Prithviraj Chauhan


History of PRC and Sanyo (Page 14)

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More than 1400 years ago Kshatriyas belonging to the Chauhan[1] clan established a small kingdom around the town of Sambhar[2]. In the 9th Century, as tributaries of the Imperial Pratihars of Kannauj, the Chauhans fought the Palas of Bengal (in the east) and the Arabs of Sindh (in the west). As their power grew, younger sons of each Chauhan Raja, known as Rajaputras[3], established their own strongholds and principalities around the parent kingdom.

The Chauhans did not suffer any loss during the 11th Century invasions of Mahmud Ghaznavi but they had several fights with his successors who established their rule in the neighboring region of the Punjab. In the early 12th Century Ajayraj Chauhan built a fort near the Holy Town of Pushkar. The site commanded a strategic gap in the Aravalli hills—to the west was Sambhar and the trade routes leading to the southern ports, while to the east was the fertile basin of the River Ganga and its tributaries. This hill-fort was named Ajay-meru[4] (Ajay's hill), which with the passage of time was pronounced Ajmer, and which became the site for a new capital city for the Chauhans.

The descendants of Ajayraj captured the then small town of Delhi[5] from the Tomars and southern Punjab from the Ghaznavi Turks. At the close of the 12th Century Prithviraj III ruled from Ajmer with ambitions in the south (other kingdoms mostly of his own clansmen in southern Rajasthan and Gujarat), in the north (Punjab and the hill-chiefs of Himachal Pradesh[6]), and the south-east (northern Madhya Pradesh).

Further in the west the Turkish Sultan of Ghor captured Ghazni and deputed his brother, Shihab-ud-din Muhammad, to rule there. The elder brother then turned his energies against other Turk tribes of Iran and Central Asia while the younger led expeditions into India. Passing through Baluchistan Muhammad captured Multan and Uch and then sent a proposal to Prithviraj asking for a joint campaign against the ruler of Gujarat. This proposal was rejected since the Chauhans had enough resources to tackle the Chaulukyas of Gujarat on their own.

Muhammad Ghori went ahead with his invasion in 1178 but the Chaulukyas, in alliance with the Chauhans of southern Rajasthan, defeated him. Prithviraj, who at that time was a teenager, had resolved to fight the Turk invader first, but his minister Kadambvas suggested that the Ghori - Chaulukya conflict would exhaust both these enemies and leave the field clear for the Kingdom of Ajmer. A few years later Prithviraj embarked on digvijay (conquest in all four directions) and won victories—but no major territory.

Muhammad Ghori rebuilt his armed strength and captured Peshawar from the Ghaznavi Turks—continuing his operations against his fellow Muslims Ghori finally ended the Ghaznavi dynasty in 1186 and came into direct contact with the Kingdom of Ajmer. For a few years he probed the defences of the northern region through cavalry raids—finally in 1190 Muhammad Ghori attacked and captured the frontier fort of Sarhind[7]. While he was busy garrisoning the fort and arranging for his return to Ghazni, Muhammad learnt to his consternation that Prithviraj was already marching against him.

Muhammad Ghori resolved to strike the first blow and marched south to intercept the Chauhan army. At Tarain, near modern Thanesar, the two armies met in 1191. In the head-on fight the Hindu cavalry charged and enveloped the two wings of the Turk army—the favorite maneuvers and mobile archery of the Turks were impossible in that cramped position. The superior swordsmanship of the Chauhans gave them a rapid victory and the two routed wings of Muhammad Ghori fled for their lives. In the center the Hindu elephants and infantry came up to the contest—a javelin struck Muhammad Ghori in the shoulder and a Khalji soldier carried the swooning Sultan away to safety. When their commander fled the rest of the Muslim center too broke down and fled after him.

The combined arms (elephants, cavalry, infantry) force of Prithviraj chased after the enemy but the Turkish cavalry easily outpaced them. The Chauhans surrounded the important fort of Sarhind—after 13 months when the food supply ran out the Turk garrison surrendered. Prithviraj returned to his capital, while his generals returned to their forts and towns to rest their army and replenish their equipment, elephants, and horses. They also needed to keep a watch on their neighbors who had taken advantage of the recent battle to encroach on Chauhan lands.

In all this time Muhammad Ghori collected a fresh army and returned to the Punjab. Once again he captured the bone of contention Sarhind and sent a message to Prithviraj to submit and convert to Islam. The Chauhans were then involved in some other battles but Prithviraj boldly collected an army and marched to Sarhind—Muhammad Ghori again intercepted him at Tarain. Prithviraj had by then learnt of the loss of Sarhind and of the large cavalry with Ghori—he used diplomacy to buy time so that his other generals could join him with their forces. He told Muhammad to be content with Sarhind and withdraw his army to Ghazni.

Shihab-ud-din went along since the earlier defeat at this same place was heavy on his mind. He pointed out that his brother was the real ruler and without consulting him Muhammad could not take any major political decision—he too was playing for time and for information on the enemy. The two armies camped in sight of each other—one night Muhammad Ghori left the campfires burning and took his army by a roundabout route to attack the Chauhans. But once again the cavalry of Prithviraj met them in a headlong clash and repulsed the Turks.

Muhammad Ghori's plan had failed and he retired to his own camp but he now had a correct estimate of Prithviraj's army and had realized how weak it was. Forming his cavalry into four divisions of 10,000 he sent them to harass the Chauhans from all sides. The Turks were now in their element with hit-and-run cavalry maneuvers and horse archery—the combined arms of the Hindus could not chase after one and repel another division simultaneously. The order of the Chauhan army broke down, along with the communications between its various elements, and Ghori charged with his main division and finally defeated Prithviraj. The Chauhan King was either killed or captured according to the different accounts.

Why spend so much time discussing this one clan you may ask?

Because they straddled the gap between the ancient and medieval India and were witness to a momentous turning point in Indian History…also because they were part of an important battle, which changed Indian society and military tactics for the next few centuries. Comparison is also needed with the story in Punjab, Sindh, and Afghanistan, all of which fell earlier and more completely to the assault of Islam. This comparison will come later.


The most popular accounts about Prithviraj were written centuries later by a Muslim (the book Gulshan-i-Ibrahimi by Ferishta) and by a Hindu (the book Prithviraj Raso by Chand Bardai). Both of these are full of exaggerations and myth.

According to Ferishta Prithviraj had an army of 300,000 cavalry (!), 3000 elephants (!), and innumerable infantry (what could be more innumerable after 300,000 horsemen? The entire population of the Kingdom of Ajmer?). Later Rajput Kingdoms (when cavalry had become the most important formation in the army) of a similar large size had at the most 20,000 cavalry. By this comparison Prithviraj could not have had more than 10,000 horsemen.

Chand Bardai states that after the first Battle of Tarain Prithviraj fell in love with, carried away, and married Sanyogita, daughter of Jaychand Rathor of Kannuaj. His love for her caused the defeat in the second battle, which is not borne out by the facts related above. According to contemporary literature, inscriptions, and coins the rulers of Kannauj were Gahadvals…the Rathors of Badaun were their tributaries. There is no record of a conflict between Ajmer and Kannauj for the simple reason that they did not have a common border.

Tarain I was fought in early 1191, for thirteen months after this Prithviraj was busy in the siege of Sarhind (early 1192); Tarain II was fought only a few months later. When did Prithviraj have the time to correspond with a princess, admit his love to her, and make arrangements to carry her away from a place hundreds of miles in the east[9]?

The more contemporary, and accurate, account is the Prithviraj-vijay written by Jayank. This man was a Kashmiri who had settled down in Ajmer and was a poet in Prithviraj's court. The names of the Chauhan Kingdom's ministers and generals are given here—interestingly one of these generals, named Udayraj, was from Bengal. The Prithviraj-vijay also describes the early communications between Ghori and the Chauhans, and the advice given to Prithviraj by the minister Kadambvas.

There are two other books that mention these events in passing. The Prabandha-chintamani by Merutunga Acharya claims that Prithviraj was taken prisoner but was restored to the throne of Ajmer by Ghori. On a visit to Ajmer the Turk chief happened to see a wall painting in the palace that showed the Muslim soldiers being crushed by a charging horde of wild boar[8]. The humiliated Ghori had Prithviraj killed.

