FOREIGN INVADERS IN MEDIEVAL INDIA

foreign invaders in india

The Ghaznavids (1000 CE-1200 CE)

The Ghaznavid dynasty came from King Sabuktagin. He was originally a Turkish ruler who invaded Ghazni (in present-day Afghanistan). He was succeeded by his son Mahmud, in 997 CE.

Mahmud of Ghazni (998 CE-1030 CE)

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni ruled from 997-1030 CE. He extended his control over parts of Central Asia, Iran and the North-Western parts of the sub-continent. In order to bring back wealth and build a large army, he raided the sub-continent 17 times between 1000-1027 CE. He attacked mainly on the temples and towns in northern India. This was because, he had heard that there was lot of gold and jewellery kept in the temples of India. Some of his famous campaigns were against Nagarkot, Thaneshwar, Mathura and Kannauj. His 15th invasion against the ‘Somnath Temple’ in Gujarat was the most disastrous one. He looted the temple of all its wealth. He used some of its wealth to beautify the city of Ghazni. He died in 1030 CE.

Mahmud was very interested to known about India and the conditions of its people. So, in one of his compaigns, Mahmud was accompanied by a great Persian Scholar Al-Bruni. Al-Bruni lived for many years in India, learnt Sanskrit and wrote an excellent book on India named ‘Kitab Al-Hind’. Which is a valuable source of information about the period.

The Ghorids (1200 CE-1300 CE)

After the death of Mahmud of Ghazni, the rulers of Ghor (in present-day Afghanistan) captured the weakened Ghaznavid empire, The Ghorid dynasty came into power in India under the rule of Shahbuddin Muhammad Ghori, who ascended the throne in 1202 CE.

Muhammad Ghori (1202 CE-1206 CE)

Ghori attacked several regions of India in 12th century. He was defeated by the ruler of Gujarat in 1178 CE, but he gained victory over Punjab and annexed it in 1190 CE.

In the following year, the Rajput rulers of northern India faced him in the First Battle of Tarain, where he was defeated by Prithviraj Chachan, Although in 1192 CE, he returned with his forces and attacked Prithviraj Chauhan, This was the Second Battle of Tarain, where he defeated Chauhan and captured him, because of lack of unity among the Rajput kings. This victory established Ghort’s stronghold over northern India.

After Prithviraj Chauhan’s death he became the ruler of the regions of Delhi and Rajasthan and the foundation of Turkish rule in India was laid. However, he did not stay in India. He appointed his slaves as regional governors of the conquered rule territories. This, eventually, came to be known as the Slave Dynasty.