41. Battle of Nirmoh
Ajmer Chand in spite of the defeat of the allied forces, determined to oust the Guru. He sent an envoy to the Emperor's viceroy in Sirhind and another envoy to the viceroy of Delhi to complain against the Sikhs and sought their help to assist the hill chiefs in destroying the Guru's power and expelling him from Anandpur. Accordingly the imperial forces were directed to assist the hill chiefs. At the same time to save their faces, the hill chiefs pro posed to the Guru through Pamma Brahman, thatthey would be friends with him for ever only if he left Anandpur for a while and come back later. The Guru agreed to the proposal and left for Nirmoh, a village situated about a mile from Kiratpur. After he reached Nirmoh, Raja Ajmer Chand and Raja of Kangra both thought that since he was now in the open and he had no fort around him for protection, it would be better to launch an attack. They attacked the Guru's army without even waiting for the arrival of the imperial army. A fierce battle ensued in which the Sikhs were ultimately victorious. One afternoon as the Guru was sitting in his open court, the hill chiefs engaged a Mohammadan gunner to kill him for an adequate remuneration. The gunner fired a cannon ball which missed the Guru but took away the life of Sikh who was fanning im. The Guru picked up his bow and shot an arrow which killed the gunner and with another arrow killed his brother ho was assisting him. On seeing this the hill men quit fighting. The two Mohammadans were buried on the spot called Siyah Tibbi or the black hill and a Gurdwara was erected by the Sikhs to commemorate Guru's escape from the bullet. The army of Wazir Khan, the viceroy of Sirhind, arrived in due time. The Guru found himself in a very dangerous position between the hill Rajas on one hand, and the imperial army on the other. But he resolved to defend himself in whatever way it was and his Sikhs stood faithfully and valiantly by him. Wazir Khan gave an order to his troops to make a sudden rush and seize the Guru. The Guru was successfully protected by his son Ajit Singh and his other brave warriors. They stopped the advance of the imperial forces and cut them down in rows. The carnage continued until night. Next day the imperial army and the hill chiefs made a furious assault when the Guru decided on retiring to Basoli whose Raja had frequently invited him to his capital. Until the Guru's army reached the river Satluj, fierce fighting continued in which brave Sahib Singh was slain. Bitting his thumb Wazir Khan admitted that he had never before witnessed such desperate fighting. The Guru with his troops crossed over the river and reached Basoli. The hill chiefs were overjoyed and presented elephants to Wazir Khan and departed to their homes. Wazir Khan returned to Sirhind. This battle was fought at the end of 1701. Daya Singh and Ude Singh requested the Guru to return to Anandpur. After staying a few days at Basoli, he marched back to Anandpur and the inhabitants of the city were delighted to see him again among them. Finding the uru again firmly established at Anandpur, Raja Ajmer Chand thought it most wise to pursue for peace. The Guru told Ajmer Chand that he was willing to come to terms with him, but he would punish him if he were again found guilty of treachery. Ajmer Chand was glad to find peace with the Guru and he sent his family priest with presents to him. The other hill Rajas also followed Ajmer Chand's example and made good relations with the Guru. After this the Guru went to Malwa for the propagation of his mission. In January 1703 he went to a fair held at Kurukshetra on the occasion of a solar eclipse in order to purchase horses to replace those which were killed or stolen in previous warfare. The custom of sale and barter of horses and other animals at religious fairs was prevalent even during the time of the Guru. Two Mohammadan generals, Saiyad Beg and Alif Khan, were on their way from Lahore to Delhi. Raja Ajmer Chand who also went to Kurukshetra along with other hill chiefs, thought to secure their assistance. He promised the generals large remuneration if they attacked the Guru. Instead on hearing favorable accounts of the Guru, Saiyad Beg withdrew his army, and when the battle ensued at Chamkaur between the Guru's and Alif Khan's troops, he joined the Guru's forces. Upon this Alif Khan retired from the contest thinking that he had no chance for victory. The Guru returned to Anandpur. Saiyad Beg threw his lot with him and accompanied him to Anandpur, and remained with him as a trustworthy and powerful ally. After two years of peace, the old hostilities reappeared. The reasons being, the increasing prestige of the Guru and the clashes as a result between the hill Rajas and the Sikhs.