Important Battles in Indian History List

The table below enlists all the important Battles in Indian History in time bound manner starting from war and battles of Ancient India then Medieval India and finally Pre-Modern India up to the advent of British Raj. The article itself is a complete list of all historic wars and battles fought in India. The list exclusively tabulates important wars and battles of Mughal Empire, battles fought by great Marathas, major battles fought by European trading companies like British East India Company and French East India Company.

Important Battles in Indian History : Ancient India

(From ancient times till 8th century AD)

Important Battles in Indian History

1930 Painting in India House Aldwych, London depicting meeting of Porus and Alexander

BattleYearBetween Details
Conquest on Nanda Empire320 BCChandragupta Maurya and DhananandChandragupta Maurya defeated Dhananand and established Maurya Empire. Nand Dynasty comes to end.
Battle of Hydaspes326 BCAlaxender and PorusAlaxender defeated king Porus. Impressed by the bravery of Porus, he allowed to retian the kingship of Porus.
Seleucid Mauryan War303 BCChandragupta Maurya and Seleucus NicatorChandragupta defeated Seleucus and married with his daughter as a peace treaty. Seleucus received 500 war elephants.
Kalinga War262 BCAshoka and Raja Anant PadmanabhanIt was the bloodiest war of human history and lakhs were killed from either sides. Ashoka filled with remorse and took pledge of non violence and adopted Buddhism.
1st Huna Invasion458 ADSkandgupta (Gupta Empire) and Toramana (Huna)Hunas were the nomadic tribes from central Asia who attacked northwest India through Khyber pass. Although Gupta empire defeated Hunas invasion but their power greatly reduced by this attack.
2nd Huna Invasion470 ADMihirkula (Huna) and Gupta EmpireAfter death of Skandgupta, the Hunas attacked again and defeated the Gupta and tool control over central and north India. However after 30 years Hunas were again driven out of India by Yashodharman and Narshimhagupta of later Gupta dynasty.
Raid of Md Bin Kasim695-715 ADBin Kasim and Raja DahirBin Kasim attacked and killed Raja Dahir of Sindh and Multan of present Pakistan. Bin Kasim annexed the Sindh and Multan in Umayyad Caliphate. This war is seen as the starting of Muslim conquest of Indian subcontinent.

Important Battles in Indian History : Pre Medieval India

(From 8th Century AD till Babur attack of Delhi)

