Timeline History

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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