Battles of India: Critical Analysis

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Battles of India: Critical Analysis

Postby Murugan » 28 Mar 2006 11:17

We have been continuously taught about various battles fought with invading armies and other rulers of India, including mughals and britishers and most of the time portrayed as losers without any objective analysis.

for instance:

1) Porus was defeated, although Alexander could not march further to the ganges

2) The first war of independence portrayed as Mutiny. the word mutiny does not suit at all - the businessmen took control of India and started hanging, killing, imprisoning, looting the natives while people who 'rebelled' were called mutineers :oops:

3) most of the indian textbooks talk about (do not teach) battles fought with Mughals and Britishers and history is just 600-700 years where the natives have been defeated.

In this thread may discuss and have an objective analysis of the battles fought, won, lost or tied.

Here to start with:

The greatest of Alexander's battles in India was against Porus, one of the most powerful Indian leaders, at the river Hydaspes in July 326 B.C.E. Alexander's army crossed the heavily defended river in dramatic fashion during a violent thunderstorm to meet Porus' forces. The Indians were defeated in a fierce battle, even though they fought with elephants, which the Macedonians had never before seen. Alexander captured Porus and, like the other local rulers he had defeated, allowed him to continue to govern his territory. Alexander even subdued an independent province and granted it to Porus as a gift.

...

Alexander's next goal was to reach the Ganges River, which was actually 250 miles away, because he thought that it flowed into the outer Ocean. His troops, however, had heard tales of the powerful Indian tribes that lived on the Ganges and remembered the difficulty of the battle with Porus, so they refused to go any farther east. Alexander was extremely disappointed, but he accepted their decision and persuaded them to travel south down the rivers Hydaspes and Indus so that they might reach the Ocean on the southern edge of the world. The army rode down the rivers on the rivers on rafts and stopped to attack and subdue villages along the way. During this trip, Alexander sought out the Indian philosophers, the Brahmins, who were famous for their wisdom, and debated them on philosophical issues. He became legendary for centuries in India for being both a wise philosopher and a fearless conqueror.

One of the villages in which the army stopped belonged to the Malli, who were said to be one of the most warlike of the Indian tribes. Alexander was wounded several times in this attack, most seriously when an arrow pierced his breastplate and his ribcage. The Macedonian officers rescued him in a narrow escape from the village.

Alexander and his army reached the mouth of the Indus in July 325 B.C.E. and turned westward for home.

http://wso.williams.edu/~junterek/india.htm



Above, in first instance portraying Alexander as victorious against mighty king Porus. but, was defeated by Mallis who were one of the 'Indian Tribes'. Alexander was wounded in this attack.

They are just shying away from accepting the obvious.

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Postby SRoy » 28 Mar 2006 11:30

Murugan!

Buddy you're doing a wonderfull job, alongwith that 'Great Warriors' thread this too should occupy its deserved place in the Military forum.

I hope that the Admins will bless this thread with a long life.

Can we start off with listing of all battles in chronological order (right from Alexander's invasion)?

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Postby Murugan » 28 Mar 2006 11:46

thats a good idea.

do you have any link/info? i m trying to google them out

whilst on the subject, there is a book - Decisive Battles of India wherein 20 battles have been listed but starts with 5000 years old battle.
:(

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Postby Murugan » 28 Mar 2006 12:00

After death of Alexander in 323 BC, his generals, known as diadochi started fighting for his massive empire. Seleukos Nictator, a friend and general of Alexander proclaimed himself King of Persia,Bactria (afghanistan) and Syria. He founded a dynasty named after him, widely known as Seleukid dynasty. He had his capital at Babylon and invaded India (modern Punjab, located in northern India and Pakistan) in 304 BC, which was then Muaryan empire ruled by Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta Maurya (Sandrocottus according to Greek Historians) put an army of hundred thousand men and 9000 war elephants on battle field! The sheer number of men on battlefield and the battle elephants (I guess Greeks were more worried of beasts rather than Indian soldiers) made Seluekos change his mind. Wisely, Seleucus concluded an alliance and gave his daughter in marriage to Chandragupta. He also transferred Kabul, Kandahar (modern Afganistan) and Baluchistan (modern Pakistan) to Chandragupta. Chandragupta in turn presented him with 500 war elephants. Seleukos sent an ambassador named Magasthenes to Chandragupta's court, who repeatedly visited Patliputra (modern patana in Bihar state), capital of Chandragupta. Magasthenes has written detailed description of India and Chandragupta's reign, which is perhaps the earliest description of ancient India by a foreign traveller. Seleukos minted Coins bearing his name which are rare gold staters and silver tetradrachms/drachms (some day I shall introduce the image).

