Warfare for Wealth

Holy Ganga Water

Rahul was asked to bring holy Ganga water from the nearby banks for some rituals.

He went near the river bank with his uncle.

Rahul's uncle asked him, “Do you know what this area was called in ancient times?”

Rahul said, “Yes, this region near the Ganga valley was known as the city of Kanauj.”

Rahul’s uncle said, “Yes, you are right. Just because of this, Ganga valley rulers fought for the control over Kanauj.”

Rahul surprisingly asked, “Who fought for control over Kanauj?”

Rulers who fought for control over Kanauj

His uncle replied, “They were the rulers of Gurjara Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties.”

Since there were three parties, historians describe it as the tripartite struggle.

Many rulers built large temples in their kingdom to show their power.

Rahul asked, “How did the temples help the rulers?”

His uncle replied, “During wars, the rival kings targetted temples as they were extremely rich.”

Rahul asked, “Can you name a ruler who attacked such temples?” His uncle replied, “Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Afghanistan.”

Sultan Mahmud

Sultan Mahmud ruled from 997 to 1030, and extended his control over parts of Central Asia.

He ruled over some parts of Iran as well as the north-western part of the subcontinent.

He raided the sub-continent every year and targeted the wealthy temples. One such example is the Somnath temple of Gujarat.

The wealth Mahmud carried from his raids, he used it to create a grand capital city at Ghazni.

Sultan Mahmud entrusted a scholar named Al-Biruni to write an account of his subcontinent.

This chronicle was known as Kitab-ul-Hind and was widely used by many historians for research work.

Rahul asked his uncle, “Were there more kings at that time who were engaged in warfare?”

His uncle replied, “Yes, there were other kings who were engaged in warfare.”

That included the Chahamanas, who were later known as the Chauhans.

Chauhans Rulers

Chauhans ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer.

They tried to expand their territory and control over the west and the east.

However, they were opposed by the Chalukyas of Gujarat and the Gahadavalas of western Uttar Pradesh.

The best known Chahamana ruler was Prithviraja III, who defeated the Afghan ruler, Sultan Muhammad.

By getting to know all these facts and stories about the rulers, Rahul thanked his uncle and reached home.

Revision

Gurjara-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties fought for control over Kanauj.

Rulers tried to demonstrate their power and resources by building large temples.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni targeted wealthy temples and carried away wealth that was used to create a grand capital city.

Chauhans ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer.

The best Chahamana ruler was Prithviraja III, who defeated the Afghan ruler, Sultan Muhammad.

The End