Battle of Chandawar

Battle of Chandawar (1194 AD)

The battle of Chandawar was fought between Maharaja Jayachandra of the Gahadavala dynasty and Muhammad Ghori in 1194. The fight took place near the bank of the holy Yamuna River at Chandawar near Agra. Chandawar is presently located near Firozabad.

It is believed that Maharaj Jay Chand had to face defeat at the hands of Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Chandawar war leading to the loss of his land and wealth. Maharaj Jay Chand besides being a valorous king and swordsman was a patron of literature and arts. He was also the father-in-law of the terrific warrior Prithvi Raj Chauhan.

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Battle of Chandwar – Background

  • MuhammadGhori always had his eagle eyes stuck on the grand Indian dynasty and its wealth. Henceforth he did not want to rob India of its wealth but also conquer major lands here.
  • Before the battle of Chandawar, in 1194 took place, Ghori initiated a battle in Tarain called the First Battle of Tarain in 1191.
  • In 1191, he attacked the dominion of Prithvi Raj Chauhan which was the fort in Tabarhindah by crossing the Khyber River and storming into it suddenly.
  • The battle of Tarain took place and Muhammad Ghori had to taste defeat at the hand of the courageous Prithviraj Chauhan. Ghori felt insulted and did not stop or give up his conquered dreams.
  • He strengthened his army and captured more weapons and animals just to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan and take revenge.
  • It was in 1192 A.D. that the second battle of Tarain took place. The swords met again. But this time it was the defeat of the great Prithviraj Chauhan while Ghori triumphed.
  • Some resources also say that it was due to the help from Maharaj Jay Chand that Muhammad Ghori was able to enter and defeat Prithvi Raj’s Empire.
  • Thereon the victory in the Tarain War, Ghori decided to return to Ghazni.
  • But he did not surrender his possessions but instead left those in the hands of Qutb-ud-Din Aibak.
  • Qutb-ud-Din Aibak was highly ferocious and captured Kol, Delhi, and Meerut in the meantime.
  • He established Delhi as the centre of his governance.
  • It was before the main Battle of Chandawar 1194 that Muhammad Ghori decided to take charge of the Ajmer fort and The Gahadavala Empire.
  • He enforced a 50, 000 men’s army under the leadership of Qutb-ud-Din Aibak and attacked Ajmer, Delhi, and Kol.
  • They defeated small groups and won battles. But the main army under Jay Chandra was still to be destroyed.
  • Maharaj had learnt that Ghori wished to conquer his lands and not just raid them for wealth. So he had started preparations for D-day or the Chandawar War.
  • Maharaj Jay Chandra who is also known as the King of Varanasi, was a powerful ruler of millions of soldiers and nearly 700 elephants. His territory was the largest amongst all kings of his time.
  • Thus, upon secret information that Maharaj was on alert regarding the situation of the Chandawar War, Muhammad Ghori also returned to  India.
  • The Muslim army led by Qutb-ud-Din Aibak attacked several times but Jay Chandra and his large army gave a tough fight to the Ghurids.
  • Some books of contemporary Muslim writers say that Maharaj Jay Chandra, though powerful, was killed during the battle of Chandawar.
  • Other historical writings say that Jay Chandra had to flee from the battle of Chandawar in 1194. He thereafter founded a new dynasty near the Kumaon Hills. Although there is no proof of what ensued.

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Battle of Chandawar – Aftermath

  • After the battle of Chandawar was fought and won by the Muslim army, they took control of 300 alive elephants, plundered the Gahadavala realm treasury, and flagged their rule in the Asni fort.
  • They did not stop and went forth to convert several thousands of Hindu temples into mosques with the Hindus as their slaves.
  • It was until Harishchandra, the son of Maharaja Jaychandra took things into his control and reclaimed the lands of Mirzapur, Jaunpur, and Kannauj in 1197 after the Chandawar war.
  • The Rajput rule continued thereafter until it was reconquered by Illtumish.

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The battle of Chandawar was fought between two great rulers, Maharaj Jayachandra and Muhammad Ghori. The defeat of the Indian ruler gave Ghori from the Muslim empire, great coverage over the Northern states of India.

The Ghurids were defeated several times in the battle of Chandawar 1194, by Jaychandra but they won once Jayachandra was killed. The army dispersed without a leader.

This win of Muhammad Ghori is said to be the second most significant win of all time. The first was the defeat of the brave young Rajput fighter, Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain in 1192.

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Frequently asked questions

  1. Who was involved in the battle of Chandawar and when?

The battle of Chandawar involved Maharaja Jay Chandra from the Gahadavala Dynasty and Muhammad Ghori from the Ghurid Empire. The Chandawar battle was fought in 1194.

  1. Where did the battle take place?

The battle happened on the banks of the holy Yamuna River in Chandawar. Modern-day Chandawal near Firozabad city. The place is in Agra.

  1. Who did Muhammad Ghori defeat in the Chandawar war?

Muhammad Ghori is said to have defeated Maharaj Jay Chandra during the war. Jay Chandra was the last emphatic king of 1194 before the Chandawar War. He was said to be blinded by an arrow of Qutb-ud-Din Aibak in the eye during the fight. After which he fell and got trampled leading to his demise.

  1. What are some of the other battles fought by the Ghurid Empire?

Muhammad’s empire fought the first and second battles of Tarain against the great Prithvi Raj Chauhan in 1192, the Battle of Chandawar in 1194, the Battle of Kasahada in 1178, and the Siege of Lahore in 1186.