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Battle of Umberkhind

Published : 02 Feb 2020 05:19 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 07:24 PM

Battle of Umberkhind took place on 3 February 1661 in the mountain range of Sahyadri near the city of Pen, Maharashtra, India. The battle was fought between the Maratha under Chhatrapati Shivaji and General Kartalab Khan of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas decisively defeated the Mughal forces.   

This battle was a great example of guerrilla warfare. On the orders of Aurangzeb, Shahista Khan sent Kartalab Khan to attack Rajgad. Shivaji's men encountered them in the mid-way that is The Umberkhind. Chhatrapati Shivaji wanted Kartalab and the famous Rai Bagan (Royal Tigress), the wife of Deshmukh of Mahur Sarkar of Berar Subah Raje Udaram, to enter Umberkhind, so that they become easy prey to his guerilla technique. 

When the Mughals entered Umberkhind, a 15 miles passage, Shivaji's men started blowing horns. The whole Mughal army got stunned. Then Marathas attacked the Mughal army with arrows. Kartalab Khan, Rai Bagan with other Mughal soldiers tried to retaliate, but the forest was so dense and Maratha army was so quick that the Mughals could not even see the enemy. The situation was such that Mughal soldiers were getting killed without seeing where the enemy is and without knowing where to shoot. A large number of Mughal soldiers died this way. 

Rai Bagan then advised Kartalab Khan that he should surrender himself to Shivaji and ask for mercy. He said, "You have made a mistake by putting the whole army in the lions jaw. Shivaji is the lion. You should not have chosen this path to attack Shivaji. Now, to save these dying soldiers, you should surrender yourself to Shivaji. Unlike Mughals, Shivaji shows amnesty for those who surrender." 

Battle lasted for an hour or two. And then Kartalab Khan on advice of Rai Bagan, sent the soldiers with white flag for truce. They shouted “truce, truce!” and within a minute got encircled by Shivaji's men. Then on the condition of paying huge ransom and surrendering all the arms, Kartalab Khan was allowed to go back. Shivaji then stationed Netaji Palkar in Umberkhind to keep check on the Mughals, if they come back.    —History