Ikhtiyar-ud-Din Muhammad Invasion of Tibet


Ikhtiyar-ud-Din began to dream of carrying his arms beyond the Himalayas. About the middle of the year 1205, he set out with an army of 10,000 horses on his new adventure. He entered into a treaty with the Raja of Kamrup who agreed not to molest him and to assist him, at least with advice.

On the way there was a river which was spanned by a stone bridge. Leaving a force to hold the bridge. Ikhtivar-ud-Din set out of Tibet. It is not certain in what direction he marched or what part of Tibet was his objective.

After 15 days of marching, he reached a strong fortress standing in the open country which was well cultivated and thickly populated. The inhabitants joined the garrison of the fortress in opposing the invaders and though Ikhtiyar-ud-Din held his ground throughout the day, his losses were very heavy and ultimately he decided to retreat. During his retreathe found that the natives had destroyed or obstructed the roads and burnt all vegetation.


There was neither fodder nor fuel and the army was forced to live on the flesh of its horses. The bridge had been destroyed and no boats were available. The Raja of Kamrup also attacked the retreating army and drove it into the river. Ikhtiyar-ud-Din managed to reach Deokot with about hundred horsemen.

According to Sir Wolseley Haig, “This was the greatest disaster which had yet befallen the Muslim arms in India. Armies had been defeated but Ikhtiyar-ud-Din’s force had been all but annihilated and it would have been well for him to have perished with it, for he could not show his face in the streets of Lakhnauti without encountering the gives and reproaches of the wives and families of those whom he had led to their death.”

The disaster broke the nerves of Ikhtiyar-ud-Din and he fell seriously ill. On hearing this, Ali Mardan, one of his Amirs, came to Deokot. Ikhtiyar-ud-Din was confined to bed and nobody had seen him for the past three days. Ali Mardan reached his bed, drew the sheet from his face and thrust a dagger into his breast.

While this was what was happening in the India. Muhammad Ghori was routed by the Turks at Andhkhud in 1204 A.D., “a defeat which dealt a fatal blow at his military reputation in India.” Rumours even spread in India that Muhammad Ghori was killed. The result was that the Khokhars revolted under their leader. Rai Sal and defeated the Deputy Governor of Multan. They plundered Lahore and blocked the strategic road between the Punjab and Ghazni.


As Aibak failed to handle the situation, Muhammad Ghori found it necessary to come to India in person. At the close of 1205 A.D., the combined forces of Mohammad Ghori and Aibak inflicted a crushing defeat on the Khokhars, between the Jhelum and the Chenab. A large number of Khokhars were slaughtered and a still larger number was captured and enslaved. The number of slaves was so large that five Khokhar slaves were sold for a Dinar in the camp.

Muhammad Ghori reached Lahore in February 1206 A.D. and made arrangements for going back to Ghazni in order to carry on his struggle against the Turks. Unfortunately, when he was on his way back to Ghazni, he was assassinated on the banks of the river Indus on 15th March,1206 by some Shia rebels and Hindu Khokhars. The body of the Sultan was carried to Ghazni and buried in his capital.

According to Dr. Habibullah, with the death of Muhammad Ghori died his empire across the Hindu Kush. Within a few years, Mahmood, his nephew and successor at Ghor, was compelled to acknowledge the suzerainty of Khwarizm Shah. After his death, the Shansabani Kingdom was practically absorbed within the Khawarizmi Empire. The dissolution of Ghor was complete when in 1215 A.D., Yalduz, Muhammad Ghori’s viceroy, was driven out and Ghazni was attached to the appendage of Allauddin’s crown prince

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