Mohammad Gauri’s Invasions

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Shahab-ud-Din, mostly known as Mohammad Gauri, was the younger brother of Ghais-ud-Din, the ruler of Gaur.

In 1173, Ghais-ud-Din conquered the Ghazni. He started to rule over Gaur and gave the control of Ghazni to his younger brother, Mohammad Gauri.

Mohammad Gauri was not satisfied with just Ghazni. So, he decided to attack on India.

The Conquest of Punjab and Sindh

In 1175, he attacked on Multan and defeated the Ismailian Heretics, who were the ruling power there. Then, he conquered the fort of Uch.

Now, Mohammad Gauri was in high spirits. So, he decided to attack on Gujrat, but it was not his right decision. The powerful king of Gujrat, Bhimdev, defeated him. Mohammad Gauri could save his life by very difficulty.

During 1179 to 1186 Gauri occupied Lahore and Sindh. With the help of king of Jammu, he attacked on Peshawar, and then he occupied the fort of Sialkot.

The occupation of Lahore opened the way for his future conquests of India. Till now, he fought against Muslim rivals. Now, he could turn to the Hindus.

The First Battle of Tarain

Mohammad Gauri wanted to conquer India, so he moved forward to Delhi in 1191. He occupied Sirhind.

Now, he had to face the Rajputs. The king of Delhi, Prithavi Raj Chauhan, was a Rajput. In 1191, both the armies took stand against each other in Tarain, a place about 10 miles far from Karnal (now in Haryana state of India).

The Rajputs were very brave soldiers. They used to fight to the death. They showed their skill in the battlefield. The invaders could not stand before them. Gauri was wounded badly. He had no other option. He decided to return.

It was absolutely a terrible defeat for the invaders at the hands of the Hindus.

The Second Battle of Tarain

Next year, Mohammad Gauri invaded India again, with 1,20,000 army. This time, he got help of Afghans, Turks, and Persians etc.

In the battlefield of Tarain, the king of Delhi, Prithavi Raj Chauhan came forward to fight against the invaders. He had 2,00,000 army men.

This time, Mohammad Gauri could defeat Prithavi Raj. Prithavi Raj was captured and later, killed.

The Battle against Jai Chand Rathor

When Mohammad Gauri was fighting against Prithavi Raj Chauhan, the king of Kannauj; Jai Chand Rathor did not help Prithavi Raj. Jai Chand rejoiced in the fall of Prithavi, but two years later the same tragic fate was to overtake him.

In 1194, Mohammad Gauri invaded India again and attacked on Kannauj. In the battlefield of Chandawar, he defeated Jai Chand Rathor.

Gauri appointed Kutab-ud-Din Aibak his viceroy and returned to Ghazni.

The Conquest of Gujrat and Bundelkhand

As a viceroy of Mohammad Gauri, Kutab-ud-Din Aibak attacked on Anhilwara, the capital of Gujrat. The king of Gujrat, Bhimdev, fought bravely and defeated Kutab-ud-Din.

Kutab-ud-Din attacked again and this time he could defeat Bhimdev. He got too much money.

Then, Kutab-ud-Din attacked on Bundelkhand, which was under control of Chandel Rajputs. Kutab-ud-Din defeated them. 50,000 people were arrested. Mosques were constructed destroying Hindu temples.

The Conquest of Bengal and Bihar

While Kutab-ud-Din was fighting in Gujrat and Bundelkhand, another slave of Mohammad Gauri, Mohammad-Bin-Bakhtiyar Khilji, attacked on Bihar in 1197. The Buddhist king of Bihar, Indraman, did not fight against the invaders. Without any battle, this state was occupied by Mohammad-Bin-Bakhtiyar.

The Buddhist-temples were destroyed and thousands of Buddhist monks were killed.

In 1202, Khilji attacked on Bengal with a few soldiers. Lakshman Sen, the king, ran away. The invaders looted the state. Now, Khilji was the viceroy of Mohammad Gauri in Bengal and Bihar.

Revolt of Khokhars

In 1205, Mohammad Gauri came into India, when the Khokhars stood in revolt. He defeated them and reestablished his rule.

On March 15, 1206, when Gauri was going to Ghazni from Lahore, someone killed him in Dhamyak in district of Jehlam (now in Pakistan).