Bhopal often called as city of lakes is a famous Indian city known for its beautiful scenic beauty but very few people know that the same Bhopal once hosted a war what was arguably the largest pitched battle fought in India in the eighteenth century. Battle of Bhopal was fought on December 24, 1737 in Bhopal between the Maratha Empire & the combined army of Mughals along with their powerful allies Rajputs & Nizams. The battle resulted in the decisive Maratha victory mainly through the swift tactics of Maratha Bajirao Peshwa.
In the early eighteenth century Maratha Empire under their ruler Bajirao Peshwa, was emerging as the most powerful empire in the entire Indian subcontinent. As the Mughal empire continued to weaken after Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s death , Bajirao invaded cities such as Malwa & Gujarat. In 1737, Marathas invaded Delhi & defeated the Mughals. Alarmed by the rising power of the Marathas, the Mughal Emperor summoned the Nizam of Hyderabad to the north and he tried to drive out the Marathas by securing the governorship of Malwa for his own son & thus while Bajirao along with his troops was returning to Pune (the capital city of Maratha Empire), got attacked by the Nizams along with the Rajput subordinates of the Mughals & in Bhopal.
In Bhopal , The Nizam was already waiting for the Peshwa with a huge army and artillery. But the clever Peshwa was obviously a step ahead of the Nizam as far as war machinations were concerned. Instead of confronting the powerful Nizam’s artillery in a pitched battle, he created a detour by plundering Nizams territories. Bajirao thus provoked the Nizam into leaving his base and give the Peshwa a chase. However the Nizam had to leave behind his heavy artillery in order to catch up with the Peshwas army. This was precisely what the wily Peshwa wanted. As the Nizams army progressed towards the Peshwa, midway the Peshwa managed to trap and surround the Nizam.
The war led to a widespread destruction of men & property. Loads of arms & ammunitions had gone to trash. Not only huge army bases of Mughals & Nizams but also brilliant Mughal architecture in central India was put to an inevitable loss. Entire region across Malwa & Bundelkhand had moved into the hands of the Marathas. Apart from these tangible effects, the battle had certain crucial intangible effects too. The battle marked to be the initial fall of the vast Mughal empire in the central India. Indian Hindus who were serving under the Muslim Mughals & Nizams from over two centuries, gained power & took a huge rise with the Marathas. Also large number of Hindu soldiers got skilled after the battle to start a new era of Hindu dominance along with the Marathas. Mughal Empire which was already weakened got further weakened by the successive invasions of Nadir Shah & Ahmed Shah Abdali in later years.
Later , on January 7, 1738 , a humiliating peace treaty was signed forcing the Nizam to sign a treaty, known as the famous treaty of Bhopal (7th Jan 1738, Doraha) whereby, the mughals conceded entire Malwa region between rivers Narmada and Chambal , besides fifty lakhs rupees as war indemnity.
This famous Battle of Bhopal established Hindu Swarajya in the entire subcontinent & made marathas the unrivalled champions of the whole subcontinent. Also Marathas became protectors of Sanatana Dharma , rein fusing hope & life to dehydrating hindus in Akhand Bharat.