Prithviraj Chauhan Biography- history:– Our country India has its varied heritage. Indian history is the largest and the most valuable in all over the world. So many outsiders attacked on India, but Indian kings had given them a tough fight. So many Indian kings gave their life to save their empire. Today we are going to discuss one of them the great king Prithviraj Chauhan.
Important facts about Prithviraj Chauhan’s life:
|Date of birth||c. 1166 CE|
|Place of birth||Gujarat|
|Dynasty||Chahamanas of Shakambhari|
|Regnal name||Prithviraja III|
|Coronation||1177 CE, at the age of 11|
|Military achievements||Defeated the Chandelas, the Paramaras, the Gahadavalas, and other Rajput rivals; won the first battle of Tarain against Muhammad of Ghor in 1191 CE; expanded his kingdom from Thanesar to Mewar|
|Literary achievements||Patronized poets and scholars like Chand Bardai, Jayanaka, and Padmagupta; inspired many works of literature, such as Prithviraja Vijaya, Prithviraj Raso, Prabandha-Chintamani, and Alha-Khanda|
|Date of death||1192 CE|
|Place of death||Ajmer|
|Cause of death||Executed by Muhammad of Ghor after being captured in the second battle of Tarain|
Prithviraj Chauhan Early life
Prithviraj was born to the Chahamana king Someshvara and queen Karpuradevi (a Kalachuri princess). Both Prithviraj and his younger brother Hariraja were born in Gujarat, where their father Someshvara was brought up at the Chaulukya court by his maternal relatives. According to Prithviraja Vijaya, Prithviraj was born on the 12th day of the Jyeshtha month. The text does not mention the year of his birth, but provides some of the astrological planetary positions at the time of his birth, calling them auspicious. Based on these positions and assuming certain other planetary positions, Dasharatha Sharma calculated the year of Prithviraj’s birth as 1166 CE (1223 VS).
The medieval biographies of Prithviraj suggest that he was educated well. The Prithviraja Vijaya states that he mastered 6 languages; the Prithviraj Raso claims that he learned 14 languages, which appears to be an exaggeration. The Raso goes on to claim that he became well-versed in a number of subjects, including history, mathematics, medicine, military, painting, philosophy (mimamsa), and theology. Both the texts state that he was particularly proficient in archery.
Personal Life Prithviraj Chauhan fell in love with a woman named Sanyukta, she was the daughter of the king of Kannauj whose name was Raja Jaichand. The king of kannauj didn’t like this and he didn’t want Prithviraj to marry his daughter so he arranged a ‘swayamvara’ for her. He invited all the princes except Prithviraj. He didn’t invite him to insult Prithviraj but Sanyukta rejected all other princes and later fled with Prithviraj to Delhi, where they married later.
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Prithviraj Chauhan Against the Muslim Ghurid Dynasty Prithviraj Chauhan is widely known as a warrior king who bravely resisted the Muslim ruler, Muhammad of Ghor, the ruler of the Muslim Ghurid dynasty with all his might. In 1192 CE, Prithviraj was defeated by Ghurids at the second battle of Tarain and later he was executed after his defeat. His defeat at the second battle of Tarain is considered to be a landmark event in the Islamic conquest of India.
Basic Information of Prithviraj Chauhan:-
- Full Name: Prithviraja III. Prithviraj Chauhan was also known as: Rai Pithora.
- Father’s Name: Someshvara.
- Important Battles: Battles of Tarain Prithviraj
Chauhan Birth According to the famous eulogistic Sanskrit poem, Prithviraj Chauhan was born on the twelfth day of Jyeshtha, which is the second month in the Hindu Calendar which corresponds to May -June of the Gregorian calendar. Prithviraj Chauhan’s father’s name was Someshvara who was the king of Chahamana and his mother was queen Karpuradevi, a Kalachuri princess. ‘Prithviraj Vijaya’, is a Sanskrit epic poem on the life of Prithviraj Chauhan and it does not talk about the exact year of his birth but it does talk about the certain planetary positions at the time of Prithviraj’s birth.
