The number and frequency of these invasions highlights his power and energy. Almost every year he left Ghazni for India in September October and went back in March-April with a lot of booty. All these invasions on India were made from 1000 to 1026 A.D. The details of these raids are as follows:
Invasion on Frontier Forts:
First of all Mahmood invaded the forts on the frontiers of Jaipal the ruler of Punjab and the old enemy of his father; and established his control over them. The contemporary scholars have mentioned not even a word about this expedition as it was considered an unimportant invasion.
Invasion on Punjab:
In 1001 A.D. Mahmood launched a significant invasion on Punjab. A fierce battle was fought between Mahmood Ghazni and Jaipal. Jaipal, who had also been defeated by Sabuktagin twice, faced the enemy gallantly but he was defeated and captured along with the members of his family.
Mahmood collected a lot of booty from Punjab and ultimately an insulting treaty was concluded between the two. According to this treaty Jaipal paid two and half lakhs of Dinars as ransom along with 50 elephants to Mahmood Ghaznani.
On reaching the capital he suffered pangs of remorse for his humiliation and defeat and failed to swallow this bitter pill. To be defeated was an accident of war; had won and lost battles valiantly fought in the past; but to have been taken captive by the Mlechchha and treated in the manner he was by Mahmood invited only one reaction in the code of his country and that he paid willingly. He perished on a self-kindled pyre, after making his son Anandpal seated on the throne.
Dr. A. L. Srivastava has observed, “These catastrophic incidents must have caused great discouragement and dismay among Jaipal’s friends and followers whereas they must have raised the spirits of Mahmood and his hordes and whetted their appetite for fresh conquests and booty.”
Conquest of Bhera:
In 1003 A.D. Mahmood again appeared on the bank of river Jhelum and invaded Bhera. The ruler of Bhera fought very valiantly for four days but he could not escape defeat. After his victory Mahmood plundered Bhera ruthlessly, and returned to Ghazni with immense booty. He incorporated Bhera in his empire. The ruler of Bhera also committed suicide out of sorrow, sense of defeat, and insult suffered.
Conquest of Multan:
Mahmood also made an invasion oil Multan in 1004-05 A.D. A Muslim, Fateh Daud, was ruling over it but he was a Shia and staunch Sunni Mahmood hated him like infidels. He considered Multan an abode of Karmathians and an asylum for all kinds of heretics. The ruler of Multan had once invaded Mecca in 930 A.D. And carried away the black stone and other sacred relics from there.
Hence Mahmood being a true representative of the Caliph launched an expedition. First of all he had to v age a war against Anandpal of Hindu Shahi kingdom as he was a friend of Fateh Daud. Anandpal was defeated and driven to Kashmir hills.
After this Fateh Daud was also defeated after a pitched battle. He had to pay about one lakh Dirhem to Mahmood and also promised to send 20,000 Dirhem as annual tribute. Before returning to Ghazni he appointed Sukhpal, a son of Anandpal, governor of Mulian, for he had embraced Islam.
Conquest of Bhatinda:
Mahmood Ghazni wanted to plunder the temples built in the Doab of Ganga-Yamuna, and Bhatinda was situated on the way to reach this region. Hence he invaded Bhatinda in 1005 A.D. The ruler of Bhatinda, Baji Rao, was a very brave and courageous ruler. He gave a tough fight to Mahmood but ultimately was defeated and ran away from the battlefield.
He was chased by the Muslim army and finding no rescue he committed suicide in the traditional Hindu fashion like Jaipal. Mahmood not only plundered Bhatinda but massacred the innocent men and women of Bhatinda. He gathered a lot of booty from here and forced Hindus to embrace Islam, if they wanted to save their lives and property.
Invasion on Sukhpal:
S.ukhpal was appointed governor of Multan by Mahmood because he had embraced Islam. He was given the name of Nawasa Shah but soon he gave up Islam and began to rule over Multan as an independent ruler.
Hence Mahmood invaded Multan in 1008 A.D. in order to punish his governor Sukhpal alias Nawasa Shah for his impertinence. He realized four lakh Dirhem from Sukhpal and forced him to flee away to northern Punjab. Fateh Daud was again appointed the ruler of Multan.
