MUHAMMAD GHORI (SHAHABUDDIN MUHAMMAD)


In AD 1173 Shahabuddin Muhammad (AD 1173–1206) also called Muhammad of Ghor ascended the throne of Ghazni.

The Ghoris were not strong enough to meet the growing power and strength of the Khwarizmi Empire; they realised that they could gain nothing in Central Asia.

This forced Ghori to turn towards India to fulfill his expansionist ambitions.

Muhammad Ghori was very much interested in establishing permanent empire in India and not merely looting its wealth.

His invasions resulted in the permanent establishment of the Turkish Sultanate in the region lying north of the Vindhya Mountains.

 

Conquest of Punjab and Sindh–

Muhammad Ghori led his first expedition in AD 1175.

He conquered Multan. In the same campaign he captured Uchch from the Bhatti Rajputs.

Three years later in AD 1178 he again marched to conquer Gujarat but the Chalukya ruler of Gujarat, Ghima II defeated him at the battle of Anhilwara.

He launched a campaign against the Ghaznavid possessions in Punjab.As a result Peshawar was conquered in AD 1179–80 and Lahore in AD 1186.

The fort of Sialkot and Debol were captured next.

 

The First Battle of Tarain-AD1191–

Muhammad Ghori’s possession of Punjab and his attempt to advance into the Gangetic Doab brought him into direct conflict with the Rajput ruler Prithivaraja Chauhan.

The conflict started with claims of Bhatinda.

Prithviraj conquered Bhatinda but he made no efforts to garrison it effectively.

This gave Ghori an opportunity to re-assemble his forces and make preparations for another advance into India.

 

The Second Battle of Tarain-AD1192–

This battle is regarded as one of the turning points in Indian History.

Muhammad Ghori made very careful preparations for this conquest.

The Indian forces were more in number but Turkish forces were well organised with swift moving cavalry.

A large number of Indian soldiers were killed.

Prithviraj tried to escape but was captured near Sarsuti.

The Turkish army captured the fortresses of Hansi, Sarsuti and Samana.

Then they moved forward running over Delhi and Ajmer.

After Tarain, Ghori returned to Ghazni, leaving the affairs of India in the hand of his trusted slave general Qutbuddin Aibak.

In AD 1194 Muhammad Ghori again returned to India.

He defeated Jai Chand at Chandwar near Kanauj.

The battle of Tarain and Chandwar laid the foundations of Turkish rule in Northern India.

The political achievements of Muhammad Ghori in India were long lasting than those of Mahmud of Ghazni.

Qutbuddin Aibak became the first Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate.