Battle of Giria

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The Battle of Giria were two battles that took place in Giria, an insignificant village in Bengal, although not well known, were very significant in the history of Bengal and like the Battle of Plassey, had far reaching consequences.

Location[edit]

Located at 24°31′N 88°04′E / 24.52°N 88.07°E / 24.52; 88.07 and within 10 km from Jangipur on NH-34 close to where the river Ganges enters Bangladesh on one side; and within 10 km in the Indian side of the Indo-Bangladesh border, Giria is located in the alluvial sediment plain if the river Ganges and Bhagirathi. It falls in the modern day district of Murshidabad in the state of West Bengal, India.

The Battles[edit]

The First Battle of Giria, 1740[edit]

Battle Giria, 1740
Date 26 April 1740
Location Giria, modern day district of Murshidabad in the state of West Bengal, India.
Result Short and severe battle resulting in the defeat and death of Sarfaraz Khan and Alivardi Khan usurping and becoming the Nawab of Bengal. End of the Nasiri Dynasty of Murshid Quli Khan.
Territorial
changes
The Subah of Bengal
Belligerents
Sarfaraz Khan, Nawab of Bengal Alivardi Khan, Nazim of Azimabad (Patna), servant of the Nawab of Bengal
Commanders and leaders
Ghaus Khan
Haji Lutfullah
Sarfaraz Khan
Alam Chand (betrayed Sarfaraz Khan in battle)
Alivardi Khan
Nandalal
Nawazish Muhammad Khan

Background[edit]

Alivardi Khan the then Subahdar of Azimabad was not satisfied with the position of Governor and had always harboured ambitions of becoming the Nawab of Bengal and had real ambitions of deposing Sarfaraz Khan. He was willingly aided and abetted in this treacherous activity by his brother Haji Ahmed.

To effect this, he required an imperial commission directed to himself, empowering him to wrest the three provinces out of the hands of the present viceroy, Sarfaraz Khan. After having dispatched these letters, he gave out that he intended marching against the zamindars of Bhojpur, and under that pretence he mustered his troops, which he always kept in constant readiness. At the same time, he had the art to give Sarfaraz Khan public notice of his project, though he in reality waited ready to avail himself of the first opportunity to effect his true purpose.

Eventually, ten months after Nadir Shah's departure for Persia, and just thirteen months after Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan's death, he received the imperial commission, drawn up in the style he had requested. Being now resolved on marching against Sarfaraz Khan, he wrote secretly to Jagat Seth Fateh Chand that on a certain day he would commence his march. In March, 1740; Alivardi Khan, set out for Murshidabad, on the context of expedition to Bhojpur, and encamped at some distance from the city of Patna.

Alivardi Khan, in a message to Sarfaraz Khan, suggested that he was not marching on him but was arriving to pay homage to the Nawab. Initially satisfied, Sarfaraz Khan eventually decided to march on the head of his army and arrived at the town of Comrah on the 9th of April, 1740. Alivardi, in the interim, secured the Teliagarhi pass and camped at Rajmahal. The Nawab's army was being led by a seasoned general, Ghaus Khan. Ray-Rayan, and Alam Chand also accompanied him. The rebel army was being led by Alivardi Khan with Nandalal and Nawazish Muhammad Khan as his deputies.

They opposing armies marched on to Giria (Battle of Giria), a village on the banks of the river Bhagirathi for a showdown on the 26th of April, 1740.

The course of the battle[edit]

The Second Battle of Giria, 1763[edit]

Battle Giria, 1763
Location Giria, modern day West Bengal, India
Result Defeat and retreat of Mir Qasim from Bengal to Monghyr (Munger). Mir Jafar is re-installed as the Nawab at Murshidabad. Bengal would have two Nawabs for the next one year till the Battle of Buxar in 1764. Mir Qasim would continue to be the Nawab at Munger till about 1764.
Territorial
changes
The Subah of Bengal
Belligerents
Mir Qasim, Nawab of Bengal Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svgBritish East India Company, Mir Jafar