sayyid 
had been assassinated on the 8th October, 1720, and the other, 
after being defeated in battle and made a prisoner on the 14th 
November 1720, died in prison on the 11th October, 1722. 
Obviously, they could not have been in 1 724 the instigators of 
Abhai Singh. Further, it is impossible, after even the most 
elementary study of the period, to ignore the fact that Ajit 
Singh, instead of opposing, helped the Sayyids to the utmost 
in getting rid of Farrukh-siyar. Tod's story is thus a mere 
legend, which falls to pieces directly it is examined ; nor, as 
he admits, does his usual resource, the rhyming chronicles of 
the bards, afford him here any countenance. And Tod himself 
(ii. 1 13) confesses that "but for that one damning crime, Bakht 
Singh would have been handed down to posterity as one of 
the noblest Princes Rajwara ever knew." Conceding the truth 
of even a part only of this glowing eulogy, is it not more 
unlikely than ever that such a paladin could have become the 
miserable tool of an ambitious brother with no greater incentive 
than the offer of an appanage already his by family custom? 
Is it not rather to be believed that the father did something 
which the son felt was an attack on his personal honour? 

Although coming from Muhammadan sources, there is 
another version [Kamwar] of the facts, which, destructive 
though it is of any respect for the character of the "great Ajit", 
is much more satisfactory than that put forward by the cham- 
pion of the Rajputs. It is one that furnishes a sufficient motive 
for the dreadful deed, and thus satisfies better the conditions 
of the case. We are told that soon after Ajit Singh had made 
his peace and returned to Jodhpur, he fell in love with the 
wife of his middle son Bakht Singh and was guilty of an inces- 


tuous intercourse. Overcome with shame and touched in the 
tenderest point of his honour, Bakht Singh sought his oppor- 
tunity of revenge. One night when Ajit Singh, drunk and 
stupefied, was lying fast asleep, his son stabbed him to death. 
As a contrast to Tod's dithyrambs, we may here give the 
Muhammadan view of the Rajah's character. "He was 
exceedingly wanting in good faith, a breaker of his oath, one 
who had slain unfairly many of his relations and dependants. 
Among his evil deeds was the abandonment of Farrukh-siyar 
to his fate, in spite of his relationship through his daughter ; 
nay he took an active part in that Emperor's dethronement. 
In the end he attained the reward for his misdeeds : 

He who sows the seed of evil and hopes for good, 
Racks his brain uselessly and imagines a vain thing." 

Sec. 30. — Rise of Ali Muhammad Khan Rohela. 

The country known by the modern name of Rohilkhand 
was called by the Hindus Katahr, and up to the end of the 
first quarter of the 18th century the Muhammadans usually 
styled it Sambhal-Muradabad. Under them it formed a part 
of the province of Dihli. It is about 12,000 square miles in 
extent, taking it as co-extensive with the present Rohilkhand 
division. It has to the west and south the river Ganges, on 
the north the strip of land under the Himalayas called the 
Tarai (or marsh land), and on the east the province of Oudh. 
Its name of Rohilkhand came into use most probably from the 
Daudzai Pathans who settled in the south-east corner of the 
tract in the 17th century and founded the important town of 
Shahjahanpur. Daryai Khan, Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan, 
chiefs of this clan, were leading generals in the reign of Shah 
Jahan (1628-1658). Roh, meaning "mountainous", is the name 
given by the Afghans to their native country. Adding to this 
the Hindi ending ela, used to denote a person belonging to 
a particular group or section, we obtain Rohela, a man from 
the land of Roh ; thence is derived Rohil-khand, the division 
or district inhabited by the Rohelas. [M. U. ii. 18, 42 ; i. 415 ; 


An Afghan saint, Shaikh Shihab-ud-din Badalzai, was suc- 
ceeded by his third son, Mahmud Khan, known as Shaikh 
Muti, who took up his abode at the village of Torn Shahamat- 
pur in Roh. On Mahmud Khan's death his five sons divided 
his property, and in the share of the youngest son, Shah Alam 
Khan, was included a slave called Daud. Some time in the 
reign of Bahadur Shah (1707-1712), this man Daud ran away 
from his master to seek his fortune in Hindustan. He found 
his way into Katahr (now known as Rohilkhand). 

Between 1712 and 1715 the Rajputs of Katahr took posses- 
sion of a part of sarl^ar Budaon (in Rohilkhand) and refused 
to pay revenue to the imperial treasury. One of the principal 
leaders of these landholders was Mudar Shah of Madhkar and 
Ajaon in pargana Barsir of sarkar Budaon. On his arrival in 
the country, Daud had with him two or three men, but he 
soon increased them to two hundred. With this force he 
entered the service of the Rajput Mudar Shah. As was usual 
in those days, the neighbouring zamindars were continually at 
warfare with each other. Once Daud was sent against the 
village of Bankauli, in pargana Chaumahla, with which his 
employer was at feud. Along with the plunder taken on this 
occasion Daud obtained possession of a Jat boy seven or eight 
years of age, whom he caused to be circumcised and then 
adopted under the name of AH Muhammad Khan.* 

After some years Shah Alam Khan, who had once been 
Daud Khan's master, hearing of his former slave's success, 
came to visit him in Hindustan. He was kindly received and 
dismissed with a present. A second time, five or six years 
afterwards, he again paid a visit to India and urged Daud to 
return with him to Afghanistan. But Daud, who had obtained 
possession of Banaholif and other villages and was at the head 
of four or five hundred fighting men, protested vigorously 
against abandoning his position. Shah Alam Khan was forced 
to set out alone on his return journey. At Dihli he was seized 
by some horse merchants who were creditors of Daud Khan, 

* As this expedition presumably occurred in 1715, Ali Mhd. Kh. must 
have been born about 1707 or 1708 A.D. 

t C Elliott omits this name. Mallear, 13 m. e. of Chandausi [J.S.] 


and was only released on his promising to return to Katahr 
and procure the payment of the debt due to them. As he had 
promised, he again entreated Daud Khan to leave India. 
Wearied by these importunities, Daud resolved to have his 
former master assassinated. While they were both on an 
expedition against some refractory zamindars, four murderers 
entered Shah Alam Khan's tent and slew him. Daud Khan 
tried to obtain the murdered man's property from some mer- 
chants at Dihli in whose charge it was, but he declined to part 
with it, the deceased having left a son at his village of Toru 
Shahamatpur in the land of Roh, whither they meant to send it. 
This boy, alleged to have been then four or five years of age, 
was the well-known Hafiz Rahmat Khan. [Gulistan-i-Rahmat.] 

About twelve months after the death of Shah Alam Khan, 
Daud Khan threw up the service of Mudar Shah and entered 
that of Debi Chand, ruler of Kumaon, by whom he was placed 
in charge of the forts at the foot of the hills. Soon after, it 
was determined by the Wazir Qamar-ud-din Khan Itimad-ud- 
daulah, who held the office of faujdar of Muradabad, to take 
action against the combined forces of the Rohelas and the 
hill rajah. It was reported at Dihli that about twenty thousand 
Afghan horse and foot had collected near Bans Bareli and 
Sambhal-Muradabad. They interfered with the peasantry and 
plundered travellers on the highroad and took possession of 
estates. Some of the zamindars had made terms with them. 
The imperial administration was practically set aside and the 
imperial revenue had ceased to be collected. [Shiu Das 79, 
Rustam Ali's Urdu Tarityi-i-Rohela, Gulistan-i-Rahmat.] 

Azmat-ullah Khan Lakhnavi, the deputy governor under 
Qamar-ud-din Khan, was ordered to exert himself to suppress 
these disorders. He obtained the aid of the faujdar of Bareli 
and their conjoined forces advanced to the attack. The armies 
met not far from Rudrapur. The Rohelas, confident in their 
strength, advanced two Zjos and began the fight with musket- 
ball and arrow. Soon they came to close quarters, and the 
fight lasted nearly an hour, and both sides lost heavily. Azmat- 
ullah Khan, after many men had been disabled, dismounted 
and fought on foot with all his relations round him. The 


enemy retreated and when the pursuers caught them up they 
turned towards the river and fled. But there were no boats : 
the faujdars had previously caused them to be dispersed. By 
this victory the province was once more brought under subjec- 
tion to the imperial authority. This event occurred about 
December 1721. [Shiu Das 79a, Gulistan-i-Rahmat.] 

Daud Khan is supposed to have been in collusion with 
the imperialists and to have deserted the Rajah in the field. 
After the defeat Daud Khan attempted to seize the Rajah's 
person as a hostage for the recovery of the arrears due to 
himself and his troops. The attempt was foiled by the fidelity 
of the hillmen. The Rajah went off to Kakar Dahra ; and 
thence sent to the Rohela general an invitation to attend and 
receive his pay and arrears. Daud Khan, suspecting no trea- 
chery, obeyed this order ; thereupon the Rajah ordered him 
to be seized, and he with all his companions was put to death. 
The chief surviving leaders, Malik Shadi Khan and Sadar Khan 
Kamalzai, and Bakhshi Sardar Khan, placed his adopted son, 
Ali Muhammad Khan, at the head of his force, four to five 
hundred in number, which was then taken into the service of the 
faujdar, Shaikh Azmat-ullah Khan, at Muradabad. 

Sec. 31. — The Jats. 

We turn now to another quarter in which troubles had 
arisen. Our last mention of the Jats was in April and May 
1718, near the end of Farrukh-siyar's reign. Rajah Jai Singh 
of Amber had been foiled in his attempt to crush Churaman, 
and a peace more or less favourable to the latter chief had 
been patched up through the good offices of the Sayyids' uncle, 
Sayyid Khan Jahan. This failure still rankled in the breast of 
Jai Singh, who had returned to the Dihli Court (1st May 1721), 
after the defeat and imprisonment of Sayyid Abdullah Khan. 
Nor, in the interval of three years which had elapsed, had 
further provocation been wanting on the part of Churaman. 
On the death of Sayyid Husain Ali Khan he had temporarily 
declared himself on the side of the Emperor, but, on the day 
of battle with Sayyid Abdullah Khan, had gone over to the 
ex-Wazir and plundered the imperial baggage. Furthermore 


he had done his best to hinder Saadat Khan on his march to 
join the army proceeding against Ajit Singh of Jodhpur ; and 
had sent men to the aid of the Bundelas in their opposition to 
Diler Khan, the lieutenant of Muhammad Khan Bangash, 
governor of Allahabad. 

Saadat Khan, as we have said, had been appointed to 
the province of Agra, to which he sent Nilkanth Nagar as his 
deputy. One of his first injunctions to this man was to proceed 
against the Jats and punish them for their various misdeeds. 
Accordingly he took up a position near Fathpur Sikri with an 
army of 10,000 horse besides infantry. On the 26th Sept. 1721 
he went against one of the villages in the Jat territory, seized 
many of the inhabitants and all their cattle. As Nilkanth was 
on his return march, Muhkam Singh, eldest son of Churaman, 
came up with him at the head of five to six thousand men and 
offered battle. In the fight Nilkanth was hit by a bullet and 
fell down dead in his howda ; as many of his men as were 
able took to flight ; the rest were made prisoners and gave up 
their arms and horses to the Jats. All the deputy governor's 
elephants and property fell into Muhkam Singh's hands. The 
captives were released upon each man paying ransom according 
to his status. [Shiu Das 79b, Siwanih, Siyar text 73, Ghulam 
AH 46a.] 

Saadat Khan was ordered to depart at once from Court 
and take charge in person of his Government. On arriving 
at Agra he was joined by Badan Singh Jat, brother's son of 
Churaman. It seems that the latter had recently died and a 
dispute as to the succession had broken out between the 
cousins. Saadat Khan thought it wise to conciliate the fugitive, 
giving him robes of honour and an elephant and entering into 
an alliance with him. But Saadat Khan in spite of all his 
efforts made no impression on the Jats, the excuse he offered 
being the obstacles presented by the thickly growing trees and 
the strength of their forts. As he was deemed unequal to his 
task, his removal was determined upon and the Government 
was given to Rajah Jai Singh Kachhwaha.* 

*Shiu Das 80a, K. K. 944, M. U. i. 545. Ghulam Ali (46a) says 
saadat Khan was already in Oudh and wanted to return thence to Agra. 


About this time, as we just said, Churaman the Jat chief 
had died ; this event happened in Zul Hijja 1133 (Sept. — Oct. 
1721). As one story goes, there was one of his relations, a 
wealthy man, who died childless. The brethren sent for 
Muhkam, the eldest son of Churaman, and made him head of 
the deceased's zamindari and gave over to him all the 
deceased's goods. Zul Karan, the second son of Churaman, 
said to his brother "Give me too a share in those goods and 
admit me as a partner." A verbal dispute followed and 
Muhkam made ready to resist by force. Zul Karan determined 
to have the quarrel out, gathered men together, and attacked 
his brother. The elders of the place sent word to Churaman 
that his sons were fighting, which was not well ; it were better 
that he should adjust the dispute. 

Churaman spoke to Muhkam. The son replied to his 
father by abusive language, and showed himself ready to fight 
his father as well as his brother. Churaman lost his temper and 
from chagrin swallowed a dose of deadly poison which he 
always carried upon him, and going to an orchard in that 
village lay down and gave up the ghost. After a long time 
had elapsed, men were sent to search for him and found his 
dead body.* 

Jai Singh, the new governor of Agra, had undertaken to 
lead an army against the Jat head-quarters which were still at 
Thun. On the 19th April 1722, a number of nobles and Rajahs 

But Samsam-ud-daulah interfered and the Agra Government was taken 
from him. 

* Shiu Das 78, Ghulam Ali 46b, Siyar trans, i. 259. 

Compare the story in Siyar and Khizr Khan which agree — one of them 
has copied from the other or both use a common source. I am obliged to 
throw doubt on Khizr Khan (although he was supposed to be on the spot) 
because he makes Churaman die after Jai Singh had invested Thun. Shiu 
Das, Mirza Muhammad and Khafi Khan, on the whole authorities of 
greater weight, coincide in saying that the defence against Jai Singh was 
conducted by the sons of Churaman and not by that leader himself. 

T-i-Mhdi (1133); "Churaman Jat, an unruly zamindar of position in 
the Ahbarabad province, died in Zul Hijja in the fighting between his sons 
Tham Singh and Muhkam Singh. He went to reconcile them and wa» 


were named to serve under him, the best known of whom 
were Rajah Girdhar Bahadur Nagar and Maharao Arjun 
Singh of Orchha. An army of 14,000 to 15,000 horsemen was 
assembled, artillery and ammunition were provided, and a 
grant of two lakhs of Rupees made from the imperial treasury. 
But on the 14th July Jai Singh was still at Court, and still later, 
on the 29th August, renewed injunctions to start were issued 
to the Rajah and his second-in-command Muzaffar Khan. 
The Bakhshis were directed to make up his army to fifty 
thousand horsemen. [Kamwar 251, K. K. 945.] 

Finally, on the 1st Sept. 1722 Rajah Jai Singh Sawai 
received his formal appointment to Agra in open darbar and 
was invested in the usual way. More nobles were granted 
robes of honour and posted to serve under him, while Sayyid 
Muzaffar Ali Khan was appointed deputy governor of Agra. 
At this time Saadat Khan, the displaced governor of that 
province, reached the capital. He was refused an audience 
and told to proceed direct to Oudh, the robes of investiture for 
it and for the faujdari of Gorakhpur being sent to him by a 
messenger. His predecessor in Oudh, Rajah Girdhar Bahadur 
Nagar, was transferred to Malwa (9 Sept. 1722). [Kamwar 254, 

On the 25th October reports were received at Court that 
the sons of Churaman Jat had taken refuge in their fort of 
Thun, round which daily skirmishes were taking place. The 
Rajah commenced by cutting down the jungle, then erected 
his batteries. From time to time the Jats came out and taking 
shelter among the trees fell upon the imperial camp at night. 
Many men were slain on both sides. Matters went on thus 
for about one-and-a-half months, and one or two of the forts 
were beginning to feel distressed. Then Badan Singh, who 
once before had shown ill-will to his cousins, left their side 
and came over to the Rajah. He pointed out the weak places 
of the defenders, and two of their forts were taken. The 
besieged then lost heart. At midnight Muhkam set 
fire to the houses, exploded his powder magazines, 
and took to flight carrying as much cash, jewellery 
and portable property as he could. On the 18th November 


the imperialists took possession of Thun, and the 
treasures amassed by Churaman were sought for ; house after 
house was dug up, but all in vain. No treasure was discovered. 
Muhkam Singh took refuge with Rajah Ajit Singh of Jodhpur, 
and although he survived for many years was never able to 
regain his ancestral domains. He was alive in 1167 H., the 
6th year of Ahmad Shah, for he turned up at Dihli on the 
11th Safar of that year (10 Dec. 1753) and tried through Aqibat 
Mahmud Khan, Imad-ul-mulk's chief adviser, to get back the 
Raj.* In reward for his services Rajah Jai Singh received on 
the 12th June 1723 the titles of Rajah-i-Rajeshwar, Shri Raja- 
dhiraj, Maharaj Jai Singh Sawai. Already on the 1st May 
1721 he had been given the title of Sar-amad-i-Rajahae, and 
the chiefship of the Jats remained with Badan Singh. [K. K. 
945 ; Siyar trans, i. 259 ; Kamwar 249, 265.] 

Sec. 32. — Marriage of Muhammad Shah and his Daily Life. 

One of the first matters to be seen to after the victory 
over the Sayyids and the completion of the consequent re- 
joicings was the marriage of the young Emperor to the daughter 
of his predecessor, Farrukh-siyar, her title being after marriage 
Malika-uz-zamani. On the 14th Safar 1134 H. (3 Dec. 1721) 
the sachaq or bridegroom's gifts were sent to the bride's house. 
Samsam-ud-daulah, who was especially active in the matter, 
received rich gifts and the eunuchs, such as Khwaja Khawas 
Khan, Mahaldar Khan Nazir, and Hafiz Jawahir Khan, were 
rewarded. On the 17th (6 Dec. 1721) at nightfall the Emperor 
proceeded in state to the chaplet room. Then the great 
nobles, such as the Samsam-ud-daulah (who was given a 
prominent part as the chief arranger of the union with this 
Princess) and the Wazir and Haidar Quli Khan and Roshan- 
ud-daulah, were employed to fix upon the amount of dower. 
It was settled at fifty lakhs of Rupees. Then at the auspicious 
moment the marriage ceremony was performed by Mulla 
Sadullah (entitled Musawi Khan) and Himmat Khan. Offer- 
ings of a lakh of Rupees each were made to Samsam-ud- 

* Tarikh-i- Ahmad Shah (Br. Mus. Or. 2005), 94b. 


daulah, Qamar-ud-din Khan, Abdus-samad Khan Diler Jang, 
Haidar Quli Khan, Khan Khanan Mir Jumla, Zafar Khan 
(Roshan-ud-daulah), Rajah Jai Singh, and Rajah Girdhar 
Bahadur. The evening ended with singing and dancing, 
illuminations and fireworks. Customs peculiar to the people 
of Hindustan, such as that called henna-bandi and others, 
were not performed publicly, in order not to clash with the 
prescription of the holy law. Valuable presents were conferred 
on the Emperor's mother Qudsiya-ul-alqab Hazrat Begam and 
other women of the harem. [K. K. 937, Sahifa-i-iqbal 465.] 

In this earlier part of his reign, although Muhammad Shah 
was only nineteen years of age, we hear of his being already 
in ill-health. On the 7th Zul Hijja (28th Sept. 1721) he was 
under treatment for some complaint by three physicians, one 
of whom was the Frenchman Monsieur Martin. At this period 
the Emperor had several children born to him, none of whom 
survived. It was not until Dec. 1727 that a son destined to 
grow up was born. This boy became the Emperor's successor 
under the title of Ahmad Shah. For some years Muhammad 
Shah seems to have led a comparatively active life, and conti- 
nued like his predecessor to make hunting expeditions at short 
intervals. Thus, for instance, on the 26th Feb. 1722, he went 
out to the preserve (ramna) of Shakkarpur. Again, on the 
13th April of the same year he visited the preserve at Tal 
Katora ; and that at Badli, in the other direction from Dihli, 
on the 16th August. Another and somewhat larger expedition 
took place from the 18th Jan. to 7th Feb. 1723, in which the 
stages were Agharabad, Sarai Narela, Siyubi [? = Sonipat], 
Sarai Kanwar [=Ganaur], Panipat (in the garden of Lutf- 
ullah Khan), Sarai Sambhalka, Sarai Kanwar [i.e., Ganaur] 
again, Sonipat, Narela and Agharabad once more, and finally Tal 
Katora near the Qutb. On this tour the shrines of the Panipat 
saints were visited. [Shiu Das 79o, Kamwar, Siyar, Ghulam 

A more important expedition of this sort was made after 
a tiger. On the 1 7th Sept. 1723, the Emperor went on a visit 
to the shrines at the Qutb, and pitched his camp at the foot 
of the low hills there. Four days afterwards Mutaqad-ud- 


daulah Allahwirdi Khan, the head huntsman, reported that 
two tigers with two cubs had been marked down in a plain 
covered with scrub. The kind of net known as a yawar or 
bawar with other hunting necessaries was ordered to be made 
ready. On the 22nd the advance tents were sent on to the 
village of Khaoli. Two days later they marched from the 
camp near the Qutb, and halted at Bijwasan village. Next 
day they reached Dholkot, the day after they were at Qasba 
Patodhi. The tiger hunt took place on the 29th. When they 
had arrived near the yawar or net the Emperor directed that 
the following nobles should enter it : the Wazir (Nizam-ul- 
mulk), the Amir-ul-umara (Samsam-ud-daulah), Ghazi-ud-din 
Khan (the Wazir's eldest son), Sarbuland Khan Mir Mushrif, 
and the three eunuchs Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan, Jawahir Khan 
and Itibar Khan. Some followers of these nobles, men famed 
for their bravery, were ordered to arm themselves and walk in 
front of the elephant on which the Emperor was seated. First 
of all, the Emperor himself shot dead the larger tiger ; then 
four cubs were killed with sword and dagger and matchlock 
by the nobles and their retainers, of whom some fifteen were 
wounded. The next day the return march was made to 
Dholkot, and the day after the Emperor reached once more 
the palace at Dihli. [Kamwar 266, 259 ; Ahwal 183a for a plot 
against Nizam.] 

Sec. 33. — Muhammad Shah as an Indian Solomon. 

As a curious instance of then prevailing ideas of justice we 
introduce here a case which cropped up in Rajab 1137 H. 
(March-April 1725). Three or four years before one Ramji, 
a clerk in the imperial offices, had become a Muhammadan, 
but his wife and daughter refused to follow him. He now 
laid a complaint before the chief Qazi Mustafid Khan, to the 
effect that when he changed his religion his daughter was a 
minor and therefore ipso facto became a Muhammadan without 
having any choice in the matter. On being sent for, the girl 
denied everything and was sent to prison while enquiries were 
made. In the end she admitted that the signs of puberty had 
appeared three months after her father's conversion. There- 


upon the chief Qazi and the expounders of the law recorded 
an opinion that the girl was a Muhammadan. The Hindus of 
the Urdu Bazar gathered in a crowd below the Emperor's 
lattice window and shouted for redress. The dispute was 
committed to Mir Jumla, then Sadar-us-sadur, or chief 
almoner, and he opened an enquiry at the wooden mosque 
within the palace. The Sadar held that the menses are not 
the only signs of puberty ; although one mufti named Daulat 
grew hot and angry and contested his finding. By the 
Emperor's order the girl was made over for safe custody to 
Jiwan Das, a Hindu cloth-seller, in case the Qazi might refuse 
to produce her. 

This result was far from pleasing to the Muhammadans. 
Next day, a Friday, fifty or sixty thousand of them assembled 
at the great mosque usually known as the World's Wonder 
(Jahan-numa). With shouts and cries they hindered the 
recital of the khutba or prayer for the Emperor's welfare, next 
they seized two or three Hindus and forcibly circumcised them, 
and a great riot was on the point of commencing. Roshan- 
ud-daulah the third Bakhshi was sent to bring the chief Qazi 
and the muftis. To pacify them Muhammad Shah ordered 
the girl to be imprisoned, and two or three days after she was 
buried according to Muhammadan rites. "To make a long 
story short, she was killed, otherwise there would have been 
many headaches and much vexation." The poll-tax on un- 
believers was re-instituted as a sop to the Muhammadans ; but 
in a week the chief Qazi was removed and other muftis ap- 
pointed. The life of the poor young girl was as nothing 
compared to the ease and comfort of the Emperor and his 
advisers ! [Kamwar, Rustam Ali 245a differs.] 

Sec. 34. — nizam-ul-mulk's campaign in gujarat and malwa. 

In the first few months after the defeat of Sayyid Abdullah 
Khan, before the arrival of Nizam-ul-mulk at Dihli and his 
appointment as chief minister, Haidar Quli Khan, head of the 
artillery, had been in the highest favour. Probably he enter- 
tained hopes of succeeding to the chief place when it fell 
vacant upon the death of Muhammad Amin Khan. At any 


rate, the appointment of Nizam-ul-mulk seems to have been 
far from pleasing to this noble, and he set to work to counter- 
act the measures of the new minister so far as lay in his 
power. A hint was conveyed by the new Wazir to 
Muhammad Shah, who spoke to Haidar Quli Khan. The 
latter was highly incensed, but thought it better to give way. 
He therefore obtained an order to take over charge in person 
of the Government of Gujarat, which had been conferred on 
him a year or so before this time. He quitted Dihli on the 
1st April 1722, leaving Khan Zaman Mewati as his substitute 
in the office of Mir Atash or head of the artillery. [Warid 101, 
K. K. 940, Ghulam Ali 45a, Kamwar 251.] 

When he had reached his head-quarters at Ahmadabad, 
where he arrived a little before 28th June 1722, Haidar Quli 
Khan commenced by assuming possession of those lands of 
which the revenue had been assigned to various nobles and 
officers or to Court favourites. Complaint was made to the 
Emperor and an order was sent to the governor forbidding his 
interference with these jagir lands. To this no attention was 
paid by him until his own assignments, which were upon lands 
not far from Dihli, were resumed in retaliation for those he 
had appropriated in opposition to orders. [K. K. 940, 
Kamwar 251.] 

Other acts of presumption were committed by him. He 
granted fringed palfys to some of the officers in his subah, an 
attribute of royalty or of the very highest nobility, just as if 
he were an independent ruler. From the port of Surat, which 
was within his province, he summoned a number of Arabs, 
'unbelieving pedlars', Ethiopians and Franks, and took them 
into his service on high rates of pay. His conduct showed in 
other ways an intention of declaring his independence. He 
heard complaints seated in audience, and when he rode out 
caused the streets to be cleared and guarded as was done for 
the Emperor. From many sources, official and private, rash 
words of his were reported, which showed an intention to 
throw off the imperial authority. [Warid 8.] 

At length Nizam-ul-mulk was able to overcome Muhammad 
Shah's reluctance to interfere with a favourite officer ; and on 


the 24th Oct. 1722 the province of Gujarat was taken from 
Haidar Quli Khan and conferred on Nizam-ul-mulk, either in 
his own name or in that of his eldest son, Ghazi-ud-din Khan 
Firuz Jang. The audience of leave-taking was given on the 
11th Nov. 1722, and Ghazi-ud-din Khan was left at Court as 
his father's deputy. With the Wazir went his second son 
Ahmad Khan and the nobles, nearly all of them his relations 
or connections by marriage, Azim-ullah Khan, Mutawassil 
Khan, Shukr-ullah Khan, Fathyab Khan, Hirz-ullah Khan, 
Hifz-ullah Khan and Talib Muhi-ud-din Khan. The Nawab 
was at Mathura on the 25th Nov. He passed through Agra, 
where he received some equivocal excuses by letter from 
Haidar Quli Khan. The camp was at Sarangpur in Malwa on 
the 9th January 1723, at Dhar on the 13th Feb. 1723, and on 
the 16th of that month he marched towards Ahmadabad. 
[K. K. 946, Kamwar 256—261, Ghulam Ali 45a.] 

Meanwhile Haidar Quli Khan looked about him for 
means of resistance. His son, Kazim Khan, was sent off to 
Dihli to work upon the Emperor's mind ; he was received in 
audience there on the 26th Feb. 1723, Nawab Roshan-ud- 
daulah being his introducer. Next Haidar Quli Khan turned 
to the nobles of the province, whose favour he had tried to 
secure by gifts of money and honours. One more eagerly 
than another they declined to join him in resistance, on the 
plea that it was not in a private quarrel, but in opposition to 
the sovereign that he wanted their assistance. He had been 
dismissed from his office, and they were no longer under his 
orders. [Warid 10, Kamwar 261, Siyar text 74.] 

On learning this determination of the nobles, which was 
entirely contrary to what he had hoped, that very same day 
Haidar Quli Khan began to feign madness* and absolutely 
declined to eat. His physicians, it is said, resorted to an 
artifice. One of them rushed into his presence crying out that 
ian order had arrived direct from Nizam-ul-mulk that if Haidar 
Quli Khan did not take his food he was to be bound and sent 

*Rustam Ali (251 a) says that he acted thus on the advice of h 
diwan Rajah Raghunath. 



to him (N-ul-m). As soon as he heard this, Haidar Quli Khan 
called hurriedly for food. His chief employes Raghunath Das 
and others, finding him in this state, constituted Rustam Ali 
Khan his locum tenens, and carried him off towards Dihli. 
They were so afraid of being followed, that they covered two 
sometimes three stages a day, passing through Udepur. But 
Nizam-ul-mulk did not trouble himself and gave no orders to 
pursue him. As we have already mentioned, the Emperor 
sent reassuring messages to the fugitive when he was at Rewari 
(6th April 1 723) not far from Dihli, and gave him a new 
command against Rajah Ajit Singh then at Ajmer. Upon this 
the madness left him as suddenly as it had fallen upon him. 
[Rustam Ali 250b, Mirat-i-Ahmadi.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk marched from Dhar on the 16th Feb. 1723. 
By this time Haidar Quli Khan appears to have quitted 
Ahmadabad ; for it was reported to the Emperor on the 1 1 th 
March, that on the 5th March 1 723 he was about 32 miles on 
the Dihli side of Udepur, and that Maharana Sangram Singh 
had sent him several trays of food and sweetmeats. On the 
28th Feb. Nizam-ul-mulk had been joined at his camp near 
Jhalod by a force of Dakhin troops under Iwaz Khan, Abdur- 
rahim Khan, Reayat Khan, and some of the Rajahs of that 
region. Iwaz Khan and the other Mughal chiefs were sent 
back to the Dakhin ; and the Wazir's uncle Hamid Khan, nick- 
named the Jangla Shahzada, was appointed as deputy governor 
in charge of the Ahmadabad Gujarat province. [Kamwar 261, 
Mirat, K. K. 947.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk now turned back to Malwa, where he had 
an old score to settle with Dost Muhammad Khan of Bhopal. 
Some years before (1720), this man had joined the force under 
Sayyid Dilawar Ali Khan sent by the Sayyid brothers to arrest 
Nizam-ul-mulk. He had escaped in safety from the field 
where so many were slain ; but the time had now come to 
wreak vengeance upon him. By the 23rd March 1723 the 
Wazir was again in Malwa ; and a force was despatched 
against Dost Muhammad Khan who had taken refuge in his 
fort of Bhopalgarh. where some fighting between the two sides 
occurred. Finally, it was reported to the Court on the 24th 


May 1723 that the small fort of Islamgarh had been taken. 
Yar Muhammad Khan had been sent in by his father to plead 
excuses and make due submission ; Nizam-ul-mulk was satis- 
fied by these overtures, and terms were arranged. At Sironj, 
on the 25th May 1723, the Wazir appointed his second cousin 
Azim-ullah Khan, son of Reayat Khan, to be deputy governor 
of Malwa, while Chandar Bans, son of Rao (Khan or Jan) 
Chand, was made commandant of Islamgarh. The return 
march to Dihli was then commenced, the artillery and heavy 
baggage being left behind at Sironj. On the 7th June 1723 the 
Wazir was at Narwar. On the 2nd July he had arrived at 
Khizrabad, a mile or two south of the capital, when Samsam- 
ud-daulah was sent out to escort him to Court. The next day 
he was received in audience, his younger son, Ahmad Khan, 
accompanying him. [Rustam AH 25 lo, Kamwar 263-265, 
Warid 12.] 

Sec. 35. — Nizam-ul-Mulk abandons the Wazarat and 
returns to the dakhin. 

As soon as he had returned to Dihli (3rd July 1 723), Nizam- 
ul-mulk resumed his efforts to restore some sort of order into 
public affairs. On every hand he found those efforts foiled. 
The Emperor's favourite Koki and her helpers, the eunuch 
Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan and Zafar Khan Roshan-ud-daulah, 
interfered in every measure and secured large payments for 
every appointment. Remonstrances, even when addressed 
direct to the Emperor himself, were unavailing ; as one writer 
exclaims in bitterness of heart: "What good was there in the 
Emperor sitting like a woman secluded within four walls? If 
sovereigns take to women's habits and entangle themselves 

j in their tresses, what can a good Muhammadan do, but migrate 
to the Holy Places, or if for that journey funds be wanting, 

; take a dose of poison and leave this for another world?" 
[Ahwal 181 and 196a.] In addition there was the continuous 
hostility of Samsam-ud-daulah, who headed a party of his own, 
principally made up of Hindustanis and the Hindu rajahs. 
Nizam-ul-mulk's efforts were chiefly directed to the abolition 
of the recent practice of farming out the revenues and to the 


stopping of bribe-taking under the cover of advance-payments 
and of offerings upon appointment to office. He also wished 
to reduce the extent of assigned lands {jagirs) and to give those 
which were difficult of management to the more powerful 
nobles and those yielding an income easily to the smaller men. 
These things were most sensible and praiseworthy. A third 
proposal, an attempt to restore the poll-tax, cannot be equally 
approved ; it was due either to Muhammadan bigotry, or to a 
blind copying of Aurangzeb's action. The historian Khan 
Khan also mentions a wild project put forward by the Wazir for 
the re-conquest of Iran on behalf of the Safawi dynasty, re- 
cently dethroned by the Ghilzai chief of Qandahar, Muahmmad 
Husain, son of Mir Wais, on the ground of showing gratitude 
for the hospitality once afforded to Humayun. As the news of 
this event had recently [10th March] been brought to Dihli, 
there may have been some vague talk of this sort, though such 
a proposal is rather inconsistent with the Wazir' s well-known 
caution. [K. K. 947, Ghulam Ali 45a.] 

Whatever the minister did or proposed was misrepresented 
until doubt and suspicion were aroused in the mind of 
Muhammad Shah. The attempt to restore a proper procedure 
was resented by those who profited by the confusion, for, 
as the proverb says, "Man is a devil to man." The Emperor 
himself was young and frivolous, surrounded by men who 
laughed and joked with him and pandered to his ignobler 
tastes. The advice of these private friends was more listened 
to than the words of the minister, and as one writer [Khush-hal 
Chand] says, "Every one was a chief minister or an adminis- 
trator of the revenues." One of the ideas adopted by 
Muhammad Shah from his confidants was that Nizam-ul-mulk 
intended to depose him and replace Prince Ibrahim upon the 
throne. They said to him that vigilance was imperative if this 
Nizam was not to gain the upper hand, when he would act 
with the harshness which Muhammad Amin Khan had dis- 
played in his day of power. The same false friends visited 
Nizam-ul-mulk and said to him that Muhammad Shah had not 
a grain of sense, was a worthless fornicator, and unworthy of 
the throne. Why was he not replaced by Prince Ibrahim? 


Thus Emperor and minister grew suspicious of each other, just 
as had been the case between Farrukh-siyar and Abdullah 
Khan. From time to time Nizam-ul-mulk refused to attend 
audience ; and when he did attend, he took every precaution 
against violence. The deposition of the Emperor, although 
Nizam-ul-mulk never dreamt of it, would have been easy 
enough as the minister had the Dakhini officers and all the 
Mughals (except Qamar-ud-din Khan) at his beck and call. 
[K. K. 948-49 ; Ahwal 182b- 183a.] 

Sec. 36.-^3tory of Khanna. 

The extent of the disorders caused by this want of con- 
1 fidence may be gauged from an incident belonging to this time. 
There was a beef-butcher named Khanna, sometimes called 
, Khan Muhammad, in the employ of Koka Khan, the Emperor's 
foster-brother. This man was secretly the head of a gang of 
robbers, who plundered the houses of many officials and rich 
traders, some men being killed and others wounded by the 
thieves. Bitter complaints were made to the Emperor, and he 
issued orders to the head of the police. The kotwal reported 
that Khanna's gang was at the bottom of all these outrages. 
But Khanna being protected by Koka Khan and himself a 
powerful man, a great fighter and wrestler, the kotwal was 
afraid to seize him. 

One day when Khanna had come into the palace in the 
train of Koka Khan, the Emperor ordered his arrest. Khanna 
tried to escape. The palace guards surrounded him, threw 
stones and bricks at him and finally captured him alive. His 
Majesty sent him in custody a prisoner to the police office 
(chabutra). When the Jiotwal had well beaten him and sub- 
jected him to torture, all the stolen property and twenty 
thousand Rupees were recovered from his house. 

Muhammad Ghaus, named by Khanna as one of his abet- 
tors, was next arrested ; he was an officer in the imperial 
service with a mansab of 500 and a good jagir. He admitted 
the accusation and gave the trace of much stolen property. In 
the end, a large number of well-placed men who had engaged 
in theft and protection of thieves were unmasked and arrested. 


When Khanna saw that his life was at stake, he resolved 
to take advantage of the young Emperor's love for spectacle. 
He sent word through his jailor that he was willing to fight 
with a tiger ; if it killed him, well and good, if he killed it, he 
should be set at liberty. The Emperor approved the proposal 
and an enclosure was prepared under the lattice window 
(jharol^a) of the palace, overlooking the Jamuna sands. Hearing 
of the affair Nizam-ul-mulk, who looked on it as destroying 
God's image, protested that much money had still to be traced 
and it was not advisable to kill the prisoner until the enquiry 
had been completed. In this way the fight with the tiger was 
postponed and never took place. [Shiu Das, 85b-86b.] 

Sec. 37. — Nizam-ul-mulk ceases to struggle. 

After this digression let us return to the position of Nizam- 
ul-mulk as chief minister. During this time Qamar-ud-din 
Khan, although so nearly related to the minister, stood aloof ; 
partly, it is said, by reason of his excessive indulgence in 
drinking, which disabled him from taking any effective part in 
public business. The seven thousand Mughals under his 
command thus remained neutral. Public business was dealt 
with as if it were a child's toy ; "revenue business was disposed 
of by the heads of the army, and night watchmen decided cases 
instead of the Qazi." The Emperor was immersed in pleasure, 
the nobles drunk with envy, the servants of the State starving. 
The secret jealousy among the nobles round the Emperor 
sometimes showed itself openly. Muzaffar Khan, brother of 
Samsam-ud-daulah, was one of the Emperor's boon com- 
panions. Opposed to him and his brother were the bosom 
friends Burhan-ul-mulk Saadat Khan and Nawab Roshan-ud- 
daulah. Among Muzaffar Khan's officials was a Persian from 
Naishapur, the native place of Saadat Khan. This man's ac- 
counts fell into disorder and the money was not paid. One day 
in open audience Saadat Khan asked Muzaffar Khan to release 
the man on his security. Muzaffar Khan gave a sharp answer. 
Saadat Khan somewhat disconcerted persisted in his offer. The 
other man grew still hotter and placed his hand on the hilt of the 
sword of state then in his charge. Saadat Khan made as if to 


strike him on the head with the fan he was holding. Roshan- 
ud-daulah remonstrated, and the officials dragged them apart. 
Issuing from the hall Muzaffar Khan ordered his matchlockmen 
and gunners to make ready. Roshan-ud-daulah, however, with 
the Emperor's permission sent for ten thousand Afghans in his 
employ and prevented the outbreak. Next morning Samsam- 
ud-daulah made complaint to Muhammad Shah and declared 
his intention of attacking Burhan-ul-mulk. He made many 
boasts of what he would do to Roshan-ud-daulah, and that 
before a hair of Burhan-ul-mulk's head was touched they would 
need to kill him and fifty thousand Afghans. As Samsam-ud- 
daulah persisted, Muhammad Bangash at the request of 
Roshan-ud-daulah joined the latter's troops and artillery. 
Qamar-ud-din Khan then intervened and advised Samsam-ud- 
daulah to desist. But the two disputants were sent away from 
Court for a time, Saadat Khan to Oudh and Muzaffar Khan 
to Ajmer. By the beginning of 1136 H. (October 1723) matters 
seemed to have reached a crisis, and as an open sign of his 
discontent the Wazir ceased to appear at Court. He sent in 
his resignation ; but being prudent and slow in coming to 
decisive action, he took no further steps, though he had al- 
ready, it was believed, formed the project of returning to the 
Dakhin. Each side thought this solution would be of favour- 
able result to its interests. The Emperor's friends thought 
that, if Nizam-ul-mulk were conciliated and allowed to leave 
the Court, they could easily destroy him. On the other hand 
Nizam-ul-mulk, who had been sounded as to relinquishing the 
Dakhin in favour nominally of the infant Prince lately born, 
felt that his position there could not be long maintained unless 
he was present himself, although he could hardly tell the 
Emperor that he considered the Dakhin his own and it ought 
to be left with him, he having gained it by the strength of his 
own right arm. Messages were interchanged, a truce was 
entered into, and on the 31st October 1723 Nizam-ul-mulk re- 
appeared at the imperial audience. [Siyar, i. 267 ; Ghulam 
Ali's Muqad, 45b-49a ; Ahwal 184a-lo5fe ; Khush-hal 1042a.] 
A little more than a month after this apparent reconcilia- 
tion, Nizam-ul-mulk made the pretext that in the cold season 


his health suffered from the climate of Dihli, and asked for 
leave to proceed on a hunting excursion to his jagirs in 
Sambhal and Muradabad. His audience of leave-taking was 
given on the 17th December 1723, and on the 22nd he crossed 
the Jamuna and encamped near the river bank. Here the 
Emperor paid him a visit, and he lingered in the vicinity in 
the hope of some terms being arranged through the good 
offices of the Rajah Gujar Mai Saksena, diwan of the Khalsa. 
[Kamwar 267, K. K. 949, Ghulam Ali 49a, Khush-hal 1043a, 
Ahwal 184a.] 

There was still a chance that Muhammad Shah might be 
induced to alter his tactics, and he was approached in the 
interests of Nizam-ul-mulk by one of the eunuchs, Khoja Munis. 
Rajah Gujar Mai also urged the same views upon the 
Emperor, and seemed likely to succeed. These hopes were 
dashed to the ground by the sudden death of the Rajah on the 
26th December 1723. He had prepared a written statement 
of the Wazir's demands and hoped to obtain on it the signature 
of the Emperor. The chief proposition was that the rule of 
farming out the taxes, introduced in Farrukh-siyar's reign by 
the "baniya" that is, Ratan Chand, should be entirely abolish- 
ed. As he was reading out his paper to the Emperor in the 
audience-hall, he was suddenly seized with a fit. Qamar-ud- 
din Khan threw the shawl from his own shoulders over him, 
he was carried to his palJ^i and taken home. He died as soon 
as he reached his house. When Nizam-ul-mulk heard of this 
event, after some words of praise of the deceased, he gave up 
all further thought of negotiations and started on his journey 
to Muradabad. His eldest son Ghazi-ud-din Khan was made 
deputy- Wazir on the 6th January 1724. [Khush-hal 1043a.] 

On the 12th Feb. Nizam-ul-mulk was reported to be at 
Anupshahar with the intention of marching to Agra. The pre- 
text of his being still a friend of the Court was kept up by the 
despatch of presents to him through his agent at Dihli on the 
18th Feb., and he sent to Court many lengthy petitions to the 
effect that he would return straight to Dihli from Agra. Then 
he submitted a report that as the Mahrattas had invaded Malwa 
and Gujarat, provinces under his and his son's charge, he must 


march southwards to expel them. He was then at Soron on 
the Ganges, whence passing through Jalesar and Agra by rapid 
marching he reached Narwar and then Ujjain in Malwa. It 
was not till his army had passed Dholpur, south of Agra, 
i crossed the Chambal and gone on to Gwaliyar that the common 
soldiers knew their ultimate destination ; but a few had sus- 
pected it from the first as the Wazir had adopted the precau- 
tion of bringing the whole of his family with him when he 

■ left Dihli. [Ahwal 185a.] Before his arrival at Ujjain the 

■ Mahrattas had recrossed the Narmada river. He then went 
into Dost Muhammad Khan's country and camped at Sihor 

i near Sironj. But these pretences were soon abandoned, and 
: Nizam-ul-mulk made all haste for the Dakhin. He arrived at 

Burhanpur in Khandesh during Ramzan (May-June) and at 
i Aurangabad, the Dakhin capital, by the month of Zul Qada 

(July-August, 1724.) [Kamwar 268; K. K. 949-952; Burhan 

169a ; M. U. iii. 739.] 

Sec. 37. — Attempt to Supersede Nizam-ul-mulk in the Dakhin. 

Meanwhile, the enemies of Nizam-ul-mulk at the Dihli 
Court had not been idle. On the 3rd Feb. 1724, before the 
Wazir had fully shown his hand, a farman was handed to 
Abdul-Mabud Khan, son of Mubariz Khan, governor of 
Haidarabad, appointing his father to the whole Dakhin as 
deputy for the infant Prince Shahryar Shah, and not long after, 
upon the death of this infant, the appointment was confirmed 
to Mubariz Khan in his own name. A grant of five lakhs was 
made from the imperial treasury and several lakhs from the 
revenues of the Dakhin, to enable him to raise a sufficient 
army. Although he and Nizam-ul-mulk were of the same 
country by origin, it was believed that greed of place and 
power would be sufficient to overcome any reluctance due to 
this fact. Other orders were despatched to Iwaz Khan (deputy 
of Nizam-ul-mulk), Bahadur Khan, Abdun-nabi Khan, Abdul- 
ghaffar Khan, Amin Khan, Saadat-ullah Khan, Rajah Sahu 
(head of the Mahrattas), and Rao Rambha, to join Mubariz 
Khan and afford him every aid in their power. After nearly 
five months, on the 22nd July 1724, Ghazi-ud-din Khan, 


deputy Wazir, was openly set aside and Qamar-ud-din Khan 
Itimad-ud-daulah, son of Muhammad Amin Khan Chin, was 
made chief minister. [Kamwar 267, Warid 13-14, Khush-hal 

Mubariz Khan, the then governor of Haidarabad, who 
was thus set up as a rival to Nizam-ul-mulk, was a native of 
Balkh, Khwaja Muhammad by name. In 1137 H. (1724) he 
was a little over sixty years of ago. His mother had brought 
him to Hindustan when he was a boy. After a time he obtain- 
ed imperial employ in various offices at the Court ; and finally 
secured his position by marrying a daughter of Inayat-ullah 
Khan Kashmiri, a man high in Alamgir's favour. He was 
made Bafyhshi to Alamgir's youngest son Kam Bakhsh, and 
afterwards faujdar of Sangamner. The first title given him 
was that of Amanat Khan ; and in the 47th year of Alamgir 
(1114-1115 H., 1703-4) the faujdari of Baizapur, about 48 miles 
from Aurangabad, was added to his former district. In 
Bahadur Shah's reign he was in charge of Surat : the then 
Wazir, Munim Khan, having the very highest opinion of his 
good qualities, which he held to be established by his very 
appearance. He was promoted on the death of Ghazi-ud-din 
Khan Firuz Jang, in 1122 H. (1710) to the Government of 
Ahmadabad Gujarat. Jahandar Shah (1712) removed him to 
the charge of Malwa, and for his victory over Islam Khan of 
Rampura in that province he was created Shahamat Khan. 
Early in Farrukh-siyar's reign (1713) he again received the 
Government of Gujarat, but had held it only two weeks when 
he was superseded by Daud Khan Panni. He was transferred 
to the province of Haidarabad in the Dakhin, and finally re- 
ceived the titles of Imad-ul-mulk, Mubariz Khan Bahadur, 
Hizbar Jang. He ruled in Haidarabad for nearly twelve years. 
Apparently he did not pay the Mahrattas the chauth, or one- 
fourth of the collections, as had been agreed to by Husain Ali 
Khan Barha when he was governor. Instead of this, Mubariz 
Khan fought them wherever he could ; though, in spite of his 
exertions, they everywhere and at all times, whenever they 
saw a chance, extorted more even than the chauth and took 
all they could lay hands on. Most of the roads, too, were so 

1720-22] mubariz khan's early dealings WITH NIZAM 139 

unsafe owing to their depredations as not to be traversible. 
[M. U. iii. 729 ; K. K. 963 ; Warid 54.] 

On the first occasion when Nizam-ul-mulk marched into 
the Dakhin (1719-20), he entered into correspondence with 
i Mubariz Khan. The latter marched to his aid but did not join 
him until his arrival at Aurangabad, after the defeat of Sayyid 
Dilawar Ali Khan and of Sayyid Alim Ali Khan. Then in 
1721 Nizam-ul-mulk thought of returning to Court, but Mubariz 
Khan was opposed to this move ; and when they had reached 
i the pass of Fardapur, halfway between Aurangabad and 
Burhanpur, persuaded the Nawab to retrace his steps and 
i proceed southwards to Adoni. Subsequently however. Nizam- 
ul-mulk 's proceedings to bring under subjection the Afghan 
leaders of that region met with only half-hearted support from 
Mubariz Khan, who perceived that their interests and his were 
almost identical, he being in unauthorized possession of imperial 
lands in Sikakol and elsewhere. Nizam-ul-mulk betrayed no 
displeasure at the time. But when he succeeded to the office 
[of Wazir he hindered Mubariz Khan, his sons and followers 
from obtaining increased jagirs and even told the governor's 
agent at Court that collections made from the crown domains 
were owing from the governor and would have to be paid. 
The Wazir also tried to get Mubariz Khan out of the Dakhin 
by recommending him strongly as the only man fit to take 
charge of Kabul, the Government of which was then vacant. 
Afterwards when the talk began of exchanging the Dakhin for 
the two provinces of Malwa and Gujarat, Nizam-ul-mulk himself 
proposed Mubariz Khan as his successor in the Dakhin, pre- 
ferring that he should be appointed rather than a complete 
stranger. [M. U. iii. 729-743.] 

At this time Inayat-ullah Khan wrote from Dihli to his 
son-in-law urging' his acceptance of the appointment to the 
six provinces of the Dakhin and inciting him to active opposi- 
tion to Nizam-ul-mulk. He was told that by so acting he 
would acquire the greatest favour in the eyes of Muhammad 
Shah. As we have already said, the formal rescript for the 
office had been sent to him at an early stage of the dispute with 
Nizam-ul-mulk. When it reached Mubariz Khan, he was busy 


with the siege of Phulchari near Machhlibandar, then held by 
Appa Rao. The siege had lasted six to eight months. The 
place resisted for a little time longer, and in the end the matter 
was settled on terms. The governor and his force then returned 
to Haidarabad. There he was joined by Bahadur Khan Panni, 
faujdar of Karnul, Abul Fath (son of Abdun-nabi Khan faujdar 
of Kadapa), Abdul-Majid Khan, (grandson of Diler Khan) and 
his adopted son, AH Khan ; and on behalf of Saadat-ullah 
Khan, faujdar of the Karnatik there came Ghalib Khan (son of 
Amir Abu Talib Khan Badakhshi). He was also joined by 
Dilawar Khan faujdar of Raichor. But many men went to 
their homes as the rainy season had commenced. In the 
meantime Iwaz Khan had made a raid into Haidarabad terri- 
tory, plundering the town of Banswara in the sarJ^ar of 
Medak.* Provoked by this incursion, and urged on by the 
Pathans, Mubariz Khan resolved on instant revenge. The 
march towards Aurangabad began in the middle of the rainy 
season. They crossed the river Godavari in the neighbour- 
hood of Nander and encamped not far from Udhiya, a pargana 
of sarkar Basim in the Balaghat of Berar, intending there to 
pass the season of the rains. It is estimated that he had about 
15,000 horse and between 30 and 40,000 matchlockmen known 
in the Dakhin as Kalapiyada (black footmen), also a certain 
number of swivel guns and camel-pieces, but only two or three 
large cannon. His police posts occupied the country and his 
officials went out to collect the revenue. [M. U. iii. 736-*7. 

While Nizam-ul-mulk was still at Sihor (near Bhupal) in 
Malwa he received a letter from Muhammad Inayat Khan at 
Aurangabad informing him that, instigated by the courtiers 
at Dihli and backed by the Afghans of the south country, 
Mubariz Khan had accepted the appointment of subahdar of 
the whole Dakhin and was on his march from Haidarabad. 
It was believed that as soon as he had taken possession, he 
would move northwards into Malwa, where he would be joined 

* Banswara is 81 miles n. w., Medak (town) 51 miles n., and Nander 
145 miles n. of Haidarabad. 

1724] emperor's letters to nizam and mubariz khan 141 

by reinforcements from Dihli and the combined armies would 
be used against Nizam-ul-mulk. This news was still under consi- 
deration when a letter from the agent at Court of Mubariz 
Khan conveying to him the verbal orders of his father-in-law, 
Inayat-ullah Khan, fell into the Nawab's hands. The contents 
of this letter confirmed what had been written from Auranga- 
bad by Muhammad Inayat Khan. There could no longer be 
any doubt left as to the position ; and immediate action was 
resolved upon. [M. V. iii. 738.] 

As Nizam-ul-mulk had succeeded in reaching Aurangabad 
unopposed, Muhammad Shah appears to have considered the 
game as lost, and thereupon changed his plans. After reciting 
that ill-health had been Nizam-ul-mulk's plea for leaving Dihli 
on two months' leave to Muradabad, — whence he had made 
off to Malwa and then to Aurangabad, — the Emperor asserts 
that the Dakhin provinces had been placed in charge of 
Mubariz Khan because Nizam-ul-mulk had complained that 
the country was a desolate one producing no revenue. If the 
extent of Nizam-ul-mulk's desire for the Dakhin had been 
known, a successor \yould not have been appointed. When 
Ghazi-ud-din Khan (Nizam-ul-mulk's son) found his father had 
gone to Aurangabad, he became alarmed at the plots of the 
envious and had withdrawn from the conduct of affairs as 
deputy Wazir. The work had been made over to Itimad-ud- 
daulah until Nizam-ul-mulk's return to Court. God forbid that 
he should suppose that he had been dismissed from his office 
or had fallen out of favour. The wazirship and governorship, 
both of them, are confirmed to him (Nizam-ul-mulk) ; he might 
stay in his province as long as he liked and return to Court 
whenever he wished. The province of Patna (Azimabad) had 
been given to Mubariz Khan, with whom Nizam-ul-mulk. was 
requested not to interfere. To Mubariz Khan the Emperor 
wrote that the Dakhin was given to him when he reported his 
willingness to undertake the affair with the aid of his allies, 
the local Afghans. The assurances led to Nizam-ul-mulk being 
neglected. When the first orders were issued, Nizam-ul-mulk 
was at Muradabad and Azd-ud-daulah (Iwaz Khan) near 
Deogarh ; at Aurangabad there was no one to make any 


defence. He (Mubariz Kh.) took up so much time in attempt- 
ing to conquer some petty fortalices that both nobles (Nizam- 
ul-mulk and Iwaz Kh.) had united forces at Aurangabad. Now 
he (Mubariz Kh.) raised the objection of the rainy season, 
which is no real obstacle to brave soldiers, and on that account 
halted 60 k°s from the provincial capital (Aurangabad). The 
projected business thus remained unperformed. Neither had 
Bahadur Khan and others, although written to as suggested, 
done any ting. It was all make-believe. Thus there was no 
course left but to restore Nizam-ul-mulk. Further delay was 
inadvisable, for his adherents were weak as unfledged birds. 
Nizam-ul-mulk had therefore been restored, while Azimabad 
Patna had been granted to him (Mubariz Khan). He should 
depart for his new Government via Burhanpur or Sikakol 
whichever he preferred — the rescript would follow, and Nizam- 
ul-mulk had been directed not to hinder or interfere. But 
before these orders could reach or take effect the hostile 
governors had put their quarrel to the arbitrament of the sword 
and Mubariz Khan had perished. [Majma-ul-insha, 87-88.] 

Sec. 38. — Mubariz Khan prepares to fight Nizam-ul-mulk. 

In Ramzan 1136 H. (May- June 1724) Nizam-ul-mulk was 
at Burhanpur, and about the end of Ramzan (21st June) he 
reached Aurangabad. In order to be able to meet future 
criticism Nizam-ul-mulk began by addressing a letter of ex- 
hortation and warning to Mubariz Khan, reminding him of the 
sin he was about to commit by the shedding of Musalman 
blood. He pointed out the indecency of Muhammadans 
fighting together in the midst of infidels, dwelt on their being 
of one country and one race, reminded Mubariz Khan that 
Muhammad Shah's acts were like the fancies of a child, and 
that from his agents at Court he had heard several times that 
another Government would be allotted to him (Nizam-ul-mulk). 
When the order arrived he would obey by returning to Dihli, 
and Mubariz Khan could then take peaceable possession of 
Aurangabad. Without some new office he could not leave the 
Dakhin, as it would ruin his army and involve the triumph of 
his deadly enemies. A little delay would thus clear up the 

J724] mubariz khan's plan of ATTACKING NIZAM 143 

' whole situation. But Mubariz looked on this advice as dict- 
ated by self-interest, and at the same time felt that to give 
way without a struggle would be fatal to his honour as a 
noble and warrior of repute, more especially as he held a 

! direct commission from his sovereign. Some think he would 
have given way, had not his Pathan allies talked roughly to 
him and accused him of preferring his Mughal tribesmen to 
loyalty to his sovereign. Mubariz Khan pleaded for the ad- 

i vantages of a peaceful agreement, but the Pathans only grew 

I more angry than before. He gave way to them and put the 
blame on them in his reply to Nizam-ul-mulk's overtures. He 

i finished his reply by leaving his fate in the hands of God, and 
what the Fates would bring forth would soon be seen. He 
continued his preparations for the campaign. [M. U. iii. 739 ; 

, K. K. 952 ; Burhan 169a ; Warid 15, 54-55 ; Ahwal 187o-188a.] 
Nizam-ul-mulk on his side made ready, his first camp being 

>at Talab Jaswant. According to one account Nizam-ul-mulk's 
leading advisers, Iwaz Khan and Ghiyas Khan, were opposed 

ito taking the field before the army had recovered after the 

' march from Hindustan and until the rains were over. These 
views were over-ruled by the Nawab on the ground that delay 
would only strengthen the other side, to which there would be 
many defections owing to the farman which Mubariz Khan had 
received. At length, with the help of Baji Rao and other 
Mahrattas, he marched out about 3rd Sept. 1 724, at the head 
of six thousand horsemen ; in the midst of lightning, thunder, 
wind and rain ; they proceeded under difficulties which defy 
description to within twelve \os of Mubariz Khan's camp. 
When the latter had reached the pargana of Char Thana, 
following the advice of his generals he resolved to make for 
Zafarnagar, a place held in perpetual grant by his ally Bahadur 
Khan Panni and having a population of Afghans. He hoped 
by a rapid march to reach that town during one night, intend- 
ing without an instant's delay to fall unexpectedly upon 
Aurangabad, having heard from the commandant of Daulata- 
bad fort that Aurangabad was unprotected and the fortress 
would be delivered up. If, provoked to sudden action in this 
emergency the enemy made pursuit, their artillery in which 


they were strong must be left behind, and Mubariz Khan 
would have them at his mercy. If, on the other hand, they 
resolved not to abandon the artillery, the ensuing delay would 
give him time to seize the women and treasure of the Nawab 
and the families of his soldiers left behind at the provincial 
capital. In pursuance of this idea Mubariz Khan left his camp 
on the Puma, where the two armies had been only twenty to 
twenty-four miles apart, and marched off in the other direction. 
In so doing he forgot the fact that in Hindustan to turn away 
from your enemy, once you have come in sight of him, is 
looked on as equivalent to your flight and the victory of your 
enemy. This way of looking at things was adopted on this 
occasion, as an eye-witness tells us ; and Nizam-ul-mulk's men, 
who until then feared defeat, now felt assured of victory. All, 
great and small, believed Mubariz Khan was afraid of them 
and had fled from before them. Offerings and congratulations 
were brought to their general ; and a rhymester in the camp 
found the date in the Hindi words, Dar-gya Mubariz Khan. 
[M. U. iii. 739, K. K. 952, Ahwal 189.] 

At the time of passing Nizam-ul-mulk's camp, a number 
of Mubariz Khan's advance-guard and skirmishers made an 
attack upon it. Many men including the commander of the 
artillery were killed. But those attacked were not content to 
leave the matter thus. With a considerable body of Mahrattas 
they came out to retaliate, and adopting the tactics of Cossacks 
and Mahrattas put an end to the other side's attempt at a 
forced march, making it almost impossible for them to ad- 
vance more than two steps at a time. The preliminary 
skirmishing seems to have begun on the 1st Oct. 1723, and 
by the 8th the fighting had waxed more and more severe. 
Nizam-ul-mulk had made a shrewd guess at the object of his 
enemy's strategy, and the Mahrattas having hung on to him 
and arrested his progress, the Nawab made a night march and 
by great exertions managed to cross the Purna with his 
artillery. [M. U. iii. 740, Kamwar, Ahwal 191a.] 

Sec. 39. — Battle of Shakar Khera. 
There being no other course open to him, Mubariz Khan 


stored his heavy baggage and impedimenta in Shakar-Khera,* 
and drew up his force outside that town. For two days he and 
his men remained separated from their supplies, and having 
nothing with them but a horse and a riding whip they suffered 
excessively. At first the two armies were eight miles apart, 
and as Mubariz Khan would not leave his position Nizam-ul- 
mulk advanced in fighting array one or two miles a day. Both 
sides were on the alert to repel any sudden night attacks. The 
decisive battle began in the afternoon of the 23rd Muharram 
.1137 A. H. = llth October, 1724. [M. V. iii. 741, Ahwal, 

Nizam-ul-mulk arranged his force in two main divisions, 
the first under his own immediate command, the other under 
that of Iwaz Khan. His vanguard he placed under Qadir Dad 
Khan (son of Qadir Dad Khan Alamgiri). Talib Muhi-ud-din 
Khan (grandson of Sadullah Khan, Wazir) was given the 
command of the right wing, while that of the left wing was 
Iconfided to Ismail Khan and Muzaffar Khan Khweshgi. 
Kunwar Chand, a son of Chhattarsal Bundela, and a body of 
Bundelas were placed with Barqandaz Khan, general of artil- 
lery, and Atayar Khan, superintendent of the ahsham and the 
light artillery. These took their place at the head of the 
vanguard. Iwaz Khan occupied a position to the left of 
N'izam-ul-mulk. Under him were Sayyid Jamal Khan (his 
son), Muqarrab Khan Dakhini and Khan Alam Dakhini, 
Vlutahawar Khan Khweshgi, and Aziz Beg Khan Harisi. He 
ulso had the artillery that he had organized when he became 
ieputy governor of the Dakhin. [M. U. iii. 741, K. K. 953.] 

Zahir-ud-daulah Reayat Khan, Nizam-ul-mulk's cousin, 
iind Muhammad Ghiyas Khan were posted between the centre 
|md the left. While Nasir-ud-daulah Abdur-rahim Khan, the 
'^awab's uncle, was sent to the right wing and with him Sayyid 
jhazanfar Khan Burhanpuri, who was Bakhshi to Ghazi-ud- 
lin Khan Firuz Jang (the Nawab's eldest son), also the three 
mndred men he commanded, some light guns and some wall- 

* Now called Fath-\hera, in the southern part of the Baldana district 
f Berar, some 80 miles from 1 Aurangabad. (Berar Gazetteer, 168.) 



pieces. To Hirz-ullah Khan (grandson of Sadullah Khan) was 
assigned a place between the centre and the left, and Bahadur 
Dil Khan (Lachin Beg) Qalmaq was sent to support him. 
Hafiz-ud-din Khan and Muhammad Said Khan, grandsons of 
Sadullah Khan, and therefore near relations of the Nawab, 
were stationed a furlong from the centre. The yaltamsh 
[advanced reserve] was placed under Hoshdar Khan (after- 
wards Iradat Khan). Muhtashim Khan (grandson of Shaikh 
Mir Khwafi) with several commanders of the centre (tarah) was 
placed on the right and left [of the centre] . Khwajam Quli 
Khan Turani with Gopal Singh Gaur, Salim Khan Afghan 
(deputy of the head huntsman) with his skirmishers, and Rasul 
Khan Afghan, all three mounted on elephants, were posted in 
front of the centre as a reserve [yaltamsh.] [K. K. 954-955.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk himself was in the centre, having with him 
many nobles such as Khwaja Abdullah Khan, Ihtida Khan, the 
diwan, Rustam Beg Khan, Nek Nazar Khan (Bakhshi of Nasir 
Jang, the Nawab's second son), Himmat Yar Khan (maternal 
uncle of the Nawab's son) and officials such as Abdur-rahman 
Khan, superintendent of the oersonal guard. Turktaz Khan, 
who had often had command among the Mahrattas, was deputed 
to look after Baji Rao and others and the 7,000 to 8,000 Mahrattas 
with them. 

On the other side, Mubariz Khan set his men in battle 
array, but he was notably deficient in heavy artillery. His 
vanguard was commanded by Ghalib Khan, an officer of 
Saadat-ullah Khan, faujdar of the Haidarabad Karnatik, and 
Husain Munawar Khan (son of Khan Zaman, otherwise Shaikh 
Nizam Dakhini). Behind them, at the head of the supporting 
force (yaltamsh) was Muhammad Beg Khan (uncle of Mubariz 
Khan and an experienced officer). On the right were placed 
Ibrahim Khan Panni (entitled Bahadur Khan, and brother of 
the well-known Daud Khan Panni), Abdul Fatah Khan (son of 
Abdun-nabi Khan Miyana, long famed in the Bijapur Karnatik), 
and other Afghan commanders with 2,000 Afghan horse. The 
sons of Diler Khan Miyana of Bankapur, along with Ali Khan 
(his adopted son) who commanded their troops, and Khwaja 
Mahmud Khan, Khwaja Asad Khan, Khwaja Masaud Khan 


land Hamid Khan, the sons of Mubariz, were posted close to 
jthe centre. Mubariz Khan himself, accompanied by Khan 
Zaman, son of Munim Khan (Bahadur-Shahi Wazir), Munawar 
Khan, Qizzilbash Khan, Faiq Khan (his diwan), Arab Beg 
jKhan Turani, Mir Yusuf Khan and many others, took up his 
position at the head of the centre. [K. K. 956.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk, having given orders that there was to be 

no firing until the critical moment of the attack, chained his 

jig guns together and awaited in position the onset of Mubariz 

Chan, the distance between the two armies being now a mile 

or so. Between them was a water-course, the bottom of which 

consisted of sticky black mud into which men and horses sank 

jp to their chests. At length after midday Mubariz Khan gave 

he order to advance against Iwaz Khan, whose force was on 

j:he left of Nizam-ul-mulk's line. The attacking side was under 

:en thousand horsemen in number. As they rode on they in- 

;reased their pace until suddenly they reached the water-course, 

where they were checked and the line thrown into great dis- 

jrder. The crush was so great that if a horse reared it was 

wept on with its legs in the air, or if a man lost his seat he 

lid not reach the ground but was carried on supported by the 

lorses on each side of him. At length the men of the left 

wing found a pathway. Then, in spite of all the artillery 

>pposed to them on their right hand with its deafening sound 

nd its blinding smoke, they fell like "roaring tigers" on the 

ight and advanced centre of Iwaz Khan and began a hand-to- 

land struggle with sword, spear and mace. It is said that 

■iome 5,000 of his horsemen dismounted and fought on foot 

with sword and shield. [Ahwal 191b, K. K. 957, M. U. iii. 

41, Kamwar.] 

At this point some of Nizam-ul-mulk's generals arrived to 

(einforce Iwaz Khan, and did great execution with their swivel- 
*uns and muskets. Soon came the news that Ghalib Khan 
vas killed. Mubariz Khan, without a muscle moving, said, 
'I too am ready for this unavoidable fate." Then his son 
\sad Khan's elephant turned and fled. As they passed 
vlubariz Khan, he shouted "Asad, the runaway!" Asad Khan 
eplied "It is not my fault, the elephant is frightened." The 


father angrily retorted, "If your elephant turns, throw your- 
self off, and carry out your duty to your sovereign." The 
elephant driver, by some severe blows of his iron on the 
animal's head, brought it into line again. For an hour-and-a- 
half they were rained on by shot and bullet. At last Asad 
Khan and Masaud Khan were killed. Mubariz Khan, on being 
told, exclaimed, 'Thanks be to the Almighty, from my first 
youth until now, I have never been defeated ; wounds and 
death are our portion, to die unshrinking on the battlefield is 
our salvation ; Asad and Masaud have gone from this earth ; 
of what longer use is my valour (mubariz)y So saying, he 
drove his elephant alongside those of Ibrahim Khan and the 
sons of Abdun-nabi and Abdur Rauf. He fought on for 
nearly another hour, and was at last brought up by the im- 
passable ravine full of mud ; he had been wounded and his 
strength began to fail ; at times he fainted, but reviving he 
seized again the bow and arrow. His elephant driver was 
killed, he took the dead man's place himself and fought on as 
before. But at an hour before sunset Mubariz Khan and all 
his chief men had lost their lives. [Ahwal 192, K. K. 958, 
M. V. iii. 742.] 

The principal men of his side who fell were Bahadur 
Khan Panni, commanding the right wing, Mukaram Khan, 
formerly Khan Zaman, commanding the left wing, Ghalib 
Khan, who was at the head of the vanguard, Abul Fath Khan 
Miyana, Husaini Khan (son of Ali Mardan Khan Haidarabadi), 
Amin Khan Dakhini, Jag Deo Rao Jadon, and Faiq Khan 
Kashmiri (the diwan). The total losses on Mubariz Khan's 
side are said to have amounted to 3,500 men, of whom between 
30 to 40 were leaders and "riders on elephants." Two sons 
of Mubariz Khan, Mahmud Khan and Hamid-ullah Khan, the 
latter a mere boy, were among the wounded and were taken 
prisoners. Dilawar Khan also fell into the Mughals' hands. 
[Ahwal 193a, Kamwar, K. K. 959, Warid 16.] 

The losses on Nizam-ul-mulk's side were comparatively 
few. Reayat Khan, a cousin to whom the Nawab's aunt was 
married, was shot by an arrow in the windpipe and died. 
Sulaiman Khan Khweshgi also lost his life and Sayyid 


Ghazanfar Khan died of his wounds after two or three days. 
[K. K. 959.] 

One of the curious incidents of the battle is that Amin 
Khan Dakhini and Muqarrab Khan his son fought on different 
sides. They had always been on bad terms, and a few days 
before the battle took place Amin Khan left the army of Nizam- 
ul-mulk and transferred his services to Mubariz Khan, taking 
with him a number of the commanders from Burhanpur. On 
the day of battle the father and the son took the field thirsting 
for each other's blood. Muqarrab Khan fought stoutly with 
everyone he encountered and showed his prowess abundantly, 
ilbut never came across his father. Still as Amin Khan was 
killed in this battle by someone or another on Nizam-ul-mulk's 
side, the popular legend arose that he was cut down by the 
sword of his own son. [K. K. 957.] 

Mubariz Khan was buried in the plain outside the town of 
Shakar-Khera. Shah Nawaz Khan, author of the Masir-ul- 
umara, thinks that he was to blame for carelessness and want 
of promptitude. If he had raised at once the siege of Phulchari 
and marched off to Aurangabad immediately on receipt of the 
imperial rescript, he would have been successful, for at that 
time Iwaz Khan had not more than 2,000 men. Nor, in spite 
of the delay, ought he to have been beaten, if he had only 
taken measures to collect sufficient men and material. In fact 
during the campaign some of the Mahratta chiefs had made 
overtures to him, more especially Kanhu Bhonsla, who had 
5,000 men with him and would have been satisfied with a small 
payment. But Mubariz Khan would not hear of such a thing. 
All these men, as he said, had felt his claws and suffered from 
his blows ; and for the future as in the past he would enlist 
men when he wanted them. He would never lower himself 
by entreaties ; but if they came of their own accord without 
payment there would be no objection. The thorough-going 
partizans of Nizam-ul-mulk laid all the blame upon Mubariz 
Khan for having dared to oppose such a man. "What can 
you expect?" they said, "Is it not true as the proverb says 
You cannot gather grapes from thorns nor apples from plane- 
itrees'r [M.U. in. 743, Burhan 169a, Ahwal 196o.] 


The day after the battle was spent in burying the dead 
and attending to the wounded.* Of these latter the principal 
were the two sons of Mubariz Khan, Dilawar Khan, his brother- 
in-law and Muhammad Beg Khan his maternal uncle. The 
latter died of his wounds a few days afterwards, and this too 
was the fate of Arab Beg Khan. Among the wounded attended 
to were Hakim Izzat Talab Khan, Qizzilbash Kh., Mir Abul 
Fazl Khan, Raza Muhammad Khan (diwan of Qamrnagar or 
Karnul), Aqa Abul Hasan (news-writer of Machhlibandar). 
Nizam-ul-mulk provided most of what was necessary in the 
shape of food and medicine and the things necessary for 
mourning. But Ihtida Khan (his diwan and lord steward) also 
largely contributed to their relief. Diyanat Khan, ex-diwan of 
the Dakhin, too, furnished many of the men who had been 
stripped of everything, with cash and food. Large amounts 
of rich clothes and jewels which had been confiscated, belong- 
ing to the sons of Mubariz Khan, Dilawar Khan, Kazim AH 
Khan (son of Haji Mansur) and others, were restored by the 
order of Nizam-ul-mulk. [K. K. 959-960.] 

Sec. 40. — Nizam-ul-mulk' s movements after his victory. 

