Mahmud of Ghazni
Mahmud of Ghazni (Persian: محمود غَزنوی / Maḥmūd-e Ġaznawī; 2 November 971 – 30 April 1030) or Sultan Mahmud or Yamīn ad-Dawlah Abul-Qāṣim Maḥmūd Ibn Sebüktegīn was one of the most prominent rulers of the Ghaznavid Empire. In the name of Islam, he conquered the eastern Iranian lands and the northwestern parts of Indian subcontinent between 997 to 1030 A D. He was succeeded by His son Sultan Mas'ud, who was sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire from 1030 to 1040 A D.
Mahmud was born on Thursday, 10th of Muharram, 361 AH/ November 2, 971 AD in the town of Ghazna in Medieval Khorasan (in what is now south-eastern Afghanistan). His father, Abu Mansur Sabuktigin, was a Turkic slave-soldier of the Samanids. His mother was the daughter of a Persian aristocrat from Zabulistan.
Mahmud of Ghazni was married to a woman named Kausari Jahan and had twin sons Mohammad and Ma'sud, who succeeded him one after the other, while his grandson by Mas'ud, Maw'dud Ghaznavi was also ruler of the empire but many of 18th century books nullify such claims.His sister Sitr-i-Mu'alla was married to Dawood bin Ataullah Alavi also known as Ghazi Salar Sahu, whose son was Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud
- In 994, Mahmud joined his father Sebuktigin in the capture of Khorasan from the rebel Fa'iq in aid of the Samanid Emir, Nuh II.
- Mahmud took over his father's kingdom in 998 after defeating and capturing Ismail at the Battle of Ghazni. He then set out west from Ghazni to take the Kandahar region followed by Bost (Lashkar Gah), where he turned it into a militarized city.
- In 1001, Mahmud initiated the first of numerous invasion of northern India. On 28 November, his army fought and defeated the army of Raja Jayapala of the Kabul Shahi dynasty at Peshawar.
- In 1002, Mahmud invaded Sistan, dethroned Khalaf I, last of the Saffarid amirs, and ended the Saffarid dynasty.
- From there he decided to focus on Hindustan to the southeast, particularly the highly fertile lands of the Punjab region since south eastern Khorasan (his native province) was mostly mountains, dry deserts and the fertile lands there had been poorly harvested and let to waste during the reign of the previous rulers.
- Mahmud's first campaign to the south was against the Ismaili Fatimid Kingdom at Multan in a bid to carry political favor and recognition with the Abbassid Caliphate; he also engaged with the Fatimids elsewhere. At this point, Jayapala attempted to gain revenge for an earlier military defeat at the hands of Mahmud's father, who had controlled Ghazni in the late 980s and had cost Jayapala extensive territory. His son Anandapala succeeded him and continued the struggle to avenge his father's suicide. He assembled a powerful confederacy which faced defeat as his elephant turned back from the battle in a crucial moment, turning the tide into Mahmud's favor once more at Lahore in 1008 bringing Mahmud into control of the Hindu Shahi dominions of Udbandpura.
- In 1001 Mahmud of Ghazni had first invaded India. Mahmud defeated, captured and later released Shahi ruler Jaya Pala who had moved his capital to Peshawar. Jaya Pala killed himself and was succeeded by his son Ananda Pala.
- In 1005 Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Bhatia (probably Bhera).
- The following year Mahmud of Ghazni attacked and crushed Sukha Pala, ruler of Bhatinda (who had became ruler by rebelling against the Shahi kingdom).
- In 1013, during Mahmud's 8th expedition into India, the Shahi kingdom (which was then under Trilochana Pala, son of Ananda Pala) was overthrown.
- In 1014 Mahmud led an expedition to Thanesar.
- The next year he unsuccessfully attacked Kashmir.
- In 1018, he attacked Mathura and defeated a coalition of rulers there while also killing a ruler called Chandra Pala.
- In 1021 Mahmud supported the Kanauj king against Chandella Ganda who was defeated. That same year Shahi Trilochana Pala was killed at Rahib and his son Bhima Pala succeeded him. Lahore was annexed by Mahmud.
