ancient indian history

Prithviraj Chauhan the Great Hindu King & Warrior





Prithviraj Chauhan (1149–1192 CE) was a great warrior &, was a hindu king of Chauhan dynasty & had ruled the kingdoms of Delhi & Ajmer during the latter half of the 12th century. Prithviraj Chauhan belonged to the Rajput Chauhan clan and was the last independent Hindu king, before Hemu, to sit upon the throne of Delhi. He succeeded to the throne in 1169 CE at the age of 20, and ruled from the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi which he received from his maternal grandfather Arkpal or Anangpal III of the Tomara dynasity in Delhi. He controlled much of present-day Rajsthan & haryana, and unified the Rajputs against Mughal invasions..

Chauhan defeated the Muslim ruler Shahbudin Muhammad Ghori in the first battle of Tarain in 1191 and set him free as a gesture of mercy. Ghauri attacked for a second time the next year, and Chauhan was defeated and captured at the Second battle of Tarain (1192). Ghori took Chauhan to Ghajni and killed him thereafter.

Prithviraj Chauhan’s succession was not secure since the death of Vigraha Raja in 1165. Prithviraj re-consolidated control over the Chauhan kingdom and conquered several neighbouring kingdoms, making the Chauhan kingdom the dominant Hindu kingdom in northern India. He campaigned against theChandela Rajputs of Bundelkhand. His kingdom included much of present-day northwest India including Rajasthan, Haryana Utterpradesh & Punjab.. The princely state of Nabha had close relations with Chauhan.

Anangpal Tomar III, the king of Delhi, had two daughters, Roopsundari and Kamaladevi. Roopsundari was married to Vijaypal, king of Kannauj, and had a son named Jai Chandra  Jai Chandra’s daughter was named Samyukta  Kamaladevi was married to Someshwar Chauhan, the king of Ajmer, and had a son, Prithviraj, and a daughter, Pratha. Prithviraj married Samyukta, and Pratha was married to Samar Singh, Maharana of Chittor . His uncle Kanha Chauhan’s daughter was married to Raj  Pajawan of Amber .

The battle against Bhimdev Solanki of Gujarat

Bhimdev I the ruler of Patan , Gujarat . Prior to this battle, Chauhan had killed many of Bhimdev’s generals. During this battle Bhimdev’s son, Vanraj Solanki, was seen as a real danger due to his military tactics. A general who served Someshwar had betrayed Prithviraj and had joined Bhimdev. He had given information to Bhimdev and had poisoned Chauhan’s army, which was reduced to 300 men. Bhimdev’s first round of combat was to send 500 soldiers to finish off Chauhan’s army. When this failed, Bhimdev sent 1,000 soldiers to attack in the middle of the night. On the final day, Bhimdev himself clashed with Chauhan’s sword and was defeated.

The battle against Mahoba

Some soldiers from Delhi were injured in Digvijay and decided to stop at the Mahoba royal gardens to ask for help. Guards at the gardens told the soldiers that they had insulted the Mahoba king Parmar by stepping into his garden and attacked and killed the men. Chauhan learned of this and declared war on Mahoba. During the battle the Mahoban army was split into three different sections. One was led by the Prince of Mahoba, while the other two were led by the brothers Alha and Udal. Chauhan defeated the sections under Udal and the Prince of Mahoba. Udal had injured Pundir, a friend and general of Chauhan, in combat. Udal was killed by Chauhan, who was badly injured and could hardly move. Prithviraj and Sanjham Rai, who was also badly injured, fell down a nearby hill and were left to be eaten by crows. Sanjham Rai, in an attempt to save his friend Chauhan, allowed the crows to feed on him and not on Prithviraj. Chauhan was saved by Sanjham Rai, who died a slow death. Alha, commander of the third section, had seen Chauhan fall. Alha was stopped from killing Chauhan by his guru, who explained that Alha only wanted to kill to revenge his brother Udal, and not for the welfare of the Mahoba State. When help arrived from another friend, Chand Bardai, Chauhan became unconscious. He woke in a hut in front of an alchemist, and was shocked and grieved to learn of the death of his friend.

