A legend of valour and chivalry
With the death of Harsha, King of Kanauj, in about 647 A.D. his great empire in North India collapsed. It rapidly disintegrated into several petty kingdoms. This political division weakened the unity of the country and led to several violent disputes between the chieftains of these new kingdoms. Foreign invaders took advantage of India's disunity. Sometime in the 12th Century, the Afghan Chief Shahabuddin Ghori (also known as Mohammad of Ghor) captured the empire of Mahmud of Ghazni and became the new ruler of Ghazni. After taking Lahore, he started his
incursions into India. He marched to Delhi, which was then ruled by the valiant Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan, who defeated him in the battle of Tarain. The following year Mohammad returned to India and again met the forces of the Rajput king on the same battlefield. This time the Muslim invader inflicted a crushing defeat on the Hindu army. This second battle proved to be a turning point in Indian history. It put an end to the Hindu Empire in Northern India forever and established Muslim rule. Prithviraj Chauhan was a famous king and warrior. He was noted for his valour and chivalry. Despite his defeat and death, his name has been immortalised and he had become the hero of many legends. The story of Prithviraj Chauhan as told in the following pages is based on these legends.