Explained: Who was Prithviraj Chauhan, the fearless hero of folk legend?

What is the News?

There is controversy around a new film called ‘Prithviraj’. As both the Gujjar and Rajput communities of Rajasthan laying claim over the 12th-century king.

Who is Prithviraj Chauhan?

He belonged to the Chauhan or Chahamana dynasty of Ajmer which emerged after the decline of the Pratihara empire in the 11th century AD.

He ascended the throne in 1177 or 1178, and very quickly expanded his kingdom, defeating many of the smaller Rajput states.

He struggled against the Chalukyas of Gujarat and was forced to look towards the Ganga valley instead.

Literary works about Prithviraj: Prithviraj was depicted in ‘Prithviraj Raso’, a poem in Brajbhasha attributed to Chand Bardai, which is thought to have been composed in the 16th century.

Note: The description of Prithviraj as “the last Hindu emperor” can be traced to the British colonial official James Tod’s ‘Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan’ (1829).

Prithviraj Chauhan and the Battle of Tarain

First Battle of Tarain (1191AD): Prithviraj’s army was able to decisively defeat the invading Ghurids in the First Battle.

Second Battle of Tarain (1192AD): He was defeated in the Second Battle.

Significance: The battle marked a watershed moment in the history of medieval India, paving the way for the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate and the beginning of Muslim rule.

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: Who was Prithviraj Chauhan, the fearless hero of folk legend?” published in Indian Express on 25th May 2022.

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