Hemchandra Vikramaditya, Great Warrior of Second Battle of Panipat

Hemu, a native of Rewari, belonged to the Dhusar caste, a sub-class of the Banyas, which refers to shopkeepers or traders. Abul Fazl described the Dhusar caste as the lowest class of hucksters in India, while Badauni referred to Hemu as a greengrocer.

Hemu faced numerous hardships and difficulties in his early life. When he was in his teens, his father left home for Mathura, leaving Hemu to support his family. Hemu had to abandon his studies and began working as a huckster. He spent some time selling saltpeter, a key component of gunpowder, in the streets of Rewari. Hemu eventually became a weighman in the bustling bazaars of Delhi, where he supplied cereals and saltpeter to Sher Shah Suri's army.

Hemu's ambition, intelligence, and dedication did not go unnoticed. He secured a government job as a huckster and quickly rose through the ranks. Hemu caught the attention of Salim Shah Suri, Sher Shah's son and successor, who appointed him as the Superintendent of the Markets (Shahana-i-Bazar). Subsequently Hemu was promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Intelligence and Posts (Daroga-i-Dak-Chauki).

Hemu in the Service of Adali:

Salim Shah's successor Muhammad Shah Adil, popularly known as Adali, recognized Hemu's exceptional abilities, elevating him to a position of high honor.

Shortly after Adali ascended to the throne, rebellions broke out in various regions. The Karranians were the first to revolt, with Taj Khan Karrani fleeing from the council. Adali dispatched an army led by Hemu to pursue him. Hemu achieved a decisive victory over Taj Khan at Chhibramau, forcing him to flee to Chunar where he united with his brothers to incite further rebellion. Hemu successfully defeated the Karranians, leading to the recapture of Chunar.

Following this significant victory, Hemu returned to Adali in triumph, and was bestowed with the title of Raja Bikramajit, along with the viziership of the kingdom. "From that period, the whole management of the State devolved upon him, and so entirely did he assume the mastery, that no public order emanated from Adali, who, however, remained free to regulate his own bread and water, and retained still the treasury and elephants in his own charge," says Abdullah.

Rebellions of Ibrahim Sur, Sikandar Sur and Muhammad Sur:

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Khan Sur, the governor of Agra, rebelled against Adali, seizing control of Agra and Delhi. Adali was forced to retreat to Chunar. However, Ibrahim Khan Sur's triumph was short-lived as he was soon defeated by Sikandar Suri, the governor of Punjab. Sikandar Suri then took over Agra and Delhi, while Ibrahim fled to Kalpi.

Upon learning of Ibrahim's whereabouts in Kalpi, Adali dispatched Hemu to confront him. Hemu engaged Ibrahim in battle at Kalpi and emerged victorious. Ibrahim sought refuge with his father in Bayana. However, Hemu pursued him and laid siege to the fort of Bayana for three months.


Delving into a brief history of Delhi, the city was initially under the possession of Prithviraj Chauhan (r: 1179-1192) before the Muslim invasion. Prithviraj was defeated by Muhammad Ghori in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192, leading to the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate (1192-1526). Subsequently, Zahir ud-din Muhammad Babur, a descendant of Timur, defeated the last Delhi Sultan Ibrahim Lodi in the 1st Battle of Panipat in 1526, marking the beginning of the Mughal empire.

The Mughal Rule was briefly interrupted when Sher Shah Suri, an Afghan, defeated Babur's son Humayun and established the Second Afghan empire in India, known as the Sur Dynasty (1540-1555). Humayun, who was compelled to leave Hindustan, sought refuge in Persia (Iran) with Shah Tahmasp during this period.

Taking advantage of the civil war among the Suris, Humayun marched towards India to regain his throne. After defeating Sikandar Suri, he became the king of India the second time in July 1555, after a 15-year gap.


