Mahmud of Ghazni

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Mahmud Ghazni

The most notable king of the Ghaznavid Empire was Mahmud of ghazni (2 November 971 –30 April 1030). From 997 to 1030, he captured the eastern Iranian territories and the northern Indian subcontinent. Mahmud of Ghazni transformed Ghazni, a poor provincial capital, into the prosperous capital of a vast empire that included much of modern-day  Pakistan, eastern Iran, Afghanistan,

 and northern India. He was the first ruler to be given the title Sultan (“authority”), indicating the scope of his power.  He attacked and destroyed regions of Hindustan seventeen times during his reign. His father, Abu Mansur Sabuktigin, was a slave-soldier of the Bukhara, Samanid Emirs and his mother was a daughter of Persian noble from Zabulistan. His wife’s name was  Kausar Jahan, and they had two sons, Mohammad and Masud, who also became king of the Ghazni empire one after the other.

Mahmud of Ghazni wars

Mahmud Ghazni fought many wars in his entire life. In 994, Mahmud and his father defeated Rebel Fa’iq and conquered Khorasan with the help of Nug  II (the emir of the Samanid Empire). But at the same time due to internal politics the Samanid state became very unstable because many people were in the power struggle. When his father died, his brother captured the throne. To take the throne ,Mahmud fought with his brother (Ismail) and defeated him in the Battle of Ghazni in 998.  Then he conquered  the areas of Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. 

In 1001, he started to attack the Northern India.  In 1001 Mahmud of Ghazni  fought first war against the Jayapala in batte of Peshawar and defeated the army of Jayapala. In 1002, Mahmoud attacked Sistan, Khalaf I, and ended the Saffarid Dynasty. After that, he concentrated on the punjab which was the most prosperous region of subcontinent as Punjab.  Mahmud initially started journey against Ismaili Fatimid Kingdom in Multan to  to win political favors from Abbasid Caliphate.  

At this moment, Raja Jayapala from the Kabul Shahi dynasty tried to revenge from him and take his territory back from Mahmud. But Mahmud defeated him again. After losing the battle again, Jayapala suicide, then his son, Anandapala, continued the fight against him to revenge the suicide of his father. So  Anandapala gathered a strong army and fought with him. He also faced a loss when his elephant withdrew from the battle at a critical point, turning the situation in Mahmud’s side at Lahore in 1008. After his defeat, he gave Hindu Shahi territories control into Mahmud’s hand.

In 1011 he defeated Muhammad ibn Suri, king of the Ghurid Dynasty, and imprisoned him. Later in 1186, Muhammad Ghori (Mu’izz-ud-din) and Ghiyath-ud-din took revenge of  his ancestor and ended the Ghaznvi Dynasty.  

Mahmud of Ghazni Campaigns came to India

 Mahmud subsequently went on frequent campaigns against the Rajput in South Asia . After conquering, he left the conquered area of India and went back to Ghazni. The local Hindu leader started to govern their areas again. But Mahmud came again to the subcontinent and defeated them every year. 

The Indian kingdoms of Thanesar, Gwalior, Kannauj, Ujjain, and Nagarkot were all captured and left as puppet nations in the hands of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu, Kings. However, he was realistic enough to make alliances and recruit local people into his troops at all grades.

Mahmoud’s later invasions were primarily focused at the temple , as Indian temples were depository of vast riches, currency, golden idols, gems, and jewels. Consequently, the Armies of Mahmud Ghazni consistently taken out and subsequently demolished the temples of their prosperity.

Somnath temple Invasion

Mahmud ghazni Somnath Invasion

Somnath: famous city of India, located among waves on the beach of the Sea. In this temple, an idol was placed in the center of the temple which named was  Somnath. Somnath was considered a great idol in Hinduism, and anybody who saw it floating in the air became astonished whether it was a Muslim or non-Muslim. So the Hindus went on their pilgrimage whenever the moon turned eclipse, and thousands of Hindus gathered there. 

Mahmud Ghazni Somnath Invasion statrted in 1025 again. He captured and demolished many Hindu temples during the invasions and then he captured iconic Somnath Temple in 1025, killed over 50,000 people. Mahmud cut up the golden lingam (a sign that symbolizes the Shiva god and is considered an emblem of generative power). He also take out temple doors and  used them in his palace steps. 

Mahmud ghazni and Ayaz

Mahmud ghazni and ayaz

              Grave of Malik Ayaz

Malik Ayaz was a slave who was bought in Ghazni. Later he rose to the rank of general in Mahmud’s army. Mahmud Ghazni was very impressed by his poems and poetry. When Mahmud captured Lahore in 1021, he awarded the throne to Ayaz. As the first Muslim governor of Lahore, he rebuilt the city and added many features to it. During his governance, Lahore became an academic center for poetry and poems.  The tomb of Malik Ayaz is still located in Rang Mahal Lahore. 

In some reference  the Mahmud Ghazni and Ayaz relationshiop ws controversial. 


 At Mahmud Ghazni death time, Ghaznavid Empire was  spanned from Caspian Sea to the Yamuna. He made Ghazni the first center of Persian literature, one of Central Asia’s major capitals, financed academics, built colleges, set up gardens, and built mosques, palaces, and caravans. After his journey across the gigantic plains in 1017, he ordered Ferdowsi to write Shahnameh . During his era Al-Biruni wrote Tarikh Al-Hind on Indians and their beliefs.

Mahmud Ghazni

Tomb of Mahmud Ghazni

Sultan Mahmud died at the age of 59 in Ghazni on 30 April 1030. During his last invasion, Sultan Mahmud got malaria. After the Mahmud Ghazni death, Ghaznavid Empire ruled  for 157 years by its successors but never had anything of the same majesty and strength after Mahmud.   The Ghori took Ghazni from Mahmud descendants in 1150, and then in 1187, Muhammad Ghori came to Lahore, which was the last city of Ghaznavid empire  and captured it. Khusrau Malik was the ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire, who was killed by  Muhammad Ghori.

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