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The First Battle of Panipat

The onset of fierce battles in Panipat was initiated with this first battle fought in the year 1526. It led to the capture of Indian territories by Afghani invaders and thus, was a major deciding factor in the history of India. This battle was first of sorts when field artillery was used for combat and Mughal Empire witnessed their rise in this country. It was exactly fought in a tiny village located near Panipat region which was always under the tug of war for getting dominance over North India.
First War of Panipat

Overview of the First Battle of Panipat

This battle fought between Tumurid Afghani Commander Babur and Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodhi was quite significant from the perspective of history and politics in India. It took place on 21st April 1526 when Lodhi’s 1, 00, 000 men, comprising mostly of Hindu kings and their forces, failed to restrict 15, 000 soldiers led by Babur. It showed the military intelligence of Babur and success of his war tactics. Along with his massive army, Ibrahim Lodhi also had 1000 war elephants while forces of Babur were equipped with 20-24 weapons of field artillery.

Decisive factors in First Battle of Panipat

Tactics used in first battle of Panipat

In history, every battle won was fought with utmost bravery and absolute brain power. Same happened in this battle also. Despite his comparatively small army and limited resources, Babur managed to keep the soldiers of Lodhi at bay. Apt use of field artillery and war tactics of this Afghani warlord led huge enemy forces to flee from the battle field. The deciding factors of this battle were:

Canons of Babur: Canons of Babur

They were the biggest force in this battle in spite of their smaller number. These canons panicked the elephants of Lodhi with their thunderous sounds.

These elephants reacted in this mayhem by squashing the men of Lodhi under their giant feet.

Lodhi did not have such combat weapons and his forces also could not survive the attacks made through them.

Araba or Carts:

The carts or araba of Babur were an integral part of his extraordinary war tactics that led him to victory in this battle. These carts were placed in a row right in front of enemy forces. They were tied together with ropes to hide the canons behind them. The canons were also supported by mantelets having wheels in them as they provided effective shield and protected these weapons from getting hit by enemies. This shield in form of araba gave enough time for maneuvering the canons behind these carts and fire at the impending enemies.


This is a strategy of winning battles adopted by Babur to win over Lodhi’s forces. It refers to division of a large army into smaller units for left, right, and center divisions. These divisions are further split into forward and backward positions. This is done to attack the enemy from all the sides. Although the army may be smaller in number, the impact can be fatal for the enemy forces. This way Babur flanked the soldiers of Ibrahim Lodhi and hampered their ability to attack from all probable sides.

Outcome of the First Battle of Panipat

This extreme battle led to a dreadful end of Ibrahim Lodhi who died along with his 15000 warriors on the battlefield. Ruler of Gwalior, Vikramjit was also killed in this battle. This was distinctively the end of Lodhi Dynasty and beginning of Mughal Dynasty in India which later proved to be the strongest empire of this land.

Explore more about History of Panipat

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