Battle of Khanwa

The Battle of Khanwa was fought near the village of Khanwa, about 60 km west of Agra, on March 17, 1527,  between the invading forces of the first Mughal Emperor Babur and the Rajput forces led by Rana Sanga of Mewar.  Rana Sanga was defeated and the victory consolidated the rule of Mughal dynasty in India.

Background of Battle of Khanwa:

In 1526,invading forces of Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi in Battle of Panipat and brought down Lodi Empire. Rana Sanga thought that like his ancestor Timur, Babur would also withdraw from Delhi and Agra after seizing the treasures of these cities. But Once he realized that Babur intended to stay on in India, Sanga proceeded to build a grand coalition which would either force Babur out of India or else confine him to Punjab. In retaliation, Prince Humayun was recalled from campaigns in  Eastern India and military detachments were then sent by Babur for the conquest of Dholpur, Gwaliyar, and Bayana, strong forts forming the outer boundaries of Agra.

Battle of Khanwa:

The commanders of Dholpur and Gwaliyar surrendered their forts to Babur but Nizam Khan, the commander of Bayana opened negotiations with both Babur and Rana Sanga. Babur’s initial military detachment to Bayana was also defeated and dispersed by Rana Sanga’s forces. However, subsequently, Bayana surrendered to Babur.

Rajput-Afghan Alliance:

Rana Sanga succeeded in building a grand military alliance against Babur. The forces of mewar were joined by those from Hadoti, Jalor, Sirohi, Dungarpur, Dhundhar, and Amber.  Additionally, Mahmud Lodi, the younger son of Sikandar Lodi, whom the Afghans had proclaimed their new Sultan also joined the alliance with a force of 10,000 Afghans under him.

The Battle:

Babur after due examination prepared a strong offensive-defensive formation. Rana Sanga, on the other hand, continued fighting in the traditional way. Once the advance of the Rajputs and their Afghan allies had been contained, Babur’s flanking tactic came into play. Despite putting up a gallant fight, Rana Sanga and his allies suffered a disastrous defeat.

Consequences:

The battle of Khanwa demonstrated Babur’s superior generalship and organizational skills.  Rana Sanga managed to evade capture and escape to Chittor, but died shortly after on 30 January 1528.