Monday, December 17, 2007

The Ten Battles that changed the destiny of India


India, with its five thousand year old civilization, is not new to conflict. Indeed, the inevitable clash of civilizations over time has left the country with a long record of wars and battles. Most civilizations leave traces of their existence behind in the form of monuments. However, there are some that are actually remembered for the wars that they waged and the battles that they won or lost. While the outcome of most battles has been predictable, there were several that arouse a certain interest. One wonders what would have happened had the defeated party actually won since it is true that the spoils of war go to the victorious. While the battles themselves are recorded through history with bare bone facts, they are not without romanticism. For every battle, along with the facts, legends have been recorded too. This article attempts to list out important battles fought in India in chronological order and tries to analyze them.

1. Battle of Hydaspes river (Paurava and Alexander) :
Hydaspes river is now thought to be the Jhelum; one of the tributaries of the Indus river. The Indus is famous for the Indus river valley civilization and gave its name to the vast subcontinent of India. During 350 B.C, the kingdom of Pauravaa; the territory that lies between the rivers Jhelum and Chenab was ruled by King Purushottama. North India, during these times was divided up into individual states and when Alexander, the King of Macedonia arrived at the borders of the subcontinent, many individual rulers chose to offer him their support. Paurava or Porus as the Greeks called him chose not to hand over his kingdom and fight for it instead. The outcome was the battle of Hydaspes or Sindhu.
As battles went, the battle of Hydaspes had its interesting moments. Paurava’s army comprised battle elephants which were completely new to the Macedonian army. In addition, several of Porus’s neighboring states like Taxilla that were on hostile terms with Pauravaa chose to send troops to support Alexander. In 326BC, the two armies met on the battlefield near the Jhelum River. The battle is set to have been one of the toughest that Alexander ever faced in his life. Several of Porus’s sons were said to have been killed on the battlefield. The sight of the war elephants did nothing to quell the Macedonian soldiers’ concern about invading the Indian subcontinent. But, in the end, Alexander prevailed; winning the war by decimating the Indian cavalry and as legend tells us, turning the hysterical war elephants on their own masters. The losses from the battle were heavy on both sides but battle decisively belonged to Alexander. It is here that popular legend tells us one of the most interesting stories of the time. A badly wounded Porus is said to have been brought before the Macedonian king. The king was highly impressed with Porus’s bravery and skill during the battle and is said to have asked him as to how he expected to be treated. Porus, credited to be over six feet tall is said to have straightened his spine and replied proudly that he would like to be treated just as one king treats another; an impressive answer under the circumstances.
The battle of Hydaspes is important to early Indian history since the Macedonian victory resulted in the influx of Hellenistic culture into India. Had Porus won the battle and not Alexander, then the Macedonians would never have entered India. As it was, the battle took its toll on Alexander’s troops; they subsequently mutinied and demanded to return home instead of moving further down into India. The outcome was that Alexander left India without encountering the strong kingdom of Magadha, ruled by the Nandas. Alexander died in Persia and Porus ruled Pauravaa accepting Alexander as his suzerain, leaving a beautiful legend for generations to come.

2. Battle of Kalinga (Republic of Kalinga and Asoka):Asoka was perhaps the greatest king to ever rule in India. Son of the Mauryan king Bimbisara, Asoka’s early years marked him as an ambitious king perpetually at war with the intention of consolidating territories under the Mauryan Empire. History tells us that Asoka fought and killed upto a hundred siblings in order to gain the Mauryan throne. In the heydays of the Mauryan Empire, Asoka’s territorial possessions ranged from modern day Afghanistan in the north to the far reaches of Bengal in the west. Having unsuccessfully waged a war against Kalinga; a feudal republic located in modern day Orissa, Bimbisara passed away, handing the yoke of rulership to his sons. Asoka, the prevailing son of Bimbisara chose to invade Kalinga around 265BC and soon history passed into legend. Sources tell us that the battle of Kalinga was fought on the Dhauli hills outside of modern day Bhubaneswar. Rock carvings and edicts credited to Asoka have been found in these hills that lead one to believe that perhaps the Kalinga war was fought here.
What marks the Kalinga war as significant to Indian history is the change that it is said to have brought to the character of Asoka. Where Asoka had been territorial and war mongering in the past, the aftermath of Kalinga left him with a feeling of disgust for his former life. Kalinga is perhaps one of Indian history’s bloodiest battles. At the end of the battle, hundreds of thousands of men were said to have died. Legend holds that the Daya river that ran south of the battlefield was colored red with the blood that was shed on the field. The sight of carnage was said to be so horrible that Asoka, a perennial warrior was struck with the magnitude of the event. He embraced Buddhism and struck to Ahimsa or non-violence for the rest of his life. So why does Kalinga hold a special place in the history of India? While the battle itself was very gruesome, it taught a mighty king a valuable lesson about life. Abandoning his former thirst for victory and territory, Asoka truly became great. His life dedicated to peace and propagation of Buddhism. Asoka’s edicts tell us that the king focused on public works; the building of hospitals, universities in order to improve the life of his subjects rather than pursue a policy of warfare. Today, the symbol of Asoka has been adopted by the Indian Government as the national symbol. Asoka was perhaps one of the first kings in history who actually understood the consequences of his former follies and actively took steps to rectify them.

