Third Battle of Panipat
Third battle of Panipat was fought on 14 January 1761 between Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Durani also known as Ahmed Shah Abdali and Maratha confederacy under the leadership of Sadashivrao Bhau. Ahmed Shah Durani was supported by the Rohilla Afghans of Doab and Shuja-ud-Daula,Nawab of Awadh.
This battle is considered as the most bloodiest battle among all the Three battles of Panipat.
Ahmed Shah Abdali Sadashivrao Bhau
Around 50,000 army Around 2,50,000 men
Ahmed Shah Abdali
Ahmed Shah Abdali(1747-1772) was the successor of Nadir Shah. Abdali was the founder of Durrani Empire. He started his career as a soldier and later became the king of Afghanistan. During the reign of Abdali his empire stretched to the Punjab region of India. He checked the progress of Maratha Empire towards Northern India.
Sadashivrao Bhau was the nephew of Peshwa Bajirao I. He was the commander in chief of the Maratha Army during 3rd Battle of Panipat.
List of Marathas rulers
|Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj|
|Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath||1713-1720|
|Peshwa Baji Rao I||1720-1740|
|Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao||1740-1761|
|Peshwa Madhav Rao I||1761-1772|
|Peshwa Narayan Rao||1772-1773|
|Peshwa Raghunath Rao||1773-1774|
|Peshwa Madhav Rao II||1774-1796|
|Peshwa Baji Rao II||1796-1802, 1803-1818|
|Peshwa Nana Sahib||1851-1857|
Reasons for the Third battle of Panipat
- After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 , the principal opponent of Maratha empire in north was in leadership crisis. Under Peshwa Baji Rao I in 1721 Marathas annexed the regions of Malwa and Gujarat from Mughal authority. Marathas were slowly consolidating their power in the Northern India.
- Peshwa Balaji Baji rao invaded Punjab in 1758. This brought him closer to the Durrani Empire led by Ahmed Shah Abdali.
- On the other hand Rohilla Afghans of Doab and Shuja-ud-Daula,Nawab of Awadh joined hands with the Ahmed Shah Abdali on the pretext of joining an “An army of Islam”.
Consequences of Third battle of Panipat
- Although Maratha forces were around 2,50,000 in number but out of those almost 2,00,000 were non combatants whereas Afghan forces were 50,000 in number.
- Afghan forces not only defeated Martha forces but also killed almost 40,000-50,000 maratha soldiers.
- This battle not only stopped the Maratha chariot running towards north but also blew a severe blot on the prestige of Maratha Kingdom.