The Viruddhavidhi-vidhvamsa by Laksmidhar describes the absence of the main Chauhan general Skanda in another battle (the enemy is not described). But it goes on to say that Prithviraj was killed by the Turushkas[10] and his brother, the Rajaputra Hariraj became King.

The Hammir-Mahakavya of Nayachandra Suri is a later work but it was written on commission from the Chauhans of Ranthambhor (who will be described in later posts). It has many internal details of the Chauhan clan but exaggerates Prithviraj's victory (it claims several victories) over Ghori by describing the repeated capture and release of the Turk chief. The Hammir-Mahakavya also claims that Prithviraj was taken prisoner but to Delhi—the Bengali general Udayraj attacked Delhi to rescue his master but Prithviraj died in captivity and Udayraj was killed in battle. This work confirms that the Rajaputra Hariraj became the next King of Ajmer.

[1] Original pronunciation is Chahaman.
[2] Originally Sakambhari, the town is near a salt lake of the same name. In those days it was a wealthy city located on important trade routes.
[3] Literally King's (Raja) son (putra). The history of this word and its modification into Rajput will be described in another post.
[4] Meru is a Sanskrit word for hill. Sumeru was the good or blessed (Su) hill (meru) of the Vedas.
[5] Known in those times as Dhillika. After its capture by Muslims it was also called Yoginipura, the city of witches.
[6] According to the Prithviraj-raso Kangra and its mountain chiefs were allies of the Tomars of Delhi.
[7] The Muslim historians call this place Tabarhind or Tarrhind.
[8] The wild boar is regarded as the bravest animal in Rajasthani lore.
[9] The Prithviraj Raso in complete departure from all other accounts states that the Chauhan King was taken to Ghazni. When he refused to lower his eyes in front of Shihab-ud-din the latter had him blinded. While demonstrating his skill in archery the blind Hindu King shot an arrow into the throat of Muhammad Ghori and killed him. After this the author of the Raso and Prithviraj killed each other.
[10] The ancient word for the Turks. According to Indian tradition one of the sons of Bharat, named Turvasu, had migrated to Central Asia and his descendants (Turvasu-ka) became the Turks. This remains mere conjecture and speculation since there is no material evidence to back this story—somewhat similar to the speculations of the Aryan Theory.

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Posted: 22 October 2008 at 5:40am | IP Logged
Thanks for the lovely bitsof information


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Sultan Shahabuddin Ghauri played a key role in establishing the Muslim rule in the subcontinent.He was the first Muslim ruler to conquer Delhi and establish a Muslim rule in India. He defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the Second battle of Tarain in 1192 CE, Rajput kingdoms like Saraswati, Samana, Kohram and Hansi were captured without any difficulty. Then Ghori proceeded to Ajmer. Nobody challenged him. After reaching Ajmer, he spared the son of PrithviRaj, Kola, who in turn took the oath of loyalty to Ghauri. Within a few years Muhammad Ghauri controlled northern Rajasthan and the northern part of the Ganges-Yamuna Doab. Muhammad Ghauri returned east to Ghazni to deal with the threat to his western frontiers from the Turks and Mongols, but his armies, mostly under Turkish generals, continued to advance through northern India, raiding as far east as Bengal. Muhammad returned to Lahore after 1200 to deal with a revolt of the Gakhar tribe in the Punjab. He suppressed the revolt, but was killed during a Gakhar raid on his camp on the Jhelum River in 1206. Upon his death, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, Sultan Muhammad Ghauri's most capable general, who had started of by sacking Ayodhya in 1193 A.D., took control of Ghauri's Indian conquests and declared himself the first Sultan of Delhi thus establishing Sultanate of Delhi in 1206 CE. Muhammad Ghauri is remembered as an empire builder and is justly called the founder of the Muslim Empire in Indo-Pakistan. Yeh Ghazi Yeh Teray Pur Asrar Banday Jinhain Tunay Bakhsha hai Zauq-e-Khudai Do Neem Un ki Thokar say Sahra o Darya Simat kar Pahaar In ki Haybat say Rayi Do Aalam say Karti hai Baygaana Dil ko Ajab cheez hai Lazzat-e-Aashnayi Shahadat hai Matloob o Maqsood-e-Momin Na Maal-e-Ghaneemat na Kishwar Kushayi Dilay Mard-e-Momin main phir zinda kar day Woh Bijli thi keh Na'ara-e-La Tadar main Azayim ko seenom main baydaar kar day Nigha-e-Muslim ko Talwar kar day (Iqbal)

Edited by nicemali - 24 October 2008 at 10:51pm


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Prithvi Raj Chauhan was the second last Hindu king to sit upon the throne of Delhi (the last Hindu king being Hemu). He succeeded to the throne in 1179 CE at the age of 11, and ruled from the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi. He controlled much of Rajasthan and Haryana, and unified the Rajputs against Muslim invasions. His elopement with Samyukta (Sanyogita), the daughter of Jai Chandra, the Gahadvala king of Kannauj, is a popular romantic tale in India, and is one of the subjects of the Prithviraj Raso, an epic poem composed by Prithviraj's court poet and friend, Chand Bardai.

Prithvi Raj fought and defeated the Afghan ruler Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191 CE but was then immediately defeated at the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 CE. After his defeat, India was open to invasion by the Mahmud Ghori, and Delhi came under the control of him. Qila Rai Pithora in Delhi, also known as Pithoragarh, is named after him.


Prithvi Raj Chauhan,(PRC III) also called Rai Pithora, was the ruler of Ajmer and Delhi, by far the strongest of all the rulers of Northern India at the end of the twelfth century.PRC III was born on the 12th of Jyestha. As per the planetary positions, his birth was in V. 1223 or (-57 for AD). In V. 1234, Someswor died and Karpuradevii became the regent of Prc. Prc assumed the reins of administrations from circa V.1237/1180 AD and soon found himself to be engaged in a number of wars.

Prithviraj Chauhan was the son of Someswor and Karpulradevi.The early life of Someswara was passed in Gujarat, where he had been carried away ,probably, by his grandpa Jayasimha sidhhaRaj. The next ruler of that place, Kumarapala, was a gr8 enemy of Someswara's father, BUT he brought up Someswara with love and affection. Someswara's marriage took place when he was in Gujarat (What about the serial dharti ka veer yoddha) with Karpuradevi, just after he had "slayed" Mallikaarjuna. Someswara's two sons, PRC III and Hariraja were both born in Gujrata. They accompanied their parents to Sapadaksha when the wheels of fortune swung in their favour and placed Someswara in the throne of Ajmer and Sakambhari around V.1226. Early chauhan dynasties by Prof. [[Dasharatha Sharma]]



Vigraharaj, Prithviraj III's uncle, killed his father to usurp the throne of Ajmer. The parricide Jagaddeva did not rule long. His brother Vigraharaj IV appears to have led an uprising and slain him in a battle. As per "Prithvirajvijaya", he was the only king of Sakambari clan who didn't attain heaven.

Vigraharaj is accredited to the capture of Delhi and Hansi from the Tomaras. The conquest of Delhi turned the Chauhans into an indian empire. His first fight against the mlecchas was in self defence. The Moslem ruler Hammira invited Vigraharaj into submitting his authority. His Prime Minister Sridhara thought it better to buy the invader, but the Chauhan considered it disgraceful. He had decided to protect his friends, the Brahamanas, and sacred places. He not only defeated the attacker but also recovered lost territory from other Ghaznavites (Mohammad from Ghazni had raided Gujarat half a century ago and plundered the Somath temple.)

Vigraharaj IV was succeeded by his son Amaragangeya, but he didn't rule long. He was slain by Prthvibhata or Prithviraj Chauhan II. Prthvibhata died before the end of the Vikrama year V.1226., probably without leaving any issue. The ministers offered the throne to Someswara, the only surviving son of Arnoraja, who was in the time in Gujarat.(Courtesy: Early chauhan Dynasties by [[Dasharatha Sharma)]]


Kaimbhasa was the chief minister during the regency. As per Raso, he was slain by Chauhan upon his return from hunting he found Kaimbhasa in the room of his favourite concumbine. As per Prabhandha, he was killed by Chauhan because sb poisoned Chauhan's ears that Kaimbhasa was responsible for repeated attacks by Muslims in India.

