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Biography of PrithviRaj Chauhan

PrithviRaj ChauhanPrithviraja III, popularly known as Rai Pithora or Prithviraj Chauhan was a king from Chahamana (Chauhan) dynasty. He was one of the greatest Rajput rulers, who controlled many parts of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. His capital was located at Ajayameru, popularly knows as Ajmer. He was one of the great rulers who stood up bravely against the invasion of the Muslim Rulers.

Early in his career, Prithviraj achieved military success against several Hindu kingdoms, most of the famous is the victory against Paramadi king of Chandela. After that, he fought with the Muslim Ruler Muhammad of Ghor from the Ghurid dynasty. His Defeat at Tarain is seen as the main event in the Conquest of India by Islam.

Early Life

Rai Pithora was born to King Someshvara and his Queen Karpura Devi in Chahamana. Both he and his brother Hariraja was born in Gujrat. According to an inscription Prithviraja Vijaya, Prithviraj was born on the 12th day of the Jyestha month, which is the second month of the Hindu calendar and May-June according to Gregorian Calendar. They did not mention the year of the birth, but with the help of the mentioned Astrological Planetary Positions and assuming other planetary positions,
Indian Indologist Dasharath Sharma calculated the year of the birth of Prithviraj Chauhan, which is believed to be 1166 CE.
According to some medieval biographies of Prithviraj Chauhan, It is well known that he was well educated. Prithviraj Chauhan states that he mastered 6 languages, but according to other chronicles, Prithviraj mastered 14 languages and he had a knowledge of history, medicines, Military, mathematics, and many other subjects. Also, he mastered in  Archery and was brilliant in that.

Early Reign

PrithviRaj Chauhan

When Prithviraj moved from Gujrat to Ajmer, his father has crowned the king of  Chahamana after the death of Prithviraja II. In 1177 CE, when Prithviraj was around 10 years old, Someshwara died.
Prithviraj, who was a minor at the time to be a king, ascended the throne with his mother as the Regent(A regent is a person, who was appointed to govern when the monarch is minor, absent and not capable to do so). Karpura Deevi governs the administration in the early years of Prithviraj.
During the regency, the young king was assisted by a couple of ministers. According to "Prithviraja Vijaya", Kadambavasa was the chief minister, who was devoted to the king and he plays a major role in the early victories of Privithiraj Chauhan.  Another Minister Bhuvanikamalla, a Paternal uncle of Karpura Devi, served in the court of Prithviraj.
According to Dasharath Sharma, he took actual control over his administration in 1180 CE.

Also Read:- Biography of Maharana Pratap

Conflicts with Hindu Ruler

PrithviRaj Chauhan

  • Nagarjuna

Nagarjuna was the son of Prithviraj's uncle and after the death of Someshvara, the throne led to a rivalry between brothers. According to "Prithviraja Vijaya", Nagarjuna captured the Fort of Gudapura and rebelled against Prithviraj's authority. But Prithviraj besieged the fort of Gudapura with the help of his great army which consists of camels, elephants, infantry, and horses. It was one of the earliest military achievements of Prithviraj.

  • Bhadanakas

 After defeating his brother Nagarjuna, Prithviraj turned towards the neighbor kingdoms of Bhadanakas. According to Cynthia Talbot, Bhadanakas captured the area around Bayana, which belongs to the Chahamana dynasty, So Prithviraj decided to annihilate nearby kingdoms.

  • Chaulukyas of Gujrat

Some inscriptions mention a peace treaty between Prithviraj and the Chaulukya king Bhima II. This implies that both of them were on a battlefield before. War can be dated to sometime before 1187 CE."Prithviraj Raso", another incredible chronicle mentioned some details about the struggle of Prithviraj and Bhima II. It states that both f the kings want to marry Ichchhini, the princess of Abu, but the marriage of the princess with Prithviraj led to a rivalry between them. But historian G.H Ojha refuses this legend by saying this fictional because it states that Ichchinni was a daughter of Salakha, while Dharavarsha was the ruler of Abu at the time. Despite these discrepancies, there are some pieces of evidence of a battle between the Chaulukyas and Chahamanas at Nagor.

