Thursday, 7 April 2011

Battle of Chamkaur - The Worlds Unparalleled Battle 'ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦਾ ਅਨੋਖਾ ਯੁੱਧ '

Taken from Purkh Bhagvant by Satbir Singh, Zafarnama, Sri Gur Sobha by Sainapat, Gurbilas Patshai 10 by Koer Singh
Translated by admin
Gurdwara Chamkaur Sahib

Moguls in Pursuit of Guru Jee

Sree Guru Gobind Singh Jee and the small Jatha of Khalsa which got separated from the others at the battle on the bank of Sirsa river spent the night of the 20th December in Rupar. All night the Mugal forces were in pursuit of Guru Jee. The whole of the 21st December was too spent in Rupar with the aid of a Patan from that area. On the night of the 21st Guru Jee decided to head towards Chamkaur. Once at Chamkaur, Landlord by the name of Chaudri Budhi Chand requested Guru Jee to seek shelter in his large house like fort rather than go out into the open plains of Rupar. Guru Gobind Singh Jee had spent a night at this house on his way back from Kurukshetra. You can judge for yourself the bravery and love shown to Guru Jee from Punjabis like Chaudri Budhi Chand. He knew that the Mugal forces were in pursuit of Guru Jee and by giving shelter he was playing with his life but he never turned his face on Guru Jee. He said to Guru Jee, “O Guru Maharaj you are taking on all this hardship of no end for us. We can not do anything. What ever I can do and have is yours. This Haveli can still give some sort of protection rather than the open fields.

ਖਬਰ ਸੁਨੀ ਜ਼ਿਮੀਂਦਾਰ ਨੇ, ਮੱਧ ਬਸੈ ਚਮਕੋਰ I
ਸੁਨਤ ਬਚਨ ਤਤਕਾਲ ਹੀ, ਵਹ ਆਯੋ ਉਡਿ ਦੋਰ I੯I ੪੭੩ I
ਹਾਥ ਜੋਰਿ ਐਸੇ ਕਹਯੋ, "ਬਿਨਤੀ ਸੁਨੋ ਕਰਤਾਰ" I
ਬਸੋ ਮਧਿ ਚਮਕੋਰ ਕੈ, ਅਪਨੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਧਾਰ I੬I ੪੭੪ I
ਤਬੈ ਸ੍ਵਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਭਏ, ਛਾਡਿ ਬਾਗ ਕੀ ਠਉਰ I
ਸਿੰਘ ਸਾਥ ਸਬ ਹੀ ਲਿਯੇ, ਆਇ ਬਸੈ ਚਮਕਉਰ I੭I ੪੭੫ I**
(Sri Gur Sobha)

The Battle Begins

The next day in the morning of 22nd December 1704 the Worlds unrivalled battle began. On one side there were 40 hungry, thirsty, tired men and on the other 10 Lakh army. Guru Jee in his Zafarnama has given reference to this :

ਗੁਰਸਨਹ ਚਿਹ ਕਾਰੇ ਚਿਹਲ ਨਰ ॥ ਕਿ ਦਹ ਲਕ ਬਰਾਯਦ ਬਰੋ ਬੇਖ਼ਬਰ ॥੧੯॥*
What can forty hungry men do, when suddenly ten-lac strong army
pounces upon them?

(The figure of 1 million is also given in Sri Gur Sobha and Gur Bilas Patshai 10)

The Nawab Wazir Khan announced in the morning that if Guru Jee and the rest of the Khalsa gave them selves up then their lives will be spared. The reply to this was with arrows from Guru Jee, the Mugals too started firing arrows at the Haveli but no one had the courage to come to the entrance of the Khalsa’s fort. One of the Mugal Generals Nahar Khan tried to quietly place a ladder on the haveli and tried to climb it, but when he raised his head over the roof Guru jee hit him with an arrow.

