Foreign invasions on India and their impact- GPSC Mains

The Arab Invasion of India

The first incursion by the new Muslim successor states of the Persian Empire occurred around 664 CE during the Umayyad Caliphate, led by Mohalib towards Multan in Southern Punjab, in modern day Pakistan. Mohalib’s expeditions were not aimed at conquest, though they penetrated only as far as the capital of the Maili, he returned with wealth and prisoners of war. This was an Arab incursion and part of the early Umayyad push onwards from the Islamic conquest of Persia into Central Asia, and within the limits of the eastern borders of previous

Persian empires.

The first attack of Arabs under Ubaidullah failed. He was defeated and killed, After this, a series of expeditions were sent to conquer an outpost of Sindh, which all ended in failure. Then Hajjaj made elaborate preparation for the attack on Sindh and sent a powerful army under the command of his nephew and son-in-law Muhammad bin Qasim in 711 AD with 6000 horses, 6000 camels, 3000 animals loaded with equipments and a large infantry. Muhammad bin Qasim proceded towards Sindh through Makarana and first conquered Debel where he received fresh reinforcement sent by Hjjaj through the sea.

Sind, a principality on the shores of the Arabian Sea and the lower reaches of the Indus,was invaded from the sea by the Muslims in 711. The sea port of Daibul fell first, thenseveral towns on the banks of the Indus, including Arur, the capital. Finally, in 713, the Arabs took Multan and the conquest was complete. The fall of Sind opened the way to the
markets of Central Asia.

The Ghaznavid Invasion of India.

The Ghaznavid Dynasty was founded after the Turk slaves reached higher posts, such as commander-in-chiefs, in the Samanid court; they then took over the state of Khorasan. The real founder of the Ghaznavid Dynasty is, in fact, Sabuktigin. It was in his time that the Ghaznavid sovereignty expanded. Mahmud Ghazni was Son of Sabuktigin, the founder of Ghazni dynasty & Turkish slave commander.

In all Mahmud Ghazni invaded India 17 times during AD 1000–1026.Mahmud Ghazni first encountered the Hindushai ruler, Jaipal in AD 1001. In the years AD 1004–06 Mahmud Ghazni attacked the rulers of Multan. Soon Punjab also passed into the hands of the Ghaznavids. Between AD 1014–1019, Mahmud enriched his treasury by looting the temples of Nagarkot, Thanesar, Mathura and Kanauj.
The attack against Nagarkot in AD 1008 has been described as his first great triumph. In AD 1025, Mahmud embarked on the most ambitious Indian campaign, the attack on the Somnath temple in Saurashtra. Mahmud captured the city after grim struggle in which more than 50,000 defenders lost their lives. Mahmud left Somnath after a fortnight when he came to know that the Gujarat king Bhima-I had completed preparations to confront him. His attacks on India were an attempt to fulfil his ambi- tion to make Ghazni the formidable power in the politics of Central Asia. Mahmud’s raids into India were only to acquire the famous wealth of India. This wealth would help him to consolidate his vast rule in Central Asia. He did not wish to establish an empire in India. The Ghaznavids had their control on parts of Punjab and Sind which continued till AD 1135. However his invasions exposed the weak defence of Indian kingdoms. They also opened possibility of attacks in future by the Turks.

The Mongol invasion of India

During Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak’s time, the Mongols, appeared in the East of India and emerged as a great power under the leadership of Genghiz Khan (1165-1227). He was born in 1165 to Yesugei and Hoelun. He was brought up by his ablest mother Hoelun after his father was poisoned to death by Tatars. In his incessant wars, he exhibited such remarkable traits of heroism and diplomacy that led him to transform the entire social and military structure of Mongolia.

The Mongol troops had a strict code of discipline and harsh penalties for infringements of regulations. The Mongol
hordes were divided in units of 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000 soldiers (known as an arban, jagun, minghan and tümen respectively; the latter corresponds to a modern regiment).
Under this system fighters from different tribes were united in unified military formations, whose chief strategy was to “march divided, attack united,” and the strategies used were based on large-scale skirmish manoeuvres that helped the Mongols defeat numerically superior but fragmented forces from the Oxus to the Volga.

While chasing Jalal-ud-Din Khwarzam Shah (Ruler of Khwarazmian dynasty), Genghiz Khan stormed Afghanistan and the territories nowadays parts of Pakistan. Initially, Jalal-ud-Din defeated an advance Mongol army with the help of the Afghan fighters. However after the coming of Genghiz Khan, Jalal-ud-Din left Ghazni and entered into the areas of the Delhi Sultanate and encamped at the west bank of river Indus. In December 1221 AD, Genghiz Khan followed him and crushed his army while he fled crossing the Indus waters. He was given refuge by the Delhi Sultan. Genghiz Khan marched back due to hot summer. But in his way back he devastated the present day Punjab, Afghan borderland, Ghazni and Herat.

In 1235 Mongol force invaded Kashmir, stationing a darughachi (administrative governor) there for several years, and Kashmir became a Mongolian dependency

In 1285 AD, the Mongols invaded Multan and killed Prince Muhammad Khan.

During the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji, Mongols invaded the country several times but were successfully repulsed. From these invasion Alla-ud-din Khilji learnt the lessons of keeping himself prepared, by fortifying and organizing his armed forces.

The invasion of Mongol ruler Timur in 1398 A.D. sealed the fate of the Tughluq dynasty. Muhammad fled and Timur captured the city and destroyed many temples in north India. Thousands of people were killed and Delhi was plundered for fifteen days, Timur returned to Samarkhand carrying away a large amount of wealth with him.

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