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The Battle Of Chamkaur or also known as Battle Of Chamkaur Sahib was a battle fought between Khalsa led by Guru Gobind Singh against the Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan and other Mughal Generals. Guru Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in Zafarnamah. He tells how an estimated more than a million Mughal troops attacked his Sikhs who were only forty in number and without food.In spite of their numerical strength, the Mughal soldiers were unable to kill or capture the Guru. The Guru also talks of cowardice of one of the Mughal generals and how he hid himself behind a wall, not having the courage to face the Guru.

The Battle

After the Guru left Anandpur on the night of December 5, 1704, they had crossed the Sarsa river and stopped in Chamkaur. They asked, permission of the city chief for shelter to rest for the night in their garhi or haveli. The older brother thought giving him shelter would be dangerous so he refused. But the younger brother gave permission to let them stay there for the night.

Despite giving assurance of safe conduct, the Mughals soldiers were looking for Guru Gobind Singh, to take his head as a trophy. After learning that the party of Sikhs had taken shelter in the haveli, they laid siege upon it.

After the attack on the haveli the next morning, Singh archers and the two sahibzadas took up their positions. The Guru's numbers of his Sikh supporters were 40 Sikhs. Though many of the Guru's Sikhs were greatly experienced in war before conversion they still had no much for the Mughal soldiers of 1,000,000. However The Sikhs kept repeatedly going out into the battlefield in teams of five to attack the Mughal soldiers but were martyred after inflicting heavy casualties on the Mogul forces.

As night approached, the battle was heavily underway. After seeing such losses of men, the two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh went into the battle themselves and attacked the Mughal soldiers. They both fell whilst fighting, thus achieving on of the highest honours in Sikhism. With over most of the force dead, the Sikhs decided that the Guru should escape the haveli because such a loss will be impact greatly on the Sikh community. It was proposed that the Guru should change his attire with Sant Singh, another Sikh who somewhat resembled him in stature. Guru Gobind Singh left through the back with three Sikhs whilst Baba Sant Singh and Baba Sangat Singh (the last two left alive) kept fighting until they too were martyred. Seeing the clothes of Guru Gobind Singh on Bhai Sant Singh, the Mughals were ecstatic and mistakenly took the corpse of Bhai Sant Singh to be the slain Guru Gobind Singh. They then cut the head off from the corpse and took it to Delhi thinking it was the dead Guru.

Only Guru Gobind Singh, Daya Singh, Dharam Singh, and Mann Singh escaped the assault of the vast force (estimated at a minimum of hundred thousand strong) that had been dispatched by Aurangzeb to destroy them.

Aftermath

After finding out that the Guru had escaped, the Mughals started searching the woods and the area surrounding Chamkaur.

The Mughals hastingly chased after the Guru once they realised he had escpaed. Guru Gobind Singh made a last stand against the Mughals at Muktsarmarker, where the imperial army was defeated outright and retreated. The battle of Muktsar was the last battle fought by Guru Gobind Singh.

There he wrote Zafarnamah, ("the notification of victory"), a letter to Aurangzeb in which he wrote

"...But still when the lamp of daylight (sun) set and the queen of night (moon) came up,then my protector (God) gave me passage and I escaped safely, not even a hair on my body was harmed".

The Guru emphasised how he was proud that his sons had died fighting in battle, and that he had 'thousands of sons - the Singhs'. He also said that he would never trust Aurengzeb again due to his broken oaths which he took upon the Qur'an.

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