- Mahmud besieged Gwalior, in 1023, where he was made a payment.
- Mahmud attacked Somnath, in 1025, and its ruler Bhima Deva I fled.
- The next year, he captured Somnath and marched to Kachch against Bhima Deva.
- That same year Mahmud also attacked the Jats of Jud.
The Indian kingdoms of Nagarkot, Thanesar, Kannauj, Gwalior, and Ujjain were all conquered and left in the hands of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Kings as vassal states and he was pragmatic enough not to shirk making alliances and enlisting local peoples into his armies at all ranks. Destroying them would destroy the will power of the Hindus attacking the Empire since Mahmud never kept a permanent presence in the subcontinent; Nagarkot, Thanesar, Mathura, Kannauj, Kalinjar and Somnath were all thus raided. Mahmud's armies stripped the temples of their wealth and then destroyed them at, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, Narunkot and Dwarka.
- 994: Gained the title of Saif-ud-daula and became Governor of Khorasan under service to Nuh II of the Samanids in civil strife
- 995: The Samanid rebels Fa'iq (leader of a court faction that had defeated Alptigin's nomination for Emir) and Abu Ali expel Mahmud from Nishapur. Mahmud and Sabuktigin defeat Samanid rebels at Tus.
- 997: Qarakhanid Empire
- 999: Khorasan, Balkh, Herat, Merv from the Samanids. A concurrent invasion from the north by the Qarakhanids under Elik Khan (Nasr Khan) ends Samanid rule.
- 1000: Seistan from Saffarid Dynasty
- 1001: Gandhara: Sultan Mahmud defeats Jayapala at Peshawar; Jayapala subsequently abdicates and commits suicide.
- 1002: Seistan: Imprisoned Khuluf
- 1004: Bhatia (Bhera) annexed after it fails to pay its yearly tribute. in 1004 CE
- 1005-6: Multan Fateh Daud the Shia Ismaili ruler of Multan revolts and enlists the aid of Anandapala. Mahmud massacres the Ismailis of Multan in the course of his conquest. Anandapala is defeated at Peshawar and pursued to Sodra (Wazirabad). Ghor and Muhammad ibn Suri then captured by Mahmud, made prisoner along with his son and taken to Ghazni, where Muhammad ibn Suri died. Appoints Sewakpal to administer the region. Anandapala flees to Kashmir, takes refuge in the Lohara fort in the hills on the western border of Kashmir.
- 1005: Defends Balkh and Khorasan against Nasr I of the Qarakhanids and recaptures Nishapur from Isma'il Muntasir of the Samanids.
- 1005: Sewakpal rebels and is defeated.
- 1008: Mahmud defeats the Rajput/Indian Confederacy (Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kannauj, Delhi, and Ajmer) in battle between Und and Peshawar, and captures the Shahi treasury at Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.
- 1010: Ghor; against Mohammad ibn Sur
- 1010: Multan revolts. Abul Fatah Dawood imprisoned for life at Ghazni.
- 1012-1013: Sacks Thaneshwar
- 1012: Joor-jistan: Captures Sar(Czar??)-Abu-Nasr
- 1012: Invades Gharchistan and deposes it's ruler Abu Nasr Muhammad.
- 1012: Demands and receives remainder of the province of Khorasan from the Abassid Caliph. Then demands Samarkand as well but is rebuffed.
- 1013: Bulnat: Defeats Trilochanpala.
- 1014 :Kafirstan attacked.
- 1015: Mahmud's army sacks Lahore, but his expedition to Kashmir fails, due to inclement weather.
- 1015: Khwarezm: Marries his sister to Abul Abbas Mamun of Khwarezm who dies in the same year in a rebellion. Moves to quell the rebellion and installs a new ruler and annexes a portion.
- 1017: Kannauj, Meerut, and Muhavun on the Yamuna, Mathura and various other regions along the route. While moving through Kashmir he levies troops from vassal Prince for his onward march, Kannauj and Meerut submitted without battle.
