The history of India : as told by its own historians. Volume II/Note D. — Mahmud's Expeditions to India
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Sir H. M. Elliot Edited by John Dowson, 1867
Volume II: To the Year A.D. 1260Appendix Note D.— Mahmud's Expeditions to India
- 1 Mahmud's Expeditions to India
- 2 Number of Mahmud's expeditions
- 3 First Expedition — Frontier Towns, A.H. 390 (1000 A.D.)
- 4 Second Expedition — Peshawar — Waihind, A.H. 391-2.
- 5 Third Expedition.— Bhera (Bhatia). A.H. 395 (1004-5 A.D.)
- 6 Fourth Expedition. — Multan. A.H. 396.
- 7 Fifth Expedition1 Defeat of Nawasa Shah, A.H. 398
- 8 Sixth Expedition — Waihind, Nagarkot A.H. 399 (1008-9 A.D.).
- 9 Seventh Expedition.-Narain. A.H. 400.
- 10 Eighth Expedition — Multan A.H. 401
- 11 Ninth Expedition. Ninduna [or Nardin]- A.H. 404 (1013 A.D.)
- 12 Tenth Expedition. Thanesar. A.H. 405
- 13 Eleventh Expedition. Lohkot2 A.H. 406
- 14 Twelfth Expedition. Kanauj, Mathura. A.H. 409
- 15 Thirteenth Expedition. Battle of the Rahih. A.H. 412
- 16 Fourteenth Expedition — Kirat, Nur, Lohkot, and Lahore5 A.H. 413
- 17 Fifteenth Expedition. — Gwalior and Kalinjar A.H. 414
- 18 Sixteenth Expedition — Somnat. A.H. 416-7
- 19 Seventeenth Expedition— Jats of Jud. A.H. 417
Mahmud's Expeditions to India
[p.434]: The times, places, and numbers of Mahmud's expeditions to India have offered great difficulties to those who have dealt with the history of that ferocious and insatiable conqueror. We look in vain for any enquiry on the subject from the native historians of this period, who, in their ignorance of Upper India, enter names and years without the scruples and hesitations which a better knowledge or a more critical spirit, would have induced.
It is only when European authors begin to discuss the matter that we are taught how many difficulties there are to solve, how many places to identify, how many names to restore. Those who have added most to our knowledge of this period, and have occasionally interspersed their narratives or notes with illustrative comments, and who will be quoted in the course of this Note, may be thus named in the order of their publications : —
- D'Herbelot (Bibliotheque Orientate, Art. "Mahmoud." Paris, 1697.),
- Deguignes (Histoire Generate des Huns, Tom. II. Paris, 1756.),
- Hunt (?) ()Modern Universal History, Vols. II. and III. London, 1766.
- Dow (History of Hindoostan, Vol. I. London, 1768.),
- De Sacy (Notices et Extraits des Manuscripts, Tom. IV. Paris, 1798-9.),
- Mill (History of British India, Vol. II. London, 1818.),
- Wilson (Ibid, 1840.),
- Audiffret(Biographie Universelle, Art. "Mahmoxii." Tom. XXVI. Paris, 1820.),
- Rampoldi (Annali Musulmani, Vol. VI. Milan, 1823.),
- Briggs (History of the Mahom. Power in India, Vol. I. London, 1829.),
- Wilken (Historia Gasnevidarum. Berolini, 1832. ),
- Ritter (Die Erdkunde von Asien, Vol. IV. Part 1. Berlin, 1835. ),
- Bird (History of Gujarat. London, 1835.),
- Hammer-Purgstall (Jabrbicher der Literatw, No. 73. Wien, and Gemaldesaal der Zebensbesehreiiungen, Vol. IV. Leipsig, 1837. ),
- Elphinstone (History of India, Vol. I. London, 1843. ), and
- Reinaud (Memoire sur l'Inde in the Mdmoires de I'Institut, Tom. XVIII. Paris, 1849. ).
It is needless to mention Gibbon, Malcolm, Conder, Gleig, Murray, and others, whose works, however useful, are mere copies and abstracts of others, and add nothing to our previous information.
Number of Mahmud's expeditions
Number of Mahmud's expeditions: It has been usual to consider the number of Mahmud's expeditions
[p.435]: to India to be twelve. The first authority for this number is Nizamu-d din Ahmad in the Tabakat-i Akbari ; and as Dow has also numbered them as twelve, most English authors following him as the standard, have entertained the same persuasion. But it is curious to observe that, while Nizamu-d din mentions that there were altogether twelve, in recording them seriatim, he enumerates no less than sixteen; and Dow, while he marginally notes twelve, records no less than fifteen different invasions. Even Elphinstone, though he notes twelve, records more. The Khulasatu-t Tawarikh gives twelve, and confines itself to that number, or in reality only to eleven, as by some mistake an expedition to Kashmir and Kalinjar are placed in one year, and the tenth expedition is omitted. The Akhbar-i Muhabhat follows it in both errors. I will not attempt to maintain this established number of expeditions, but will consider them in the actual order of their occurrence.
First Expedition — Frontier Towns, A.H. 390 (1000 A.D.)
Nizamu-d din Ahmad and Firishta mention that about the year 390 h. Mahmud marched in the direction of India, and, after taking many forts and provinces, and establishing his own governors in them, he returned to Ghazni. This rests solely on the authority of these two authors, and is not supported by the Tarikh Yamim ; but there is no improbability in the statement.
It was to have been expected that Mahmud, after establishing himself on the throne of Ghazni, would have embraced the first opportunity of invading India ; for, while yet a prince, he had seen how easily the hardy warriors of Zabulistan had overcome the more effeminate sons of India. His father Subuktigin is described in the Yammi, as making several attacks upon the country of Hind, independent of the three which are more specifically mentioned, the scene of which was Kusdar and Lamghan. Even during the fifteen years of Alptigin's reign, Subuktigin is represented by Firishta in an untranslated passage to have made frequent attacks upon India, and even to have penetrated as far as Sodra on the Chinab, where he demolished idols in celebration of Mahmud's birth, which, as it occurred on the date of the prophet's birth, Subuktigin was anxious that it should be illustrated by an event similar to the destruction of the idols in the palace of the Persian king
[p.436]: by an earthquake, on the day of the prophet's birth. In the Words of the Boston : — <arabic text)
Near the Lamghan valley two actions were fought, or more probably in the valley of Jalalabad, for as the plural, Lamghanat, is frequently used, there seems reason to believe that the valley to the south as well as the north of the Kabul river was included in that province. The first action fought in this neighbourhood was brought to a conclusion by the effect of the miraculous fountain or stream in the hill of Ghuzak, which emitted storms, thunder, and cold, whenever some impurity was cast into it. A more particular account of this will be found in the extracts from the Yamini and the Jami'u-l Hikayat.1
What could have given rise to this extraordinary story is not easy to conceive, and no one has attempted an explanation. The most probable solution seems to be that a snow-storm came on, and not only harassed but alarmed the Hindus, who had never witnessed such a thing before ; for it is quite compatible with probability that although the Lamghanat were then included in the country of Hind, yet that the soldiers, who, for the most part, came from the more eastern provinces, might never have seen a fall of snow. It is to be observed that the Tabakat-i Akhbari expressly says that Jaipal and the Hindus were unaccustomed to the cold, and that was the reason why they suffered more than the Musulmans. It may fairly be surmised, then, that the snow and frost totally paralysed the Hindu warriors, and were felt as grievously by them as, nine centuries afterwards, by Indian and British troops combined, when they sustained the most grievous disaster that has ever befallen our nation. It is an extraordinary coincidence that the very scene of this first and last defeat of an Indian army was the same — what wonder if the cause also did not differ ?
The minds of the natives of India would naturally have tried to account for such a supernatural phenomenon as a fall of snow, and superstition was at hand to render her assistance.
1. [Supra, pp. 20 and 182.]
[p.437]: There was a stone, celebrated amongst the Turkish nations, which had the peculiar property of causing rain, and hail, and snow, and excessive cold, and -violent tempests, if the possessor, after repeating the name of God, and breathing upon it, threw it into the water. This stone is called the " Yedeh," or " Jedeh." The first stone of the kind was said to have been given to Japhet by Noah, to whom the secret was disclosed by G-abriel. The stone came into the possession of Turk, the eldest son of Japhet, and in an action which was fought between him and his nephew, for the possession of the stone, the latter was killed ; and, as he was the father of the Turkomans, this stone is said to be the cause of the unceasing enmity between that tribe and the Turks. Subsequently, the art of using this stone was more generally disseminated, and occasioned magicians to be generally called " yedehehis ; " and we have frequent mention of its use in Mongol history for purposes similar to those for which we suppose it to have been applied on the present occasion. As early as the year 2634 before our era, we find the following statement in a quotation by M. Klaproth, to prove the antiquity of the compass among the Chinese :
- " Tchi-yeou raised a thick fog, in order that by
means of tbe darkness he might spread confusion in the enemy's army. But Hiuan-yuan constructed a chariot for indicating the south, in order to distinguish the four cardinal points."1
In an action between the Mongols and Chinese, with respect to the latter, Rashidu-d din says : " In consequence of the arts of the magician, the Chinese felt, in the middle of summer, a temperature which they had never experienced, even in winter, and were paralysed." Bergman says that the stone used at present among the nomadic nations is the Bezoar. Marco Polo, also, speaking of a country not far from the confines of India, says : — " When the Carannas wish to overrun the country and rob it, they, by their enchantment and diabolical agency, cause the day to become dark, so that you can see to little or no distance." In the mountains between Kashmir and Tibet, there is a lake, into which, if animal flesh is thrown, we are informed by Abu-l Fazl, that a storm of snow or rain will arise. There is said to be a similar one at Damaghan, in
1. Lettre d M. A. Humboldt sur V invention d$ la Bomsole. Paris, 1836 ; and Mr. Davies, in the British Annual for 1837.
[p.438]: Tabaristan, and Zakariya Kazwini mentions one near Ghazni, which is, no doubt, the one alluded to in Subuktigin's battle with Jaipal. Altogether, we may consider Jaipal's army to have been surprised and paralyzed by a snow-storm, and that superstition ascribed the unusual visitation to the " Yedeh" stone.'
Mahmud left Ghazni in Shawwal, 391 h., and a severe action took place on the 8th of Muharram, 392, at Peshawar, in which he was completely victorious, and Jaipal and fifteen of his principal chiefs and relations were taken prisoners, after the loss of 5000 men.
He is then represented by all the later authorities to have marched from Peshawar to Batinda, and invested it. Elphinstone observes that Batinda is beyond the Sutlej, " and seems formerly to have been a place of more consequence than its situation in a sort of desert would promise. It is said by Colonel Tod to have been the residence of the Raja of Lahore, alternately with the capital, from which he took this name. As the battle of Peshawar was on the 27th of November, Mahmud would reach Batinda towards the end of the cold season, when the rivers of the Panjab, though not all fordable, would offer little obstruction to cavalry." Dr. Bird also speaks of Batinda as being in the most easterly and inaccessible part of the Panjab kingdom, and following the Tabakat-i Akhbari and Firishta, says that Jaipal used to reside there. The latter indeed says he resided there for the convenience of opposing the Muhammadans — which is an absurdity, if we are to understand the most eastern city of his dominions. Rampoldi, with his usual confusion of names and places, makes his residence Multan.
