Muhammad Ghoris Indian Campaigns After 1192 - An Overview

Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghori, also known as Muiz-ud-din Muhammad Bin Sam, while acting as the lieutenant of his brother Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghori, led many expeditions to Hindustan between 1175 and 1205.

In an earlier post, we explored Muhammad Ghori's Indian campaigns until the year 1192.


During the Second battle of Tarain in 1192, Ghori emerged victorious over Prithviraj Chauhan, capturing several territories such as Siwalik, Hansi, Kuhram (Ghuram), Samana and Sarsuti.

Following his victory, Ghori executed Prithviraj Chauhan and appointed his son Gola as the ruler of Ajmer on the payment of a tribute.

After this, Ghori led his army towards Delhi. Hasan Nizami notes that there was a huge fortress at Delhi which "which in height and strength had not its equal nor second throughout the length and breadth of the seven climes". Ghori and his troops set up camp near the fort, and the successor of Govind Rai, the late Raja of Delhi, submitted to Ghori's authority and agreed to pay tribute. In exchange, he was allowed to retain his position.

Before returning to Ghazni, Ghori appointed his slave, Qutub-ud-din Aibak, as the Viceroy in Hind, with the fort of Kuhram as his capital (1192-1206). Isami notes that Kuhram was strategically chosen as the capital because it allowed for an assault on every district.

In the same year, Aibak successfully quelled the rebellion of Jatwan, a leader of the Jat tribes, who had laid siege to Hansi. Jatwan was defeated and killed.

Under Aibak's leadership, Muhammad Ghori's Indian empire began to expand. Aibak conquered Meerut and then defeated the successor of Govind Rai to take control of Delhi. He then made Delhi his capital in late 1192.

Aibak's next conquest was Kol (Aligarh).

In 1193, Muhammad Ghori led his army back to India, marching towards Kannauj, where Jai Chand Gahadavala, the king of Kannauj and Banares, opposed him with a large army and 300 elephants. The two forces clashed at Chandwar, in Uttar Pradesh, resulting in Jai Chand's defeat and death. Ghori then seized the fort of Asni, where Raja Jai Chand had stored his treasure.

Afterward, Ghori marched towards Varanasi (Banares) and destroyed a large number of temples.

Aibak curbed the rebellion of Hariraja, the brother of the late Prithviraj Chauhan, in a series of engagements. Hariraja had expelled his nephew from Ajmer and ruled there for a period of time. Finally, Ajmer was taken, and Aibak appointed a Muhammadan Governor there. Gola was granted Ranthambore, which later became the capital of the Chauhans.


While Aibak was away from Delhi, the former Rai (the successor of Govind Rai) attempted to retake Delhi. However, the Rai was taken prisoner and executed.

In 1195, Ghori captured Thangar (Bayana), the capital of the Jadon Bhatti Rajputs. The ruler, Kumarapala, retreated to the fort of Thangar, but was ultimately forced to surrender. Ghori placed Bayana under the command of his slave Baha-ud-din Tughril, who built the town of Sultankut at Bayana and made it his capital.

Ghori then proceeded to lay siege to the fort of Gwalior. Sulakshanapala, the Raja of Gwalior, accepted Ghori's suzerainty. Ghori then ordered Tughril to take over the fortress and returned to Ghazni. However, it was Qutub-ud-din Aibak who ultimately gained possession of Gwalior.

In 1196, the Mhers tribe, with the help of Rai Bhim Dev Solanki of Nahrwala (also known as Anhilwara and Patan), attempted to overthrow the Turkish power in Ajmer. Aibak, with reinforcements from Ghazni, successfully quelled the rebellion. He then marched against Nahrwala, sacked the city, and took vengeance for Ghoris defeat in 1178. Aibak returned to Delhi with a large amount of booty.

In 1198, Aibak occupied Kannauj.

In 1202, Aibak took Kalinjar, the capital of the Chandela king, Paramardi Deva. Kalpi (Mahoba) and Budaun were also taken in the same year.

In 1203, Ghias-ud-din Ghori passed away, and Muhammad Ghori ascended to the throne of the Ghurid empire.

Ghori's Last Campaign in Hindustan:

The army of Khwarezm Shah, Ala al-Din Muhammad ibn Tekish, supported by the Qara Khitai Turks under Tayangu of Taraz and Sultan Usman Khan of Samarqand, dealt a devastating blow to Muhammad Ghori at Andhkhud. Ghori barely escaped with his life and returned to Ghazni, but news of his defeat quickly spread, causing a wave of enemies to rise up against him.

Near Lahore, the Khokar hill tribe, led by chiefs Bakan and Sarki, declared their independence and rose in rebellion. Raisal, the lord of Mount Judi (Salt Range) and others in the region pledged their allegiance to the Khokars and blocked the road to Ghazni from Lahore.

Upon learning of this, Ghori ordered Qutub-ud-din Aibak to call for their obedience, but the Khokars refused to listen to his envoy. Therefore, Ghori ordered Aibak to gather troops to fight against them.

In April 1205, Ghori arrived in Ghazni and ordered his army to prepare for war with the Khitai. However, he also received reports of the increasing power of the Khokars and their disruption of the roads between the rivers Sodhra (Chenab) and Jhelum.

Determined to take action, Ghori personally led an army against the Khokars. Departing from Ghazni in October, he marched towards the region between Jhelum and Chenab, where he engaged in a fierce battle with the Khokars. As the battle raged on, Aibak arrived on the scene with his Indian troops. The Khokars and their allies fled, with many being killed and others committing jauhar. Raisal was pardoned, and the fort of Judi was captured. Lahore was recovered.