Battle of Gurusar

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under cons(Lucky 21:48, 4 August 2009 (UTC))

Gurdwara Gurusar Sahib where Guru Hargobind Ji Camped
Battle of Gurusar

Date: 1631
Location : Mehraj & Lahira, Bathinda
Reason : Gurus horses snatched by Mughals and recovery by Gursikh, Bhai Bidhi Chand.

Guru Hargobind, Bhai Rai Jodh with 4000 soldiers Qamar Beg & Lala Beg with 35,000 soldiers and many generals

Guru Sahib lost 1273 saint soldiers including Kirt Bhatt Ji, Bhai Jetha Ji, etc. Lala Beg, Qamar Beg, Shamas Beg, Qaasim beg and other generals died including many of their force. Many Mughals led away.

The Battle of Gurusar was the third battle fought by Guru Har Gobind ji near Mehraj with Lala Beg and Qamar Beg in 1631. In this battle the Mughals were defeated very badly. The battle was fought during winter season and Guru ji's forces were 4000 in number whereas the Mughals were 35,000 in number. Guru ji pre-planned everything and was ready for battle on the other hand, the Mughals had not planned well for the battle, because they were not fully acquainted to the conditions of that area. According to Piara Singh Padam, the battle took place in 1634 but according to Giani Gian Singh the battle occured in 1631; this date appears to be more acceptable.

Reason of Conflict

Snatching horses

Guru Hargobind Sahib retired to the semi desert wastelands of Bhatinda. While leaving Amritsar for the Malwa region, the sixth Sikh Guru took Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji with him but after making a halt for sometime at Daroli he sent Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to Kartarpur along with his family. Soon after this, an incident occurred involving two horses, between the Guru and the Subehdar of Lahore.

Once the Sangat from Kabul and Peshawar was coming to meet the Guru. Bhai Bakhat Mall, Bhai Tara Chand, Bhai Dyal Chand were leading the congregation with other masands. According to "Twarikh Guru Khalsa", the sangat totalled between 1,000 to 1,200 in number.

There was a famous horse trader and devotee of Guru Sahib in the congregation named Seth Karhorhi Mall. He was a dedicated and important devotee of the Guru in the Afgan territory. He had raised and trained two magnificent horses which he intended to give to the Guru. The horses, on their journey to the Guru's Darbar had drawn many admirers on their trip across the Punjab and many wealthy men had tried to convince Karorhi Mall to part with the horses by offering him a princely sum. However, Karorhi Mall always replied that these were not his horses but that the horses belonged to the Guru.

Before reaching Lahore, rumours of their beauty had reached the Mughal governor's ears. An avid collector of horses he too offered the young Sikh a small fortune for each horse, only to be turned down. So before the sangat {congregation) left Lahore, the Subedar's henchmen forcibly snatched the magnificent horses and took them to the governor's stable area, in the upper courtyard of Lahore Fort. The governor also gave a cheque of Rs. 5,000 to Karhorhi Mall.

Seth became very sad and with his sad face the congregation went to Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Goindwal, Khadoor, etc.; crossing Harike they reached village Sidhar (Gurusar Sidhar today) where the Guru sahib was residing at the time. After meeting Guru sahib the whole congregation was delighted but Seth Karhorhi Mall was sad, he kept the cheque given by Qamas Beig and cried that the horses which had belonged to his Guru had been snatched by the Mughal governer in Lahore. Guru Sahib said they will teach a lesson to such people who have high authorities but do not give proper consideration to the poor people and subject of the nation. Guru ji asked Seth ji not to worry and that his donation of the horses had been accepted by the Guru's darbar and the horses would return to their correct place soon.