ਚੁ ਦੀਸਮ ਕਿ ਨਾਹਰ ਬਿਯਾਮਦ ਬ ਜੰਗ ॥ ਚਸ਼ੀਦਮ ਯਕੇ ਤੀਰਿ ਮਨ ਬੇਦਰੰਗ ॥੨੯॥*
When I saw that Nahar had come out from behind the wall for
battle, he immediately took one of my arrows on himself (and
died) - Zafarnama

Khawaja Mehmood Ali ( This is the Khawaja that Guru Jee desbribes as a coward in Zafarnama) stood behind the wall and did not follow his men as they were being killed.

ਕਿ ਆਂ ਖ਼੍ਵਾਜਹ ਮਰਦੂਦ ਸਾਯਹ ਦੀਵਾਰ ॥ ਨਯਾਮਦ ਬ ਮੈਦਾਂ ਬ ਮਰਦਾਨਹ ਵਾਰ ॥੩੪॥
That coward Khawaja ( who was hiding behind the wall ) did not come
out in the battlefield like a brave man

ਦਰੇਗ਼ਾ ਅਗਰ ਰੂਇ ਓ ਦੀਦਮੇ ॥ ਬ ਯਕ ਤੀਰ ਲਾਚਾਰ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੀਦਮੇ ॥੩੫॥ *
Alas! If I had seen his (Khawaja’s) face, I would have sent him to the
other world just with one arrow.

The historian Latif has written that Khawaja sent a messenger into the Khalsa’s strong hold but he spoke disrespectfully in the presence of Guru Jee. Seeing this Baba Ajit Singh Jee pulled out his talwar and said “ Utter another word and i will smite your head from your body. I will cut you to pieces for daring so to address our chief(Guru Jee) – Latif, pg 265/66
Leave quietly now and our talking will be done in the battle field”.

The Guru Jee’s Son was in total Chardi Kalan. Seeing the cowardice of the Mugal Generals and the bravery of the khalsa the Mugals began to hesitate.

The Nawab of Sirhind seeing this tried to save the moment and ordered the attack on the fort/haveli from all his forces. To combat this assault Guru Jee sent out bands of 5 Singhs to halt their charge. Singhs were also sent to all four corners of the fort. Guru Jee together with both Sahibzade went to the roof top of the fort. Bhai Madan Singh and Bhai Kauda Singh were positioned at the entrance.

As soon as the first batch of Singh Soormay left the fort they confronted the advancing army head on, halting their advance. Guru Jee and the Singhs on top of the fort were showering bullets and arrows. An Amazing scene of Iron hitting Iron occurred within those moments. Many men fell on the field, a flood of blood and flesh was covering the grounds. Loud cries of Haa Haa echoed in the skies. So much blood was spilt that no dust was seen being lifted. All were coloured in red

ਬਸਤਰ ਲਾਲ ਅੰਗ ਸਬ ਕੀਨੇ I**

The Singhs were doing Jaap as they battled

ਜੂਝ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਬੈ ਇਕ ਸਾਰਾ I ਜਪੈ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਬਾਰੰਬਾਰਾ II੨੭II**

All those 5 Singhs became Shaheed. Guru Jee then sent out Bhai Khazan Singh, Bhai Dhian Singh, Bhai Dhaan Singh they too showed their amazing feats on the battle field and transcended to GurPuri.

Singhs request Guru Jee to leave with the Sahibzade

Guru Jee was now seeing the Nawab of Sirhind Wazir Khan preparing to attack the fort with one assault. For this purpose the Nawab called on his Generals Hadeyth Khan, Ismaiel Khan, Fuladh Khan, Sulthan Khan, Asmaan Khan, Jahan Khan, Khaleel Khan and Poore Khan to advance on the fort.

It was quite obvious that halting such an attack was near enough impossible. For this reason the Singhs requested Guru Jee to leave the fort with the Sahibzade. Guru Jee ignored the request and instead pointed towards the battle field and pointed out the flock of birds preying on the dead bodies.
Wah Wah the unconcerned Guru Gobind Singh Jee was requested again by the Singhs, “ Maharaj Jee, you leaving the fort with the Sahibzade is the right course of action”. Hearing this Guru Jee said “which Sahibzade are you talking about , you are all my Sahibzade”. Everyone became speechless on hearing the love filled words of Guru Jee. It was a very emotional moment no one could speak.