After a halt of three or four days to rest his men, Nizam- 
ul-mulk marched for Aurangabad. Soon news came to him 
that Khwaja Ahmad Khan, the eldest son of Mubariz Khan, 
who had been left behind in charge of Haidarabad, had taken 

* The printed text of Khafi Khan seems to be incorrect on p. 960 ; 
either some words have been left out at the end of line 4, or the last word 
in line 5 is not in the negative. As the text stands, it gives the following 
casualties on Mubariz Kh.'s side (pp. 958-960) : 

Killed — Mubariz, his sons Asad and Masaud, Ghalib, Husain Munawar, 
Kamal (descended from Khan Zaman Dakhini), Bahadur Kh. Panni and 
Ibrahim Kh. Panni (though the two are declared to be one and the same 
person on p. 956), Abdul Fatah, Md. Amin, Md. Beg and Arab Beg (both 
died of wounds). 

Wounded — Mubariz's sons Mahmud and Hamid-ullah, Dilawar, Khan 
Zaman (s. of ex-Wazir Munim Kh.), Ahsan (not Husaini), Mir Yusuf, Faiq. 
Mir Fakhr-ullah. 

Robbed but unwounded — Hakim Izzat Talab, Qizzilbash, Mir Abul Fazl, 
Raza Md. and Aqa Abul Hasan. [J. S.] 


refuge in the fort of Muhammad-nagar close to the capital, by 
connivance of the garrison and its commander, Sandal Khan, 
a eunuch of the family. The whole of the late governor's 
property was transferred to this fortress, and its defences put 
in order and strengthened. [K. K. 960-961, M. U. iii. 744.] 

On reaching Aurangabad the necessary arrangemens were 
made for its protection, and all needless baggage was stored 
in the fortress ; then Nizam-ul-mulk set out again and made 
his way to the vicinity of Haidarabad, a march of 270 miles. 
Towards the end of Rabi II. 1137 H. (14th January 1725) his 
tents were pitched in the grove known as Gosha Mahal. 
Officials were appointed and the administration of the province 
taken over. Meanwhile Khwaja Ahmad Khan, who feared 
severe measures against himself and the connections of Mubariz 
Khan, was actively preparing to stand a siege. He also gave 
out that he expected every day a rescript from the Emperor 
appointing him in his father's place to the governorship of the 
subah and the command of the fortress. This rumour prevented 
the restoration of order to a considerable extent. In fact he 
wrote in all directions warning the garrisons of forts and the 
officials and landholders against giving possession to Nizam-ul- 
mulk's nominees until the period of one year had elapsed. 
He also sent troops to some places to aid them in their resistance, 
and released from the fort a number of notorious stirrers-up of 
strife who had been seized and imprisoned by Mubariz Khan, 
and these scattering to their homes helped to intensify the 
existing disorder. Nizam-ul-mulk's men lost hold of the 
province and the collection of revenue ceased. The roads 
became unsafe and were closed to travellers ; and in places the 
revenue officials were actually attacked. In one of these out- 
breaks Kazim Ali Khan (son of Haji Mansur), who was faujdar 
of the country round Bhongir, was attacked and slain along 
with a number of his men. But in the end Nizam-ul-mulk by 
gentle treatment and gifts of enhanced rank, new jagirs and 
the revival of titles held previously in the family, induced 
Khwaja Ahmad Khan to hand over the keys of the fortress.* 

* Leaving Ahmad Khan untouched for a time Nizam-ul-mulk occupied 
the city of Haidarabad and the country round it, then went on to Machhli- 


Khwaja Ahmad Khan was made Shahamat Khan and Khwaja 
Mahmud Khan became Mubariz Khan. The dependent 
members of the family were also treated with due consideration. 
Finally, Nizam-ul-mulk proceeded to the fort and established 
in it his own garrison and commandant. [K. K. 961, Ahwal 
197, Kamwar, M. U. iii. 744.] 

While Nizam-ul-mulk was thus busily occupied in restoring 
order within the province of Haidarabad, Anwar-ud-din Khan 
arrived from Dihli. He had just been dismissed from his 
appointment of faujdar of Kora and Jahanabad in the Allahabad 
province. Nizam-ul-mulk, glad to secure the services of such 
a capable officer, appointed him to be deputy governor of 
Haidarabad. His efforts to subdue opposition were very 
successful at Sikakol and elsewhere, and he brought up the 
revenue collections to the proper standard. [K. K. 962, M. U. 
ii. 527.] 

Nizam-ul-mulk Pardoned. 

After a few months, when it was seen that Nizam-ul-mulk 
instead of being destroyed had become more powerful than 
ever, it was apparently resolved to cover the failure of their 
plans by restoring him nominally to the imperial favour. 
Accordingly on the 20th June 1725, on the petition of all the 
nobles present, the offences of Nizam-ul-mulk were pardoned, 
his jagirs as held before he became Wazir were restored to 
him, and a formal rescript was issued confirming him in the 
government of the Dakhin provinces. But the two provinces 
of Ahmadabad-Gujarat and Malwa were taken from him and 
given to others. To the former was appointed Sarbuland Khan, 
who appointed as his deputy Shujaat Khan, son of Kazim Beg 
Tahrani. Hamid Khan, uncle of Nizam-ul-mulk was recalled to 
Court, and was to be expelled if he refused to obey. Rajah 
Girdhar Bahadur Nagar, then absent from Court, was 

bandar [Kamwar] and the Karnatik, leaving Hirz-ullah Khan in charge of 
Haidarabad subah. [Ahwal 197b. 1 The terms granted to Khwaja Ahmad 
Khan were a jagir in the Haidarabad subah, no demand for any service 
and a free gift of all his father's moveable property. [M. U. iii. 745.] 

, 1725] nizam's letter defending his conduct 153 

i re-appointed to the charge of Malwa, vice Azim-ullah Khan, 
! Nizam-ul-mulk's cousin and nominee. [Kamwar ; K. K. 962, 

Sec. 41. — Nizam-ul-mulk's Letter to Muhammad Shah. 

There is extant a long report from Nizam-ul-mulk addressed 
to the Emperor, which is probably authentic and if so represents 
his defence of his conduct. After referring to the disorders in 

; Farrukh-siyar's reign, he boasts of the loyalty of the Mughal 

I troops since Taimur's time, quoting as an instance his father's 
and his own service in the Dakhin in Alamgir's reign. Then 

I he touches on his ejectment of Haidar Quli Khan from Gujarat 

and the chastisement inflicted on Dost Muhammad Khan in 

i Malwa. To show that he was not covetous of power, he 

(asserts that Muhammad Amin Khan would never have consented 

jfto become Wazir if he (Nizam-ul-mulk) had wished for it ; 

ijand to meet the suspicion that he had designs upon the Dakhin, 
he brings forward the fact of his repeated visits to Dihli. Next, 

>\he enlarges on the purposes he kept in view while holding the 

Sjofnce of chief minister. Being frustrated by contemptible 

jjwretches practising every deceitful art, he was forced to with- 
draw. Then these evil counsellors caused royal mandates to 

jibe sent to Mubariz Khan. These writings having fallen into 
his hands he transmits the originals and asks to be informed 
how he had deserved such treatment. This is followed by 

• instances from the history of Bijapur and Haidarabad to prove 
that a ruler's strength resides in well-chosen advisers. From 

Ithe same cause Persia had come into the possession of the 
Afghans. After this we have a descant on the duties of a 

jisovereign, with very pointed application to Muhammad Shah's 
frivolous and debauched habits. The letter ends with a brief 
report of the fate of Mubariz Khan, described as a dotard 
although only sixty and not more than ten years older than the 
Nawab himself. His force is stated at 25,000 horse and an 
uncounted number of Karnatik foot-soldiers. In spite of 
exhortations to refrain, he had insisted on putting the dispute 

-to the arbitrament of battle, whereby he himself had perished 
along with thirty-three of his chief men, ranking from 1,000 to 


7,000 in mansab, and a great number of common soldiers. 
[Asiatick Miscellany (1785), i. 482-493, text and trans.] 

From this period may be dated Nizam-ul-mulk's virtual 
independence and the foundation of the present Haidarabad 
State. Henceforth he bestowed offices in the Dakhin ; he made 
promotions in rank, conferred titles and issued assignments 
on the land revenue at his own will and pleasure. The only 
attributes of sovereignty from which he refrained were the 
use of the scarlet or imperial umbrella, the recitation of the 
Friday prayer in his own name, and the issue of coin stamped 
with his own superscription. Many astrologers had prophesied 
that if he chose he could sit on a throne. But he repudiated 
the suggestion saying, "May throne and umbrella bring good 
fortune to him who holds them ! My business is to preserve 
my honour, and if this be mine what need have I of an imperial 
throne?" [Yahya 131b, Ahwal. 136b.] 



Sec. 42.— The Mahrattas : the people and their country. 

In the course of our narrative (Ch. iv. Sec. 38) we have 
already seen a Mahratta army appear at Dihli in the train of 
Sayyid Husain AH Khan and take a somewhat inglorious part 
in the street riot following upon the deposition of Farrukh-siyar. 
From 1721 we shall find them year by year encroaching more 
upon Hindustan, that is India north of the Narmada, until at 
the end of the eighteenth century they became absolute masters 
in all but the name of the shrunken remnants of the once mighty 
Empire of the Mughals. During the early years of Muhammad 
Shah and onwards, these Dakhin marauders occupy a large 
space in this piteous drama of decay and downfall ; and thus 
it seems desirable to introduce at this point a brief sketch of 
their previous history. Fortunately, the history of the Mahrattas 
having once for all been written by Captain Grant Duff (1826) 
under such favourable circumstances as can never recur,* it 
is unnecessary for me to burthen myself with much research 
on the subject. What I have to say about it is derived mainly 
from Grant Duff, though I may occasionally be able to correct 
or give greater precision to his statements from Muhammadan 
sources not available to him. 

The country known as Maha-rashtra (Great Kingdom) lies 
in the Dakhin, that is in India south of the Narmada and forms 
roughly a triangle, of which the sides are from Surat to Goa 
420 miles, from the sea coast to the neighbourhood of Nagpur 
420 miles, and from Nagpur to Goa 490 miles. The area 

* W. Irvine wrote this in December 1898. Since then the authority of 
Grant Duff (especially for the period before 1775) has been greatly weakened 
by the publication of a vast mass of Marathi records and the discovery of 
Persian sources unknown to him. For the resulting corrections, see my 
Shivaji and His Times and History of Aurangzib vol. iv, and the Marathi 
histories of G. S. Sardesai and essays of V. K. Rajwade. [J. Sarkar.] 


comprised within these boundaries is about 103,000 square miles, 
and the present population (in 1891) is about 12,383,411. 

There are two main divisions in this country, which are 
very dissimilar in their natural aspects ; that to the west is known 
as the Konkan, that to the east as the Desh (literally "country"). 
The first is again sub-divided into (1) the Tal Konkan or low strip 
of land a few miles wide along the seashore, and (2) Konkan- 
Ghatmahta or 'Konkan above the passes'. The Tal itself is 
rugged and broken, while the ghats are a mountain chain rising 
from 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the sea. The high tableland or 
Desh on the eastern side of these hills is as a rule about 1,000 
feet below their summit. It the ghat country many of the hill 
summits are formed of large masses of basaltic rocks, which 
can by a little aid from art be shaped into fortresses very 
difficult of approach. This natural feature explains the number 
of fortresses in the Mahratta possession, and, added to the 
extreme difficulty of moving an army in such a country, 
accounts for the slow progress and ultimate defeat of all the 
Muhammadan efforts to subdue them. The hilly portion of 
the Konkan is divided in its length into three parts ; that to 
the north called Mawal, the middle Khora, and the south Mura. 
From the first is derived the name of the Mawali herdsmen, 
who were so numerous in early Mahratta warfare. The Desh 
has in it four parallel ranges of hills known as the Chandor 
range, the Ahmadnagar hills, a range south of Puna, and the 
Mahadeo hills north of Satara. This Maha-rashtra is the 
country of the Mahrattas.* 

* There are several suggested derivations for the word Mahratta. The 
most usually received is that accepted by Grant Duff. A region called 
Maha-rashtra is pre-supposed, from which word by the usual processes of 
linguistic decay the modern name of the people is directly obtained. But 
H. A. Acworth, Ballads of the Mahrattas, Introd. p. vi. inclines to find the 
derivation in a tribal name Rathi or Ratha, (chariot-fighter, from rath a 
chariot), making Maha Ratha equivalent to Great Warrior; it has then to 
be assumed that this tribal name was transferred to the country being finally 
Sanskritized into Maha-rashtra. But Mr. Baden Powell (/.R.AS., 1897, 
p. 249) prefers to refer the word to Mhar or Mahar, a once numerous and 
dominant race, from which he gets Mahar-rashtra — "the kingdom of the 
Mahars" I need only name to reject it, such a grotesque theory as that 


The population of this extensive tract of country is at 
present, according to the Census of 1891, a little over 12 millions 
of souls, but probably in the 18th century it may not have 
amounted to half or even a third of that number. It is difficult 
to say exactly what portion of this total population is entitled 
to the specific name of Mahrattas. In one sense, all who live 
within the Mahratta country, or even all who speak the Mahratta 
language, are entitled to that designation. But in the political 
or military aspect, with which only we are concerned, it must 
be somewhat restricted. We therefore confine Mahratta, in 
our estimation of their number, to the persons who claim that 
name, coupled with those of the Kunbi caste. 

In religion the Mahrattas are almost entirely Hindu, and 
the greater proportion belong to the respectable, but far from 
high-ranking, caste of Kunbis, whose chief business here and 
elsewhere in India is that of cultivation of the soil. From 
these Kunbis was formed what was called the Mahratta nation 
and the first founder of the Mahratta State, Shivaji, was himself 
a Kunbi. After 1720 power passed into the hands of the Mayors 
of the Palace, the Brahman Peshwas or chief ministers, whose 
office became hereditary, entirely over-shadowing the Rajahs 
of Shivaji's house and line. 

It is not necessary for our purpose to go either deeply 
or far back into the internal history of the Dakhin. In briefly 
outlining the rise of the Mahratta State, it is sufficient to consider 
the condition of things there towards the end of the 1 6th 
century. The country seems to have been imperfectly subdued 
by the Muhammadan dynasties which from the twelfth century 
onwards had divided most of the Dakhin between them. In 
the sixteenth century Mahrattas had become numerous in the 
armies of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar, within whose territories 
their home country lay, and we are told of nine principal chiefs 
of the race, seven serving the ruler of Bijapur and two that of 
Ahmadnagar, north of that kingdom and nearer to their home 

of H. D. Robertson (District Duties during the Revolt in India, 1859, p. 104, 
note) who believed that the word meant Mar "strike" and Hata "ran 
away", and was a nickname due to their Cossack-like mode of fighting. 
[For a fuller discussion, see Sardesai Marathi Riyasat, 2nd ed., i. 2-6. J. S.] 


country. One of the two families connected with the Ahmad- 
nagar State was called Bhonsla * They are said to have been the 
headmen (patel) of several villages and to have obtained their 
family name from the village of Bhosa or Bhonsa in which they 
first settled. Babaji, father of Maluji, was owner of the Hingni, 
Beradi, Dewalgaon and Tapatash villages in pargana Puna 
[M. U. ii. 342] ; but their principal residence was at Ilora near 
Daulatabad. Here in the year 1552 was born Maluji, eldest son 
of Babaji Bhonsla. He married the sister of a powerful man, 
the Naik or chief Nimbalkar of Phaltan, and in the year 1577 
entered the Ahmadnagar service. In 1594 his eldest son was 
born and in honour of a Muhammadan pir or holy man, whose 
prayers were supposed to have been effective in procuring an 
heir, the child was named Shahji. Maluji died a little before 
1620 and was succeeded by Shahji. 

Sec. 43. — Shivaji : his career. 

In 1604 Shahji had been married, by a lucky chance boldly 
seized on by his father, to the daughter of Lakhiji Jadon of 
Sindkher and deshmukh of sarkar Daulatabad, the most power- 
ful Mahratta chief in the Ahmadnagar State. After playing 
an active part in all the fighting and intriguing from 1628 on- 
wards, Shahji died [at Basavapattan on the Tungabhadra] in 
January 1664, leaving two legitimate sons, Shivaji and Venkaji, 
the first named being the son of his first wife, Jiji Bai. Shivaji 
was born in the fort of Siuneri on the 11th April, 1627. His 
early days were passed in the family house at Puna, but from 
his sixteenth year (c. 1643) he began to absent himself and 
talked of becoming an independent chief. To wean him from 
these excursions and the lawless associates who shared them, 
his guardian (his father being absent on service in the Bijapur 
State) entrusted some of the family estates to his management. 
But he still cherished his youthful project of independence, 

* Mr. Irvine's account of early Maratha history, based upon Grant Duff, 
has been here corrected by references to G. S. Sardesai's Marathi Riyasat, 
vol. I. ed. of 1915. For fully detailed and up-to-date information on Shivaji 
and Shambhuji (with references to sources), see my Shivaji and His Times 
and History of Aurangzib, vol. iv. [J. Sarkar.] 


and in 1646 at the age of nineteen acquired peacefully the hill- 
fort of Torna, twenty-five miles south-west of Puna at the 
source of the Nira river. He now offered himself to the Bijapur 
State as its renter and feudatory. But for several years little 
notice was taken of him. 

Discovering a treasure hoard in Torna, he used the money 
in building another fort on a hill five miles to the south-east, 
and this place he named Rajgarh. When his guardian died, 
he assumed possession of the family estates, ignoring all his 
father's demands for remittances. Not long after this time, 
he strengthened his position by bribing the Muhammadan com- 
mandant to cede to him the important fort of Kondana, the 
name of which he altered to Singh-garh. This was followed 
by the acquisition by treachery of Purandhar, another place 
of strength. The rulers of Bijapur paid no heed to him, and 
thus by stealth he acquired predominance in the tract between 
Chakan and the Nira. 

In 1648 Shivaji revolted openly from the Bijapur Govern- 
ment, seized a convoy of treasure on its way from Kaliyan ; 
ten forts were surprised and seized, several rich towns of the 
Konkan plundered, and finally Kaliyan was suprised and the 
governor's family captured. 

[ After making many conquests he formally crowned him- 
self and established a regular Court administration army and 

Shivaji died after a [life of incessant activity and fighting] 
on the 5th April 1680, in the fifty-third year of his age. As 
Grant Duff truly says, "he was certainly a most extraordinary 
person ; and however justly many of his acts may be censured, 
his claim to rank high in the page of history must be admitted." 
At the time of his death he was possessed,* with a few excep- 

At the time of his death Shivaji's kingdom included all the country 
(except the Portuguese possessions) stretching from Ramnagar (modern 
Dharampur State in the Surat Agency) in the north, to Karwar or the 
Gangavati river in the Bombay district of Kanara in the south. The eastern 
boundary embraced Baglana in the north, then ran southwards along an 
irregular shifting line through the middle of the Nasik and Puna districts, 
and encircled the whole of the Satara and much of the Kolhapur districts. 


tions, of the whole of the Konkan from Gandavi to Ponda ; 
and a line of forts from Tattora to Panala distinctly marked 
his boundary to the eastward. He had in addition a number 
of detached possessions, Singnapur, Parnaira fort near Daman, 
many forts in Baglana, also several strong places in Khandesh 
and Sangamner. 

Sec. 44. — Aurangzeb's wars with the Mahrattas. 

In June 1680, after defeating an attempt to place a younger 
son, Raja Ram, then eighteen years of age, upon the seat of 
authority, the elder son, Sambhaji, established himself in his 
father's place. In the next year, 1681, he gave refuge at 
Raigarh to Prince Akbar, the fourth son of the Emperor Alamgir. 
This Prince had headed a revolt of the Rajputs against his father, 
and finally had been driven out of their country. This combina- 
tion between a rebellious son and a formidable rising State, like 
that of the Mahrattas, frightened Alamgir. He resolved to 
march into the Dakhin in person. On the 25th November 1681 
he arrived at Burhanpur, and the remaining 26 years his reign 
were occupied by a continuous and in the result fruitless 
campaign. Prince Akbar was forced to leave the country and 
flee to Persia, Sambhaji was captured and executed (1689), 
his wife and children taken ;* but at the time of the Emperor's 
death at Ahmadnagar in 1707, the Mahrattas were more 
powerful than ever, and it was with difficulty that the imperial 
camp itself was protected from their inroads. 

The son of Shambhaji, Shivaji, known through life as 
Sahuji, a nickname given him by Alamgir, was eight years 
of age when captured. He was brought up in the Muhammadan 

This tract formed his sWaraj or 'old dominions' A recent but perman- 
ent acquisition was the Kanarese-speaking country extending from Belgaum 

to the bank of the Tungabhadra opposite the Bellary district His latest 

annexation was the northern central and eastern parts of the present 
kingdom of Mysore and portions of the Madras districts of Bellary, Chittur 
and Arcot. This province was really held by an army of occupation. 
[J. Sarkar's Shivaji and His Times, ch. 15.] 

* For details see my History of Aurangzib, vol. iv. ch. 44 and 48. 

[J- s.j 


camp, and in 1707 when Alamgir's death occurred was still 
a prisoner of State. The Mahrattas had in the interval conti- 
nued their resistance under the leading of Raja Ram, the half- 
brother of Shambhaji ; and on his death, which took place in 
March 1700, by one of his widows, Tara Bai, on behalf of her 
minor son, another Shivaji (born 1691). 

During the years from 1700 to 1707 Alamgir continued his 
efforts against the Mahrattas, being chiefly occupied in reducing 
some of their innumerable strongholds. But meanwhile the 
"execrable enemy" multiplied their activity. In 1702 they 
levied contributions from Surat and Burhanpur. In 1705 they 
crossed the Narmada for the first time and penetrated far into 
Malwa. They overran Khandesh and Berar and broke with a 
large force into Gujarat. Mughal armies were sent after them 
to the north, while the Emperor himself marched southwards 
from Juner to Bijapur. An attempt was made to come to terms 
with them by offering first the release of Sahu, son of Shambhaji ; 
secondly ten per cent, on the Dakhin collections under the 
name of sardeshmutyii. Nothing resulted from these negotia- 
tions. In February 1705 the Emperor began to besiege the 
fort of Wakinkhera, the stronghold of Pern Naik, the investment 
of which lasted nearly three months, nor was the place taken 
until Zulfiqar Khan and Daud Khan had been recalled to head- 
quarters. The fort fell on the 7th May, 1705 : and the imperial- 
ists passed the rainy season near Dewapur on the Krishna 
river, three kps from the place. On the 30th Jan. 1706 the 
Emperor reached Ahmadnagar, and there died on the 2nd 
March 1707. At the time of his death the Mahrattas were 
plundering quite close to the imperial camp. [Mirat, 498-507 ; 
M. A. 498, 504, 512, 521.] 

Sec. 45. — Mahratta affairs after 1707. 

As already recounted, there was now a contest for the 
throne between Mhd. Muazzam, the eldest, and Azam Shah, 
the second son of the deceased Emperor. The latter took 
possession of the imperial camp and with it of Rajah Sahu, 
who had recently been made over to the care of Zulfiqar Khan, 
son of the Wazir. On the march from Ahmadnagar to Agra, 



Sahu was released at the request of Zulfiqar Khan and allowed 
to return to the Dakhin. He left the camp when it was at 
Duraha and taking with him some fifty retainers made for the 
home of Mohan Singh zamindar, in the hills bounding sarkar 
Bijagarh and pargana Sultanpur-Nandurbar. Having been there 
provided with some supplies, he was passed on beyond Sultan- 
pur, when he was assisted further by Ambu Pande, a Mahratta, 
who had a fort called Kokar-manda in pargana Sultanpur and 
lived by plundering the country from the port of Surat as far 
as Burhanpur. By these reinforcements he was enabled to 
reach his home country, where already many of the forts 
taken by Alamgir had again fallen into the hands of the 
Mahrattas. Such leaders as were lukewarm adherents of Tara 
Bai, the widow of Raja Ram, now came over gladly to Rajah 
Sahu. He marched to Ahmadnagar and visited the spot where 
Alamgir had died, and distributed gifts ; then he went towards 
Aurangabad and Daulatabad with the intention of making a 
pious visit to the tomb of that Emperor at Khuldabad. His 
followers began to plunder and the governor, Mansur Khan, 
prepared to resist. But Sahu restrained his men, and having 
carried out his purpose, returned to his own country.* 

In March 1708, after some feeble opposition by Tara Bai 
and her partisans, Sahu obtained possession of Satara and 
seated himself on the throne. It was at this time that a Brahman 
revenue collector first came to notice, one Balaji Bhat, son of 
Wishwanath, a man who afterwards became Peshwa or chief ] 
minister. In 1709 the contest with Tara Bai was continued ; 
but at the end of that year an agreement was come to with 
the Mughals, which obviated the necessity of deciding the rival 

* The above is based on K. K. 582-*3 and Dil. 171b. Kokar-manda is on 
the north bank of the Tapti, 62 m.n.w. of Dhulia in Khandesh, and on the 
frontier of the Rajpipla State. The route given in Chitnis 8-9 is incredible. 

G. S. Sardesai misreads Khafi Khan and says, "Sahu came to Sujan 

Singh Rawal, a zamindar of the hilly country of Bijagarh, Sultanpur and 
Nandurbar, who lived in a fort at Lambkani, 7 or 8 k.os from Dhulia." 
(Marathi Riyasat, i. 744). Other early helpers of Sahu are named in this 
work on the basis of Marathi records. Ambu Pande is corrected by 
Rajwade as Amrit Rao Kadam Bande. [J. S.J 


claims. Daud Khan, the locum tenens of Zulfiqar Khan, 
governor of the Dakhin, agreed to allow the chauth, or one- 
fourth of the Dakhin revenues, to all leaders who acknowledged 
his protege, Rajah Sahu ; the money to be collected by and 
paid through the Mughal officials. In January 1712 Shivaji, 
son of Raja Ram and Tara Bai, died of smallpox ; he was 
replaced as claimant to the throne by his half brother Sambhaji, 
son of Raja Ram by another wife, Rajis Bai. 

In 1713 after the execution of Zulfiqar Khan, his representa- 
tive, Daud Khan, was removed from office ; and the agreement 
with him being at an end, the Mahrattas resumed their old 
activity ; Ohandar Sen Jadon senapati, or commander-in-chief, 
was sent out to levy the Mahratta blackmail in the Dakhin 
province under the heads of chauth (one-fourth of the collec- 
tions), sardeshmukhi (10 per cent, for the office of headman) 
and ghas dana* (or expenses). With him went Balaji Wishwa- 
nath, charged with attending to the interests of Rajah Sahu. A 
quarrel soon broke out between the two men, and Balaji was 
[defeated in the battle and] forced to flee for his life along 
with his two sons, Baji Rao and Chimnaji. He found a refuge 
in Pandav-garh.f 

Nizam-ul-mulk now became governor of the Dakhin (1713). 
At first he espoused the cause of Sambhaji, but after some 
fighting a compromise was arrived at. The contest among 
the Mahrattas themselves, however, continued and thereby 
Balaji managed to improve his position until [on the 16th Nov. 
1713] he was appointed to the office of Peshwa. In 1719 a new 
viceroy came to the Dakhin in the person of Sayyid Husain 
AH Khan Barha, Amir-ul-umara and chief Bakhshi of the 
Empire, — Daud Khan, who opposed his taking of possession, 
having been defeated and killed ; the Sayyid's arms were 
turned against the Mahrattas. His efforts were attended with 

* Ghas dana, literally grass and grain, i.e., forage money, instituted in 
1692. It was imposed by the Maratha officers for their own benefit, the 
chauth and sardeshmukhi being accounted for to the State. 

t For a detailed and correct account of Balaji's early career, see G.S. 
Sardesai's Marathi Riyasat, ii. 17-40. Pandavgarh is near Wai. Sardesai 
gives Dec. 1710 as the date of this battle. [J. S.] 


so little success that in the end he was glad to agree to 
terms. The chauth and sardeshmxikhi were promised and 
certain so-called hereditary lands (swa-raj) were granted, and 
Husain Ali Khan then returned to Dihli. Although Farrukh- 
siyar refused to ratify this agreement, there can be little doubt 
that on the spot it was acted upon and in 1719, after the 
dethronement of Farrukh-siyar, the formal deeds were issued. 
Sahu promised in return to pay a peshkash of ten lakhs for 
the inherited domain and a fine on his appointment as sardesh~ 
muhh, to suppress depredation, either punishing the thieves or 
restoring the amount stolen, and to maintain 15,000 horse for 
the Emperor's service.* 

Soon there followed Nizam-ul-mulk's flight from Malwa, 
his successive defeats of Sayyid Dilawar Ali Khan and Alim , 
Ali Khan, his appointment as Wazir, his final return to the 
Dakhin when he became in fact, if not in name, the independent 
ruler of the territories claimed by the Mughals. From this 
rapid summary it will be seen that up to 1670 the Mahrattas, 
confined themselves to the western side of the Dakhin orb 
roughly speaking to their own country of Maharashtra. The 
first exaction of one-fourth of the collections on a province 
immediately under the Mughals took place in 1670 during an 
excursion into Khandesh, the year in which Shivaji in person 
sacked Surat [for the second time]. As early as 1658 the 
Mahrattas seem to have employed a proportion of Muham- 
madans, but the superior commands were retained in the hands 
of Hindus. This seems to have been the case up to the end 
of their history as a conquering power. Their first incursion 
beyond or to the north of the Narmada (if we except a slight 
attack in 1720) did not occur until 1705, when Malwa and 
Gujarat were both overrun. These raids into Hindustan 
increased in frequency and extent as the years went on, until 
they became an annual infliction. We now purpose to give in 
somewhat more detail the course of events in the provinces 
of Gujarat, Bundelkhand and Malwa during the first half of 
Muhammad Shah's reign and their connection with the incursions 

* For full and correct details, Sardesai ii. 82-115. [J. S.] 


of the Mahrattas. The persistent aggressions in the Mughal 
territories north of the Narmada, which now began, were 
continued until the rise of the British power, and were the 
outcome of a settled intention of over-running the Muhammadan 
dominions. The author of this far-reaching scheme was Baji 
Rao, who in the year 1 720 succeeded his father, Balaji Wishwa- 
nath, in the office of Peshwa. 

Sec. 46.— The Mahrattas in Gujarat. 

After Shiva ji's death in 1680, the first appearance of the 
Mahrattas in the subah of Gujarat seems to have been in the 
year 1702 when they levied a contribution from Surat ; this 
was followed in 1705 by an irruption of 15,000 horsemen who 
defeated the faujdars at Baba Piara ford on the Narmada and 
carried slaughter wherever they went. Order was restored to 
some extent by Prince Azam Shah, who was at once appointed 
governor. From Alamgir's death ( 1 707) up to the accession of 
Muhammad Shah (1719), the Mahrattas do not seem to have 
made any invasion on a large scale ; but in the interval they had 
by small yearly expeditions succeeded in obtaining the chauth 
or fourth share from a great part of the province. The 
Mahrattas assert that their right to this tribute was confirmed 
at Dihli in 1719, when the deeds for the chauth on the six 
provinces of the Dakhin were executed. But this assertion is 
totally unproved and probably quite unfounded. From 1720, 
when Baji Rao succeeded his father Balaji in the office of 
Peshwa or chief minister of the Mahratta State, began a series 
of vigorous and sustained encroachments on the Mughal Empire 
north of the Narmada. This was in pursuance of a matured 
and far-reaching plan. As Baji Rao said to Rajah Sahu, "Let 
us strike at the trunk of the withering tree ; the branches will 
fall of themselves. Thus should the Mahratta flag fly from 
the Krishna to the Indus." Thereupon the Rajah exclaimed 
enthusiastically: "You shall plant it upon the Himalayas!" 

At this period arose the practice of assigning to particular 
officials or commanders the attack on particular provinces. To 
the Peshwa were assigned Khandesh and part of the Balaghat, 
and later on, the operations in Malwa and the country to the 


north of it as far as the Jamuna. Khandi Rao Dhabariya, the 
senapati or commander-in-chief, realized the dues in Baglana, 
or the country between the Tapti and the Narmada, and also 
in Gujarat. 

At the battle of the 9th August, 1 720, near Balapur, between 
Sayyid Alim Ali Khan and Nizam-ul-mulk, the troops of Khandi 
Rao Dhabariya had fought well on behalf of the Sayyid. One 
officer, Damaji Gaikwar, had especially distinguished himself ; 
and on the senapati 's recommendation Rajah Sahu made this 
man second in command with the title of Shamsher Bahadur. 
In 1721 Damaji died and was succeeded by his nephew Pilaji 
Gaikwar, — who thus became the principal Mahratta leader in 
the attacks upon Gujarat. Another man of note was Udaji 
Puar, son of Wiswas Rao, who had lately risen to notice and 
made many distant expeditions into Malwa as far as Dhar and 
into Gujarat, in the latter plundering as far as Luniwara.* 
There was also Kanthaji Kadam Bande, an active partisan who 
took a prominent part in the raids into Gujarat. 

During the reigns of Bahadur Shah (1707-1712) and Farrukh- 
siyar (1712-1719), order had been more or less preserved by 
successive governors ; among the most notable of whom were 
Ghazi-ud-din Khan Firuz Jang and Maharajah Ajit Singh Rathor. 
It was in this period that Haidar Quli Khan Isfaraini's first 
connection with the province arose. He was in charge of the 
important city and port of Surat from Dec. 1715 to June 1718. 
In 1720 on the overthrow of the Sayyids, to whose party he 
belonged, Ajit Singh was replaced as we have seen by this 
Haidar Quli Khan. He gave way in turn to Nizam-ul-mulk's 
representative Hamid Khan in February 1723. [M. U. iii. 765. J 
But as Haidar Quli Khan contested his successor's rights, the 
province was left by him in the charge of his nominee, one 
Shujaat Khan. By a fresh turn of the wheel, Nizam-ul-mulk 
lost his appointment to this province, which was conferred on 
Sarbuland Khan Mubariz-ul-mulk. The new governor's first 
act was to re-appoint Haidar Quli Khan's nominee, Shujaat 
Khan, as his deputy. As this man and his brothers now become 

* About 68 m. n. e. of Ahmadabad. 


chief actors in our narrative, it will be well to give some account 
of them before we proceed further. 

Shujaat Khan and his origin. 
One Shujaat Khan (Shaikh Muhammad Shah Faruqi),* was 
long connected with Gujarat, and in 1 1 12 H. (1700-1) died while 
governor of that province. One of his principal officers was 
Kazim Beg. This man had six sons. Of these one was killed 
fighting the Kolis, a jungle tribe, during the government of 
Ibrahim Khan (1705-1708); and during Haidar Quli Khan's 
rule at Surat, two others lost their lives, one in an attack on 
some rebels at Jamu, the other in the course of his duty as 
faujdar of Surat. The three sons who were left became favourite 
officers of Haidar Quli Khan, he furthered their interests in 
every way, and obtained titles for them. Muhammad Masum, 
who had married the daughter of Shujaat Khan (Shaikh Muham- 
mad Shah) was created Shujaat Khan ; the two others were 
made Rustam Ali Khan and Ibrahim Quli Khan. 

Sec. 47. — Hamid Khan's Government. 

We now return to our narrative. When Nizam-ul-mulk 
heard that Haidar Quli Khan had abandoned Ahmadabad, he 
discontinued his advance on that place and sent a letter to 
Safdar Khan Babi a prominent local leader, directing him to 

* M. U. ii. 708; K. K. 965. Irvine's account of Gujarat affairs in 
Muhammad Shah's reign is almost entirely based upon the Mirat-i-Ahmadi 
of Ali Muhammad Khan, the diwan of the province and an eye-witness 
of many of them. The information from this source is here and there 
supplemented by a few details or variants from Khafi Khan and Kamwar 
Khan, and, more rarely, Khush-hal Chand. Irvine had made his first 
draft from the works of Khafi Khan and Kamwar, but he afterwards can- 
celled it in favour of the fuller and more correct narrative given in the 
Mirat. The text of the last-named history lithographed at Bombay is in- 
complete and stops with the year 1715 in the governorship of Daud Khan 
Panni ; it is therefore useless for our period. English readers will find an 
excellent summary of the Mirat account (by Col. Watson) in Bombay 
Gazetteer, vol. i. pt. i, pp, 295-345. For purely Mahratta affairs, Irvine 
has relied on Grant Duff, with one or two references to Forrest's Selections. 
[J. Sarkar.] 


take charge of the province until the arrival of a new deputy. 
Safdar Khan thereupon entered on possession of the governor s 
palace known as the Bhadar. Meanwhile, on the 12th Feb. 
1723, Nizam-ul-mulk had appointed his uncle, Hamid Khan, to 
be his deputy with Fidwi Khan as provincial diwan. Certain 
parganas were removed from the Khalsa register and converted 
into jagir lands, five of the most productive of these being 
absorbed into Nizam-ul-mulk's own jagir, and Godhra granted 
in jagir to his brother-in-law, Mutawassil Khan. 

Hamid Khan was met on his way by Salabat Muhammad 
Khan and Jawan-mard Khan, the sons of Safdar Khan Babi, 
and at Dohad he picked up Mihr AH Khan, the late diwan, 
who had been detained there by illness. Shujaat Khan joined 
him at Godhra and Rustam Ali Khan at Thasra.* When he 
had arrived near the city, he pitched his camp near the Kakariya 
lake, in the grove of Mihr Ali Khan. On the 5th April 1723 
he made his formal entry into the city. [Mirat.] 

Things now went on in the usual way in the subah. Sayyid 
Nasir Khan, chief of the imperial mace-bearers, arrived from 
Dihli with robes of honour for the deputy governor. About 
this time there was a fight between Kripa Shankar Nagar, a 
military officer, and the underlings of the city faujdar. Hamid 
Khan ordered his artillery to besiege the man's house in the 
Rajwara quarter, and the disturbance lasted until nightfall. 
Rustam Ali Khan, who thought the culprit a valuable officer, 
then interfered, carried him off to his own house, and next day 
presented him to Hamid Khan. Pardon was granted to Kripa 
Shankar, and he was admitted into the deputy's service. 

After a time Hamid Khan marched out into the districts 
to collect peshfyash. Rustam Ali Khan undertook to pay a 

* Thasra, about 36 m. e. of Ahmadabad. 

K. K. 965-968 makes Shujaat Khan resist Hamid Khan on his first 
arrival in Gujarat. But as Hamid Khan started from Jhalod in Feb. 1723 
and Shujaat Khan was not killed until Nov. 1724, it seems impossible to 
bridge over this interval. Therefore I treat Khafi Khan's account as 
referring to the later period when Shujaat Khan was re-appointed deputy 
of Sarbuland Khan. This is in the true order of events as found in the 
Mirat-i-A hmadi. 


lump sum on account of the collections from the country on 
the banks of the river Watrak, which flows into the Sabarmati 
on the left bank about twelve miles south of Ahmadabad, after 
a course of over 80 miles. The youngest brother, Ibrahim Quli 
Khan, was sent out to obtain the money and pitched his camp 
on the banks of the Watrak. When Hamid Khan was 
at the fort in Nariad, about 24 miles south-east of the 
capital, certain enemies of the brothers persuaded the 
deputy governor that he had now a good opportunity of 
attacking and getting rid of one of them. Ibrahim Quli 
Khan was informed of the plot and made ready to defend 
himself. Pretended friends in Hamid Khan's camp wrote 
that he ought to withdraw. He refused. Rustam AH Khan 
turned out from Ahmadabad during the night to his 
brothers protection, and reached him at daybreak. Hamid 
Khan had already started from Nariad, but on his way learnt 
that Rustam Ali Khan had already joined Ibrahim Quli Khan. 
Giving up his purpose, Hamid Khan sent friendly messages to 
the brothers and returned to the city. The brothers went 
together towards parganas Pitlad and Baroda, of which they 
were in charge. There they attacked and burnt the village 
of Dhawan, belonging to the Kolis, built a small fort there, 
and placed a garrison in it. [Mirat.] 

Sec. 48.— Shujaat Khan Replaces Hamid Khan in Gujarat. 

In Dec. 1723 Nizam-ul-mulk left Court, as we have seen, 
without the Emperor's consent, and Mubariz Khan was incited 
to resist his advance into the Dakhin, the result being a triumph 
for Nizam-ul-mulk. The Emperor thought it expedient to make 
concessions and in exchange for the confirmation of his vice- 
royalty in the Dakhin, Nizam-ul-mulk resigned the office of 
Wazir and with it the governorship of Malwa and Gujarat. The 
new governor of the latter province, Sarbuland Khan Mubariz- 
ul-mulk, nominated Shujaat Khan as his deputy until his own 
arrival, and Hamid Khan was directed to return to Court. 
Rustam Ali Khan, younger brother of Shujaat Khan, was at 
the same time appointed to the charge of Surat in place of 
Mumin Khan Najm Sani, who in turn replaced Fidwi Khan in 


the office of diwan of the subah. [K. K. 966] . The official 
order, accompanied by a letter from Sarbuland Khan, reached 
Ahmadabad in July- August 1724. Hamid Khan was made 
acquainted with the orders, and the new deputy proceeded to 
appoint his own officers. Shujaat Khan called upon Hamid 
Khan to evacuate the Bhadar or governor's palace. As it was 
the middle of the rainy season, he asked for a little time. 
Shujaat Khan would make no concession and began to erect 
batteries in preparation for an ejectment by force. The fighting 
went on for three nights and days, and many houses near the 
fort were injured. Those men of Ahmadabad who envied 
Shujaat Khan went so far as to send their followers to aid Hamid 
Khan and gave him encouragement in his resistance. But Ali 
Muhammad Khan* thought it wise to attempt a compromise. 
He therefore saw Safdar Khan Babi and said to that man's 
sons, "Another governor has been appointed, it will be wise 
for you to quench these flames if you want to stand well with 
the new man." He forced them to mount their horses and 
visit Hamid Khan. Ali Muhammad Khan next interviewed 
Shujaat Khan. In this way hostilities ceased and Hamid Khan 
quitted the city. His intention was to join his cousin Azim- 
ullah Khan, governor of Malwa, but finding that he had already 
quitted his Government and returned to Dihli, Hamid Khan 
until the rainy season had passed halted at Dohad 110 miles 
east of Ahmadabad. Thence he reported the facts to Nizam- 
ul-mulk and requested an answer. He also wrote to Dihli re- 
presenting that he was in great straits for money ; thereupon 
an order for two lakhs of Rupees was sent to him, payable 
from the treasury at Sironj. \Mirat, Kamwar.] 

It seems that Shujaat Khan, knowing that the late Wazir 
was out of favour at Court, had offered to attack him in the 
Dakhin ; and that the Emperor had granted three lakhs for 
this purpose from the treasury of Surat with which he engaged 
to raise twenty thousand men. As a counter-blast to this 
project, Nizam-ul-mulk entered into engagements with Kanthaji 

* Faujdar of Haveli Ahmadabad and father of the author of the 
Mirat-i-Ahmadi. The author himself returned to Ahmadabad in 1724. 


Kadam Bande, one of Rajah Sahu's generals, offering him the 
chauth or one-fourth of the revenues of Gujarat in return for 
the reinstatement of Hamid Khan. He was also embittered 
by the summary way in which his uncle had been ejected by 
Shujaat Khan. At the end of the rains Kanthaji Kadam came 
across the Narmada with 15,000 to 20,000 horsemen and joined 
Hamid Khan. The two allies came first to Kaparwanj, about 
32 miles east of Ahmadabad, whence Hamid Khan opened 
communications with his friends at Ahmadabad, who encouraged 
him to advance as the chances were all in his favour. At this 
time Shujaat Khan was away from Ahmadabad, engaged in 
suppressing some unruly zamindars. He had with him only 
4,000 to 5,000 horsemen : and thought he could overcome his 
enemy without waiting for reinforcements. [Mirat, Kamwar.] 
Hearing that Hamid Khan was making for the city of 
Ahmadabad, Shujaat Khan returned in that direction by forced 
marches and reached the village of Dhabora, nine fyos from 
the city. He neglected to send out scouts, and being thus 
quite unaware of the enemy's approach he ordered a halt in 
order to collect tribute from the village. On Thursday the 
14th Dec. 1724 he resumed his march towards the city, many 
of the soldiers and people of the bazars dispersing as he went.* 

Sec. 49. — Shujaat Khan Slain. 

When they reached the village of Motiya Medara, four kp s 
from the city, being in total ignorance of the enemy's presence, 
the camp-followers and the troops, mostly horsemen, began to 
leave in small groups and race each other to the city. All 
order and discipline were lost. Mahratta horsemen, known 
as Hol-suwar, appeared in sight and attacked the rearguard. 
Shujaat Khan's men lost their heads entirely, and the march 
became a mere sauve qui pent with the city as its goal. Pressing 
onwards the Mahrattas fell upon the centre and commenced 
plundering it. Shujaat Khan did all he could to restore order, 
but owing to the crowd of fugitives and the strings of carts his 

* Khush-hal Chand (Berlin MS. /. 1045) suggests drunkenness as the 
cause of Shujaat Khan's defeat. 


efforts were without avail. The men were only too eager to 
escape out of their chief's sight and save themselves from the 

Shujaat Khan abandoning these fruitless endeavours took 
up a position on one side, a little apart from the crowd. Hamid 
Khan seized the chance and came on, clad in armour cap-a-pie, 
seated in an iron-sided canopy. The standard elephants of 
the two leaders fought together and that of Shujaat Khan 
prevailed. Then Hamid Khan drove forward the elephant he 
was riding. Shujaat Khan was seated on a simple pad with no 
iron-protected sides and with him was a little child, his son. 
Nevertheless he hesitated not, but brought his elephant along- 
side that of his enemy. Then both men let fly their arrows. 

Husain Quli, son of Shujaat Khan, who commanded the 
vanguard of three thousand horse, saw from his seat on his 
elephant Hamid Khan come up against his father. He tried 
to rally the few men about him and lead them in a charge ; 
not one followed him. Alone he rode to his father's succour ; 
but arrived too late. Shujaat Khan's arrows glanced harm- 
lessly off the sides of the iron canopy, while several of Hamid 
Khan's had struck Shujaat Khan with full effect. His few 
companions, who had not been killed or wounded, took to 
flight and were made prisoners by the Mahrattas. Then Hamid 
Khan's men surrounded the elephant and gave the coup de 
grace with their lances and spears. The deceased's family, 
including two sons, Husain Quli Khan and Mustafa Quli Khan, 
were taken prisoners ; and the whole of the goods and equipage 
in his camp became the spoil of the conqueror. At nightfall 
Hamid Khan accompanied by the Mahrattas entered his camp, 
which was pitched at the Shahi-Bagh. During the night the 
head of Shujaat Khan was sent into the city to Safdar Khan 
Babi, and he sent it on to Ibrahim Quli Khan. 

The next day, the 17th Dec. 1724, Hamid Khan entered 
the city and took possession of the Bhadar palace. Munim 
Khan the diwan and Fidwi Khan his predecessor, who had 
taken up his abode in the city, accompanied by the chief 
Muhammadans and Hindus, presented themselves in fear and 
trembling. In all the parganas west of the Mahi the chauth 


and sardeshmukhi were given to Kanthaji ; and the Mahratta's 
soldiers thronged the streets and lanes, went where they pleased, 
and sold the plunder of Shujaat Khan's camp. Much property- 
was also removed from the shrine of Shaikh Ahmad Khattu 
[at Sarkhej] , — grain, glass candle-shades, canvas awnings, and 
brass railings, the latter torn down from their place round the 
tomb. Kanthaji sent out his agents to realize the chauth, and 
went himself to levy ransom (khandani) from Viramgaon, an 
unfortified unwalled town. By the advice of Ude Karan the 
desai, the inhabitants submitted and agreed to the levy of 250,000 
Rupees if their goods were spared. When the money was 
collected the desai prudently added something, and with this 
money a fort was built. Meanwhile Hamid Khan threw off 
the mask, turned out the imperial officers and grandees, took 
possession of the whole country, and by degrees sent for all 
the books and papers of the diwan's office, and from this time 
forth the revenues of this province were lost to the Emperor 
and retained by the governors (nazims). 

Sec. 50. — Death of Ibrahim Quli Khan. 

Ibrahim Quli Khan, owing to rumours of Hamid Khan's 
approach, had enlisted more troops and had made preparations 
to defend the city. Two days before the battle he had gone 
to live in his house in the Karez Bazar.* Safdar Khan Babi 
had long borne a grudge aganist Shujaat Khan and his brothers, 
founded on injuries done to him by Haidar Quli Khan, their 
patron, when ruler of Surat. He now pretended to be Ibrahim 
Quli Khan's friend and offered to intercede with Hamid Khan. 
The young man, suspicious of this new-born friendship, 
declined the offer and sought instead the mediation of another 
officer, f who was a native of Ahmadabad. Through this man, 
who became his surety for the good faith and loyal conduct on 

* More correctly, Karanj. It was a building with a fountain in the 
centre of the outer court of the Bhadar and opposite the middle of the 
three gateways. [Bombay Gazetteer, iv. 273.] 

t Mumin Khan, the diwan of the province, according to Kamwar. 


both sides, he presented himself at the new governor's audience, 
where he was well received and was given a turban ornament. 

A few days after the battle, over-persuaded by Safdar Khan 
and other evil-minded persons, Hamid Khan resolved to break 
his pledged word, send for and imprison Ibrahim Quli Khan, 
and in the end slay him. The secret was badly kept, for as 
the saying is "A secret is never concealed when many share 
in it", and passing from mouth to mouth the news soon reached 
the ear of the officer who had stood security. This man sought 
out Ibrahim Quli Khan at midnight, told him what was purposed, 
and advised him to flee [to Kambhayat and Surat, during the 
darkness] while there was yet time. His friend offered to 
join him. Ibrahim Quli Khan was too proud to seek refuge in 
flight. He accepted the decrees of Fate and was prepared to 
die. Soon the agents of the governor made their appearance 
and demanded his attendance and the delivery of the valuables 
belonging to his late brother, which were asserted to be in his 
possession. Aqa Hadi, the family's trusted man of business, 
had already been sent to prison. On the 20th Dec. 1724, at 
about 9 A.M., after having taken a bath of purification and 
bidden a long farewell to those of his household, Ibrahim Quli 
Khan set out, followed by thirty to forty men who were still 
found faithful fn adversity, and accompanied by his surety at the 
head of seven or eight men. 

Arriving at the Bhadar or palace of the governor, Ibrahim 
Quli Khan entered fearlessly with his party at his heels. The 
body of mace-bearers and doorkeepers on guard at the gate of 
the garden-house objected to their entering. Ibrahim Quli 
Khan must lay down his arms before he could enter and could 
take with him no more than two or three of his men. In spite 
of these remonstrances, the party forced its way in, thus only 
incensing the doorkeepers still more ; they vociferated louder 
and louder, became abusive and made a show of force. Ibrahim 
Quli Khan's patience was soon exhausted and he struck at once 
at them with the short sword he was carrying. His friends 
then drew and all ran as fast as they could towards the audience- 
hall. Hamid Khan had not yet come out and the visitors 
waiting to see him dispersed. Ibrahim Quli Khan made for 


the door of the private apartments close to the hot bath {hamam). 
There he met face to face Nauindh Rai, manager of 
Nizam-ul-mulk's lands, Bhara Mai faujdar of Duraha, Girdhar 
Lai diwan, and one Patiya, head agent of the zamindar of 
Jhalwa.* In the struggle Patiya was killed and the two others 
wounded. Ibrahim Quli Khan passed on into the private 
apartments. The men on duty fled, some escaping by a drain 
leading to the Sabarmati. Hamid Khan had escaped to the 
roof and could not be found. His enemy sought him in the 
women's rooms, but the more he sought the less he found. 
By Hamid Khan's orders soldiers came from all sides. Soon 
Ibrahim Quli Khan met his death from the bullets fired, and 
the stones and clods thrown at him. His head was severed 
from the body, and both head and trunk were taken out and 
exposed separately upon the gates. A body of Purbiya soldiers 
ran about trying to appropriate whatever weapon and clothes 
they could lay hands upon. The gates of the Bhadar were 
closed, no one was allowed to go out or enter, and search was 
made for the accomplices of Ibrahim Quli Khan. Among 
those waiting in the courtyard for audience were Ali Muhammad 
Khan, agent for Sarbuland Khan, Ashraf Ali Khan son of the 
late Mihr Ali Khan diwan and his introducer Aqil Khan faujdar 
of Idar. These men feared that they might be accused. As 
Ali Muhammad Khan knew the eunuch in charge of it, they 
hid in the wardrobe room {toshakrhhand) . 

To preserve his reputation at Court, Hamid Khan wrote 
to his agent at Dihli that Shujaat Khan when on the march to 
Ahmadabad had been attacked near that city and killed by 
Kanthaji ; that he (Hamid Khan) not being far off hastened to 
the spot, took measures to protect the city, and had preserved 
it from injury. As his letter was the first to arrive, the Emperor 
recorded his thanks and granted him robes of honour and a 
string of pearls. Two days afterwards letters arrived from 
Sarbuland Khan's agent and the truth became known. 

* Was it Jabwa, midway between Ahmadabad and Indore or, more 
probably, Jhalod in Panch Mahals? [J. S.] This narrative is based on 
Mirat and Khush-hal. 

176 the later mughals [ch. viii 

Sec. 51. — Advance and Death of Rustam Ali Khan. 

As soon as the real course of events was reported at Dihli, 
orders were issued to Rustam Ali Khan, the middle brother, 
then deputy governor of Surat and faujdar of Baroda and Pitlad, 
to draw from the treasury of that port whatever money there 
was in hand, and therewith equip a force to eject Hamid Khan. 
When these orders reached him, Rustam Ali Khan was at the 
pass of Khanapur some miles from Surat, engaged in a contest 
with Pilaji Mahratta. He returned at once to the city, and in 
a few days' time had got ready a force of 15,000 horsemen, 
20,000 matchlockmen and bowmen, and sufficient artillery. 
The more prudent of his advisers pointed out to Rustam Ali 
Khan that in the three months when the rains began the 
Mahrattas would as usual withdraw. The interval could be 
best used at Surat in perfecting his preparations ; and when 
they advanced they would in all probability win without a 
contest. But Rustam Ali Khan could brook no delay. Pilaji 
Mahratta, with whom Rustam Ali Khan had recently had some 
skirmishes, had followed him to Surat, and with 10,000 horse- 
men under his command barred the way. Mustafa Khan was 
sent to interview the Mahratta leader. Terms of alliance were 
offered to him, and for a payment of two lakhs of Rupees he 
consented, at least outward'/, to give his services.* Taking 
with him Kamgar Ali Khan, his brother-in-law, then faujdar 
of Baroda, Rustam Ali Khan set out in haste towards 
Ahmadabad, Pilaji his new ally marching one stage behind him. 

On learning this news, Hamid Khan left Safdar Khan Babi 
in the Bhadar as his deputy and placed his family in the care 
of Allahdad and Muhammad Ashraf brother of Muhammad 
Khan Ghorni, one of Rustam Ali Khan's commanders. He 

* The above account is based on Karawai and Khan Khan (968). 
Mirat (180b- 181a) adds the following details : — "At the camp between 
Karju and Bajud near Baroda, Rustam Ali Khan and Pilaji met and 
here they halted for several days, while matters were under discussion. 
A lakh of Rupees was paid in cash, and gifts of an elephant cloth and 
jewels were added. Pilaji with Mustafa Khan then crossed the Mahendri 
and encamped." 


then quitted Ahmadabad, pitched his camp at Tal Kakariya,* 
and there awaited reinforcements for which he had sent in all 
directions. Leaving Tal Kakariya at the head of thirty to forty 
thousand horsemen, Hamid Khan marched towards Baroda. 
After a halt of two or three days in the open plain outside 
Ahmadabad, he continued his route, and at a distance of about 
70 miles from Ahmadabad reached the bank of the Mahi river, 
and there encamped. Followed by Pilaji at one day's interval, 
Rustam Ali Khan crossed the river Mahi and reached the village 
of Aras in pargana Pitlad. Pilaji's camp was on one side, 
not very far off. This was on the 7th Feb. 1725. On the same 
day Hamid Khan with his ally Kanthaji Mahratta and certain 
nobles, Salabat Muhammad Khan Babi, Sayyid Fayyaz Khan 
and others, arrived from Ahmadabad and pitched his camp 
about five miles from that of Rustam Ali Khan. He was joined 
here by Mir Nathu and Salabat Khan Rohela, who had come 
from Malwa in search of employment. 

During the night after his arrival, Hamid Khan sent to 
Pilaji the letters of Nizam-ul-mulk calling upon him to give 
assistance to the writer's uncle. It suited Pilaji to meet favour- 
ably these overtures. He knew that for the carrying out of 
his purpose of seizing the country the removal of Rustam Ali 
Khan was necessary, but he felt that he could not do this by 
his own strength alone. The same night he visited Hamid 
Khan's camp, terms were agreed on, robes of honour and an 
elephant were conferred upon him, and he returned to his own 
camp. This betrayal was forthwith brought to Rustam Ali 
Khan's knowledge. He professed to be quite indifferent ; 
for was not victory the gift of heaven, it depended not upon 
this, that or the other man ; — "Be it he whom the Friend desires 
or to whom His inclination turns." 

On the following day, as the sun rose Rustam Ali Khan 
sounded his drums and took the field with some four thousand 
horse and four thousand foot. His vanguard was led by Sardar 
Muhammad Khan Ghorni and Kamgar Ali Khan his brother-in- 

A reservoir covering 72 acres and more than a mile round, situated 
about three-fourths of a mile from the Raypur gate, and surrounded by 
many tiers of cut stone steps. [Bombay Gaz. iv. 17.] 



law. On the right was Ahmad Quli Khan (son of Shujaat Khan) 
and on the left Kazim Beg Khan (son of Kazim Beg Khan). 
Muhammad Panah commanded the rearguard ; the leader him- 
self held the centre. From the fact that Hamid Khan had 
posted his artillery in front the night before, Rustam Ali Khan 
looked forward to an artillery action. He therefore sent his 
baggage and transport away to the village where there was a 
small fort, in which these were accommodated so far as 
possible, a body of Arab infantry being left for their protection. 
The drums beat and the trumpets blew ; the cannon on both 
sides began to roar. 

Rustam Ali Khan rode straight at the cannon and after a 
short struggle took possession of them, Girdhar Lai, Hamid 
Khan's diwan, and many others being killed where they stood. 
Seeing this reverse, Mir Nathu and Salabat Khan Rohela (who 
were in Hamid Khan's vanguard) now advanced and the battle 
became general. Sardar Muhammad Khan brought his elephant 
alongside that ridden by Mir Nathu. After exchanging several 
passes with their swords, Sardar Muhammad Khan succeeded in 
slaying his opponent. Rustam Ali Khan engaged Hamid Khan. 
The latter thinking that, as the proverb says, "Well-timed fight is 
the same as victory", descended from his elephant, mounted 
a horse and escaped. 

The Mahratta leaders, who had a wholesome fear of Rustam 
Ali Khan, held aloof and merely looked on, while he forced 
his way to Hamid Khan's camp and there released the sons 
of the late Shujaat Khan, Husain Quli and Mustafa Quli, and 
his chief agent, Aqa Hadi. They were found in fetters. Rustam 
Ali Khan collected as much as he could of the property belong- 
ing to Hamid Khan and remained in the camp a couple of 
hours. Finding there was no further opposition, he carried off 
the lead and powder with a few of the guns, and spiked the 
rest. He then returned to his own camp, taking with him such 
soldiers and camp-followers as had asked for and received 

* Rustam Ali, who looked on himself as the victor and believed he 
had slain his enemy (Hamid Khan), wrote an account of the battle to the 
Emperor at Dihli. The letter reached the capital in 10 or 12 days, and in 


As soon as Rustam AH Khan, having driven Hamid Khan 
off the field, had gone away towards his own camp, Kanthaji 
began to plunder the rest of Hamid Khan's baggage, the horses 
and goods of the survivors were appropriated, and in a few 
minutes a clean sweep was made of everything. On the other 
side, while this fight had been going on, Pilaji had laid hands 
similarly on the camp of Rustam Ali Khan, and had taken 
everything belonging to him except what was in the fort held 
by the Arab guard. The gun-carriages were set fire to, the 
guns spiked ; horses, lead, powder, everything was removed 
as far as possible and the rest burnt. On Rustam Ali Khan's 
return he found not a trace of his tents. Some of the men 
whose goods had gone told him their story ; and all he could 
do was to pitch a small tent on the edge of the village tank. 
The wounded were attended to and the dead buried ; among 
the latter was Kazim Beg Khan, who had fallen in the first 

Upon escaping from the battle-field Hamid Khan sought 
refuge with Kanthaji, whom he cursed heartily, first, for stand- 
ing by idly looking on ; then, for plundering the camp. The 
Mahratta made profuse excuses and returned a few tents, such 
as were absolutely necessary, and the Nawab's riding elephant. 
Hamid Khan remained in the Mahratta camp ; and for two 
days not a Mahratta showed himself to the other side, in fact 
on the day of battle many had crossed the Mahi river. Then a 
force of Mahrattas arrived from the Dakhin under the command 
of Puar and Sombanshi. This party was an advance guard 
of the thousands of Mahrattas who hearing of Shujaat Khan's 
death flocked to Gujarat as to a promised land. In the end 
some seventy to eighty thousand of these men were collected. 

On the day next but one after the first fight, the Mahrattas 
brought up several cannon and resumed the offensive. Rustam 

reward for this victory and the [supposed] death of Hamid Khan, Rustam 
Ali s rank was raised to 6,000 zat (same number of sawar) and the Govern- 
ment of Gujarat was granted to him in his own name. It was currently 
reported at Dihli that the bodies of the slain were to be seen along a dis- 
tance of twenty-three k.os, and some four or five thousand Mahrattas lost 
their lives. Salabat Rohela and a large number of the Afghans who had 
come with him from Malwa were also slain. [Kamwar.] 


Ali Khan's side replied. But the swarms of Mahrattas blocked 
the way for all supplies of grain or grass. Night and day the 
cannonade continued ; the Muhammadans were devoid of 
shelter, and each day a number of them fell victims. 

While this fighting was going on elsewhere, in Ahmadabad 
the loose characters and city thieves and those who had lost 
everything in Shujaat Khan's camp, began to plunder. They 
appropriated horses and carriages ; they interfered with the 
dependents and servants of Hamid Khan. They collected in 
crowds and attacked the Bhadar palace, emptied the Govern- 
ment store-houses of their carpets and clothes. Safdar Khan Babi 
escaped with difficulty from these rioters, and leaving the 
palace returned to his own dwelling, while Hamid Khan's 
men hid wherever they could find a refuge. Word had been 
sent by Rustam Ali Khan to Mumin Khan diwan with a request 
to preserve order in the city, while Mir Ibrahim a dependant 
of the late Shujaat Khan was sent to occupy the Bhadar palace. 
The diwan enlisted men and deputed his son, Muhammad 
Baqir, to patrol the city at night and visit the outposts. 

Meanwhile, in Rustam Ali Khan's camp idle stories were 
brought in daily of the death of Hamid Khan.* Rustam Ali 
Khan had intended in the day of his first success to march 
forthwith to Ahmadabad. The destruction of his camp 
equipage hindered this ; and for eight days and nights he lay 
helpless on the bank of the pond in Aras village. From morn 
to eve he was cannonaded. Finally, on the 14th Feb. 1725 
he ventured to make a start in the direction of Ahmadabad, 
with four or five thousand men unprovided with artillery or J 
sufficient equipment. The Mahrattas in enormous numbers 
hovered round him, and he had to fight for every step, advancing 

* Two or three days after the battle, Rustam Ali Khan at last ascer- I 
tained that Hamid Khan, severely wounded, had found refuge among the 
Mahrattas. His surrender, dead or alive, was demanded. As they were 
in need of time for the arrival of reinforcements from the Dakhin, the 
Mahrattas gained some days by deceitful promises. Then one of Rustam 
Ali Khan's clerks, who had fallen a prisoner into their hands, wrote to him 
secretly that a large reinforcement of Mahrattas was on its way from 
Aurangabad via Surat and that the promises made were nothing but pre- ; 
tences for delay. [Kamwar.] 


daily not more than three or four miles. They succeeded in gett- 
ing no further than the village Napad in Chaurasi Kambhayat. 
In the two succeeding days, under similar difficulties, they 
reached fort Kalamsar and then Napa in pargana Pitlad. They 
■were never left in peace for one moment day or night : and 
wherever there was an opportunity the camp-followers and 
such of Hamid Khan's men as had asked quarter, disappeared. 
Daily the numbers diminished through death and desertion. 
Aqa Hadi, who had been rescued only a few days before, lost 
his life one day in the rearguard on his elephant when the 
animal, taking fright from the noise of the rockets, refused 
to obey its driver and made off into the enemy's line. 

In this emergency one Banarsi, headman of Basu in pargana 
Pitlad, a village about 25 miles from the city of Ahmadabad, 
came forward with an offer of aid. Food and a small rein- 
forcement of men would be found in his village. If Rustam 
AH Khan could reach it, he might remain a few days to recruit 
his strength and await the arrival of any reinforcements des- 
patched from Ahmadabad. Accordingly they directed their 
march towards that village. But Hamid Khan and the Mahrattas 
made use of threats to Banarsi ; and Rustam Ali Khan's 
enemies in Ahmadabad also used their influence upon him. 
Banarsi grew alarmed, and at night-time evacuated the village, 
taking everything with him and leaving it quite empty. 

Rustam Ali Khan with his 800 men fought his way to Basu 
village and reached it at nightfall on the 18th. During this day's 
march Kamgar Ali Khan and others lost their lives. A halt 
was made at the tank near the village ; but on exploring 
further not a trace of inhabitants nor a scrap of food could be 
found. No one dared to come to their assistance, and the 
enemy fired on them all through the night,* such as were killed 
being buried on the bank where they were camped. Next day 
they found that to march was impossible ; a halt was called. 
As the village was a large one and only recently abandoned, 
a close search produced a small amount of grain and forage, 

* Kamwar : From the 20th February Rustam Ali's force was so closely 
pressed that the men had hardly time to get a drink of water, much less 
to cook and eat their food. 


which enabled the men to feed themselves and their horses. 
The day after (the 20th), at break of day they resumed the 
contest. By immense efforts they forced their way a mile or 
so onward, to the edge of a small artificial lake called Sai 
Talawar, where they halted. Incapable of further struggle, this 
fragment of an army lost heart and hope, nay, abandoned their 
horses, threw away their arms, disguised themselves as far as 
they could, and as night came on fled. 

The sun rose on Thursday the 21st February and found 
Rustam Ali Khan still undaunted. He said his morning prayer 
composedly and called for his coffee. Sardar Muhammad 
Khan Ghorni rode up and called to him : "It is time to mount 
and begin the fight." Reaching a cup of coffee to him, 
Rustam Ali Khan said, "Let us spread our rug here, and await 
our fate." His officer still urged him to mount, and an 
elephant was brought. But Rustam Ali Khan said "Now is 
the time for horseback and a melee." Shouting "Allah\ 
Allah !" he turned his steed towards the foe. Under the 
pressure of the Mahratta numbers his men dispersed, many 
were killed, many were wounded, a few were made prisoner, a 
few escaped unscathed. Sardar Muhammad Khan was left 
on the field severely wounded. At first the Mahrattas got out 
of Rustam Ali Khan's way, but in the end gathered round him 
and inflicted on him many a wound by arrow and spear. At 
length in a hand-to-hand fight he was cut down and killed. 
Husain Quli Khan and Ahmad Quli Khan, the sons of Shujaat 
Khan, were a second time made captive. The Dakhinis severed 
Rustam Ali Khan's head from the body and sent it to Hamid 
Khan. Pilaji removed one of the hands and sent it as a 
memorial of his valour to his abode at Songarh.* The head 
was sent in to Ahmadabad ; the body was buried at Basu village. 
News of Rustam Ali Khan's defeat and death reached the city 
on the Friday, and his head lay before the Police office for one 

* 50 m. e. of Surat. Mirat (175a) : "Soner, a village in pargana Nokara 
of sarkar Surat, 32 k.os from that port. Pilaji made an alliance with the 
zamindar to whom it belonged, and on a high hill near it erected a small 
fort and at the foot of the hill built a small walled town." Bomb. Gaz, 
vii. 585, 169. 


day and night. It was then buried beside the body of his 
brother Ibrahim Quli Khan. 

All ihe friends and backers of Hamid Khan now emerged 
from their hiding places, and seeking to revenge their ancient 
wrong committed fresh excesses. Mir Ibrahim under the 
protection of Sayyid Nur-ullah, whose troops he had hired, 
removed from the Bhadar to his own house and then escaped. 
Hamid Khan and the Mahrattas arrived, and after one night 
at the Shahi-Bagh entered the Bhadar. The gates of the fortress 
of Ahmadabad were destroyed. Pilaji and Kanthaji, mounted 
on Rustam Ali Khan's elephant and followed by their troops, 
came into the city and paid a formal visit to Hamid Khan. 
Mumin Khan diwan and Fidwi Khan ex-diwan each presented 
a female elephant with such clothes and other outfit as they 
had ready, Hamid Khan having repeatedly complained to them 
of the distress caused to him by the recent plundering of his 

Sec. 52. — Exactions of Hamid Khan and the Mahrattas. 

As agreed on, the chauth for the lands on the Ahmadabad 
side of the Mahi river was given to Kanthaji and that for those 
on the side of Baroda Surat and so forth to Pilaji. The 
Mahrattas spread wherever they liked far and wide in the 
parganas, and collected sums by way of ransom, payments 
which they called khandani. On his side Hamid Khan assumed 
airs of independence. A sum of eighty thousand Rupees and 
the clothes prepared for the Emperor (a department in charge 
of Shaikh-ul-Islam Khan) were forcibly seized. The store- 
rooms of imperial goods were opened and emptied of their 
contents ; and as the official accounts formerly annexed had 
been destroyed, the remaining volumes were removed from 
the diwan's custody. All the lands of the subah, assigned or 
unassigned, were appropriated, wealthy men were seized and 
the fine locally called babura* imposed. Ahmad Quli and 

* It was assessed in various ways, on the amount of trade, or on each 
caste, or by heads, or on homes. It had never been heard of before, but 
now became an annual thing. [Mirat, 180a.] 


Husain Quli (sons of Shujaat Khan) were poisoned ; only 
Mustafa Quli (a small child) was allowed to live. Murlidhar, a 
Gujarati of the writer caste, was appointed by Hamid Khan to 
be his diwan. 

Meanwhile the Mahrattas spread over the country in all 
directions, burning and plundering wherever they went. At 
Sarkhej, where is the tomb of Shaikh Ahmad Khattu, the better 
class of the inhabitants immolated their wives and children in 
the mode known as juhar, while many hundreds of high-born 
women threw themselves into wells or ponds to avoid outrage. 
Thus, too, in the hamlet across the Sabarmati where Afghans 
lived, many women were slain by their relations. Two sons 
of the late Shujaat Khan, one three years of age and the other 
an infant at the breast, were put to death by the victors ; and 
of that family the only survivor was Suhrab Khan, a boy of 
twelve, who had been left in charge of the city and fortress of 

Kanthaji, as an officer of Rajah Sahu, affected to look down 
upon Pilaji, a mere agent for the Mahratta senapati or 
commander-in-chief. At Kambhayat (Cambay) this feeling led 
to a dispute, ending in a conflict. They fought within sight of 
the walls, and Pilaji, being defeated, retired to Mahtur a village 
near Kaira. Kantha then levied a contribution from Cambay, 
where the English factors, in spite of their letters of protection 
from Rajah Sahu were forced to pay five thousand Rupees. 
After this open quarrel, Hamid Khan forced them to sign an 
agreement by which Pilaji took the chauth to the east, and 
Kanthaji that to the west of the river Mahi. Soon after the 
battle at Cambay, Pilaji retired into quarters at Songarh, and 
Kanthaji went to his jagir in Khandesh. [Mirat.] 

Sec. 53. — Sarbuland Khan's Preparations for Occupying 


When sometime early in March 1725 the bad news first of 
Shujaat Khan's and then of Rustam AH Khan's defeat and 
death became known at Dihli, the new governor Sarbuland 
Khan was urged to complete his preparations more rapidly 
and take possession of his Government at the very earliest date. 


For the seven or eight months since his appointment he had 
been loitering sometimes in the neighbourhood of Dihli, some- 
times near Rewari or Kot Putili. The supposition was that 
His Majesty in person would take the field ; but this project, 
if ever entertained, never took practical shape. He was now 
given a subsidy of one kror of Rupees, of which fifty lakhs were 
paid at once and the balance was promised in monthly instal- 
ments of three lakhs each. Maharajah Abhai Singh Rathor of 
Jodhpur, Chattar Singh of Narwar, Gandharb Singh, and the 
Maharana were directed to assist. Muhkam Singh Khatri, 
formerly the principal officer under Sayyid Husain AH Khan, 
who for the last four years, ever since the defeat of Sayyid 
Abdullah Khan had been out of employment deprived of title, 
rank, or pay, was re-invested with the rank of 6000 (5000 horse), 
the title of Rajah, and a jagir of two krors of dam. He also 
received a cash advance of two lakhs of Rupees. A number 
of Barha Sayyids were also restored to the service and ordered 
to Gujarat. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan, younger brother of 
Abdullah Khan, who had been in prison for five years, was 
restored to his old rank, appointed governor of Ajmer, and 
ordered to join Sarbuland Khan. Other Barha Sayyids appoint- 
ed were Saif-ud-din Ali Khan, a younger brother, Shujaat-ullah 
Khan, Muhammad Khan, Shah Ali Khan, Sayyid Nijabat AH 
Khan (a nephew of the Barha Wazir), altogether between twenty 
and thirty leaders of the Barha with their troops came to the 
capital and were despatched to Gujarat. In the end of Rajab 
(30th = 13th April, 1725) Sarbuland Khan left Dihli on his way 
to Agra, but he only went two or three short marches and halted 
at Tilpat, 13 miles from the capital, and there he remained until 
the end of Shaban (29th = 12th May 1725). In Ramzan (May- 
June) he was only at Faridabad, but the Emperor's mace- 
bearers who had left him encamped on the bank of the Jamuna, 
reported that he was now proceeding stage by stage to Agra. 

