Booksfact Youtube Channel

Warrior Queen Nayaki Devi, who defeated Muhammad Ghori

Indian History in text books was written mostly by people who were not patriots.
There are many dynasties who ruled for centuries, but few invaders who ruled for lesser years got more coverage.
Many warriors, especially females were neglected and never included in history.
One such is Nayaki Devi, the queen of Gujarat. She defeated Muhammad of Ghori 14 years before he faced Prithviraj Chauhan.
Muhammad Ghori defeated by Nayaki Devi

It is well known that Muhammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan at the 2nd Battle of Tarain in 1192 CE.
However, he was defeated by Nayaki Devi, a Goa born, Queen of Gujarat.
Nayaki Devi belonged to Chalukya Clan and was widow of Solanki King Ajaya Pala, who ruled for a short period of 4 years around 1170 CE.
She was the daughter of the Kadamba ruler Mahamandalesvara Permadi of Goa and after the death of her husband, Nayaki Devi served as a Queen Regent as her son Mularaja II was just a child.
Their capital was Anahilapataka (modern Patan in Gujarat).
Gujarati court poet Someshwara, who served in the court of the later Solanki kings mentions that the infant king Mularaja (Nayaki Devi’s son) defeated an army of mlechhas (Ghori invaders).

However, the most exact description of Nayaki Devi defeating Muhammad Ghori’s army comes from works of the 14th CE Jain scholar Merutunga . In his work, Prabandha Chintamani he mentions how Nayaki Devi, the Queen and mother of Mularaja II, fought the armies of the mleccha king at Gadararaghatta or Kyara near the foot of Mount Abu.
The 13th century Persian chronicler Minhaj-i-Siraj from Ghor, who later served as chronicler to the Slave dynasty of Delhi, mentions that Muhammad Ghori marched towards Nahrwala (the Solanki capital Anhilwara) via Uchchha and Multan.
The ‘Rae of Nahrwala’ (the Solanki king) was young, but commanded a huge army with elephants. In the ensuing battle, ‘the army of Islam was defeated and put to rout,’ and the invading ruler had to return to without any accomplishment.

Nayaki Devi on Elephant

Nayaki Devi was the daughter of Goa Kadamba King Shivachitta Paramardi.
Nayaki Devi needed a strategy to defeat the enemy. She chose the site of the battle- the hilly passes of Gadaraghatta at the foot of Mount Abu near the village of Kasahrada, known was modern day Kyara in Sirohi district, 65 km away from Anahilavada. The narrow passes gained a huge advantage and the odds were balanced- the invading army was at great disadvantage.
The Chaulukya army was headed by Nayaki Devi with the boy king sitting on her lap. Her army and the troop of war-elephant crushed the massive army, which once defeated the mighty sultans of Multan like child’s play. Nayaki Devi killed several enemy soldiers forcing them to flee.
Muhammad Ghori fled with a handful of bodyguards. This battle was known as Battle of Kasahrada.
Due to this defeat, Ghori changed his plan while invading India next time. The following year, Muhammad Ghori entered India through Khyber pass, captured Peshawar followed by Lahore.

There are two Sanskrit inscriptions of Gujarat, where Mulraja-II is invariably mentioned as the conqueror of Garjanakas [dwellers of Ghazni]. One inscription states that “even a woman could defeat the Hammira [Amir], during the reign of Mulraja II..
Few years later, Nayaki Devi’s daughter Kurma Devi defeated Qutbuddin Aibak in another battle.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Articles :