Raja Bhoj was the King of Malwa Kingdom, he took the crown of King at the tender age of 15 and played a very pivotal role in the unification of India and in his entire life no Islamic invader from the northwest was able to set his foot permanently in India, he fought many battles in his spell as emperor and expanded his territory with every battle he fought, in this Part 1 we are going to talk only about the war which took place between Mahmud Ghazni and Raja Bhoj in 1026 which is either covered as a footnote in some history book or nary a mention of it you will find in many other sources.
Raja Bhoj when took the charge of Malwa then at that time 57 small Kingdom were ruling in India which means that India has been fragmented into 57 parts and this made it vulnerable to foreign invasion especially from the northwest which serves as a gateway to the invaders to enter and attack India, Raja Bhoj decided to expand his Kingdom and stretch its horizon in all direction so that entire India can be unified under the one Hindu bhagwa flag and therefore he fought wars in the south, east, west part of India and at the age of 23 almost whole of India was under his belt, his intention of indulging in the war was not driven with the motive of avarice for territory but to create solidarity in the Hindu Kings which was essential for facing the forthcoming invasion from the northwest, all this illustrates that Raja Bhoj was very farsighted, competent and visionary emperor which are the prerequisite of strong Leader.
It was the year 1026 When Mahmud Gazni invaded India for the 16th time in a row which later prove to be its last invasion and he first marched to Punjab where he started Plundering people. looted them and made countless women as their slaves, Raja Bhoj when heard about it immediately provided military assistance to the King of Punjab and thus Gazni was forced to drove out from Punjab, Raja Bhoj very early realized the malicious intentions of Mahmud Gazni, he sent letters to Hindu Kings asking them to join hands to resist the invasion of Mahmud Ghazni who is unleashing terror on innocent Hindus, killing them brutally. Before the answer to the letter from the other king comes, a group of a brahmin who has fled from Somnath temple to escape the tyranny of Mahmud Gazni arrives in his courtyard, they started narrating the whole incident of how Mahmud Ghazni decimated the most revered Somnath temple and broke the idols of many Hindu deities, mercilessly killed 35,000 Hindus at the cite of Somnath temple. This enraged Raja Bhoj so much that he took the vow to perish Mahmud Ghazni and his descendants. Raja Bhoj ordered his army to get prepare for the battle as he decided to advance to Gujarat to save them from the oppression of Mahmud Gazni, emperor of Afghanistan. Many other Hindu Kings also expressed their willingness to be a part of this war so as to avenge the desecration of Somnath temple. Mahmud Ghazni for 2 days continuously looted Somnath temple and the booties they got in that raid amount to Rs 35,000 crore and many women were also raped by him and his army. When Hindus begged him not to destroy their Idols and temples then Mahmud Gazni said that
I recite the kalima of my prophet of Islam which commands me to destroy the idols and temples, I have come in India only to destroy your Idols and not for seeing them, the forthcoming generation would always remember me as an Idol destroyerMahmud Gazni, Emperor of Afghanistan
The combined forces of Hindu Kings under the leadership of Raja Bhoj marched from Ujjain to Somnath temple with a bhagwa flag, every soldier in his army raised the slogan of Har Har Mahadev as if this battle was no less than do or die situation for them. Mahmud Gazni was aware of Backlash so before the Alliance army could reach Somnath he left from there to escape from the wrath of Raja Bhoj, when Raja Bhoj saw the dead bodies of Hindus piled up like a heap, he got angered and ordered the doctors of Malwa to treat the wound people, Gujarat was completely devastated due to the Gazni’s invasion and for the rehabilitation of it, Raja Bhoj asked people of his Malwa Kingdom to help them financially and sent food to Gujarat. Raja Bhoj was annoyed that Gazni has left Somnath temple so he started chasing him and gave orders for the rebuilding of Somnath Temple. Raja Bhoj then headed towards Rajputana where he liberated Kota, Banasdwada, Thaneshwar, Hansi Nagar, and Kota from the Islamic rulers and when he ordered to behead these Islamic invaders then many Kings opposed this on the ground that this is not the rituals of Hindu. Raja Bhoj then said
Is this also part of the ritual of the King to be a mute and helpless spectator when people of its own Kingdom face the bloodbath from the hands of Islamic invaders? if I didn’t kill them then they would again come to attack IndiaRaja Bhoj, King of Malwa
The alliance army of Hindus has marched beyond Lahore since coward Mahmud Gazni went to Kabul where he was hiding in his Fort , when Raja Bhoj entered in Kabul with his strong army of 3 lakh people then local Muslims started protesting against him at the behest of Gazni, Raja Bhoj told them to get out of their way otherwise before Gazni you people would be plundered, seeing his Large army they got terrified and the Hindu army started searching for Mahmud Gazni in Kabul, they found Gazni’s army near his fort and battle started there where a face to face sword contest occurred between Mahmud Gazni and Raja Bhoj in which Raja Bhoj outsmarted him, Mahmud Gazni asked him
Why do you want to kill me? From where have you learned this amazing combating skill with Sword that I am unable to touch you and you are able to wound me with Sword, Forgive me Raja Bhoj, have some mercyMahmud Gazni, Emperor of Afghanistan
Raja Bhoj unlike other Hindu Kings never believed in giving any chance to enemy so he said
Gazni you have killed innocuous people in India, it’s because of you that countless women in India were widowed, Children lost their parents, Sisters got separated from their Brother, I will not let you go free, you have to die, it is the first time that you have encountered Hindu warrior with self-respect, pride, and esteemRaja Bhoj, King of Malwa
Raja Bhoj killed Mahmud Gazni in the battle and he ordered that instead of burying him as per Islamic rituals, his dead body would be hanged on the pole on the streets of Kabul and told everybody there that those who even dare to step in India would meet with the same fate as that of Gazni. Raja Bhoj became victorious in the battle and in Ujjain he was welcomed with cheers and applaud from the people and in this way, he kept his vow of killing the monster Gazni and later he was honored with the title of Bhojdev by its own people as they thought him to be the incarnation of any deity. Raja Bhoj restored the pride of Hindus by rebuilding the Somnath temple and his glories during his spell of King would always remain echoing in our life and also tells us the struggle and sacrifices made by Hindu Kings like Raja Bhoj to preserve our culture, tradition, and values from the foreign invasion.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.
Hi, do u have any reference to a historical book for your narrative. Is somehow Raja Bhoj and Suheldev are from same time period ?