Nagarjuna, one of the enemies of Prithviraj II(Prithviraj III's cousin) decided to take advantage of the king's tenderness and inexperience. He captured the town of Godapura. Prithviraj II marched against him with a large army and laid siege of Godapura. Nagarjuna managed to escape the fort but his wife, mother and followers fell into the hands of the victor with a large amount of booty. Devabhata, an officer of Nagarjuna, and the remaining soldiers under him, were soon killed and their heads were hung across the gate of the fort of Ajmer.

"Prithviraj III captured the city of Mahoba, the capital of chandel monarch Paramala, after a stiff fight with Alha and Udal who were also aided by army from Kannauj."

" On one of his many wars , Chauhan led a night attack on Dharavarsa Paramara of Abu. The attack is said to be a failure as he was defeated by the warrior brothers Alha-Udal." (Courtesy: Early chauhan Dynasties by [[Dasharatha Sharma)]]

Legends of Mahoba, a small town in modern Uttar Pradesh even say that Alha was given boon of immortality by goddess Sharada.(shown in IBN7 channel.)"

Elopement with Sanyogita

The story as given by Chandra Bardai, Abdul Fazl and Chandrashekhara, the author of Surjanacharita, is too well known to be cited at length. Prithviraj, who loved the beautiful daughter of Jayachandra of Kanauj and had his passion fully reciprocated, succeeded in carrying her off from a swayamvara to which he had deliberately not been invited on account of his rivalry for the overlordship of India. His samantas covered the eloping pair's flight, engaged the forces pursuing them and fell fighting to the last for their beloved master. Not many were the heroes who returned to the Chauhan capital where Prithviraj duly married the princess and spent most of his time in the company of the new Queen.

" as leaders of units or regiments of Prithviraj's cavalry swooped almost unexpectedly on the Gahadwala capital while Jayachandra was engaged in certain religious rites and carried off the princess as desired by Prithviraj III"

.(Courtesy: Early chauhan Dynasties by [[Dasharatha Sharma)]]

Entry of Mohammad Shahab ud-din Ghori and his conquests

Ghori was appointed as the governor of Ghazni 1173 AD by elder brother Ghiyas-ud-din Muhammad and led his first expedition to India in 1175 AD, nearly two years after his Prithviraj's accession. He captured Multan from the Karamitah and took Uchcha from the Rajput ruler after having him poisoned by his queen. He advanced against Gujarat in 1178 AD. By V. 1235, he reached Nadol and captured it. Due to the impending danger to the Indian states, upon arrival of Ghori's messenger suggesting that Chauhan pay homage or tribute to Ghori, Prithviraj saw it as a good time to prepare for a war.

The Gujaratis needed help, but they had none from Prithviraj because of the advice of his Chief Minister Kadamvasa. Taking both the Gujaratis and Moslems alike as their enemies, the Chauhans of Ajmer were rather glad to see they were fighting and destroying each other. Thanks to serious reverse sustained by Ghori at the hands of the Gujaratis in the battle of Kasahadra, the Chauhans were not called upon to taste immediately the better fruit of their policy. Chauhan's failure to help the Gujaratis proved in a few years detrimental not merely to the cause of Chauhans but also that of the Hindu nation as a whole. In 1181 AD, Ghori marched to Sialkot and built a fort there. Five years later, he made himself the master of Punjab by treacherously seizing Khusrao Malik, the last Ghaznavite ruler of Lahore. From this new base, he proceeded to the conquest of further Indian territory and naturally soon came to conflict with Chauhan.

The campaign leading to Ghori's first great battle battle with Battle with Chauhan began in the winter of of 1190-91. Advancing from either Ghazni or his new base at Lahore, Ghori captured Tabarhindah in the dominions of Chauhan and put in the charge of Qazi Ziya-ud-din of Tulak and a garrison of 1200 horsemen, asking them to hold it until he returned there after a period of eight months. Before he could leave the fortress, he received an alarming news that Prithviraj and Govindaraj Chauhan were marching towards the fort. He therefore set to meet out the Chauhan forces and encountered it at Tarain, a village in the Karnal district-that very field of Kurukshetra where the Pandavas and Kauravas fought each other and decided the fate of their country in their days of yore.

(Courtesy: Early chauhan Dynasties by [[Dasharatha Sharma)]]




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Posted: 25 October 2008 at 3:03am | IP Logged
Thanks for the information


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wat happend to samyukta after prthivis defeat?
there r various version sayin contrastin things after defeat of prithvi raj chauhan
wats the truth and truth ?
some say samyukta fell into fire once prithvi was captured and some say she was captured by Ghouri wats the truth and wat does indian history belive ?

Indian history has kept mum on this topic. Because It might be the sad event. perhaps the wound.
Let it be cleared that Rani Padmini was after samyukta's era. Rani Padmini comitted jauhar. It has the historical proofs and her grave also present in north India. If Samyukta had comitted jauhar; then one must had find her grave also; but this did not happen. The mum of Indian history and the lack of grave or tale of Samyukta shows that there must have happened some tragedy.
What would it be then?
One guess is that Ghouri might have raped Samyukta. yes; this is cruel and not easier to digest; as we are Indians. But It is true that Ghouri entered Prithvi's bedroom in mid-night. It was not the time to fight. But Ghori broke the rule; because he was passionate of Prithvi's defeate.
It is wel-known that Jaichand, the father of Samyukta; first fought against Prithvi; but after the defeat of Prithvi he fought against Ghori. Why?'It must be the only reason; that Ghori had raped Jaychand's daughter.
Paki bas***d historians narrate this epic with the taste. But irrespect of their non-senseness one conclusion is echoing that Ghori must have raped Samyukta.
The horror happened with Samyukta must have given birth to the concept of Johar in Rajputana. Rani Padmini has just followed the custom, (perhaps) to avoid the horror happened with samyukta must not repeat with her.
It is wel-known that Ghori was so scared of Prithvi and he was jealous him so much that he had ordered to finish each and every chauhan from the earth. So genocide of chauhans had taken place. The royal family of Chauhans was killed. So many relatives of Prithvi ran away and went to Gujrat; Madhya pradesh, Maharashtra. Some of them even hide their identity and surnames to distract Ghori's army.

Sanyogita Svaymvra: King Prithviraj of Delhi was the most powerful king of that period. In the beginning he had good relations with Jaya Chandra but later on they became enemies. When Jaya Chandra organized the svayamvra of his daughter, thinking of the old enmity, he purposely did not invite Prithviraj. But Sanyogita wanted to make Prithviraj as her husband. When Prithviraj came to know of this he forcibly took away Jaya Chandra's daughter at the time of svayamvra. According to some historians, this story is the imagination of Chandrabardai.

Edited by nicemali - 26 October 2008 at 6:00am


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Posted: 26 October 2008 at 5:34am | IP Logged

The theologians of Islam had laid down, in the opening years of this imperialist ideology, that the k'firs who could not be subdued by force should be subverted by fraud. The prophet of Islam had himself initiated the first lessons in this lore when he practiced what came to be known as Siy'sat-i-Mad'nah in later times, that is, to take the k'firs one by one and that too when they are least expecting an attack. One of his famous sayings, sanctified as his Sunnah, was that 'war is perfidy'. This had's came in handy to Muizzuddin Muhammad bin Sam who is known in Indian history as Muhammad Ghuri.

By the time of Ghori, the Islamic armies of the Arabs and the Turks had struggled successively for nearly 540 years in order to seize the heartland of India, and to convert the whole country into a D'r-ul-Islam. But they had succeeded only in occupying the frontier areas of Kabul, Zabul, the North-West Frontier Province, Multan, and parts of Punjab and Sindh. This was small consolation compared to the victories of Islam elsewhere, and that, too, in a far shorter span of time.


The Yaminis (Ghaznavids) had been overthrown in Afghanistan by the new dynasty of Shansabanis (Ghurids) around the time that Vigraharaja (also known as Visaladeva) was consolidating his hold over territories recovered from the Muslim possessions in the Punjab. Prithiviraja II, the successor to Vigraharaja, had placed his maternal uncle, Kilhan, in charge of the fort at Asika (Hansi). His Hansi stone inscription of AD 1168 describes the Hammira (Amir) as a 'dagger pointed at the whole world'. The flag that fluttered at the gateway of this fort, we are told, 'defied the Hammira, as it were'. Another line in this inscription compares Prithiviraja II to Sri Rama, and Kilhana to Hanumana.

