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Biography of Prithviraj Chauhan (Prithviraj III)

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Prithviraj Chauhan, also known as Prithviraj III, was a King of Chauhan Dynasty during the second half of the 12th century. He was the ruler of the Hindu Kingdom of Ajmer and Delhi in North India. He was born in 1149 A.D.

Prithviraj Chauhan was the son of Someshwar Chauhan.

The struggle of Prithviraj Chauhan with Mohammed Ghori is the most crowing event in Indian History.

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Problems before Prithviraj: Prithviraj assumed the throne in 1169. From the beginning he was engaged in a hereditary rivalry with the Chalukya king of Gujrat. And the danger that confronted him was the Turkish invasion from Punjab.

Muslim invasion of Gujarat and policy of hostile neutrality: Prithviraj was confronted with a great dilemma in 1178 when Mohammed Ghori marched against the King of Gujarat. Mohammad sent messenger to Prithviraj proposing an alliance against the King of Gujarat. Prithviraj was confronted with the choice of alliance with one of his two enemies against the other. He rejected the proposal and at the advice of his minister adopted a policy of hostile neutrality in the hope that both the enemies would be exhausted by fighting. Ultimately he was glad to learn that Mohammed Ghori has been heavily defeated in the Battle of Kayadara in 1178.

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Policy of conquest: The defeat of Mohammed Ghori at Kayadara, near Mount Abu, temporarily freed the hands of Prithviraj. He perused a policy of conquest during this interval. In 1182 A.D. he conquered the Rewari district and a part of Alwar state. In the same year he defeated the Chandella king Paramardi and annexed a part of his dominion. But the Chandellas soon recovered their territory from him. Prithviraj launched a campaign against his old adversary, the Chalukyas of Gujrat in 1187. But he failed to gain any considerable success against them. Bhim II, the Chalukya king of Gujarat ultimately concluded a treaty with Prithviraj. However, the net result of the aggressive wars of Prithviraj Chauhan against the neighbors does not appear to be impressive.

Battle of Tarain: The two Battles of Tarain took place in the years of 1191 and 1192. In the First Battle of Tarain, the army of Prithviraj Chauhan completely defeated the Ghurid army of Mohammed Ghori. But, in 1192, Mohammed Ghori reappeared with huge preparations. The Rajput army was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain.

Estimate of Prithviraj Chauhan

Although Prithviraj Chauhan did not conquer many territories like other Indian rulers, he proved his ability as a soldier in the First battle of Tarain. He could not guess the true motive of Mohammed Ghori till the blow fell upon him.

Although Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated he occupies a unique place in Indian history. He is last great Hindu ruler who died a hero’s death for defending the country from the Turkish invaders. Prithviraj Raso, composed by Chand Bardai, has kept alive the memory of the Great King. Some historians describe him as`Rai Pithora.’

Prithviraj Chauhan died in 1192 A.D. at the age of 43.

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