Pre-Muslim India 1200


Map Code: Ax01888

Jaichand, the last king of the Ghadavala dynasty, like King Harold, fell to an arrow through the eye at the battle of Chandwar (1193) near his capital, Kanauj. Unlike Harold, he was then trampled by elephants, so his corpse could only be identified by its gold-capped teeth. This victory, by Muhammad of Ghor, brought Muslim conquest into the Indian subcontinent. At the time of the Muslim arrival, some of the traditional powers were already in decline. The Chalukya of Karnataka and Chola of Tanjore had battled one another to exhaustion over centuries for control of the Indian peninsula. Both collapsed at the end of the 12th century, and were usurped by resurgent Pandyan, Kalingan and Rajput dynasties. In Bengal, the Buddhist Pala Empire, which had dominated much of northern India in the early 9th century, but was torn apart by rebellion and by the 12th century had been supplanted by the Hindu Sena, spelling the end of the last major Buddhist power on the continent. In the west, Gandhara was devastated by the conquest of Mahmud of Ghazni. Meanwhile, Buddhist Lanka became consumed by a persistent civil war.

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