Important Battles in Indian History

Prithviraj Chauhan’s Statue in Ajmer

Invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni1001 to 1025Ghazni and Indian RulersMahmud of Ghazni invaded western regions of India 17 times. During 1st raid in 1001, he defeated and captured Jaypal. In 1018 he attacked Mathura and killed Chandra Pal. In last attack of year 1025 he demoslished and plundered Somnath temple.
1st Battle of Tarain1191Prithviraj Chauhan and Muhammad GhoriThis is called the first war of Hindu Rajput king and Muslim invader. This war took place near Tarain, Thanesar distt of Haryana. Prithviraj defeated Ghori
2nd Battle of Tarain1192Muhammad Ghori and Prithviraj ChauhanMd Ghori defeated and killed Prithviraj after treachery of Jaychand. This was a historical event which paved the foundation of Muslim rule in predominant hindu land.
Battle of Chandavar1194Muhammad Ghori and JaychandGhori defeated and killed Jaychand.
Battle of Gakkhar and Ghori1206Gakkhar and Md GhoriAfter making his slave Qutub-ud Din Aibak, the ruler of Delhi Sutanate, Muhammad Ghori while returning to Gazni was attacked by Gakkhars. Ghori was killed by Gakkhar tribes in this attack.
Battle of Indus1221Genghis Khan and Jalal-ad Din MingburnuVictory of Mongols, Jala-ad Din Mingburnu fleds away in India by crossing Indus
Mongol Invasion by Genghis Khan1221Generals of Genghis Khan and different rulersGenghis Khan invades Punjab, Kashmir and Delhi Sultanate.
Turkish invasion by Ala-ud-Din Khilji 1296 to 1310Ala-ud-Din Khilji and Indian RulersAla-ud-Din Khilji was a ruthless Turkish who raided and fought many wars and reigned the Khalji dynasty in northern India. In 1303 he attacked and defeated Chittor, Rani Padmini (Padmavati) of Chittor and other royal ladies commited jauhar . Khalji's two brothers Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan sacked Somnath Temple. In 1307 he captured Yadava (Seuna) Empire of Devagiri. He also attacked and captured other South Indian Empires like Baglana, Warangal, Hoysala and Madurai kingdom.
Battle of Baglana 1306Ala-ud-Din Khilji and Rai Karan, King of BaglanaRai Karan was defeated and Baglana annexed into Delhi Sutanate. Rai Karan's daughter, Devala Devi held captive and was married to Khijir Khan, son of Ala-ud-Din Khalji.
Battle of Devagiri (Deogir)1307Malik Kafur and Rai RamchandraMalik Kafur who was eunuch slave of Alaudin Khilji attacked Rai Ramchandra the Yadav clan of Deogir. Rai Ramchadra was defeated and as a alliance his daughter, Jatyapali was married to Alauddin Khalji.
1st Battle of Warangal1303Prataparudra II Vs Malikuddin and Jhaju Prataprudra II of Katakiya dynasty ruling kingdom of Warangal defeated the well equipped attack of two generals of Alauddin Khilji - Malikuddin and Jhaju.
2nd Battle of Warangal1309Malik Kafur and Prataprudra II Malik Kafur (Slave general of Alauddin Khilji) defeated Prataprudra II and ended the Kakatiya dynasty of Warangal. Prataprudra had to pay huge indemnity and annual tribute to Alauddin Khalji.
Battle of Amroha1305Malik Kafur and Ali Beg, Tartaq This battle was fought between Malik Kafur who was eunuch slave of Ala-ud-Din Khalji, ruler of Delhi Sutanate and two Mongol generals Ali Beg and Tartaq. Mongol got defeated decisevely and both Mongol generals were captured and killed later by elephants.
Battle of Madurai1343Malik Kafur and Vira Ballala III of Hoysala kingdomVira Ballala III of Hoysala Kingdom who was ruling Halibidu (Dwar Samudra capital) was defeated by the Malik Kafur, general of Alauddin Khilji. Vira Ballala was killed in this battle.
Battle of Mabar1343Vikram Pandya and Malik KafurVikram Pandya of Pandya dynasty ruling Mabar defeated Malik Kafur, the slave general of Alauddin Khilji.
Timur (Tamerlane) invasion and capture of Delhi1398Timur and Nasir-ud-Dim Mahmud Shah TughlaqTimur invaded North India and crossed Indus river on 24 Sept 1398. He attacked Delhi Sultanate ruled by Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq of Tughlaq dynasty. Timur inflicted crushing defeat to Tughlaqs and sacked Delhi. About 1 lakh captives were killed. Civilians were killed brutally and Delhi was plundered.

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Important Battles in Indian History during Medieval India

(Wars and Battles of Mughal Empire)

Important Battles in Indian History

Statue of Rana Pratap riding Chetak attacking Mughal General Man Singh. Scene created from Battle of Haldighati.

