Battle of Delhi (1737)

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First Battle of Delhi
Part of Mughal-Maratha Wars
Date 28 March 1737
Location Delhi
Result Decisive Maratha Victory
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svgMaratha Empire Mughal Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svgBaji Rao I Mir Hasan Khan Koka[1]
Qamaruddin Khan
Amir Khan Bahadur
Muin ul-Mulk (Mir Mannu)
70,000 2.5M

The First Battle of Delhi or The Raid of Delhi took place on 28 March 1737 between Maratha Empire and the Mughals.[2]


By 1735, the Marathas had gained control over entire Gujrat and Malwa. But some towns and areas under the influence of local mughal officers and zamindars refused to acknowledge Maratha control. The Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah was also dillydallying over passing an official order chartering chauth and sardeshmukhi rights to the Marathas. The Marathas decided to assert themselves.[3]

Bajirao I personally marched towards Delhi with a small Maratha army against mughals in Dec 1737. He divided the army into two. One contingent was led by Peshwa Bajirao and the other by Pilaji Jadhav and Malharrao Holkar. The contingent of Holkar was however anhilated by a much bigger army led by Sadat Khan, the Nawab of Oudh and mughal governor of Agra . Malharrao Holkar himself managed to escape and reach the other group led by Bajirao. [1] The contingent of Bajirrao, in a swift movement, completely bypassed the encamped mughal army and reached the outskirts of Delhi (28 March 1737) but the mughal was so strong from maratha's

What followed thereafter was the direct attack on Mughal army by Marathas. The Mughal emperor himself hid in the safe confines of Red Fort, while Peshwa and his men gain control of the countryside. Nawab Has 1 Million strong mughal army led by Mir Hassan And were decisively defeated by Marathas.[1]


The Mughal's were devastated by the fierce attack and ask all regional rulers to help against the army of Marathas. Nizam of Hyderabad and Nawab of Bhopal left Hyderabad to protect mughal empire from the invasion of Marathas but was defeated decisively in the Battle of Bhopal.[3][2] The Marathas extracted large tributaries from Mughal's and signed a treaty which ceded Malwa to the Marathas.[2]

This Maratha plunder of Delhi weakened the Mughal Empire, which got further weakened after successive invasions of Nadir Shah (1739) and Ahmad Shah Abdali (1750s). While Marathas got support from local Hindus who welcomed them partly due to religious freedom and taxation. The continuous attacks led to an end of Mughal Empire by year 1757 Marathas became the rulers of Delhi.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813
  2. ^ a b c An Advanced History of Modern India
  3. ^ a b History Modern India
  4. ^ Robinson, Howard; James Thomson Shotwell (1922). "Mogul Empire and the Marathas". The Development of the British Empire. Houghton Mifflin. p. 106-132.