started as vassals of Ghazni but became independent after the death of Mahmud.
Taking advantage of the decline of the Ghaznavid empire, Muizzuddin Muhammad
popularly known as Muhammad Ghori brought Ghazni under their control. Having
made his position strong and secure at Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori turned his
attention to India. Unlike Mahmud of Ghazni, he wanted to conquer India and
extend his empire in this direction.
Muhammad Ghori captured Multan and occupied whole of Sind in his subsequent
expeditions. In 1186 he attacked Punjab, captured it from Khusru Malik and
annexed it to his domin-ions. The annexation of Punjab carried his dominion
eastward to the Sutlej and led his invasion of the Chauhan kingdom.
The Battle of Tarain (1191-1192)
Realising their grave situation, the Hindu
princes of north India formed a confederacy under the command of Prithiviraj
Chauhan. Prithviraj rose to the occasion, and defeated Ghori in the battle of
Tarain near Delhi in 1191 A.D. Muhammad Ghori felt greatly humiliated by this
defeat. To avenge this defeat he made serious preparations and gathered an army
of 1,20,000 men. He came with this large force to Lahore via Peshawar and
Multan. He sent a message to Prithviraj asking him to acknowledge his supremacy
and become a Muslim. Prithviraj rejected this proposal and prepared to meet the
invader. He gathered a large force consisting of 3,00,000 horses, 3000
elephants and a large body of foot soldiers. Many Hindu rajas and chieftains
also joined him. In the ensuing Second Battle of Tarain in 1192, Muhammad Ghori
thoroughly routed the army of Prithiviraj, who was captured and killed.
The second battle of Tarain was a decisive
battle. It was a major disaster for the Rajputs. Their political prestige
suffered a serious setback. The whole Chauhan kingdom now lay at the feet of
the invader. The first Muslim kingdom was thus firmly established in India at
Ajmer and a new era in the history of India began. After his brilliant victory
over Prithiviraj at Tarain, Muhammad Ghori returned to Ghazni leaving behind
his favourite general Qutb-ud-din Aibak to make further conquests in India.
Aibak consolidated his position in India by occupying places like Delhi and Meerut.
In 1193 he prepared the ground for another invasion by Muhammad Ghori. This
invasion was directed against the Gahadavala ruler Jayachandra. Muhammad routed
Jayachandra's forces. Kanauj was occupied by the Muslims after the battle of
Chandawar. The Battles of Tarain and Chandawar contributed to the establishment
of Turkish rule in India.