Baba Ajit Singh jee broke the silence and requested Shaheedee, Guru jee gave his permission and blessing to go into battle. Maharaj Jee joyfully gave Thapee and said he was eager to watch his son in battle and he would become Nihal.

ਤਾਹਿ ਸਮੈ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਰਨ ਲੀਨੋ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੁਲਾਇ I
ਕਹੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਰਣ ਜੀਤ ਮੋ ਦੂਤਨ ਦੇਹੁ ਸਜਾਇ I
ਬਿਨਉ ਕਰੀ ਕਰਿ ਜੋਰਿ ਕੈ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਕਰਉ ਕਰਤਾਰ I
ਕਰਉ ਬੀਰ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਾਮ ਮੈਂ ਦੇਖਉ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਹਾਰ I ੨੯I ੪੯੮ I**

In Gurblias Patshai 10 it mentions words which no ordinary father would not say to his sons

"ਹੇ ਸੁਤ! ਤਮ ਹਮ ਕੋ ਹੋ ਪਯਾਰੇ I ਤੁਰਕ ਨਾਸ ਹਿਤ ਤੁਮ ਤਨ ਧਾਰੇ I
ਜੇ ਅਪਨੇ ਸਿਰ ਰਨ ਮੈਂ ਲਾਗੇ I ਤਾ ਕਰ ਨਾਸ ਮਲੇਛ ਸੁਭਾਗੇ I
ਤਾ ਤੇ ਯਾ ਸਮ ਸਮਾ ਨ ਕੋਈ I ਤੁਮ ਦੋਨਹੁ ਸੰਗਰ ਭਲ ਜੋਈ I"
ਅਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤਬ ਕਰ ਅਰਦਾਸਾ I ਕਹਯੋ, "ਦੇਖੀਐ ਆਜ ਤਮਾਸਾ"II੨੯II***

Baba Ajit Singh after Ardas said “now watch the play (Thamasha)”

Baba Ajit Singh Jee goes to battle

Guru Jee prepared 8 Singhs to go out with Baba Ajit Singh Jee, their names were

Bhai Mohkam Singh (One of the Panj Piare)
Bhai Ishar Singh Jee
Bhai Lal Singh Jee
Bhai Nand Singh Jee
Bhai Kesar Singh Jee
Bhai Deva Singh Jee
Bhai Keeratee Singh Jee
Bhai Mohar Singh Jee
(Note : The above names are given by Satbir Singh but other historians have mentioned different names, the only unchallenged name is of Bhai Mohkam Singh. Piara Singh Padam has proved the existence of Bhai Mohar Singh Jee, Bhai Deva Singh Jee and Bhai Keerat Singh Jee at this battle)

Bhai Ajit Singh Jee was only around 19 years old at the time of this battle.

When leaving the fort all the Singhs gave loud Jakarey. All the Singhs around Baba jee were feeling an extra lift because they felt proud to be under the Jathedaari of Baba Jee.
Baba Ajit Singh Jee was leading the Jatha and charged into the enemy, the army was taken back by the presence of Baba Jee. They couldn’t imagine any leader sending his son into battle for nothing other than Shaheedee. The enemy tried to surround Baba Jee but he pulled out his two bows and pierced the enemy with arrows. Baba Ajit Singh Jee challenged them and shouted out come and take me on who ever has the will

ਕਰੀ ਆਵਾਜ, ਅਬ ਆਉ ਅਰਮਾਨ ਜਿਹ ਸਕਲ ਦਲ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਉਰੇ ਅਪਾਰੋ I
ਘੇਰ ਚਹੂ ਦਿਸ ਲਿਯੋ ਆਨਿ ਤੁਰਕਾਨ ਨੇ, ਕਰਤ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਾਮ ਰਣ ਜੀਤ ਭਾਰੋ I੩੦I ੪੯੮ I**

Some had the courage to take on the challenge but all were left crying Allah! Allah!