The description of the described planetary position helped Indian Indologist, Dasharatha Sharma to estimate the year of Prithviraj Chauhan’s birth which is believed to be 1166 CE.Prithviraj Chauhan Early Life and QualificationsPrithviraj Chauhan and his younger brother were both brought up in Gujarat, where his father Someshvara was brought up by his maternal relatives. Prithviraj Chauhan was educated well. It states that he had mastered six languages.
Prithviraj Chauhan Study:-
Prithviraj Raso went on and claimed that Prithviraj had learned 14 languages which seems to be an exaggeration. Prithviraj Raso also has claimed that he had mastered many subjects such as mathematics, Medicine, History, military, defense, painting, theology, and philosophy too. The text also claims that Prithviraj Chauhan was also good at archery. Both the text also claims that Prithviraj from a younger age had an interest in warfare and hence was able to learn the difficult military skills quickly.
Prithviraj Chauhan Coming to PowerAfter the death of Prithviraj II, Someshvara the father of Prithviraj Chauhan was crowned as the king of Chahamana and Prithviraj was only 11 years old when the entire incident happened. In the year 1177 CE, Someshvara passed away which led 11 years old Prithviraj Chauhan to ascend the throne in the same year with his mother as the regent. At the early age of his rule as the king, Prithviraj Chauhan’s mother managed the administration which was assisted by the regency council.Early Reign of Prithviraj Chauhan and his Important MinistersDuring his early years as the young king, Prithviraj was assisted by a couple of
loyal ministers who assisted him in running the kingdom. The chief minister during this period was Kadambavasa who was also known as Kaimasa or Kailash. In the folk legends, He was described as an able minister and a soldier who devoted his life to the young king’s progress. Prithviraj Vijaya also states that Kadambavasa was responsible for all the military victories during the early years of Prithviraj’s reign. According to Prithviraja-Prabandha a man by the name Pratapa-Simha conspired against the minister and fully convinced Prithviraj Chauhan to believe that the minister was responsible for the repeated Muslim invasions that took place on his kingdom.
This caused Prithviraj Chauhan to execute the minister later on. Another important minister who is mentioned in the ‘Prithviraja Vijaya’ is Bhuvanaikamalla who was the paternal uncle of Prithviraj’s mother. According to the poem, he was a very capable general who served Prithviraj Chauhan. The ancient text also states that Bhuvanaikamalla was also a very good painter.Prithviraj Chauhan assumed the actual control of the administration in the year 1180 CE. Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with NagarjunaPrithviraj Chauhan took complete control in the year 1180 CE and soon he was challenged by many Hindu rulers who tried to capture the Chahamana dynasty. The first military achievement of Prithviraj Chauhan was on his cousin Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna was the son of Prithviraj Chauhan’s uncle Vigraharaja IV who revolted against the coronation of him on the throne.
Prithviraj Chauhan showed his military supremacy by retaking Gudapura which Nagarjuna had captured. It was among the earliest military achievements of Prithviraj.Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with BhadanakasAfter completely defeating his cousin, Prithviraj then went on and then captured the neighboring kingdom of the Bhadanakas in the year of 1182 CE. The Bhadanakas was an unknown dynasty that controlled the area around Bayana.
Bhadanakas always was a threat to the Chahamana dynasty for capturing the area around Delhi which was under the Chahamana dynasty. Seeing the rise of the future threat Prithviraj Chauhan decided to destroy the Bhadanakas completely. Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with Chandelas between the years of 1182-83 CE, The Madanpur inscriptions from Prithviraj’s reign claimed that he had defeated the Jejakabhukti which was ruled by Chandela king Paramardi. After the Chandala king was defeated by the Prithviraj, it caused many rulers to form a hate relationship with him as a result of which an alliance was formed between Chandelas and Gahadavalas.
The combined Chandelas-Gahadavalas army had attacked the Prithviraj’s camp but was soon defeated. The alliance was broken and both the kings were executed a few days after the war. The Kharatara-Gachchha-Pattavali has mentioned that a peace treaty was signed in the year 1187 CE between Prithviraj Chauhan and Bhima II who was the king of Gujarat. A peace treaty was signed to end the war that both the kingdoms had with each other in the past.
Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with GahadavalasAccording to the legends of Prithviraja Vijaya, Prithviraj Chauhan also came into conflict with the most powerful king of the Gahadavala kingdom, Jayachandra. Prithviraj Chauhan had run away with the daughter of Jayachandra, Samyogita which led to a rivalry between the two kings. The incident has been mentioned in popular legends such as Prithviraja Vijaya, Ain-i-Akbari, and Surjana-Charita but many
Prithviraj moved from Gujarat to Ajmer, when his father Someshvara was crowned the Chahamana king after the death of Prithviraja II. Someshvara died in 1177 CE (1234 VS), when Prithviraj was around 11 years old. The last inscription from Someshvara’s reign and the first inscription from Prithviraj’s reign are both dated to this year. Prithviraj, who was a minor at the time, ascended the throne with his mother as the regent. The Hammira Mahakavya claims that Someshvara himself installed Prithviraj on the throne, and then retired to the forest. However, this is doubtful.
During his early years as the king, Prithviraj’s mother managed the administration, assisted by a regency council.
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Kadambavasa served as the chief minister of the kingdom during this period. He is also known as Kaimasa, Kaimash or Kaimbasa in the folk legends, which describe him as an able administrator and soldier devoted to the young king. Prithviraja Vijaya states that he was responsible for all the military victories during the early years of Prithviraj’s reign. According to two different legends, Kadambavasa was later killed by Prithviraj. The Prithviraja-Raso claims that Prithviraj killed the minister after finding him in the apartment of the king’s favourite concubine Karnati.
Prithviraja-Prabandha claims that a man named Pratapa-Simha conspired against the minister, and convinced Prithviraj that the minister was responsible for the repeated Muslim invasions. Both these claims appear to be historically inaccurate, as the much more historically reliable Prithviraja Vijaya does not mention any such incident.
Bhuvanaikamalla, the paternal uncle of Prithviraj’s mother, was another important minister during this time. According to Prithviraja Vijaya, he was a valiant general who served Prithviraj as Garuda serves Vishnu.The text also states that he was “proficient in the art of subduing nāgas”. According to the 15th-century historian Jonaraja, “naga” here refers to elephants. However, Har Bilas Sarda interpreted Naga as the name of a tribe, and theorized that Bhuvanaikamalla defeated this tribe.
According to historian Dasharatha Sharma, Prithviraj assumed actual control of the administration in 1180 CE (1237 VS).
Two verses:- of Kharatara-Gachchha-Pattavali mention the victory of Prithviraj over the Bhadanakas, while describing a debate between two Jain monks. This victory can be dated to sometime before 1182 CE, when the said debate took place. According to Cynthia Talbot, the Bhadanakas were an obscure dynasty who controlled the area around Bayana. According to Dasharatha Sharma, the Bhadanaka territory comprised the area around present-day Bhiwani, Rewari and Alwar.
War against Chandelas
The 1182–83 CE (1239 VS) Madanpur inscriptions from Prithviraj’s reign claim that he “laid to waste” Jejakabhukti (present-day Bundelkhand), which was ruled by the Chandela king Paramardi. Prithviraj’s invasion of the Chandela territory is also described in the later folk legends, such as Prithviraj Raso, Paramal Raso, and Alha-Raso. Other texts such as Sarangadhara Paddhati and Prabandha Chintamani also mention Prithviraj’s attack on Paramardi. The Kharatara-Gachchha-Pattavali mentions that Prithviraj had embarked upon a digvijaya (conquest of all the regions). This appears to be a reference to the start of Prithviraj’s march to Jejakabhukti.