1st Battle of Panipat1526Babur and Ibrahim LodiDaulat Khan Lodi and many other rebellion generals & nobles of Delhi Sultanate and probably Rana Sanga of Mewar invited Babur from Kabul to attack and dethrone Ibrahim Lodi from Delhi. Babur although highly outnumbered in comparison to Lodi's strong army defeated him because of tactics and use of gunpowder. Canons, Gunpowder and artilery was used by Babur which was the first time ever use of these in Indian subcontinent. Ibrahim Lodi was killed in the field and this war paved the foundation of strong Mughal Empire in India.
Battle of Khanwa1527Babur and Rana SangaRajput ruler of Mewar, Rana Sanga built a great alliance joining all Rajput kings of Rajasthan with the Afghans of east and remaining Lodis to attack Mughals at Agra. The alliance of Rana Sanga although outnumbered that of Babur, still Sanga was defeated and the alliance dispersed. Rana Sanga escapes to Chittor.
Battle of Chanderi1528Babur and Medini RaiMedini Rai was a loyal supporter of Rana Sanga and Rajput alliance. Rana Sanga was secretly working on plans again to wage war against Babur by reuniting the alliance again. In order to break this, Babur attacked Medini Rai at Chanderi fort of Malwa. Medini Rai along with royal ladies committed mass jauhar (suicide).
Battle of Ghagra1529Babur and Sultan Mahmud LodiThis was the third major battle of Babur after which control of Mughal Empire over India was secured and fully established. Mahmud Lodi who was the brother of Ibrahim Lodi declared himself the sultan of Delhi with the support of Nusrat shah of Bengal, Jalaluddin Lohani, Sher Shah Suri , Rajputs and Afghans. Babur emerged victorious and consolidated his control.
Battle of Chausa1539Sher Shah Suri and HumayunHumayun made some strategic mistakes on not attacking the Sher Shah army while they travelled a great distance before reaching chausa. Sher Shah utilised this idle time to give necessary rest to his army. Both the armies waited for 3 months in a face-off position. The onset of rains further inflicted losses to the Mughals as their army was positioned on low land. Humayun fled to Agra.
Battle of Kannauj (Billgram)1540Sher Shah Suri and HumayunAfter one year of Battle of Chausa, both Mughal army and Sher Shah Suri under leadership of afghans again confronted near Kannauj. Humayun was again defeated and fled to live in exile for 15 years. Most of the Mughal army either got killed or drowned in Ganga.
Battle of Sammel1543Sher Shah Suri and Rajputs of MarwarThis is also called as Battle of Giri Sumel. Maldeo Rathod, the rajput king of Marwar abandoned his own generals upon receiving false news that his own generals are doing treachery. The abandoned generals although highly outnumbered fought bravely. Sher Shah although victorious received great losses in this war.
Battle of Delhi1556Hemu and Tardi Beg Khan (Mughal)Tardi Beg Khan who was the general of Akbar was positioned at Tughlaqabad (Delhi). Humayun was dead by then and Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu king, who was popularly called as Hemu, took this opportunity to attack Delhi, defeated the Mughal forces decisively and Delhi fell to hands of Hemu.
2nd Battle of Panipat1556Akbar and HemuAkbar was a minor, 13 years old and the battle was fought actually between Bairam Khan, Shah Ali Quli Khan and Hemu. Although Mughals were outnumbered by huge Hemu forces, Mughals won the battle and Hemu was beheaded by Bairam Khan. Thousands of Hindus were beheaded and tower of Skull was erected by Bairam Khan to inflict fear among the Hindus. Akbar gained back the control of Delhi and India. This war is seen as restoration of Mughal power back in North and Central India.
Battle of Tallikota1565Deccan Sultanates and Vijaynagar EmpireThe Deccan sultanates (Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golkonda, Berar, Bidar) defeated the glorious and one of the greatest hindu Empires of South India, Vijaynagar. The battle was fought between Ram Raya and Tirumala Dev Raya of Vijaynagar against Adil Shah, Nizam Shah, Qutub Shah and Barid Shah of Muslim sultanates. Ramraya of Vijaynagar although superior in strength lost the battle because of the treachery of his own two muslim generals (gilani brothers). The muslim troops of all 5 Sultanates plundered the city of Vijaynagar and set it on fire.
Battle of Haldighati1576Man Singh (Mughal General) and Maharana PratapThis battle was fought between Raja Man Singh of Amber, the general of Akbar and Maharana Pratap, the great rajput king of Mewar. Al Mughal forces under the command of Man Singh won the battle and Pratap fled away. He kept on fighting a guirilla warfare and kept intriguing the Mughal forces. This battle is the shortest battle of Indian history and lasted only 4 hours.
Invasion of Nadir Shah (Battle of Karnal)1739Nadir Shah and Muhammad Shah (Mughal)Persian invasion lead by Nadir Shah occured in year 1739 against the collapsing and weak later Mughals under Muhammad Shah. Nadir Shah won the control of Delhi without much resistance. Sacked and plundered Delhi. The amount of loot was so huge that Nadir Shah didn't took tax in Persia for 3 years.

