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  #16  
Old November 14th, 2010, 05:01 PM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

The rival armies at panipat

The two armies now encamped at panipat. while the maratha army encamped beside the town , the afghans did so a few miles south. the marathas built a ditches round their camp ,and built ramparts to prevent a surprise attack. the cannons were kept at regular intervals all round to smash any attack to pieces.

the first few weeks were dominated by the marathas. the maratha artillery kept on firing cannon shells which fell onto the afghans ,and killed some of them. the afghans lacked such long range guns. abdali had to move his camp farther south ,out of range of the guns.

the marathas then began to launch raids onto the afghan camp which greatly exasperated the afghans. finally ,a plan was hatched to stop them. in the dead of night ,5,000 rohillas quietly slipped through a weak point into the maratha camp ,and started slaughtering them. this created great confusion in the camp.

finally , the gardi musketeers opened fire on the rohillas ,which killed more than 3,000 of them . the remaing rohillas fled , still taunting the marathas as to how they had slipped in. however , bhau's personal friend , and right hand man balwant rao mehendale was killed while fighting the rohillas. this filled bhau with gloom.

from this point the afghans began to dominate the plains between the two armies. all supplies to the marathas were stopped , and the marathas began to feel scarcity of food. to add to the problems , a large force carrying treasure for the bhau in the middle of the night accidently went into the afghan camp instead of the marathas camp as they could not identify it in the dark , and was instantly attacked and annihilated ,with the treasure confisticated.

now the level of the yamuna fell down ,and regular supplies started coming to the afghan camp ,resulting in a plenty of food there.on the other hand the marathas began to starve , as abdali tightened the noose around them by regular patrols which prevented any food coming to them. actually panipat had enough food to last the maratha army for months. but the vast retinue of servants women and camp followers quickly finished the food , and scarcity now prevailed.

to prevent supplies to the afghan camp , the maratha governer of bundelkhand , govind pant ' bundele ' now moved from bundelkhand with 10 ,000 men towards rolhilkhand ,which was undefended , as the rohillas were all at panipat. this struck terror among the rohillas , as their families were now threatened . but abdali the master general ,hatched a plan.

a small but swift force under atai khan and karimdad khan went at amazing speed , covering 200 km extremely fast ,and surprised govind pant in a small town he had just sacked , in the morning .the marathas were all cut down , and govind was killed. his head was sent to bhau as gift to strike terror among the marathas.

if bhau had attacked in the early stages , he had a good chance of success ,as maratha morale was high at that time . but he proved to be a pullisanimous commander ,as he did not even try to attack as the marathas began to starve. animals began to die ,for want of forage , and the men themselves began to become weak for want of food.

at last all men began to feel so weak that they felt that their half starving bodies would not able to fight if the wait was prolonged any more without food. they all gathered around bhau's tent clamouring for a fight to save their honour . at last , bhau agreed to fight ,though his men were now weak in body due to starvation .

next morning the marathas marched out ,with their faces pasted with saffron ,as defenders of hinduism. the date was 14 january 1761 .
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

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Originally Posted by PeaceSeeker View Post
this thread and other posts of ashdoc are cited as references when others write history
thank you for saying so .....i hope this thread turns up on search engines the world over ,whenever anybody searches for the third battle of panipat.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

Ashdoc bhai, excellent and easy to digest information ! If not for the sacrifices of brave Marathas, Rajputs and Sardars, Bharat would have long succumbed to the violent onslaught from rop!
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Old November 14th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

Excellent stuff! Go on Ashdoc
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  #20  
Old November 14th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

dispositions of the rival armies as they come face to face

in front of the maratha army were the cannons ,ranged along the whole maratha line.
behind them--

on the left were the gardi muskeeters , led by a great commander , ibrahim khan gardi . as the marathas believed in light cavalry tactics and were not amenable to disciplined tactics , ibrahim khan had recruited his troops from the hindu population of andhra pradesh . thus the gardis ,as they were known were telgu troops in the service of marathas ,and were called gardis due to the surname of their famous commander.

