Battle of Amritsar

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Battle Of Amritsar

Date: 1628
Location : Gumtala, Amritsar
Reason : Shah Jahan worried over the growing influence of the Sikhs and angered by the loss of a valued Hawk seeks to teach a lesson to Guru Hargobind.

Guru Hargobind General Mukhlis Khan

Guru Sahib also suffered a heavy loss of life and property but he won. Mukhlis Khan, the commander and most of his leading lieutenants were killed

The Battle of Amritsar took place between Guru Hargobind and the forces of the Mughal army and was fought on the 5 June 1628 (22 of Jeth, in Bikrami 1685). Jahangir had died in 1627 and his son Shah Jahan had become his successor. Adding to Shah Jahan's worries over the increasing influence and power of the Sikhs, those who harboured ill-will against the Sikhs renewed their conspiracies and incited him to turn against Guru Ji.

Reason for Conflict

The Battle of Amritsar started with the capture of a rare white Baz (hawk) which had been a gift to Shah Jahan from the Emperor of Persia. (The Hawk was at the time one of the royal symbols of authority). A party of Shah Jahan's troops were hunting in in a royal private reserve near Gumtala village near Amritsar at the same time as some of the Guru's Sikhs. Earlier the Guru's hawk had downed a special, rare white hawk that had been a gift of the Shah of Persia. The Sikhs had picked up and tethered the white hawk unaware that it belonged to the emperor. The Mughal troops, no doubt in a panic had seen the hawk fall and came looking for the Emperors prized Baz. The Mughals are said to have used some derogatory language towards the Sikhs who refused to return the hawk and this soon escalated into a small violent conflict between the two parties with the Mughals leaving the fight. Reports were soon made to the Court explaining, no doubt that the Sikhs were hostile and superior in numbers as well. Soon officials of the emperor sought the return of the valued gift from the Guru who it is said, refused to return the hawk as guru ji replied that the Hawk had come to the Guru with his own wish and couldn't be returned, because that which had come into the protection (sharan) of the Guru. When this news spread, the local people hostile to the Guru started backbiting and encouraged Shah Jahan to "teach" the Guru who was the leader.

The Mughal response

Gurdwara Sangrana Sahib: This is where Guru Har Gobind won his first battle

Hearing of this incident the enraged Shah Jahan deputed Mukhlis Khan with a force of 7,000 soldiers, "to teach a lesson" to Sri Guru Hargobind Ji. The Sikhs all in all, had 700 soldiers, and they were about to fight for the first time together, out numbered 10-1. First the mini fortress of Lohgarh was attacked. The Sikhs stationed there, though small in number, provide stiff resistance. The attackers had an upper hand over the Sikhs on the first day of the battle. They looted and plundered all the property and holy residence of Guru Sahib.

On the next morning the Sikhs, after consolidating their position, struck back, giving a devastating blow to the Mughal force. The general, Mukhlis Khan had been captured by the Sikhs on two occasions, each time Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji gave orders to free the prisoner. Each time he attacked back with his force. Mukhilis Khan had challenged Guru Ji to a one on one fight, while the other soldiers looked on.

The battle did not last very long, Guru Ji had told him to attack first, just to make sure the Mughal general would have no regrets, Mukhilis Khan made three swings at Guru Ji, each time, Guru Ji had evaded the swing, finally Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji had decided to finish the job, in one swing, Guru Ji had cut Mukhilis Khan's body directly in two pieces, as the Mughals looked in terror, they started to retreat. The battle ended in a Sikh victory, resulting in Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji to gain great respect with the local people.

This first armed clash between the Mughals and the Sikhs was the first victory for Guru Hargobind. With the battle over, Guru Ji and his family traveled to Chabal, to solemnize the marriage of Bibi Viro Ji (the Guru's daughter).

Battles By Guru Har Gobind

Battle of Amritsar || Battle Of Hargobindpur || Battle Of Gurusar || Battle Of Kartarpur || Battle Of Kiratpur

Battles By Sikh Gurus

Battle of Amritsar || Battle Of Hargobindpur || Battle Of Gurusar || Battle Of Kartarpur || Battle Of Kiratpur || Battle of Bhangani || Battle of Nadaun || Battle of Anandpur || Battle of Chamkaur || Battle of Muktsar