|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
Dankaur (दनकौर) is located on 28.35°N 77.55°E. It has an average elevation of 194 metres. It is situated approximately 55 kms east of Delhi along the bank of river Yamuna. The place is well connected by rail link on Northern Railway on Delhi-Aligarh link. PIN 203201 .
Gets name from Dronacharya
Mirza Najaf Khan's first campaign against the Jats
Qanungo mentions....Mirza Najaf khan, who had fallen under the momentary displeasure of the Emperor, and been banished from the Court through the intrigue of Hisam-ud-din, returned to Delhi three months after (end of May, 1773), with his reputation and power greatly increased by serving as a condottiere general in the Maratha service in their campaign against the Nawab of Oudh and Hafiz Rahamat Khan. About this time Abdul Ahad Khan, a disaffected subordinate and an apt pupil of Hisam-ud-din in the art of intrigue, joined hands with Najaf Khan for the overthrow of his master. Matched in cunning and excelled in warlike fame by these two redoubtable adversaries, poor Hisam-ud-din lost his hold upon the Emperor's mind and with it his place and fortune. The Emperor cast him away with as little compunction as a man feels in making fuel of a broken stick. Abdul Ahmad Khan became naib-uiazir in his place and was given the title of Majd-ud-daula. Mirza Najaf Khan was
[p.145]: created Second Bakhshi and exhalted to the rank of Amir-ul-umra (June 5, 1773).3 Raja Nawal Singh, alarmed at the re-appearance of the Mirza at Delhi, opened negotiations with the Sikhs to secure their help against the Mughals. He planned a campaign against the imperial territories to be fought simultaneously in three important theatres: one division of his army was to act in the region to the west of Delhi from a base at Farrukhnagar4, another division was to ravage the Doab fro Aligarh, while the main army under him was to threaten Delhi from Ballamgarh. The Sikhs were expected to reinforce and act in concert with the Jat army in Haryana and in the Doab Mirza Najaf Khan pitched his camp at Badarpur (?),514 miles south of Delhi, blocking the great road leading to Delhi from Ballamgarh. About six miles to the west of the Mughal encampment, there was a small Jat fort called Maidangarhi built in the time of Suraj Mal and still held by a Jat garrison. One day the Jats out of sheer bravado drove away some cattle and horses of the Mughals. Mirza Najaf Khan at once ordered an assault upon the garhi, which was captured after several hours of tough fighting. "This victory proved" as Khair-ud-din says "the title page
3. Mirza Najaf Khan returned to Delhi at the beginning of Rabi I. 1187 H. Hisam-ud-din was removed from the office of naib-wazir in the first week of that month. On the 14th Rabi 1. (June 5, 1773) Najaf Khan was created second Bakshi, and on that very day Hisam-ud-din was arrested who remained in captivity in the house of Najaf Khan for about five years. His property, worth nine lakhs in cash and goods, was confiscated: one-third of this amount was given to Najaf Khan as a token of the Emperor's favour: the remainder went to the imperial treasury (Waza, 270- 273).
5. The Waqa names the place of Najaf Khan's encampment as Badarpur or Baranpur which cannot be identified in the map. Khair-ud-din calls it Barahpula (i.e., the bridge of twelve arches near Humayun's tomb); but he is not very accurate. Badarpur is mentioned as one of the stages on the Agra-Delhi road in the Chahar Gulshan [Prof. J. N. Sarkar's India of Aurangzeb, XCVII]. We take it to be the same place as Madanpur, which lies two miles to the east of Tughlaqabad.
