Battle of Gangwana: 1741

The Battle of Gangwana was fought between the Kingdom of Marwar and combined armies of Jaipur and the Mughals in 1741. The battle resulted in a peace treaty favorable to Marwar and ended a period of Jaipur domination in Rajputana.

Background of Battle of Gangwana

In 1739, Nadir Shah invaded & sacked Delhi, which considerably reduced the prestige of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. Additionally, ongoing conflicts with the Maratha Empire further decreased the Mughal ability to govern the empire. This military and political weakness resulted in more authority being given to the Rulers, who were previously considered as Mughal vassals.

One of the now empowered rulers was Jai Singh II of Amer who embarked on a campaign of political and military conquest in northern India. In 1727 he founded the Kingdom of Jaipur and soon after adopted a policy of intervention towards the domestic affairs of other smaller rulers.

Maharaja Ajit Singh ruled Marwar from 1707 to 1724. After his death, his sons Abhai and Bakhat became the rulers of Marwar and Nagaur respectively. In 1739, Bakht Singh, decided to force concessions from Bikaner, and called for Abhai Sing to assist him. The Marwar army besieged the capital of Bikaner and the Raja of Bikaner appealed to Jai Singh for assistance. Jai Singh II bribed Bakht Singh to sign a separate peace with Jaipur, turning him against his brother. Abhai Singh was forced to give up and had to sign the treaty that effectively made Marwar a vassal of Jaipur. The peace treaty angered many of the Rathors.

Battle of Gangwana

In 1741 Abhai Singh began to gather his forces at Jodhpur in preparation for a war of revenge against Jaipur. Bhakt Singh also accepted his past wrondoings and joined the camp at Merta. Jai Singh arrived with his Jaipur army of about 40000-100000 men. A fierce battle followed at Gangwana where Bakht Singh and his men charged the Jaipur defenses and quickly punched through Jai Singh’s gun line. The Jaipur army held the field after the battle at Gangwana, but had been severely demoralized by the attack.

Aftermath of Battle of Gangwana

The battle resulted in a peace treaty brokered by Raja of Udaipur, favorable to Marwar that ended a period of Jaipur domination in Rajputana.