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Encyclopedia > Muhammad of Ghori

Muhammad of Ghor or Muhammad Ghori (originally named Mu'izz-ad-din) (1162 - 1206) was a Persian conqueror and sultan between 1171 and 1206.

Muhammad was from the region of Ghor in central Afghanistan. which lay on the western boundary of the Ghaznevid empire. Before 1160, the Ghaznevid empire covered an area running from central Afghanistan east to the Punjab, with capitals at Ghazni, a city on the banks of Ghazni river in present-day Afghanistan, and at Lahore in present-day Pakistan. In 1160, the Ghorids conquered Ghazni from the Ghaznevids, and in 1173 Muhammad was made governor of Ghazni. He raided eastwards into the remaining Ghaznevid territory, and invaded Gujarat in the 1180's, but was rebuffed by Gujarat's Solanki rulers. In 1186-7 he conquered Lahore, ending the Ghaznevid empire and bringing the last of Ghaznevid territory under his control.

In 1191, he invaded the territory of Prithviraj III of Ajmer, who ruled much of present-day Rajasthan and Haryana, but was defeated at Tarain by Govinda-raja of Delhi, Prithviraj's vassal. The following year Muhammad assembled 120,000 horsemen and once again invaded the Kingdom of Ajmer. The Muhammad's army met Prithviraj's army again at Tarain, and this time Muhammad was victorious; Govinda-raja was slain, Prithviraj captured, and Muhammad advanced on Delhi, capturing it soon after. Within a year Muhammad controlled northern Rajasthan and the northern part of the Ganges-Yamuna Doab. Muhammad returned east to Ghazni to deal with the threat to his eastern frontiers from the Turks and Mongols, but his armies, mostly under Turkish generals, continued to advance through northern India, raiding as far east as Bengal.

Muhammad returned to Lahore after 1200 to deal with a revolt of the Ghakkar tribe in the Punjab. He suppressed the revolt, but was killed a Ghakkar raid on his camp on the Jhelum River in 1206. Upon his death, his most capable general, Qutb ud-Din Aybak took control of Muhammad's Indian conquests and declared himself the first Sultan of Delhi. Muhammad's former territory in Afghanistan was conquered by the Mongols.



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