All these difficulties about Mahmud's movements are at once obviated by correcting the reading, and rejecting Batinda altogether. The real name is Bihand or Waihind, as is plainly indicated in the Yamini.2 It was a place of considerable importance, on the western
1. Respecting this stone and these fountains, further information may he obtained by referring to Bergman, Nomadisohe Streifereien unter den Kalmuken, Th. iii. p. 183. Miles, Shajrat ul Atralc, pp. 24, 26, 66. Gladwin's Ayeen AJeberee, Vol. II. p. 134. Marco Polo, Murray's Ed., p. 221. Modern Universal Bislofy, Vol. IV. p. 417. D'Ohsson, Sistoire des Mongols, Tom. II. p. 615. Khuldsatu-t Tawdrihh, Art. "Hum&.ylin." Mir-dtu-l Istildh, Art. "Tedek." Asdru-l Bildd axii. Bahru-l Bulddn , Art. "Ghaznl."
2. [Ibn Asir gives the name of the place correctly as " Waihand."
[p. 439]: bank of the Indus, about fifteen miles above Attock, on tbe old high road from Lahore to Peshawar, and only three marches from the latter. It was the capital of Eastern Kandahar, and is noticed by Biruni, Baihaki, and Abu-l Fida, from which latter author we learn that its foundation is attributed to Alexander the Great. The name is now Hund, and while I was in the neighbourhood I could not find that even any first syllable was ever added to it, either by natives or strangers.
By the capture of Waihind, Mahmud's progress becomes easy and natural, and instead of having to cross and recross several foaming streams and marching through a hostile and difficult country, he has not yet crossed even the Indus.
After a rest of three years, during which attention was occupied by affairs in the west, we find Mahmud returning to India to take the city of Bhateea (Briggs), Battea (Dow), Bhatia (Elphinstone), Bhatnah (Bird), Bahadiyah ( Univ. Hist.), Bhadiyah (Rampoldi), Bahatia (S. de Sacy), Hebath (D'Herbelot),1 Bihatia (Hammer-Purgstall). Briggs says he has failed in fixing the position of this place. Elphinstone says, " a dependency of Lahore, at the southern side of Multan." Bird says it is now called Bhatnir, situated on the northern extremity of the Bikaner desert. Reinaud says it is to the south-east of Multan, and in the middle of an arid country, apparently on the testimony of 'Utbi, but he makes no such assertion. Hammer-Purgstall conceives it to be the present Bahawalpur. But how could a dependency of Lahore be on the southern side of Multan, itself independent? How could Mahmud advance over all the Panjab rivers to attack a city in a desert ? Or Bahawalpur, leaving a country full of hostile and martial populations in his rear ? How could Biji Rai, deserting his fort, " take post in a wood on the Indus," as Firishta says, if Bhatia were on the other side of the Sutlej ? or how could he " take refuge on the top of some hills," as 'Utbi says, when there are no hills within a hundred and twenty miles from either place ?
Here again we must correct the reading, and all becomes explicable and easy. The real name of the place is Bhera. It lies on the
1 D'Herbelot in one part of his article on Mahmud speaks of his deriving immense plunder from Baarea, the strongest fort in India.
[p.440]: left bank of the Jailam, under the Salt range. It bears evident marks of great antiquity, and has on the opposite side of the river the extensive ruins of Buraria, above Ahmadabad, which strike every beholder with astonishment. The only works which read Bhera are the Khulasatu-t Tawarikh and its followers the Akhbar-i Muhabbat, etc. That Dow's copy of Firishta must have been very near it, is evident, for, although Mahmud advances against the city of "Battea," he is made by a strange inadvertence to take the city of " Tahera." 'Utbi [and Ibn Asir] certaialy read Bhatia, and [[Al Biruni]] mentions Bhatia and not Bhera, but his Bhatia scarcely seems the one we are dealing with.
Whether Bhatia is written by mistake, or whether Bhatia is an old name of Bhera, is difficult to say. The lattwr is very probable, for the Bhati or Bhatti Rajputs still point to this tract as the place of their residence before their advance to the eastward, and their name is still preserved in the large town of Pindi Bhattian, on the Chinab. It is worthy of remark, as observed by Mr. E. Thomas," that of the list of Hindu kings given by Al Biruni, the four last beginning with Jaipal I. add the designation of Pal to that of Deva, borne by their Brahman predecessors. This would imply the succession of a new tribe, which he considers to be Bhatti Rajput. There is no improbability in this, for there is no authority except that of Firishta for declaring Jaipal to be a Brahman, and Bhatia therefore may have been the local title of the capital of the tribe. Firishta2 makes the Raja of Bhatia to be a different personage from the Eaja of Lahore ; but he afterwards tells us that the Lahore dominions extended from Kashmir to Multan — which, as has been shown, includes Bhatia.
It is to be observed, moreover, that Mahmud does not pass through Multan, or the province of Multan, to get there, but passes "by the borders of Multan, as Firishta says, or " crosses the Indus in the neighbourhood of Multan," as 'Utbi says. Now, as Multan must have extended, as it always has, even down to the days of Mulraj, nearly up to the Salt range, it is probable that Mahmud came from Ghazni by the valley of Banu, and following the course of the
1. Jour. A, S., ix. 184. 2 Briggs i. 9.
A subsequent campaign also indicates the position of Bhera, as will be noticed more particularly hereafter. Meanwhile it is to be observed that Mahmud annexed Bhera to his dominions, which, had it been any place trans-Sutlej, would have been out of the question.
Fourth Expedition. — Multan. A.H. 396.
[Ibn Asir and] the Habibu-s Siyar place the expedition to Bhatia and Multan in the same year, but it is quite evident from the Yamini that special preparations were made for this new campaign. Dr. Bird considers that Firishta has misplaced this campaign, and that it should be deferred till after the defeat of Ilak Khan. I see no reason whatever to doubt that it is correctly ascribed to the year 396 h., and that it has nothing what-ever to do with the invasion which took place after Ilak Khan's defeat.
We find the governor or ruler of Multan with a Muhammadan name, "Abi-l Futuh, or "Abu-l Fath," and he is not an infidel but a heretic, one " who introduced his neologies into religion." There can be little doubt, therefore, that he was a follower of the Karmatian heresy, which we know, from Al Biruni, to have prevailed extensively at Multan, and for a long period previous to this invasion. " He says : " When the Karmatians became masters of Multan, their chief broke the idol in pieces, and massacred its ministers ; and the temple, which was built of brick, and situated on an elevated spot, became the grand mosque in place of the old one, which was closed on account of the hatred borne against the Ummayide Khalifas, under whose rule it was constructed. Sultan Mahmud, after subduing the Karmatians, reopened the old mosque, so that the old one was abandoned ; and now it is as a plain, destined to vulgar uses."
The authors which treat of this period do not, — except in a few instances, as the Tabakat- i Akbari, and the Khulasatu-t Tawarikh — expressly say that Multan was held by Karmatians, but by " Mulahida," a more generic term, which, though it might include Karmatians, was more generally, at a subsequent period, used to designate
[p.442]: the Isma'ilians.1 For more on the subject of the occupation of Multan at this period, the passages mentioned in the note may be consulted.2
Abu-l Fath Daud was the grandson of Shaikh Hamid Lodi, who is represented to have done homage to Subuktigin. The word "tribute," used by Briggs, is not authorized. Elphinstone says that Hamid Khan had joined the enemies of his faith for a cession of the provinces of Multan and Laghman, and submitted to Subuktigin after his victory over the Hindus. This statement is made on the authority of Firishta.3 Daud invited the co-operation of Anandpal, who, being defeated at Peshawar, was pursued as far as Sodra,4 on the Chinab. From Sodra Mahmud goes, by way of Batinda, to Multan, which is so circuitous a route as to be absurd. Here, again, Bhera should be read, which is in the direct line between Sodra and Multan.
Ibn Asir, Mirkhond, and Haidar Razi make Daud flee away to Sarandip, but 'Utbi says a fine was levied from the inhabitants of 20,000,000 dirhams. Firishta says an annual tribute was fixed on Daud of 20,000 golden dirhams, or dinars, with promise of implicit obedience and abstiuence from heresy for the future.
The Biographie Universelle contains a curious statement, respecting this expedition : " La revolte du gouverneur qu'il avait laisse a Moultan et le debordement des fleuves qui semblait la favoriser, oblig^rent Mahmoud de demander passage a Andbal. Sur son refus, il le poursuivit a travers le Candahar et le Kaboulistan jusqu' a Kaschmyre."5 What Kandahar and Kabulistan have to do with the pursuit is not easy to say. Authors agree in saying Mahmud wished to march through Anandpal's territory, but it is very difficult to discern the reason of the request, as he had already crossed the
1 Defremery, Histoire des Seldjoukides, pp. 69, 86, 136-9.
2 Reinaud, Fragments Arahes el Persans, p. 142. Eitter, Erdkunde von Asien Vol. V. p. 6. Renaudot, Anciennes Selations, p. 172. Nuru-1 Hakk, Zuhdatu-t Tawarikh, fol. 366. Mir Ma'siim, Tarikh-i Sind, Ch. 2 and 3. Khulasatu-t Tawarikh, T. " Baber." Mir-atu-l Abrar, v. " Bahau-d din Muhammad ZakariyS.." Tuhfatu-l Kirdm, Vol. III. v. " Mult&n." Hadikatu-l Akdlim, v. " DipUpiir."
3 Briggs I. 9.
4 Hammer-Purgstall identifies Sodra with Weirahad (Wazirabad), but they are two different towns.
5 [This statement is generally supported by Ibn Asir. See auprd, p. 24 .]
[p.443]: Indus, beyond the borders of his territory, and by a route which would lead him more directly towards his object.
'Unsuri informs us that Mahmud took two hundred forts on his way to Multan.
Fifth Expedition1 Defeat of Nawasa Shah, A.H. 398
When Mahmud was called away from Multan by Ilak Khan's invasion of his territory, he left his Indian possessions in charge of Sewakpal, or " Sukhpal, a son of one of the Rajas of India," 2 and who, having been formerly made a prisoner in Peshawar by Abu 'Ali Sanjari, had become a convert to Islam. Sukhpal was taken prisoner by Mahmud's advance cavalry, and was compelled to pay the sum of 400,000 dirhams ; and being made over, as Firishta informs us, to Tigin the Treasurer, was kept in confinement during the rest of his life.'
Dr. Bird says that there was no such expedition as this, and that Firishta has confounded it with the previous expedition to Multan ; but as it is mentioned by 'Utbi, Mirkhond, and Khondamir, as well as by Firishta, there is no reason whatever to discredit it.
Dr. Bird adduces, as an additional proof of confusion, that the name Nawasa, " a grandson," belonged to Abu-l Fath Daud, because he was a grandson of Sheikh Hamid Lodi ; but there is no ground for saying that Daud was so called, as the name might have belonged just as well to the grandson of Jaipal, as of Sheikh Hamid. He apostatised to idolatry, after being converted, whereas Daud could only have apostatised to the Karmatian heresy, and not to idolatry and plural worship. The designation of Nawasa is considered doubtful. His name was Sewakpal or Sukhpal ; Bitter says Samukkel. Dow reads "Shoekpal, who, on conversion to Islam,
1. [Under the year 397 h. Ibn Asir gives the following brief account of this expedition : — " When Taminu-d daula had finished (his differences) with the Turks he went on a campaign to India. The cause of this was that one of the sons of the sovereign of India named Nawasa Shah had become a Musulman under the hands of Mahmud, and had then been appointed ruler over part of Mahmtud's conquests in that country. After Mahmud had retired he apostatized from Islam and assisted the infidels and rebels. When Mahmud approached, the Hindu fled before him, so he again occupied the country, brought it once more under the rule of Islam, appointed one of his officers over it, and then returned to Ghazni."]
