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Battle of Chamkaur
Part of Mughal-Sikh Wars
DateDecember 6, 1704
LocationNear the village of Chamkaur
Result Mughals suffered severe casualties, a powerful thunder storm during the night came and Guru Gobind Singh’s Sikhs asked him to leave the fort. Total Sikhs death was around 35-38 while Mughals suffered over 100,000. Sikh Victory, Mughals failed to kill Guru Gobind Singh [1]
 Mughal Empire Punjab flag.svgKhalsa
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Mughal Empire.svg Wazir Khan Punjab flag.svg Guru Gobind Singh
1000000[2][3] 48: Guru Gobind Singh, 40 Sikhs, Panj Piare, Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
Unknown 44 killed[citation needed]

The Battle of Chamkaur or also known as Battle Of Chamkaur Sahib was a battle fought between the Khalsa led by Guru Gobind Singh against the Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan. Guru Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in Zafarnamah. He tells how a million Mughal troops attacked his men.[2]

Preamble to the battle

After the Guru left Anandpur on the night of December 6 to 7, 1705,[4] they had crossed the Sarsa river and stopped in Chamkaur. They asked permission of the city chief for shelter to rest for the night in their garhi or haveli. The older brother thought giving him shelter would be dangerous so he refused. But the younger brother gave permission to let them stay there for the night.[citation needed]

Despite giving assurance of safe conduct, the Mughal soldiers were looking for Guru Gobind Singh, to take his head as a trophy. After learning that the party of Sikhs had taken shelter in the haveli, they laid siege upon it.[citation needed]

The Mughals had a force of over 1000000 (one million [2]) consisting of Pathan, and Turk regiments[citation needed]. The Guru only commanded 40 men on the eve of the battle[citation needed]. The actual battle is said to have taken place outside a mudfort where the Guru was resting[citation needed]. Negotiations broke down and the Sikh soldiers chose to engage the overwhelming Mughal forces, thus allowing their Guru to escape[citation needed]. A "Gurmatta" or consensus amongst the Sikhs compelled Gobind Singh to obey the will of the majority and escape by cover of night. It is alleged that the Sikh warriors were able to engage the Mughal troops in majority due to training in the Sikh martial art of "Shastarvidya".[citation needed] All the Sikhs guarding the Guru were killed in the battle.[citation needed]


Zafarnama or "Epistle of Victory" is a letter that was written by Guru Gobind Singh to the then Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Zafarnama vividly describes what happened at Chamkaur, and also holds Aurangzeb responsible for what occurred and the promises he broke:

13: Aurangzeb! I have no trust in your oaths anymore. (You have written that) God is one and that He is witness (between us).
14: I don't have trust equivalent to even a drop (of water) in your generals (who came to me with oaths on Quran that I will be given safe passage out of Anandgarh Fort). They were all telling lies.
15: If anyone trusts (you) on your oath on Quran, that person is bound to be doomed in the end.

After his escape from Chamkaur, the exhausted Guru is said to have been carried by two Pathans, (Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan), to Jatpur where he was received by the local Muslim chieftain. He later went to Dina, and stayed at Bhai Desa Singh's house, where he is said to have written "Zafarnama" in Persian, in 111 versions.[5]

The end of the battle

On December 7, 1705, at first light, officers of the Mughal horde, Khwaja Muhammad and Nahar Khan, sent a messenger with terms of treaty demanding submission to Islamic law, which the Guru, his sons and valiant warriors unanimously declined. Elder Sahibzada Ajit Singh reacted with outrage vehemently demanding the emissary be silent and return to his masters. The Mughal officers ordered their troupes to mercilessly attack the Guru's vastly outnumbered warriors. The Guru's and his Singh's responded fiercely, defending their fortress from the horde's advance with deadly accuracy. Their small store of arrows and ammunition quickly expended, by late afternoon hand to hand combat remained their only option to surrender and forced conversion to Islam.Two Mughal officers, Nahar Khan and Ghairat Khan, and many of their soldiers died attempting to breach the compound. The warrior's heroic martyrdom held back the enemy hordes and prevented all out invasion of the fortress.[citation needed].


After finding out that the Guru had escaped, the Mughals started searching the woods and the area surrounding Chamkaur.[1]

The Mughals hastily chased after the Guru once they realised he had escaped. Guru Gobind Singh made a last stand [6] against the Mughals at Muktsar,[citation needed], however, by then Aurangzeb had started to sue for peace.[7][citation needed] The Battle of Muktsar was the last battle fought by Guru Gobind Singh.

There he wrote Zafarnamah, ("the epistle of victory"), a letter to Aurangzeb in which he wrote



... But still when the lamp of daylight (sun) set and the queen of night (moon) came up, then my protector (God) gave me passage and I escaped safely, not even a hair on my body was harmed.


The Guru emphasised how he was proud that his sons had died fighting in battle, and that he had 'thousands of sons – the Singhs'. He also said that he would never trust Aurengzeb again due to his broken promises [10] and lies.[citation needed]

See also

Bhai Jiwan Singh


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Chamkaur Sahib". Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ralhan, O.P (1997). The Great Gurus Of The Sikhs. Anmol Publications PVT LTD. pp. 154. ISBN 81-7488-479-3. "... the word used to describe the number of Mughal soldiers is "Dahlakh". It is a Persian word and historians translate it meaning as "infinite" or "Ten Lakh"." 
  3. Singh, Prof Satbir (1973(first) 2004). Purakh Bhagwant (biography of Guru Gobind Singh). Mai Heeran Gate Jalandhar: New Book company. p. 180. "ਅਗਲੇ ਦਿਨ ਸਵੇਰੇ 22 ਦਸੰਬਰ 1704 ਨੂੰ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦਾ ਅਨੋਖਾ ਯੁੱਧ...ਇਕ ਪਾਸੇ ਚਾਲੀ ਲੱਖ ਭੁੱਖੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਤੇ ਦੂਜੇ ਪਾਸੇ ਦੱਸ ਲੱਖ on next day morning 22 december 1704 an unparrelled battlle of world ... on one side forty hungry and other side ten lakh" 
  4. Singha, H. S (2000). The encyclopedia of Sikhism (over 1000 entries). Hemkunt Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-81-7010-301-1. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  5. Major Nahar Singh Jawandha (2010). Glimpses of Sikhism. New Delhi, India: Sandun Publishers. pp. 48. ISBN 978-93-8021-325-5. 
  6. Singh, Prof Satbir (1973 (First time) ,2004). Purakh Bhagwant (biography of Guru Gobind Singh). Mai Heeran Gate Jalandhar India: New Book Company. p. 203. 
  7. Singh, Prof Satbir (1973First time, 2004). "Chamkaur ton Mukatsar" (in Punjabi). Purakh Bhagwant(Biography of Guru Gobind Singh). Mai Heeran Gate Jalandhar, India: New Book Company. p. 200. "ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਪੱਤਰ ਪੜ੍ਹਨ ਉਪਰੰਤ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਹਾਕਮਾਂ ਪਾਸ ਹਿਦਾਇਤਾਂ ਭੇਜੀਆਂ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਸਿਦਕ ਸਫ਼ਾਈ ਨਾਲਪੇਸ਼ ਆਉਣ।" 
  8. Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnamah stanza 42". Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  9. Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnamah English translation stanza 42". Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  10. Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnama stanza 45". Retrieved 24 September 2013. 

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