3. Battles of Tarain (Prithviraj Chauhan and Mohammed Ghor):
During the latter part of the 12th century, Delhi was ruled by the Rajput Chauhan king named Prithviraj. The legend of Prithviraj makes a great story. His deeds are immortalized by his court poet Chand Bardai who composed the famous Prithviraj Raso on the life of his king. While history does not tell us to what extant the legends of the king Prithviraj are true, we do know that he became the ruler of Delhi when he was mere teenager. Prithviraj Chauhan was originally from Ajmer and in his teenage; he held the crowns of both Ajmer and Delhi in his hands. Delhi, during his reign was referred to as Rai Pithora. Legends tell us about Prithviraj’s famous marriage with Sanyogita; the princess of Kannuj whom he carried off under the eagle eye of her father Jaichand. The undeniable fact regarding Prithviraj Chauhan is that for all intents and purposes, he was pretty much the last Hindu king of Delhi. Centuries later, Hemu would briefly sport the crown of Delhi but his rule would be insignificant; cramped between two famous Mughal princes.

Legend and History both agree that Prithviraj Chauhan was credited with the defeat of the Afghani invader Mohammed Ghor during the first battle of Tarain. The battle is said to have taken place in Punjab, near modern day city of Bhatinda. While some legends of doubtful nature reveal that Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Mohammed Ghor sixteen times, experts agree that it was during the first battle of Tarain that Prithviraj defeated the Afghan king. Then, Prithviraj is credited to have done something astonishing. He is said to have released Mohammed Ghor and allowed him to go back to his country. The second battle of Tarain however had vastly different results. Prithviraj Chauhan lost this battle to Mohammed Ghor and the latter did not prove to be as magnanimous. The Prithviraj Raso tells us the Mohammed Ghor had Prithviraj Chauhan blinded and taken to Afghanistan where the blind Rajput king chose to slay the sultan and then kill himself. So why are the battles of Tarain so important? Keeping all glorious legends aside, the fact remains that Prithviraj Chauhan was the second last king Hindu king of Delhi. The battles and Prithviraj’s subsequent defeat ensured that no other Hindu dynasty would ever rule Delhi again. Prithviraj’s defeat also signified the arrival of Islam to India. For most of the succeeding centuries, the conflicts between Islamic rulers and Hindu rulers (Rajputs and later Marathas) would dominate the Indian political landscape. Had Prithviraj Chauhan won both battles of Tarain, then perhaps the advent of Islam into India would have been delayed by a century at least.

