Invasion of Ghazni Mohammed:
Until the rise of the west, India was possibly the richest country in the
world. Such acountry presented an irresistible target for the ravening
Mongols and their descendentswho settled in present day
Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan
all withincomparatively easy reach of north-western India.
The northwest was, at this time, a mish-mash of warring kingdoms,
more interested insending scores with their neighbours than in unifying
against the Mongols. It is thenunsurprising that Mahmud Ghaznavi's
armies so handily defeated those of the Indiankings.
Born in 971 AD,
was the eldest son of
the king of Ghazni (in present day Afghanistan). When Subuktagin
attacked King Jaipala of Punjab,Mahmud fought for his father in the
Though Mahmud was the eldest son of his father, it is said that in his
last days,Subuktagin was not happy with Mahmud. So, when Subuktagin
died in 997 AD, hisyounger son Ismail became the king of Ghazni. Ismail
reigned only for a little time. Verysoon, Mahmud defeated him and
became the king.
Mahmud began a series of seventeen raids into northwestern India at
the end of the 10th century. Nonetheless, he did not attempt to rule
Territory exceptfor Punjab, which was his gateway to India.
His first expedition was directed against the frontier towns in 1000 AD.
His second expedition was against Jaipala, the
Hindushahi king of Punjab whomhe defeated in the First
Battle of Waihind. Jaipala could not survive the shock of humiliation and
he burnt himself to death.
He was succeeded by his son,Anandpala in 1002 AD.
In his sixth expedition, Mahmud defeated Anandpala in the II
Battle of Waihind(1008). Anandpala had organized a confederacy of
rulers of Ujjain, Gwalior,Kalinjar, Kannauj, Delhi and Ajmer, but the
alliance was defeated.
In his other expeditions, Mahmud plundered Nagarkot,
Thaneshwar, Kannauj,Mathura and Somnath.
His sixteenth expedition was the plunder of Somnath temple (dedicated
to Shiva)in 1025 AD, situated on the sea coast of Kathiarwar.
After looting the Somnath temple, when Mahmud was going back to
Ghazni, theJats had attacked his army. So, to punish the Jats, he
returned and defeated themin 1026.
The objective of Mahmud's expeditions was to plunder the riches of
temples and palaces and was not interested in expanding his empire to
However, he later annexed Punjab and made it a part of his kingdom,
just to have easy access.
He patronized 3 persons:a.
Firdausi (Persian poet, known asHomer of the east) who wrote
Alberuni (a brilliant scholar from Central Asia) who wrote Tahqiq-I-
Utbi (court historian), who wrote Kitab-ud-Yamni