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Monsoon conflict

The Battle of Tukaroi, also known as the Battle of Bajhaura or the Battle of Mughulmari, was fought on March 3, 1575 near the village of Tukaroi now in Balasore District of Odisha. This battle was between the Mughal Empire and the Sultanate of Bangala and Bihar.

Ikhtiar uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate, defeated the Sena king Lakshman Sen at his capital, Nabadwip in 1203-1204 and conquered most of Bengal.

During the reign of Mughal Emperor Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, the Sultan of Bangala was Daud Khan Karrani, seized Fort Zamania a frontier post of the Mughal Empire.

This gave Akbar the cause for war. He was in Gujarat when he heard this news. He was angry and ordered his trusted chief Munim Khan and representative of the imperial power in Jaunpur to severely chastise Daud. Munim gathered a powerful force and marched to Patna. However, Munim Khan was opposed by Lodi Khan, an influential Afghan chief who had placed Daud on the throne and now served as prime minister. Munim Khan was old and had lost his energy and after some skirmishes was content to cease hostilities and grant Daud extremely lenient terms.

Emperor Akbar thought that the Munim Khan had been too easy going. Daud was jealous of his minister Lodi Khan. The emperor deputed Raja Todar Mal to take command in Bihar making over the Raja’s civil duties as Diwan temporarily to Rai Ram Das.

Daud treacherously killed his minister Lodi Khan and confiscated his property. Munim Khan stung by his master’s censure returned to Patna and laid siege to the city. But, he soon found the task of taking it to be beyond his powers and begged Mughal Emperor Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar to come in person and assume charge of the campaign. Akbar who had just returned to the capital after paying his annual visit to Ajmer proceeded to Agra in March 1574 and prepared a fleet of elaborately equipped boats to proceed down the river. He started his voyage on June 15 and was accompanied by 15 of his best soldiers.

Twenty six days later he reached Banaras and after staying there for three days he continued to Patna. Patna by now had been under siege and was now controlled by Munim Khan. On August 3, 1574 Akbar captured Hajipur which provided supplies to Patna and later captured the fort at Patna too.

Akbar then proceeded to Panj Pahari or Five Hills to make a military observation of the region. Daud had 20,000 horses, a large park of artillery and many elephants. Delay could not be permitted, and accordingly, Akbar organised an additional army of more than 20,000 men entrusting supreme command to Munim Khan who was appointed governor of Bengal.

The Mughal army marched into the capital of Bengal, Tanda (near Gaur), and Daud withdrew to Odisha. The action forced Munim Khan to engage before he was ready. In the early stages of the conflict the Mughal commander received several severe wounds and victory seemed assured to the Bengal army. But later in the day the fall of Daud's general Gujar Khan caused fortune to change sides and brought about the total defeat of Daud who fled from the field. The battle led to the Treaty of Katak in which Daud ceded the whole of Bengal and Bihar, retaining only Odisha.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 11:25:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/Monsoon-conflict/article17376013.ece

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