Besides the Chauhans of Delhi and Ajmer, India at that time had two more powerful kingdoms arrayed against the Muslim invader - the Chaulukyas (Solankis) of Gujarat and the Gahadavads of Kanauj. Had these three Hindu powers joined hands, they would have cleared out the barbarians not only from the Punjab, Multan, Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province but also from Afghanistan which had become the launching pad for Islamic aggression. But this they failed to do because each one of them was bidding for an empire at the cost of others. It seems that the earlier vision which had inspired Hindu princes in North India to come together into a confederacy in the face of a common enemy had also vanished by this time. In the event, the Chauhans were defeated by fraud, and the Gahadavads were taken by surprise. The Chaulukyas also had a taste of what a Muslim victory would mean, though they survived for the time being.

Muhammad Ghuri was installed at Ghazni in AD 1173 by his elder brother, Ghiyasuddin, who had himself ascended the throne at Ghur in AD 1163. The task of conquering India was assigned to Muhammad Ghuri while his brother was extending the Ghurid Empire towards the west. The Ghaznavids were still in possession of the provinces they had been able to conquer in north-western India. 'Muhammad Ghori, was fully alive to the strength of the forces opposing him and, unlike Mahmud of Ghazni, he relied more on stratagems than on the strength of arms to gain victories against his adversaries.'

It would have been logical for him, to start with, to take the North-West Frontier Province and the Punjab from the Ghaznavids. But this would have alerted the Chauhans beyond the Sutlej. They, too, could have advanced further west to contest for the Ghaznavid possessions. Muhammad Ghuri knew that he could throw out the Ghaznavids whenever he chose. His problem was the three Hindu kingdoms which were blocking his way into the heartland of Hindustan.


So Ghuri entered India through the Gomal pass and 'wrested Multan from the Qaramatih chiefs in AD 1175'. Next he 'intrigued with the wife of the Bhatti Rai of Uch and promised to marry her if she poisoned her husband'. Firishta records that 'she declined the honour for herself but secured it for her daughter, caused her husband to be put to death and surrendered the fort'. Ghuri's way to Gujarat now lay open by way of Western Rajasthan. The Chauhans were not likely to mind if the Chaulukyas went down. Prithviraj III, who was to become an inveterate foe of Ghuri in later years, had ascended the throne of Ajmer only a year earlier. He was prevailed upon by his Chief Minister, Kadambavasa, not to interfere. On the other hand Mahmud Ghaznavi's successful raid on Somanath, one hundred and fifty years earlier, had encouraged Ghuri to imagine that Gujarat was an easy prey. He was dreaming of reaching Somanath, and repeating the 'pious performance' of Mahmud. Muslim historians had been gloating over Mahmud's raid throughout the long interval, without remembering the difficulties with which the raider had subsequently secured his escape.

Muhammad Ghuri advanced upon Gujarat in AD 1178 with a large army. Merutu'ga writes in his Prabandha-chint'maNi that 'the mother of young Mularaja, queen Naikidevi, the daughter of Parmardin of Goa, taking her son in her lap, led the Chaulukya army against the Turushkas and defeated them at Gadararaghatta near the foot of Mount Abu'. Mularaja II was a minor at that time. Firishta records that the king of Gujarat 'advanced with an army to resist the Mohammedans and defeated them with great slaughter. They suffered many hardships before they reached Ghazni.' In Sanskrit inscriptions of Gujarat, Mularaja is invariably mentioned as the 'conqueror of Garjanakas [dwellers of Ghazni]'. One inscription states that 'during the reign of Mularaja even a woman could defeat the Hammira [Amir]'.

Muhammad Ghuri did not lead another expedition against a Hindu prince for the next 12 years. His experience in Gujarat was too traumatic to be forgotten in a fit of megalomania. He employed the interregnum in occupying the Ghaznavid possessions in India till he reached Lahore in AD 1186. Now he stood face to face with Prithiviraja III, the famous Chauhan ruler of Ajmer (AD 1177-1192) whose feudatory, Govindaraja, was stationed at Delhi. Prithvir'ja-vijaya tells us that the Chauhan ruler was fully alive to the rise of a 'beef-eating Mlechha named Ghori in the north-west who had captured Garjani [Ghazni]'. Hamm'ra-mah'k'vya of Nayachandra S'ri states that Prithviraja defeated Muhammad Ghuri at least seven times while Prabandha-chint'maNi of Merutu'ga and Prithvir'jar'so of Chand Bardai put the number of Prithviraja's victories at twenty-one. Muslim historians - Minhaj, Firishta, and others - on the other hand, mention only two battles between these two rulers, one in AD 1191 and the other a year later. 'Dasharatha Sharma reconciles these two versions by suggesting that the Ghorid generals began raiding the Chahmana [Chauhan] territories soon after the occupation of Lahore in AD 1186 but were beaten back by the Chahmana forces. Muslim historians have ignored them altogether.'


It was only in AD 1191 that Muhammad Ghuri 'caused the forces of Islam to be organised and advanced against the fortress of Tabarhindah (Sirhind) and took that stronghold'. This was a frontier fortress held by a Chauhan feudatory. Prithviraja now advanced with his own army and met Muhammad Ghuri at Tarain. 'Before the onslaught of the Chahmana army, the right and left flanks of the Muslim army broke down and took to flight' The Sultan might have fallen off his horse had not a Khalji youth recognized him and carried him out of the field of battle. The Muslim army, not seeing their leader, fled headlong from the battlefield and did not draw rein till they had reached a place considered safe from pursuit. The Sultan was also brought there in a litter of broken spears. From there, they returned to their own dominion.' The Rajputs did not press their advantage to a final conclusion. They were satisfied with Sirhind which was recovered soon after.

'Prithviraja could have now easily consummated his victory by chasing and annihilating his routed enemy. But, instead, he allowed the defeated Muslim army to return unmolested.  This magnanimity, though in accord with the humane dictums of the Hindu Shastras, was completely unsuitable against a ruthless enemy who recognized no moral or ideological scruples in the attainment of victory. The Hindus lacked the capacity to comprehend the real nature of their ruthless adversaries and the new tactics needed to encounter their challenge to Indian independence.' The nemesis came next year, in AD 1192, when Muhammad Ghuri who had made 'sleep and rest unlawful to himself' came back with another army in order to avenge his defeat. Hindus had permitted his earlier army to escape without suffering much hurt.


Before he reached Tarain again, Muhammad Ghuri had sent a messenger from Lahore asking Prithviraja 'to embrace the Musalman faith and acknowledge his supremacy.' Firishta reproduces as follows the letter which Prithviraja wrote to him from the field of battle: 'To the bravery of our soldiers we believe you are no stranger, and to our great superiority in numbers which daily increases, your eyes bear witness' You will repent in time of the rash resolution you have taken, and we shall permit you to retreat in safety; but if you have determined to brave your destiny, we have sworn by our gods to advance upon you with our rank-breaking elephants, our plain-trampling horses, and blood-thirsty soldiers, early in the morning to crush the army which your ambition has led to ruin.' The language of this letter is the typical Rajput language - full of kSham'bh'va (forgiveness) emanating from perfect confidence in one's own par'krama (prowess).

Now the Sultan tried his stratagem He replied: 'I have marched into India at the command of my brother whose general I am. Both honour and duty bind me to exert myself to the utmost' but I shall be glad to obtain a truce till he is informed of the situation and I have received his answer.' The Hindus fell into the trap. Firishta records 'The Sultan made preparations for battle' and when the Rajputs had left their camp for purposes of obeying calls of nature, and for the purpose of performing ablutions, he entered the plain with his ranks marshalled. Although the unbelievers were amazed and confounded, still in the best manner they could, they stood the fight.' The battle raged upto afternoon, when the Hindus found themselves tired and exhausted. They had not eaten even a breakfast. The fight was finished when Ghuri threw in his reserve division constituted by the flower of his army. The Rajputs were defeated and suffered great slaughter.

