Battle of Nagaur

nagaur-fort

The  main battle of Nagaur occurred in 1455-56 in which Rana Kumbha, Ruler of Mewar defeated Rulers of Nagaur Sultanate. However, the history of Nagaur is preceded by a series of battles that kept on reversing its fortune.

 

Preceding Battles of Nagaur 

Rao Choonda/Chanda/Chundarji secured and found the kingdom of Marwar. Mandore, the capital of Rao Chonda, gave  a convenient base for attacking Nagaur. Additionally, he setup an alliance with Mewar by marrying his daughter Hansa with Rana Lakha of Mewar (grandfather of Kumbha). On the strength of this alliance Chunda subdued Rajput clans like the Bhatis and Mohils and invaded Nagaur, forcing Muslim rulers to make peace by paying him tribute. However, Rao Choonda was killed in 1422 by alliance of the defeeated Bhatis, Mohils & Sultans of Naguar and Nagaur became an independent Kingdom.

Rao Choonda was succeeded by Rao Rinmull, who built-up the alliance with mewar and  in 1428 he led the joint Sesodia-Rathore army to punish the Turks of Nagaur where he stormed the fort and killed Firuz Khan. As a result, the next Sultan of Nagaur Qiyam Khan paid tribute to Mewar.

However, in 1438, Rao Rinmull was killed by Rana Choonda (Notice: he is Rana Choonda of mewar,earlier was Rao Choonda of marwar) and the Sesodias invaded Marwar. The conflict between the two Rajput clans gave the opportunity to the Nagaur and it regained independence and its Sultans their former power.

In 1451 the minister of the last Sayyid ruler invited Qiyam Khan & Bahlul Lodhi to seize Delhi and become Sultan. Now, Bahlul Lodhi was Afghan governor of Sirhind and being closer to Delhi, reached first and established the Lodi dynasty, while the disappointed Qiyam Khan retired with his army to Nagaur.

 

Background of Battle of Nagaur

Feroz Khan/Qiyam Khan, Sultan of Nagaur died in 1433/1455.(doubt what is correct). On his death, his elder son, Shams Khan, succeeded Nagaur throne, but his younger son, Mujahid Khan, deposed him. Shams Khan fled to Rana Kumbha for help. Kumbha who had long had designs on Nagaur,  agreed to place Shams Khan on the throne of Nagaur, on the condition that he acknowledged Kumbha’s supremacy by demolishing a part of the battlements of the fort of that place. Shams Khan accepted the terms.

 

Battle of Nagaur:

Rana Kumbha marched with a large army to Nagaur, defeated Mujahid Khan and returned to Mewar. But Shams Khan did not keep his promise of demolishing the battlements of the fort. Instead, he started fortification of fort and sought help from Qutbuddin, the Sultan of Gujarat.

In 1456, Rana Kumbha again marched to Nagaur and defeated Shams Khan. He was driven out Nagaur and Kumbha himself demolished the fortification of Nagaur. As a result, Nagaur again became the vassal state of Mewar.

Rana Kumbha completed his long-cherished design also carried away the gates of the fort and an image of Hanuman from Nagaur, which he placed at the principal gate of the fortress of Kumbalgarh, naming it the Hanuman Pol.

 

After effects of the battle of Nagaur:

The battle of  Nagaur of 1456 resulted in a series of battle, in which Rana Kumbha & Mewar found themselves surrounded by enemies.

  • Rana Kumbha did not stop at Nagaur and  also captured Kasili, Khandela and Sakambhari.
  • Shams Khan fled to Ahmedabad and giving his daughter as wife to Sultan Qutb-ud-din, seeked his help to regain Nagaur.
  • Mahmud Khilji of Mandu, who was defeated in battle of Banas in 1446, got the opportunity to again attack mewar. In 1456, he captured Ajmer and in December of same year, conquered Mandalgarh.
  • Further, Mahmud Khilji and Qutbuddin, through the treaty of Champaner  made an agreement to attack Mewar and divide the spoils. Qutbuddin captured Abu ( Sirohi), was unable to capture Kumbhalmer, and his advance towards Chittorgarh was also blocked.
  • Taking advantage of Kumbha’s preoccupation, Rao Jodha (the son of Rao Rinmull Rathore) captured Mandore.

kumbhaRana Kumbha not only successfully defended Mewar facing multidirectional attack from Mahmud Khilji of Malwa, Qutbuddin of Gujarat, Shams Khan and Rao Jodha of Marwar. Post 1458 after the death of Qutbuddin and taking advantage of hostilities between Mahmud Begara (the new ruler of Gujarat) and Mahmud Khilji, Rana Kumbha was able to recapture his lost territories and expand his empire.

Battle of Nagaur & its aftermath battles are a tribute to  Rana Kumbha’s skills as warrior, king & war strategist.