Important Battles in Indian History : Maratha Empire

3rd Battle of Panipat1761Ahmad Shah Abdali(Durrani) and MarathasThis battle was fought between Durrani Empire of Afghanistan lead by Ahmad shah Abdali (Durrani) and Marathas lead by Sadashivrao Bhau. Ahmad Shah Abdali was supported by Rohilla Afghans and Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh. Ahmad Shah Abdali cut-off the food supply of the huge army of Marathas which is considered as the main reason of the great loss of Marathas. Maratha rule which was eminent throughout India at this time suffered a great blow. Abdali's army though victorious suffered huge losses sought peace and retreats North India after knowing Nanasaheb Peshwas with his fresh army was advancing to Panipat. Marathas recaptured Delhi just after 10 years of battle and re-instated Shah Alam to rule Delhi. Rohilla Afghans were defeated who assisted Abdali and were forced to pay heavy indemnity.
Maratha Mysore War (Battle of Badami and Battle of Gajendragad)1785-87Maratha and Mysore ruler Tipu SultanThese war is collectively the series of battles which run for two years between Maratha rulers and Tipu Sultan of Mysore. This war ended with a peace treaty after the battle of Gajendragad.
Battle of Badami1786Hari Pant (Maratha) and Mysore ruler Tipu SultanHari Pant, the Maratha ruler assisted by Nizam of Hyderabad captured the fort of Badami which was under rule of Mysore kingdom of Tipu Sultan.
Battle of Gajendragad1787Tukajirao Holkar (Maratha) and Tipu Sultan (Mysore)Earlier Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan captured the forts of Gajendragad, Gooty, Dattawad as Marathas were busy in war with british during Anglo Maratha War. After completion of Anglo Maratha war Tukajirao Holkar recaptured the lost territories by defeating Tipu Sultan. A peace treaty was made between Marathas and Mysore.
1st Anglo Maratha War1775-1782Maratha Empire and British East India CompanyThis includes a series of battles and skirmishes in which Maratha Empire defeated British Forces. Raghunathrao killed his own nephew Narayanrao and became Peshwa illegally. Nana Phadnavis and other Maratha rulers wanted to reinstate the son of assasinated Narayanrao as Peshwa. Raghunathrao made Treaty of Surat to get help from British. This war ended with Treaty of Salbai between Maratha and British.
2nd Anglo Maratha War1803-05British East India Company and Maratha EmpireThis includes a series of battles in which British East India company defeated Maratha rulers. Various battles in this series of war are Battle of Delhi 1803, Battle of Assaye 1803, Battle of Laswari 1803, Capture of Gwalighur 1803, Battle of Argaon 1803, Siege of Deeg Fort 1804, Siege of Delhi 1804,Battle of Farrukhabad 1804, Battle of Bharatpur 1805. Only in Battle of Bharatpur, Marathas were able to defeat and repulse the British Forces four times when they attempted to capture Bharatpur Fort.
Battle of Khadki (Kirkee)1817Lt. Col Burr (British) and Bapu Gokhale (Maratha)Battle of Khadki was a dicisive British victory and consolidated British East India company's position near the Pune, the stronghold of Maratha Empire.

Battles in Indian History fought by Europeans (British, French, Dutch) 

First Carnatic War (Battle of Madras, Battle of Cuddalor, Battle of Adyar)1746-48French East India Company, British East India Company, Nawab of CarnaticThe first Carnatic war is actually a set of battles and skirmishes that occurred between French, British and Nawab of Carnatic. This war is also seen as the course of action for gaining influence on the eastern coast of India by the European trading companies (French and British). General Dupleix of French East india Co. promised Nawab of the Carnatic, Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan to handover Fort St George after capturing it from British during battle of Madras. But later he refused, resulting that Nawab of Carnatic attacked French Forces. French successfully repulsed strong army of Nawab in Battle of Adyar.
Battle of Madras (Part of 1st Carnatic War)1746French and British FleetFrench fleet under the command of La Bourdonnais bombarded the British settlements of Madras. Madras was captured by French from British forces. Many British officers held captive. Later French gave back Madras to British after treaty of Aix La Chapellle.
2nd Carnatic War (Battle of Ambur, Battle of Arnee, Battle of Chingleput, Siege of Trichinopoly, Battle of Golden Rock1749-54British, French, Nawab of Hyderabad, Nawab of Carnatic, Nawab of BengalSecond Carnatic war is a series of battles and skirmishes between British East India Co., French East India Co, Nawabs of Hyderabad, Carnatic and Bengal for dominance on Coromandal (East coast of India). British East India Co. which was highly trained and efficient proved his supermacy and captured most of the strategic areas of Coromandal. French were restricted only to Pondicherry. Chanda Sahib of Carnatic, Muzaffar Jung, Nizam of Hyderbad were supported by French. Nasir Jung who was son and successor of Muzaffar Jung as Nizam of Hyderabad was supported by British.
Battle of Ambur (Part of 2nd Carnatic War)1749Chanda Sahib, Muzaffar Jung, French Vs Nawab of AmburNizam ul Mulk, the Nizam of Hyderabad declared his grandson Muzzafar Jung as the new Nizam. Nasir Jung who was son Nizam ul Mulk captured Hyderabad by coup. Nawab ofArcot Anwarrudin Md Khan supported Nasir Jung's claim. Due to this Chanda Sahib of Carnatic, Muzaffar Jung supported by French Forces attacked Nwab of Arcot. Nawab of Arcot was defeated and killed. Chanda Sahib was declared new Nawab of Carnatic.
Battle of Arnee (Part of 2nd Carnatic War)1751British with Maratha Allies Vs French and Nawab of ArcotA Treasure which was being transferred was guarded by French army supported by Chanda Sahib, Nawab of Arcot. This allied force was attacked near Arnee by British. The treasure was looted by British under command of Robert Clive.
Battle of Golden Rock (part of 2nd Carnatic War)1753British Vs French supported by Hyder AliFrench forces supported by Hyder Ali of Mysore attacked British settlements near Trichinopoly. British forces lead by Stringer Lawrence defeated this French attack.
3rd Carnatic War1756-63British Vs French East India CoThese are a set of battles and skirmishes between British and French Forces. Third Carnatic war crossed the boundary of south India and reached upto Bengal where British attacked and captured Chandannagar. Third Carnatic war ended with Battle of Wandiwash in which French forces were defeated decisevely and their last settlement of Pondicherry was occupied by British.
Battle of Plassey1757Nawab of Bengal & French allies Vs British East India Co.Siraj ud-Daulah, Nawab of Bengal fought this war due to increasing influence of British in Bengal. British forces although highly outnumbered, defeated the Nawab of Bengal and occupied Bengal. Mir Jafar who was the military general of Sirajuddaulah was bribed and lured by Robert Clive to make him new Nawab of Bengal. Jafar cheated with Sirajuddaullah and the battle ended just in 40 min. Mir Jafar was appointed as puppet Nawab of Bengal by British. Siraj escaped from battle field, but later captured by Jafar's son and was killed. After 2 years of the battle, Mir Jafar was dismissed and Mir Qasim was appointed new Nawab of Bengal. British forces hence become the supreme power in Bengal.
Battle of Wandiwash1760British East India Co Vs French East India Co.This was the last battle of Third Carnatic war in which British decisively defeated French and virtually ended their existence from Pondicherry. British Forces have by this time become very stronger after the revenues from Bengal, Hyderabad and other regions of South India. First the fort of Wandiwash was attacked by British by which the poorly equipped French forces fled to Pondicherry. Later the French forces surrendered from Pondicherry on 17 Jan 1961.
Battle of Buxar1764British East India Co Vs alliance of Nawab of Bengal, Awadh and MughalsThis was the final decisive victory of British which ensured complete authority of British Forces over North India. The combined forces of Mir Qasim, Nawab of Bengal; Shuja-ud-Daulah, Nawab of Awadh; Shah alam II, the Mughal king were defeated by Hector Munroe leading British Forces. Shah Alam was forced to sign the Treaty of Allahabad by which he had to cede the tax rights of most of the regions of north India.

