Battle of Chamkaur

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The Battle of Chamkaur, also known as Battle of Chamkaur Sahib, was a battle fought between the Khalsa, led by Guru Gobind Singh, and the coalition forces of the Mughals led by Wazir Khan and of Hindu hill chief. Guru Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in his letter Zafarnama.

Battle of Chamkaur
Part of Mughal-Sikh Wars
Date6 December 1705[1] or 1704[2]
Result Mughal victory[3][4]
Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Mughal Empire Nishan Sahib.svg Khalsa
Commanders and leaders

Alam of the Mughal Empire.svg Aurangzeb

  • Khwaja Muhammad (WIA)
  • Nahar Khan 
  • Mu'nim Khan.[5]
  • Ghairat Khan 

Nishan Sahib.svg Guru Gobind Singh

Unknown, but much larger[8] (Gobind Singh's Zafarnama metaphorically states that the Mughal soldiers numbered 1 million)[9][10][11][12][13] 40[10][9]
Casualties and losses
  • Khwaja Muhammad injured
  • Nahar Khan killed
  • Ghairat Khan killed
  • Innumerable Mughal soldiers Killed.
  • Ajit Singh killed
  • Jujhar Singh killed
  • Mohkam Singh killed
  • Bhai Himmat Singh killed
  • Sahib Singh killed
  • 31 other Sikh soldiers killed[14]
  • The Zafarnama of Guru Gobind Singh

    Preamble to the battle

    After Guru Gobind Singh left Anandpur Sahib on the night of 5 and 6 December 1704,[15] or 1705[16] he crossed the Sarsa river with his disciples. While they were crossing, the mughals and hill chiefs attacked. Guru Gobind Singh and his followers asked permission of the city chief for shelter to rest for the night in their garhi or haveli. He refused, but his younger brother allowed the Sikhs to stay in the haveli.[4]

    The battle

    Despite giving assurance of safe conduct, the Mughal soldiers were looking for Guru Gobind Singh, to take his head as a trophy. After learning that the party of Sikhs had taken shelter in the haveli, they laid siege upon it. The actual battle is said to have taken place outside the haveli where Guru Gobind Singh was resting.[4] Negotiations broke down and the Sikh soldiers chose to engage the overwhelming Mughal forces, thus allowing their Guru to escape. Another Sikh who resembled the Guru, Sangat Singh, donned the Guru's clothes and remained with the soldiers. The next morning the remaining Sikhs were killed by Mughal forces.[17]


    The Guru emphasised how he was proud that his sons had died fighting in battle, and that he had 'thousands of sons – the Singhs'. He also said that he would never trust Aurangzeb again due to the broken vow he took on the Quran.[18]


    Zafarnama or "Epistle of Victory" is a letter that was written by Guru Gobind Singh to the then Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Zafarnama vividly describes what happened at Chamkaur, and also holds Aurangzeb responsible for what occurred and promises he broke.

    After his escape from Chamkaur, the exhausted Guru is said to have been carried by two Pathans (Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan) to Jatpur where he was received by the local Muslim chieftain. He later went to Dina, and stayed at mayi Desan ji house, where he wrote "Zafarnama" in Persian, in 111 verses.[18]


    1. ^ "Gobind Singh ,Guru". 19 December 2000. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
    2. ^ Singha (2000, p. 43)
    3. ^ Louis E. Fenech, The Sikh Zafar-namah of Guru Gobind Singh, (Oxford University Press, 2013), 66; "The Ẓafar-nāmah in this light assumes the form of an intriguing tautology: certainly the Guru was routed by Mughal forces at both Anandpur and Chamkaur; put bluntly, he and his Sikh were militarily defeated and left scattered."
    4. ^ a b c "Chamkaur Sahib". Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Punjabi University Patiala. 19 December 2000. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
    5. ^ Louis E. Fenech (2013). The Sikh Zafar-namah of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-19-993145-3.
    6. ^ "Panj Pyare the Five Beloved of Sikh History – Guru Gobind Singh Creates the Original Panj Pyare of 1699". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
    7. ^ Raj Pal Singh (2004). The Sikhs : Their Journey Of Five Hundred Years. Pentagon Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-8186505465.
    8. ^ Singha, H. S (2000). The encyclopedia of Sikhism. Hemkunt Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-81-7010-301-1. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
    9. ^ a b English Translation Zafarnamah stanza 19 " And, what could my forty men do (at Chamkaur), when a hundred thousand men, unawares, pounced upon them? (19)"
    10. ^ a b "Zafarnamah Hindi". "गुरसनह चि कारे कुनद चिहल नर gursaneh ch kaare kunadh chihal nar कि दह लख बरआयद बरो बेख़बर stanza १९ k dheh lakh baraayadh baro bekhhabar stanza 19"
    11. ^ Jagtar Singh, Sokhi (2016–2017). Zafarnamah (Patshahi Dasveen). Jagtar Singh Sokhi, Sokhi House ,ward no. 4 Mudki Distt Ferozepur. p. 21. Retrieved 7 February 2022. gursaneh ch kaare kunadh chihal nar k dheh lakh baraayadh baro bekhhabar what can forty hungry men do when ten lac strong army pounces upon them ?
    12. ^ Singh, Prof. Surinderjit. guru Gobind singh'sZAFARNAMAH. p. 44. Retrieved 7 February 2022. Gursanah chi kare kunad chihal nar. Ki dab lak bar dyad baro bekhabar.19.What can at all do, the forty famished men, When attacked suddenly by a million foemen.19
    13. ^ Dasam Granth Manuscript. Panjab Digital Library of custodian Dera Gurusar Khudda Hoshiarpur. Translation written on the ANGS of Sree Dasam Granth – By Mashaqat Singh
    14. ^ Dhillon, Dr Dalbir Singh (1988). Sikhism – Origin and Development. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. p. 151. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016.
    15. ^ Singha (2000, p. 43)
    16. ^ "Gobind Singh ,Guru". 19 December 2000. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
    17. ^ Dogra, R. C.; Mansukhani, G. S. (1995). Encyclopaedia of Sikh Religion and Culture. Vikas Publishing House. p. 100. ISBN 0706983688.
    18. ^ a b Singh, Guru Gobind. "Zafarnama stanza 45" (PDF). Retrieved 24 September 2013.

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