Full Name: Hem Chandra Vikramaditya
Born/Died: Unknown - 1556
Weapon Speciality: Unknown
Notable Battles: 22 Battles Won, Battle of Tughlaqabad, Panipat - 1556
Little is know about Hem or Hemu Chandra's childhood other than he came from a poorer Hindu family that lived in Mewat, on the outskirts of Delhi. Due to his background he soon found himself working to help support the family and was thought to originally be a small trader. He was clearly an ambitious and competent person, as he continually rose through the ranks. Under Islam Shah of the Suri empire he went on to become superintendent of the market all the way to chief of intelligence and superintendent of all Suri empire posts. Islam had a habit of both recruiting Afghan and Hindu soldiers into his army, then he would get the two factions to spy on one another. This could of later been Hemu's downfall as he was deserted by the Afghan's soon after his coronation at the battle of Panipat - 1556.
Hemu then went on to work for Islam Shah's son, Firoz Khan, but his rule only lasted 3 days when he was brutally murdered by his uncle. Adil Shah would then occupy and Hemu would often be sent into battle against both Afghan rebels and Mughals. He was a highly competent military strategist and won 22 battle before his demise in the battle of Panipat. Hemu was chasing Taj Khan Karrani, an Afghan rebel all the way to Bengal, when he received word that Humayan, a Mughal leader that had had recently taken Delhi and Agra died he saw an opportunity. Rallying his men he marched from Bayana, Etawah, Sambhal, Kalpi, and Narnaul, clearing out Mughal forces along the way. In the major stronghold of Agra he didn't even encounter any resistance, as the Agra Governor had already fled the city. Shortly after Hemu would meet the Mughal forces at the battle of Tughlaqabad .
Battle Of Tughlaqabad
Mughal ruler, Akbars's governor in Delhi, Tardi Khan informed Akbar that Hemu had taken Agra and Delhi would also follow suite if they didn't receive adequate reinforcements. Although the Mughals couldn't spare their main army, they did send a capable soldier to Delhi, alongside all local Mughal leaders forces. The Mughals were outnumbered by Hemu's forces that included Battle Elephants, 50,000 Horses, 51 Cannons and even 500 Light Cannons. During the battle the Mughal forces had fought the fight to be won after they captured 400 Elephants and 3,000 Afghans and abandoned battle formations to attack the enemy camp. Hemu having considered this move had held a reserve force of 300 elephants and heavy cavalry and charged at the unprotected Mughal centre. It's Mughal quickly cowering in the face of the charge and fled the battlefield. Hemu then took possession of Delhi, after just one day of battle, but he would meet the Mughal army once more at Panipat.
Hem Chandra Vikramaditya
Historians argue over whether Hemu sought Hindu self rule or was just going to be a puppet ruler under the Adilshah Sultanate. The title itself 'Vikramaditya' was specifically used by Hindu Kings. Hemu was also rumoured to have began minting his own currency and had conspired with the Afghans to throw off rule off the Adilshah sultanate. Some historians argue that it couldn't have been possible as the Afghan forces had contempt for him and made up a considerable amount of his forces. It was these same forces that could have cost him his life at the Battle of Panipat and we will never really know if he planned to begin a new Hindu empire that offered self rule and no persecution to native Hindu's.
Just one month after his coronation, Hemu would meet a young Akbar and his Guardian commanding a significant Mughal army on the battle field of Panipat, just outside of modern day Haryana. Although Hemu possessed considerable forces against the Mughals, his Afghan troops had suspiciously lost his cannons to enemy Mughal forces before the battle. These cannons would later be used against his own forces and a ravine would prevent the effectiveness of Hemu's Elephants and Cavalry. Hemu led a charge himself and it looked like he could have won, crushing both Mughal flanks. But he was shot in the eye with an arrow, his barely breathing body later taken back and beheaded in true Mughal style.
Hemu's Last Stand, The Battle of Panipat - 1556