Real Story Of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan’s Life

Prithviraj Chauhan

“Char bans, Chaubis gaj, angul ashta praman.

Ta upar Sultan hai, chuke mat Chauhan.”

Chandar Bardai

These words were said to the unsighted King Prithviraj Chauhan by his courtier poet and his friend, Chand Bardai gave the hint of aiming the arrow toward Mohammad Ghori of Ghazna. Chand Bardai has recorded this valor of the great king of India Prithviraj Chauhan in his poem ‘Prithviraj Raso’. Apart from Prithviraj Raso, many chronicles reflect the greatness of Prithviraj Chauhan.

Childhood and Coronation

Prithviraj was born on the 12th month of the Jyestha month. Historians don’t have an exact date but according to the planetary positions, the astrologists feel that he was born in 1166 CE to the Chahamana dynasty’s Raja Someshwara and Rani Karpura Devi. According to Chand Bardai, Prithviraj knew 14 languages and he was an expert in fields ranging from philosophy to medicine. He was known for his excellent military skills.

He had gained this title from his childhood because like Raja Dashrath, Eklavya, Arjun, and other great archers, even he could aim the arrow just by listening to a sound. After Prithviraj II’s death when Prithviraj Chauhan’s father Someshwar was declared the king of Ajmer, at that time he shifted from Gujarat to Rajasthan. At around the age of 11, Prithviraj Chauhan had to scatter the ashes of his father and along with his mother and court ministers, had to handle the throne.

He had extended a kingdom from Sthanvishvara in the north to Mewar in the south. Along with the kingdom’s Chief Minister and Karpura Devi’s uncle, young Prithviraj started extending his empire from Ajmer to the whole of India. It was after 3 years of his coronation, that he started handling the administration of his kingdom in 1180 CE.

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Chauhan’s Early Military Rivalries

Prithviraj Chauhan

After Raja Someshwara’s death the coronation of Prithviraj Chauhan,

started prickling his own family. Someshwara’s brother Vigraharaja IV’s Nagarjun didn’t agree at all with Prithviraj sitting on the throne of Ajmer. He revolted against the same by getting hold of the fort at Gudapura only to be suppressed by the new mighty king of Ajmer. Slowly, all the small rulers started integrating under the Chahaman dynasty and they won over those who didn’t want to shake hands with Prithviraj.

Among the rivals, one of them was Kannauj’s Gahadavalas. Kannauj’s king Jayachand wanted to capture the Rajput king and his kingdoms and that is why he tried to own ‘Rajsuya Yagya’. According to this Yagya, a king gets the title of an emperor and his kingdom starts seeing him as a God.

But Prithviraj disagreed with his plan of Jayachand. He refused to accept him as his to-be-emperor and that is why a rift was created between both of them. Remember this rift between them because going forward, in Prithviraj Chauhan’s life, this becomes a critical part.

Chauhan’s Biggest Rivalry

All this while, Afghanistan’s Mohammad Ghori had captured Multan in 1178 CE and had attempted to invade the Chalukya kingdom that extended from Gujarat and the northern part of Rajasthan. The Chalukya kingdom defeated Ghori, but after some years, they captured Peshawar, Sindh, and Punjab residing in the west of the Chahamana kingdom and were successful in making their military base camp from Ghazna, Afghanistan to Punjab.

Ghori’s increasing terrorism had reached Prithviraj’s court in the form of an ambassador. He wanted to shake hands with Prithviraj Chauhan but he recognized his evil intentions and Prithviraj Chauhan refused this offer.

The First Battle of Taraori

In 1190 CE, Ghori captured Bhatinda which was a major part of Prithviraj’s kingdom. Just as violent invasions started increasing, Prithviraj’s Delhi representative called the king himself to fight this evil. Ghori captured Bhatinda and gave it to Tulak’s Qazi, Zia-ud-din. When Mohammad Ghori was giving Bhatinda, this news reached Prithviraj Chauhan so he formed an army and marched in that direction. Both the armies battled each other in Thanesar’s Taraori.

In this battle, Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Mohammad Ghori, and once again after 13 months, he was in control of Bhatinda. Ghori was taken to the capital Pithoragarh and he was kept in jail there. He had only one way to escape from there, which was to beg for mercy in front of Prithviraj Chauhan and this is exactly what he did. Even when Chand Bardai refused, Prithviraj Chauhan released him with a big heart just to see him attack his territory again and again. Historically, there have been only two battles between Mohammad Ghori and Prithviraj Chauhan. According to Chand Bardai’s poems, there were in total, 17 attacks, that Mohammad Ghori did on Prithviraj Chauhan.

