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The 27 Year War That Changed Course Of Indian History – IV


Mughals were bleeding heavily from treasuries. But  Aurangzeb kept pressing the war on.  When Tarabai took charge, Aurangzeb had laid siege to the fort of Parli (Sajjangad). Parshuram Trimbak defended the fort until mansooon and retreated quietly at the break of monsoon.The mughal army was dealt heavy loss by flash floods in the rivers around. These same tactics were followed by Marathas at the next stop of Aurangzeb, Panhala. Similar tactic was followed even for Vishalgad.

By 1704, Aurangzeb had Torana and Rajgad. He had won only a handful forts in this offensive, but he had spent several precious years. It was slowly dawning to him that after 24 years of constant war, he was no closer to defeating Marathas than he was the day he began.

The final Maratha counter offensive gathered momentum in North. Tarabai proved to be a valiant leader once again. One after another Mughal provinces fell in north. They were not in position to defend as the royal treasuries had been sucked dry and no armies were left in town. In 1705, two Maratha army factions crossed Narmada. One under leadership of Nemaji Shinde hit as deep North as Bhopal. Second under the leadership of Dabhade struck Bharoch and West. Dabhade with his eight thousand men,attacked and defeated Mahomed khan’s forces numbering almost fourteen thousand. This left entire Gujarat coast wide open for Marathas. They immediately tightened their grip on Mughal supply chains.

In Maharashtra, Aurangzeb grew despondent. He started negotiations with Marathas, but cut abruptly and marched on a small kingdom called Wakinara. Naiks at Wakinara traced their lineage to royal family of Vijaynagar empire. They were never fond of Mughals and had sided with Marathas. Dhanaji marched into Sahyadris and won almost all the major forts back in short time. Satara and Parali forts were taken by Parshuram Timbak. Shankar Narayan took Sinhgad. Dhanaji then turned around and took his forces to Wakinara. He helped the Naiks at Wakinara sustain the fight. Naiks fought very bravely. Finally Wakinara fell, but the royal family of Naiks successfully escaped with least damage.

Aurangzeb had now given up all hopes and was now planning retreat to Burhanpur. Dhanaji Jadhav again fell on him and in swift and ferocious attack and dismantled the rear guard of his imperial army. Zulfikar Khan rescued the emperor and they successfully reached Burhanpur.

Aurangzeb witnessed bitter fights among his sons in his last days. Alone, lost, depressed, bankrupt, far away from home, he died sad death on 3rd March 1707. “I hope god will forgive me one day for my disastrous sins”, were his last words.

Thus ended a prolonged and grueling period in history of India. The Mughal kingdom fragmented and disintegrated soon after. And Deccan saw rise of a new sun, the Maratha empire.

(continued…)

8 Responses

  1. […] (continued…) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The 27 Year War That Changed Course Of Indian History – IHistoryHindu Mythological events or Undeniable events of Indian PastTHE SUFFRAGETTES CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY So can we […]

  2. Ultimate articles…All 4 of them are well written and convey the meaning with the impact of its grandiose scale it is supposed to. And nicely put all the information in terse manner without making it bore for people who dont know much about Maratha history. Still, I have one suggestion. Dont do the mistake that we have already done and experienced a hefty loss for. Not using maps. We did that in Panipat. Without understanding geographical canvass, its difficult to grasp the meaning. Its hard to imagine for a person who is not aware of all these tracts of land. So, if possible give couple of maps to just signify how far is Jinji from Raigad and what do you mean by the attacked Nashik-Baglan while Aurangzeb was in Ahmadnagar or to elaborate the pincer attack movement….But its fantastic article indeed.

  3. […] Maratha empire. The war lasted 27 years and Aurangzeb lost. Kedar has a seven part series (1,2,3,4,5, 6,7) on this war which is barely mentioned in our books. For the most part, Aurangzeb was a […]

  4. brilliant brilliant piece man..
    very well written, so thoroughly researched.. hats off to u..

    its deplorable and despicable that we never read about any of these things in our history lessons…

    we all owe it to these fearless, brave souls the freedom that we now have in India

    and we owe it to them to defend this freedom…

  5. hi,
    regarding article in lokpraba,

    article is nice but this what i feel

    it looks like story.story should be in brief and emphasis on use of maths in crime needs to be more.also story of bhaskaracharya & his daughter needs to be added in short coz nobody knows that.

  6. Kedar, amazing article and pleasure to read.. we should publicize this fact more so that people are more appreciative of our freedom struggle right from 16th Century onwards.. I especially liked to end about ” the hands that only work on key boards now” but have the same blood that has been responsible for such a brave struggle… well done..

  7. The war of 27 years effectively ended muslim rule in India. 1707 is regarded as the end of the Islamic period of India, and the beginning of the century known as the “The maratha supremacy (History and Culture of the Indian people, volume 8).” The Enclyo. Brittanica gives this war its full due, as the phase that ended the Mughal empire and began the Maratha empire in India. The reason this war, and the subsequent 100 years, are not given their due in history books in India is that it is a basic Marxist plank that “Indians are not a nation, and never had any nationhood. They have always been ruled by invaders.” So the war of 27 years, and the subsequent 100 years do not “fit” into this theory, therefore they are simply brushed under the carpet. How can we launch a nationwide campaign to highlight these chapters of our glorious history as Bharatiyas?

  8. Excellent article ….
    Worth reading ….
    Very good analysis …….
    History that has shaped modern India ……..
    Truly war of independence ……..

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