1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Panipat
PANIPAT, a town of British India, in Karnal district of the Punjab, 53 m. N. of Delhi by rail. Pop. (1901), 26,914. The town is of great antiquity, dating back to the great war of the Mahābhārata between the Pāndavas and Kaurava brethren, when it formed one of the tracts demanded by Yudisthira from Duryodhana as the price of peace. In modern times, the plains of Panipat thrice formed the scene of decisive battles which sealed the fate of upper India—in 1526, when Bāber completely defeated the imperial forces; in 1556, when his grandson, Akbar, on the same battlefield, conquered Himu, the Hindu general of the Afghān Adil Shāh, thus a second time establishing the Mogul power; and finally, on the 7th of January 1761, when Ahmad Shāh Durāni shattered the Mahratta confederacy. The neighbourhood is a favourite manœuvring ground for British camps of instruction. The modern town stands near the old bank of the Jumna, on high ground composed of the débris of earlier buildings. It is a centre of trade, and has manufactures of cotton cloth, metal-ware and glass. There are factories for ginning and pressing cotton.