Invasion on Anandpal:
In 1008 A.D. Mahmood launched an expedition against Anandpal, the successor of Jaipal. The following reasons contributed to this invasion:
(i) Anandpal had helped Fateh Daud against Mahmood.
(ii) So long as Anandpal was the ruler of Punjab, it was not possible for Mahmood to penetrate into the heart of India,
(iii) Anandpal was making preparation to avenge the defeat of his father,
(iv) Anandpal had formed a confederation to crush the rising power of Mahmood.
A formidable coalition was formed which included the kings of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinga, Kanauj, Delhi and Ajmer, but the statement of Ferishta seems too hyperbolic to be believed. However, it cannot be denied that Anandpal sought the help of his supporters. All the Hindus helped their ruler in order to gain victory. The Khokhars of Punjab also helped Anandpal in this battle.
A fierce battle was fought between Mahmood and Anandpal near Wahind. The Khokhars showed great valour to gain victory. The Rajputs also sacrificed their life in great numbers for the sake of their motherland and Mahmood was at his wits’ end to see the courage and gallantry of the Rajputs but unfortunately the elephant of Anandpal was frightened and fled away from the battlefield. It created a lot of confusion among the soldiers of Anandpal and they thought that their master was running off from the battlefield. They also followed him. At this time Mahmood struck a terrible blow and gained victory. He plundered the kingdom of Anandpal.
Conquest of Nagarkot:
Nagarkot became the next victim of the wrath of Mahmood Ghazni. He reached Kangra in If09 A.D. and sieged the fort of Nagarkot. The Hindus fought valiantly for three days but ultimately they had to surrender before the mighty army of Ghazni. According to Ferishta after capturing the fort Mahmood plundered huge wealth from there including gold, silver, jewels, pearls, diamonds and precious stones.
Conquest of Multan Again:
After the defeat of Sukhpal, Mahmood again appointed Fateh Daud, the ruler of Multan under his suzerainty. Later, Daud tried to attain independence. In order to teach him a lesson, Mahmood marched against him Daud was defeated and Multan was incorporated in the Ghazni Empire.
Invasion against Trilochanpal:
Mahmood made two invasions against Trilochanpal the successor of Anandpal. In the first invasion, he could not get much success, hence, next year; he again launched an expedition against Trilochanpal. Trilochanpal was defeated due to superior command of Mahmood and fled away to Kashmir.
Here the joint forces of the ruler of Kashmir and Trilochanpal tried to stem the advancing tide of Mahmov d but they were defeated again. However, he did not penetrate into Kashmir. It was the last and decisive victory of Mahmood against the Hindu Shahi rulers. After this Mahmood occupied Nandanah, the capital of Trilochanpal, and established Turkish rule there.
Conquest of Thaneshwar:
The greedy Mahmood advanced against Thaneshwar in 1014 A.D.. On the way, a Hindu named Rajaram tried to stem his way on the eastern bank of river Sutlej. Although Mahmood attained victory against the Hindus yet he suffered a lot in the battlefield. When he reached Thaneshwar, once again he had to meet tough resistance of the Hindus but ultimately he succeeded. The army of Mahmood plundered the temple of Chakra Swami ruthlessly. He carried the image of Chakra Swami to Ghazni and threw it in a public square contemptuously. He also gathered a lot of booty in the expedition.
Expedition against Kashmir:
The ruler of Kashmir had given shelter to Trilochanpal and his son Bhimpal Hence Mahmood was very much annoyed with him. He launched an expedition against Kashmir in 1015 A.D. .but he failed to get much success. Hence in 1021 A.D. he again invaded Kashmir but again he was defeated; therefore, he gave up the idea of conquering Kashmir.
Expedition against Mathura and Kanauj:
In 1016 A.D. Mahmood once again crossed the river Indus and Yamuna and reached Buland- shahar. From here he marched to Mahawan and defeated King Kulachandra. After plundering and getting elephants, he marched toward Mathura where Rajyapal was ruling at that time. Instead of fighting a war, Rajyapal submitted before the ruler of Ghazni ; however, Mathura was sacked and plundered mercilessly.
