Tag Archives: Muslim Rule in India

Jalal-ud-Din Feroze Khilji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Jalal-ud-Din Feroze Khilji ruled as a king for six years. In the very beginning, people were against him. It was natural, because he became the king only after bloodshed. But he could succeed to remove the hatred of the people by some of his actions.

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji had already proved himself a warrior and a man of iron will before becoming the king, but after getting the throne, he adopted a soft policy. It becomes, sometimes, necessary to take a hard stance in the field of politics. Otherwise, failure is sure. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji was a failed ruler, though he was, generally, a kind man.

Revolt of Malik Chhajju

Some of the relatives of Balban were still alive. Malik Chhajju, a landlord of Kara, was one of them. He was a nephew of Balban. He wanted to overthrow Jalal-ud-Din Khilji.

In 1291, Malik Chhajju revolted against him. He marched towards Delhi. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji sent his son, Arkali Khan, against Malik Chhajju. Near Badaon, he defeated Chhajju and captured him. Chhajju was brought before the king Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. Instead of punishing them, the king pardoned him and fed him from the royal kitchen, though many chiefs were against this policy.

Chhajju was sent to Multan. The king made arrangements for his comforts. Kara was given to Ala-ud-Din, son-in-law of the king.

Policy for Thieves and Robbers

Jalal-ud-Din followed same policy while dealing with thieves and robbers. Once, a number of thieves were arrested, but he delivered a lecture on the evils of stealing before them and released.

Once, thousands of murderers and robbers were sent to Bengal in boats down the Ganges and they were set free there.

Taj-ud-Din Kutchi

Many chiefs were not happy with the mild policy of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. They began to discuss openly plans to overthrow him.

In a party given by Taj-ud-Din Kutchi, a chief said, “I will the king with my knife”. Another chief said, “I will cut him into small pieces”.

The king came to know of this. He threw his sword before them and challenged any one of them to have the courage to use the same against him. No one dared. Jalal-ud-Din pardoned all the chiefs after giving them a warning.

Attack on Ranthambhor

Jalal-ud-Din led his expedition against Ranthambhor in 1290. It was his first expedition. Ranthambhor was a very famous fort. Even Balban could not occupy it.

Jalal-ud-Din saw the fort from a distant and thought that he could not occupy it by force. Jalal-ud-Din decided to give up. He said to his men, “I do not value this fort so much as the hair of one Muslim”.

And he came back to Delhi.

Mongol invasion

The Mongols invaded India once again during the reign of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. This time, the Mongols attacked under leadership of Abdulla, grandson of Halaku.

Though, Jalal-ud-Din was an old man, he went in person to oppose them. He succeeded to defeat Mongols. But this time again, the King made a big mistake. He allowed some of the Mongols to settle near Delhi. These Mongols became Muslims. Their descendants of those Mongols came to be known as New Mussalmans (Muslims).

The New Mussalmans proved turbulent neighbours of the Delhi Government and caused it much anxiety.

Ala-ud-Din’s expeditions

Ala-ud-Din was the nephew and son-in-law of King Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. When he was the governor of Kara, an expedition was undertaken against Mandawar. In 1292, Ala-ud-Din captured it. In the same year, he captured the town of Bhilsa also.

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji now made him the Governor of Avadh in addition to that of Kara.

Ala-ud-Din heard of the wealth of King Ram Chandra, the King of Devgiri. He wanted to get all this wealth. So, in 1294, he attacked on Devgiri and defeated the king, Ram Chandra. He brought a lot of wealth from Devgiri.

Siddi Maula

Jalal-ud-Din usually followed a mild policy, but there was one time, when he discarded this policy. It was in case of Siddi Maula, a saint.

Siddi Maula was a disciple of Sheikh Farid-ud-Din of Pak-Pattan. He used to run a very big Khangah, where thousands of poor people were fed daily.

There was an allegation that some chiefs formed a plot to murder the King Jalal-ud-Din Khilji with the help of Siddi Maula. When Jalal-ud-Din was talking to Siddi Maula, he lost his temper and had Siddi Maula put to death by an elephant.

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji pardoned many thieves, robbers and murderers, but a saint was killed by his order, though Siddi’s fault had yet to be established.

