Nader Shah's Invasion Of The Mughal India

By the end of the 200 years long Safavid reign, rebellion began in many regions of Iran during the rule of the weak successor Soltan Husayn. Among those rebels, the Hotakis under the leadership of their chief Mahmud Hotaki, defeated the Safavid Shah in the battle of Gulnabad and sieged the capital Isfahan. After the Shah failed to escape as well as to save the city, he left the throne in favour of his son Tahmasp II. Shah Tahmasp then took shelter in the Qajar tribe.

Taking full advantage of this chaos, both the Ottoman and the Russian empires occupied many regions of Iran. At this juncture Nader Shah appeared as an Angel. From being an ordinary woodcutter, he became the Shah of Iran by dint of his ability. To expel the Hotaki rebels Nadir Shah joined with Agha Mohammad Khan and defeated them in the battle Damghan and Murche-Khort. Then he moved toward Kandahar, the last stronghold of the Hotakis. After being defeated in Kandahar, they fled to Afghanistan, which was under the Mughal Empire. Nader contacted the Mughal emperor Mohammad Shah and requested him to deliver the Hotakis to him. But, Muhammad Shah failed to comply with Nader Shah’s request and Nader Shah’s invasion of india became imminent. 

Nader Shah’s continuous military operations pushed Iran’s economy on the brink of collapse. So, Nader decided to loot the weak but wealthy Mughal Empire to bear the expense of his force and to invigorate Iran’s economy.

Nader Shah, showing his excellent warcraft, defeated the army of 20,000 soldiers of the Mughal Subahdar of Kabul and Peshawar. As a result, there was no one in Peshawar, Attock or even in Lahore to resist the Iranian force. Delhi became endangered after Punjab went under Nader’s control.

Muhammad Shah became perturbed finding the Iranian force so close. He sent messengers in many places of his empire to collect soldiers and money. 

Within a short time Muhammad Shah was able to prepare a force of 300,000 soldiers. On the other hand, Nader Shah’s force had only 100,000 soldiers who were experienced in war craft and principles as they were engaged in battles for a long time. 

But most members of Muhammad Shah’s army were newly collected who had no prior experience of war. That was why, Nader Shah easily defeated Muhammad Shah in the battle of Carnal and practically, the Mughal emperor became Nader Shah’s object of pity.

Nader treated the mughal emperor decently as Nader did not come to establish permanent dominion in the Indian subcontinent, rather came to collect ‘gifts’ in large numbers from the wealthy Mughal emperor. So, a post-war discussion between the mughal emperor and Nader Shah began. Nader Shah demanded a great deal of money from him. So, Muhammad Shah again sent messengers in different places of his empire.

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  • Unknown
    Unknown December 22, 2020 at 9:18 AM

    Thanks for posting the elaborate story.

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