Who was Prithviraj Chauhan?

Prithviraj Chauhan: Prithviraja III was also known as Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora. He was a ruler of the Chauhan (Chahamana) dynasty. He established the strongest kingdom in Rajasthan. He was a brilliant and quick learner of military skills. Even he had the skill to hit the target only on the basis of sound.

The Prithviraj movie trailer has been released in which Akshay Kumar plays Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan and the movie is all about patriotism and bravery. The trailer was loaded with heavy-duty dialogue and dollops of histrionics. It is Yash Raj Films and will again give the audience a great experience of a historical drama. The supporting cast includes Sanjay Dutt, Sonu Sood, etc. In the trailer, Manushi Chhillar gets a decent amount of screen time and looks enchanting as the wife of Prithiviraj Chauhan as Sanyogita. Actor Manav Vij plays the role of Muhammad Ghori. The movie is written and directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi.

Prithviraj Chauhan: Early Life

According to various sources, he was born to a king of Chahamana, Someshvara, and his mother was Queen Karpuradevi, who was a Kalachuri Princesse. As per Prithviraja Vijaya, he was born on the 12th day of the Jyeshtha month. In the text, the year of his birth is not mentioned but provides some of the astrological planetary positions at the time of his birth. Based on these positions, Dasharatha Sharma calculated the year of his birth as 1166 CE. Some of the medieval biographies suggest that he was also well-educated. Prithviraja Vijaya states that he knows 6 languages, and on the other hand, Prithviraj Raso claims that he has learned 14 languages. Raso also mentioned that he became well-versed in various subjects like history, mathematics, medicine, military painting, etc. And both the texts state that he was proficient in archery.

Prithviraj Chauhan’s Reign and Battles

Prithviraj ascended the throne in about 1177, and the young prince inherited a kingdom that stretched from Sthanvishvara (Thanesar) in the north to Mewar in the south. Sthanvishvara (Thanesar) was once the capital of the 7th-century ruler Harsha. In a few years, he assumed control over the administration. Shortly after taking power, the first rebellion he faced was from his cousin named Nagarjuna, who asserted his own claim to the throne. The revolt was crushed by Prithiviraj and then he turned his attention to the nearby kingdom of the Bhadanakas.

Prithviraj defeated Parmardin Deva Chandela, ruler of Jejakbhukti, in 1182. Prithviraj’s reputation was also enhanced through the campaign against the Chandelas and also added various enemies. The Chandelas and Gahadavalas were united and forced Prithviraja to increase military expenditures and vigilance on his southeastern frontier.

He also came into conflict with Jayachandra, the Gahadavala ruler of Kannauj. Jayachandra wanted to curb the growing ambitions and quest for territorial expansion of Prithviraj Chauhan. The love story of Prithviraj and his enemy Jayachandra’s daughter, Samyukta, is very famous. The eventual abduction (with her acquiescence) has been immortalized in Chand Bardai’s epic Prithviraj Raso. The event is believed to have occurred after the first battle of Taraori in 1191 and probably before the second battle of Taraori in 1192. But the episode of Sanyogita remains a matter of debate.

Prithviraj Chauhan became famous as a romantic and dashing general. At that time, Muhammad Ghuri of Ghur (Ghowr, in present-day Afghanistan) was trying to assert his authority in northern India. And for this, he wanted to consolidate his empire by acquiring Sindh, Multan, and Punjab to supplement his dominions of Ghazna and Ghur. Muhammad Ghuri annexed Bathinda at the end of 1190. Bathinda formed a part of Prithviraja’s empire. The border raids by Muhammad Gur increased in force and intensity, so the representatives of Chauhan in Delhi requested assistance from Prithviraj, and as a result, Prithviraj immediately marched against Muhammad Ghuri.

In 1191, both armies met at Taraori (now in Haryana state) which was about 70 miles north of Delhi. In the fierce battle, Muhammad Ghuri was seriously injured, and his forces withdrew in disarray. Muhammad Ghur raised a stronger army, including Persians, Afghans, and Turks. And so, in 1192, he advanced again on Taraori.

In the battle, Muhammad Ghuri used mounted archers to harass Prithviraj’s front lines. Prithviraj’s army was destroyed by heavy cavalry. As a result, Prithviraj’s host was routed. He fled from the battleground but was overtaken and captured a short distance from the site of the battle. The king and several of his generals were executed, and this collapse in northern India gave rise to Muslim control within a generation.

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