The ancient, heritage city of Panipat is nestled right in the heartland of Haryana, in North India. It is the foremost historic city of importance after Delhi and is a battleground town close to the banks of the river, Yamuna, is the location of three historic battles that shaped Mughal history. Panipat, a district head-quarter is situated on National Highway No.1 at a distance of 90 km from Delhi. The battles fought at the city in 1526, 1556 and 1761 were turning points in Indian history. Panipat is famous for textiles and carpets. It is also known for its world famous pickle ‘Pachranga International’. Panipat is popular in the country by the name of ‘City of Weaver’. It is also home to many industries such as Indian Oil Co. Ltd. (IOCL) Refinery, NTPC Thermal Power Plant and National Fertilizers Limited. It is the biggest centre for cheap blankets and carpets in India.
History of Panipat :
As found in the epic Mahabharata, Panipat was one of the five cities founded by the Pandavas. The ancient name of the town was Pandu Prastha. Also, the initial canto of the Bhagavad Gita is probably referencing to Panipat as the famous Dharmakshetra. It was an important centre for Sufi saints, Muslim scholars and Moghal rulers. Three pivotal battles have been fought on the land of Panipat. First in 1526 between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi, Second in 1556 between Akbar and Hemu and the Third in 1761 between Durrani Empire and Maratha Empire. Panipat was formed as a district in 1824. As the biggest centre of ‘shoddy yarn’ in the world, and exporter of handloom products to developed countries such as Japan, Canada, Australia and Germany, Panipat has earned a pride of place in the international market for its handloom products.
First Battle of Panipat :
The first battle of Panipat saw emergence of the Mughals, mightiest power in Indian History. According to legends it was the oldest Indian battles to have used gunpowder firearms and field artillery. The first battle of Panipat was fought on 21st April, 1526. This battle was fought between Ibrahim Lodhi, Sultan of Delhi and the warlord of Timurid, Zaheeruddin Babur. Babur’s force defeated Ibrahim’s much larger force of over one lakh (one hundred thousand) soldiers. This first battle of Panipat thus ended the ‘Lodi Rule’ established by Bahlul Lodhi in Delhi. In the end, it was Babur who emerged victorious and established the Mughal Empire, while Ibrahim Lodhi perished in the Battle.
Second Battle of Panipat :
The Second Battle of Panipat was fought on 5 November 1556 between the forces of Akbar and Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, a Hindu King of Delhi. The Hindu Hemu, the last minister of the Afghan kings who had regained control of Delhi and Agra after Humayun’s death. Taking the advantage of Humayun’s death he was successful in capturing the reigns of Agra and Delhi without much difficulty. This victory of Adil Shah and Hemu didn’t last much as Bairam Shah, who was the chief Minister and guardian of Akbar proceeded with a large army towards Delhi. This king, also known as Vikramaditya had won 22 battles against the Afghan rebels from 1553–1556 from Punjab to Bengal, and had his coronation at Purana Quila in Delhi on 7 October 1556 and had established ‘Hindu Raj’ in North India. Chandra had a large army, and initially his forces were winning, but suddenly Hemu was struck by an arrow in the eye and he lost his senses. On not seeing him in his howdah on the back of an elephant, his army fled. He was executed shortly thereafter. His head was sent to Kabul to be hanged outside Delhi Darwaza, and his torso was hanged outside Purana Quila in Delhi. Thus, it was this ferocious battle that reestablished the strong Mughal Empire which had a powerful reign of Akbar to create history.
Third Battle of Panipat :
The third battle of Panipat was fought on 14 January 1761 between Ahmad Shah Abdali and Sadashivrao Bhau Peshwa of Pune. The Afghans had a total strength of 125,000 soldiers, and the Marathas had 100,000 soldiers and 25,000 pilgrims. During the eighteenth century the parallel decline of Mughal Empire and defeat of Marathas in the battle of Panipat saw a new beginning of the colonial rule in India. The Maratha soldiers were unable to get food because of non-cooperation of other empires of Hindustan and this resulted in having to eat the leaves off trees to survive. The Afghans were supported by Najib and Sujaudolla for the supply of food, and the Maratha had pilgrims along with them, who were unable to fight, including female pilgrims also. This battle resulted in a bad defeat for the Marathas and was followed by the British conquest of India. On the single day of 14 January, more than one lakh (100,000) of soldiers died resulting in the victory for the Afghans.
Along with being a significant historic destination of India, Panipat is also the biggest centre of Shoddy Yarn in the world. Its Samalkha subdivision is also famous as a Foundry of Agricultural instruments. With its rich history, dating back to the times of the Mahabharata, it is but natural that Panipat should be full of interesting places to visit. The government has made it easier for the tourist by setting up a museum, where the visitor can have a comprehensive look at all the significant events and the relics that the rich history of the place has given rise to. Panipat also has some significant tourist destinations like Hemu Samadhi-Sthal, grave of Ibrahim Lodhi, Kabuli Bagh, Devi Mandir, Salar Gunj Gate as well as the famous Tomb of Bu Ali Shah Qalandar.
