(Last Updated on : 24/05/2012)
Sultan Shahab -ud -din Muhammad Ghori, also known as Muizzuddin Muhammad Bin Sam, was born in 1162 in a small region of Ghor located in the mountains between the old Ghaznavid Empire and Seljuk dynasty situated in the western part of the then Ghaznavid Empire. In the present times, the latter is known as Central Afghanistan. Unlike his predecessor Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori remains significant in the medieval history of India for his number of conquests as well as laying the foundation for Muslim rule in India as it was his slave Qutb -ud -din Aibak who was the founder of the first Turkish rule in India in the following years.
Early Life of Muhammad Ghori
Born as the younger brother of Ghiasuddin and son of Sultan Bahaudin Suri in the region of Ghor, Muhammad Ghori began his carrier as a general who assisted his brother for his conquests in the west. It was only after re-conquering the city of Ghazna and assisting his brother for his expedition towards the Khwarezmid Empire to gain the control over area of Khorasan that Muhammad Ghori turned his attention towards India in the east. Besides being a strategic warrior he also had a lot of interest towards art and culture where he patronised scholars like Fakhr-ud-din Razi and Nizami Uruzi. However, his greatest success was the establishment of the Turkish Empire in India which added a fresh chapter in the Indian history.
Muhammad Ghori`s Rise to Power
Muhammad Ghori came to power only after he re-captured the city of Ghazna from the Oghuz Turks. In 1173 AD he finally brought an end to the Ghaznavid Empire and began the new era of Ghorid Empire in which he himself was the governor while made Ghiasuddin the Sultan. It was only after the death of his brother that Shahab -ud-din Muhammad Ghori himself came to power as the Sultan. Muhammad Ghori`s initial challenge was the old Ghaznavids. A major crisis which was by faced by the Ghorids was that due to heavy taxes they became quite unpopular among their local people .Also the source of income was also coming to scarcity. This forced Muhammad Ghori to search out new sources of income; this diverts the attention of Ghori towards India which had been the richest country in the subcontinent.
Muhammad Ghori`s Invasion of India
Muhammad Ghori began his expedition by first capturing Multan in 1175 AD and then building a fort in Uch. Muhammad`s first battle was against the Muslim rulers of Multan in 1175 AD in which he came victorious. After his victory over Multan he turned to the south where he captured the region of Uch and established his base by building a fort in 1178 and proceeded towards Gujarat where he had a different fate.
In his battle of Kayadara Muhammad had to suffer severe defeat from Naikidevi who controlled the command of the Gujarat army. The state of Gujarat was under the rule of Raja Bhimdev II who due to his young age and inexperience had to take his mother under confidence.
Muhammad Ghori`s next invasion was over Lahore which he captured in 1181 and constructed a fort at Sialkot. Muhammad`s army then proceeded towards the city of Lahore which was the capital of old Ghaznavid empire .By capturing Lahore he brought the remaining of Ghanavid empire to an end and included the rest of Ghaznavid region under Ghorid rule in 1181. Muhammad`s army then proceeded towards the northern part of India when they confronted the army of Prithviraj Chauhan and other Hindu rulers who could defeat Muhammad`s army in the First Battle of Tarain
in 1191 AD but had to face severe end in the Second Battle of Tarain
in which Ghori came back more vengeance in 1192.
Battles with Prithviraj Chauhan
It was in 1191 AD when Ghori`s army of 120,000 men was proceeding towards Punjab through Khyber Pass, was confronted by the army of Hindu rulers under the commandership of Prithviraj Chauhan
and other Hindu allied rulers comprising of 200,000 men. Prithvi`s army under the command of his general Govind Raj rushed to defend the boundaries of their territories and restricted the invader on the land of Tarain near Thanesar in the present Haryana
approximately 150km north of Delhi
Conquests of Muhammad Ghori
Muhammad Ghori with his strategic warfare and ambition to struggle hard made him relevant even after the Battle of Tarain. He and his deputy continued to capture new areas of northern India. After defeating Prithviraj Chauhan`s army proceeded towards other regions of Ajmer, Saraswati, Samana, Khoram and Hansi were captured without much difficulty. This brought them near Delhi when Ghori controlled northern parts of Rajasthan and Ganga -Yamuna Doab region. With this while Ghori returned to the west to deal with his western frontiers, he left his deputy Qutb-ud-din Aibak to continue his conquests in which he proceeded up to Bengal capturing on his way Ayodhya
in 1193 reaching the frontiers of Delhi.
Impact of Muhammad Ghori`s Invasion on India
Muhammad Ghori who came as an invader in India had been discussed by many scholars from time to time .The impact of Ghori`s invasion on India was immense as his invasions for the first time proved the weakness of Hindu rulers in securing their territories from foreign invasion. Also for the first time his invasion paved the way for a new dynasty known as the Slave Dynasty. The third impact which is often associated with Ghori`s invasion is that it carried the germs of communalism and anti religious feelings towards the non-Islamic religions.
Thus, Muhammad Ghori who came to India in 1175 through Multan, left India after the Battle of Tarain but continued to rule till 1206 till he was assassinated in an upsurge in the western regions of Ghorid Dynasty near Jhelum now located in Pakistan. His incessant invasions opened the doors of India to all foreign rulers in future.