Events in Ahmadabad. 

In April 1725 Hamid Khan heard that Sarbuland Khan 
would soon start from Dihli. But the rainy season was about 
to commence and the Mahrattas, as usual, retreated to their 


own country. Hamid Khan extracted a promise from them to 
return to him the instant the rainy season had ended. Mean- 
while Ali Muhammad Khan, agent for the new governor, quitted 
the city under the protection of Abdur-rahim Babi, whom 
Hamid Khan had just appointed faujdar of Kari. Then he 
proceeded on the invitation of Salabat Muhammad Khan Babi 
to Viramgaon. Here letters were received from Sarbuland 
Khan calling for frequent reports of Hamid Khan's doings and 
all the city news. Ali Muhammad Khan subsequently moved 
to Radhanpur under the protection of Jawan-mard Khan Babi. 
Hamid Khan's officials began to lose their hold on the country. 
At Pattan Qazi Ilm-ud-din gave out that he had been appointed 
faujdar of that place and ousted Hamid Khan's nominee. 
The same thing occurred at other places. In September Hamid 
Khan sent out his tents with the avowed object of collecting 
tribute (peshfyash) from the zamindars in the direction of 
Jhalawar, and under urgent orders Salabat Muhammad Khan 
and Jawan-mard Khan left their stations and joined him. 

Sec. 54. — Sarbuland Khan enters Ahmadabad ; Hamid Khan 

retires to the dakhin. 

By this time Sarbuland Khan had reached Ajmer, and 
thence via Marwar had marched on towards Ahmadabad. Ali 
Muhammad Khan waited on in the hope that the two Babi 
chiefs would succeed in joining him ; but they were now with 
Hamid Khan and could not escape. On the day that Sarbuland 
Khan arrived at Vadgaon, he was overtaken by Sayyid Aqil 
Khan bringing three lakhs of subsidy from Dihli. The bearer 
of this welcome help was appointed faujdar of sarkar Godhra 
and Thasra in place of Nizam-ul-mulk's nominee Mutawassil 

In response to repeated orders Ali Muhammad Khan left 
Radhanpur for Pattan and thence for Sidhpur. There he found 
Shaikh Allahyar Bilgrami, the new governor's Bakhshi, at the 
head of an advanced force with several guns which had been 
detached from the main army at Jhalor. A consultation took 
place and a list of local adherents was drawn up. Qazi Ilm-ud- 
din was summoned from Pattan and taken into service. 


Sarbuland Khan was found at Dantiwara and there he issued a 
writing appointing Sardar Muhammad Khan Ghorni to be his 
depty in Ahmadabad. This letter was sent to his nominee with 
instructions to make use of the first opportunity to take posses- 
sion of the city. 

When Hamid Khan heard that Sarbuland Khan was drawing 
nearer and nearer he turned back towards Ahmadabad ; on the 
way he was forsaken by Salabat Muhammad Khan and Jawan- 
mard Khan (Babis), who hastened off to join his successor. 
Hamid Khan still looked anxiously for the Mahrattas, but they 
came not. Several times he wrote most pressingly to them ; but 
still they made no sign. As there was a new governor actually 
on the boundary of the province, he feared that those of the 
city would not revenge themselves for his previous oppression. 
He therefore named one Rup Singh as his deputy and recom- 
mended him to the good offices of Sardar Muhammad Khan ; 
he then quitted the city and marched in the direction of 

Urged to haste by his master, Shaikh Allahyar hurried on 
from Sidhpur, and when Sardar Muhammad Khan received his 
letter of appointment this advanced force was only some sixty 
miles from the capital. The new governor's nominee at once 
interviewed Rup Singh and pointed out the danger to which he 
was exposed. A new governor with his army was close at 
hand ; and it would be well for him to save his own head by 
making his escape. Thankful for this chance the man departed, 
and Sardar Muhammad Khan took peaceable possession. Just 
when this had happened, news of the Mahrattas came to Hamid 
Khan ; he and Kanthaji quickly joined forces and turned their 
faces towards the city. On their way they met the fugitive Rup 
Singh, from whom they learnt that an advanced force was quite 
near. Hastening onwards the allies pitched their camp in the 
Shahi-Bagh and sent messages again and again to Sardar 
Muhammad Khan demanding his neutrality, but without obtain- 
ing any satisfaction. 

The two events, Sardar Muhammad Khan's successful 
occupation of the city and the return of Hamid Khan with his 
Mahratta ally, were reported to Shaikh Allahyar together when 


he was at Kalol, some thirty miles from Ahmadabad. Evidently 
no time was to be lost. Making over the command to Mirza 
Ghulam AH Beg, Khwaja Muhammad Aman Nurani, and 
Raizada Har Karan, Allahyar started at night with one thousand 
picked horsemen, reached the Sabarmati opposite the city, and 
crossing over entered by the Raigarh gate. The spirits of the 
garrison rose and the inhabitants were overjoyed at the prospect 
of escaping from Hamid Khan's exactions. The rest of the 
advance force under Ghulam AH Beg followed from Kalol, and 
when they arrived at Adalaj, about ten miles from the city, they 
entrenched themselves. They reported their movements to 
Sarbuland Khan. Owing to an accident to the wheel of the gun- 
carriage belonging to the great cannon called Fath Laskar 
the latter had been compelled to halt for two days at Dantiwara. 
On his reaching Sidhpur, he was joined by Salabat Muhammad 
Khan Babi and Jawan-mard Khan Babi. The next halt was at 
the town of Mehsana. After one day at that place they came 
to the village of Bist Rain, about 45 miles from the city. 

Here they learnt that Hamid Khan and the Mahrattas had 
attacked the party entrenched at Adalaj under Ghulam AH 
Beg. The fight continued from dawn till the afternoon, then 
some of the newly enlisted local troops (qasbati) began to 
retreat, and the force lost cohesion, Ghulam AH Beg and the 
two other commanders drew up their men and led a charge 
against the foe. They succeeded in pushing their attack as far 
as the centre where Hamid Khan's elephant stood, but they 
were soon overcome by numbers and Muhammad Aman and 
Har Karan were slain. Ghulam AH Beg, in spite of severe 
wounds managed to break through with a few men and reached 
the city. Some fugitives from his force found shelter in the 
surrounding villages, others fled to Bist Rain where stood the 
advance tents of Sarbuland Khan. 

To decide upon the course to be taken after this contre- 
temps, a council was called ; the faujdaris of Viramgaon and 
Pattan were given to Salabat Muhammad Khan Babi and 
Jawan-mard Khan Babi ; and summonses were issued to many 
Rajput and Koli chiefs. The direct route being insufficiently 
supplied with water they resolved to advance by way of Bijapur, 


keeping close to the banks of the Sabarmati. Ali Muhammad 
Khan and the two Babi chiefs were sent ahead to lead the 
way. Next day they came to the Sabarmati and thence pressed 
on by successive marches. 

From Adalaj Hamid Khan returned to the Shahi-Bagh. He 
now made up his mind to withdraw. The gates of the city 
remained closed against him, Sardar Muhammad Khan's force 
was rapidly increasing, and the new governor was reported to 
be at the head of twenty thousand men. On Hamid Khan's 
side there were only the four or five thousand men of his own 
army on whom he could rely. The Mahrattas were accustomed 
to fight as irregular skirmishers and were not likely to stand 
against regular troops in a pitched battle. Moreover, his 
soldiers were already in mutiny for their arrears of pay, and 
the civil officials were deserting him daily. Murlidhar his 
diwan, being a native of Gujarat, feared retaliation under a 
new regime [and went over to Surbuland's side] . For all 
these reasons combined, Hamid Khan gave up the struggle and 
went off with Kanthaji to Mahmudabad and then crossed the 
Mahi river on his way to the Dakhin. 

On the 11th Dec. 1725 Sarbuland Khan pitched his camp 
on the north of the city by the Sabarmati and close to the 
garden of Muhammad Amin Khan. Mumin Khan the diwan, 
Abul Mufakhir Khan the Sadar, Abdullah Khan the Qazi, 
Amanatdar official reporter, Kabir Ali Khan, news-writer, Shaikh 
Allahyar, Sardar Muhammad Khan, Sayyid Fayyaz Khan, 
Shiran Khan, Khush-hal Chand the nagar-seth, or head of the 
traders, and all the chief men, Musalman and Hindu, came out 
to meet him. During a halt of some days many new appoint- 
ments were made. As an entry into the city was held to be 
inadvisable, Sarbuland Khan marched round it, past the shrine 
of Shah Bhikan, to a point south of the walls and on the bank 
of the river. Fida-ud-din Khan* received a large sum for the 
entertainment of men and was placed in charge of the country 
near the capital. Kalb Ali was sent into the city as police 

* Afterwards created Najm-ud-daulah Mumin Kh. Dilawar Jang and 
subahdar. Died 1158 H. 

190 the later mughals [ch. viii 

Sec. 55. — The return of the Mahrattas.* 

Kanthaji, after he had seen Hamid Khan safely across the 
Mahi river, was joined by Pilaji. The absence of pursuit 
emboldened them to return to the neighbourhood of the city, 
where they plundered the hamlets and slew travellers entering 
or leaving. Fida-ud-din Khan, the man in charge of the suburbs, 
was sent out against them and there were several skirmishes 
near Bara Nainpur and Rajpur. A strong force was collected 
as quickly as possible to take the field under the command of 
Khanazad Khan, the governor's eldest son. With him were 
sent Jawan-mard Khan Babi, Sardar Muhammad Khan Ghorni, ! 
and Sayyid Fayyaz Khan at the head of their Gujarati troops, 
three to four thousand in number ; with them went Muhammad 
Iraj, Nur-ud-din Muhammad Khan, and Ali Mardan Khan, \ 
appointed respectively to Duraha, Kambhayat and Pitlad. On 
the 22nd Rabi II. 1138 H. (27 Dec. 1725) Sarbuland Khan 
made his formal entry into the city of Ahmadabad and sought 
to seize the officials who had been employed by Hamid Khan, ' 
in the hope of recovering from them some of the revenue 

During his advance to Duraha, Khanazad Khan was 
assailed on all sides by the Mahrattas. That place having been 
reached, Muhammad Iraj was established and the army resumed 
its march. Again the Mahrattas collected, and there was a 
pitched battle near Sojitra in pargana Pitlad, in which the enemy 

were worsted. Ali Mardan Khan was left at Pitlad, and 


Nur-ud-din Muhammad Khan installed at Kambhayat. By 
continued pressure the Mahrattas were forced temporarily across 
the Mahi ; and after posting new officials in various places, 
Khanazad Khan, in obedience to his father's orders, returned 
and encamped at the village of Rakhyal, about five miles to j 
the east of Ahmadabad. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan, Nijabat Ali 
Khan and other Barha Sayyids sent from Court now arrived, the 
governor's second son Shah Nawaz Khan escorting them to) 

their encampment in the Shahi-Bagh. After a few days the 


* This account is almost entirely based upon the Mirat-i-Ahmadi 
occasionally supplemented by Warid. 


Sayyids with the three thousand men under their command were 
ordered to join Khanazad Khan. 

When Khanazad Khan returned to Ahmadabad, the 
Mahrattas made for Kaparvanj* and in concert with the Koli 
tribes prepared a camp which they protected with thick branches 
of trees and a hedge of thorns. Leaving within this place all 
their baggage and carriage, they advanced into the open to 
meet the Muhammadans. The fight did not go well for the 
Mahrattas and they were driven back into their lines, where 
the Muhammadan artillery played upon them. Losing heart 
the Mahratta soldiery fled and left the field and camp in the 
hands of their opponents. Having possessed themselves of the 
camp, the Muhammadans started in pursuit which they kept 
up continuously until the Mahrattas had retired across the 
Mahi and sought shelter in the hill country of Ali Mohan. f 
Shaikh Husain-ud-din was placed in charge of Baroda ; and 
other men were sent to Bharoch, Jambusar and Maqbulabad. 

While Khanazad Khan's army was out in Ali Mohan 
acting against Kanthaji and Pilaji, another body of Mahrattas 
under Antaji and Bhaskar appeared in the north from the 
direction of Idar. They surrounded Vadnagar, a town inhabited 
by rich Nagar bankers and other prosperous merchants. Urgent 
applications was made at the capital for a detachment of troops. 
The town had a fortress, but it had neither supplies nor garrison. 
As there were no troops left at head-quarters none could be 
sent and the townspeople to save the place from being plundered 
paid a ransom (khandani) of four lakhs of Rupees. 

Kanthaji and Pilaji, seeing that they had little or no chance 
of success against the Muhammadans in formal battles, now 
resolved to separate forces and scatter their men on plundering 
expeditions. Kanthaji passed by way of Godhra to Idar and 
thence to Vadnagar, while Pilaji made for Baroda, crossed the 
Mahi, visited the neighbourhood of Kambhayat and thence 
hastened to Surat. Kanthaji invested Vadnagar. As the 

* 30 m. east of Ahmadabad, on the eastern bank of the Mohar river. 
(Ind. At. 22 N. E.) [J. S.] 

t Now Chota Udepur in the extreme east of the province, the town of 

Udepur being 50 m. due east of Baroda. (Bom. Gaz. vi.) [J. S.] 


inhabitants had not yet recovered from the first calamity, they 
lost heart entirely and during the night took to flight. Next 
morning the Mahrattas entered the town, seized everything that 
had not been carried off, and unearthed much buried treasure. 
They ended by setting fire to the town, many handsomely 
decorated houses being destroyed : and the inhabitants dis- 
persed came seeking refuge as far off as Mathura and Benares. 
When the usual season arrived (May-June 1726) Kanthaji and 
Pilaji left the province and returned to their homes. Khana- 
zad Khan was promoted to the rank of 6000 (5000 horse), with 
the title of Ghalib Jang. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan was also 

Sec. 56. — Sarbuland Khan's administration of Gujarat. 

Shortly after the recall of the troops, Sarbuland Khan 
quarrelled with Najm-ud-din Ali Khan. Men said that without 
the Sayyid's aid the governor would have fared badly. These 
remarks came to Sarbuland Khan's ears, and on their next 
meeting he behaved rudely to the Sayyid and they were near 
coming to blows. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan took no further notice 
but awaited orders from Court. But one day Sarbuland Khan 
ranged his cannon in front of the Sayyid's camp and sent him 
word that there was only one thing for him to do — to march back 
to his own province. Najm-ud-din Ali Khan took the hint and 
returned to Ajmer, whence he was soon transferred to Gwaliyar 
and there died. [Warid 111, Khush-hal 1055o.] 

Sarbuland Khan seems to have had a faculty of quarrelling 
with those under him. In this first year in Gujarat, Khanazadj 
Khan left his father and returned to Dihli. Sardar Muhammad 
Khan Ghorni was also dismissed. He had asked to be put in 
possession of the city revenues as security for the pay of the 
local militia (sibandi). A sharp dispute took place and the 
Sardar fell into disgrace ; and with him his friend Ali Muham-i 
mad Khan who was replaced in the office of diwan by Said Beg, 
and he in turn by Muhammad Sulaiman. Khush-hal Chand, 
a rich merchant known as the nagar-seth (chief merchant) was 
removed in favour of Ganga Din, a silk seller ; and a heavy fine 


was exacted from him under the threat of public degradation.* 
But the soldiers were already importunate for their pay and 
Sarbuland Khan thinking it wiser not to proceed to extremities, 
threw out a hint that AH Muhammad Khan's intervention would 
be acceptable. By his good offices the Seth paid sixty thousand 
Rupees ; but proceeded at once to Dihli in the company of one 
Muhammad Latif, a dismissed officer. 

In 1 139 H. (1726) Sarbuland Khan took the field in pargana 
Kari and Bijapur,f collecting tribute (peshk_ash) and reducing 
the country to order. When the season arrived for the return 
of the Mahrattas (October 1726), Kanthaji appeared again on 
the Mahi. The Mahratta sought to come to terms and Sar- 
buland Khan, although some think his means of resistance 
would have given him the upper hand, was equally indisposed 
to continue the indefinite contest. One Surat Singh came from 
Kanthaji, and an agreement was arrived at. A grant was made 
of the chauth or one-fourth of the collections from all the lands 
on the west or Ahmadabad side of the Mahi river, with the 
exception of the Haveli or home pargana and the heads of 
revenue (mahals) collected from the city. The excepted items 
were those held by the governor in the lump (bil muqta) in lieu 
of an assignment for his pay and expenses. Deeds were drawn 
up, and letters to all the faujdars and amils were made over to 
the envoy. These letters directed the officials to give entry to 
the Mahratta collectors (mukasadars) . 

Sarbuland Khan now devoted himself without fear of inter- 
ruption to the affairs of his province. Having settled the 
portion lying near the Sabarmati river he turned towards Jhala- 
war and the region of Sorath. The village of Wadhwan in 
pargana Viramgaon, held by Arjun Singh, showed an intention 
to resist. Negotiations were opened but failed : and the village 
was fired upon. On the second day the water in their well 
{baoli) gave out, and on the third day the zamindar asked for 
terms. He came out and took shelter with Rajah Chattar Singh 
of Narwar who was on duty in the governor's army. A fine of 
three lakhs of Rupees was imposed in addition to the fixed 

* Tashhir, parading through a town with ignominy, 
t Bijapur, 36 m. n. of Ahmadabad. 



revenue and a present {peshkash); and the zamindar's sureties 
•were detained until he paid. 

Other zamindars took warning of the fate of Wadhwan. 
The agent of the Jam of Islamnagar otherwise known as Nawa- 
nagar agreed through Salabat Muhammad Khan Babi to pay 
three lakhs of Rupees. Altogether the collections made this 
year in that part of the country were large. Sarbuland Khan 
then returned to Ahmadabad and moved thence to the Koli 
villages near the Watrak. Having forced these men to execute 
bonds for their good behaviour he again returned to the city. 
There the faujdar of Duraha, Muhammad Iraj, attended with 
the village and pargana headmen, to render accounts and j 
arrange for the revenue of the next year. As the faujdar in ; 
question was loudly complained of Ali Muhammad Khan was 
appointed in his place. Numerous other changes of officials 
were made ; while Muhammad Amin Beg and Shaikh Allahyar I 
Bakhshi were sent with troops to assess and collect tribute I 
(peshJ^ash) from the Kolis in the country near the Mahi river. 

When it was reported at the imperial Court that the chauth 
had been agreed to and terms negotiated with Kanthaji, the 
monthly payments of three lakhs of Rupees, of which three j 
had been made, were discontinued. As Sarbuland Khan kept 
up a large army and employed many highly paid officials, the 
revenue from the parganas and the money brought in as offer- 
ings (peshkash) did not suffice to meet his expenses. He 
endeavoured to fill up the deficiency by imposing fines and 
resorting to violence of many kinds, and listening to calumina- ! 
tors and other short-sighted self-sighted counsellors. 

5ec. 57. — Mahrattas in Gujarat, October 1726 — June 1727. 

Pilaji, acting on behalf of Trimbak Rao Dhabariya, the 
senapati to whom the chauth on the lands east of the Mahi 
river had been assigned, exerted himself to collect the money. 
But Baji Rao the Peshwa to harm his sworn rival sent his own 
officer Udaji Puar to interfere in the collections. Both sides 
met at Baroda and the quarrel ended in a fight. Abdun-nabi 
Beg, deputy faujdar of Dabhoi, having been much harassed by 
Pilaji about the payment of chauth, took the side of Udaji and 


gave him shelter in Dabhoi. In the subsequent fighting Abdun- 
nabi Khan was killed, and the town and fort thus fell into 
Udaji's sole possession. 

Kanthaji now came back from his quarters in Khandesh 
and joined Pilaji in laying siege to Dabhoi. While the Mahrat- 
tas were thus occupied, Sadar-ud-din Muhammad Khan, the 
new faujdar of Baroda, made a dash for that place. He crossed 
the Mahi at Fazilpur and hoped by a night march to reach his 
destination. Pilaji detached a party which intercepted him, his 
baggage and transport were plundered, and he was forced to 
fight his way to Baroda. The attack on both it and Dabhoi was 
pushed more actively than ever, and Udaji was forced to apply 
i I to Sarbuland Khan for help. Anand Rao, his brother, came 
s ' with his son to Talab Kakariya, agreements were entered into 
s and presents interchanged. Muhammad Amin Beg and Shaikh 
ii Allahyar were recalled. They had settled the country on the 
:e banks of the Mahi and were just then moving towards Jhalawar 
and Sorath and were at the moment near Dhanduka.* On their 
march towards Dabhoi they were hindered at every step by 
Mahratta horse under the command of Krishna, adopted son 
of Kanthaji Kadam, and the ingress of supplies was stopped. 
Near the Watrak there was a pitched battle in which Krishna 
suffered defeat and retreated to Baroda. 

Pilaji and Kanthaji raised the siege of Dabhoi and making 

a forced march attacked the Muhammadans, who were then at 

Nariad on their way to Baroda. Amin Beg and Allahyar with 

their rear to the town resisted for a week. Kanthaji then 

offered terms to Sarbuland Khan through Fida-ud-din Khan, 

faujdar of Pitlad. The governor gave a favourable answer, 

j Mumin Khan the provincial diwan was sent from Pitlad and 

• ?i an agreement was made to pay the chauth. The governor's 

. l troops were recalled. Udaji foiled in his attempt to obtain aid 

from the Muhammadan governor, strengthened the defences of 

Dabhoi and continued the warfare, being helped as far as his 

means allowed by Sadar-ud-din Muhammad Khan, faujdar of 

Baroda. Their united efforts though long continued were of no 


j. J 

In the north-eastern corner of the Kathiawar peninsula, 30 m. s. s. e. 
I* of Wadhwan. (Indian Atlas, sheet 22 S. W.) [J. S.] 


avail ; finally the two men evacuated Dabhoi and entered the 
province of Malwa where Udaji had a foothold at Dhar. Dabhoi 
and Baroda were occupied by Pilaji. Having sent out their 
men to collect the chauth, Kanthaji and Pilaji departed to their 
quarters for the rainy season. Krishna the adopted son of 
Kanthaji took the fort of Champanir and made it his head- 
quarters and abode. From this strong inaccessible fortress, 
standing on the top of a high hill, he led plundering expeditions 
into Marwar as far as Jhalor. 

In the latter part of 1139 H. (April-May 1727) when the 
harvest was ripe, Sarbuland Khan once more took the field and 
went into Sorath ;* and for the second time the zamindar ofi 
Nawanagar paid a tribute of one lakh of Rupees through Salabat: 
Muhammad Khan Babi. In time the governor reached Purbandar 
and Chhaya on the shores of the ocean. The latter place could 
not be reached by the Muhammadans until they had cut down 
the trees and burnt the brushwood. On their approach the 
zamindar put to sea in a boat and escaped, leaving behind; 
him a few cannon, seven cuirasses and such supplies as he 
had not time to remove. The governor waited in the hope of 
the fugitive's return. As he did not submit, men were set to| 
work to raze the fort to the ground. But under other advice 
Sarbuland Khan changed his plan, began to repair the fort 
and announced the appointment of a faujdar. The fear of 
permanent exclusion soon brought the absconder to his senses 
and he was reinstated on making a payment of 125,000 Mahmudi 
Rupees. On the return march Sarbuland Khan married the 
daughter of Partab Singh of Halod and the peshkash on his 
estate was remitted. Jam Tamachi (son of Rai Singh) hac 
succeeded to the rule of Nawanagar on 1 1th Bhadra Sudi 1767 S 
(1710). His nurse fearing his uncle Hardhol sent him to his aunli 
Bai Ratnaji at Bhuj. The aunt spent money in his interest anc 
also wrote to her brother Rajah Partab S. of Halod to give hi.' 
daughter in marriage to Sarbuland Khan and the daughter o: 
one of his cousins to Salabat Mhd. Khan Babi. These two 
men expelled Hardhol and restored Tamachi. f 

* i.e., Kathiawar. Not to be mistaken for the port of Surat. [J. S.] 
t Ranchorji Amarji's Tarikh-i-Sorath, p. 258. 


Sarbuland Khan's position at Court now began to be 
seriously undermined. From the first, when he was opposed 
by Hamid Khan, the governor had occupied and turned to his 
own uses all the parganas assigned in jagir to nobles and 
courtiers at Dihli. Complaints were made to the Emperor, and 
the governor's wakil (agent) at Court repeatedly received orders 
for transmission to his master directing the restoration of these 
jagirs. No attention was paid. At last Sarbuland Khan's old 
jagirs in the Panjab, held irrespective of his office {bela shart) 
were annexed ; and the more influential of the displaced jagir- 
dars obtained rateable shares in them in proportion to the lands 
they had lost. But the rest were ruined, and either starved 
where they were or dispersed in search of a livelihood. 

Sec. 58. — Gujarat affairs, October 1727-June 1728. 

In 1140 H., after the rainy season (July-Sept. 1727) 
Chimnaji invaded the province in the interests of his brother 
Baji Rao the Peshwa. Apparently some arrangement as to the 
chauth was contemplated and letters had been interchanged. 
From his camp at Duraha, twelve k°s from Ahmadabad, 
Chimnaji sent Udaji Puar and some Pandits to Sarbuland Khan. 
The latter named Nath Mai, his secretary, to represent him. 
But the conditions imposed by the governor prevented an 
agreement and the negotiations fell through. Chimnaji began 
to plunder Duraha, an unwalled town, and the villages round 
it. Many of the local soldiery (qasbati) were killed and 
wounded, and in the end a khandani or ransom having been 
agreed to the plundering was stayed. As soon as he had received 
the money Chimnaji retired to Malwa by way of Godhra and 
Dohad, taking possession of those parganas and of the fort of 

This season (Oct. 1 727 — June 1 728) Sarbuland Khan devoted 
to restoring order in Duraha and collecting tribute along the 
banks of the river Watrak. Lai, zamindar of Mandu, paid 
twenty thousand Rupees and other Koli chiefs other sums 
according to their means. The governor was at the village of 
Barnube when he learnt that Kanthaji had arrived at Mahmuda- 
bad, twelve kps from the capital, his suspicions aroused by the 


recent visit of Chimnaji. Sarbuland Khan pitched his tent at 
Kona Maudij, where he was visited by the representatives of 
Kanthaji and matters connected with the chauth were discussed. 
Kanthaji moved towards Surat and Sarbuland Khan then retrac- 
ed his steps and continued operations against the Kolis in the 
neighbourhood of the Watrak. These men took refuge with 
their families in the dense jungle near the village of Mahkul in 
pargana Piplod. The Muhammadan army then moved towards 
Murasa and Ahmadnagar, and enforcing the payment of 
revenue as it went it marched along the banks of the Sabarmati 
on its return to Ahmadabad. 

Sec. 59. — Gujarat affairs, October 1728 — June 1729. 

In 1141 (the open season thereof being from about the 
1st Oct. 1728 to the 30th June 1729) Sarbuland Khan proceeded 
to the country along the banks of the Mahi river. At Tal 
Chaudula he halted to enable stragglers to join and the artillery 
to arrive. While still there he heard of the death of Jawan- 
mard Khan Babi, faujdar of Pitlad. This officer had attacked 
the village of Balur and in the fight was hit by a ball on the 
left thigh and died, several days after his return to Pitlad. He 
was buried near the Idgah at the capital by the side of his 
ancestors' graves, and his eldest son Kamal-ud-din Khan 
received his rank and assignments in parganas Sami and 
Munjewar with his father's title. The younger son M. Anwar 
was made Safdar Khan and appointed faujdar of Radhanpur in 
his father's place. 

Sarbuland Khan moved his tents to the village of Kanaj in 
pargana Haveli. Thence he marched to the town of Nariad, 
where he was joined by the officials and headmen of pargana 
Pitlad. Rai Kishwar Das, the chief officer of the late faujdar, 
who had held the district on a lump rent, agreed to take over 
the obligation. After a time, having failed to meet his engage- 
ments, the rent was made over to Salabat Muhammad Khan 
Babi ; but as the arrears were still unrealized he was put into 
prison in the Bhadar and there committed suicide. The governor 
then moved on to the banks of the Mahi and attacked village 
Bhadarwara, the residence of Sardar Singh. The first day s 

1728] sarbuland's extortions from ahmadabad district 199 

fight was indecisive and Sarbuland Khan spent the night on the 
spot. In the morning when hostilities were renewed terms of 
submission were offered and through Salabat Muhammad Khan 
the demand was settled for twenty thousand Rupees. As it 
was now the end of the dry season and fodder was very scarce, 
the army returned to Ahmadabad, taking on the way tribute 
from Utmina and other places. 

In this year (1728-29) the collection of the revenue in the 
district round the city was a source of trouble. Himmat Dil 
Khan quarrelled with the headmen and tenantry, they fled, 
he resigned, the assessments and collections fell into confusion. 
Ali Muhammad Khan who had known the people for many 
years, having been Prince Jahan Shah's agent in the reign of 
Bahadur Shah (1707-1712), was placed in charge, one son* was 
made faujdar of the district and another was appointed to 
several offices in the city, [such as] the collections on cloth, 
the customs dues, the horse market, and the mint. Soon the 
governors necessities caused him to ask for ten thousand 
Rupees more than had been assessed. Ali Muhammad Khan 
pointed out that in the current year the district could not bear 
further harassment ; if left alone it would pay a large increase 
in the coming year. But the need of money was extreme. 
Sarbuland Khan next suggested that the money might be raised 
in the departments of receipt subordinate to the faujdar or 
magistrate's office. As money in that department could not be 
levied without oppressive action, Ali Muhammad Khan refused 
and resigned his offices. Zainal Khan, a dependant on Mumin 
Khan, succeeded. The extra funds were produced by imposing 
fines and leasing the ferries to harsh unscrupulous renters. Once 
or even twice in the year the trading community was taxed 
either on their income or the number of persons or on the 
number of houses. One Hasan, an iron merchant, who had 
risen to wealth by questionable means, was killed one night on 
his way home. His heirs accused his caste-fellows of the 
crime. The governor, glad of the pretext, seized their chief 
men, and by beatings and torture extorted three lakhs of 

* The author of the Mirat-i-Ahmadi. 


Rupees, one of the chief men dying under the cruelties 

Kanthaji on his way from Sorath to his home country 
passed by Ahmadabad at a distance of about twelve miles. 
When he was in the vicinity of Sanand, his horsemen, known in 
Gujarat as Hol-suwar, spread out in all directions in search of 
plunder. In the plain near the village of Ghiyaspur, about 
six miles from Baroda, they came across a party of Sarbuland 
Khan's elephants which had been sent to collect forage. Of 
these three were driven off. To punish this affront, Allahyar 
Bakhshi was despatched at once ; but he had not gone beyond 
Mahmudabad when the governor learnt that the Mahrattas, 
afraid of pursuit, had abandoned the elephants after having 
driven them for a couple of miles. Allahyar was recalled and 
returned the next day. 

Sec. 60. — Gujarat affairs, October 1729 — June 1730. 

When the rainy season had passed and the harvest was 
ripe, the time had come to take the field once more (Oct. 1729). 
Sarbuland Khan marched towards Kolwa and recovered tribute 
from Bhao Singh of Sahpur. Collecting money as he went, the 
governor arrived at the village of Madhupur near Junagarh. 
The place, which was a large one, was attacked and plundered. 
Here an invasion of Kachh was planned, but as a preliminary, 
envoys were sent to demand a tribute of ten lakhs of Mahmudi 
Rupees. The ruler of Kachh declined to treat. Thereupon 
his rivals and enemies promised to point out the most flourishing 
parts of his territory whence most money could be realized, and 
asserted that little or no effort would be required. But to 
approach Kachh it is necessary to cross the salt waterless desert 
known as the Rann, about fifty miles in breadth. Sarbuland 
Khan was warned by the men of the country that there would be 
great difficulty, but tempted by the hope of gathering tribute 
and plunder, he decided to make the attempt. Each man was 
ordered to carry as much food and water as he could ; and to 
make the march easier they started at night. In spite of this 
precaution, before the other side of the desert was reached 
many men had died of thirst. 

1729] sarbuland* s invasion of kachh fails 201 

When they had entered the territory of Bhuj, they began to 
burn and plunder the villages. They surrounded Bhuj, dug 
a trench, and erected batteries. Both sides began an artillery 
fire. Then the zamindar asked for terms, but those offered 
being too high he refused them and burnt all the villages for 
some distance round until there was not a trace left of grass or 
grain. He also sent out every day parties of well-mounted 
cavalry and all ingress of supplies was stopped. Meanwhile 
he continued to send misleading offers of submission. In this 
manner one-and-a-half months were passed. In the camp all 
supplies had been exhausted ; men and four-footed beasts daily 
grew weaker, most of the artillery bullocks and the baggage 
camels died. Then came word from the wakils at Court that 
Sarbuland Khan had been removed from the Government and 
replaced by Maharajah Abhai Singh Rathor of Jodhpur. The 
siege of Bhuj was raised, and the return march was directed 
towards Radhanpur, where the Rann desert is not quite so 
wide. At Radhanpur visits of condolence were paid to the 
family of the late Jawan-mard Khan Babi, and thence Ahmada- 
bad was reached. 

Sec. 61. — Rising of Bahoras under Shaikh Abdullah. 

As soon as the army had returned to its head-quarters, the 
soldiers broke out into mutiny and demanded their arrears 
which had now accumulated. To meet their demands it was 
resolved to make a levy from the city as had been done several 
times before. It was taken as usual in the proportion of three- 
fourths from the Hindus and one-fourth from the Bahora 
traders, who are Muhammadans of the Sunni sect. Collectors 
were appointed. News that Sarbuland Khan had been super- 
seded emboldened the Bahoras to resist. Ostensibly they 
pleaded poverty, their idea being that Sarbuland Khan would 
be too much afraid of a riot to use force. Shaikh Abdullah, an 
old Bahora who had lived as a recluse for thirty years, headed 
the agitators. The malcontents assembled in the great mosque. 
The Shaikh began to tear his beard and proclaim that the 
heavenly hosts would fight for them. At his instigation word 
was sent to Sarbuland Khan that if he did not leave the city 


at once he would be put under arrest. The Shaikh's words acted 
on the crowd like naphtha thrown upon fire, and all accepted 
him as an envoy from on high. 

Sarbuland Khan summoned Abdul-ghani Khan the diwan 
of the subah and the other leading officials. Repeated messages 
of the mildest kind were forwarded to the Shaikh. He was 
told that the governor had graciously resolved to remit the 
share of the levy due from the Bahoras and they should now 
depart in peace to their houses. Instead of propitiating the 
Shaikh, these soft words only served to harden his heart ; he 
believed that his hard words had produced an effect and that 
"the arrow of his desire had hit its aim". After using stronger 
language tha*i before he answered that not only must Sarbuland 
Khan leave the city but the order to levy money from the 
Hindus must also be rescinded. He incited the Hindus to join 
and made ready for street fighting. 

His friendly overtures having been rejected, Sarbuland 
Khan ordered out his troops under Shaikh Allahyar with orders 
to close all the streets leading to the mosque. The governor 
then moved out of the Bhadar palace and passed through the 
three gates of the Maidan Bazar. The common people who 
had accepted the Shaikh's silly talk and boasts as words of 
wisdom, on seeing the approach of troops, mounted the shop 
roofs on each side of the road and began to throw bricks and 
tiles. Allahyar caused a few of them to be seized and bound ; 
the rest, forgetting all about the Shaikh's miraculous power, 
took to their heels, without waiting for the arrival of the hosts 
of heaven. 

Allahyar seized the gates of the mosque and his men on 
entering found the Shaikh and a few men seated on the mihrab* 
The Shaikh was quickly seized and some of his friends killed, 
the rest asked for mercy. The only result of the Shaikh s 
interference was that the Bahoras were made to pay double 
the original demand. This affair occurred on the 14th Muharram 
1143 (29th July, 1730). 

* An elevated place in a mosque where the leader of the prayer stands. 

1730] death of salabat muhammad babi 203 

Sec. 62. — Sarbuland prepares to resist Maharajah 
Abhai Singh, his successor. 

Towards the end of Safar (Sept. 12, 1730) Salabat Muham- 
mad Khan Babi who was faujdar of Viramgaon obtained 
permission to march to that place. Ude Karan, the headman 
or desai who held charge on his behalf, had been killed. He 
was set on at night by one Ali brother of Daulat Muhammad 
Tank, a native of the town, and stabbed to death. The cause 
of quarrel was not known. Salabat Muhammad Khan made 
his first march to the village of Paleri on the other or western 
side of the Sabarmati river and there waited until his men 
should collect. Two days afterwards he had an attack of 
cholera and was at the point of death. 

It so chanced that on the very same day Sarbuland Khan 
announced that he also would march to Viramgaon. But his 
real object was to confer with Salabat Muhammad Khan about 
resistance to the new governor Maharajah Abhai Singh, reported 
to be then at Jhalor. Suddenly without apparent cause Sarbuland 
Khan started, leaving by the wicket gate of the garden in the 
Bhadar which opens upon the road. With him were the few 
intimates who happened to be present. Finding Salabat 
Muhammad Khan in a state of collapse, the governor awaited 
the arrival of his own tents and men, and his camp was pitched 
close to the great dome. In the evening Salabat Muhammad 
Khan's body was carried to the city in the hope that although 
unconscious he might revive. But he was beyond treatment 
and died that night. 

Sarbuland Khan remained at his first halting place for 
several days which were employed in the collection of men, 
material of war and supplies. When he heard that Maharajah 
Abhai Singh had reached Palanpur 82 miles from Ahmadabad 
[in the north] he moved to the village of Kali* north of the 
city, on the west side of the Sabarmati, and there prepared to 

* There is a Kari, 25 m. n. e. and a Kalol 16 m. n. of Ahmadabad. 
Neither of them can be the place meant, as the Bombay Gazetteer, 
(Vol. I. pt. 1, 311) says that Sarbuland's camp was between Ahmadabad 
and Adalaj, 9 miles north of it. There is a Karhi 8 m. n. e. of the city, 
but on the eastern bank of the river. (Indian Atlas, 22 N. E.) [J. Sarkar.J 


block the road from the north. His total force consisted of 
four thousand horsemen and as many Baksari and Arab match- 
lockmen. Out of this total, five hundred horse and one thousand 
foot were sent back to protect the city, under the command 
of Muhammad Amin Beg and Shaikh Allahyar, who took with 
them the governor's younger son, Shah Nawaz Khan. Round 
the camp were placed seven hundred pieces of cannon, large 
and small, chained together, and about one thousand wall- 
pieces. There were in store two thousand maunds of lead 
and powder. Thus equipped Sarbuland Khan awaited the 
approach of the Maharajah. 

Some of the men whom Sarbuland Khan admitted to his 
confidence, asked what his object was in thus preparing to 
resist. Had he not frequently sent in his resignation? Why, 
then, refuse to give over possession to the successor sent to 
relieve him? Sarbuland Khan answered : "My offers to resign 
were quite genuine. But immense sums have accumulated 
for arrears of pay, which I am unable to meet. The newly 
appointed man is an infidel and so are all his soldiers. If I 
am slain in this contest, I shall not only be quit of the debt 
for arrears, but shall at the same time acquire the glory of a 
martyr to the faith." 

Sec. 63. — Maharajah Abhai Singh Rathor sent from 

Dihli to Gujarat. 

At the Dihli Court Sarbuland Khan's favour had by this 
time waned and disappeared. Muhammad Shah's hope that 
through Sarbuland Khan vengeance would be wreaked upon 
Nizam-ul-mulk had vanished. Meanwhile complaints of the 
governor's conduct began to accumulate, the taking of illegal 
fines, the resumption of jagirs, and other aggressive acts. More 
fatal still, Khan Dauran, in whose hands then rested supreme 
power, for some unknown reason had become estranged. In 
consequence Khan Dauran caused the stoppage of the monthly 
subvention promised when the appointment to Gujarat was 
accepted. The loss of this allowance threw all of Sarbuland 
Khan's plans into confusion ; he was essentially careless and 
profuse in his expenditure and the pay of the large number 


of troops required, owing to the disturbed condition of the 
province, more than exhausted such revenues as he could 
collect, more often than not at the point of the sword. As 
soon as the monthly cash allowance was withdrawn, he began 
to threaten that he would resign if it were not restored, hoping 
that the difficulty of finding any one to replace him would 
secure compliance. But Khan Dauran, who nourished exag- 
gerated notions of his own wisdom and statesmanship, was of 
opinion that the great Hindu Rajahs were the only men who 
could effectually confront the Mahratta onrush. Abhai Singh 
Rathor, ruler of Jodhpur, appeared to be the very man for 
Khan Dauran's purposes, and an additional point in the game 
would be scored by this appointment, for Abhai Singh would 
be detached from the rival party of the chief minister Itimad- 
ud-daulah and the Turanis. 

Abhai Singh along with the usual honours and gifts received 
eighteen lakhs of Rupees from the treasury in aid of his expenses 
together with fifty cannon of various sizes and their complete 
equipment. The Maharajah then proceeded from Dihli to 
Jodhpur, where he collected twenty thousand well trained Rathor 
horsemen from Marwar and Nagor. He was joined by his 
brother, Rajah Bakht Singh, and their combined forces started 
for Ahmadabad. When they reached the neighbourhood of 
Palanpur they were met by the faujdar, Karim Dad Khan. 

Hearing that Sarbuland Khan meant to oppose his entry, 
Abhai Singh sent secretly to Sardar Muhammad Khan Ghorni 
a banker's bill for twenty thousand Rupees with a warrant of 
appointment as deputy governor. He was instructed to occupy 
the town if he could. Sardar Muhammad Khan enlisted a 
number of Gujaratis and awaited his opportunity. Meanwhile 
Shah Nawaz Khan, M. Amin Beg and Shaikh Allahyar bricked 
up the gateways, placed men to watch on all the bastions, and 
made ready supplies for a siege. Night and day their vigilance 
never relaxed, and Sardar Muhammad Khan found no opening 
for action. 

When the Maharajah was close to Sidhpur, 64 miles north 
of Ahmadabad, Jawan-mard Khan and Safdar Khan (Babis), 
nephews of the late Salabat Muhammad Khan, appeared from 


their jagir of Radhanpur. They forgot the benefits received 
from Sarbuland Khan, and impelled by self-interest submitted 
to the new ruler. Many professional soldiers, and those known 
as qasbati, flocked to the Maharajah's standard in the hope of 
employment. So also without informing his uncle Abdul-ghani 
Khan, the diwan, Muhammad Baqir son of the late Mumin 
Khan departed secretly with three or four men to the Rajah's 
camp and there joined his brother, Mumin Khan (II.) 

Sec. 64. — Abhai Singh's battles with Sarbuland Khan 
for the possession of ahmadabad. 

Early in Rabi II. 1 143, (middle of Oct. 1730) the Maharajah 
arrived at the village of Mojir on the banks of the Sabarmati 
within a couple of miles of Sarbuland Khan's camp. There 
he dug some field works and encamped for the night. Sarbu- 
land Khan moved out his cannon across the river to the grove 
of Muhammad Amin situated in a line with the Rajah's camp 
and commanding it. There the gunners commenced a can- 
nonade and several shots fell into the camp. As night came 
on the two armies sent out their videttes ; on both sides, the 
generals spent the night with their counsellors in preparation 
for the morrow's battle. At dawn Sarbuland Khan drew out 
his men and awaited an onset. But the Maharajah declined 
to fight in that position. On the advice of the Gujaratis he 
retraced his steps and moved four or five miles up-stream, 
reaching near nightfall the point west of the city, where first 
of all Sarbuland Khan had his camp near the great dome. 
There the Maharajah pitched his camp. 

The Rathors occupied the houses of the hamlets on the 
river bank v/here the land is high. They used the walls as 
batteries for their guns and blocked up the entrances to the 
village and the ferry approaches. This position is opposite 
the citadel of Ahmadabad, and the flowing stream is there 
about the distance of the flight of a wall-piece bullet from the 
city bank of the river. The entrenched village was placed in 
charge of the Marwari foot soldiery together with Jawan-mard 
Khan and Safdar Khan (Babis). On their taking up this position 
a few shots were fired at them from the Bhadar fort, but other- 


wise they were not molested. Another body was sent by the 
Rajah across the river south of the city near the tomb of Shah 
Bhikan and the villages of Bahrampur and Bara Nainpur, the 
latter the residence of a faujdar. The object here was to erect 
batteries in preparation for an investment of the capital. 

As it was near sunset when Sarbuland Khan first obtained 
precise information of this disposition of his opponent's forces, 
he waited where he was for the return of daylight ; but as a 
precautionary measure placed some men with wall-pieces and 
swivel guns in the fort of Kali near his camp, and others similarly 
armed upon the roof of Malik Maqsud Gujarati's mosque near 
the Shahi-Bagh. At dawn he moved up and pitched his tents 
in the plain opposite the tomb of Dargai Khan Gujarati, which 
is to the front of the Shahi-Bagh. His excess artillery with 
some of the balls and powder, some baggage and part of his 
force, horse and foot, were sent into the city. The day was 
passed in the position thus occupied ; while a cannonade went 
on all day from the fort and the walls. On the other side the 
Maharajah's men were busy building up brick walls inside the 
gates of the hamlets that they held ; they dug deep ditches 
outside ; and when all was ready returned the fire from the 
city. As the ground on their side was a little high some of 
their balls did good execution in the city, more especially in 
the fortress ; while those fired from the city fell harmless on 
the earthworks that had been raised. 

On the 20th October, an hour or two after sunrise Sarbuland 
Khan mounted for battle and took up his position in the sands 
of the Sabarmati with his rear to the fortress. His object was 
to clear out his opponents from their entrenchments. After 
two or three volleys from his artillery he advanced to the attack 
and his men pressed across the stream. The ground being 
impracticable for cavalry the men dismounted and clambered 
over the earthworks. Displacing the obstructions they reached 
the top of the village walls and thence directed a matchlock 
fire on the defenders. In the end after great exertion the gates 
of Khanpur were broken. The place stood on the edge of 
the stream, and below it were many hollowed out channels 
made by the river when in flood, full of ups and downs, where 


the hard ground, trampled into holes by cattle, was difficult 
to cross. Sarbuland Khan's men in spite of every difficulty 
struggled on, some entered by the gate, others crept in by 
unnoticed ways. The Gujaratis who had enlisted under the 
Maharajah held their ground ; a hand to hand struggle began, 
in which both fists and daggers played their part. After many 
leaders of note had fallen, the survivors retreated and rejoined 
the Maharajah. 

Sarbuland Khan who had arrived with his reserves now 
committed the fatal mistake of ordering his artillery back to 
the fortress. It would have been quite easy to bring it across 
the river. The ford at Badij was not far distant and had not 
been occupied by the other side. Thence, leaving the houses 
of the hamlets on the left hand, they could have debouched 
into an open plain admirably adapted for a pitched battle. The 
governor knew of this route himself, and was also reminded 
of it by his friends. But his only answer was that he feared to 
draw the enemy's fire upon the houses in the fort occupied by 
his women. Furthermore, the troops ought to have passed in 
a body through the lanes and bazars. Instead of this, the men 
on foot, the Baksari matchlockmen and the artificers, scattered 
to plunder the houses,* the inhabitants of which had not fled. 
Each man laid hold of what he could and made off. 

Sarbuland Khan, with his rear to the hamlets, moved out 
into the plain and set his ranks in order. Then the Maharajah 
with his whole army, mostly cavalry, advanced to give battle. 
After an opening cannonade the Marwari horsemen rode hotly 
at their foe, firing as they came on. The greater part of Sarbu- 
land Khan's matchlockmen and men carrying swivel guns had 
dispersed after the hamlets had been assaulted and taken. 
Thus the Muhammadans could only reply with arrows to the 
balls from the matchlocks and swivel pieces. After many on 
both sides had been killed and wounded, there was a general 

* Up to this time (1730) the villages on that (the west) side of the riveri 
had been very populous. They suffered from the Mahrattas in the days 1 
of Hamid Khan (1726); but after this second plundering they were 
abandoned altogether and in 1174 H. (1760-1), when the Mirat-i-Ahmadi was 
written, there was not a trace or sign of them to be seen. {Mirat 199a.) 


charge. Instead of entering into battle, in the Indian fashion, 
mounted on elephants, the Maharajah and his brother had this 
day dressed themselves like all the other Rajputs and were 
riding their horses. Seeing a group of elephants, Sarbuland 
Khan galloped recklessly towards them, and fell on them like 
lightning. At the first onset he broke through the ranks of 
these defenders. There were no riders ! Appropriating the 
two or three bows he found upon them the Nawab let the 
elephants go again, resumed his sword-play and sought again 
for his prey. 

Sec. 65. — Sarbuland's army dispersed. 

The Marwaris held together and opposed a bold front to 
their assailants. Neither did the Muhammadans cede any of 
their ground ; after a time however these latter began to obtain 
the upper hand and at length the Marwaris gave way and began 
to leave the field. Sarbuland Khan made repeated charges 
and drove them before him. But from this point the fortunes 
of the day underwent a change. Several officers of note had 
been slain on the Muhammadan side. Jamal AH Khan lost 
his brother Abid AH Khan, who was killed at his side on the 
elephant they were both riding. Having sent the body into 
the city Jamal AH Khan mounted his Arab horse and returned to 
the field, where he recovered the bodies of Sayyid Qaim and 
Tarin Khan Afghan. He and his men then escorted the bodies 
into the city. Others seized the opportunity and left the field ; 
the general feeling being that Sarbuland Khan could not finally 
prevail and would surely be slain. Beginning as a mere sup- 
position, this opinion passed from mouth to mouth until when it 
reached the city in the course of the afternoon it had assumed 
the shape of a report of Sarbuland Khan's death. 

On hearing this report, Muhammad Amin Beg and Shaikh 
Allahyar, who had been left in charge of the city, assembled 
their men and without a moment's delay left it by the Khanpur 
gate. In the sands of the Sabarmati they encountered men who 
had scattered after the attack on the hamlets and also the men 
accompanying the corpses of the slain. These fugitives to 
avoid any imputation on themselves told the two generals that 



it was useless to proceed, in all probability the affair was settled 
beyond remedy, and the most pressing need now was the 
defence of the city and of their leader's family. Amin Beg 
and Allahyar paying no heed to these remonstrances went on 
their way. 

Meanwhile, the Marwaris who had in the first instance 
been put to flight became aware of the fact that Sarbuland 
Khan's division had now been reduced to little more than four 
hundred men. Although he held the field without concerning 
himself about the fewness of his men, the Marwaris drew from 
it fresh courage, turned their bridle reins, and resolved to try 
their luck once more. The fighting was vigorously renewed, 
but Sarbuland Khan stood undaunted and many a Marwari was 
laid low by an arrow from his bow. Soon an elephant appeared 
in the distance and on it a man bearing a flag. The flag was 
recognized as that of Sarbuland Khan ; it must surely be Allahyar 
with reinforcements ! As Amin Beg Khan and Allahyar rode 
up, the drums beat once more and the contest was renewed 
more vigorously than before. In one of the Marwari onsets 
Shaikh Allahyar was shot ; but Sarbuland Khan undismayed 
faced the foe and once more put them to flight. He pursued 
them nearly to the village of Sarkhej, a distance of about five 
miles. The fighting lasted all day, and it was only at nightfall 
that the two sides desisted. Until the going down of the 
sun Sarbuland Khan held the field, his drums beating a victorious 
march. Tents were sent for and erected where the general 

During the day word had been brought to the Rajput camp 
that the Maharajah had fled from the field. Consternation 
seized upon the whole camp. There was a hurried loading of 
carts and pack bullocks, tents were struck, flags were removed, 
and the cry was "Marwar is far off". The local soldiers, the 
Gujaratis and Qasbatis, departed to the villages round about, 
a few went as far as Duraha without a halt, many hid in the 
houses in the city suburbs. It was not till the time of evening 
prayer, when the Maharajah returned from the battle-field that 
the hearts of the timid were reassured. Fugitives who had not 
gone very far returned and rejoined the Rajput general. 


When Sarbuland Khan issued his orders to pass the night 
upon the battle-field, Muhammad Amin Beg said to him : 
"Have you not obtained your desire? You were always 
resigning the governorship. At this time the wounded should 
be attended to and the survivors consoled. You ought to return 
to the city." In compliance with this remonstrance a march 
was ordered. About an hour-and-a-half after nightfall, they 
reached the city wall just below the fortress. Here they 
encamped, on the bank of the Sabarmati. Inside the city, 
however, the chief Gujaratis, more especially Sardar Muhammad 
Khan, who held the new governor's patent as deputy, would 
not believe that Sarbuland Khan had escaped unharmed. 
Sardar Muhammad Khan had cashed the bill of exchange sent 
to him, and with the money had enlisted men, He was in his 
house watching for his opportunity when the report came that 
Sarbuland Khan was dead, he resolved to act by seizing the 
city gates and throwing them open. But to make certain he 
sent a man to his neighbour Ali Muhammad Khan for news. 
He was told the truth and advised to desist. But still unsatisfied 
and restless, he sent again near midnight to make enquiry. To 
satisfy him, his man was sent into the fortress, and mounting 
the wall was allowed to look down on Sarbuland Khan's camp, 
and they could hear him in his tent recounting the events of 
the day to one of his friends. When this man had reported to 
him, Sardar Muhammad Khan gave up his intentions. 

Sec. 66. — Negotiations between Sarbuland Khan and 

Abhai Singh. 

Next day when the Maharajah learnt that his opponent 
was unhurt he took the field once more. Sarbuland Khan was 
on the alert. But his spies soon reported that the Maharajah 
did not intend to fight on that day. The respite was used by 
both sides in carrying off the wounded and burying the dead. 
In the course of the day Abhai Singh resolved to offer terms to 
nis predecessor. As envoys he selected two Muhammadans 
acquainted with Sarbuland Khan, Mukhlis Khan, jagirdar of 
Mahmudabad, and Mumin Khan, the news-recorder of his 
army and faujdar of Kambhayat. A note was sent, and upon 


receipt of a favourble answer Mukhlis Khan paid Sarbuland 
Khan a visit towards the end of the day. After the usual cere- 
monial he introduced his business and left again at night. 

Next day, Mukhlis Khan having been excused on account 
of his age and corpulence, the negotiation was resumed by 
Mumin Khan and Amar Sing Udawat. The terms made were 
that Sarbuland Khan should receive one lakh of Rupees in 
cash for expenses, that camels and carts be furnished for trans- 
port, and that visits should be interchanged. The first visit 
was to be paid by the Maharajah, it being arranged that each 
party should erect a tent for the purpose at a distance from his 
camp. Accordingly the Nawab put up a tent near the grove 
of Ghazi-ud-din Husain and the Maharajah spread a cloth in 
front of his camp opposite the tomb of Shah Bhikan. As so 
frequently happens in these cases, the Maharajah made all 
kinds of pretext to avoid paying the first visit and the whole of 
the next day was spent in the expectation of his arrival. In the 
afternoon of the following day Sarbuland Khan mounted his 
horse and followed by a small retinue made his way to the 
Maharajah's tent. He found the Marwaris drawn up in ranks, 
in armour cap-a-pie either as a precaution against treachery or 
merely out of a desire to see the Muhammadans. On Sarbuland 
Khan entering the tent enclosure the Maharajah advanced as 
far as the surrounding screen, the two nobles embraced, and 
then sat down like brothers side by side. As there was little 
time available they exchanged turbans in sign of brotherhood 
and then bade each other farewell. Sarbuland Khan returned 
to his camp, which was now at the grove of Muhammad Amin 
Khan and there his property and women had been transferred. 
Bakht Singh who had received an arrow wound did not attend 
at the interview ; and it is said that Abhai Singh wore under 
his coat a shirt of chain-mail. 

Sec. 67. — Abhai Singh enters Ahmadabad ; Sarbuland 

leaves Gujarat. 

On the 26 Oct. 1730 one Jagdeo was appointed to arrange 
for the departure of Sarbuland Khan and on the next day, the 
27th, the Maharajah's deputy, Ratan Singh Bhandari, entered the 


Bhadar fort, and a new kptwal was appointed. Sarbuland 
Khan was detained for some days while carriage was collected 
and the payment in cash as agreed on, for which Amar Singh 
Udawat had become responsible, was made. One hundred and 
seventy- three cannon, large and small, were made over on the 
imperial account to Abdul-ghani, diwan of the province, and 
his receipt was taken. There were still twenty thousand Rupees 
unpaid out of the lakh of Rupees promised. Amar Singh 
undertook to send this balance* and a march was resolved 
upon. On reaching Murasa, the Nawab's son-in-law Sayyid 
Newazish Khan, who had been ill, expired. For this reason one 
day's halt was made ; but from this place the daily marches 
were resumed. Finally passing through Udepur, Sarbuland 
Khan made his way to Agra. 

The Maharajah now moved his camp to a place near the 
Shahi-Bagh and there awaited the lucky moment for making 
his entry into the city. There he was visited by Abdul-ghani 
Khan diwan of the province and Abul Mufakhir Khan the news- 
writer. On the 7th Nov. 1730, which was an auspicious day, 
the Maharajah and his brother, without their troops, came 
into the city, remained for a short time in the Bhadar fort, and 
then returned to camp. Some days afterwards he took up 
his permanent quarters in the city and entered upon the revenue 
and general business of the province. f 

Sarbuland Khan continued his return march from Udepur 
on to Agra, where he was detained a long time by his inability 
to satisfy his mutinous troops. In the end he was so hard 
pushed for money that he was forced to pledge his goods and 
obtain loans from the money-lenders. Badan Singh Jat sent 
two of his Muhammadan officers, Khizr Khan and Nur AH 
Khan, to offer a present of one lakh of Rupees if he would 
take up his abode in the Jat territory until the Emperor restored 
him to favour. After a week's delay the two men were admitted 
to an audience, the Nawab at that time being laid up with 

* The money was never paid. 

t Up to this point the history of Gujarat affairs is based almost entirely 
upon the Mirat-i-Ahmadi. 


pains in his feet. On hearing the message Sarbuland Khan 
laughed and said that grateful as he was for such a hospitable 
offer he had not yet reached such a stage of destitution that 
he should apply to his equals. He was very comfortable where 
he was and felt no hardships. However when he needed such 
help he would send intimation. He sent a horse and jewelled 
sword as a present to Badan Singh with a letter styling him 
Thalzur. Badan Singh sent the letter back along with 5,000 
Rupees and prayed that he might be addressed as Rajah, a 
title promised to Churaman by Sayyid Husain AH Khan when 
he started from Agra for the Dakhin. The Sayyid's assassina- 
tion had prevented fulfilment. Moreover, Rajah Jai Singh had 
promised the title when the fort of Thun was surrendered ; 
while Ajit Singh and Abhai Singh had corresponded with him 
in that form, Sarbuland Khan replied that he had no right to 
give titles, a prerogative of the Emperor alone, but if he ever 
recovered favour he would urge Badan Singh's claim. The 
letter and the money were then returned. [M.U. iii. 801, Khizr 
122, Hadiqat 381.] 

Sec. 68. — Last years of Sarbuland Khan. 

With his removal from Gujarat Sarbuland Khan's public 
career ended, except for a short time when he was governor of 
Allahabad and his brief appearance in 1738 as one of Nadir 
Shah's collectors of the fine imposed upon the capital. 
Compared with many of his contemporaries he was an active 
and energetic officer. But in none of his Governments, Agra, 
Patna, Kabul or Gujarat, did he succeed in fully establishing 
his authority. In Patna he defeated the Bhojpur zamindar 
Sidisht Narayan son of Dhir, and in Kabul he met with one or 
two successes. In Ahmadabad Gujarat he seems to have made 
continuous efforts to restore some sort of order. But he was 
wanting in prudence and foresight, and above all he was too 
lavish and careless about expenditure. During his five years 
in Gujarat he showed himself an active soldier and the extent 
of his success in that province can be best gauged from the 
increasing weakness of his successors. Compared with theirs 
his hold upon his province was thorough and effective. When 


at last after a long stay at Agra Sarbuland Khan was able to 
return to Dihli he was forced to entrench himself in his house 
to keep off his creditors, and whenever he was called to Court 
the Emperor sent an imperial letter with several imperial atten- 
dants to protect him from an attack. Mubariz-ul-mulk Sarbuland 
Khan Bahadur, Dilawar Jang (original name Muhammad Ran) 
died on the 13th Zul Qada 1154 H. (19th January 1742) at the 
age of sixty-nine (lunar) years. [T-i-M.] 

Having carried on the story of the Mahratta advance in 
Ahmadabad-Gujarat up to the year 1 730 we now turn to another 
part of the country, Bundelkhand, in the province of Allahabad, 
where we shall find the same disorganization on the imperial 
side and the same promptitude on the part of the Mahrattas in 
taking advantage of the slightest weakness of their opponents. 



Sec. 69. — Bundelkhand : The Land and the People. 

Bundelkhand, to which we now turn, had never been 
completely subdued by the Mughals, and consequently the 
Mahratta attacks upon it inflicted less vital wounds on the 
Empire than did their encroachments in Gujarat. According 
to the Mughal provincial divisions Bundelkhand or the country 
of the Bundelas fell almost entirely within the subah of 
Allahabad, Kalpi sarkar in the Agra subah being the only 
exception. It lies to the south of the Jamuna river — its western 
boundary being now-a-days the territory of Gwaliyar, from 
which it is separated by the Sind* river ; its eastern limit is 
formed by Baghelkhand otherwise the Riwa State. On the 
south the boundary is rather more indefinite, but according to 
the Mughal territorial divisions Bundelkhand extended to the 
confines of Malwa. According to Thornton (153) the tract is 
200 miles in length from south-east to north-west, and 155 miles 
in breadth from the opposing angles. Taking the census of 
1891, the area may be estimated at 20,641 square miles and the 
total population at 3,907,585, it being still, according to Indian 
standards, somewhat sparsely inhabited. 

The name Bundelkhand, which is derived from that of the 
ruling Rajput clan, is comparatively modern. Up to the end 
of the 12th century the Chandela clansmen, with their capital 
at Mahoba.f were the dominant race, at any rate in the western 
half of the region. The Bundelas can never have been very 
numerous. Even in these days of enumeration of the people, 

* The Sind, a tributary of the Jamuna, rises in Malwa near Sironj. 
For 130 miles out of its course of 200, it is the boundary between 
Bundelkhand and Sindhia's dominions. 

t25° 18 N. 79° 55 E., 30 m. s. w. of the Banda railway station. 
(/. A. 69 S. E.) 


it is not easy to fix their number, as the record of the Census of 
1891 is misleading. In one district (Banda) where they must be 
strong, they are not separately recorded ; and in the Native 
States of Bundelkhand they are included in the generic name of 
Rajputs. All things considered it will be safe to estimate the 
Bundelas as numbering about 100,000 in a Rajput population of 
416,000 and a total population of nearly four million of people 
(1891). There would thus be now about 20,000 grown men of 
the clan where a hundred and fifty years ago the number must 
have been very much smaller. There are in addition a few 
Bundelas in the Central Provinces, especially in the two districts 
of Sagar and Damoh. The origin of the Bundela clan is 
extremely obscure, though they are admitted to be Rajputs of 
some sort. They owe their importance in history to their 
position as chiefs or rulers, a position which they won for 
themselves by their undeniable valour. 

The Bundelas themselves claim as their place of origin the 
country round Benares, and make themselves out to be a branch 
of the Gaharwar clan. Some faint reason for this claim to have 
come from Benares may be the fact that out of the total 
number of the Gaharwars in the United Provinces of Allahabad 
and Agra (53,477) we find fully half (26,832) reside in the two 
districts adjoining Benares, namely Mirzapur (20,249) and 
Ghazipur (6,583). The one colony is in pargana Kantit, west of 
Mirzapur, and the other in pargana Mahaich, south of the 
Ganges, midway between Benares and Ghazipur. In the nine- 
teenth generation from a more or less mythical Kashi Rajah of 
the Gaharwar clan, one Rudra Partap rose to importance in the 
western part of what is now called Bundelkhand. He was 
ninth in descent from one Suhan Pal who had managed about 
the year 1292 A.D. to establish there a small independent State. 
Rudra Partap first emerged from obscurity in 1501 A.D., and in 
the last year of his life, on the 3rd Baisakh Sudi 1588 S. (21st 
April, 1531) he founded the town of Orchha and removed 
thither from Kurar.* Soon afterwards he was killed in 

* There is a Kurahra, 12 m. e. of Mau and 44 m. s. e. e. of Orchha. 
(/. A. 69 S W.) Dilkasha mentions a fort Karara as belonging to Bir 


endeavouring to save a cow from the clutches of a tiger. From 
his nine sons sprang, directly or indirectly, all the rulers of the 
States of Bundelkhand.* Six large States, Orchha, Datiya, 
Panna, Bijawar, Charkhari, Ajaigarh, and nineteen large jagirs 
are still held by their descendants. [M. U. ii. 317, Pogson 3-11.] 

The derivation of the name Bundela is disputed. The 
Bundelas themselves connect it with their tutelary deity, 
Bindhbasini Devi, the goddess whose temple is at Bindhachal, 
a spur of the Vindhya range jutting out towards the Ganges a 
few miles to the west of Mirzapur. The Muhammadans solve 
the problem by saying that the root of the word Bund is a mere 
corruption of the Persian banda, a slave, and that the clan sprang 
from the issue of a slave-girl. Another attempt at an etymology 
refers the word to Bund, the Hindi for a "drop of liquid" and 
a story is told connecting the name with the drops of blood in 
the sacrifices offered to the goddess, Bindhbasini Devi.* 

Orchha on the Betwa, the capital of the first independent 
State founded by the Bundelas (in 1531 A.D.), being in the west 
of the tract, it would seem more probable that the tribe entered 
Bundelkhand from that direction rather than from the north- 
east. In the latter case they must have traversed Riwa Banda 
and all the intervening country. Of such a tribal migration, 
which could hardly have been a peaceful one, tradition has left 
no trace. The first firm ground we tread upon is arrived at 
when the town of Orchha was founded by Rudra Partap in 1531. 
When at the instigation of Prince Salim (afterwards the Emperor 
Jahangir), Bir Singh Deo (Rudra Partap's grandson) procured the 
assassination of Akbar's minister Abul-fazl, a new era of 
extended prosperity began for the Bundela race.f 

Singh Deo. Orchha is on the left bank of the Betwa, 8 m. s. of Jhansi. 
Datiya is 16 m. n. e. of Jhansi. [J. Sarkar.] 

* Hadiqat-ul-aqalim, 167; Chhatra-prafyash in Pogson p. 8. 

t The early history of the Bundelas given here has for its primary 
sources Lai Kavi's Chhatra-prakflsh (Hindi text ed. by W. Price, Calcutta 
1829, used) and M. U. ii. 317, with some information from the Dilkasha of 
Bhimsen. Pogson's translation of Chhatra-pra\ash in his History of the 
Boondelas (Calcutta, 1828) is incorrect at places not only in respect of the 
proper names, but also the sense of the verses. Mr. Irvine has greatly 
relied on and freely used a book by Manzur Ahmad. Among the deriv- 


The eastern half of Bundelkhand was much later in coming 
under the domination of the Bundelas. It went generally by 
the name of the Dangiya Raj, and its rulers were known as the 
Dangiya Rajahs. This name is usually referred to the Hindi 
word for wrangling or confusion, but it really comes from a local 
word meaning a wild and hilly tract of country. 

In 1531 when Rudra Partap died, his second wife, Rani 
Muhrban, removed with her children from Orchha to Katera, a 
hilly country covered with thorny scrub lying twenty miles to 
the east of Orchha. Her eldest son Udyajit, third son of Rudra 
Partap, founded a new home in a village called by him 
Mahewa,* for which he appropriated the surviving buildings and 
houses of a ruined town called Patari. This place had been once 
the abode of a Rana Rudra of the Jat tribe, who had been 
defeated and killed by Ala-ud-din Khalji (1295-1315). Udyajit 
and his descendants lived their lives in obscurity at Mahewa, 
and we hear nothing more of the family until the fourth genera- 
tion, when it emerges into notoriety in the person of Champat 
Rai, father of Chhattarsal. 

Champat Rai was born at the village of Mor Pariyaf near 
Mahewa in the State of Orchha. The place is not far from 
Katera and Mau Ranipur. When he grew up he found himself 
in very straitened circumstances, having only a small appanage 
on which to subsist. He therefore adopted the life of a free- 
booter, but was warned by the Rajahs of Orchha and Datiya, 
whose territories lay to the west of Mahewa, not to come in 
their direction. Accordingly he advanced into the Dangiya 
country to the east where he made some conquests. He seems 

ative sources are Hadiqat-ul-aqalim and Pandit Kishan Narayan's Tarikh-i- 
Bundelkhand wa Jalaun (1853). For the lives of the Bundela Rajahs in 
Mughal times, M. U. ii. 131, 214, 258, 317, 510 &c. [J. S.] 

* Katera is 20 m. e. of Orchha, and Mahewa is 3 m. s. of the former. 
Half a mile north of Mahewa rises the Patari hill. (/. A. 69 S. W.) This 
Mahewa must not be confounded with the more famous Mahoba, which 
lies 59 miles east of it. Mau. is 10 m. due east of Katera. [J. S'.] 

t Probably Mohur-paharee of Indian Atlas, sheet 69 S. W., about 4 m. 
: south of Mahewa. Manzur Ahmad says that there is another Mahewa, 10 m. 
n. w. of Chhattarpur, founded by Chhattarsal in memory of his family 
home. (Ind. At. 70 N. E.) 


to have been feudatory or dependent of the Orchha Rajahs : at 
any rate we find him in 1627 fighting on the side of Jhujhar 
Singh, eldest son of Bir Singh Deo. 

Sec. 70. — Jhujhar Singh's Life and End. 

Jahangir died on Oct. 28, 1627 and Bir Singh pre-deceased 
him by a few months. The Rajah's eldest son, Jhujhar Singh, 
who was at the Mughal Court, despairing apparently of a conti- 
nuance of the great favours showered on his father in the 
previous reign, fled from Agra to his home. Three armies 
under Mahabat Khan Khan Khanan, Khan Jahan Lodi, and 
Abdullah Khan Firuz Jang, were sent against the rebel ; and 
approaching from three directions invested him in Orchha. 
Abdullah Khan scored a first success by surprising Iraj* on the 
10th Jan. 1629. But before more could be done Jhujhar Singh 
had persuaded Mahabat Khan to plead his cause with Shah 
Jahan. His pardon was accorded early in March 1629. 

Jhujhar Singh was placed on duty in the Dakhin under 
Mahabat Khan, but in 1044 H. (26th June 1634— 15th June 1635) 
he obtained leave of absence from that general and returned to 
his home, leaving his eldest son Bikramajit (Jag Raj) in his place. 
The Rajah now commenced a campaign of conquest to the 
south, attacking Bhim Narayan, the Gond Rajah of Deogarh, 
whose fort of Chauragarhf was taken after his treacherous 
assassination. The Emperor now intervened and demanded the 
surrender either of Chauragarh or of some pargana in exchange 
for it. Jhujhar, hearing of the Emperor's displeasure, secretly 
recalled his son Bikramajit, then in Balaghat of the Dakhin. 
Khan Zaman, the governor of Balaghat, pursued and overtook 
the fugitive in pargana Ashta. Although wounded Bikramajit 
made good his escape, and by jungle paths managed to reach 
his father at Dhamoni, a strong fort on the Malwa border that 
had been constructed by Bir Singh Deo. J 

* Inch, on the Betwa, 42 m. n. e. of Orchha. (/. A. 69 N. W.) 

t Deogarh about 24 m. s. of Chhindwara in C. P. Chauragarh is 25 m. 

s. of the Narmada and 24 m. s. w. of Narsinghpur. 

% The two wars with Jhujhar, Abdul Hamid's Padishahnama, i. pt. K 

240-248, and i. pt. 2, 95-139. 


The imperial forces were set in motion under Abdullah 
Khan Firuz Jang, Sayyid Khan Jahan, and Khan Dauran, and 
to prevent quarrels the Prince Aurangzeb, under the tutelage of 
Shaista Khan, was placed in supreme command. On the 
29th Aug. 1635 the Prince began his march. The Raj of Orchha 
was conferred on Debi Singh of Chanderi, son of Bharat Sah, 
and descended from Rudra Partap in the sixth generation. 
Jhujhar Singh fled from Orchha to Dhamoni [80 miles south- 
wards] . Orchha was occupied on the 14th Oct. 1635. When 
the imperialists drew near to Dhamoni they found that Jhujhar 
had again retreated and was gone towards Chauragarh. 
Dhamoni was soon taken. Jhujhar by this time had reached 
the town of Shahpur four miles from Chauragarh and had 
asked help from the Rajah of Deogarh. The pursuit from 
Dhamoni was placed under the conduct of Khan Dauran and 
Abdullah Khan Firuz Jang. Jhujhar found no help in Deogarh, 
the zamindar having just died. Destroying the cannon, burning 
other things and blowing up the buildings of Chauragarh, 
Jhujhar fled through Deogarh country towards the Dakhin. 
The pursuers passed through Garh Katanga and Lanji until they 
reached the boundaries of Chanda. The fugitives were then 
halted four k.os ahead of them. Marching all night the pursuers 
reached the spot only to find their prey had flown. But next 
day at noon the fugitives were overtaken and after a fight 
abandoning their standards, kettle-drums and elephants, they 
fled into the forest and hid themselves. The pursuit was not 
relaxed. Udebhan and another younger son of Jhujhar Singh 
managed to escape and reach Golkonda. Jhujhar and 
Bikramajit when overtaken fled deeper into the forest after an 
attempt to sacrifice their women. The principal wife, Dirgbhan 
(a son of Jhujhar), and Durjan Sal (son of Bikramajit) were made 

Some Gonds found the two Bundela chiefs in the forest and 
put them to death. Khan Dauran went to the spot and cut off 
their heads and took their signet rings. The heads were laid 
before Shah Jahan at Sihor. On the 10th January 1636 they 
were exposed on the gates of the sarai at that place. Fifteen 
days afterwards Khan Dauran arrived with tribute from the 


Rajah of Chanda, some of the Bundela plunder, and the family 
of the rebels. Rani Parbati had died of her wounds, but the 
other women were made Muhammadans and transferred to the 
imperial harem. Dirgbhan, the son, and Durjan Sal, the grand- 
son of Jhujhar Singh, were made Muhammadans under the 
names of Islam Quli and AH Quli. A couple of months after- 
wards, Udebhan and another son, a child, with their follower 
Siyam Dauwa, who had been delivered up by the king of 
Golkonda, arrived at Court. The two men of full age were 
offered their lives if they accepted Islam ; on their refusal, they 
"were sent to hell." The child was placed in the charge of 
the nazir or head of the harem. 

