The Ghaznavid Invasion of India

The Ghaznavid Dynasty was founded after the Turk slaves reached higher posts, such as commander-in-chiefs, in the Samanid court; they then took over the state of Khorasan. The real founder of the Ghaznavid Dynasty is, in fact, Sabuktigin. It was in his time that the Ghaznavid sovereignty expanded.

Mahmud Ghazni was Son of Sabuktigin, the founder of Ghazni dynasty & Turkish slave commander. Mahmud Ghazni first encountered the Hindushai ruler, Jaipal in AD 1001. In the years AD 1004–06 Mahmud Ghazni attacked the rulers of Multan. Soon Punjab also passed into the hands of the Ghaznavids. Between AD 1014–1019, Mahmud en- riched his treasury by looting the temples of Nagarkot, Thanesar, Mathura and Kanauj.
The attack against Nagarkot in AD 1008 has been described as his first great triumph. In AD 1025, Mahmud embarked on the most ambitious Indian campaign, the attack on the Somnath temple in Saurashtra. Mahmud captured the city after grim struggle in which more than 50,000 defenders lost their lives. Mahmud left Somnath
after a fortnight when he came to know that the Gujarat king Bhima-I had completed preparations to confront him. His attacks on India were an attempt to fulfil his ambition to make Ghazni the formidable power in the politics of Central Asia. Mahmud’s raids into India were only to acquire the famous wealth of India. This wealth would
help him to consolidate his vast rule in Central Asia. He did not wish to establish an empire in India. The Ghaznavids had their control on parts of Punjab and Sind which continued till AD 1135. However his invasions exposed the weak defence of Indian kingdoms. They also opened possibility of attacks in future by the Turks.

One of Ghaznavids military objectives in India was spread of Islam.
After Ghaznavid’s conquest of India, religious scholars and mystics ingress and egress began in order to preach Islamand invite Hindus to Islam.  Social conditions were suitable for embracing Islam. Islam quickly spread in India due to two major reasons. Firstly, Islamic principles were based on justice and equality, and men were preferred only due to being God-fearing and having knowledge, while the Indian society suffered from the caste system. Secondly, religious scholars in the religions of Christianity or Islam (priests, clerics) did not belong to a certain class of people, while in Hinduism only the Brahman Class could receive those kinds of spiritual positions.

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 fulfil his expansionist ambitions.
Muhammad Ghori was very much interested in establishing permanent empire in India and not merely looting its wealth. His campaigns were well organised and whenever he conquered any territory, he left a general behind to govern it in his absence. His invasions resulted in the permanent establishment of the Turkish Sultanate in the region lying north of the Vindhya Mountains.

In 1191, he invaded the territory of Prithviraj III of Ajmer, who ruled much of present-day Rajasthan and Haryana,
but was defeated at Tarain by Govinda-Raja of Delhi, Prithviraj’s vassal. The following year, Muhammad assembled
120,000 horsemen and once again invaded India. Muhammad’s army met Prithviraj’s army again at Tarain, and this
time Muhammad Bin Sām won; Govinda-Raja was slain, Prithviraj captured and Muhammad Bin Sām advanced
onto Delhi. Within a year, Muhammad controlled Northern Rajasthan and Northern Ganges-Yamuna Doab. After
these victories in India, and Muhammad’s establishment of a capital in Delhi, Multan was also incorporated into his
empire. Muhammad Bin Sām then returned east to Ghazni to deal with the threat on his eastern frontiers from the
Turks and Mongols, whiles his armies continued to advance through Northern India, raiding as far east as Bengal.
Muhammad returned to Lahore after 1200. In 1206, Muhammad Bin Sām had to travel to Lahore to crush a revolt.
On his way back to Ghazni, his caravan rested at Damik near Sohawa . He was assassinated on March 15, 1206, while offering his evening prayers.

He left behind his slave General Qutbuddin Aibak who became first Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate.

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