ਲੇਤ ਪਰੋਇ ਪਠਾਨ ਕੋ, ਸਭਹਨ ਸਾਂਗ ਦਿਖਲਾਏ I
ਦੇਖਤ ਹੀ ਸਭ ਕਰਤ ਹੈਂ, ਅਰੇ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਖੁਦਾਇ I੩੮Iਪ੦੬I**

How long could the fight with arrows carry on? They soon were finished. The Singhs started to use their swords but Baba Jee kept using his Barsha. Baba Jee gave such an amazing display of swordsmanship that it left everyone saying Vahi Vahi

ਭਾਂਤਿ ਇਹ ਜੁਧ ਰਣਜੀਤ ਭਾਰੀ ਕੀਓ ਸਭੈ ਦਲ ਵਾਹਿ ਵਾਹਿ ਕਹਿ ਪੁਕਾਰੇ I
ਤਹਾਂ ਮਾਰ ਸਾਂਗਨ ਧਰੀ ਐਸੀ ਕਰੀ ਲੋਥ ਪਰ ਲੋਥ ਕੀਨੇ ਕਿਨਾਰੇ I**

As Baba Jee hit one of the Mugal Generals his barsha got stuck in the body of the General and could not be taken out. He then took out his talwar and kept fighting with this on horseback.
He was cutting the enemy to pieces truly like a game, what a Thamasha!

Eventually the 8 Singhs received Shaheedee. Baba jee just managed to escape a barsha blow from a Mogul sardar but it left his horse wounded. Baba Jee then went on to fight on foot. The way the talwar was moving is wonderfully described below in Sri Gur Sobha

ਟੂਟ ਕੈ ਸਾਂਗਿ ਦੁਇ ਟੂਕ ਹੁਇ ਭੁਈ ਪਰੀ, ਗਹੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ ਦਲ ਦਲ ਬਹੁਤ ਮਾਰੇ I
ਏਕ ਕੇ ਸੀਸ ਧਰਿ ਦੁਇ ਟੁਕਰੇ ਕਰੇ, ਦੁਇ ਕੇ ਸੀਸ ਧਰਤ ਕਰਤ ਚਾਰੇ I
ਭਾਂਤਿ ਇਹ ਪੂਰ ਪਰਵਾਹ ਦੀਨੇ ਕਈ, ਰਕਤ ਦਰੀਆਉ ਮੇ ਪਰੇ ਸਾਰੇ I**

Baba Ajit Singh Jee Attains Shaheedee

Seeing Baba Ajit Singh Jee alone and on foot, the enemy decided to attack all at once and eventually Baba Jee attained Shaheedee. Baba jee's focus was always in VahiGuru and he was doing Jaap of Naam until his last breaths

ਹਿਤ ਚਿਤ ਕੈ ਤਾਹੀਂ ਸਮੈ ਚਰਨ ਕਵਲ ਸੋ ਧਿਆਨ I
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਕਹਿਓ ਸਮੈ ਅੰਤ ਕੀ ਜਾਨ II੫੩II ੫੨੨ II**

Guru Gobind Singh Jee saw all the battle with his own eyes and shouted out a Jaykara at the Shaheedee of Baba Ajit Singh Jee and said the following

ਪੀਯੋ ਪਿਯਾਲਾ ਪ੍ਰਮ ਕਾ, ਭਯੋ ਸੁਮਨ ਅਵਤਾਰ I
ਆਜ ਖਾਸ ਭਯੋ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਦਰਬਾਰ II੨੫II***

Baba Ajit Singh Jee And the other Singh inflicted such great loss to the enemy that in Gurbilas Patshai 10 the figure of 2 lakh is given, this is difficult to verify but it shows it was a truly miraculous fight something out of this world.

“Wait for me Brother”

Seeing his elder brother receive Shaheedee Baba Jujhar Singh Jee shouted out proudly “Dhan Dhan” and said “wait for me brother I am coming too”

ਧੰਨ ਧੰਨ ਤੁਮਰੇ ਅਸਿ ਤਾਈ I ਧੰਨ ਧੰਨ ਕਰ ਮੁਖੋ ਅਲਾਈ I
ਮੈ ਤੁਮ ਭ੍ਰਾਤ ਸਦਾ ਸੰਗ ਜਾਨਾ I ਮੋ ਪਾਛੈ ਤਜ ਕਰਾ ਪਿਯਾਨਾ II***

Baba Jee realised his moment had come and ran towards Guru Jee and requested Shaheedee.

ਜਬ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਜੁਝਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਮਾ ਪਹੂਚਿਓ ਆਨ I
ਦੋਰਿਓ ਦਲ ਮੈ ਧਾਇ ਕੈ ਕਰ ਮੈ ਗਹੀ ਕਮਾਨ II੫੫II ੫੨੪II**

Guru Jee said "hold on! Wait a minute!"

Maharaj gave a hug, kissed Baba Jee’s forehead, sprinkled kesar on him and gave him a Shaheedee blessing. He prepared him as if he was going to get married. Baba Ajit Singh Jee was around 19 years old so most would presume that he could take care of himself but Baba Jujhar Singh Jee was barely into his teens(14years, 8 months & 17 days old) no ordinary Father could handle doing this.

Guru Jee then said now go were their is Jaas and ahead is Sukh, Lokh and Parlokh will honour you!

Guru Jee prepared Bhai Himat Singh Jee and Bhai Sahib Singh Jee from the Panj Piaray together with another 3 Singhs to go with Baba Jee.
Baba Jujhar Singh Jee focused deeply into Naam and took with him all Gurdev’s might and power into battle.

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੁਖ ਆਖੇ ਲਾਇ ਸੁ ਧਯਾਨ ਨੂੰ I ਚਲਯੋ ਯਾਨ ਮੰਝਾਰੀ, ਨਾਲੇ ਦੇਵਤਾ II***

Baba Jujhar Singh Jee goes to battle

Baba Jee and the Singhs went into this battle with the power of Iron. The battle once again heated up. Bodies and bodies were falling like dominos. The Mugals had mistakenly become over confident after the Shaheedee of Baba Ajit Singh Jee. They tried to surround the Jatha of Singhs with Baba Jee. However Baba Jee got hold of one the Barshey and started tearing the enemy apart.

ਬਰਛਾ ਲਗਾਵੈ ਜਾਹਿ ਲੇਤ ਹੈ ਪਰੋਇ ਤਾਹਿ I **

Baba Jujhar Singh Jee was moving his Khanda like a farmer cutting in his fields.

ਖੇਤ੍ਰ ਵਗਾਈ ਦਾਤਰੀ ਜਯੋਂ ਕਿਰਸਨੀਆ I***

The enemy was in astonishment and crying Allah! Allah! And were wondering how they could face such a warrior.

ਹੋਏ ਤੁਰਕ ਹੈਰਾਨੀ, ਕਰਦੇ ਯਾ ਅਲਾ I ਕੇਹੇ ਸੂਰ ਮਹਾਨੀ ਮੱਥਾ ਲਾਇਐ II***

The enemy slowly with great effort was trying to enclose Baba Jujhar Singh. Guru Gobind Singh Jee seeing them getting closer and closer started showering them with arrows from the roof of his fort. The encirclement broke and Baba Jee broke free to inflict even more damage.

Baba Jujhar Singh’s Shaheedee

How long could Baba Jee keep up this fight? He had already surpassed any other warrior’s feat in the hell of battle. Killing not hundreds but thousands! The enemy again tried to encircle Baba Jee on his own and eventually they succeeded in fulfilling Baba Jujhar Singh Jee’s wish of Shaheedee.

When Baba Jee fell the Sun fell too. Guru Gobind Singh indicates in Zafarnama that this is when the Battle stopped.