Sec. 71. — Career of Champat Rai Bundela. 

Throughout the events connected with the reduction of 
Jhujhar Singh of Orchha, Champat Rai seems to have acted 
against the Muhammadans, but did not follow Jhujhar Singh in 
his flight. Two or three years after that Rajah's death Champat 
made common cause with Pirthi Raj, one of his sons, and raised 
a disturbance in the neighbourhood of Orchha. Abdullah 
Khan Firuz Jang then in charge of that country with his head- 
quarters at Islamabad,* attacked the Bundelas at their strong- 
hold about six miles from Orchha between that place and Jhansi, 
18th April, 1640. After a forced march his troops, under the 
command of one of his chief officers Baqi Khan, fell upon the 
Bundelas just as day was breaking and routed them putting 
many to the sword. Pirthi Raj was made a prisoner, but 
Champat Rai escaped. Pirthi Raj was sent to prison in the 
fortress of Gwaliyar ; and as Abdullah Khan was supposed to 
be wanting in zeal, he was superseded by Bahadur Khan Rohela, 
to whom the assigned revenues of Islamabad were transferred. 
Bahadur Khan had made great promises, but he was not allowed 
much time to show what he could do, for Shah Jahan's advisers 
told him that it was "inadvisable to turn Bundelkhand into a 
Rohelkhand", and in consequence of their objection Bahadur 
Khan was soon recalled. [Pad. ii. 193, M.U. i. 420.] 

* Manzur Ahmad says (p. 47) that the ruins near Kathera are still 
known as Salimabad. This is probably the place referred to. 


The only success obtained by Bahadur Khan was reported 
by him in a letter received at Court on the 13th January 1641. 
He had succeeded in cutting down some jungle and killing some 
Bundelas, but Champat and his brother Sujan had again 
escaped. In Oct. 1641 Abdullah Khan Firuz Jang had been 
sent to form part of the army under Prince Murad Bakhsh pro- 
ceeding against a hill-rajah named Jagat Singh. On the 
18th Nov. 1641 he returned from the army to make some report, 
but as he was suspected of some intrigue he received no audi- 
ence. Bahadur Khan secretly recalled from Bundelkhand was 
appointed in Abdullah Khan's place and the latter was sent 
back to Bundelkhand. [Pad. ii. 221.] 

On the 4th June, 1642 as the results of Abdullah Khan 
Firuz Jang's campaign were unsatisfactory, Rajah Pahar Singh 
Bundela, brother of the late Jhujhar Singh of Orchha, entered 
into a compact to root out Champat and his brothers, and on 
receiving Abdullah Khan's appointment, his rank was raised to 
3000 zat (3000 troopers with two or three horses). As Champat 
had risen to notice in the service of Bir Singh Deo and Jhujhar 
Singh, his son, he preferred to make terms with Pahar Singh 
rather than to continue the contest with one of a family to which 
he was under some obligations. [Ibid. 303.] 

According to tradition, affairs between Pahar Singh and 
Champat Rai did not proceed altogether smoothly. Pahar Singh 
attempted once to get rid of his troublesome vassal by poison ; 
but a friend and relation Rajah Bhim changed cups and offered 
himself up in sacrifice for Champat Rai. The latter, following 
his mother's advice, made overtures to the Mughal Court, 
whereupon he was summoned and enlisted in the imperial 
service. According to tradition, he was employed in the year 
1656 in the reduction of a fort called Bhargarh,* for which he 

* This is incorrect. The fort besieged was Qandahar in Afghanistan, 
is the Chhatra-prakash, p. 30, distinctly mentions Khandhar and Dara 
ihukoh's participation in its siege, but with the usual exaggeration of a 
Court eulogist says that Champat forced it to surrender ! The third Mughal 
•iege of Qandahar, conducted by Dara Shukoh, from April to September 
653, was a miserable failure. Padishahnama (ii. 304) records that Champat 
vith his brothers entered the service of Dara some years after 1642. 
J. Sarkar.] 


received in jagir the pargana of Kunch worth three lakhs of 
Rupees a year. Pahar Singh was annoyed at this move and 
presenting a gift of nine lakhs of Rupees to Prince Dara Shukoh 
obtained the pargana for himself. Disgusted at this treatment 
Champat Rai left Court and returned to Mahewa. [Manzur 
Ahmad 52, Pogson 25.] 

When Prince Aurangzeb started from the Dakhin to 
contest the throne with his brother Dara Shukoh, Champat Rai 
presented himself and his services were accepted. After the 
defeat of Jaswant Singh Rathor (the partisan of Dara Shukoh) at 
Dharmat on the 25th April, 1658, the Bundela leader was given 
a horse and a robe of honour. At the battle of Samugarh 
(9th June 1658) Champat was in Aurangzeb's right wing under 
Prir>.ce Muhammad Azam ; and after the victory he was 
presented with an elephant. He then joined in the pursuit of 
Dara Shukoh. When Alamgir Aurangzeb's camp was at Sarai 
Jauhar Mai in the Panjab, Champat Rai and his son Angad 
were sent on to Lahor to serve under Khalil-ullah Khan. 
Alamgir then returned to Dihli, which he reached on the 
21st Nov. 1658. In January 1659 a force was sent against 
Prince Shuja who had advanced beyond Allahabad. In the 
fight at Khajwa in the Ganges-Jamuna Duaba Jaswant Singh 
Rathor, who had by this time made his submission to Alamgir, 
turned traitor once more and failing in an attack on the 
Emperor's rear, fled to his own country of Jodhpur. Dara 
Shukoh now entered Gujarat and advanced northwards to 
Ajmer. Taking advantage of the confusion thus created, 
Champat fled from Lahor, reached Bundelkhand, and soon 
closed all routes through Malwa. All that could be done at 
the time was to despatch Subhkaran (Rajah of Datiya) and 
Indarman (Rajah of Orchha) against this disturber of the peace. 
[Alamgir-nama, 78, 92, 163, 217, 301, 631.] 

Champat Rai having plundered Bhander [24 miles n. e. of 
Jhansi] , took up his quarters in the fort of Iraj. Subhkaran 
advanced against him and gave battle in the open field. In the 
end Subhkaran withdrew his forces and turned his attention to 
the fort of Shahgarh, but the place was defended so valiantly 
that he was unable to reduce it. [Pogson 35-36.] 

J661] aurangzeb's war with champat bundela 225 

Sec. 72. — Flight and Death of Champat Rai, 1661. 

After an interval Subhkaran returned with reinforcements. 
Champat then fled to Dharaini ; where some inconclusive 
fighting followed. Champat's next refuge was at Anghori. By 
this time Alamgir had returned to Dihli (May 1659), and his 
brother Dara Shukoh had been made prisoner. He now 
deputed Rajah Debi Singh Bundela of Chanderi to take charge of 
the operations in Bundelkhand. This was in the fourth year (30th 
April 1661 — 19th April 1662). Champat now proposed peace 
through his brother Sujan Rai. The parties met at Bedpur but 
the conditions imposed by Subhkaran could not be accepted 
by Champat Rai. Subhkaran, however, declared the subjuga- 
tion of Champat beyond his power. Then Ratan Sah one of 
Champat's sons made offers of submission through Namdar 
Khan, but without result. [Pogson 38.] 

Sujan Rai, who had gone to the imperial Court with 
Subhkaran [in the hope of making favourable terms] , now 
returned to Bundelkhand and invoked the aid of Rani Hira Dei 
of Orchha, but his advances being repulsed by her he went on 
to the fort of Bedpur. Here he was attacked by the Rani and 
when his ammunition was exhausted the place was taken by 
assault. The wives of Sujan Rai immolated themselves, and 
Sujan Rai rather than be taken prisoner plunged a dagger into 
his own breast and expired. [Pogson 38-39.] 

On learning the news of Sujan Rai's defeat, Champat left 
Orchha* and passed three days at Jatwara. The Rani's army 
was in pursuit. Then Champat bethought himself of Rajah 
lndarman Dhandhera of Sahra, in sarkar Sarangpur of subah 
Malwa. At the time when Champat was in favour with 
Alamgir, this man lndarman was a prisoner at the Mughal Court. 
He had resisted the conquest of his State by Shiva Ram Gaur, 
to whom it had been granted by Shah Jahan. Champat inter- 
ceded for him, procured his release and his restoration to his 
State. f Champat resolved to seek shelter at Indarman's capital, 

* Irvine wrote Berchha, but the Hindi text of Chhatra-prakash reads 
Orchha. [J. S.] 

t Pogson (p. 40) says that lndarman had been imprisoned for slaying 



and made straight for Sahra, closely pursued by the imperialists, 
sixteen thousand in number. At this time Champat had with 
him no larger escort than fifty horsemen. He was ill and daily 
his illness increased on him. One day having travelled over 
30 miles, he halted to give his people and his horses a rest. 
They had begun to feed the horses when suddenly they heard 
the sound of kettle-drums ; they already saw some of the enemy. 
Champat got readj' his quiver, placed it in his waistband, 
mounted his horse and escaped. He soon came to a difficult 
pass in the hills where after an attempted defence he scrambled 
down the other side. A follower named Indarman in trying 
to get through the pass fell with his horse and was cut to pieces. 
While this fight was going on Champat Rai fled and took shelter 
in a village. The news was brought to Sahib Rai Dhandhera, 
who was in charge of Sahra during the absence of the Rajah 
Indarman. It was resolved to afford sanctuary to Champat, 
and Shiva Ram Dauwa and Gopal Bari were sent to meet him 
at the head of two hundred horsemen. 

Suddenly hearing the tramp of horses, Champat made ready 
his bow, but it was old and broke as he stretched it. His son 
Chhattarsal resolved to fight to the death in his father's defence, 
while his wife drew a dagger and was ready to die gladly for 
her husband's honour. As the Dhandhera's horsemen drew 
near she shouted "Who are you advancing so boldly? I will 
not give up nor quit Champat until I have finished a sacrifice 
for him. Then you may work your will". The leader called 
out "Why all this anger, we are come devoid of plot or guile 
to escort Champat to Sahra, where no enemy will trace him." 
At this mild answer their fears were dispelled and they consented 
to be conducted to the camp assigned them. 

an imperial officer named Shah Malik. The Emperor with whom Champat 
interceded was Shah Jahan, and could hardly have been Alamgir. Shiva 
Ram was granted the Dhandhera lands early in Shah Jahan's reign. (M. U. 
ii. 265). Aurangzib released Indarman from the fort of Junnar when 
starting from the Dakhin to contest his father's throne (Ibid. 266), and 
Champat could have had no hand in the matter. But early in Aurangzib's 
reign Indarman fell into disfavour on account of the conduct of his kinsmen. 
(Talish). [J. Sarkar.] 


For a time they remained at Sahra, thence went to Sitabari 
where is a temple of Raghunath. Then the pursuing army 
arrived in the neighbourhood. Rajah Indarman was still absent 
and his representative Sahib Rai took shelter in the fort where 
he was helpless. The Dhandheras lost heart and he wrote to 
Sahib Ram Dauwa and Gopal Bari in charge of Champat's 
escort with orders to gain their guest's confidence and then 
murder him. By this treachery they hoped to make their own 
peace with the Emperor. 

All unconscious of this plot Champat decided to start for 
.1 place called Morangaon, after Kali Kunwar, the fugitive's wife, 
lad prayed and made offerings at the temple of Raghubir. 
Their son Chhattarsal was sent away to his brother-in-law Gyan 
>ah's village. Reaching this place Chhattarsal found his sister 
it home, but she refused to see him. The youth had fasted for 
hree days and had nothing with which to buy food. It was not 
mtil Gyan Sah's return home in the evening that he heard the 
Iiews and sent out some food, which was cooked and the night 

Champat now thought of a way of beguiling his pursuers. 

^hile he was being carried to Morangaon, another litter would 

e sent to the orchard near Sahra. In it someone would take 

(is place covered from head to foot in his sheet, guarded by the 

'vo hundred horsemen. Kali Kunwar spoke to a servant 

|om her father's house. When the request was heard by him 

was refused. The Thakurani fell at his feet, but he persisted 

|i his refusal. On the failure of this device, Champat marched 

,>r the orchard at Sahra attended by the two hundred 

ihandhera horsemen. After they had gone seven k.os, the men 

uterchanged signs, and suddenly fell upon and slew the Bundela 

lief — his illness preventing him from making any effective 

distance . The Thakurani leapt from her horse and ran to 

it husband's side. She laid hold of a horseman's rein, but 

i turned and plunged his dagger into her. Thus husband and 

ife died together and together they set out for the other world.* 

itS* * The entire account of the pursuit of Champat from his leaving the 
rt of Iraj to his death is based on the Chhatra-prakash. [J. S.J 


At the Mughal Court Rajah Sujan Singh of Orchha claimed 
the credit of Champat Rai's removal. He reported that he had 
followed the rebel to his refuge in Sahra and there demanded 
his surrender. But the Dhandhera men, unknown to Sujan 
Singh, sent Champat Rai's head to Court, where it arrived on 
the 7th November 1661. [Alamgir-nama, 633.] 

Sec. 73.— Rajah Chhattarsal, his career down to 1720. 

Thus at the age of twelve years Chhattarsal,* who was the 
fourth son of Champat Rai, was left an orphan and a fugitive. 
He sought shelter first with his eldest surviving brother Angad 
Rai at Deogarh and his mother's jewels having been obtained 
from the town of Dilwari, where they had been deposited, his 
marriage was carried out. He now offered his services to 
Rajah Jai Singh of Amber then on his march to the Dakhin 
and about to proceed against Shivaji the Mahratta. His brother 
Angad Rai soon joined the same commander, under whom 
they did good service. When Bahadur Khan besieged Deogarh, 
Chhattarsal formed part of the detachment sent by Jai Singh as 
a reinforcement. In a battle fought to force the passes through 
the hills, Chhattarsal was left for dead on the field of battle 
and was not discovered till night had come on. 

Chhattarsal disgusted at Bahadur Khan's neglect of his 
services, decided to join Shivaji, the Mahratta, and with this 
intention after a long and trying march through hills and forest, 
he crossed the Bhima river. At an interview Shivaji counselled 
him to return to his own country of Bundelkhand and there 
raise his standard against the Muhammadans.f Adopting this 
suggestion Chhattarsal first of all sought to obtain assistance 
from Subhkaran Bundela Rajah of Datiya, then serving in the 
Mughal employ in the Dakhin. Subhkaran refused to quit the 

* The history of Chhattarsal to the death of Alamgir is based upon the 
Chhatra-pra^ash, with dates and a few details from M. U. ii. 510 and M. A. 
169, 384, 424, 483. The letters of Jai Singh in the Haft Anjximan give us 
information about Chhattarsal's service under him. [J. Sarkar.] 

t Bhimsen gives another account. See my Shivaji and His Times, 
ph. 7 end. [J. S.] 


Mughal, but offered to intercede with the Emperor and obtain 
for Chhattarsal a suitable rank. Chhattarsal refused. 

Now commenced a struggle which lasted for over fifty 
years. Chhattarsal crossed the Narmada into Bundelkhand in 
1671, when he was in his twentyrsecond year. His following 
then consisted of five horsemen and twenty-five foot-soldiers ; 
while at his death in December 1713 he was lord of the eastern 
half of Bundelkhand. In the course of this career of conquest, 
he defeated many Moslem commanders, Hashim Khan, Sayyid 
Bahadur, Randaula Khan, Tahawar Khan, Sayyid Latif, Anwar 
Khan, Mirza Sadar-ud-din, Hamid Khan, Abdus-samad Khan 
and Murad Khan (agent of Diler Khan). These obscure 
struggles are hardly mentioned by the Muhammadan historians. 
The only campaign they tell us of is that of 1089 H., 1678-9, 
when Jaswant Singh Bundela was sent 'against the sons of 

Twenty years seem to have passed in this never ceasing 
struggle. Alamgir's departure from Northern India in 1681 and 
his prolonged campaigns against the Muhammadan Govern- 
ments and the rising Mahratta power, diverted his attention 
from the other parts of his Empire. The local generals ceased 
to exert themselves, in the way that they did in the time of 
Shah Jahan ; and this want of energy was without doubt ex- 
ceedingly favourable to the rise of a local chief like Chhattarsal. 
Somewhere about the 40th year of the reign (5 April 1696 — 23 
March 1697) Chhattarsal was induced to enter the imperial 
service and repaired to the Dakhin. In the 46th year (19 
Feb. 1700 — 8 Feb. 1701) he was appointed to the command of 
fort Satara. Four years afterwards he abandoned the service 
and returned home. In the next year the 49th (1705) Nawab 
Firuz Jang obtained his reinstatement with the rank of 4,000. 
He returned home when Alamgir died (2nd March 1707). 

In the early part of Bahadur Shah's reign, Chhattarsal 
neglected the summonings to Court which were sent to him. 
But on the 30th May 1708, when the new Emperor was on his 
way to the Dakhin to fight his younger brother, Kam Bakhsh, 
Harde Narayan and other sons of Chhattarsal presented them- 
selves and received mansabs. In the fourth year of that reign. 


on 22nd April 1710, when the Emperor was at Karatiya in the 
Kota country on his return march to Hindustan, Chhattarsal 
himself attended and proceeded northwards with the army, then 
on the way to suppress Banda, the follower of the deceased 
Sikh leader Guru Govind Singh. On the 10th Dec. 1710 
Chhattarsal took part in the assault on the Sikh fastness of 
Lohgarh in the outer Himalayas. Under Farrukh-siyar (1713- 
1719), he seems to have remained in favour. On the 21st Jan. 
1714 he became 6,000 zat (4,000 horse), and on the 3rd May 
1718 three of his sons and several grandsons attended Court and 
received presents. [Kamwar, Dil. 171b, Bahadur, M. U. ii. 

Sec. 74.— Muhammad Khan Bangash's campaigns in 


Soon after the downfall of the Sayyid brothers Muhammad 
Khan Bangash, as his reward for deserting from Sayyid Abdul- 
lah Khan, obtained the Government of Allahabad (25th Dec. 
1720). Within the limits of this province lay the greater part 
of Bundelkhand* including the whole of the territory over which 
Chhattarsal had usurped authority. Thus Muhammad Khan, 
pursuant to the Mughal claim to sovereignty over the whole 
of India, had a direct official connection with Bundelkhand. 
Not only so. The parganas of which the land revenue was 
assigned to him in 1713, in the first year of Farrukh-siyar, were 
all in Bundelkhand. To this troublesome charge (the Mughals 
having little or no hold on the country thus granted), Diler 
Khan, the grantee's favourite chela, was appointed. In 1720 
the Bundelas rose, sacked Kalpi, and killed the local officer 
(ami/). Diler Khan at the head of some troops was sent against 
them and quickly ejected them from Kalpi and Jalalpur.f The 
Bundelas, however, soon recovered themselves and advanced 

* From this point onwards to the final retirement of Md. Khan the 
history of Bundelkhand is based upon Irvine's chapters on the Bangash 
Nawabs of Farrukhabad in /. A. S. B. 1878, with some additional details 
from Shiu Das and other writers, who will be cited at the proper places. 
[J. Sarkar.] 

t Jalalpur, 18 m. s. of Kalpi, but south of the Betwa. [J. S.] 



to the number of thirty thousand men with Chhattarsal at their 
head. After a fierce battle fought on the 25th May 1721, Diler 
Khan and five hundred of his men were slain. He was buried 
at Mauda. [20 m.n.w. of Banda] . Chhattarsal had already 
made himself obnoxious to the imperialists by sending aid to 
Girdhar Bahadur at Allahabad and to the rebel Kichar zamindar 
of Asothar in the Duaba. This crowning act of open hostility 
resulting in the defeat and death of Diler Khan, made 
Chhattarsal's suppression imperative. [Shiu Das 67a, Ghulam 
Ali 41b.] 

No immediate vengeance for this disastrous defeat could 
however be inflicted upon the Bundelas. The whole strength 
of the Mughals was at the time absorbed in the attempt to repel 
the aggressions of Rajah Ajit Singh of Jodhpur and the rescue 
of Ajmer from his clutches. At length, towards the end of 
1723, Ajit Singh sued for peace and sent his eldest son Abhai 
Singh to Court. Muhammad Khan who had taken a part in the 
campaign returned to Dihli with this Prince. Chhattarsal hav- 
ing in the interval continued his aggressions upon imperial 
territory, Muhammad Khan was now ordered to proceed in 
person to Allahabad the head-quarters of his province, and 
there prepare an expedition to be led by him into Bundelkhand. 

This first campaign was quite inconclusive. After a two 
months' stay in Allahabad, Muhammad Khan collected a force 
of fifteen thousand horsemen and formed a camp at Bhognipur 
in the Duaba. In the end he crossed the Jamuna into Bundel- 
khand, and by dint of six months of fighting he penetrated as 
far as Sahenda, 12 miles south of Banda. Nizam-ul-mulk's 
defeat of Mubariz Khan (1 1th Oct. 1724) alarmed the Court 
and decided it upon concentrating its forces. Muhammad 
Khan was recalled. He made the best terms he could and 
returned to Dihli. Then he was ordered to Gwaliyar to repel 
an anticipated advance of the Mahrattas. In his absence the 
Bundelas renewed their inroads, and soon the little impression 
that had been made was entirely obliterated ; Baghelkhand was 
over-run by them, even to the borders of the subah of Patna. 

About the end of 1726 Muhammad Khan was directed to 
restore order in the Bundelkhand portion of his province. A 


money allowance of 2 lakhs of Rupees a month was granted to 
him ; this was afterwards commuted into a grant of chakla 
Kora. On the 3rd Feb. 1727 his vanguard crossed the Jamuna 
somewhere not far from Allahabad. By the first operations 
the eastern part of Bundelkhand was cleared, with the excep- 
tion of Tarahwan. Leaving his eldest son, Qaim Khan, to 
prosecute the siege of that place, Muhammad Khan moved on 
to within four kos of Sahenda. Parganas Bhend, Mauda, 
Pailani, Agwasi and Simanni* came into his possession : and 
on the 22nd Dec. 1727 Tarahwan fell to an assault delivered 
by Qaim Khan. 

Pushing his way westwards Muhammad Khan at last 
encountered the enemy at Ijoli in pargana Mahoba. Here on 
the 22nd May 1727 he stormed their entrenched position at a 
heavy loss on both sides in killed and wounded. Chhattarsal, 
his sons and grandsons took flight and sought a refuge in the 
forest of Salhatf to the south of Jaitpur, a country full of 
natural obstacles in which pursuit was difficult. On the 18th 
June 1 727, twenty-seven days after the first battle, the imperial 
army marched towards the enemy's new position. The attack 
was delivered a little before dawn on the next day (19th June, 
1727) but before the Muhammadans could come to close 
quarters the Bundelas broke and fled to Mahoba. The forts of 
Barigarh, ten miles, and Lauri-Jhumar, sixteen miles south-east 
of Mahoba, were occupied. The Muhammadan camp was 
pitched two miles beyond Mahoba, and here they passed the 
five months of the rainy season during which in that soil it is 
impossible to place one foot before another. [Shakir's Gulshan- 

In Nov. 1 727 the advance was resumed. The enemy's 

* Tarahwan, 42 m. e. of Banda and one-fourth of a mile from Karwi. 
Bhend, probably Benda, a village 22 m. from Banda and 14 m. from Pailani. 
(N. W. P. Gaz. i. 390). Or, Bhenr (Bheyr)) Mauda, 20 m. n. w. of 
Banda. Pailani, 20 m. of Banda. Agwasi = Augasi, 28 m. n. e. Banda, 
and on the s. bank of the Jamuna. Simanni, 18 m. n. e. of Banda. 
Ijoli = lchauli, 11 m. n. w. of Banda. Jaitpur, 20 m. w. of Mahoba. [J. S.] 

t The Salat hill is 9 m. due east (and not south) of Jaitpur, and midway 
between the latter and Mahoba. [J. S'.] 


entrenchments in the hills were attacked for a whole day with 
little effect, but at sunset the Bundelas gave way. At this point 
a delay of four months seems to have occurred during which 
Muhammad Khan wrote repeatedly to Court for more money 
and more men. Active hostilities were resumed in April 1728, 
and on the 29th April 1728 a fresh entrenchment between the 
hills at Kulpahar [14 m.w. of Mahoba] was stormed by the 
Muhammadans, seven lines of defence being carried one after 
the other. Next day the general started for Mundhari four 
miles east of Jaitpur, and its fort was seized. The Muhamma- 
dans now took up their position in front of Kulpahar with 
Jaitpur on their right, Mundhari a little on one side in the same 
direction, and the hills of Salhat on their left, the latter occupied 
by the enemy. Finally the Bundelas resorted to the hills of 
Ajhnar, six miles south of Jaitpur. The siege of Jaitpur itself 
then commenced. The rainy season came on and progress was 
slow, for owing to the excessive moisture the mines fell in as 
soon as dug. At length about the month of December 1728 
the fortress fell into the besiegers' hands. By this time the 
campaign had lasted fully twenty-four months (January 1727 to 
December 1728). 

Sec. 75. — Muhammad Khan's despatch of battles. 

It was in the operations preparatory to opening the siege 
of Jaitpur that the fighting occurred which is thus described 
by Muhammad Khan himself in his report to the Emperor 
[Shakir's Gulshan] : — "The enemy having come out of the hills 
of Bundelkhand awaited the arrival of their brethren, the 
Mahrattas and the Jats. The first victory was obtained during 
the first march, when we were forty miles from Jaitgarh.* On 
the 14th Shaban of the current year (1140?), Chhattarsal with 
a bodv of Bundelas had advanced to the village of Suni, where 
they plundered the property and cattle of the country people. 
Although many of my men were away procuring supplies, and 

The name of the fort of Jaitpur. Suni — There is a Sundee, 50 m. 
north of Jaitpur, and 12 m. s. w. of Kalpi, but north of the Betwa (69 

N. E) fj. S.J 


only a small force was available, yet instigated by the recollec- 
tion of what had happened to Diler Khan shortly before, I 
mounted without delay and after advancing six fyos (about 12 
miles), came face to face with the enemy. They drew up in 
battle array and began the attack with arrows and matchlock 
fire, holding their ground firmly. After much effort on both 
sides and many casualties, including the loss of my horse, the 
enemy began to give way. We pursued for six fyos and cut off 
many heads. Many horses and standards and arms fell into 
our hands. Long ago, in a previous report, I sent a detailed 

"After this fight we reached by repeated marches the foot of 
the stone fort belonging to the enemy. Here Mangal Khan and 
Bhure Khan joined me. The united force passed the 29th of 
the said month (Shaban) [ = 9th April 1728] below the fort. 
On the night of Friday a council was held. It was decided, 
in order to secure water, that we should move to the banks of 
a small stream, six k.os to the south of the fort. Some were for 
procrastinating. One watch of Saturday had gone when we 
reached our destination, we had not yet fixed upon the site 
of our camp and our men were scattered about, as occurs on a 
march. I was standing with a few chelas ready mounted, 
watching for the enemy. 

"Suddenly the vanguard of the Bundelas, headed by the 
eldest son of Chhattarsal, bore down on us. At once I sent 
to the camping ground for Mangal Khan and some of his men ; 
these were formed into a left wing. Bhure Khan and his men 
were sent to the front ; while Sardar Khan, Shams-ud-din Khan, 
and Rustam Khan were posted on the right wing. Meanwhile 
the enemy gathered in great strength ; and dividing into many 
groups completely surrounded me and my men. In addition 
to the central body there were three daw (lit., circles). One 
of their daw is by measurement one hundred and seven jarib. 
Their total force was estimated at 45,000 men. It is also said 
by persons from the enemy's camp and landholders of the 
neighbourhood that Chhattarsal in person, with all his brethren 
and leaders, thirty-seven in all, was present. The Jat, too, 
was there with his artillery and troops. 


"Although the enemy thought they had prepared a meal 
for themselves, they had to retire without eating it. When the 
sun reached its height the battle began to rage. Arrows sped 
and bullets flew. From bows and cannon and muskets there 
fell, as it were, a hailstorm from the sky. The enemy then 
came against our Van ; but we held our ground. I sent for 
my artillery and ordered my Mir Atash to make the horsemen 
attached thereto dismount ; and directed them to fire at the 
camels of Chhattarsal. Thus the enemy was brought under 
matchlock and rocket fire. Seeing they could gain no advantage 
in that direction, they turned their whole army and all its parts 
towards our right. They reached close our encampment and 
began to plunder our tents and disturb our attendants. There 
was an enormous disparity in our numbers, and I saw that it 
was no use to try and save our baggage. Whether victory or 
death were our fate, the destruction of our goods and chattels 
was of no importance. We addressed our vows to the Protector 
of All and continued our efforts. 

"Then three strong divisions united together and bore 
down on our right wing. Many of our men failed to withstand 
this onset ; they began to give way. But Mangal Khan and 
Bhure Khan, although wounded, stood fast, and our faces were 
reddened with the glow of success. Those brave men yielded 
not their ground but gave their lives as a sacrifice. In a short 
time victory would have been with the enemy. Then as befits 
a true leader, I remembered my reputation as a soldier and my 
devotion to His Majesty's service. It was plain that there was 
nothing left except to advance in person and fight like a 

"At two hours before sunset I collected the artillery in 
position on the left wing, in advance of the vanguard ; and 
followed by a few of my best cavalry, I drove my elephant 
straight into the thick of the enemy, where my men seemed 
to be struggling hopelessly against them. At this moment two 
of the enemy's horsemen, one after the other, rode their horses, 
with the greatest boldness, at my elephant, so that their horses' 
forefeet were on the elephant. By God's aid one after the 
other was dispatched by our arrows. The whole of my friends 


and chelas at this juncture performed prodigies of valour in 
the vanguard, and many received repeated wounds. With the 
greatest effort the force in front of us had been repulsed, when 
a fresh one appeared in great strength on our right. We 
succeeded in also repelling this attack. A third time the enemy 
showed on the left, but soon fell back. The fourth time they 
came on massed together as a single body. By God's help 
and His Majesty's good fortune, after much fighting and 
slaughter, such as cannot be detailed in this brief report, the 
whole of the enemy finally withdrew. 

"We pressed them in their retreat, and parties were 
detached in pursuit. These after notable deeds rejoined my 
main army. Two arrows had struck the elephant of Chhattar- 
sal ; it was wounded and fled from the field. We pursued him 
and his host four or five miles. Cannon, gun-carriages and 
falconets were seized as prize, many of the enemy were killed, 
many drums and horses fell into the hands of our men. Exclud- 
ing those slain in battle and in the camp, we collected about 
seven thousand heads. 

"After the victory I remained three days on the spot. At 
present I am turning my attention towards Jaitgarh. As my 
former report was lost on the road, this second account has 
been sent. No blessing of good fortune could be greater than 
this victory over a vast gathering of Bundelas, vouchsafed to 
this lowly person, of no account, a mere nobody and a humble 

While Muhammad Khan was pressing on westwards his 
eldest son Qaim Khan was left to reduce Tarahwan on the 
east of the province. It fell to his investment on the 22nd 
December 1727. Leaving an officer in charge, Qaim Khan 
then rejoined his father. But immediately he had done so, they 
heard that the Bundelas had risen again and had attacked the 
Tarahwan garrison. Qaim Khan was detached against them with 
ten thousand horse and foot ; but before he could reach Tarah- 
wan the enemy had taken the first outworks. On the 4th Oct. 
1728 he retook the outer fort. A month afterwards 11th Nov. 
1728 a mine was exploded under one of the fastnesses and 
the rest of the place succumbed to an assault. Qaim Khan 


then took the field and cleared the country to the east as far 
as Bargarh.* He was still absent on this duty when in March 
1729 Muhammad Khan's career of victory was suddenly 

Sec. 76. — Muhammad Khan Bangash meets with difficulties 

and reverses. 

While maintaining the investment of Jaitpur, Muhammad 
Khan had not ceased to annoy the Bundelas in their retreat 
within the hills to the south. Jaitpur fell in December 1728 
and in the same month Harde Sah and other sons of Chhat- 
tarsal came in and surrendered. Soon afterwards Chhattarsal 
also submitted. f For three or four months they remained quietly 
in the Muhammadan camp awaiting an answer from Court to 
Muhammad Khan's offer to bring the prisoners with him to 
Dihli. Under pressure of circumstances the Rajah had meanwhile 
agreed to submit to the imperial authority, to deliver up all 
the places he occupied ; and to permit the placing of imperial 
armed posts throughout his country. From Dihli no answer 
came, and three months passed by. At Court the story was 
started that Muhammad Khan and Chhattarsal had entered into 
a league and covenant to upset the dynasty and place the 
Afghan on the throne. The silliness of this rumour was proved 
by the acts of the Bundelas themselves. They wrote to Burhan- 
ul-mulk, a rival of Muhammad Khan, and received an 
encouraging reply. Other courtiers too wrote urging continued 
resistance and a recommencement of hostilities. Having then 
learnt what powerful enemies Muhammad Khan had, the 
Bundelas plucked up courage to renew the struggle. In 
February 1729, the time of the great Hindu festival of the Holi 
was approaching, and on this pretext the aged Chhattarsal was 
allowed to remove to a place 6 or 7 miles south of the Muham- 
madan camp to carry out the ceremonial of the feast. 

Muhammad Khan lulled into a false security had allowed 
the larger part of his army to proceed on furlough, and many 

* Probably Barigar, 10 m. s. e. e. of Mahoba. 

t Warid says that Chhattarsal paid 40 lakhs to Md. Khan to save his 


of the soldiers were scattered in small parties at the armed 
posts that he had established. His total force did not exceed 
four thousand men. Ugly rumours now reached him about a 
Mahratta invasion. They had quite recently defeated and slain 
(8 Dec. 1 728) Girdhar Bahadur, the imperial governor of Malwa. 
But Muhammad Khan had full confidence in the agreement 
entered into by the Bundelas, and treated the suggestion of 
danger from the Mahrattas with supreme contempt. He made 
no preparations. 

Sec. 77. — Baji Rao assists Chhattarsal in Bundelkhand. 

The Mahrattas were within two and twenty miles of his 
camp before Muhammad Khan could be persuaded to believe 
in their approach. With great difficulty he now made up his 
army to nine thousand men and entrenched himself. The 
invaders were under the chief command of Baji Rao, the 
Peshwa. With him were Pila Jadon, and other celebrated 
leaders ; and as he advanced his force was joined by the turbu- 
lent zamindars till it had swollen to seventy thousand men.* 
They first appeared within two miles of the Muhammadan 
encampment on the 22nd March 1729, but their skirmishers 
who tried to drive off the grazing cattle were soon dispersed. 
Next day they advanced by the right and left to the rear of the 
camp and cut off the camels and ponies as they were being 
driven out to bring in grass. On the 25th Muhammad Khan 
made a sortie without permanent benefit. Gradually the 
Mahrattas closed round the camp, the commonest grain cost 
twenty Rupees a seer, and other kinds were unprocurable. 
For two months the Muhammadans subsisted on the flesh of 
camels, horses and cows. 

In the middle of May, Qaim Khan who had heard at Tarah- 
wan of his fathers straits, reached Supa, 12 miles north-east 
of Jaitpur, bringing supplies and reinforcements. A portion of 
the Mahratta army moved off to intercept him.f Suddenly 

* The junction of the Mahrattas with Chhattarsal described in Sardesai 
ii. 384 et seq. [J. S.] 

t The repulse of Qaim Khan is thus described in a Marathi letter from 
Pilaji Jadon: "On the 9th Shawwal [7 May 1729] Qaim Khan with 


seizing the opportunity the beleaguered soldiers poured out of 
the camp on their way to Jaitpur, Muhammad Khan was left 
with no more than one thousand men. The Bundelas came 
down from their hiding places in the hills and Muhammad 
Khan moved out, leaving not a single soul in camp. For three 
hours an unequal contest was maintained, and honour being 
satisfied Muhammad Khan consented to withdraw to Jaitpur. 

On reaching Jaitpur Muhammad Khan put it so far as he 
was able in a state of defence. But there were no stores of 
food and no time to procure any. When the Mahrattas 
returned, having defeated Qaim Khan, they invested the town 
and fort, into which Muhammad Khan had withdrawn. The 
besiegers could make no impression on the place and resolved 
to starve it into surrendering. For close on four months the 
garrison held out under the most heart-rending conditions. 
The only food was the flesh of the gun-bullocks and of the 
troopers' horses ; flour could not be procured at a hundred 
Rupees the seer. Many men died of starvation ; many 
deserted ; all who gave up their arms were allowed to pass out. 
[Warid lib, Khush-hal 1049-1052.] 

In this time of dire distress Muhammad Khan called upon 
the Emperor and the great nobles to extricate him. Not a hand 
was raised to help or encourage him. The Emperor did indeed 
order the first Bakhshi, Khan Dauran Samsam-ud-daulah, to 
proceed to Jaitpur. As usual with this noble, there was much 
promise and little performance. His advance tents were sent 
outside the walls of Dihli with great pomp and ceremony ; but 
not one single other step did he take to forward the matter. 
Full of intrigue, and deceit and excuses, he every evening put 
off his start to the morning, and every morning put it off until 
the evening. Then in order to stir up strife he wrote to the 
Bundelas that the 'thoughtless monarch' was trying to send an 
army to the aid of Muhammad Khan. He went so far, it is 

30,000 men came against us. We fought him (at Supa). By God's grace 
he was defeated. We captured 3,000 horses and 13 elephants, two of 
these elephants have been taken by Antaji Mankeshwar and Dabalji 
Somvanshi the, the rest are with me." (Rajwade, iii. No. 14.) 
[J. Sarkar.] 


said, as to suggest to Qihattarsal that his deadly enemy Muham- 
mad Khan being in his power, he would throw away all chance 
of fortune if he did not slay him. The head of Muhammad 
Khan would be an acceptable gift to lay at the feet of the 
Emperor and would secure the sender high dignity and reward. 
Khan Dauran also tried to persuade the Emperor that there 
was danger to the throne from a too successful Afghan general. 
[Warid Ho.] 

After his repulse at Supa, Qaim Khan was obliged to 
abandon all hope of conveying immediate relief to his father 
and the besieged garrison. He resolved to obtain, if he could, 
contingents from some of the other nobles. His first visit was 
to Burhan-ul-mulk, governor of Oudh, at Faizabad. Instead of 
affording him help, a plot was made for his seizure. The 
Afghans in the Oudh service were so angry at this intended 
trickery that they followed Qaim Khan to the number of twelve 
hundred in his march to the Pathan colony of Shahjahanpur. 
Here more men joined him. His next visit was to Ali Muham- 
mad Khan Rohela at Bangarh,* and with this ruler's help more 
recruits were collected. Reaching his home at Mau Shamsabad 
[in the n. w. of the Farrukhabad district] , he raised money 
from the money-lenders and pledged all his father's goods. 
In this way he succeeded in gathering together a force of about 
thirty thousand men. 

Sec. 78. — Final withdrawal of Muhammad Khan from 


In the interval Jaitpur had continued to be strictly invested 
and the sufferings of the garrison were intense. Then an 
epidemic broke out in the Mahratta camp and thousands of 
their men died. Moreover the time for their annual return to 
their homes during the rainy season had arrived. Alarmed at 
the losses by disease and anxious to get home, the Mahrattas 
raised the siege and marched for the Dakhin. Chhattarsal 
undaunted continued the siege with the twenty thousand men 
still with him. A further period elapsed and besiegers as well 
as besieged were tired out. Qaim Khan, too, had crossed the 

• About 10 m. n. of Budaon. 

1729] chhattarsal's last years and successors 241 

Jamuna and was hastening to his father's deliverance. Chhat- 
tarsal and his family decided that it was more prudent to come 
to terms, and Muhammad Khan was allowed to evacuate Jait- 
pur (August 1729) on signing a written agreement not to attack 
them again, but to content himself with the tribute they had 
formerly paid. On meeting his father Qaim Khan proposed 
that they should renew the struggle, but Muhammad Khan 
refused to break his pledged word. They recrossed the Jamuna 
at Kalpi on the 3rd Oct. 1729, and from that time Muhammad 
Khan never re-entered Bundelkhand. In 1144 (July 1731 — June 
1732) he was superseded in the Government of Allahabad by 
Sarbuland Khan. [Warid 11-13.] 

As a reward for their alliance the Mahrattas received from 
Chhattarsal one-third of his territories, the parganas so ceded 
were situated in the south and west of the region and were 
supposed to yield a revenue of 30,76,953 Rupees or about 
£300,000 a year.* They seem to have soon had some diffi- 
culties with their Bundela neighbours in the parent State of 
;Orchha for in Zul Qada 1144 H. (April-May 1732) Pirbhuji a 
brother of Malhar Holkar was killed in a fight with Rajah Udwat 
Singh of that place. 

Rajah Chhattarsal died at Panna on the 14th Dec. 1731, 
at the age of eighty-two years. He left a number of sons : but 
the two eldest Harde Sah and Jagat Raj divided the State 
between them, the former becoming Rajah of Panna and dying 
soon after in 1151 H. (April 1738 — April 1739) ; and the latter 
Rajah of Jaitpur (died 1758). 

The younger sons, in the usual Rajput manner, obtained 
small appanages for their support. The supposed revenue of 
the Panna State was 38,46,123 and of Jaitpur 30,76,953 Rupees. 
[Pogson 105-115.] 

Sec. 79.— Early Mahratta incursions into Malwa. 

In the Mahratta scheme of aggression upon Hindustan, or 
India north of the Narmada, the rich province of Malwaf was 

* Partition of Bundelkhand, Sardesai ii. 386. [J. S'.] 
f The history of the Mahrattas in Malwa given here by Irvine is based 
entirely upon Grant Duff and The Bangash Nawabs of Farrukhabad (pub- 



selected by the Peshwa Baji Rao as his special prey. From 
the year of his appointment (1720), he sent annually a detach- 
ment from Khandesh into Malwa, but did not cross the Narmada 
in person until the end of 1 724. At first his stay in the province 
was never very prolonged, affairs at home and the intrigues 
of Nizam-ul-mulk demanding his constant attention in the south. 

We have seen [ch. iv. sec. 33] that late in the reign of 
Farrukh-siyar Muhammad Amin Khan was sent to Malwa 
expressly to defend it from Mahratta incursion. On his return 
to Court without orders he was superseded (15th March 1719) 
by Nizam-ul-mulk ; and he again, owing to the constantly 
shifting policy of the Court, was followed on the 9th Sept. 1722 
by Rajah Girdhar Bahadur Nagar, who was removed from Oudh 
in order to make a vacancy for Saadat Khan, Burhan-ul-mulk. 
A year afterwards, Nizam-ul-mulk' s star being once more in 
the ascendant, he removed Girdhar Bahadur in favour of his 
cousin Azim-ullah Khan (25th May 1 723). When Nizam-ul-mulk 
quitted Oudh and fled to the Dakhin, the province of Malwa 
was made over once more to Girdhar Bahadur ( 1 2th June 1 725). 
[Kamwar 199.] 

Girdhar Bahadur throughout his period of rule in the 
province, carried on a gallant struggle against the rising waves 
of Mahratta encroachment. For the selfish reason that they 
diverted the Mahrattas from the Dakhin, these constant attacks 
on Malwa were secretly encouraged by Nizam-ul-mulk. The 
country was overrun by Baji Rao's officers, Udaji Puar, Malhar 
Holkar, and Ranuji Sindhia. The fortune of war constantly 
varied ; but whoever might win in the field, destruction to the 
prosperity of the country was equally the inevitable result. 

lished in /. A. S. B. 1878). The few other works used by him will be cited 
by name. The editor has supplied all the additional information from 
Marathi sources. 

The first recorded Mahratta incursion into Malwa was in 1690 (Malcolm's 
Central India i. 6 In). In 1698 Udaji Puar looted Mandu but did not make 
any permanent occupation. That work was due to the enterprise of Balaji 
Vishwanath. A Marathi letter of 1715 mentions that Dabalji Somvanshi 
was the first to attempt the conquest of Malwa, though the work was 
rendered easier by the energy of Baji Rao's assistants Sindhia Holkar and 
Puar. (Sardesai, ii. 355). [J. Sarkar.] 


At length, on 8th Dec. 1728, in the neighbourhood of Ujjain, 
Girdhar Bahadur was defeated and slain by the Mahratta army 
led by Chimnaji, brother of Baji Rao, and Udaji Puar.* At the 
same time fell his relatives Rao Gulab Ram and Rajah Anand 
Ram. The resistance was carried on for a time by Girdhar 
Bahadur's nephew, Daya Bahadur. But finally he too was 
defeated in a battle near Tarla, [4 m. s.w. of Dhar] between 
Dhar and Amjhara, where he and nearly two thousand of his 
troops lost their lives. [Siyar, i. 79 ; T-i~M.] 

Sec. 80.— How the Mahrattas gained a permanent footing 

in Malwa. 

[ Written by the Editor. ] 
For the history of Malwa between the death of Girdhar 
Bahadur and the arrival of Muhammad Khan Bangash as the 

i new governor of the province, we have copious information in 
the Persian letters of Girdhar's sons (Ajaib-ul-afaq) and the 

; Marathi and Hindi letters received by Nandalal Mandaloi 
chaudhuri of Indor, (printed in Sardesai ii. 363-375). Our diffi- 
culty is only about some of the dates. Irvine's Persian authori- 
ties say that Muhammad Khan reached Ujjain on the 30th 
January 1 73 1 , from which it follows that the battle of Tarla 
and the death of Daya Bahadur had taken place some months 
earlier (say, October 1730). But the Marathi letters give the 
date of the battle as the 21st Rabi II. Shahur San 1 132, (which 
corresponds to the 22nd October 1731 new style), and some 
others represent Daya Bahadur as alive on the 20th October. 
Muhammad Khan, as all authorities agree, did not arrive in 
Malwa before the death of Daya Bahadur. Therefore the 
Khan's campaigns in Malwa and, in consequence, the Nizam's 
movements connected with Muhammad Khan's, must be dated 
one year later than what Irvine states. f 

* "Rajah Sahib Girdhar Bahadur was the Malavi-raj of Malwa. In 
upport of the Emperor he fought my brother Chimnaji Apa at Sarangpur." 
; Letter from Baji Rao.) The Mahratta attack on him here was a surprise 
nd ended in his death. [J. Sarkar.] 

t On the other hand, there may be a mistake in the conversion of the 
hahur San dates above. The Marathi dates, also, cannot be implicitly 


It is clear from the letters of Daya Bahadur that Girdhar 
Bahadur had aimed at turning Malwa into a hereditary king- 
dom for his family, in imitation of Nizam-ul-mulk and other 
ambitious provincial governors of the fast dissolving Empire of 
Dihli and that Daya Bahadur dreamt the same dream. But the 
task was hopeless on account of their having no ally even among 
the Hindus. They could hold Malwa only by promising to 
the Emperor to keep the Mahrattas out. In this work they 
could not get any Rajput support. The Rajputs, especially 
Sawai Jai Singh, were allies of the Mahrattas and actually called 
them into Malwa in order to weaken the detested Mughal power 
in Northern India. This is the keynote of Malwa history in 
the early eighteenth century. The local zamindars (mostly 
Rajputs) naturally tried to take advantage of the disorder by 
withholding revenue. Daya Bahadur alienated them by 
attempting a strict collection of the dues of the State, and (as 
I infer) by giving himself royal airs. These short-sighted local 
magnates and their tenants sided with the Mahrattas as the 
best means of evading their legal obligations to the Mughal 
Empire. There were soon to have King Stork from the south 
in the place of their old King Log of Dihli. 

Nandalal Mandaloi, a chaudhuri of Indor under the 
Mughal administration, on being greatly harassed by the 
imperial officers, turned towards the Mahrattas, at the advice 
of Jai Singh. He had very great local influence and "held the 
hearts of all the chiefs (sardars) of Malwa in the clutches of 

accepted as correct, because in two of these letters Nandalal's death is put 
in S.S. 1132, while a third is addressed to him in 1133. In each of these 
cases the year is given in Words and we cannot explain the mistake by 
ascribing it to a natural clerical error in transcribing numeral figures. The 
course of events implies that Daya Bahadur governed Malwa for a longer 
period than what Irvine's dates would give him (16 months, July 1729 — 
Oct. 1730). My dates, therefore, are : — 

8 Dec. 1728. Death of Girdhar Bahadur ; his son Bhawani Ram 
governs Malwa. 

? July 1729. Daya Bahadur succeeds as governor. 

22 Oct. 1731. Death of Daya Bahadur at Tarla. 

19 Jan. 1732 {i.e., 22nd Rajab, but of 1144). Muhammad Khan reaches 
Ujjain as governor. 


his hand" (as two letters put it). He was the intermediary of 
all the Mahratta intrigues and movements against the Mughal 
Government in Malwa. By treacherously leaving the fords of 
the Narmada (of which he was officially in charge) unguarded, 
he facilitated Baji Rao's invasion of Malwa. [Mandaloi papers, 
printed in Sardesai ii. 364-370.] 

Sec. 81.— Government of Malwa by Bhawani Ram. 

[ By the Editor. ] 

On the death of Girdhar Bahadur (8th December 1728), 
the Emperor wrote in his own hand to his son Bhawani Ram 
condoling with him and requesting him to defend the province 
against "the infidels." Bhawani Ram was created a Rajah 
with the title of Chimna Bahadur, two lakhs of Rupees were 
granted to him, and Sayyid Najm-ud-din Ali Khan, the Maha- 
rana (through Sawai Jai Singh), Durjan Sal and Md. Umar Khan 
were ordered to march to his aid. 

Chimnaji Apa and Udaji Puar, after their great victory at 
Sarangpur, went about plundering the country round Ujjain. 
Bhawani Ram hurriedly recruited more men and threw up earth- 
works round the town. On the 20th December the Mahratta 
army laid siege to Ujjain and daily fights took place. Bhawani 
Ram's difficulties were aggravated by his lack of money. He 
owed a large sum to the troops of Girdhar Bahadur who had 
raised nearly 8,000 men in addition to the regular contingent 
of his office and also artillery. The men in arrears were ready 
to break out into mutiny, and the news of this crisis tempted 
the Mahrattas to prolong their stay in his neighbourhood. On 
the 23rd January 1729, when the siege of Ujjain had lasted 35 
days, Bhawani Ram made a sally. There was a fight at close 
quarters with losses on both sides, after which the Mahrattas 

Months passed away, but no money nor the promised 
reinforcement from the Court reached Bhawani Ram. He owed 
5 lakhs of Rupees to his troops. The Mahrattas, after trying 
to take Sarangpur, went on towards Sironj where Najm-ud-din 
Ali was resting, having entrenched himself and placed obstacles 
round the town. 


New difficulties now arose. Najm-ud-din AH Khan wrote 
to announce that he had been appointed to the governorship 
of the province and that the revenue collected was to be held 
in trust until his arrival. He also wrote for the miscellaneous 
revenue (cesses) to be collected and sent to him. The Court 
wrote to the Khan to desist from such acts and to return to his 
own faujdari of Dhamuni. When Najm-ud-din Ali reached 
Kaliyada, 3 miles from Ujjain, he began to raise all sorts of 
trouble. (April 1729). The Court's orders were shown to him, 
but he went on as before. Finding persuasion useless, Bhawani 
Ram had no course open but to resist force by force. He 
brought his tents out of Ujjain and encamped opposite Najm- 
ud-din. From morn to night the men on both sides stood 
armed and ready. Durjan Sal and Umar Khan, failing to 
persuade Najm-ud-din to refrain, finally left him. The strong 
attitude of Bhawani Ram, however, had the desired effect, 
and the baffled Sayyid at last marched away. 

Meantime, the rumour of Bhawani Ram's supersession had 
thrown his affairs into confusion. The zamindars refused to 
pay the revenue. His soldiers mutinied and demanded their 
arrears ; in concert with the neighbouring zamindars and men 
from the city of Ujjain, they surrounded Bhawani Ram at Kali- 
yada, but he fought and put them to flight. 

Next year (1729 — 1730) his troubles were renewed. 
Kanthaji (about June 1729) had invested Khargun [south of the 
Narmada, 25 m.s. of Mandleshwar] for four days and levied 
a blackmail of Rs. 50,000, and had then crossed the Narmada 
[at Barwana] into Malwa and was raiding the country round 
Dhar, — while Malhar and Udaji had assembled their troops and 
were waiting at Chikalda for the arrival of Baji Rao and other 
leaders from Burhanpur. This year the Mahrattas took up their 
quarters for the rainy season within the province of Malwa. 
But Jai Singh had not yet moved out of his capital Amber, and 
his general Zorawar Singh (then at Rampura) had sent to Ujjain 
only 700 horsemen as aid. Bhawani Ram had by this time 
exhausted his money and his credit and had no means to pay 
new recruits. 

The Emperor assured him that Rao Ram Chand (of Kota?) 


and Rajah Udwat Singh of Orchha had been ordered to go 
to his aid, while Jai Singh was on the march with 30,000 men. 
Meantime, a second Mahratta force of 5,000 (under Udaji) had 
burst into Malwa and was plundering Dhar Dharampur and 
Malori in the Mandu district. Finally a letter came from the 
Emperor informing Bhawani Ram that the governorship of 
Malwa had been made over to Jai Singh, under whom he was 
to serve. [Ajaib-ul-afaq, B.M. Or. 1776, §. lib, 74b— 78b, 
80b— 86a, and Nos. 195, 197, 180, 189.] 

Sec. 81.— Government of Malwa by Daya Bahadur. 

[By the Editor.] 
This seems to have happened in June or July 1729. But 
Jai Singh evidently did not assume the viceroyalty, as we find 
Daya Bahadur, a son of Girdhar Bahadur's father's brother 
Chabela Ram, in charge of the government of the province for 
some years before his death at the same post in October 1 73 1 . 
The new governor, Daya Bahadur, who probably replaced his 
young nephew Bhawani Ram* in July or August 1 729, set about 
his duty with great vigour. His energetic administration and 
strict collection of revenue were resented by the insubordinate 
local chiefs. But his greatest enemy was the chaudhuri 
Nandalal Mandaloi. We have several letters in which he tries 
to flatter and tempt Nandalal into giving him his suppot. This 
chaudhuri was courted by the Mahrattas in equally flattering 
terms. Jai Singh's influence kept him on the side of the 
Mahrattas and he did not even reply to Daya Bahadur's pathetic 
letter of appeal. In March 1730, the governor, learning that 
Nandalal was raising a force of 50,000 men, invited him to a 
conference at Ujjain or, as an alternative, offered to visit him 
at Indor, in order to hear his grievances and settle terms of 
alliance with him. But still the chaudhuri did not respond to 
the invitation, nor to another letter written in April 1731. 

*As Daya Bahadur wrote to Nandalal on 25th January 1730 : "In 
Malaoi Sal 1132 (?) Rajah Girdhar Bahadur was slain by the Mahratta 
sardars at Sarangpur. Then, to take revenge on them, I had gone to Dihli, 
petitioned the Emperor, and come back with the charge of the province." 
(Hindi letter printed in Sardesai, ii. 364.) 


In June 1731 Baji Rao was at Burhanpur and wrote promis- 
ing aid to Nandalal. Mahratta contingents were posted at 
Nalcha and Mandu, while the local "zamindars and tenants, 
having grown discontented on account of Daya Bahadur's 
oppression," had appealed to the Peshwa. From Nimar 5,000 
men, peasants and revenue collectors, had come to strengthen 
Nandalal's forces. 

The gathering storm burst on the head of the unhappy 
governor in October of that year. He had run three mines 
under the Mandu pass (ghat) and kept there 25,000 men ready 
to oppose the invaders coming from the south. The Mahrattas, 
learning of his preparations from the treacherous Nandalal, 
avoided the trap, and entered the province by another route, 
the Bhairo ghat. The mines, however, were fired, probably 
by accident, and many on the Mughal side, including Nandalal's 
kinsmen ('brothers, sons, and sardars') were blown up and 

This took place on the 19th October. Three days later 
Daya Bahadur himself was attacked at Tarla, 4 miles west of 
Dhar, defeated and slain. As Baji Rao writes, "A great victory 
was gained. Rao Sahib [Nandalal Mandaloi] , Thakur Narhar- 
das and Mayaram the rendered hearty assistance." 

Jai Singh congratulated Nandalal warmly on this result : 
'You have defended our religion in Malwa and crushed the 
Musalmans, establishing Dharma. You have fulfilled my 

The Emperor was highly displeased when these facts were 
reported to him. He wrote to Jai Singh blaming Nandalal for 
"having called in the Mahrattas — Malhar Holkar and Ranuji 
Sindhia — by sending wakils to them, and established them in 

* As Daya Bahadur wrote angrily to Nandalal, "What is your policy? 
To save the Mahrattas, give your brothers, sons and sardars up to slaughter 
and put the kingdom in the enemy's possession? What is this that you 
are doing? Have you lost your senses?... Take counsel with your chiefs 
and do not give your own country of Malwa up to another... But if you 
invite the enemy and give such advice to Jai Singh, you will gain nothing. 
Know that in the future these Mahrattas will not remember this day." 
(Sardesai, ii. 367). Bharo-pura is 3 m.n.e. of Mandu, on the northward 
road from the Narmada. 


Malwa with his full support, after giving up to death thousands 
•of men — his own brothers, sons and chiefs." He also accused 
Jai Singh of having instigated this treasonable surrender of the 
province, and then proceeded, "Never mind. Revenge will be 
taken for it. The Mahrattas came to Malwa on three other 
occasions but fled beaten. So this time, too, they will meet 
with similar chastisement and be expelled. Take care ! The 
•date has been fixed for the starting of the expedition from here." 
Evidently to carry out this policy, Muhammad Khan 
Bangash was sent to Malwa. 

Sec. 82. — Muhammad Khan Bangash* s campaigns in 
Malwa, first year. 

When Muhammad Khan Bangash reached Dihli in the end 
of 1 729, on his return from Bundelkhand, the vacancy in Malwa 
caused by the death of Girdhar Bahadur was still unfilled. 
Muhammad Khan did his best to retain his place at Allahabad, 
a province of which the greater part was productive and easily 
held. Unsuccessful in these efforts he applied for the onerous 
charge of Malwa, for which under the existing conditions there 
was little or no competition. [/. A. S. B. 305.] 

His appointment to Malwa, for which the rescript was 
dated the 17th Rabi I. of the 12th year (1143 H.=29th Sept. 
1730), was obtained through Zafar Khan Roshan-ud-daulah 
Panipati aided by the reigning favourite Rahim-un-nissa known 
as Koki Jiu (Madam Foster-sister), to both of whom heavy 
bribes were paid. There was much discussion, as usual in 
Muhammad Khan's affairs, about revenue assignments and 
money grants. Very little money could be obtained. On the 
5th November 1 730 Muhammad Khan had reached Agra, where 
some guns were obtained from the arsenal. His force numbered 
some 8,200 horse and 2,500 foot. At length Agra was left on 
the 16th Nov. 1730 and the camp pitched at Jajau, eighteen 
miles south of the city. Proceeding by way of Dholpur, the 
Chambal was crossed and Gwaliyar reached a few days after- 
wards. Here a halt was made. [Id ; Aziz-ul-qulub 40o.] 

As letters urging haste came from Khan Dauran, three 
commanders were sent on by forced marches to Sironj, 


Mandleshwar and Sarangpur. In December 1730 Muhammad 
Khan himself had reached Sadhaura, 172 miles north of Ujjain, 
and here he received a letter from Nizam-ul-mulk proposing a 
conference on the banks of the Narmada. On the 25th January 
1731 the army was at Sarangpur, fifty-two miles north-east of 
Ujjain. Holkar, who was at Shahjahanpur, sixteen miles off 
[to the south-west] , hearing of its approach sent his heavy 
baggage back across the Narmada. As the Muhammadans 
were entering camp at Sarangpur, the Mahrattas fell on them, 
but soon fled "like crows on seeing a bow." On the 27th 
January the Muhammadans relieved Shahjahanpur. Ujjain 
the capital of the province was occupied on the 30th. [/. A. 
S. B. 308.] 

On the 18th February Muhammad Khan again took the 
field, and went towards Dhar fifty miles to the south-west of 
Ujjain, while another force under Ahmad Khan the Nawab's 
second son was sent to deal with Holkar in the direction of 
Sarangpur and Shahjahanpur. Muhammad Khan himself 
reached Dhar on the 24th February 1 73 1 . The Mahrattas ap- 
peared five days afterwards and some skirmishing took place. 
Next day Holkar arrived. Yar Muhammad Khan of Bhupal, 
turning traitor to those of his own creed, had persuaded the 
Mahrattas to attack Ujjain. Muqim Khan the officer in charge 
beat off the Mahrattas who then went in pursuit of Muhammad 
Khan. The fighting round Dhar went on for nearly ten days 
to the end of Shaban (8th March 1731). As the result of this 
first year's campaign the Mahrattas were expelled from Ujjain, 
Mandleshwar, Dhar and Dipalpur, while their new forts on the 
Narmada had been levelled. [Id. 310.] 

Having heard that Nizam-ul-mulk was on his way from 
Burhanpur, Muhammad Khan on the 8th March, 1731 set out 
for the Narmada. Successive letters had informed him that 
Nizam-ul-mulk had on the 30th Dec. 1730 crossed the pass of 
Fardapur and gone into Baglana and on the 28th Jan. 1731 had 
arrived at Galna. In these letters Nizam-ul-mulk exposes his 
plan. Pilaji Gaekwar and Udaji Puar had quarrels of their 
own with Baji Rao Peshwa and were willing to enter into a 
compact with the Muhammadans. To obtain Muhammad 


Khan's accession to this alliance was apparently the object of 
Nizam-ul-mulk's journey. As he put it to the Nawab "Union 
is strength." From Dhamangaon he wrote on 8th February 
that he hoped soon to be at the Narmada. However, he did 
make a start from Burhanpur on the 24th Feb. The meeting 
between the two nobles at length took place near the Akbarpur 
ferry on the Narmada early in April. [Id. 311.] 

According to prevalent rumour Muhammad Khan Bangash 
when accepting the Government of Malwa had secretly bound 
himself to lead a campaign against Nizam-ul-mulk as soon as 
the Mahrattas had been sufficiently dealt with. At any rate this 
belief was held throughout Nizam-ul-mulk's own army : and 
they became quite certain of the fact when their commander 
suddenly marched to the Narmada. To their astonishment, 
instead of the fighting to which they had looked forward, 
peaceful negotiations began. For twelve days the two nobles 
interviewed each other. We do not know any details of what 
took place between them, but there can be little doubt that 
they had agreed to act in concert. Muhammad Khan finally 
left Akbarpur on the 8th April. [Id. 313, Ahwal 199-200.] 

No' very long time had elapsed before the whole of Nizam- 
ul-mulk's scheme fell to pieces. Hearing of the coalition 
against him, headed on the Mahratta side by his rival Trimbak 
Rao Dhabariya the senapati, Baji Rao hastened northwards to 
Gujarat. On the 11th April 1731, between Dhaboi and 
Baroda* he came up with the confederates and attacked 

* The battle took place at Bhilapur, 1 1 m. s. e. of Baroda. We have 
two accounts of it from Marathi sources. "Trimbak Rao Dabhare had been 
opposed to Baji Rao from the first. When the chauth and sardeshmuhhi 
of Gujarat were given to Baji Rao, Dabhare began to recruit men, created 
< a split among the Maratha leaders and began to act against Baji Rao. 
Expecting that he would get the help of the Nizam, he assembled 35,000 
men, and determined to march into the Dakhin, saying openly to his men : 
Baji Rao has seized the kingdom of our master, I am going to free him'." 
[Peshwa Shakacali] . Baji Rao writes, "Trimbak Rao Dabhare, Udaji Anand 
Rao Puar, Kanthaji Raghuji Kadam Bande, Pilaji Gaekwad, and Chimnaji 
Dada [=Damodar], with 30,000 men came to fight me. The battle took 

place on the 4th Shawwal five h°s from Dabhoi. Trimbak and Zavaji 

Dabhare, Maloji Puar, Pilaji Gaekwad's son [Sambhuji], in all 14 chiefs 


immediately. Trimbak Rao was killed with one son of Pilaji 
and some other leaders. Udaji Puar and Chimnaji Damodar 
were taken prisoner. Pilaji and other leading men were 
wounded but escaped. With the news of this disastrous affair 
came word that Baji Rao had immediately turned back, had 
recrossed the Narmada, and was marching for Surat and the 
south. Nizam-ul-mulk trembled for the safety of his capital 
Aurangabad. Forthwith he began forced marches westwards 
and seems to have fought one action with Baji Rao somewhere 
in the neighbourhood of Daman. But by the end of August 
the two sides had arranged their differences and Baji Rao 
returned to Satara. By a secret compact Nizam-ul-mulk was 
left undisturbed in the Dakhin on condition that Baji Rao might 
pursue undisturbed his designs against the northern part of the 
Mughal Empire. [/. A. S. B. 313, Khujista-kalam for the 

For the rest of the open season before the coming in of 
the rains of 1731, Muhammad Khan was employed in reducing 
forts and repelling desultory incursions by the Mahrattas. 
Two forts Kalkli and Chikalda, belonging to Udaji Puar on the 
right bank of the Narmada, were occupied on the 10th April. 
Some Bhil forts were then taken. From these operations he 
was called away to meet Malhar Holkar who was plundering 

were killed, Udaji Puar and Chimnaji were captured, Anand Rao Puar 
[Jaswant Rao], Pilaji Gaekwad and Kumar Bahadur [Kumar Baba Puar] 
fled wounded. Bande fled. Their army was plundered. On our side 
Narayan Dhandhere was slain." The family chronicle of the Dabhares 
tells us : "Baji Rao seduced Dabhare's officers and induced the men to 

desert to him under various pretexts With only 5,000 men Trimbak 

Rao stood up for battle, Baji Rao hemmed him round. From dawn to the 
third quarter of the day Trimbak fought valiantly, slew many men on the 
Peshwa's side and drove the latter one k°s back. Thinking that he had 
won the battle, he began to play his band. Then Trimbak's step-mother's 
brother, Bhao Singh Toke, secretly corrupted by the Peshwa, ordered his 
bargirs to fire. Trimbak was shot through the temple and fell dead on his 
elephant in the evening. His brother Jaswant Dabhare arrived at 9 P.M., 

cremated his body, and then pursued Baji Rao to Satara where the 

Peshwa hid himself in the women's rooms in the palace" ! (Sardesai, ii. 
250-256). [J. S.] 


near Mandleshwar. Before the Nawab could come up with 
him Malhar had made off into Jaipur territory. Other 
Mahrattas crossed the Narmada and after plundering the 
country near Mandu retreated to their homes. Antu was 
plundering round Shahjahanpur. On the 19th May 1731 the 
governor reached his capital Ujjain, and after a week's rest 
started against Antu. On the 13th June as the Nawab 
approached Kauth,* Antu withdrew. [/. A. S. B. 314-315.] 

The next day an express came from the officer command- 
ing at Sarangpur that he would be overwhelmed by Holkar 
unless immediately reinforced. At midnight Muhammad 
Khan started and reached Sarangpur, nineteen miles to' the 
north, a little after sunrise. Before they had come off the line 
of march they were set upon by Holkar Antu and others. All 
day the fighting went on. Near sunset the Mahrattas took to 
flight, and the Muhammadans were out until midnight 
pursuing the fugitives and plundering their camp. Muhammad 
Khan now tried to collect some revenue and went to Sironj, 
136 miles north-east of Ujjain. He preferred apparently to 
make his head-quarters at Sironj, as being nearer his line of 
retreat on Hindustan. Here he seems to have passed the 
rainy season of 1731. No money could be collected and 
Muhammad Khan spent his time in urgent appeals to the Court 
for assistance. [/. A. S. B. 317.] 

Sec. 83. — Muhammad Khan in Malwa : second year's 


About the commencement of his second year in Malwa 
(October 1731) Muhammad Khan opened a campaign to the 
north of Sironj. Several forts were reduced and finally Shaha- 
bad,f the residence of Rajah Chhattar Singh Narwari, was 
invested. Terms had nearly been agreed on with him when 
news came of a fresh invasion by Baji Rao. The Rajah 
absconded ; and the governor had no alternative but to return 
to Sironj and face the new danger. [Id. 320.] 

* Kauth, 19 m. s. of Sarangpur. (Ind. At. 53 N. W.) 

t Shahabad, 55 ra. s. w. of Narwar and 84 m. n. w. of Sironj. 


As affairs had been arranged in Gujarat, there was no 
danger to the Mahrattas from that direction, they turned with 
their full force upon Malwa. It was reckoned that they had 
now one hundred thousand horse in the province. Fath Singh 
and others were posted with thirty thousand horse at Khimlasa, 
42 miles east of Sironj ; Chimnaji (Baji Rao's brother) Malhar 
and others with an equal number were in Umatwara,* between 
the Kali Sind and Parbati rivers ; twelve thousand were still 
south of the Narmada ; another twelve thousand were coming 
up by way of Sagar. Directly the Mahrattas were announced 
the zamindars flocked to them to pay the khandani or black- 
mail that they habitually levied. Having thus secured them- 
selves these Rajahs went home and stirred not hand or foot 
to aid the Muhammadans. Muhammad Khan's attempt to 
open negotiations direct with Rajah Sahu at Puna was unfruit- 
ful. He was referred to Baji Rao, Pandit Pardhan, "who was 
his sole and only adviser in all matters". [Id. 321.] 

On reaching Sironj Muhammad Khan's first impulse was 
to deliver an immediate attack on the enemy at Khimlasa. 
But before starting he learnt that Malhar with fifty thousand 
men was already within fifteen or sixteen miles of Sironj. 
Other twenty thousand men were scattered about to the south 
and west. It was obvious that if Muhammad Khan moved to 
Khimlasa it would take him at least fifteen days to defeat and 
pursue the enemy. While he was absent Sironj Bhilsa and 
other towns would be plundered. In fact the game was up 
and he was checkmated. He sent for the Mahratta leaders, 
gave them presents and entered into agreements with them. 
The Mahrattas then evacuated the province for the time being. 
[Id. 322.] 

The rainy season of 1732 was passed at Sironj, this leisure 
season being employed in repeated applications to Dihli for 
help. Muhammad Khan's resources were exhausted, his jagirs 
were in the hands of the Bundelas. If his reports were thought 

* Umatwara. — The only place with a name approaching this word in 
the position indicated is Antah, 28 m. due east of Kota (Ind. Atlas, 51 
S. W.) [J. S.] 

1732] CAUSES OF bangash's failure in malwa 255 

long-winded and exaggerated, let them send someone else who 
can abbreviate their lengthiness. He would willingly serve 
under the new man. If things went on much longer as they 
were, the Mahrattas would overrun Hindustan ; why not resist 
their encroachments now. Had not Shaikh Sadi written "You 
may stop with a needle the source of a stream which when full 
you cannot ford upon an elephant?" [Id. 323.] 

No help came. The local chiefs were told that a new 

governor was about to be appointed. Nizam-ul-mulk, although 

| appealed to, made no sign. The only answer from Court was 

an upbraiding letter from Samsam-ud-daulah. Soon a rescript 

in the Emperor's own handwriting reached Muhammad Khan 

| informing him that Rajah Jai Singh Sawai had been appointed 

L his successor. He was directed to report himself at Agra, to 

which place the Emperor said he intended to proceed. 

• Muhammad Khan after making over the town to his successor's 

officers left the province and reached Agra on the 1 6th December 

; 1732. [Id.] 

Apart from difficulties about money and the general non- 
success of his arms, three causes appear to have led to 
Muhammad Khan's disgrace ; first, the complaints of the jagir- 
holders in Malwa, persons who were influential in the palace ; 
secondly, the attack on Chhattar Singh of Narwar, who was the 
protege of the eunuch Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan and others ; 
thirdly, the friendship which had sprung up between the 
governor and Nizam-ul-mulk. Perhaps the last of these was 
the greatest offence, for at that time Nizam-ul-mulk's acts were 
most jealously watched by the clique in power at Dihli. The 
subsequent rapid advance of the Mahrattas shows that they 
were already too strong for resistance by one provincial 
governor, and it is clear that with inferior means Muhammad 
Khan did as much if not more than all the forces of the Empire 
led by the Wazir and the Amir-ul-umara were able to ac- 
complish. [Id. 324, Rustam Ali 261a]. 

Jai Singh's rule in Malwa was both short and inglorious. 
In 1148 H. (1735-6) after two years' struggle the Mahrattas ex- 
pelled him from the province, and at once advanced to Gwaliyar 
and beyond it. No effecutal resistance was made, and Samsam- 


ud-daulah, the directing spirit at Dihli, and his bosom-friend 
Jai Singh thought it the highest wisdom to propitiate the 
invader.* On the 16th July 1736 a meeting took place at 
Dholpur. Accompanied by Ranuji Sindhia, Malhar Holkar, 
Jaswant Rao Puar and others, Baji Rao visited Rajah Jai Singh.. 
An agreement under seal was executed by which the Mahrattas 
bound themselves not to pillage the imperial territories in the 
future. In exchange Baji Rao received the appointment of 
deputy governor of Malwa from Rajah Jai Singh. Appearances 
were thus saved ; but no good result followed. As we shall 
soon see the Mahrattas in no way refrained from their depreda- 
tions. Compromise they ever treated as a sign of weakness,, 
and concession as an incentive to fresh demands. [/. A. S. B. 

* Malwa was thus divided : "Sindhia Holkar and Jaswant Rao Puar 
settled that they should divide the territory which had fallen to their king, 
maintain forces and work in concert. 31 per cent, of the income was to 
go to the Government [of Rajah Sahu], 30 p. c. to each of Sindhia and 
Holkar, and 9 p. c. to Puar. This was approved by Baji Rao. The rates 
were subsequently modified and finally the respective proportions were as 
follows, — 45 p. c. to the king, 22'/2 p. c. to Sindhia and Holkar each, and 
10 p. c. to Puar." (Sardesai, ii. 375-376). [J. S.] 