In 281 BC Seleukos was assasinated but the kings who followed him maintained friendly relationship with mighty Mauryan emperors for some time (records exist that Antiochus II was in friendly terms with Chandragupta's son Bindusara).


Just by seeing so many elephants, Nicator changed his mind. he had even given large territory to Chandragupta Maurya.

You see, they were never 'defeated' by Indians.

(The Malli 'tribals' had arrows which could pierce Alexander the 'Great' 's shield, wounded him several times, but they will never say anything about these 'Tribals', their fighting capacity and the technology which pierced the great's shield. even they had to go back 'home'.)

http://www.med.unc.edu/~nupam/greek1.html
(this website has very nice ancient coins scans. must see)[/b]

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Postby abhischekcc » 28 Mar 2006 12:15

Above, in first instance portraying Alexander as victorious against mighty king Porus. but, was defeated by Mallis who were one of the 'Indian Tribes'. Alexander was wounded in this attack.

They are just shying away from accepting the obvious.


I have always had problems with accepting Alexander's history as portrayed by the West.

You should watch the movie 'Alexander'. Only the last portion of the movie is relevant.

The last battle that Alex fought, the following things happened (as per the movie):
1. The keystone Macedonian tactic of using their long lances to keep the enemy at a distance was utterly destroyed.
The fight took place in a forest. The Indians (Mallis???) launched an attack from the side - using an elephant charge to destroy the lances and leaving the Macedonian army vulnerable to an Indian charge - which was executed immediately afterwards.
2. Alex's favourite horse and gay lover were both killed in this fight.
3. Alex himself was mortally wounded.
4. A large part of his army was destroyed here.

What happened after that is what really takes the cake. Alexander decided to withdraw - but pay attention to the route he took. He had three ways :
1. Back the way came - via Punjab, then Khyber Pass, across the Afghani mountains and into Persia. He didn't take this route although it was filled with kings who had recently defeated and returned the kingdoms to. You'd ythink they'd be grateful, right?
2. Sail down the Indus, into the Arabian sea, and onwards to Persia. Shortest time, and also the most dangerous route. It was filled with enemies who he had not even met yet. Meeting them with a seriously truncated army would mean utter defeat, even death.
3. Overland, through the desert of Baluchistan. This was the option he took. Most difficult terrain. Likely losses to personnel very high - and that's what happened - most of what was left of army perished on the long march to Persia.

And now this begas the question - why did he take the path that would cost him so many lives? Any general would like to minimise his losses, and if Alex choose the desert path, then it meant he expected higher losses in the other two paths - through enemy action.

Note that he chose a path that avoided contact with local population. He ran away from India. He was routed in India.

We just didn't defeat the Macedonian bandit, we crushed him. He didn't die of pneumonia either, he probably drank hemlock out of shame.

Aaahhh, that feels so good. 8)

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Postby Lalmohan » 28 Mar 2006 13:43

review of the alexander movie by a historian

Review of Alexander

the movie blends several episodes into one, the battle on the Jhelum didn't quite happen as per the movie! Becuphelus was killed, but Alexander did not charge Puru, etc.

Another account of the battle has been pieced together by Major General Gurharn Singh in his book "Military History of Ancient India", he contends that

1. despite being massively outnumbered, Porus fought the Macedonians to a standstill
2. the Puru cavalry was routed by the Greeks, but the Elephants held their ground despite the Greeks managing to wound several and cause chaos
3. most Indian casualties happened "afterwards" - i.e. when in time honoured fashion the Indians went home at dusk and the Greek reserve force under Krateros(?) attacked the broken formation, not realsing that Indians had a code of conduct in warfare
4. The Indian chariots were destroyed, but the Infantry/Elephant formations held their ground
5. Porus was wounded and when his mahout retired him from the field to save him, again in time honoured fashion, the Indian ranks dispersed - expecting the greeks to do the same
6. The Greeks realised that Porus was a minor king and reaching a stalemate with him had taxed the world conquering army, and the supply lines were stretched
7. the generals didn't back Alex's plans to invade deeper
8. In a sulk, Alex headed back, but he took the hardest route back via the Makran
9. Multan was attacked and conquered and several cities along the route were butchered
10. at Multan, Alexander became impulsive and frustrated and leapt into the city and got himself shot/speared
11. the wound from multan eventually killed him when he reached persia
12. large numbers of his troops perished in the makran
13. Singh contends that had Porus been defeated, Alexander would not have sent repeated emisaries to parley with him during the battle, and would not have retained him as a vassal king to rule in his stead

more analysis welcome, the web is full of the "Greek version" of events :)

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Postby Tapasvi » 28 Mar 2006 14:22

It would be wonderful if we have some historians on BRF. I request all of you to search historians in various college/institutions of India/abroad to discuss this to details. Let the truth be revealed in an unambiguous and unanimous way. There is no other way of fruitful revelation.