It is said that after the death of Siddi Maula, there was a huge storm. Darkness spread everywhere. There were no rains in that year. Many people died. It was attributed to the great injustice done to Siddi Maula.

Murder of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji’s nephew and son-in-law, Ala-ud-Din was a very ambitious person. The advisers of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji knew this fact. When Ala-ud-Din was leading an expedition against Devgiri, the advisers of the King Jalal-ud-Din Khilji tried to impress upon him that Ala-ud-Din had his eye on the throne and timely action should be taken against him. The King did not agree to them.

Disregarding the warnings of his advisers, he went to welcome his son-in-law Ala-ud-Din in Kara, who was returning after capturing Devgiri. When Jalal-ud-Din Khilji embraced Ala-ud-Din, the latter gave a signal to one of his men, who gave two sword-blows to the King. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji tried to escape, but in vain. Another man of Ala-ud-Din cut the head of the King from his body. Other men of the King were also killed. The head of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji was put on a spear and paraded through the provinces of Kara, Manikpur and Avadh.

One of the cowardly murders in history was perpetrated.

The Khilji Revolution

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Kaikabad was the grandson of Balban. His teacher never allowed him to talk to any girl. He never tasted wine. But when he became the king of Delhi, he could not control himself. He was just 18 years old at that time. He started to spend his time in the company of beautiful girls. He used to drink wine even in daytime. The police officer in charge of Delhi Fakhar-ud-Din’s son-in-law, Nizam-ud-Din became his right hand but he just misguided him.

Nizam-ud-Din could get an order from the king to kill Kai Khusreau. Kai Khusreau was killed near Rohtak, when he was coming to Delhi from Multan.

This was just a murder. It made the chiefs and other people very angry. A group under the leadership of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji came into existence.

But Nizam-ud-Din was not stopped by anyone. He insulted Khwaja Khatier in the public. Governor of Sultanpur was killed by his order. In order to save themselves, even many Turk chiefs joined the group led by Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. In this situation, some friends of the king killed Nizam-ud-Din in 1281.

When Nizam-ud-Din died, two Turk chiefs, Malik Kachchhan and Malik Surbha, got the real power. The king Kaikabad had a paralytic stroke. He was now on bed. Malik Kachchhan and Malik Surbha and some other chiefs enthroned Kayumars, the three years old son of king Kaikabad.

Malik Kachchhan and Malik Surbha were Turks. They planned to kill all non-Turk chiefs. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji, the minister for army, was a non-Turk. He was aware of all situations. He went to a village near Delhi to avoid any mishappening. Malik Kachchhan called him, but he did not go. Now, Malik Kachchhan went himself to that village. It was his big mistake. Khilji’s men killed him brutally. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji’s men entered into the royal palace and took the king Kayumars, a three years old child, into their custody. Malik Surbha and his supporters were killed.

People arose against the Khilji, but many Turk chiefs joined the Khilji camp. A man, whose father was killed by the order of Kaikabad, killed Kaikabad in his own palace.

For some time, Jalal-ud-Din worked as a guardian of three years old king, and then he became himself the king of Delhi. It was the year of 1290.

This is called ‘Khilji revolution’ in some history books.

The Slave Dynasty

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

During the time period of 1206 to 1290, all the Muslim rulers of Delhi were either slaves or progeny of slaves. Kutab-ud-Din Aibak, Altutmish and Balban were slaves at one time. Aram Shah, Behram Shah and Masud were relatives of slaves. That is why this dynasty is called the slave dynasty.

Kutab-ud-Din Aibak

In 1206, Mohammad Gauri died. He had no child, so after his death, his kingdom was divided into many parts by his slaves. Taj-ud-Din Yildoz became the ruler of Ghazni. Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji got Bengal. Nasir-ud-Din Quabacha became the king of Multan. Kutab-ud-Din became the king of Delhi.

Kutab-ud-Din Aibak was the founder of the slave dynasty. Mohammad Gauri appointed him the viceroy of Delhi, but after the death of Gauri, he declared himself the independent king of Delhi.

Basically, he was from Turkistan. A Muslim priest bought him, when he was just a child. That priest belonged to Khurasan.

The priest provided him with good education. Then, he was sold to Mohammad Gauri. Very soon, Aibak pleased Gauri with his learning and ability.