Sec. 84.— The Dihli Shoe-sellers' Riot. 

The shoe-sellers' riot in the eleventh year of the reign 
occupies a considerable space in all the histories of the time ; 
and, besides its value as a picture of the turbulence of the 
capital, it is important as conducing to the downfall of the 
group of palace favourites whose influence was all powerful on 
the Emperor's mind throughout the first twelve or thirteen years 
of his reign. 

By the common usage of the lower order of Muhammadans, 
the first half of the month Shaban is devoted to festivities, among 
the chief of which are the illumination of lamps and the dis- 
charge of fireworks in the streets. In the evening of the 8th of 
the month (8th March 1 729) one Subhkaran, a jeweller belonging 
to the imperial establishments, was on his way home from the 
house of the eunuch, Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan, curator of the 
Jewel House. The man had been for many years protected by 
the all-powerful Roshan-ud-daulah Panipati, by whose aid he 
had obtained an imperial rank (mansab), and had received an 
important office on the Lord Chamberlain's establishment.* 

His way home, for he lived behind the Jauhari-bazar, took 
Subhkaran past the shoe-sellers' shops in the square or chauk 
of Sadullah Khan, situated to the south of the palace. These 
men were all Panjabis, and their shops, which were very large 
and numerous, lined both sides of the road. All were bigoted 
Muhammadans, strict in their prayers ; their elders were men of 
dignity, well dressed and long bearded, many knowing their 

* Ashob 56a-64b (basis of this narrative) ; Bayan-i-waqai 497-507 ; Warid 
26-32 and 37. 



Quran by heart and able to expound it. As the munshi's palki 
approached, both Hindus and Muhammadans were busy letting 
off squibs in the street, in the way usual at that season. One 
of these squibs fell into the palki and burnt a hole in the 
munshi's darbar clothes : the servants running at his side 
remonstrated and after words the two parties came to blows. 
The retinue were armed while the shoe-makers had only their 
rasps ; but the latter being the more numerous seized one of the 
sepoys and took from him his sword and shield. Subhkaran in 
an angry mood made his way home and at once ordered the 
man who had been disarmed to return and punish his assailants. 

After nightfall the man, accompanied by a crowd of his 
friends, went back to the shoe-sellers' quarter and caught a 
stripling who was beaten till he almost died. Hearing the 
cries, one of the elders known as Haji Hafiz, rose from his cot 
and ran barefooted to the boy's assistance. In rescuing the 
boy the Haji himself received a sword cut and fell down dead. 
The assailants leaving the body where it fell made off home. 
At dawn the shoe-sellers, and after them the whole city, 
gathered round the body and swore that until the murderer 
and his employer were killed, the body should lie there un- 
buried. All the lower class Muhammadans joined themselves 
to the shoe-sellers. The body was placed on a cot, and in the 
greatest excitement shouting Din Din they carried it off and 
laid it before the door of Subhkaran. 

During the night Subhkaran had sought refuge in the 
mansion of Sher Afkan Khan Panipati, then Lord Chamberlain 
{Khan-saman) and therefore his official superior. Subhkaran as 
already said was a protege of Zafar Khan Roshan-ud-daulah, 
also from Panipat. Roshan-ud-daulah was connected by 
marriage with Sher Afkan Khan, and the two men for this 
reason and their being natives of the same town were the 
closest of friends. Sher Afkan Khan was the younger brother 
of another very influential noble, Lutf-ullah Khan Sadiq. For 
these two reasons (1) that the fugitive was his official subordinate 
and (2) was the protege of his bosom friend, Sher Afkan Khan 
refused to give the man up to the mob ; in fact, stoutly denied 
that the man was in his house. Leaving the body at the 


munshi's door, the crowd went away to make complaint before 
the palace. 

At the time of their arrival there, Muhammad Shah was on 
his way back with his mother Qudsiya Begam from a visit to 
the garden known as Jafar Khan's. He was greeted with cries 
of "The Faith", "The Faith", and "Justice!" "Justice!" and 
the men were allowed to tell their story. An order was given 
to Qamar-ud-din Khan the Wazir, who also held the office of 
superintendent of the audience chamber, to send a palace 
attendant to arrest the accused wherever he might be found. 
Sher Afkan Khan, the man's protector, refused absolutely to 
comply with the order. And thus the Thursday passed. 

From early dawn on the Friday (11th Shaban 1141 H.= 
1 1th March 1729) the shoe-sellers traversed the city calling upon 
every Muhammadan to join in their protest in defence of the 
Faith and its followers. The point of assembly fixed upon was 
the Great Mosque ; and by the time of the midday prayer its 
spacious court was thronged. They so crowded on the praying 
space and the pulpit that the service was interrupted, while 
the noise and confusion increased every moment. The most 
demonstrative groups were those led by the Arabs, Abyssinians, 
and Constantinople Turks in the service of Rumi Khan and the 
dependents of Sayyid Arab AH Khan the Baghdadi, most of 
whom had been employed in the imperial artillery from the 
time of Haidar Quli Khan, formerly Mir Atash or Master of 
the Ordnance. These men although unarmed acted as leaders. 
They pressed in a circle round the pulpit, the kneeling wor- 
shippers had no room to rise to their feet when required by the 
ritual, t-ie officiant was prevented by rough usage from pro- 
nouncing the bidding to prayer, blows and curses were showered 
on the Qazi and the expounder of the law, accused of support- 
ing the unbeliever. Swords were not drawn, no blood was 
shed ; but the Qazi and his son were buffeted and kicked till 
they were nearly dead, and the expounder and the reciter were 
dragged off the pulpit, thrown on the ground, and thoroughly 
thumped till they nearly fainted. 

Reports of the outbreak reached the palace and by order 
of the Emperor the Wazir and Roshan-ud-daulah went with 


their troops to allay the disturbance, restore order and cause 
the prayer to be completed. The Wazir was the first to reach 
the spot and he entered the mosque with his followers by the 
northern gateway. He lavished promises of help to the Muham- 
madan cause and by his smooth talk abated for the time the 
vigour of the assault on the Qazi and his subordinates. But 
the accession of such a great noble, as it seemed to them, only 
made the mob more resolute in the pursuit of their vengeance. 
Unfortunately Roshan-ud-daulah now appeared with his follow- 
ing at the eastern gate, the entrance used by the Emperor. His 
retinue was made up of ignorant Afghans, puffed up with 
notions of their valour, men from Khurja, Sikandra, and other 
parganas round Dihli ; and leaders from Shahjahanpur, Mau- 
Shamsabad and Farrukhabad (the "Indian Afghanistan"), with 
a few men from the towns about Thanesar in Sarhind. From 
another direction, the southern side, came up Sher Afkan Khan, 
who had been trying to make the heirs of the murdered man 
accept the price of blood. Now, hearing that the Wazir and 
Roshan-ud-daulah had come, he too had turned out from his 
house with the whole of his armed train of Hindustanis at his 

With the idea of preventing more men crowding into the 
mosque, Roshan-ud-daulah ordered his Afghans to close the 
gates. The sight of Roshan-ud-daulah and Sher Afkan Khan 
once more roused the mob to fury. With cries of "The Faith, 
the Faith" and "Strike the infidels on the face", they brought 
forth their only weapons, the iron-heeled shoes that they had 
hid under their arm-pits and the stones and brickbats they had 
collected in the long skirts of their coats. These they hurled 
at the two nobles with loud curses and foul abuse. On Sher 
Afkan Khan fell the first brunt of this attack ; and his "dignity 
was subjected to the indignity" of being struck by these shoes 
and other missiles. Some fell on his turban ; others passed 
him and struck the plumes of Roshan-ud-daulah 's gold-brocade 
head-dress. The rioters then attacked the Afghans who were 
standing in rows behind their masters. All this time the Wazir 
held aloof near the pulpit, a mere onlooker. 

At last, alarmed at the danger to the two nobles, and 


angered at seeing the bruised and bleeding faces of their own 
captains, the Afghans lost all patience and set upon the attack- 
ing party, sword in hand and shield on arm. The bazar men 
would have soon got the worst of it. But the artillery who had 
taken up their cause now fell on, armed with fusils and 
European pistols. Joined with them was a body of unruly 
Mughals from the quarter of Mughalpura. One of the Habshis 
fired from near the pulpit at the two nobles. Thereupon the 
Afghans wild with excitement rushed forward ; and the ranks 
of both sides were inextricably intermingled. The Afghans 
were far more numerous than the artillery men while the shoe- 
sellers were unarmed. Up to this point the Mughals round the 
Wazir had hardly been able to restrain themselves ; but now, 
as the day was going against their fellow countrymen, they dis- 
regarded all the Wazir's orders. Seizing their weapons they 
took part in the fray. 

The other Mughal troops were drawn up mounted in the 
streets outside the masjid waiting to escort the Wazir on his 
return. Excited at what was taking place these men rode up 
the flight of steps leading to the gates, dispersed the Afghans 
guarding them, burst them open, and with one shout dismount- 
ing ran at full speed into the masjid. Following them came the 
Wazir's elephant and the camels bearing his wall-pieces and 
rockets. Many of the rioters lost their lives. After holding 
out as long as they were able and seeing many of their leaders 
and comrades fall, the Afghans began to yield ground. Sher 
Afkan Khan received a cut on his right wrist and his sword fell 
from his grip. Some of his followers were killed and others 
wounded ; the rest sought safety in flight and made for the 
south doorway. All this time other Afghans had stood round 
Roshan-ud-daulah like a living shield. When Sher Afkan Khan 
retreated they forced Roshan-ud-daulah to follow. His bulk 
and corpulence rendered him incapable of nimble movement, 
they lifted him on their shoulders fighting as they went. Ex- 
hausted and breathless they reached the gate. 

Issuing from the mosque they fled to the mansion of Dil-diler 
Khan, the elder brother of Sher Afkan Khan, distant only a 
few paces. When the Afghans inside learnt that the two nobles 


had reached a place of safety they, too, left the mosque and 
sought the same refuge. The rioters, disregarding Qamar-ud- 
din Khan the Wazir's orders, wished to follow and continue the 
fight, and surrounding Dil-diler Khan's house burn and destroy 
it, seize their prey and wreak vengeance. In the end they were 
persuaded to desist. A number of nobles in the train of Roshan- 
ud-daulah who had no taste for fighting hid themselves in the 
corners and arches and turrets of the mosque. Driven from 
these refuges by the bullets that were flying about, they clamber- 
ed over the arches adjoining the bazar and let themselves down 
into the street below as best they could. One great man Azam 
Khan in thus escaping met with a ridiculous adventure. Below 
the place where he climbed over was a thatched shop full of 
earthenware pots. In spite of the strength of the thatch his 
legs went through and he was caught in the beams and bamboo 
supports. The shop-keeper, angry at the damage done and the 
danger to his wares, seized a bamboo and belaboured Azam 
Khan's feet so that they became all swollen and broken, and 
for many days he was unable to stand. 

As the result of the day's doings the Wazir, without 
having moved hand or foot, became a popular hero as the 
defender of Islam against the unbeliever. Muhammad Shah 
was also delighted that the trouble of a decision had been taken 
off his shoulders. Removing the turban from his head, the 
Emperor gave it to an eunuch to carry to the Wazir as a present 
— with orders for his immediate attendance. Leaving men to 
clear the mosque of the rioters and posting strong guards at 
the doors, after he had said the Asar prayer in the screens at 
the Holy Footprints and had given thanks to God and presents 
to the guardians of the shrine, the Wazir returned with the 
eunuch to the audience-hall and reported to the Emperor. 
Samsam-ud-daulah First Bakhshi had remained on duty at the 
palace all day. Both nobles after presentation of gifts now took 
their leave, and the Emperor retired into the palace. The 
murdered shoe-seller was buried that night on the site of the 
munshi's house which was demolished by the crowd ; in the 
end a mosque was erected over the grave. For many a year 


this affair formed the subject of poems, both in Persian and 
in Hindi. 

Sec. 85. — Court Parties and Court Favourites (1721-1733) 

Throughout his reign Muhammad Shah was influenced by 
private favourites, most of them women and eunuchs, whom 
his weakness encouraged to interfere in public affairs. As 
one writer [Ashob, 11a] says, the nobles of this time delighted 
in nothing but childish stories such as that of Hamza the Arab, 
who fought in seventy-two battles although he had become a 
martyr in the first of them — or the rubbish of the Shahnama 
and the Mahabharat : and to them these lines applied 

Birds of a feather flock together, 
Children are fond of childish things ; 
A crow goes gladly to roost with other crows, 
How could he prefer the nightingales song? 

As we have already seen, these intriguers coalescing with Nizam- 
ul-mulk's public rivals had been able to render his tenure of 
the post of chief minister so intolerable that he had abandoned 
the field to them and retired to the Dakhin. During the first 
half of the reign the most conspicuous and the most influential 
of these favourites was the woman Rahim-un-nissa, known fami- 
liarly as Koki Jiu (Madam Foster-sister), with her acolytes Hafiz 
Khidmatgar Khan, a palace eunuch, Roshan-ud-daulah Zafar 
Khan of Panipat, known usually by the nickname of Turra- 
i-baz (Falcon's Crest), and the holy man Shah Abdul-ghaffur. 
During the same period the baneful influence of Khan Dauran 
Samsam-ud-daulah the Amir-ul-umara was equally paramount. 
The Wazir was an indolent man of intemperate habits ; while 
Muhammad Shah's only share in the government was, as one 
writer says, "to sit on the throne and wear the crown." [K. K. 
940, Warid 44.] 

Koki Jiu. 

This clever and capable woman, Rahim-un-nissa by name, 
was the daughter of Jan Muhammad, geomancer (rammaJ), 
originally a thatcher in Old Dihli. He became a Muhammadan 
in his childhood, obtained some education in the schools of his 


quarter, and having acquired a knowledge of geomancy gained 
his living through telling fortunes by that method of divination. 
His six children, four sons and two daughters, were sent to 
school and all obtained some proficiency in letters. But the 
eldest girl Rahim-un-nissa was the most intelligent and excelled 
her brothers in handwriting and composition. She visited the 
mansions of the nobility as her father's messenger and thus 
acquired most polished manners. By degrees the fame of her 
father increased until he was consulted by the ladies in the 
harems of the royal Princes dwelling in the palace-prison of 
Salimgarh. Like all eastern women they had the liveliest faith 
in omens and the casting of dice, whether proved by the event 
to be true or false. One of the chief palace-friends of Rahim- 
un-nissa was Nawab Qudsiya, the mother of Roshan Akhtar 
(afterwards Muhammad Shah). During the illness of one of her 
children Jan Muhammad's prophecy of a recovery was fulfilled ; 
from this time the Begam became a devout believer in him and 
his powers. Among other things Jan Muhammad, after con- 
sulting his dots and lines, had announced that Roshan Akhtar 
would soon ascend the throne. After this the Princess could 
not bear Rahim-un-nissa to be out of her sight. The door- 
keepers, however, interfered with the woman's free access and 
a thousand wiles and entreaties were necessary before she was 
admitted. To overcome these obstacles it was given out that 
Rahim-un-nissa had been suckled by the same nurse as Roshan 
Akhtar, and that while still unweaned the Prince had become 
very fond of her. From this time forth, she became known 
as Koka or Koki Jiu, that is, Madam Foster-sister. She was 
employed to write letters and to act as intermediary between the 
Begam and her friends outside, a service she performed skil- 
fully without detection. [K. K. 940, Siyar 75, Ashob 45b, Warid 
44, Khush-hal 1042.] 

During the first two years of Muhammad Shah the Sayyid 
Wazir and his brother were all powerful and the Emperor a 
mere cypher. But after their disappearance and the sudden 
death of Muhammad Amin Khan, Muhammad Shah obtained a 
certain amount of liberty in State affairs, and in the exercise 
of this power Koki Jiu's voice was predominant. It is doubtful 


whether she became the Emperor's concubine ; more probably 

; she was not. Her power came from a belief in her or her 

[father's power to read futurity and prescribe the course leading 

i to success and fortune. The Emperor himself, a youth of 

eighteen when he came to the throne, was occupied in frivolous 

pursuits, and to the neglecting of all public business, spent his 

time in idle talk and jesting with Amir Khan Umdat-ul-mulk 

and others of the same character. One day Muhammad Shah 

is reported to have said that if she were a man he would make 

iher Wazir. A disrespectful courtier suggested that Roshan-ud- 

daulah's beard should be cut off and stuck on her face.* It is 

said that during the period of her power Koki Jiu held possession 

iof the imperial seals and was permitted to impress them on 

documents on the Emperor's behalf. In the opposition to 

Nizam-ul-mulk during his ministry, Koki played a leading part, 

provoking the Wazir to compose a satirical quatrain, of which 

;:he last line was 'To-day a filthy woman is in the place of 

\lamgir." [Bay an, 530.] A specific instance of the court paid 

,j:o her is found in a statement made by Muhammad Khan 

3angash that on his appointment to the Government of Malwa 

; ie paid or promised her one lakh of Rupees (£10,000). There 

;an be little doubt that a considerable portion of these douceurs 

(surreptitiously found its way into the pocket of the Emperor. 

"Ie was not wise enough to see that for a little immediate profit 

le was ruining the State. [/. A. S. B. p. 306 ; Ashob 45b.] 

Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan. 

One of the triumvirate who acted as Koki Jiu's agents was 
he eunuch Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan. Under the name of 
Chwaja Ambar he had been from childhood in the service of 
\lamgir by whom he was educated. His training by Alamgir 
iad produced in him an appearance of ability which he did 
tot actually possess. He was like 'gilded copper', and in 
ieality he retained the qualities of slaves and eunuchs, who 
drefer men of base birth and low habits to the well-born. One 
writer, Warid, declares that Khidmatgar Khan, refused to take 
•ribes, and being thus a hindrance instead of a help, Koki after 

* Dalpat Singh's Malahat-i-naql , B.M. Or. 1828, 32a. 


one year's trial dispensed with his services. Be that as it may, 
he was generally believed to be one of her confidants and 
agents until his death, which took place on 21st June, 1732. 
His chief man of business, Khush-hal Chand Kayasth, was 
cruelly treated in order to make him disgorge the money 
obtained from the eunuch's office of privy-purse-bearer, and 
the accumulation from his lands in pargana Mirat. Dogs 
were set upon the man and his flesh torn by them before he 
would reveal the place where the money was hoarded. [K. 
K. 940 ; Warid 44, 47 ; Ashob 45a— 46 b ; Khush-hal 1060.] 


We have already mentioned the rise of Khwaja Muzaffar 
in the first year of Farrukh-siyar. During the changes of Govern- 
ment following the deposition and death of Farrukh-siyar, he 
succeeded in making friends among the men of the new regime. 
Early in the reign of Muhammad Shah he formed a close alliance 
with the favourite Koki and soon acquired great wealth from 
the presents made to him to secure his support. He had no 
obvious qualities to account for his great position, but he 
possessed no doubt the suppleness required in a courtier.* 
Outside the Court he did not shine ; his service as faujdar of 
the troublesome country of Mewat did him no credit. But he 
was gracious in manner and hospitable, and the repute was 
great of his charity, more especially to religious mendicants. He 
was a devoted follower of the holy man Shah Bhik, who is 
buried at Thaska near Thanesar. Roshan-ud-daulah s 
yearly illumination of the road from Dihli to the shrine of Qutb- 
ud-din was long a subject of popular talk. He was also a great 
builder. In Dihli he built a mosque near the palace and a 
college with mosque in the main street or Chandni Chauk, both 
having their domes and minarets adorned with copper-gilt 
plates. In Panipat he erected in the same style another school 
and a tomb for himself. In Karnal and Panipat he added gilt 
domes to the shrines of Shah Sharf Buali Qalandar, also arches 

* Or, as Warid (58) says, applying a proverb to him, "He showed you 
wheat (as sample) but delivered you barley," — i.e., he was a man of great 
promise and small performance. 


and a pulpit. In Thaska also he adorned the shrine of the 
same saint and added a house for pilgrims, a hall of assembly 
and a relief kitchen, which he endowed with several villages. 
At Dihli he also repaired and cleaned annually the shrine known 
as Qadam-i-sharif (The Holy Foot-prints) and on the twelfth 
day of Rabi I., the day on which the prophet was born, he 
distributed there food gratis and other largesse.* [M. U. ii. 333 ; 
Ashob 47b-56a ; Ghulam Ali 17a.] 

Sec. 86. — Shah Abdul-Ghaffur : his career and influence. 

The third member of Koki's group of councillors was Shah 
Abdul-ghaffur a native of Tattha, who passed as a Sayyid but 
is believed to have been really a cotton-weaver. In the reign 
of Alamgir he found his way to Kabul and secured the friend- 
ship of a eunuch in the employ of Prince Muazzam (afterwards 
Bahadur Shah), then governor of that province. In the end 
he was expelled from the province as a forger. He resided for 
a short time at Lahor, then joined Bahadur Shah's camp when 
he was on the way to Agra to contest the throne with his brother 
Azam Shah. During the advance from Agra to the Dakhin, 
Abdul-ghaffur followed to Haidarabad, himself on foot and 
his wife on a pack-bullock belonging to the eunuch who had 
formerly befriended him. In the same manner he found his 
way back to Hindustan. After the disturbance at Lahor follow- 
ing on the death of Bahadur Shah (1712) Abdul-ghaffur went 
off to Dihli. 

In the popular belief Abdul-ghaffur was the intimate of 
jinns and devils, from whom he had learnt magic spells and 
incantations. In his early days he had served a Hindu recluse 
who lived a life of solitude on the summit of a hill in the wild 
country beyond the Indus. From this man Abdul-ghaffur 
received his initiation, and went to and fro as his emissary to 
the Rajahs of the hill country and his other disciples. Some 

* He loved to clothe himself in gorgeous raiment and to use gold in 
every possible way. This is shown by the gilt covering he gave to the 
domes of his buildings. It was a tradition that after his retinue had passed 
through the streets, poor people swept up the dust in order to recover the 
atoms of gold-dust that had fallen from his attire. [Ghulam Ali, 52a.] 


time afterwards the Jogi died and Abdul-ghaffur succeeded. 
His ambition was not satisfied however with such a confined 
domain, and he made his way, as already stated, to the camp 
of Shah Alam (afterwards Bahadur Shah), then governor of the 
Kabul province. Here he altered his appearance to that of 
a Muhammadan mendicant. 

When he followed the camp of Jahandar Shah to Dihli 
Abdul-ghaffur took up his quarters in an old mosque outside 
the city, having with him one or two Sindi followers. These 
men hawked about in the city the amulets he wrote and on the 
proceeds they and their master lived. Gradually his fame 
spread and people flocked to consult him. [Ashob 68a — 69b.] 
He claimed to know every science and every art and pro- 
fessed to read the future. One part in ten of his pretences 
was true : the rest false. The ignorant guards at palace gates 
and the illiterate eunuchs became his disciples, and he was 
asked by women of the imperial harem for amulets against 
sickness. Nawab Qudsiya mother of Mhd. Shah became his 
patron and he was asked to interpret her dreams, and this 
increased his reputation. Some of the persons to whom he 
had given amulets recovered. He and Koki his firm friend 
had sworn an oath to stand by each other. She made him 
out to the Begam a saint [wdli) with supernatural powers 
(tasawuf). He pledged his word for the competence in geo- 
mancy of Koki and her father. At length through his friend 
the eunuch and the recommendation of Qudsiya Begam he made 
the acquaintance of Muhammad Amin Khan Itimad-ud-daulah. 
Over this noble he soon obtained great influence, his glibness 
of tongue secured belief in his universal knowledge and he 
was soon admitted to his patron's most secret councils. Owing 
to this intimacy the common people believed the Shah to be 
the spiritual director of Mhd. Amin Khan. In the intrigues 
leading to the assassination of Husain Ali Khan, we have seen 
him play a prominent part, passing between the conspirators 
and Muhammad Shah's private tents in the disguise of a milk- 
woman and carrying Mhd. Amin's letters. On Muhammad 
Amin Khan's death shortly after his accession to power, Abdul- 
ghaffur attached himself to Koki's party and for twelve years 


was nearly as powerful as she was herself. Qamar-ud-din 
Khan supported him out of respect to his father's memory, and 
Nizam-ul-mulk, during the short period that he was at Dihli, 
paid deference to Abdul-ghaffur's apparent claims as a holy 
man. [Warid 39-42 ; Ashob 64-72 ; Khush-hal 1041-1042.] 
Subsequently Abdul-ghafFur having made an alliance with Koki 
Jiu became all powerful and accumulated immense wealth. 
His income from his offices is said to have amounted to five 
thousand Rupees a day, in addition to as much more from 
bribes. Of these latter something under one-fourth was made 
over to the Emperor ; the balance was divided in equal shares 
between Koki and Abdul-ghaffur. His habits were miserly in 
the extreme. [Warid 58-71.] 

Abdul-ghaffur was not loved himself by either the courtiers 
or the crowd ; but the hatred to him was as nothing to that 
provoked by his son and daughter. Early in the reign Abdur- 
rahim, his son, a good-looking youth, was raised to the rank of 
6,000 zat. But his conduct was exceedingly dissolute ; he 
never hesitated at taking life, with or without pretext. One of 
his freaks was to dress up as a loose woman with his hands and 
feet henna-dyed and wearing many gold ornaments ; in addition 
a sword and shield hung across his shoulder by a gold- 
embroidered belt. In this guise he would parade the streets 
preceded by mace-bearers and matchlockmen with matches 
lighted. They entered every assembly and took part in every 
disturbance. At other times, clad in complete steel, with 
nothing to be seen but his two eyes, he would ride out with 
his retinue similarly attired. Woe to anyone who looked their 
way : without fail he was cut down. But if the other side was 
too strong for him, he fled. Dancers were called to dance at 
his gate while he sat there wine-cup in hand. In a little, he 
would attach rattles to his ankles, cover his head with a shawl 
and join in the dance. Armed men were posted at each end of 
the street to prevent anyone passing up or down. If anyone 
persisted, his life was taken. Litters carrying the wives of poor 
men were stopped ; the women were brought before him, and 
those he approved were appropriated. For the gratification of 
other and more unnatural passions he expended large sums of 


money. The daughter was even more shameless. [Ashob 

When towards the end of 1 1 44 (June 1 732) the eunuch Hafiz 
Khidmatgar Khan died, his servants were very harshly treated 
in an attempt to obtain possession of his wealth accumulated 
as clerk of the privy purse. About the same period disgrace 
began to overtake the other members of the combination, for 
whose downfall Samsam-ud-daulah had been plotting from the 
first. Koki lost her hold over the Emperor. One of her 
brothers, Ali Ahmad Khan, gave offence by his conduct as 
superintendent of the office of Confirmator (arz mu\arrar); and 
worst of all the Queen Malika Dauran quarrelled with her. 
Koki's money was demanded. She replied that it was all the 
Emperor's and sending the key of her rooms in the harem to 
the Begam left the palace. Samsam-ud-daulah brought against 
Roshan-ud-daulah a charge of having embezzled the money 
granted to him for payments to keep the roads from Peshawar 
to Kabul open. And Abdul-ghaffur at length disgusted even 
the Emperor by the absurd length to which he carried his claims 
of authority, spiritual and secular. [Khush-hal 1061-1062.] 

Roshan-ud-daulah's disgrace came about in this way. Early 
in the reign he had become the intermediary for the payment 
of a monthly sum to keep open the passes into Kabul. This 
money was disbursed by the hand of Nasir Khan, the provin- 
cial governor, who had obtained his appointment through 
Roshan-ud-daulah ; the payment is stated to have been five 
lakhs of Rupees a month, but that is most probably an exag- 
geration. Roshan-ud-daulah also managed the affairs at Court 
connected with the port of Surat and with many parganas of 
the Gujarat province. Samsam-ud-daulah charged Roshan-ud- 
daulah with embezzling the Kabul money, and since, according 
to him, the State obtained no benefit, this payment to the pass 
Afghans was abolished. Remonstrances and appeals were sent 
again and again by Roshan-ud-daulah but passed unregarded. 
From this time Roshan-ud-daulah fell out of favour with 
Muhammad Shah, and soon demands were made upon him to 
account for all the Government money that he had received. 
The auditors stated the balance still at three fcrors of Rupees. 


Under this pressure the Nawab paid in two krors of Rupees and 
escaped further molestation. But his influence, already shaken 
by his ignominious share in the shoe-sellers' riot of 11th March 
1729, never revived. His position was also weakened by the 
conduct of his third brother Munavvar Khan, one of the 
Emperor's boon companions, who fell in love with and carried 
off Nur Bai, a dancing woman who was Muhammad Shah's 
mistress. At first Munavvar Khan's death was decreed ; in the 
end his life was spared but he lost his rank and jagir. After 
some years Ishaq Khan the new favourite procured his restora- 
tion and he was given the office of Bakhshi to the Ahadis. 
Roshan-ud-daulah died at Dihli on the 12th Zul Hijja 1148 H. 
(23rd April 1736).* 

As Muhammad Shah paid no attention to public business, 
Abdul-ghaffur for full twelve years held the supreme direction 
of affairs ; if he opposed, nothing could be done, even the 
Emperor's wishes were then ignored. At length in his thirteenth 
year Muhammad Shah rebelled. [Warid 60.] 

Sec. 87. — Fall of Abdul-ghaffur. 

A small thing first of all provoked the Emperor's anger. 
One day he paid a visit to the shrine of Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiyar. 
Near by was a large handsome chapel lately erected by Abdul- 
ghaffur. Muhammad Shah expressed a desire to inspect it, but 
the doors had been firmly closed up and the keys taken away. 
The door had to be opened with a borrowed key : and for the 
time nothing was said. Next came a complaint made by outcry 
below the palace balcony by Shaikh Muhammad Fazil and 
Moti Lai, two men employed by the Shah in his office as Master 
of the Mint. Muhammad Fazil had left the mint to take a 
contract lease of Sonepat, one of the Shah's parganas, coupled 
with a loan of one lakh of Rupees for working it. Time passed 
and the lessee fell into heavy arrears. Stronger and stronger 
pressure was put upon the debtor and abusive language was 
addressed to him. In revenge Muhammad Fazil, bringing his 
successor at the mint Moti Lai over to his side, now made 

*Khush-hal 1061b; Ashob 53-55a; Ghulam Ali 47-54. 


formal complaint that Abdul-ghaffur had embezzled public 

Behind the scenes these obscure men were urged on by 
Samsam (First Bakhshi) and Saadat Khan (governor of Oudh). 
They pressed the complaint home and the Emperor said that 
the money must be recovered. Abdul-ghaffur was contumacious 
and refused to listen to the Wazir who was on his side and 
counselled submission. The Shah abused the Wazir in good 
set terms and proceeded to send for Muhammad Fazil and Mori 
Lai, the two men who had dared to complain. Roz Afzun 
Khan, a palace eunuch, brought this act to the Emperor's notice, 
and Abdul-ghaffur was prevented from doing anything. Matters 
were pushed further, and as much as 60 lakhs of Rupees was 
found to be the amount of his defalcations. 

Abdul-ghaffur turned a deaf ear to Qamar-ud-din Khan the 
Wazir, who wished him well, and listened in preference to 
Samsam-ud-daulah and Saadat Khan, who were only plotting 
his ruin. To increase his extravagance of conduct they pre- 
tended that the Emperor was inclined to forgive and forget 
and was about to appoint the Shah to be governor of the Tattha 
(Sind) province. With this idea in his head he became more 
violent than before. One day he started for the imperial 
audience although the Wazir had warned him that he was not 
master of himself and had better remain at home. 

Now, in deference to his character of holy man, he was 
never called upon to make obeisance but uttered instead the 
usual greeting between equals of "Peace be upon you", to 
which the Emperor would reply in the appointed form of words. 
On this day Abdul-ghaffur marched in and said nothing. 
Muhammad Shah without any comment, himself said "Peace 
be upon you." Omitting to return the salutation the Shah 
began to use strong language. The Emperor rose in silence 
and retired towards his apartments. When he had gone a pace 
or two, he called the Wazir to his side and said "I suffer all 
this through you." The Wazir answered "How could this slave 
dare such a thing?" "Then having placed your hand on my 
feet, renounce all interest in this matter." The Wazir acted 


Returning to his house Abdul-ghaffur continued to curse 
and swear. But of what avail was his empty talk ! An account 
was now drawn up requiring from him 3 krors of Rupees. A 
chela was sent to obtain the money or to bring the Shah in a 
prisoner. Abdul-ghaffur 's only answer was abuse and the 
question "Does the palace still stand)" He was arrested and 
put in prison in the palace. In spite of what was got rid of, 
cash to the amount of one kror of Rupees was seized besides 
property and buildings. His principal servants were imprisoned 
until they gave up their hoards — his chief man Dakhni Rai 
paid one lakh, his head clerk Kunwar Sen, and Sampat Rai 
(Dakhni Rai's brother and the brother-in-law of the historian 
Khush-hal Chand), the Shahs deputy in the Horse Market, and 
other employes paid varying sums according to their standing. 
[Khush-hal I05%-1061o.] 

Sec. 88. — Another account of the downfall of 
Shah Abdul-ghaffur. 

The historian Warid gives a very detailed account of Abdul- 
ghaffur's decline from favour and his last days : Muhammad 
Shah, after having been under Abdul-ghaffur's tutelage for 
years, at length rebelled and in the thirteenth year (1731-32) 
called upon the auditors to report the total income received by 
Abdul-ghaffur from his offices and, after deducting the sum he 
had paid into the treasury, to report the amount still due. The 
balance of actual revenue due was found to be twenty-five 
lakhs. The Wazir was told to realize the money. Qamar-ud- 
din, on account of his father's friendship with Abdul-ghaffur, 
was on the whole well inclined towards him. After a stormy 
interview, the minister advised Abdul-ghaffur to pay one half, 
and he, the Wazir would provide the other. Abdul-ghaffur 
rejected the proposal with indignation. When the officials 
arrived to confiscate his property Abdul-ghaffur declared that 
he would have them beaten with shoes. Thereupon the Wazir 
reported to the Emperor that he had done what he could to 
befriend the man, and whatever measures were thought neces- 
sary might be resorted to. 

Muhammad Shah was already displeased with the conduct 



of Abdul-ghaffur's son, who though a beardless and smooth- 
faced youth was already an oppressor of the helpless. Abdul- 
ghaffur himself was also a harsh man. A month before his 
fall, he called for a servant who happened to be at his prayers. 
Another man was sent to drag him to his master, whether he 
were kneeling or standing up. Abdul-ghaffur said to the culprit 
"By God! Your only lord, without whom you would starve, 
is Abdul-ghaffur — and he is seated here. What God were you 
worshipping away there? If you do it again, I will punish 
you." Another story is that once when asked to disburse the 
money to put a half finished building in repair before the rainy 
season — he dragged the man to the side-room where his treasure 
was locked up and said : "Here have I had locked up for 
many years the god in whose power all things are ; both cloud 
and rain are under my control, and without my will not a drop 
of rain can fall." 

When the Wazir had thrown over Abdul-ghaffur, the 
Emperor, easy-going as usual, sent some slaves for the unpaid 
money.. If the man had met the demand by prompt payment 
he would probably have been pardoned ; but he sent instead 
a sharp answer. Guards were placed over him to prevent his 
either eating or drinking. In a few days he paid up twenty 
lakhs and some thousands of Rupees, and obtained a respite 
of twelve days within which to produce the balance. After 
sixteen days men were sent to Abdul-ghaffur, who instead of 
producing the money used language about the Emperor that 
could not be applied with decency to the lowest in the land. 
One of the slaves repeated the language ; and at last Muham- 
mad Shah's anger burst forth. Abdul-ghaffur was ordered to 
be arrested, the whole of his hoards to be cleared out, locked 
up, and placed under seal. This time he made no resistance 
but announced that shortly the palace and all in it, Muhammad 
Shah included, would disappear. As he had made Muhammad 
Shah so would he destroy him. When, in reply to his ques- 
tions, he was told that the palace still stood and the Emperor 
lived, he would say half aloud that Muhammad Shah was dead 
though the fact was concealed by the courtiers. The various 
stages in his downfall occupies two or three months, but it was 


on the 4 Zul Hijja 1 144 H. (28th May 1732) that he was finally 
arrested and locked up in the fort. After having been in 
prison at Dihli for one year Abdul-ghaffur, his wife, son, and 
daughter were sent to the fortress of Ruhtas in the province 
of Bihar. He died there on the 22nd Shawwal 1148 H. (5th 
March 1 736). His character is thus summed up by Warid : 
"He never spent money on a good work, never conferred a 
favour, never did a kindness." [Warid 60-69, Khush-hal 

By the year 1734 the favourites who had held Muhammad 
Shah in thrall from the beginning of his reign were discredited 
and dispersed. Samsam-ud-daulah thus obtained for a time a 
free hand. But it was not long before the weak monarch was 
once more under the control of new favourites, of whom the 
most prominent were Muhammad Ishaq and Amir Khan Umdat- 
ul-mulk, having as time went on Abul Mansur Khan Safdar 
Jang (governor of Oudh) for their ally. For the present we turn 
to other subjects. 

Sec. 89. — Increasing Encroachments of the Mahrattas 


We have already carried the story of the Mahratta invasion 
of India north of the Narmada to the point where Gujarat had 
been partly occupied, Bundelkhand partitioned, and Malwa 
temporarily overrun. This brought us to the year 1145 (1732) 
and Rajah Jai Singh Sawai's appointment to be governor of 
Malwa. The northern advance by way of Gujarat was now 
stayed, partly because that province was difficult of subjuga- 
tion, partly because the Rajput principalities of Udepur and 
Jodhpur more or less barred the road. The Mahratta efforts 
to reach the heart of the Empire at Dihli and Agra were now 
concentrated upon Malwa and the smaller Rajput States to 
the north of it. It was here that the Peshwa Baji Rao found 
a fitting field for his genius as partisan leader and diplomatist. 

re; It was his lieutenants, Malhar Rao Holkar and Ranuji Sindhia 
"who founded the States of Indor and Gwaliyar, the ruler of 
the latter wielding from 1 790 to 1 803 supreme power in Upper 

[vt§ India. Let us now devote our attention to the events in Malwa 


and the country adjoining: it from 1732 to 1738, and in so doing 
the narrative will be more clear if we divide it into parts cor- 
responding to the period of Mahratta activity in each year 
beginning with the 1st October, about the period of the 
Dasahra festival, and ending with the 30th June of each year, 
when the rainy season had usually set in and the armies on 
both sides were accustomed to retire into quarters.* 

Campaign of 1 145-46 H., 15th year of Mhd. Shah 
(1 October, 1732—30 June 1733). 

Times had changed since, as Warid notes (p. 80), two 
thousand Mahrattas could be put to flight by one hundred 
Hindustani horsemen, and the Mahratta women and children 
could not with safety pass two nights in succession in the same 
place. For several years the plunderers had not ventured out- 
side of Malwa ; but now becoming bolder they swarmed over 
the country up to a few miles from Agra, and the Hindu States, 
obtaining no help from the Mughals, compromised with the 
invaders by paying their demands. 

One after another the great nobles were ordered to proceed 
against the enemy ; but all with one consent began to make 
excuse. [Warid 117.] At length Muhammad Shah, though 
wedded to ease and idleness, resolved to march in person. 
The tents were sent out and in Shaban 1 145 H. (February 1733) 
he made one or two short marches and then crossed the 
Jamuna. After proceeding for a short distance along the river 
bank he crossed back again. In this cowardly and childish 
manner several months were consumed. The imperial camp 
never got beyond Faridabad, sixteen miles south of Dihli, there 
was confusion and disorder throughout the camp, and the open 
season was fast coming to an end. 

Qamar-ud-din Khan, the chief minister, knowing the 
Emperor's character guessed that he was in reality disinclined 
to take the field. To the Emperor's great relief, the Wazir 
offered to undertake the campaign and his offer was at once 

•Warid on the Mahrattas, 76, 80-85, 91-96, 99-100. 116-127 (carrying the 
history down to March 1734). 

1733] wazir's futile campaign against mahrattas 277 

accepted. He started from Dihli on the 21st Shawwal (5th 
April 1733). With him went his cousin Zahir-ud-daulah and 
his son-in-law Firuz Jang (son of Nizam-ul-mulk). On reaching 
Agra they were joined by Muhammad Khan Bangash. It was 
reported that the Mahrattas were between Sironj and Narwar 
engaged in plundering the Umait landholders. An advanced 
division was sent on beyond Narwar to Loda Dangar, south 
of Kularas. There it was learnt that the Mahrattas had recros- 
sed the Narmada in spite of a feeble attempt by Rajah Jai 
Singh to hinder their retreat. After this the Rajah had sent 
off his baggage towards his own country of Amber and had 
already moved himself one march in that direction. Either 
thinking the campaigning season was over or obeying an order 
from Dihli, the Wazir recalled his troops, and they rejoined 
him at Shiupuri. Some say that he received urgent and 
reiterated requests from the Emperor to return at once to Court, 
— one of the letters quoting the line "With you wine is lawful ; 
without you, water prohibited." On his return march the 
Wazir turned down the Duaba to Ghazipur [in the Fathpur 
district] to punish Bhagwant son of Udaru Kichar, who in 
March 1 732 had killed Jan Nisar Khan, faujdar of Kora Jahana- 
bad. After the first day's bombardment, Bhagwant fled to 
Asothar. Here Muhammad Khan was left to settle the matter, 
while the Wazir hurried back to Dihli to thwart a combination 
against him between Samsam-ud-daulah, Burhan-ul-mulk and 
Mubariz-ul-mulk. He reached the capital about the end of 
June 1733. Warid attributes the futile nature of his proceed- 
ings to the constant use of alcohol and his addiction to the 
company of women. [Khush-hal 1063b, Rustam AH 265, Warid 
85, Ghulam Ali 54o.] 

Campaign of 1146-47 H.— 16th year of Mhd. Shah 
(1 October 1733—30 June 1734). 

This year the Mahrattas returned with more boldness than 
ever. They spread themselves from Gwaliyar to Ajmer, a 
distance of 220 miles. They were specially active in the 
Bhadawar country a few miles east of Agra. The Rajah who 
was at Court obtained leave to return for the defence of his 


country. But it was too late. Before he arrived the villages 
and towns had been plundered. He took refuge in his fort 
and resisted for a time. But he soon saw that to look for 
imperial help was useless. He might as well try "to measure 
the sun with an ell-wand or imprison the wind in his closed 
hand". He paid three lakhs of Rupees to the Mahrattas and 
thus persuaded them to retire. [Warid 118, Siyar 289.] 

At this juncture the shortcomings of Rajah Jai Singh of 
Amber came into special prominence. For twelve years he 
had been governor of Agra and for four or five governor of 
Malwa. From the gates of Dihli to the banks of the Narmada 
he was in supreme authority. But in spite of all the disorder 
around him, the Rajah, supported by the Court influence of 
Samsam-ud-daulah, sat calmly at home and did nothing, though 
he possessed an army of 30,000 horsemen and a still larger 
number of matchlockmen. Several times in previous years the 
Rajah had received from Muhammad Shah large sums, as much 
as thirty lakhs or twenty lakhs it is said, for payment to the 
Mahrattas. Half would be paid to them and half retained by 
the Rajah ; the Mahrattas then went home and Jai Singh return- 
ed to his own State. After two or three years of this proce- 
dure, the Mahrattas began to expect their "breakfast", as 
Warid styles it, and every time grew greedier and more 
avaricious. But for fears for Samsam-ud-daulah's displeasure, 
Muhammad Shah was afraid to take away the Government of 
Agra or Malwa from Jai Singh. Samsam-ud-daulah himself, 
although well able to do so, undertook no> campaign against 
the invaders. [Warid 119—120.] 

For years it had been the custom at Court, when the 
Dakhin intelligencers reported the invasion of Gujarat and 
Malwa to send out Muhammad Shah on long visits to the 
various gardens round the capital, or to distract his mind by 
hunting and shooting expeditions in the many royal preserves. 
Meanwhile the Wazir sought relaxation by a visit to his country- 
house on the canal about twelve miles from Dihli, where he 
would remain a month or longer. His time was taken up with 
fishing or hunting deer. All business was suspended, and the 
country remained practically without a Government. Tne 

1734] samsam-ud-daulah' s inactivity and negligence 279 

pious Muhammadan could do no more than raise his helpless 
hands to Heaven.* 

This year (1733-34) it was the turn of Samsam-ud-daulah 
to be ordered out against the Mahrattas. He spent three or 
four months in sending out and bringing back again his advance 
tents, or in fruitless efforts to persuade someone else to take 
his place. At length, when the season was nearly over and 
the Mahrattas would be about to retire as usual, Samsam-ud- 
daulah sent for his brother Muzaffar Khan, long governor of 
Ajmer, from his head-quarters at Narnol in Mewat. The first 
orders were issued on the 28th June 1733, but it was not until 
the 20th February 1 734 that his tents were set up in the gardens 
near the city. Another month was spent in further prepara- 
tions and at last on the 30th March 1 734 the first march of 
six miles was made. By this time the spies had reported that 
the Mahrattas had begun to retreat ; and it was quite clear 
that before Muzaffar Khan could reach Agra they would have 
recrossed the Narmada. In December there had been a contest 
between Malhar Holkar and Yar Muhammad Khan of Bhupal, 
in which several lives were lost. 

Muzaffar Khan succeeded in reaching Sironj, but the 
enemy had disappeared, and thus without once coming into 
action, it would seem, the army retraced its route on the 21st 
June 1734. Muzaffar Khan was admitted to audience on his 
return to Court. [Ghulam AH 54a, Rustam Ali 265o, Siyar 

Campaign of 1 147-48 H., 17th year of Mhd. Shah 
(1 October 1734—30 June 1735). 

In this year, the Mahrattas having spread over a very wide 
extent of country, it was resolved to send out two armies, 
one under the command of the Wazir, Qamar-ud-din Khan, 
and the other under that of the Mir Bakhshi, Samsam-ud- 

* Warid (123) quotes the proverb, 

'The earth dried up, the clouds without dew, 
Alas ! for the poor handful of grass.' 
Khak-i-khushk wa abr-i-be-nam, 
Wai bar musht-i-gyah. 


daulah, the former taking the defence of the eastern and the 
latter of the western half of the invaded territory. 

Qamar-ud-din Khan received his audience of leave-taking 
on the 20th November 1734. The Wazir marched by way of 
Agra against Pilaji Jadon and Baji Rao, having with him his 
own troops and artillery and the whole of the Turani Mughal 
leaders. The Rajahs through whose States he passed were 
called upon to serve. From the 3rd to 12th February 1735 he 
was in contact with and fighting the Mahrattas. Apparently 
this was in the neighbourhood of Narwar, and his antagonist 
Pilaji Jadon. The army advanced as far as Sipri and Kularas 
on the boundary of Malwa. Pilaji Jadon continued to oppose 
the advance at the head of 30,000 to 40,000 Mahrattas. There 
were three or four encounters in which the Wazir had the 
advantage. As soon as the rainy season was at hand, the 
Mahrattas, obeying Baji Rao's order of recall, returned to the 
Dakhin. The Wazir reached Dihli on the 21st May 1735, 
having been preceded, eleven days earlier, by Samsam-ud- 
daulah. [Ashob 104-106, Khush-hal 1066-67, Rustam Ali 267, 
Ghulam Ali 54b.] 

On his side Samsam-ud-daulah marched out with all his 
own troops and the Wala-shahi or bodyguard, a corps 
distinguished by red turbans, accompanied by many nobles 
and Rajahs. He was joined en route by Rajah Jai Singh of 
Amber and his army. The objective was Ajmer, where 
Malhar at the head of a much smaller force was plundering 
as usual. Sambhar was one of the places which had suffered 
from his marauders. There is no record of any fighting ; and 
Jai Singh was for a long time at Tal Kakariya. Samsam-ud- 
daulah was persuaded by Jai Singh that the wisest measure 
was to accede to the Mahratta demands. It appears that the 
exacting of the one-fourth of the revenues was agreed to, 
before the Mahrattas would retire beyond the Narmada. An 
annual sum of 22 lakhs of Rupees from Malwa was promised. 
One Mahadeo Pandit was accepted as the Peshwa's agent and 
the imperial army went no further than the Kota and Bundi 
States. All the new recruits, who had gone to great expense 
to buy horses, were at once dismissed. Samsam-ud-daulah 


reached Dihli on the 21st or 22nd May 1735. [Ashob, Bayan 
532, Rustam AH 266-67, Khush-hal 1067a.] 

Sec. 90.— Campaign of 1148-49 H., 18th year of Mhd. Shah. 
(1 October 1735—30 June 1736). 

When the Mahrattas again took the field after the rains 
of 1735, they displayed more actively than ever. They visited 
and plundered Udepur in Mewar, Mairta and Nagor in Marwar, 
the imperial territory of Ajmer, and the town of Rupnagar to 
the north of it. As in the previous year, two army corps were 
despatched from Dihli, that sent to the south-east commanded 
by the Wazir, that to the south-west by Samsam-ud-daulah. 
Saadat Khan Burhan-ul-mulk, governor of Oudh, was directed 
to co-operate in the neighbourhood of Agra. [Rustam AH 
267o ; J. A. S. B. (1878) 326-27.] 

The Mahrattas were in Bundelkhand, through which their 
friends Harde Sah and Jagat Raj, sons of Chhattarsal, allowed 
them free passage : a few hundred of their horsemen had come 
even as far as the Jamuna to look out for fords. It was ex- 
pected that they would cross into the Duaba, plundering Kora, 
Kalpi and Etawa as they went. Chimnaji, brother of Baji Rao, 
had come near to Gwaliyar by way of Sironj and Bundelkhand ; 
Baji Rao himself being detained this year in the Konkan where 
he was carrying out an expedition against the pirate stronghold 
of Janjira. Pilaji Jadon had been sent north into Malwa to 
support Chimnaji Malhar Rao Holkar and Sindhia. 

Crossing at the ferries opposite Auruya and Sarai Ajit Mai, 
[in the Etawa district] the Mahrattas plundered Khanpur, 
Derapur, Mangalpur, Sikandra, and Shinganpur [in the Cawnpur 
district] , while their collectors levied hhandani or ransom- 
money from the villagers and imperial officials. The invaders 
were also numerous in the Gwaliyar country, Bijipur fifty-two 
miles south of Gwaliyar had been surrounded and the inhabit- 
ants of Antri had fled to Gwaliyar city, twelve miles away. 
It was feared that Agra might be invested. 

Muhammad Khan Bangash, who had been told off for the 
defence of Agra and Gwaliyar, began to cross the Jamuna 
on the 10th Jan. 1736. Reports were received that one force 


of Mahrattas had come beyond Nurabad fourteen miles north- 
west of Gwaliyar in the direction of Agra and that another 
was close to Antri in Bhadawar. Accordingly on the 24th Jan. 
1736 a division of two thousand horse and two thousand foot 
advanced to Dholpur to protect the ferries on the Chambal. 
The local clansmen, Daudotias, Sengars and others, were sent 
to guard all the routes and crossing places. The enemy from 
Nurabad came daily to the Chambal banks but found them- 
selves unable to cross. At length the Mahrattas renounced 
their attempts and retired into Bhadawar. They could make 
no impression on Gwaliyar itself, which was held by two 
thousand Pathans from Mau sent by Muhammad Khan Bangash, 
added to one thousand men of the local forces. [/. A.S.B. 

While Muhammad Khan had thus come to the rescue at 
Agra, Qamar-ud-din Khan had pushed on across the Chambal 
to try conclusions with Pilaji. At Narwar he left his wives 
and family and such portion of his impedimenta as was in 
excess of his needs. When he reached Orchha he encamped 
on the banks of Arjal lake, 12 miles east of it, which is deep 
long and wide, surrounded by hills, and twelve to fourteen 
miles in circumference. On the further side in the plain and 
on the hill-sides was the camp of Pilaji. To both armies the 
command of this piece of water was a necessity. Throughout 
the month of Ramzan (January 1 736) there were daily skirmishes 
but no decisive fight. [Ashob 105-106.] 

One day both sides came out in force. In this battle the 
Mahrattas got the worst of it and fled. Thereupon Sher Baz 
Khan, a near relative of the Wazir's and proud of his fame 
for valour, rode out from the army attended by his two sons, 
mere raw boys, and made for a body of the enemy. As he 
galloped he cried to his two 'tigers' whelps', "I am teaching 
you how you must hunt your prey." In the onset the elder 
boy was killed and the other Mir Muhammad Azam made a 
prisoner. The latter a boy of ten or twelve was disarmed ana 
carried off seated behind a Mahratta trooper. The boy drew 
the man's dagger from his waist and before he could turn had 
stabbed him three times. The man fell and the boy rode off 


to the Muhammadan camp. Meanwhile Sher Baz Khan had 
fought his way back to his elder son and lifting the body 
on to his horse rode off lamenting aloud for his second son. 
When Muhammad Azam returned the father's weeping was 
turned into joy. [Ashob 106.] 

On the Id (13th Feb. 1736) Pilaji, having been reinforced 
by troops from Baji Rao's army on the Narmada, came out 
early to give battle. The fight was continued throughout the 
day, but during the night the Mahrattas quitted their camp, 
and proceeding by forced marches soon crossed the Narmada. 
Pursuit was made to Sipri and Kularas, to Sironj and Ujjain, 
and when satisfied that the Mahrattas had vacated Malwa for 
the time, the Muhammadans under the Wazir marched back 
to Dihli. [Ashob 107.] 

On his side Samsam-ud-daulah started to reinforce Rajah 
Jai Singh in his efforts to eject Malhar Rao Holkar from Raj- 
putana. At Toda Tank he was joined by the Maharajah by 
whose advice he prepared field entrenchments and took up 
his position within them. Malhar, who had no more than 
7,000 to 8,000 men, awaited the arrival of Partap Singh Hada 
of Bundi. Urged by ill-will to Jai Singh and hoping to save 
his own dominions, this man had put his well-equipped army 
at the disposal of the Mahrattas. As soon as Partap Singh had 
joined him, Malhar advanced and took up a position 10 or 
12 miles from the Muhammadan entrenchments. Every day 
from a little before sunrise until the time of evening prayer, 
the Mahrattas skirmished round the camp, and not a soul could 
set a foot outside the ditch of the entrenchments. The Muham- 
madans fired their cannon continually, but dared not come out 
into the open. 

In a short time all supplies of grass and grain were cut off. 
The men's horses were no longer able to stand. At length the 
men of the Ahadi regiment, some 1 ,000 to 1 ,500 in number 
mostly of Baluch and Mughal race, marched out headed by 
their petty officers without leave or order from the general. 
They were about eight miles from camp and busy collecting 
anything they could lay hand upon in the villages, when sud- 
denly they were surrounded by Malhar Rao and Partap Singh 


with their men. For some hours the Mahrattas fared badly as 
the imperial veterans were armed with bows and matchlocks. 
The Mahrattas were thus unable to close and ply their spears 
and straight swords. At length when the arrows and ammuni- 
tion were exhausted the Mahrattas came on. Partap Singh 
Hada and his Rajputs being better mounted than Malhar's men 
outstripped their allies and poured their blunderbuss fire into 
the Muhammadan ranks. Many fell and the rest dispersed. 
The historian Ashob had two kinsmen among the wounded — 
one Shihab-ud-din Beg after lying three days under a heap of 
dead bodies was recovered and lived for forty years, but lame 
and without the use of his hands which had been eaten away 
by ants. It was three days before Jai Singh could collect the 
dead bodies, which was done with the permission of Malhar 
Rao. After their defeat the Muhammadan commander and the 
Rajah again gave strict injunctions that no man should leave 
the entrenchments without their orders. [Ashob 108-109.] 

In due course Malhar Rao returned as usual to the Dakhin, 
thus releasing the two commanders from their difficult position. 
Samsam-ud-daulah returned to Dihli, where he was received 
as if he were a conquering hero ; and Jai Singh went home to 
his own State. Soon afterwards by Samsam-ud-daulah's advice 
the Emperor accepted the proposal brought forward by Jai 
Singh that he should relinquish the Government of Malwa in 
favour of the Peshwa Baji Rao. In pursuance of this scheme 
on the 6th Zul Qada 1148 H. (18th March 1736) Yadgar 
Kashmiri with Kirpa Ram and Najabat AH Khan was sent off 
to Jai Singh to open the negotiations. On the 8th Rabi I. 1 149 
H. (16th July, 1736) Jai Singh and Baji Rao met at Dholpur 
where an agreement was entered into whereby Baji Rao became 
the deputy governor of Malwa under the Rajah. Accompany- 
ing Baji Rao were his son, and his chief commanders Ranuji 
Sindhia, Malhar Holkar, Jaswant Rao Puar, and others. [Ashob 
1 10b ; Ghulam AH 54b ; Rustam AH 267-68 ; Siyar 294, 309 ; 
J.A.S. B. 328.] 

Mahratta sources throw more light than do the Muham- 
madan on the nature of these transactions. To start with, the 
Emperor had been willing to concede the following terms : 


First, an assignment to Baji Rao of thirteen lakhs of Rupees 

from the revenue of the country south of the Chambal, for one 

season, payable in three instalments. Secondly, an authority 

to be given him to levy an annual tribute of 10,60,000 Rupees 

from the Rajput States, beginning at Bundi and Kota [and 

extending] as far as Bhadawar. The second item would, it 

was hoped, create ill-feeling between the Rajputs and the 

Mahrattas. Documents in accordance with these proposals 

were secretly prepared and made over to Yadgar Khan, with 

orders not to produce them unless necessary. Unfortunately 

for the Muhammadans, the agent of Baji Rao discovered what 

had been done and informed his master. Baji Rao convinced 

now that the Emperor was at his mercy, raised his demands. 

He must have the whole province of Malwa in assignment, the 

Pathans at the same time being dispossessed from Bhupal. He 

must be put in charge of the forts of Mandu, Dhar, and Raisin. 

Next, he demanded the whole tract south of the Chambal in 

jagir, with the appointment of faujdars. Then he required a 

payment of fifty lakhs in cash or in an order on Bengal. In a 

little time he added to his list Allahabad, Benares, Gaya and 

Mathura in jagir. Finally he required the hereditary rights of 

a sardesh-pandya in the six provinces of the Dakhin. [Grant 

Duff 254.] 

Rajah Jai Singh as we have said had agreed to nominate 
Baji Rao as his deputy in the Government of Malwa. This 
was, in effect though not in form, a cession of the province. 
As to the other concessions the only one agreed to was the last, 
the hereditary appointment of sardesh-pandya. The rate of 
payment was the same as that of desh-pandya, namely half 
that of deshmukh, or five per cent, of the revenue. The object 
of this payment being conceded by Samsam-ud-daulah was the 
injury thereby done to Nizam-ul-mulk and his provinces. 

Sec. 91.— Campaign of 1149-50 H., 19th year of Mhd. Shah. 
(1st October 1736— 30th June 1737). 

The concessions recently wrung from the Muhammadan 
Government had no deterrent effect upon Baji Rao's plans of 
conquest. When the open season came round again his horse- 


men were once more upon the move. By Zul Qada 1149 H. 
(March 1737) they were swarming in Bhadawar, the country 
lying to the easi: and south-east of Agra. To repel this renewed 
invasion armies from Dihli again took the field, and Saadat 
Khan governor of Oudh was directed to co-operate. On the 
8th March 1 737 the tents of Samsam-ud-daulah the Mir Bakhshi 
were erected outside the city and on the next day (the 9th 
March) he began his march eastwards, his first stage being 
Talpat, 15 miles south of the city. The Wazir on the 21st 
March likewise made a start by moving into camp at the Char 
Bagh. Samsam-ud-daulah preceded the Wazir and reached 
Mathura early in the month of Zul Hijja 1 149 (1st to 29th April 
1737). On the 5th Zul Hijja (5th April 1737) he was at Hasan- 
pur, eighteen reputed kps from Mathura, intending to march 
the next day to Shergarh and the day after to Brindaban, with 
a view to joining Samsam-ud-daulah and Saadat Khan who 
were then at Agra. It was reported that Jai Singh of Jaipur 
(Amber) had moved out from his capital. Although, much to 
the Wazir's disturbance of mind, a heavy force of Mahrattas 
was said to have gone towards Rewari ; for two days he did 
not give up his intention to continue his march eastwards as 
he was very anxious to come into touch with the enemy before 
he returned. An additional piece of bad news was received, 
that Budh Singh of Bundi had risen. [Khush-hal 1070o, 
Rustam AH 270b.] 

Baji Rao, leaving his heavy baggage at Jaitpur with Jagat 
Raj Bundela, second son of the late Rajah Chhattarsal, 
advanced to the banks of the Jamuna, forty miles from Agra. 
On his way he attacked Rajah Anuradh Singh of Bhadawar. 
The Rajah came out from his town of Ater with a well- 
equipped force of 7,000 horse besides foot-soldiers and 45 
elephants. One of the Rajah's brothers who had long been 
at strife with him, went over to the Mahrattas. On this man's 
advice they left half of their force standing in front of the 
Rajah, while the other half came suddenly from Gohad and 
Barhad, entered the town of Ater, and began to plunder. To 
save his capital the Rajah retreated fighting and took shelter 
in the fortress at Ater. In the end he sued for terms and paid 


twenty lakhs of Rupees and gave ten elephants. After this 
opening success the Peshwa's principal officers, Malhar Rao 
Holkar Pilaji Jadon and Wituji Bule, went across the Jamuna 
and carried fire and sword through the Duaba. [Siyar 309, 
Ghulam Ali.] 

Saadat Khan from Oudh defeats part of Baji Rao's army 

in the Duaba. 

In Zul Hijja (April 1737) the Mahrattas had crossed the 
Jamuna near the town of Rapri and commenced an investment 
of Shukohabad. Lai Jiu Khatri, the officer in charge, paid 
1,50,000 Rupees and gave one elephant and thereby saved 
the town. Advancing up the Duaba burning and plundering 
as they went, the Mahrattas raided Firuzabad and Itimadpur, 
the latter town only 1 1 miles east of Agra. Leaving that place 
they came to Jalesar. Suddenly as day dawned the troops of 
Saadat Khan appeared in sight. He had come from Etawa a 
distance of 85 miles, by forced marches. The advanced guard 
under his nephew Abul Mansur Khan Safdar Jang consisted 
of 12,000 horse. 

Thinking the attacking force inferior to themselves in 
numbers, the Mahrattas, as their fashion was, tried to envelop 
it completely. Abul Mansur Khan retreated slowly, fighting 
all the time, towards Saadat Khan's main body numbering 
50,000 cavalry. As the retiring vanguard drew near, Saadat 
Khan and his men gave their horses the rein and charged the 
enemy. The Mahrattas broke and fled. Each man sought a road 
for himself and a hot pursuit was maintained for many miles. 
At the edge of a piece of water in Itimadpur the pursuers 
overtook three chiefs and nearly one thousand men. These 
became their prisoners. Such horsemen as escaped the sword 
re-crossed the Jamuna. When crossing they had marked the 
ford and the depth of water at it by planting bamboo stakes 
in the bed of the river. But in the hurry of escape many 
mistook the ford and were drowned. The majority got across 
in safety. This affair took place upon the 22nd Zul Qada 1 149 
H. (23rd March 1737). Malhar Rao rejoined Baji Rao at Kotila 
near Gwaliyar. [Ashob 112a.] 


Saadat Khan continued his march westwards to join 
Samsam-ud-daulah. At Mathura, which Samsam-ud-daulah 
reached shortly after the 1st April 1737, they met. With the 
Mir Bakhshi were 25,000 horsemen and many cannon and 
numerous elephants. Muhammad Khan Bangash was also 
there with a contingent of about twelve thousand men. One 
day Samsam-ud-daulah had invited Saadat Khan to a banquet 
in his tent. In the midst of the feast they learnt that Baji Rao ; 
passing Fathpur Sikri and leaving on his right the town of 
Dig, in the country of Badna Jat, had managed to get as far as 
Dihli. In the utmost alarm the imperialists broke up camp 
and began a hasty return to the capital 'placing the finger of 
vexation upon the teeth of shame.' [Rustam Ali 272.] 

Sec. 92. — Baji Rao attacks Dihli. 

We must now explain how this sudden and unexpected 
movement took place. As Saadat Khan arrived at Agra 
Baji Rao had moved away from the Chambal, where his left 
flank was confined by the river and his camp intersected by 
deep ravines, to opener country upon the north-east. There 
through his agent in Samsam-ud-daulah's camp he heard of the 
boastful account that Saadat Khan himself gave of his successful 
action. "I was resolved,' ' Baji Rao writes, "to let the Emperor 
know the truth, to prove that I was still in Hindustan, and to 
show him the Mahrattas at the gate of his capital."* 

* As Baji Rao wrote to his brother Chimnaji Appa, from the environs 
of Sawai Jai-nagar on 15th Zul Hijja : "Entrusting my heavy baggage 
(bangah) to Rajah Jagat Raj of Bundelkhand and sending it to Bundelkhand, 

I became lightly equipped Saadat Khan had written to the Emperor 

and the amirs many such false stories as that he had defeated the Mahratta 
army which had crossed the Jamuna, — of whom 2,000 horsemen had been 
slain and 2,000 drowned in the river, including Malhar Holkar and Vitoba 
Bule, — and that he was driving the Mahrattas back beyond the Chambal 

This report had been sent to me by Dhondo Govind I decided to 

go and burn the city of Dihli and make the Emperor see that the Mahrattas 

exist So I started on 26th Zul Qada, leaving the king's highway and 

making long marches Covering forty miles a day, in two marches I 

arrived at Dihli, near Kushbandi, on 7th Zul Hijja, leaving Barapula and 
Kalika's temple on my right hand." (Brahmendra-Sioami Charitra, 
letter 27.) [J. Sarkar.J 


Six days before Samsam-ud-daulah and Saadat Khan had 
united their forces, Baji Rao was on his way to Dihli, crowding 
a ten days' journey into two days and nights by continuous 
travelling. He passed the camps of the Wazir and of Samsam- 
ud-daulah on each side of him at a distance of a day's march. 
In the afternoon of the 9th Zul Hijja 1149 (9th April 1737), the 
vigil of the Feast of Sacrifice, he suddenly appeared at the 
small hill on which stands the temple of the Hindu goddess 
Kalka, an ancient place of worship about six miles south of the 
city near the Khizrabad grove and between the shrines of 
Nizam-ud-din Auliya and Nasir-ud-din 'the Lamp of Dihli". 
Several times a year there are gatherings of worshippers which 
continue all day and sometimes all night. Traders bring their 
wares and there is a sort of fair. The day of Baji Rao's arrival 
being the Ram Navami, commemorating the birth of Ram 
Chandra, was a fair day. Baji Rao at once, after seizing some 
elephants and camels coming out of the city, sent his men to 
slay and to plunder at the temple. After this had been 
effectually carried out, he and his horsemen rested for the night 
at Malcha near to the grove at Tal Katora which belonged to 
the Emperor and was known as Muhammadabad. It is two 
kps from the city wall and four from the palace. The first 
idea of burning the suburbs was abandoned in order that the 
Emperor and Samsam-ud-daulah, from whom he expected 
concessions, should not be driven to extremities. Baji Rao 
wrote letters to the Emperor and to Rajah Bakht Mai. hi 
reply the Emperor asked him to send in his agent [Dhondo 
Pant] , but Baji Rao declined unless a guard for him came out. 
But his answer was politely worded and he said that "as he 
apprehended mischief to the city from the contiguity of his 
troops, he was about to retire to the Jhil tank" (possibly TaJ 
Katora is meant). [Ashob 113a, Rustam Ali 273a, Baji Rao's 
letter cited before.] 

The plundered fugitives first brought the disastrous news 
into the city, and thence it was carried into the palace. 
Clamorous groups of the wounded and plundered assembled 
at the gates ; but when called upon to tell their story, they 
were in such a state of terror and contradicted each other 3d 



much that the facts could not be arrived at. The Emperor 
and his courtiers laughed at them. What could Baji Rao have 
to do at Kalka Devi? It was some small raid of Mewati 
thieves and nothing more. Why had the traders been so 
careless and over-confident as to take their goods into a waste 
place? But doubts still lingered in the minds of the courtiers ; 
and in the afternoon a man disguised as a mendicant was sent 
to Kalka Malcha and Tal Katora to find out how things stood. 
The messenger returned before midnight. Appearing before 
the Emperor he took out of his beggar's wallet a handful of 
grain, mostly dry unground gram, a few scraps of raw half 
baked bread devoid of salt and some pods of red pepper.* 
These were the alms he had received in the Mahratta camp. 
He told them that in the morning by breakfast time there would 
be an attack on the city. [Ashob 113o.] 

Plans were at once discussed, but they felt that they had 
little chance of resisting successfully in the open field. At 
one time they would enter into arguments how these "devils" 
could have reached Dihli without encountering the two formid- 
able imperial armies already in the field. If those had been 
defeated, the only thing left for the Emperor and Court was 
either to demand terms or escape down the Jamuna in boats. 
Thus, amid much vague and silly talk, unconsidered advice 
was tendered and useless proposals were brought forward by 
each man according to his disposition and ability. Sad-ud- 
din Khan, the head of the imperial artillery, although far from 
a hero, had passed a lifetime in the company of experienced 
men, had served under Nizam-ul-mulk in the Dakhin, and knew 
the mode of fighting peculiar to the Mahrattas. Compared to 
the other courtiers he might be called a renowned warrior. 
His voice prevailed. It was held to be derogatory for the 
Emperor to command in person against low fellows, mere 
ploughmen, like the Mahrattas, while to take refuge altogether 
behind the fort walls would be even more disgraceful. As 

* The red pepper was first crushed by the Mahrattas between stones j 
picked up from those lying about — and then eaten as a relish with the 


there were from 10,000 to 12,000 horse and nearly 20,000 foot 
in the garrison, it was resolved to send these out under the 
command of the Emperor's favourite Amir Khan, entitled 
Umdat-ul-mulk Mumtaz-us-sultanat. [Ashob 114b.] 

In spite of his many weaknesses Amir Khan was after all 
a man of noble descent, by nature brave and valiant. There 
were also other leaders. One was Aghar Khan, son of Aghar 
Khan the Mughal, who had commanded troops in the Dakhin, 
and had gained some victories over the Mahrattas. He still 
had a force of men of his own race, and a considerable number 
of armed Turkish, Qalmaq and Qarghiz slaves. Another 
Mughal who offered his services was Mubariz Khan, the 
superintendent of the mace-bearers. He was the son of 
the Mubariz Khan governor of Haidarabad who in the year 
1137 H. had been defeated and slain by Nizam-ul-mulk. The 
imperial artillery was placed by Sad-ud-din Khan at the disposal 
of Amir Khan ; while two Rajput officers of the Ambari 
regiment of the bodyguard, Rajah Shiu Singh and Rajah 
Ajmeri Singh, joined him with five hundred and two hundred 
and fifty men respectively. [Ashob 115a, Rustam AH 273b.] 

The Emperor was left in the fort guarded by 3000 of the 
artillery, 1000 of the Shah Ala regiment, the matchlockmen 
and artificers, and half of each regiment of the bodyguard, 
the other half being sent to join Amir Khan. The command 
of the fort was in the hands of Sad-ud-din Khan. As a 
precaution in case of disaster, all the boats from the ferries 
for a distance of fifteen to twenty miles up and down the river 
were collected and placed under the palace window. If 
necessary the women of the harem could be embarked on 
them and thus escape from dishonour. Eunuchs were sent 
round to all the principal lords to excite them to vigilance 
while all night long heralds went round from house to house 
warning the men of the palace guard. 

An hour after nightfall Amir Khan drew up his men 
outside the wicket gate known as the Phatak of Misri Khan. 
Here he was joined by Aghar Khan and Mubariz Khan. After 
a council of war they began to entrench themselves from the 
city to the grove at Tal Katora, their guns being placed at 


intervals along this line. There they waited for the Mahrattas 
to develop their attack. By the time that these preparations 
were completed the day had dawned ; not a sign of the enemy 
was to be seen. The defenders' position was strong and 
looking to the Mahratta distaste for storming entrenchments, 
it was probable that the Muhammadans would have held their 
own, had not some of the more fiery and hot-headed of the 
young nobles insisted on assuming the offensive. [Ashob 
115b— 116a.] 

Chief of these was Mir Hasan Khan Koka, recently created 
Khan Jahan Bahadur Kokaltash Zafar Jang, whose sole longing 
was to justify his claim to be in fact as in name 'the Victorious 
in war'. As the proverb says, "His iron was always in the 
fire." This young man was good looking and very ambitious 
to be thought a soldier. Although the son of a man from 
Iran, he modelled himself in all things on the Pathans of Mau 
Shamsabad and Shahjahanpur ; his costume from head to foot, 
his saddlery and equipment, his life and manners, every move- 
ment and gesture aped those of the Pathans. Lately he had 
been appointed by the Emperor to command the imperial 
escort, a force smaller in numbers than the other bodyguard 
regiments but more relied on, its men being tried and chosen 
fighters with good horses and excellent arms. In this sudden 
peril the regiment was ordered to remain in the palace, a duty 
which did not accord with Mir Hasan Khan's ambitions. 
Calling the Emperor a coward for hiding within the fort, Mir 
Hasan Khan marched his regiment off without orders and joined 
Amir Khan. lAshob 116b— 117a.] 

Hasan Khan's influence prevailed with the younger nobles 
who were eager for the fray ; and cursing Amir Khan and his 
friends as arrant cowards, these men led their troops forward 
into the open.* Directly they appeared in sight, Baji Rao. 
who was on the alert, mounted and set his troops in array. 
Ahead he sent five hundred well mounted and well armed 
Rawat horse (under Satwaji Jadon) to draw the enemy and 

* "Near Rikabganj, outside the city, with 7 or 8 thousand troops.' 
(Baji Rao's letter). [J. S.] 


discover their strength and position. These skirmishers came 
on below Tal Katora and Malcha into the plain. When they 
had arrived an arrow's flight from the line of swivel-pieces they 
were joined by Baji Rao. He ordered them to charge, to 
ply their spears and lay about them with their long straight 
swords. Against them were Mir Hasan Khan and other 
youths such as the sons of Kokaltash Khan, young Koka Khan, 
and other swashbucklers, experienced in street brawls but 
ignorant of real war. The brothers and sons of Shiu Singh 
and Ajmeri Singh Rajputs were also there. Looking on Baji 
Rao and his scanty force as an easy prey, they advanced at 
the head of about two thousand horse, paying no heed to the 
remonstrances of the older men, whom they accused of want 
of spirit. [Ashob 117a.] 