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Postby abhischekcc » 28 Mar 2006 14:22

Perhaps a history buff member should write an article for the BR Monitor.

Would be a nice answer to the chest beating western versions of history.

BR is still ahead in the learning curve. 8) 8)

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Postby abhischekcc » 28 Mar 2006 14:22

Perhaps shiv could ask Kaushal to do the honours :)

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Postby Singha » 28 Mar 2006 15:08

very worthy thread indeed. I have always wondered why his rag tag remnant army took the severe penance of the Makran desert while the Great Leader himself sailed parallel to the coast in a fleet of ships eating fish n parboiled rice. :twisted:

His atrocities in Multan and other cities along the indus valley also deserve to be publicised from the deep recesses where western historians have hidden it.

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Postby abhischekcc » 28 Mar 2006 15:15

Singha wrote:very worthy thread indeed. I have always wondered why his rag tag remnant army took the severe penance of the Makran desert while the Great Leader himself sailed parallel to the coast in a fleet of ships eating fish n parboiled rice. :twisted:


Did he indeed. I thought that he himself led the routed army through the Makran.


Anyway, here's a site that tells the story from a different angle.
http://www.seleukids.org/mauryanempire.htm

Despite some victories and a favorable alliance with the powerful rajah, Poros (Parvataka or Parvatesha in Sanskrit), India at last broke the formerly undefeated Makedonian army. Alexander would have pushed further into the subcontinent beyond the Punjab but in 325 his weary troops, fearful of the rumors of the strong king of Magadha, mutinied on the bank of the river Hyphasis. The Makedonian king was forced to return west with India largely unconquered.

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Postby Singha » 28 Mar 2006 15:27

iirc when he reached the mouth of Indus, he built or comandeered as many ships possible and led this little fleet along the makran coast, stopping at settlements to plunder food and water. the rest of the army endured a brutal march through the desert (even native baloch dont fool with that area)...thousands dying for lack of food n water. Must have been a real shambles when they finally crawled into more favourable Persian coast.

would be fair to say very very few of his troops ever saw Greece again. many must have deserted and forked off on the long march to babylon, marrying local women and after his death when the generals split his empire they surely kept their own legions.

maybe greece had a surplus of young unemployed jihadi types in that era...normally losing a big bulk of fittest young men hits a society hard in terms of protection, fertility and so on.

(a) who was in charge of greece when alexander was off on his plunder ?
did they face any threats from neighbours ?
(b) how did greece do after his death ?

alexander moved east mainly, the violent western mongols, magyars, germanic tribes, poles to the north didnt see a opportunity ?

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Second Battle of Tarain

Postby SRoy » 28 Mar 2006 16:43

Its worthwhile to look at the Second Battle of Tarain. Lets start with brief description from the wiki pages. The battle that changed the course of Indic civilization.

Second Battle of Tarain

The Second Battle of Tarain, also known as the Second Battle of Taraori, was fought in 1192 at Tarain (Taraori), the site of the First Battle of Tarain a year earlier. Tarain is near Thanesar in present-day Haryana, approximately 150 kilometres north of Delhi.

The battle re-matched the armies of Muhammad of Ghor, conqueror of the Ghaznevid Kingdom of northwestern India, with the armies of Prithviraj III, a Rajput of the Chauhan clan who ruled the most powerful kingdom in northern India.

Muhammad's conquests had brought his kingdom right to the border of Prithviraj's, and in 1191 Muhammad's capture of a fortress on Prithviraj's northwestern frontier led to a clash between the two kingdoms. Prithviraj's vassal Govinda-raja, leader of the Rajput army, wounded Muhammad in the encounter, and Muhammad and his army retreated back to Ghazni, his capital.

In 1192 Muhammad returned at the head of a larger army, and was met again at Tarain by Prithviraj's army, which was larger still, and included the assembled Rajput forces from across northern India. Muhammad delivered an ultimatum to Pritviraj that he convert to Islam or be defeated. Pritiviraj countered with an offer that Muhammad consider a truce, be allowed to retreat with his army.

Muhammad allegedly responded with a letter indicating his acceptance of a truce, and the Rajput armies relaxed their guard and began to celebrate. Muhammad's armies attacked the Rajput armies in the early morning hours, and found them unprepared. The Rajput army rallied, and Muhammad fell back, sending waves of mounted archers to attack the Rajput forces, but retreating as the Rajput elephant phalanx advanced. At dusk, Muhammad led a force of heavily-armored horsemen at the center of the Rajput line, and the line collapsed into confusion, giving victory to Muhammad.

