Battle of Jalore

Battle of Jalore 1311: Inspiring story of Kahnardev Chauhan and Viramdev Chauhan: How a handful of Rajputs harassed Alauddin Khilji

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In our previous article, we had covered the story of a Rajput king known as Hammir Dev Chauhan who defeated the Khilji dynasty and sacrificed everything for the protection of an immigrant. In this article, we will cover the story of another Rajput king and their heroic resistance to the Khilji dynasty of Alauddin Khilji.

Battle of Jalore
Image of Kahnardev Chuahan
He was the father of Viramdev
Kahnardev Chauhan (Kanhad dev Chauhan) Rajput king who fought against Alauddin Khilji at the Battle of Jalore.

Kahnardev Chauhan (Kanhad dev Chauhan) was the son of Samant Chauhan (Samantasimha) and later became his successor.

Kahnardev Chauhan is remembered for his heroic campaign against the Khilji Sultanate. It was the time when almost the whole of northern India was under the rule of Sikander I Saini (Alauddin Khilji) and kingdom after kingdom fell under the sultanates’ rule.

But the Jalore campaign of Alauddin was one of the most difficult and one of the longest campaigns for the Turks.

Battle of Jalore
Image of Alauddin Khilji

In this article, we will also cover the story of Viramdev Chauhan who refused to marry Firoza the daughter of Alauddin Khilji and protected the code of Rajput spirit.

Kahnardev Chauhan ascended the throne of Jalore in the year 1305 when his father i.e. Samantasimha abdicated the throne due to illness.

Note: The Chauhans of Jalore took this land from the Parmars in the year 1181. It was Kirtipal Chauhan who is responsible for establishing Chauhan’s rule over Jalore.

Battle Of Jalore

After the second battle of Tarain in which the great king Prithviraj Chauhan 3 was defeated by the Turkish invader Mohammad Ghori the northern part of the Indian subcontinent was captured by the Turks.

In the year 1290 or somewhere in 1291, the Slave Dynasty was overthrown by the Khilji dynasty. The new sultan of the Khilji dynasty was Jalaluddin Khilji who tried his best to spread his dominion over the Indian sub-continent but was not successful.

Battle of Jalore.
Image of Viramdev Chauhan.
He was the son of Kahnardev Chauhan
Rajput Prince
Viramdev Chauhan

Alauddin Khilji (also known as Ali Gurushap) the nephew of Jalaluddin Khilji became the sultan of the khilji dynasty in the year of 1296 CE. The new sultan was a strong follower of expansionist policy and soon he adopted the title of Sikander-e-Saini (second Alexander).

In the year of 1299 CE, Alauddin Khilji sent his Turko-Mongol to invade the rich wealth of Gujarat under the leadership of Nusrat Khan, Ulug Khan, and Alp Khan. The invaders plundered the wealth of Gujarat, massacred the local population, and raised the temple to the ground. A huge amount was looted by the invaders.

The temple of Somnath was raised to the ground and its Shivalinga was carried back to Delhi in pieces. But soon the Mongols in the army of Khiljis revolted against their masters for the distribution of wealth.

When this news reach Maharaja Kahnardev Chauhan he sent his army to crush the invaders near Jalore. It is believed that the Khiljis were defeated and Kanhad dev Chauhan brought all the pieces of Shivalinga which were washed in Gangajal and were established in temples of Jalore.

According to Kanhad De Prabandh of Padmanabhan, Viramdev was in attendance at the court of Sultan Alauddin and from here the daughter of the latter fell in love with the Rajput. When this news reach Alauddin he pressurizes Firoza but was not successful.

Note: The daughter of Alauddin i.e Firoza born to a prostitute from Harem.

Later the Sultan offered the marriage proposal to Viramdev who openly rejected the offer as marring a Turk was against the Rajput honor.

It is also believed that when Alauddin Khilji’s army was going for the Gujarat campaign they requested Kanhad dev to give them the passage to their destination. But Kahnardev Chauhan refused and this was the reason behind the campaign of Jalore later in 1310 1311.

The above two are causes are the major reason which is considered the main reasons behind the battle of Jalore.

Battle of Jalore (1310): Forgotten Tale of Bravery

In the battle of Siwana, the Khiljis captured the Siwana fort of Sutal Dev (Satal Dev) which was a doorway for Jalore.

The initial attack of the Delhi Sultanate was repulsed by the Rajputs at Jalore. The defeat of the Khilji Sultanate was a huge setback for the invaders. This siege continued for several days and both sides suffered heavy losses. Alauddin Khilji then sent a huge army under the command of Malik Kamal al-Din Gurg to invade Jalore.

To stop the advance of the invaders Kahnardev Chauhan sent two contingents under his son Viramdev and Maladeva. The two Rajput’s offered great resistance but they couldn’t stop the invaders to reach Jalore.

Kamal al-Din after reaching Jalore decided to block all the passage and force the besiegers to starve. But the resistance from the Rajputs continued and due to this, the siege continued for many days inflicting a heavy toll on the invaders.

But due to treachery done by a person named Bika (a Dhaiya Rajput) who sided with the invaders and told them about the unprotected entrance of the fort. It is believed that when the news of this treachery reached Bika’s wife i.e. Hiradevi she killed him and reported the matter to Kanhad Dev Chauhan.

But it was too late and the remaining men decided to fight till their last breath while women prepared for Jauhar in order to save their honor. Both Kanhad dev Chauhan and Viramdev died fighting in order to protect their land. Later when the news of Viramdev reached Firoza she committed suicide.

Alauddin changed the name of Jalore to Jalalabad and also constructed a mosque on the fort premises. But the story of men like Kanhad Dev Chauhan and Viramdev Chauhan and several others who died fighting to protect their land had been forgotten.     

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