4. First battle of Panipat (Ibrahim Lodhi and Babur):
There have been three famous battles in Panipat; an obscure city in modern day Haryana that has been history’s battleground since time immemorial. The first battle of Panipat is of special significance. During 1546, Delhi was ruled by Ibrahim Lodhi of the Lodhi dynasty. Unlike his father Sikandar Lodhi, Ibrahim was unpopular amongst his nobility and subjects alike. Eventually, he faced the Mongol adventurer Babur in what was one of histories most famous battles. Babur; aptly nicknamed the tiger, was a Mongol prince from central Asia who was descended from Timur the terrible on his father’s side and Genghis Khan on his mother’s side. With such lineage, it was remarkable that his early years were marked by his incapability of holding his territorial possessions of Samarkand and Fergana. Eventually, Babur turned towards India; that prized land of wealth that could provide him with the means of overthrowing usurpers to his favorite Samarkand. In the fateful year of 1546, on April 21st, Babur’s forces met Ibrahim Lodhi’s army at the battlefield of Panipat. History tells us that the first battle of Panipat is indeed remarkable from its predecessors. Babur had only 15000 men to his name while Ibrahim Lodhi’s forces were placed at 100,000. Facing overwhelming odds against him, Babur still prevailed and won the battle. His victory is credited to two important things that would mark battles in India henceforth; gunpowder and artillery. Babur had access to field artillery and with this key weapon, he is said to have reduced Ibrahim Lodhi’s army to pieces. Lodhi’s army also comprised war elephants, the bane of Indian battles. The elephants were said to have reached such a degree of panic, that they stampeded their own army in their mad haste to quit the battlefield. In the end, Ibrahim Lodhi died at the battle of Panipat and with him ended the days of the Delhi Sultanate. So why is the first battle of Panipat so important? Before the battle of Panipat, Delhi was ruled by the last scion of the Delhi Sultanate. Now, with Babur victorious, the path was paved for another new dynasty; one that would become one of the most famous in Indian history. The Mughal Empire in India was created.

5. Battle of Khanwa (Rana Sanga and Babur)
After his resounding victory at Panipat against Ibrahim Lodhi, Babur was the undisputed ruler of northern India. However, the Rajputs of Rajasthan proved to be a perpetual thorn on his side. Babur, shrewd strategist that he was, realized that the Rajput kings had grabbed large tracts of land from the Delhi Sultanate and were possibly looking to re-establish Hindu rule at Delhi. He singled out his most dangerous opponent yet; Rana Sanga. Rana Sanga was a true son of Rajputana; that fierce land that . Then, as he shrewdly sued for peace, he lured away one of Rana Sanga’s strongest supporters. Thus through cunning and treachery, he defeated the Rana at the battle of Khanwa. Why is the battle of Khanwa important? The battle of Khanwa was one of the first proven instances where propaganda was used as a tool. Babur declared that it was his religious duty to defeat the pagan Hindu ruler Rana Sanga and thus decided to label this battle as a Jihad. He declared that for the rest of the campaign, he would not touch wine and is credited to have made every soldier in his army swear on the holy Koran that that the fight would be to death. While a great battle was indeed fought at Khanwa between Babur and Rana Sanga, several sources cite the fact that the war was won as a result of treachery and propaganda. Most importantly, victory over Rana Sanga made Babur the undisputed king of north India; something that promoted the longevity of the Mughal Empire. The Rajputs continued to cause trouble for Mughals.
was synonymous with heroism and bravery. Rana Sanga, the one eyed, one armed ruler of Mewar was indeed suspicious of Babur’s intentions towards Rajputana. So, in the end, the two armies met at Khanwa; a small town near Agra. The battle was a long and hard one and as per ‘Todd’s Annals and antiquities of Rajputana’, Babur sent a cavalry of men that was decimated by the Rajputs

6. Second battle of Panipat (Akbar and Hemu)
The name Panipat has forever been associated with famous battles. The year 1556 was of great importance to the Mughals. After Babur conquered Delhi, his son Humayun inherited the Mughal throne. But it was not an easy throne to inherit. Humayun faced opposition from the scion of the Afghani Suri dynasty Adil Shah Suri. Indeed, there came a time when the Mughal possessions comprised only of Kandahar, Kabul and part of Punjab. Hemachandra, popularly known as Hemu was Adil Shah Suri’s general and he managed to wring the prize of Delhi from the hands of the Mughals. It was at this time that a event took place that perhaps changed the course of history. Humayun, a scholarly and superstitious Mughal, lacking in his fathers military skills, fell from his library steps and died. Humayun’s son Akbar was campaigning in Punjab at the time of his father’s death and he was instantly crowned the king of Hindustan. However, for all intents and purposes, the crowning was an empty gesture as Delhi, the seat of power lay in the hands of Hemu who had now given himself the name of Vikramaditya. Mohammed Jalalludin Akbar, perhaps the most famous of all the Mughals chose to fight for his inheritance and under the guardianship of Bairam Khan, his chief minister, he decided to settle matters on the battlefield. So, on November 5th 1556, the two armies met on the battlefield of Panipat. As armies went, Hemu was actually said to have had the advantage, his army comprising of battle elephants. Initially, to all accounts, it looked as if Hemu would win the battle. However, a stray arrow that pieced his eye changed the course of the battle. Without a leader, Hemu’s army scattered and at the end of the day, victory lay decisively in the hands of Akbar. It is not known whether Hemu died from his wounds or was killed but legend holds it that Akbar had his head sent to his harem for display. So why is the second battle of Panipat so important? Although Babur had conquered India a few decades ago, his hold on India had not been secure. During the reign of Humayun, the Mughals actually lost territory. But, with the victory in the second battle of Panipat, Akbar had effectively gained back everything that was lost and was now the undisputed ruler of northern India. Akbar won many battles during his lifetime but Panipat holds a special place since it was his very first important victory. The defeat of Hemu also meant the end of Hindu rule in north India. History records Hemu as the last Hindu king of Delhi and subsequently, the throne passed through the Mughal hands and then into those of the British.