- 1018-1020: Sacks Mathura.
- 1021: Raises Ayaz to kingship, awarding him the throne of Lahore
- 1021: Kalinjar attacks Kannauj: he marches to their aid and finds the last Shahi King Trilochanpaala encamped as well. No battle, the opponents leave their baggage trains and withdraw from the field. Also fails to take the fort of Lokote again. Takes Lahore on his return. Trilochanpala flees to Ajmer. First Muslim governors appointed east of the Indus River.
- 1023: Lahore. He fails to conquer Kalinjar and Gwalior: Trilochanpala, the grandson of Jayapala is assassinated by his own troops. Official annexation of Punjab by Ghazni. Also fails to take the Lohara fort on the western border of Kashmir for the second time.
- 1024: Ajmer, Nehrwala, Kathiawar: This raid was his last major campaign. The concentration of wealth at Somnath was renowned, and consequently it became an attractive target for Mahmud, as it had previously deterred most invaders. The temple and citadel were sacked, and most of its defenders massacred. Goga died in 1024 AD fighting with Mahmud of Ghazni.
- 1024: Somnath: Mahmud sacked the temple and is reported to have personally hammered the temple's gilded Lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the city's new Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) in 1026. He placed a new king on the throne in Gujarat as a tributary. His return detoured across the Thar Desert to avoid the armies of Ajmer and other allies on his return.
- 1025: Marched against the Jats of the Jood mountains who harried his army on its return from the sack of Somnath.
- 1027: Rey, Isfahan, Hamadan from the Buyid (Daylami) Dynasty.
- 1028, 1029: Merv, Nishapur lost to Seljuk Turks
Destruction of Somnath Temple
Mahmud conquered and destroyed thousands of Hindu temples during his raids including the famous Somnath Temple, which he destroyed in 1025 AD, killing over 50,000 people who tried to defend it. The defenders included the 90-year-old clan leader Ghogha Rana. Mahmud had the gilded lingam broken into pieces and had them made into steps for his mosque and palace.
The following extract is from “Wonders of Things Created, and marvels of Things Existing” by Zakariya al-Qazwini, a 13th-century Arab geographer. It contains the description of Somnath temple and its destruction:
Somnath: celebrated city of India, situated on the shore of the sea, and washed by its waves. Among the wonders of that place was the temple in which was placed the idol called Somnath. This idol was in the middle of the temple without anything to support it from below, or to suspend it from above. It was held in the highest honor among the Hindus, and whoever beheld it floating in the air was struck with amazement, whether he was a Musulman or an infidel. The Hindus used to go on pilgrimage to it whenever there was an eclipse of the moon, and would then assemble there to the number of more than a hundred thousand.
When the Sultan Yaminu-d Daula Mahmud Bin Subuktigin (Mahmud of Ghazni) went to wage religious war against India, he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnath, in the hope that the Hindus would then become Muhammadans. As a result thousands of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. He arrived there in the middle of Zi-l k’ada, 416 A.H. (December, 1025 A.D.). “The king looked upon the idol with wonder, and gave orders for the seizing of the spoil, and dinars."
जनश्रुति है कि महमूद गजनवी ने सोमनाथ अभियान पर जाते समय शिवाड़ के घुश्मेश्वर मंदिर को लूटा. यहाँ के तत्कालीन शासक चद्रसेन पुत्रों सहित वीरगति को प्राप्त हुए. तत्पश्चात राजा शिववीर चौहान , जो निकटवृति मंडावर का राजा था, ने घुसमेश्वर के प्राचीन मंदिर का जीर्णोद्धार कराया. बाद में दिल्ली के सुलतान अलाउद्दीन खिलजी ने रणथम्भोर के शासक हम्मीर के विरुद्ध अभियान पर जाते समय इस मंदिर पर भी आक्रमण कर क्षति पहुंचाई. 
