The Battles of Taraori, often known as the Battle of Tarain, which took place in 1191 resulted in the Islamic rule in North India. Muizz al-Dn Muhammad ibn sm of Ghr and Prithviraj 3, the Chauhan Rajput ruler of Ajmer and Delhi fought the Battles. This battle was fought in Karnal and Thanesar in the Karnal region of Haryana, India some 70 miles from North of Delhi. In the First Battle of Tarain, a Turkish Clan led by Muhammad Ghori attacked the Rajputs, led by Prithviraj Chauhan and his Allies.

First Battle of Tarain – Background

The background of the First Battle Of Tarain is described as below:

  • The decline of the Ghaznavid Empire in the 12th century led to a power vacuum which resulted in various Tribes fighting for the control of the Empire.
  • Among all this, the Ghurids emerged victorious and managed to sack the erstwhile city of Ghajini by 1149.
  • The Ghurid empire decided would be led by two brothers named Muhammad Ghori and Ghiyasal-Din who embarked in an expansion policy which would encompasses most of the country Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.
  • They both looked towards expanding their Empire East into India.
  • At their time, Northern India was a collection of loose States.
    The most powerful ones were the Chalukya Dynasty in Gujarat, the Solanki dynasty of Jaichandra in Kannauj and the Rajput chahamanas of Prithviraj Chauhan based out of Ajmer and Delhi.
  • Muhammad Ghori send an envoy to the court of the Prithviraj Chauhan to come to them for settlement.
  • Some of the terms included conversion to Islam and accepting the Suzerainty of the Ghurid’s but the Prithviraj Chauhan refused to accept the terms.
  • The First Battle of Tarain was one of the many battles which was fought during the Arab and Turkish inventions of India.
  • Muhammad Ghori Marched his army to the kingdom of the chalukyas in 1178. He did this because the direct route to Delhi was blocked by the last remnants of the Ghaznavids which were located in Lahore and Multan.
  • The Ghurid army was defeated by the Chanakya army and was forced to Retreat after suffering heavy casualties.
  • Muhammad Ghori was not yet dettered by setbacks built up his forces and defeated the last remains of the Ghaznavids when he took Lahore in 1186.
  • This opened the route for Muhammad Ghori to attack Prithviraj Chauhan Kingdom.

The First Fight of Tarayan (1191 A.D.)

Defeat of Muhammad Ghori: The immense speed which led to the success and progress of Muhammad shocked Prithviraj Chauhan of Ajmer and Delhi. He raised a big army of two lakh horse riders and thirty thousand elephant riders to fight with foreigners. Muhammad Ghori also came with a big army so trample the power of Chauhan that he could. Two armies clashed in 1191A.D. in a village called Tarayan which is fourteen miles away from Thanesar. In this fight which is called the first fight of Tarayana both parties fought bravely. Sultan followed the war strategy of left, right and central positions and handled the situation at the centre of the army. Ghori Sardar, assaulted Govindrai, brother of Prithviraj and broke his two teeth. An angry Govindrai attacked Muhammad Ghori and injured him badly. At the same time the soldier of Khilji carried out from there otherwise he would have been killed. By this incident panic spread among the Muslims. They were defeated and sent to their own country. Muhammad became very disappointed and ashamed. Even when he returned to Ghazni then he did not sleep with pleasure, and was always submerged in sadness and tension. He insulted all officers who ran away from the battlefield.

First Battle Of Tarain – Aftermath

The Aftermath of the First Battle of the Tarain was given as follows:

  • This result of The First Battle of Tarain would not be the end of Ghurid incursions into India as Muhammad Ghori having learnt his anymore strength and weaknesses and mindful or not to underestimate his opponents in this First Battle Of Tarain.
  • Prithviraj Chauhan’s inability to pursue and annihilate his foe and consolidate his borders would have disastrous effects in Indian history as the Second Battle Of The Tarain would prove.

Second Fight of Tarayan (1192 A.D.)

Defeat of Prithiviraj Chauhan: Muhammad prepared himself and his army and attacked on India again in 1192 A.D. to take revenge for his defeat. He had one lakh and twenty thousand horse riders and he camped near Tarayan. Prithviraj appealed to Rajput kings that favour against Turks. It is said that 150 princes helped him. So according to the opinion of Farishta the army of Pritviraj had five lakh horses and thirty thousand elephants.

Muhammad prepared a plan for attack. Horse riders with light weaponry were divided into ten–ten thousands of four units and they were positioned in four directions. Tarayan war continued from morning to evening. Rajputs fought bravely but infront of the policy attacker of Ghori they could not do anything. Brother of Pritiviraj and his general Khanderao were killed. Pritviraj became very disappointed and he climbed on to a horse from an elephant. He also tried to run away but was caught near Sirsuti and killed. So Muslims won. Now Muhammad Ghori went ahead and captured and robbed Delhi and Ajmer.

The second fight of Tarayan is a sign limit in the history of India. In the words of Dr Smith, “This can be considered a decisive war that made certain the last success of Muslim attack on India.”

Conquest of Bulandshehar, Meerut and Koil (1193–94 A.D.): After the victory of Tarayan Muhammad Ghori appointed his governer—Qutb-bu-din Aibak and he returned to Ghazni. By ensuring his victory Aibak expanded his kingdom and he stripped Bulandshehar from Dev Rajputs. He attacked on Meerut and Koil and won these states without any major opposition. Delhi became the capital and peace and arrangement were there so within two years of Muhammad Ghori’s return, Qutb-bu-din established a solid Muslim kingdom in Punjab, Delhi, Ajmer, Bulandshehar and Aligharh.

Second Battle of Tarain – Events

  • As the Rajput forces were well – disciplined, the Ghurids did not want to engage in melee combat with them. The ghurids army was formed into five units and four of the units percent to attack the enemy flank and rear.
  • According to historical sources, Muhammad Ghori directed a light cavalry force of 10000 mounted arekans which was divided into four divisions and surrounding the Rajput forces on the four sides. He instructed all the soldiers not to engage in combat when the enemy advanced to attack and instead feigned a retreat in order to exhaust the Rajput elephants, horses and infantry.
  • Muhammad Ghori changed his tactics, he employed a tactic that had been the mainstay of horse archers for centuries which is the fiegned retreat. The remaining Ghurid forces attacked and some of the Rajput troops fled, while others stood their ground and fought to their last breath. The Ghurid forces had emerged victorious and Muhammad Ghori got his avenge from the battle which earlier took place.

Second Battle of Tarain – Consequences

  • The Second Battle of Tarain was a destructive battle.it was a proven disastrous for the Rajputs and their political prestige suffered a serious setback.
  • In 1193, Muhammad Ghori’s General Qutub – Din – Aibak, took over Ajmer and established Ghurid rule in Northern and Central India.
  • Prithvi Raj Chauhan’s son moved to Ranthambore and laid the foundation of the chauhan kingdom there.
  • In 1194, Battle of chandawar took place in which Qutub -Din-Aibak work defeated Jayachandra.
  • In conclusion, the battle of Tarain and the battle of Chandawar laid the foundation of the establishment of the Turkish role in India.

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