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The legendary account of Prithviraj’s campaign against the Chandelas goes like this: Prithviraj was returning to Delhi after marrying the daughter of Padamsen, when his contingent was attacked by the “Turkic” forces (Ghurids). His army repulsed the attacks but suffered serious casualties in the process. Amid this chaos, the Chahamana soldiers lost their way and unknowingly encamped in the Chandela capital Mahoba. They killed the Chandela royal gardener for objecting to their presence, which led to a skirmish between the two sides. The Chandela king Paramardi asked his general Udal to attack Prithviraj’s camp, but Udal advised against this move.
Paramardi’s brother-in-law Mahil Parihar ruled modern-day Orai; he harboured ill-will against Paramardi and instigated the king to go ahead with the attack. Prithviraj defeated Udal’s contingent and then left for Delhi. Subsequently, unhappy with Mahil’s scheming, Udal and his brother Alha left the Chandela court. They started serving Jaichand, the Gahadavala ruler of Kannauj. Mahil then secretly informed Prithviraj that Chandela kingdom had become weak in absence of its strongest generals.
Prithviraj invaded the Chandela kingdom and besieged Sirsagarh, which was held by Udal’s cousin Malkhan. After failing to win over Malkhan through peaceful methods and losing eight generals, Prithviraj captured the fort. The Chandelas then appealed for a truce, and used this time to recall Alha and Udal from Kannauj. In support of the Chandelas, Jaichand dispatched an army led by his best generals, including two of his own sons. The combined Chandela-Gahadavala army attacked Prithviraj’s camp, but was defeated.
After his victory, Prithviraj sacked Mahoba. He then dispatched his general Chavand Rai to Kalinjar Fort to capture Paramardi. According to the various legends, Paramardi either died or retired shortly after the attack. Prithviraj returned to Delhi after appointing Pajjun Rai as the governor of Mahoba. Later, Paramardi’s son recaptured Mahoba.
The exact historicity of this legendary narrative is debatable. The Madanpur inscriptions establish that Prithviraj sacked Mahoba, but historical evidence suggests that his occupation of Chandela territory is either a fabrication by the bards, or did not last long. It is known that Paramardi did not die or retire immediately after the Chauhan victory; in fact, he continued ruling as a sovereign nearly a decade after Prithviraj’s death.
Cynthia Talbot asserts that Prithviraj only raided Jejakabhukti, and Paramardi regained control of his kingdom soon after his departure from Mahoba. Talbot continues that Prithviraj was not able to annex the Chandela territory to his kingdom. Conversely, according to R.B. Singh, it is probable that some part of Chandela territory was annexed by Chahmanas albeit for a short time.
Wars in Gujarat
The Kharatara-Gachchha-Pattavali mentions a peace treaty between Prithviraj, and Bhima II, the Chaulukya (Solanki) king of Gujarat. This implies that the two kings were previously at war. This war can be dated to sometime before 1187 CE (1244 VS). The Veraval inscription states that Bhima’s prime minister Jagaddeva Pratihara was “the moon to the lotus-like queens of Prithviraja” (a reference to the belief that the moon-rise causes a day-blooming lotus to close its petals). Since Bhima was a minor at the time, it appears that Jagaddeva led the campaign on the Chaulukya side.
The historically unreliable Prithviraj Raso provides some details about the Chahamana-Chaulukya struggle. According to it, both Prithviraj and Bhima wanted to marry Ichchhini, the Paramara princess of Abu. Prithviraj’s marriage to her led to a rivalry between the two kings. Historian G. H. Ojha dismisses this legend as fiction, because it states that Ichchhini was a daughter of Salakha, while Dharavarsha was the Paramara ruler of Abu at the time. Historian R. B. Singh, on the other hand, believes that Salakha was the head of another Paramara branch at Abu.
The Raso also mentions that Prithviraj’s uncle Kanhadeva had killed seven sons of Bhima’s uncle Sarangadeva. To avenge these murders, Bhima invaded the Chahamana kingdom and killed Prithviraj’s father Someshvara, capturing Nagor in the process. Prithviraj re-captured Nagor, and defeated and killed Bhima. This is known to be historically false, as the reign of Bhima II lasted nearly half a century after Prithviraj’s death. Similarly, historical evidence suggests Bhima II was a child at the time of Someshvara’s death, and therefore, could not have killed him.