2. [These are the words of Firishta according to the lithographed edition of the text.]
3. Haidar Razi says that Mahmud came to Naubar, in pursuit of the rebel, who fled to the remote parts of Hind, on learning his approach.
[p.444]: assumed the name Zab Sais." D'Herbelot has "Nevescha;" S. de Sacy, " Nawaschteh ; " Wilken, "Nuvasch Shah." The Tabakat-i Akbari says, " Sukpal, the grandson of the Raja of Hind." The readings in Firishta are by no means uniform. "They are Ab Sahara, A'bsar, Ab bashaer and Zab sa. The Tarikh-i Alfi, and some other authorities, make it Zab Sais or Zab Shah. Hammer-Purgstall says, "Saabsa or Schiwekpal." All these are changes rung upon the word "nawasa,' or "grandson," especially "a daughter's child." Bird says, Price is mistaken in calling him Nawasa Shah ; but 'Utbi gives this name, and there is no reason why we should reject it. It may have been bestowed upon him by Mahmud as a mark of endearment, and Shah, " king," may have been added as a term of aggrandizement, or it might have been Sah, a common title of respect. But what is more probable than all is that he was the grandchild (by a daughter) of Jaipal, because, in 'Utbi's account of the expedition to Kanauj, we find Bhim Pal, the great-grandson, complaining that his uncle had been forcibly converted to Islam. Sukh Pal, therefore, was the name, Nawasa the relationship to Jaipal, and Sah the honorific title. He was probably one of the relations of Jaipal, made over by him as hostage to Mahmud ; and that, perhaps, was the period of conversion.
The movement by which his seizure was effected was so rapid, and a new invasion of India was entered upon so soon after, that it is probable the scene of the transaction was the valley of Peshawar.
It will be observed that the account of the commencement of this expedition is described very differently in the Yamini, the Habibu-s Siyar and Firishta. I prefer, as on former occasions, the former, the river of Waihind, or the Indus, being a more probable place of action than Peshawar, which was then within the Muhammadan border. That the Gakkhars may have performed the part assigned to them is probable enough, whether the action was fought at one place or the
1. [Ibn Asir places this campaign in the year 368, and says that Mahmud encountered Brahman-pal on " the banks of the river "Waihand (which is changed in some MSS. to Handmand). Many men were lost in the waters, and the Hindus were near gaining a victory, when God made the Musulmans to triumph. Mahmud pursued the foe to Bhim-nughur (Bhim-nagar), which he took, and gained immense plunder."]
About the proceeding at Nagarkot all accounts agree, and that Nagarkot is the same as Kot Kangra can admit of no doubt, for the name of Nagarkot is still used. Its position is well described, and corresponds with present circumstances. The impassable waters which surround it are the Ban-ganga and the Biyah. The town of Bhim, which is about a mile from the fort, is now on the spot called Bhawan, which means a temple raised to a Sakti, or female deity, and Bhim is probably a mistake arising from its presumed foundation by the heroic Bhim. M. Reinaud considers that it was called Bhim-nagar from Sri Bhima deva, of the Kabul dynasty. The different forms which the name assumes in different authors are shown at p. 34. Elphinstone is mistaken in saying that Nagarkot derived peculiar sanctity from a natural flame which issued from the ground within its precincts. This flame is at Jwala-mukhi, fifteen miles distant, where carburetted hydrogen issues from the sandstone rocks, and fills the superstitious pilgrim with awe and veneration. These jets of gas are made to burn with increased vigour by the removal of plugs, whenever a distinguished visitor is likely to pay well for this recognition of his superior sanctity.
Dr. Bird, who has given a most critical examination of these invasions, says that the capture of Nagarkot and the previous action beyond the Indus occurred in two different years. He observes : " If we might trust Firishta, Mahmud at this time (after the battle of Peshawar) marching into the mountains captured the celebrated fortress of Nagarkot. It was not, however, till the following year, A.H. 400, according to the Tabakat-i Akbari and Habibu-s Siyar, that this expedition was undertaken ; and as the hostile armies prior to the last battle had consumed three or four months in operations west of the Indus, it is not probable that Mahmud could have marched into India at the commencement of the rainy season. The Hijra year 399 given for the march to Peshawar, or the previous year a.d. commenced the 5th September, A.D., 1008 ; and as the spring season, when he left Ghazni, would not commence till A.D. 1009, he must have spent the summer in Kabul, and set out for Hindustan about October."
[p.446]: I cannot trace in the Tabakat-i Akbari and the Habibu-s Siyar the assertion attributed to them ; but let us leave these inferior authorities and refer to the Yamini. There we find that it is in pursuit (of the flying enemy) that Mahmud went as far as the fort called Bhimnagar." The campaign, therefore, must have been continuous, and there was no break between the action trans-Indus and the capture of Nagarkot. He has already traversed the same road as far as Sodra on the Chinab, and he would only have had ten or twelve marches over a new line of country.
In these enquiries we must be very cautious how we deal with the word " spring." Both Bird and Elphinstone speak of the conquerors setting out in the spring of a Christian year, but the spring of a Ghaznivide invader is the autumn of the Christian year. It is the period when the breaking up of the rains admits of warlike operations. It is the Dasahra of the Hindus, and the season of the commencement of their campaigns. So, in the first decisive action against Jaipal, we find Mahmud leaving Ghazni in August, and fighting the action at Peshawar in November. And so here we find him leaving Ghazni on the last day of Rabi'u-1 akhir, or the end of December, which, though unusually late in the season — so late, indeed, as to render marching in the uplands almost impossible — would still have enabled him to fight his action on the Indus at the beginning of February. He might then have completed his operations at Kangra before the end of March, and have left India again before the severe heat commenced. The only difficulty about the whole campaign is his leaving Ghazni in the heart of winter ; but that the action on the Indus and the one at Nagarkot occurred in the fair weather of the same year, there is no sufficient reason to doubt.
The opening part of the expedition is mentioned in more detail by Firishta, than by 'Utbi and Khondamfr. His account is as follows : —
" In the year 399 h., Mahmud having collected his forces, determined again to invade Hindustan, and punish Anandpal, who had shewn much insolence during the late invasion of Multan. Anandpal hearing of his intentions, sent ambassadors on all sides, inviting the assistance of the other princes of Hindustan, who now considered the expulsion of the Muhammadans from India as a sacred duty.
[p.447]: Accordingly, the Rajas of Ujjain, Gwaliar, Kalinjar, Kanauj, Dehli, and Ajmer entered into a confederacy, and, collecting their forces, advanced towards the Panjab with a greater army than had ever- taken the field against Amir Subuktigin. Anandpal himself took the command, and advanced to meet the invader. The Indians and Muhammadans arrived in sight of each other on the plain of Peshawar, where they remained encamped forty days, neither side shewing any eagerness to come to action. The troops of the idolaters daily increased in number, and aid came to them from all sides. The infidel Gakkhars also joined them in great strength, and made extraordinary exertions to resist the Musulmans. The Hindu females, on this occasion, sold their jewels, and sent the proceeds from distant parts to their husbands, so that they, being supplied with all necessaries for the march, might be in earnest in the war. Those who were poor contributed from their earnings by spinning cotton, and other labour. The Sultan perceived that on this occasion the idolaters behaved most devotedly, and that it was necessary to be very circumspect in striking the first blow. He therefore entrenched his camp, that the infidels might not be able to penetrate therein.
Mahmud, having thus secured himself, ordered six thousand archers to the front to attack, and endeavour to draw the enemy near to his entrenchments, where the Musulmans were prepared to receive them. In spite of the Sultan's precautions, during the heat of the battle, 30,000 infidel Gakkhars, with their heads and feet bare, and armed with spears and other weapons, penetrated on two sides into the Muhammadan lines, and forcing their way into the midst of the cavalry, they cut down men and horse with their swords, daggers, and spears, so that, in a few minutes, they slaughtered three or four thousand Muhammadans. They carried their success so far that the Sultan, observing the fury of these Gakkhar footmen, withdrew himself from the thick of the fight, that he might stop the battle for that day. But it so happened that the elephant upon which Anandpal rode, becoming unruly from the effects of the naphtha-balls and the flights of arrows, turned and fled. The Hindus, deeming this to be the signal for flight on the part of their general, all gave way, and fled. 'Abdu-llah Tai, with five or six thousand Arab horse, and Arslan Jazib, with 10,000 Turks, Afghans,
[p.448]: and Khiljis, pursued the enemy for two days and nights, so that 8,000 Hindus were killed in the retreat. Thirty elephants and enormous booty fell into the hands of the pursuers, with which they returned to the Sultan." '
Seventh Expedition.-Narain. A.H. 400.
The Tabakat-i Akbari and Firishta do not mention this expedition at all ; but it is recorded in the Yamini, Raujatu-s Safa and the Habibu-s Siyar. The latter gives no name, but mentions an invasion of Hind in a.h. 400, between the transactions at Nagarkot and Ghor.
It is not easy to identify the place. 'Utbi speaks of it as in the middle of Hind, where chiefs were reduced who up to that time had obeyed no master. Mirkhond calls it " Narin; " S. de Sacy has "Nardin," which he thinks there is reason to believe was situated in a part of India to the west of the Indus. This would be probable enough had it not been declared by 'Utbi to be in the heart of India, and a country of hill and valley. Hammer-Purgstall speaks of the " Maharaja of Nardin." Reinaud confounds the campaigns of Narain and Nardin.
On his return to Ghazni, after this expedition, Mahmud received an embassy from the ruler of Hind (Jaipal), offering an annual tribute of fifty elephants, laden with rarities, and an Indian force of two thousand men — a curious stipulation, proving how early Indians became mercenary soldiers, even under their most bitter persecutors. This shows that this particular expedition must have made a great impression on Jaipal, and induced him to sue for humiliating terms.
It is barely possible that the Narin,2 between Inderab and Kunduz, may be indicated. It is the same longitude as Kabul, which we know to have been then comprised in India ; and, with reference to Balkh and Ghazni, it might have been considered so far to the east- ward and so diffcult of access, as to deserve being spoken of as in the heart of Hind. In Istakhri's map of Khurasan, the position is almost included within " Bilad Hind," and its neighbourhood to
1 [This and the other passages from Firishta, are taken from Briggs' translation, but I have compared them with the text, and have made the translations more literal and exect. — Ed.]
2 This town is not mentioned by the Arab geographers, but it was passed by Lieut. Wood. See his Journey to the Oxus, p. 409.
[p.449]: Kafiristan gives colour to the mention of the " chief of the infidels." What militates greatly against this supposition is, that elephants formed part of the booty ; and there are many other considerations also which compel us to look out for Narain elsewhere.
