Death of Prithviraj Chauhan According to Hindu Records

All Musalman historians except Abul Fazl record that Prithviraj was taken captive in the battle of Tarain in 1192 and afterwards put to death. According to Abul Fazl, Ghori took Prithviraj prisoner to Ghazni, where he was killed by Prithviraj. Afterwards Prithviraj was killed by Ghori's men. May be this is why some people believe that Prithviraj's tomb is located at Ghazni. Ghori was NOT killed by Prithviraj Chauhan. Also read various accounts of Hindu historians regarding the death of Prithviraj Chauhan.

The Historic Battles of Tarain
Muhammad Ghori's Invasion of India

Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl:

In AD 372, Anangpal of Tomar dynasty founded Delhi. In AD 791, Bildeva Chauhan defeated Prithviraj Tomar, and the sovereignty of Delhi was transferred to the Chauhans. During the reign of Rai Pithaura, Sultan Muhammad Ghori made several incursions into Hindustan without any material success. Raja Jaichand Rathore of Kannauj, who at that time was supreme monarch of all Hindustan (and the chief rival of Prithviraj), announced the celebration of Rajasuya, or the great sacrifice, and the Swayamvara of his beautiful daughter. All the Rajas had repaired to the court of Jaichand, except Pithaura, who was making preparations for the journey. But at that instant, a courtier remarked that the empire of right belonged to the Chauhan dynasty, and consequently Jaichand was not qualified to preside at such a sacrifice. These words kindled the flames of ambition in the heart of Pithaura, and he put off his journey. In order to insult him Jaichand made a statue of Rai Pithaura and placed as door-keeper. Enraged at this, Rai Pithaura went to the sacrifice in disguise accompanied by 500 picked warriors and after committing great slaughter seized the statue and returned with speed.

prithviraj chauhan and samyogita

The daughter of Jaichand, who was betrothed to another prince, upon hearing this adventurous deed, fell in love with him and refused her suitor. Her father, enraged at her conduct, confined her in a separate palace. When Pithaura received intelligence of this, he was almost distracted with love and rage, and determined to set her at liberty. For this purpose he engaged Chanda, a musician, to go to the court of Jaichand, to sing his celebrations; and Pithaura, with a few chosen men, accompanied as his attendants. By this stratagem Pithaura contrived to carry on a correspondence with the princess, whose heart being predisposed in his favour, easily made her escape with him. The hundred Samants (renowned warriors) who had come with him in different disguises, stood one before another, and defeated the troops of Jaichand. Gobind Roy Gehlot made the first resistance and fell, not till he had slain seven thousand of the enemy. There were slain also, in the first day's battle, of these heroes, Narsingh Deva, Chand, Pundir, Sardhol Salunki, Palhan Deva Kachhwaha and two of his brothers. And the remainder were killed on their way back, after having displayed astonishing feats of bravery. Pithaura and the bride arrived safe at Delhi, attended by Chanda.

Unfortunately the prince was all engrossed by his affection for his beautiful wife and neglected all public affairs. Shahab-ud-din formed an alliance with Raja Jaichand, and, having raised a large army, came to attack the dominions of Pithaura. He possessed himself of many places, but no one dared to acquaint Pithaura of his misfortunes. At length the nobles assembled together and prevailed upon Chanda to make him understand the real state of his affairs. Chanda entered the palace, and arrived at the harem. He then gave the Rai some intimation of the condition of the kingdom. The Rai, vain with the remembrance of his former victories, collected together only a small number of troops, and with these he marched out to attack the Sultan (as his brave champions, were now no more). In the battle which ensued, Rai Pithaura fell into the hands of the Sultan, and was carried prisoner to Ghazni. The faithful Chanda, followed his prince to Ghazni, entered Ghori's service and gained his favour. He discovered the Rai and comforted him in prison. He proposed that he should praise his skill in archery to the Sultan who would desire to witness it. The proposal was carried out and the Rai pierced the Sultan with an arrow. His retainers fell upon the Rai and Chanda and cut them to pieces.

Notes:

Abul Fazl says that Shahab-ud-din Ghori formed an alliance with Raja Jaichand

The story is very touching, it gives the reasons for why Prithviraj was defeated in the battle: After his marriage with Jaichand's daughter, Prithviraj neglected state affairs and indulged himself in sensual pleasures; and, being haughty of his former victory over Ghori, he went to the battle field with only a small number of army.

