(Last Updated on : 25/01/2012)
The Second Battle of Panipat occurred in November 5,1556. Emperor Akbar, who was crowned in the same year after his father's death defeated Muhammad Adil Shah Suri of Pashtun Suri dynasty and his Prime minister Hemu (Hemchandra). This defeat of Adil Shah and Hemu initiated Akbar's reign.
Humayun, the second Mughal emperor died suddenly on 24th January, 1556 as he slipped from the steps of his library. That time his son Akbar was only thirteen years old boy. Akbar was busy in a campaign in Punjab with the Chief Minister Bairam Khan at the time of his father's death. That time Mughal reign was confined to Kabul, Kandahar, and parts of Punjab and Delhi. Akbar was enthroned as the emperor on February 14, 1556 in a garden of Kalanaur in Punjab. Hemu or Hemchandra was the military chief of Afghan Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah. Adil Shah was the ruler of Chunar and was seeking the opportunity to expel the Mughals from India. They got the advantage of Humayun's death. Hemu occupied Agra and Delhi without much difficulty in October and became the ruler under the title 'Raja Vikramaditya'. It was a short-lived victory for Adil Shah and Hemu.
Bairam Khan, the Chief Minister and the guardian of Akbar proceeded towards Delhi with a large army. On November 5 both the armies met at Panipat. Hemu had a large army including fifteen hundred war elephants. He got the initial success but unfortunately a stray arrow struck his eye and he became unconscious. His troops thought that they have lost their leader and panic spread on them and they retreated. The Mughals won the battle. Shah Quli Khan captured the Hawai elephant of Hemu and presented it directly to Akbar. Hemu was brought in unconscious condition to Akbar and Bairam Khan. Akbar then severed the head of unconscious Hemu and got his cavalry sword.
Some historians claimed that Akbar did not kill Hemu by himself; he just touched his head with his sword and his followers killed Hemu. Hemu's cut off head was sent to Kabul to the ladies of Humayun's harem in order to celebrate the victory. Hemu's torso was sent to Delhi for a display on a gibbet. Iskandar Khan fromm Akbar's side chased Hemu's army and could capture about fifteen hundred elephants and a large portion of the army. Hemu's wife escaped from delhi with the treasure she could have with her. Pir Mohammad Khan chased her caravan with a troop but his effort did not get any success. The Second Battle of Panipat changed the course of Indian History as it initiated the reestablishment of Mughal Dynasty in India.