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This article is about ruler of the kingdom of Ajmer. For Chief Minister of Maharashtra State, see Prithviraj Chavan. For more information, see Prithviraj Chauhan (disambiguation).
Prithviraj Chauhan
Prithvi Raj Chauhan (Edited).jpg
Statue of Prithviraj Chauhan at Ajmer
King of Ajmer and Delhi
Reign 1165-1192 AD
Predecessor Anangpal Tomar II
Successor Muhammad of Ghor
Spouse Rathore(Gaharwal) rani Samyukta
Dynasty Chauhan
Father Someshwar Chauhan
Mother Karpuri Devi
Born 1149
Died 1192 (aged 43)

Rai Pithora, commonly known as Prithviraj Chauhan (1149–1192 CE), was a Rajput king of the Chauhan dynasty,[1] who ruled the kingdoms of Ajmer and Delhi in northern India during the latter half of the 12th century.

Prithviraj Chauhan was the last independent Hindu king, before Hemu, to sit upon the throne of Delhi. He succeeded to the throne in 1179 CE at the age of 13, and ruled from the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi which he received from his maternal grandfather, Arkpal or Anangpal III of the Tomara dynasty in Delhi. He controlled much of present-day Rajasthan and Haryana, and unified the Rajputs against Turkic invasions. His elopement in 1175 with Samyukta (Sanyogita), the daughter of Jai Chandra Rathod, the Gahadvala king of Kannauj, is a popular romantic tale in India, and is one of the subjects of the Prithviraj Raso, an epic poem composed by Chauhan's court poet and friend, Chand Bardai.

Chauhan defeated Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191. Ghauri attacked for a second time the following year, whereupon Chauhan was defeated, captured at the Second Battle of Tarain (1192) and executed.


Battles against Hindu rulers[edit]

Prithviraj assumed the reigns of administration at the age of sixteen, and immediately began a process of vigorous expansion. Prithviraj's targets were the smaller states of Rajasthan, but his most famous expedition was against the Chandelas of Khajuraho and Mahoba. He gained a significant victory against the Chandelas under Paramardi (1165-1202) and was consequently able to acquire significant booty.[2]:23 Prithviraj then had a five-year struggle from 1182 against the Chaulakyas of Gujarat in which he was defeated by Bhima II. He then began a struggle with the Gahadvalas of Kanauj for control over Delhi and the upper Ganges doab. By leading so many military campaigns against his neighbours Prithviraj succeeded in isolating himself politically. This may have impacted him during his subsequent clash with Muhammad Ghori.[3]

First Battle of Tarain, 1191[edit]

Main article: Battles of Tarain

In 1191, Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori captured the fortress of Bhatinda in East Punjab, leaving a garrison of 1200 men, which was located on the frontier of Prithiviraj Chauhan's domains. Prithviraj marched to Bhatinda and met his enemy at Tarain (also called Taraori), near the ancient town of Thanesar. The Ghurid army initiated battle by attacking with cavalry who launched arrows at the Rajput centre. The forces of Prithviraj counter-attacked from three sides and dominated the battle, pressuring the Ghurid army into a withdrawal. Meanwhile, Mu'izz al-Din was wounded in personal combat with Prithviraj's brother, Govind Tai.[4] Prithviraj succeeded in stopping the Ghurid advance towards Hindustan in the first battle of Tarain but did not pursue Ghori's army, not wanting to invade hostile territory or misjudge Ghori's ambition.[3] Instead, he retook the fortress of Bhatinda.[4]

Between the First and Second Battles of Tarain[edit]

Prithviraj seems to have treated the fight with Ghori as merely a frontier fight. This view is strengthened by the fact that Prithviraj made little preparations for any future clash with Ghori. The Prithviraj Raso accuses Prithviraj of neglecting the affairs of the state and of spending his time in merry making during this period (between the first and second battles of Tarain).[3]

Second Battle of Tarain, 1192[edit]

Second battle of Tarain

In 1192, Ghori reassembled an army of 120,000 men and returned to challenge Chauhan at the Second Battle of Tarain. According to the Persian historian Firishta, Prithviraj's army consisted of 3,000 elephants, 300,000 horsemen, and considerable infantry.[3]

