The History of India: Medieval Folklore - How a blinded Prithviraj Chauhan shot down Muhammad Ghori The History of India: Medieval Folklore - How a blinded Prithviraj Chauhan shot down Muhammad Ghori

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Medieval Folklore - How a blinded Prithviraj Chauhan shot down Muhammad Ghori

Prithviraj Chauhan (1149–1192 AD) was the ruler of Ajmer and Delhi in the 12th century AD. During his time, Afghan ruler Muhammad Ghori invaded India. Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Ghori in 1191 AD in the first battle of Tarain. However, Prithviraj released the vanquished Ghori and let him travel back out of India. However, Muhammad Ghori started to regroup his forces again and returned to challenge Prithviraj at the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 AD.

In an epic battle, Prithviraj was defeated and captured by the Afghan forces. Muhammad Ghori had the captured king's eyes burnt with red hot iron rods and took the blinded Prithviraj back with him to Gazni. Along with the king went his trusted poet and advisor, Chand Bardai.

In Gazni, Prithviraj was regularly brought to Ghori's court and taunted and insulted by Ghori and his courtiers. To avenge his insult, Prithviraj and Chand Bardai devised a plan for retribution. Chand Bardai told Ghori that Prithviraj, a renouned archer, was an expert in "Shabd-Bhedi Baan", ie, could hit a target blind folded just by hearing the sound it made. Ghori was immediately interested in seeing such skills and called for an archery display in his court. The blind Prithviraj was brought in and handed a bow and an arrow. A goat was tied to a pillar and Prithviraj was told to display his skills by killing the goat. 

Instead, Chand Bardai skilfully told the king the seating position of Ghori through the following couplet:

Char Bans Chaubi Gaj, ungal asat parman;
Ta upar sultan hai, mat chuke Chauhan.

(Four Bamboo lengths in front, then twenty four hands and eight fingers in height, the sultan is sitting. Don’t miss him Chauhan)

Prithviraj Chauhan, based on the directions of his poet friend, lined up his arrow and shot Muhammad Ghori through his throat. Before the Afghans could capture both the Rajput warriors, Prithviraj and Chand Bardai stabbed each other.

1 comment:

  1. Undoubtedly the most important event in the History of Muhammad Ghori. Well explained sequence of events!

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