The Muslims now occupied Delhi and marched into Ajmer. Prithviraja who had been made captive and who refused to swear submission was beheaded and his son was installed as the new king. Rajput resistance was still continuing in the countryside. Ghuri wanted to mollify the patriots by means of a show boy. But that was of no avail. Hariraja, the younger brother of Prithviraja, reoccupied Ajmer in AD 1193.  He also planned to attack and take Delhi again. The plan failed because Ghuri had assembled another big army for his march on the Gahadavad kingdom of Kanauj. Hariraja committed suicide. He was too ashamed to live after so many of his people had embraced death in defense of their country and culture, and after he had remained unsuccessful in redeeming his own pledge.


Jayachandra, the Gahadavad ruler of Kanauj, had not only kept aloof from the battles raging to his south and west; he had also rejoiced in the defeat of the Chauhans, the traditional rivals of the Gahadavads in the bid for supremacy over North India. It was his turn to stand up and accept the challenge when Ghuri appeared at the gates of his kingdom with a re-equipped horde in AD 1194. The armies met at Chandawar. 'The battle was fiercely contested and the Gahadavads led by Jayachandra almost carried the day when the latter seated on a lofty howdah received a deadly wound from an arrow and fell from his exalted seat to the earth.' The Muslims were able to plunder Kanauj and Asni where Jayachandra had kept his treasure. But Rajput resistance continued till Jayachandra's son, Harishchandra, recovered Kanauj, Jaunpur and Mirzapur in AD 1197. 'Kanauj seems to have stayed independent till the reign of Iltumish who ultimately conquered it from Harish Chandra's successor, Adakkamalla.'

The main centers of Hindu power in North India had thus collapsed after the defeat of the Chauhans and the Gahadavads. Bihar, which had been a bone of contention between the Gahadavads and the Senas of Bengal, now became a no-man's-land. Bakhtiyar Khalji, a general of Ghuri, swept through Bihar in AD 1202, and reached Navadvipa, the capital of the Senas, a year later. This was a lightning raid which took the 80 years old Lakshmana Sena by surprise. The Muslim squad had entered Navadvipa in the guise of Muslim merchants to whose visits the Hindus of that city were used. The Sena Raja fled to Sonargaon in East Bengal.


Hindu resistance, however, did not cease. The Muslims had occupied the big cities and the fortified towns. But they had no hold on the countryside which was seething with revolt. The first to deliver a counter-attack were the Mher Rajputs around Ajmer. They rose in AD 1195 and appealed to the Chaulukya ruler of Gujarat for help. The help came. Qutbuddin Aibak, another general of Ghuri, was in charge of Ajmer at that time. According to Hasan Nizami, a contemporary historian, 'The action lasted the whole day and the next morning that immense army of Naharwala Anhilawara, capital of Gujarat] came to the assistance of the vanguard, slew many of the Musalmans, wounded their commander, pursued them to Ajmer and encamped within one parasang of the place.' Aibak rushed messengers to Ghazni, crying for help. 'It was only after a very large army was despatched to reinforce him, that Aibak could be rescued.'

Aibak, in turn, invaded the kingdom of Gujarat in AD 1197. The Chaulukyan army again faced the Muslims at the foot of Mount Abu where Ghuri had been defeated in AD 1178. The Muslim army became nervous and dared not attack. 'It is clear from Hasan Nizami's account that the army of Islam advanced under the cover of darkness of night and caught the Chaulukyan army unprepared at dawn.'12 The Hindus were defeated this time. Anhilawara was occupied and sacked. But the Muslims could not hold Gujarat for long. In the next four years, Bhimadeva II, the Chaulukyan king, recovered the whole of his kingdom from the invaders and was back in Anhilawara in AD 1201. Arnoraja, the Vaghela feudatory of Bhima Deva, met his death in this campaign. But his son, Lavanaprasada, won a singular victory at Stambha, modern Cambay. Sridhara, the governor of Devapattan, inflicted another crushing defeat on the Muslims. 'How and when this army of occupation was driven out of Gujarat is nowhere mentioned by Muslim historians. It is precisely here that the two inscriptions of Dabhoi and Verawal refer to the heroic struggles of two generals of the Chaulukya king, Lavanaprasada and Sridhara.' Dr. Misra concludes: 'For nearly the whole of the next century, Gujarat remained independent. Perhaps no other Indian dynasty put up a more sustained or successful resistance against the Muslims for a longer period.'


In the eastern theatre, Bakhtiyar Khalji could not conquer East Bengal. The Madanpara and Edilpur inscriptions of Visvarupa Sena and Keshava Sena, the successors of Lakshmana Sena, speak of victories won by them over the yavanas. Hodivala points out that 'we possess epigraphic evidence of Lakshmana Sena's descendants having ruled for at least three generations at Vikramapur near Sonargaon in Dacca'.

Blocked by the Senas from East Bengal, Bakhtiyar Khalji advanced into Assam. But his army was destroyed by the king of Kamarupa. He was able to escape with his own life and about a hundred followers. But his army was slaughtered so that he fell sick due to excessive grief and died or was murdered in sick bed by a Muslim rival. 'The Musalman invasion of the Brahmaputra valley was repeated on several occasions during the next five centuries of Muslim rule over north India, but most of these expeditions ended in disaster and Islam failed to make any inroads into the valley.' The present plight of the Hindus of Assam at the hands of Muslim infiltrators is entirely due to that 'peaceful penetration' which was helped in the 20th century, first by the British patrons of the Muslim League and, later on, by vote-hungry Hindu politicians of the ruling party in independent India.


Dr. Misra concludes the 'history of the epic struggle of the Indians against the attempts of the early Muslim invaders to foist an alien faith, an alien culture and an alien rule over Indian soil' with the following words: 'Beginning with the first Arab expedition against Thana near Bombay in A.D. 636 the Muslims only succeeded in establishing the Delhi Sultanate in AD 1206, that is, after prolonged and relentless efforts lasting as many as 570 years. The magnitude of the resistance offered by Indians can be easily comprehended if we remember that the duration of the effective Muslim rule over northern India, not to speak of the whole of India which was much less, if ever, lasted only 500 years (upto the death of Aurangzeb in AD 1707).'

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PERIOD FROM (647 A.D. TO 1200 A.D.)

PERIOD FROM (647 A.D. TO 1200 A.D.) 

The Senas

After the fall of the Palas, the Senas came to prominence in Bengal. They are said to have been from the Brahmana Kshatriya caste. They are said to have originally come from Karnataka in South India. Having settled in Northern Orissa they gradually extended their kingdom to the North. Samantsena was the founder of this dynasty. He was succeeded by Hemant Sena who could not consolidate his position in Bengal. 

Vijayasena succeeded Hemantasena and ruled from (1095-1158). In his rule of sixty years he defeated the Palas and brought almost the whole of Bengal under control. He concluded an alliance with Kalinga and defeated the rulers of Kotatavi and Kausambi. Govinda Chandra the ruler of Kannauj and Nangadeva, the ruler of Methila. The last Pala ruler Madanapala was also defeated by him. After defeating Bhoja Varman he annexed the territories of East Bengal thus bringing the whole of Bengal under his rule. Bihar too came under his dominion after the defeat of Madanapala the last Pala ruler. Vijayasena was an able administrator who was an ardent supporter of peace and prosperity. Besides bring economic prosperity he also promoted art and literature. Vijayasena was succeeded by his son Balalsena who ruled from 1158 to 1178 AD. Having inherited a consolidated empire he devoted most of his time to stabilizing and maintaining peace. He is also said to have added parts of Bihar and Mithila to the Sena Empire. He is also known for reorganizing the caste system in Bengal. He also was a reputed scholar and author of his times and is famous for his two works Dansegara and Adyuta Sagara.

Lakhmanasena was the next successor to the Sena throne, who ruled from 1179 to 1205AD. Despite his old age of sixty when he succeeded to the throne he had proved to be a great warrior and had led to the subjection of Kamarupa, defeat of the Gahadavale King of Kannauj. Even after coming to the throne of the Sena Kingdom he defeated the ruler of Kannauj. Jaya Chandra brought large parts of Bihar under his control and also resisted of Kalachuris. At the later stages of his rule his kingdom began to disintegrate with some nobles and chiefs declaring themselves independent in South and East Bengal. During this period, Bengal was invaded by Muhammad-bin-Bakhtya Khilji. Lakshmansena was defeated and had to flee. He died in 1205AD. After his death his successors could not resist the onslaught of the Muslim invaders after the later half of the thirteenth century.