Ghori divided his troops into five parts and attacked in the early morning hours, sending waves of mounted archers. They retreated as the Chauhan elephant phalanx advanced. Ghori deployed four parts to attack the Rajputs on four sides, keeping a fifth part of his army in reserve. General Khande Rao of the Chauhan forces was killed. At dusk, Ghori himself led a force of 12,000 heavily armored horsemen to the centre of the Rajput line, which collapsed into confusion. Chauhan attempted to escape but was captured. The Rajput army broke ranks and fled, thereby conceding victory to Ghori.[3] Chauhan was put to death.[3][5]


Prithviraj Raso, a folkloric poem written by Chand Bardai, says that the death of Ghori (also referred to as Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad) was caused by Prithviraj with the help of Chadravardai and that afterwards they killed each other,[6] which is not borne out by historical documents.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ Sen, S.N., 2013, A Textbook of Medieval Indian History, Delhi: Primus Books, ISBN 9789380607344
  3. ^ a b c d e f Chandra, Satish (2006). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals (1206-1526) 1. Har-Anand Publications. p. 25. 
  4. ^ a b A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East 1. ABC-CLIO. 2010. p. 263. 
  5. ^ Barua, Pradeep (2005). The State at War in South Asia. University of Nebraska Press. p. 29. ISBN 9780803213449. 
  6. ^ Prithviraj, a valorous hero par excellence, has been depicted in the lofty style which has been a source of inspiration to and influence on the North-Indian people. Krishnadatt Paliwal (1988) "Epic (Hindi)" In Datta, Amaresh (1988) The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature: Volume Two: Devraj to Jyoti, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, India, page 1178, ISBN 81-260-1194-7
  7. ^ Kaviraj Syamaldas (1886) "The Antiquity, Authenticity and Genuineness of the epic called the Prithviraj Rasa and commonly ascribed to Chand Bardai" Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. 55, pt.1,

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prithviraj_Chauhan — Please support Wikipedia.
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732 news items

Sun, 09 Aug 2015 20:00:38 -0700

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Sunday announced that a monument of Prithviraj Chauhan would be built at Taraori in Nilokheri Assembly Constituency of Kaithal district. He also announced that a Research Centre would also be set up at Taraori to ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 15:58:27 -0700

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday announced that a monument of Prithviraj Chauhan and a centre to conduct research on the ruler will be built in Taraori. He was addressing the Vikas Rally at Taraori in Nilokheri Assembly constituency in Karnal.

Times of India

Times of India
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 11:32:42 -0700

Popularly known as Sooraj Rathi in Star Plus' most famous show 'Diya Aur Baati Hum', Anas Rashid turns 34 today! Here's wishing Anas a Happy Birthday! Know all about the actor... - Rashi Walia ...

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Sat, 29 Aug 2015 01:15:00 -0700

"That's Ganj e Shaheeda'n, which means 'the place where the martyrs are buried'," Rana says explaining that the martyrs here were Mohammad Ghori's soldiers, who fell in the battles against Prithviraj Chauhan in 1191-92. Watching a family of mongooses ...

Times of India

Times of India
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:33:17 -0700

Gaurang Shah's grand bridal collection Samyukta was inspired by the love story between Prithviraj Chauhan and his queen Samyukta. Gaurang revived Kanjeevaram, Khadi, Uppada, Paithani, Banarasi, Patan Patola, Kota Dhakai and added traditional ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:22:30 -0700

Hyderabad-based designer Gaurang Shah sought inspiration from the love story between Prithviraj Chauhan and Samyukta, naming his collection (pictured above) after the latter. Beginning with an enthralling Kathak performance to the beats of a live band, ...


Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:45:00 -0700

Inspired by the love story between Prithviraj Chauhan and the strong willed queen Samyukta, the collection was an interesting historical textile story. Gaurang's labour of love look eight months as he created the lush fabrics in Surkh red and matched ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:02:19 -0700

Designers Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre and Gaurang Shah among others stole the limelight with their collections on Indian Handloom and Textiles Day at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) winter-festive 2015. (Source: Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty).

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