  • Ghadavalas of Kannauj

According to "Prithviraja Vijaya" and "Prithviraj Raso", Prithviraj came in conflict with another powerful king, Jayachandra, who ruled the Gahadavala kingdom. They mentioned that Prithviraj eloped with Jayachandra's daughter Samyogita, leading to a rivalry between bot the kingdoms.

War with Ghurids

A massive land to the west of the Chahamana dynasty was ruled by Muhammad of Ghor, who had a wish to expand his kingdom towards the east. But he had to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan to do so. So, he started a war against Prithviraj.


Many legends and chronicles claim that both of them fought many battles against each other, but historians confirm that at least two battles were fought between them. Since they fight near the Town of Tarain, they came to be known as "Battle of Tarain" later.

The First Battle of Tarain

PrithviRaj Chauhan

During 1190-1191 CE, Mohammad of Ghor captured Tabarhindah, which belonged to the Chahamana dynasty. He placed it under the charge of Zia-ud-din, supported by 1200 Horseman.  After hearing about this, Prithviraj marched towards Tabarhindah with an army of 200,000 horses and 3,000 elephants. In the battle, the Army of Prithviraj defeated the army of Ghurids. Mohammad of Ghor injured badly and forced to retreat. Then, Prithviraj besieged the Ghurid garrison at Tabarhindah. 

The Second Battle of Tarain

PrithviRaj Chauhan

 Mohammad of Ghor returned to Ghazna and made preparations for revenge for his defeat. He gathered a well-equipped army of 120,000 selected Afghan, Turkic, and Tajik horsemen over the next few months. He then marched towards the Chahamana dynasty via Multan and Lahore, aided by Vijayaraja of Jammu. Due to his battles against other Hindu Kings, he had been left without allies and became alone. But he gathered an army to fought against him. Some ministers of Prithviraj wore a letter to Mohammad of Ghor, promising him no harm if he goes back to his country. He agreed but while he marched towards his country he sectioned his army into four divisions of 10,000 archers each and reserved the rest. He ordered them to attack the Chahamana camp at night.
At dawn, the divisions attacked the Chahamana army camp, while Prithviraj was still asleep. After a fight, the army pretended retreat according to Mohammad of Ghor plan. Prithviraj army exhausted as a result of this fight. After this, Mohammad of Ghor attacked him with the rest of his army and decisively defeat them and capture Prithviraj near Sarasvati Fort and Ajmer after killing several thousand defenses and destroyed the temples.

Death

Mot Medieval sources state that Prithviraj was taken to the Chahamana capital Ajmer, where Mohammad planned to reinstate him as a Ghurid vassal.
There are many theories about the death of Prithviraj Chauhan some of them are:-
  • According to Prabandha Chintamani, Mohammad took Prithviraj to Ajmer, intending to let him rule as a vassal. However, In Ajmer, he saw paintings depicting Muslims being killed by Pigs in the Chahamana gallery and in anger killed Prithviraj by an Axe.
  • Prithviraj Raso claims that Prithviraj was taken to Ghazna as a prisoner, and blinded as a punishment. Then, poet Chand Bardai traveled to Ghazna and tricked Mohammad of Ghor to watch an archery performance by the blind Prithviraj Chauhan. During this, Prithviraj shot Mohammad of Ghor by listening to his voice and killed him. After this, Prithviraj and Chand Bardai killed each other.
After the death of Prithviraj, Ghurid's appointed Prithviraj's son Govindraja, the king of Ajmer as his vassal. In 1192 CE, Prithviraj's brother Hariraja dethroned Govindraja and captured a part of his ancestral kingdom.

Legacy

PrithviRaj Chauhan

After his demise, Prithviraj Chauhan was largely portrayed as a powerful Hindu king, who successfully invades Muslims for many years. Prithviraj's heroic achievements have been portrayed on television series. There are many memorials in Ajmer, Delhi, and other places in the memory of the great Hindu Samrat "Prithviraj Chauhan"
















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