Nearly 100,000 Rajput soldiers are said to have died in the battle, and Prithviraj was taken captive and imprisoned in Ghazni, where he was tortured and ultimately murdered.The battle may have been the most decisive in Indian history. The defeat of the Rajput armies opened northern India to Muslim conquest, and Muhammad and his successors were able to establish an Islamic empire, the Sultanate of Delhi, across northern India in the decades following the Second Battle of Tarain.

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Postby Tapasvi » 28 Mar 2006 16:47

i met a doctor once, and while talking he started mentioning abt an episode on Indian history.

he said that in that documentary on DISCOVERY Channel, it has been promoted that NORTH India has a lot of GREEK Blood. As many of the soldiers in Alaxander Army settled there and local population was largely terminated etc.

Anyone seen that episode? I myself couldnt.... will try searching on discovery website.

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Postby SRoy » 28 Mar 2006 16:55

Tapasvi wrote:i met a doctor once, and while talking he started mentioning abt an episode on Indian history.

he said that in that documentary on DISCOVERY Channel, it has been promoted that NORTH India has a lot of GREEK Blood. As many of the soldiers in Alaxander Army settled there and local population was largely terminated etc.

Anyone seen that episode? I myself couldnt.... will try searching on discovery website.

Well! North India has Turk, Mongol, Afghan, Arab, Iranian, Saka, Hun blood lines. Whats the big deal about a bit of Greek blood?

OFF TOPIC: A good number of Hindus in North/North West trace their geneaologies to Kushan and Saka invaders (interestingly, Pakis of the same blood lines despite conversion to Islam retain those family names).

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Postby Murugan » 28 Mar 2006 17:19

Hereinabove, bappa rawals period has been mentioned and there are references of Mohamad bin Qasim. there is also a mention of one King Dahira in the north-west pakistan/afghanistan area. 711 CE

the waves of invaders were more in frequency. the kings and warriors of India kept on fighting for 500-600 years just to ward off the invaders till slave dynasty got foothold in Dilli.

Are there instances that some of the local small time rulers helped the invaders or were hand-in-glove with the invaders?

when hindu kush happened?

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Postby Rakesh » 28 Mar 2006 18:58

One of the greatest battles is where Akbar's Mughal Army defeated Muhammad Adil Shah and Hemchandra at the Second battle of Panipat, thus giving the throne of India to Akbar the Great! Read all about it here;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_battle_of_Panipat

Amen for Wiki! :)

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Postby Babui » 28 Mar 2006 19:19

maybe greece had a surplus of young unemployed jihadi types in that era...normally losing a big bulk of fittest young men hits a society hard in terms of protection, fertility and so on.

From the "westernized" histories that I read on Alexander, it seems that the bulk of Alexander's army after Granicus and Gaugamela, were of mixed races (but mostly Persian). Alexander (as the histories say it) was one of those leaders who treated the Persians the same as the Macedonians. Seems like the Macedonian elite and jihadi types were unhappy with this 'equal-equal' treatment and this led to lower morale, more plotting against Alex and generally led to lesser cohesion among the troops.
Also - the long jihadi campaign in Afghanistan led many of the Macedonians to quit and go home to enjoy their loot.
[I could be wrong - but it seems that there were not that many Greeks in the Macedonian army. The Greeks apparently hated the Macedonians for conquering Greece or at least large parts of it]

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Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2006 02:24

I think this was a critical battle that settle dthe future of the Mughal Empire.From Deccan Chronicle, Itihas section.

Jahanara recovered and Shah Jahan reverted to his Imperial destiny. In September 1657, fate struck again. It was the Emperor himself who fell ill this time. {Note 100 years before Battle of Plasey and rise of East India Company}Due to an obstruction in the bladder Shah Jahan passed no water for seven days. The resulting accumulation of undesirable elements caused loss of consciousness. The news soon reached the princes, Sultan Shuja in Bengal, Awrungzeyb in Deccan, and Murad Bukhsh in Gujarat. Rebellion raised its ugly head and failed to subside with the recovery of the Emperor.

The generals of the empire, the Amber Raja Jaisimha and the Marwar Raja Jaswantsimha, were sent out to block the rebel princes. Although Jaisimha won against Shah Shuja in Bengal, the defeat of Jaswantsimha at Dharmat from the combined forces of Murad Bukhsh and Awrungzeyb proved disastrous.

