Battlefield of Chausa

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Buxar: The town is locally believed to be of Vedic Age where, it is said, some of the Vedic hymns were composed. Hence, one of its ancient names includes Veda-garbha Puri, meaning ‘womb of the Vedas’. This palce was also known as “Siddhashram”, Karush” and “Tapovan”, Chitravana” i.e. spotted forest or tiger in ancient history. The word Buxar is said to have been derived from ‘Vyaghra Saras’. The tiger facea of Rishi Vedasiras, an outcome of the curse of the sage Rishi Durvasa, was restored after bathing in a holy tank, ‘Aghsar’, which was later named as ‘Vyghra Sar’ or Buxar.

According to mythology, sage Vishwamitra the family guru of Lord Rama and 88,000 saints had their sacred ashram at the banks of holy River Ganga, inside the modern district Buxar. He was disturbed in the yagna (sacrificial offering) by the demons. The place where killing of the famous Rakshasi (demoness) Tadika took place by Lord Rama is said to fall within the present Buxar town area. Besides, Lord Rama and his younger brother Laxman took their teachings at Buxar.

It is also said that Ahilya, the wife of Gautam Rishi restored her human body from that of stone and got salvation by a mere touch of the feet of Lord Rama. This place is presently known as Ahirouli and is situated 6 km away from the Buxar town. The Kanwaldah Pokhara also known as Vyaghara Sar is a tourist spot now a days.

Panchkoshi Parikrama – Many people once in a year, take a round of this religious area called Panchkoshi Parikrama. They perform it in five days by halting the night in five villages surrounding Buxar. During this visit, they cook five different kinds of food. One of them is called litti-bhanta, a famous recipe in Bihar. Litti is a ball like structure made of wheat flour with a filling of black gram roasted powder mixed with salt and spices called sattu. Bhanta (round brinjal) is roasted in the fire made of cowdung cake along with potato and tomato. All the three are mashed after removing its peel and taken with litti which is also which is also roasted in the same fire.

In spite of this persistent tradition about its very high antiquity, Buxar has not yielded any monuments of much historical impotance so far.

Fort of Buxar – Facing the River Ganga on a high bluf was the historical fort of Buxar, commanding the reaches of that river, and standing in a position of considerable strategic importance. The fort seems to have been built on an artificial mound of ancient remains which is being slowly washed away by the river.

In about c. 1812 CE, Buchanan saw the fort considerably fuined, only its southern side then existing with its bastions. He mentions a sort of subterranean passage in the fort, locally called Patalapuri, in which ancient images were kept.

In his visit, in 1871-72, Cunningham could not notice any remains of antiquity. According to him, it was a purely Brahminical site possessing nothing of archaeological interest.’

In 1926-27, a small trial excavation was carried out by Banerji-Shastri at a spot on the river bank between the Ramarekha Ghat and Charitravana, in which they discovered two inscribed seals in early Brahmi characters, and number of terracotta heads with characteristic head-dresses. The seals have been assigned by him to c. 3rd or 4th century BCE, their readings being (i) ‘Sadasanasa’ (ii) ‘Hathikasa’, respectively. The mound is , thus, admittedly very ancient and needs further exploration at the earliest since the river is slowly washing it away.

Battlefield of Chausa:

Humayun had to take the route to Agra/Delhi along the northern bank of the Ganga in the first week of April c. 1539 CE on his return journey from Gaur (Bengal). Afghan forcesof Sher Khan had already occupied Munger and had imprisoned its Mughal governor, Khan-i-Khanan Dilawar Khan and had also blocked the narrow defiles of Teliagarhi which were situated on the southern bank of the Ganga.

Though most of his army and his followers followed the northern route and River Ganga, till Hajipur and Patna, Humayun crossed River Ganga into Munger, and from thence proceeded to Patna by keeping himself to the south of the river. From Patna, Humayun proceeded to Maner after crossing River Sone and finally came to Chausa by the end of April 1539, where he pitched his camp. Chausa, west of Buxar, is a strategic point on the confluence of River Karmanasa and Ganges.

The two armies lay facing each other for two months (May-June, c. 1539 CE) and during this period Humayun realized the weakness of his situation and made attempts to conclude peace with Sher Khan. The negotiation put the Mughal army off guard. Taking advantage of the situation, Sher Khan, aided by two of his generals Jalal and Khwas Khan, made a surprise attack on the Mughal camp, just before dawn on June 26, 1539 CE. The Mughal forces were completely routed and put to flight. Finding the bridge broken, Humayun threw himself into the Ganga and was about to be drowned when he was saved by Nizam Saqqa.

Even the members of Humayun’s family, including the queen and other noble ladies, fell into the hands of the Afghans. Sher Khan treated them well, sent them to Rohtasgarh and dispatched them to Agra after providing them with carriages and other necessary expenses.

Sher Khan celebrated his victory for full one week in the field of Chausa, assumed the title of ‘Sher Shah’ and caused the ‘Khutba’ to be read in his name. Sher Shah then marched to Bengal where he deposed the Mughal governor, Jahangir Beg, and brought Bihar and Bengal under his control. Next year, he thoroughly defeated Humayun at the Battle of Bilgram (May 17, 1540 CE) which was a corollary to the Battle of Chausa. The defeat forced Humayun to leave aIndia to find political asylum in Persia. Thus ended the first act in the drama of the Mughal-Afghan struggle in Bihar which had begun in 1526 and concluded in 1539 at the battle-field of Chausa.

Bhojpur:

A few miles north of Dumraon are two villages of the name of Bhojpur not far from each other, one called ‘BhojpurKadim’ and the other ‘Bhojpur Jaded’. In about c. 1812 CE, Buchanan visited the place and noticed traces of the old channel of the River Ganga, which are now more than ten miles away in the north. Noticing ruins of bricks along the old channel, Buchanan opined that there existed an extensive town of old Bhojpur which was swept away by River Ganga.

According to the local tradition, Raja Bhoj of Ujjain or Malwa invaded this territory, sucdued the original trice of the Suirs and settled down here. Ruins of palaces built by Raja Bhoja, and his descendents were pointed out in the locality, but they do not seem to have been explored so far, nor the truth of the tradition verified of investigated into. The district Gazetteer mentions that the Cheros were subdued by Raja Bhoja and that they originally inhabited the country. Interestingly, both villages of Bhojpur are at the centre point of the ‘Bhojpur speaking area’ constituting all Bhojpuri speaking population residing in districts of western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.