Baji Rao recognized at once by the way they rode and their 
reins, that they were unsteady inexperienced troops. To lure 
them on he made his men retreat once or twice, and as these 
gave way the Muhammadans grew bolder and pursued more 
hotly. They were soon two miles from their supports under 
Amir Khan, and beyond Tal Katora on the farther side of it 
from the city. Satwaji Jadon sent back notice that the 
Muhammadans were coming on. In a moment Malhar Holkar, 
followed by Ranuji Sindhia, had turned and was upon them. 
With spear and sword busily at work they rode down the 
Muhammadans, wounding severely and unhorsing fully a 
thousand of them. Many of them bore the marks of their 
wounds to their dying day. Close on a thousand riderless 
horses were captured with their saddles and gorgeous equip- 
ments in scarlet and gold. Baji Rao reported 600 Muham- 
madans killed and wounded, 2000 horses and one elephant 
taken. On the Mahratta side very few men were lost and only 
one officer was wounded.* [Ashob II 7b, Rustam Ali 273b.] 

Meanwhile Mir Hasan Khan fled in the extremest perturba- 

* Baji Rao writes, "Rajah Shiu Singh and ten or twelve other darbari 
nobles were slain, Mir Hasan Khan was wounded, 250 to 300 of the 

Emperor's bodyguards fell, 400 men were wounded Khans fled into 

the city, 2,000 horses were captured, 5 or 6 thousand fled; Indraji Kadam, 
an officer of Ranuji Sindhia, had two of his fingers shot off." [J. S.] 



tion towards Amir Khan's army. Before he could reach a 
place of safety he was overtaken and with one prod of a 
lance point unseated ; his horse was seized, his fine clothes 
and weapons taken, and he was left bleeding on the ground. 
If any wounded follower came up and appealed to him by 
his titles, he threw dust on his head and made humble 
obeisance saying "For God's sake, be quiet! If you use titles 
to me the enemy will recognize me and I shall have to pay 
an enormous ransom." Koka Khan was killed outright. Rajah 
Shiu Singh when he saw the disgrace that his sons and relatives 
had brought on themselves rode out from the earthworks to 
their aid. The beaten horsemen could not be rallied and Shiu 
Singh was left alone. The Mahrattas surrounded him and 
though he defended himself, as a brave man should do, he 
was in the end cut down and killed. On the other hand 
Ajmeri Singh, one of the greatest boasters, was the first to 
flee ; also many of his followers being badly mounted were 
overtaken, wounded by sword and lance, and unhorsed, 
yielding up their arms to their captors. Deprived of all they 
possessed, they slunk naked and on foot through Amir Khan's 
ranks and crept back into the city with loud cries and lamenta- 
tions to the intense alarm of the inhabitants. 

This alarm was renewed when the dead and severely 
wounded were brought in by their relations. Quitting their 
posts in Amir Khan's division these men had made their way 
to Paharganj (south-west of the city) and the neighbourhood, 
where they collected cots from the shop-keepers. The corpses 
were laid in these cots and carried through the city lanes to 
their dwellings. The citizens prepared for flight and the conta- 
gion of terror spread to the fort and the palace. In a very 
short time the Mahrattas who were gathered watching events 
near the small hill of Malcha would have found their way un- 
opposed into the city. [Ashob 118b — 119a.] 

Retreat of Baji Rao from Dihli. 

The danger of the city being sacked disappeared as 
suddenly as it had arisen. Instead of advancing on the town 


Baji Rao went off towards Mahramnagar* and Sarai Allah- 
wirdi Khan. At once Amir Khan sent off an express with the 
joyful tidings to the palace. There they were more depressed 
and fearful even than those in the open field. The Emperor 
had sat in the privy council hall from a little after midnight 
holding open Court and discussing the measures to be adopted. 
Every messenger who reached the city had to fight his way 
from the city gate to the fort gate, and thence to the presence 
chamber through a huge crowd of eager askers for news. 
Mounted men were now despatched towards Sarai Allahwirdi 
Khan to verify the intelligence ; and reaching Mahramnagar 
they found that place entirely evacuated by the enemy. 
[Ashob 11%.] 

The reason of this sudden flight was this : During the 
progress of the action with Mir Hasan Khan, Baji Rao heard 
that the Wazir and his Mughals on their return march to Dihli 
were at no great distance. The Wazir's vanguard was com- 
manded by Zahir-ud-daulah Azim-ullah Khan, the Wazir's 
cousin, and the rearguard by Ghazi-ud-din Khan Bahadur Firuz 
Jang, eldest son of Nizam-ul-mulk. With these two reassuring 
pieces of news, the flight of Baji Rao and the arrival of the 
Wazir, Amir Khan returned to the palace and was received 
in audience. [Ashob 121a.] 

Sec. 93.— Battle Between Baji Rao and The Wazir. 

On learning that the Wazir and his army were drawing 
near, Baji Rao abandoned his attempt to take Dihli. About 
midday he left the field, by the time of evening prayer he was 
beyond Sarai Allahwirdi Khan, and had reached a place called 
Badshahpur,f 20 miles from Dihli. Here the Wazir confronted 
him. Both sides had reached the ground after long marching 

* Ashob 121a says that Mahramnagar is 7 k.os from Dihli. It has a 
bagh. and a sarai, very handsome and well-kept ; founded by Mahram Khan, 
eunuch of the Wazir Itimad-ud-daulah Chin Bahadur Nusrat Jang. There 
is a market-place named after the eunuch. Sarai Allahwirdi Khan (Ind. 
Atlas 49 S. E.), 16 m. s. w. of Dihli and one mile n. of the Gurgaon 
Railway Station. 

t Ashob says that Badshahpur is 15 k,os from Dihli. There is a 


and neither had time to form order of battle, or get their 
artillery into place. The Wazir, conscious of the fact that 
daylight would soon be gone, that twilight was upon them, that 
in a moment or two it would be night, forbade an engagement. 
In addition his men were quite exhausted, having come eighty 
or ninety miles over hills and through jungle by forced marches. 
In fact, only half of the army had yet arrived, the other half 
being still involved in the stony region of Mahabatabad ; and 
with the exception of the artillery attached to the general's 
escort, a few light swivel guns, and a few war rockets loaded 
on swift camels, there was no artillery ; the big guns were 
still on the march. Altogether the army was in no condition 
for giving battle. [Ashob 122a.] 

But Zahir-ud-daulah had sworn on oath to attack the 
Mahrattas wherever he found them. Possessed by this idea 
and enraged at the affront done to the Emperor by the attack 
on Dihli, he drove his elephant on, taking with him his flying 
artillery and some other troops, and moving a little ahead of 
the Wazir, managed bit by bit to get away from him altogether. 
He sent back a message that being quite close and in touch 
with the enemy he intended to attack, and asked the Wazir 
to follow in support with his whole force. Then after breath- 
ing a prayer he drove his elephant forward with the shout "God 
is great". On the other side the Mahrattas marched out to 
meet him.* Champions on both sides issued from the ranks 
with weapons ready and fell upon each other. The general 
ordered his big kettledrums to play and brought his artillery 
and matchlockmen into action. Baji Rao replied with the 
roll of his drums and the blare of his trumpets. He then came 
on and with his vanguard attacked repeatedly the advancing 

Badshahpur in the Gurgaon district, 20 miles s. w. of Dihli and 6 miles 
south of Gurgaon station. The Wazir had been at Kama 12 m. n. of Dig 
and 27 m. west of Mathura [Rustam Ali 273a], whence he had hurried 
back to Dihli on hearing of Baji Rao's arrival. There is a Mahabatabad 
Kotera, 17 m. s. of Dihli and 10 m. e. of Badshahpur. (Ind. Atlas 49 S. E.) 
(W. Irvine. J Sarai Allahwirdi Khan is one mile north of Gurgaon railway 
station and 7 m. n. of Badshahpur. 

* Ashob had two elder brothers in Janish Khan's division of the Wazir's 


Muhammadans. The Wazir soon arrived in support of Zahir- 
ud-daulah. [Ashob 122a.] 

The combined attack proved too strong for Baji Rao and 
his men. When night had fallen he began a retreat towards 
Rajputana. He had lost thirty men, and according to his 
own account he moved eight miles to the westward of the 
field of battle. Before the day dawned on the morning of the 
Id (10th April 1737) he was beyond Kot Patili, 93 miles from 
the capital. That day he marched on steadily all day long 
until he reached Narnol.* There he passed the night, but 
early in the morning resumed his flight, and in all haste went 
on to Ajmer. As the Wazir had come a tiring journey of over 
a hundred miles, his men and their horses were so tired out 
that no pursuit was possible. The wounded were attended 
to and the dead buried, while the rest of the army stood to 
their arms until dawn. As it was the festival day of the Sacri- 
fice, the due rites were performed in a tent that had been 
erected for the purpose outside the camp : and the appointed 
largess was distributed. [Ashob 124b.] 

force. They and Mir Ghiyas-ud-din had ridden ahead as scouts and came 
across Baji Rao and his Muhammadan mistress Mastani seated on one 
saddle cover, drinking and singing while they rested. The presence of 
these scouts was the first intimation the Mahrattas received of the arrival 
of the Mughals. Mastani, a kanchani or dancing-girl, followed Baji Rao 
on all his expeditions and never left his side. She rode on a tall horse, 
stirrup to stirrup with him, and was as good as any Mahratta in horseman- 
ship, spear throwing and sword play. 

* Baji Rao's letter (cited above) passes lightly over his repulse from the 

environs of Dihli. He writes : "After the flight of Mir Hasan Khan 

1 halted at Jhil-talao. It was four hours {ghatikfl) to nightfall when I 
Teceived the news of Qamar-ud-din Khan coming via Badshahpur. I imme- 
diately got ready and advanced. Our armies met in conflict. On reaching 
Bara, an elephant was captured by Jaswant Rao Puar. The horses and 
camels came to the camp. By this the sun set. If I rested at night, the 

Mughals would surround me The Jhil-talao was 16 k°s off, on my 

Right was Qamar-ud-din Khan, behind me the City. On Thursday Khan-i- 
Dauran, Saadat Khan and Muhammad Khan Bangash would effect their 
junction with Qamar-ud-din. Therefore, leaving the Mughals [behind], I 
encamped 4 kps off. On our side Firangji Patankar was shot dead, 10 or 
5 others wounded ; the Mughals lost 10 or 5 killed, 10 or 20 wounded. 


On the day after the battle after the time of midday prayer 
Samsam-ud-daulah reached the camp of the Wazir. When at 
Gao Ghat on the Jamuna, some fourteen miles north-west of 
Agra, he had heard of Baji Rao's sudden dash upon Dihli. He 
had come from Gao Ghat to Dihli in three days of continuous 
marching. Every twelve or fifteen hours a short halt was 
called for resting and feeding man and beast. On the 11th 
Zul Hijja ( 1 1 th April) during the afternoon Saadat Khan too 
arrived. After defeating Pilaji Jadon he had gone to Agra but 
hearing of Baji Rao's movement on Dihli had marched in that 
direction with all possible celerity. [Ashob 124b.] 

The three chiefs exchanged formal visits and held counsel 
together. As Baji Rao was already beyond Narnol and close 
to Ajmer whence he would soon pass into Malwa, pursuit 
was held to be useless. Even after long and painful marching 
through hot winds and heat like hell fire, they could not hope 
to come up with the enemy. They resolved instead to proceed 
to Court to congratulate the Emperor on the holy festival, and 
compliment him on the escape from a great calamity. On 
reaching the city they were received in audience. Saadat Khan 
was ordered back to his province and Muhammad Khan 
Bangash who had arrived with Samsam-ud-daulah was sent off 
to guard Agra, while the other two nobles repaired to their 
mansions in the city. So far as they were concerned campaign- 
ing was at an end for that year. Having returned to Gwaliyar 
Baji Rao proposed to re-cross the Jamuna and re-enter the 
Duaba, but fear of Nizam-ul-mulk's interference in Malwa 
restrained him, and in the end he marched for the Dakhin and 
from Satara proceeded at once into the Konkan. Having 
received a promise of the Malwa Government in addition to a 
sum of thirteen lakhs of Rupees, he again opened negotiations 
with Samsam-ud-daulah in the capital. [Ashob 125a.] 

With a view to draw the Mughals behind me, get them under control 
[lit. restraint] and thus defeat them, I began my [retreat] march. 1 have 
come by way of Rewari, Kot Patili and Manoharpur. All the Mughals 
[i.e., the Wazir and the three Khans] are encamped from Allahwirdi to 
Jhil-talao." [J. S.] 

1737] emperor and nizam reconciled in danger 299 

Sec. 94.— Campaign of 1150-51 h.— 20th year of Md. Shah. 

(1st October 1737— 30th June 1738) 

By this time the opinion prevailed that Nizam-ul-mulk was 
the only man who could save the monarchy and stem the on- 
coming flood of Mahratta invasion. Hitherto he had been 
kept away from Court by Samsam-ud-daulah who "brooked 
no rival near the throne." Qamar-ud-din Khan, the chief 
minister, was so quiescent as to provoke little or no jealousy, 
but Nizam-ul-mulk was a different sort of man. He was also 
suspected, with some reason, of protecting his own territories 
in the Dakhin against the Mahratta inroads by diverting them 
instead into the country north of the Narmada, to which end 
he had agreed to their claims to one-fourth of the Dakhin 
revenues [Ahwal-i-khawaqin, 240b]. Even Samsam-ud-daulah 
at last began to think that affairs were in a condition with 
which he was no longer able to cope, and he became an 
advocate of a reconciliation with Nizam-ul-mulk. The Emperor 
was soon brought over to the same view and pressing letters 
of invitation were sent to the Dakhin governor. 

Apparently Nizam-ul-mulk still retained the ambition of 
directing the Mughal Empire as its chief minister, a position 
that in name at least was far greater than that of a provincial 
governor however powerful, and was thus not unwilling to 
accept the invitation of Muhammad Shah in spite of the argu- 
ments to the contrary addressed to him by his counsellors. The 
Nawab who was at Burhanpur was for a time deterred from 
his purpose owing to trouble raised in Berar by some of Baji 
Rao's commanders, supposed to be acting under the direct 
inspiration of that leader, who hoped thereby to keep Nizam- 
ul-mulk in the Dakhin, or to use his own expression 'to put 
heel ropes upon him'. Sayyid Jamal Khan was sent off towards 
Berar, and in a few days crossing the Dewalghat entered that 
province with 1000 horse and 1500 foot. Goriya the Mahratta 
leader retreated before him and Jamal Khan encamped at 
Mangrul* where there is a shrine dedicated to Shah Badr-ud- 

* Dewalghat, about 65 m. s. of Burhanpur and 5 m. from the western 



[ CH. X 

din. When Jamal Khan reached the open country round 
Basim he was attacked by the Mahrattas whom he repulsed and 
pursued until they left the province. He then returned and 
made his report to Nizam-ul-mulk. [Ahwal-i-hhawaqin, 241- 

Being re-assured as to the safety of his own dominions, 
Nizam-ul-mulk at length started from Burhanpur on the 17th 
Zul Hijja 1149 H. (17th April 1737), and after crossing the 
Narmada proceeded by way of Sironj. Yar Muhammad son 
of Dost Muhammad Khan of Bhupal and other local chiefs 
joined him. Pilaji Jadon also visited Nizam-ul-mulk and made 
a pretended submission, then left for his home in the Dakhin. 
The march northwards was soon resumed and after some 
difficult stages whence they suffered from scarcity of supplies 
the camp reached Gwaliyar. Passing through Agra they were 
soon in the neighbourhood of Dihli which was reached on the 
15th Rabi I. 1150H. (12th July 1737). [Ahwal 245a, Mirat-us- 
saffa 63a. 1 

At Hodal, 55 miles from the capital, Nizam-ul-mulk was 
met by the Wazir Qamar-ud-din Khan and all his Mughal troops. 
The Wazir's harem was also of the party, Nizam-ul-mulk being 
the head of the whole family by reason of age. After thirteen 
or fourteen years' separation his eldest son Ghazi-ud-din Khan 
Firuz Jang had now the pleasure of seeing his father, and 
presenting his newly married consort Qamar-un-nissa Begam 
(eldest daughter of the Wazir). Next day the progress to the 
capital was resumed stage by stage. The Wazir and Nizam- 
ul-mulk rode on one elephant followed by the Wazir's daughter 
who displayed all the state and retinue that she had brought 
from her father's house as part of her marriage outfit. She 
was attended by 50 to 60 young women servants, all of one 
age, of Turki, Qalmaq and Qarghiz race, dressed in cloth of 
gold and adorned with jewels. Over all they wore long cloaks 
of brocade trimmed with gold lace, — on their heads velvet or 
cloth of gold handkerchiefs, held on with chains and rings of 

boundary of the Buldana district. Mangrul is 85 m. from it and 20 m. 
n. e. of Basim town in Berar. 


gold, and over their faces veils sewn with pearls which left 
the face quite visible. They surrounded the Begam mounted 
on horses holding gold and silver sticks in their hand. At 
their backs hung a bow case with bow and arrows. [Ashob 

By the Emperor's express order Nizam-ul-mulk advanced 
with drums beating.* At short intervals the cortege was met 
by eunuchs and pages sent from the palace with presents and 
enquiries and pressing messages to hasten onward and relieve 
His Majesty of his anxiety. Nizam-ul-mulk caused his elephant 
to kneel and descending made obeisance for the honour thus 
done him. Crowds thronged the road and impeded progress. 
Within the city the roofs of the shops and houses were covered 
with sightseers ; while mendicants "thicker than flies at a 
sweetmeat-seller's shop" gathered round the Nawab's elephant 
paying no heed to the sticks and bamboos with which the 
attendants tried to drive them off. His elephant could do no 
more than creep along and it was not till after midday that 
they reached the Dihli gate of the fort. Here Nizam-ul-mulk 
entered his litter, old and plainly fitted with broadcloth, while 
the Wazir used one fringed with pearls and covered with cloth 
of gold. The Wazir allowed Nizam-ul-mulk to be one or two 
paces in advance of him. At the Drum house they alighted 
and hand in hand looking neither to right nor left entered the 
privy audience-hall. On coming before the Emperor he made 
his offering and was honoured in return with a robe from the 
Emperor's own wardrobe and a jacket called a charqab, worn 
only by members of the Chaghatai house descended from 
Timur. The highest title that a subject could bear, that of 
Asaj J ah, that is, equal in dignity to Asaf the minister of King 
Soloman, was also conferred upon him. The mansion built by 
Sadullah Khan, the finest in Dihli, had been prepared for his 
quarters, and at the close of the day trays of food were sent 
from the imperial kitchen by the hands of eunuchs, and this 
practice was continued daily. [Ashob 128a.] 

* Ey the etiquette of the Court, no noble could beat his drums within 
3 miles of the Emperor's residence. 

302 the later mughals [ ch. x 

Sec. 95. — Nizam, besieged by Baji Rao at Bhupal, 
makes humiliating peace. 

About a month afterwards, on the 17th Rabi II. 1150 H. 
(13th August 1737), the Nawab's eldest son Ghazi-ud-din Khan 
Firuz Jang was appointed governor of Agra vice Rajah Jai 
Singh and of Malwa vice Baji Rao Mahratta. The condition 
attached to these appointments was that Nizam-ul-mulk should 
advance into Malwa against the Mahrattas. After the rains of 
1737 were over, the march began, his troops numbering thirty 
thousand in addition to his train of artillery which was accounted 
the best in India. At Agra Muhi-ud-din Quli Khan, a great 
grandson of Sadullah Khan and therefore a cousin of Nizam-ul- 
mulk, was left as deputy governor. It was decided to abandon 
the direct route across the Chambal to Gwaliyar. In coming 
from the Dakhin great difficulties had been experienced by this 
route. For many miles the banks on each side of the Chambal 
are cut into deep ravines, full at the bottom of either sticky 
clay or stagnant water, the road allows of only one man at a 
time, and even that with difficulty, thus troops have to march in 
single file, there is great want of drinking water, the villages to 
be found here and there are the abode of dexterous thieves 
and robbers. To avoid this country the army crossed the 
Jamuna below Agra and marched eastwards through Etawa and 
recrossing the same river at Kalpi passed into the Bundela 
country, where several of their Rajahs joined. Proceeding via 
Dhamoni and Sironj the army at length reached Bhupal tank 
in Malwa. Orders were sent to the Nawab's second son Mir 
Ahmad Khan (Nasir Jang) to try and prevent Baji Rao from 
leaving the Dakhin. [Khush-hal 1082, Ashob 1 30b, Sujan 
Charitra of Sudam 4a.] 

The attempt to hinder Baji Rao's march was a failure,* 
partly for want of time, and partly from the defection of Nasir 
Jang's Mahratta allies. Although Jaswant Rao Dhabariya the 

* From this point to the end of the chapter Grant Duff alone has been 
followed. The Marathi materials on which Grant Duff's account is based 
have been printed in Brahmendra S. Charitra, letters 33-36, 132, and 134. 
Also Rajwade, vi. No. 117. [J.S.] 


senapati and his officers and also Raghuji Bhonsla of Nagpur 
kept aloof from him, Baji Rao was still able to assemble an 
army of eighty thousand men with which he crossed the 
Narmada by way of Khargona near Punashah [in the Nimar 
district]. At that time Nizam-ul-mulk was at Sironj. In 
December 1737 the two armies came into contact near 
Bhupal. Instead of boldly advancing on his enemy Nizam-ul- 
mulk took up a strong position in the neighbourhood of the 
fort with the tank on his rear and a rivulet [or nullah] on his 
front. This excess of caution was fatal ; the Mahrattas had 
believed themselves to be overmatched ; but now they at once 
assumed the offensive.* They plundered up to the very lines 
of the army. 

One division of the imperialists came out and offered battle 
on ground they had themselves chosen. The Mahrattas nothing 
loth attacked with vigour under the leadership of Ranuji 
Sindhia, Pilaji Jadon and Sayaji Gujar. On the imperialist 
side the defence was maintained chiefly by the Rajputs, the 
troops of Rajah Jai Singh of Amber led by his son, the Bundelas 
and the Hadas, (except the Hada Rajah of Bundi, who did not 
join Nizam-ul-mulk). The Rajputs lost about five hundred men 
and seven hundred horses ; the Mahrattas, principally from the 
artillery fire, one hundred killed and three hundred wounded. f 

* Baji Rao writes, "The Nizam's army took refuge in Bhupal fort. I 
set off against him on 3rd Ramzan [24th Dec. 1737]. He has with him the 
son of Sawai Jai Singh, S'abha Singh Bundela, his own son Ghazi-ud-din, 

Jats, Ahirs, Rohelas, Rajputs [in all] 50,000 troopers. Saadat Khan's 

nephew and the Kota Rajah are coming to his aid with 20,000 more 

m en " "The Nizam is a great amir; his army is 30 or 40 thousand 

strong, furnished with many hain-nal, shutar-nal, barqandazes and rahkala. 
And yet he hides himself in a fort ! This is not creditable to him." 
[J. Sarkar.] 

t Baji Rao writes that he fought this battle on 3rd Ramzan [Brahm. 
letter 34], but a letter in Rajwade vi. No. 117 gives 4th Ramzan [25th Dec] 
as the date. As for the casualties, Baji Rao says, "The Rajputs lost 150 
men in killed, we 50 or 60, while two or four hundred were wounded ; 

about 100 horses were killed and five to seven hundred were wounded 

The artillery of the Nizam did severe execution" [No. 331. Rajwade, vi. 
letter 117, gives a different account, but it is unreliable. [J. S.] 


During the engagement Baji Rao stood two rocket flights from 
the Nizam's position waiting for a chance of cutting him off 
should he quit the strong ground on which he stood. No oppor- 
tunity was offered ; nor did the Mahrattas gain any decisive 
advantage. But the Nizam recalled his troops. 

After this action the imperialists were hemmed in more 
thickly than ever, provisions and forage becoming in a few days 
exceedingly scarce. Safdar Jang, nephew of Saadat Khan 
governor of Oudh, and the Hada Rajah of Kota when marching 
to the relief of the beleaguered army were intercepted and 
defeated by Malhar Rao Holkar and Jaswant Rao Puar. Safdar 
Jang retreated and the blockade became still stricter. All 
supplies were cut off and the men kept on the alert day and 
night. The Rajputs were willing to desert, but Baji Rao would 
admit of no overtures, for the greater the numbers the sooner 
would be his triumph.* Baji Rao wondered how Nizam-ul- 
mulk could have allowed himself to get into such a difficulty. 
"He is an old and experienced man, I cannot comprehend how 
he got himself into this difficulty ; it will ruin him in the opinion 
of all India.' ' 

Help was called for from Hindustan and the Dakhin. From 
the former nothing much could be hoped for ; Samsam-ud- 
daulah was not altogether displeased at Nizam-ul-mulk's failure. 
The Emperor's order that no advance was to be made until he 
should march in person, was equivalent to saying that no march 
should be made at all. More was hoped for from the Dakhin ; 
and thither messengers were sent to urge the utmost haste. The 
Nawab's son Nasir Jang, having collected what troops he could 
from Haidarabad and Aurangabad, moved out as far as 
Phulmari. On his side Baji Rao invoked the aid of Rajah Sahu, 

* Baji Rao writes, "The Nizam is entrenched in the city of Bhupal. 
There is famine in his camp, grain is selling at four seers a Rupee. His 
elephants and horses are starving. The Rajputs and the Nizam are distrust- 
ful of each other. They cannot flee away as he has kept all their baggage 

in the city Malhar Rao Holkar, Ranuji Sindhia and Jaswant Rao Puar 

have defeated Mir Manu Khan, the faujdar of Shahjahanpur, who was 
coming to the aid of the Nizam, near Darai Sarei and killed 1500 of his men." 

[No. 33.] (J. S.] 


by whom a peremptory order was sent to the senapati then at 
Songarh near Surat. Baji Rao's own earnest appeals to Raghuji 
Bhonsla at Nagpur met with no response. The Peshwa's brother 
Chimnaji Appa, however, took up a position on the Tapti ready 
to oppose the march of the Muhammadans from Aurangabad. 
Before the two forces could come to blows news came that 
Nizam-ul-mulk had made terms with Baji Rao. 

Nizam-ul-mulk had made an attempt to move, but en- 
cumbered by heavy baggage and stores he was compelled to 
return ; his troops were driven under the walls or crowded within 
the fortifications of Bhupal. Having no artillery Baji Rao was 
unable to effect a breach, but his rockets and matchlock fire so 
quelled the Mughals that another attempt to break through was 
resolved upon. The baggage having been deposited in Bhupal 
and Islamgarh, the retreat began under cover of a powerful field 
artillery and numbers of swivel guns carried on camels. The 
Mahrattas charged, but failed to take the guns. But the retreat- 
ing force covered no more than three miles a day and the 
Mahrattas continued to harass them. In time however the 
Mahrattas began to lose heart owing to the execution done by 
the other side's guns. At length Nizam-ul-mulk submitted to 
making terms and on the 26th Ramzan 1150 H. (16th January 
1738) at Durai [Duraha] Sarai, 64 miles from Sironj, a convention 
was signed. In his own handwriting Nizam-ul-mulk promised to 
grant to Baji Rao (1) the whole of Malwa, (2) the complete 
sovereignty of the territory between the Narmada and the 
Chambal, (3) to obtain confirmation thereof from the Emperor, 
and (4) to use his best endeavours to obtain fifty lakhs of Rupees 
to pay Baji Rao s expenses.* Nothing could be got from the 

* Baji Rao writes, "I fought the Nizam on 3rd Ramzan [24th Dec. J 
and then invested his army. Famine raged in his camp ; grass could not 

be had. So, he sent to me to negotiate for terms. (Long negotiations)... 

On 15th Ramzan [5th Jan. 1738] I marched out and halted one k°s oS ; 

the Nizam' then came out and encamped beyond the lake Next morning 

he retreated to Bhupal, fighting with his artillery. But we have blockaded 
him as closely as we did Muhammad Khan Bangash." [No. 34.] "Leaving 
his baggage partly in Bhupal t.nd partly in Islamgarh, and continuing the 
peace talk, he is marching away at the rate of a kos or lJ/£ kos a day. 



Nawab himself, Baji Rao having already experienced six years 
before his unwillingness to part with his money. In Zul Hijja 
1 150 H. (April 1738) Nizam-ul-mulk re-entered Dihli, where al- 
ready a new danger, the invasion of Nadir Shah, the new king of 
Persia, began to threaten the tottering Empire. [Mirat-us-saffa, 
63 b.] 

Our forces, hovering around him, have entirely cut off his grain grass 
and fuel supply. Rice is selling at one Rupee a seer in his camp, and 
even at that price many cannot obtain it. His horses are eating the leaves 
of the Butea frondosa. On 25th Ramzan [15th January] his Muslim troops 
ate up the artillery draught o—n, while the Rajputs were utterly fasting. 

Then he quickly settled the peace terms his agent being Aya Mai." 

Then follow the terms embodied in the text. (No. 35). [J. Sarkar.J 



[By the Editor] 
Sec. 97.— Degeneration of Mughal aristocracy. 

The invasion of Nadir Shah involved the Mughal Empire 
in disgrace spoliation and dismemberment. It was, however, 
not a cause of the decline of the Empire, but one of the 
clearest symptoms of that decline. The Persian conqueror 
merely revealed to the world a fact accomplished long before. 
He broke the spell under which men had been regarding a 
gorgeously dressed corpse as a strong man. 

How was the work of Akbar and Shah Jahan, Man Singh 
and Mir Jumla, thus undone ? Why did the seemingly flourish- 
ing State of Aurangzeb fall down like a house of cards only 
31 years after his death? In reviewing the history of these 31 
years, we find first of all a startling decline in the character 
of the nobility and the efficiency of the army. For this the 
havoc of civil war was to some extent responsible. In the 
thirteen years following the death of Aurangzeb, seven bloody 
battles of succession* had been fought among his descendants 
in which large numbers of Princes nobles and the best soldiers 
had perished. Equally destructive of officers and men were 
the armed contests between rival nobles. For instance, the 
Nizam could confirm himself in the viceroyalty of the Dakhin 
only after defeating three rivals. For the governorship of 
Gujarat there were three ruinous encounters in which Shujaat 
Khan and Rustam AH Khan fell and Sarbuland Khan was 

* Bahadur Shah two, Jahar.dar Shah three, Farrukh-siyar one, and 
Muhammad Shah one. 


The loss caused by domestic discord among the Mughals 
themselves was multiplied by the slaughter in operations against 
rebels like the Sikhs, Jats, Bundelas and Mahrattas and on two 
occasions against the Rathors. The gaps thus created in the ranks 
of the martial nobility were not filled by the natural succession 
of worthy offspring, nor by the rise of new men from the 
commonalty and recruits from abroad in sufficient number and 
of the right quality. To the thoughtful student of Mughal 
history nothing is more striking than the decline of the peerage. 
The heroes adorn the stage for one generation only and leave 
no worthy heirs sprung from their loins. Abdur-rahim and 
Mahabat, Sadullah and Mir Jumla, Ibrahim and Islam Khan 
Rumi, — who had made the history of India in the 1 7th century, 
— were succeeded by no son, certainly by no grandson even half 
as capable as themselves. In reading the huge biographical 
dictionary of the Mughal peerage (the Masir-ul-umara in 3 
volumes of 900 pages each), one frequently comes across such 
entries as these : "This nobleman (naming a general or minister 
of the first rank) died in such and such a year ; he left two sons 
who did not attain to much advancement" or that "he had 
three sons none of whom did anything worthy of being record- 
ed here." Often, while the career of the founder of the family 
occupies eight or ten pages in this dictionary, his son's 
achievements are exhausted in half a page, and the grandson 
meets with a bare mention which he earns merely because he 
is his father's son. 

Throughout the Mughal period, the best Muslim recruits 
for civil administration and war alike were foreign adventurers 
or converted Hindus. The strong and efficient exotics rapidly 
deteriorated on the Indian soil. Therefore, while the infusion 
of fresh blood into the nobility from the indigenous Muham- 
madan population and the foreign immigrants permanently 
settled in this country did not take place, the only hope of 
the continued life and vigour of the State lay in the regular 
flow of the right type of recruits from Bukhara and Khurasan, 
Iran and Arabia. When this flow stopped, the Empire shrivel- 
led up like a tree cut off from its sap. 

1700] hindus become enemies of mughal empire 309 

Sec. 98. — Alienation of the Hindus and Shias. 

Akbar had guarded against this danger by making the first 
beginnings of the conversion of a military monarchy into a 
national State, — in effect, though not in constitutional form. 
He tried to range the Hindu warrior tribes behind his hired 
foreign troops, as the second and more reliable line of defence 
for his throne. Under him and his successors, Hindu Rajput 
soldiers had carried the Mughal banners to the banks of the 
Oxus and the Helmand in the west and those of the Brahma- 
putra and the Kamafuli in the east. They had garrisoned the 
Khaibar Pass, defended Garhgaon against the Ahoms and 
stormed Chatgaon from the Burmese. But Aurangzeb's attempt 
to annex Jodhpur on the death of his old servant Jaswant 
Singh, his invasion of Mewar, his incessant destruction of Hindu 
temples and his rigorous imposition of the hated poll-tax 
(jaziya), not only alienated the Rajput clans, but convinced all 
other Hindu races of India that they had no lot or part in 
the Mughal State and that for the preservation of their honour 
and liberty of conscience they must look elsewhere. This was 
the opportunity of the Mahrattas. This belief, rooted deep in 
the minds of the Hindu officers and vassals of Aurangzeb, 
made them indifferent or secretly hostile to their master's 
cause during his wars with Shivaji and his successors. 
To the Rajputs and Bundelas, who had so long been 
the staunchest supports of the Mughal cause, the Mahratta 
hero appeared as their heaven-sent deliverer, — a Rama 
slaying Ravana or a Krishna slaying Kansa. This feeling 
breathes in every line of the Hindi poet Bhushan's numberless 
odes on Shivaji. He really voices in smooth and vigorous 
numbers the unspoken thoughts of the millions of Hindus all 
over India. At the end of the 17th century they had come to 
regard the Mughal Government as Satanic and refused to co- 
operate with it. 

By appealing to this feeling, Baji Rao I. easily entered 
Malwa and then made his hold upon that province good. He 
united the local Hindu chieftains as well as the neighbouring 
Rajputs of Jaipur and Mewar with the Mahrattas in an alliance 
against the oppressors of their common religion (dharma). 


This point comes out very clearly in Sawai Jai Singh's letter 
to Nandalal Mandaloi (the chaudhuri of Indor), after the 
latter had treacherously caused an immense slaughter of his 
master's troops by his collusion with the Mahrattas (October 
1731): "A thousand praises to you, because you, in sole 
reliance upon my word and with a view to benefit your dharma, 
have destroyed the Muslims in Malwa and firmly established 
dharma there. You have fulfilled my heart's wishes." 
[Sardesai, ii. 369.] 

In the brief space of thirty-one years after Aurangzeb's 
death, his successors had to wage war, and more than once, 
with the Sikhs, Jats, Bundelas, Rathors Kachhwahas, and 
Sisodias. Thus, no Hindu tribe of military value was left on 
the side of the Emperor. In addition to this, the Mahrattas 
were an open sore which drained the life-blood of the Empire 
and steadily reduced its size. The Hindus not only ceased 
to be loyal vassals of the Later Mughals, but became open 
enemies against whom large forces had to be diverted by the 
Emperor in his day of danger from foreign invasion. 

The Persians are the cleverest race among the children of 
Islam. But they stand aloof from the rest of the Muslim world 
by reason of their belief in the hereditary right of the Prophet's 
son-in-law to his succession (khilafat). Their faith of Shia-ism 
is a heresy in the eyes of the immense majority of Musalmans, 
including those of Northern India, who are Sunnis. The 
liberal Akbar, the self-indulgent Jahangir, and the cultured 
Shah Jahan had welcomed Shias in their camps and Courts and 
given them the highest offices, especially in the secretariat and 
revenue administration, in which their genius naturally shone 
most. But the orthodox Aurangzeb had barely tolerated them 
as a necessary evil. In his reign the Shias felt that they were 
not wanted by him. Many striking examples of his anti-Shia 
bias are found in his letters and the anecdotes* about him 
compiled by his favourite Hamid-ud-din Khan. The populace 
were still more hostile to these heretics. The proposal of 
Bahadur Shah to read the khutba with a single Shia epithet, 

* Ah\am-i-Alamgiri, ed. and tr. by J. Sarkar, sec. iv. 


led to a riot at Lahor in 1712. Some years later, at Hasanabad 
near the capital of Kashmir, 2500 Shias were massacred by 
the Sunnis. [K. K. ii. 870.] Thus, to the ambitious and gifted 
Shia adventurers of Persia, India ceased to be a welcome home, 
or a field where the highest career was open to their talent. 

Sec. 99. — Weak character of Later Mughals. 

The decline of the Mughal nobility was mainly due to 
the decline in the character of the Emperor, because it is 
the first duty of a sovereign to choose the right sort of servants 
and give them opportunities for developing their talent and 
acquiring experience by instructing and supervising them during 
their administrative apprenticeship. In his private letters, 
Aurangzeb frequently complains of the lack of able officers 
during his reign as compared with the glorious days of Akbar 
and Shah Jahan : az na-yabi-e-adam-i-kar ah ! ah ! But the 
following wise saying of the great Wazir Sadullah Khan, which 
Aurangzeb himself quotes with approval, is a deserved rebuke 
to such pessimism : "No age is wanting in able men ; it is 
the business of wise masters to find them out, win them over, 
and get work done by means of them, without listening to 
the calumnies of selfish men against them." [Ruqat-i- 
Alamgiri, No. 46.] 

In fact, the deterioration in the character of the Emperors 
must be held to be the primary cause of the decline in the 
character of the nobility and the downfall of the Empire. The 
suspicious watchfulness of Aurangzeb and the excessive pater- 
nal love of his successors kept the Princes at Court or caused 
them to be over-chaperoned in their provincial Governments, 
thus preventing the development of any initiative or business 
capacity among them. The heirs to the throne of Dihli in the 
18th century grew up utterly helpless and dependent upon 
others, without any independence of thought, fearlessness in 
assuming responsibility, or capacity to decide and act promptly. 
Their intellect and spirits were dulled and they found diversion 
only in the society of harem women buffoons and flatterers. 
When such Princes came to the throne, if they were wise they 
would leave the entire administration in the hands of able 


Wazirs, — which provoked factious envy among the other 
ministers ; and if they were foolish, they constantly resorted 
to intrigue for subverting one too-powerful minister only to fall 
into the hands of another. 

The faineant Emperor could not and would not govern 
the country himself, and yet he had not the wisdom to choose 
the right man as his Wazir and give him his full confidence and 
support. He wao easily led away by the whispers of eunuchs 
and flatterers, and issued orders for the dismissal of old minis- 
ters and provincial governors in the vain hope of getting more 
money or greater servility from their successors. 

Thus the nobles found that career was not open to talent, 
that loyal and useful service was no security against capricious 
dismissal and degradation, that their property and family 
honour were not always safe in such a Court. Their only 
hope of personal safety and advancement lay in asserting their 
independence and establishing provincial dynasties of their own. 
And such a course was also conducive to the good of the 
people of the province. They could enjoy peace and pros- 
perity only under an independent local dynasty. For, so long 
as their rulers were sent from the distant imperial Court, every 
succeeding day a new favourite might beg or buy the viceroy- 
alty, come with a new letter of appointment, and try to oust 
his predecessor. Whether these attempts succeeded or failed, 
the result was the same : the province was filled with war and 
the rumours of war, plunder, the withholding of taxes, and the 
closing of the roads. The history of Gujarat under Muhammad 
Shah graphically illustrates the point. 

Sec. 100. — Formation of Factions at Court and its effect. 

When Nadir Shah invaded India, the three highest ministers 
of State were Asaf Jah Nizam-ul-mulk (the W akil-i-mutlaq or 
Regent Plenipotentiary), Itimad-ud-daulah Qamar-ud-din Khan 
(the Wazir or Chancellor) and Khwaja Asim entitled Samsam- 
ud-daulah Khan Dauran (the Amir-ul-umara and Bakhshi-ul- 
mamalik or Head of the Army). Among the provincial governors 
the highest (if we exclude the Nizam and the semi-independent 
subahdar of Bengal) was Saadat Khan Burhan-ul-mulk, the 


subahdar of Oudh and most prominently in the running for a 
ministership at Court. Of these, we may leave Khan Dauran 
out, as he was a carpet knight and Court flatterer, without any 
administrative capacity or experience. The Nizam had been 
born in Samarqand and had migrated to India in boyhood to 
seek his fortune under the Mughal banner. The same was 
the case with Qamar-ud-din Khan the Wazir, who was his 
cousin. Saadat Khan was a native of Khurasan and had entered 
India as an adventurer early in the 18th century. These men 
could feel no patriotism for India, because India was not their 
patria. They had nothing at stake in this country, no share 
in its past history traditions and culture, no hereditary loyalty 
to its throne. The Mughal Emperor was merely their pay- 
master, and if they could make better terms with his enemy, 
they were not such fools as to reject them out of a sentimental 
love for a land which merely gave them an excellent field 
for the display of their undoubted talents and promised them 
a rich reward. It was only in the succeeding generations that 
their families became rooted in the Indian soil. 

When the Emperor was a sluggard or a fool, he ceased to 
be the master and guide of the nobility. They then naturally 
turned to win the controlling authority at Court or in the 
provinces. This selfish struggle necessarily ranged the nobles 
in factions, each group or bloc trying to push the fortunes of 
its members and hinder the success of its rival groups. The 
Dihli Court under the Later Mughals was divided between the 
Turani (or Central Asian) and the Hindustani parties,* — both 
Muhammadans, while the Hindu Rajahs sided with the latter. 
Each faction tried to poison the ears of the Emperor against 
the other, thwart its plants, stir up its discontented servants, 
and even engage in active hostility to it when at a distance 
from the Court. Rebels could not be opposed with all the 
armed strength of the Empire ; they could always count upon 
secret supporters or at least neutral make-believe opponents 
in the Imperial Court and camp. 

* In the second half of the 18th century the division was between the 
Irani (Persian Shia) and Turani (Sunni) parties. 


This moral degradation of the nobility was accompanied 
by the intellectual bankruptcy of the bureaucracy, and indeed 
of the entire governing classes. There was no far-sighted 
leader, no clearly thought-out and steadily-pursued scheme of 
national advancement as under Akbar. No political genius 
arose to teach the country a new philosophy of life, or to 
kindle aspirations after a new heaven on earth. They all 
drifted and dozed in admiration of the wisdom of their ancestors 
and shook their heads at the growing degeneracy of the 

The Mughal Empire had aimed merely at being a police 
Government ; and therefore when it could not do its police 
function well, when it failed to maintain internal order and 
external peace, it lost its sole reason for existing. The life of 
the country had hitherto been held together by the Court. 
Hence, when the throne was filled by puppets, dissolution took 
place in the bond that held the people together and co-ordinated 
their efforts and ambitions. Government ceased and anarchy 

On the eve of Nadir Shah's invasion, the Jats by their 
depredations had made the roads near the capital unsafe and 
hindered trade and traffic The Mahrattas by their regular 
annual incursions at first and their permanent lodgment in 
the frontier provinces (Gujarat, Malwa and Bundelkhand) 
afterwards, bled the Empire to death. The production of 
wealth was stopped not only as the direct result of their 
extortion and ravage, but also indirectly through the discourage- 
ment of industry and thrift which such insecurity of property 

The frequent civil contests, whether among the Princes and 
nobles, or between the Government and rebellious subjects, 
spread a sense of insecurity among the taxpayers. The 
peasants withheld the land revenue, which was the mainstay 
of the Government, and the lower officials evaded delivering 
their collections. The victor in the contest might crush the 
defaulting ryots and peculating tahsildars and turn them out 
of house and hold ; but by doing so he ruined himself all the 
same, as his only source of income was gone ; he had only 


swelled the number of desperate homeless roving brigands 
and reduced the area under tillage. 

The profuse bounty of Nature to this country, its temperate 
climate which reduces human want, and the abstemious habits 
of its people, all combined to increase the national income of 
India throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The 
huge "annual addition to the national stock" ultimately made 
its way to the hands of the governing classes, — if we leave out 
the small portion that was intercepted by the trader and the 
revenue-farmer. The wealth of Ind was the wonder and envy 
of other nations. But the Mughal Court and Mughal aristocracy 
had not the sense to insure this wealth by spending a sufficient 
portion of it on efficient national defence and the improvement 
of the people's intellect and character by a wise system of 
public education. Their wealth only made their weakness 
fatal to them and tempted the foreign invader by assuring him 
of a success as easy as the booty was large. 

A Government which could not maintain order at home 
was still less likely to command respect abroad. The weakness 
of the Central Government was soonest felt in the frontier 
provinces : Malwa and Afghanistan were not guarded in 
strength. The Mahratta occupation of Malwa brought Dihli 
within striking distance of their arms, and Baji Rao in 1737 
insulted the capital, pillaged and burnt its suburbs and returned 
to his base with perfect immunity. The defencelessness of 
Afghanistan brought Nadir Shah to India. 

Sec. 1 01. — Decline of the Safawi monarchy and Afghan 
usurpation of persia. 

The Safawi dynasty founded by Shah Ismail at the begin- 
ning of the 16th century, freed Persia from foreign rule and 
the wars of domineering nomad tribes. The new line of kings 
gave the country peace prosperity and extension of territory. 
The faith of the people, which had been persecuted by the 
former rulers as a heresy, now became the State religion. 
Wealth and civilization increased, and Persia again took her 
ancient position as one of the world's famous and independent 


monarchies, the rival of Turkey and Hindustan in the ©yes of 
the Muslim world. 

For nearly a century and a half after the founder, a succes- 
sion of wise warlike and active kings maintained the strength 
and glory of Persia. But about the middle of the 17th century 
began the inevitable decline in the monarchy from a continuous 
decline in the character of the monarch. In the words of the 
historian Sir John Malcolm, during the century following the 
death of Abbas the Great (1627), the Persian throne was occupied 

by "a succession of weak, cruel and debauched monarchs 

The lower orders became every day more unwarlike and 

ceased to be able to defend the State The nation may be 

said to have existed on the reputation it had acquired before." 
[Hist, of Persia, 2nd ed., i. 379.] 

Shah Husain, the last of the Safawi line, who reigned from 
1694 to 1722, was no doubt free from vice ; but he went to the 
opposite extreme of meekness and religious bigotry, and did 
still greater harm than his dissolute predecessors. He placed 
the administration entirely in the hands of the priests and thus 
alienated the old martial and official nobility. Under the advice 
of the keepers of his conscience the king persecuted and 
banished from the land the Sufi philosophers as heretics from 
Islamic orthodoxy, and thus enraged the intellectual classes. 
But the prestige of his worthier ancestors had given the State 
a momentum which made it continue to go on for nearly twenty 
years longer. 

At last early in the 18th century the dissolution came, and 
from the hands of its Afghan subjects. Ever since Abbas I.'s 
conquest of Qandahar early in the 17th century, Southern 
Afghanistan had been a province of Persia. It was the home 
of the Ghilzai and Abdali tribes. The wise statesmanship of 
the earlier Shahs had left the subject races of the Persian Empire 
under their own laws, and often under their own magistrates. 
The turbulent character of the Afghan people, the wildness of 
their country and their position on the debatable land between 
the rival monarchies of India and Persia, enabled them to extort 
for themselves a considerable amount of local independence. 
Their submission to the Central Government was lax and 


dependent on their own pleasure. In 1708, a new Persian 
governor of Qandahar, the converted Armenian Gurgin Khan, 
by trying to rule with a strong hand, caused an explosion. The 
Ghilzai tribe rose under Mir Wais, killed the governor, seized 
Qandahar and established their own rule there. 

The successful rebel's son Mahmud gained the throne of 
Qandahar in 1717, and led his tribe on to the plunder of the 
effete king and people of Persia. The Safawi Empire now 
broke to pieces. Mahmud captured the capital Isfahan, and 
on 21st October 1722 Shah Husain Safawi resigned his ancestors' 
throne and the Afghan rule over Persia began. Mahmud was 
succeeded by his uncle's son Ashraf in 1725. But new dangers 
threatened the conquerors. Qandahar was held by Mahmud s 
brother, whom Ashraf could not oust from the fort. Thus the 
Ghilzai tribe became divided under two chiefs reigning at two 
distant places. The governor of Sistan annexed nearly all 
Khurasan and proclaimed his independence. But Ashraf's 
greatest enemy was Mirza Tahmasp, the son of the deposed 
Shah Husain, who had assumed the royal title and was trying 
to establish his power in the province of Mazendran. This 
Prince was a foolish effeminate and debauched youth, and could 
not have recovered his heritage by his own efforts. But he was 
now joined by Nadir Quli, the greatest Asiatic general of that 
age. [Malcolm, i. 401-465.] 

Sec. 102. — Nadir delivers Persia and makes himself King. 

Nadir Quli was the son of Imam Quli, a poor Turkoman 
of the Afshar tribe long settled in Khurasan, who earned his 
bread by making coats and caps of sheepskin. Nadir was 
born in 1688 and passed his early years amidst great hardship 
and privation, which only called forth his extraordinary genius 
and energy. He was carried away to Tartary by the Uzbak 
raiders and kept there as a prisoner for four years. On returning 
home he served under some petty chiefs and finally took to a 
life of robbery with his own band of hardy and adventurous 
followers. The eclipse of Government during the Afghan 
usurpation of Persia enabled him to pursue such a career with 
safety and much profit in the ill-controlled frontier province of 


Khurasan. Seizing the fort of Kalat by murdering his own 
uncle (who was its governor), he used the power thus gained 
to defeat the Afghan ruler of Khurasan and recover the city 
and district of Naishabur. This victory in the national cause 
secured his welcome by his lawful king Shah Tahmasp, whose 
service he entered in 1727. [Malcolm ii. 2-5, M.U. i. 823.] 

The fame of Nadir drew the best recruits to his side and 
he became the centre of the Persian national effort to throw off 
the foreign yoke. His genius for war and diplomacy and his 
concentration of all authority in his hands led to his rapid and 
unbroken success. Persia was recovered from the Afghans, 
very few of whom returned to their own country from the 
slaughter on the battle-field or murder at the hands of the 
incensed peasantry. The Afghan domination had been a seven 
years' horror to the afflicted people of Persia. "Within seven 
years nearly a million of her inhabitants had perished, her 
finest provinces had been rendered desert, and her proudest 
edifices levelled with the dust ; and this by enemies who had 
neither the force nor the wisdom to maintain the conquest." 
[Malcolm, i. 472.] The national deliverance of Persia was 
the work of Nadir alone, and naturally the enthusiasm of the 
people for him was unbounded. The king showed his grati- 
tude by granting to the general half the kingdom with a richly 
jewelled crown and the right of stamping coins with his own 

But during Nadir's absence in the eastern provinces, the 
king, who had injudiciously conducted expeditions in the west, 
lost his general's gains in that direction and made a humiliating 
peace. The national indignation was very great. The officers 
of the army felt that if Shah Tahmasp were left at the head of 
affairs, he would only undo all their recent work and bring back 
national servitude. They with one voice urged Nadir to 
assume the crown. [Anandram, 34; Malcolm ii. 8-11.] But 
though Tahmasp was deposed, 26th August 1732, his general 
did not as yet venture to sit on the throne. Abbas, an eight- 
month old son of Tahmasp, was proclaimed king, and Nadir 
became his regent with full authority. Four years later the 


infant died, and Nadir became king with the title of Shahan- 
Shah Nadir Shah, 26th February 1736. 

He wrested Armenia and Georgia from the Turks, and 
made a peace with the Russians by which he gained the lost 
provinces bordering the Caspian. The island of Bahrain was 
recovered from the Arabs. Next, the predatory Bakhtiari tribe 
of the Shuster hills was vanquished and enrolled in his army, — 
thus diverting their energies into a useful channel and keeping 
them from disturbing the peace. [Malcolm ii. 11-18.] 

Finally, early in 1737 Nadir Shah started with 80,000 men 
against Qandahar. So long as that centre of independent 
Afghan power was not destroyed, it would remain a menace 
to the safety of Persia and constantly disturb the peace and 
prosperity of Khurasan. Moreover, without the conquest of 
Qandahar the full heritage of the Safawis could not be said to 
have come into his possession. This fort stood, on the route 
of his advance to the Mughal Iimpire and he wished to enlist 
the Afghans unpler his banners to assist him in his foreign con- 
quests, as Mahmud of Ghazni had done seven centuries before. 

Qandahar was now in the possession of Husain, the younger 
brother of Mahmud (the usurping king of Persia). The old city* 
stood on the eastern slope of a ridge, two miles west of the 
modern city. Its walls were of extreme strength and the garrison 
had made preparations for a good defence. The Persian army 
invested it on 30th March 1737, but the siege dragged on for a 
year, and the fort fellf only on 12th March 1738. The fort 
and city were dismantled by the victor. In its environs he 
built a new city with quarters for the governor and soldiers, 
which was named Nadirabad by him, but is now known as 
modern Qandahar. He treated the defeated Afghan tribesmen 
very kindly, released all the prisoners taken, bestowed pensions 
on the tribal chiefs, enlisted the clansmen in his army, and by 
transplanting the Ghilzais to Naishabur and other places in 
Khurasan (the former homes of the Abdalis) and posting Abdali 
chieftains as governors of Southern Afghanistan (Qandahar, 

* For a description of the fort and its walls, see J. Sarkar's History of 
Aurangzib, i. 140-143. 

t Anandram p. 7 says, to treachery. 


Girishk, Bist and Zamin-dawar), kept his former enemies use- 
fully employed in his service. His policy was to tempt the 
other Afghan forts to surrender to him by creating a reputation 
for himself as a merciful enemy and liberal master, and to 
enlist the Afghan soldiers under his banners as devoted 
supporters of his projected conquests of Central Asia and India. 
[Jahankusha 311-328, Malcolm ii. 20, Anandram 6-8.] 

After the fall of Qandahar came the turn of the Mughal 
Empire ; and here Nadir made out a strong case for declaring 
war. He proceeded in such a way as to ensure that neutral 
States and lovers of international law would not be able to 
condemn his invasion of India as an act of wanton aggression 
and spoliation. Nadir was no mere soldier, no savage leader 
of a savage horde, but a master of diplomacy and statecraft 
as well as of the sword. The profoundness of his diplomacy 
was no less remarkable than the greatness of his generalship in 
war and the wisdom of his policy to the vanquished after his 
victories in the field. 

Sec. 103. — Causes of the diplomatic rupture between the 
Persian Government and the Mughal Empire. 

The conduct of the effete Court of Dihli towards Persia 
had been marked by violation of diplomatic usage and courtesy 
and even by unfriendly negligence. For several generations 
past there had been an exchange of envoys, presents and diplo- 
matic courtesies between the Mughal Emperors of India and 
the Safawi Shahs of Persia. Abbas II. continued this practice 
even after he had wrested Qandahar from Shah Jahan and 
fought four campaigns against Mughal arms. At all events 
formal letters of congratulation used to be written by the one 
Court to the other at every new accession to the throne. But 
Muhammad Shah, forgetting this usage, neglected to felicitate 
Shah Tahmasp II. after he had overthrown the Afghan usurper 
and recovered the throne of his ancestors. Nay, the Dihli 
Government, no doubt out of a timid love of quiet, had kept 
up friendly relations with Mir Wais and his son Husain (the 
usurpers of Qandahar), though the latter had raided the province 
of Multan and ravaged the imperial territory. 


After the expulsion of the Afghans from Persia, Nadir had 
sent Ali Mardan Khan Shamlu as ambassador to India to inform 
the Dihli Court that a campaign against the Afghans of Qanda- 
har would be soon undertaken,* and to request that the Emperor 
would order his subahdar of Kabul to prevent these Afghans 
from escaping into his territory. Muhammad Shah replied 
that he had issued instructions to this effect and would reinforce 
the army in Kabul to have this work done. 

After some time Nadir sent a second messengers 
Muhammad Ali Khan with a similar request, and the Dihli 
Government replied in the same terms. When early in 1737 
the Persians invested Qandahar and the local Afghans began 
to flee northwards into Mughal Afghanistan, Nadir despatched 
a force to Ulang Muragha, in the Qalat district, which was his 
last outpost on the Perso-Mughal frontier, to bar the path of 
the retreating Ghilzais. This detachment ravaged the country 
up to the end of the hills of Kalat, slaying about a thousand 
Ghilzais and capturing much booty and many prisoners. The 
rest of the tribe fled into Mughal territory, towards Ghazni and 
Kabul, there being no Mughal officer or army on the frontier 
to obstruct them. The Persian generals, not having received 
orders to cross the frontier, stopped there and reported the 
affair to their master. Nadir Shah then (30th April 1737) sent 
a third envoy, Muhammad Khan Turkoman to India by way 
of Sindh, to ask for an explanation of this breach of promise 
on the part of the Emperor. The messenger was ordered 
to spend not more than forty days in India but bring a reply 
within that period. The Dihli Court, however, would give him 
neither a reply nor the permission to return. Its imbecile policy 
is thus described by Ali Hazin : "As soon as this envoy arrived 
at Shahjahanabad, he delivered his letter and was told to wait ; 
but they were silent as to any answer. Sometimes they were 
unable to agree in their own minds on the question of writing 

* Ali Hazin says that Shah Tahmasp II. after recovering Isfahan sent 
one of his nobles to India as envoy to report his accession and to request 
Muhammad Shah to keep the Ghilzais out of his territory, and that cfter 
the accession of the infant Abbas HI. a similar message was sent. But 
Jahankusha 331 shows that both these embassies were sent by Nadir. 



any answer at all ; at other times they were perplexed [as to] 

what titles they should use to Nadir Shah Thinking the 

detention of the ambassador a stroke of State policy, they waited 
to see, if perchance Husain the Afghan with the troops besieged 
in Qandahar gained the victory over Nadir Shah, and destroyed 
him or put him to flight ; on which event there would be no 
need of writing any answer to his letter." 

A year passed away in this way, and then after the fall 
of Qandahar, Nadir wrote to his envoy in India to return at 
once. The matter had passed beyond the stage of correspond- 
ence and discussion. Nadir had decided on invading India. 
[Jahankusha, 331-332 ; Belfour's Ali Hazin, 281-287 (which is 
paraphrased in Siyar i. 93-94.) ] 

Sec. 104. — Neglected and defenceless condition of 
Afghanistan and the Panjab. 

At this point it is necessary to stop the narrative of events, 
and look at the condition of the provinces forming the north- 
western frontier of the Mughal Empire. Afghanistan had been 
a precarious possession and source of weakness to the successors 
of Babar, but they had succeeded in occupying the country and 
keeping the passes from India open. The earlier Mughal 
Emperors had repeatedly visited Kabul. But during the long 
reign of Aurangzeb, the imperial authority there was seriously 
imperilled. The formidable rebellion, first of the Yusufzais 
of Peshawar (1667) and then of the Afridis of Khaibar (1672), 
was aggravated by a rising of the Pathan population along the 
entire North-western frontier against the ruler of Dihli. The 
resources of the whole Empire had to be concentrated under 
the Emperor's personal command against the tribesmen. After 
only a modified success Aurangzeb returned from the frontier 
where he had now spent two years, and peace of a sort was 
restored by profuse bribery to the border Afghans (1676). Next 
year Amir Khan* was appointed governor of Kabul and he held 
the post for 21 years with conspicuous ability and success. 

* See J. Sarkar's History of Aurangzib iii. (2nd ed.) 243 and Studies in 
Mughal India 111-117. 


Aurangzeb ascribes this viceroys administrative triumph to 
his tactful dealings, practical skill, policy of keeping the hillmen 
usefully employed by enlisting them in the imperial army, and 
his judicious and economical management of the treasury, which 
enabled him to pay regular subsidies to the clansmen living near 
the passes. 

When Amir Khan died (1698), he was followed by no 
worthy successor. After a short lull, trouble began to revive. 
But Shah Alam, who governed the province from 1699 to his 
'father's death in 1707, kept order fairly well. He had a large 
and efficient army, and used to move about the country a good 
deal, passing the winter at Peshawar (which was then included 
jin Afghanistan), and the summer at Kabul or Bamian ; but he 
was forced to continue the policy of bribing the pass Afghans 
(to maintain peace. In 1709 or 1710, Nasir Khan, formerly 
faujdar of Jamrud, was appointed subahdar of Kabul, and he 
continued to hold this post till his death, about 1719, when his 
son, also entitled Nasir Khan, succeeded him and was later 
confirmed in his office by Muhammad Shah (1720). This second 
, Nasir Khan's mother was of the Afghan race and he was ex- 
pected to succeed easily in ruling the province and keeping the 
passes open. [M.U. iii. 833.] 

But he was a simple-minded and indolent man. His chief 
business was hunting, and when not engaged in it he spent 
his time in prayer. [Sty or, i. 93.] Thus, the peace of the 
country was left to take care of itself, and the roads became 
unsafe. His patron at Court was Roshan-ud-daulah, a favourite 
of the Emperor, and the imperial grant for payments to keep 
the passes open was sent to Nasir Khan through the hands of 
this noble. Roshan-ud-daulah 's rival Khan Dauran accused 
him of embezzling the money, and induced the Emperor to 
stop this payment as useless. Nasir Khan's appeals were dis- 
regarded. About 1730 Roshan-ud-daulah himself fell out of 
favour and was dismissed. The result was that things in 
Afghanistan were left to drift without the least hope of remedy. 

As Ghulam Husain writes, "Neither the subahdar nor the 
Amir-ul-umara [at Court] kept himself informed about the 
roads and passes of the country. No guards remained on the 


roads. Owing to the weakness of the Government, the local 
officers lost all fear of being called to account. None cared 
for any one else, none feared, none sought instructions from 
any [higher officer] . Everywhere every one did whatever he 
liked. Any one who wished could come and go [through these 
frontier roads, unquestioned] ; the Emperor and his nobles 
never heard of it. They never inquired why no news-letter was 
coming to Court from any province or outpost." [Siyar, i. 93.] 

When we contrast this negligence and slothfulness of 
Muhammad Shah with the sleepless vigilance* of Aurangzeb, 
in respect of the Persian frontier, we can realize the depth 
of inefficiency to which the Mughal administration had fallen 
on the eve of Nadir Shah's invasion. 

The governor of Kabul had sent repeated applications tc 
the Emperor for money to pay his troops ; but nobody paid 
any heed to them, as the faction opposed to him was now in 
power at Court and the Emperor never exercised his owr 
judgment nor personally looked into any business. The soldiers 
posted in the province starved as their salary for five years was 
in arrears. Ill-fed. ill-equipped, ill-armed through poverty 
they pressed the subahdar to pay them at least one year's dues 

out of the five, so that they might satisfy their creditors to some 


extent and have a little left over for the expenses of marching 
Nasir Khan used to reassure them by saying "Friends! wh.3 
this anxiety? I have written to the Emperor and also to mj 
agent at Court, and the money is sure to come to-morrow i 
not to-day." When his agent presented the application t< 
Khan Dauran the Amir-ul-umara, and in fear and trembling 
described the alarming situation in Afghanistan, that nobl< 
replied in derision, "Do you think that I am a petty simpletor 
that I shall be impressed by such a tale as yours? Our house; 
are built on the plain ; we do not fear anything except wha 
we can see with our own eyes. Your houses stand on loftj 
hills, and therefore you have probably sighted Mongol an< 
Qizilbash armies from the roofs of your houses ! Reply tij < 

* Striking illustrations in Hamid-ud-din's Ahkam-i-Alamgiri, §§ 49-52 
translated by J. Sarkar as Anecdotes of Aurangzib. 


your master that we are writing for money to the governor of 
Bengal ; and when the Bengal revenue arrives after the rainy 
season, the money due will be quickly sent to Kabul."* 
[Anandram, 11-12.] 

Those people of Dihli who bore testimony to the defence- 
less condition of Afghanistan, were sneered at as fools. Khan 
Dauran's friends even suggested that the deputation of Kabul 
citizens with this report had been stage-managed by the Wazir 
and the Nizam, (the leaders of the Turani faction), in order to 
discredit Khan Dauran and induce the Emperor to transfer his 
confidence to the former party ! [Siyar, i. 96.] 

The result is best described in the words of Ghulam Husain : 
"It was impossible for Nasir Khan to prevent Nadir Shah's 
entrance into India. The Government was rotten, the Emperor 
was powerless. No money was sent to maintain the administra- 
tion in Afghanistan. The subahdar, therefore, sought his own 
comfort and lived at Peshawar, entrusting the fort of Kabul to 
!a qiladar with orders to control and watch the passes leading 
into India." [Siyar, i. 94.] 

Equally neglected and defenceless was the next gateway 
of India, the province of the Panjab. Zakariya Khan (son of 
i<\bdus-samad Khan) was the governor of Lahor and Multan. 
His family had come from Ahrar in Central Asia, and there- 
fore he was regarded as "a strong pillar of the Turani party." 
His mother was a sister of the late Wazir Muhammad Amin 
Khan's wife, and he naturally excited the bitter opposition of 
he Hindustani party under Khan Dauran. f Zakariya Khan was 
i brave and active soldier and good administrator ; he gave 
Deace and prosperity to the province in his charge by repeated 

* On this Anandram rightly remarks, "If the Afghans had been set to 
guard the frontier with their whole hearts and customary bravery, they 
:ould have stopped the advance of the Persian army long enough to enable 
reinforcements to reach them from Dihli, and then India would not have 
seen sacked." 

t An astonishing example of this party rancour is supplied by the 
historian Shakir Khan (an Indian Muhammadan of Panipat), who asserts 
hat Zakariya Khan at the instigation of the Nizam and Saadat Khan, who 
vanted to overthrow Khan Dauran, disloyally admitted Nadir into Lahor ! 


campaigns against rebels and robbers. [M. U. ii. 106 ; 
Anandram 138.] But the Hindustani party who possessed the 
Emperor's ears, opposed all his applications to Court, mis- 
represented his character and motives and prevented money 
and troops from being sent to him when Nadir's invasion wasf 

Thus, in the Emperor's hour of supreme need, factiou 
jealousy and foolish distrust prevented any real attempt being 
made to repel the invader from the frontier, or even to check 
him there long enough to enable defensive preparations to be 
completed at Dihli and the army of the Empire marshalled in 
the Panjab. The gateways of India' fell into Nadir's hands 
at the first touch, and yet the foolish Emperor and his advisers 
delayed their own preparations for defence in the vain hope 
of the enemy not being able to force the passes of Afghanista 
and the rivers of the Panjab. 

Such was the condition of the north-western marches o 
India when the storm burst on them. 

Sec. 105. — Nadir conquers Northern Afghanistan 
from the mughals. 

On 10th May 1738, the Persian monarch began his marcr 
into Northern Afghanistan to make an end of his Afghai 
enemies. Crossing the Mughal frontier at the Mukhur spring 
he halted at Qarabagh, 36 miles s. w. of Ghazni. A powerfu 
detachment was sent under his younger son Nasr-ullah t< 
operate against the Afghans of Ghorband and Bamian in th 
north-west of Kabul. When Nadir reached Qarabagh, Baq 
Khan the Mughal governor of Ghazni fled away in terror ; th< 
qazis scholars and rich men of the city waited on the invade 
with presents and offer of submission. So, he entered Ghazn 
in peace, 31st May, and treated the people well. 

Two other detachments had been operating against th< 
Hazaras or hill Afghans south-west of Ghazni, who had dene 
Nadir's troops. All who made timely submission were par 
doned. But the men who resisted were put to the sword, thei 
women dragged into captivity and their houses destroyed. Thu 
securing his flank and Rear, Nadir advanced on Kabul. Tht 


chief men of the city tried to avert the storm by advancing two 
marches to welcome him on the way, and he sent them back 
with robes of honour presents and reassuring words. But Sharza 
Khan, the commandant of the citadel, with the soldiers of the 
garrison decided to offer resistance, and shutting the fort-gates 
prepared for defence. 

On 10th June, Nadir's advance-tents arrived near the fort, 
but a part of the garrison sallied out and made a hostile demon- 
stration. The porters were not prepared for resistance, and 
therefore declining the challenge they quietly set up the tents 
at a safe distance from the walls, at Ulang, half a league to 
the east of the city. Nadir arrived here on the 11th, and next 
day he rode out towards the Black Rock to view the environs 
of the city and the defences of its citadel. The garrison issued 
in force and began to discharge their fire-arms at him ; but a 
charge of the Persian escort drove them back to the foot of the 
wall. Nadir now began an investment of the city. His guns 
and mortars, dragged up to the neighbouring heights, played 
upon the walls. On the seventh day (19th June) the tower of 
Aqa-bin collapsed from the shock of a big gun fired from it, 
and a part of the wall* fell down ; the citadel capitulated, and 
the imperial treasury horses elephants and stores at Kabul 
passed into Nadir's possession. [Jahanl^usha 333 — 335.] 

Here he passed forty days to settle the affairs of the pro- 
vince, and here he was joined (1st July) by his son Nasr-ullah 
who had returned after subduing Ghorband and Bamian. In 
the meantime, a letter had been received from his envoy at 
Dihli reporting that the Emperor would neither reply to his letter 
nor give the ambassador his conge. At this Nadir Shah wrote 
a strong protest to the Emperor and sent it with a fast courier 
accompanied by some leading men of Kabul, who offered to 
explain the real state of things in Afghanistan to the Mughal 
Court. In this letter, Nadir Shah charges Muhammad Shah with 

* Anandram 10. He tells the incredible story that the breach thus 
caused was large enough to let 500 horsemen gallop through it abreast. 
The recoil of a single gun could not have overthrown a quarter-mile of 
•tone- wall. Han way (ii. 359) says that Nadir massacred the greater part of 
the garrison, including Sharza Khan and his son, after the fall of Kabul. 


the violation of his promise, delay in replying to embassies and 
detention of the last Persian envoy for more than a year, in 
violation of the usage of nations. He points out how the 
Afghans had done even greater havoc to India than to Persia, 
and therefore in crushing them he was really doing a service 
to the Mughal Empire. He explains how the hostility of the 
imperial garrison in Kabul and their alliance with the Afghans 
had forced him to fight them, but that after their submission he 
had guarded them from harm, as his sole intention was the 
punishment of his Afghan enemies. The party entrusted with 
this letter left Kabul on 3rd July. On their reaching Jalalabad, 
the Kabuli notables were forced by the local governor to go 
back, while the courier and his nine guards were robbed and 
murdered by a neighbouring chieftain, the son of Mir Abbas.* 

Meantime Nadir Shah had left Kabul (19th July) on account 
of scarcity of provisions there, and moved into the more fertile 
and populous hills of Chahar-ek-kar Najrad and Safi. The hill- 
crests occupied by the local clansmen were stormed and the 
vanquished were forced to submit and enter the Persian military 
service. After passing 22 days here, he started for Gandamak 
on 25th August. 

Then came the news of the murder of the courier. The 
Persian advanced guard made a sudden dash on Jalalabad and 
seized the grain stored there. The governor fled, the chief men 
submitted and yielded up the fort (7th September). But the 
city was subjected to a massacre in punishment of the attack 
on Nadir's courier. The hill-fort of Mir Abbas's son was 
stormed, the men were put to the sword, and the women 
(including his sister and wives) were brought away to the Persian 
camp as captives. [Jahankusha 337-339, Ali Hazin 289.] 

After spending some days in regulating the administration 
of the country, the Persian king advanced to Bahar-Showlanif 
to the south of Jalalabad. In view of his expected long absence 
in India, the distance of Dihli from his base in Persia, and 

* Jahankusha 335-337. Ali Hazin 288. 

t Bahar 17 m. 8. w. of Jalalabad; Showlani (spelt Safli in Jahankusha) 
8 m. e. of Bahar. 


probably also the accidents of war, Nadir Shah invested his 
eldest son Mirza Raza Quli with the crown of the deputy-king 
or regent of Persia (3rd November), and sent him back to that 
country amidst great pomp at the head of a strong force. 


[ By the Editor ] 
Sec. 106.— Nadir Shah captures Peshawar and Lahor. 

On 6th November 1738, the march towards India was 
resumed. The main army under Nadir Shah passed Jalalabad 
on the 12th and halted a mile beyond it. From this stage a 
vanguard of 12,000 picked cavalry proceeded ahead, followed 
by another body of 6,000 men to guard the royal tents. Then 
came the Centre and the Rear. 

Nasir Khan, the Mughal governor of Afghanistan, was, 
according to his usual custom, living at Peshawar when he heard 
of Nadir's conquest of Kabul and projected invasion of India. 
He assembled some 20,000 Afghans of the Khaibar and 
Peshawar districts and blocked the pass between Ali Masjid and 
Jamrud, — the last outpost being 12 miles west of Peshawar. 
His half-starved soldiery and hastily-raised tribal levies were 
in no condition to oppose the Persian veterans flushed with a 
hundred victories and led by a heaven-born general. 

In the afternoon of 14th November, after the asar prayer, 
Nadir Shah left his camp and baggage at Barikab (20 m. east 
of Jalalabad) under Nasr-ullah Mirza and made a rapid march 
with light kit by the Seh-chuba route. Though the path was 
steep and extremely rough, he covered fifty miles before eight 
o'clock next morning, and fell upon the Indian army in the 
Khaibar Pass most unexpectedly from the flank. One charge 
of the Persians scattered Nasir Khan's raw levies ; but he 
resisted with his regular troops for some hours ; in the end he 
and several other nobles were captured ;* the rest of his army 

* Mahdi says that Nasir Khan drew up his troops in line of battle and 
resisted the Persians for some time. Siyar (i. 95) says that this general 
was captured wounded and then revealed his name and rank. Anandram 
(13) asserts that Nasir Kh. was surprised while asleep in bed, and fled in 


fled, leaving their entire camp and property in the hands of 
the victors. [Jahankusha 341-342, AH Hazin 290.] 

