Medieval History Of Gwalior
Magnificent History of Gwalior City and Gwalior Fort
It was in 1519 AD. when Ibrahim Lodi of the Lodi Dynasty won the control on the fort. After his death, Mughal emperor Babar manipulated the situation and took control of the fort. But with his son Humayun’s defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri, the fort came under the reign of the Suri dynasty.
Subsequent to the Sher Shah Suri’s death in 1540, his son Islam Shah shifted his capital from Delhi to Gwalior as it was considered safe from the frequent attacks from the west.
When Islam Shah died in 1553 AD, his incumbent Adil Shah Suri appointed the Hindu warrior Hemu also known as Hem Chandra Vikramaditya as the Prime Minister-cum-Chief of Army of his kingdom. Adil Shah himself moved to Chunar as it was considered still safer.
Hemu mounted several attacks from this fort to quell the rebellion in various parts of North India against the weak Adil Shah regime. The fort remained very active during 1553-56 as Hemu had fought and won 22 battles continuously, without losing any from this fort. After defeating Akbar’s forces at Agra and Delhi in 1556, Hemu established ‘Hindu Raj’ as a ‘Vikramaditya’ king, in North India and had his ‘Rajyabhishake’ or coronation at Purana Quila in Delhi as ‘Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya on 7th Oct. 1556. The capital was shifted from Gwalior to Delhi once again and was operational from Purana Quila.
Then Akbar captured the fort and made it a special prison for important prisoners. In this prison fort in the Mughal Dynasty period, there was a saga of several unfortunate royal prisoners who were put to death; notably among them were: Akbar confining his first cousin Kamran here and subsequently putting him to death; Aurangzeb imprisoning his brother Murad and later killing him; similarly, Aurangzeb had his brother Dara Shikoh’s sons, Suleman and Sepher Sheko, executed here.
Following the decline of Mughal Empire, the fort was usurped by Gohad dynasty by a Jat Rana (King)). Thereafter, the fort’s control underwent a series of changes. In 1736, Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana, the Jat king won over Malwa and the Gwalior fort by defeating the Marathas and held the fort from 1740 to 1756. In 1779, it was won by the Sinde who stationed a garrison here. But it was usurped by the East India Company. But in August 1780, the control went to Chhata Singh, the Rana of Gohud who defeated the Marathas. In 1784, Mahadji Shinde ( Commander of Maratha Empire) once again recovered the fort. There were frequent changes in the control of the fort between the Shindes and the British between 1808 and 1844. However, in January 1844, after the battle of Maharajpur, the fort finally came under the control of the Shindes, more as a protectorate of the British government.