Prithvi Raj Chauhan
From the very early years Prithvi Raj showed his sharpness and brilliance by learning all military skills. He was known to master the skills of aiming the target on the basis of its sound, known as the “Shabdbhedi” technique. He once killed a tiger without any weapon. A true Rajput ruler by nature, Prithvi Raj expanded his empire mainly towards North West India. These regions mainly included the regions of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. His historical wars and victories over Chandela kings in 1182 A.D. were significant in fetching immense riches to his treasury. But the Chandella king reclaimed his kingdom back soon from Prithvi Raj. History also tells about his lost battle with the Chalukyas in 1187 A.D. This lost battle further took Prithvi Raj to annex Kannauj which in those times was ruled by the Gahadvala Tribes. He fought two major battles:
- First Battle of Tarain, 1191
- Second Battle of Tarain, 1192
Somewhere Prithvi Raj’s trails of annexations and wars were disliked by the neighboring rulers. This spirit of his was onwardly pushing him towards isolation.
His entire life was an episode of courage and gallantry which was looked up with envy by Jai Chand, king of Punjab. But as luck could have it, Jai Chand’s daughter Sanyunkta fell in love with the brave remnants of this warrior king. Through secret correspondence Sanyukta shared her feelings with Prithvi Raj but as Jai Chand came to know about it he tried to put a end to this romantic episode by announcing Sankyuktas “Swayamvar”, and invites all the valiant kings, to woo his daughter. To further show his hatred, Jai Chand places a statue of Prithvi Raj on his palace gate as an insult to show him as a guard. Not knowing that Sanyukta has already warned Prithvi Raj of the same. On the day itself, Sanyukta walks down the aisle with the garland, she walks past all the invitees to garland Prithvi Rajs statue, who emerges out from behind the idol and elopes away with Sanyukta on the horseback.
The matrimony makes Prithvi Raj neglect his kingdom for sometime, this moment is used by Mohammed Ghori the Afghan ruler who wages a war against the Chauhan king in 1191 at the first battle of terrain. Prithvi Raj gallantly fights back and emerges victorious. He makes his first blunder in freeing Mohammad Ghori who prepares his army to strike back again in 1192 in the second battle of terrain, captures Prithvi Raj and torture him by blinding him. Hearing this Sankyukta commits suicide to save herself from Ghoris disgrace.
In these testing times of Prithvi Raj, his court poet Chand Bardai disguises himself as a thief to be with Prithvi in the cell. He provokes Prithvi Raj to avenge this injustice.
As luck could have it, Ghori invites Prithvi Raj for an archery competition to harass and insult him not knowing about the war technique which enabled Prithvi to shoot on the basis of the voice. Prithvi Raj accepts the invitation on the promise to shoot arrow only on the orders of Ghori. Ghori was elated and orders Prithvi Raj who aims at Ghori as he voices out the order. Mohammad Ghori dies instantly but to save themselves from the Afghans Prithvi Raj and Chand Bardai stabbed each other to death. This put an end to the rule of a brave and courageous ruler in 1192 AD at the age of 43.