Battle of Ghaghra [1529 AD]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 18, 2022, 6:43

The Battle of Ghagra was fought between Babur and the Afghans in 1529 AD. This war took place shortly after the Battle of Panipat (1526) and the Battle of Khanwa (1527). Ghaghra is a town in Bihar named after the Ghaghra River, which runs through the state.

Battle of Ghaghra - Beginning & Ending of Event

Despite the fact that the battle of Khanwa had cemented Babur's position as Delhi's indisputable monarch, he had had to face the remaining Afghan leaders. Muhammad Lodi, Ibrahim Lodi's younger brother, was one of the most prominent among them.

After his brother, Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, was killed in the 2nd Battle of Panipat in 1526, Mahmud Lodi crowned himself the true Sultan of Delhi. After his defeat and flight in the Battle of Khanwa in 1527, his title was jeopardized. Mahmud Lodi asked his Afghan kin in the east for help. Bihar was conquered by his forces, which also included Eastern Afghan Confederates.

After Sultan Mahmud Shah Lohani's death, Bihar's Pathan ruler died. Jalal ud-Din Lohani, his minor son, was crowned the ruler. On the other side, his mother Dudu had a quarrel with some other noble, Farid Khan, best known as Sher Shah Suri. Babur's oncoming army was distracted by the Lohani nobles' arguing, causing the prince to flee.

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To prevent the state's utter collapse, the Afghans of Jaunpur persuaded Mahmud Lodi to assume the kingship of Bihar and Jaunpur. Following the permission, he was able to grab majority control of Bihar with little opposition. After hearing of the events there, Babur chose to march to Bihar with his army. On February 27, 1529, he landed at Dadaki on the Ganges, where he was greeted by his son Humayun with general Askari. Soon after, the Mughal army walked down the river's right bank.

With a large force of Afghans, Sultan Mahmud Lodi was also in the Bengal camp. Babur learned of Mahmud Lodi's demand to have their families evacuated from the camp via his spies the camp. This behaviour was insulting to Babur, and their actions were considered despicable. As a result, their neutrality was violated, giving him Casus Belli (cause for war) against the Bengalis, leading to the Battle of Ghaghra.

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Aftermath of the Battle of Ghaghra

Babur fought his final battle at the Battle of Ghaghra. As he continued to strengthen his control and establish an administrative structure in his new Empire, he employed jagirs (Estates) to give to loyal nobles and associates. He died on December 26, 1530, just at the age of 47, of an unknown sickness and was superseded by his eldest son, Humayun.

The Battle of Ghaghra had far-reaching implications. Afghan dreams for a distinct empire in the east and a surrogate kingdom in Delhi were dashed by the battle. The Lodi-Lohani rivalry would have been enough to put a stop to the dream of an autonomous Afghan kingdom.

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FAQs on the Battle of Ghaghra

Q1. What was the strength of the armies during the Battle of Ghaghra?

The Mughal Army had a strength of 50,000 men, whereas the Eastern Afghan Confederacy, assisted by the Sultanate of Bengal, had 100,000 army personnel.

Q2. Where was the Battle of Ghaghra fought?

The Battle of Ghaghra was fought on the lands of the Ghaghra river located in the city of Chhapra in Bihar.

Q3. What was the significant result of the Battle of Ghagra?

The Battle of Ghagra led to the Mughal Empire annihilating a greater territory in Bihar and its surrounding locations. The Mughal Empire also signed a peace treaty with the Sultanate of Bengal.

Q4. Who were the leading commanders of both armies in the Battle of Ghagra?

During the Battle of Ghagra, the Mughal Empire was advancing under the leadership of Babur. The Afghan confederation was led by Mahmud Lodhi, and the Sultanate of Bengal was led by Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah.