Battle of Tarain : Story of Heroic Prithviraj Chauhan

Battle of Tarain

Three battles were fought at Tarain including the first battle of Tarain in 1191, the second battle of Tarain in 1192, third battle of Tarain in 1216. The first battle of Tarain witnessed the victory of king Prithviraj Chauhan whereas the second battle of tarain witnessed, the successful revenge of Shahabuddin Mohammad Ghori. In the third battle of tarain, Iltutmish defeated Taj-al-Din Yildiz.

Initially, to gain control over the Kannauj triangle, the three great powers continuously attacked each other. The powers include Gurjaras, Palas, and Rashtrakutas. If these didn’t have fought against each other than Muslim rule in India wouldn’t be there. Mohammad Ghori started his rule from Afghanistan and then captured Pakistan. In order to capture India the only problem, Mohammad Ghori was facing in the north was a strong and mighty army of Rajputs whose stories of bravery were breathtaking. Therefore Muhammad GhoriMohammad Ghori knew the fact that they cannot attack directly to the northern part of India.

Battle of Tarain soldiers of Prithviraj Chauhan
Soldiers of Prithviraj Chauhan

The first move of the battle was started by Mohammad Ghori, who captured and seized the fort of Sialkot with Jammu rulers’ help. He was able to put an end to Ghaznavids rule who raided India 17 times. He captured Lahore and also executed the last Ghaznavid ruler, Khusrau- malik.

This boosted up the confidence of Mohammad Ghori, and he somehow decided to battle against Prithviraj Chauhan. The khyber pass allowed Mohammad Ghori to reach the Indian subcontinent, whereas more than 1000 horsemen supported him. Both the armies met at the Tarain and showed their skills. Mohammad Ghori tried lots of strategies attacking from three sides i.e., left, right, and Centre but was not able to break through the Rajputs.

War Strategy and Politics

Prithviraj Chauhan was accompanied by his brother Govind raja, it is said that both Mohammad Ghori and Prithviraj raj Chauhan brother had a one to one fight in the battlefield and Mohammad Ghori was heavily injured and was forced to retreat. Thus in the first battle of tarain, Mohammad Ghori was defeated, and Prithviraj Chauhan was able to hold back his kingdom and rein.

Mohammad Ghori in Battle of Tarain
Mohammad Ghori attacking with his army

After a year back in 1192, Mohammad Ghori again attacked back on Prithviraj Chauhan. He knew the fact that he cannot attack from the frontal side. Therefore, he decided to divide his army of 1,20,000 men into two who will attack from behind. The ruler of Kanauj Jai Chandra
didn’t ally with Prithviraj Chauhan, in fact, it is said that as his daughter married Prithviraj without his permission, Chauhan, therefore, for the sake of his respect, helped Mohammad Ghori against Prithviraj Chauhan.

It is also said that Mohammad Ghori first wrote a letter to Mohammad Ghori to surrender in order to make randomness in his decision making. Four divisions attacked Prithviraj Chauhan from the back but still, the disciplined Rajput army was able to hold their grounds.
Mohammad Ghori called his last division to retreat.

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When Rajputs observed that the army was retreating, they started chasing them, but this was a trap. Mohammad Ghori 10,000 archers
were kept reserved, which shot the arrows from the back. This was the turning point of the battle, and the Prithviraj Chauhan army suffered a huge loss, whereas Govindarajan was killed in action.

After the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain. Mohammad Ghori took all idol-worshipping areas of northern India. Mohammad Ghori didn’t only bring the army along with him. He also brought thousands of slaves with himself whom he treated as a child of his own.

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Later one of his slave Qutub if din aback started a slave dynasty, then later Khilji, Mughlai, and finally, the Mughal dynasty came into existence. Prithviraj Chauhan’s son was made ruler of Ajmer while Mohammad Ghori left-back to Afghanistan, making Qutub ud-Din AibakQutub ud din aback as the ruler of the north.

Conclusion of Battle of Tarain

Initially, there was Hindu dominance over the entire market, and there were fewer or no Mughals present in northern India. Moreover, the bravery of Rajput was so famous that nobody attacked them. If in the first battle of Tarain Prithviraj Chauhan army should have chased Mohammad Ghori and killed him.

Soldiers of Mohammad Ghori in Battle of Tarain
Soldiers of Mohammad Ghori in Battle of Tarain

The mistake of not killing Mohammad Ghori in the first battle led to the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle. Moreover, if the ruler of Kanauj would have supported the Rajputs keeping the differences aside, then results would have been different. The
Rajputs also showed their overconfidence by chasing the army to death.This overconfidence leads to their own death by falling into a nasty trap laid by Mohammad Ghori.

Before the battle of Tarain Hindus followed idol worship and beef was absolutely banned, even no one knew the concept of beef, but after the Rajputs’ defeat, idol worship was not allowed openly due to which many of the Hindu priests were homeless. Due to sudden changes in
customs and religion of the rulers the locals had to be very careful with the new ruler as he was Muslim and most of the kingdom consist of Hindu people.

Moreover, this changed the entire phase of Indian history as this brought new dynasty rules to India, and The power of Rajput went
limited. Ultimately leading entirely new India. This was all about Battle of Tarain.

Image source- Medium.com

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