The fate of Shah Jahan was sealed when the eldest prince, Dara Shukoh, suffered defeat at Samugarh at the hands of Awrungzeyb and Murad Bukhsh. Shah Jahan was deposed and imprisoned in the palace fort of Agra where he died in 1666 (eight years later).

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Postby shiv » 29 Mar 2006 07:13

This business of "Greek blood" is waved about like a Green Card by a whole lot of Indians. I know families from the Tenkasi/Sivakasi area of Tamil Nadu who say they have "Greek blood". My own wife's family claim the same thing.

I don't dispute any of them

Comprehensive genetic studies of India have shown a regular admixture of genes of Indians from almost all over the country with those of invaders/immigrants from the west. It only means that if there were any great warriors - they were even greater lovers and makes one wonder exactly what type of lance was being put most effective use.

I too have Paki blood, Gengis Khan's blood and all sorts of other blood coursing in my jaguars.

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Postby Omar » 29 Mar 2006 07:33


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Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2006 08:27

> I too have Paki blood, Gengis Khan's blood and all sorts of other blood
> coursing in my jaguars.

:shock: well that explains your decisive ability at piskological analysis !

Raju

Postby Raju » 29 Mar 2006 10:40

Boss, everybody in this world is hunting for the right genes. The right genes will determine if you win the war or lose it. Wars are won if you have the right genes/people besides you. For instance Arjun had Krishna (the one with the *right* genes) besides him and he won the war.

That is one of the reasons why pakis want to be as TFTA as arab, if not more, they think the *right* gene is the one closest to the people of Mohammad the arab. Certain others are all pumped up about greek blood keeping in mind Alexander's exploits. Then there are numerous others (esp one's in a certain american state famous for it's oil industry) who think the *right* gene is with the children of Israel. But our ancestors and us are all in the same boat, we are constantly hunting for that victory/divine/right gene.

In the constant human endeavour/pastime for acquiring the 'right' one, sometimes we think we have acquired the right genes and yet nothing happens. And sometimes you have the right genes beside you, and ya hit paydirt. Everybody is looking, but one needs to know where to look. :)
Last edited by Raju on 29 Mar 2006 11:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Rakesh » 29 Mar 2006 11:00

This wiki link has some really good content on the History of the Indian Subcontinet. Check it out at;

Islamic Conquest of South Asia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_co ... South_Asia

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Postby D_Prem » 29 Mar 2006 11:02

why has this greek blood thing come in between???
:roll:

Murugan, good work man!....this was another much needed thread on BR.

sroy, you got it right with the Battle of Tarain......it was indeed a turning point in Indian history. But I guess, if we are going chronologically then we should first look at the wars waged by Mahmud Ghaznavi against the Hindu Shahi kings.

so here it is:

1001-03 AD: Jaipal, Peshawar

Jaipal was the king of Hindushahi Kingdom. Mahmud had already fought against him, when Subuktagin was the king of Ghazni. When Mahmud became the king, he decided to attack on Hindushahi Kingdom, as its king, Jaipal, was his old enemy.

In 1001, Mahmud attacked the Hindushahi Kingdom. 15,000 Hindu soldiers were killed. Jaipal was defeated and captured. He was presented before Mahmud with his 15 other relatives; 500,000 enslaved persons were also brought along.

Mahmud looted all his wealth. He received 250,000 Dinars to free Jaipal. About 5,00,000 Indians were taken to Ghazni as slaves. Though Jaipal was freed, but he refused to survive his disgrace. He cast himself upon a funeral pyre and died.


next came his son Anandpal Shahi:

1008: Anandpal


Anandpal was the son of Jaipal, and now became the king of Hindushahi Kingdom.

In 1008, Mahmud attacked on Anandpal. Anandpal called other Hindu kings to help him. The kings of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kannauj, Delhi, Ajmer etc. came to help him with their armies. In the battlefield of Peshawar, both the armies remained standing before each other, but no one attacked. Meanwhile the Khokhars (a race) also came there to help Hindus. Mahmud deployed 6,000 archers to attack. Khokhars attacked the Muslims and killed approximately 5,000 Muslims.

Unfortunately, Anandpal's elephant became infuriated and ran from the battlefield. As soon as Anandpal left the battlefield, the Hindu army got confused and ran away. Muslims chased them and killed 20,000 Hindus. Thus, the best organized national efforts ever made by medieval Hindu India against the foreigners ended.

1013 Defeats the last Shahi King Trilocanpala

......didnt find much on Trilochanpal......would be great if someone else could post more about him.

source: http://orbat.com/site/cimh/kings_master/kings/mahmud_ghaznavi/Mahmud%20Ghaznavi.html

Very sad story of the Hindu Shahi kings......entire generation laid down their lives.

btw, Anandpal Shahi's defeat really represents the type of warefare in medival times - wherein once the leader was killed (or the elephant going bizzare in this case) everyone else fled the battlefield.

