Prithviraj Chauhan History | Biography of prithviraj Chauhan

by May 1, 2024

Introduction

Prithviraj Chauhan was the most powerful king of the Chahamana (Chauhan) family of the twelfth century. The north-west region of India was dominated by the Chauhan family.

In historical folklore, Prithviraj Chauhan is famous by the name “Rai Pithora”. Prithviraj Chauhan ruled over the vast territory of present-day Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana as well as Delhi.

After his career, Islamic rule started in India. Therefore, Prithviraj Chauhan is considered the last great Hindu emperor. Prithviraj Chauhan fought many battles but his battles with Muhammad Ghori, a foreign ruler, are more popular.

We are not agitators, but anyone who tries to get the rights by casting an evil eye on the homeland will have to face the Rajputi anger.

-Prithviraj Chauhan

It is often known for its protective role and compassionate nature. Due to his hearty nature and Rajput principles, Muhammad Ghori, who came to shelter twice, got life.

Due to this, Muhammad Ghori, broken by two major defeats, comes preparing for war again for the third time. At this time, without following any rules of war, this Kavebaaz, who came only with a view to victory, succeeds in winning the Ghori war.

Let us take you through an entire Prithviraj Chauhan history and also learn the effect of giving the second chance to Muhammad Ghori on the future of India.

Painting Depicting Prithviraj Chauhan Sit with Bow and Arrow
Painting Depicting Prithviraj Chauhan Sit with Bow and Arrow

Brief Information

Information
Details
Full Name
Prithviraj Someshvara Chauhan
Identity
Emperor of Ajmer and Last Hindu Emperor who ruled over Delhi throne
Birth
1166 CE in Gujarat
Other Names

Prithviraja III
Parents
Father: Someshvara, Mother: Karpuradevi
Occupation
Emperor
Wife
Sanyogita
Religion and Caste
Religion: Hinduism, Caste: Rajput
Reign
1178–1192 CE
Dynasty

Chahamanas of Shakambhari
Predecessor

Someshvara
Successor

Govindaraja IV
Death
1192 at Ajmer (According to Priviraj Raoso he did in 1192 at Ghor, Afganistan)

Background History

Loot of Indian religious places by Muhammad Ghazni

Prithviraj Chauhan ruled from the capital Ajmeru (Ajmer) for a while, and then from Delhi.

The “India” was known in history as the “Gold bird” (Sone Ki Chidiya). At the beginning of the eleventh century, many Muslim attacks took place.

Muhammad Ghazni made many attacks and looted temples, religious sites like Somnath temple, Mathura, Vrindavan.

The intention of Sultan Muhammad Ghazni behind these attacks was not to rule over Hindustan. So, with all this looted wealth, he would go back and attack again.

So, he would go back with all this looted property and ride again. It is believed that Mahmud’s Ghazni made a total of 17 invasions in Hindustan.

However, after the invasion of Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori invaded India again in the 12th century. Like Ghazni, Muhammad Ghuri also looted a large number of rich temples. However, Muhammad Ghori loved power, and he wanted to capture the throne of Delhi.

Ambitious Muhammad Ghori

Muhammad Ghori invaded India with the ambition of capturing Delhi. At that time, Prithviraj Chauhan was emperor of Delhi.

Prithviraj Chauhan was a valiant warrior who defeated Muhammad Ghuri twice in battle. He protected Delhi and the land of India from foreign invasions.

Prithviraj Chauhan led the victory campaigns and was victorious in wars with neighboring kingdoms. He had defeated many Hindu kings like Chandel Raja Paramardi, King Bhimdev of Gujarat, etc.

Mighty Prithviraj Chauhan

Coins that Minted during Reign of Prithviraj Chauhan
Coins that were Minted during the Reign of Prithviraj Chauhan.

At that time, Prithviraj Chauhan was sitting on the throne of Delhi. He was very courageous and brave. He protected Delhi and India from foreign invasions by defeating Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain.

He also defeated so many Hindu kings like Chandel Raja Paramaradi, King Bhimdev of Gujarat.

Dream of Muhammad Ghori to rule over Prosperous India

At that time, no country was probably existed as fertile and prosperous as India. Therefore, Muhammad Ghori of the Ghurid dynasty in Ghor dreamed of ruling over India. Even after being defeated to fulfill his intention, he wanted to attack again.

Birth and Early Life

Prithviraj Chauhan, a renowned king in Indian history, was born in the year 1168 CE. His birthplace was the Ajmer region, located in present-day Rajasthan. Prithviraj belonged to the Chauhan dynasty, known for their valor and bravery.

During his early years, Prithviraj was trained in martial arts and warfare by his father, Someshwar Chauhan. He excelled in these skills and displayed great intelligence from a young age. Training of Prithviraj included horse riding, archery, and sword fighting, making him a formidable warrior.

Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan Shooting an Arrow from a Horse
Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan Shooting an Arrow from a Horse

As he grew older, the reputation of Prithviraj as a skilled warrior spread far and wide. He was crowned as the king of Ajmer at the tender age of 20. The rule of Prithviraj was marked by his exceptional military strategies and his efforts to expand his kingdom.

Determination and bravery of Prithviraj were qualities that defined his early life.

The birth and early life of Prithviraj Chauhan were filled with tales of bravery, romance, and kingship. His legacy continues to inspire generations, as he is remembered as one of the greatest kings in Indian history.

The history of Prithviraj Chauhan teaches us about the importance of courage, love, and pursuing excellence in life.

Love Story Prithviraj Chauhan and Sanyogita (Sanyyukta)

One of the most well-known incidents in Prithviraj’s early life is his encounter with the beautiful princess Samyukta of Kannauj. He fell in love with her, but her father, Raja Jaichand, opposed their union.

Book Cover of Prithviraj Raso
Prithviraj Raso Book Front Cover

According to the book of Prithviraj Raso, both Prithviraj and Sanyyogita had fallen in love with Prithviraj Chauhan. Therefore, he brought Sanyyogita far away from her palace to Delhi and married her, against the will of Jaichand. Therefore, Jaichand was very angry towards Prithviraj.

Prithviraj Chauhan, and Jaichand was a cousin. Sanyogita was the daughter of Jaichand Rathore.

Sanyogita and Prithviraj Chauhan loved each other. These things were also mentioned, supported in the book “Prithviraj Vijay.”

But one thing is clear, that there was ongoing a political dispute between Prithviraj and Jaichandj. But Prithviraj Vijay, a contemporary of Prithviraj, does not support this fact which seems weird.

The oldest book of Prithviraj Raso is from the 16th century. Therefore, some historians do not consider this book historically significant. But, while some historians regard it as a historical source.

The love story of Prithviraj Chauhan and Sanyogita, mentioned in Prithviraj Raso, is still famous and celebrated today.

Prithviraj Chauhan Runs Away with his Sweetheart Sanyogita
Prithviraj Chauhan Runs Away with his Sweetheart Sanyogita on horse.

Family

The family of Prithviraj Chauhan was well known for their valor and kingdom. His father Someshwar Chauhan, ruler of Ajmer, laid a strong foundation. His mother Karpuri Devi played a crucial role in shaping the character of young Prithviraj.

Grandfather of Prithviraj, Anangpal was also a prominent ruler. He made significant contributions to the reputation of their family. His family was well-regarded by their subjects and neighboring kingdoms.

The lineage of Prithviraj defined his identity in various ways. The Chauhan family boasted a legacy that was respected and honored by many.

Their lineage formed a legacy that extended beyond their lifetime. The impact of his family resonates through history as a testament to their enduring influence.

Battles and Campaigns

First Battle of Tarain

In the First Battle of Tarain, which took place in 1191 CE, the forces of Prithviraj Chauhan, the ruler of the Chauhan dynasty, faced off against the Turkish invaders led by Muhammad of Ghor.

The battle was important in Indian history. Because it was the first major clash between indigenous Indian rulers and incoming Muslim forces.

During the battle, Prithviraj Chauhan displayed remarkable courage and strategic acumen which led to his victory.

The First Battle of Tarain was fought in 1191 in northern India. The battle took place between the Ghurid Empire, led by Mohammed Ghori, and the Chauhan dynasty, led by Prithviraj Chauhan. It was a significant battle that marked a turning point in Indian history.

The Second Battle of Tarain

In the second battle of Tarain, on the side of Prithviraj Chauhan had an army of 3 lakhs. On the contrary, Muhammad Ghori had an army of 1 lakh. In the battle of Tarain, horrific bloodshed happened.

Muhammad Ghori knew that Prithviraj was not easy to defeat in the second war of Tarain. Therefore, he was determined to win by doing persecution, as it was challenging to directly beat the army of Prithviraj.