Three days after the victory, the Persian camp and rear- 
guard arrived there by the regular road. On 18th November 
Nadir entered Peshawar without opposition and occupied the 
governor's palace. On 12th December the advance was 
resumed. A strong column under Aqa Muhammad was sent 
ahead to raid and ravage the country and build a bridge over 
the Indus at Attock. During this onward march the other five 
rivers of the Panjab were crossed on foot, as they were all 
fordable in that season. The Chinab was crossed at Wazirabad 
about 60 m. n. w. of Lahor, (8th January, 1739). 

Zakariya Khan, the governor of Lahor, though unsupported 
by his master, had made what defensive arrangements he could 
with his own limited resources. Some five thousands of his 
men, under Qalandar Khan, held the fort of Kacha Mirza* at 
Yaminabad, 30 miles north of Lahor as an advanced post, while 
the governor himself stood with the bulk of his army (probably 
ten or twelve thousand men) ten miles south, at the Bridge of 
Shah Daula. The Persian vanguardf took the fort, killed 
Qalandar Khan, and drove his troops away. At the news of 
it, Zakariya Khan fell back on Lahor, and Nadir advanced to 
the Bridge of Shah Daula, 20 miles north of that city. From 
this place, Abdul Baqi Khan, the Persian Wazir, wrote to 
Zakariya Khan advising him to submit and thus avoid useless 
bloodshed. [Jahankusha, 343 ; Hanway, ii. 365-66 ; Anand- 
ram 16-20.] 

confusion with Chiragh Beg Khan and a few other attendants. Hanway 
(ii. 362) tells us that Nadir bought over the pass Afghans whom the Dihli 
Court had kept in arrears for 4 years, and thus he could cross the pass 
easily and unopposed. Nasir Khan, deserted by his raw levies at the 
unexpected approach of Nadir, entrenched himself near Peshawar with 
7,000 men, and fought for some hours ; but his lines were stormed and his 
men slain or captured. Ali Hazin (290) says that an immense crowd of 
the Afghans and of Nasir Kh.'s troops were cut to pieces in the valley. 

* There is a Kot Mirzagan, a little east of Yaminabad, in the Indian 

t Led by Nasir Kh., ace. to Hanway. Zakariya's total army is put by 
Ali Hazin at 14 or 15 thousand regular horse and his own militia. 


The bank of the Ravi north of Lahor had been entrenched 
by Zakariya Khan and big pieces of artillery mounted there to 
oppose the Persian advance. On 10th January 1739, Nadir 
marched from the Bridge of Shah Daula, made a wide detour 
round Lahor, leaving the Mughal defences a long distance on 
his left, forded the river further downstream and encamped in 
the Shalimar garden, five miles east of the city. All that day 
Zakariya Khan succeeded in repulsing the attempts of the 
Persians to enter Lahor. The fighting was resumed next day 
(11th January), but early in the morning the governor's son 
with a handful of men left the field and made his way to Dihli 
by long marches. A large force of Indians under the zamindar 
of Adina-gar were coming to reinforce Zakariya Khan, when 
they were overtaken by the Persian skirmishers at Mulkpur, 
12 miles from Lahor and dispersed, losing some captives.* 

Zakariya Khan found resistance vain. No aid could come 
from Dihli. So, in the afternoon he sent Kifayat Khan, his 
agent, to Nadir's camp to offer submission and beg for safety. 
Next day (12th January), he himself went to the victor, deli- 
vered the keys of the fort and presented some large elephants 
and rare commodities. Nadir treated him kindly, but fixed a 
contribution of 20 lakhs of Rupees on the city, part of which 
was paid out of the Government treasury and the balance 
assessed on the rich people. On the 14th, the Khan visited 
the Persian king a second time, paid the money and thus saved 
the city from the horrors of a sack.f He was received 
graciously, presented with a robe of honour, an Arab horse 
with a gold embroidered saddle and costly trappings, and 
jewelled sword and dagger, and retained in the governorship 

* The Jahankusha, p. 344, is obscure, and the lithographed text is 
corrupt. Adina Beg was faujdar of Sultanpur, 66 m. s. e. of Lahor, at this 
time [Tilok Das's poeml. I do not know any Adina-gar. There is a 
Narowar 14 m. e. of Lahor, but no Mulkpur. Pur may be Haibatpur — Paii. 
The text of the Jahankusha may also mean that these Indian troops forced 
their way to Lahor. 

t Anandram 23 ; Jahankusha 344 ; Ali Hazin, 293. But Tilok Das says 
that Lahor was plundered after Nadir's entry into it, and that the Persian 
king, though appealed to, did nothing to restrain his soldiers. At Lahor 
fche invaders first saw the wealth of a large Indian city. 


of Lahor. But his second son, Haiyat-ullah Khan, was kept in 
the Persian king's train at the head of 500 retainers, evidently 
as a hostage for his father's fidelity. 

Nadir spent sixteen days at Lahor. Fakhr-ud-daulah, the 
dismissed governor of Kashmir, who had been living here in 
great poverty and neglect, was reappointed by Nadir to his 
post. Nasir Khan was released from captivity and restored to 
the viceroyalty of Kabul and Peshawar. A Persian force was 
detached to guard the ferries and seize the boats on the rivers 
of the Panjab and see that travellers to and from the Persian 
army during its stay in India could easily pass. Thus the flanks 
and Rear of the invaders were completely secured. 

At Lahor it was definitely learnt that Muhammad Shah had 
decided on war and was assembling his troops from all sides 
of his kingdom to oppose the Persians. Nadir then wrote a 
letter to the Emperor, saying that as he was a Turkoman and 
of the same race as the house of Timur, his intentions were 
entirely friendly to the Emperor of Dihli. He repeated his 
former assertion that he had crossed the Mughal frontier solely 
to punish the Afghans who were as much the enemies of India 
as of Persia, and he again complained that Muhammad Shah 
had treated all his three envoys in violation of friendship and 
diplomatic usage. Lastly, Nadir warned the Mughal Court of 
the consequences of going to war, though he held forth hopes 
of his pardon should the Indian army chiefs, after their defeat, 
submit to him. [Jahankusha, 345-346.] 

Nadir's invasion spread ruin and disorder throughout the 
Panjab. A cavalry screen was by his order sent ahead to make 
swift raids (turl^-tazi) and plunder the cities and richer villages 
of the province and at the same time reconnoitre the country 
30 or 40 miles in advance of his army. At Attock he had 
instructed his vanguard to plunder and ravage without mercy. 
"Cities like Wazirabad, Yaminabad, Gujarat &c. and big 
villages (each like half a city) were reduced to black ashes. 
All over the land property was plundered and women out- 
raged." [Anandram, 16 and 21.] Tilok Das bears witness to 
the plunder of Lahor Jalandhar and evidently other towns on 
his route. But this was not the only misery of the province. 


A foreign invasion gives the wished-for opportunity to the law- 
less ; oppressors and predatory classes, so long controlled by 
Government, raise their heads when they see the Government 
engaged in self-defence. Shaikh AH Hazin, who was travel- 
ling from Lahor to Sarhind at this time, thus describes the state 
of things (p. 292) : 'The whole province was in complete 
revolution. Every person put forth his hand to plunder and 
pillage, and some thousands of robbers beset the public roads. 

The whole of that time, whether on the road or at the 

[halting] stations, passed in fighting and contention." 

Sec. 107. — Nadir marches from Lahor to Karnal. 

Leaving Lahor on 26th January 1739, Nadir Shah reached 
Sarhind on 5th February. Here he learnt that Muhammad 
Shah was encamped with his army at Karnal, eighty-two miles 
from him. A force of 6,000 cavalry was sent ahead to recon- 
noitre the country up to the imperial camp and report on the 
enemy's strength and dispositions. Next day the main army 
reached Rajah Sarai [modern Rajpura] , 16 miles south-east of 
Sarhind, and on the day following (7th February) Ambala, 13 
miles further east. Here the Persian king left his harem and 
heavy baggage under a strong escort, while he himself marched 
out on the 8th with a mobile fighting force and light artillery 
carried on camels, and reached Shahabad, 17 miles east of 
Ambala, at the end of the day. This place was only 36 miles 
north of Karnal. 

Meantime the Persian scouts had reached the outskirts of 
the Mughal camp in the night between the 7th and the 8th. 
They had fallen upon the artillery, killed some men and taken 
some others captive, and finally retired to Sarai Azimabad,* 
12 miles north of Karnal. The following night these captured 
Indians were produced before Nadir who questioned them about 
the Mughal army. The party at Azimabad was strengthened 
and warned to scout cautiously without precipitating a battle. 

* Azimabad is placed in the map accompanying Thorn's Memoir of 
the War and also Lett's Atlas about 3 miles north of Taraori and 10 miles 
south of Thanesar. The Chahar Gulshan gives it as the stage next to 
Thanesar on the Dihli-Lahor road. (India of Aurangzib). 


On the I Oth Nadir resumed his march from Shahabad and 
reached Thanesar (13 m. south) that evening and Sarai Azima- 
bad (10 m. further south) an hour and a half after sunrise on 
the 11th. 

This Sarai was a big stone and brick house, in which the 
faujdar and chief men of Ambala had taken refuge. But as 
soon as the Persian artillery began to play upon it, they cried 
quarter. Here full information was obtained about the imperial 
encampment at Karnal, which was only twelve miles off. We 
must now turn to the doings of Muhammad Shah and his 
advisers. [J ahankusha 346-348.] 

Sec. 108. — Proceedings of the Imperial Court during 

Nadir's invasion. 

The proceedings of the Dihli Court during Nadirs invasion 
form a tale of disgraceful inefficiency, amounting to imbecility. 
The news of the loss of Kabul (19th June 1738) must have 
reached Dihli in the first week of July, but for several months 
nothing was done to guard the frontiers. When Nadir crossed 
the Khaibar Pass (15th Nov.), his motive could no longer be 
mistaken, and yet for two months afterwards no energetic step 
was taken to meet a danger now manifest to all. True, on 
2nd December 1738 the Emperor had formally given leave to 
his three highest nobles, Itimad-ud-daulah Qamar-ud-din Khan 
(the Wazir), Nizam-ul-mulk Asaf Jah (the Wakil or Regent) and 
Samsam-ud-daulah Khan Dauran (the Amir-ul-umara and 
Bakhshi or the head of the military department), to set out 
against the invader, and one kror of Rupees had been granted 
to them for their expenses. They encamped outside Dihli in the 
Shalimar garden near Sarai Baoli and wasted full one month 

The news of Nadir Shah having crossed the river at Attock 
must have reached Dihli on 10th January, 1739. Then the 
imperial army was urged to hurry on. The Court still hoped 

* Hanway (ii. 360) says that Khan Dauran stopped here owing to the 
Nizam's jealousy and discord. The Dihli Chronicle says that accountants 
for their armies were appointed as late as 14th and 20th December, — they 
took things so leisurely. No doubt this month (2-31 Dec.) was Ramzan 
or the month of fasting. But Aurangzeb had campaigned in Ramzan. 


for much from the stand to be made by Zakariya Khan whom 
they had refused to reinforce. But when that poor governor 
proved no match for the world-conqueror, the cry of treachery 
was raised : the Hindustani party at Court falsely accused the 
Khan of having disloyally surrendered Lahor fort to the Persians, 
as he was a man from Khurasan like Nadir himself. [Shakir.] 

At the first bruit of Nadir Shah's invasion, the imperial 
Court had discovered its incompetence and summoned the 
Nizam to give it counsel. He was the last survivor of the great 
age of Aurangzeb, a grey-haired veteran of many fights, a man 
rich in the experience of life, and an expert in diplomacy. 
But the Nizam was not given the supreme command and dicta- 
torial authority which such a crisis required, nor did he enjoy 
the confidence of his master, whose ears were possessed by 
Khan Dauran and the Hindustani party. This Khan Dauran 
had a very high opinion of Rajput valour. He caused farmans 
to be sent summoning to the Emperor's aid his own proteges 
the Hindu Rajahs, especially Sawai Jai Singh. But Rajputana 
had been hopelessly alienated since Aurangzeb 's time, and 
Jai Singh and other chieftains were now aiming at political 
salvation by declaring their independence and calling in the 
Mahrattas to help in dissolving the Empire. The Rajahs made 
excuses and delayed coming. Muhammad Shah even appealed 
to Baji Rao, as we learn from the following letter of the Peshwa 
to his general Pilaji Jadon : — 

"I shall march to Northern India by regular stages. The 
Persian sovereign Tahmasp Quli has come to conquer the world. 
To help Muhammad Shah I am sending the Malwa force under 
Malhar Rao Holkar, Ranuji Sindhia, and [Udaji] Puar. It is 
a glory to this monarchy [i.e., the Mahratta State] to help the 
Emperor of Dihli at such a time." [Raj. vi. No. 130.] But 
reliance on the Mahrattas, even if seriously contemplated, proved 
like leaning on a broken reed. No Dakhini force came to the 
Emperor's assistance at Karnal, or even in time to defend Dihli 
after the imperial defeat in the field. On the contrary, the 
Mahratta envoy in the Emperor's camp at Karnal was glad to 
make his escape by jungle paths on 25th February and seek 
safety by retreating as far south as Jaipur. Baji Rao himself. 


in his next letter, is found contemplating the defence of the 
Narmada line to bar the southward advance of Nadir. A 
Mahratta defence of Northern India was not to be thought of. 

The imperial forces passed the month of Ramzan [Decem- 
ber 1738] outside Dihli in utter idleness. Then came the news 
of the Persians having crossed at Attock. So, at last, on 10th 
January 1739, the three nobles began to march towards Lahor, 
after urging the Emperor with one breath and extreme emphasis 
that he should join the army in person. On the 18th they 
reached Panipat, 55 miles north of Dihli. 

On that day (18th January), Muhammad Shah himself 
issued from Dihli, and on the 27th he reached Panipat, where 
his generals had been halting for nine days in expectation of 
his coming ! Nadir's capture of Lahor had already been learnt 
by the Court, and it was found too late to save that city. So, 
it was decided to encamp and wait for the enemy at Karnal, 
where there was an abundance of water from AH Mardan's 
canal and the extensive plain around supplied opportunities 
for manoeuvring large bodies of cavalry. A halt was also 
necessary to enable Saadat Khan, the governor of Oudh, to join 
with his 30,000 horsemen. Reinforcements were also expected 
from Rajputana. 

The Emperor's advisers, particularly the Nizam, therefore, 
decided to entrench at Karnal instead of risking a battle. Under 
the direction of Sad-ud-din Khan, Mir Atash, the camp was 
enclosed with a mud-wall many miles in circuit. Along this 
line the guns were ranged side by side ; soldiers were posted 
in the trenches to keep watch day and night. [Anandram, 25 ; 
Shakir 40 ; Chronicle ; Siyar, i. 96 ; Bayan 32, Jauhar-i-samsam 
in Elliot viii. 74.] 

Sec. 109. — The Rival forces at Karnal ; the imperial 


The Persian army at Karnal is estimated by Rustam AH 
at 55,000 horse. This number is nearest the truth. We know 
from Mirza Mahdi's history that Nadir Shah had started from 
Persia with 80,000 troops, and though he had enlisted Afghans 
on the way and possibly also received drafts from home, he had 



to detach large forces to garrison the many conquered forts 
and guard the long line of communication in his rear, as well 
as to escort his eldest son on his return to Persia. Hanway 
says that Nadir reached Tilawri (i.e., Taraori near Azimabad) 
with 40,000 men ; this was, clearly, exclusive of his vanguard 
and Rear. The entire Persian camp contained 160,000 souls, of 
whom one-third were servants, but these were all mounted and 
some of them completely armed, so that they could take part 
in plunder and the defence of their baggage. There were also 
more than 6,000 women, dressed with great coats (barani) of 
crimson cloth, like the men, and not to be distinguished from 
the latter at a distance. [Hanway, ii. 367.] 

The imperial army is put by Nadir's secretary at three 
hundred thousand 'renowned soldiers',* 2000 fighting elephants 
and 3000 pieces of artillery. Rustam Ali's figures are two 
hundred thousand horse, innumerable foot, 1500 elephants and 
many guns. [Elliot, viii. 60.] The numbers are still further 
exaggerated by the later Lakhnau historian Ghulam Ali, who 
gives five hundred thousand horse and foot, 8000 pieces of 
artillery of all calibres, and 11,000 tents. [Imad 24.] Anandram 
who was a secretary to the Wazir and accompanied the army 
to Panipat, puts the number as 50,000 horsemen besides the 
personal contingents of the three nobles. We know that the 
Nizam had brought with himself only 3000 men. So, the total 
Indian fighting force at Karnal could not have exceeded 75,000 

But the number of non-combatants with it was excessive. 
Even at the end of the 18th century a modern European army 
operating in the same area carried nine non-combatants to one 
fighter. Lord Lake's camp contained three hundred thousand 
souls, out of whom only 30,000 were soldiers. As the Emperor 
himself with his harem and the luxurious grandees with their 
families were present, we shall not be wrong in estimating the 
population in the camp at Karnal at a million men. 

The circuit of the Indian camp is said by one authority to 

* So many could not have been all 'renowned' ! Hanway gives "nearly 
two hundred thousand, the great part of which was cavalry." 


have been twelve miles. [Hanway, ii. 364.] But such an 
enormous length of wall could not be adequately defended 
against an active enemy with a very mobile cavalry and light 
artillery carried on camels. The result was that the Indian 
army from the very outset lost its mobility and aggressive 
power, and became helplessly beleaguered like the Mahratta 
army of Sadashiv Bhao in the town of Panipat 22 years later. 

The wrong strategy of the Emperor became evident as 
soon as the enemy came into touch and made the neighbourhood 
unsafe for small parties. The Indian army, owing to its vast 
number, — a million souls, besides animals, — could scarcely find 
space to encamp on. The Persian horsemen made attacks 
from all sides, and carried off corn grass and fuel, so that the 
price of grain rose enormously in the camp.* [Rustam Ali.] 
Within four days of the battle of Karnal this huge mass of men 
had eaten up all their store of food, and then after five days 
of fasting the entire army surrendered. 

Sec. 110. — Nadir comes into touch with the Indian army at 

Karnal, 12th February. 

The city of Karnal lies on the ancient highway from Dihli 
to Lahor, about 75 miles north of the Mughal capital, 20 miles 
north of Panipat, and nine miles south of Taraori, where so 
many historic battles for deciding the lordship of Northern 
India have been fought. Even Kurukshetra, the scene of the 
mythical warfare between the Pandavas and Kauravas, is only 
22 miles north of it. Hence it was in the natural fitness of things 
that the decisive encounter between India and Persia took place 
at Karnal. 

The canal of Ali Mardan Khan skirts the eastern side of 

* Ali Hazin, then at Dihli, says the same thing : "The Indians having 
gathered their artillery around, were closely hemmed in by their own field- 
pieces, and as a division of the Qizilbashes had also formed a ring on 
every side of them, all intercourse with the outside was closed to them, 

and dearth and famine fell on that army Muhammad Shah and his 

innumerable multitude, finding the Qizilbash cavalry spread around them on 
all sides, were afraid to stir, and although they saw themselves unable to 
maintain their position, they remained on the spot." 


the town. Between this canal and the river Jamuna east of it, 
there is a plain five to seven miles in breadth, fit for cavalry ' 
manoeuvres on a large scale. Muhammad Shah had formed 
his entrenched camp along the western bank of the canal, 
with the Walled town of Karnal immediately south of him. 
Sarai Azimabad, the last station of the invaders, stands 12 miles | 
north of Karnal and some ten miles west of the canal. The 
first eight miles of the ground between Azimabad and Karnal 
were then covered with a dense jungle* with a single narrow j 
path crossing it. The four miles immediately north of Karnal 
were a level plain free from jungles. Muhammad Shah's front 
and right were, therefore, naturally protected by the jungle 
and the canal respectively. The disposition of the Indian army 
was — the Nizam in the Van facing the north or slightly north- 
west with artillery on two sides of him, the Wazir in the left 
or west, the Emperor in the centre, and Khan Dauran in the 
right or east. [J ahankusha 346, 348 ; Hanway, ii. 364.] 

Nadir Shah had arrived at Sarai Azimabad early in the 
morning of Sunday, 11th February, 1739. A force of 6,000 
horsemen, composed of the best troops of Kurdistan, led by 
Haji Khan, divided into two bodies, had previously reconnoitred 
the country along both banks of the canal up to the very edge 
of the imperial camp. These scouts now reported on the state 
of the ground and produced prisoners captured outside the 
Mughal lines. 

Learning the exact dispositions of the imperial army and 
the condition of the ground in its environs, Nadir Shah decided 
to avoid a frontal attack and make a wide detour along the 
east of Karnal, so as to keep touch with the Jamuna and its 
abundant water supply on his left flank and also to cut the 
Mughal line of communication with Dihli by seizing the town 
of Panipat in the rear. His strategy was intended to force 
Muhammad Shah to come out of his lines and accept battle on 

* This jungle continued till the early years of the 19th century. Thorn 
(Memoir of the War, p. 480) writes in 1805 about the tract from Dihli to 
Sonepat, "The whole of this country, which was formerly fertilized by a 
canal dug by Ali Mardan Khan, is now overgrown with jungle, and is 
generally in a very desolate state." 


a field chosen by Nadir or to remain helplessly shut up in Karnal 
while the Persians would march to Dihli unmolested. 
[Jahankusha, 348.] This plan succeeded admirably and much 
sooner than was expected. 

Before sunrise on Monday 12th February, the Persian army 

marched out of Sarai Azimabad, crossed the canal some nine 

miles east of that town, and encamped on a level plain six miles 

north-east of Karnal, evidently a little north of Kunjpura and 

within sight of the Jamuna. While the main division halted 

here, Nadir with a small escort galloped to the neighbourhood 

of Muhammad Shah's position which was indicated by his 

i standards and flags and the concentration of artillery round it. 

! After reconnoitring the enemy's numbers and dispositions, he 

| returned to his own tents. 

In the evening a report was brought to him that Saadat 

Khan, who was coming from Oudh to the aid of the Emperor 

with 30,000 cavalry artillery and stores, had reached Panipat. 

Immediately a division of the Persian army was told off to inter- 

! cept him. A second and very strong division was detached that 

i very night to threaten the eastern flank of the Mughal camp, 

i though small bodies of skirmishers had been already hovering 

; round it at a mile's distance, cutting off stragglers. [Jahan- 

| fasha 349.] 

Sec. 1 1 1 . — Karnal : Indians issue for combat. 

The fatal Tuesday, the 13th of February, 1739, dawned. 
The Persian army advanced from its position in three divisions 
along the plain between the canal and the Jamuna, a belt nearly 
five miles in breadth. Prince Nasr-ullah, in charge of the 
Centre, was ordered to march from the bank of the Jamuna* 
and take post north of Muhammad Shah's camp, facing the 
Nizam's division. Nadir Shah himself, at the head of the van- 
guard, first arrived opposite the Indian position on the canal, but 
learning on the way that Saadat Khan had joined the Emperor 
j at midnight, he swerved aside to his left and pitched his camp on 

* Mirza Mahdi says "from the northern side of the river Jamuna," 
which implies that the Prince's division had been thrown across the river 
the day before, in order to protect Nadir's left flank. Not likely. 


a spacious field, three miles east of the enemy and a mile or 
two west of the Jamuna. Here his son joined him with the 
Centre. In these movements the forenoon was passed, and the 
sun had begun to decline from the meridian, when suddenly the 
Indians were seen coming out of their lines to offer battle. 

To understand how this happened it is necessary for us 
to know the events in the imperial camp. On receiving his 
master's appeal for aid, Saadat Khan had left his province of 
Oudh at the head of 20,000 horse, artillery and materials of 
war, and made successive marches for one month to reach 
Kamal. He had arrived at Dihli on 7th February and halted 
there for one day only. The 55 miles between Dihli and 
Panipat were covered in three days, and then on the 4th day, 
the 1 2th of February, he made a supreme effort and passed 
the remaining 20 miles, reaching Karnal at midnight with the 
main part of his army, while his camp and baggage slowly 
straggled behind, in a long line insufficiently guarded, one 
days march behind, as was the usual thing with Indian 

We have seen that on the 12th the Persian scouts had 
advanced 32 miles from their own camp and secured news 
of Saadat Khan's position at Panipat. But the intelligence 
department of the Indian army seems to have been hopelessly 
careless or inefficient. Saadat Khan had not found out the 
enemy's whereabouts, nor taken care to protect his baggage 
train against a possible attack. The Emperor himself at Karnal 
had been equally careless. As Ghulam Husain writes, "None 
in the imperial camp knew of the near arrival of Nadir from 
Lahor, till one day some men of the corn-dealers (banjaras) 
who had gone six or eight miles outside to bring in fodder, 
came back wounded and panic-striken after a sudden encounter 
with the Persian scouts, and the cry ran through the encamp- 
ment 'Nadir has come! Nadir has come!' A mortal fear 
seized the army and the longing for Saadat Khan's arrival 
became keener." [i. 96.] 

About midnight, 12th February, Saadat Khan arrived near 
Karnal. He was welcomed a mile in advance by Khan 
Dauran and conducted within the lines. In the morning he 


waited on the Emperor. After the usual courtesies had been 
exchanged, a council of war was held in the imperial presence 
and plans of operations were being discussed, when news 
arrived that the Persian advanced skirmishers had fallen upon 
Saadat Khan's baggage and were carrying off 500 loaded camels. 

The Khan immediately took up his sword which he had 
laid down on the carpet before the Emperor, and asked for 
permission to depart and fight the Persians.* The Nizam 
counselled delay, urging that the Oudh soldiers were worn 
out by one month's incessant marching and required some 
days' rest to become fit again. Moreover, the sun had already 
begun to decline, and they would have only three hours of 
daylight left for fighting after reaching the field. Khan Dauran 
also pointed out that as the imperial troops had not been 
previously warned to be ready to fight that day, they would 
take a long time to assemble arm and form line of battle. It 
was (the two nobles urged) therefore better to fight the next 
day, when they would be able to advance in proper array with 
artillery and full preparations and to follow their accustomed 
tactics. One courtier even told Saadat Khan that 500 camels 
were nothing to a man like him, and that if he could defeat 
Nadir Shah, — as they hoped to do easily by a pitched battle 
the next day, — the entire Persian royal camp and its wealth 
would be their prey. 

But he would not listen to this advice and insisted on 
going out to the rescue of his camp-followers. Sending out 
some heralds to proclaim in his camp that all his soldiers should 

* Harcharan says that the Emperor distrusted Saadat Khan for being a 
native of Persia and made him swear fidelity on the Quran in his presence. 
Siyar asserts that Saadat had taken leave of the Emperor and was waiting 
for his baggage in the quarters assigned to him (behind those of Khan 
Dauran) when he learnt of the attack. But Shakir Kh. (then in the camp) 
Abdul Karim and Harcharan say that he heard the report in the Emperor's 
darbar. The Dihli Chronicle says that the Emperor ordered Saadat to go 
out c.nd attack the Persians. Anandram says that the Emperor overruled 
Khan Dauran's objection to fighting on that day. All other authorities 
hold that the Emperor agreed with the Nizam to defer the action till next 


assemble and follow him, he hastened to the point of attack 
with only his escort and the troops within call, amounting to 
a thousand horse and a few hundred foot, but without any 
artillery. The Indian cavalryman's employment depended 
upon the life of his horse, which was his own property, and 
therefore he was most reluctant to risk it or fatigue it too much. 
After a month of fast riding, they refused to stir out that day, 
saying that as their master had gone to visit the Emperor he 
could not possibly have issued for battle. Still, nearly 4000 
cavalry and 1000 infantry joined him in the end. [Bayan 34, 
Anandram 27.] 

As Saadat Khan came to the field, the Persian skirmishers 
pretended flight ; he gave them chase and was thus lured away to 
a distance of two miles from his camp. He sent off couriers 
to the Emperor begging for reinforcements to complete the 
victory. Muhammad Shah took counsel of the Nizam, who 
replied that as the fight was in the east of the imperial camp, 
Khan Dauran who commanded the division nearest to that 
point, viz., the Right Wing, should go. Khan Dauran obeyed 
the order* and issued forth on an elephant without waiting to 
assemble his full contingent or drag out his artillery. As he 
was very popular with the soldiers, many of them, on hearing 
of his having issued to battle, armed and joined him of their 
own accord in successive drafts, till at last he had some 
8,000 horse round him. 

Later in the afternoon, the Emperor himself marched out 
of his tents with the Wazir and stood with marshalled ranks 
by the side of the canal, but more as a distant spectator of the 
battle than as a participator in it. The delay in the starting 
of the different divisions, the absence of a common pre-arranged 
plan of battle and the lack of one supreme director of operations 
on the Indian side, led to their three divisions being separated 
from one another by more than a mile's interval. Saadat Khan 
formed the Right Wing which was in the extreme east and 
near the Jamuna, Khan Dauran's division now became the 

* Immediately (according to Bayan), or after some grumbling, according 
to Anandram. 


Centre and stood in the middle of the plain, while the Wazir 
and the Emperor formed the Left Wing bordering on the canal. 
Gradually, by the end of the day, when the successive groups 
of imperialists had marched up to the field, they formed a 
vast concourse of men, filling the wide plain from their own 
camp to the place of conflict, with two intervals as described 
above. The Left Wing (under the Emperor) had dragged out 
field artillery from behind the shelter of the trenches and had 
also pitched small tents in the plain for its chiefs ; it did not 
however, engage the enemy at all. 

But this army was a mob ; it lacked cohesion ; it had no 
animating soul, no unity of command nor indeed any leading 
at all. The main portion of it stood stock-still, far away from 
the point of impact, without contributing anything to the 
struggle, and their vast number only caused a vaster butchery 
during the retreat. The extremely mobile enemy, led by the 
greatest living general in Asia, struck the Indian host or evaded 
it as they found most advantageous to them. Nadir Shah s 
genius neutralized the superiority in numbers and the desperate 
valour of many of the Indian soldiers. 

Sec. 112.— Battle of Karnal, 13th February. 

When, a little after midday, Saadat Khan's army was seen 
to come forth to the plain, news of it was at once carried to 
Nadir. He was highly elated to hear of it. He had been 
wishing for such a day, as his Court historian remarks, and it 
had come unexpectedly soon. The Indian army had been 
drawn out of its strongly entrenched position, and at last a 
battle of manoeuvres was possible in which the Persian general 
could show his genius. 

Nadir's arrangements were swiftly made, so as not to let 
the enemy escape through night-fall before his work of destruc- 
tion was fully done. He left a division to guard his camp ; 
his Centre was placed in charge of his son Nasr-ullah with 
many noted warriors and a powerful artillery. The vanguard 
was under his own command. Three thousand of his best 
troops were formed into three different bodies and placed in 
ambush. Two small bodies, each consisting of 500 swift horse- 


men, were sent against Saadat Khan and Khan Dauran in order 
to draw them further into the field.* Nadir himself, clad in 
full armour and wearing an ornamented helmet, mounted a 
fleet horse and marched into the fight with one thousand picked 
Turkish horsemen of his own clan (the Afshar), to direct the 
battle. The Persian army was entirely composed of cavalry, and 
their artillery consisted of jazair, i.e., long muskets or swivel- 
guns, seven or eight feet in length with a prong to rest on. 
In addition there were zamburaks or long swivels firing one or 
two pound balls ; "each of these pieces, with its stock, was 
mounted on a camel, which lay down at command ; and from 
the backs of these animals, trained to this exercise, they 
charged and fired these guns." [Jahankusha 351 ; Hanway, 
ii. 368,153.] 

In order to baffle the elephants, on which the Indians 
mostly relied for effect, he caused a number of platforms to 
be made and fixed each across two camels. On these plat- 
forms he laid naphtha and a mixture of combustibles with orders 
to set them on fire during the battle. The elephants were 
sure to flee away at the sight of the quickly approaching fire 
and put the Indian army behind them in disorder. [Hanway, 
ii. 369.] 

The Persian skirmishers had effectively screened their 
main position where Nadir had stationed 3000 of his best 
troops, dismounted his swivels and ranged them along the front 
with their barrels resting on prongs. 

The battle began a little after one o'clock in the afternoon, 
with a discharge of arrows on both sides. The Persian scouts 
pretended flight, turning back in their saddles and discharging 
their bows and muskets while galloping, in the manner of 
their Parthian ancestors. Saadat Khan gave chase and was thus 
drawn to the ambush three or four miles east of the imperial 
camp and the support of its artillery. Suddenly the cavalry 

* Bayan differs : "Nadir's Right Wing was placed under Tahmasp 
Quli Jalair, Left under Fath Ali and Lutf Ali Afshar, Centre under 
Nasr-ullah, and the vanguard, consisting of 4,000 cavalry carrying jazair, 
under himself." 


screen drew aside in front and Saadat Khan's army was assailed 
by the discharge of many hundred swivel-guns at point-blank 
range. [Harcharan.] The bravest of his troopers who rode 
foremost fell. After standing this murderous fire for a short 
while, the Indian vanguard fled. [Anandram.] But Saadat 
Khan maintained his ground for some time longer, amidst a 
band of devoted followers, who fought to the death. But early 
in the evening he was forced out of the field, and the fight in the 
extreme Right of the Mughal army ceased. 

The same fate overtook Khan Dauran's division in another 
part of the field (the Centre), though he made a longer stand. 
The rapid fire of the Persian swivel-guns carried death into 
his ranks, without a chance of reply. The masterly tactics of 
Nadir, aided by the recklessness and utter want of general- 
ship of the Indian chiefs, had separated the three divisions 
of the imperial army from one another by more than a mile's 
interval, so that the soldiers of each division merely heard the 
sound of firing in the other parts of the field, but could learn 
nothing of the plight of their brethren, much less hasten to 
their aid. Khan Dauran could not co-operate with his friend 
Saadat Khan, however much he wished it. The Nizam, though 
the ablest general on the Indian side, was absolutely inert 
throughout the day and gave no help to Khan Dauran or Saadat 
Khan, probably because he hoped (as Abdul Karim suggests) 
to take the places of these rivals at Court if they perished. 
The Emperor was imbecile and stood like a wooden figure 
in the extreme Left. At the points of contact the Indians had 
a numerical inferiority and were far away from the aid of 
their heavy artillery. Their generals mounted on tall elephants 
became targets for the enemy's fire, while the nimble Persian 
horsemen hovered round beyond the reach of the weapons 
of the Indians. 

The murderous fire of Nadir's gunners continued for two 
hours. The Indians fought bravely, but gave up their lives 
as a vain sacrifice, because (in the words of Abdul Karim) 
"arrows cannot answer bullets." When the situation became 
absolutely hopeless and most of their officers had fallen, about 
1000 of the bravest soldiers of Khan Dauran dismounted and, 


in the Indian fashion, tying the skirts of their long coats together 
fought on foot till they all died. [Bay an.] Khan Dauran him- 
self had been mortally wounded in the face and fallen down 
unconscious on his howda. But a party of devoted retainers, 
under his steward Majlis Rai, surrounded his elephant and by 
desperate fighting brought him back to the camp, near sunset, 
but only to die. [Anandram.] 

Sec. 1 13. — Defeat and casualties of the Indians. 

Saadat Khan had been suffering for the last three months 
from a wound in the leg which prevented him from riding 
or walking, and he used to be carried about in a chair or on 
an elephant. Though he had received two wounds in this 
battle, he could have retired in safety but for an accident. 
His elephant was charged by the infuriated elephant of his 
nephew Nisar Muhammad Khan Sher Jang and driven into 
the Persian ranks, though his men stabbed it with sword and 
dagger to make it stop. Surrounded by enemies, Saadat Khan 
continued to shoot arrows from his seat, to resist capture, 
when a young Persian soldier of his native city of Naishabur 
boldly galloped up to his elephant, and addressing him by 
his familiar name, cried out, "Muhammad Amin ! Are you 
mad? Whom are you fighting? On whom are you still 
relying?" Then driving his spear into the ground, and 
throwing the reins of his horse round it, he climbed up to 
Saadat Khan's howda by the rope hanging down from it. The 
Khan now surrendered and was taken to Nadir's camp. [Siyar, 
i. 97.] 

At the disappearance of these two leaders, the Indian 
army melted away, pursued by the Persian horsemen with 
heavy slaughter. The Emperor with his other nobles stood in 
battle order by the side of the canal (in the extreme west of 
the field) expecting an attack. But Nadir Shah kept his men 
back from assaulting such a strongly fortified position and its 
heavy artillery ; he had a surer and easier means of compelling 
the Emperor's submission. At sunset, Muhammad Shah 
retired to his camp, after having all that dav done absolutely 


nothing to save his throne and his people.* The battle was 
over in less than three hours : it had commenced at the time of 
the zuhar prayer and ended at the asar prayer. [Jahankusha 

The slaughter in the Indian army was terrible. Nadir's 
Court historian gives the exaggerated figures of 100 chiefs and 
30,000 common soldiers slain and a vast number taken prisoner. 
[Jahankusha, 353.] Hanway shortly afterwards heard in Persia 
of 17,000 Indians having been killed. Harcharan-das gives 
20,000 and the Mahratta envoy in the imperial camp 10 to 12 
thousand men in one account and seven to eight thousand in 
a later report. [Brahmendra S. C. No. 41.] Rustam AH says 
that Khan Dauran alone lost 5,000 men, to which we must add 
at least 3000 for Saadat Khan's division, making a total of 8000 

Among the officers slain were Muzaffar Khan (a younger 
brother of Khan Dauran), three sons of Khan Dauran (AH 
Hamid, Muhataram and another), Aslih Khan (the commander 
of the Emperor's bodyguard), AH Ahmad Khan.f Shahdad 
Afghan, Yadgar Hasan Khan (Koka), Ashraf Khan, Itibar Khan, 
Aqil Beg Kambalposh ("Blanket-wearer *), Mir Kalu (son of 
Mir Mushrif) and Ratan Chand (son of the historian Khush- 
hal Chand, who was office-assistant to the imperial Paymaster). 
Saadat Khan and his nephew Sher Jang, as well as Khwaja 
Ashura (a son of Khan Dauran) were captured alive. 

The loss on the Persian side was 2500 slain and twice 
as many wounded, according to Hanway, who estimates the 
Indian casualties in slain as seven times the number of the 
Persians killed. This relative proportion seems to me to be 
nearest the truth, though the figures for both sides are 

* I reject the absurd story told in Bay an p. 41. Hanway (ii. 369) says 
that in the night following the battle the Indian camp was so very thin 
that from the Emperor's own quarters to those of the Nizam, which was 
nearly two miles off, hardly any people were found. 

t So called by Mahdi and Bayan, but spelt as Hamid Ali in Anandram 
and the Chronicle. Bayan and Anandram call him Koka. 

% The bed-ridden invalid Ali Hazin, who is eternally cursing India, 


The gains of the victor were immense. Of the elephants, 
field treasury, guns, baggage and stores of all kinds taken 
outside the entrenchment, nothing escaped. The booty was 
beyond count. As soon as Saadat Khan and Khan Dauran were 
seen to leave the field, their camps were plundered by their 
own followers and the miscellaneous rabble that accompanied 
Mughal armies. In a twinkle no trace of these two nobles' 
vast encampments, not even a tent, was left on their sites. 
[Shakir, Siyar i. 96.] When the half -dead body of Khan 
Dauran was brought back, his servants had to borrow a small 
poleless tent from elsewhere to shelter his head in. 

A great terror befell the Indian army. All night long the 
remaining soldiers stood on guard along the camp enclosure, 
armed and with their horses saddled, ready to meet the 
enemy's attack. [Shakir ; Chronicle.] 

Sec. 114. — Causes of the Indian defeat at Karnal. 

The defeat of the Indians at Karnal was due as much 
to their being outclassed in their weapons of war and method 
of fighting, as to their bad generalship. 

Nadir was not really a Persian, but a Turk of a tribe 
settled on the Persian soil for centuries past. His soldiers 
were Turks and other nomads (like the Kurds), and not Persians 
proper. He conversed with Muhammad Shah in Turkish. 
[Harcharan.] Indeed, the Persians themselves designated his 
army accurately by calling them Qizil-bashes or Red Caps,* 
from the scarlet broad-cloth caps worn by them, — the very 
caps which we see to-day on the heads of the Turks and their 
imitators in Egypt and India. The true Persians are an Aryan 
people, with a strong Semitic strain infused into them after 
the Muslim conquest, but they have little Turanian or Turkish 
racial admixture. Their language is not akin to Turkish, 
their manners are different from those of the Turks, and their 

its climate and people, says that the Persians lost only 3 killed and 20 
wounded ! Siyar and Ghulam Ali blindly copy these figures. 

* "The battle-field became a bed of poppies from the crowd of Qizilbash 
troops, all of whom wore Turk-like [ ?] caps of red sqarlat." 
[Anandram, 29.] 


religion is the opposite of that Sunnism of which Turkey and 
the Turks are the orthodox champions. The Persians proper 
(the same race as the Parsis now settled in India) are very 
intelligent, refined, proud, and possessed of a delicate sense 
of humour, but no soldiers. Nadir's troops, the Qizilbashes, 
were men of the same race and same method of warfare as 
the so-called Pathan and Mughal conquerors of India, namely 
Turks and Turkomans from Central Asia, capable of making 
long and rapid rides and bearing every privation on the way. 

In addition to this, Nadir's army contained a large propor- 
tion of men equipped with fire-arms, several thousands of 
jazair-chis or swivel-gunners. Their discipline was strict and 
their fire control was of the European type. They used to 
reserve their fire till the word of command and then deliver a 
volley. The effect on their enemy was as disconcerting as it 
was deadly. At Karnal, the Persian swivel-guns were planted 
in rows on the ground and kept ready for the Indians, who were 
lured there by the skirmishers, and then their rapid fire 
completely overthrew the enemy without giving them a chance 
to retaliate. 

The Indian cavalry prided itself on its swordsmanship 
and cultivated sword-play and fancy riding, as if war were 
a theatrical show. They fought with the sword only and felt 
a contempt for missile weapons and those who used them. 
In describing the battles with the Persians for the possession 
of Qandahar in the middle of the 1 7th century, the Dihli Court 
historian sneers at the Persian troopers for declining sword- 
combats with the cavaliers of Hindustan. He taunts the Persians 
with cowardice pretty nearly in the same tone as the English 
writers employed during the last war in speaking of the German 
soldiers, who did not stand up to receive the bayonet charges 
of the British infantry. 

The Indian Musalman and Rajput soldiers were very in- 
efficient in the use of fire-arms. The only musketeers of any 
value in the Mughal army in the 17th century were the Hindus 
of Buxar, the Bundelas, the Karnatakis (of whom there were 
many in the service of the Bijapur Sultans, but none under the 
Later Mughals), and a small class of hunters called Bahelias 


usually recruited in the Allahabad province. The immense 
majority of the Indian soldiers did not fight with muskets, nor 
did they, as a rule, carry into the field portable light artillery 
of the jazair class in large numbers. The Indian ordnances 
were heavy cumbrous and of a more antiquated type than those 
of Persia and Turkey, and therefore the fire delivered by 
them was usually slow and inaccurate enough to be neglected. 
The Indian soldiers were trained to stake everything on the 
shock charge of heavy cavalry and hand to hand grapple. They 
had little mobility. Not so the Qizilbashes in the Persian 
service. Like their fellow-Turanians in Trans-oxiana or in the 
armies of the Usmanli Sultans of Constantinople, they formed 
the best cavalry in Asia, — hardy and fast horsemen, mounted 
on the fleetest and strongest breed of horses, and trained to 
the saddle from their childhood, as became a nomad race. 
They were also capital archers, accustomed to shoot from the 
saddle and fight while fleeing. They had a decisive advantage 
over the Indians, as men fighting with missiles have over those 
who can employ side-arms only. 

The superior mobility of Nadir's soldiers enabled them 
to assume the offensive from the very beginning. They out- 
manoeuvred the Indians and drove them to the place most 
advantageous to the attacking party ; they fought or deferred 
engagement as it suited them. 

The Indians' crowning folly was the employment of 
elephants in this modern age of muskets and comparatively 
long-range artillery carried on camels. Elephants had failed 
against mobile cavalry using missiles in the almost pre-historic 
times of Alexander the Great when fire-arms were unknown, 
and more recently against Babar's horsemen with their few slow 
and primitive guns. They were a sure engine of self-destruction 
when ranged against Nadir Shah in the year 1739. 

Sec. 115.— Negotiations for peace with Nadir Shah. 

When Nadir Shah returned to his camp from the battle- 
field Saadat Khan was brought before him, after the isha prayer 
(8 p.m.) The king spoke contemptuously of the Indian army 
as a 'host of beggars' and remarked o c their general Khan 


Dauran that he knew how to die but not how to fight. [Imad.] 
He then inquired about the resources and intentions of the 
Emperor. Saadat Khan diplomatically replied "The Emperor's 
resources are vast. Only one of his nobles came out to fight 
to-day and has gone back on being accidentally wounded by 
a shot. But there are many other amirs and brave Rajahs 
with countless hosts still left." Nadir Shah remarked, "You are 
my fellow-countryman and fellow-believer. Advise me how I 
can get a ransom from your Emperor and go home to fight the 
Sultan of Turkey." Saadat Khan then advised him to summon 
the Nizam who was "the Key of the State of India" and settle 
peace terms through him.* Next day, 14th February, Nadir 
Shah sent a man with the Quran to Muhammad Shah to take 
an oath on it as to his good faith, and call the Nizam. Saadat 
Khan also wrote to the Emperor, advising him to send the Nizam 
and make peace. 

The Nizam was now the last of the great nobles at the 
side of the Emperor, and the latter was naturally alarmed at 
the thought of sending him away. He asked, "If any treachery 
is done to you, what steps should we take?" The Nizam 
replied, The Quran is between us. If there is treachery, 
God will answer for it. Then your Majesty should retreat to 
Mandu or some other strong fort, summon Nasir Jang from the 
Dakhin with a strong force, and fight the Persians." 

The Nizam then left for the Persian camp with full powers 
to negotiate. Nadir received him well and complained, "It is 
surprising that while there are nobles like you on the Emperor's 
side, the naked Mahrattas can march up to the walls of Dihli 
and take ransom from him!" The Nizam replied, "Since new 
nobles rose to influence, His Majesty did whatever he liked. 
My advice was not acceptable to him. Therefore, in helpless- 
ness I left him and retired to the Dakhin." 

The reply pleased Nadir. Turning to the subject of peace, 
he complained of the unfriendly indifference of the Dihli Govern- 

* fhis history of the negotiations is mainly based upon Harcharan-das 
(who is supported by Rustam Ali, Elliot viii. 62), with some useful points 
from the Chronicle, Mahratti letters, Anandram 35-36; Jahankasha 354, 
Siyar 97-98, Bayan 43-44. 



ment during his struggles with his enemies, though the former 
sovereigns of Persia had often helped the Emperor's forefathers, 
The Nizam explained it by saying, "Since the death of Farrukh- 
siyar, the affairs of this Government have gone to rack and 
ruin owing to quarrels among the nobles, and therefore the 
ministers did not attend to Your Majesty's letters." 

After a long discussion, it was agreed that the Persian army 
would go back from that place on being promised a war 
indemnity of 50 lakhs* of Rupees, out of which 20 lakhs were 
to be paid then and there, 10 lakhs on reaching Lahor, ten 
lakhs at Attock, and the remaining ten lakhs at Kabul. After 
making this settlement the Nizam took his leave. Nadir sent 
with him an invitation to the Emperor to dine with him the 
next day. 

On Thursday, 15th February,! Muhammad Shah accom- 
panied by all his nobles started for the Persian camp, the Nizam 
instructing him that he would have to converse with Nadir in 
the Turkish language. The Persian Wazir met the party on 
the way and vowed on the Quran that no treachery would be 
done to them. Outside the Persian encampment Prince Nasr- 
ullah welcomed the guest on behalf of his father. On their 
arrival, Nadir advanced to outside his tent, took Muhammad 
Shah graciously by the hand and leading him within seated 
him on the royal carpet by his own side. The Nizam, the 
Wazir and Muhammad Ishaq Khan were permitted to go inside, 
all others remained outside the tent. 

As the two sovereigns were talking together, Ishaq Khan 
(Mutaman-ud-daulah) joined in the conversation. Nadir Shah in 
anger asked who the man was that had ventured to mingle his 
speech with that of kings. Muhammad Shah then introduced 
him as the tutor (ataliq) of his childhood. The Persian king 
put questions to Ishaq Khan and was so much pleased with 
his ready and intelligent answers that he pronounced him fit 
to be the Wazir of India. [Harcharan.] 

* The Siyar (97) puts the figure at 2 krors. Not true. 

t The Dihli Chronicle gives the date as 18th February, which is 
contradicted by Mahdi Harcharan and all other authorities. 


The party then sat down to dinner. The Persian conqueror 
proudly remarked, "My practice is open war and not treacher- 
ous assassination," and then, in order to assure Muhammad 
Shah that his food was not poisoned, he exchanged his own 
dishes with those of the Emperor just as they were about to 
begin eating. [Harcharan.] As an act of courtesy, Nadir Shah 
himself handed the cup of coffee to the Emperor. The meeting 
ended happily, and about three hours before sunset Muham- 
mad Shah took leave of his host and returned to his own camp. 
Here his family and servants, and indeed the whole camp, had 
been passing the hours of his absence in the greatest fear and 
anxiety, expecting his murder or at least captivity at the hands 
of Nadir. His safe return now, in the words of the historian, 
"restored to them the hearts which had left their bodies." 
[Anandram ; Bay an.] But the Persian investment of the Indian 
camp continued. [Jahan.] 

Samsam-ud-daulah Khan Dauran, the head of the army 
(Amir-ul-umara and Bakhshi-ul-mamalihD died on the 15th. The 
story goes that when in the evening of the fatal 1 3th of February 
his senseless body was brought back to the site of his plundered 
camp, the Nizam, the Wazir and the Emperor's eunuchs came 
to inquire after his condition and offer condolences and prayers. 
Khan Dauran came to his senses for a while, opened his eyes 
and whispered in a very weak voice, "I have myself finished 
my own business. Now you know and your work knows. 
Never take the Emperor to Nadir, nor conduct Nadir to Dihli, 
but send away that evil from this point by any means that you 
can devise." [Siyar.] He then relapsed into unconsciousness 
and died after less than two days.* 

The Emperor, on returning from his first visit to Nadir 

* Anandram definitely asserts that he survived only one day after the 
battle. Mirza Mahdi says (p. 352) that he died the day after the battle, 
and M. V. (i. 819) supports this. Ghulam Ali (p. 25) makes him linger 
not more than one night. The Mahratta envoy's letter places his death 
2 or 3 days after the battle. Harcharan-das makes the Emperor learn of his 
death four gharis after nightfall on the 15th. Bayan has the 3rd day after 
the battle. The Dihli Chronicle, however, gives 17th February as the date 
of his death, and the Siyar repeats it. 


Shah, heard of the death of Khan Dauran. The Nizam imme- 
diately afterwards came to him and induced him to confer the 
deceased noble's office of Paymaster on his own son Firuz Jang, 
as a reward for his diplomatic success in turning Nadir Shah 
back [Siyar.] At this, Azim-ullah Khan, the son of the Wazir's 
brother, was filled with despair and envy and immediately 
started for the Persian camp with his own retainers to join 
Nadir, saying "I am older than Firuz Jang. Why has the 
Bakhshi 's post been conferred on Firuz Jang, while I am 

The Nizam and the Wazir hastened after him and brought 
him back from the way. As the Nizam was older than Azim- 
ullah, he assumed the office of Bakhshi himself, and thus Azim- 
ullah was silenced. A truce was thus patched up at Court. But 
when Saadat Khan in the Persian camp heard of the Nizam's 
appointment as Bakhshi, the fire of his jealousy blazed forth, 
as he had long coveted this post and the Nizam had promised 
to help him in getting it. He now set to wreak vengeance on 
his successful rival and his ungrateful master. At his next 
audience with Nadir Shah, Saadat Khan told him how unwise 
he was in being satisfied with an indemnity of 50 lakhs, because 
if the conqueror went to Dihli 20 krors in cash and jewels and 
other valuable articles beyond estimate would be easily secured. 
"At present," Saadat Khan pointed out, "the imperial Court has 
no noble of eminence except the Nizam, who is a cheat and a 
philosopher. If this deceiver is entrapped, everything would 
happen as Your Majesty desired. If you order me, I shall call 
my troops and property from the imperial camp and place them 
in your camp." Nadir Shah agreed and it was done. 

This plot took some time to mature. In the meanwhile 
the Nizam had paid a second visit to the Persian king on the 
18th and the Persian Wazir had been feasted in the Nizam's 
tent the day after. [Chron.] Evidently these meetings were 
held for hastening the collection of the indemnity first agreed 

1739] famine in mughal camp at karnal 357 

Sec. 116.— Nadir imprisons the Emperor and nobles. 

Nadir bided his time for striking his treacherous blow. His 
sure ally was famine. The agreement had been made on the 
14th and verbally confirmed by the Emperor on the 15th ; but 
as the money was not paid the investment of the imperial camp 
had continued [Jahan. 354] . The condition of the vast popula- 
tion within this huge enclosure was most sad, as we can see 
vividly in the letter of the Mahratta envoy who was present 
there : "Five or six days passed and then no food could be 
had in the camp. Grain could not be procured even at six or 
seven Rupees* the seer. The country was a desert, nothing 
could be had [from the neighbouring villages] . For five days 
the men went without food." As early as the 19th, or only 
six days after the battle, the supply of ghee had become entirely 
exhausted in the camp. [Chronicle.] 

But there was no escape. The Qizilbash cavalry patrolled 
the road to Dihli and cut down or carried into slavery all who 
left the Indian camp. The few who slipped through the cordon 
of the enemy's cavalry were murdered or robbed of their all 
by the peasantry on the way. [AH Hazin.] 

When famine and despair had thus seized the Mughal 
camp in their grip, Nadir Shah summoned the Nizam to dis- 
cuss certain matters which had yet to be settled. 

On Thursday, 22nd February, the Nizam in full reliance 
on the treaty made a week earlier and without any apprehen- 
sion, went to the Persian camp, in response to Nadir's letter. 
When he reached Nadir Shah's ante-room, he was detained 
there. Nadir sent him a message demanding 20 krors of Rupees 
as indemnity and 20,000 troopers to serve under the Persian 
banners as auxiliaries. Asaf Jah was thunder-struck. He 
pleaded for abatement, saying, "From the foundation of the 
Chaghtai dynasty up to now, 20 krors of Rupees had never 
been amassed in the imperial treasury. Shah Jahan, with all 
his efforts, had accumulated only 16 krors ; but the whole of 
it had been spent by Aurangzeb in his long wars in the Dakhin. 
At present even 50 lakhs are not left in the Treasury." 

* Anandram, however, says that the price of flour reached Rs. 4 a seer. 


Nadir replied in anger, "These false words will not do. 
So long as you do not agree to procure* the sum demanded by 
me, you cannot leave this place." So, the Nizam was detained 
a prisoner in the Persian camp that day and the next. 

Nadir pressed the Nizam to write to the Emperor to visit 
the Persian camp again. The Nizam protested, saying that no 
such term had been agreed to before. The Persian king, how- 
ever, assured him that he did not mean to break his promise, 
he had only found it necessary to meet Muhammad Shah a 
second time. [Siyar, i. 97.] The Nizam had no help but to 
write to his master, reporting the exact state of affairs. 

The unexpected failure of the Nizam to return the previous 
night had already created anxiety and rumours of treachery 
among the Indians ; and now when the truth became known 
from this letter, consternation and a sense of utter helplessness 
seized the Emperor's Court and camp. The Wazir was the 
only great noble left at his side, and naturally Muhammad 
Shah turned to him for counsel ; but he replied that he could 
do nothing in such a situation and that the Emperor should 
act as he thought best. Muhammad Shah was perplexed in 
mind and overwhelmed with grief. Some of the younger nobles 
counselled resistance and one more appeal to arms before yield- 
ing himself up to certain captivity. But the Emperor knew that 
a further struggle would only lead to greater misery and ruin. 
He decided to go to Nadir, leaving it to God to work His wilL 

On Saturday 24th February, the Emperor started from his 
own camp, accompanied by Muhammad Ishaq and some 
eunuchs and personal servants (khawas) and a retinue of 2,000 
cavalry only. The other nobles who wished to bear him com- 
pany were kept back by him. Arrived in the Persian camp, 
he was, according to the report that reached the Mahratta envoy 
at Karnal, welcomed by none, but left for a long time alone 
and uncared for, and at night joined by the Nizam and Saadat 
Khan. Then he alone was taken to Nadir's tent. With this 
visit of the Emperor, as the Persian State Secretary rightly says, 
"the key for opening the whole Empire of Hindustan came into 

* Literally, 'point out where the money is.* 


the hands of Nadir Shah." In fact the Emperor became a 
captive and a guard was placed over him. The nobles who 
had accompanied him or previously gone to the Persian camp 
were told to consider themselves under arrest, and Nadir gained 
composure of mind, so far as the chance of any Indian resistance 
was concerned. [Anandram 42, Raj.] 

Next day, 25th February, the Emperor's wives, children, 
servants and furniture were taken away from Karnal, and he 
was lodged close to Nadir Shah's tents. The captive nobles 
also called to themselves their families and retinue from their 
former camp. Qamar-ud-din Khan, who was the last great 
noble in freedom, was carried by the Qizilbashes to their camp, 
along with the imperial artillery at Karnal. The Persian official 
historian throws the veil of hypocrisy over this treacherous 
coup d'etat played by his master. He describes the incident 
in these words : "Out of respect for the honour of the august 
family of the Emperor, the tents for his residence and the 
screens for his harem were set up close to Nadir Shah's tents 
and Abdul Baqi Khan, one of the highest nobles of Persia, 
was appointed with a party of soldiers to attend on Muham- 
mad Shah everywhere and engage in doing the duties of 
hospitality to the guest." [Jahanl^usha, 354.] 

It was proclaimed in the imperial camp that the minor 
officers who had not been taken to the Persian encampment, 
and all the common soldiers and followers could either stay at 
Karnal or go back to Dihli and their homes as they liked. 
[Siyar, Harcharan, Raj. vi.] 

Great terror and bewilderment now fell on the Indian camp. 
They were sheep left without a single shepherd, and sur- 
rounded by wolves. Even their last remaining chief, the Wazir, 
was now taken away from them. The road to Dihli was beset 
by roving bands of Qizilbashes who had now no fear of resist- 
ance, and by the peasantry who had risen in insurrection at 
the fall of the Government which had so long kept order.* 

* Hanway (ii. 369) : Flying parties of the Persian army within forty 
miles round the [imperial] camp cut off not less than 14,000 Indian 


The vast camp broke up, and every one fled wherever he thought 
best, but comparatively few effected their retreat in safety. 
[Siyar following AH Hazin.] 

Their condition is graphically described in the letter of one 
of these fugitives. The Mahratta ambassador at the Mughal 
Court, Babu Rao Malhar, had accompanied the Emperor from 
Dihli to Karnal with his own escort and property, and stayed 
there through these days of growing alarm and anxiety. At 
last on Sunday, the 25th, he felt that all was lost. Mustering 
courage, or in his own words, 'making a fort of his breast,' he 
issued from the camp at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. His 
elephants, camels, infantry and baggage and tents were sent 
towards Dihli by the royal highway, while he himself left it 
and plunged into the jungle for greater safety. Here he passed 
the night. Next day after riding some 80 miles along circuitous 
by-paths he regained the road near the imperial capital. Saadat 
Khan was coming along this highway with a strong Persian 
escort, and behind them the Mahratta envoy reached Dihli on 
the 27th. But that capital was no longer a safe abode. So, 
he left it that very day and halted for the night at Muhammad 
Khan's Sarai, some six miles south of the city. Thence, by 
way of Suraj Mai Jat's camp lie reached Jaipur (on 6th March) 
without once halting on the way, and there he joined his col- 
league Dhondo Pant. His elephants and camels came, more 
slowly, from Dihli to Rewari. His feelings can be judged from 
his exclamation: "God has averted a great danger from me, 
and enabled me to escape with honour ! The Chaghtai Empire 
is gone, the Irani Empire has commenced. Remain there in 
great caution!" [Rajwade, vi. No. 131.] 


[ By the Editor ] 

Sec. 117. — State of Dihli city after the Emperor's defeat. 

The people of Dihli had been as careless of the outer world 
as the imperial Court. They had not at first realized the 
character of the Persian menace, nor the genius of the upstart 
shepherd-brigand who was approaching their country. Confi- 
dence in the wardens of the marches produced a false sense of 
security, which was heightened by the magnificent display of 
the assembled forces of the three highest nobles sent from the 
capital on 2nd December 1738. When, on 19th January 1739, 
the secretary Anandram reached Dihli a day after the Emperor's 
departure to join the army, he found that every one, great and 
small, in the city had set his heart on accompanying the expedi- 
tion. Some looked upon it as an opportunity for seeing the 
Panjab, others thought that a victory would be gained near the 
city and that they would return home very soon. 

Then came the truth with startling suddenness. Early on 
the 15th February, news arrived at Dihli that two days earlier 
the enemy's forces had triumphed, the two largest divisions of 
the imperial army with their generals had been killed or cap- 
tured, and the Emperor's camp invested. The population of 
Dihli was cosmopolitan and included a large miscellaneous 
body ever ready to engage in violence and plunder. The Gujars 
or pastoral brigands lived in the close vicinity of the city and 
might be expected to raid its rich bazars whenever they heard 
that the imperial authority was paralysed or temporarily 
weakened. [Imad. 66. J 

But Haji Fulad Khan, the police prefect of Dihli, was a 
wise and energetic man. He kept the city safe by watching 
the streets day and night, and promptly pounced upon every 
creator of mischief. In the meantime the highways leading from 


the city were totally closed by robbers ; life and property 
became insecure outside the walls. Private individuals like 
Anandram who lived beyond the fortified town hired armed 
retainers to guard their houses, barricaded the ends of their 
streets, and laid in stores of powder and shot for the defence 
of their homes and families. Twelve days passed in this kind 
of anxious watch, when on 27th February Saadat Khan arrived 
with 4,000 troopers and the lawless people were overawed. 
[Anandram, 38-41.] 

The day after he had secured the Emperor's person Nadir 
Shah despatched to Dihli Saadat Khan as the Emperor's 
representative and Tahmasp Khan Jalair as his own plenipoten- 
tiary agent, with 4000 cavalry to take possession of the city 
and palace for the victor and make arrangements for keeping 
order, so that no part of the imperial property might be plunder- 
ed or secreted during the change of masters and the necessary 
preparations might be made for receiving Nadir in the palace. 
The two nobles reached Dihli on 27th February. They brought 
two letters from Muhammad Shah and Nadir to Lutf-ullah 
Khan the governor of the city. The Emperor ordered him to 
hand over to Tahmasp the keys of the palaces and imperial 
treasuries and stores and to guard the Princes carefully. 
Nadir's letter praised Lutf-ullah for his honesty and devotion 
to his master and confirmed him in the government of Dihli 
on his own behalf. 

Lutf-ullah Khan had talked of digging trenches round Dihli 
and making a defence. Therefore, Saadat Khan halted one 
march outside the city and wrote to Lutf-ullah advising him to 
make a peaceful surrender. Resistance was hopeless, and 
the governor yielded up the city to the agent of Persia. [Shakir.] 

When the news of the occupation of Dihli reached the 
camp outside Karnal the two kings set out on 1st March. 
Muhammad Shah rode an arrow's flight behind Nadir, as 
courtesy required. The Emperor was accompanied* by only 

* Harcharan. Chronicle. But Hanway (ii. 373) gives a different des- 
cription of Nadir's march to Dihli with 350,000 men forming a column 12 
miles long and 3 miles broad. 


1000 horse and his Wazir by 10,000. The rest of the imperial 
army had dispersed to their homes immediately after the order 
of 25th February. 

Sec. 118. — Nadir Shah and the Emperor enter Dihli palace. 

The royal party arrived near the Shalimar garden north of 
Dihli on 7th March. Saadat Khan had advanced from the city 
a day earlier to welcome Nadir. On the 7th Luft-ullah went 
to the garden to wait on his master, who presented him to 
Nadir. The Persian king expressed great pleasure at Lutf- 
ullah's ready obedience, and taking off a costly coat from his 
own person invested the Khan with it with his own hands. 
[Shakir.] Nadir and his army halted in the garden on the 8th, 
while Muhammad Shah went into the city to prepare the palace 
for receiving his august guest. 

The fallen descendant of Babar and Akbar rode into his 
capital on a portable throne (takht-i-rawan) in silence and 
humility ; no band played, and no banners were carried before 
him. [Chronicle.] A few nobles accompanied him, — Ishaq 
Khan, Bahroz Khan and Jawid Khan. 

Next morning, Friday the 9th of March, the conqueror 
entered Dihli riding a grey charger. His troops lined the road 
from the limits of the Shalimar garden to the gate of the fort- 
palace of Dihli. The Emperor welcomed his conqueror, 
spread the richest carpets cloth of gold and other rare stuffs 
on the ground for him to set his foot upon (pa-andazi). Nadir 
Shah occupied Shah Jahan's own palace-chambers near the 
Diwan-i-khas, while Muhammad Shah lodged near the deorhi 
of the Asad Burj. [Anandram.] On this day the Emperor 
acted as the host and placed dinner before Nadir. The Persian 
army encamped, some round the fort, some on the bank of the 
Jamuna near the city, and some were quartered in houses 
throughout the city. [Ali Hazin, Jahankusha 355.] 

Saadat Khan had been in attendance on Nadir the whole 
of this day. At night he was severely reprimanded by the 
Persian king for his failure to raise the promised ransom and 
was threatened with personal chastisement if he did not carry 


out his word soon. It was too much for him. He retired to his 
own house and took poison. 

The feast of Id-uz-zuha fell on Saturday 10th March. In 
the morning the name and titles of Nadir were proclaimed as 
sovereign from the pulpits of the Jama Masjid and other places 
of prayer. [Siyar, i. 98.] In the afternoon Nadir went on a 
return visit to Muhammad Shahs chambers and proceeded to 
his real business, the exaction of ransom. A little scene was 
now played in order to throw a veil of outward decency over 
the pre-arranged act of spoliation. We can easily detect the 
truth in reading between the lines of the following diplomatic 
narrative of the Persian king's secretary [Jahankusha, 355] : — 

"Nadir Shah graciously remarked that the throne of 
Hindustan would be left to Muhammad Shah, in the terms of 
the agreement made on the first day, and that the Emperor 
would enjoy the support and friendship of the Persian monarch, 
because both were of the same Turkoman stock. 

"Muhammad Shah bowed low in gratitude and gave profuse 
thanks to the victor for his generosity. He had received no 
small favour ; — it was the gift of a crown added to the gift 
of life. As a mark of his gratitude he laid before Nadir Shah 
the accumulated treasures stores and rare possessions of the 
rulers of Dihli as presents to Nadir and offerings for his health 
(nisar). But the gracious sovereign of Persia refused to take 
any of these things, though the piled-up wealth of all the other 
kings of the world did not amount to a tenth part of a tenth 
part of this immense hoard. At last he yielded to the 
importunity of Muhammad Shah and appointed trusty officers 
to take delivery of the money and other property." 

Sec. 119. — Dihli populace rise against the Persians. 

While this peaceful meeting was being held in the palace, 
a scene of the opposite character opened in the city. Nadir's 
soldiers and camp-followers, mostly Turks, Kurds and Mongols, 
were wandering carelessly through the streets and bazars of 
Dihli as their king was in possession of the city. Suddenly, 
about four o'clock in the evening (Saturday, 10th March), some 
idle talkers and mischief-makers started the rumour that Nadir 


Shah had been treacherously shot dead at the instigation of 
Muhammad Shah, by a Qalmaq woman-guard of the palace 
when he was returning from his visit to the Emperor.* 
[Anandram 44, Siyar i. 98.] As all had heard that Nadir 
would go to the Emperor's quarters that day, the story found 
ready belief. None cared to verify the news by a visit to the 
palace, though its gate was open and people were passing 
in and out of it on business. [Ali Hazin.] The rumour 
spread like wild-fire, and soon afterwards the hooligans and 
low people of the city armed themselves and began to attack 
the Persian soldiers and followers who were strolling through 
the streets alone or in groups of two and three. Their small 
number, their ignorance of the local language, and their un- 
familiarity with the by-ways of the city put them at a 
disadvantage and they were slain. The rumour of the murder 
of their chief took the heart out of the Persians and they could 
not make any organized stand. The rising spread with the 
success of the rioters and the weak defence of the Persians. 
All night the murderous attack raged ; it slackened after 3 
o'clock next morning (no doubt owing to the exhaustion of 
the fighters), but revived with new energy at daybreak, which 
was the 13th bright lunar day of Falgun or the commencement 
of the Holi festival, when the lower classes of Hindus are 
particularly excited and often intoxicated. [Chronicle and Raj. 
vi. 131.] 

Among the authorities Harcharan-das alone says that the 
citizens rose in tumult when they were driven to desperation 
by the violent attacks of the Persian soldiers on their property 

* This was a familiar stage-device of the story-tellers of Dihli. The 
captive Shah Jahan was said to have formed a similar plot against 
Aurangzeb in Agra fort. Details of the alleged murder of Nadir Shah 
varied in the popular mouth. The following rumour reached Aurangabad, 
as we find in a Mahratti news-letter [Raj. vi. No. 1341 = — "Nadir Shah 
breaking his oath faithlessly imprisoned the Emperor and his nobles, 
though the Pathans who had joined him urged him not to do it. At the 
time of Nadir's entrance into Dihli there was a rising of the Pathans round 
him. Qasim Khan Pathan and his brother, who were waving peacock 
feather fans over Nadir and his Wazir on their howdas, slew both of them 
with their daggers at the gate." 


and women. This statement goes against the probabilities of the 
case, because the time was only one day after Nadir's arrival, 
when the amount of the ransom and the manner of levying 
it were still being discussed, and Nadir was not the man to 
allow a premature fleecing of the citizens or relax the discipline 
of his army in a foreign town. All other writers represent the 
Indian mob as the aggressors. The higher classes and all good 
men held aloof ; but they took no active step to pacify or 
control the hooligans, because the old Government agency for 
maintaining order had been dissolved, the gentry were too 
much divided by caste creed race and profession to combine 
and organize a voluntary police at a moment's notice, and 
their centralized autocratic Government had not developed 
their powers of initiative and self-help by giving them any 
opportunity of corporate action and municipal self-government. 

Hanway heard what seems to me to have been the most 
probable account of the origin of the riot, namely that Tahmasp 
Khan sent several Persian mounted military police (nasaqchi) 
to the granaries of the Paharganj ward ordering them to be 
opened and the price of corn fixed ; that the corn-dealers not 
being satisfied with the rate, a mob assembled ; Sayyid Niaz 
Khan and several other persons of distinction put themselves 
at their head and slew the Persian horsemen, and then the 
report was spread that Nadir had been murdered, which 
increased the tumult, [ii. 375.] 

According to Ali Hazin, seven thousand Persians were 
slain that night. But Abdul Karim gives the more probable 
figure of 3,000.* 

When early in the night the first reports of the attacks 
on his soldiers were brought to Nadir, he refused to credit them 
and censured the complainants by saying that the wretches in 

* Ali Hazin says that some of the Indian nobles who had begged from 
Nadir Qizilbash guards for their mansions gave them up to the mob to be 
slain and even killed them with their own hands. But Abdul Karim tells 
the more probable tale that these guards were preserved and their presence 
saved those houses from the vengeance of Nadir's soldiery in the next day's 
massac.3 and even the poor householders in their neighbourhood escaped 
sack by appealing to them. 


his army had brought this false charge against the citizens in 
the hope of getting from him an order to plunder and slay 
them and thus satisfy their wicked greed. But the reports 
persisted and gradually became more alarming. He now sent 
out a sergeant to find out the true facts. The man, on leaving 
the fort-gate, was killed by the mob. A second agent suffered 
the same fate. Then the Persian king ordered a thousand 
musketeers to enter the streets and disperse the mob. But 
by this time the disturbance had spread over too large an area 
for these few men to succeed in quelling it. 

On learning this, Nadir ordered that his soldiers should 
remain collected in their respective posts for the rest of the 
night, without spreading out or sallying forth to punish the 
Indians. They were not even to fight unless their posts were 
attacked. The gates of the wards of the city were watched 
by strong Persian pickets, and the rioting bands were isolated 
in their respective quarters and prevented from combining 
or marching elsewhere. [Jahankusha 357, Harcharan, Bayan 
46-47, Ali Hazin 298-299, Anandram 44.] 

Sec. 120. — Nadir's massacre at Dihli. 

At sunrise on Sunday 11th March, the tumult broke out 
afresh. Nadir dressed himself in armour, mounted his horse 
and girt around by spearmen carrying daggers also, rode to 
the Golden Mosque of Roshan-ud-daulah in the middle of 
Chandni Chawk, opposite the Police Station and close to the 
Jewel Market. There he ascertained from which wards and 
classes of men the crimes of the night before had proceeded, 
and then unsheathed his sword as a signal for the general 
massacre of the people of those wards. 

His soldiers had so long held their hands back from 
retaliation solely in obedience to his command. They now 
hastened with drawn swords to wreak vengeance. Within the 
doomed areas, the houses were looted, all the men killed 
without regard for age and all the women dragged into slavery.* 

* Hanway (ii. 376) — Many refugees from the neighbouring country, 
joined by jewellers, money-changers, and rich shopkeepers, headed by the 
Court physician, took arms in desperation, assembled in a body, and fought 


The destroyers set fire to many houses and several of their 
victims, both dead and wounded, Hindus and Muhammadans, 
were indiscriminately burnt together. [Jahankusha 357-358.] 

The slaughter began about 9 o'clock in the morning and 
raged unchecked till about 2 P.M. Then Muhammad Shah 
in utter humility sent his highest nobles, the Nizam and the 
Wazir, to beg the victor to abate his anger and pardon his 
erring subjects. [Jahan 359.] Nadir listened to the prayer, 
because he took no pleasure in wanton bloodshed, and had 
only ordered the massacre as a measure of self-defence in 
imaginary fear of a universal rising of the Indian population. 