Under all the circumstances mentioned, I am disposed to look upon Narain as meant for Anhalwara, the capital of Gujarat, which Abu Rihan tells us was called Narana or Narain in his time. It is to be observed that Mahmud merely proceeded towards, not to, Narain, and the country in the direction of Ajmer and Rajputana was open to his incursions by the previous conquests of Bhatia and Multan. This was, perhaps, merely a preparative to his expedition to Somnat, and the reports he received of its wealth may, on this occasion, have sharpened his appetite for plundering that temple. This expedition would have been sufficient to instil alarm into Jaipal. Narain was " in the middle of Hind," and Mahmud would have advanced towards it " over ground hard and soft," and there " the friends of God might have committed slaughter in every hill and valley." It is evident from the statements in the Mir-āt-i Mas'udi, that the Musulmans had some relations with Ajmir previous to 401 h. ; and it was, probably, on this particular occasion that it was visited by Mahmud. The visit which that work makes him pay at a later period, just previous to the conquest of Kanauj, seems highly improbable.1
Eighth Expedition — Multan A.H. 401
In the year 401, after the conquest of Ghor, Mahmud marched to Multan, where he maimed and imprisoned the Karmatians and other heretics, and brought Daud prisoner to Ghazni, and confined him in the fort of Ghurak for life. The Tabakat-i Badauni says Ghori, and as Mahmud had just conquered Ghor, it is not improbable that he may have confined his prisoner there.
The authorities for this expedition are the reverse of those for the last. It is mentioned in the Tabakat-i Akbari and Firishta, and it is not mentioned in the Yamini, Raujatu-s Safa and Habibu-s Siyar . This would give reason to surmise that these two were ia reality but one expedition, but the circumstances of the two are so different, not
1 [I have allowed this notice of the Seventh Expedition to remain as it was written by Sir H. Elliot, but were he alive, he would probably change or greatly modify his opinions after a perusal of the note upon Narana by Gen. Cunningham, printed at p. 393, vol. i. of this work,— Ed.]
[p.450]: admitting in any way of the same construction ; and they are so consonant with the vow made by Mahmud, that he would engage in a religious war every year, that there is no reason to reject either as improbable. The omission by 'Utbi is important, but others of a similar kind will have to be noticed ; and while I am prepared to admit that we must not impugn what he actually states ; yet he may, perhaps, have omitted, through ignorance or negligence, some transactions which actually took place. The Mir-at-i Masudi says that after this second capture and plunder of Multan, it was deserted, and that Anandpal, who is there called "the Zamindar of Multan," had fled to Uch, where he resided.
Ninth Expedition. Ninduna [or Nardin]- A.H. 404 (1013 A.D.)
Firishta inserts the expedition to Thanesar in A.H. 402, but I am disposed to follow the Yamini, and place that expedition subsequent. The long delay which occurred between this and the eighth expedition may have been owing to the league which was entered into between Anandpal and Mahmud, and this invasion may have been occasioned by the death of Anandpal, which according to Firishta occurred at this time. A very full account of the preparations for this expedition will be found among the extracts from the Yamini, where it is stated that it was entered upon in the year 404 — a year to which all the other authors ascribe it. Here we find the invader starting before the winter set in, and his progress arrested by a heavy fall of snow — so he could not have left the highlands till the commencement of spring ; and as the year began on the 13th of July, 1013, he could scarcely have entered Hindustan before February, 1014, leaving him- self but a short time for operations in that country.
Consequently, we find him proceeding no farther than the hill of Balnat,2 a conspicuous mountain overhanging the Jailam, and now generally called Tilla, which means a hill. It is still occasionally called Balnat, and there is a famous Jogi establishment on its highest summit of great repute, and resorted to by members of that fraternity from the most distant parts of India.
1 [The Yamini calls the place Nardin (supra, p. 37), and so does Ibn Asir.. The Habibu-s Siyar also has Nirdin. The two former place the conquest in 404 H., but the latter in 405 h. The expeditions to Narain and Nardin are confounded by some writers, both Oriental and European.]
2 [In the text of Firishta the name is " Balnat," not " Bulnat," as in the translation. Sanskrit, " Bala-nath.]
[p.451]: The action which preceded the capture of Ninduna appears to have been fought at the Margala pass, which answers well to the description given of it by 'Utbf. The subsequent operations are described more fully by Nizamu-d din Ahmad : —
"In A.H. 404, the Sultan marched his army against the fort of Ninduna, situated on the mountain of Balnath. Pur1 Jaipal left veteran troops for its protection, while he himself passed into one of the mountain valleys (darra) of Kashmir. The Sultan having reached Ninduna, invested it, and by mining and other modes of attack, put the garrison under the necessity of capitulating. [[Sultan Mahmud]] with a few of his personal attendants entered it, and took all the property he found there. Having left Sarogh as governor of the fort,2 he himself proceeded to the Kashmir valley, where Pur Jaipal had taken up his position. This chief, however, did not await his arrival, but fled, and when the Sultan reached the pass he obtained great spoil and a large number of slaves. He also converted many infidels to Muhammadanism, and having spread Islam in that country, returned to Ghaznin." — Tabakat-i Akbari.
It will be observed that 'Utbi calls the chief " Nidar Bhim," and Nizamu-d din Ahmad calls him Puru Jaipal, but the difference is reconciled by considering Nidar Bhim as the governor, whom Jaipal left in the garrison when he fled towards Kashmir ; and as we know from the Yammi that Puru Jaipal's son was called Bhim-pal, we may consider this governor to have been the identical Bhim-pal, with the epithet of Nidar, " the dauntless."
The name of Ninduna cannot be restored. It is evidently the same place as is mentioned in "Wassaf as being a noted town in the Jud hills, and by 'Abbas Shirwani in his Shir-sahi. D'Her- belot calls it " Marvin," in which he is followed by Rampoldi, who confounds it with the capture of Thanesar. Dow calls it Nindoona, S. de Sacy, "Nazin" and "Nazdin." Briggs, "Nindoona." Mirkhond speaks of the victory, but does not name the place. Either places it near Muzaffarabad, because one stage to the west of it lies a place called " Dunni."
1 [" Taru" in the MS. I have used.]
2 At the beginning of Mas'ud's reign we still find this chief occupying the same post, according to Abu-l Fazl Baihaki.
[p.452]: The pass to which the Raja fled was doubtless that of Bhimbar, or it might have been near where the Jailam debouches into the plains. Either way, Mahmud would not have had far to go before his return to Ghazni, Briggs is wrong in representing him as plundering Kashmir. The original mentions nothing but a pass leading into Kashmir.
Tenth Expedition. Thanesar. A.H. 405
The Habibu-s Siyar makes this expedition occur in the same year as the one to Balnat. The Rauzatu-s Safa ascribes it to the following year. The Yamini makes it occur subsequent to the Balnat campaign, but says nothing about Mahmud's returning intermediately to Ghazni. We have seen, how-ever, that the season was so late as not to admit of his proceeding to Thanesar direct from Balnat, unless he passed the season of the rains in India, which is not probable. The Tarikh-i Alfi omits all notice of this expedition.
Supposing Thanesar to have been the place visited, it is difficult to reconcile 'Utbi's narrative with the geographical features of the country. If Mahmud had reached Thanesar by crossing the upper part of the desert of Rajputana, he could have come to no stream with large stone or precipitous banks, or one flowing through a hill- pass. If, again, he had come to any stream with such characteristics he would nowhere have had anything like a desert to pass. Chandiol on the Chinab would alone answer the description, but that would be only halfway to Thanesar.
Firishta's account is as follows : —
" In the year 402 Mahmud resolved on the conquest of Thanesar,1 in the kingdom of Hindustan. It had reached the ears of the king that Thanesar was held in the same veneration by idolaters, as Mecca by the faithful ; that there was an old temple there, in which they had set up a number of idols, the principal of which was called Jagsom, and was believed to have existed ever since the creation of the world. When Mahmud reached the Panjab, he was desirous that, in accordance with the subsisting treaty with Anandpal, no injury should be sustained by that prince's country, in consequence
1. Briggs and Hammer-Purgstall represent this place as thirty miles west from Dehli, but it is one hundred and twenty miles north of it.
[p.453]: of the Muhammadan army passing through it. An embassy was accordingly sent to inform the Raja of his design against Thanesar, and desiring him to depute his officers to remain with the army, in order that the villages and towns which belonged to him might be protected from the camp followers.
" Anandpal, agreeing to this proposal, prepared an entertainment for the reception of the king, at the same time issuing orders for all his subjects to supply the camp with every necessary of life.
" The Raja's brother, with two thousand horse, was also sent to meet the army, and to deliver the following message:1 — 'My brother is the subject and tributary of the king, but he begs permission to acquaint his majesty that the temple of Thanesar is the principal place of worship of the inhabitants of the country ; that, although the religion of the king makes it an important and meritorious duty to destroy idols, still the king has already acquitted himself of this duty, in the destruction of the idols in the fort of Nagarkot. If he should be pleased to alter his resolution regarding Thanesar, and to fix a tribute to be paid by the country, Anandpal promises that the amount of it shall be annually paid to Mahmud ; besides which, on his own part, he will present him with fifty elephants, and jewels to a considerable amount.'
" Mahmud replied : The religion of the faithful inculcates the following tenet : ' That in proportion as the tenets of the Prophet are dffiused, and his followers exert themselves in the subversion of idolatry, so shall be their reward in heaven ; ' that, therefore, it behoved him, with the assistance of God, to root out the worship of idols from the face of all India. How, then, should he spare Thanesar.
" This answer was communicated to the Raja of Dehli, who, re- solving to oppose the invaders, sent messengers throughout Hindustan to acquaint the other Rajas that Mahmud, without provocation, was marching with a vast army to destroy Thanesar, now under his immediate protection. He observed that if a barrier was not expeditiously raised against this roaring torrent, the country of Hindustan would be soon overwhelmed, and every state, small and great,
[p.454]: would be entirely subverted. It, therefore, behoved them to unite their forces at Thanesar, to avert the impending calamity.
" Mahmud Having reached Thanesar before the Hindus had time to assemble for its defence, the city was plundered, the idols broken, and the idol Jagsom was sent to Ghaznin, to be trodden under foot in the street, and decapitated. Immense wealth was found in the temples. According to Haji Muhammad Kandahari, a ruby was found in one of them, weighing 450 miskals, the equal of which no one had ever seen or heard of.
" Mabmud, after the capture of Thanesar, was desirous of proceeding to reduce Dehli ; but his nobles told him that it would be impossible to keep possession of it, till he had rendered the Panjab a province of his own government, and had secured himself from all apprehension of Anandpal (Raja of Lahore). The king resolved, therefore, for the present, to proceed no further, till he had accomplished these objects. Anandpal, however, conducted himself with so much policy and hospitality towards Mahmud,1 that the Sultan returned peaceably to Ghaznin. On this occasion, the Muhammadan army brought to Ghaznin 200,000 captives, so that the capital appeared like an Indian city, for every soldier of the army had several slaves and slave girls." — Firishta.
There is nothing in the Yamini to warrant this mention of Dehli, the existence of which is nowhere alluded to by contemporary writers. The frequent mention therefore by Firishta of Dehli and its Raja, in the transactions with the Ghaznivides, seems not to rest on any solid foundation.
Mirkhond makes no mention of Thanesar by name, but speaks of the "Moslem" elephants. 'Utbi and Khondamir make mention of these elephants in connection with Thanesar. Though Firishta leaves no doubt that he considered the holy Thanesar to be meant, it is probable some other place may be alluded to ; yet I know no place in India where he could, immediately after crossing a desert, have come upon a stream flowing through a hill -pass, except it be Kach Gandava in Sindh, which is obviously out of the direction.
1. [This sentence is not in the printed text.]
[p.455]: Thanesar to be Panjshir, which is the name of a river joining that of Ghorband, and giving name to a pass which leads through Hindu Kush from Kabul to Turkistan, but here we should want both the desert and the elephants.
The term "Moslem" elephants is curious. The Universal History endeavours to explain the word thus : —
" Mahmud Ibn Subuktigin now undertook another expedition into India, and reduced the kingdom of Marwin, which had a capital of the same name. Here he was informed that an Indian idolatrous ; prince occupied a province, which produced a race of elephants, called Moslem, or faithful elephants. This information excited him to attempt the conquest of that province ; which having effected, he brought off with him a vast quantity of spoil, and a great number of those elephants. They were termed Moslem, or faithful elephants, because they sometimes performed a sort of genuflexion and prostration not unlike those of the Moslems or Muhammedans ; which induced many of the latter to believe that they were religious animals."
Dr. Bird calls them " elephants of Sulaiman." S. de Sacy, " Saileman." Wilken, " Moslem." With regard to their being Moslems and their adoration and genuflexions, see D'HerbelQt, Art. " Fil." The Jami'u-t Tawarikh and D'Herbelot designate them as Musulman. The reading of the Yamini and of Ibn Asir is " Sailaman,"1 which no doubt is related to the word Sailan and like " Sailani," signifies merely " Ceylonese elephants."
Eleventh Expedition. Lohkot2 A.H. 406
This was an attempt to penetrate into Kashmir, which was entirely unsuccessful, for Mahmud advanced no further than Lohkot, and then returned, There is no allusion to it in the Yamini3the Rauzatu-s Safa, or the Habibu-s Siyar,
1 [The name is written with, awād, not with sin, which is fatal to the supposed connection with " Moslem."]
2 [This place appears again in the " Fourteenth Expedition" of the year 413 h. (page 464 infra), where also the siege was unsuccessful. The circumstances of the two accounts are so similar as to make it probable that they relate to the same event. There is no record of the siege in the Yamini, the inference to be drawn from which fact is that it occurred after the close of that work in 413 h.]
3 There is an allusion to an attempt in Kashmir at the opening of the Kanauj Expedition, but this seems only to imply that he marched under the Lower Kashmir hills. Hammer-Purgstall actually represents Mahmud as plundering the capital of Kashmir.
[p.456]: but it is mentioned in the Tarikh-i Alfi, the Tabakat-i Akbari, and Firishta.1 The Tabakat-i Akbari ascribes it to the year 407, and calls the place simply Kot. Reinaud2 considers that this attack was made during the expedition to Kanauj, but this is highly improbable ; for though the governor of the passes leading into Kashmir came to pay his respects on that occasion, Mahmud did not penetrate even the lower hills.
The position of Lohkot is difficult to fix. It is perhaps the same strong place which Al Biruni and Rashidu-d din speak of as Lohur or Lohawar, in the hills of Kashmir3 ; and as they describe it as not far from Rajawar, one of the boundaries of Hind, on the north, I think we may look for an identification in the present Kotta, where there is a lofty fort of evident antiquity. If so, he must have returned by the bed of the Panjal river, and the waters from which he could not extricate his army must have been those of the Jailam, expanding over the plain so accurately described by Quintus Curtius, and so faithful to present appearances.
Firishta thus speaks of this campaign : —
" Mahmud, in the year 406, again marched with the design of entering Kashmir, and besieged the fort of Loh-kot, which was remarkable on account of its height and strength. After a while, when the snow began to fall, and the season became intensely cold, and the enemy received reinforcements from Kashmir, the Sultan was obliged to abandon his design, and return to Ghaznin. On his route, having lost his way, he came upon a place where the whole plain was covered with water — wherever they went they saw nothing but water. Many of his troops perished. This was the first disaster that the Sultan suffered in his campaigns against India. After some days he extricated himself with great difficulty from his peril, and reached Ghaznin without having achieved any success."
A full account has been given of this celebrated invasion by 'Utbi and Khondamir. As the statement of Nizamu-d din differs from Firishta in some
1. [Ibn Asir makes a brief reference to it under the year 406, recording only Mahmud's great losses from the waters. He does not name the place.]
2. Fragments, Arabes et Persons, p. 118.; 3. vol i, pp. 62-65.]
[p.457]: respects, it is given below. It is to be observed that all the authors, except Mirkhond, concur in representing that 409 h. was the year of this invasion, and most of them mention that he set out in the spring. This gives occasion to Dr. Bird to observe : — " As the spring season is mentioned, and as Hijra 409 commenced on the 20th May, A.D. 1018, Mahmud must have left Ghazni in the end of the preceding year, 408, which would correspond with the spring of A.D. 1018. Muhmammadan historians, not attending to the fact of the seasons west of the Indus being the same as those in Europe, and forgetting the particular commencement of the Hijra years, are constantly committing such blunders." Consequently he makes six or seven months to elapse before Mahmud reaches Kanauj.
Here, with all due deference be it said. Dr. Bird seems to have fallen into the very error which he condemns ; for it is abundantly evident that here, as has already been observed respecting the sixth expedition,1 that the Indian spring after the close of the rains is meant. That spring occurs in Afghanistan much about the same time as our own in Europe is admitted. Indeed, it is observed in Afghanistan with the same kind of joyous festivities as it was in Europe, before more utilitarian notions prevailed ; but in this instance, where the months are mentioned, we can be left in no manner of doubt. Starting in the spring, we find from 'Utbi that Mahmud crossed the Jumna on the 20th of Rajab, 409;= Deoember 1018, and reached Kanauj on the 8th of Sha'ban, 409=January, 1019, and as this is declared to be a three months' journey, he must have started in October, so that he might have the whole of the six months of the cold season before him. The spring therefore alluded to was evidently not in accordance with the European season.
Elphinstone has been led into the same error by following the guidance of Dr. Bird, and observes : — " The whole of this expedition is indistinctly related by Firishta. He copies the Persian writers, who, adverting to the season in their own country, make Mahmud begin his march in spring. Had he done so he need not have gone so high in search of fords, but he would have reached Kanauj at the beginning of the periodical rains, and carried on all his subsequent movements in the midst of rivers during that season. It is probable
1. Supra, p. 445.
[p.458]: he would go to Peshawar before the snow set in ahove the passes, and would cross the Indus early in November."
In this last passage he acutely suggests as Mahmud's probable movement, that which actually occurred, except that he must have crossed the Indus in October. There is, therefore, no correction necessary, and the native authorities have been wrongly censured.
He continues : — " His marches are still worse detailed. He goes first to Kanauj ; then back to Mirat, and then back again to Mattra. There is no clue to his route, advancing or retiring. He probably came down by Mirat, but it is quite uncertain how he returned." Dr. Bird also remarks upon Firishta's ignorance of geography, upon the army moving about in all directions, without any obvious reason.
All this arises from following Firishta too implicitly, without referring to more original and authentic sources. The statement in the Yamini is clear enough, and it does not appear why Firishta should have departed from it.
The Yamini says that, after passing by the borders of Kashmir, that is, close under the sub-Himalayan range, and crossing the Jumna, Mahmud takes Baran, which is the ancient name of the present Bulandshahr, for which more modern authors, not knowing what " Baran" was, substitute "Mirat" — then Kulchand's fort, which is the Mahaban of the other — then crossing the Jumna he takes Mathura — and then recrossing the Jumna, he proceeds to Kanauj, and takes that and its seven detached forts, of which the ruins of some may still be traced. He then goes to Munj, " a city of Brahmans," or, as Briggs says, " of Rajputs," for which there is no authority — his original being merely "fighting men." This place must be the same as the old town of Manjhawan, or Majhawan, the ruins of which are still visible on the Pandu river, ten miles south of Kanpur. It is in the heart of the country of the Kanauji Brahmans. He then proceeds to Chandalbhor's fort of Asni, lower down on the banks of the Ganges, ten miles N.E. from Fathpur, where at a later period we find Jaichand depositing his treasure. It is a very old town, founded, it is said, by Aswani Kumara, the son of Suraj, who held a sacrifice there,
[p.459]: and founded a city called after his own name. On the 25th of Sha'ban, after capturing Sharwa or Sarua, — which I conceive to be either Seunra on the Ken, between Kalinjar and Banda, or Sriswagarh on the Pahonj, not far from Kunch, — he reaches the retreat of Chand Rai in the hills. These hills must be those of Bundelkhand, for there are no others which he could have reached before the close of Sha'ban, seeing he only arrived at Kanauj on the 8th. There is to be sure no mention of his crossing or recrossing the Jumna, but this is no valid objection, for neither is there any mention of his crossing the Panjab on his return to Ghazni. Of the two places mentioned above, in the plains of Bundelkhand, Sriswa-garh or Sriswa-garh, appears the most probable ; for we know it to have been a place of considerable importance in the annals of the Bundelkhand Rajas ; for about two centuries after this, the bard Chand informs us, that several chiefs were slain in defending it against Pirthi Rai of Dehli, who for the purpose of capturing it, had crossed the river Sind, which was the boundary between his dominions and those of Parmal Chandel, the Raja of Mahoba. It is to be observed that no other author except 'Utbi mentions the name , of Sharwa — later authors not being able to identify it. Mahmud's progress under the explanation now given appears to have been regular and consistent.
The Rauzotu-s Safa observes the same order, with the omission of some of the names. First, the fort of a converted Hindu (Baran) ; then the fort of Kulchand (Mahaban) ; then the holy city not mentioned by name (Mathura) ; then Kanauj ; then Munj ; then the fort of Chandpal; and lastly, the pursuit of Chand Raja. The Hahibu-s Siyar follows this statement, omitting all occurrences after the capture of Kanauj. Nizamu-d din and Firishta have reversed this order, and make Mahmud proceed direct to Kanauj, then back to Mirat or Baran, then to Mahaban, then to Mathura, then to the seven forts on the banks of a river, which the Tarikh-i Alfi adds were under the Dehli Raja ; then to Munj, then to the fort of Chandpal, then in pursuit of Chandrai.
The following is extracted from Nizamu-d din Ahmad. The number of troops which accompanied the Sultan is not mentioned. 'Utbi says he had 20,000 volunteers from Transoxiana. Mirkhond
[p.460]: says these were in addition to this own troops. Firishta says he had 100,000 chosen horse and 20,000 northern foot.
" In A.H. 409, Sultan Mahmud marched at the head of his army with the resolution of conquering the kingdom of Kanauj. When, having crossed seven dreadful rivers, he reached the confines of that kingdom, the governor of the place, whose name was Kora, submitted to him, sought his protection, and sent him presents.1
" The Sultan then arrived at the fort of Barna. The governor, whose name was Hardat, left the fort under the care of his tribe and relations,2 and sought to conceal himself elsewhere. The garrison, finding themselves unable to defend the fort, capitulated in a few days, agreeing to pay a thousand times a thousand (1,000,000) dirhams, which is equal to 2,50,000 rupees, and also to present him with thirty elephants.
" The Sultan marched thence to the fort of Mahawan, on the banks of the river Jumna. The chief of the place, whose name was Kulchandar, mounted his elephant with the intention of crossing over the stream and flying away, but the Sultan's army pursued, and when they approached him he killed himself with his dagger.
- " To live in the power of an enemy
- Is much worse than to die."
The fort was captured, and eighty-five elephants, besides much other booty, fell into the hands of the victors.