Chauhan recovered from this battle and continued his conquests winning one kingdom after another.

  • One of Chauhan’s minor battles was against King Raichand. King Raichand and some of the other neighbouring kings had seen Chauhan’s injury. At a time when they knew he could not fight, they attacked. The generals and close friends of Chauhan guarded him. Some villagers also came to help fight off Raichand, who was killed in this battle.

  • Chauhan had claimed victory over forces in mountains, taking over the Kukada kingdom. He continued to take over kingdoms, extending his dominion in all four directions. His army continued these tactics for over four years.

  • The last battle of his victory march was against the king of Dariyagargh. Chauhan won the battle and decided to return to Delhi to celebrate his victory. 

First Battle of Tarain, 1191

In 1191, Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori leading an army of 120,000 men, invaded India through the Khyber Pass and was successful in reaching Punjab. Ghori captured a fortress, either at Sirhind (Bathinda of present-day Punjab state on the northwestern frontier of Chauhan’s kingdom. Chauhan’s 100,000 strong army led by his vassal prince Govinda-Raja of Delhi rushed to the defence of the frontier, and the two armies met at the town of Tarain near Thanesar Haryana, 150 kilometres north of Delhi.

Ghori’s army was divided into three flanks, with Ghori himself leading the centre flank on horseback. In addition to being almost twice in number, Chauhan’s army had elephant cavalry comprising 300 elephants, whereas Ghori’s army had none. Many Turkish soldiers in Ghori’s army had not even seen elephants before. The armies clashed first with the charge of the Chauhan cavalry. Ghori’s horse cavalry was unable to hold its own against the elephants, which resulted in the defeat of Ghori’s left and right flanks.

Ghori led two regiments in an attack on the centre, where Ghori met Govinda Raja in personal combat. Govinda Raja, mounted on an elephant, lost his front teeth to Ghori’s lance. As the battle continued, Ghori’s army, exhausted in face of the persistent Rajput attacks and out of water, fled leaving their general Ghori as a prisoner in Chauhan’s hands. Ghori was brought in chains to Pithoragarh, Prithviraj’s capital, where he begged his victor for mercy and release. Prithviraj’s ministers advised him against pardoning the aggressor but the chivalrous and valiant Prithviraj thought otherwise and respectfully released the vanquished Ghori. This which was a decision he would later come to regret. Muhammad Ghori started to regroup his forces again to defeat Chauhan the next year.

Second Battle of Tarain, 1192 AD

In 1192, Ghori reassembled an army of 120,000 men and returned to challenge Chauhan at the Second Battle of Tarain. When he reached Lahore.  he sent his envoy to demand surrender but Chauhan refused to comply. Chauhan then appealed to his fellow Rajput rulers and the aristocracy to come to his aid against Ghori.

Chauhan assembled a very large army with the aid of approximately 150 Rajput rulers and aristocrats. According to the Persian historian Firishta. It consisted of 3,000 elephants, 300,000 horsemen, and considerable infantry. The army was larger than that of Ghori. The armies met in Tarain, where Ghori delivered an ultimatum to Chauhan that he convert to Islam or be defeated. Chauhan countered with an offer that Ghori should consider a truce and be allowed to retreat with his army. Ghori decided to attack.

Ghori divided his troops into five parts and attacked in the early morning hours, sending waves of mounted archers. They retreated as the Chauhan elephant phalanx advanced. Ghori deployed four parts to attack the Rajputs on four sides, keeping a fifth part of his army in reserve. General Khande Rao of the Chauhan forces was killed. At dusk, Ghori himself led a force of 12,000 heavily armored horsemen to the centre of the Rajput line, which collapsed into confusion. Chauhan attempted to escape, but was captured. The Rajput army broke ranks and fled, thereby conceding victory to Ghori. Chauhan was put to death. Even today Afghans vent their anger by stabbing on the grave of Chauhan because according to them Prithviraj had killed Ghori.


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