Prithviraj Chauhan Birth
According to Sanskrit epic poems, Prithviraj was born on the twelfth day of Jyeshtha, which is the second month in the Hindu calendar, corresponding to May and June of the Gregorian calendar. His father was Someshvara and his mother was Kalachuri princess, Karpuradevi. There is no detailed information about what year he was born, but Indian scholar Dasharatha confirms that it could be 1166 CE based on planetary positions at time of his birth.
Prithviraj Chauhan Early Life and Qualifications
Prithviraj Chauhan and his younger brother were both brought up in Gujarat, where his father was raised by his maternal relatives. Prithviraj has been educated well, and he had mastered six languages by the time he went on to claim that he knew 14 different languages. He's also claimed to have mastered many subjects such as mathematics, medicine, history, military defence, painting and philosophy before he turned 15. Prithviraj was also said to be skilled at archery as a youngster. He had an interest in warfare at a young age and was able to learn difficult skills quickly.
Prithviraj Chauhan Coming to Power
Prithviraj Chauhan unexpectedly ascended the throne at 11 years old, to politics and drama alike. His mother served as regent during his early reign while he oversaw daily administrative operations.
Early Reign of Prithviraj Chauhan and his Important Ministers
Young King Prithviraj was the eldest son of a powerful king called Chandragupta. When he was crowned as the king, Prithviraj's advisors helped him run the kingdom.
The chief minister during this time was Kadambavasa, who was also known as Kaimasa or Kailash. In the folk legends, He was described as a loyal and able minister and soldier that devoted his life to the king's progress. Prithviraj Vijaya also states that Kadambavasa was responsible for all of the kingdom's military victories during the early years of Prithviraj Chauhan's reign. With that being said, an individual by the name Pratapa-Simha conspired against him and convinced Prithviraj Chauhan that Kadambavasa was responsible for the repeated Muslim invasions that took place on his kingdom. This caused Prithviraj Chauhan to execute the minister.
Bhuvanaikamalla was a paternal uncle of Prithviraj Chauhan's mother. He is mentioned in the ancient text ‘Prithviraja Vijaya’ as a good general who served Prithviraj. In addition, the poem mentions that he was also a skilled painter.
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Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with Nagarjuna
The Chahamana dynasty, which had been founded by Prithviraj Chauhan in Sindh and Gujarat, faced many high profile challenges. Those challenges were the first to be taken under consideration by Prithviraj Chauhan when he assumed full control of the empire. His military triumph was first demonstrated against his uncle Vigraharaja IV, Nagarjuna's father.
Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with Bhadanakas
The Bhadanakas were a widely unknown dynasty in India that controlled the surrounding areas of Delhi. Seeing the danger posed by this unknown threat, Prithviraj Chauhan went to defeat them. After winning the war, he then captured another nearby kingdom and eliminated their threat entirely.
Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with Chandelas
After a sudden alliance was formed between the Chandelas and Gahadavalas, which had attempted to attack his camp, the Prithviraj managed to defeat them. Three days after the war, peace treaties were negotiated and they officially ended their conflict.
Prithviraj Chauhan’s Conflict with Gahadavalas
The legends indicate that Prithviraj Chauhan came into conflict with the most powerful king of the Gahadavala kingdom, Jayachandra. There was the alleged incident where he captured and married Jayachandra's daughter, Samyogita. This led to a rivalry between the two kings, and it has been mentioned in various sources including popular legends like Prithviraja Vijaya and Ain-i-Akbari as well as historical texts such as Surjana Charita. However, many historians dispute this theory.
Reign Of Prithviraj
Prithviraj ruled mainly in Northern India and was successful in expanding his territory, through capturing the small kingdoms of Rajasthan. After conquering each one, he attacked the Chandelas of Khajuraho, Mahoba and the Chalukya of Gujarat. He ended up defeating them. Next, he attacked the Gahadavalas of Kannauj, but ended up being defeated by Bhima 11 due to their alliance. Later, he wrote an epic poem called "Vikramankadevacharita" about these battles. Prithviraj didn't engage himself in any political affairs and isolated himself from other neighboring states.
There are several famous battles fought by Prithviraj Chauhan. One such battle was a 12th century event. The Muslim dynasties have been raiding the northwestern areas of the subcontinent for some time, and Muhammad of Ghor crossed the Indus river to capture Multan which was an earlier part of the Chahamana kingdom. Ghor controlled Central Asian territories which were part of Prithviraj's kingdom.
Muhammad Ghori now wanted to expand his kingdom to the east, which was controlled by Prithviraj Chauhan. This led to many battles between the two, with the number for a single one varying; historical documentation of these two battles is scarce. These two, i.e., Prithviraj and Muhammad Ghori, are said to have fought many different battles involving all kinds of weaponry; but evidence are only found for just two battles - known as the Battles of Tarain.
The First Battle Of Tarain
This battle, the first battle of Tarain, in 1190 CE. Before this battle started Muhammad Ghori 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 decided to head back to his base but when he heard about Prithviraj's attack, he decided to hold his army and put up a fight. Prithviraj's army defeated the army of Ghor during the clash, which resulted in Ghor being injured even though he escaped somehow.
The Second Battle Of Tarain
Prithviraj defeated Muhammad Ghor in the first battle of Tarain, but years later he was able to defeat him again, thanks to a successful army deception. He underestimated Muhammad Ghor and never thought he would have to fight him again. It's said that Muhammad Ghor attacked Prithviraj at night and Prithviraj was able to deceive his own weak army. Prithviraj had few Hindu allies but put up a good fight nonetheless. Finally, he was beaten in the second battle of Tarain by Muhammad Ghor.
It's hard to know the exact details about Prithviraj Chauhan's life. Medieval sources suggest that he was taken to the Chittorgarh fort by Muhammad of Ghori where he was kept as a vassal. After some time, he rebelled and was later killed for treason. This theory is supported by coin designs that show the Prithviraj name as one side and the "Muhammad bin Sam" name on another. The exact reason for his death varies from source to source.
A Muslim historian, Hasan Nizami, has written that Prithviraj Chauhan was caught conspiring against the Muslim king Muhammad of Ghor and was then executed. The historian doesn't specify if Prithviraj's conspiracy against Muhammad involved fostering an allegiance with someone else.
According to Prithviraja-Prabandha, Prithviraj Chauhan wanted to kill Muhammad and asked his minister, Pratapasimha to provide him with a bow and arrows. In exchange for doing so, Minister passed the news on to Muhammad of Ghor, who caught up with Prithviraj after he had been taken captive and thrown into a pit. He (Muhammad) later stoned him (Prithviraj) to death.
According to various sources, Prithviraj Chauhan died shortly after the battle of Hindupur. According to “Viruddha-Vidhi Vidhvansa”, he was blinded and then killed in prison. Other sources indicate that the killer or killers may have been in the entourage of Mihira Bhoja, who later on took credit for killing Prithviraja and claiming it as a victory-something that most likely never happened.
Historians believe that Prithviraj Chauhan was related to the Rajputs who were forced out of northern India. His empire spanned from the Betwa River in the North, all the way to Mount Abu in the south, and included all of modern day Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab. The Mughal Mongol rulers came into power after his reign. He is regarded as the greatest Hindu king because Indian power stopped declining before his time.
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