The Second Battle: Battle of Hargobindpur
Battle of Hargobindpur
Battle of Hargobindpur was, the second battle in which
Guru Hargobind and his Sikh Risaldari
(comrades), fought the forces of
Abdullah Khan the Mughal governor, (Subedar)
Jalandhar. This historic war happened in
September 1629 (according to some chronicles 1628). The battle was fought
near the village of Ruhela where
Guru Hargobind and his warriors defeated
the Mughal force commanded by Turkish chieftains and the governor Abdullah
Khan. After the victory the area in which the battle was fought became the
Reason for the Conflict
Establishment of a Village
earlier a new village called Hargobindpur had been established near the
village of Ruhela, on the bank of the
Beas river by
Guru Arjan Dev. The fifth Guru named this
new village in honour of his young son Hargobind. However, after the arrest,
torture and martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev, the area fell under the control of
Diwan Chandu Lal (an influential Hindu banker and chief minister of
Emperor Jahangir. Jahangir took control of
the whole area, but it was neglected and soon fell into ruin (Veerana). With
the young (18 years old) Guru's attention focused on the intrigues that
resulted in his father's death and the growing dangers to the
Sikhs, his attention turned to efforts to
train a force of Sikhs as he raised, armed and prepared a standing force of
professional soldiers to defend himself and his devotees from attacks.
Bhagwan Das Ghirarh
Das Ghirarh, was a
Khatri, the traditional caste of
Hindu warriors who in the distant past
governed and protected Hindu kingdoms. With the coming of the Mughals, the
Hindu armies had subdued and defeated. Many of the Hindu kingdoms had become
allies with the Mughal rulers and had even arranged marriages between their
daughters and the Mughal rulers so that Jahangir mother was a Hindu
Princess. The Hindus were quick students and learned the mastery of Persian
language of the new conquerors which enabled rapid opportunity 'for
advancement' within the Mughal hierarchy. Bhagwan Das Ghirarh often used
torture as a means to his ends. He was friend of Abdullah Khan and was a
Chandu Shah (who many blame for the
horrific tortures that lead to the Martyrdom of
Guru Arjun Dev).
Guru Hargobind's Visit
the rainy season, Guru Hargobind ji left
Kartarpur and camped at the village,
Gobindpur, that his father had started on the second Thursday of
Sawan. He decided to rebuild and enlarge
the town, on the open space on the bank of the river, which still had ruins
and brick from the village begun by his father .
Death of Bhagvan Das
Guru Hargobind Ji was setting up his camp,
learning of the Guru's presence and intentions Bhagvan Das arrived at the
Gurus camp to voice his objection and challenged Guru Hargobind asking him
to vacate the site. Bhagwan Das stressing his right of ownership to the land
hired some ruffians who forcibly attempted to dislodge the sikhs, who were
already busy raising the new township.
this attempt to expel the Sikhs he hurled insults at the Guru, using some
undignified words in his anger. The Sikhs got angry at such language being
pointed in their Guru's direction, and were about to attack Bhagwan Das,
when guru sahib ordered them to stop, but Bhagwan Das again spoke
undignified words and the Sikhs (doubtless this was more than they could
bare) and in the ensuing clash, most of the hired ruffians were killed along
with Bhagwan Das.
In his anger Ratan Chand, Bhagwan's son, approached Abdulah Khan
this incident, people told Ratan Chand about the death of his father. Ratan
lost no time in going to Jalandhar, to meet with his relative Karam Chand,
the son of Chandu Shah. Together they went to Ali Beg (Abdullah Khan), the
subedar of Jalandhar and complained about Guru Hargobind. They played on the
Abdulla Khan, telling him that the Guru was
constructing a fort at
Sri Hargobindpur to raise an army to seek
revenge on the Moghuls for the death of his father.
Hargobind had been advised by his father to raise and train a force to
defend against against attacks on the Sikhs, but the young Guru had no
intentions of building a fort or attacking anyone, his forces were strictly
to be used in defense, but such were the fears (and doubtless the guilt of
the Mughals concerning the death of the Saintly Guru Arjan)> No Doubt the
the heat of his anger over his father's death and his warning of the Sikhs
preparing for an attack, Abdulla Khan was quickly persuaded to dispatch a
more than adequate force of ten thousand soldiers to help the plotters expel
Guru sahib and the community of Sikhs.