Most historians consider this the only instance in Hindu history where the kings were truly dedicated to the cause of defeating the invaders for the sake of their religion.

------------
A little googling also gave me an interesting tidbit which I thought was rather "queer". To quote wikipedia itself:
"It is related that Mahmud fell in love with a young male slave by the name of Ayaz. The love he bore his favourite, and the latter's devotion, became a staple of Islamic lore, emblematic of ideal love affairs. The Sultan, because of the power of his love, becomes "a slave to his slave." Ayaz became the paragon of the ideal beloved, and a model of purity in Sufi literature.

In 1021 the Sultan raised Ayaz to kingship, awarding him the throne of Lahore, which the Sultan had taken after a long siege and a fierce battle. The poet Sa'adi was among those celebrating the two.[1] "Under the Turkish Ghaznavid, Seljuq, and Khawarazmshah rulers of Iran in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, pederasty was quite common in courtly circles."

available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmud_of_Ghazni

...ahem ahem ...... wonder what the paki lurkers will say to this ..considering that one of their missiles is named Ghaznavi too ! :lol:

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Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2006 11:06

on the issue of gunpowder, Babur & humayun had riflemen and artillery in their army as they advanced on ibrahim lodi in delhi, did the delhi sultanate have any such weapons to resist ?

how come people in italy, france, central asia had all learned of gunpower and its uses via the silk route and through travellers while Indoos were still using swords and lances ?

we ought to have opened a indepedent channel to the chinese via the east and learnt all their stuff like gunpower and paper independently of the europeans and mongols.

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Postby Rakesh » 29 Mar 2006 11:07

I got this from the wiki link in my previous post.

French Historian Gustave Le Bon wrote in his book Les Civilisations de L'Inde:

There does not exist a history of ancient India. Their books contain no historical data whatever, except for a few religious books in which historical information is buried under a heap of parables and folk-lore, and their buildings and other monuments also do nothing to fill the void for the oldest among them do not go beyond the third century B.C. To discover facts about India of the ancient times is as difficult a task as the discovery of the island of Atlantis, which, according to Plato, was destroyed due to the changes of the earth... The historical phase of India began with the Muslim invasion. Muslims were India's first historians.


Le Bon had a little too much burbon :)

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Postby SRoy » 29 Mar 2006 11:51

D_Prem wrote:why has this greek blood thing come in between???
:roll:

Murugan, good work man!....this was another much needed thread on BR.

sroy, you got it right with the Battle of Tarain......it was indeed a turning point in Indian history. But I guess, if we are going chronologically then we should first look at the wars waged by Mahmud Ghaznavi against the Hindu Shahi kings.


On the Second Battle of Tarain :

Some details are sketchy like

1. Prior to Tarain II, extent of Indian territories under Ghauri's control and disposition of Indian population towards him.

2. Organizational structure and size of Prithiviraj Chauhan's armies, supplies and ability to fight outside their own territories.

Two facts that caught my attention were that prior to Tarain II the Indian territories that were under Ghauri's control were far flung areas of West/North West. The fact that Khokhars murdered Ghauri is also surprising (because they were inhabitants of the occupied territory prior to Tarain II and hence they could have carried out the murder much earlier).

1. It seems the Chauhans did not consider it worthwhile to chase the fleeing invader when they were routed in Tarain I.

2. As the attack (Tarain I) were just one in the series, the Chauhans also did not took care to prepare for future invasions, considering the pattern.

3. The fact that Khokahrs murdered Ghauri by stealth points to the very possibilty that such an act could have instigated by Chauhan's spies much earlier. Either Chauhan's had no spy/intelligence outfit or they were not effective beyond their own kingdom.

I expect a flame war, but it seems Chauhan's (like their contemprories) considered only the attack on their kingdom missing the big picture, which again points to a serious lack of sense nationhood at that time.

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Postby Murugan » 29 Mar 2006 13:05

Recently i had read in a coffee table book "Weapons of India" that ghauri was killed by Prothviraj. Need to know the authenticity.

according to the author (name forgotten) and also the Raj Kavi of Prithviraj Chauhan Chand Bardai writes about this episode.

The author of the book visits ghauris kabr in afghanistan and surprisingly finds that there is a chain hanging beside ghauri's kabr on a flattened place.

people holding the chain jump and kick that patch of land beside the kabr. author asked the natives why do they do it. the peple said they are expressing contempt on prithviraj who was also burried there who killed his ruler ghauri. i have also read similar story in one website.

dunno how far this is true?

