India was once known as the “golden bird” and everyone wanted a piece. Indian history is characterized by a lot of wars both native and with foreign powers. There were some history defining battle whose outcome if were a little different, India might be very different from where it is today. Here are 5 of those battles which made India what it is today.

Taking place in a town northwest of Delhi, the Battle of Panipat led to the establishment of the Mughal empire. Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire was an adventurous and ambitious man, he roamed around central Asia winning and losing kingdoms. In 1526, North India was ruled by Ibrahim Lodi of the Delhi sultanate. His nobles were dissatisfied with him and invited Babur to rule over them. Babur saw this as a good deal, he invaded with just a force of 15,000 men against Lodi’s 30,000 but he knew the importance of artillery that won him the Battle. The Mughals will rule India for the next 300 years.

The Delhi Sultanate who ruled North India failed in their expansion conquests in South India and gave birth to the Vijayanagara Empire. It was the largest and militaristic Hindu state on Southern India at that time. Scared by its strength, its neighbors- The Deccan Sultanates joined hands to take down the Empire. Despite having the advantage in numbers, the Vijayanagara Empire suffered a humiliating loss at Talikot. This weakened Southern India and allowed it to be slowly integrated into the Mughal Empire.

In the 18th century, the Mughal Empire had weakened considerable due to Hindu Maratha raids, civil war and an incompetent ruler. Nader Shah, a warlord who took advantage of the Chaos to take over Persia saw this as an opportunity to take over the Mughal Empire. Despite the Mughal force being larger, they suffered from disorganization and lost the Battle at Karnal which ended with the then Mughal Ruler Muhammed Shah to pay tribute to Nader Shah in exchange for retaining his throne.

This is the battle that marked the birth of British India. The British owned a trading post in Calcutta. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah was allied with the French who were fighting the British all over the world in the Seven Year war. Threatened by the growing influence and wealth of the British, the Nawab with French forces attacked the British in Calcutta and imprisoned all Britishers in a very small prison. The Britishers angry send Robert Clive with a force to defeat Siraj ud-Daulah’s army and actually won due to the treachery of Mir Jafar. The Britishers then took control of Bengal and after having a taste of it, decided to conquer other territories which actually spread over the entire Indian subcontinent.

During World War II, Imperial Japan was conquering territories for resources and one the nations that took its interest was India. The Japanese took over Burma and tried to invade India through Kohima which is located in Nagaland and has a border with Burma. This was one of the bloodiest fights ever fought with a lot of close quarter combat. British Indian forces were at a disadvantage and won with a very close margin due to the arrival of reinforcements. This prevented Indian territories from falling into Japanese hands and allowed the transition of power to a civilian government made up of Indians in 1947 when India got independence otherwise India might have been under the rule of nationalist forces allied with Japan.

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