Battle of Chandwar, 1193 or 1194

The battle of Chandwar (1193 or 1194) was the second major victory won by Muhammad of Ghor in northern India, after the second battle of Taraori.

Muhammad's first expedition in the Ganges plain had ended in defeat at the hands of Prithviraja Chauhana III at Taraori in 1191. In the following year Taraoir returned, winning a crushing victory at Taraori (second battle, 1192), and over the winter of 1192-93 Delhi fell to the invader.

Muhammad may have been encouraged to attack Prithviraja by his rival Jaichand Gaharwar, ruler of Benares and Kanaujl, but once it became clear that Muhammad saw himself as a conqueror and not a raider Jaichand was forced to fight. After his victory at Taraori Muhammad returned to Ghazni, leaving Qutb-ud-din Aibak to capture Delhi, but when it became clear that Jaichand was planning to fight he came back to India. The combined Muslim army advanced to Kanauj. Muhammad then sent Aibak to attack Jaichand.

The battle was fought at Chandwar (modern Firozabad), on the Jumna River close to Agra. In most accounts the Hindus were close to victory when an arrow hit Jaichand in the eye, killing him. He fell off his elephant, was trampled, and after the battle could only be identified by the gold caps on his teeth. With their leader gone the Hindu army broke and fled, taking heavy casualties during the pursuit. An alternative tradition has Jaichand escape from the battlefield and found a new dynasty in the Kurnaon Hills.

His victory at Chandwar gave Muhammad control of much of northern India, although it took Aibak several years to consolidate that rule, and it was briefly threatened in 1205 after Muhammad suffered a serious defeat at Andkhui.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 February 2010), Battle of Chandwar, 1193 or 1194 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_chandwar.html

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