History of Punjab: Ali Gohar Shah Alam II
Ali Gohar Shah Alam II
With the murder of Alamgir II, Ali Gohar subsequently ascended the throne, under the
title Shah Alam. Ahmad Shah, the Durrani king, crossed the Jamna, to fight battles with
the Mahrattas, whom the people of the country were tired of. Both armies lay
intrenched for several days, and the Mahrattas were driven from the field with great
slaughter, their army of 80,000 was completely destroyed.
The Mahrattas never lost their spirit and resolved upon a great and decisive action to
maintain their supremacy in India. A formidable army, joined with about 30,000 Jats and
various Rajput chiefs, marched to Delhi, which was taken over. However, the Mahrattas,
unable to cope with the veterans of the Shah in the open field, retired to Panipat. In 1761,
in the battle of Panipat, the Shah completely routed the Mahrattas, and they were pursued
in every direction by the victorious Afghans. According to the best accounts, the number
slain on the side of the Mahrattas was about 200,000.
End of Moghal Power
During the absence of Ahmad Shah at Panipat, the Sikhs had again become troublesome in
Punjab. The large number of Sikh horsemen swarmed around Lahore, but Ahmad Shah took
no steps to counteract. In August 1788, the Emperor was blinded by Gholam Kadar, the
Rohilla chief, who was eventually executed. The blind emperor was once more seated on
the throne, but nothing remained of the Moghal royalty but the name. Shah Alam II died in
1807 at the age of eighty-one years, and was succeeded by his son Abul Nasar Moinuddin
Akber Shah II, who died in 1821. During this period, the Moghal power essentially
collapsed, with another race, the Sikhs, gaining political strength and
organization in the Punjab.