Abdullah Khan's plan
Khan first sent 4000 soldiers to Hargobindpur and ordered the local
chieftains Bairam Khan, Muhomad Khan, Balwand KHan, Imam Baksh, Nabi Baksh,
Chirag Din, Akbar Khan and Sher Muhommad to ready their forces they were to
be his main pawns in his plan. He then divided these forces, sending them to
eight different locations around the Sikhs.
Guru Hargobind gave command of his army to
Bhai Jattu and selected one jathedar
(leader) for each
jatha (group). Bhai Kalyana, Those selected
to lead the jaths were Bhai Piraga, Bhai Mathra Bhat (son of Baba Bhikha),
Bhai Jagan Nath, Bhai Jagna, Bhai Saktu, Bhai Jati Mall, Bhai Paras Ram,
Bhai Malooka. The Guru kept the jatha of
Bhai Bidhi Chand in reserve so that they
could add support wherever it was needed.
have written that the warriors of the Guru flared out like peacocks and
their enemies hid themselves like cowering snakes.
the first day of battle, Bhai Jattu directly challenged Muhommad Khan.
Muhommad Khan killed Bhai Jattu's horse with his first arrow. Bhai Jattu
then fired a shot at Muhomad Khan just as he let go a second arrow, both men
Khan now gave command to Bairam Khan and on the opposite side it was Bhai
Mathura Kaman, in place of Bhai Jattu. Bhai Mathura ji first fell down
Bairam Khan's horse and then jumped on him, the body of Bairam Khan was
fully covered with "Sanjoh" (protective garments; Warrior's iron dress) so
he was thinking that he was invincible. Bhai Mathura ji drew his Kata
(Sword) from his scabbard striking his adversary on his face, killing Khan
Khan was the next sent out, with one troop of Ali Baksh. Both Dasta stampede
in Sikh Army, but Bhai Kalyana shot bullet towards Balvand Khan and he was
killed. When Ali Baksh saw this he attacked Bhai Kalyana. Bhai Kalyana let
all his arrows fly and then he started fighting with his sword, but he was
completely surrounded and could not escape. He got martyred in the ensuing
Ali Baksh moved toward
Guru Hargobind, watching this Bhai Nanu
moved forward and stopped Ali Baksh, Ali Baksh tried to shoot Bhai Nanu but
before Bhai Nanu's arrow launched second before killed Ali Baksh.
After Ali Baksh, Imam Baksh moved forward,
Bhai Nanu cut his arm off but he attacked on Bhai Nanu ji with other arm and
killed Bhai Nanu.
After Bhai Nanu, Sikh Army began to go down
but Bhai Bidhi Chand's took control of the situation. Bhai Kishna and Bhai
Paraga moved forward and clashed with Imam Baksh.
evening both Armies went to their "Tikanas" (bases).
second day of battle, in morning, Guru sahib mentioned about the bravery of
Bhai Nanu and promote the army to fight with bravery. Bhai Paraga, Bhai
Jagna, Bhai Saktu, Bhai Pirana and Bhai Bholan take command of different
(groups). Bhai Bidhi Chand took the command of a defensive jatha. Abdullah
Khan also established his command for the enemy. Sikhs attacked bravely and
furiously and enemies were surprised watching all this. Abdullah Khan was
thinking that these Sikhs are just common barbers, farmers, craftsmen (Chibas
and Baroots) but they have turned out to be strong warriors as well.
Khan sent his eldest son Nabi Bakhsh into the battlefield and also asked
Karam Chand to stop Bhai Bidhi Chand. Karam Chand fired an arrow towards
Bhai Bidhi Chand. The arrow struck Bhai Bidhi Chand's body; however, Bhai
Bidhi Chand pulled out the arrow and fired it back at Karam Chand. Karam
Chand escaped but his horse fell down. When he fell from his horse, Bhai
Bidhi Chand put "Kamand" sling around him and started to drag him with his
horse and threw him before
Guru Hargobind and asked permission to
finish him off. Guru sahib denied permission saying that the enemy fighter
was without a weapon.
Chand ran back to Abdullah Khan and told him that there are only a few Sikhs
with the Guru. Abdullah Khan then planned a strong attack and with Nabi
Baksh they attacked the Sikh soldiers. Bhai Paras Ram's jatha stopped Nabi
Baksh but he was injured by an arrow from Nabi Baksh, Bhai Saktu supported
injured Bhai Paras Ram and took his sword and hit Nabi Baksh. His strike
with the sword was so forcefull that he killed him instantly. Watching this
the Mughal army attacked Bhai Saktu and Bhai Paras Ram and they were
Khan was very hurt and mourned the death of his son. His second son Karim
Baksh moved forward to attack Guru sahib but Bhai Bidhi Chand stopped him.
