Warfare for Wealth

Summary

  1. For centuries, rulers belonging to the Gurjara-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties fought for control over Kanauj. Because there were three “parties” in this long-drawn conflict, historians often describe it as the “tripartite struggle.”
  2. Rulers built temples to demonstrate their power and resources.
  3. The rulers attacked temples because many of them were extremely rich.
  4. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was an invader from Afghanistan. He ruled from 997 to 1030, and extended control over parts of Central Asia, Iran and the north-western part of India.
  5. He targeted wealthy temples, including that of Somnath, Gujarat.
  6. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni entrusted a scholar named al-Biruni to write an account of the subcontinent of India.
  7. This Arabic work, known as the Kitab-al Hind, remains an important source for historians.
  8. Chahamanas, who were later known as the Chauhans, ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer.
  9. Prithviraja III defeated Afghan ruler Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1191 although he lost to him the very next year, in 1192.

Answer

  1. What do historians call tripartite struggle?
    For centuries, rulers belonging to the Gurjara-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties fought for control over Kanauj. Because there were three “parties” in this long-drawn conflict, historians often describe it as the “tripartite struggle.”
  2. Why did the rulers build large temples?
    Rulers built temples to demonstrate their power and resources.
  3. Why did the rulers target temples of the conquered kingdoms?
    The rulers attacked temples because many of them were extremely rich.
  4. Who was Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni? Why did he repeatedly attack kingdoms in India?
    Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was an invader from Afghanistan. He ruled from 997 to 1030, and extended control over parts of Central Asia, Iran and the north-western part of India. He raided the India almost every year – his targets were wealthy temples, including that of Somnath, Gujarat. Much of the wealth Mahmud carried away was used to create a splendid capital city at Ghazni.
  5. What is Kitab-al Hind?
    Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was interested in finding out more about the people he conquered, and entrusted a scholar named al-Biruni to write an account of the subcontinent of India. This Arabic work, known as the Kitab-al Hind, remains an important source for historians.
  6. Who were Chahamanas or Chauhans?
    Chahamanas, who were later known as the Chauhans, ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer. They attempted to expand their control to the west and the east, where they were opposed by the Chalukyas of Gujarat and the Gahadavalas of western Uttar Pradesh.
  7. Why is Prithviraja III the best-known among the Chahamanas?
    Prithviraja III defeated Afghan ruler Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1191 although he lost to him the very next year, in 1192.

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

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