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Despite these discrepancies, there is some evidence of a battle between the Chahamanas and the Chaulukyas at Nagor. Two inscriptions found at Charlu village near Bikaner commemorate the death of Mohil soldiers at the battle of Nagor in 1184 CE (1241 VS). The Mohils are a branch of the Chauhans (the Chahamanas), and it is possible the inscriptions refer to the battle described in Prithviraj Raso.
Sometime before 1187 CE, Jagaddeva Pratihara signed a peace treaty with Prithviraj. According to Kharatara-Gachchha-Pattavali, a chief named Abhayada once sought Jagaddeva’s permission to attack and rob the wealthy visitors from Sapadalaksha country (the Chahamana territory). In response, Jagaddeva told Abhayada that he had concluded a treaty with Prithviraj with much difficulty. Jaggadeva then threatened to have Abhayada sewn in a donkey’s belly if he harassed the people of Sapadalaksha.
Historian Dasharatha Sharma theorizes that the Chahamana-Chaulukya conflict ended with some advantage for Prithviraj, as Jagaddeva appears to have been very anxious to preserve the treaty. According to historian R.C. Majumdar and Satish Chandra his long drawn out struggle against Gujarat was unsuccessful and he suffered a reverse against Bhima. Thus, Prithviraj concluded a treaty by 1187 AD.
The area around Mount Abu was ruled by the Chandravati Paramara ruler Dharavarsha, who was a Chaulukya feudatory. Partha-Parakrama-Vyayoga, a text written by his younger brother Prahaladana, describes Prithviraj’s night attack on Abu. This attack, according to the text, was a failure for the Chahamanas. It probably happened during the Gujarat campaign of Prithviraj.
The Gahadavala kingdom, centered around Kannauj and headed by another powerful king Jayachandra, was located to the east of the Chahamana kingdom. According to a legend mentioned in Prithviraj Raso, Prithviraj eloped with Jayachandra’s daughter Samyogita, leading to a rivalry between the two kings.
The legend goes like this: King Jaichand (Jayachandra) of Kannauj decided to conduct a Rajasuya ceremony to proclaim his supremacy. Prithviraj refused to participate in this ceremony, and thus, refused to acknowledge Jaichand as the supreme king. Jaichand’s daughter Samyogita fell in love with Prithviraj after hearing about his heroic exploits, and declared that she would marry only him. Jaichand arranged a swayamvara ceremony for his daughter, but did not invite Prithviraj.
Nevertheless, Prithviraj marched to Kannauj with a hundred warriors and eloped with Samyogita. Two-thirds of his warriors sacrificed their life in fight against the Gahadavala army, allowing him to escape to Delhi with Samyogita. In Delhi, Prithviraj became infatuated with his new wife, and started spending most of his time with her. He started ignoring the state affairs, which ultimately led to his defeat against Muhammad of Ghor.
This legend is also mentioned in Abu’l-Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari and Chandrashekhara’s Surjana-Charita (which names the Gahadavala princess as “Kantimati”). Prithviraja Vijaya mentions that Prithviraj fell in love with the incarnation of an apsara Tilottama, although he had never seen this woman and was already married to other women.
According to historian Dasharatha Sharma, this is probably a reference to Samyogita. However, this legend is not mentioned in other historical sources such as Prithviraja-Prabandha, Prabandha-Chintamani, Prabandha-Kosha and Hammira-Mahakavya. The Gahadavala records are also silent about this event, including the supposed Rajasuya performance by Jayachandra.
According to Dasharatha Sharma and R. B. Singh, there might be some historical truth in this legend, as it is mentioned in three different sources. All three sources place the event sometime before Prithviraj’s final confrontation with Muhammad of Ghor in 1192 CE.
Historians believe that the legends may be false. Reign Of PrithvirajPrithviraj’s father died in a battle in 1179 CE after which Prithviraj became the king. He ruled both Ajmer and Delhi and once he became the king, he initiated various operations to expand his kingdom. He first started capturing the small States of Rajasthan and did successfully conquer each of those. After that, he attacked the Chandelas of Khajuraho and Mahoba and defeated them. He launched a campaign on the Chalukyas of Gujarat in 1182 CE which resulted in a war that went on for years.
He was finally defeated by Bhima 11 in 1187 CE. Prithviraj also attacked the Gahadavalas of kannauj. He didn’t indulge himself politically with other neighboring states and isolated himself even though he was successful in expanding his kingdom. Important BattlesPrithviraj Chauhan fought many battles in his life and was a very famous ruler of his time but there are some battles that are very famous. In the 12th century, the Muslim dynasties had done many raids on the northwestern areas of the subcontinent due to which, they were able to capture most of that part.
One such dynasty was the Ghurid dynasty, whose ruler Muhammad of Ghor crossed the Indus river to capture Multan which was an earlier part of the Chahamana kingdom. Ghor controlled the western territories which were part of Prithviraj’s kingdom. Muhammad Ghor now wanted to expand his kingdom to the east which was controlled by Prithviraj Chauhan. This led to many battles between the two. These two, i.e, Prithviraj and Muhammad of Ghor are said to have fought many battles, but shreds of evidence are for only two of those. Which were known as the battles of Tarain.
Prithviraj Chauhan Last battle and death:–
The First Battle Of TarainThis battle, the first battle of Tarain, began in the year 1190 CE. Before this battle started Muhammad Ghor had captured Tabarhinda which was a part of Chahamana. The news reached the ears of Prithviraj and he was very furious. He launched a campaign towards that place. Ghor after capturing Tabarhindah had decided that he would go back to his base but when he heard about Prithviraj’s attack, he decided to hold his army and put up a fight.
The two armies clashed and there were many casualties. Prithviraj’s army defeated the army of Ghor, which resulted in Ghor being injured but he somehow escaped.The Second Battle Of Tarain Once, Prithviraj defeated Muhammad Ghor, in the first battle of Tarain, he had no intentions of fighting him again as with time, the first battle was merely a frontier fight for him. He underestimated Muhammad Muhammad Ghor and never thought that he would have to fight him again. It is said that Muhammad Ghor attacked Prithviraj at night and he was able to deceive his army.
Prithviraj didn’t have many Hindu allies but despite his army being weak, he put up a good fight. He was finally defeated by Ghor in the second battle of Tarain and Muhammad Ghor was able to capture Chahamana. Death This is important to note that it is not clear when actually he died and how. Many medieval sources suggest that Prithviraj was taken to Ajmer by Muhammad of Ghor where he was kept as a Ghurid vassal. After sometimes Prithviraj Chauhan rebelled against Muhammad of Ghor and was later killed for treason. This theory is supported by the ‘horse-and-bullman’-style coins which have the name of Prithviraj on one side and the “Muhammad bin Sam” name on another. The exact reason for the death of Prithviraj Chauhan varies from one source to another.
A Muslim historian, Hasan Nizami states that Prithviraj Chauhan was caught conspiring against Muhammad of Ghor which allowed the king to behead him. The historian has not described the exact nature of the conspiracy.According to Prithviraja-Prabandha, Prithviraj Chauhan has kept the building which was close to the court and was close to the room of Muhammad of Ghor. Prithviraj Chauhan was planning to kill Muhammad and had asked his minister Pratapasimha to provide him with a bow and arrows. Minister did fulfill his wish and provided the weapons to him but also informed Muhammad about the secret plan which Prithviraj had been plotting to kill him.
Prithviraj Chauhan was then later taken captive and was thrown into a pit where he was stoned to death. According to Hammira Mahakavya, Prithviraj Chauhan after his defeat had refused to eat which ultimately led to his death. Various other sources state that Prithviraj Chauhan was killed immediately after his death. According to Prithviraj Raso, Prithviraj was taken to Ghazna and was blinded and later on killed in the prison. According to ‘Viruddha-Vidhi Vidhvansa,’ Prithviraj Chauhan was killed immediately after the battle.
Written by:- Mrs. Snehal Rajan Jani.