memories of the great battle
memories of the great battle

Indore: Tirla village in Dhar district has its own place in history and is steeped in rich past. It is in Tirla where one of the most deadliest battles took place in which thousands of soldiers got martyred.

Yuvraj Varadaraj Mandloi Zamindar, said his ancestor and the founder of Indore, Rao Raja Nandlal Mandloi had fought the battle and with all his bravery and won it.

He said, “During the decline of the Mughals, its rulers started troubling people and rulers/Kings of other empires.” During the fall of Mughals in Malwa, the Marathas were on intrusion in the region.

“The battle of Tirla was between Girdhar Bahadur (Mughal) and Marathas in which Rao Raja helped Marathas to win it,” said Mandloi.


Baji Rao Ballal’s army tried to cross Narmada River three times but somehow Rao Raja’s army kept them away. The Sawai Raja Jaisingh came in between and an agreement was made between Rao Raja and Peshwas in which he allowed them to enter the border.

Mandloi said that in the battle as many as 13,000 soldiers of Rao Raja died fighting the mighty Mughals. At Bheru Ghat, Mughals had planted land mines to curb the Maratha and Raja Rao’s army. Rao Raja defeated the Mughals but many of his soldiers stepped on these deadly landmines and lost their lives.

Baji Rao assigned a huge army to his younger brother, Chimaji Appa, and was aided by his trusted generals Udaji Pawar and Malhar Rao Holkar. The Maratha force reached Narmada river and crossed it after inking a pact and encamped near Dharmapuri.

Marching rapidly northwards, they crossed the ghat near Mandu and halted at Nalchha. The Mughal forces, led by Girdhar Bahadur and his cousin Daya Bahadur, hastily prepared to oppose them.

Girdhar Bahadur and his army marched to Amjhera and took up a strong position there to defeat the Marathas who were heading towards Mandav. Instead, the Marathas set out for Dhar.

In the Battle, Maratha’s and Rao Raja’s army defeated the Mughals; Girdhar Bahadur and Daya Bahadur were killed. The Mughal forces fled and their camps were plundered; eighteen elephants, horses, drums and other items were looted and taken by the Marathas.

After the Battle

After winning the battle, Raja Rao Nandlal Mandloi received major injuries and he lived only a month longer. On November 3, 1732 he passed away. The day is still celebrated as Balidaan Diwas.

Yuvraj Varadaraj said after Rao Raja’s death, his wife Rani Meda Bai Saheb performed Sati. Rao Raja’s parrot also died soon after. After the battle, Sawai Raja Jai Singh also sent a letter of appreciation for winning the battle to Rao Raja.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal