Bakhtiyar Khilji is a well known historical character in India. He was the barbaric , Islamic fanatic who ravaged big parts of India and caused irreparable destruction to the Indian civilization by looting and pillaging,breaking temples etc. He is known for the destruction of Nalanda– the big ancient Indian university . But little do Indians know about King Prithu of Assam, of the Khen dynasty, who defeated Khilji in such a devastating manner that the Afghan never fought another battle and died some years later after being depressed at his humiliation at the hands of this great India hero.It can be said that King Prithu of Assam was the one who killed Bakhtiyar Khilji , although not directly.
It is ironic that Indians are taught more about the invaders and destroyers of our country rather than heroes who saved it like King Prithu of Assam. Here is the story of the legendary battle that took place in the present day Assam and that saved Indian North east from the Islamic invaders.
Background of the battle: Bloodthirsty Khilji and the Durga worshiper Prithu
Afghan military chief Bakhtiyar Khilji who captured Bihar through his ruthless raids and plundered Odantapuri university( in 1193 the library burned for 3 months). He then destroyed Vikramshila university and burned down 9 million manuscripts . He then captured Nadia in 1204 and captured Bengal.
That’s what we all know about him. But do we know anything about the king PRITHU of Assam ? King of the Khen Dynasty, who worshiped Kamatashwari( a form of Goddess Durga) and defeated Bakhtiyar Khilji in the battle of Kamrupa.
Khilji’s long march to Kamrupa(Assam)
Muhammad bin bakthiyar khilji after capturing Bengal decided to invade Kamrupa and Tibet in 1206. With an army consisting of 12000 turkish cavalry, Khilj marched from Devkot( in West Bengal) to invade Assam and Tibet. He converted a local tribal chief to Islam and gave a new name Ali the Mej.
Ali guided Khilji for almost 10 days until they reached a giant stone bridge over river Barandi in the outskirts of Kamrupa. Khilji entrusted two commander to keep guard the bridge until he returned. Khilji’s army then marched towards Kamrupa. King Prithu of Assam, the ruler of Kamrupa(the old name of Assam) was fully aware of threat and decided to use Scorched Earth Policy against the invading forces.
Scorched Earth Policy is a military strategy that aims to destroy all the possible resources that might be useful for enemy. Any assets that could be useful for the enemy may be destroyed which involves food resources, agricultural lands, water resources etc. To Starve and dehydrate the enemy soldiers is the main aim of this policy.
Main Battle:Invaders vs Natives
After marching for few more days Khilji’s army reached Kamrupa which was densely populated around a strong fort.
The combined forces of tribal community were able to stop Khilji’s advance and break havoc on the muslim army. As the supply line of Khilji’s army had already been cut long ago and his soldiers were tired and thirsty, the battle went from bad to worse for Khilji and his men.
The first day of the battle came as a total nightmare for the Turkish invaders and many of khilji’s soldiers were taken as prisoners.
The battle was to resume for the next day but the news came to Khilji that more reinforcement will arrive in the morning for King Prithu’s army. Hearing the news of reinforcement , the already wounded Khilji decided to retreat same night.
But King Prithu relentlessly attacked Khilji’s army during his retreat and killed many of his soldiers. Few hundred soldiers along with Khilji were able to escape and reach the stone bridge but the bridge was destroyed by Prithu’s tribal soldiers.
Seeing this ,surviving Turkish soldiers and Khilji decided to swim to reach the other end of the river. Many soldiers drowned to the river bed and decayed there but somehow Khilji survived with only few 100 men reach Bengal.
Aftermath of the battle of Kamrupa & how King Prithu of Assam has been forgotten in History books
Bakthiyar Khilji after suffering catastrophic defeat went into depression and didn’t lead any campaign and ultimately assassinated by his own general Ali Mardan.
When Khilji had plundered Nalanda university, he killed almost all the monks and scholars of the university but King prithu followed the principle of dharmayudh even in victory . 1000’s of Khilji’s soldiers were captured by Prithu as prisoners of war but he gave them all the possible resources for living and allow them to settle in Assam which marked the beginning Islamic settlements in Assam.
The biggest irony is that while all Indians know about the foreign invader Khilji, the destroyer of our indian civilization, who has been romanticized in our history books by the leftist-Marxist ‘historians’ of modern India, King Prithu of Assam and many other heroes from different parts of India do not find a mention in the discussion. It is our duty to make sure these stories are spread and Indians are made aware of the REAL heroes of our forgotten Indian history and find a sense of pride in that.
- Saffron Swords, India’s Historic Battle: From Alexander the Great to Kargil
- Dated Stone Inscriptions of Guwahati.
- Persian historian book :Tabaqat-i-Nasiri
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