Prithviraj Chauhan was a Rajput king who ruled the kingdoms of Ajmer and Delhi in northern India in 12th century; he was one of the last independent Hindu kings to sit upon the throne of Delhi. Also known as Rai Pithora, he was a Rajput king hailing from the Chauhan dynasty. Born as the son of Someshwar Chauhan, the king of Ajmer, Prithviraj started displaying signs of his greatness at an early age. He was a very brave and intelligent child blessed with sharp military skills. He practiced hard shabd bhedi archery skills since childhood. As a young boy he could accurately hit targets only on the basis of its sounds. After the death of his father in a battle in 1179, Prithviraj Chauhan succeeded the throne. He ruled over the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi which he had received from his maternal grandfather, Arkpal or Anangpal III of the Tomara dynasty. As the king, he set out on several campaigns to expand his territories and became well-known as a valiant and courageous warrior. His battles with Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori are especially well-known as is the heroics of his elopement with Sanyukta, the daughter of Raja Jaichandra of Kannauj.
- 1 Prithviraj Chouhan’s Rivalry with Jaichand
- 2 Jaichandra’s Daughter Sanyogita’s Love for Prithiviraj
- 3 The Consentful Elopement of Sanyogita By Prithviraj
- 4 Conflict Among Rajputs Lead to Demise of Raputana Ruling
- 5 Blinding of a Lion and His Insult by Mlecchas
- 6 Prithviraj Avenges the Insult with Shabd Bhedi Baan
- 7 How Poet Vajishwar Described Mahmud Ghori
- 8 Bring Ashes of Hindu King Back to Home
- 9 Surprise Me More:
Prithviraj Chouhan’s Rivalry with Jaichand
In Jaichandra’s glory days, a rival Rajput clan had established itself in Delhi (Pithoragarh). The ruler there was Prithviraj Chouhan. Prithviraj was a courageous, chivalrous and an extremely fearless human. After ceaseless military campaigns, Pritiviraj extended his original kingdom of Sambhar (Shakambara) to Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Eastern Punjab. He ruled from his twin capitals at Delhi and Ajmer. His fast rise caught the envy of the then powerful ruler Jaichandra Gahadwala and there was a lot of ill-feeling between the two. Jaichandra was envious on the quick popularity of Prithviraj Chauhan.
Jaichandra’s Daughter Sanyogita’s Love for Prithiviraj
The history of Prithviraj’s bold exploits spread far and wide in the country and he was the center of much discussion in the circle of the nobility. News of bravery spread among Gahadwala clan, and Sanyogita, the daughter of Jaichandra Gahadwala fell secretly in love with Prithiviraj and she started a secret poetic correspondence with him. Her father the haughty Jaichandra got information of this affair and he decided to teach his daughter and her upstart lover a lesson. So he arranged a Swayamwar, a ceremony where a Hindu bride had right to choose Groom of her choice and she could select her husband from the assembled eligible princes of various states. She had the right to garland the prince to become his queen. This was an ancient Hindu custom among Royal dynasties. However, Jaichandra abused this freedom of her daughter, he invited all the big and small princes of the country to Kannauj for the royal Swayamwar. But he deliberately ignored the famous Prithiviraj. To add insult to injury, he even made a statue of Prithviraj and kept him as a dwarpal (doorman) at the gate.
The Consentful Elopement of Sanyogita By Prithviraj
Prithviraj knew the dubious ploy of Jaichandra and he confided a plan to his lover Sanyogita.
On the Swayamwar day, Sanyogita walked down the aisle where the royals had assembled and bypassed all of them only to reach the door and garland the statue of Pritiviraj as a doorman. The assemblage was stunned at this brash act of hers. They felt insulted as princes were missed and lifeless statue was respected. But what shocked them and her father Jaichandra further was the next thing that happened.
Prithviraj who was hiding behind the statue, also in the garb of a doorman, whisked Sanyogita away and put her up on his steed to make a fast getaway to his capital at Delhi.
Conflict Among Rajputs Lead to Demise of Raputana Ruling
Jaichandra and his army gave earnest chase and in the resultant string of battles between the two kingdoms fought between 1189 and 1190, both of them sufferred heavily. While the conflict escalated, an ugly invader, Mahmud, who was from Ghor in Afghanistan had grown powerful after capture of Ghazni, subsequently attacked the Ghaznavid Governor of Punjab and defeated him. The kingdom of Mahmud Ghori now stretched up to the domains of Prithviraj Chouhan. A major clash was inevitable.
