historyofindia

The Battle of Bahraich

Introduction

In Indian history books, we have studied that Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni attacked India seventeen times during 1000 AD to 1027 AD. We have also learnt that Muhammad Ghori defeated Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 AD and established Islamic rule in India. But we forget to ask what happened during the intervening 165 years. Didn’t the foreign invaders attack India during this period? If yes, then why don’t we know? If no, then what was the reason behind this? The Battle of Bahraich provides the answer to the question.

Sultan Mahmud died in 1030 AD. Immediately thereafter, his nephew Salar Masud Ghazni invaded India in May 1031 AD with more than 1,00,000 soldiers. This army crossed Punjab, Sindh and Gujarat defeating local kings and reached Bahraich in present Uttar Pradesh. The local rulers of the north Indian plain formed an alliance under Raja Suhal Dev Pasi. In June 1033 AD, Suhal Dev asked Salar Masud to stop torturing the local populace and leave the land. Salar Masud ignored the warning.

On the early morning of 13th June 1033, the united army under Suhal Dev descended on a much larger Ghazni army stationed at Bahraich. Masud’s army was completely besieged and encircled. Fierce fighting continued for hours. Suhal Dev’s army didn’t show any mercy. No prisoner was taken. Each and every soldier of the Ghazni army was put to the sword. The location of this battle was near present-day Chittaura Jheel, a lake located at 8 km. away from present Bahraich towards Gond. On 14th June 1033 (Sunday), Salar Masud was beheaded.

The Battle


In ancient India, there was a city called Shravasti, located near today’s Balrampur district, UP. A prince was born to the Gond tribal King Mordhwaj Singh Pasi of Shravasti. King named Suheldev. It’s believed that Suheldev was born after 14 years after their parents’ marriage.

Mordhwaj Singh was a great warrior, he had trained his son very well. Also, Suheldev was sent to the Chalukyas and other empires to learn the weaponry applications. Soon, he mastered the weapon art, war tactics & came back to his kingdom.

It was the time when Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was pouncing India for loots. He attacked 17 times during 1000-1027 AD, but died in 1030 AD and his nephew Salar Masud Ghazni was their new Sultan. He was a born slaughterer who used sword more than tongue.It was Masud who convinced his uncle to attack Somnath temple and demolish the Shivlinga. He decided to invade India, after being throned. He gathered many Islamists in Ghazna and they banded together for a goal. He started invasion crossing the Sindh River with over 120000 men.

He started his campaign with conquering Multan, and his next target was Delhi. It took him 18 months to reach Delhi. He found a reinforcement that was living there since Mahmud Ghazni’s invasion. Their count had reached 1.4+ lakhs when more soldiers from Ajmer came & joined them.He invaded Delhi, Meerut and nearby cities and remained there for 6+ months. He established his headquarters at Satrikh (near Ayodhya) and sent his soldiers to capture and loot nearby provinces like Bahraich, Benares, and others. His father died while capturing Bahraich.

He was informed about the Hindu chiefs of Bahraich for subjugating and loss of his father and he decided to go to the Bahraich. With 90000+ soldiers, he arrived there and defeated many Hindu kingdoms for the next 8 months until Suhaldev with his infantry & horse soldiers arrived.Masud saw that Suhaldev hardly had 8000 soldiers and yet arrived to challenge for a battle. Looking at their confidence, other soldiers with their rulers joined Suhaldev. Suhaldev warned him to stop torturing people & leave the battlefield before the attack.

But Masud, with more 8 times of soldiers than Suhaldaev's army, refused him with incivility & overconfidence. Jun 13th, 1033, 15000 soldiers descended on the Ghazni army stationed at Bahraich under Suhaldev's leadership. They used… Click To Tweet

The defeat of the Ghazni army was so devastating that for the next 165 years, the invaders from Afghanistan never dared to cross Punjab and Sindh. The battle of Bahraich was never discussed by Indian historians but taught in countries like Ireland, Germany, Israel and many more.

“Gazi Mian’s tomb” which is located in Bahraich

Masud was buried in Bahraich, on the land of a demolished Sun Temple and a Dargah was built to commemorate him. Nowadays, thousands of Hindus visit Dargah as a holy place “Gazi Mian’s tomb” which is located in Bahraich, UP. But nobody discusses Suhaldev Maharaj.

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