The Senas had given political stability to Bengal after the fall of the Palas. Hinduism is also said to have flourished during their rule. With the development of Sanskrit literature, eminent poets like Jayadeva the author of the Gita Govinda were patronised during the rule of the Senas.

The Chauhans

The Chauhans were a clan of the Rajputs. They are said to have ruled from 700AD upto 1200AD over parts of Rajasthan near Ajmer. The founder of this dynasty was Vasudeva. The influence of the Pratiharas upon this dynasty had made them subordinates are reduced them to a feudatory. In the 9th century AD Vakpatiraja, a ruler of the Chauhans caused a change in the supremacy of the Pratiharas. He established the independent status of the dynasty and paved the way for further glory.


His name in the history of the Chauhans is well known for defeating the successors of Mahmud Ghaznavi and occupying the whole of Delhi, Bundelkhand and a part of Punjab. He was murdered by his son Jagdeva. Jagdeva was murdered by his younger brother Vigraharaja IV. He is said to have ruled in the middle of the 12th century.    Vigraharaja IV was said to be a brave and powerful ruler, who had fought many battles against both the Muslims and the Hindus rulers. He brought territories of Delhi and Jhansi, Punjab, Rajputana and Western UP under his rule. He resisted the advance of the Muslims in India. He was a good administrator too, besides being a patron of art and literature and also assisted the promotion of education.

Political instability befell the dynasty after Vigraharaja IV. He was succeeded by his son Apara Gangeya who was killed by his own cousin Prithvi Raj II. He was followed by Somadeva who was succeeded by Rai Pithora most commonly known as Prithvi Raj Chauhan. He was one of the most celebrated rulers of the Chauhans. He ruled from 1179-1192AD. The first task of Prithvi Raj Chauhan was to consolidate his position. Mohammed Ghori who had annexed western Punjab posed a serious threat to his rule. Besides this the internal strife and jealousy among the Rajput princes added to the difficulties of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Prithvi Raj Chauhan extended the boundaries of his kingdom by conquests. He defeated the Chandelas and conquered the territory of Bundelkhand. Mohammed Ghori proposed a peace treaty of Prithvi Raj Chauhan while invading other parts of the country. His expansionist policy had developed several enemies who posed serious threat to his kingdom.

The important battles which Prithvi Raj Chauhan were; 

First Battle of Tarain (1191)

This battle was fought by Prithvi Raj Chauhan to stop Mohammed Ghori's entry into India. In this battle he defeated Mohammed Ghori.

Second Battle of Tarain (1192)

This was the battle which sealed the fate of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. In this battle of Prithvi Raj Chauhan was defeated and killed. With the end of Prithvi Raj Chauhan the dynasty of the Chauhans also came to an end.

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History of Rajputs


According to the Hindu Mythology, the Rajputs of Rajasthan were the descendants of the Kshatriyas or warriors of Vedic India. The emergence of the Rajput warrior clans was in the 6th and 7th centuries. Rajputs ancestry can be divided into two: the "solar" or suryavanshi-those descended from Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, and the "lunar" or chandravanshi, who claimed descent from Krishana, the hero of the epic Mahabharata. Later a third clan was added, the agnikula or fire-born, said to have emerged from the flames of a sacrificial fire on Mt Abu.

It has been accepted that the Rajputs were divided into thirty-six races and twenty-one kingdoms. The Rajput clans gave rise to dynasties like Sisodias of Mewar (Udaipur), the Kachwahas of Amber (Jaipur), the Rathors of Marwar (Jodhpur & Bikaner), the Hadas of Jhalwawar, Kota & Bundi, the Bhattis of Jaisalmer, the Shekhawats of Shekhawati and the Chauhans of Ajmer.


Early History

Rajasthan is the north-western region of India, and has remain independent from the great empires. Buddhism failed to make substantial inroad here; the Mauryan Empire (321-184 BC), whose most renowned emperor, Ashoka, Converted to Buddhism in 261 BC, had minimal impact in Rajasthan, However, there are Buddhist caves and stupas (Buddhist Shrines) at Jhalawar, in Southern Rajasthan.

Ancient Hindu scriptural epics make reference to sites in present-day Rajasthan. The Holy Pilgrimage site of Pushkar is mentioned in both the Mahabharata and Ramayana.


Emergence of the Rajputs

The fall of the Gupta Empire, which held dominance in northern India for nearly 300 years until the early 5th Century, was followed by a period of instability as various local chieftains sought to gain supremacy. Power rose and fell in northern India. Stability was only restored with the emergence of the Gurjara Partiharas, the earliest of the Rajput (from 'Rajputra', or Sons of Princes) dynasties which were later to hold the balance of power throughout Rajasthan.

Whatever their actual origins, the Rajputs have evolved a complex mythological genealogy. This ancestry can be divided into two main branches: the Suryavansa, or Race of the Sun (Solar Race), which claims direct descent from Rama; and the Induvansa, or Race of the Moon (Lunar race), which claims descent from Krishna, Later a third branch was added, the Agnikula, or 'Fire Born'. These people claim they were manifested from the flames of a sacrificial fire on Mt.Abu From these three Principal races emerged the 36 Rajput clans.

The Rajput clans gave rise to dynasties such as the Chauhans, Sisodias, Kachhwahas and Rathores. Chauhans of the Agnikula Race emerged in the 12th century and were renowned for their valour. Their territories included the Sapadalksha kingdom, which encompassed a vast area including present- day Jaipur, Ranthambore, part of Mewar, the western portion of Bundi district, Ajmer Kishangarh and even, at one time, Delhi. Branches of the Chauhans also ruled territories know as Ananta (in present-day Shekhawati) and Saptasatabhumi.

The Sisodias of the Suryavansa Race, Originally from Gujarat, migrated to Rajasthan in the mid-7th Century and reigned over Mewar, which encompassed Udaipur and Chittorgarh.

The Kachhwahas, originally from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, traveled west in the 12th century. They built the massive fort at Amber, and later shifted the capital to Jaipur. Like the Sisodias, they belonged to the Suryavansa Race.

Also belonging to the Suryavansa Race, the Rathore (earlier known as Rastrakutas) traveled from Kanauj, in Uttar Pradesh. Initially they settled in Pali, south of present-day Jodhpur, but later moved to Mandore in 1381 and ruled over Marwar (Jodhpur). Later they started building the stunning Meherangarh (fort) at Jodhpur.

The Bhattis, who belong to the Induvansa Race, driven from their homeland in the Punjab by the Turks, installed themselves at Jaisalmer in 1156. They remained more of less entrenched in their desert Kingdom until they were integrated into the state of Rajasthan following Independence.

In spite of the Muslim rule up to Punjab, the Rajputs gained control of the heart of North India. The Rajput (from Raj-Putra i.e. prince or literally "king's son") who held the stage of feudal rulers before the coming of the Muslims were a brave and chivalrous race. The Rajput legend traces their ancestry to Bappa Rawal - the legendary founder of the race who is said to have lived in the 8th century. In actual fact although they were Kshatriyas in the Hindu caste hierarchy, they seem to have genetically descended from the Shakas and Hunas who had invaded north India during the Gupta period and had subsequently settled down in North India and due to their war-like attitudes and been absorbed as Kshatriyas into Hindu society. It is they who held the banner when the first Muslim invaders reached the Indian Heart land in the 12th century i.e. around 1191 C.E.

The Rajputs who till the 10th century were mostly local feudal lords holding the status of revenue collectors for their Gurjara-Pratihara overlords, asserted themselves as independent rulers, after the Ghaznavid storm had blown over, and took over the earlier kingdoms of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. The main Rajput kingdoms in the 11th and 12th centuries were that of the Cahamanas (Chouhans) in East Punjab, Northern Rajasthan and Delhi. The Gahadwalas (Rathods) ruled the Ganges valley today's UP. The Paramaras ruled Malwa in Central India and the Tomaras ruled from Gwaliar. The most powerful kingdoms were hose of the Chouhans and the Rathods - both of which unfortunately were incessantly at war with each other when the Muslim raiders appeared again in the 1191 C.E. The Rajputs, (from Raj-Putra i.e. prince or literally "king's son") who were a brave and chivalrous race, held the stage of feudal rulers before the coming of the Muslims.

