Battle of Dharmatpur 1658: Jaswant Singh vs Aurangzeb

Battle of Dharmatpur- Jaswant Singh Marwar vs Aurangzeb

The Battle of Dharmatpur was fought on 15 April 1658 on the banks of river Narmada , around 20 kilometers from Ujjain. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb defeated Maharaja Jaswant Singh.

Background of the Battle of Dharmatpur

On 6 May 1638, Jaswant Singh succeeded his father on his death by special decree of the Emperor Shah Jahan.  In 1658, when Shah Jehan fell ill, Price Dara was the elder son and preferred choice. However, there was a rebellion and rajputs were tasked with crushing it. Raja Jai Singh of Amber was commanded to oppose price Shuja & Jawant Singh was entrusted to quash the designs of Aurangzeb.

Jaswant Singh marched from Agra, united with other contingents of Rajputs and the imperial guard force of the emperor. Jaswant Singh marched towards Narmada & camped at Dharmatpur, around 20 Kms from Ujjain.

Battle of Dharmatpur

French traveller Bernier, gives the vivid account of battle of dharmatpur as Jaswant Singh had a chance to attack & defeat Aurangzeb but he purposely gave time to Aurangzeb & allowed prince Murad with his army to join Aurangzeb. His desire was to defeat both the Mughal princes at once. Additionally, this delay allowed Aurangzeb to win over the Mughal General, Kasim Khan, who was sent by Shah Jahan to help Jaswant Singh and Kasim Khan defected as soon as the war started.

Jaswant Singh along with support of Mukund Singh Hara of Kotah and Bundi, Dayal Das Jhala, Arjun Gaur of Rajgarh in Ajmer and Rana Ratan Singh Rathore of Ratlam decided to fight the unequal battle. Jaswant attacked both Aurangzeb and Murad and they barely escaped.

The rajput army of 8000 was reduced to 600 and finally the unequal contest ended and Jaswant Singh was forced to retreat.  Aurangzeb named the place of victory Fatehabad.

Consequences of battle of Dharmatpur

On retreat of Jaswant Singh, Aurangzeb marched into the capital of Malwa. A small battle took place at Jajow village, in which rajputs were overpowered, Dara was driven from regency & aged emperor deposed.

Trivia: Battle of Dharmatpur

It is said that when Jaswant Singh returned to the fort, the queen refused to open doors.  Queen offered him food in wooden utensils. He could not understand the reason behind this behaviour as he always ate with silver utensils. “I have offered you food in wooden utensils as noise of silver utensils could scare you off,” came the sarcastic explanation from the queen.

This gave Jaswant Singh the determination & he started preparing for a fresh clash with his opponent.

  • Narendra Choudhary

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