Battle of Lahore, early January 1524

The battle of Lahore (early January 1524) was the first military success during Babur's fourth expedition into India, but the necessity to fight at all at Lahore meant that Babur's plan of campaign was already in trouble.

Ibrahim Lodi had inherited the throne of Delhi in 1517 from his father Sikander Lodi, and spent the next few years alienating the Afghan nobles whose support was holding the sultanate of Delhi together and putting down a series of rebellions. In 1523 his suspicions fell on Daulat Khan, governor of Lahore, who he summoned to Delhi. Fearing for his life Daulat sent his son Dilawar in his place. This angered Ibrahim, who took Dilawar into a dungeon to show him a number of former nobles who were now suspended from the walls. Fearing that he was about to suffer the same fate Dilawar fled back to Lahore. His father decided that his only chance of survival was to ask for help from Babur, and so Dilawar was dispatched to Kabul, where he was able to win Babur's support.

Babur's fourth expedition into India began late in 1523. His plan was apparently to place Alam Khan, Ibrahim's uncle, on the throne of Delhi. In return Alam Khan would recognise Babur as the ruler of the Punjab. The expedition was to begin with the handover of Lahore to Babur by Daulat Khan.

As Babur approached Lahore it became clear that Daulat Khan was no longer in command in the city. Ibrahim Lodi had discovered Daulat's treachery and dispatched an army under the command of Behar Khan Lodi to Lahore. Daulat fled from the city, and didn't join with Babur until later in January.

Babur advanced south towards Lahore, getting quite close to the city before realising he faced a hostile army. The resulting battle ended in a crushing victory for Babur's men, who chased the defeated forces from Delhi through the city. Babur then entered the city in triumph, burning some of the bazaars during a four day long stay, the heading south to besiege Dibalpur.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (14 May 2010), Battle of Lahore, early January 1524 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_lahore_1524.html

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