The Gahadwalas (Rathods)

In the 11th century i.e. in the post-Mahmud Ghazni era, the most powerful Hindu Kingdom in North India was that of the Gahadwalas or Rathods who were a Rajput clan.

The founder of the Gahadwala line was Chandradeva, whose son Govindchandra Gahadwala was the most illustrious ruler of this line. Govindchandra was an astute ruler and ruled from Kannauj. Most of North India, including the university town of Nalanda was a part of his kingdom. He stoutly defended his kingdom from further Muslims incursion. He instituted a tax for this purpose which was called Turushka Danda (i.e. tax to fight the Turushkas or Turks). His grandson was Jaichandra Gahadwala (Rathod) who played a tragic role in Indian History.

In Jaichand's days, a rival Rajput clan had established itself in Delhi (Pithoragarh). The ruler there was Prithviraj Chouhan. Pritiviraj was a romantic, chivalrous and an extremely fearless person. After ceaseless military campaigns, Pritiviraj extended his original kingdom of Sambhar (Shakambara) to Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Eastern Punjab. He ruled from his twin capitals at Delhi and Ajmer. His fast rise caught the envy of the then powerful ruler Jaichandra Gahadwala and there was a lot of ill-feeling between the two.

Prithiviraj's Love for Sanyogita - Jaichandra's Daughter

The story of Prithviraj's bold exploits spread far and wide in the country and he was the center of much discussion in the circle of the nobility. Sanyogita, the daughter of Jaichandra Gahadwala fell secretly in love with Prithiviraj and she started a secret poetic correspondence with him. Her father the haughty Jaichandra got wind of this and he decided to teach his daughter and her upstart lover a lesson. So he arranged a Swayamwara (a ceremony where a bride can select her husband from the assembled princes. She had the right to garland any prince and she became his queen. This is an ancient Hindu custom among Royalty). Jaichandra invited all the big and small princes of the country to Kannauj for the royal Swayamwara. But he deliberately ignored Prithiviraj.

To add insult to injury, he even made a statue of Prithiviraj and kept him as a dwarpala (doorman).

The Elopement of Sanyogita with Prithviraj

Prithviraj got to know of this and he confided his plans to his lover.

On the said day, Sanyogita walked down the aisle where the royale had assembled and bypassed all of them only to reach the door and garland the statue of Pritiviraj as a doorman. The assemblage was stunned at this brash act of hers. But what stunned them and her father Jaichandra was the next thing that happened.

Prithiviraj who was hiding behind the statue, also in the garb of a doorman, whisked Sanyogita away and put her up on his steed to make a fast getaway to his capital at Delhi.

Jaichandra and his army gave earnest chase and in the resultant string of battles between the two kingdoms fought between 1189 and 1190, both of them suffered heavily. While this drama was being enacted, another ruler also named Mahmud who was from Ghori in Afghanistan had grown powerful and had captured Ghazni and subsequently attacked the Ghaznavid Governor of Punjab and defeated him. The kingdom of Mahmud Ghori now stretched up to the domains of Prithiviraj Chouhan. A clash was inevitable.

Mahmud Ghori threw the gauntlet by laying siege to the fortress of Bhatinda in East Punjab which was on the frontier of Prithiviraj's domains. Prithviraj's appeal for help from his father-in-law was scornfully rejected by the haughty Jaichandra. But undaunted Prithviraj marched on to Bhatinda and met his enemy at a place called Tarain (also called Taraori) near the ancient town of Thanesar. In face of the persistent Rajput attacks, the battle was won as the Muslim army broke ranks and fled leaving their general Mahmud Ghori as a prisoner in Pritiviraj's hands.

Mahmud Ghori was brought in chains to Pithoragarh - Prithviraj's capital and he begged his victor for mercy and release. Prithviraj's ministers advised against pardoning the aggressor. But the chivalrous and valiant Prithviraj thought otherwise and respectfully released the vanquished Ghori.

Battle of Tarain 1191 C.E. - Victory of Prithiviraj Chouhan

Mahmud Ghori threw the gauntlet by laying siege to the fortress of Bhatinda in East Punjab which was on the frontier of Prithiviraj's domains. Prithviraj's appeal for help from his father-in-law was scornfully rejected by the haughty Jaichandra. But undaunted Prithviraj marched on to Bhatinda and met his enemy at a place called Tarain (also called Taraori) near the ancient town of Thanesar. In face of the persistent Rajput attacks, the battle was won as the Muslim army broke ranks and fled leaving their general Mahmud Ghori as a prisoner in Pritiviraj's hands.

Mahmud Ghori was brought in chains to Pithoragarh - Prithviraj's capital and he begged his victor for mercy and release. Prithviraj's ministers advised against pardoning the aggressor. But the chivalrous and valiant Prithviraj thought otherwise and respectfully released the vanquished Ghori.

Battle of Tarain 1192 C.E. - Defeat of Prithiviraj Chouhan

The very next year Prithiviraj's gesture was repaid by Ghori who re-attacked Prithiviraj with a stronger army and guilefully defeated him by attacking the Rajput army before daybreak. (The Hindus incidentally followed a hoary practice of battling only from sunrise up to sunset. Before Sunrise and after Sunset there was to be no fighting- as per a time honoured battle code).The defeated Prithiviraj was pursued up to his capital and in chains he was taken as a captive to Ghor in Afghanistan.

The Blinding of Prithviraj

The story of Prithiviraj does not end here. As a prisoner in Ghor he was presented before Mahmud, where he looked Ghori straight into the eye.

Ghori ordered him to lower his eyes, whereupon a defiant Prithiviraj scornfully told him how he had treated Ghori as a prisoner and said that the eyelids of a Rajputs eyes are lowered only in death.

On hearing this, Ghori flew into a rage and ordered that Prithviraj's eyes be burnt with red hot iron rods.

This heinous deed being done, Prithiviraj was regularly brought to the court to be taunted by Ghori and his courtiers. In those days Prithiviraj was joined by his former biographer Chand Bardai, who had composed a ballad-biography on Pritiviraj in the name of Prithviraj Raso (Songs of Prithviraj). Chand Bardai told Prithiviraj, that he should avenge Ghori's betrayal and daily insults.

The Blind Prithviraj Avenges the Injustice done to him

The two got an opportunity when Ghori announced a game of Archery. On the advice of Chand Bardai, Prithviraj, who was then at court said he would also like to participate. On hearing his suggestion, the courtiers guffawed at him and he was taunted by Ghori as to how he could participate when he could not see. Whereupon, Prithiviraj told Mahmud Ghori to order him to shoot, and he would reach his target.

Ghori became suspicious and asked Prithviraj why he wanted Ghori himself to order and not anyone else. On behalf of Prithiviraj, Chand Bardai told Ghori that he as a king would not accept orders from anyone other than a king. His ego satisfied, Mahmud Ghori agreed.

On the said day, Ghori sitting in his royal enclosure had Prithiviraj brought to the ground and had him unchained for the event. On Ghori's ordering Prithviraj to shoot, we are told Prithiviraj turned in the direction from where he heard Ghori speak and struck Ghori dead with his arrow. This event is described by Chand Bardai in the couplet, "Char bans, chaubis gaj, angul ashta praman, Ete pai Sultan hai (Taa Upar hai Sultan). Ab mat chuko Chauhan."(Ten measures ahead of you and twenty four feet away, is seated the Sultan, do not miss him now, Chouhan).

Thus ended the story of the brave but unrealistic Prithviraj Chouhan - the last Hindu ruler of Delhi. Delhi was to remain under Muslim rule for the next 700 years till 1857 and under British rule till 1947. Those few Hindus who came close to liberating Delhi during the seven centuries of Muslim rule were Rana Sanga in 1527, Raja (Hemu) Vikramaditya in around 1565 (2nd battle of Panipat), and Shrimant Vishwas Rao who was the Peshwa's son and was co-commander of the Maratha forces in the 3rd battle of Panipat in 1761. Metaphorically speaking, the next Hindu ruler to actually preside over Delhi was to be Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of Independent India (and Jawarharlal Nehru - who was the President's first Minister).

