Siege of Sambal, Summer 1526

The siege of Sambal (or Sambhal) in the summer of 1526 took place during the disturbed period that followed Babur's victory at Panipat, and involved some of his nobles attempting to help one potentially hostile Afghan defeat another one.

The second of these nobles, Malik Biban Jilwani, first enters Babur's memoirs in 1525 as a support of Alam Khan's attempt to overthrow Ibrahim Lodi. After this effort ended in disaster at Delhi Biban was one of the first men to desert Alam Khan. Early in 1525, as Babur's army approached Delhi from the north, Biban sent a series of dutiful messages to him, and finally joined Babur's army on 25 February 1526. His change of allegiance was very short lived. On 1 April Babur sent part of his army across the Jumna River into the Doab, where they defeated part of Ibrahim's army on 2 April. Biban crossed the river with this force, but once he was across the Jumna deserted with his entourage.

In the aftermath of Babur's victory at Panipat most of the fortified places in the Sultanate of Delhi held out against him. Sambal, held by Qasim Sambali, was one of these places. Babur's solution to this problem was to award these unconquered places to his key supporters, leaving them to actually conquer them. His son Humayun was given Sambal.

While this was being arranged Biban arrived outside Sambal, found it weakly defended and decided to lay siege to it himself. Qasim Sambali responded by sending a series of messages to Babur asking for help. Humayun sent a force under the command of Hindu Beg to deal with Biban.

When Hindu Beg reached the Ganges he sent a small force of 100-150 men ahead to Sambal, under the command of Malik Qasim. When this force reached Sambal Biban came out of his camp and prepared for battle. Malik Qasim managed to get between him and the city walls, and then attacked Biban's men, who broke and fled.

This victory still left Hindu Beg outside the walls and Qasim Sambali inside. He proved to be unwilling to surrender the place, and eventually Hindu Beg had to resort to trickery, getting his men into the place while Qasim was at a meeting with him. Qasim was sent to Babur's court, while Hindu Beg took possession of the town for Humayun.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 May 2010), Siege of Sambal, Summer 1526 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_sambal.html

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