By his ability, Aibak became Gauri’s commander. During invasions on India, Aibak helped him a lot. Gauri was happy with him. So, when Gauri returned to Ghazni, he appointed Aibak as his viceroy.

Kutab-ud-Din Aibak worked as Gauri’s viceroy till Gauri’s death, and then he became an independent king of Delhi. He remained the king until his death in 1210.

Aibak’s Main Conquests

As a commander of Gauri, Aibak attacked on Delhi and Hansi in 1191. In 1194, he occupied Ranathambhor and Banaras.

As a viceroy, he occupied Gwalior in 1196. Next year, he attacked Gujrat’s capital Anhilwara and defeated the king. In 1202, Aibak attacked on Kalinjar, the capital of Bundelkhand and occupied it.

As a king of Delhi, first of all he attacked on Taj-ud-Din Yildoz. Yildoz became the independent king of Ghazni after death of Gauri. Aibak attacked on Ghazni with the help of Mahmud and occupied it in 1208.

When Yildoz started to pressurize Ghazni after his defeat, Aibak came back to Delhi. Delhi was more important for him than Ghazni.

When Gauri was the king, he appointed Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji as his viceroy to Bengal and Bihar. Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji died before Kutab-ud-Din Aibak became the king of Delhi. When Aibak became the king, the successors of Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji and another chief, Ali Mardan Khan were quarreling for the throne. Aibak interfered and appointed Ali Mardan as governor of Bengal and Bihar. Ali Mardan agreed to pay him annual tax.

In 1210, when he was playing Polo, he fell down from his horse and died. He was buried in Lahore.

Aram Shah

After the death of Aibak, his son Aram Shah became the king, but some governors did not accept him as a king. He could rule only for one year.

The chiefs selected Iltutmish for the post of king. He was son-in-law of Kutab-ud-Din Aibak.


Iltutmish was a Turk. He was sold to a trader. He impressed Aibak and then Aibak purchased him. Rising step by step, he became chief of the hunt. It is said that he was unequalled in beauty, virtue, intelligence and nobleness of character.

Anyhow, Iltutmish made Aibak so happy that he could marry Aibak’s daughter. Aibak appointed him as governor of Gwalior. When Aram Shah was not accepted as the king, Iltutmish became the king.

The Conquest and Main Events by Iltutmish

Although Iltutmish became the king by chance; but it was not an easy job for him. There were many other chiefs who wanted to become king. They were constantly making plans to get their goal.

Many governors stood in revolt. When Iltutmish was facing already many problems, the Mongols started to invade.

But Iltutmish did not give up. He set himself to the task of dealing with the situation in a bold and decisive manner.

Suppression of hostile Turk Chiefs

Many Turk chiefs stood in revolt. All of them were united against Iltutmish. Iltutmish fought against them in a battlefield outside of Delhi. Most of them were killed and thus, Iltutmish passed his first examination.

Defeat of Yildoz

Yildoz was once a slave of Mohammad Gauri. After the death of Gauri, he became the king of Ghazni in 1206. It is said that Yildoz was a great monarch of excellent faith, mild, beneficent, of good position and very handsome. Even Kutab-ud-Din could not harm him. Now, Iltutmish tried to defeat him.

Actually, Yildoz occupied Punjab in 1214. Iltutmish could not tolerate this. So, he defeated Yildoz in 1215. Yildoz was killed in Iltutmish’s custody.

Suppression and death of Qubacha

Nasir-ud-Din Qubacha declared himself the king of Multan and Uch. In 1217, Iltutmish declared a war against him. He could succeed to defeat Qubacha, but then he ran away to Sindh. For many years, Iltutmish remained busy against Mongols. At last in 1227, he could able to defeat Qubacha. Qubacha was running away, when he drowned in river Sindh. Iltutmish got rid of another enemy.

Suppression of Giasu-ud-Din

After the death of Aibak, Ali Mardan became the king of Bengal. When Ali Mardan died in 1212, his son Ivaz became the king and adapted a new title ‘ Giasu-ud-Din for himself.

Iltutmish wanted Giasu-id-Din to accept his superiority, but Giasu-ud-Din refused, so Iltutmish attacked on Bengal in 1220. Giasu-ud-Din was defeated, but when Iltutmish went back, Giasu-ud-Din stood again in revolt and became the king of Bengal. Iltutmish sent his son Nasir-ud-Din with a big army to suppression Giasu-ud-Din. In the battlefield, Giasu-ud-Din was killed. Thus, Iltutmish occupied Bengal.

The Conquests against Rajputs

After Aibak’s death, the Rajputs became independent kings of Gwalior, Kalinjar and Ranthambhor. So, in 1226, Iltutmish attacked on Ranthambhor and defeated Rana Vir Narayan. In 1231, Iltutmish attacked on Gwalior. He could occupy it after eleven months long fight. The king of Gwalior Mangal Dev was defeated. He ran away to save his life.

Then Iltutmish attacked on Malwa. Ujjain was its famous city. The city was looted. The sacred Mahakal temple was destroyed.

He also attacked on Bihar and Avadh.

The Invasion of Changez Khan

In 1221, the Mongols attacked on India. Changez Khan was their commander. Actually, he was chasing Shah of Khwarizm, Jalal-ud-Din, who entered into India in order to save his life.

Changez Khan defeated him near river Sindh. Jalal-ud-Din fled to Delhi and prayed for asylum. Iltutmish did not want to pick up a quarrel with Changez Khan, so he refused to protect Jalal-ud-Din. Thus, Changez Khan went back and Iltutmish felt little restful.

In April 1236, Iltutmish died.

Razia Begam

Razia Begam was the daughter of king Iltutmish. Iltutmish appointed her his successor. He said to his chiefs, “My sons are devoted to the pleasures of youth, and no one of them is qualified to be a king. They are unfit to rule the country and after my death you will find that there is no one more competent to guide the State than my daughter”.

Thus, after the death of her father, Razia became the first Muslim woman ruler of Delhi, in 1236.

She suppressed the revolts in Multan, Lahore, and Hansi etc very bravely. She used to wear gents-dress. She took part herself in battles.

When she was fighting against Altunia, a chief of Bathinda, the enemy captured her. She could fascinate her enemy, Altunia, and was married to him.

While she was in Bathinda, her brother Behram declared himself the king of Delhi with help of some chiefs. Razia Begam tried to regain Delhi with the help of her husband, Altunia, but both of them were arrested by their enemy and got killed in 1240.


Behram was a brother of Razia Begam. He became the king of Delhi with the help of 40 chiefs. Though chiefs selected him the king, but they were not united. So, Behram’s two year of power were spent in plots and counterplots, and cruel murders.
In this situation, his own army killed him in 1242.


After the murder of Behram, the chiefs selected Masood as the king of Delhi. He was a nephew of Razia Begam.

In practical, Masood had no power. He was just a puppet in the hands of chiefs.

Masood became fond of pleasure, drinking and the chase and paid not attention to the business of the Government. When Masood began to behave like a tyrant, the chiefs gave charge of the kingdom to Nasir-ud-Din, another son of Iltutmish. It happened in the year of 1246.

Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud

In 1246, Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud became the king. He was the younger son of Iltutmish.

The young king possessed the virtues of continence, frugality and practical piety, rare among his kind. He was a pious, God-fearing, compassionate ruler, who patronized the learned and sympathized with the poor and the distressed.

Balban was the chief minister of Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud. It is said that Nasir-ud-Din was the nominal king, but the reigns of the power were in the strong bands of Balban.

In 1266, Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud died. He had no son, so his chief minister, Balban, became the next king.


Balban was a Turk. In early days of his life, he was sold to a trader of Basra. The trader sold him to Iltutmish.

It is said that Iltutmish refused to buy him, because of his shortness and ugly face. Balban said to Iltutmish, “Master of the world! for whose sake have you bought these other servants?”

Iltutmish laughed and replied, “For mine.”

“Then buy me for the sake of God,” Balban begged. Thus Iltutmish bought him.

Rising step by step, Balban became the Personal Attendant of the king Iltutmish. Very soon, he became one of the 40 chiefs. When Razia Begam became the ruler, Balban was appointed as the Lord of the Hunt. When Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud became the king, Balban worked as the prime minister for 20 years. Then for next 20 years, he worked as the king.

Balban died in 1286.


