December is notorious when it comes to talking about destruction of religious places of worship.It is ironic or I would say - just so happened that I decided to write about Arab invasion of India and the most famous impact on Indian(Hindu) psyche comes with the story of desecration and destruction of Somnath Temple by Mahmud of Ghazni
Destruction of places of worship is often one of the best tools used by maurading conquerers to stamp their domination and gets ratified by their own nobleman as act of god's will.Though, if you ask me,no God or true saints would ever ever approve something like this.
The temple of Somnath was attached by Mahmud of Gazni along with 30000, volunteers from Turkistan in 1022,who had marched with him .When Mahmud eventually reached the place he saw the stone idol five yards in height,The King struck of f the nose.Two pieces of idols to broken and sent to Ghazni,they are there till date
I have been on the look out for great content to read.Unfortunately,at times you stumble upon a kind of content,which makes you not read more,but then the story is so compelling that you are bound to read the complete book with as much interest as is possible.In this current enviorment,when we are trying to work as closely as possible,inter connected and when isolation is not possible, in that scenario,this kind of knowledge can possible corrupt your mind.So please read it further only as an information source.
We will talk about the heroic struggle of Rulers of India from invading Muslim(initially Arabs) armies.India has always had invasions,however Muslim Invasions had the far reaching impact because the invaders from Arab land not only to come and captured the land,but also converted the natives to their own faith.We see after the death of Prophet, in 632 ad,The Byzantine provinces of Palestine and Syria fell to Arabs in six months.Next came Sassanid empire which included Iraq,Iran and Khorasan(North eastern part of Iran- included parts of Afghanistan,Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan).The Persians were quickly defeated by 643,the boundaries of Caliphate touched the frontiers of India.The Turkish speaking countries of Inner Mongolia,Bukhara,Tashkand and Samarkand etc,were annexed by 650.In the West, Byzantine, province of Egypt was occupies in 640.The Arab armies captured Spain in 709 AD.So, not only did the victories took place at such break neck speed but so was the conversion of people to Islamic faith.
However, it took close to 70 years for Arabs to make any impact on the Indian soil.Arab invasions of Indian territories started from 634 ad,with Thane & Broach attacked,but it was repulsed and the Arab general was killed.By 680,after more than 16 expeditions, finally Makran the port in Sindh was captured.
In the end Muhammad Bin Quasim was sent by the Governor of Irag,in 712, the entire Sindh including Multan came under him.Once he came back, the regions were independent again.But, Islamic armies came back and recaptured Sindh,this time reached till Ujjain(via Rajputana, and Broach in South).Their advance was checked by Chalukya ruler ,Pulakesin Avaani-Janasraya.Battle of Rajasthan
It seemed Gujarat under Chalukya's offered the most resistance to Muslim Invaders.So we can say that it took Arab/Turkish invaders 570 yrs to reach Delhi.
Hindus lost Kabul in the closing decade of the 10th century,In 963, a Turkish slave was able to take control of Kabul with his seat in Ghazni.In our history texts and general awareness it is assumed that two small time rulers of Sultanate in Afghanistan,fought and won many battles with the rulers of North India.(However,they by no means were small time)
territory under Gazni rule
Mahmud of Gaznavi was a powerful ruler with his Kingdom spread over Khorasan,Iran,Iraq and most of Central Asia,Punjab and Multan. Indian rulers of that time did not have standing armies,they needed to mobalise the troops.Peshawar, during those times was ruled by Anandpala.(Anadpala's father was initially defeated by Mahmud).He again invaded India in 1008,this time he met with the combined armies from Ujjain,Gwalior,Kalinjar,Kanuaj and Delhi and Ajmer.There was a battle,however Anandpala forces were defeated and he moved up to Kashmir.Shahiyas were eventually defeated after 50 years of struggle.
Mahmud did not have much success against the rulers of Gwalior(Chandellas),he invaded them till 1022.(by now it had been 22 yrs he Mahmud had started to raid in India)
Muhammad Ghuri came after the Gaznavis and advanced upon Gujarat in AD 1178, with a large army.Chaulukya army defeated the turks at the foot of Mount Abu.After this Muhammad Ghuri did not lead another exepedition against Hindu prince for next 12 yrs.In some folk tales it is mentioned that Pritviraja 3,defeated Ghouri 22 times,while there was a fight between the two in 1192,again when Prithviraja(Prithvi Raj Chauhan the famous ruler of Delhi and Ajmer,whose brother inlaw was Jayachand and who ran with Sanyogita) was eventually defeated and killed.
** Even today Afghans vent their anger by stamping on the grave of Chauhan because according to them Prithviraj had killed Ghori.**
Please note: lot of text is inspired from Wikipedia and Sita Ram Goel's book.