Kids’ Org.: Only Hindu warrior who could defeat the Mughal forces
Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya or Hemu (1501-1556) was an Indian Hindu Emperor during the 1500s. He had won 22 battles against Afghan rebels spanning entire North India, from Punjab to Bengal and Akbar’s forces in Agra division and Delhi. He was bestowed the title of Vikramaditya after acceding to the throne of Delhi .
Rise to Fame and Generalship
At a very young age Hemu started supplying food/cereals to ‘Sher Shah Suri’s’ army. Slowly he started other supplies like Saltpetre or Potassium Nitrate (Gunpowder) to Sher Shah’s army , who had defeated Babur’s son Humanyun in the year 1540 and had forced him to withdraw to Kabul. Sher Shah Suri was a progressive Afghan ruler and considered himself a native Indian. He is credited with several development projects, like constructing the present National Highway No. 1 in India, named after him as Sher Shah Suri Marg, which joined Peshawar with Calcutta in medieval period. He also considered Mughals as foreign invaders. Hemu also laid the foundation of brass canons casting and manufacturing industry in Rewari, which still remains an important Brass/Copper manufacturing centre even at present times.
This was one of the crucial periods in Indian history, when the Mughals and Afghans were desperately vying for power. The son of a food seller, and himself a vendor of saltpetre at Rewari, Hemu rose to become Chief of Army and Prime Minister under the command of Adil Shah Suri.
Hemu was born in the year 1501 . His father Rai Puran Das was engaged in Purohiti, the performing of Hindu religious ceremonies as a profession. Due to the Mughal rule in India, and persecution of Hindu religious ceremonies by Mughals, Purohiti could not earn much. Under these circumstances, Rai Puran Das decided to deal in salt and later food items in Qutabpur area of Rewari in Haryana. Hemu had his education there. Apart from learning Sanskrit and Hindi, he was educated in Persian, Arabic and Arithmetic too. During his childhood, he was fond of body-building, and Kushti (Wrestling) and while crushing salt in an Imam Dasta (an iron pot and hammer), he would monitor his muscle development . Hemu was brought up in religious and Sanskritik environment. His father, a devout Hindu was a member of Vallabh Sampradai of Vrindavan and visited various religious sites frequently as far as Sind in Pakistan at present.
He was the only Hindu warrior who could defeat the Mughal forces of Akbar/Humayun in Delhi and Agra and acceded to the throne of Delhi in the medieval period. He had his Rajyabhishake or coronation on October 7th 1556, at Purana Quila in Delhi and was bestowed with the honour of Samrat . He re-established the ‘Hindu Kingdom’ and ‘Vikramaditya Dynasty’ in North India after centuries of foreign rule with all authority and command . Hemu struck coins, bearing his title.
Sudhir Bhargava ( To be concluded )