to his right ,in the left-center were maratha cavalry troops under vitthal shidev and damaji gaikwad. their task was to support and protect the gardis from a cavalry assault.

in the center was sadashivraobhau , along with the peshwa's son vishwasrao ,who had been sent to keep the bhau in check , as the peshwa was afraid that bhau would create an independent kingdom in the north. he was a mere figurehead , as he was only 17 years of age . with bhau was the famous huzrat cavalry of the peshwa , the best troops of the maratha empire ,in the center.

to the right of center was antaji mankeshwar with his troops ,and shamsher bahadur , who was the son of bajirao and mastani !! he had been brought up as muslim as the pune brahmins detested the muslim mastani , and refused to accept her son as a hindu .

to the right were the forces of yeshwantrao pawar , malhar-rao holkar , and the scindia troops under younger brother of the dead dattaji --jankoji scindia.

behind this , came the vast retinue of servants ,camp followers and women .

on abdali's side ,the center was commanded by shah wali khan ,his wazir ,with the royal cavalry .with him were 2000 zamburaks , which were small cannons placed on camels , and were light and more mobile than the static maratha cannons.

in the extreme right , were the superb persian horse led by barkhurdar khan and amir khan ,and kabuli infantry . in between the center and right were the rohilla troops led by hahiz rehmat khan ,and troops of ahmad khan bangash of farrukabad.

to the left of center were najib khan rohilla ,and shuja-ud-daula with their troops . the extreme left flank was composed of royal mobile cavalry of shah pasand khan .

in indian muslim troops were in between the afghan toops to prevent any defection from them in case of the fight going badly for them.

above all , a reserve was kept by the abdali to deal with any situation ,if arisen. a special feature of his army was military police , who were behind the troops ,and would capture any deserters and bring them back.these reserves and military police numbered 10,000 men. they were the highest paid troops , and considered themselves the afghan kings personal slaves.

special scouts on horseback ranged the whole front to keep abdali informed of what was happening in each sector.

on the other hand ,the marathas had no reserves ,which showed that they had learned nothing from history.prithviraj had lost the battle of tarain because he had no reserves.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

Great Going, Ashdoc. Keep it up
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  #22  
Old November 15th, 2010, 01:58 AM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

The battle of panipat-- phase one

The marathas opened the action as they saw the afghan army coming , by opening fire with their cannons. the cannons were fired by elevating them as the afghans were quite far at that time , but the rapid movement of the afghans meant that by the time the cannon were elevated and fired , the afghans were ahead of the position on which the cannon were fired. the cannonballs fell harmlessly behind the afghan troops.

Now to fire on the new positions required the troops to lower the cannons , but as the afghans were approaching fast , by the time the 200 cannons would be lowered the afghan army would be on them. thus ,the weapon bhau held as his trump card over the afghans had failed him at the decisive moment. the cannons of course , had their uses ,as delhi had quickly fallen due to the bombardment of the cannons , and the same had occurred at kunjpura ,whose walls had been breached by the cannons. but they proved to be useless on the fluid battlefield , as against their success against static targets.

Bhau had another card up his sleeve , in the form of the gardi musketeers on his left . these now opened fire on the rohillas and afghans in front of them ( afghan right ). the afghans and rohillas also had muskets and opened fire. but they neither had the discipline nor the accuracy of the gardi musketeers . above all ,they were short-range compared to the french muskets of the gardis. their shots simply could not reach upto the gardis.

on the other hand ,the gardis began to mow down the afghans . working with clock-like precision , one line of them fired the muskets , and as it went behind to reload , the next line fired. the afghans on the right began to be decimated , and between 8 to 9,000 of them lost their lives. the afghan right seemed to be collapsing.actually the gardis were outnunbered by 2:1 by the opposite afghans and rohillas. yet they got such success .

All this was due to the training given to the gardis by ibrahim khan gardi , their brilliant and patriotic commander .earlier he had been enticed by the afghans by trying to give him bribes ,and appeals to common religion. but he had rejected them saying , '' my loyality lies to the land which i have made my home , not from which i come ......'' . he was a pathan !!