Balban wanted his son Mohammad to be the next king, but Mohammad died in the life time of Balban. Then he thought that his second son Bughra Khan would take the charge of the Kingdom. Bughra Khan already was the governor of Bengal. He did not agree to become the king. Then, Balban appointed Kai Khusro as his successor. Kai Khusro was his grandson.

But after the death of Balban, Kaikabad became the king with the help of the chiefs. He was son of Bughra Khan and grandson of Balban.

Kaikabad remained the king for four years. In 1290, a Khilji chief killed him.

Before and after the murder of King Kaikabad, his three years old son, Kayumars, was enthroned for sometime. (for details see The Khilji Revolution.

Thus, the Slave Dynasty ended.

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).

Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasions

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Born in 971, Mahmud Ghaznavi was the elder son of Subuktagin, the king of Ghazni. When Subuktagin attacked on King Jaipal, Mahmud fought for his father in the battlefield. But, Mahmud was not the next king, though he was the elder son of his father.

It is said that in his last days, Subuktagin was not happy with Mahmud. So, when Subuktagin died in 997, his younger son Ismail became the king of Ghazni.

Ismail became the king, but only for a little time. Very soon, Mahmud defeated him and became the king.

Mahmud began a series of raids into northwestern India at the end of the 10th century. He raided as far as the present state of Uttar Pradesh in north central India. Mahmud did not attempt to rule Indian territory except for the Punjab.

He invaded India for seventeen times. Here is the list of his main invasions: –

War against Jaipal

Jaipal was the king of Hindushahi Kingdom. Mahmud had already fought against him, when Subuktagin was the king of Ghazni. When Mahmud became the king, he decided to attack on Hindushahi Kingdom, as its king, Jaipal, was his old enemy.

In 1001, Mahmud attacked on Hindushahi Kingdom. 15,000 Hindu army men were killed. Jaipal was defeated and captured. He was presented before Mahmud with his 15 other relatives.

Mahmud looted all his wealth. He got 2,50,000 Dinar (a currency) to free Jaipal. About 5,00,000 Indians were taken to Ghazni as slaves. Though Jaipal was freed, but he refused to survive his disgrace. He cast himself upon a funeral pyre and died.

War against Anandpal

Anandpal was the son of Jaipal, who was defeated by Mahmud. Now Anandpal became the king of Hindushahi Kingdom.

In 1008, Mahmud attacked on Anandpal. Anandpal called other Hindu kings to help him. The kings of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kannauj, Delhi, Ajmer etc. came to help him with their armies. In the battlefield of Peshawar, both the armies remained standing before each other, but no one attacked each other.

Meanwhile the Khokhars (a race) also came there to help Hindus. Mahmud deployed 6, 000 archers to attack. Khokhars attacked on Muslims and started to kill them. Approximately 5,000 Muslims were killed.

Unfortunately, Jaipal’s elephant got mad and took him out of the battlefield. As soon as Jaipal left the battlefield, the Hindu army got confused and ran away. Muslims chased them and killed 20,000 Hindus.
Thus, the best organized national efforts ever made by medieval Hindu India against the foreigners ended.

Invasion on Nagarkot or Kangra

Nagarkot was very famous for its temples and wealth kept in these temples. So, Mahmud decided to invade Nagarkot. His army ruined the area of Nagarkot.

The Mahmud’s army was coming like a swarm of locusts. The Hindus opened the gate out of fear and fell on the earth. Mahmud got lots of jewelry, gold and silver from here. When he returned to his capital, the people congregated to see the incredible wealth of India.

It was the year of 1009.

Invasion on Thanesar

Mahmud came to know that there was too much gold and diamonds in Hindu temples in the city of Thanesar. So, he ordered his army to attack.
In 1014, he invaded Thanesar. Hindus wanted to reach on a compromise, but Mahmud refused. His army destroyed the city and plundered the sacred temples. This carnage was so terrible that the water of the stream became red with the blood of the innocents.

Invasion on Mathura and Kannauj

In 1018, Mahmud invaded Mathura. He was amazed to see huge and beautiful Hindu-temples in Mathura. No one dared to stop him. Thus, he entered into the city without any resistance. Hindu-temples were looted.

