Prithviraj Chauhan Biography

(Rajput king of the Chauhan dynasty)

Born: 1149

Born In: Ajmer

Prithviraj Chauhan was a Rajput king who ruled the kingdoms of Ajmer and Delhi in northern India in 12th century; he was one of the last independent Hindu kings to sit upon the throne of Delhi. Also known as Rai Pithora, he was a Rajput king hailing from the Chauhan dynasty. Born as the son of Someshwar Chauhan, the king of Ajmer, Prithviraj started displaying signs of his greatness at an early age. He was a very brave and intelligent child blessed with sharp military skills. Even as a young boy he could accurately hit targets only on the basis of its sounds. After the death of his father in a battle in 1179, Prithviraj Chauhan succeeded the throne. He ruled over the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi which he had received from his maternal grandfather, Arkpal or Anangpal III of the Tomara dynasty. As the king he set out on several campaigns to expand his territories and became well-known as a valiant and courageous warrior. His battles with Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori are especially well-known as is the story of his elopement with Sanyukta, the daughter of Raja Jaichand of Kannauj.
Quick Facts

Died At Age: 43


Spouse/Ex-: Samyukta

father: Someshwar Chauhan

mother: Kamaladevi

Emperors & Kings Indian Men

Died on: 1192

place of death: Taraori

Cause of Death: Execution

  • 1

    What role did Prithviraj Chauhan play in Indian history?

    Prithviraj Chauhan was a prominent ruler of the Chahamana dynasty who ruled parts of present-day Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi in the 12th century.

  • 2

    How did Prithviraj Chauhan come to power?

    Prithviraj Chauhan ascended to the throne of Ajmer at a young age after his father, Someshvara, was killed in battle. He later expanded his kingdom through military conquests.

  • 3

    What was the famous battle between Prithviraj Chauhan and Muhammad Ghori?

    The First Battle of Tarain in 1191, was a significant conflict between Prithviraj Chauhan and Muhammad Ghori, where Prithviraj emerged victorious.

  • 4

    What led to Prithviraj Chauhan's defeat in the Second Battle of Tarain?

    Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192, due to a tactical error when he released Ghori after capturing him in the first battle, allowing Ghori to regroup and launch a successful counterattack.

  • 5

    What is Prithviraj Chauhan's legacy in Indian history?

    Prithviraj Chauhan is remembered as a brave and valiant warrior who fiercely resisted foreign invasions, particularly against Muhammad Ghori, showcasing his patriotism and commitment to protecting his kingdom.

Childhood & Early Life
Prithviraj Chauhan was born in 1149 as the son of Someshwar Chauhan, the king of Ajmer, and Karpuri Devi.
He grew up to be an intelligent, brave and courageous young man. This impressed his maternal grandfather, Arkpal or Anangpal III of the Tomara dynasty, who named him as his heir.
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Ascension & Reign
Someshwar Chauhan died in a battle in 1179 and Prithviraj succeeded him as the king and ruled from the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi. Upon becoming the king he set out on several campaigns in order to expand his territories.
His initial campaigns were against the smaller states of Rajasthan which he easily conquered. Then he launched an expedition against the Chandelas of Khajuraho and Mahoba. He was successful in defeating the Chandelas and was able to acquire significant booty from this campaign.
In 1182 he launched an attack on the Chaulakyas of Gujarat. The war raged on for years and he was finally defeated by the Chaulakya ruler Bhima II in 1187.
He also led a military campaign against the Gahadvalas of Kannauj for control over Delhi and the upper Ganga doab. Even though he was able to expand and defend his territories through these campaigns, he also isolated himself politically from his neighboring states.
Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori attacked the fortress of Bhatinda in East Punjab, which was on the frontier of Prithiviraj Chauhan's domains, in 1191. Chauhan appealed to Kannauj for help but was refused any aid. Undaunted, he marched to Bhatinda and met his enemy at Tarain and a fierce battle between the two forces ensued. This came to be known as the First Battle of Tarain.
Prithiviraj won the battle and captured Muhammad Ghori. Ghori begged for mercy and being the benevolent king that he was, Prithviraj decided to release him. Several of his ministers were against the decision of granting mercy to the enemy, but Prithviraj respectfully released Ghori.
The decision to release Ghori proved to be a big mistake as Ghori set about reassembling his army for another battle. Ghori returned to challenge Chauhan in 1192 with an army of 120,000 men in what came to be known as the Second Battle of Tarain. Prithviraj’s army consisted of 3,000 elephants, 300,000 horsemen, and considerable infantry.
Ghori knew that Hindu warriors had a custom of battling only from sunrise up to sunset. So he divided his troops into five parts and treacherously attacked in the early morning hours when the Rajput army was unprepared for the battle. The Rajput army was ultimately defeated and Prithviraj Chauhan was taken a prisoner by Ghori.
Major Battles
Prithviraj Chauhan led the Rajput army in the Battles of Tarain fought in 1191 and 1192 against the Ghurid force led by Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori. He won the first battle and captured his enemy whom he later on released. Chauhan was defeated at the second battle following which he was captured.
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Personal Life & Legacy
Prithviraj Chauhan fell in love with Sanyukta (also known as Sanyogita, Sanjukta, or Samyukta), the daughter of Raja Jaichand of Kannauj. Her father did not approve of this match as Prithviraj belonged to a rival clan. So he arranged a “Swayamvara” for his daughter to which he invited all the eligible kings and princes expect Prithviraj. In order to further insult him, he commissioned a clay statue of Prithviraj to be placed as the doorman. Prithviraj and Sanyukta came to know of this and devised a plan to outwit her father.
On the day of the “Swayamvara”, the bride-to-be ignored all the suitors present at the event and garlanded the clay statue much to the chagrin of her father. Then Prithviraj, who was hiding behind the statue, came out of his hiding and eloped with Sanyukta, taking her to Delhi. The couple went on to have several children including Govindraj, Akshay and Rensi.
Prithviraj Chauhan was captured by Muhammad Ghori at the Second Battle of Tarain and executed. After her husband was taken captive by Muhammad Ghori, Maharani Sanyukta and other Rajput women ended their lives instead of surrendering to the Afghan invaders.
Folklore has it that Prithviraj Chauhan killed Ghori with the help of his friend Chand Bardai. After being captured Prithviraj Chauhan was blinded with red hot Irons. Prithviraj Chauhan’s famed skill of hitting the target just on the basis of sound came handy and he is believed to have killed Muhammad Ghori with “shabdabhedi baan’. After killing Ghori Prithviraj and Chand Bardai killed each other in order to escape death at the hands of enemies. There is, however, no historical evidence to support this claim.
Facts About Prithviraj Chauhan
Prithviraj Chauhan was known for his exceptional archery skills and was said to be able to shoot targets accurately even without looking.
He had a deep love for poetry and was known to compose verses himself, showcasing his sensitive and artistic side.
Prithviraj Chauhan was a patron of the arts and literature, supporting many artists and scholars during his reign.
He had a great sense of humor and was known to enjoy playing pranks on his friends and courtiers, adding a light-hearted touch to his rule.
Prithviraj Chauhan was also known for his compassion towards his subjects, often going out of his way to help those in need and ensure justice was served fairly.

See the events in life of Prithviraj Chauhan in Chronological Order

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