Humayun – Battle with Bahadur Shah, the King of Gujarat

Humayun’s Battle with Bahadur Shah, the King of Gujarat 1535-36

Before Humayun could confront with Bahadur Shah, the Gujarati foe had seized the fort of Chittor.

Background: After the Battle of Khanwa in 1527, Rana Sanga died in 1528 poisoned by his own people. He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Rana Ratan Singh, who was assassinated in 1531. Ratan Singh was succeeded by his brother Rana Vikramaditya Singh. During Vikramaditya Singh’s reign, Sultan of Gujarat Bahadur Shah had attacked Chittor in 1534.

Udai Singh, the fourth son of Rana Sanga and Rani Karmavati (she was princess of Bundi) was sent to Bundi for safety. At the time of attack by Bahadur Shah, Karmavati sent “Rakhi” the “holy thread” to Humayun and requested for help. But Humayun did not “reply” in time. Chittor was in siege by Bahadur Shah and Karvavati performed Jauhar.

The timely interference of Humayun at Chittor could win him the inestimable friendship of the Rajputs, something which was the need of the hour. But, he decided to standby till the quarrel was fought out. This was an unusual incident where Humayun, despite his capability, did not attack Bahadur Shah, probably because his Muslim enemy was waging a “Holy war” against the “Infidel Hindus“.

Bahadur stormed Chittor. Rajput women performed Jauhar to escape the shame of the Muslim Harems and Rajput men sallied out to be slaughtered. Bahadur Shah was victorious, but was not able to confront the Mughal canons and was advised by one “Rumi Khan” of his army to not to confront with the Mughal army.

This victorious Gujarat army confided itself into a camp and the soldiers inside got starved, as the Mughal enemy cut their supplies. In the dead of the night, Bahadur shah fled the scene and his army immediately dispersed in all directions. Humayun, all of a sudden found himself in undisputed possession of the camp.

Bahadur Shah was chased to Mandu but was neither killed nor arrested. From here, Bahadur shah fled to Champaner, then Ahmadabad, then Cambay and finally Diu. The almost entire region of Malwa and Gujarat, which was equal in area to the rest of the Humayun’s Kingdom, fell into the hands of Humayun like a ripe mango.

End of Bahadur Shah

Humayun had destroyed the power of Bahadur Shah, but the local population could not be handled by the Mughals. Finding Mughals off the guard, Bahadur shah returned and was welcomed everywhere.

Meanwhile, The city of Bassein was already given to the Portuguese by Bahadur Shah in 1534, and now he signed another treaty with them and gave them Daman & Diu, Mumbai and Vasai, thus purchased their support. But the Portuguese like other devourer Europeans wanted more. In 1537 while Bahadur shah was visiting them on a Portuguese ship anchored off the coast of Gujarat, he was killed by the Portuguese and his body was thrown in Arabian Sea.

The conquest of Gujarat was one of the easiest for Sultan and the cherry in the cake was the booty of Chittor, which was left by the troops of Bahadur Shah. The pleasure loving Emperor Humayun wasted one entire year in Agra in burying himself in harem and opiated indolence. Meanwhile the Afghan Sun named Farid, the Sher Khan had risen in the east.