[p.146]: of Mirza Najaf Khan's record of victories and the first rung in the ladder of his fortune" [Ibratnama, MS., p. 212]. We may, with as much truth call it the ominoius presage of an era of misfortune for the house of Bharatpur.6
Hostilities were thus precipitated before the rainy season was hardly over. It was only the beginning of September and the Sikhs were wholly unprepared to take the field in such an early season. But Nawal Singh's blind fury could brook no delay in retaliating for this defeat. He sent under the command of his brother-in-law Dan Sahi, a strong division to reinforce Durjan Singh Gujar and Chandu [Chandan] Gujar, his own governors at Atrauli and Ramgarh (modern Aligarh). Dan Sahi and other Jat and Gujar chiefs mustered about 20,000 men under their command and began to ravage the Doab. They plundered Sikandrabad7 and other parganas as far as Ghaziabad,8 and were literally carrying out the command of Nawal Singh to "hang every Mughal official who would resist his authority" [Ibratnama MS., p. 212]. In the western theatre another Jat army' under Shankar Jat from its base at Farrukhnagar, overran the greater portion of the open country around it, and laid siege to Garhi Harsaru. The situation became so desperate for the
6. Maidangarhi (Ibratnama, MS., p. 212) is situated 2 miles to the south of Tughlaqabad and 6 miles south-west of Madanpur. Khair- ud-din's narrative, though well written, is inaccurate and sometimes deceptive. He says that the capture of Maidangarhi and the defeat of Dan Sahi and Chandu Gujar near Dankaur took place before the siege of Delhi by Tukoji Holkar [December, 1772- March 1773]. This is simply absurd, being opposed to every other authority Persian and English. His story of the opening of fire by the Jat garrison upon the cavalcade of Najaf Khan while proceeding from Delhi on a pilgrimage to Qutb-ud-din's shrine, appears to be baseless. We hold, on the authority of the Chahar Gulzar-i-Shujai, that the hostilities were precipitated by the carrying off of cattle by the Jats. I have to reject in many places the details of this campaign of Mirza Najaf Khan against Nawal Singh published in my paper in the Proceedings of the Fifth meeting of Indian Historical Records Commission, because it was based mainly on the narrative of Khair-ud-din.
7. Sikandrabad lat. 28°-25', long. 77°"-45'.
[p.147]: imperialists that the Emperor wrote to the Governor of Bengal a letter9 asking for his help. Mirza Najaf Khan refused to move from his encampment at Madanpur. He despatched several Turani and Baloch chiefs such as Niyaz Beg Khan, Taj Muhammad Khan Baloch and others with ,five thousand horse against Dan Sahi. They were reinforced by the Emperor with one regiment of Lal Paltan and several pieces of artillery under the command of Ramu Kamadan [commandantj.10 At the approach of Mughal commanders, having made a forced march of 10 or 12 kos, surprised him at night when he was encamped carelessly near that place. The Jats retreated to Dankaur, 25 miles south-west and in its neighbourhood offered battle to the enemy on 15th September, 1773. Chandu Gujar, who was the commander-in-chief of the Jat army, led the Van and attacked the sepoy regiments and the artillery of the Mughals. With an intrepidity which astonished even the veteran Mughal cavaliers, the valiant Gujar chief charged the enemy's artillery at full gallop, animating his brave followers. But the volleys of musketry and artillery fearfully shattered the attacking column; only a small body of troopers headed by their wounded leader succeeded in penetrating the lines of the sepoys and fell there pierced by bayonets after performing prodigies of valour. The battle raged furiously for two or three hours; it was an awful struggle of the native valour of man against science and discipline. Undaunted by the fate of Chandu Gujar, the son of Rao Durjan Singh Gujar (Governor of Atrauli) led his risala of five hundred horse to the attack and lost two hundred men. Two Jat leaders of cavalry, each at the head of three hundred
9. It runs as follows: "The Jats have rebelled round the capital, and have sent their army to Sikandrabad. Having committed depredations and outrages upon the inhabitants they have advanced to oppose the royal army and reached close to it. They have also invited the Sikhs to join them .... Desires the Governor to sent immediately an English army under the command of brave officers." This is entered under the date September 22, 1773, Calcutta. [Pers. Cor: MS.]
10. Waqa, p. 282; Ibratnama, p. 212, says "two regiments of sepoys"; Chahar mentions Lal Paltan; Ramu Kamadan's name is mentioned in the Shah Alam-nama (MS., p. 34) of Ghulam All.
[p.148]: men, next delivered determined charges with equally disastrous results; these bands also were slain to a man. Dan Sahi, the second in command on that day, was severely wounded and forced to take shelter in a small mud-fort (where he died two days after). The remnants of the Jat army broke and fled across the Jamuna. Besides heavy losses in the field, the river exacted a further toll of two hundred lives during the passage.11 Greater disasters awaited the arms of Nawal Singh in other quarters.
Suraj-Najlb Parley At Dankaurghat (November, 1761)
[Page 238] While the fate of the Wazirship hung in the balance, there was a move to conduct the Emperor to the Capital. Himself powerless, he was dependent on others for his de facto installation. But none was prepared to help him single-handed. This necessitated a concerted effort. The meeting between Najib and Suraj Mal, the two foremost personages, at Dankaurghat was, in part, the corollary of this move. Taking initiative in the matter, Najib despatched Nagar Mal, the veteran mediator to Kumbher (c. middle of September, 1761) to arrange for a personal interview with Suraj Mal. Three weeks later (7th October, 1761) Raja Diler Singh along with Rup Ram Katari and Mohal Singh, the Jat Vakils, left Delhi to meet Suraj Mal at Dankaur. They stayed there for five days, held consultations with the Jat Raja and then returned to the Capital on the 15th. The following day they met Najib to settle terms. Thereafter, Najib sent two envoys, Raja Chet Ram and Diler Singh to Suraj Mal with a Quran, on which he had taken an oath of sincerity for the Jat Raja. They were to arrange for a meeting nearby between the two chiefs. However, as per his programme, Suraj Mal proceeded to the fair of Govardhan, taking the two envoys with him. On 24th October, Raja Nagar Mal, Yaqub Ali Khan, Abdul Ahad Khan and others, after a talk with Najib, went to the Jat King to arrange for payment to the Abdali, who had threatened to invade if the Indian chiefs did not send him tribute. They were also to persuade Suraj Mal to meet Najib near Delhi after a fortnight, when the latter came back from his scheduled visit to Hissar.
About the end of November 1761, the much awaited meeting between the Rohilla chief and the Jat Raja took place in the latter's camp at Dankaurghat. Their respective armies alighted on the opposite bank of the Yamuna. Against the suggestion of his advisers Najib crossed the river in a small boat with only a few attendants, leaving his troops behind. "Suraj Mal displayed 'great purity of heart towards him. " It can be inferred from Hingne's despatch that Najib proposed to the Raja to send his son with him to escort the Emperor. It is reasonable to presume that Suraj Mal took the opportunity to raise the question of Imad's Wazirship. However, nothing came of it. Beyond diluting their mutual antagonism, no useful purpose seems to have been served by this meeting. The occasion did not usher in any genuine understanding
- 61. S P D., XXI, 89, 90, XXIX, 24 also 23, II, 108 (The date of this letter. as suggested by the editor is incorrect); D.C.; Sarkar, Fall, II, 386, 445-446.
- 62. Nur, 56a-56b; cf. SPD., XXIX, 23
- 63. SPD., XXI, 89.
- 64. cf. Sarkar, Fall, II, 446.
[Page 239] between them. Nor could a mutually agreed plan be devised for conducting the Emperor to Delhi. The fact is that despite its being talked about, none of the potentates except Shuja made any effort to retrieve the fortunes of Shah Alam. On the other hand, Imad too could not be installed as Wazir due to the persisting opposition, apparently from Najib as also Shah Alam and Suraj Mal wisely refrained from carrying matters to the extreme. As the time rolled by, he seems to have dropped the irredeemable cause of Imad, though he continued to support him otherwise, as before.
- 65. Rajwade, 1,297; SPD., XXIX, 5.
- 66. By the end of 176 I Shah Alam "felt himself free" to elevate Shuja to the Wazirship. The latter's investiture took place in February, 1762. see Srivastava, Shuja, I, 125f.
- 67. Imad stayed on in the Jat principality. In 1763 he marched with the Jat contingent, sent to help the Bangash chief. After the death of Suraj Mal he accompanied Raja Jawahar Singh in his attack on Delhi. See Nur, 58a and 76b.
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...दनकौर बुलन्दशहर ज़िला (वर्तमान गौतम बुद्ध नगर), उत्तर प्रदेश का एक ऐतिहासिक नगर है। एक प्राचीन मंदिर तथा सरोवर के लिए दनकौर उल्लेखनीय है। किंवदंती है कि इस नगर को पाण्डवों के गुरु द्रोणाचार्य ने बसाया था। द्रोणाचार्य के नाम से दनकौर में एक प्राचीन मंदिर भी है।