From the records of the Sarv Khap Panchayat, book " Sarv Khap ka
Ithihaas' by Nihal Singh Arya

Shahbudin Ghauri (Ghori) and the Jats

1191 CE or Samvat 1248

In the aftermath of the loot of Mahmud of Ghazni, the people had lost
their faith in temples, mutts and the Panda priests. The  Gurus and
sadhus were still revered. The petty kingdoms were fighting among

The petty rajas would spend their time in fighting over women and
marriages. Eight months of the year would be spent like this. They
were indolent and their time was spent in lustful activities. The
Charan Bhats would spend their time making up false stories to please
their masters, and cause their masters to quarrel and fight with each
other. The country was divided into petty kingdoms. Only around Delhi
the Republic of the Sarv Khap of Haryana was stable, and free from
these lowly conditions.

Afghanistan was the seat of the Gaur /Ghaur Clan. They were quite
powerful. With the advance of the Arab Jihad, they lost and converted
to Islam. Mahmud Ghazni had seized their kingdom by treachery.
Allaudin mounted an attack on Ghazni, seized it and destroyed it.
Ghazni at time was one of the more beautiful cities in the world.
Allaudin spared the tomb of Ghazni and put the rest of the city to
fire, the inhabitants of the city were enslaved. In 1213 Vikram Samvat
Allaudin died.

Gyasuddin became King after Safudin and Vahiudin. His younger brother
Shahbudin followed him.

Chitrarekha Nag, was a beautiful Indian dancing girl, who had been
brought from India by Husain the son of Shahbudin's paternal Uncle.
(Chacha). Shahbudin also passionately desired this dancer. Mir Hussein
took this dancer and ran way to Ajmer, where he took shelter with
Prithviraj Chauhan. Prithviraj Chauhan also became infatuated with
this dancing girl.

At that time the Chauhans were to be found in Ajmer. Vigraraj was the
earlier the ruler. In Delhi, Prithviraj Chauhan was ruling. He was son
of the daughter of the Tanwar (Tomar) Anandpal. In Kannauj Jaichand
Gahadwala, was in power. In Bengal Luxman Sen. in Bundelkhand  Parmal
Chandela had his capital at Mahobeh. In Malwa, Bhoj of the Parmar clan
was ruling. In Gujarat in Anhilwara Bhimdev Solanki was in power.
Anhilwara was a famous city in India and the Chauhans were afraid of
the Anhilwara might.

Shahbudin took the excuse of Chitrarekha and mounted a siege on Ajmer,
in 1191 CE but lost.

The Sarv Khap Panchayat supported Prithviraj Chauhan with 22,000 Mulls
or warriors. The leader was a Rajput ,Udaybhan and the deputy
commander were Hriday, of the Brahmin caste. The left wing of Ghauri's
army was annihilated by the Sarv Khap army.

In the next battle between Shahbudin Ghauri at Khanderao, the Sarv
Khap sent 18,000 Mulls. They pushed Ghauri troops back 25 miles.

The Head of the Sarv Khap Panchayat, at the time was Dunghar Jat. The
Deputy head was Harish Chandra Taga (Tyagi).  Sheoram Das, Kayasth and
Shyam Prasad Bania were the Treasurers. Ram Dayal Bhat was the
incharge of diplomatic communications. He was a learned man. He would
always give sound advice. He would teach the Mulls (warriors) well, ad
keep a sharp eye on them. The Panchayati heroes never let bad or
depraved habits enter their company. Where the rajas were sunk in
depravation, the Panchayati republic was the abode of the Gods themselves.

A Bhat ( Bard) Hariprakash painted an accurate picture of the depraved
conditions of the monarchial courts. The rajas had become
characterless. They would fight over women. Only the Sardars (leaders)
of Mohabah were immune. They did not succumb to the high low casteism.
Prithviraj lost many of his leaders in these  blood sport fights over
women. Prithviraj had become a fallen person, and was found drunk day
and night in his harem of prostitutes. The court was full of women
talk. Heroism had rusted. Prostitutes would dance daily in the courts.
The eyes were closed to the Islamic Jihad.

The Chauhan, Rahtors, and Chandelas were being destroyed by in
fighting. Prithviraj went to war with Jaichand over a woman. He
brought many women to his harem in this manner. On his taking and then
leaving a woman of a Rawa clan, the Sarv Khap broke off relations with

Seeing these conditions, Shahbudin Ghauri once more attacked Delhi in
1193 CE. Prithviraj had lost many of his commanders in these petty
bloodsport fights. Chandra Bhan Bhat somehow got Prithviraj out of his
Harem.  A 50,000 strong army was collected. The son in law of
Prithviraj, Samar Singh, brought 12,000 troops from the Raja of
Chittor. The Sarv Khap contributed 18,000 troops, and in this manner
the army's strength was raised to 80,000. The army was very strong,
but a traitor rajput, Vijay Singh joined the army of Ghauri.

 This battle was fought near Thaneswar (modern Haryana near Karnal).
Rana Samar Singh and the Sarv Khap army fought for three days. The
enemy could not advance one inch. A great warrior Sagar Singh Rohrd
led the Panchayat army.  The assistant commanders were three Jats, 5
Gujars, four Ahirs, three rajputs, two Sainis, four Brahmins.
Hardhan, Mardhan, Jungam, Bugli were four warriors of the Jat Dahiya
clan. When these 30,000 warriors had been sacrificed, then the 50,000
strong army of Prithviraj Chauhan advanced.

 The seasoned warriors of this army had already been lost, sacrificed
to the blood sports of Prithviraj. The army was consisting of new
green recruits. They were brought up in a life of ease, women and
drink. In an hour they ran away, and the battle was over. Prithviraj
was captured, and Shahbudin hoisted his flag of victory over Delhi.

In 1194(1251 Vikram S), Jaichand was defeated.

When Shahbudin Ghauri was going back to Afghanistan, the Khokkar Jats
attacked him on the banks of the Sindhu River. The General of the
Khokkars, Anirudh, cut off Ghauri's head in Vikram Samvat 1262 ( 1205 CE).

His slave commander Kutubudin Aibak succeeded Ghauri, and the
Panchayat fought many battles with him

Prithviraj  Chauhan was taken to Afghanistan where he was blinded and
tortured to death,

The Jat reaction:

1. THE HISSAR PANCHAYAT ( 1251 Vikram Samvat, 1194 AD)

The SarvKhap called a Panchayat at Hissar (now in modern Haryana) in
VS 1251 (1194 AD). It was a very large and well-attended panchayat.
While the Panchayat was in progress, Kutub U Din 's army attacked
them. The SarvKhap army fought hard with the enemy. A fierce battle
took place. Many soldiers were killed on both sides. The enemy Muslim
soldiers could not stand up to the brave SarvKhap soldiers, and were
defeated and ran away. They were killed in great numbers. The
SarvKhap army was victorious in this battle. (The history of the
Panchayat of the 18 Khaps- Author Ramsingh Sahityaratan).

Jyesta, Sudhi Teej.

(Held under the stewardship the Khap Baliyan, (who were the ministers
of the Sarv Khap at Shoron, district Muzzafarnagar.)?

In the jungles of Bhanu Banera a great panchayat was held. People
from all jatis (castes) participated. There were 30,000 attendees of
whom there were 15, 000 Mulls (Warriors). Most the participants were

The chairman of the panchayat was chosen to be Chaudhry Vijay Rao,
who was of the Baliyan Khap, and a resident of Sisauli.

The Jat Gogarmull was chosen as the chief general of the
Mulls (Warriors).

This panchayat was called to discuss and deliberate upon the defeat
of the Chauhans and the Rathores (Prithviraj Chauhan and Jai Chand
Rathor) by Mohamad Ghauri.

The chairman of the Panchayat gave a resounding speech, some extracts
of which are as below:

Explaining the reasons of the defeat of the Chauhans the Chairman

" His (Prithviraj's) character had fallen. He was drunk day and
night, and spent his time in the harems. His focus had strayed from
looking after the well being of the population, maintenance of
military skills, teaching his soldiers military skills, and
protection of the nation. His Senapati (general) and his soldiers
also became drunks and developed bad habits and behavior. Jaichand
Rathore betrayed the nation by going against him. At the end he
(Jaichand) too received the reward of death."

[ source; Sarv Khap Panchayat, Shoron,  records]

Edited by nicemali - 26 October 2008 at 6:04am




Joined: 03 August 2005

Posts: 21388

Posted: 26 October 2008 at 8:44am | IP Logged
Thanks for the information

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