However , as success went to the gardis , so did jealousy grow among those who were posted to their immediate right , namely the cavalry of damaji gaikwad of gujrat , and the forces commanded by vitthal shivdev. they saw that the battle was being won by the gardis ,while the traditional maratha cavalry was doing nothing . if this continued , the role of the cavalry would diminish in future , and so would its importance .

Now the job given to them was to see them opposite side being mowed down by the gardi bullets , and when the gardis finished firing , to charge the defeated and decimated afghans ( of the right side ), and finish them off. but now they dis-regarded orders and charged the afghan lines BEFORE the afghans had been fully decimated. this in fact brought them within range of the short-range afghan muskets . the afghans could hardly believe their luck !! the enemy who was out of range earlier was now stumbling within range.
immediately the remaining afghans opened fire , and the entire charging force was cut to pieces at point-blank range before even reaching the afghan lines ,as the cavalry borne marathas had no muskets , only swords and spears , and could not return fire.

As the horse-borne marathas were now between the afghans and the gardis ,the gardis had to stop firing ,so as not to hit their own comrades.

meanwhile , in the center , the afghans charged the maratha lines , but were sent packing by the famed huzrat cavalry of the peshwa ,perhaps the best troops of the maratha empire. then the huzrat cavalry charged on the afghans themselves . the afghans did the mistake of not galloping ahead to meet the maratha charge ,and bore the full brunt of the maratha charge while static. they were scattered by the sheer force of the maratha attack .thousands were killed on the spot.

those who survived fled from the battlefield ,and both in the center ,and on the right where the gardis were attacking them ,it was becoming an afghan rout. shah wali khan ,the wazir ,ran after them shouting , '' whither do you fly friends , our country ( afghhanistan ) is far away '' . but no-one listened to him.

for the marathas ,this was their chance !!......the golden opportunity of a lifetime !!...... the afghan right was turned ,and on the backfoot due to the gardi musketeers , and the center had melted. considerable gaps had opened in the afghan lines , and through them ,they could safely pass !! to the south !! ,to safety !! where food and supplies awaited !!

but how could they ??!! how could they ??!!
if they escaped to the south , they would have to leave behind the multitude of women , including their own wives ( !! ) , old and infirm people and servants who depended on them for safety !!
could a maratha soldier show his face in maharashtra if he came back leaving behind these people to the tender mercies of the rapist afghans ??!!.........Noooooooo !!
the marathas , after this charge , had to RETURN BACK to their original positions !!

the situation in the afghan camp was one of panic , and even abdali was momentarily confused . but if it was anyone who could keep his cool while the world was collapsing around him , it was abdali......

he immediately sent his reserves and military police , who as yet were idle , numbering 10 ,000 strong , behind the fleeing afghans with orders to browbeat them into coming back . these set after the fugitives , and upon reaching them ,they were beaten ,coerced , forced and cajoled to back into the battle . the situation was explained to them ,that they were in a far off country , and if defeated had no-where to run .......so they had to stand and fight ......

finally ,they were brought back , and the upon reserves and military police joining them ,were divided into two groups . the larger one went to the center ,and the other to the right which had been hammered by the gardis , to bolster that side.

abdali had done well to bring these troops back , for the fortunes of war were about to change......
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Old November 15th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

battle of panipat , phase two

the afghan troops were ready back in their positions by afternoon .
on their right , they saw that the gardi troops were alone without cavalry escort. immediately the gardi troops were charged by the afghans in full force.

normally ,the cavalry troops of damaji gaikwad and vitthal shivdev would have easily repulsed this charge . but we have already seen that they had foolishly expended themselves by attacking the musket carrying afghans ,and thereby getting slaughtered.

normally a musket carrying infantry needs some cavalry to protect it in case of cavalry assault from opposite direction , after they have expended their musket ammunition. the gardis were close to finishing their musket ammunition now , and needed cavalry protection to protect them from assault by the afghans. but the cavalry protecting them was already destroyed by its own foolish assault , and they were left to fend for themselves.

they fought as best as they could , but they were slaughtered to a man .......but not ibrahim khan gardi , whose dream of dying a true general's death along with his soldiers was not accomplished .........he was captured by the afghans. but it must be remembered that they and their gallant commander had honoured themselves on the battlefield by taking on a numerically superior force ,and nearly decimating it .....only maratha cavalry's foolishness had prevented then from grasping complete victory ,at least on its side of the front.

now for events on the right of the marathas ----

while all this action had been going on , the maratha right wing , and the afghan left wing in front of it were silent . by merely remaining opposite each other , they had contained each other , and prevented the opposite side from going into action.

here malhar-rao holkar had deliberately taken position , so as to be opposite najib khan rohilla , who was his secret friend . both had agreed not to attack each other . furthermore , at a prearrainged signal , malhar-rao left his position ,and escaped from the battlefield . najib did not attack him . thus malhar-rao made it to safety by his cunning methods , and went back home .
about 1500 maratha troops made it to safety with him.

his departure suddenly exposed the flank of the scindia troops who were to his immediate left , and now they were attacked from the side rather than from the front ,where they had expected malhar-rao's troops to be defending positions , and were caught by surprise. they were immediately cut to pieces by the afghans , and jankoji scindia himself had to run to safety towards the center with the remainder of his troops.

thus the maratha left wing was defeated , and the right wing was turned towards the center. the action now moved towards the maratha center as the afghans attacked from all sides.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:14 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashdoc View Post
battle of panipat , phase two

the afghan troops were ready back in their positions by afternoon .
on their right , they saw that the gardi troops were alone without cavalry escort. immediately the gardi troops were charged by the afghans in full force.

normally ,the cavalry troops of damaji gaikwad and vitthal shivdev would have easily repulsed this charge . but we have already seen that they had foolishly expended themselves by attacking the musket carrying afghans ,and thereby getting slaughtered.

normally a musket carrying infantry needs some cavalry to protect it in case of cavalry assault from opposite direction , after they have expended their musket ammunition. the gardis were close to finishing their musket ammunition now , and needed cavalry protection to protect them from assault by the afghans. but the cavalry protecting them was already destroyed by its own foolish assault , and they were left to fend for themselves.

they fought as best as they could , but they were slaughtered to a man .......but not ibrahim khan gardi , whose dream of dying a true general's death along with his soldiers was not accomplished .........he was captured by the afghans. but it must be remembered that they and their gallant commander had honoured themselves on the battlefield by taking on a numerically superior force ,and nearly decimating it .....only maratha cavalry's foolishness had prevented then from grasping complete victory ,at least on its side of the front.

now for events on the right of the marathas ----

while all this action had been going on , the maratha right wing , and the afghan left wing in front of it were silent . by merely remaining opposite each other , they had contained each other , and prevented the opposite side from going into action.

here malhar-rao holkar had deliberately taken position , so as to be opposite najib khan rohilla , who was his secret friend . both had agreed not to attack each other . furthermore , at a prearrainged signal , malhar-rao left his position ,and escaped from the battlefield . najib did not attack him . thus malhar-rao made it to safety by his cunning methods , and went back home .
about 1500 maratha troops made it to safety with him.

his departure suddenly exposed the flank of the scindia troops who were to his immediate left , and now they were attacked from the side rather than from the front ,where they had expected malhar-rao's troops to be defending positions , and were caught by surprise. they were immediately cut to pieces by the afghans , and jankoji scindia himself had to run to safety towards the center with the remainder of his troops.

thus the maratha left wing was defeated , and the right wing was turned towards the center. the action now moved towards the maratha center as the afghans attacked from all sides.
Wasn't his role played by Mukesh Khanna in some serial in which Shahbaz khan was Bajirao and Goofy Paintal played Abdali (or was it Bob Christo the Abdali)

As you can see Muslims were integral part of Maratha army and other armies that claimed to be champion of Hindu cause (that includes Maharana Pratap's forces that had some pathans as well)
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

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Originally Posted by dhurandhar View Post
Wasn't his role played by Mukesh Khanna in some serial in which Shahbaz khan was Bajirao and Goofy Paintal played Abdali (or was it Bob Christo the Abdali)