On the said day, Ghori sitting in his royal enclosure had Prithiviraj brought to the ground and had him unchained for the event. On Ghori's ordering Prithviraj to shoot, we are told Prithiviraj turned in the direction from where he heard Ghori speak and struck Ghori dead with his arrow. This event is described by Chand Bardai in the couplet, "Char bans, chaubis gaj, angul ashta praman, Ete pai Sultan hai (Taa Upar hai Sultan). Ab mat chuko Chauhan."(Ten measures ahead of you and twenty four feet away, is seated the Sultan, do not miss him now, Chouhan).
And he Killed ghauri.
...

We may all accept that in the first instance, the Mughal masters of India skewed indian History and always shown their rulers in a 'very' bright light. Then came the turn of Britishers and French to 'write' indian History. Macaulay once said that the total Indian knowledge and literature is equivalent to only one shelf of total great mammoth English work which my fill thousand rooms.

[quote]
His ignorance of Indian philosophy, Sanskrit, Pali, Persian and Tamil literature didn’t prevent him from making sweeping remarks, which in all fairness to Macaulay, he had merely borrowed from a few other European Orientalists: “A single shelf of a good European library is worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.â€

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Postby SRoy » 29 Mar 2006 13:40

Murugan wrote:dunno how far this is true?

On the said day, Ghori sitting in his royal enclosure had Prithiviraj brought to the ground and had him unchained for the event. On Ghori's ordering Prithviraj to shoot, we are told Prithiviraj turned in the direction from where he heard Ghori speak and struck Ghori dead with his arrow. This event is described by Chand Bardai in the couplet, "Char bans, chaubis gaj, angul ashta praman, Ete pai Sultan hai (Taa Upar hai Sultan). Ab mat chuko Chauhan."(Ten measures ahead of you and twenty four feet away, is seated the Sultan, do not miss him now, Chouhan).
And he Killed ghauri.
...

We may all accept that in the first instance, the Mughal masters of India skewed indian History and always shown their rulers in a 'very' bright light. Then came the turn of Britishers and French to 'write' indian History. Macaulay once said that the total Indian knowledge and literature is equivalent to only one shelf of total great mammoth English work which my fill thousand rooms.

Murugan

It will not make much diffrence in the end whether Ghori wall killed by some Khokar assassin or by Prithiviraj himself. Considering the later to be true, it is still the fact that the Rajputs had to yield.

IMHO, a popular opinion prevails that after the first battle of Tarain, Prithiviraj Chauhan was too engrossed with his new bride and hence war preparation either suffered or nobody even thought of such preparations.

Considering the fact the Islamic historians ruled the roost, followed by European half a$$ed 'scholars' it should be evident that virtually any reason can be ascribed to the Indian defeat at Tarain.

As a nuetral observer, I'd very much like to know, did the Chauhan's had enough resources to rebuild and equip their army? Did they had a workable spy/intelligence outfit in place to warn them of an impending attack? Did they make any attempt to organize the warlike tribes of NW/West (they were under Ghori's control) to make them disrupt Ghori's supply lines/ ambush forward elements?

The theory of Ghori being killed by Khokar assassin is widely prevalent, brushing aside the possibility of it being true, it is atleast evident that these people were not well disposed towards the Islamic invaders.

Had Ghori been chased by the Rajputs right after his defeat in Tarain I, what kind of treatment would have such a fleeing horde of losers met in territories populated hostile tribals? Again, was Prithiviraj Chauhan aware of state of affairs in these areas?

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Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2006 13:54

amar chitran katha on prithviraj chauhan has him killing ghori in the manner described. chauhan was blinded by the kings torturers before this.

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Postby Murugan » 29 Mar 2006 14:37

Sroy: thanx

hey sroy, that riaz khokhar to apna bhai nikla.
these khokhars of pakland were hindus?!

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Postby SRoy » 29 Mar 2006 14:47

Murugan wrote:Sroy: thanx

hey sroy, that riaz khokhar to apna bhai nikla.
these khokhars of pakland were hindus?!

Not just khokars, don't the pukis have Junejos, Sehgals, Chaudharys, Ranas as well? You see even a millenium of Islamic crap hasn't been able to erase tribal identities.

Appropriate for Islamic thread: Reinforcing and extolling these tribal identities is one way of reducing the grip of Islam. Recent example, the cultural identity of BDs (erstwhile Bengalis in East Pak) was too strong to be dissolved into the larger Islamic identity.

