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Establishment and Expansion of the Delhi Sultanate

First Battle of Tarain

The First Battle of Tarain (Taraori) was fought between Sultan Mohammad Ghoriand Prithviraj Chauhan in 1191 near the town of Tarain in Haryana. The army of Mohammed Ghori was defeated by the Rajput army of Chauhan. The Western Punjab was already annexed by Mohammed Ghori. The provinces of Eastern Punjab were within the control of Prithviraj Chauhan.  As an initial step, Mohammed Ghori stormed the strategic fortress of Bathinda, which was situated within the dominion of Prithviraj Chauhan.

The fall of the fortress of Bathinda awakened Prithviraj to the gravity of the strong Mohammed’s invasion. He promised revenge and set out with an army against Mohammed. The Rajput army completely dominated the battle. In the first battle of Tarain in 1191 A.D, Prithviraj routed the Gurid army by the prowess of his arms.

Mohammed Ghori was badly injured and fled from the battleground. The victory at Tarain was the last flicker of the extinguishing lamp of Hindu valor. Prithviraj followed up his success by taking possession of the fort of Bathinda from the invaders.

Second Battle of Tarain

The Second Battle of Tarian (Taraori) was again fought between Ghurid army of Mohammed Ghori and Rajput army of Prithviraj Chauhan. The battle took place in 1192 A.D near Tarain. In this battle, Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated by Mohammed Ghori.

We know that in the First Battle of Tarian, Mohammed Ghori had lost the battle. After the defeat, Mohammed Ghori further prepared to strengthen his position. He reappeared in 1192 A.D. in Punjab at the head of an army of one hundred and twenty thousand men, for the conquest of Hindustan.

This time, Mohammed Ghori had prepared his plans and strategy in advance. Mohammed recaptured Bathinda and reached the field of Tarain without meeting any serious opposition on the way. Meanwhile, Prithviraj formed a confederacy of several Hindu kings. He was aware that this time his Turkish adversary came well prepared to win victory.

Prithviraj Chauhan blocked the passage of Mohammed Ghori in the field of Tarain. Skanda, the veteran general of Prithviraj and the hero of the first battle of Tarain was engaged in warfare elsewhere and failed to lend support to his master. In the battle that followed, Mohammed entirely routed the Hindu army by his superior generalship and tactics. Prithviraj Chauhan was imprisoned and executed.

The Second Battle of Tarain 1192 A.D. destroyed the imperial power of the Chauhan Dynasty.  The subsequent attempts of the Hindu kings to resist the Muslim tide proved futile. Muslim power was strongly founded in Northern India after the battle. Thus the Second battle of Tarain 1192 A.D. may be regarded as a turning point in India’s history.

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