The Recovery of Dilbagh and Gulbagh

Image depicting Bhai Bidhi Chand Recovering horse from Lahore fort

When the matter came to the attention of Guru Sahib he asked if their were any among his Court who could think of a way to recover the horses. Bhai Bidhi Chand, a daring disciple, who before becoming a Sikh was a noted thief, offered his services and asked for Guru’s grace. Bhai sahib, put in place a long planned action which did not involve any bloodshed. However, some people questioned the wisdom of his plan. But perhaps this was the right way to deal with the wrongful actions of the mighty chieftains of the Mughals, without harming anybody. Bhai Bidhi Chand, under the guise of a grass cutter, went to Lahore to offer his services at the stable. He was successful in his initial mission and managed to obtain permission to work as a stable-hand responsible for arranging the delivery of grass for the horses. After about 3 to 4 months he was employed on a permanent basis specifically to care for the two horses. After he had gained the trust of the whole staff, he offered a party to the whole staff at the fort. By the night, when all were completely drunk, he took away one horse and reached Amritsar.

The remaining horse soon grew despondent and refused to eat. He obviously missed his companion. Soon the Nawab's officials sought the help of a fortune teller who might be able to recover the 'stolen' horse. So disguising himself as a fortune teller, Bhai Bidhi Chand once again offered his services. He convinced the authorities that he had to re-enact a similar scenario , in order to give them the whereabouts of the missing steed. The baffled officials created a similar situation allowing Bhai Bidhi Chand to mount the remaining horse. He then yelled out that he was the former grass cutter, as he and the horse leaped over the low wall of the court yard to the river Ravi. (the river at that time ran alongside the fort) Riding on to return to Amritsar, where the two horses were reunited. Seth Karhorhi Mall's gift of Dilbagh and Gulbagh had reached Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji, it rightful owner.

The officials in Lahore could only laugh at their folly.

Preparations for Battle

Bhai Rai Jodh knew the area very well. Guru sahib asked Bhai Rai Jodh to suggest the place, where their small force would able to fight with a larger force with some hope of winning. Rai Jodh suggested that their best chance would be to mount their defence at his fort, but guru ji said he wanted to act in a battlefield.

Then Bhai Rai Jodh suggested a site, "5 km from here there's the village of Nathana and about 3km from Nathana was the village of Mehraj, which had a very thick forest full of wild, rambling trees on it's south eastern side with two water reservoirs nearby (one was called the Kalu Nath Di Ganga). As there was no other source of water for about 20-30km's, it seemed to be most strategic spot to camp. The Guru had about 2400 soldiers, joined by the 500 "pongos" of Rai Jodh, with his uncle Chacha Ugarsein and 500 soldiers of Salem Shah who was also a devotee of the Guru bringing the grand total to about 4000 soldeirs. Bhai Rai Jodh, Bhai Salem Shah and Chacha Ugarsen were ready to participate and they had control over the two reservoirs.

The names of some of the Sikhs who took part in the battle, are recorded in historical accounts; Bhai Jetha, Bhai Manjh, Bai Meetoo, Bhai Bhoma, Bhai Katara, Bhai Bhagoo, Bhai Bhaga, Bhai Bidhi Chand, Bhai Jaita. As the Mughal force would take four days to reach the place, the Sikhs used the time to get ready for the coming battle. The sangat of Malwa was supplying resources to the Sikh army including meals and supplies to help to keep them warm in the cool season. The Sikh forces under the command of Rai Jodh and Kirt Bhatt camped near one of the water reservoir.

The Subedar of Kabul, Lala Beg and his brother Qamar Beig was ready with 35,000 forces. Some generals named in the historical accounts were Kabuli Beig, Ismaiyali Khan, Nahar Khan, Zalam Khan, Shamash beig, etc. It's said that Shah Jahan ordered these generals to attack the Guru's forces. The Mughal fauj {army} was also joined by Rajputs of Raikot and the Rangarhs of Aandru and Halwara.

Hassan Khan

To keep his eyes on guru sahib's comings and goings Lala Beig had sent Hassan Khan to spy on Guru Sahib. Khan had atttired himself as a Sikh and entered in guru's fauj (army). Recognizing Khan as an enemy spy, Bhai Rai Jodh had Khan arrested and presented before Guru Sahib.

