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Current Affairs

Prithviraj Chauhan

Date: 26 May 2022 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

Gujjar and Rajput communities of Rajasthan have laid claims to the legacy of 12th century King Prithviraj Chauhan.

 

Background

A movie named ‘Prithviraj’ based on the life of King Prithviraj Chauhan will soon be released.

 

Details

  • Another group representing Rajput community has announced that they would oppose the film unless the word ‘Samrat’ was prefixed to his name in the title.

  • Prithviraj Chauhan is seen as the “last Hindu emperor” of India who made a valiant attempt to stop the Islamic invaders.

 

Historical perspective

  • Prithviraj Chauhan belonged to the Chauhan or Chahamana dynasty of Ajmer which emerged after the fall of the Pratihara Empire in the 11th century AD.

  • He came to power in 1177 or 1178. He expanded kingdom by defeating smaller Rajput states but failed to win against Chalukyas of Gujarat.

  • Prithviraj managed to defeat Ghurid King Muhammad of Ghor in the First battle of Tarain in 1191. In the Second Battle of Tarain (1192), he was defeated.

  • His defeat marked a watershed moment in history of India as it paved the way for establishment of Muslim rule.

 

Legend of Prithviraj Chauhan

  • The legend of Prithviraj Chauhan was popularized by the poem ‘Prithviraj Raso’ composed by Chand Bardai in Brajbhasha.

  • The poem says that Prithviraj was captured and blinded after the defeat in Second battle of Tarain and taken to Ghazni in Afghanistan.

  • Muhammad of Ghor is said to have challenged Prithviraj to demonstrate his proficiency in archery by piercing metal gongs with an arrow. 

  • Prithviraj killed Muhammad using an arrow by identifying his location through his voice and later killed himself.

 

British records

Modern historical evidences about Prithviraj Chauhan can be traced back to James Tod’s ‘Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan’ (1829).