Karim Baksh started attacking Bhai Bidhi Chand forcefully with his sword.
Some of his strikes were wasted but one strike was so powerful that Bhai
Bidhi Chand's sword broke into two. Bhai Bidhi Chand took the sword of one
of the other Sikhs and attacked Karim Baksh and killed him. Karam Chand and
Ratan Chand ran away when they saw Karim Baksh counting his last breaths.
Khan now thought that by attacking with one or two commanders it would be
difficult to fight with Sikhs. So he ordered his whole army to attack
together. Abdullah Khan was so disturbed with death of his sons that he
fought with extreme power and retaliation that he soon reached the location
of the Sikh Guru sahib. At that time Guru Sahib had a "Lakhae Nagarachi" (a
spear like weapon) and a Khachar full of arrows" and two Sikhs with him.
Khan blindly attacked Guru Sahib. Karam Chand and Ratan Chand also reached
there to help the Khan. The three Mughal fighters started a attack together
with arrows. The Guru had an iron shield which he used very brilliantly to
deflect the arrows. However, the horses were dying due to shower of arrows.
Karam Chand went near the Guru and tried to attack Guru sahib; Guru ji hit
him the sheild which he had with him and he fell unconscious. Then the Guru
attacked and killed Ratan Chand with his sword. Abdullah Khan tired
attacking again and again but Guru sahib hit him with his []Khanda (double
edged sword) and he fall down onto the earth.
Chand regained conciousness and attacked Guru sahib again. Guru ji threw
away his shield and fought just with his sword. Karam Chand's sword broke
into two; he took another sword and fought again but the second sword also
broke into two; simultaneously the Guru's sword also broke. Guru sahib
hadn't used the sword of
Piri and had hand on hand fight and killed
Guru ji uttered
Jaikara Jai hoyi Satguru Nanak Dev ji ki
(Victory be to the true Guru Nanak). The whole battleground was under the
control of the Guru.
Hargobind Sahib rested after the battle and removed his waist Sash,(place
present day Damdama). During Evening guru ji went somewhere alone. The whole
congregation was tensed, where guru sahib went, and they were not able to
found guru in dark, so a Sikh Chaudhary Shia from village send Mashaals(Fire
on Wood top) and now they were able to see guru.
Ratan Chand and Karam Chand were killed along with Abdullah Khan, his two
sons and five of his commanders.
the Guru sahib's side, Mathura Bhat Ji (son of Baba Bhikha Ji), Bhai Nanu Ji,
Bhai Saktu Ji, Bhai Jattu Ji, Bhai Pirana Ji, Bhai Paras Ram Ji, Bhai
Jagannath Ji and Bhai Kalyana Ji were martyred.
Sahib made Grave's for Muslims and Drown the Corpse of sikhs in Beas.
Abdullah Khan, his two sons and his 5 Senapatis had one grave. After this
fight the Sikhi spread in whole doab. The courage of people came out and
they became Sikhs and became member of gurus army. The people of Doaba
region were thankful for the riddance of the tyranny of the evil minded
local population was thankful for the riddance of the tyranny of the evil
minded Chaudhry and Mughals. They helped the Guru in the construction work
of the town which came to be called after the sixth Guru as Sri Hargobindpur.
Reaction of the Mughal Emporer
Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, was at
Agra. When he heard about the embarrasing defeat of the Moghuls at the hands
of the smaler force of Sikhs he ordered his troops to destroy
Sri Hargobindpur. But when his son Dara
Shikoh and Wazir Khan narrated the true version of the whole story to the
emperor, Shah Jahan said that Abdullah Khan had fought this war without any
justification and, even worse, without his permission. He then ordered his
men to take possession of the property of Abdullah khan. Wazir Khan also
told Shah Jahan that
Guru Hargobind had ordered his Sikhs to
build a mosque in Hargobindpur, as the Muslims of the village were not able
to afford one themselves. Shah Jahan was pleased to hear that.
is a historical Gurdwara called
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. At this place Guru
HarGobind Sahib rested after the battle and removed his waist band. Four
shrines commemorate Guru Hargobind's stay at Ruhela. He built a Ram Temple
for Hindus, a Mausque called Guru ki Maseet for Muslims.