From the Historical Introduction of James Bird Given in Mirat-i-Ahmadi:


This proud Rajput chief, when brought into the presence of the Sultan, refused to do him homage, by bowing his head before him; but one of the Mohammedan attendants, indignant at the insult offered to his master, seized the fallen monarch, and bent his forehead to the earth. On being asked by the Ghorian, how he would have treated him, had it been his own fate to become a captive, Prithvi Raya replied, that he had prepared golden fetters with which he intended to load his prisoner, had he himself been conqueror; but now that the day was his enemy's he was ready to bear whatever might be inflicted on him. He also advised the Ghorian that, if his desire was to seize on Hindustan, he ought to proceed without delay to do so, as there was no one remaining who possessed power to oppose him; but, that if gold was the thing he fought for, he would present him with as much as his soul might covet. The former replied, that the conquest of the country was his object; and, having carried Prithvi Raya along with him, he advanced against Ajmer, which contained the treasure of the Hindu Prince. Ajmer with several other strongholds in that quarter was subsequently captured.

Surjana Charita of Chandrashekhar: (trans. by Dasharatha Sharma)

Once while Prithviraja was walking in his pleasure-garden he was approached by a maid from Kanyakubja (Kannauj) who began her story in the following style. "The ruler of Kanyakubja has a beautiful daughter named Kantimati (Samyogita). Once, sitting near her father, she heard your fame being sung by bards. Since that time she has thought of none but yourself; her daily recreations have been given up and she is getting leaner and leaner day by day. Finding that her father wished to give her in marriage to someone else, she at last disclosed her secret to a friend of hers, who sent me here to put the whole matter before you."

Prithviraja heard the whole story and then telling the maid that he had already heard of the great beauty and virtues of the Princess, sent her back with the reply that he would very soon be reaching Kanyakubja. Then making his bard the chief of his retinue, Prithviraja entered Kanyakubja in disguise. He acted as a subordinate whenever he went to the court of Jaichand, but in his own camp he behaved as a ruler. On a certain moonlit night Prithviraja went out alone to the banks of the Ganges and finding the fish coming up as his horse drank water, he began throwing them pearls from his necklace. Kantimati saw all this from her window and suspecting that he might be Prithviraja, sent one of her maids to find out the actual facts. If he were a ruler, he would, she thought, as a matter of habit, stretch back his hand to receive more pearls as his own got finished—thinking that he was as usual accompanied by one of his servants. Prithviraja did as was expected, threw all the loose pearls to the fish, and turned back only when he found a pearl-necklace, worn by women coming to his hands. Learning from her that she was a maid of Kantimati, he promised to come back the next day and returned to his camp. Next day, he entered her apartments unnoticed by the doorkeepers, and spent a few hours with her. The forlorn looks of Kantimati so moved him that, coming out of the apartments, he snatched the best horse there from one of the watchmen and putting Kantimati behind himself rushed out for his camp and reached there before the bewildered guards could do anything, His Samants protected his retreat to Delhi; by the time Prithviraja reached his capital most of these Samants had perished in the fight, which they, though only 150 in number, had waged successfully against the numerous army of Jaichand. At Delhi, Prithviraja gave himself up to sensual pleasures. Seven times he captured and released Shahab-ud-din Ghori, but the eighth time Prithviraja was captured and carried to Ghazni where he was blinded. Chand, the bard, who was grateful to him, reached the place after some time and incited him to take revenge. By his various gifts Chand so won over the Sultan that he agreed to try the skill of the Chauhan as an archer. Following the direction of the Sultan's voice, Prithviraja shot him dead through the iron pans, and Chand, who thereafter brought Prithviraja back to Delhi, where he ruled well and successfully for a long period.

Notes:

According to Chandrashekhar, Prithviraj was taken to Ghazni and was blinded. But after killing Ghori, Prithviraj returned to Delhi, where he died.

Prithviraja Vijaya of Jayanaka: (this record is incomplete)

The beef-eating Mlechha, named Ghori, who had captured Garjani (Ghazni), hearing that Prithviraja had vowed to exterminate the Mlechhas, sent an ambassador to Ajmer. The emperor became angry and resolved to lay Ghori's glory to dust. At that time a messenger informs Prithviraja that the Rai of Gujarat has utterly routed Ghori's forces.