The outcome of the battle allowed Muhammad of Ghor to establish his dominance in the region, paving the way for the subsequent Muslim rule in India.

Thus, the Second Battle of Tarain had a lasting impact on the political and cultural landscape of the Indian subcontinent. It marked a turning point in Indian history.

The battle began with a fierce charge from the Ghurid cavalry, but the Chauhan army held their ground. Prithviraj Chauhan, known for his excellent archery skills, led his soldiers with great bravery. In the midst of the chaos, Prithviraj’s arrows found their mark, causing huge losses to the Ghurid forces.

However, Mohammed Ghori had a trick up his sleeve. He ordered his soldiers to feign retreat, luring Prithviraj Chauhan into a false sense of victory. When Prithviraj and his soldiers pursued the retreating Ghurids, they fell into a trap.

The Ghurids quickly turned around and launched a fierce counterattack, catching the Chauhan army off guard.

Despite their valiant efforts, the Chauhan army was overwhelmed by the Ghurid forces. Prithviraj Chauhan himself was captured and later executed.

This marked the end of the rule of the Chauhan dynasty in northern India. The Ghurid Empire went on to establish their dominance and lay the foundation for future Muslim rule in India.

The Second Battle of Tarain teaches us the importance of strategy and vigilance in warfare.

As the saying goes,

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

Prithviraj Chauhan’s overconfidence and failure to assess the situation correctly led to his downfall. It serves as a reminder that even the greatest warriors must remain cautious in the face of adversity.

Last Stand of Rajputs Against Muhammad Ghori in Second Battle of Tarain
Last Stand of Rajputs Against Muhammad Ghori in Second Battle of Tarain

Popular Folk Story of the Second Battle of Tarain

Alliance of Jaichand Rathore and Muhammad Ghori

No clear evidence exists that proves the alliance of Jaichand with Muhammad Ghori. But the book of Prithviraj Raso vividly portrays their alliance.

According to Prithviraj Raso, in the second battle of Tarain, Muhammad Ghori was supported by Jaichand of Kannauj. Because, Prithviraj had kidnapped his daughter Sanyogita from her palace against the wishes of Jaichand and married her.

So Jaichand was very angry with Prithviraj. To avenge this humiliation, Jaichand joins hands with the foreign invader Muhammad Ghori. Muhammad Ghori used Jaichand to get information about the plan of Prithviraj.

Equestrian Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan
Equestrian Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan

Plan of Muhammad Ghori to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan

Muhammad Ghori orders the war to stop before the battle begins. Jaichand informed Ghori that Rajput Suryavanshi does not pick up the weapons at night.

The army of Prithviraj was happy because the enemy withdrew before the battle arises. Army of Prithviraj Chauhan became calm after that.

Another sweet news was that there became an announcement that the queen of Ajmer, Sanyogita is pregnant.

The Carelessness of Rajput Army

Therefore, all the army had a passionate atmosphere. In some blogs, they mentioned that the entire army had been drinking alcohol.

But, it is sure that Muhammad Ghori had taken advantage of the night and careless Rajput army. They slaughtered thousands of Rajput soldiers while sleeping in tents.

In this way, Muhammad wins the Battle of Ghori by committing an ungodly act. The intelligence agencies may not have monitored every move of the enemy as needed. Because, whether the enemy is ungodly or heretical, the entire state has to bear the consequences of war.

Defeated Emperor Imprisoned and Taken to Afghanistan

Prithviraj Chauhan was then imprisoned and taken to Afghanistan. After the ban, the eyes of Prithviraj Chauhan were broken with hot rods and blinded him.

Some Unexpected and Pointless Theories

Few blogs point out that the Turks had highly advanced and developed artillery and archery.

If that were the case, where did the fierceness of Turks go in the first war of Tarain? By changing Indian history, no one is willing to give up the opportunity to disrepute the ability of Hindustan.

Revenge Plan

The court poet Chand Bardai arrived to meet Prithviraj

A few months later, in the court of Prithviraj Chauhan, the poet Chand Bardai traveled to Afghanistan. Chand Bardai wishes to meet Prithviraj in front of Ghori. Muhammad Ghori then allowed him to meet him in the pleasure of the war victory.

Plan of Chand Bardai to take Revenge

Chand Bardai saw the plight of his emperor and devised a plan for the attack. He tells Prithviraj the whole program. According to that plan, he praises Prithviraj Chauhan’s bow and arrow skills before Muhammad Ghori.

Chand Bardai said that, “Prithviraj Chauhan is a master in firing targeted arrows without seeing a target.” Hearing so much praise about the archery skills of Prithviraj Chauhan. Muhammad Ghori had been willing to see the art of firing goal-penetrating arrows.

A Poem became Part of the Masterplan

Chand Bardai was a remarkable poet with the exceptional ability to transform ordinary sentences into poetic masterpieces.

Prithviraj Chauhan was also a talented poet. While in the Delhi court, he had a quick and keen understanding of poems. Many times, Prithviraj used to respond to Chand Bardai with poetry.

Muhammad Ghori Changed his Throne

Muhammad Ghori orders the soldiers to bring Prithviraj Chauhan to the court and open his chain and release him. According to the poet, they put arrow and bow in his hands.

Muhammad Ghori was also a clever man. He knew that Prithviraj Chauhan may take benefit from this play. Therefore, he had sat on a higher throne than a regular throne.

Death

At that time, Chand Bardai tells the place of Muhammad Ghori’s throne in the form of poetry to the Prithviraj Chauhan.

That poem was like,

Chaar Baaj, Chouvis Gaj, Angul Ashta Pramaan, Ta Upar Sultan Hai Mat Chuke Chauhan.

– Chanda Bardai (Poet)

At the second moment, after hearing this poem, an arrow released by Prithviraj Chauhan killed Sultan Muhammad Ghori.

For a while, there was a mess in the court, everyone started shouting to capture both of them. Before guards came near to Prithviraj and Chand Bardai both killed themselves with a dagger. They sacrificed their lives as per their plan.

In this way, our hero Prithviraj Chauhan was relieved from his severe agony by the plan of poet Chand Bardai. Second, Sultan Muhammad Ghori did not enjoy the pleasure of winning the war.

Even after his death all Indians always remember him as inpiration and symbol of prowess. Kings like Maharana Pratap, Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji and many other legends took inpiration from him.

Good and Bad sides of invasion of Muhammad Ghori

Pardoning Muhammad Ghori twice affected the future of Hindustan in two ways. Some of it was beneficial while some had bad side effects.

ill-effect

  1. One of the most significant negative consequences is the extensive looting of Indian property committed by Ghori. This had a significant impact on future public development.
  2. Since the surviving losses in the three wars against Ghori were massive, it must have taken a long time for both sides to recover from it.
  3. After this, the tyrannical Muslim powers got a chance to set foot in India and the Sultan Shahi, the Mughals also saw their future in India.
  4. For many centuries after islamic rule in India, local people have to go through bad conditions and tyrannic rule.
  5. Most foreign islamic invaders came to India with their agenda to spread religion. Hence, during the rule of some emperors, forced conversions happened.

Advantages

  1. Muslim power also had a good effect on the inertia of India. With the stabilization of foreign power in India, cultural exchanges took place on a large scale.
  2. A composite Indian and Islamic type of work is found on many items of India built during the Muslim rule.

Learn Prithviraj Chauhan history and effects of battle of Tarain in comprehensive manner. You will also find mcqs and other important details in brief especially for competative exams.

Images Credits

  1. Featured Image: Blinded Prithviraj Shooting Arrow to Muhammd Ghori
  2. Painting Depicting Prithviraj Chauhan Sit with Bow and Arrow, Credit: Cynthia Talbot, Source: The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Cauhan and the Indian Past (Public Domain)​
  3. Coins that were Minted during the Reign of Prithviraj Chauhan, Credit: Ancientcoinsofindia1, Source: Wikipedia
  4. Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan Shooting an Arrow from a Horse, Credit: Anupamg, Source: Wikipedia
  5. Book Cover of Prithviraj Raso, Credit: अजीत कुमार तिवारी, Source: Wikipedia
  6. Prithviraj Chauhan Runs Away with his Sweetheart Sanyogita, Credit: vitantica.net
  7. Prithviraj Chauhan Targeting Warrior on Elephant
  8. Last Stand of Rajputs Against Muhammad Ghori in Second Battle of Tarain, Credit: Archive.org, Source: Hutchinson’s story of the nations, Source Publisher: London, Hutchinson (Public Domain)​
  9. Equestrian Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan, Credit: LRBurdak, Source: Wikimedia

About the Author

Ashish at HistoricNation

Ashish Salunke

Ashish is a skilled biographer and content writer specialized in crafting captivating historical narratives. Through HistoricNation, he skillfully merged his IT expertise with the art of storytelling.

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