Sultan Mahmood Ghazni and Jats
Ram Sarup Joon writes that ... Mahmood Ghazni was a Turk. The original rulers of Turkistan were Jats. Then the Mongols ousted them and Turk tribes were gradually compelled to leave Turkistan. Mahmood's ancestors had thus come and settled in Zabulistan and Afghanistan. Alpatgin of this tribe established his kingdom in Ghazni. Subkutgin, who was born in the third generation of Alpatgin, invaded India. His son Sultan Mahmood was aware of his father's battles with Raja Jaipal and India's weaknesses.
History of the Jats, End of Page-145
It has been mentioned in Indian History that Mahmood Ghazni had given a vow to the Khalifa to invade India every year, demolish the idols they worshipped and spread Islam. He invaded India 17 times. Every time he came like a hurricane looted, and returned but only to create a large Army with that wealth, and invade again. Two of his invasions were purely against Jats and these proved the costliest. The Rajput kings of those days did not offer any appreciable resistance against his invasions. Once it was rumored that an attack on Somnath temple was imminent and it would be looted and devastated. All the Rajput Kings assembled there to save Somnath temple from this anticipated disaster, but had no mutual confidence among themselves. They had no heart to fight, but presented themselves only as a matter of prestige. The Head priest of this temple, however, assured them that there was no need to fight as the idol of Somnath would curse the devils to blindness, and they would perish moaning and screaming.
The rumor came true. The Muslim force laid siege of the temple and the battle ensued. At that time a dance of beautiful girls (devdasis) was going on in temple to appease the idol and all Rajput chiefs who had come to defend the temple were busy in enjoying the function. When the Muslim invaders attacked, the Rajputs took to their heels. The priests, however, fought bravely and were killed in large numbers at the altar. Sultan Mahmood demolished the idol of Somnath and started towards Ghazni with a Caravan of Camels laden with gold, silver and precious jewels.
It is mentioned in Todd's Rajasthan that while the Army of Mahmood Ghazni with the booty was passing through the Jat territory of Multan, they were ambushed by Jats, and all the wealth was recovered. Sultan Mahmood Ghazni collected the remnants of his force, and managed to slip away with it. This was the first occasion when he met defeat in
History of the Jats, End of Page-146
India. He did not have the courage to invade India for two years. During this period he prepared to take revenge from the Jats and crush them. With a fresh force he entered Punjab. He found the Jat territory surrounded by turbulent river which made him halt for seven months. He feared that the Jat would intercept him. while he tried to cross the river. He hit upon a brilliant idea to get the bows of his boats fitted with sharp spears. He also raised the height of the bows with holes to enable free firing towards Jat boats. The river battle ensued but the Jats were surprised when the hulls of their boats were pierced by these contraptions. They lost the battle without much resistance. Jats were thus defeated by Mahmood Ghazni and their territory ransacked. There are Tak and Dagar gotras in Haryana, whose forefathers migrated from Multan during that Period.
Attack by Jats
Kalika Ranjan Qanungo writes that The Jats had the audacity to attack the army of Mahmud of Ghazni on his return from Somnath. His seventeenth expedition was undertaken for chastising them. He had to fight a great naval battle in which his genius shone no less splendidly than on land. "He led a large force towards Multan, and when he arrived there he ordered fourteen hundred boats to be built each of which was armed with three firm iron spikes, projecting one from the prow and two from the sides, so that anything which came in contact with them would infallibly be destroyed. In each boat were twenty archers, with bows and arrows, grenades, and naphtha; and in this way he proceeded to attack the Jats, who having intelligence of the armament, sent their families into the islands and prepared themselves for the conflict. They launched, according to some four, and according to others eight thousand boats, manned and armed, ready to engage the Muhammadans. Both fleets met, and a desperate conflict ensued. Every boat of the Jats that approached the Muslim fleet, when it received the shock of the projecting pikes was broken and overturned. Thus most of the Jats were drowned and those who were not so destroyed were put to the sword. The Sultan's army proceeded to the places where their families were concealed and took them all prisoners" (Tabakat-i-Akbari, quoted in Elliot, ii. 478).
