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Nadir Shah’s Invasion (1738–39)

Nadir Shah’s Invasion (1738–39)
  • Nadir Shah, the ‘Napoleon of Iran’, invaded India in 1738 – 39.
  • In 1738, Kabul, Jalalabad, and Peshawar were captured by the Persian invader Nadir Shah and Lahore fell in January 1739.
  • When Nadir Shah began his rapid advance toward Delhi, the Mughal emperor decided to oppose his advance and sent an army under Nizam-ul Mulk, Qamar-ud-din and Khan-i-dauran to check the invader. Saadat Khan also joined them later.
  • In the battle between the Mughal troops and those of Nadir Shah near

Nadir Shah’s Invasion (1738–39)

Karnal in February 1739, within three hours of the actual engagement the Mughal troops were totally routed and Khan-i-dauran was killed in action.

  • Although Nizam-ul-Mulk was able to persuade Nadir Shah to go back after receiving 50 lakh rupees, Saadat Khan (of Awadh), who was opposed to the Nizam suggested to Nadir Shah “to take the Emperor, the Nizam, and others into custody, march to Delhi and make himself master of the immense treasures in store there”. 

Nadir Shah accepted the suggestion and entered Delhi on March 20, 1739.

  • Nadir Shah remained in Delhi for 57 days.
  • The famous Peacock Throne and the Koh-i-noor diamond were all grabbed by Nadir Shah.
  • The provinces of the Mughal Empire west of the river Indus, from Kashmir to Sind.

Important topics 

Nadir Shah’s Invasion (1738–39)

13th  Century

 The Koh-i-Noor is a large, colorless diamond that was found close to Guntur in the state, of India, probably within the thirteenth century. It weighed 793 carats (158.6 g) uncut and was initially owned by the Kakatiya dynasty.

 14th Century AD: In the early 14th century, Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Turkic Khilji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, and his army began robbing the kingdoms of southern India. 

Malik Kafur, Khilji’s general, created a victorious raid on Warangal in 1310 when he probably acquired the diamond.

 16th Century AD:

 It remained within the Khilji family line and later passed to the succeeding dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate, till it came into the possession of Babur. Babur and his son and successor, Humayun, mentioned the origins of this diamond in their memoirs, thought by several historians to be the earliest reliable relevant the Koh-i-Noor.

 17th Century AD:

 Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor then Aurangzeb then successors   18th century (1739 AD):

 Following the 1739 invasion of Delhi by Nader Shah, the Shah of Persia, the treasury of the Mughal Empire was plundered by his army in an organized and through the acquisition of the Mughal nobility’s wealth. besides a bunch of valuable things, together with the Daria-i-Noor, as well as the Peacock Throne, the Shah conjointly carried away the Koh-i-Noor.

18th Century (1747 AD):

 After the assassination of Nader Shah in 1747 and also the collapse of his empire, the stone came into the hands of one of his generals, Ahmad Shah Durrani, who later became the amir of Islamic State of Afghanistan.

19th Century (1813 AD):

the Diamond came into possession of Ahmad Shah Durrani’s descendent Shauja Shah Durrani. Shah Shuja Durrani brought the Koh-i-door back to India in 1813 and gave it to Ranjit Singh (the founding father of the Sikh Empire). In exchange, Ranjit Singh helped Shah Shuja retreat to the throne of the Islamic State of Afghanistan.

19th Century (1849 AD):

 On twenty-nine March 1849, following the conclusion of the Second AngloSikh War, the dominion of Punjab was formally annexed to British India, and also the Last treaty of Lahore was signed, formally cession the Koh-i-Noor to Empress.

Ahamad Shah Abdali 

 Ahamad Shah Durrani was an afghan chief belonging to the Durrani clan. 

He occupied the throne of Afghanistan in 1747 after the assassination of Nadir Shah. 

He ruled from 1747 till his death in 1773. During this period, he invaded India eight times, occupied the Punjab, and won a tremendous victory over the Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761.

After Muhammad Shah’s death in 1748, bitter struggles, and even civil war broke out among power hungry nobles. 

Empire was devastated by the repeated invasions of Ahmed Shah Abdali

Abdali repeatedly invaded and plundered northern India right down to Delhi and Mathura between 1748 and 1767.

In 1761, Abdali defeated the Maratha in the Third Battle of Panipat .

After defeating Mughal and Maratha, Abdali did not, however, found a new Afghan kingdom in India. He and his successors could not even retain the Punjab which they soon lost to the Sikh chiefs.

As a result of the invasions of Nadir Shah ,Abdali and the suicidal internal feuds of the Mughal nobility, the Mughal Empire had (by 1761) ceased to exist in practice as an all-India Empire.

Mughal Empire narrowed merely as the Kingdom of Delhi. Delhi itself was a scene of ‘daily riot and tumult’.

Shah Alam II, who ascended the throne in 1759, spent the initial years as an Emperor wandering from place to place far away from his capital, for he lived in mortal fear of his own war.

Shah Alam II was a man of some ability and ample courage. But the Empire was by now beyond redemption.

In 1764, Shah Alam II joined Mir Qasim of Bengal and Shuja-ud-Daula of Avadh in declaring war upon the English East India Company.

Defeated by the British at the Battle of Buxar (October 1764), Shah Alam II lived for several years at Allahabad as a pensioner of the East India Company.

Shah Alam II left the British shelter in 1772 and returned to Delhi under the protective arm of the Marathas.

All Battle of Panipat  

There were 3 battles at Panipat –  

The first battle occurred in 1526, between Babur and Ibrahim Lodhi, laying the foundation for the Mughal empire in India.

1556 -The second battle occurred 30 years later and re-established the Mughal empire under Akbar in Delhi.

The third battle of Panipat took place in 1761, between the Maratha empire and the invading Afghan army.

 Ist  2nd3rd
Time  152615561761
BetweenBabur and Ibrahim LodiAkbar and HemuAfghani forces and Marathas 
OutcomeBabur wonAkbar wonAfghan Forces led by Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated Sadashivrao and Marathas. 
FAQ About Nadir Shah’s Invasion (1738–39)
Who was Nadir Shah and what was his invasion?

Nadir Shah was a Persian military leader who invaded the Mughal Empire in 1738-1739. His invasion aimed to plunder the wealth and treasures of the Mughal Empire, particularly in Delhi.

Why did Nadir Shah invade the Mughal Empire?

Nadir Shah invaded the Mughal Empire to seize its vast riches, including precious jewels, gold, and other valuable treasures. The declining Mughal Empire presented an opportunity for Nadir Shah to fulfill his ambitions and enrich his own empire.

What were the major events and outcomes of Nadir Shah’s invasion?

Nadir Shah’s invasion led to significant events, such as the brutal sack of Delhi in 1739, resulting in the massacre of thousands of people and the looting of immense wealth. The invasion severely weakened the already declining Mughal Empire and marked a turning point in its history.

How did Nadir Shah’s invasion impact the Mughal Empire?

Nadir Shah’s invasion had a devastating impact on the Mughal Empire. It further weakened the empire’s political and military power, shattered its economy, and eroded its prestige. The invasion also led to a decline in Mughal authority and paved the way for future invasions and foreign dominance in India.

Read Also: Growth of Indian Nationalism

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