In the meantime, Muhammad Shah, the governor of Bengal, raised the standard of rebellion and marched to conquer Jaunpur, Kalpi and Agra. Hemu was ordered to raise the siege of Bayana and return to Adali. On the way, Hemu clashed with Muhammad Shah Suri at Chhapparghatta in December 1555, resulting in Muhammad's death.


Humayun's reign, unfortunately, came to an abrupt end when he tragically passed away on January 24, 1556, after falling down the stairs of his library at Purana Qila in Delhi.

At the time of Humayun's death, his son Akbar was in Punjab with his guardian Bairam Khan, where he was engaged in operations against Sikandar Suri. Akbar (r: 1556-1605) was crowned in Kalanur, Punjab, on February 14, 1556, at the young age of thirteen. Bairam Khan became his regent.


Upon learning of Humayun's death, Adali sent Hemu with a large force to capture Delhi and Agra. When Hemu arrived Agra, the Mughal general Sikandar Khan Uzbek, abandoned the city and fled to Delhi. Hemu then advanced towards Delhi, where he defeated Tardi Beg Khan, the governor, after a fierce battle, and took control of the city.

With Agra and Delhi under his control, Hemu became the defacto ruler of the Sur empire. According to Ahmad Yadgar, on October 7, 1556, Hemu ascended the throne of Delhi, adopting the title of Raja Vikramaditya.

Hemu then sent a letter to Adali, "Your slave, by the royal fortune, has routed the Mughal army, which was firm as an iron wall; but I hear that Humayun's son commands a numerous force, and is advancing against Delhi. For this reason I have kept the horses and elephants of the Mughals, in order that I may be able to face the valiant enemy, and not allow them to reach Delhi."

After a brief stay in Delhi, Hemu set out to confront Akbar, who was on his way to Delhi accompanied by Bairam Khan.

Hemu had engaged in twenty-two battles against Adil Shah's opponents and emerged victorious in all of them. He had a large army with 1,500 war elephants, a military force that no other Indian ruler possessed at that time.

After hearing the triumphant tales of Hemu and the strength of his troops, Bairam Khan's counselors advised him to retreat to Kabul. However, the Khan was determined to face Hemu in battle. Providing the soldiers with inspiring advice and promises of future rewards, Bairam Khan sent them towards Delhi, while he himself followed with Akbar.

The Second Battle of Panipat (5th November 1556):

The Second Battle of Panipat took place on 5 November 1556, between the Afghans [Adali] and Mughals [Akbar].

Hemu, seated in the howda atop his elephant Hawai, initially seemed to be winning the battle. However, fate took a cruel turn when an arrow struck Hemu in the eye, piercing through the back of his head. Witnessing their leader in distress, his men ceased fighting and scattered.

According to Ferishta, "Raising himself again, Hemu drew the arrow and with it the eye out of the socket, which he wrapped in his handkerchief, and in spite of his painful situation, he continued to fight with unabated courage, endeavouring, with the few men who remained about his person, to force his retreat through the enemy's line." Eventually, Hemu collapsed in the howda.

Shah Quli Khan Mahrum, unaware of Hemu's presence on the elephant, attacked the driver. The driver, fearing for his life, pointed towards Hemu.

Subsequently, Hemu was captured and presented before Akbar, where he was beheaded. But who killed him? It is a controversial matter.

Hemu's head was sent to Kabul and displayed on the iron gate, while his body was hung on the Delhi gate. After His followers were pursued and executed. Hemu's father met a cruel fate for refusing to convert to Islam.

"It reflects great credit upon Hemu that the Afghan ruler Adil Shah relied upon a Hindu officer in preference to the great chiefs of his own tribe, and that Hemu proved equal to the task imposed upon him," quotes R. C. Majumdar. "Hemu's defeat in the second battle of Panipat was a mere accident of war. No Hindu had ever been covered with so many glorious wounds on the field of battle except Maharana Sanga; no Rajput wielded the sword so bravely against foreign invaders as this humble Hindu of Rewari did on the field of Panipat," says K.R. Qanungo.

