Top 10 Decisive Battlefields in India
Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir: The cold and hostile mountain terrain of Kargil, some 230 km from Leh became a fearsome battleground. It was witness to India`s toughest battle in recent times. The mission which lasted for almost 60 days between May to July 1999, was to dislodge well-entrenched enemy troops from the heights across Indian territory. After 10 years Kargil is now teeming with tourists.
Unquestionably "Mother of all battles" Kurukshetra lies 160 km north of Delhi. The 18 days war fought between the Pandavas and Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata saw the Pandavas led by Lord Krishna emerge triumphant but not before many casualties on both sides. Kurukshetra is now a centre of pilgrimage.
The fertile plains of Paniapat, 90 km from Delhi was the site for 3 pivotal battles which changed the course of history. 1526 AD set for the Mughal rule in India. 1556 AD Akbar became firmly entrenched as Emperor of India. The last battle of Panipat fought in 1761 AD saw Marathas decline as a military power. Disappointingly this industrial town known for the handloom products and `Pachranga` pickles now bears no testimony to the bloody battles staged here.
Plassey, West Bengal
Plassey a village having extensive mango grove is 150 km from Kolkata. It is located in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal. It was here on a hot June 23rd, 1757 the army of Siraj Ud Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal and forces of the East India Company under a shrewd Robert Clive clashed. The battle that lasted only for few hours, saw Siraj defeated and killed. The outcome of this battle paved the way for furthering British ambitions in India.
Colachel, Tamil Nadu
Colachel a small fisihng harbour that is 40 Km from Kanyakumari on the west coast road is a place where Indian rulers had one of their finest victories over the colonial invaders. Travancore Army under King Marthanda Varma and the forces of Dutch East India Company led by Admiral Eustachius De Lannoy clashed here on August 10, 1741. This defeat of an European naval force by an Indian ruler is something unique. As a result of this defeat the Dutch never again rose to be a substantial threat in India.
Tarain now known as Taraori or Tarori is a small place in Haryana that is 16 km north of Karnal. This obscure place was the site for two most important battles which had an impact on Indian history. In 1191 and 1192 AD the armies of Mohammed Ghori and the Rajput ruler Prithviraj Chauhan clashed. While in the first battle Ghori had to retreat but in the second Pritviraj was defeated thus making way for a floodgate of invasions.
Srirangapattana, just 19 km from Mysore was the scene of the last and decisive Fourth Anglo-Mysore War between Tipu Sultan and the British forces under General Harris. The British had laid siege of the city . On 4th May 1799 AD a fierce battle erupted and Britisher through a breach on the wall entered Srirangapatna. Tipu was killed and a memorial is marked inside the fort where he ultimately fell.
Haldighati lies 40 kilometres from Udaipur in the Aravalli Ranges of Rajasthan. On June 21 1576 AD the valiant warrior Maharana Pratap Singh of Mewar put up a brave fight against numerically superior forces of Mughal Army of AKbar commandeered by Raja Man Singh in the mountainous pass of. The battle lasted only for 4 hours and Pratap had to flee the battlefield but not before inflicting a heavy damage on the Mughal Army.
Talikota lies about 80 kilometers to the southeast of Bijapur in Karnataka on the banks of the River Don. It was here that the famous Battle of Talikota was fought. On January 26, 1565 AD the combined armies of the Deccan Sultanates- Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur and Golconda, clashed with the Vijayanagara army at the rocky terrains of Talikota. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated and the whole city plundered. This decisive battle made sure that Vijayanagara, the last large Hindu kingdom collapsed.
Wadgaon-Maval on the highway to Mumbai, 50 km from Pune is witness to the famous Battle of Wadgaon where on January 14th, 1779 AD the forces of East India Company was defeated by Maratha army, led by general Mahadji Shinde. Consequently on January 16th the British had to sign a humiliating surrender treaty. The Marathas under a shrewd strategy allowed the English to climb the ghats, trapping them inland and then cutting off the supply lines with Mumbai at two places leaving them weak and helpless.