Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

Hey folks. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do our regular updates this evening mostly because I am not feeling very well at the moment. I will do what I can but no promises. I will definitely be back tomorrow, but then attwiw will be going mostly dark until April 2, as I’m taking a week off to hang out with my family for a change. Now with all that out of the way, please enjoy today’s tale of Iranian ruler Nader Shah’s sack of Delhi in 1739.

Anyway, the Peacock Throne was lost to history sometime after 1739, which is coincidentally when it was also lost to the Mughals and was carted off by Nader Shah (d. 1747), the founder of Iran’s Afsharid dynasty. Following the Battle of Karnal in February of that year, when the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah (d. 1748) surrendered his army and his empire to Nader, the Afsharid army continued on to Delhi and set itself up in the Mughal capital. Now, Nader had promised Muhammad Shah that he could continue being the Mughal Emperor, and had said that all he wanted was to restore the traditional friendship between the Mughals and the Safavids (obviously Nader was not a Safavid, but he portrayed himself as that dynasty’s heir). Of course, Muhammad Shah would have to acknowledge Nader as his overlord and, why, yes, Nader would like to stay in Delhi for a few days, thanks for asking, and while he was there he figured he might as well mint some new coins in his name, and have the Friday prayer said in his name, no big deal, it’s just a formality, you know how it is.

Source: Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)


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