Important Battles in Indian History : Mysore Kingdom

1st Anglo Mysore War1767Hyder Ali (Mysore) Vs British, MarathasThis war is a series of battles and skirmishes fought by Hyder Ali who was on a mission of aggresive expansionist policy. He fought several battles with British and Marathas with mixed results. The battles include Battle of Chengam, Battle of Tiruvannamalai, Siege of Ambur.
2nd Anglo Mysore War1780-84Hyder ali, Tipu Sultan (Mysore) Vs BritishThis war is a series of battles between Mysore kingdom ruled by Hyder ali supported by French allies against British East India company. Various battles in this series of war includes Battle of Pollilur, Battle of Porto Novo, Battle of Sholinghur, Siege of Tellicherry, Vellore, Cuddalore, Mangalore.
Battle of Pollilur1780Tipu Sultan Vs British East India Co.Tipu Sultan inflicted crushing defeat to British forces lead by Col. Baillie. This war is remembered for the iron made rockets used by Mysore whch were more advanced than the British rockets.
Battle of Porto Novo1781British Forces Vs Hyder aliBritish forces lead by Eyre Coote defeated Hyder Ali in this battle near Porto Novo, Cuddalore.
Battle of Sholinghur1781British Forces Vs Hyder AliBritish forces lead by Eyre Coote again defeated Hyder Ali and inflicted heavy losses to his army. Hyder Ali was forces to leave Carnatic.
3rd Anglo Mysore War1789-92Mysore kingdom Vs British East India Co.This war is a series of battles with mixed results fought between Tipu Sultan supported by French army against British East India company supported by Maratha and Hyderabad. The battles of this war include Battle of Nedumkotta, Battle of Calicut, Battle of Sittimungulum, Battle of Arakere, Capture of Hooly Honroe, Capture of Seringapatanam, Capture of Shimoga etc.
4th Anglo Mysore War1798-99British Forces Vs Tipu SultanThis war includes battle of Mallavelly, Battle of Seedaseer, Siege of Seringapatanam. This war was the final war between British and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan was killed in this war by British Forces lead by Earl of Mornington. Mysore kingdom was given back to Wodeyar dynasty under subsidary alliance.

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