History- Important places, persons in news

In news: Battle of Chamkaur (1704)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Battle of Chamkaur

Mains level : NA

The new Punjab CM represents the Assembly constituency of Chamkaur Sahib, which is of significance in Sikh history.

For such history-related topics, one must not forget to note the contemporaries of a particular period.

The Battle of Chamkaur

  • The coalition forces of Mughals and hill rajas led by Wazir Khan, the Nawab of Sirhind, had laid siege to Anandpur Sahib in the hope of capturing Guru Gobind Singh in May 1704.
  • After seven months of fighting and heavy losses, the coalition forces offered a safe passage to the Guru and his followers.
  • The heads of the coalition pledged they would not harm the Guru, his family, or his soldiers.
  • The peace treaty was sent in the name of Emperor Aurangzeb himself.
  • But when Gobind Singh and his followers stepped out of the Anandpur Sahib fort on the night of December 20, they were attacked.
  • Historically, this was where that Guru Gobind Singh lost two of his elder sons in a battle with the coalition forces of Mughals and the hill rajas.

What happened at Chamkaur Sahib?

  • The Guru, accompanied by panj piaras (the five Sikhs he had initially baptised), his elder sons and around 40 soldiers, regrouped in a fortress-like two-storey house, with high compound walls made of mud.
  • They were surrounded by an army commandeered by Wazir Khan and Sher Mohammed Khan, the younger brother of Malerkotla’s chieftain.
  • The Guru sent out soldiers in small squads for hand-to-hand combat. Two such attacks were led by his sons, both of whom died fighting.
  • Three of the panj piaras — Mohkam Singh, Himmat Singh and Sahib Singh — too died fighting.

How did the battle conclude?

  • When very few soldiers were left, they decided the Guru should leave so that he could carry on his mission.
  • It was at the Chamkaur fort that panj piaras issued an edict (hukumnama) ordering the Guru to leave.
  • This was the first edict issued by panj piaras after the formation of the Khalsa on April 13, 1699.
  • Before leaving, the Guru gave his attire and distinguishing kalgi to Sangat Singh, a Mazhabi Sikh who resembled him.
  • Three other soldiers too left the fort, and went in separate directions. The following day, the enemy forced their way inside to find only two soldiers who fought till their last breath.
  • Five days later, Guru Gobind Singh’s two younger sons, aged nine and seven, were bricked alive for refusing to convert.

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