Battle of Chamkaur
|Battle of Chamkaur|
|Part of Mughal-Sikh Wars|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Wazir Khan||Gobind Singh|
(Guru Gobind Singh's writings mention "1,000,000" but this is a metaphorical description of the overwhelming number of Mughal troops)
|Less than 50
(Gobind Singh, Ajit Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, Panj Piare, 40 Sikhs)
|Casualties and losses|
|Almost All||44 killed|
The Battle Of Chamkaur or also known as Battle Of Chamkaur Sahib was a battle fought between the Khalsa led by Gobind Singh against the Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan. Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in Zafarnamah. He tells how a large number (metaphorically "a million") of Mughal troops attacked his men.
Preamble to the battle
After the Guru left Anandpur on the night of December 6 to 7, 1705, 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.
Despite giving assurance of safe conduct, the Mughals 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.
The Mughals had a forces have been described as numbering over one million. The Guru only commanded 40 men on the eve of the battle. The actual battle is said to have taken place outside a mudfort where the Guru was resting. Negotiations broke down and the Sikh soldiers chose to engage the overwhelming Mughal forces, thus allowing their Guru to escape. 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". All the Sikhs guarding the Guru were killed in the battle.
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 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.
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.
After finding out that the Guru had escaped not escaped but according to religious norm panj payaree requested guru ji to get out of the fort for the sake of humanity '', the Mughals started searching the woods and the area surrounding Chamkaur.
The Mughals hastily chased after the Guru once they realised he had escaped. Guru Gobind Singh made a last stand  against the Mughals at Muktsar, however, by then Aurangzeb had started to sue for peace. The Battle of Muktsar was the last battle fought by Guru Gobind Singh.
CHIRAG-E JAHAAN CHUN SHOD-E BURKA POSH SHAH-E SHAB BAR-AAMAD HAMEH JALWA JOSH
... 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  and lies.
- "Chamkaur Sahib". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Ralhan, O.P (1997). The Great Gurus Of The Sikhs. Anmol Publications PVT LTD. p. 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"."
- Singh, Prof Satbir (1973(first) 2004). Purakh Bhagwant (biography of 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"
- 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.
- Major Nahar Singh Jawandha (2010). Glimpses of Sikhism. New Delhi, India: Sandun Publishers. p. 48. ISBN 978-93-8021-325-5.
- Singh, Prof Satbir (1973 (First time) ,2004). Purakh Bhagwant (biography of Guru Gobind Singh). Mai Heeran Gate Jalandhar India: New Book Company. p. 203.
- Singh, Prof Satbir (1973First time, 2004). "Chamkaur ton Mukatsar". Purakh Bhagwant(Biography of Guru Gobind Singh) (in Punjabi). 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।"
- Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnamah stanza 42". Zafarnama.com. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnamah English translation stanza 42". Sikhs.org. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnama stanza 45". zafarnama.com. Retrieved 24 September 2013.