Battle of Khanwa

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 23, 2022, 7:51

The otherwise peaceful Khanwa village became extremely busy on 17th March 1527 when Mughal Emperor Babur took on Mewat's King Raja Hasan Khan Mewatpatti in the historically significant Battle of Khanwa. It was Emperor Babur's second big battle after the Battle of Panipat. Khanwa is situated almost 60 km away from Agra City.

Read on to learn about the causes and effects of the Battle of Khanwa in shaping the history of Indian politics.

What Led to the Battle of Khanwa?

When Babur and other Mughals were progressing towards Panipat, he received support from Mewar's Rana Sanga. Rana Sanga was one of the region's most powerful Hindu rulers. The Rajput decided to align with the Mughals to defeat Ibrahim Lodi and the Lodi dynasty.

Accordingly, the Rajputs sent their contingent to Agra. In return for Rana Sanga's favour, Babur decided to grant Biana, Dholpur, and Kalpi to Rana Sanga. The Mughals successfully defeated Ibrahim Lodi and won the Battle of Panipat. However, Babur refused to keep his promise. This infuriated Rana Sanga.

The infuriated Rana Sanga decided to support Mewat's Raja Hasan Khan Mewatpatti. Raja Hasan was a Muslim Rajput leader belonging to the Meo Muslim clan. He was also a staunch opponent of Babur and provided refuge to Babur's enemies like Mahmud Lodi and Sikandar Lodi.

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Meanwhile, a person named Silhadi tried to broker a deal between Rana Sanga and Babur, in which Rana Sanga demanded Agra and its surrounding areas from Babur. However, as Babur refused to concede to Rana Sanga's demand, the latter mobilised around 80,000 Hindus in March 1527 and planned to attack Babur.

This incident prompted Mughal leaders to gather Muslim soldiers and prepare for a battle. However, as soon as Raja Hasan sent a contingent of 20,000 Muslim Rajputs towards Biana, Babur decided to retreat because he was sure of losing. Instead, he asked his son Humayun to return from the Jaunpur expedition and start mobilising Mughal forces.

Intending to appease Raja Hasan, Babur released the former's son Naher Khan and presented him the Mughal Kaftan and choicest Arabian horses. Raja Hasan construed Babur's gesture as his weakness and decided to go ahead with the attack. Outraged by Raja Hasan's action, Babur declared him an apostate.

Battle of Khanwa Begins

The Battle of Khanwa was fought on 16th March 1527. The strengths of Babur's army included 50,000 horsemen, foot musketeers, swivel guns, and mortars. In contrast, Rana Sanga's army has 100,000 horsemen and 500 Elephants.

Although Raja Hasan's army far outnumbered Babur's army, they could not break the Mughal flanks and attack the centre. Moreover, the near-fatal injury of Rana Sanga made the Rajput forces radars. This emboldened the spirit of Babur's forces, who eventually decimated the opposition to dust.

The Battle of Khanwa was a watershed moment in the history of Indian politics. It marked the end of outdated warfare since gunpowder used in this battle changed the future of battles fought on Indian soil.

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FAQs on Battle of Khanwa

Q.1) Between whom was the Battle of Khanwa fought?

The otherwise peaceful Khanwa village became extremely busy on 17th March 1527 when Mughal Emperor Babur took on Mewat's King Raja Hasan Khan Mewatpatti in the historically significant Battle of Khanwa.

Q.2) When did the Battle of Khanwa take place?

On 17th March 1527, Mughal Emperor Babur took on Mewat's King Raja Hasan Khan Mewatpatti in the historically significant Battle of Khanwa.

Q.3) Why was the Battle of Khanwa so important?

The Battle of Khanwa was a watershed moment in the history of Indian politics. It marked the end of outdated warfare since gunpowder used in this battle changed the future of battles fought on Indian soil.

Q.4) Who was the winner of the Battle of Khanwa?

Mughal Emperor Babur was the winner of the Battle of Khanwa.