" Proceeding from this place, the king arrived at Mathura,3 which was a very large city full of magnificent temples. It is the birth- place of Krishn (or) Basdeo, whom the Hindus venerate as an incarnation of God. When the Sultan reached the city no one came out to oppose him.4 The Sultan's army plundered the whole city and set fire to the temples. They took immense booty, and by the Sultan's order they broke up a golden image which was ninety-eight
1. In the Yamini this conversion is ascribed to the ruler of Baran, and in the Hahibu-s Siyar also, which Firishta by some mistake has quoted as his own authority. Firishta makes Mahmud stay three days in Kanauj .
2. " Kaum o Khhweshan,"; 3. [arabic text]
[p.461]: thousand three hundred miskals in -weight; and there was also found a sapphire weighing four hundred and fifty miskals.
" It is said that Chandar Rai, who was one of the Rajas of Hindustan, possessed a very powerful and famous elephant. The Sultan desired to purchase it at a very large price, but could not get it.1 "When the Sultan was returning from Kanauj, this elephant one night broke away from the other elephants, and went without any driver to the Sultan's camp, who took it, and being much pleased, he called it Khudadad (the gift of God).
"When he returned to Ghaznin, he had the value of the spoil counted. It was found to consist of 20,000,000 dirhams, 53,000 captives, and 350 elephants." — Tabakat-i Akbari.
There are not fewer difficulties to contend with when we come to consider the names of the Hindu chiefs. 'Utbi calls the ruler of Kanauj Rai Jaipal and Puru Jaipal, meaning the same Jaipal who has already been spoken of as the Raja of Lahore. Mirkhond and Khondamir also call him Jaipal. He is the same as the Nardajanpal of Al Biruni, of which none of his commentators are able to restore the correct reading. Nizamu-d din Ahmad and Firishta call him Kora, or, according to Briggs, Koowur-Ray. We are at a loss what grounds these later authors have for this statement. It may, perhaps, be equivalent to Puru, and be meant for Kunwar, " a raja's son," a term of common use in the present day. Bird says he was called Kora from the appellation of his tribe ; but there is no such tribe, unless Gaur be meant, which would be spelt in nearly a similar form. However this may be, we must, improbable as it may seem, follow the statement of 'Utbi, and conceive that the Raja of Labore was at this time in possession of Kanauj. There are certain details given which favour this notion. The son of this Puru Jaipal is, according to the Yamini, Bhim-pal, who writes to Chand Rai, respecting the Musulmans, as if he had long been in communication with them. This Bhim-pal speaks of his uncle having been forcibly converted, which uncle, as we have already seen, seems evidently to be the same as Nawasa Shah. We also find Puru Jaipal holding
1. Previous to this Firishta makes the Sultin attack Raja Chandpal, who evacuates his fort, and sends his treasure to the hills. He makes Chand E&i also fly to the hills.
[p.462]: dominions on the other side of the Ganges during the next campaign on the Rahib. "We may suppose, therefore, that, without being de facto ruler throughout these broad domains, he may have held a sort of suzerainty or paramount rule, and was then in the eastern portion of his dominions, engaged in settling the nuptials of his son, Bhim-pal, or had altogether transferred his residence to these parts, to avoid the frequent incursions of his Muhammadan persecutors, who, in their late expedition to Thanesar, had shown that it was impossible for him to maintain independence in Lahore. Like as the reigning family was driven from Kabul to Bhera, and from Bhera to Lahore, so it seems now to have been driven from Lahore to Kanauj.
The Chandalbhor Phur, or Pur, in some copies of the Yamini, the ruler of Asi, may, perhaps, indicate that the Raja was a Chandel Rajput, for Asi is close to the spot where we find that clan now established. The name Phur may have some connection with the legendary Fur, or Porus, who opposed Alexander ; for, be it observed, his capital is represented by Indian geographers to have been in the neighbourhood of Allahabad; and the Rajas of Kumaun, who are themselves Chandels, represent themselves to be descended from this Fur, the ruler of Kanauj and Prayag. So addicted are the Asiatics to ascribe this name to Indian potentates that some Arabic authors name even Rai Pithaura as Puras. On this name and the analogies which it suggests, much might be added, but it would lead us beyond the immediate purport of this Note to discuss them.1
Chand Rai, perhaps, also indicates the same lineage, for his dominions must have adjoined Bundelkhand, in which province are included Mahoba and Chanderi, the original seats from which the Chandels emigrated.
Thirteenth Expedition. Battle of the Rahih. A.H. 412
'Utbi mentions no year for this expedition. Nizamn-d din Ahmad attributes it to 410; Firishta to 412. The latter is the most probable. Mirkhond and Khondamir make no mention of it. 'Utbi places the scene on the Rahib, which we know from Al Biruni to be on tha
1 Compare Ritter, Erdkunde mn Asien, Vol. IV. Part 1. p. 453. Elphinstone, History of India, Vol. I. p. 467. Lassen, Pentopotamid. Indicd, p. 16. Bohlen, Das alte Indien, Vol. I. p. 91. Lassen, Indisehe AUerthumskunde, Vol. II. pp. 147, 195. Hadihatu-l Akalim, Y. " Allahabad." Yadgar-i Bahaduri, v. "Kannauj." Bird's History of Gujarat, p. 138. Haiyatu-l Haitwan, by Shaikh Abu-1 Fath Damari.
other side of the Ganges, and is either the Ramganga, or the Sye — apparently the latter in the present instance.
The other authors place the scene on the Jumna, and we might consider their account to refer to some other expedition, were not Puru Jaipal mentioned in both, as well as the circumstance of the surprise by eight men swimming over the river. It is also worthy of remark that Al Biruni gives the death of Pur Jaipal in 412 A.H., which makes it highly probable that he was slain in this very action, though that fact is not expressly mentioned in the TarikTi Yamini.
Dr. Bird doubts this expedition altogether, because another expedition occurs against Kalinjar, and the two appear to have been in reality one. But here not even Firishta represents that Mahmud went to Kalinjar, though he was engaged with the Raja of that place. 'Utbl's statement must be received as conclusive respecting a movement as far as the Rahib ; though he mentions nothing about Kalinjar or Nanda Raja. Indeed, in that author we nowhere find mention of that submission to the Sultan, on account of which the Rai of Kanauj was sacrificed to the vengeance of the Hindu confederacy.
That Puru Jaipal should be found on the other side of the Rahib, as 'Utbi says, or come to the aid of Nanda Raja, according to Nizamu-d din and Firishta, is confirmative of the probability previously noticed, that he had then established himself far to the eastward of Lahore.
The following is the statement of Nizamu-d din : — "It is said that when Sultan Mahmud heard that a Raja named Nanda1 had slain the Rai of Kanauj, for having recognized and submitted to the Sultan, he resolved to invade his territory. So, in A.H. 410, he marched again towards Hindustan. When he reached the banks of the Jumna, Pur Jaipal,2 who had so often fled before his troops, and who had now come to assist Nanda, encamped in face of the Sultan ; but there was a deep river between them, and no one passed over without the Sultan's permission. But it so happened
[p.464]: that eight of the royal guards of Mahmud's army having crossed the river together, they threw the whole army of Pur Jaipal into confusion, and defeated it. Pur Jaipal, with a few infidels, escaped. The eight men1 not returning to the Sultan, advanced against the city of Bāri,2 which lay in the vicinity. Having found it defenceless, they plundered it, and pulled down the heathen temples.
The Sultan advanced from hence to the territory of Nanda, who, resolving on battle, collected a large army, which is said to have consisted of thirty-six thousand horse, one hundred and five thousand foot,3 and six hundred and forty elephants. When the Sultan approached his camp, he first sent an ambassador, calling upon him to acknowledge fealty, and embrace the Muhammadan faith. Nanda refused these conditions, and prepared to fight. Upon this, the Sultan reconnoitred Nanda's army from an eminence, and observing its vast numbers, he regretted his having come thither. Prostrating himself before God, he prayed for success and victory. When night came on, great fear and alarm entered the mind of Nanda, and he fled with some of his personal attendants, leaving all his baggage and equipments. The next day the Sultan, being apprized of this, rode out on horseback without any escort, and carefully examined the ground. When he was satisfied that there was no ambush or strategical device, he stretched out his hands for plunder and devastation. Immense booty fell into the hands of the Musulmans, and five hundred and eighty of Nanda's elephants, which were in the neighbouring woods, were taken. The Sultan, loaded with victory and success, returned to Ghaznin." 4 — Tabakat-i Akbari.
We now lose the guidance of 'Utbi, and are compelled to follow the more uncertain authority of later writers. It has been questioned
1 Firishta says that these eight must, of course, have been officers, each followed by bis own corps. He gives no name to the city which was plundered.
3 Forty-five thousand, in Firishta.
5 [Compare with this General Cunningham's Note, Vol. i. p. 395.]
[p.465]: whether this expedition ever took place. Elphinstone and Reinaud take no notice of it, and Bird says that it is a mere repetition of the previous one to Balnat ; and " the narratives evidently refer to the same places and transactions." Even if they did refer to the same places, there is no reason why the transactions should not have been different. As Firishta asserts that Kuriat1 and Nardein lie apparently between Turkistan and Hindustan, it is evident that he thought he was dealing with places which had not yet been mentioned. His authority for assigning this position to the tract is not the Tabakat-i Akbari, in which it is merely stated that the country has mountain passes, is very cold, abounds with fruit, and that its inhabitants worship lions. This latter, no doubt, alludes to the worship of Sakya Sinha (lion) the Buddha. But, though Firishta had little authority for his assertion, it is evident that he was correct in making it Kuriat. First, we must restore the true reading of Nardein. The latter, in the Tabakat-i Akbari and Kanzu-l Mahpur is correctly given as "Nur ; " and " Kuriat" in the same works, in the original of Firishta, is correctly given as " Kirat." Now, the position of Kirat and Nur is ascertained by referring to Al Biruni's account of the Kabul river, which is thus described by him :
- " This body of water — the Kabul river — passes through the country of Lamghan, near the fort of Diruna, and is then joined by the waters of Nur and Kirat.2 When it reaches opposite Peshawar, it forms a considerable stream," etc.
Here, then, we must look for the waters of Nur and Kirat, between the towns of Jalalabad and Peshawar, and we shall find that the country alluded to is that drained by the Kuner and Landye rivers — that is. Swat, Bajaur, and part of Kafiristan. This tract exactly corresponds with the description given in the Tabakat-i Akbari; and plenty of Buddhist remains survive to explain the allusion to the worship of lions.
1 Dow reads "Kiberat;" Briggs, "Kuriat" in the translation, but " Kairit" in the text ; "Wilken, " Ferath ; " and " Kabrath." The real reading being Kirat, -which name may be the same as that of the mountaineers of Sanskrit geography.
2 [In page 47, Vol. i., my translation of the Persian version of this passage differs: — "uniting near the fort of Diruna (the waters) fall into the Nurokirat ;" and this is correct according to the Persian text, " ....nazdik-i kala'i Diruna mujtami' mi-shavad wa dar ab-i Nurokirit md-uftad." Sir H. Elliot follows Reiaaud's translation of the text of Biruni, which certainly seems more accurate thaa the Persian version. See Mem. sur l'Inde, 276. — Ed.]
[p.466]: On the supposition that Nur and Kirat were in the neighbourhood of Bajaur, there is no difficulty in tracing the prepress of the conqueror during this invasion. On his way from Ghaznin, he makes an incursion across the Kabul river, and while his general is engaged in capturing Nur and building the fort, to overawe the wild inhabitants, he himself proceeds to the impregnable Lohkot, by the same road which he had previously travelled ; and then returned to Ghaznin after visiting Lahore.
