Muhammad Ghori led a series of the campaigns in India which recalled the days of Mahamud Ghaznavi , 200 years back. The first thing Muhammad Ghori did was to bring the Muslim provinces of India under his control.
He began with Multan in 1175 against a Muslim ruler and got victorious.
Battle of Gujarat (Battle of Kayadra) 1178
The First battle of Muhammad Ghori against a Hindu ruler was with Raja Bhimdev II of Gujarat who was a member of Solanki Dynasty. This is called “Battle of Gujarat” and took place at Kayadra near Mount Abu. Raja Bhimdev II was a young men and real regent was his mother Naikidevi. Naikidevi inflicted such a major defeat to Muhammad Ghori that this invasion became Muhammad’s first and last attack on India from the Gujarat side. He never turned to Gujarat later on.
In 1179, he took Peshawar from Khusrau Malik , the last successor of Mahmud, who was a weak , gentle king , who submitted to Ghori easily and gave his son as a Slave to him. In 1181, he ravaged Lahore and fortified Sialkot. He did not leave the successors of Mahmud. Khusrau and his son were taken to Ghor and confided in the fort, where after five years they were put to death. Within a decade, Muhammad Ghori had got rid of all the Muslim forces in India. Now he could turn to Hindus.
The First Battle of Tarain 1191
Muhammad Ghori’s first encounter with the brilliant and formidable array of the Rajputs was like to have been the last.
The two armies met at Tarain (Near Karnal, in Haryana) in 1191. The blast of the Muslims got powerless in front of the Hindu Rajputs.
He tried to save the day in a personal combat with Prithivi Raj Chauhan’s brother Govind-Raja, the viceroy of Delhi and with his spear was able to drive his teeth down his throat, but the exposure nearly cost him of his life.
He was saved by a Turkic retainer mounted on the horse behind him who carried him off the field. The Rajput forces chased the Muslims for 40 miles. The army of Islam had never had been so worsted as by this torrent of the Rajputs. Muhammad did not stop at Lahore but was so much shocked that he hastened to cross the Indus and get back to his own country Ghazni.
Second Battle of Tarain 1192
The unforgettable disaster of 1191 gave the Sultan sleepless nights, but India saw him next year with a well prepared army of 120,000 Afghans, Turks and Persians.
Muhammad took lesson from his previous campaign. In the first battle of Tarain he had divided his army in three flanks. This time he divided it into 5 flanks, 4 to harass the Rajputs from 4 sides and a fifth, a reserve force of 12000 horsemen in steel armor. The proud army of Rajput chiefs once shaken tottered to its fall like a building and lost in its own ruins. Most of the Rajput Chiefs were killed. Prithviraj mounted himself on a horse and fled but was captured and executed.
The cities of Ajmer, Hansi, Saraswati, Samana etc. faced a ruthless slaughter, there was a general destruction of temples and idols.
The throne of Ajmer was left to Gola, a son of the late Raja as a vassal of Sultan, on the condition of regular tributes.
Delhi was soon captured. The armies of Muhammad soon advanced towards east. Under his general Qutub-ud-din, his armies sacked Ayodhya in 1193 and in 1204 he defeated Lakshaman Sena of Sena dynasty in Bengal, but Bengal was not conquered.
Muhammad Ghori, the founder of Muslim Rule in India was without any offsprings. He treated his Turkic slaves as his sons. Almost all slaves except Qutub-ud-din Aibak were not true to him.
After his assassination, his empire was divided among his slaves. One of his slaves Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha became ruler of Multan, another Taj-ud-Din Yildoz became ruler of Ghazni and yet another Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji became ruler of Bengal.
In 1206, Muhammad appointed his slave Qutub-ud-din as Naib us Sultanate (Viceroy) of his empire in India and bestowed him the title of Aibak (The axis of faith).
In 1206 only, there was a rebellion in Punjab. Mohammad returned from Ghazna and crushed the rebel, but when he was returning, he was killed at Jhelum.
Legacy of Muhammad Ghori
Muhammad Ghori rose from smaller beginnings than Mahmud Ghaznavi, but he carried arms farther and left indisputable footprints in India. He conquered India but did not declare himself as Independent King of India and remained a loyal brother to Ghiyasuddin. He returned to Ghazani and tried to subdue the revolts in the western parts, which were strategically more important for the survival of the Ghori Dynasty. After he was killed, the Ghor Dynasty relapsed into insignificance. But in India, his victory was not lost and further consolidated under the other rulers. Though India was not something which could be won in one generation, but till 1857, we find always a Muslim Ruler on the throne of Delhi.
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