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Postby Lalmohan » 29 Mar 2006 14:54

well with the east bengalis there was also little deployment of "shiv's islamic lance" unlike the west punjab, hence the SDRE delta landers did not think they were arab/turks, unlike their overlords from the west wing who seem to like the fact that their ancestors had to do lots of GUBO at the point of a sword. only the islamic aristocrazies of the east thought they had "pure" blood

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Postby SRoy » 29 Mar 2006 15:21

Back to topic on Tarain II:

1. Political climate : The political climate in Northern India at that time was of fragmented kingdoms vying with each other for power and influence. This lack of a strong centralized power structure in the Indian heartland was negative factor during all invasions.

These little kingdoms never maintained large standing armies and in times of emergencies they had to depend on levies. But such rag tag mob of levies and little professional core cannot withstand the might of a well trained professional army.
The fierce resistance offered surely merits mention of extraordinary individual bravery and sacrifice, but one cannot cover up the failure to maintain standing armies.

It was the presence of strong central power and powerfull armies that held the Sakas and Huns at bay at one time.

2. State of various territories : The present day Afghanistan and immediate adjoining areas has always been staging grounds for invasions. Not all invasions were successful. What factors contributed to failure cases (Greek, Hun, Saka)?

The invasions were thwarted in cases when there was either a strong central power or there were strong kingdoms in the immediate route of invasiosn i.e. Punjab. Punjab was always the key, in Alexanders time when his army was brought to standstill and in Islamic times when a lack of significant power in the area allowed the Islamic invaders to establish staging ground on this side of HinduKush.

In this thread we've missed one very important conclusion from the Battle of Hydaspes i.e. Alexander's decision to return was very much prompted by the news of arrival of armies of Magadh/Ang.

A powerfull frontier kingdom, backed by powers from the heartland. We didn't have that luxury during Ghori's invasion.

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Postby Murugan » 29 Mar 2006 15:28

sroy:
add this:

Two main Rajput tribes of Sind are: the Samma, a branch of the Yadav Rajputs who inhabit the eastern and lower Sind and Bahawalpur; and the Sumra who, according to the 1907 edition of the Gazetteer are a branch of the Parwar Rajputs. Among others are the Bhuttos, Bhattis, Lakha, Sahetas, Lohanas, Mohano, Dahars, Indhar, Chachar, Dhareja, Rathors, Dakhan, Langah etc.4 The Mohano tribe is spread over Makran, Sind and southern Punjab. They are also identified with the 'Mallah' of the Punjab and both have in common a sub-section called Manjari. All these, old Sindhi tribes are known under the common nomenclature of Sammat.

very interesting piece of info on Sind (Authenticity not guaranteed, amateur work)
Last edited by Murugan on 29 Mar 2006 15:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2006 15:31

do guptas and aggarwals both come under the class "bania". are there other surnames under this trader community derived name ? is rawat primarily a uttaranchal and HP community ?

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Postby SRoy » 29 Mar 2006 15:35

Singha wrote:do guptas and aggarwals both come under the class "bania". are there other surnames under this trader community derived name ?

Yes, other surnames...numerous.

Singha wrote: is rawat primarily a uttaranchal and HP community ?

Seemingly so...but I've an old classmate with 'Rawat' surname from Bihar.

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Postby Murugan » 29 Mar 2006 15:49

guptas are banias but not marwaris, but agarwals are from Marwari business community.

The gujju word for bania is vania which is derived from vahaania = vahaan in gujarati is ship. the vanias of gujarat were doing business with africa, oman, persia etc and they were owners of the fleets.

Under trader community, there are

Sahas = in Bengal
Shahs = in Gujarat
Pal = Benga
Guptas = MP/UPl
Parekh = Gujarat (parakh means testing the authenticity of metals etc)
Choksey = Gujarat (as above)
Sarkar = ?
Singhvi = Marwari businessmen
Sanghvi = Gujarati, especially dealers in timbers and timber products
Mehtas = Biharis, UPites, Gujjus, Marwaris
Shroff = Gujju bankers
Kamat = kannada bankers?

GANDHIS/Kanakia = gujju grocery traders, Kanakia might be gold traders
Sheth = Gujju merchants
Shreshthi or Shreshtha = Bengali Merchants, other regions also
(sheth or seth is upbhransh=derivative of sanskrit word Shreshtha=Excellent=Gentleman)
etc etc

*Chandragupta Maurya = Muri was name of his mother. matriarch influence.

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Postby Tapasvi » 29 Mar 2006 23:11

I think most muslims in India and Pak have more hindu blood than any other.
can anyone put light on Rohilla Rajputs of UP/Rohilkhand. There were rohilla wars as well I heard.


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