Virudha-vidhi-vidhvamsa of Laksmidhara: (trans. by D. C. Ganguly)

Skanda, who, of sharp intellect, was a minister of peace and war to the king Someshwara and was a lion to the elephants in the form of the host of enemies. His son Sodha succeeded to his post. Sodha had two sons named Skanda and Vamana. Prithviraja gave them with delight the posts of the chief councillors, and became happy by making over the command of the army to Skanda. After conferring the post of the minister on Vamana, Skanda, who gave delight to the king, killed the Turuskas (Muslims) continually. When Skanda went to another battle, the king, whose intellect was shrouded by the vice of sleep (for vice and sleep), who, though alive, was as good as dead in battle, was slaughtered by the Turuskas. Then Skanda placed Hariraja over the kingdom of Sakambhari, after a short time, died.

Hammira Mahakavya of Nayachandra Suri:

While Prithviraja was ruling the kingdom, Shahab-ud-din was vigorously trying to subjugate the earth. Suffering greatly at his hands, the kings of the West, lead by Chandraraja, son of Govindaraja, approached Prithviraja and requested to be protected from the attacks of Shahab-ud-din. Prithviraja was filled with anger when he heard the account of the misdeeds of Shahab-ud-din, and set out for Multan with an efficient army. In the battle which ensued, Prithviraja took Shahab-ud-din captive, and was thus enabled to fulfill his vow: for he obliged the haughty Muhammadan on his knees to ask forgiveness of the princes whom he had despoiled. He then released Shahab-ud-din, bestowing on him several gifts. Shahab-ud-din, in order to avenge his defeat seven more times advanced on Prithviraja, but all in vain. When Shahab-ud-din realized that he could not defeat Prithviraja either by force or by the ingenuity of his stratagems, he solicited the aid of the king of Ghataika and thus reinforced, at once captured Delhi. Prithviraja was greatly surprised at this, and said that Shahab-ud-din was acting like a naughty child, for he had already been defeated several times by him, and as often allowed to go unmolested. Prithviraja, elated with his former victories, gathered a small force and advanced to meet the invader.

At night some Mohammedans of Shahab-ud-din's army enter the camp of Prithviraja and seduce the master of the horse and the royal musicians. While the king's followers were preparing to meet their assailants, the disloyal master of the horse, brought forth a horse and the musicians, who began to play music. At this the royal steed began to dance. The king was diverted with this performance for some time, and forgot the important business of the moment. The Muhammadans took advantage of the king's indolence and made a vigorous attack. A Muhammadan took the king unawares from behind, threw his bow round his neck and drew him prostrate to the ground, while other Muhammadans bound him captive. One of Shahab-ud-din's people remarked that it would be becoming on his part to release Prithviraja, who had several times taken him captive and then dismissed him with honours. But Shahab-ud-din, who became angry hearing this, ordered that Prithviraja should be taken to the fortress. A few days after this Prithviraja breathed his last and went to heaven.

Notes:

Nayachandra Suri also confirms that  Prithviraj went to the 2nd battle with only a small army.

According to this story, Ghori formed alliance with king of Ghataika

Prithviraj Raso of Chand Bardai:

When Kamdhaj Raya aided by Vijayapal Rathore of Kannauj invaded Delhi, Anangpal Tomar, the king of Delhi, requested the help of Someshwara Chauhan. Someshwara thereupon marched to the aid of Anangpal and won the victory. Anangpal married his younger daughter Kamalavati to Someshwara and simultaneously his eldest daughter to Vijayapal of Kannauj. Later Anangpal made over the kingdom of Delhi to Prithviraj, son of Kamalavati. Hearing of the chivalrous stories of Prithviraj, Samyogita, the daughter of Jaichand fell secretly in love with him and started a secret correspondence with him. Her father soon came to know about this. He arranged a Swayamwara, in which he invited all Rajas and princes, but deliberately ignored Prithiviraj. To add insult to injury, he made a statue of Prithiviraj and kept him as a doorman. Prithviraj got to know of this and he confided his plans to his lover. On the said day, Samyogita passed all the princes and put the garland on the statue of Prithiviraj. Prithiviraj who was hiding behind the statue, in the garb of a doorman, whisked her away and put her up on his steed to make a fast getaway to his capital at Delhi. In the following battle with Jaichand, as many as 64 of Prithviraj's generals were killed. The bravery of the young general Dhirasen Pundir in the struggle with Jaichand attracted Prithviraj's attention, who favoured him most. At this, his veteran generals became jealous and carried on intrigues with Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghori. Shahab-ud-din eventually won a victory and Prithviraj was carried to Ghazni, where he was blinded. Chanda, hastened to Ghazni, entered Shahab-ud-din's service and gained his favour. When Ghori announced a game of archery, Prithviraj also participated. Chand Bardai provided Prithviraj with an aural indication of where Ghori was seated. Prithviraj thus shot Ghori and after that he was killed by Ghori's followers.

Notes:

Kamdhaj Raya is a fictitious name. The name of Jaichand's father was Vijayachandra.

There was no king named Anangpal in Delhi at the time of Someshwara. Someshwara's third ancestor Vigraharaja IV or Visaladeva, the king of Ajmer, had conquered Delhi from the Tomaras in 1163-64. Delhi was under the Chauhans of Ajmer since the time of Visaladeva.

In Prithvirajavijaya and Hammira Mahakavya, the name of Prithviraj's mother is mentioned as Karpuradevi, a princess of Tripuri.

None of the inscriptions of Jaichand contains any reference to his having celebrated a grand ceremony as the Rajasuya or Swayamwara. Neither the Prithviraja Vijaya nor the Hammira Mahakavya mention Prithviraj's elopement with Jaichand's daughter. Both the poems also do not mention the involvement of Jaichand in inviting Muhammad Ghori.

Prithviraja Prabandha of Jinvijay: (trans. by Dasharatha Sharma)

Prithviraja defeated, captured and released the ruler of Ghazni seven times. Prithviraja had two ministers: Kaimasa and Pratapasimha. Instigated by Pratapasimha, Prithviraja killed Kaimasa. He put Pratapasimha's cousin into prison, and this turned the minister against him. Prithviraja's capture in the last battle was due to mean suggested by Pratapasimha. When Prithviraja was captured, the minister, approached him and said, "My lord, what can be done? All this has happened as the result of fate". The Raja said "If you give me my bow and arrows, I shall kill the Sultan". Pratapasimha assented and going to the Sultan informed him of Prithviraja's intention. The Sultan had a metal statue of himself put on his usual seat. Pratapasimha gave the bow to Prithviraja. He shot an arrow and the statue fell divided into two pieces. The king threw off the bow, saying "My task has not been accomplished; somebody else has been killed". Then the Sultan had the king thrown into a pit filled with stones, and thus killed. According to Prithviraja Prabandha, Jaichand had his capital illumined when he heard of the news of Prithviraja's death.

Prabandha Chintamani of Merutunga Acharya:

Prithviraja repulsed from his city thrice seven times the king of the Mlecchas, but nevertheless that very king came for the 22nd time to the capital of Prithviraja, and encamped there with his formidable army. But that army was driven away by the arrows of the valiant bowmen of Prithviraja's army, and then Prithviraja went in pursuit of it. A minister named Someshwara tried to dissuade him, but the king, supposing that he favoured the enemy, cut off his ears. Someshwara was incensed against the king on account of that cruel outrage, so he repaired to the king of the Mlecchas, and made him trust him by revealing to them that insult, and then led them into the neighbourhood of Prithviraja's camp. Prithviraja was sleeping, and when a furious combat took place between the his troops and the Mlechhas (Musalmans); he was so sleepy that he was easily put in chains by them, and taken to the Sultan's palace. The guards asked him, "Do you still have any heroic vigour left in you?" Prithviraja said, "If I manage to return to my own palace, I will show you my strength". The guards informed Ghori, who, being eager to behold Prithviraja's valour, took him to his own capital; but when he was about to reinstate him as sovereign in his own palace, he saw there in the picture-gallery, Musalmans represented as being slain by pigs. Ghori was exceedingly incensed at this insult, and he put Prithviraja to death by cutting off his head with an axe.

Notes:

According to Prabandha Chintamani, Ghori had no intention to rule over Delhi. He was about to reinstate Prithviraj on the throne of Delhi, may be as a tributary ruler.

On the basis of Prabandha Chintamani, Dasharatha Sharma thinks that Prithviraj ruled for a short time as a vassal of Muhammad Ghori, and the unique 'bull and horseman' coin bearing the names of both Prithviraj and Muhammad Bin Sam [Muhammad Ghori], may have been minted during that period.

Comments