Sher Khan Sur’s capture of Rohtasgarh fort through stratagem (late 16th century painting)

Sher Khan Sur’s capture of Rohtasgarh fort in 1539 A.D. Ascribed to the artists La’l, Dhanu and Khem Karan, leaf from the ‘third’ Akbarnama, Mughal India, circa 1595-1600 A.D. This skillfully designed painting illustrates part of the Sher Khan Afghan’s campaign against the Sultan of Bengal and against Humayun when he attempted to interfere. Sher … Read more

Darya Khan Daudzai

Darya Khan Daudzai was a horse trader from a village near Peshawar who later joined Mughal service and became a high ranking Mughal mansabdar. In 1630 he joined the rebellion of Khan Jahan Lodi for the restoration of Pashtun rule in India. Their efforts did not meet with success and they suffered defeats at the … Read more

Ahmad Shah Abdali about Marathas in a letter to Raja Madho Singh

In a letter Ahmad Shah Abdali to in a letter written to Raja Madho Singh (the ruler of Jaipur), Ahmad Shah Durrani reveals very important information. He informs Madho Singh that on the day of the battle of Panipat, Marathas came out with 200,000 (two lakh) cavalry and foot besides artillery and a force of … Read more

Sikhs adopted blue coloured dress to pay homage to Pashtuns

A group of blue-clad Pashtuns left a lasting impression on Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), to the extent that the latter made it compulsory for his followers to wear blue dress in homage to those Pashtuns. According to Siyar-ul-Mutakherin, once when Guru Gobind Singh (the founder of Khalsa) was hunted down by Mughal troops, he found … Read more

The account of two 19th century paintings

In October 1879 Major-General Frederick Roberts found an Afghan painting in Amir Sher Ali’s palace in Kabul showing a mounted Afghan sardar riding alongside a running British solider and a dog. This painting was made by an Afghan artist and was painted around the time of the First Afghan War (1838-1842) for an unknown Afghan … Read more

Shinwari tribe

Shinwaraey was the son of Kasi. It is not known when they got separated from the parent tribe. Notwithstanding, their genetic link with the Kasis, they are known as an independent tribe. In sixteenth century, they along with the Ghoria Khels moved eastwards and ousted the Gigyanis, Tarklanris, and Muhammadzai from Ningarhar. In Afghanistan where … Read more

History of the Tanoli tribe of Hazara

Majority of the Tanolis (or Tanaolis) insist on being of Pashtun origin but their rulers have accounted themselves to be of Barlas Mughal origin. Tanoli or Tanawali is actually an adjective denoting their abode Tanawal. They are divided into two divisions, Pul-Al and Hando-Al, the former occupies Lower Tunawal, and the latter occupy Upper Tunawal … Read more

Diler Khan Daudzai; a general of Aurangzeb Alamgir

Diler Khan, whose proper name was Jalal Khan, had reputation of being one of the best and bravest generals of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. Bhimsen Saxena (a Hindu soldier who served under Aurangzeb) praise his military talents as follow:- “Dilir Khan Afghan, the holder of the punj-hazari rank, surpassed and excelled all the contemporary … Read more

Safdar Khan Babi

This large and imposing painting, of circa 1790-1810, depicts the Afghan nobleman of Mughal empire, Safdar Khan Babi. The painting is inscribed to the top in black nasta‘liq against scrolling white clouds, the letters intermingled with diagonal flights of birds. . The inscription may be partially read as follows: J(?)…. khan ji al-mukhatab be-safdar khan bahadur babi ‘alamgir … Read more