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The Turkish Conquest

The Muslim conquest of India from 1175 to 1340 AD. The causes for their conquest though various, the major reason was the spread of Islam.  The Muslim dominated Kabul, the Punjab, and Sindh, before intruding in to India. The first attempt to enter the Indian territory was determined by the circumstances leading  to the invasion of Sindh. The wealth in India lured the Muslim rulers. Further the inter-rivalry between the kingdoms in India  paved the way for their entry in to India. The immediate cause of Muslim intervention is said to be plundering of some ships which carried costly gifts from the king of Ceylon for the Khalifa, near the port of Debal by sea pirates. The Hindu ruler of the Sindh, Raja Dahir was asked to compensate for this by the Governor of Iraq. The refusal to comply with this demand for the reason that the port was not under his control infuriated the Governor who sent two expeditions to defeat the  Raja . But both the attempts  to defeat the Raja failed. This further infuriated the governor who sent his son-in law Muhammad-bin-Qasim in 711AD with a large army to conquer Sindh. In 712 AD Raja Dahir was defeated and put to death. Sindh, Multan  and Kannauj were conquered.

The next invasion by the Turks who opposed the authority of the Khalifas was by Alaptagin. He had established himself in Khorasan and extended upto Kabul and Ghazni. He was succeeded by one of his slave Sabuktagin. In 986 AD he came into conflict with Raja Jaipal of Bathinda. In 991 AD Raja Jaipal allied with other Hindu king including Rajyapala the Prathira king of Kannauj and Dhanga the ruler of the distant Chandela kingdom to avenge his defeat. The allies were defeated , Peshwar and Kurram valley came under Muslim influence.

Mahmud of Ghazni

The elder son of Sabuktagin, Mahmud of Ghazni assumed the throne in 997 AD. He was very conscious of the wealth he could achieve from further conquests into India. He was also a religious fanatic who aimed to spread Islam. At the eve of Mahmud's invasion there existed no strong power to confront  his military might. There existed numerous kingdoms who were involved in quarrelling and fighting with each other. Mahmud is said to have invaded India seventeen times. His first raid dates to 1001 AD. In course of his second expedition he defeated Jaipal. In 1004 AD he invaded and captured Bhera. In 1006 AD he captured Multan. In 1008 AD he invaded again and captured Multan. Anandapal, the son of Jaipal continued the struggle against Mahmud . Having allied with the ruler of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kannauj, Delhi and Ajmer he posed a serious threat to Mahmud's army. But unfortunately Anandapal had to ceed to the Muslim army.

In 1009AD Mahmud attacked the fortress of Kangra or Bhimnagar and accumulated vast treasures. In 1013AD Mahmud reduced the honour of the Hindushahi Kingdom by their defeat. In the year 1014AD Mahmud invaded Thaneshwar and acquired more wealth from the temples. In 1018 Mahmud led an expedition against Kannauj and succeeded its ruler's willingness to convert to Islam. Mathura was also invaded and its magnificient temple was burnt. In 1021-22 AD Mahmud invaded Gwalior, Kashmir and Lahore. The ruler of Kalinjar and Gwalior combined and invaded Kannauj and killed its ruler Rajayapala. In the conflict that resulted Mahmud looted the wealth of Kalinjar and went back to Ghazni.

In 1025AD Mahmud invaded Somnath and looted its temple on the coast of Saurashtra or Kathiwar. Enormous treasure of the fortified temple was looted. In 1026AD he invaded Punjab. His last invasion was in about 1027 AD. He died in 1030AD.

The invasion of Mahmud opened the way for the future Muslim adventures in India. The repeated success of Mahmud was an eye opener for the Muslim thirst for consolidating themselves politically, economically and to promote their religious outlook. The status of Ghazni grew to a big empire. The next important Muslim ruler who had made hisi nfluence in Indian history known was Muhammad Ghori. Muhammad Ghori is said to have invaded India seven times. The Ghurs who originally belonged to Persia. After the downfall of the rule of Ghazni in the 12th century. The credit for the destruction of Ghazni goes to Alauddin. Ghiyas-ud-din of Ghur wrested Ghazni from the Turks and gave the power of consolidating the empire to his brother Sahabuddin. He was known as Mohammad Ghori. 

Mohammad Ghori

Mohammad Ghori invaded Multan in about 1175-76AD.  In 1178 he attempted the conquest of Gujarat. He was strongly resisted by Bhimdev II who inflicted a crushing defeat on him in 1178 AD.In 1179 he conquered Peshwar and annexed Lahore. In 1186 AD Mohammad Ghori deposed Khusru Malik, the last prince in the generation of Sabuktgin and Mahmud and after occupying Punjab kept himself in a strong position in the Indus region.

In 1191AD Mohammad Ghori met Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the first battle of Tarain. Here unlike the separate independent forces which Mohammad met in his previous campaigns. He had to face combined armies of Prithviraj, the Chauhan ruler of Ajmer and Delhi. Mohammad Ghori was severely wounded and outnumbered. He was defeated and left the battle-field.

In the very next year in 1192 AD  both the armies met again at Tarain. This time Mohammad cleverly out did Prithvi Raj Chauhan. The gateway to Delhi was opened.

In 1194 AD Mohammad Ghori invaded and defeated the ruler of Kannauj. He occupied Benares. Mohammad Ghori had left Qutab-ud-din Aibek who was a slave from Turkistan in charge of the Indian affairs. In 1193 Qutab-ud-din Aibek occupied Delhi and he joined Mohammad Ghori's invasion on Kannauj whose ruler Jaichand was defeated and killed. Gwallior and Anhilwara the capital of Gujarat besides Ajmer was also occupied by 1197 AD. Qutab-ud-din's general Muhammad Khilji successfully plundered and conquered the fort of Bihar in 1193 AD. In about 1199-1202AD Muhammad Khilji brought Lakshmana Sena the ruler of Bengal under his authority. In 1203 Qutab-ud-din Aibek conquered Bundelkhand. Mohammad Ghori died in 1206AD.