Mahmood advanced towards Kanauj also and ransacked it. He also reached Vrindaban and repeated the story of plunder, arson and massacre. During this expedition Mahmood collected a lot of wealth from the temples of Mathura and Vrindaban. Besides this he destroyed the temples and broke up the idols. The seven forts of the city were also captured in a day by Mahmood.
Conquest of Kalinjar:
Chandela ruler Ganda did not like the cowardly submission of Rajyapal before Mahmood. He attacked and killed him. When this news reached Mahmood, he at once marched against Ganda with a vast and powerful army but seeing the organized army of Chandela ruler, Mahmood was himself terrified and doubted his victory but as luck would have it, Ganda lost hopes of his victory against the Muslim army and fled the battlefield. Thus Mahmood got an unexpected victory against the Rajputs of Kalinjar.
Conquest of Kalinjar and Gwalior:
In 1022 A.D. Mahmood invaded both Kalinjar and Gwalior. The rulers of both the kingdoms accepted his supremacy and paid a huge war ransom. Thus he returned to Ghazni after getting a lot of wealth from the vanquished rulers.
Plunder of Somnath:
The most significant invasion of Mahmood was made against Somnath temple which was situated on the sea-coast of Kathiawar. Somnath being a harbour had fabulous wealth. On 17th October 1024 A.D. Mahmood left his capital with a vast army and marched towards Somnath. Several greedy persons volunteered their services on his way to Somnath and he reached Multan on 20th November. After passing through the desert of Rajputana, his army reached Anhilwara in January 1025. A.D. KingBhimdeva fled from the kingdom. Victor Mahmood advanced towards the temple of Somnath. The following factors forced him to invade this temple:
1. Mahmood had an insatiable thirst for gold and he was encouraged to get a lot of wealth from this temple.
2. It is said that the Purohits of Somnath had once commented against the acts of Mahmood and being angry at their remarks, he invaded the temple.
3. He was greatly fond of making the temples unholy and breaking the idols of the Hindu gods and goddesses.
4. He was interested in the massacre of the Hindus ; therefore, he invaded Somnath.
There were about ten thousand villages near Somnath, and the people of Hindustan had great respect for god Somnath. The principal idol was hanging in the middle of the temple without any support. When Mahmood reached Somnath groups of volunteers came out of the temple and was defeated one by one. A pitched battle was fought at the entrance of the temple:
There were about ten thousand villages near Somnath, and the people of Hindustan had great respect for god Somnath. The principal idols were hanging in the middle of the temple without any support. When Mahmood reached a Somnath group of volunteers came out of the temple and was defecated one by one. A pitched battle was fought at the entrance of the temple.
“A body of Hindus hurried to Somnath, cast themselves before the deity and besought Him to grant them victory. Night came on and the fight was suspended. Early next morning the Muslims renewed the battle and created greater havoc among the Hindus, till they drove them from the town to the house of the idol Somnath.
A dreadful slaughter followed at the gate of the temple. Band after band of defenders entered the temple and with their hands clasped round their necks, wept and passionately entreated Somnath. Then again they issued forth for the fight until they were slain and only a few were left alive. These took to the sea in boats to make their escape, but the Muslims overtook them, and some were killed and some were drowned.
“The principal idol was broken and its pieces were sent to Ghazni, Mecca and Baghdad to be used as stepping stones by the faithful. The treasury was near and in it there were many idols of gold and silver. Over it there were veils hanging, set with jewels, every one of which was of immense value. The worth of what was found in the temple exceeded 2,000,000 Dinars all of which was taken. The number of the slain exceeded 50,000.”
Thus was medieval Hindu India’s Holy of Holies desecrated, devastated and looted? Besides Ganges water being brought daily to wash the idol, the sea itself bathed the temple steps at every flow of the tide. The temple bells were hung with chains of gold weighing 200 maunds. Mahmood reached Ghazni via Sindh along with immense wealth plundered from the temple of Somnath.
Expedition against Jats:
He led his last punitive expedition in 1027 A.D. Against the Jats of Sind for having harassed him during the previous year. With the feeling of revenge he plundered the colonies of Jats and set them on fire. He laughtered the men and enslaved their women and children. This was the last invasion of Mahmood against Hindustan.
The empire of Ghazni Was well extended and its coffers were full of wealth when Mahmood breathed his last on 30th April 1030 A.D.