The year is 1482 and in present day Rajasthan in India, you can hear the cries of a young boy as his father lifts him up. He is no ordinary man. Rather, he is the son of the Rajput king Rana Raimal.
Sangram Singh Sisodia is his name.
Years later, 2 brothers are born to the Rana as well. As the brothers grow older, they always quarrel, even for the pettiest of issues. This is something that will follow them for the rest of their lives, even turning deadly.
Indeed, a bloody war of succession broke out between the three brothers. Sanga would lose one eye in combat with one of his brother Prithviraj. But in the end, Sanga’s skills on the battlefield yielded him the Rajput throne.
Through multiple conquests, Sanga — now Rana Sanga — had become a very powerful sovereign. At this time, Babur, the King of Kabulistan (now Kabul) was starting on a conquest to invade Hindustan.
It was here where Babur encountered Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, of the Delhi Sultanate. In the First Battle of Panipat — two more were to follow in the years to come, but that isn’t important now — Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi and was effectively inside India.
it was here that Rana Sanga came into play. He knew that he would have to protect his motherland from more Islamic invaders who would brutalize the citizens even more.
He appointed another Rajput chieftain named Shiladitya as the person in change for the extremely imperative defense troops.
On the other side, Babur realized that his main threat came from the Rajput army, and made preparations for battle against the Rajputs.
Babur knew that the strength and numbers of the Rajput army would overwhelm his army if they fought traditionally, so he planned a camp of fortifications where they would use muskets and guns to shoot the Rajputs, and then strike when morale was low.
He was also going to use the flanking tactic known as taulqama, and hopefully consolidate a decisive victory.
The battle started off not so good for the Rajputs as the muskets were overpowering their traditional way of fighting, but even then, they had sheer strength in numbers and a good general. Or was he good…
The biggest shock came when Shiladitya defected to Babur’s side and took his troops — an estimated 6000 — with him. Sanga was absolute stunned as this was totally unexpected and a blow to the strategy of the Rajputs.
Recoiling from the shock, the Rana was shot by a bullet in battle and had to be escorted out to keep his safety. During this time, another Rajput chieftain named Jhala Ajja acted as the general for the army and starting attacking.
Unfortunately, Ajja wasn’t a great military strategist and couldn’t pinpoint the weak locations of Babur’s formations and instead attacked the flanks while ignoring a vulnerability in the center of the formation.
Continued attacks from the Rajputs didn’t manage to do much damage to the solid flanks. At this time, Babur ordered his men to go attack the center of the Rajput formation, to take advantage of their vulnerability.
The battle resulted in a loss for the Rajputs, and Babur got exactly what he wanted: land in Hindustan to consolidate a new empire.
Imagine what would have happened if Shiladitya didn’t defect to the other side. The Rana wouldn’t have been off his guard, it wouldn’t have lead to bad military strategy, and could have possibly resulted in driving out the Mughal invaders.
I say could because it still possibly could have resulted in a defeat for the Rajputs again, but the chances would have been significantly higher.
What would a Mughal-less India mean? That would be another thought train, but regardless, it would have been very interesting to see it happen.
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