The outcome of the second battle of Panipat resulted in the re-establishment of Mughal rule under Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar.

What if Hemu had emerged victorious in the Battle of Panipat? Would he have declared independence or placed his master, Adil Shah, on the throne in Delhi?


In his war against Humayun and Adil Shah's opponents, Hemu contracted large loans from the Nalapuria banking firm of Rewari.


Maharaja Hem Chandra : A Profile By Kripal Chandra Yadav

Sher Shah and His times By K. R. Qanungo


  1. Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya is indeed a forgotten Hindu emperor in present times. One rarely comes to know or read about him in media or Govt. publications. History of India needs to be written afresh as it was written by invaders who were partial. A nationalist warrior who won 22 battles spanning entire north India remains ignored in history. History needs to be corrected.

  2. Anonymous24 May, 2015

    Humayun tomb was not built by his begum or his political successor or anyone for that matter in the time of Mughal reign. It was a Rajputi Palace that Humayun's forefathers attacked and blatantly occupied and lived and died in it. The color of the so called tomb is "Geruya" or Red. If you've known enough distorted medieval history of this country... You'd know rajputs are known for having red forts and palaces. And many more claims yo prove that it is not a Mughal creation at all.

  3. Anonymous24 May, 2015

    Humayun tomb was not built by his begum or his political successor or anyone for that matter in the time of Mughal reign. It was a Rajputi Palace that Humayun's forefathers attacked and blatantly occupied and lived and died in it. The color of the so called tomb is "Geruya" or Red. If you've known enough distorted medieval history of this country... You'd know rajputs are known for having red forts and palaces. And many more claims yo prove that it is not a Mughal creation at all.

    1. Actualy Rajputs are living in sudo proud and trying to distorting the history by claiming ridiculously on construction of muslim kings. Rajput have maintain their small Jagirs by offering their daughter and sisters to Muslims

    2. Colour of maximum construction of mughals in Delhi is red. See Red fort Lal Masjid in Purana kila built by shershah. Colour is red not saffron and any construction having red or saffron colour is build by Hindu king is rediculous After all Rajputs are like shekhi khor lomdi

  4. Thank you Anjana, for update the same. But you updated some wrong information about the caste of Shri Hemchander ji. We have all original records. He was not from Poor Family. He was "Dass" called cast "Sadhu/Baragi" his uncle was Shri Mohan Dass, his temple is in Bhadawas, Near Rewari. And his family was living in some villages Haryana only. I am also from Shri Hemu's family and living in Village Turkapur, Near Pataudi, Haryana. His father's name was Shri Puran Dass and he was businessman in Rewari. If any one need any clarification, he/she can call me 09873416622. Thx again Anjana.

  5. आज सम्राट हेमचंद्र विक्रमादित्य का बलिदान दिवस है जो आम आदमी से सम्राट बना,पृथ्वीराज चौहान के ३५० साल बाद दिल्ली की गद्दी पर बैठा ये महान योद्धा अन्तिम हिन्दू सम्राट था व प्रथम स्वतंत्रता सेनानी आम आदमी था इसलिए हम सब भूल गये
    Desh ke liye pran samrpit karane vale baladaniyo ko sat sat naman, ore Bhagawan in ki atma ko shanti pradan kare , evam inke pariwar ko dukha sahane sakati de v apani kripa deve ye hi prathana , Salute to Indian Armed forces
    जय हिन्द, जय हिन्द की सेना

  6. Salute to u sir,
    I am also of ur caste 'doshar vaishya'
    And i am proud of it.

  7. hold on to your seats. I am about to reveal a bitter truth. My ancestors were among the ones who were ordered by bairam khan to be killed. so much so, after 4 generations, I have lost track of whereabouts of my Kul Devi (Family Godess) whom my ancestors worshipped and it is these Mughals because of whom I and my Ancestors were uprooted from our Culture!!!