ਚਰਾਗ਼ਿ ਜਹਾਂ ਚੂੰ ਸ਼ੁਦਹ ਬੁਰਕਹ ਪੋਸ਼ ॥ ਸ਼ਹਿ ਸ਼ਬ ਬਰਾਮਦ ਹਮਹ ਜਲਵਹ ਜੋਸ਼ ॥੪੨॥*
When the lamp of the world (the Sun) had covered itself (had set), the
king of the night (the darkness) came out with all its glory (it
became pitch dark)


When the Sun fell, Guru Gobind Singh and the remaining 10 Singhs did Sodar Dee Chaunkee. After Rehras Guru Jee sent 4 letters by arrows, one to each of the Mugal Generals. Warning them of the result of breaking their promises.

Guru Gobind Singh Jee was planning for the next day’s battle. The Singhs however were persuading Guru Jee to leave the fort but Guru Jee was not having none of this. The Singhs then decided to select Panj Piaray, Bhai Daya Singh lead the Panj and gave Hukam to Guru Jee to leave the fort. Guru Jee was obliged to obey the Khalsa but said he would not leave without a challenge to the enemy.

Guru Jee Leaves the Fort

Guru Gobind Singh Jee decided that 3 Singhs Bhai Daya Singh Jee, Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Maan Singh Jee would leave the fort with him. The other 7 Singhs would stay and take Shaheedee. Out of the 7 Singhs there was a Bhai Sangat Singh who looked very similar to Guru Jee, he was given Guru Jee’s Bana/kalgi and told to position himself on the roof so others would think Guru Jee is still at the fort. The 3 Singhs were told a place to meet if they survived the escape.

Guru Jee then went on top of the roof and blew the Narsinga, this caused havoc and confusion in the enemy they thought that the Singhs were coming out for an attack. Guru Jee made his escape in this confusion but still had the audacity to challenge the enemy on the way out. Not a single scratch or injury came to Guru Jee in this escape.

ਨ ਪੇਚੀਦਹ ਮੂਏ ਨ ਰੰਜੀਦਹ ਤਨ ॥ ਕਿ ਬੇਰੂੰ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਆਵੁਰਦ ਦੁਸ਼ਮਨ ਸ਼ਿਕਨ ॥੪੪॥*
And so without a scratch on my body or twist of my hair, Lord Himself
brought me out(of the Chamkaur siege) after destroying the enemy.

Final Shaheeds of Chamkaur

The enemy decided to attack the next morning instead of at night. All 7 Singhs came out fighting like lions. Their bravery has no bounds, the Singh were all repeating VahiGuru

ਕਹੈ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਦੂਸਰ ਅਉਰ ਨ ਆਸ I
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਕਹਿਓ ਸੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਤਜੇ ਸਾਸ II੬੯II
ਬਹੁਤ ਸੂਰ ਜੂਝੇ ਤਹਾਂ ਜੋਧਾ ਬਡੇ ਅਪਾਰ I
ਗਹਿ ਕਮਾਨ ਤਾਹੀ ਸਮੇ ਭਏ ਆਪ ਅਸਵਾਰII੭੦II ੫੩੯II**
(Note : Sainapat has written Sant Singh but he is referring to Sangat Singh)

Bhai Sangat Singh Jee gave such a display of might that the enemy thought it was Guru Gobind Singh Jee. Look at the power and strength given by wearing Guru Jee’s Bana!

Bhai Sangat Singh and the rest of the Singhs eventually took Shaheedee after causing carnage at the battle field. Bhai Sahibs Sis brought Guru Jee a few days respite because the enemy thought he was really Guru Jee.

The battle of Chamkaur will never be matched in history because it had so many hidden powers dictating the event it was truly watched over by the heavens.

Where will you find a battle in which an army of 1 million loses thousands of its soldiers by only 40 men?


* - Zafarnama by Sree Guru Gobind Singh Jee in 1705

** - Sri Gur Sobha by Sainapat completed in 1711

*** - Gurbilas Patshai 10 by Koer Singh completed in 1751

1 comment:

  1. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.