Battle Of Saragarhi: 21 Sikh Soldiers Of British Indian Army Fight With 10 Thousand Afghans In Saragarhi

Battle Of Saragarhi: 21 Sikh Soldiers Of British Indian Army Fight With 10 Thousand Afghans In Saragarhi

Curated by | | Updated: Sep 12, 2021, 3:22 PM

Battle of Saragarhi: Even today 12th September is celebrated as ‘Saragarhi Day’. 124 years ago, on this day 21 Sikh soldiers of 36 Sikh Regiment outnumbered an army of 10,000 Pashtuns.

The date of September 12 in history has written the names of 21 Sikhs who refused to bow down to 10,000 Afghan forces in the Battle of Saragarhi. Today is the 124th anniversary of that battle and the heroism of those Sikhs. The Battle of Saragarhi, one of the most daring battles in history, was fought on 12 September 1897 between 21 Sikh soldiers of the British India Army and 10,000 Afghans.

This battle was fought in Samana village of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan which was then a part of India. In this battle, all 21 soldiers of 36 Sikh Regiment fought bravely against the Afghans till their last breath and are remembered as ‘superheroes’ in history. Today you will know the story of the historical battle of Saragarhi on a special occasion…

Saragarhi used to connect two forts
Saragarhi was a small village in Kohat district. This area was then part of India which now comes in Pakistan. The British had captured the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region but they were afraid of attack by the rebel Pashtuns. Saragarhi served as a communication post between the two forts, Lockhart and Gullistan. Both these forts served as the two headquarters of the British Indian Army in the North-West region. There was a distance of only a few kilometers between them but it was difficult to see from one fort to another. So Saragarhi used to work for the exchange of messages.

Many attacks have already been foiled
If you have seen the Bollywood movie ‘Kesari’, then you will be able to understand the story better about the bravery shown by the Sikh soldiers in that war. Between 27 August and 11 September 1897, the Pashtuns launched a series of attacks to capture the British headquarters but the 36 Sikh Regiment under the command of Colonel Haughton did not allow them to succeed. Heliograph, which uses the sun’s rays to send messages, communicated and carried information between Saragarhi and the British Headquarters. On 12 September 1897, 10,000 Pashtuns attacked Saragarhi with the aim of breaking the channel between the two forts.

21 Sikhs heavy on ten thousand Afghans
Sikh soldiers fought the greatest battle in history. 21 Sikhs took on 10,000 Afghans and killed 600 Pashtuns before being martyred. The leader of the regiment Ishar Singh killed more than 20 enemies. This fight is great because its outcome was known to all. Despite this, the Sikh soldiers fought for their country and prevented 10,000 soldiers from advancing for a day until additional forces arrived.

Battle of Saragarhi

Photo Credit : @capt_amarinder

British Parliament stood up on receiving the news
When the news of this war reached Britain, the British Parliament also stood in London in honor of the Sikh soldiers. The Government of India installed a commemorative tablet in honor of the soldiers of the 36 Sikh Regiment. In the memory of these 21 warriors, the British built two Gurudwaras. One near Golden Temple in Amritsar and the other in Ferozepur Cantonment. Even after 124 years, September 12 is celebrated as Saragarhi Day.

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