PRITHVI RAJ CHAUHAN
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 6:23:00 PM
Prithvi Raj Chauhan was the second-to-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 defeated the Afghan ruler Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191 CE. Ghori attacked for a second time next year, and Prithvi Raj was defeated deceitfully at the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 CE. After his defeat, India was open to invasion by Muslim invaders, and Delhi came under the control of the Muslim rulers.
PRITHVI RAJ CHAUHAN OF AJMER
Prithvi Raj reconsolidated control of the Chauhan kingdom and conquered several neighboring kingdoms, which made his state the leading Hindu kingdom in northern India. He campaigned against the Chandela Rajputs of Bundelkhand. His kingdom included much of the present-day Indian states of Rajasthan and Haryana, and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Prithvi Raj Chauhan, also called Rai Pathora, 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. He was brave, powerful, haughty and considered the flower of Rajput chivalry. Prithvi's first cousin Jaichand, Raja of Kanauj, had strained relations with Prithvi because a) their grandfather (father of their mothers) made Prithvi heir to the throne of Delhi and b) Prithvi married the beautiful daughter of Jai Chand against Jai Chand's wish.
Anangpal Tomara II, the King of Delhi, had two daughters, Roopsundari and Kamaladevi. Roopsundari was married to Vijaypal, King of Kannauj and had a son Jai Chandra. Jai Chandra's daughter was named Sanyogita. Kamaladevi was married to Someshwar Chauhan, the King of Ajmer and had a son Prithviraj and a daughter Pratha. Prithviraj later married Sanyogita and Pratha was married to Samar Singh (King of Chittor). His uncle Kanh's daughter was married to Raja Pajawan or Pajjun of Amber.
Prithvi Raj was born c. 1168 to King Someshwara Chauhan and his wife Kamladevi. He was renowned to be the sharpest among all the princes in the household.
At Gurukul, Prithvi Raj learnt shastra vidya (weaponry, armed combat), sahitya (literature), kala (arts) and rajniti shastra (politics). It was here that he learned the art of "shaabd bhedi baan vidhya" that is hitting a target without seeing the target, that is only on the basis of sound.
Prithvi Raj Chauhan at the age of 12 killed a lion barehanded and won a spectacular battle against Bheemdev Solanki, the king of Gujarat, and subsequently killing him.
With the stories of Prithvi Raj Chauhan's courage, valor and intelligence spreading far and wide and Anangpal Tomar, the King of Delhi choose to make him the King of Delhi over Jai Chandra, King of Kannauj. Thus at a young age of 13 years, Prithviraj was crowned the King of Delhi.
1) The battle against Bhimdev Solanki of Gujarat. Prior to the war, Prithviraj Chauhan had killed many of Bhimdev's generals. In the battle, his son Vanraj Solanki was seen as the real danger to watch out for, due to his wise tactics. One general who served Someshwar had betrayed Prithviraj and had joined Bhimdev. He had given all the inside information to Bhimdev and had poisoned Prithviraj Chauhan's army. Prithviraj's army was then reduced to a mere 300. Bhimdev's first round of combat was sending 500 soldiers to finish Prithviraj Chauhan's army off. However, as this failed, Bhimdev then decided to send 1000 soldiers to attack in the middle of the night. On the final day, Bhimdev himself clashed with Prithviraj Chauhan's sword and was defeated.
2) The battle against Mahoba. One of Delhi's soldier was injured in the Digvijay. Delhi's soldier decided to stop over at the Mahoba royal garden and ask for help. However, the Mahoba soldiers told the Delhi soldiers that they had insulted the Mohaba king parmar by stepping into the royal garden. This led to the Mahoba soldiers attacking Delhi's soldiers. All Delhi soldiers who stepped in the royal garden were killed. Prithviraj Chauhan came to know of this, he was insulted ant therefore declared a war. The Mahoba army was split into 3 different sections. One was led by the prince of Mahoba, the other by Alha, and the third by Udal. Prithviraj Chauhan had defeated the section under the control of Udal and the section under the control of the prince of Mahoba. Udal here had injured Pundir (friend and general of Prithviraj Chauhan) in a personal combat. Udal was killed after a stiff combat against Prithviraj Chauhan during the war. However, the last section of Alha proved to be very difficult. After a raging fight between Alha and Prithviraj, Prithviraj was injured and he was so badly cut that at the end of the war he could hardly move. He and his other friend Sanjham Rai were badly injured and fell down a nearby hill. They were left to be fed to the eagles. Sanjham Rai, in an attempt to save his friend Prithviraj, gave his blood to the eagles and allowed the eagles to feed on him and not on Prithviraj. Thus Prithviraj Chauhan was saved this day by his friend who died a slow death. Alha had been stopped from killing Prithviraj Chauhan by his guru as his guru explained that Alha only wanted to kill for revenge of his brother Udal and not for the welfare of his state Mahoba. When help arrived from his other friend Chand Bardai, Prithvi became unconscious. He later found himself in a hut in front of an alchemist. He was really shocked for the death of his close friend and grieved for him. Prithviraj Chauhan later on however recovered himself and prepared to continue his victory march, winning kingdoms one after the other.
3) One of Prithviraj's small battles was against King Raichand. King Raichand and some of the other neighbouring kings saw Prithviraj's injury and tenderness. At a time when they knew Prithviraj could not fight, they attacked Delhi's army. The generals and close friend of Prithviraj Chauhan guarded the king of Delhi. Some villagers also came in handy to help fight off King Raichand. King Raichand was killed in this battle.
4) Prithviraj Chauhan had claimed victory over forces in mountains, taking over the Kukada kingdom. He continued to take over kingdoms, extending his region in all four directions. His army continued a somewhat bloody victory march for over four years.
5) The last battle of his victory march was against the king of Dariyagargh. Prithviraj Chauhan won the battle and decided to return to Delhi, to celebrate his victory in the Digvijay. But soon after conquering the kingdom of Daryigargh he had to witness the destruction of a major portion of his state.It was here when he came face to face with Sultan Muhammad Shahab-Ud-Din Ghori. This was Muhammad Ghori's first attack on Prithviraj's domain. .
First Battle of Tarain
Muhammad's conquests had brought his kingdom right to the border of Prithviraj's, and in 1191 Muhammad Ghori captured a fortress, either Sirhind or Bathinda in present-day Punjab state, on Prithviraj's northwestern frontier. Prithviraj's army, led by his vassal Govinda-Raja of Delhi, rushed to the defense of the frontier, and the two armies met at the town of Tarain (Taraori), near Thanesar in present-day Haryana, approximately 150 kilometres north of Delhi.
In this battle Muhammad Ghori was defeated and injured badly by Prithviraj Chauhan, taken captive and then chauhan was kind to Ghori and decided to let ghori go against the advice of his ministers. Prithviraj went to kannauj to marry Sanyogita and brought her to Dehli after a long encouter with her father Jai Chand. Jai Chand was defeated by Prithviraj Chauhan but Prithivi let him go since he promised Sanyogita that he will not kill her father. But unfortunately Prithvi lost his two friends in battle with Jai Chand, namely Pundir and Arjun.
Second Battle of Tarain
Since Muhhamad Ghori escaped he reinforced himself and came back to Delhi after a good preparation and huge army. He entered the borders by disguising themselves as traders. Prithviraj's friend and brother in law Samar Singh recognized Ghori but Ghori killed him. There started the second battle of terrain. By the end of first day of battle half of Ghoris soldiers were killed and ghori himself was badly defeated by Prithvi. Prithvi was just about to finish Ghori but to the great fortune of Ghori sun was set and following the tradition of rajputs prithvi didn't kill him and let him go to his camp.
Muhammad Ghori recognized that it is impossible to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan in the battle field, he attacked Prithvi in the night only when he was sleeping and made him war prisoner. He took Prithvi to his kingdom of Ghor. There he buried Prithvis eyes for the reason Prithvi gazed Ghori without being frightened from Ghori.
Chand Bardai came to Ghor to meet Prithvi and after meeting him they decided a plan to finish Ghori. Chand told Ghori that Prithvi can shoot arrow on hearing voice only. Ghori didn't believe him. Thereby a show was organized to demonstrate Prithvis skill of shooting "Shabd Bhedi Baan". Chand told Prithvi that how far Ghori is sitting through a shloka which only Prithvi could understand. After this Chand told Ghori to order Prithvi to shoot arrow telling him that prithvi will do it only after the orders of the king. Ghori followed what Chand told and ordred Prithvi to shoot.
Recognizing the voice of Ghori, Prithvi shoot the arrow from where the voice was coming and arrow shot Ghori exactly on his lower part of throat and he died on the spot. After that Chand & Prithvi stabbed each other and hearing this news Sanyogita also suicided.
Prithviraj was a brave King. He could have stopped muslim invasion of India, if Ghori hadn't cheated.
Coin of Prithiviraja of Chauhans or Chahamanas of Ajmer/Delhi , circa 1179 AD -1192 AD.
Obv: Rider bearing lance on caparisoned horse facing right. Devnagari Legends : Sri Pr/thvi raja deva'. Rev: Recumbent bull facing left, trishula on bulls rump, Devnagari Legends : Asavari / Sri Samanta deva.
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