7. Battle of Haldi Ghati (Maharana Pratap and Akbar)
Though Akbar gained supremacy of northern India after the battle of Panipat, he was still not the undisputed ruler. His biggest concerns were the Rajput rulers of Rajasthan that had consistently defied foreign invasion and suzerainty for centuries. Steeped in traditions and pride, Rajasthan proved to be a constant threat to Akbar and he chose to undermine the threat through various means, smart as well as devious. He married into the Rajput royal families; a brilliant tactic that would pave the path for the rest of his descendants as well. He enlisted Rajput Kings and chieftains into his army, giving them prime positions as generals. But, despite all these tactics, there were a few Rajput strongholds that continued to defy the Mughal Rule. Mewar, the legendary stronghold continued to defy Akbar and his rule. In 1568, Akbar laid siege on Chitaurgarh; the ancestral home of the Mewar Rajputs and the Rana Udai Singh was forced to abandon the fort and found another city called Udaipur. The women committed Jauhar and the fort came under Mughal rule. Maharana Pratap, the son of Rana Udai Singh never accepted Akbar as the emperor of India. The clash between the two was inevitable although Akbar tried to make peace with the Rana by sending Raja Man Singh of Amber (Jaipur) to negotiate a peace treaty. The negotiations fell through and the forces of Akbar and Maharana Pratap met at Haldi Ghati in Rajasthan on June 1576. The Rajput forces were said to have been vastly outnumbered by Akbar’s army and as battles go, legend tells us that the battle of Haldi Ghati lasted only a few hours. It is said that Rana Pratap, on his faithful horse Chetak, actually attacked and killed
the mahout that was driving Raja Man Singh on his elephant. Tales, passed through time also tell us that Rana Pratap’s faithful horse Chetak perished in the battle and that the Rana is said to have shed many tears for his horse’s sacrifice in saving his life. In the end, Akbar won the battle and Maharana Pratap had to retreat to the hills to escape the Mughal wrath. So why is the battle of Haldi Ghati important? After the battle of Khanwa, the battle of Haldi Ghati was the next major battle fought between the Rajputs and the Mughals. While Akbar won the battle, the Mughal losses were said to be very heavy. The Bhils who fought alongside the Mewar Rajputs were said to have been honored by having their emblem alongside Maharana Pratap’s in the official badge of Mewar. Maharana Pratap managed to elude the Mughals and hide in the hills from whence he conducted guerrilla warfare, constantly causing trouble for the Mughals until his death a few years later. Today, history remembers the legend of Maharana Pratap and the battle of Haldi Ghati all too well. A historic landmark is said to be constructed at the very spot where the faithful horse Chetak died in battle. Maharana Pratap is remembered today as the proud son of Rajasthan who chose not to accede to Mughal rule until the end of his days.