Instead of punishing him Guru sahib sent him back telling him to let Lala Beig know that they were ready for the Mughal attack and to inform him about all of the Sikh preparations and positions. Hassan Khan told Lala Beig all the locations and preparations of guru's army and also said that Guru Sahib was a fearless warrior and he was ready to bear any attack. After hearing Khan's Praise of Guru Sahib, Lala Beig called him an infidel and threw him out of his army. Hassan khan returned to guru sahib with a sad face and told him how Lala Beig had treated him. Guru sahib blessed him, telling him that he would soon be the subedar of Kabul instead of Lala Beig.

Arrival to Mehraj

The Army was coming toward Mehraj, crossed satluj, moga, gill and other villages, from villages they got some food of millet pudding, millet chapatis etc, Even the water was saline in the area, so maximum soldiers were fall ill and moreover it was winter season, cool breeze was blowing so soldiers were getting down and in tired condition army reached Mehraj.They knew that the water reservoir are under the control of the Guru so there is a place called Korhiyan ki Marhi where a saudagar have a well, so to take water we should reach there. When Mughal fauj was moving toward the well the dawn down.

The Scene

The scene depicted in Gurpartap Suraj Granth about battle depicted below:

It was very cool weather and Cool breeze was blowing. Sikhs had all their arrangements to keep them warm. The Gurus Force was in form of jathas(Groups) waiting for enemies, When they saw Mughal forces, the Sikhs waged a guerilla attack on the Mughal forces at night, which resulted in heavy causalities in the Mughals. It was brouhaha The guns were used by gurus forces and in instance mughals started falling down y their shots.

Nawab Lala beg ordered to fire the Mashaal(fire on wood top) and saw that Sikh forces were furious and are many in number. Lala Beg ordered his brother Qamarbeg khan and 7000 soldiers to fight in the battlefield and tell other generals to be ready and make camps.

The carts which were loading whole things of use like food, clothes, beds etc were stopped behind and soldiers started warming themselves with fire, the generals which were sent back also started warming themselves, but 7000 Mughal soldiers were fighting in rapture. When Rai jodh shah saw that Mughal's are dominating, he send his brother Salem Shah with 500 soldiers who attacked on mughals after getting the orders.

The Mughal soldiers were fighting with Sikhs and due to cold hands or feet were in pernio, which lead to their destruction. Lala beg ordered qamarbeg to kept leading the force and qamar beg was in this mentality that sikhs are just salt in flavour and they would destroy them and arrest Guru in night.

In the battlefield with bows and arrows, the organs were cutting and cutting and falling on earth. There was a huge bloodshed. The horse riders were also falling due to misbalance blood shed and corpses everywhere. In such uproar Mughals were killing their own soldiers too. Many Mughal soldiers were now escaping when they found themselves in vain. Qamar beg also went back and told Lala Beg that many soldeirs fled away and many killed in battle. Lala beg said that the attack would be done on the other day.

Next day Lala Beg and Qamar Beg came with more than 8000 soldiers including many great warriors like Gull Khan and Bhikhan Khan etc, who helped them in winning many battles. The gunpowder was filled in guns and Bhai Rai Jodh and his troops attacked with guns on foes, the confidence of sikh warriors was increasing while watching corpses of mughals.

The Guru's Army had already firewood as they were known to all places so Sikh warriors were also warming themselves and from the nearest villages.People were sending langar for guru's fauj. Sikhs were around 2000 in number, and continual firing and due to cold and lack of proper resources Mughal fauj was not bearing the shots of Sikhs and some Sikhs and Mughal fauj died and some Mughals escaped.

So during dark lala beg got news the next troop also killed then he discussed with his general nephew kabuli beg, and said that due to lack of proper light in dark, gurus fauj continual firing and which makes us descrepancy. They were planning to attack the other day but qasam beig and shamash beg son of lala beg said that they would attack in night, so 10 thousand forces attacked with qasam beig, shamash beig, kabuli beig, kqamar beig, gul khan, bhikhan khan etc.