As the Sabibu-s Siyar gives no account of this expedition, the following narrative is taken from Nizamu-d din Ahmad. Firishta adds to it that the king of Lahore fled to Ajmir, and that Mahmud, before returning to Ghazni, nominated commanders to the conquered provinces of Hindustan, and left troops for their protection. This author is mistaken in speaking of the stone which was found at Nardin, and was represented to be four thousand years old. He has in this respect, from similarity of name, confounded this expedition with that against Ninduna or Nardin, in the Balnat hills.
" About this time, the king learned that the inhabitants of the two mountainous tracts (darra) of Kirat and Nur, were all worshippers of idols, and possessed some very strong positions. The Sultan immediately gave orders that his forces should be collected; and having taken many blacksmiths, carpenters, and stone-cutters with him, he proceeded towards those places. When he approached the country, he first attacked Kirat. This place was very cold, and abounded with fruit ; and its inhabitants were worshippers of lions. The chief of that forest, however, made submission, and accepted Islam. All the other people also followed his example. Sahib 'Ali1 ibn Ilar, a Muhammadan, was sent to reduce Nur, which he accomplished. He founded a fort at this place, and left 'Ali bin Kadr Juk2 as governor of it. Islam spread in this part of the country by the consent of the people and by the influence of force.
" In A.H. 412,3 the king advanced toward Kashmir, and invested
1 Firishta says son of Arslan Jazib.
3 Firishta gives no year, but it may be implied that he alludes to 413 A.H., as he has a separate expedition for both 412 and 414.
[p.467]: the stronghold of Lohkot.1 He stayed before it one month, but finding the fort, on account of its strength and loftiness, altogether impregnable, he decamped and proceeded towards Lahore and Bagar. He directed his followers to plunder the hill country, and immense booty was collected. The Sultan returned in the commencement of spring to Ghaznin." Tabakat-i Akbari.
This is another expedition resting only on the same authorities, and respecting which also doubts have been entertained, but there seems no reason to suppose that the restless bigotry of Mahmud did not undertake this new expedition. It does not appear that he had yet visited Kalinjar, though he had been twice in the neighbourhood. The mention of Gwaliar in connection with it seems to separate this altogether from the other expeditions towards Bundelkhand and the Lower Doab.
The following is from the Tabakat-i-Akbari : —
" In A.H. 413 (1021 A.D.) Mahmud again undertook an expedition against the territory of Nanda. Having reached the fort of Gwaliar, he besieged it. Four days after, the chief of the place sent messengers promising thirty-five elephants, and solicited protection. The Sultan agreed to the terms, and from thence proceeded to Kalinjar. This is a fort unparalleled in the whole country of Hindustan for its strength. He invested this fort also, and, after a while, Nanda, its chief, presented three hundred elephants, and sued for peace. As these animals were sent out of the fort without riders,2 the Sultan ordered the Turks to seize and mount them. The enemy perceiving this, was much surprised, and Nanda sent a copy of Hindi verses in praise of the Sultan, who gave it to the learned men of Hind and other poets who were at his court, who all bestowed their admiration upon them. He was much pleased with the compliment, and in return conferred on him the government of fifteen forts,3 besides some other presents. Nanda acknowledged
1 [See note in p. 456 supra.]
2 Firishta says that in order to put the bravery of the Sultan's -troops to the test, the Raja had intoxicated these elephants with drugs, and that Mahmud ordered a select body of horse to seize or kill them or drive them a-way from the camp.
[p.468]: this favour by sending immense riches and jewels to the Sultan, who then victoriously and triumphantly returned to Ghaznin.
" In A.H. 414, Mahmud mustered all his forces, and found them, besides those which were employed on duty in the different parts of his kingdom, to consist of fifty-four thousand horse and one thousand three hundred elephants." — Tabakat-i-Akbari.
Sixteenth Expedition — Somnat. A.H. 416-7
The accounts of this celebrated expedition are given in great detail by most authors. Those who follow [Ibn Asir and] Mirkhond make it commence with 416 H. Those who follow Firishta with 415 H. Dr. Bird has given good reason for preferring the former year, where he shows the necessity of paying attention to the Indian seasons in examining these expeditions. A few additional circumstances, not to be found in the Habibu-s Siyar, are mentioned by other authors, and are shown in the following extracts.
Though the position of Somnat is well-known in the district of the Guzerat peninsula, now called Bhabrewar, yet by some extraordinary mistake, in which he has been followed by Rampoldi, D'Herbelot considers it to be the same as Viziapur in the Dekhin.
[From the Kamilu-t Tawarikh of Ibn Asir1 : —
" In the year 414 H. Mahmud captured several forts and cities in Hind, and he also took the idol called Somnat. This idol was the greatest of all the idols of Hind. Every night that there was an eclipse the Hindus went on pilgrimage to the temple, and there congregated to the number of a hundred thousand persons. They believed that the souls of men after separation from the body used to meet there, according to their doctrine of transmigration, and that the ebb and flow of the tide was the worship paid to the idol by the sea, to the best of its power. Everything of the most precious was brought there ; its attendants received the most valuable presents, and the temple was endowed with more than 10,000 villages.
1 [The account given of this expedition by Ibn Asir is the oldest one extant, and has been largely drawn upon by later writers. Firishta must have used it, Kazwini copied his account of the temple from it (see Vol. I. of this work, p. 97), and the extracts which follow this show how much other authors are indebted to it. The whole account is more specific in its details than those of its copyists. For these reasons the Editor has inserted it here in foil.]
[p.469]: In the temple were amassed jewels of the most exquisite quality and incalculable value. The people of India have a great river called Gang, to which they pay the highest honour, and into which they cast the bones of their great men, in the belief that the deceased will thus secure an entrance to heaven. Between this river and Somnat there is a distance of about 200 parasangs, but water was daily brought from it with which the idol was washed. One thousand Brahmans attended every day to perform the worship of the idol, and to introduce the visitors. Three hundred persons were employed in shaving the heads and beards of the pilgrims. Three hundred and fifty persons sang and danced at the gate of the temple. Every one of these received a settled allowance daily. When Mahmud was gaining victories and demolishing idols in India, the Hindus said that Somnat was displeased with these idols, and that if he had been satisfied with them no one could have destroyed or injured them. When Mahmud heard this he resolved upon making a campaign to destroy this idol, believing that when the Hindus saw their prayers and imprecations to be false and futile, they would embrace the faith.
" So he prayed to the Almighty for aid, and left Ghazni on the 10th Sha'ban, 414 h., with 30,000 horse besides volunteers, and took the road to Multan, which place he reached in the middle of Ramazan. The road from thence to India was through a barren desert, where there were neither inhabitants nor food. So he collected provisions for the passage, and loading 30,000 camels with water and corn, he started for Anhalwara. After he had crossed the desert, he perceived on one side a fort full of people, in which place there were wells. People came down to conciliate him, but he invested the place, and God gave him victory over it, for the hearts of the inhabitants failed them through fear. So he brought the place under the sway of Islam, killed the inhabitants, and broke in pieces their images. His men carried water away with them from thence and marched for Anhalwara, where they arrived at the beginning of Zi-1 Ka'da.
" The chief of Anhalwara, called Bhim, fled hastily, and abandoning his city, he went to a certain fort for safety and to prepare him- self for war. Yaminu-d daula again started for Somnat, and on his
[p.470]: march he came to several forts in -which were many images serving as chamberlains or heralds of Somnat, and accordingly he (Mahmud) called them Shaitan. He killed the people who were in these places, destroyed the fortifications, broke in pieces the idols, and continued his march to Somnat through a desert where there was little water. There he met 20,000 fighting men, inhabitants of that country, whose chiefs would not submit. So he sent some forces against them, who defeated them, put them to flight, and plundered their possessions. From thence they marched to Dabalwarah, which is two days' journey from Somnat. The people of this place stayed resolutely in it, believing that Somnat would utter his prohibition and drive back the invaders; but Mahmud took the place, slew the men, plundered their property, and marched on to Somnat.
" He reached Somnat on a Thursday in the middle of Zi-1 Ka'da, and there he beheld a strong fortress built upon the sea shore, so that it was washed by the waves. The people of the fort were on the walls amusing themselves at the expense of the confident Musulmans, telling them that their deity would cut off the last man of them, and destroy them all. On the morrow, which was Friday, the assailants advanced to the assault, and when the Hindus beheld the Muhammadans fighting, they abandoned their posts, and left the Walls. The Musulmans planted their ladders against the walls and gained the summit : then they proclaimed their sueeess with their religious war-cry, and exhibited the prowess of Isam. Then followed a fearful slaughter, and matters wore a serious aspect. A body of Hindus hurried to Somnat, cast themselves on the ground before him, and besought him to grant them victory. Night came on, and the fight was suspended.
" Next morning, early, the Muhammadans renewed the battle, and made greater havoc among the Hindus, till they drove them from the town to the house of their idol, Somnat. A dreadful slaughter followed at the gate of the temple. Band after band of the defenders entered the temple to Somnat, and with their hands clasped round their necks, wept and passionately entreated him. Then again they issued forth to fight until they were slain, and but few were left alive. These took to the sea in boats to make their escape,
[p.471]: but the Musulmans overtook them, and some were killed and some were drowned.
" This temple of Somnat was built upon fifty-six pillars of teak wood covered with lead. The idol itself was in a chamber; its height was five cubits and its girth three cubits. This was what appeared to the eye, but two cubits were (hidden) in the basement. It had no appearance of having been sculptured. Yaminu-d daula seized it, part of it he burnt, and part of it he carried away with him to Ghazni, where he made it a step at the entrance of the Jami'- masjid. The shrine of the idol was dark, but it was lighted by most exquisitely jewelled chandeliers. Near the idol was a chain of gold to which bells were attached. The weight of it was 200 mans. When a certain portion of the night had passed, this chain was shaken to ring the bells, and so rouse a fresh party of Brahmans to carry on the worship. The treasury was near, and in it there were many idols of gold and silver. Over it there were veils hanging, set with jewels, every one of which was of immense value. The worth of what was found in the temple exceeded two millions of dinars, all of which was taken. The number of the slain exceeded fifty thousand." ' — Ibn Asir.]
The following is from the Tarikh-i Alfi : —
" It is said that the temple of Somnat was built by one of the greatest Rajas of India. The idol was cut out of solid stone, about five yards in height, of which two were buried in the earth. Mahmud, as soon as his eye fell on this idol, lifted up his battle-axe with much anger, and struck it with such force that the idol broke into pieces. The fragments of it were ordered to be taken to Ghaznin, and were cast " down at the threshold of the Jami' Masjid,' where they are lying to this day. It is a well-authenticated fact that when Mahmud was about to destroy the idol, a crowd of Brahmans represented (to his nobles) that if he would desist from the mutilation they would pay several crores of gold coins into his treasury. This was agreed to by many of the nobles, who pointed out to the Sultan that he could not obtain so much treasure by
1 [The continuation of this chapter, relating to Mahmud's return, -will be found, supra page 249.]
[p.472]: breaking the image, and that the proffered money would be very serviceable. Mahmud replied, " I know this, but I desire that on the day of resurrection I should be summoned with the words, ' Where is that Mahmud who broke the greatest of the heathen idols ?' rather than by these : ' Where is that Mahmud who sold the greatest of the idols to the infidels for gold ?" When Mahmud demolished the image, he found in it so many superb jewels and rubies, that they amounted to, and even exceeded an hundred times the value of the ransom which had been offered to him by the Brahmans.