As you can see Muslims were integral part of Maratha army and other armies that claimed to be champion of Hindu cause (that includes Maharana Pratap's forces that had some pathans as well)
other than ibrahim khan gardi ,his brother fateh khan and shamsher bahadur ( bajirao and mastani's son ) ,there were very few muslims in the maratha army.

the gardi soldiers were all telgu soldiers in maratha service, recruited by ibrahim khan gardi from the hindu population of what is now andhra pradesh.

the TV serial was THE GREAT MARATHA on the life and times of mahadji shinde ( scindia ) , who rebuilt the maratha empire in the north after panipat .......he was the ancestor of congress politicians madhavrao and jyotiraditya scindia of gwalior.

bajirao was long dead when the battle of panipat was fought . the serial begins with the battle. actually shahbaz khan played the role of mahadji scindia. bob christo played the role of abdali , with aplomb ,and above all with absolute arrogance, i must admit

and yes ,mukesh khanna played gardi.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 03:17 AM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

battle of panipat ,third phase

first abdali ordered his zamburaks , that is swivel-cannons fitted on camels , to attack the marathas . these were mobile , and therefore more capable of firing than those of the marathas . these produced a toll on the maratha forces.

then he ordered shah pasand khan to attack with his kizilbash troops ,who were iranian troops with distinctive red headgear , to attack with full force in the flank of the the maratha center.

the marathas retaliated with full vigor ,and a titanic battle developed between the rival armies of the two forces .'' there arose such a cloud ,that nothing could distinguish the heavens from the earth '', according to an observer. .nothing could be heard above the din of battle except the clash of arms ,and the battle cries of the two forces.

a close and violent contest developed ,in which both sides fought with swords , spears , battle axes ,and even daggers .......this continued for more than two hours. abdali then sent his own tribe's soldiers , called bashgulls , to engage the marathas ......yet the marathas were unyielding ......rivers of blood began to flow on both sides ......

the peshwa's son ,17 year old vishvasrao , the nominal commander of the expedition , now fought like a true warrior , by the side of his uncle ,on horseback , personally killing many gilchyas, as the marathas called the afghans.

the crisis of the battle occured when he mounted an elephant to bolster his forces. now both armies had muskets , and he should have known from the manner of the death of dattaji scindia ,that this made him a tempting target for musket fire . he was shot dead by an afghan musket......

at this point , bhau lost his head , and forgot his duty as a general ,and commander of the maratha forces.he knew that now he could not show his face in pune ,especially to his sister-in-law , vishwasrao's mother ,who had weepingly put vishvasrao's head on his lap before starting off from pune , as vishwasrao ,being the oldest son of the peshwa ,was heir to the maratha empire. he now ordered his bodyguards , numbering hundreds ,to accompany him as he plunged into the afghan lines ,to fight a desperate battle.

as he disappeared into the afghan lines , word spread among the marathas that he had died in the afghan lines . actually he was alive , but the rumour spread , and many marathas began to flee . some rohillas , and afghans ,who had joined the maratha camp after being captured at kunjpura , and were protecting the non-combatants behind , now threw off their maratha headgear , and began to loot the maratha camp , adding to the confusion.

abdali now ordered a troop of 8,000 khans to attack bhau and his bodyguards , and an obstinate battle developed , but the marathas were overwhelmed by sheer numbers. bhau was identified by the bejewelled sword he held , and his rich clothes, and finally found peace.........

his death precipitated the final defeat of the marathas. they all began to flee , and were mercilessly hounded by the afghans .......to be sent to death......
as they fled into the town of panipat , they were chased , and savagely massacred . the scene of the battle itself was an astonishingly gory sight . every last man among the marathas was hunted down. piles of corpses littered the battlefield . in the camp ,even old people were killed , and women became a prey to the lust of the afghan conquerors.

next day , the survivors were pitilessly put to death ,and women put on sale !! it was verily the doomsday of the maratha people ......

like the mahabharat , an entire generation of warriors died on that day . some 75 ,000 of the 85,000 fighting men lost their lives , and the tragedy was increased by the presence of non-combatants ,who added to the list of dead. in all 2 lakh marathas lost their lives. in maharshtra , not a single home was left which did not have to mourn the loss of a member , and many had lost the head of the house.

