India's rich history is a testimony to the courage and bravery of several kings. One such warrior king of Prithviraj Chauhan, the traditional King of Ajmer in Rajasthan, but folklore also describes him as the King of Delhi and the last representative of the pre-Islamic reign. Prithviraj belonged to the Chauhan or Chahamana dynasty of Ajmer, which emerged after the decline of the Pratihara empire in the 11th century AD. He ascended the throne in 1177 or 1178 and rapidly expanded his kingdom by defeating smaller Rajput kingdoms. He decisively defeated the Ghurids in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191.
However, Chauhan was defeated in the second battle, which marked a watershed moment in the medieval history of India, paving the way for the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal rule in the country. In 'Prithviraj Raso', a poem in Braj language attributed to Chand Bardai, which is thought to have been composed in the 16th century, the King is portrayed as a fearless and skilled warrior.
The Onset Of The Mughal Sultanate In India
In the final poem, after losing the second battle of Tarain against the Muhammad of Ghor, Prithviraj was captured and taken to the enemy, where he was blinded and imprisoned. Muhammad asked Prithviraj to demonstrate his archery skills by piercing seven metal gongs with his arrow. Instead, the blinded King aimed at Muhammad by listening to his voice and killing him before being killed. On the hand, several historical accounts mention that the victorious Muhammad killed Prithviraj at the end of the second battle of Tarain.
Even though Prithviraj is often titled the 'Last Hindu Emperor' in India, there were several Hindu Kings who ruled after him in Southern India. However, there is no denying that the fall of Prithviraj's empire was the onset of the Mughal Sultanate in India.