This time the Mughals were back and breaking the Sikh army and the atmosphere was dusty due to a sandstorm caused due to chaos over there. When Bidhi chand saw all this he went and told guru ji that enemy pressurised Sikhs and he want to play in battlefield, Bidhi chand was leading 1000 sikhs and attacked on force, Bhai Jetha, Bhai Meetoo, Bhai Manjh, Bhai Bhoma etc faught with ecstacy. 25,000 of mughal fauj had died and escaped from the area. The corpses were lying on one another. The land was like a red curtain, countless swords and nejas of the dead were lying down.

when Lala Beg saw all this, in anger he attacked Sikhs with remaining fauj Bhai Rai Jodh, Chacha Ugarsen and their troops also came for war. when guru ji got news that Mughals attacked again, guru ji sat on his horse and went to battlefield with Hassan khan, Hassan khan made guru identify Lala Beg, Kamarbeg Khan, Kabuli Beg, Shamsh Beg, Kasam Beig and Hassan Khan told all secrets.

Then guru ji shot an arrow to crown of Lala beg and crown fell down the whole fauj (army) said it's misfortune, when people saw guru ji, they were feared due to his personality. Rai Jod and Salem shah and bhai bidhi chand with all remaining forces entered in battlefield and again bloodshed.

Guru ji was with Hassan Khan who was telling about general and guru ji was shooting arrows on them. Kabuli beg moved toward guru sahib and fought with him, with arrows, then sword then body to body Called dwand judh. kabuli attacked on guru and make wound in return guru ji attacked with sword killed him, jodh shah wet a cloth and put on guru and rai jodh attacked qamar beg, qamar attack and wounded rai jodh but rai jodh killed him after furious battle. it is said that he was so strong that he put qamar in sword and lift him up and throw before guru and qamar beig killed,Bhalan Killed qasim beig and shamsh beg also killed.

When all relatives of lala beg was killed other generals like ismail khan, abdali zalam khan, nahar khan, habshi khan etc planned to attack. the sikhs who were fighting were salem shah, bidhi chand, chaudhari choharh, bhai dulat, bhai jetha(guru's lion), bhai bhagta, bhai nanda, bhai singha etc were fighting with them. bhai partap take order from guru to attack on him then guru ji replied he is calling me so i would fight. guru ji was already wounded but he faught with lala beg and cut him in two and jaikara Jai bolo baba nanak ji ki.

Other generals like habshi was killed by bhalan brar, gulbeg khan was killed by bidhi chand, ismail khan was by rai lal, behlol khan was by bhai jaita, qamar beg by rai jodh and whole turks fled away.

It was a furious battle


The Sikhs routed and defeated the enemy. Guru Sahib lost 1200 Saint Soldiers including Kirt Bhatt Ji and Bhai Jetha Ji. On the other side Sameer Beg and his two sons Shams Beg and Qasim Beg were also killed. The Mughal forces fled to Lahore leaving behind the dead and wounded. The Sikhs did not intercept the fleeing enemy. Guru Sahib built a tank called Gurusar commemorating the victory. Near the village of Nathane Guru Sahib defeated another encounter with a Mughal force.


Gurdwara Shahidganj where last rights of corpses were performed

Guru ji gave all the weapons of mughals which were in battlefeild to bhai rai jodh, and apply bandages to wounded soldeirs. Guru ji and his sikhs also applied ointment to their wounds. Guru ji said to hassan khan to go to lahore with fled away soldiers and tell him about lala beg you would get subedari of lahore. So Lala beg collected all turks who were fled away and went to lahore.

Bhai Jetha, bhai manjh, bhai bhoma, bhai meetoo, bhai kataru & bhai bhoora and other sikhs corpses were taken it was around 1273. Guru ji ordered sangat to dugged a very deep well and buried all Muslim's bodies.then guru ji make the well filled and then make a huge platform and did cremation of sikh bodies with own hand.

Lala beg's sword was stolen by some sikh, guru sahib said to return he denied so guru sahib cursed that this sword will not let you live.


  • Gurdwara GuruSar Sahib - the place where guru ji camped during battle.
  • Gurdwara ShahidGanj(Historical Well) - the place where muslims bodies were buried and sikhs were cremated
  • Historical Indian Jujube Tree - the place where gururs horses were bind.

See also


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