Unsung heroine Rampyari

Amal Chatterjee
8 min readApr 6, 2020

Source : Google painting of Rampyari Gurjar who defeated Taimur the lame

Synopsis : The historians often overlook the great people who saved the mankind and heap praises on the butchers and marauders like Taimur, Genghis Khan and Alexander by calling them great. The paid court historians could not do otherwise but a time comes when this falsehood is exposed as I will do in this blog . It is about a great warrior woman who made it very difficult for Taimur to continue murder and pillage of innocent people of India and made him leave India in defeat and humiliation.

I do not know how many of you reading this blog have ever heard of a cruel marauder called Taimur the lame whom the British called Tamerlane but today I will tell you a story of Taimur’s adventure in India that he wanted to conquer and loot in 1398 so attacked Delhi to kill and laid to waste a rich city at that time.

Taimur’s armies were inclusively multi-ethnic and were feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe,[7] sizable parts of which his campaigns laid to waste.[18] Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population at the time. Taimur’s name is also spelled as Timur.

The scourge of Taimur the lame :

Source : Google photo of Taimur the lame who invaded India and left it reeling.

Taimur was known for his cruelty and mass slaughter of hapless people who had never meant him any harm because he like his predecessor Genghis Khan wanted to spread Islam through the most violent methods. He attacked India and caused mayhem in Delhi but had no idea what resistance he would encounter later and how he was forced to flee India after suffering defeat that no historian likes to mention even today.

I am always annoyed when the historians describe the butchers like Taimur, Genghis Khan and Alexander as great because there was nothing great about killing millions of poor defenseless people who had meant no harm to them and only wanted to be left alone. Taimur descended on India like a plague with his horde of blood thirsty army of looters who killed and raped to lay waste a part of India that suffered horrendously in his hands. It was a scourge the like of which was again repeated by the subsequent invaders like Khilzi , Ghori , the Lodis and Babur among many others. Babur was the great great grandson of Taimur who established the Mughal dynasty after defeating the Delhi Sultan Lodi in the battle of Panipat in 1526. His mother was a descendant of Genghis Khan so it was no surprise that Babur became what he became in keeping with the tradition of his forefathers.

The Hindu kings who ruled in India before the invaders came had no territorial ambitions like the Muslim invaders , defending their kingdom with valor and bravery but were eventually subdued by the invaders that ushered in the era of utter reign of terror and bloodshed in the history of India in which Taimur played an important role.

The battle of Delhi : 1398 AD

Taimur attacked Delhi in 1398 to loot , to massacre the innocent citizens and forcibly converted to Islam thousands of Hindus . The rape and slaughter of people was unprecedented but was later repeated by other invaders who followed Taimur’s example that caused deaths of a large population of India that was Hindu.

Source : Google painting of battle of Delhi in 1398

The battle took place on 17 December 1398. Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq and the army of Mallu Iqbal[59] had war elephants armored with chain mail and poison on their tusks.[7]:267 As his Tatar forces were afraid of the elephants, Taimur ordered his men to dig a trench in front of their positions. Taimur then loaded his camels with as much wood and hay as they could carry. When the war elephants charged, Taimur set the hay on fire and prodded the camels with iron sticks, causing them to charge at the elephants howling in pain.

Taimur had understood that elephants were easily panicked. Faced with the strange spectacle of camels flying straight at them with flames leaping from their backs, the elephants turned around and stampeded back toward their own lines. Taimur capitalized on the subsequent disruption in the forces of Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq, securing an easy victory. Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq fled with remnants of his forces. Delhi was sacked and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Taimur executed 100,000 captives.[22]

The capture of the Delhi Sultanate was one of Taimur’s greatest victories, as at that time, Delhi was one of the richest cities in the world. After Delhi fell to Taimur’s army, uprisings by its citizens against the Turkic-Mongols began to occur, causing a retaliatory bloody massacre within the city walls. After three days of citizens uprising within Delhi, it was said that the city reeked of the decomposing bodies of its citizens with their heads being erected like structures and the bodies left as food for the vultures by Taimur’s soldiers. Taimur’s invasion and destruction of Delhi continued the chaos that was still consuming India, and the city would not be able to recover from the great loss it suffered for almost a century. ( Wikipedia )

Source : Wikipedia of a painting of fleeing citizens of Delhi after sack by Timur Lang, in 1398 ( Lang means lame in Hindi )

I will now tell you the untold story of Taimur’s defeat and why he fled India after his initial success in Delhi and what eventually caused his death. This is the story of how the Hindus of various factions united against Taimur and made him leave India in humiliation and defeat that the paid historians still do not write about and still call him great.

This is the story of a brave woman fighter called Rampyari Gurjar whom the historians forgot to mention but who played a decisive role in the rout of Taimur’s army and the infliction of a mortal wound on Taimur that caused his death later.

Facing the danger of invasion by Taimur , all Hindu castes and communities of India had united to form a private army of over 120000 to face and eventually defeat these large forces of barbarian invaders.This was perhaps the first time in recorded history in which a all female regiment of 40,000 women was formed and commanded by Gurjari Rampyari Chauhan fought a war and had uniquely emerged victorious.

Source : Google photo of Rampyari Gurjar and her 40000 brave female warriors who fought Taimur and made him leave India with a wound on his chest.

The following video is worth watching in which a historian tells the untold story of Hindu fighters lead by Rampyari Gurjar with English subtitle that is easy to understand.

Source : U tube video

When Taimur marched toward Meerut after sacking Delhi with his huge army, he was not prepared to see the totally empty villages that the villagers had fled from and took shelter behind the 120000 strong guerilla army of the Hindus including the 40000 brave women warriors led by Rampyari Gurjar. The villagers took with them their animals and food so the army of Taimur could not find anything to loot .

Rampyari had trained herself in warfare since childhood and could use all kinds of weapons expertly so her contingent of well trained brave women took the offensive to the army of Taimur when they least expected and inflicted heavy losses using guerrilla warfare tactics. They destroyed or captured food depots and arms in the middle of the night and disappeared like morning mist into the countryside leaving behind the dead sentries and soldiers whom they killed at will.

The lack of food , sleep and the constant threat of guerillas who attacked when they least expected demoralized the soldiers. They were not used to hit and run type of guerrilla warfare during the night. The hungry and sleepless army of Taimur could not proceed any further and started a rout that took them out of India in shame and humiliation. The defending soldiers inflicted wounds on Taimur’s army that festered so many died of infections.

In the battle in Haridwar ,a Gurjar general Jograj Singh was known to have inflicted the severe losses in the Taimur army while a sharp shooter Harveer Singh Gulia shot an arrow to the chest and severely wounded Taimur that festered and eventually killed him later when the infection spread. Jograj Singh and Harveer Singh did not survive the battle themselves. Rampyari fought valiantly in the battle in Haridwar but the defenders lost over 35000 brave men and women to chase out Taimur. Such was the price they paid for freedom. It is not known what happened to Rampyari.

Now it is quite fashionable to eulogize the butchers like Taimur in his homeland of Uzbekistan where a big statue is erected by people in Samarkand who ignore that he killed 17 million people in other countries to spread Islam in the most violent way possible because to them he was a hero just like Genghis Khan , considered a hero in Mongolia today. I am sure the people of Samarkand are told a very different and glorious history of Taimur with no mention of why and how he died.

But the world forgot Rampyari Gurjar and her brave 40000 female warriors. She killed countless soldiers of Taimur and saved the lives of thousands who would have suffered but I wonder if there is a statue somewhere remembering her bravery.

The paid historians often ignore the real heroes of this world .

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