During the rains Suddasheo Rao, commonly called “Bhow,” (cousin of the Peishwa Ballajée Rao), Biswas Rao (son of the peishwa), and Shumshere Buhadoor, with an innumerable army of Mahrattas, advanced from the Dukhun to avenge the death of Duttoo; and these were joined on the march by Jungoo and Mulhar Rao Holkar. The combined force arrived at Delhi on the 19th of Zilhaije, of the year 1173 Hejiree, and encamped around the city, till the season should be favourable for active operations. On the 29th of Suffur, in the year 1174, Bhow deposed Mohee-oos-soonut (who on ascend­ing the throne had taken the title of Shah Jehân), and substituted in his stead Mirza Juwan Bukht, son of the prince Allee Gohur, by the title of “Naib,”* during his father’s absence in Bengal.

The fort of Koonjpoora on the Jumna, near Karnaul, was garrisoned by the royal troops, commanded by Sumud Khan, Moomee Khan, Kootub Shah and Nijabut Khan, the latter of whom was bribed by the Mahrattas to give it up. A force marched from Delhi to attack the fort, and the garrison, with three of the sirdars, sallied out to oppose them; but Nijabut pretending that the presence of one of the sirdars was necessary in the fort, remained behind. After a short action the Douranees were defeated, and retreated to the fort, but the traitor Nijabut shut the gates against them; when these gallant soldiers, determined to sell their lives dearly, and rushing on the Mahrattas, slew an immense number before they fell. The traitor Nijabut then gave up the fort; but instead of receiving a reward, the Mahrattas took all he pos­sessed, confined him, and ultimately put him to death.

On hearing that Koonjpoora had fallen into the hands of the Mahrattas, the rage of the Shah knew no bounds, and he issued orders for the immediate assembly of his army.

When the royal standard was unfurled, the army was found to exceed one hundred thousand fighting men, viz. the Shah’s Douranee horse, thirty thousand; Hafiz Rehmut’s horse and foot, thirty thousand; Nujeeb ood-dowla’s contingent, fifteen thousand; Shooja-ood-dowla’s, seven thousand; and Ahmed Khan’s, five thousand; besides others of less note. The whole force advanced to the banks of the Jumna, and by three bridges of boats crossed the river at Bâgput, of which, when the Mahrattas heard, they moved to Panniput, and encamped with the town in their rear. The royal army took up a position opposite to them, and skirmishes daily took place between the advanced posts.

Bhow entertained an opinion, that with his superior numbers he could cut off the supplies of the royal army, and therefore wished to postpone a general action, until the troops reduced by famine should afford him an opportunity of attacking them with the certainty of suc­cess. One of the Shah’s divisions was employed in con­voying the grain, to intercept which, Bhow detached four of his sirdars, with large bodies of horse; and these frequently met. The supplies for such an army were necessarily brought from a great distance, and a scarcity was soon felt. Bhow’s object, however, was not yet accomplished, and larger bodies were necessary to effect his purpose; he therefore caused a trench to be dug, and a breast-work to be formed in front of his camp, and there planted his artillery, in number seven hundred pieces, under the command of Ibrahim Khan, and defended by twelve thousand foot. This measure enabled Bhow, with the main body of the horse, to extend his predatory excursions to a greater distance; and Govind Rao was selected, with twenty-five thousand horse, to intercept the supplies of grain coming from Kutheir and the lower part of the Dooab. The suc­cess of this measure was so complete, that a seer of grain sold in the Shah’s camp for a rupee, and Govind Rao made a feint of invading Kutheir.

At this time Hâjee Attâee Khan, and Kurreem-dad Khan, with a reinforcement of six thousand men, arrived from Kandahar, and hearing of Govind’s success in intercepting the supplies, they offered to attack him, and set off without a halt. After a journey of forty koss, they swam the river Jumna, and reached Ghazee-ood-deen-nuggur at day-break; attacked and defeated Govind’s force, slew the leader, and carried his head in triumph to the Shah, whose camp they reached on the second day from their departure, after an extraordinary march of eighty koss,* having twice crossed a rapid river, and fought a great battle. From this time the supplies of grain came in as usual; and Jehân Khan, with six thou­sand horse, was deputed to retaliate on the Mahrattas, while another body of six thousand horse, under Shah Pusund Khan, was dispatched to lay waste the country to a distance of ten koss around their camp. Buhadoor Khan, with a third body of six thousand horse, was directed to parade around the Mahratta entrenchment, to prevent egress, and to cut off all stragglers. Jehân Khan was very successful in his attacks on the Mahratta convoys, and though some supplies occasionally reached their camp, yet their distress was very great, and num­bers of their men fell in defending the stores, besides those who died from famine and disease.

Enayit Khan, who on account of his youth had been left at Bareilly, could no longer be restrained from joining his father, and with an escort of two hundred men entered the royal camp; the Shah pleased with his military ardour, presented him with a khelat and a handsome sword. From him Hafiz received accounts of the death of his mother, and all the sirdars were sent by the Shah to condole with him on the occasion: but as this was not a time to indulge in useless regrets, he continued at the head of his troops, till the exertion, added to his poignant grief, brought on a severe illness, and he was under the necessity of committing the charge of his division to his cousin Doondee Khan, and his son Enayit Khan.

By the exertions of Buhadoor Khan, Shah Pusund Khan, and Jehân Khan, the Mahrattas were now reduced to the greatest straits; fire-wood or grass was not procurablé within a day’s march. One party had been sent out so far as Dholkote, and were returning to camp, when Jehân Khan (whose force had been increased to ten thousand men expressly for the purpose), attacked them, defeated the escort, seized all the camels and bullocks, killed five thousand of their men, and carried off their horses.

The Mahrattas were now under the necessity of risking a general action; and on the following morning, being the 6th of Jemad-ool-uwul, in the year 1174 of the Hejiree, Bhow marched out of the entrenchments with the whole of the horse and elephants, while the artillery and foot were commanded by Ibrahim Khan, who opened a destructive fire on the batteries com­manded by Doondee Khan: this was returned with some effect, and the sirdars only waited the nearer approach of the Mahrattas to rush on them sword in hand; but Ibrahim Khan having guns of a larger calibre than those of the Afghans, found it more to his advantage to keep up a distant cannonade, and the loss in the batteries was so great, that many of the men retreated to the division commanded by Ahmed Khan Bungish; when he advanced to the aid of the Afghans. Doondee Khan and Enayit Khan, however, did not wait the arrival of this rein­forcement, but gallantly sallied forth, and attacked Ibrahim Khan’s main body, when an immense number on both sides were slain; but the bravery of the Afghans was crowned with success, for they got possession of the artillery, and compelled the Mahrattas to retreat. At that moment Bhow (who had been anxiously looking on), advanced with eighty thousand horse; and the infantry thus supported, rallied and returned to the charge: the Afghans were now in their turn overpowered, and began to retire, while those experienced officers Doondee Khan, Sheikh Kubbeer, and Syyud Mâsoom, still kept up a galling fire on the enemy.

Ahmed Khan Bungish arrived at this critical moment, when the Afghans were again enabled to make a stand; but their loss was so great, and the numbers of the enemy so far superior, that they must have been defeated, had not the Shah (who stood on a height anxiously watching the movements of the army) sent six thousand horse under Attâee Khan and Kureemdad Khan to their aid. The charge made by this body was in the most gallant style, but the Shah had to lament the loss of Hajee Attâee Khan, one of his bravest officers. Shah Pusund Khan, with six thousand horse, was sent to the rear of the Mahrattas, with orders to attack their camp, and burn their bazars, and the best marksmen were selected to pick out the leaders of the Mahrattas, who were dis­tinguished by being mounted on elephants, viz. Bhow, Jungoo, Mulhar-rao, Ragoonath Rao, Shumshere Buha­door, &c., every one of whom except Mulhar Rao was shot: and the Mahrattas seeing their sirdars fall, gave way in every direction, while the Shah’s troops pursued their advantage, and the field was covered with slain. The whole of the cavalry was now sent in pursuit, and for three days they continued to follow the fugitives; the road to Delhi was strewed with dead bodies more than could be numbered, and twenty-five thousand were counted on the field of action. The plunder obtained in guns, elephants, horses, camels, bullocks, and jewels, was beyond calculation; indeed, this was the greatest battle ever fought in Hindoostan, nor is there any other instance on record in which such prodigious armies were brought into the field. The escape of Mulhar Rao was managed by Nujeeb-ood-dowla, in return for the services rendered to him at Delhi, when he was opposed by Imâd-ool-moolk.

After the victory all the sirdars waited on the Shah to offer their congratulations, and present their nuzzurs. To Enayit Khan and Doondee Khan, who had so distin­guished themselves in the action, the Shah paid marked attention, presenting khelats to each; the former was honoured with the titular command of seven thousand men, and permission to use the nôbut. To Shooja-ood-dowla, Nujeeb-ood-dowla, Ahmed Khan Bungish, and other sirdars khelats were also presented.

Among the prisoners were Ibraheem Khan and his son, who had been taken by Enayit Khan and Doondee Khan; and Hafiz wished to screen them from the ven­geance of the Shah; but he learned that Ibraheem was in the camp, and caused strict search to be made for him, when Hafiz was compelled to acknowledge that he had concealed him, in the hope that when the royal indignation had subsided he might venture to solicit his pardon. The Shah answered, that a wretch who had dared to unite himself with infidels for the destruction of the faithful, did not deserve to live, and that if in the present instance, from respect to Hafiz he should exercise clemency, this man would no doubt repeat his offence, and that probably at a time when the royal army was too distant to afford them relief. The Shah therefore gave orders that Ibraheem Khan should be put to death: the youth his son was released by Hafiz, and dismissed with a present.

In a few days the army proceeded to Delhi, and the Shah prepared for his return to Kandahar. On dis­missing the several sirdars, he told them that his sole object in entering Hindoostan had been to annihilate the power of the Mahrattas, and to establish the Mahomedan empire; that having now effected his purpose, unanimity alone could preserve their superiority; and foreseeing that Shooja-ood-dowla would excite strife among them, he should take him to Kandahar. Hafiz represented to the Shah the great intimacy which had subsisted between him and Sufdur Jung, and intreated that Shooja-ood-dowla might be permitted to return to his own dominions, to which the Shah gave a reluctant assent, warning Hafiz that Shooja-ood-dowla would not let the Afghans remain in peace.

Before his final departure, the Shah gave to Enayit Khan the district of Etawah, and to Doondee Khan the district of Shekhôabad, then in the possession of the Mahrattas; Hafiz Rehmut Khan was appointed the Shah’s vukeel mootluk (or special agent) at the court of Delhi, and Nujeeb-ood-dowla was nominated paymaster of the royal troops.