The fyotwcd was commanded to go through the city with 
the heralds of the Persian army, proclaiming to the men to 
cease their work of slaughter. They immediately obeyed. 

Anandram (who was present in the Wakilpura suburb 
throughout Nadir's stay in Dihli) says that the houses in the 
Chandni Chawk, the Fruit-market Square, the Dariba Bazar 
and the region round the Jama Masjid were sacked. Harcharan- 
das, too, speaks of only 2 or 3 mahallas near the Fort and the 
grain dealers' mahalla (Paharganj) which was at a distance 
from it, suffering havoc. Abdul Karim defines the portion of 
the city subjected to massacre and plunder, as extending from 
the fort-gate westwards to the old Id-gah, northwards to the 
wood market, southwards to outside the Dihli gate in the city- 
wall. In addition to this area, "in Paharganj where the rising 
had started, many men were arrested on the suspicion of having 
caused the tumult and they were brought and beheaded on 
the bank of the Jamuna." [Bay an.] 

The number of persons slain was found, on a subsequent 
investigation by the kptwal, to be 8,000 according to my MS. 
of Abdul Karim 's memoirs, but the copy of the same work 
used by Sir H. Elliot's translator, Lt. Prichard, reads 20,000. 
The Persian State Secretary has 30,000 ; and the Mahratti news- 
letters (based on distant hearsay) give the number of the 

bravely for some time; but being so little accustomed to the use of arms, 
only died sword in hand. 


victims as 50,000 in one place and 3 or 4 lakhs in another. 
Harcharan-das has one lakh ; Hanway adds ten thousand to 
this last figure, and says that 10,000 more committed suicide 
by throwing themselves into wells, [ii. 376.] All these are 
popular exaggerations due to distant bazar rumours. Consider- 
ing the small area affected and the short duration of the havoc 
20,000 is the most probable number of those put to the sword. 

We are told by more than one authority that many 
respectable Indian householders slew their own wives and 
daughters to save them from dishonour by the Qizilbash 
soldiery and then rushed on the enemy's swords or cut their 
own throats. Many women drowned themselves in the wells 
of their houses to escape a shame worse than death. But many 
more were outraged and dragged away as captives, though 
according to the Persian State Secretary Nadir afterwards 
ordered them to be restored to their families. [Hanway, 
Jahan 359; Rajwade vi. Nos. 133 and 167.] 

During the night of the rising two Indian nobles named 
Sayyid Niaz Khan (the son-in-law of the Wazir) and Shah 
Nawaz Khan, with Rai Bhan, had attacked the elephant 
stables of Nadir, killed his superintendent of mahuts and taken 
away the elephants. They had afterwards shut themselves up 
in a fort outside the city and resisted capture. Azim-ullah 
Khan and Fulad Khan were now sent by the Emperor to arrest 
them. They were produced before Nadir with 470 of their 
armed followers and were put to death by his order. [Jahan 
359.] Abdul Karim, however, holds them inocent of participa- 
tion in the night's riot, but says that they had merely shot down 
a number of Qizilbash assailants in the defence of their property 
and family honour during the massacre. All other authorities 
represent these two nobles as aggressors. Hanway heard a 
different version of this incident. According to him [ii. 377], 
before the massacre of Dihli a party of the Persian forces had 
been sent to seize the cannon at the palace of an Indian lord. 
These had been treacherously set upon and murdered by a 
body of Tartar Mongols [of Mughalpura] . Nadir sent a large 
detachment who fell upon these people and slaughtered nearly 
6000 of them. The Persians brought away the ordnance 



together with 300 persons of the chief rank among them, who 
were beheaded and their bodies thrown away on the sand bank 
(reti) of the Jamuna. 

For some days after the massacre the streets of the doomed 
quarters of Dihli became impassable from the stench of the 
corpses rilling the houses, wells and roadside, none venturing 
to approach them in fear. At last the fyotwal took Nadir's 
permission and had the bodies collected on the roads and 
other open spaces and burnt them. [Anandram 50, AH 
Hazin 300.] 

After the massacre Nadir ordered the granaries to be 
sealed up and guards set over them. He also set several parties 
of cavalry to invest the city and prevent ingress and egress. 
The city was in a state of siege ; the roads were entirely closed. 
A famine broke out among the survivors of the massacre. Those 
who tried to leave Dihli and go to the neighbouring villages 
in quest of food, were intercepted by the cavalry patrols, 
deprived of their noses and ears, and driven back into the city. 
After some days a lamenting deputation waited on the Persian 
king and he at last permitted them to go to Faridabad to buy 
provisions. [Hanway, ii. 377-378 ; Rajwade, vi. No. 133.] 

But even the villages were no safer. The Persians 
marauded for 30 or 40 miles round the capital, plundering the 
villages, laying the fields waste and killing the inhabitants who 
resisted. After the battle of Karnal a body of Persians had 
been sent to raid Thanesar, which they plundered, slaying 
many. During the Shah's advance to Dihli early in March, 
Panipat, Sonepat and other towns lying on the way were sacked. 
[Hanway, ii. 384, 372-373.] 

Sec. 121. — Exaction of ransom from Dihli. 

Nadir spent two months in Dihli, secure in the occupation 
of the capital and engaged in the collection of the huge 
indemnity. On 26th March his younger son Mirza Nasr-ullah 
was married to an imperial Princess, a daughter of Dawar 
Bakhsh,* the grandson of Murad and great grandson of Shah 

* Dawar Bakhsh's mother was a daughter of Aurangzeb. 


Jahan. For one week before the ceremony, rejoicings on a 
grand scale continued day and night. The bank of the Jamuna 
opposite the Diwan-i-khas was illuminated with lamps every 
night, while combats of elephants, oxen, tigers and deer were 
held in the day. 

The conqueror allowed himself some relaxation after his 
arduous campaigns. Dances and songs were performed before 
him. One Indian dancing-girl named Nur Bai so highly 
fascinated him by her musical powers and ode in honour of 
him that he ordered her to be paid Rs. 4000 and taken to Persia 
in his train. It was with the greatest difficulty that she could 
save herself from this last mark of his favour. [Bayan 56.] 

The total indemnity secured by Nadir Shah at Dihli is 
estimated by his Secretary at nearly 15 krors of Rupees in 
cash, besides a vast amount in jewels, clothing furniture and 
other things from the imperial store-houses. The above figure 
includes whatever was taken from the nobles far and near and 
the imperial treasuries. [Jahan 361.] The grand total from all 
sources is raised to 70 k.rors by Frazer, according to the following 
estimate, which is clearly an exaggeration, as the State 
Secretary's figures are of the highest authority : 

Gold and silver plate and cash ... ... 30 krors 

Jewels ... ... ... ... 25 ,, 

The Peacock Throne and nine other thrones, 

also several weapons and utensils all 

garnished with precious stones ... 9 ,, 

Rich manufactures ... ... ... 2 ,, 

Cannon, stores, furniture ... ... 4 ,, 

Total ... ... 70 krors 

In addition to these, 300 elephants, 10,000 horses and the 
same number of camels were taken away. [Hanway, 383, 
389.] Anandram, who was attached to the Indian Wazir, how- 
ever, gives — sixty lakhs of Rupees and some thousand gold 
coins, nearly one kror of Rupees' worth of gold- ware, nearly 
50 k ror worth of jewels, most of them unrivalled in the world ; 
the above included the Peacock Throne. [Anandram 51.]' 


The Emperor had to surrender all his crown-jewels, in- 
cluding the famous diamond Koh-i-nur and the Peacock Throne 
of Shah Jahan which had cost 2 krors of Rupees. In the public 
treasuries were found three krors of Rupees, but in the inner 
vaults, which had been shut during many reigns, a much larger 
amount was discovered. [Hanway, 383.] Abdul Karim says 
that the personal property of the Begams of Dihli was not 
robbed. This statement cannot be accepted, though it is a fact 
that no torture was applied to these ladies or their servants for 
their jewels. 

While the Emperor and the nobles were being squeezed of 
their wealth, the general public did not escape. A contribution 
of one-half of their property was fixed on all the well-to-do 
citizens who had escaped the massacre and sack, and a total 
of two krors* was ordered to be raised from this source. [Shakir 
and Anandram.] Anandram, who was assessed five lakhs and 
had a Persian military guard placed at his door to enforce 
payment, describes the method of extortion thus : — 

"Accountants were appointed to levy the indemnity from 
the inhabitants, under the guidance of Tahmasp Khan Jalair. 
But in order to save the citizens from utter ruin, nobles of both 
the Governments were directed to supervise the assessment of 
the ransom in the law-court in the presence of the public. 
Footmen (piadas) of the Optical and nasaqchis (military police 
of Persia) were sent to take a census of the houses and prepare 
lists of the property in each and enforce the appearance of the 
citizens, so that the sum to be contributed by each individual 
might be in accordance with his means. Helpless people, high 
and low, rich and poor, were compelled day after day to attend 
at the law-court where they were kept from dawn to sunset 

and often till one prahar of night Without ascertaining the 

truth, the calumnies of Mir Waris and Khwaja Rahmat-ullah 

were believed The lists were prepared. The contribution 

of the capital totalled two krors of Rupees. The Shah appointed 

* Hanway, 383, says "About the middle of April four kror was extorted 
from the merchants and common people." But Anandram is a better 


the Nizam, the Wazir, Azim-ullah Khan, Sarbuland Khan and 
Murtaza Khan to collect the money. The entire city was 
divided into five sections, and lists of the different mahallas 
with the names of their inhabitants and the amount to be levied 
from each were given to these five nobles." [Anandram, 53.] 
After every citizen had been assessed his exact contribu- 
tion, pressure was put upon them to pay the amount. Delay 
or objection only led to insult and torture. The floors of the 
houses were dug up in search of buried treasure. [Raj wade vi. 
133.] Anandram writes in his autobiography: "In the two 
mahallas where the collection was entrusted to the Nizam and 
the Wazir, the people were treated humanely, as the Wazir 
paid a great part of the money from his own chests. But in 
the other three mahallas, especially in that assigned to Sar- 
buland Khan (i.e., Anandram's own !) the sufferings of the 

people knew no bounds Whole families were ruined. Many 

took poison and others stabbed themselves to death." 
[Anandram 54.] 

It is said that the Wazir Qamar-ud-din Khan was exposed 
in the sun and thus made to pay one kror of Rupees plus jewels 
and elephants. His diwan Majlis Rai was assessed a large sum 
and delivered to Sarbuland Khan to be tortured. His ear was 
cut off in open darbar, and retiring home in the depth of dis- 
grace he committed suicide on 8th April. The Court agent of 
the governor of Bengal was beaten, and he took poison with 
his entire family. As Hanway says, "No barbarities were left 
unpractised. The tax imposed was strictly exacted. What 

numbers destroyed themselves with their own hands " 

[Hanway, ii. 382, Frazer 199, T-i-Mdi, Tilok Das.] 

All this time Nadir lived at Dihli as king. Coins were 
issued and the public prayer read in his name as sovereign, 
and the title of Shahan Shah ('king of kings') which the Mughal 
Emperors had borne was taken away from them and applied 
to him only. The governors of the provinces of India had to 
proclaim him as their suzerain and in some instances mint his 
coins in the provincial mints. Muhammad Shah lived in Dihli 
like a prisoner of state and his nobles in the same helpless 
and degraded condition. 


The entire population of Persia shared their king's pros- 
perity. The revenue of that kingdom was remitted for three 
years. The chiefs of the army were lavishly rewarded ; the 
common soldiers received 18 months' pay together, one-third 
of which was their due arrears, one-third an advance, and the 
remaining one-third a bounty. [Bay an 53.] The camp- 
followers received Rs. 60 per head as salary and Rs. 100 as 
bounty. [Jahan. 361.] 

At Dihli Nadir Shah talked of making a pilgrimage to the 
tomb of Shaikh Muin-ud-din Chishti at Ajmer. This journey 
was really intended for the spoliation of the Rajput States, 
because Ajmer is in the heart of Rajputana. At the report of 
his intended movement, Sawai Jai Singh in alarm sent his 
family and those of his nobles to the mountain-fastness of 
Udaipur and remained alone at his capital ready to flee away 
at the first notice. Baji Rao the Peshwa, then at Burhanpur, 
began to form plans for holding the line of the Chambal to 
prevent a Persian invasion of the Dakhin. [Rajwade vi. 1 33 ; 
Brahmendra S. C. 42.] 

Sec. 122.— Nadir's Departure from Dihli. 

Nearly two months having been thus passed at Dihli and 
the contribution collected, Nadir Shah held a grand Court on 
Tuesday, 1st May, to which he summoned the Emperor and 
his nobility. These nobles, about a hundred in number, were 
presented with robes of honour, jewelled swords and daggers, 
horses and other gifts. With his own hands he placed the 
crown of Hindustan on the head of Muhammad Shah and tied 
a jewelled sword round his waist. 

The Emperor bowed low in gratitude and said, "As the 
generosity of the Shahan Shah has made me a second time 
master of a crown and a throne and exalted me among the 
crowned heads of the world, I beg to offer as my tribute the 
provinces of my Empire west of the river Indus, from Kashmir 
to Sindh, and in addition the subah of Tattha and the ports 
subordinate to it." Thus, the trans-Indus provinces and 
Afghanistan were finally lost to the heirs of Babar. A consi- 
derable territory east of the Indus had also been seized by 

1739] nadir's departure from dihli 375 

Nadir by right of victory over the local subahdars before the 
battle of Karnal, and his right to their revenue was not dis- 
puted, though they continued to be governed by Muhammad 
Shah's officers. The governor of Lahor now signed an agree- 
ment to send Nadir 20 lakhs of Rupees a year on this account, 
to remove the reason for any Persian garrison being left east 
of the Indus. 

At this darbar of 1st May, Nadir Shah urged all the nobles 
and officers of India to obey and please their Emperor. He 
also gave them and their master much valuable advice on the 
art of government, and decreed that henceforth farmans should 
again issue on Muhammad Shah's behalf, and the tyiutba and 
coins should bear his name and title. Khutba and coinage in 
Nadirs name, after having been current in India for two months, 
were now discontinued. [Jahan. 362.] On this day the 
Persian conqueror sent off four farmans of his own to Nasir 
Jang, Nasir-ud-daulah, Rajah Sahu and Baji Rao, urging them 
to respect the settlement he had made and to obey Muhammad 
Shah in future. [Jahankusha 361-362, Rajwade vi. 167, Ali 
Hazin 301, Bayan 57, Anandram 80-83.] 

Then, laden with the plundered wealth of India and the 
accumulated treasures of eight generations of Emperors, he set 
out on his return home. From India he carried away 130 
accountants familiar with the finances of the Mughal Empire, 
300 masons, 200 blacksmiths, 200 carpenters and 100 stone- 
cutters, to build a city like Dihli in Persia. Some goldsmiths 
and boat-builders were also forced to accompany him. These 
artisans were supplied with horses and other necessary articles 
and promised a large pay and permission to return to India after 
three years. But a considerable number of them contrived to 
escape before he reached Lahor. [Hanway, ii. 389.] 

On 5th May 1739 he left Dihli after a stay of 57 days. 
Making a short halt in the Shalimar garden outside the city, 
he marched by way of Narela to Sonepat, where he overtook 
his army. The peasants rose in his rear and plundered strag- 
glers and the hindmost part of his baggage train. It is said 
that he lost 1,000 transport animals (camels, horses and mules) 


before reaching Thanesar. In anger he ordered massacres 
here and at some other towns on the way. [Hanway, 391 .] 

From Sarhind he swerved aside to the right and proceeded 
along the foot of the Himalayas, crossing the upper courses of 
the five rivers of the Panjab which were bridged for him. This 
he did in order to avoid the blistering heat of summer. On 
25th May he reached the Chinab at Akhnur, 42 miles north-east 
of Wazirabad.* By that time the river had been swollen by 
heavy rainfall in the hills. When only half the Persian army 
had crossed over, the bridge of boats broke from the strength 
of the current and 2,000 Persians were drowned. A long halt 
had to be made, while a search was made far and near for 
boats. The other half of the army was ferried over slowly in 
boats and rafts at Kaluwal. After thus losing 40 days, Nadir 
himself crossed the river last on 3rd July and resumed his 

By this time the heat had become intolerable even along 
the foot of the hills. Zakariya Khan, the subahdar of Lahor 
and Multan, had accompanied Nadir up to this point. He was 
now dismissed to his seat of government with many gifts and 
a recommendation for promotion addressed to his master. 
Nadir Shah had been pleased with his devotion and ability, 
and asked him to name any favour that he liked. The Khan 
very nobly begged for the release of the Indian captives taken 
away from Dihli by the Persian army. These were now set 
free by Nadir's order. [M. U. ii. 106.] Then, by way of 
Hasan Abdal and the Khaibar Pass the Persians returned to 
Kabul. [Jahankusha 363-365, Anandram 83-98.] 

His return march through the Panjab was molested by the 
Sikhs and Jats who rose in his rear and plundered a portion of 
his baggage. The immense booty that he carried away from 
India did not remain long in the royal treasury of Persia. Eight 
years after this invasion Nadir Shah was assassinated, and in 

* I here follow Anandram. Mirza Mahdi's words are, "He encamped 
on the bank of the river Chinab known as Wazirabad." This may mean 
that the Chinab was known as the river of Wazirabad and not that the 
Persians crossed at the toiOn of Wazirabad. 


the troubled times that ensued his hoarded treasures were 
plundered and dispersed.* 

Sec. 123. — State of India after Nadir's departure. 

Nadir Shah's occupation of Dihli and massacre of its people 
carried men's memories 340 years back to a similar calamity 
at the hands of Timur. But there was a great difference between 
the results of these two foreign invasions. Timur left the State 
of Dihli as he had found it, impoverished no doubt, but with- 
out any dismemberment. Nadir Shah, on the other hand, 
annexed the trans-Indus provinces and the whole of Afghanis- 
tan, and thus planted a strong foreign power constantly imping- 
ing on our western frontier. Timur's destructive work and the 
threat of further invasion from his country ended with his life. 
But the Abdali and his dynasty continued Nadir's work in 
India as the heir to his Empire. With the Khaibar Pass and 
the Peshawar district in foreign hands, the Panjab became a 
starting point for fresh expeditions against Dihli. 

Not only were Afghanistan and the modern N. W. Frontier 
Province ceded as the result of Nadir's invasion, but the Panjab 
too was soon afterwards lost. Throughout the second half of 
the 18th century, Ahmad Shah Abdali and his descendants who 
ruled over Kabul and Lahor, constantly threatened the peace 
of Dihli and even the eastern provinces of the Mughal Empire. 
Their least movements, their slightest public utterances were 
reported to Dihli and Lakhnau and sent a thrill of fear through 
these Indian Courts and caused anxiety and precautionary diver- 
sion of forces to their English protectors, Hastings and 
Wellesley. The hardy and trained warriors of Central Asia and 

* The Peacock Throne consisted of a gold-plated frame capable of 
being taken to pieces, richly jewelled panels fitting into its eight sides and 
detachable pillars steps and roof. It used to be put together and placed 
in the darbar hall only at the anniversary of the royal coronation, but at 
other times it was stowed away in loose parts. When these parts were 
looted they were naturally dispersed to different quarters. The genuine 
Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan no longer exists anywhere in the world : 
but a modern and cheap imitation of it, made by the later kings of Persia. 
is still preserved at Teheran. 


Afghanistan could have captured Dihli by a few days* dash 
from Lahor. 

The Panjab, as the defensive barrier of India proper on 
the west, passed out of the hands of the ruler of Dihli even 
before the Abdali annexed it. Before the coming of Nadir, 
this province had attained to much peace and prosperity as 
the result of Farrukh-siyar's successful extinction of the Sikh 
guru Banda and his followers, and later on the vigorous cam- 
paigns of Zakariya Khan against predatory local chiefs and 
rebels. He had also added to the wealth and beauty of the 
cities, as Anandram enthusiastically describes. But Nadirs 
invasion undid all this. The country was first sacked by the 
Persian soldiers under orders and then by the lawless natives. 
Everywhere robbery and murder took place ; gangs of robbers 
closed the roads to trade and peaceful traffic ; every one fought 
every one else. Utter desolation and disorder seized the pro- 
vince. The Sikhs began to assert themselves in ever-increasing 
strength, until, half-a-century later, they gained possession of 
the entire province. From the end of Muhammad Shah's reign 
they became an ever-present thorn in the side of the Empire. 
In the second half of the 18th century they used to make almost 
annual raids eastwards to the environs of Dihli, plundering, 
burning, massacring and destroying all traces of cultivation and 
habitation with ferocious cruelty. Sarhind, Saharanpur, Meerut, 
Shahdera and even Hardwar suffered from their ravages. 
Peace, prosperity and industry disappeared from the region 
north and west of the Mughal capital. 

After Nadir's return, the Mahrattas established themselves 
in the southern and western provinces of the Empire in absolute 
security. The Dihli sovereign had no force, no general left to 
offer them the least resistance. Emboldened by the helpless- 
ness of the central Government, Mahratta bands began to pene- 
trate repeatedly to Orissa, south-eastern Bihar and Bengal. The 
local governor was helpless against their hordes and the Emperor 
could think of no other means of meeting this danger than by 
begging the Puna Mahrattas to drive the Nagpur Mahrattas 
out of Bengal. 

We are told by the Indian historians that after the depar- 


ture of Nadir, the Emperor called his ministers together and 
devoted himself to re-establishing the administration and 
restoring the finances. But we know from history that he did 
not succeed, and that during the ten years that he reigned after 
Nadir's invasion, the Government grew weaker and weaker and 
matters drifted as before. 

Indeed, there was no reason why there should be a restora- 
tion of the imperial power and prestige, while the character 
of the Emperor and his nobles continued to be as bad as before. 
The Nizam was the only able and honest adviser left ; but he 
was now an old man of 82 or 83, and in anticipation of his 
approaching death rebellion had broken out among his sons. 
His domestic troubles and anxieties drew him to the Dakhin 
and kept him busy there till his death. Thus the Emperor 
could not profit by the Nizam's wisdom and experience, even 
if he were inclined to follow his counsels — which was not the 

The governors of Oudh and the Dakhin had no help but 
to declare their independence — in practice, if not in name, — 
as the subahdar of Bengal had already done. The struggle for 
the wazirship at the capital — i.e., for the post of keeper of the 
puppet Emperor, — continued more bitterly than before ; the 
factions among the nobility quarrelled and intrigued as hard as 
ever, and finally after the death of Muhammad Shah (1748) 
they came to blows in the streets and pitched battles on the 
plains outside Dihli, and the great anarchy, which is only 
another name for the history of the Mughal Empire in its last 
days, began, destined to be ended only by the foreign conquest 
of the imperial capital half a century later. 


Vol. I 

P. It, 1. 14 for sikkoh read sikka 

,, 51 ., 3 „ do. ., do. 

,, 159 ,, 2 ,, brothers ,, brothers' 

., 240 ., 15 read (1124y. 1 m. 21 d.— 1125 y. Om. 16 d.) 

,, 240 ,, 17 for jar read zar 

,, 243 ,, 3 ,, Surbuland read Sarbuland 

,,279 .,34 ,, Qudrat- read If Qudrat- 


P. 25 heading for Bushanpur read Burhanpur 
,, 104 1. 2 for quite read quit 

do to Roshan-ud-daulah, and read do. Roehan-ud-daulah said 

horsemen ; read horsemen, 

years his read years of his 

fight read flight 

1713 „ 1731 

litde ,, litde [while) 

actively ,, activity 

* t 


i » 




1 1 


, t 


1 1 


> > 




• » 


» i 


* » 


* i 







Ali Hazin — Belfour's Memoirs of Shaikh Ali Hazin (O. T. F.) 

Anandram — Tazhira (Aligarh Col. MS.) 

Bayart — Bayan-i-waqai by Abdul Karim Kashmiri. [In ch. 11-13 the Lahor 

Public Library MS. is cited, elsewhere the Br. Mus. copy.] 
Barhan — Burhan-ul-fuhxh. 
Chronicle — Dihli Chronicle, a Persian MS', described by J. Sarkar in 

Proceedings of Indian Hist. Records Commission 1921. 
Hanway — Travels, 3rd. ed. 

Harcharan-das — Chahar Gnlzar-i-Shujai (J. Sarkar' e MS.) 
Imad — Imad-us-Sadat by Ghulam Ali (litho.) 
Jahan or Jahankusha — Tarikh-i-Jahank.usha-i-Nadiri by Mirza Mahdi (litho, 

Khizr Khan — Siwanih-i-Khizri. 
Mirat — Mirat-i-Ahmadi by Md. Ali Khan. 
Nadir Shah — Frazer's Nadir Shah. 

Raj. — Marathachi Itihasachen Sadhanen ed. by V. K. Rajwade and others. 
Shakir — Tazkira of Shakir Khan (J. Sarkar's MS.) 
Tilok Das — Hindi poem on Nadir Shah and Md. Shah in J.A.S.B., 1897. 


(Compiled by Bijay-nath Sarkar, B.A., C.E.) 

Abdul-ghaffur Shah — joins plot against Husain Ali, ii. 57, his history, 
267-269, shameless conduct of his son and daughter, 269, his disgrace 
and death 273-275. 

Abdullah — S'ayyid Hasan Ali, Qutb-ul-mulk. At Jajau i. 31, 34, created 
Abdullah Khan i. 204, Azim-ush-shan's deputy at Allahabad 205, 
joins Farrukh-siyar 209, created Wazir 213 and 258, at Khajwa 217, at 
battle of Agra 229-234, doings at Dihli 247-248, created Qutb-ul-mulk 
255, quarrel with Farrukh-siyar 294-301, counteracts Emperor's plots 
327-337 and 347, wins over Ajit Singh 348-351 and other nobles 
351-355, invites Husain Ali from Dakhin 353, seizes Dihli palace 381, 
tries to drag Farrukh-siyar out of harem 386, enthrones Rafi-ud-darjat 
389, blinds Farrukh-siyar 390, his conduct criticized 395, quarrels with 
Husain Ali ii. 14, hears of Alim Ali's death ii. 51, moves towards 
Dihli ii. 52 and 66, complains to Md. Shah about Husain Ali's murder 
ii. 72, enthrones Ibrahim ii. 77, defeated at Hasanpur ii. 91-92, death 
ii. 96, character i. 416-417, ii. 97-100. 

Abdus-samad — early career i. 189, commands Jahandar's vanguard at battle 
of Lahor i. 168, appointed governor of Lahor, campaign against 
Banda i. 308-315, his son Zakariya Kh. ii. 325. 

Abhai Singh — son of Maharajah Ajit Singh, received by Farrukh-siyar i. 290, 
opposes Mughals ii. 109, submits ii. 114, succeeds Ajit Singh ii. 115 : 
appointed governor of Gujarat ii. 203, fights Sarbuland ii. 213. 

Afghan — definition i. 273, settlements in N. India, id. (See Rohilkhand.) 

Agra — Battle of (1713) i. 229-234, fort garrison crown Neku-siyar 409, siege 
by Sayyids 423-427. 

Ahmad Khan — i. 46. 

Ahsan Khan — (Mir Mallang), chief adviser of Kam Bakhsh i. 50, reduces 
Karnul and Arkat 52, suspected and tortured to death, 55-56. 

Ajmer — centre of Mughal authority in Rajputana, i. 42, Nadir's proposed 
pilgrimage to, ii. 374. 

Ajit Singh — Maharajah of Jodhpur, early history i. 44, fights Bahadur Shah 
45-48, revolts again 285-290, his daughter married to Farrukh-siyar 304, 
joins Sayyid brothers 349. 347, nicknamed damad-kush 408, created 
subahdar of Ajmer ii. 4, revolts ii. 108-114, murdered, why? ii. 117, 
character id. 

Akbarabad — see Agra 

Akbar-nagar = RajmahaI, i. 201. 

Alamgir — see Anrangzeb. 


Alim Ali — nephew of Sayyid brothers, opposes Nizam ii. 43. killed at 
Balapur ii. 49. 

Ali Md. Kh.— Rohela, origin ii. 118—120 ; 240. 

Ali Murad — see Ko^altash Khan. 

Ali Tabar — Azam Shah's son, commands Centre at Jajau i. 24, wounded 32. 

Amar Singh — II. Maharana of Mewar, ii 43, relations with Bahadur Shah 

Amin-ud-din — serves Azim-ush-shan i. 133, Farrukh-siyar's supporter 369, 
embassy to Sayyid Husain Ali, 372, advice to Emperor 373-374. 

Amir Khan — Md. Shah's favourite ii. 265 ; opposes Baji Rao's attack on 
Dihli ii. 291. 

Anwar-ud-din — dismissed faujdar of Kora, joins Nizam, ii. 152. 

Asad Khan — Alamgir's Wazir, career i. 9, submits to Bahadur Shah 38, 
appointed Wakil (but not Wazir) and subahdar of Dihli 39, under 
Jahandar Shah 186, courts Farrukh-siyar's favour 238-246, visits 
Farrukh-siyar 248-251, dies 257, character 257-258. 

Asad-ullah — an uncle of the Sayyids, i. 300. 

Asaf Jah — see Nizam-u\-Tmi\\. 

Aurangzeb — Alamgir, death i. I, character I — 3, will 5, burial 7, dislikes 
Barha Sayyids ii. 97. 

Azam Shah — early life i. 4, ascends the throne 8, marches towards Agra 
11-15, at Gwaliyar 15, reply to Bahadur Shah 22, battle of Jajau 24-32, 
killed 33, character 35, children 35, suspected of being a Shia I3n. 

Azim-ush-shan — second son of Bahadur Shah, recalled from Patna i. 4, at 
Agra 15-17, commands at Jajau 22-29, proclaims himself Emperor 134, 
his hesitating tactics 163-165, his entrenchments 164, attacked 169-175, 
drowned in the Ravi 177. 

Azz-ud-din — eldest son of Jahandar Shah, taken captive and released i. 181, 
sent against Farrukh-siyar 191, defeated at Khajwa 214-216, taken 
prisoner 246, blinded 280. 
Bagh Dahr-Ara — near Agra i. 41, different from Bagh Dahra 21 n. 

Bahadur Dil Kh. — Lachin Beg, nicknamed tasmah-kash, leader of Mughal 
troops i. 331, joins Husain Ali 332. 

Bahadur Shah — Md. Muazzam, Shah Alam I. early life i. 3-4, march from 
Jamrud to Agra 18, celebrates accession at Lahor 20, letter to Azam 
21, victory at Jajau 33, invades Rajputana 45-49, advances against 
Kara Bakhsh 58-61, battle near Haidarabad 64, in Rajputana again 
71-72, Sikh campaign 105-118, at Lahor 129-132, Shia fchu/ba 
abandoned 130-131, illness and death 133-134, burial 135, character 
137-140, coinage 140, descendants 141-147. 

Bahora — rising of, at Ahmadabad ii. 201. 

Baji Rao — second Peshwa, his plans of conquest ii. 165, defeats Md. Khan 
Bangash in Bundelkhand 238-240, his gains from Chhattar?al 241, 
invades Malwa 242, defeats senapati Dhabariya Gaekwad and Puar at 
Bhilapur (near Baroda) 251-252, fights Nizam 252, gets Malwa by 

INDEX 383 

agreement with Jai Singh 256, gets further concessions 285, attacks 
and defeats Rajah of Bhadawar 286, his army invades Duaba but is 
repulsed 287, sacks environs of Dihli 288-293, is defeated by Qamar-ud- 
din at Badshahpur 295-297, retires to Dakhin 298, attempt on Berar 
fails 299, defeats Nizam at Bhupal 303-305, Nizam makes treaty of 
Duraha Sarai ceding Malwa 305, his policy during Nadir's invasion 
336, 374. 
Balaji Vishwanath — first Peshwa, ii. 163. 

Banda — Sikh guru, name and early career i. 93, kills Wazir Kh. and sacks 
Sarhind 94-98, sends out forces 98-104, assumes royalty at Lohgarh 110, 
attacked by Bahadur Shah, escapes 116, recovers Lohgarh 121, 
expelled from Sadhaura 310, besieged in Lohgarh 310, invested in 
Gurdaspur 315, carried a prisoner to Dihli 316, beheaded 319. 

Baqi Kh. — holds Agra fort against Azim-ush-shan i. 16, submits 21. 

Barha — home of Sayyids i. 202n. 

Bhadawar — Rajah of, ii. 286. 

Bhawani Ram — son of Girdhar Bahadur, defends Malwa ag. Mahrattas ii. 
245, unassisted, fails 246-247. 

Bhimsen — historian, at Jajau i. 25n. 

Bhupal— battles near, ii. 303-305. 

Bidar Bakht — eldest son of Azam Shah, suspected by his father i. 14, halts 

at Dholpur 18, meets Azam 23, fights at Jajau 24-29, killed 32. 
Bilochpur — or Hasanpur, battle ii. 82-91. 
Birbal, Rajah — see Mitr Sen. 
Bundelkhand — the land ii. 216, people 217-218. 
Burhan-ul-mulk — see Saadat Kh. 
Chabela Ram — Nagar, joins Farrukh-siyar i. 215, attacks Jani Kh. at Agra 

231, defeats and killed Kokaltash Kh. 233, governor of Agra 262, rises 

against Sayyids, but dies ii. 6-8. 
Champat Rai — Bundela, his descent ii. 219, attacked by Mughals 222, joins 

Aurangzeb 224, causes disturbance 225, flees pursued by imperialists 

226, killed 227. 

Chhattarsal — fourth son of Champat Bundela, a fugitive at father's death ii. 

227, joins Jai Singh 228, offers to join Shivaji 229, serves under 
Mughal Emperors 229-230, rises, kills Diler Kh. 231, attacked by 
Md. Kh. submits 232-237, calls in Mahrattas 237, invests Md. Kh. at 
Jaitpur 239, makes peace 241, death 241. 

Chin Qilich Kh. — see Nizam-ul-mulk.- 

Churaman Jat — plunders both camps at Jajau i. 322, submits to Bahadur 
Shah 322-323, plunders opposing camps at Agra 323, foils Chabela 
Ram 323, makes terms with Farrukh-siyar 323, invested by Jai Singh 
at Thun 324, submits 326-327, helps S'ayyid Abdullah to seize 
Farrukh-siyar 362, joins Md. Shah ii. 68, plunders imperial camp 81 
and 93, submits 120, dies 122. 


Dalpat— Bundela, under Zulfiqar i. 10, joins Bidar Bakht 15. killed at Jajau 
30, cremated 34. 

Danishmand Kh. — i. 60n, 65. 

Daud Kh. — Zulfiqar's deputy in Dakhin i. 238, opposes Husain Ali, is killed 
302-3, 329. 

Daya Bahadur — son of Chabela Ram, appointed governor of Malwa ii. 247, 
opposed by Nandalal Mandaloi 247-8, killed by Mahrattas at Tirla 248. 

Dihli — riot ag. Persian soldiers ii. 365, Nadir orders massacre 367-368. 

Dilawar Ali — Sayyid, Bakhshi of Husain Ali's army, watches Jai Singh ii. 
3, against Jats 5, goes to Bundi 5, pursues Nizam to Burhanpur 26, 
fights, is killed 33. 

Dost Md. Kh. — Rohela (afterwards ruler of Bhupal), joins Dilawar Ali ii. 28, 
flees from battle of Pandhar 33, struggle with Nizam 130. 

Durgadas — Rathor, saves infant Ajit Singh i. 44, intercedes with Bahadur 
Shah 48. takes Jodhpur 67. 

Dutch — embassy to Emperor at Lahor, i. 147-157. 

Farrukh-siyar — son of Azim-ush-shan, early life i. 198, proclaims himself 
Emperor at Patna 199, wins adherents 206-211, defeats Azz-ud-din at 
Khajwa 216, crosses Jamuna 227, battle of Agra 230-235, acts after 
battle 244-245, abolishes jizya 246_ puts Zulfiqar and Jahandar Shah 
to death 253-254, new appointments 258-259, allows many murders 
under Mir Jumla's influence 275-280, plots against Sayyid brothers 
282-285, 293, 295, 298, submits to Sayyids 300. marries Ajit Singh's 
daughter 305, illness 306, hunts 328, 332, 343, reimposes jizya 334, 
plots against Sayyids 342-345, 347, 355, tries to propitiate Abdullah 
362, and Husain Ali 369-373, abject surrender to Sayyids 375-377, 
stormy interview with Abdullah 381-382, dragged out of harem, 
blinded and imprisoned 390, sufferings in prison 391, death 392, 
character 396, coins and family 398-403. 

Fath Jang — see Chin Qilich Kh. i. 272. 

Firuz Jang — (1) father of Nizam, (2) son of Nizam. 

Ghazi-ud-din — (1) Firuz Jang, father of Nizam, blind subahdar of Dakhin, 
early career i. 263, invited to Court by Bahadur Shah 37, career 269, 
death and character 270. 

(2) Ahmad Beg, Ghalib Jang, chief partisan of Farrukh-siyar, his history 

i. 266, chief of artillery 350, fights against Sayyids 385-386, supports 
Abdullah in his last fight ii. 89. 

(3) Firuz Jang, eldest son of Nizam, ii. 300, 141, son-in-law of Qamar- 

ud-din 277, commands against Baji Rao 295. 
Ghiyas-ud-din Kh. — see Md. Ghiyas Kh. ii. 297. 
Girdhar Bahadur — Chabela Ram's nephew, escapes to Allahabad ii. 7, 

invested there 11-15, governor of Malwa 153, 242, struggle with 

Mahrattas and death 243. 
Govind Singh — Sikh guru, his innovations in religion i. 80-81, struggle ag. 

Aurangzeb 84-88, joins Bahadur Shah 89, death 90-91. 

INDEX 385 

Gurus — religious heads of Sikhs, early gurus i. 73-79 ; successors of tenth 

guru 391, Banda 93-121, 307-317. 
Hafiz Khidmatgar — Khwaja Ambar eunuch, favourite of Md. Shah and 

accomplice of Koki ii. 106, his career and death 266. 
Haidar Quli — sent ag. Girdhar Bahadur ii. 9, finds favour with Husain Ali 
54-55, takes Abdullah captive 91, governor of Gujarat 128-130, cam- 
paign against Ajit Singh 113-114. 
Hakim Muhsin — Wazir of Kam Bakhsh, entitled Taqarrub Kh. (see) i. 50. 
Hamid Kh. — Nizam's uncle, deputy governor of Ahmadabad ii. 168, joins 
Mahrattas and kills Shujaat Kh. 171-172, kills Ibrahim Quli 175, flees 
from Rustam Ali's attack 178, assumes independence 183, forced to 
retire to Dakhin 189. 
Hasan Ali Kh. — (1) son of Allah-wirdi Kh., faujdar of Agra in Alamgir's 

reign, i. 321. (2) Sayyid = Abdullah Qutb-ul-mulk (see). 
Hasan Kh. — Sayyid, deserts to Farrukh-siyar, i. 219. 
Hasanpur — or Bilochpur, battle ii. 85-91. 
Hidayat-kesh — converted Hindu, arrests Prince Md. Karim i. 190, murdered 

277. See Sadullah Kh. 
Hindustani — its definition i. 274-275. 

Husain Ali — Sayyid, descent and early career i. 203-205, supports Farrukh- 
siyar 206, at Khajwa 217, at the Jamuna 227, wounded at Agra 230, 
made First Bakhshi 282, war against Ajit Singh 287-290, estranged 
from Farrukh-siyar 292-302, in Dakhin 302, defeats Daud Kh. 303, 
marches to Dihli 357-362, encamps near Dihli 374, seizes 
palace and Dihli city 377-379, repulses Emperor's partisans 
385, his conduct criticized 395, quarrels with Abdullah 407, 
disrespectfully treats Rafi-ud-darjat 417, takes Agra fort 422-426, 
disagrees with Abdullah ii. 14, on hearing of Dilawar Kh.'s 
death 34, letter to Nizam and reply 45, hears of Alim Ali's 
death 51, marches with Emperor towards Dakhin 53, murdered 59-60, 
character and conduct 100. 
Husain Kh. — (1) Barha Sayyid, faujdar of Mewat, fell in battle near 
Sambhar i. 69. (2) Barha Sayyid, mediates between Farrukh-siyar 
and Sayyid brothers i. 299. (3) slain at Jajau, i. 31. 
Ikhlas Kh.— i. 334, 360, 372. 
Imad-ul-mulk — see Mubariz Kh. 

Inayatullah — (1) a Kashmiri, entitled Shaista Kh., maternal uncle of Farrukh- 
siyar i. 144, 304. 
(2) a Kashmiri, secretary of Aurangzeb in his old age, and diwan of 
Khalsa, goes to Mecca on execution of his son Sadullah (Hidayat- 
ullah, Khan-saman), i. 259, 333, returns and is appointed diwan 
334, governor of Kashmir 334, temporary Wazir under Md. Shah ii. 
105, father-in-law of Mubariz Kh. i. 261, ii. 138. 
Irvine, Wm. — life and works i. xiii-xxxii. 
Ishaq Kh. — or Mutaman-ud-daulah ii. 354. 



Islam Kh. — Mashhadi, acts as mediator between Emperor and Sayyids i. 298, 

Itimad-ud-daulah— see (1) Md. Amin Kh. (2) Qamar-ud-din Kh. 

Itiqad Kh.— see Md. Murad, i. 275 and 304. 

Iwaz Kh. — at Pandhar ii. 33, at Balapur 47. 

Jahandar Shah — Muizz-ud-din, Emperor, son of Bahadur Shah, fights Azim- 
ush-shan i. 161-177, overthows Jahan Shah 181, also Rafi-ush-shan 
185, crowned 186, his evil life at Dihli 192-197, prepares to oppose 
Farrukh-siyar 219-229, marches to Samugarh 222-224, retires to Agra 
228, battle of Agra 234, flees to Dihli 235-237, imprisoned by Zulfiqar 
239, character and family 240-243, death 254. 

Jahan Shah — Khujista-Akhtar, son of Bahadur Shah, fights Azim i. 161, 
attacks Jahandar 180, killed 182. 

Jai Singh II — Rajah of Amber, joins Bidar Bakht i. 15, deserts at Jajau 
30-31, superseded on the throne by Bijai Singh 47, governor of Malwa 
262, sent ag. Churaman Jat 324, invests Thun 326, invades Mughal 
territory ii. 3, second campaign against Jats, takes Thun 124, 
appointed subahdar of Malwa 247, treacherous collusion with 
Mahrattas 248-249, reappointed to Malwa 255, makes peace with 
Mahrattas 256. 

Jaitpur — siege, ii. 239. 

Jajau — battle of i. 25-33. 

Jani Kh.— at battle of Agra i. 292, killed 232. 

Jats — their land and character i. 321, wars with Mughals 321 et seq, led by 
Churaman 322, rising ag. Md. Shah ii. 121. 

Jaziya — ii. 103, see Jizya. 

Jhujhar Singh — Bundela chief of Orchha, wrests Chauragarh from Gonds ii. 
220, pursued and killed by Mughals 221. 

Jizya — abolished i. 246, its history and incidence 338-339, reimposed 334, 

withdrawn 404, abolished finally ii. 103. 
Kachhwaha — tribe of Amber i. 43. 
Kam Bakhsh — see Md. Kam Bakhsh. 
Khan Dauran — see Samsam-ud-daulah. 
Khan Jahan — (1) Sayyid, uncle of Sayyid brothers, i. 300. 

(2) son of Kokaltash Kh., evades joining Farrukh-siyar i. 200—201, 

governor of Allahabad 262. 
Khujista-Akhtar — see Jahan Shah. 
Khwaja Asim — see Samsam-ud-daulah. 
Khwaja Inayatullah — see Inayatullah. 

Kokaltash Kh.— early history i. 197, fights ag. Jahan Shah i. 168, 184, dis- 
agrees with Wazir 197, fights Husain Ali 230-231, killed 233. 
Koki Jiu — see Rahim-un-nissa. 
Lachin Beg — see Bahadur Dil Kh. 
Lahor — battles near i. 176 — 185. 
Lai Kunwar— Jahandar Shah's concubine i. 180. her evil influence 193-1%. 

index 387 

induces Emperor to flee from battle 235, joins Jahandar in prison 239, 
sent into retirement 254. 

Lutfullah Kh.— (1) Sadiq, advises Azz-ud-din to flee i. 218, punished for 
duplicity 301-302. (2) governor of Dihli during Nadir's invasion, ii. 

Mahabat Kh. — eldest son of Munim Kh., taken captive i. 187, locked up in 
a cell 221, released by Farrukh-siyar 247. 

Mahrattas — are massacred in Dihli i. 383, people and country ii. 155, their 
wars with Aurangzeb 160-163, first incursions north of Narmada 164, 
join Hamid Kh. and overrun Gujarat 170-185, again in Gujarat 190-192, 
enter Bundelkhand and get one-third of it from Chhattarsal 238-241 ; 
gain a footing in Malwa 242-245, alliance with Nandalal 248, fight 
Md. Khan Bangash in Malwa 252-253 ; fight between Peshwa and 
senapati 252, get possession of Malwa 256 (confirmed 305), yearly 
invasions and encroachments on N. India 275-285, enter Duaba 287, 
sack environs of Dihli 288-298, treaty of Sarai Duraha 305, Mahratta 
envoy's flight from Karnal 360. 

Malhar Rao, Holkar — fights Samsam-ud-daulah ii. 283. 

Mansur Jang — see Samsam-ud-daulah. 

Mewar — country of Sisodias i. 42. 

Mir Hasan Kh. Koka — Khan Jahan Bahadur Kokaltash Zafar Jang, defeated 
in attack on Baji Rao near Dihli ii. 292-294. 

Mir Jumla — Ibadullah or Ubaid-ullah, Shariyat-ullah Kh., early history i. 267, 
works in Farrukh-siyar's interest 227, heads the party ag. Sayyids 
248, appointed to Farrukh-siyar's personal staff with high titles 260, 
created nominal subahdar of Bengal 262, causes many executions 
under Farrukh-siyar 276, set to oppose Sayyid brothers 293, backs 
out 297, sent away to Lahor 301, returns to Dihli 330, takes refuge in 
Md. Amin's house 331, disgraced and sent to Lahor 332, recalled by 
Farrukh-siyar, but seeks refuge with Abdullah Kh. 352, pardoned 356. 

Mir Mallang — see Ahsan Kh. 

Mitr Sen — Rajah Birbal i. 412, antecedents 410, enthrones Neku-siyar 412, 
surrender and suicide 427. 

Mubariz Kh. — Khwaja Md., Shahamat Kh., Imad-ul-mulk, i. 261, early career 
ii. 138, appointed subahdar of Dakhin ag. Nizam 139, reduces 
Phulchari fort 140, fights Nizam at Shakar-Khera 148, buried 149. 

Mubariz-ul-mulk — see Sarbuland Kh. 

Mughals — Turani and Irani, defined i. 272. 

Md. Amin Kh. — Chin, early history i. 263, deserts Azam 12-13, in disfavour 
with Munim Kh. Wazir 40, operations ag. Sikhs 120-121, won over by 
Farrukh-siyar 227, deserts Jahandar Shah at Agra 233, app. second 
Bakhshi 258, covets wazir-ship 297, reduced in rank for unruly 
followers 307, 333, sent to Malwa 340, returns to Dihli, is befriended by 
Abdullah 366-367, his part in Farrukh-siyar's deposition 387 and after 
404, his double dealings with Sayyids ii. 37, effects Husain Ali's 


murder 59, made Wazir 67, attacks and overthrows Abdullah 92, 
conduct as Wazir and death 104-105. 

Md. Azim — see Azim-ush-shan. 

Md. Ghiyas Kh. — Nizam's most trusted officer ii. 20-21, at Pandhar 29, at 
Balapur 47, at Shakar-Khera 143. 

Md. Ibrahim — son of Jahandar Shah, enthroned by Abdullah ii. 76, capture 
and interview with Md. Shah 94, death 94. 

Md. Kam Bakhsh — youngest son of Aurangzeb, early life i. 2 and 5, 
movements 10, assumes independence 11, issues coins 51, misled by 
Taqarrub Kh., kills his best friends 53-56, rejects Bahadur Shah's 
overtures 58, deserted 62, taken prisoner, dies 64, family 66, im- 
prisonment under Alamgir 252. 

Md. Karim — eldest son of Azim-ush-shan, his history i. 144-145, hides 
himself, taken and executed 190. 

Md. Khan Bangash — fights Girdhar Bahadur ii. 16, won over to Emperor's 
side 70, sent ag. Ajit Singh 113, ag. Chhattarsal 231, second expe- 
dition ag. Chhattarsal 232-239, makes peace and retires from Bundel- 
khand 241, posted to Malwa 249, meets Nizam as friend 251, desperate 
struggle with Mahrattas in Malwa 252-255, puts down rising in 
Fathpur 277, opposes Mahrattas near Agra 282, marches to aid of 
Qamar-ud-din 297. 

Md. Muazzam — see Bahadur Shah I. 

Md. Murad — Kashmiri, Itiqad Kh. i. 275, gains Farrukh-siyar's favour and 
is made 2nd Mir Tuzak 340, his career 340-342, created Itiqad Kh. 
and rapidly promoted 344-345, ejected from palace 381, imprisoned 
406, death 406, enlisted by Sayyid Abdullah ii. 79. 

Muhammad Shah — Prince Roshan Akhtar, succeeds Rafi-ud-daulah as 
Emperor ii. 1, marches to Agra 5, under the tutelage of Sayyids 17, 
45, advances towards Dakhin in Husain Ali's charge 53, his 
conduct after Husain Ali's murder 60-61, 73-74, overthrows 
Abdullah 92-94, abolishes jizya 103, appoints Nizam as Wazir 
105, alienates him, how? 107, marries Farrukh-siyar's daughter 
124, acts as Solomon 126, attempts ag. Nizam fail 141, 153, appoints 
Abhai Singh to Gujarat 205, his favourites 263-275, violates diplomatic 
usage towards Persia 320-322, imbecile conduct and defeat at Karnal 
347, dines in Nadir's camp 355, made prisoner by Nadir 358, enters 
Dihli 363, welcomes Nadir in palace and gives up vast ransom 364, 
cedes territory to Persia 374, restored to throne 375. 

Muhkma — son of Chura Jat, taken prisoner but set free ii. 65-66, attacks 
and kills Nilkant Nagar 121, attacked by Jai Singh 124, his end 124. 

Muhkam Singh — Khatri, Rajah, principal officer of Husain Ali, taken over 
by Md. Shah ii. 67, deserts to Abdullah at Hasanpur 87, accom- 
panies Sarbuland to Gujarat 185. 

Muhtashim Kh. — deputed to guard the fords of Chambal i. 15, flees 18. 

INDEX 389 

Mukhtar Kh. — subahdar of Agra i. 13, arrested by Azim-ush-shan 16, joins 
Bahadur Shah 20. 

Munim Kh. — deputy-governor of Lahor, exerts himself for Bahadur Shah 
i. 19, at Jajau 36, made Wazir 39, commands ag. Kam Bakhsh 62, 
disagreement with Zulfiqar Kh. 114, death 117, life and character 

Muizz-ud-din — eldest son of Bahadur Shah, see Jahandar Shah. 

Murshid Quli Kh. — diwan of Bengal, refuses to support Farrukh-siyar i. 199, 
app. deputy governor of Bengal 262. 

Muzaffar Kh. — brother of Samsam-ud-daulah, quarrels at Court and is sent 
to Ajmer ii. 134, marches ag. Mahrattas 279, killed at Karnal 349. 

Nadir Shah — his early life ii. 317-318, becomes king of Persia 319, takes 
Qandahar 319, diplomatic rupture with Court of Dihli 320-322, takes 
Kabul 327, and Lahor 332, defeats imperial army at Karnal 341-348, 
composition of his army 338 and 350, negotiates peace with Emperor 
353-356, imprisons Md. Shah and his nobles 359, marches to Dihli 
363, visits Emperor 364, orders a massacre at Dihli 367, exacts heavy 
ransom 371-373, his life at Dihli 373-374, his son Nasr-ullah married 
to Mughal princess 371, restores Md. Shah 374, retreats from India 
375-376, effect of his invasion 377-378. 

Najm-ud-din Ali — Sayyid, captured ii. 91. 

Namwar Jang — see Sarbuland Kh. 

Nanak — founder of Sikhism i. 73-74. 

Nandalal Mandaloi — chaudhuri of Indor, ally of Mahrattas in Malwa ii. 245, 
treason to Emperor 248-249. 

Nasir Jang — Ahmad Kh., second son of Nizam, fails to stop Baji Rao ii. 302. 

Nasir Kh. — governor of Kabul, ii. 323, left unsupported from Court 270 and 
324, defeated by Nadir Shah 330. 

Neku-siyar — Prince, his early history i. 409, raised to the throne in Agra 
fort 410-412, besieged, surrenders 424-426, death 427. 

Nizam-ul-mulk — Mir Qamar-ud-din, Chin Qilich Kh. Bahadur, Fath Jang, 
Asaf Jah, early history i. 269-271, created Kh. Dauran by Bahadur 
Shah and transf. to Oudh 41, insulted by Zuhara 194, won over 
by Farrukh-siyar 227, deserts Jahandar Shah at Agra 233, submits to 
Farrukh-siyar 244, created Nizam-ul-mulk and governor of Dakhin 271, 
superseded by Husain Ali 302, returns to Dihli, goes to Muradabad as 
faujdar 328, intrigues ag. Sayyid brothers 328, recalled from Murada- 
bad, removed from office 351-352, app. governor of Patna 371, tries 
to save Farrukh-siyar 385, removes to Malwa 405, prepares for war ii. 
18, conquers Asir 23, occupies Burhanpur 25, defeats Dilawar Ali 
at Pandhar 33, letter from Emperor and Nizam's reply 45, overthrows 
Alim Ali at Balapur 49, marches into Karnatak and Maisur 106, 
made Wazir, comes to Dihli 106, his difficulties at Court 107, 
vanquishes Haidar Quli in Gujarat 129, resigns in disgust at 
Emperor's imbecility and Court corruption 131-137, defeats Mubariz 


Kh. at Shakar-Khera 148, defends his conduct to Emperor 153, 
encourages Mahratta invasion of N. India 242, compact with Md. 
Kh. Bangash 251, fight and terms with Baji Rao 252, called to 
Dihli 299-301, defeated by Baji Rao at Bhupal 303-305, opposed by 
Hindustani party under Samsam-ud-daulah 325 and 336, counsels 
Saadat Kh. to postpone battle 343, inaction in battle of Karnal 347, 
negotiates with Nadir Shah 353, made prisoner by Nadir 357, raises 
contribution from Dihli citizens for Nadir 373, retires to Dakhin for 
good 379. 

Nur Bai — dancing girl, liked by Nadir ii. 371. 

Nur-ud-din — Sayyid, killed at Jajau i. 31. 

Padshah Begam — see Zinat-un-nissa, daughter of Aurangzeb. 

Qamar-ud-din Kh. — son of Md. Amin Kh., escorts Banda to Dihli i. 316, 
created Itimad-ud-daulah ii. 105, app. Wazir 138, quells riot in Jama 
Masjid 260-262, futile campaign ag. Mahrattas 277, 281-283, defeats 
Baji Rao at Badshahpur 297, in Karnal camp 340, his helplessness 
after Nadir had arrested Nizam 358, taken to Persian camp 359, at 
Dihli during exaction of ransom 373. 

Qudrat-ullah — Shaikh, his influence over Azim-ush-shan i. 278, goee to 

Farrukh-siyar but is murdered 278-281. 
Qutb-ul-mulk — see Abdullah Kh. 
Rafi-ud-darjat — Emperor, enthroned i. 389, a puppet of the Sayyids 416, 

his health fails, deposed dies 418, chronology and wives 418-420. 
Rafi-ud-daulah — Emperor, enthroned i. 420, taken by Abdullah to Agra 428, 

dies 431, chronology 432, burial ii. 1. 

Rafi-ul-qadr — son of Bahadur Shah, created Rafi-ush-shan i. 36, joins 
Jahandar ag. Azim-ush-shan 161, attacks Jahandar 184, killed 185. 

Rahim-un-nissa — Koki Jiu, her influence over Md. Shah ii. 106, her descent 
and history 263-265. 

Raiman — see Shadman. 

Rajputana — chief States i. 41. 

Ram Singh — Hada Prince, killed at Jajau i. 23, cremated 34. 

Rashid Kh.— i. 199. 

Ratan Chand — agent of Sayyid Abdullah i. 291, 318, farms out revenue 
collection 335. disagrees with Inayatullah 334-335, warns Husain A!i 
against Farrukh-siyar 372, secures repeal of jizya 405, prevents breach 
between Sayyid brothers 407, influence over Abdullah ii. 9, negotiates 
peace with Girdhar Bahadur 15, roughly handled after Husain Ali's 
murder 65, executed 85. 

Rathors — of Marwar i. 42. 

Rohelas— fight Mughal Govt. ii. 119-120. 

Rohilkhand — •country ii. 1 17. 

Roshan Akhtar — see Muhammad Shah. 

Roshan-ud-daulah — Zafar Kh., Khwaja Muzaffar, brings news of Ajit Singh's 

INDEX 39 1 

submission i. 290, quarrels in Court ii. 134, influence over Md. Shah 
his character 266, his disgrace and death 270-271, 323. 
Rustam Dil Kh.— (1) subahdar of Haidarabad, submits to Kam Bakhsh i. 52, 
seized and executed under suspicion 53, buried 54. 
(2) grandson of Allah-wardi Kh. Shah Jahani, i. 120, war ag. Sikhs 112, 
119, quarrels with Md. Amin Kh. 120, created Ghaznafar Kh. 121, 
joins Jahan Shah and attacks Jahandar 181, flees on Jahan Shah's 
death 181, captured and killed 187. 
Rustam Ali Kh.— brother of Shujaat Kh., fights Hamid Kh. at Aras ii. 

176-180, disastrous march 181, killed 182. 
Rustam-i-Hind — see Shadman. 

Saadat Kh.— Sayyid Md. Amin, Burhan-ul-mulk, early life ii. 55, plots ag. 
Husain Ali 57, fails ag. Jats 121, quarrels at Court, is transf. to 
Oudh 134-135, co-operates with Samsam-ud-daulah ag. Mahrattas 281, 
defeats Malhar Holkar in Duaba 287, helps S'amsam and Qamar-ud- 
din ag. Mahrattas 288, 298, fights Nadir at Karnal 343-347, made 
prisoner 348, conversation with Nadir 352-353, his jealousy of Nizam, 
induces Nadir to go to Dihli 356, commits suicide 363-364. 

Sabha Chand — Zulfiqar's deputy i. 197, his fatal advice 236, his tongue cut 
out 277. 

Sadullah Kh. — ton of Inayatullah Kh., also Wazarat Kh. and Hidayat-kesh, 
i. 259, executed 276-277. 

Sahiba-niswan — Farrukh-siyar's mother i. 144, 342, wins over Husain Ali 
206, pacifies Abdullah 300, at her son's marriage 304, a Kashmiri 342. 

Saif Kh. — Kam Bakheh's instructor in archery, tortured to death i. 54. 

Samsam-ud-daulah — Khwaja Asim, Kh. Dauran, Mansur Jang, early history 
i. 265, joins Farrukh-siyar at Patna 211, set up ag. Sayyids 293, 
fails 297, rebuked by Abdullah 300, app. Husain Ali's deputy at 
Court 302, reduced in rank for unruly retainers 306, 333, ousted 
by Md. Murad from Emperor's favour, joins Sayyids 354-355, ordered 
ag. Mahrattas, fails ii. 279-280, more successful in next campaign 
281-284, aids Wazir 298, fights Nadir Shah at Karnal, mortally 
wounded 344-347, dies 355, character ii. 313, i. 265. 

Sarbuland Kh. — Namwar Jang, Mubariz-ul-mulk (i. 346), joins Jahandar 
Shah i. 191, early history 199-200, governor of Oudh 262, of Patna 
332, recalled to Dihli, given titles (Dilawar Jang) 346, 363, sent to 
Agra 347, returns to Dihli 363, governor of Kabul 405, of Gujarat ii. 
153, 169, his deputy Shujaat Kh. overthrown by Nizam's deputy 
Hamid Kh. 171-183, he occupies Ahmadabad and expels Hamid Kh. 
185-189, his rule over Gujarat and struggle with Mahrattas 190-200, 
replaced in Gujarat by Abhai Singh 197-201, driven out of Gujarat 
206-213, last years and character 214-215, cruelly exacts ransom 
for Nadir at Dihli 373. 

Sayyids of Barha — their history i. 201. 


Shadman — a Qalmaq woman, cr. Raiman and Rustam-i-Hind, saves 
Jahandar Shah from assassin i. 170-171, murdered 281. 

Shadman Shah — prophesies Farrukh-siyar's success i. 278, takes Qudrat-ullah 
to Court 279. 

Shaista Kh. — see Khwaja Inayatullah Kashmiri. 

Shujaat Kh. — deputy governor of Gujarat ii. 152, antecedents 167, attacks 
Hamid Kh. 170, killed 172. 

Sidi Qasim Habshi — kotwal of Dihli, murdered i. 277. 

Sidisht [Sudhisht] Narayan — zamindar of Bhojpur, joins Farrukh-siyar i. 

Sikhs — their origin and history i. 73-79, their doctrines and influence 79-84, 
their gurus 92, their bravery in captivity 317-318, their spiritual head- 
ship after Govind Singh 319-320. 

Sisodias — of Mewar i. 42. 

Tahmasp Khan Jalair — Persian minister ii. 362. 

Taqarrub Kh. — Hakim Muhsin, quarrels with Ahsan Kh. i. 51, plots ag. 
latter 53, fights for Kam Bakhsh 62, wheedles Asad Kh. and Zulfiqar 
into visiting Farrukh-siyar 249-250, made Khan-saman 255. 

Tirpoliya Fort — prison i. 280, Banda in 317, Jahandar Shah in 254, Farrukh- 
siyar in 370. 

Ubaid-ullah — see Mir Jumla. 

Wala Jah — second son of Azam Shah, at Jajau i. 24, wounded 32, dies 33. 

Warid— i. 97, 220. 

Wazarat Kh.— see Sadullah Kh. (i. 128, 186, 244, 259. 276). 

Zahir-ud-daulah — Azim-ullah Kh., cousin of Qamar-ud-din, commands Van 
ag. Baji Rao ii. 295-297. 

Zakariya Kh. — son of Abdus-samad Kh. i. 316, fights ag. Banda 308-316. 
governor of Lahor, neglected by Emperor 324-326, surrenders Lahor to 
Nadir 352, takes leave of Nadir 376, Panjab under his rule 378. 

Zinat-un-nissa — second daughter of Aurangzeb, sides with Azam i. 2, left at 
Gwaliyar 23, cr. Padshah Begam by Bahadur Shah 39, slighted by 
Jahandar Shah 195, her share in the execution of Zulfiqar and Sadullah 

Zulfiqar Kh. — son of Asad Kh., early career i. 9-10,, flees from Jajau 30, 
joins Bahadur Shah at Agra 37, cr. Samsam-ud-daulah 39, at Court as 
1st Bakhshi 39, commands a wing ag. Kam Bakhsh 62, disagrees with 
Munim Kh. 1 14, refuses to be Wazir 128, joins Jahandar Shah and 
secures his success ag. brothers 160-183, app. Wazir 186, unpopularity 
197, accompanies Jahandar to Agra 221, commands at battle of Agra 
229-234, leaves the field 235, at Dihli decides on delivering up 
Jahandar Shah 239, visits Farrukh-siyar 250, murdered 253, burial 256, 
character 257. 

Works of JADUNATH SARKAR, m.a. 

History of Aurangzib 

4 vols., Rs. 3-8 each. 

Vol. I. Reign of Shah Jahan 

Vol. II. War of Succession 

Vol. III. Northern India during I658-I68I, (2nd ed.J 

Vol. IV. Southern India, 1644-1689 

Professor Sarkar's History of Aurangzib is based mainly on 
original contemporary Persian sources, viz., the Mughal 
State Papers, daily bulletins of the Mughal Court, the 
records of impartial non-official writers (such as two Persian 
memoirs by contemporary Hindu writers), the letters of 
Aurangzib, his father, brothers, sons, grandsons, officers and 
vassal kings, and other makers of Indian history, revenue returns 
&c. Most of these are preserved in Persian MSS., for which the 
author has exhaustively searched Indian and European libraries, 
viz., — the British Museum, India Office Library (London), 
Bodleian (Oxford), Royal Asiatic Society's Library (London), 
Cambridge University Library, Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris), 
Royal Library (Berlin), Khuda Bakhsh Library (Patna), Asiatic 
Society's Library (Calcutta), Rampur Nawab's Library, &c. — 
besides making some important "finds'' at Benares, Lucknow 
and Rampur. He has taken exact photographic copies 
of these. Of the letters of Aurangzib and his contemporaries, 
more than 5,000 are in the author's possession. The author has 
also used the Marathi bafyhars and letters and the Assamese 
buranjis, besides contemporary records in English and modern 
Gazetteers, maps and works on travel. Classified and descrip- 
tive bibliographies are given at the end of volumes II. and III. 
To be completed in five volumes. 

For several portions of the reign, the author has been able 
to secure the very raw materials of history, viz., the letters 
of the leading historical personages of the time and the daily 
bulletins of Aurangzib's Court. 


Vincent A. Smith. — '"You are doing first class work I repeat with all 

sincerity that 1 have the highest opinion of your learning, impartiality and 
critical ability. I trust that you may be long spared to continue your good 
work of giving honest history." (29 Dec. 1919.) 

W. Croo\e. — "There is no student of the present day who has done 
more valuable service than yourself." (20 May, 1921.) 

G. Ferrand. — "Thrice certainly, among the modern historians of India. 
Jadunath Sarkar occupies one of the first, if not the first place." (Journal 
Asiatique, April-June, 1921.) 

Sir R. C. Temple. — "The first connected authentic account of these two 

reigns The foot-notes are of special value as they provide an exhaustive 

bibliography which cannot but be of the greatest assistance to the students 
of this period of Indian history." (Ind. Antiquary, July, 1913.) 

Sir E. D. Ross. — "The author seems to me to have used all the avail- 
able Persian materials and to have used them With discrimination and care. 
His manner of treating the subject might well serve as a model to writers 
dealing with other periods of lndo-Musalman history." (29 Oct., 1908.) 

English Historical Review. — "The author has been indefatigable in 
consulting all accessible authorities, many of which are still in manuscript; 
while his zeal has led him to visit the sites of the more important of 
Aurangzib's battles. He writes graphically in an easy, flowing style." 
(April, 1913.) 

W. Foster, CLE. — "It is easily the best authority on the period with 
which it deals." (/. R. A. S.) 

Journal, Royal Asiatic Society. — "Gives an excellent account of the great 

emperor Written in an easy style a very readable book." 

(October, 1913.) 

W. Irvine, Esq., I.C.S. — " I like the style — from this first im- 
pression — , it being a judicious compromise between the overcrowded 
stiffness of my Later Mughals and mere popular, journalese writing, — yet 
without any sacrifice of exactness " 

Mughal Administration, Rs. 2. 

Contains a detailed study of the administrative system of 
the Mughal Empire, the aims of the Government, the Depart- 
ments of the State, the functions and office procedure of the 
chief officials, the provincial administrative agency and its 
influence on the peasants, the spy system, the sovereign's 
position &c. 

The last chapter gives a philosophical review of Muham- 
madan rule over India, describing the legacies of the Mughal 
Empire, its sources of strength and weakness, and the causes 
of its downfall. 

Economics of British India 

Fourth ed., revised enlarged and brought up-to-date. Rs. 3. 

This book gives, in one volume of manageable size, a com- 
plete account of India's physical features, economic products 
and resources, industries, transport facilities, currency, public 
finance, labour laws, land tenure system and legislation, foreign 
trade, &c. A vast number of blue-books and other authoritative 
works have been consulted and the statistics brought up-to-date 
(1917). The economic transformation caused in India by British 
rule, the gold standard, high prices, protection and Swadeshi, 
technical education, village industries, land revenue policy, 
factory legislation, and other current topics have been dealt with 
in a lucid and accurate manner, and helps to a study of them 
afforded in the form of the latest statistics, a statement of the 
present position of these questions, the arguments on both sides, 
and exact references to sources of information. The modern 
Indian citizen cannot do without this book, if he wishes to follow 
the economic discussions in our press and legislature with 
intelligence and interest. Foreigners, especially tourists, will 
find in it the handiest and most complete description of India s 
economic condition and problems in the English language, and 
an indispensable guide to a right understanding of the country 
and its people as they are to-day. 

Jules Sion. — "This little book is the best work that we possess on the 
economic condition of India. For all essential questions one finds here a 
very concise but very substantial exposition, nourished with facts and figures 
and of great personal charm." (Annales de Geogr., Paris.) 

/. R. A. S. — "A good little book on a big topic." 

Modern Review. — "An indispensable cade mecum." 

Sir Theodore Morison. — "An authoritative work on Indian economics 
can only be written by an Indian. The author of the present book appears 
to possess the further essential qualifications of courage and independence. 

The conscientious investigation of detail which was characteristic of that 
work. [The India of Aurangzib] is no less evident in the present economic 
treatise. Much information which is only accessible in Blue-books and 

official publications is here presented in a convenient form Mr. Sarkar's 

reflections upon the rise in the standard of comfort (Ch. IV.) are shrewd 
and convincing, and are fortified by some interesting personal observations." 
(Economic Journal). 

Shivaji and His Times 

2nd ed., revised and enlarged, with portrait, Rs. 4. 

A new and fully detailed critical study of Shivaji's life and 
character based on an exhaustive use of all the available original 
materials — Persian, Marathi, Hindi, Dutch and English — most 
of which were unknown to Grant Duff. It is the most com- 
prehensive and correct narrative of the rise of the Marathas 
with minute details and exact dates. The complex interaction 
of Deccan politics has been clearly shown by references to the 
history of the Muslim Powers there in the 1 7th Century. 

Shivaji's character and achievements, and the Maratha 
institutions and system of government are discussed in two 
long chapters (45 pages), and the lessons taught by the rise and 
fall of the Marathas are clearly unfolded. Critical bibliography 
(15 pages). 

Studies in Mughal India 

Contains 22 Essays 320 Pages, Rs. 2. 

Zebunnissa vindicated. 

History of Orissa in the 17 th 

Revenue Regulations of Aurangzib. 
Art in Muslim India. 

Education in Muhammadan India. 
Daily Life of Shah Jahan and 

Biography of Aurangzib, 31 pages. 
Khuda Bakhsh, the Indian Bodley. 
Who built the Taj? 

The Companion of an Empress. 

The Wealth of Ind., 1650. 

A Muslim Heroine. 

Feringi Pirates of Chatgaon. 

The Mughal Conquest of Chat- 

Education of a Mughal Prince. 

Shaista Khan in Bengal. 

Nemesis of Aurangzib. 

A Hindu Historian of Aurangzib. 

An Indian Memoir- writer of the 
1 7th century. 

Oriental Monarchies. 

William Irvine. 

Asiatic Quarterly Review. — "A series of essays on Aurangzib and his 
times of the most entertaining description." (April, 1913.) 

Indian Antiquary. — "All the essays are brightly written and several 
contain information not hitherto available in English." (June, 1913.) 

i4fhenceum. — "This should prove a useful handbook to students of 
Indian History." (18 Jan., 19'3.) 

V. A. Smith. — "The essays are charming, and with constant practice 
your style has attained ease and flexibility." 

Anecdotes of Aurangzib 

(Persian text, with an English translation notes and a long 
life of Aurangzib) Re. 1-8. 

The anecdotes, 72 in number, have been Jtranslated from 
a Persian work ( the Akham-i-Alamgiri, ascribed to Aurangzibs 
favourite officer Hamiduddin Khan Nimcha), which no other 
historian has yet used and whose very existence was. hardly 
known before. Two fragmentary MSS. of it were discovered 
by Prof. Sarkar ; and with the help of these and of two others, 
he has edited the text, and written an English translation, en- 
riched with full historical and textual notes. 

The work is exceedingly interesting and valuable, as it 
throws new light on Aurangzib and exhibits many unknown 
traits of his character, his pithy sayings, and his principles of 

The anecdotes deal with the following topics among others : 
His last will and testament. Advice to his sons on the art of 
government, His strictness in maintaining the royal prerogatives, 
His suspicious watching of his sons, His strict justice, His 
treatment of his officers, advice to them, His treatment of Shias 
and Hindus, and orders concerning them. 

Indian Antiquary. — "The Anecdotes is of real value to English 
students desirous of closer acquaintance with the individuality of the 

last of the great Mughals The anecdotes have lost little of their vigour 

by translation and the editor has elucidated the text by valuable notes." 


2nd ed. with a fine old portrait, Rs. 2. 

Chaitanya, (1485-1533), the greatest saint of Bengal, caused 
a complete moral revolution in Eastern India by preaching the 
creed of bhafyti or devotion to God as incarnate in Krishna. His 
faith conquered Bengal, Orissa and Assam, and also established 
its stronghold in several other places, notably Brindaban. 

The best of the three contemporary biographies of 
Chaitanya is the work of Krishna-das Kaviraj, in three parts. 
The middle part, containing the great saint's itinerary to holy 
places all over India, his exposition of theology and moral 
precepts, as well as many of his characteristic deeds and sayings, 
— has been here translated. In the second edition, a translation 
of much of the 3rd part, describing his last years, has been 
added, with some other new materials and notes on the places 
visited by him. 

C. F. Andrews. — "A translation of this most famous work was urgently 

needed As historical documents of a religious society of the middle ag;s 

in Bengal [the original book is] of surpassing value gives the ile.'iest 

picture of the Saint, and his teaching, and is full of intense hnman interest 
from beginning to end The picture drawn of the Saint is one of extra- 
ordinary beauty : a truly human figure comes before us and attracts our 
own love, even as it attracted the love of his first disciples." ( Mod. Review, 
Oct. 1913.) 

M. C. SARKAR & SONS, 90/2, Harrison Road, Calcutta. 






















































University of Toronto 








Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ref. Index File"