Rajkumari Sanyogita

When Kannauj’s princess, heard about these brave episodes of Prithviraj Chauhan, at that time, both her heart and mind were captured. One day, Prithviraj’s court painter, showed Kannauj’s princess his painting,

and after returning from there, he showed Sanyogita’s painting to Prithviraj and this is how they fell in love. But, this blooming love story wasn’t accepted by the princess’ father.

Do you remember Raja Jayachand who wanted to do ‘Rajsuya Yagya’s? Yes, the one who Prithviraj had refused to be his to-be-emperor. Sanyogita was Jayachand’s daughter. When Jayachand got to know this blooming love of Sanyogita at that time, he organized Sanyogita’s Swayamwar just to humiliate Prithviraj Chauhan. Many noble kings had come to Kannauj to ask for Sanyogita’s hand but, Prithviraj Chauhan wasn’t invited for this. If this humiliation wasn’t enough, Jayachand kept a statue of Prithviraj Chauhan outside his court just to indicate that he was his doorman.

When Sanyogita got to know that Prithviraj wasn’t called for the Swayamwar, at that time she wrote a letter in which she said, that she has already accepted herself as the wife of Prithviraj Chauhan. After reading this letter, Prithviraj Chauhan went toward Kannauj. Just as the Swayamwar started, everyone was shocked because leaving all the noble kings behind, Sanyogita took the varmala and rand towards the door because the person who had her heart was at the door in the form of a statue. But little did she know, that behind the statue, the real Prithviraj Chauhan was hiding.

Prithviraj challenged Jayachand to take away his daughter who was now his wife. After hearing this, Jayachand started shaking with anger but at that time, he couldn’t do anything because, at that time, there was the whole army of Prithviraj Chauhan.

Jayachand Avenges His Insult

The enemy of my enemy is my friend We’ve heard this line many times and this is exactly what Jayachand did with Prithviraj Chauhan he went and shook hands with Mohammad Ghori who had been defeated by Prithviraj Chauhan 16 times. Mohammad Ghori took this as an opportunity

to attack Prithviraj Chauhan for the 17th time thinking that this would be the final one. Jayachand provided Ghori with military support and with Turkish soldiers, Ghori again came to Taraori where Prithviraj Chauhan and his army were waiting for him.

In this war, they lost which resulted in him as a prisoner in Ghor of Afghanistan. Chand Bardai has said in Prithviraj Raso that the reason for this defeat was his marriage. He was so in love with his wife Sanyogita that he had left paying attention to state affairs.

Final Days

Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in a war but he couldn’t defeat the patriot inside him because in Ghor’s prison, Prithviraj refused to kneel in front of Mohammad Ghori and when this happened,

hot iron was put in his eyes. Chand Bardai reached Afghanistan to meet his king and even he was made a prisoner there.

One day, Chand Bardai heard the soldiers there say that Mohammad Ghori is planning to organize a game of ‘Tirandaaji’ in his court. Taking advantage of this, Bardai told Sultan Ghori that Prithviraj Chauhan will also take part in this game. Ghori couldn’t control his laughter because he thought how can a blind king who turned into a prisoner, would shoot arrows. But he didn’t know that Prithviraj Chauhan is not an ordinary archer, but the one who focuses on sound.

On the day of the game, Chand Bardai requested Ghori that gives the order of aiming the arrow. Ghori took pride in this, not knowing what lay ahead. Just as Ghori gave the order to shoot the arrow, at that time, to take the revenge for his defeat, Prithviraj Chauhan shot the arrow right at Mohammad Ghori and Mohammad Ghori was dead at exactly the place where he said to shoot the arrow from. After that, Chand Bardai and Prithviraj Chauhan attacked themselves and saved themselves from dying at the hands of enemies. And in such a way, ended Chand Bardai’s poem ‘Prithviraj Raso’.

Discrepancies In The Epic

But, many scholars say that if Chand Bardai and Prithviraj Chauhan died together then how did Chand Bardai end his Prithviraj Raso? For this, many people also say that Chand Bardai’s son witnessed this whole event 

and he was the one who completed it. But this version, with the beautiful storytelling, and political, military, and social economics, the structure of poetic depiction is very popular in India. And it is being passed on from one generation to another.

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