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Rajput Kingdoms, Prithviraj Chauhan, Jaya Chandra

Prithviraj Chauhan

  • Ghori attacked the fortress of Tabarhinda (Bhatinda), a strategic point for the Chauhans of Ajmer.
  • The ruler of Ajmer Prithviraj Chauhan marched to Tabarhinda and faced the invader in the First Battle of Tarain (1191).
  • Prithviraj scored a brilliant victory in this battle but failed to consolidate his position believing this battle to be a frontier fight, and did not expect the Ghurids to make regular attacks.
  • Ghori was wounded and carried away by a horseman to safety. Contrary to the expectations of Prithviraj Chauhan, Muhammad Ghori marched into India in the following year (1192).
  • Prithviraj underestimated the potential danger of the enemy.
  • In the Second Battle of Tarain, one of the turning points in Indian history, Prithviraj suffered a crushing defeat and was eventually captured.
  • Ghori restored him to his throne in Ajmer.
  • But on charges of treason he was later executed, and Ghori’s trusted general Qutb-uddin Aibak was appointed as his deputy in India.

Jaya Chandra of Kanauj

  • Soon Ghori was back in India to fight against the Kanauj ruler Jaya Chandra.
  • When all Rajput chiefs had stood by Prithviraja in his battles against Muhammad Ghori, Jaya Chandra stood apart, as there was enmity between Prithviraj and Jai Chandra, on account of Prithviraj’s abduction of Jaya Chandra’s daughter Samyukta.
  • So Ghori easily defeated Jaya Chandra and returned to Ghazni with an enormous booty.
  • On the way while camping on the banks of Indus, he was killed by some unidentified assassins.

Rajput Kingdoms

  • By the beginning of the tenth century two powerful Rajput Kingdoms Gurjar Prathihara and Rashtrakutas had lost their power.
  • Tomaras (Delhi), Chauhans (Rajasthan), Solankis (Gujarat), Paramaras (Malwa), Gahadavalas (Kanauj) and Chandelas (Bundelkhand) had become important ruling dynasties of Northern India.
  • Vighraharaja and Prithviraj, two prominent Chauhan rulers, Bhoja of Paramara dynasty, Ghadavala king Jayachandra, Yasovarman, Kirti Varman of Chandelas were all strong in their own regions.

The world famous Khajuraho temple complex consisting of many temples including the Lakshmana temple, Vishwanatha temple and Kandariya Mahadeva temple was built by the Chandelas of Bundelkhand who ruled from Khajuraho.

  • The Rajputs had a long tradition of martial spirit, courage and bravery.
  • There was little difference between the weapons used by the Turks and the Rajputs.
  • But in regimental discipline and training the Rajputs were lax.
  • In planning their tactics to suit the conditions, the Turks excelled.
  • Moreover, the Turkish cavalry was superior to the Indian cavalry.
  • The Rajput forces depended more on war elephants, which were spectacular but slow moving compared to the Turkish cavalry.
  • The Turkish horsemen had greater mobility and were skilled in mounted archery.
  • This was a definite military advantage which the Turks used well against their enemies and emerged triumphant in the battles.

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