A town (1991
population 191,012) in the state of Haryana
in northwestern India
, about 50 miles (80 km) north of New Delhi
on the Western Yamuna Canal
. The town's chief industries are saltpeter
refining and the manufacture of glass, bricks, textiles, and electronics.
Panipat was the site of three major battles in Indian history (1526, 1556, and 1761). On April 21, 1526, Babur defeated the forces of the Delhi Sultanate and killed their ruler Ibrahim Lodi, paving the way for the foundation of the Mughal Empire. On November 5, 1556, Mughal forces under Bairam Khan defeated rebellious Hindu general Hemu at Panipat to secure the survival of the empire and young Akbar's succession to the throne. On January 14, 1761, Panipat was the site of a disastrous defeat of the Marathas by Afghan cheiftan Ahmad Shah Durrani, which ended the Maratha's bid to succeed the Mughals as rulers of North India and initiated of 40 years of anarchy that paved the way for British conquest.