India has had some of the fiercest battles in history as conquerors sought to gain access to the wealth of the subcontinent. These key battles have proved to be very significant and impactful in the present-day culture of the Indian people. Indian history has been greatly influenced and changed forever as a result.From the conquest of Alexander, The Great to the native battles, India has witnessed a list of historical battles, some dating as early as 327 BC and more recent battles such as Indo-Pakistani conflicts.
These are some of the most important battles in Indian history:
Battle Of The Hydaspes
Alexander the Great king of Macedonia, began his campaign against India in May of 326 BC. He successfully fought against King Porus of Punjab in the banks of river Hydaspes. The battle is regarded as one of the costliest battles ever fought by Alexander the Great because of the great resistance and difficulty that the Macedonian army faced while fighting King Porus’ men. The battle was motivated by the curiosity of Alexander the Great who wanted to explore the eastern side of Asia. During this time, King Porus’ empire was the greatest kingdom in the region. Another reason was that the Punjab and Sindi territories were important subcontinents of central Asia, and conquering them would make his kingdom more powerful than the Greek’s. The historical significance of the battle of Hydaspes is that it opened up India to Greek political and cultural influences which continue to be seen in the present Indian culture.
Battle Of Kalinga
The battle of Kalinga is one of the most important battles in the Indian history and one of the bloodiest. It was fought between Ashoka, the Mauryan emperor and the ruler of the state of Kalinga. The reasons that led to the battle are varied, though it is thought that Bindusara, the son of the Mauryan emperor and the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, who was the first emperor, wanted to expand the empire and become a great conqueror. The battle took place in Kalinga, India, in the year 261 BC. Ashoka the great won the battle which was very stiff. As one of the bloodiest battles in Indian history, over 100,000 men lost their lives and 1,500,000 taken prisoners. Many children were left orphaned and the state of Kalinga in northern parts of Andhra Pradesh came under the rule of Ashoka.
Battle Of Panipat
The battle of Panipat led to the establishment of Mughal empire in the northwest of Delhi. The battle took place on April 21st, 1526 under the leadership of Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire. Babur was a remarkable ruler who spent time in his youth wondering about Central Asia, winning and losing battles. Much of north India was under the rule of Ibrahim Lodi, who was an unpopular ruler. The nobles were dissatisfied with his rule which prompted them to invite Babur to rule over them instead. Babur had an army of 15,000 men compared to 40,000 Lodi’s men. However, his secret weapon consisting of 24 pieces of artillery, gave him the upper hand as they defeated Lodi’s forces in the battle of Panipat.
Battle Of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey took place on June 23rd, 1757 and led to the establishment of the British empire. The British attacked the rich province of Bengal in India, where they later spread out to other Indian towns. This helped the British in ruling the rest of India especially after opening a trading post in Calcutta. The British forces were better paid and well organized and had the collaboration of local Indian men (sepoys), compared to Siraj ud-Daulah’s army, the Nawab of Bengal trying to resist the British rule. Eventually, the British won the battle of Plassey and acquired much wealth as a result and dominated the rest of India.
Other important battles that impacted on the history of India include Battle of Talikota, Battle of Karnal, Battle of Kohima and the most recent Battle of Chawinda.