8. Third battle of Panipat (Ahmed shah Abdali and Sadashiv Rao Bhau Peshwa)
India is not new to the emergence of new dynasties while the old ones vanished into obscurity through war and conquest. In 1750’s the Mughal dynasty built so painstakingly by Babur and Akbar had all but declined in might. Instead, several minor kingdoms emerged out of which the most memorable were the Marathas. The Maratha Empire was the dominant Indian Hindu kingdom that grew to be a name to be contended with during the 17th and 18th centuries. Originally from Maharashtra (from which the name Maratha has been derived), the Marathas were first united under the banner of Shivaji, the greatest Maratha warrior ever. However, through the passage of time, they were divided into five major kingdoms; the Holkers of Indore, the Peshwas of Poona, the Gaekwads of Baroda, the Scindias of Gwalior and the Bhonsles of Nagpur. The Marathas in the 18th century were a force to contend with considering that the Mughal dynasty had all but declined through the
centuries after the death of Aurangzeb. It was at this time that the Marathas gained significant territorial gains from the Mughals. These territorial possessions were the source of the main contention between Ahmed Shah Abdali, an Afghani Pashtun and the Marathas. In January of 1761, the two armies met at Panipat in Haryana. The nawab of Oudh, Suja-ud-daula supported Abdali. The third battle of Panipat also saw the French artillery in action. But despite having the French Artillery, the Marathas lost heavily. So why is the third battle of Panipat so important? Because the third battle of Panipat saw the end of Maratha dominance. Several Maratha stalwarts including Sadashiv Rao Bhau; the Maratha commander perished in battle. While their own territorial aggression did not endear the Marathas to the people of North India, several historian point that the Marathas lost the war because they chose to go to battle without any suitable allies. Several heavy losses were inflicted on the two sides and the battle paved the way for the emergence of another dominant culture in India; the British.

9. The Battle of Plassey (Siraj-ud-daula, British)The third battle of Panipat saw the Maratha Empire in decline. It was around this time that another dominant force began prevailing in India. The British first arrived in India during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. They came as traders under the banner of the East India Company but after several years, they began to participate in the local Indian politics for their own gain. The British fought many wars in India. But of all the skirmishes that they had in different portions of India, the most famous of them all is perhaps the battle of Plassey.
The kingdom of Oudh or Avadh was ruled by the Nawab Siraj-ud-daula. He was not very popular amongst his subjects and was not a wise ruler. In 1757, Siraj-ud-daula chose to capture Fort William, a British settlement in Bengal. The East India Company, tired of having to pay taxes to Avadh picked this incident as the reason for going to war against the Awadhi army. The two armies met in Palashi, a small hamlet in Bengal. While the army of Avadh was evenly matched against the British and even had a small French contingent on their side, they stood no chance to win. Siraj-ud-daula’s commander in chief Mir Jaffer deflected over to the British side and the battle was over in a matter of few hours. So, a victory that was at hand changed into defeat. After the battle of Plassey, Mir Jaffer was made the puppet nawab of Avadh only to be disposed off later. So why is the Battle of Plassey important? The battle of Plassey was perhaps one of the most important battles fought by the British in India. Before the battle, the British East India Company passed itself as a trading outfit with no interest in territory or politics of India. Post battle of Plassey, the Company showed itself in its true colonial light. The battle of Plassey was the first major victory for the British in India and for them, there was no looking back. The British pursued a single minded policy of aggression and expansion in the remaining parts of the country as well after the battle of Plassey. The traders changed to dominant rulers and within the next two hundred years, the British became the dominant and undisputed rulers of India.
They fought four wars with the Marathas and all of them focused on the Maratha territory. The end result was that the Maratha Empire was broken up and significantly reduced by the British. The British also fought several important wars with Mysore and these wars came to be known as the Anglo-Mysore wars. At the end of the Anglo-Mysore wars, the British became the virtual rulers of the state of Mysore and though they chose to reinstate the original royal family of Mysore, it never quite gained prominence in history again.
Finally, the British also fought with the Sikhs, people of Punjab who followed the teachings of Guru Nanak. The reign of Raja Ranjit Singh saw a golden era for the Sikhs but when the king died, the Khalsa (the religious order of the Sikhs) remained divided. The East India Company, always on the lookout for territorial advancement in India decided that the time was ripe for annexing the Sikh kingdom. So, the first Anglo-Sikh war was fought at Ferozpur. The Sikhs lost the war and the result was that they had to sign off Kashmir to the British. In addition, Queen Victoria gained possession of the Kohinoor diamond. The situation between the British and the Sikhs was at a status quo of sorts and eventually this led to the second Anglo-Sikh war. If the first Anglo-Sikh war had greatly diminished the powers of the Sikh Kingdom, the second Anglo-Sikh war completely brought forth the end of independent Sikh rule. The British who won the war chose to annex the territory of Punjab under the rule of the East India Company.