damaji gaikwad survived the battle to return to gujrat and recover his hold on that province , so did vitthal shidev . malhar-rao holkar had already escaped.......

generally it was seen that the earlier generation guerilla leaders were able to save their lives , and those who fought bhau's kind of warfare lost their lives.his wife gopikabai ,who used to ride with a unsheathed sword was saved by her bodyguards .....she returned to pune , still kept on wearing a suhagan's clothes , hoping against hope that her husband was alive. her hope was bolstered by the simple people of haryana , who said that a sadhu who appeared in that neighborhood , and who established , a gadhi there , and was giving people military training to protect them from afghan invaders, was bhau himself........that he had not forsaken the people whom he had arrived to protect , but was staying among them to complete his task.......bhau ki gadhi still exists in panipat district !!!

jankoji scindia was captured alive , but buried alive on najib's orders. thus started a blood fued between najib khan and the scindia's , which was ended only when mahadji scindia killed his grandson ghulam qadir ......but not before he had tortured and blinded qadir........

jankoji scindia himself was rumoured to be alive , but actually , both he and bhau had both ascended to heaven , if there is such a place......

shamshar bahadur , the gallant son of the beautiful mastani and the current peshwa's father bajirao , was killed . his dynasty , still muslims , formed a princely state , and still survive , carrying bajirao's genes .......the peshwa's legal heirs are long extinguished....now only if the obnoxious pune brahmins accepted them as one of their own.......

the news reached shrimant peshwa nanasaheb ,son of bajirao , when he was at sironj . an enigmatic letter came saying ,'' two pearls have been lost , so have been 27 gold mohurs , and the count of the copper lost is beyond count !! '' needless to say ,the gold was the sardars ,and the pearls were bhau and vishvasrao !!

shocked by the news ,the peshwa breathed his last......

abdali was not able to hold on to punjab , for holding on to which he had fought such an epic battle .......the sikhs took advantage of his weakened condition due to the losses at panipat ,and wrested it from him in the coming years.

but in bengal ,a race of white men raising a union jack were smiling at their good fortune........!!
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Old November 16th, 2010, 05:50 AM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

During these times, did something called INDIA/BHARAT/HINDUSTAN actually exist?

there is mention of delhi, north india, afghanistan, pakistan, chambal, telugu, marathi/maratha etc. what comprised INDIA/BHARAT/HINDUSTAN?

add-the part about the cannon balls dropping behind abdali's army and by the time 200 cannons were lowered, they reached the marathas etc seems little whatstheword
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Old November 16th, 2010, 05:57 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

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Originally Posted by PeaceSeeker View Post
During these times, did something called INDIA/BHARAT/HINDUSTAN actually exist?

there is mention of delhi, north india, afghanistan, pakistan, chambal, telugu, marathi/maratha etc. what comprised INDIA/BHARAT/HINDUSTAN?

add-the part about the cannon balls dropping behind abdali's army and by the time 200 cannons were lowered, they reached the marathas etc seems little whatstheword
the hindus considered the indus to be the boundary of india , and anyone crossing the indus was considered to have commited a sin , and had to undergo shuddhi .

thus some kind of concept of india did exist.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 05:59 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

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Originally Posted by PeaceSeeker View Post

add-the part about the cannon balls dropping behind abdali's army and by the time 200 cannons were lowered, they reached the marathas etc seems little whatstheword
no ,the cannons were not lowered at all ......the afghans WOULD have reached the maratha troops by the time the cannons would have been lowered .......so they were abandoned as useless , and not lowered at all.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 06:31 AM
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

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the hindus considered the indus to be the boundary of india , and anyone crossing the indus was considered to have commited a sin , and had to undergo shuddhi .

thus some kind of concept of india did exist.
even if anyone crossed the sea was considered as non hindu...and had to undergo shuddhi.this is one reason why there werent Indian navigators or explorers..neither indians formed colonies..now it has changed.thanks to air india ,lots of indians are flying to USA and UK and setting up their own colonies
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