Victory of Brave Prithviraj Chouhan in Battle of Tarain 1191 C.E.
Mahmud Ghori threw the gauntlet by laying siege to the fortress of Bhatinda in East Punjab which was on the frontier of Prithviraj’s domains. Hindus always fought following Vedic code of battle – fighting on days, between Sunrise and Sunset. But coward muslims always attacked at night when Hindu kings and soldiers were treating their wounded sainiks. Sudden night attack by cruel Mahmud surprised Prithviraj and his army so his minister appealed for help from Jaichandra but it was scornfully rejected by the envious father-in-law. However undaunted Prithviraj marched on to Bhatinda and met his enemy at a place called Tarain (also called Taraori) near the ancient town of Thanesar. In face of the persistent Rajput attacks, the battle was won as the Muslim army broke ranks and fled leaving their general Mahmud Ghori as a prisoner in Prithviraj’s hands.
Mahmud Ghori was brought in chains to Pithoragarh – Prithviraj’s capital and he begged his victor for the mercy and release. He knelt down on his feet and praised him comparing his mightyness to Allah. Suggesting that he deserves mercy as per Vedic laws of Bharat. Prithviraj’s ministers advised against pardoning the aggressor as he himself is not sharnagat king of neighbor state but a foreign invader. But the chivalrous and valiant Prithviraj thought otherwise and respectfully released the vanquished Ghori.
Defeat of Prithviraj Chouhan and His Mercy at the Final Battle of Tarain 1192 C.E.
True to being a muslim, Mahmud returned the merciful gesture of Prithviraj with his sacrilegious attack at night in 1192 CE. Ghori attacked 17th time on Prithviraj with a stronger army and guilfully defeated him by attacking the Rajput army before daybreak. This time Rajputs were busy with internal conflicts, the resources were drained due to infighting among Rajputs. The defeated Prithviraj was pursued up to his capital and in chains he was taken as a captive to Ghor in Afghanistan.
Blinding of a Lion and His Insult by Mlecchas
The agony of Prithiviraj does not end here. As a prisoner in Ghor, he was marched in the city, dragged in the court of Mahmud daily and insulted, and tortured to convert to cult islam.
Prithviraj was presented before Mahmud, wherein he looked Ghori straight into the eyes. The daring act of piercing his boldness by looking into eyes of Mahmud disturbed the mleccha a lot.
One day Ghori ordered him to lower his eyes, whereupon a defiant Prithviraj scornfully told him how he had treated Ghori as a prisoner and he is alive because of the mercy of Prithviraj and further added that the eyelids of a Rajputs eyes are lowered only in death.
On hearing this, Ghori flew into a rage and ordered that Prithviraj’s eyes be burnt with red hot iron rods.
After torturing and gouging out his eyes, Prithviraj was again regularly brought to the court to be taunted by Ghori and his courtiers. The mleccha courtiers used to abuse with slangs and mock culture of Bharat as they considered Prithviraj, an infidel, Kafir, who idol worshiped Maa Bhavani and Bhagwan Shiv.
In those days Prithiviraj was joined by his former biographer Chand Bardai, who had composed a ballad-biography on Prithviraj in the name of Prithviraj Raso (Songs of Prithviraj). Chand Bardai told Prithiviraj, that he should avenge Ghori’s betrayal and daily insults.
Prithviraj Avenges the Insult with Shabd Bhedi Baan
The two got an opportunity when Ghori announced a game of Archery. On the advice of Chand Bardai, Prithviraj, who was then at court said he would also like to participate. On hearing his suggestion, the courtiers guffawed and laughed at him and he was taunted by Ghori as to how he could participate when he could not see. Whereupon, Prithiviraj told Mahmud Ghori to order him to shoot, and he would reach his target. Ghori became suspicious and asked Prithviraj why he wanted Ghori himself to order and not anyone else. On behalf of Prithiviraj, Chand Bardai told Ghori that he as a king would not accept orders from anyone other than a king. His ego satisfied, Mahmud Ghori agreed.