"According to the belief of the Hindus, all the other idols in India held the position of attendants and deputies of Somnat. Every night this idol was washed with " fresh" water brought from the Ganges, although that river must be more than two hundred parasangs distant. This river flows through the eastern part of India, and is held very sacred by the Hindus. They throw the bones of their dead into it.
" It is related in many authentic historical works that the revenue of ten thousand populated villages was set apart as an endowment for the expenses of the temple of Somnat, and more than one thousand Brahmans were always engaged in the worship of that idol. There hung in this temple a golden chain which weighed two hundred Indian mans. To this were attached numerous bells, and several persons were appointed whose duty it was to shake it at stated times during day and night, and summon the Brahmans to worship. Amongst the other attendants of this temple there were three hundred barbers appointed to shave the heads of the pilgrims. There were also three hundred musicians and five hundred dancing- girls attached to it ; and it was customary even for the kings and rajas of India to send their daughters for the service of the temple. A salary was fixed for every one of the attendants, and it was duly and punctually paid. On the occurrence of an eclipse multitudes of Hindus came to visit this temple from all parts of Hindustan. We are told by many historians that at every occurrence of this phenomenon there assembled more than two hundred thousand persons, bringing offerings. It is said in the history of Ibn Asir and in that of Hafiz Abru1 that the room in which the idol of Somnat was
1 In Firishta this is related on the authority of the Zainu-l Ma-asir.
[p.473]: placed was entirely dark, and that it was illumined by the refulgence of the jewels that adorned the candelabra. In the treasury of this temple there were also found numberless small idols of gold and silver. In short, besides what fell into the hands of his army from the plunder of the city, Mahmud obtained so much wealth in gold, jewels, and other valuables from this temple, that no other king possessed anything equal to it.
" When Mahmud had concluded his expedition against Somnat, it was reported to him that Raja Bhim, chief of Nahrwara, who at the time of the late invasion had fled away, had now taken refuge in the fort of Kandama,1 which was by land forty parasangs distant from Somnat. Mahmud immediately advanced towards that place,2 and when his victorious flags drew near the fort, it was found to be surrounded by much water, and there appeared no way of approaching it. The Sultan ordered some divers to sound the depth of the water, and they pointed him out a place where it was fordable. But at the same time they said that if the water (the tide) should rise at the time of their passing it would drown them all. Mahmud, having taken the advice of religious persons, and depending upon the protection of the Almighty God, proceeded with his army, and plunged with his horse into the water. He crossed over it in safety, and the chief of the fort having witnessed his intrepidity, fled away. His whole property, with numerous prisoners, fell into the hands of the army of Islam. All men who were found in the fort were put to the sword.3
" After this conquest, Mahmud proceeded to invade the territory of the Bhatis, whose chief, being apprised of his intentions, proffered his obedience and submission.4 The king left him in possession of his dominions, and returned to his own capital of Ghaznin." — Tarikh i-Alfi.
From the Tabakat-i Akbari: —
"When Mahmud resolved upon returning home from Somnat, he
2 [The MS. I have used breaks off abruptly here.— Ed.]
3 The statements in this paragraph are taken from the Rauzatu-s Safa.
4 This is also mentioned in the Rauzatu-s Safa, but is not noticed by Firishta.
[p.474]: learned that Parama Dev, one of the greatest Rajas of Hindustan, was preparing to intercept him. The Sultan, not deeming it advisable at the time to contend with this chief, went towards Multan, through Sind. In this journey his men suffered much in some places from scarcity of water, and in others from want of forage. After enduring great difficulties, he arrived at Ghaznin in A.H. 417.
" In this year, Al Kadir Bi-llah wrote a letter to him, accompanied with standards (signalizing him as sovereign1) of Khurasan, Hindustan, Nimroz, and Khwarizm, and granted titles to the Sultan, Ms sons and brothers. To the Sultan he gave the title of Kahfu-d daulat wau-l Islam (Guardian of the State and of the Faith) ; to Amir Mas'ud that of Shahabu-d daulat and Jamalu-l Millat (Lustre of the State and Ornament of the Faith) ; to Amir Muhammad of Jalalu-d daulat and Jamalu-l Millat (Glory of the State and Ornament of the Faith) ; and to Amir Yusuf, of Azdu-d daulat and Muwaiyidu-l Millat (Support of the State and Maintainer of the Faith). He at the same time assured Mahmud that he would recognise the person whom he should nominate as his successor. This letter reached the Sultan in Balkh."2 — Tabakat-i Akbari.
The difficulties experienced in the desert are thus related by Minhaju-s Siraj Juzjani. From the mention of Sind and Mansura, it is evident that Mahmud returned by a much more westerly course than he pursued in coming ; and if we compare this narrative with the one given in the Jami'u-l Hikayat (v. sup. p. 192), we shall be confirmed in this view, for the river there mentioned can be no other than the Sind or Panjnad.
From the Tabakat-i Nasiri : —
" On his return from Somnat through the territory of Sind and Mansuria, he resolved to take his army by way of the desert. On his demand for guides, a Hindu came forward and promised to lead the way. When the army of Islam had for some time3 marched
1 [These words are not in the text hut seem to he implied.]
2 This letter must have been written in reply to one addressed to him by Mahmud after his capture of Somnat, from which there is an extract given in Yafii's history.
3 [The text says " yakshaba." In the Jami'u-l Hikayat the period is said to have been three days — supra, p. 192.]
[p.475]: behind him, and it became time to call a halt, people went in search of water, but it was nowhere found. The Sultan summoned the guide to his presence, and asked him where water was procurable. He replied, " I have devoted my life for the sake of my deity Somnat, and have brought thee and thy army into this desert, where no water is, in order that all may perish." The Sultan ordered the guide to be killed, and the army to encamp. He rested patiently until night came on, and then the Sultan went aside from the camp, and prostrating himself on the earth, entreated with the deepest supplication Almighty God for aid in this extremity. When about a quarter of the night had elapsed, a light shone to the north of the camp. The Sultan ordered his army to march in that direction, and when day broke the Omnipotent led them to a place where there was a supply of water. Thus did all the Musulmans escape from this imminent danger."1 — Tabakat-i Nasiri.
From the Rauzatu-s Safa: —
" It is related that when Sultan Mahmud had achieved the conquest of Somnat, he wished to fix his residence there for some years, because the country was very extensive, possessed many unusual advantages, as well as several mines which produced pure gold. Indian rubies were brought there from Sarandip, one of the dependencies of the kingdom of Guzerat. His ministers represented to him that to forsake Khurasan, which had been taken from his enemies after so many battles, and to make Somnat the seat of government was very improper. In short, the King made up his mind to return, and ordered that some man should be appointed to hold and carry on the administration of the country. The ministers observed that it was impossible for a stranger to maintain possession, and therefore he should assign it to one of the native chiefs. The Sultan accordingly held a council to settle the nomination, in concurrence with such of the inhabitants as were well disposed towards him. Some of them represented to him that amongst the ancient royal families no house was so noble as that of the Dabshilims, of whom only one member survived, and he had
1 Firishta adds that many of the troops died raging mad from the intolerable heat and thirst.
[p.476]: assumed the habit of a Brahman, and was devoted to philosophical pursuits and austerity.1 — Rauzatu-s Safa.2
With respect to the name of Somnat, Firishta observes "that Soma was the name of a prince, after whom the idol Nat was called — Nat signifying among the Hindus lord or chief — and is rendered applicable to idols. Thus we have Jagnat, the lord of the creation." Bird, in one part of his work, says that it is derived from the Sanskrit Swayambhu, Nath, "self-existing lord;" but in another part, more correctly, from Soma Nath, " the moon-lord," or " regent of the moon," which was one of the names under which Mahadeva was worshipped. It is evident from the statement of Al Biruni that Somnat was no idol, but the lingam or phallic emblem of that deity. The embellishments of the story have been commented on by Wilson. " The earlier Muhammadan writers say nothing of the mutilation of its features, for, in fact, it had none ; nothing of the treasures it contained, which, as it was solid, could not have been within it. ** ** ** Firishta invents the hidden treasure of rubies and pearls with quite as little warrant. Somnath was in fact a linga, a nath, or deity ascribed to Soma, the moon, as having been erected by him ia honour of Siva. It was one of the twelve principal types of that deity, which were celebrated in India at the time of the first Muhammadan invasion." That there were, however, precious stones upon this lingam we know from the account of Al Biruni, who tells us that the top was garnished with them and with gold. He also informs us that the name of "moon-lord" was derived from the fact of the stone being washed with more particular ceremony twice during the month, at the full and new moon.
The resemblance which the Muhammadan authors wish to establish between this lingam and the Arabian Lāt seems to be a mere fancy ; for though there was doubtless at one time considerable connection between these parts of India and Arabia, it does not appear to have been exemplified in this particular instance.
There is one other matter which seems to require a passing notice in this place, as of late years it has engaged some attention. I allude to the removal of the Somnat gates.
1 See infra, extracts from Majma'-i Wasaya.
2 [Lith. Ed., Vol. iv. p. 48.]
Seventeenth Expedition— Jats of Jud. A.H. 417
[p.477]:This expedition is also recorded only by the later authorities, but the attack upon the Jats is not in itself improbable, though some of its attendant circumstances are. It is probable that, on the dissolution of the kingdom of Lahore, the Jats of the Jud hills acquired considerable power, and by predatory incursions were able to harry their neighbours. Their advance so far from their own country to attack the Muhammadan army, and the strength of the force with which they opposed it, show that they possessed no inconsiderable power. Prom a passage quoted by M. Reinaud from the Kamilu-t Tawarikh, (416 H.), it appears that they had invaded the principality of Mansura and had forced the Musulman Amir to abjure his religion.^ It does not quite appear what particular portion of the hilly country is here meant, but most probably the Salt range, on the part nearest to Multan. The Jats have now moved further to the north and east, but some of their clans point to the Salt range as their original seats.
The chief improbability, and it is almost insurmountable, consists in Mahmud's being able to organise a powerful fleet of fourteen hundred boats at Multan, and in being opposed by at least four thousand boats manned by mountaineers. Even in a time of the briskest trade, fourteen hundred boats could not be collected in all the rivers of the Panjab. It is also remarkable that Mahmud should choose to fight at all on the river, when his veteran troops would have been so much more effective on land than on water. If he could have equipped so large a fleet on a sudden emergency, it adds to the surprise which Elphinstone invites us to entertain, that Mahmud. neither in going to or returning from Somnat availed himself of the Indus. On his return, however, he does seem to have come for some way on the banks of the Indus.
As the year 417 H. began on the 22nd Feb., 1026, there was ample time for Mahmud to have returned to Ghazni in order to escape the heats and rains of Hindustan, and return again to Multan before the Ghazni winter, all within the same year.
The following account is taken from Nizamu-d din Ahmad : —
1 Memoire sur l'Inde, p. 272.
[p.478]: 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.1 In each boat were twenty archers, with bows and arrows, grenades,2 and naphtha ; and in this way they 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 Moslem fleet, when it received the shock of the projecting spikes, was broken and overturned. Thus most of the Jats were drowned, and those who were not so destroyed were put to the sword.3 The Sultan's army proceeded to the places where their families were concealed, and took them all prisoners. The Sultan then returned victorious to Ghaznin." — Tabakat-i Akbari.