The last four years of Mahmud's life were spent contending with the influx of Oghuz Turkic tribes from Central Asia, the Buyid Dynasty and rebellions by Seljuqs. Initially the Seljuks were repulsed by Mahmud and retired to Khwarezm but Togrül and Çagrı led them to capture Merv and Nishapur (1028–1029). Later they repeatedly raided and traded territory with his successors across Khorasan and Balkh and even sacked Ghazni in 1037. In 1040 at the Battle of Dandanaqan, they decisively defeated Mahmud's son, Mas'ud I resulting in Mas'ud abandoning most of his western territories to the Seljuks.
Sultan Mahmud died on 30 April 1030. His mausoleum is located in Ghazni, Afghanistan.
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है कि....बरन (AS, p.608)) बुलंदशहर (उत्तर प्रदेश) का प्राचीन नाम है. लगभग 800 ई. में मेवाड़ से भाग कर आने वाले दोर राजपूतों की एक शाखा ने बरन पर अधिकार कर लिया था. उन्होंने 1018 ई. में आक्रमणकारी महमूद गजनवी का डटकर सामना किया. अपने पड़ोसी तोमर राजाओं से भी वे मोर्चा लेते रहे किंतु बड़गुजरों से, जो तोमरों के मित्र थे, उन्हें दबना पड़ा. 1193 ई. में कुतुबुद्दीन एबक ने उनकी शक्ति को पूरी तरह से कुचल दिया. फतूहाते फिरोजशाही का प्रख्यात लेखक बरनी (Ziau-din Barni) बरन का ही रहने वाला था जैसा कि उसके उपनाम से सूचित होता है. मुसलमानों के शासन काल में बरन उत्तर भारत का महत्वपूर्ण नगर था. वरण नामक एक नगर का बुद्धचरित 21,25 में उल्लेख है. संभवत: यह बरन का ही संस्कृत रूप है. लोक प्रवाद है कि इस नगर की स्थापना जनमेजय ने की थी (दे. ग्राउज़, बुलंदशहर-- कलकता रिव्यू- 1818). जैन अभिलेख में इसे उच्छ नगर कहा गया है (एपीग्राफिका इंडिका-- जिल्द, पृ. 375) (दे. बुलंदशहर)
संत श्री कान्हाराम ने लिखा है कि.... [पृष्ठ-76]: ईसा की दसवीं सदी में प्रतिहारों के कमजोर पड़ने पर प्राचीन क्षत्रिय नागवंश की चौहान शाखा शक्तिशाली बनकर उभरी। अहिच्छत्रपुर (नागौर) तथा शाकंभरी (सांभर) चौहनों के मुख्य स्थान थे। चौहनों ने 200 वर्ष तक अरबों, तुर्कों, गौरी, गजनवी को भारत में नहीं घुसने दिया।
चौहनों की ददरेवा (चुरू) शाखा के शासक जीवराज चौहान के पुत्र गोगा ने नवीं सदी के अंत में महमूद गजनवी की फौजों के छक्के छुड़ा दिये थे। गोगा का युद्ध कौशल देखकर महमूद गजनवी के मुंह से सहसा निकल पड़ा कि यह तो जाहरपीर (अचानक गायब और प्रकट होने वाला) है। महमूद गजनवी की फौजें समाप्त हुई और उसको उल्टे पैर लौटना पड़ा। दुर्भाग्यवश गोगा का बलिदान हो गया। गोगाजी के बलिदान दिवस भाद्रपद कृष्ण पक्ष की गोगा नवमी को भारत के घर-घर में लोकदेवता गोगाजी की पूजा की जाती है और गाँव-गाँव में मेले भरते हैं।
