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Buxar


The city of Buxar is one of the districts of the state of Bihar in India. The city is located on the banks of river Ganga which has a road bridge that connects Buxar with the district Ballia, in the neighbouring state of UP. The city is known for its mythological connections. It is said that Rishi Vishwamitra, the family priest of Lord Rama, used to reside in the ashram which was located at the banks of river Ganga inside the present day Buxar.

Vishwamitra requested Lord Rama to protect his ashram from Tadika, the demon. The place where she was killed by Lord Rama also falls within the city Buxar. The story of Ahilya, wife of Gautam Rishi, also relates to Buxar where she was restored back from being a stone to her human form merely by touch of the feet of Lord Rama. The place where this happened is situated six kilometres away from Buxar and is now known as Ahirauli.

Other than this, the city of Buxar is mentioned in the famous Brahma Purana and Varah Purana and has been linked with the ancient civilisation of Mohanjodaro and Harappa. The city is also visited by large number of people from all over Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to worship the famous Shiv Temple – Baba Brameswarnath, located in Brahmapur, 33 km from the main town Buxar.

Buxar is historically significant for witnessing two important battles. The first one was fought in 1539 at Chousa between the then Mughal Emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri. The battle was won by Sher Shah Suri, who is known for the famous Grand Trunk Project.

The second very important battle, the Battle of Buxar, was fought in 1764. The battle was fought between the forces of British East India Company under command of Hector Munro and the alliance comprising of Nawab of Bengal (Mir Kasim), Nawab of Awadh (Shuja-ud-Daula) and the Mughal Emperor (Shah Alam II).

An attempt was made by Mir Kasim, Nawab of Bengal, to recover the province of Bengal from the British. The province was rich in resources and he made an alliance with the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daula.

The British troops though very small in number defeated the alliance which was estimated to be over 40,000 men. The reason which led to this defeat was the lack of coordination within the alliance and disagreement between the  Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and Shuja-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh.

Shuja-ud-Daula abandoned Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and members of his own regiment. He blew up carts carrying ammunitions for the army. Mir Qasim too ran away with gemstones worth 3 million rupees and is said to have committed suicide thereafter. The battle was fought in various irregular fights with the British. Mirza Najaf Khan was the first to move his forces against Hector Munro, but the British, within a span of few minutes, reversed the advance of the Mughals. Hector Munro particularly followed the Grand Wazier by dividing his army into various columns and defeated Mir Kasim with his army on October 23, 1764.

This battle paved way for the East India Company to establish its authority in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent.

A memorial was built by the British on the ground on which this historic battle was fought, at Katkauli, about 6km from downtown, which even stands today.