Half Shaka of Jaisalmer (1550): Victory of Bhati Rajputs over Afghans of Amir Ali

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The kingdom of Jaisalmer was once the adobe of the mighty Bhati Rajputs. The Bhati the protectors of the Desert kingdom referred to themselves as the descendant of Lord Shri Krishna.

Most of us have heard about the Jauhar and Shaaka’s of kingdoms like Mewar, Rathambore, Gagraun, etc which to this day are remembered for their heroism and courage. 

Jaisalmer State
Half Shaka of Jaisalmer
Bhait Rajput
Jaisalmer State

Similarly, the kingdom of Jaisalmer also witnessed Two and a half Shakas in their history. The first two Shakas of Jaisalmer in which the Rajput women committed Jauhar and Rajput men offered a final battle to the invading army.

But the third Shaka was somewhat different from the first two and also from the rest of the Shaka which were committed elsewhere in Rajputana.

The Third or the half Shaka of Jaisalmer took place in the year 1550 during the reign of Rawal Lunakaran Singh Bhati not to be confused with Rao Lunkaran of Bikaner.

This half Shaka of Jaisalmer resulted in the victory of Bhati Rajput which slayed the invading Afghan hordes of Amir Ali. After the battle the Afghan chief i.e. Amir Ali who backstabbed the Rajputs was captured, met his fate, and was blown up by the Rajputs from a cannonball.

Let’s find in detail what happened in the half Shaka of Jaisalmer.

The Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer  

As mentioned above the Bahti Rajputs called themselves the descendants of Shri Krishna i.e. Chandravanshi. Initially, this race made there region of Hanumangarh (the region between Delhi and Multan) their first capital.

Their famous king known as Raja Bhupat Bhati constructed the marvelous Bhatner which faced the Turko Mongol army of Timur in 1399 and was praised for its strong fortification by the Timurid king.

Jaisalmer Fort
Half Shaka of Jaisalmer
Bhati Rajputs
Jaisalmer Fort

Another Bhati king, Mangal Rao, shifted the capital of Bhaits from Hanumangarh to Tanot. Several kings ruled their kingdoms from the reign of Raja Bhupat to Raja Jaisal Bhati whose reign witnessed the first Jauhar of Jaisalmer.

Our story will start from the tenure of Raja Lunakaran who ruled from 1528-1550.

Raja Lunakaran Bhati

The tenure of Raja Lunakaran witnesses several ups and downs. He established a couple of matrimonial alliances with the fellow Rajput kingdom, especially with that of Marwar and Bikaner.

His daughter who is known as the famous Roothi Rani in the history of Rajputs was married to the charismatic king of Jodhpur i.e. Rao Maldeo Rathore.

Another eminent event that took place during Lunakaran’s reign was the fall and the rise of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. After facing defeat from Sher Shah the Afghan warlord Humayun again marched in the Indian Subcontinent and re-established his kingdom.

But the most famous incident that took place during his time was the treacherous assault of the Afghan chief which resulted in the famous half-Shaka of Jaisalmer.

Half Shaka of Jaisalmer

Amir Ali the Afghan chief who hailed from the region of Kandahar was exiled from his ancestral homeland. After wandering for some time he reached the kingdom of Bhatis.

The Rajputs who are hailed not only for their courage and spirit of warfare but also for their chivalry and benevolent attitude granted the Afghans to settle at Kishanghat.

However, Amir Ali just like other invaders who used deception, and treachery to win battles planned secretly to launch an assault on Jaisalmer.

He disguised his soldiers in female attire and hid them in the palanquins. Amir Ali asked the Jaisalmer king that the former queen and other ladies wanted to meet the Rajput Queen and other women of the royal house.

Lunkaran granted the permission to Afghan ladies unaware of the fact that those were not Afghan women but soldiers of Amir Ali.

As soon as invaders entered the fort they unleashed terror and the situation inside the fort for the Raja and other Rajputs became bleak.

Raja Lunkaran hurried assembled his troops and tried to salvage whatever he could.

They prepared to protect the honor of the Rajput women and readied themselves for the last stand. A tremendous battle ensued in which both sides suffered heavy losses.

The men committed themselves to fight till last and in that process they lost their Raja who did everything to save the kingdom from the tyrant and deceitful Afghan. The prince and son of Raja Lunkaran arrived with reinforcements and the course of the battle was shifted to the side of the Bahatis.

The Rajputs emerged victorious and slayed the Afghans of Amir Ali. The death of their beloved king and treachery of Amir Ali infuriated the Bhati Rajputs and they did what the latter deserved.

After capturing Amir Ali the Rajputs put him inside a sack and blew him into pieces from the cannon.

This was the story of the Half Shaka of Jaisalmer. While many of us have heard about the Shaka’s of Chittor and Ranthambore the tale of the Half Shaka of Jaisalmer and the forgotten victory of the Bhati Rajput’s should not be left unheard.    

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