10. The first war of Indian Independence (1857)During most parts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British, who arrived in India as traders, chose to interfere in the Indian political scene.
Through battles and other means, the British controlled vast portions of the Indian subcontinent directly or indirectly. In the case of several kingdoms, the British followed policies like the Doctrine of Lapse wherein a state would revert to the British should the ruler die without issue. In addition, the British not only made several rulers homeless due to the Doctrine of Lapse, they also insulted them thoroughly. The crown jewels of the Royal family of Nagpur were publicly auctioned while the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was told not to call himself Emperor of India. Having thus alienated most royal families in Northern India, the British also forced their hired sepoys, most of which were upper class Hindu or Moslem, to use the new cartridges for the Enfield rifle. The problem with the cartridges was that they were coated in grease made out of cow and pig fat; an abomination in the eyes of the Hindu and Muslim sepoys. When the outburst came, it did not come in the form of a single battle but in a series of skirmishes that are referred to as the first war of Indian Independence or the Sepoy mutiny. In May of 1857, the sepoys in Meerut cantonment mutinied and then murdered the British population in that town before joining their comrades in Delhi. Soon, the movement spread and the British were facing revolt in practically every city in North India. As most British reports state, the uprising was nothing but a mutiny but new research and light reveals that the uprising went deeper than a mere mutiny. In some ways, it had shades of a religious uprising. The sepoys, having overthrown their British masters joined the armies of Jhansi, Gwalior and other such states that had sufficient cause for the dislike of the British. The disgruntled rulers joined in the fight and soon Bahadur Shah Zafar, that old octogenarian Mughal king in Delhi became the figurehead of the mutiny. Throughout the summer of 1857, the British scrambled to reestablish their rule in India. Several British residencies including Lucknow and Kanpur were under siege for months. Finally, at the end of 1857, the British began to slowly but surely regain their territorial gains and by 1858, India was completely under the rule of the British. Most of the rebels were killed by the British and the leaders of the revolt faced an equally horrible fate. Rani Lakshmibai or Jhansi died on the battlefield while Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled to Rangoon where he subsequently died. The Mughal dynasty that had been a figurehead for several decades was officially disbanded and destroyed. Thus, Bahadur Shah Zafar became the last Mughal king of Delhi before the city passed into the hands of the new rulers. So why is the first war of Independence/Sepoy Mutiny so important? The first war of Independence was the first time that India came together as a country to fight the British. The rulers of Jhansi, Gwalior and other such states joined under the banner of the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar for the first time. The 1857 war also saw the end of the Mughal dynasty. While the Mughal Empire had been steadily declining after the death of Aurangzeb, the British killed the sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar and exiled him to Rangoon where he subsequently died in obscurity. The 1857 war ironically also saw the end of the East India Company and the British government officially took charge of India. From 1857, all the way until 1947, India would remain a British colony. The former kingdoms of India still existed but Kings were mostly puppets set up by the British with no real say in governance and rule. The events of 1857 were never really forgotten and by the end of 1890, a new nationalist movement emerged in India; one that would actually lead the country to Independence in 1947.
(Photo and article credits:,,,,,,, akbarnama, baburnama,,


Unknown said...

What a fantastic blog! I can tell that you have an interest in the humanities and I commend you for that. I especially liked your piece on the ten battles that changed India forever.

Can't wait to read more,

mukund said...

This is a really interesting blog. I am a student of science but find history absolutely fascinating...Your section on the ten battles is great, it really makes me wonder...Indians have taken such a tremendous thrashing as evidenced by our history...has this left some kind of permanent scar on our confidence? I hope I am wrong...and hopefully we learn in a true sense from history.

Anand said...

Hi, all the 10 battles are important and have definitely changed the destiny of India. I think what happened after kalinga was more important. After kalinga war Samrat Ashok, became humble and took teaching of Buddhism. After that he was strong supporter of Buddhism, which made The Great Ashoka kingdom weak, and thus the generation after that. {I wished it never happened}.
The thing is that, most of the Hindu ruler where strong but the made mistakes. While the Arabs, Mughals, Pashtuns never gave their enemy second chance.
Very few Hindu ruler had dream or even sensed of uniting, Ruling, or controlling whole India and the central administration.

History is interesting and should be learned form different angle, Indian history is modified by lot of reasons, Not much documented, many rulers have changed it, British wrote most of India history and many other reason.

Indian government should fund studies for re-writing Indian history with lot of evidence and different people who played important part in Indian history.

Giri said...

Aparna, really interesting!
I would add one more to that
1971 Indo-Pak war. Had that not happened we would have had another Pak on our eastern frontier!