[पृष्ठ-77]: चौथी पाँचवीं शताब्दी के आस-पास अनंत गौचर (उत्तर पश्चिम राजस्थान, पंजाब, कश्मीर तक) में प्राचीन नागवंशी क्षत्रिय अनंतनाग का शासन था। इसी नागवंशी के वंशज चौहान कहलाए। अहिछत्रपुर (नागौर) इनकी राजधानी थी। आज जहां नागौर का किला है वहाँ इन्हीं नागों द्वारा सर्वप्रथम चौथी सदी में धूलकोट के रूप में दुर्ग का निर्माण किया गया था। इसका नाम रखा नागदुर्ग। नागदुर्ग ही बाद में अपभ्रंश होकर नागौर कहलाया।
551 ई. के आस-पास वासुदेव नाग यहाँ का शासक था। इस वंश का उदीयमान शासक सातवीं शताब्दी में नरदेव हुआ। यह नागवंशी शासक मूलतः शिव भक्त थे। आठवीं शताब्दी में ये चौहान कहलाए। नरदेव के बाद विग्रहराज द्वितीय ने 997 ई. में मुस्लिम आक्रमणकारी सुबुक्तगीन को को धूल चटाई। बाद में दुर्लभराज तृतीय उसके बाद विग्रहराज तृतीय तथा बाद में पृथ्वीराज प्रथम हुये। इन्हीं शासकों को चौहान जत्थे का नेतृत्व मिला। इस समय ये प्रतिहरों के सहायक थे। 738 ई. में इनहोने प्रतिहरों के साथ मिलकर राजस्थान की लड़ाई लड़ी थी।
नागदुर्ग के पुनः नव-निर्माण का श्री गणेश गोविन्दराज या गोविन्ददेव तृतीय के समय (1053 ई. ) अक्षय तृतीय को किया गया। गोविंद देव तृतीय के समय अरबों–तुर्कों द्वारा दखल देने के कारण चौहनों ने अपनी राजधानी अहिछत्रपुर से हटकर शाकंभरी (सांभर) को बनाया। बाद में और भी अधिक सुरक्षित स्थान अजमेर को अजमेर (अजयपाल) ने 1123 ई. में अपनी राजधानी बनाया। यह नगर नाग पहाड़ की पहाड़ियों के बीच बसाया था। एक काफी ऊंची पहाड़ी पर “अजमेर दुर्ग” का निर्माण करवाया था। अब यह दुर्ग “तारागढ़” के नाम से प्रसिद्ध है।
अजमेर से डिवेर के के बीच के पहाड़ी क्षेत्र में प्राचीन मेर जाति का मूल स्थान रहा है। यह मेरवाड़ा कहलाता था। अब यह अजमेर – मेरवाड़ा कहलाता है। अजयपाल ने अपने नाम अजय शब्द के साथ मेर जाति से मेर लेकर अजय+मेर = अजमेर रखा। अजमेर का नाम अजयमेरु से बना होने की बात मनगढ़ंत है। अजयपाल ने मुसलमानों से नागौर पुनः छीन लिया था। बाद में अपने पुत्र अर्नोराज (1133-1153 ई.) को शासन सौंप कर सन्यासी बन गए। अजयपाल बाबा के नाम से आज भी मूर्ति पुष्कर घाटी में स्थापित है। अरनौराज ने पुष्कर को लूटने वाले मुस्लिम आक्रमणकारियों को हराने के उपलक्ष में आना-सागर झील का निर्माण करवाया।
[पृष्ठ-78]: विग्रहराज चतुर्थ (बिसलदेव) (1153-1164 ई) इस वंश का अत्यंत पराक्रमी शासक हुआ। दिल्ली के लौह स्तम्भ पर लेख है कि उन्होने म्लेच्छों को भगाकर भारत भूमि को पुनः आर्यभूमि बनाया था। बीसलदेव ने बीसलपुर झील और सरस्वती कथंभरण संस्कृत पाठशाला का निर्माण करवाया जिसे बाद में मुस्लिम शासकों ने तोड़कर ढाई दिन का झौंपड़ा बना दिया। इनके स्तंभों पर आज भी संस्कृत श्लोक उत्कीर्ण हैं। जगदेव, पृथ्वीराज द्वितीय, सोमेश्वर चौहानों के अगले शासक हुये। सोमेश्वर का पुत्र पृथ्वीराज तृतीय (1176-1192 ई) ही पृथ्वीराज चौहान के नाम से विख्यात हुआ। यह अजमेर के साथ दिल्ली का भी शासक बना।
Back to General History