On the said day, Ghori sitting in his royal enclosure had Prithviraj brought to the ground and had him unchained first time for the event. On Ghori’s ordering Prithviraj to shoot, Prithviraj turned in the direction from where he heard Ghori speak and struck Ghori dead with his arrow. This event is beautifully described by Chand Bardai in the couplet, “Dus kadam aggey, bees kadam daey, baitha hai Sultan. Ab mat chuko Chouhan, chala do apna baan.” (Ten feet ahead of you and twenty feet to your right, is seated the Sultan, do not now miss him Chouhan, release your baan – arrow).
The last Hindu ruler of Delhi for longest period, Prithviraj Chouhan’s sudden attack killed the Mleccha Mahmud and that is why he was later murdered by the ministers of Mleccha ruler. They did not even allow Prithviraj to have last rites according to Hindu rituals, the mlecchas buried him in the grave nearby Mahmud’s tomb. They started the practice of spitting, insulting the grave of Prithviraj Chauhan, a evil tradition which is practiced even today. The fall of Great Prithviraj led to rise of melccha invasion and Bharat remain under muslim regime for next 700 years, before british dethroned mlecchas.
There were some brave Hindu kings who came close to freeing Delhi during the seven centuries of Muslim rule, they were Rana Anang Pal Toumar, Rana Kumbha, Raja Maaldev Rathod, Veer Durgadas Rathod, Maharao Shekhaji, Rana Sanga in 1527, Raja (Hemu) Vikramaditya in around 1565 (2nd battle of Panipat), and Shrimant Vishwas Rao who was the Peshwa’s son and was co-commander of the Maratha forces in the 3rd battle of Panipat in 1761.
How Poet Vajishwar Described Mahmud Ghori
Prithviraj court poet Vajishwar personally witnessed ugly Ghori. Vajishwar writes of Muhammad Ghori that he never saw such an ugly creature in human form:
“Cruel Ghori’s face was like Gorilla and he had steel-like body. His eyes were so narrow and piercing that they might have bored a hole in a brazen vessel, and his stench was more horrible than his dark color. His head was completely bald and his cheeks resembled leather bottles full of wrinkles and knots. His nose was too long and his nostrils resembled rotting graves. His beard was of extravagant length, but he had no moustache. His chest was covered with lice which looked like sesame growing on a bad soil. His lean body, indeed, were covered with these insects, and his skin was as rough-grained as shagreen leather, fit only to be converted into shoes.”
Bring Ashes of Hindu King Back to Home
Prithviraj Chauhan was buried in Afghanistan itself and there are many petitions to bring his remains back. This is mostly fueled by the fact that it is a tradition in Afghanistan that whoever visits Ghori’s tomb ‘insults’ Chauhan’s grave first by either hitting the grave with slippers or jumping over it and then entering the grave of Ghori.
However Sher Singh Rana who was in Tihar Jail serving sentence of killing Phoolan Devi was angry when he came to know that the grave of Hindu Samrat Prithviraj Chavan was being insulted by hitting shoes before entering the tomb of Mahmud Ghazni. He decided to flee & bring back the grave of Prithviraj Chauhan from Afghanistan.
Sher Singh Rana decided to go on mission escaped Tihar jail one of the Asia’s highest security jail to get back India’s pride & respect.
Sher Singh Rana went searching for the king’s “grave” — he admitted to his interrogators he had little idea about the location. Only, he had heard that people disrespected the king’s “resting place” and “that hurt” him the most.
After touring Kandahar, Kabul and Herat, he finally reached Ghazni. On the outskirts of Ghazni, at a small villagecalled Deak, he claimed to have found the tomb of Muhammed Ghori. A few metres away lay Prithviraj Chauhan’s tomb. Rana said he convinced the locals that he had come from Pakistan to restore Ghori’s tomb. On the sly, he dug Chauhan’s “grave” and collected sand from it. He even got his “achievement” recorded on video and snapped pictures.
In April 2005, he was back in India. He sent the ‘ashes’ through courier to Etawah and organised a function there with the help of local politicians. Rana’s mother, Satwati Devi, was the chief guest. On Tuesday, his mother hailed his son as the “pride of the country”. “My son has only served this country. He brought the remains of Prithviraj Chauhan to India,The whole India should feel proud of him.” she said.
However, Indian government should bluntly ask Afghanistan government to remove Grave of Prithviraj Chauhan and with dignity offer all the ashes respectfully to Indian government so that a memorial of Hindu Samrat can be constructed here in Bharat. Also last rites with Vedic puja should be performed to restore the dignity of our great emperor Prithviraj Chauhan.