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First Battle of Panipat


The First Battle of Panipat was fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi on 21 April 1526. Panipat is a city located north to Delhi in Haryana. At that time, Babur was a ruler in central Asia. After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur gave attention to conquer India. He reached the banks of the Chenab in 1519. Until 1524, his aim was to only expand his rule to Punjab.

At that time, parts of north India and Delhi were under the rule of Ibrahim Lodi of the Lodi dynasty. He was the third ruler of the Lodi dynasty. He faced resistance from a faction of the nobility. He was hugely unpopular among nobles as he replaced old and senior commanders by younger ones who were loyal to him. Daulat Khan Lodi, Governor of Punjab and Ala-ud-Din, uncle of Ibrahim Lodi send invitation to Babur to attack Delhi and replaced the Lodi dynasty. It was his fifth expedition of Babur in India. When Babur arrived at Lahore, the Lodi army marched out and was routed. Babur burned Lahore for two days. He placed Ala-ud-Din as the Governor of Lahore. Then his army moved to Ambala.

Knowing about the attack of Babur, Ibrahim Lodi gathered his army and was advancing towards north from Delhi. Both the forces meet each other on a place near Panipat. Babur had an army of 8000 soldiers and Lodi had around 40000 soldiers. On the battle of Panipat, Babur divides this small army into separate groups and placed in different parts of the battlefield. Babur secured his right flank against the city of Panipat, while digging a trench to secure his left flank. In the center, he placed seven hundred carts were lashed together in the 'Ottoman fashion'. When Ibrahim's army arrived in the battlefield, he found the approach to Babur's army too narrow to attack. The two armies faced each other for a week before the battle. On the morning of 21 April, Ibrahim Lodi finally left his camp and moved to attack Babur's lines. Babur's army used the gun powder effectively against Lodi's army. Babur's guns proved decisive in battle. Ibrahim Lodi and his army lacked any field artillery. Also the sound of the cannon frightened Lodi's elephants, causing them to trample Lodi's own men. Ibrahim Lodi died on the field of battle along with 15,000 of his troops.
Babur entered Delhi three days after the battle. The win in the battle of Panipat lead to the establishment of the Mughal Empire for next 300 years. It is one of the turning points in Indian history.






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