Then, he attacked on Kannauj. It was January of 1019. King of Kannauj, Rajpal Pratihar did not dare to stop him and ran away. The invaders looted the sacred temples. Many innocent people were killed.

Later, the king of Kannauj, Rajpal Pratihar accepted the superiority of Mahmud Ghaznavi and then Mahmud returned back.

Invasion on Kalinjar

Rajpal Pratihar, the king of Kannauj, accepted the superiority of Mahmud. This made other Rajput kings angry. The Rajput kings of Kalinjar, Gandda Chandel, with the king of Gwalior and others attacked on Kannauj and killed the king Rajpal Pratihar.

Mahmud was unhappy with this. To punish the culprits, he attacked on Kalinjar. The king Gandda Chandel accepted the superiority of Mahmud. Mahmud got sufficient money from him and returned.

It happened in the year of 1021.

The Somnath expedition

Mahmud’s sixteenth invasion on India is very famous. This time, Mahmud attacked on the famous Somnath temple, in Gujrat.

The Somnath temple was very famous for its treasures. There were one thousand priests to serve the temple. Hundreds of dancers and singers played before its gate. There was famous Linga, a rude pillar stone, adorned with gems embroidered with precious like stars, which decorated the shrine.

In 1025, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked on the Somnath temple. The brave Hindu Rajputs came forward to defend the temple. Shouting ‘Allah hu Akbar’, the enemy tried to entered into the temple. The Hindus fought very bravely and the invaders could not damage the temple. The battle lasted for three days.

After three days, the invaders succeeded and entered into the Somnath temple. 5,000 Brahmans and Rajputs died in the battlefield.

Mahmud ordered to destroy the sacred Linga. He looted the treasures of the temple. It is said that he got wealth worth 2, 00, 00, 000 Dinars.

Definitely, it was one of his remarkable acts of military adventure.

The Last Expedition

After looting the Somnath temple, when Mahmud was going back to Ghazni, the Jats attacked on his army. So, to punish the Jats, he returned and defeated them. It happened in the year of 1026.

It was his last invasion on India. On April 30, 1030, he died in Ghazni at the age of 59 years.

Northern Indian Kingdoms During Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasion

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

During the time period of 1000 to 1026, Mahmud Ghaznavi invaded India seventeen times. He raided as far as the present state of Uttar Pradesh in north central India. At that time, India was just a bundle of states. All the states were independent. These states were busy fighting against one another. They used to destroy one another’s territory.

These were major kingdoms of Northern India: –

Multan and Sindh

Arabs conquered Sindh in 712. Then they occupied Multan as well.

When Mahmud Ghaznavi Invaded India, Fateh Daud was the ruler of Multan. Sindh was independent from Multan and was under control of Arabs.

The Hindushahi Kingdom

From river chinab to Hindukush mountains, there was the Hindushahi Kingdom. Kabul was its part. In the north of this kingdom there was Kashmir and in south there was Multan.

For two centuries, Arabs tried to occupy Hindushahi Kingdom, but in vain. In about 988, the Turks succeeded to win the Kabul, which was the part of Hindushahi Kingdom, for sometime.

At the time of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s invasion, Jaipal was the ruler of Kabul.


The Kashmir was a very important kingdom in Northern India. 958 to 1003, Didda, a woman was the ruler of Kashmir, when Mahmud invaded India.


When Harsh was the ruler, the kingdom of Kannauj was a very rich and famous.

At the time of Mahmud’s invasion, Rajpal was the ruler of Kannauj.


A powerful and brave king ‘Gandda’ was the ruler of Kalinjar, when Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked this country.


Mahmud did not reach Bengal. At that time, Mahipal was ruling the Kingdom.


Before ninth century, Malwa was under control of Kannauj Kingdom, but then Krishan Raja declared Malwa an independent state. During the time period of 1010 to 1054, Bhoj was the king of Malwa Kingdom.

Bhoj was a very powerful king. He was a brave man. Mahmud did not dare to attack on Malwa.


A former part of Kannauj Kingdom, Gujrat declared its independence in tenth century, when Mulraj became its king.

When Mahmud invaded India, Bhimdev was the ruler of this kingdom.

Other small kingdoms

There were some other small kingdoms in Northern India. For example, Bhera, Nagarkot, Thanesar and Gwalior.