Tourist Attraction :
Devi Temple :
The Devi Temple of Panipat exists on the banks of a large tank and is dedicated to a local goddess, has been an important part of the folklore in Hindu culture. This temple is known for its unique architecture and ancient sculptures. The temple is about 250 years old. Located quite centrally in tehsil camp Panipat, Devi temple is a must visit while you are in Panipat Besides this a Shiva temple believed to have been built by a Maratha warrior named Mangal Raghunath who had remained in Panipat after the battle, also exists as a popular pilgrimage destination.
Tomb of Bu-Ali Shah Kalandar :
Standing deftly for seven hundred years, this tomb is also known as Dargah of Shah Kalandar Khizar Khan, the son of Allau-din Khilj was born in 1190 A.D about 700 years ago. Enclosed at Qalandar chowk, this is one tomb, whose architecture matches the likes of Ajmer Dargah, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah at Delhi among others, but is largely unexplored as of now. This tomb is visited by a large number of Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, especially on Thursdays. Every Thursday prayers are offered at the Dargah of Shah Kalandar Khizar Khan, son of Allah-uh-din Khilji, the tomb attracts a lot of crowd who come here to offer prayers.
Tomb of Ibrahim Lodhi :
Ibrahim Lodhi was the Afghan Sultan of Delhi who was killed by the Turco-Mongol warlord Babur in April 1526 in the First Battle of Panipat, is situated near the Tehsil office of Panipat. It is a plain rectangular structure built on a high platform. The Grave of Ibrahim Lodhi is certainly not a minor site to many of the tourists visiting Panipat. A much-venerated site. The British government rebuilt the original tomb, and an inscription that carried Ibrahim Lodhi’s life history and contributions was incorporated in the mausoleum. Another memorial, however, is said to have existed which used to be a place of pilgrimage for the people of Gwalior since Vikramaditya, the last Raja ( king of the old dynasty ofGwalior, fell in the same battle. This memorial, according to Alexander Cunningham, was destroyed when the Grand Trunk Road was made.
Panipat Museum :
The Panipat Museum is the most popular attraction of Panipat which is home to a lot of precious artefacts and showcases the history of the region. This museum was established with the main purpose of imparting information about the three legendary battles of Panipat held in 1526, 1556 and 1761 which marked the turning point in Indian history. The display of antiquities, inscription, sculptures, arms and armors, pottery, old and valuable documents, jewellery and art and craft objects, have been augmented by maps, writeups, and photographs and translides, etc. These include Sadashivrao Bhau, Peshwa Vishwasrao, Jankoji Rao Scindia, Shamsher Bahadur I (Krishna Rao) – son of Bajirao I and Mastani, Ibrahim Lodhi, Tukoji Shinde, Hemu, Vyankatrao Wable – a local hero also known as Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya called so after winning 22 continuous battles and who belonged to Haryana, Raja SurjaMal of Bharatpur, Vikramaditya (Vikramajit) of Gwalior, Maharaja of Patiala, Sher Shah SURI. A large number of contemporary weapons, armory, guns, etc. have been acquired through loan from the Archaeological Survey of India. A few important miniatures are also present in the galleries of this museum in the form of enlarged photos of Babur-Nama and Akbar-Nama.
Kabuli Bagh Mosque :
The garden of Kabuli Bagh is situated at a distance of 2 km from the city of Panipat. The most popular feature of this garden is the Kabuli Shah Mosque, built by Babur to celebrate his victory over Lodhi. The first Mughal monument in India, the impressive edifice is named after Babur’s wife Mussammt Kabuli Begum which nestles cozily inside an enclosure. The gateway is built with red sandstone and has intricate work on the huge arch. A few years later, of the construction of this tomb, a masonry platform was added to it called the Chabutra, by Humayun after he defeated Salem Shah, near Panipat. The mosque has octagonal towers on its corners and an entrance to the north. The bagh attracts a lot of tourists for its historical importance and beauty alike.
Panipat is home to more than 50 senior secondary schools, most notable are Nalwa Public School, Nalwa College of Education, SD Vidya Mandir, DAV Cent. Public School, HUDA,Delhi Public School, Panipat Refinery and D.A.V. Public School, Thermal G D Goenka Public School. There are half a dozen colleges providing courses from undergraduate to graduate level; some of the well known are S.D (PG) College (which also offers PhD courses) at G.T Road Panipat, Arya (PG) College G.T Road Panipat and I.B (PG) College, G.T Road Panipat. There are also several engineering colleges, including NCCE Israna.
How To Reach :
By Air : Nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport (94 km). which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail : Panipat is well connection of Railway by all major city of India.
By Road : As well as railway panipat is well connected to all major city of India by Road way.
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