Before we enter into the Medieval History of Bihar , let us understand the purpose of our blog on the History of BIHAR . We are outlining those historical facts about BIHAR which are unique and chronologically understandable in a lucid language . I personally feel and think that the place of the ancient BIHAR historically is similar to that of the ancient GREECE . As we see numerous unique historical facts about the ancient GREECE , similarly if we deeply look into the HISTORY , MYSTERY AND MONESTRIES OF BIHAR , we find many such features that prevailed in BIHAR were absent that time even in the entire EUROPEAN continent as such . As we have noticed from the accounts of the Chinese traveler FA-HIEN in our earlier blog that there prevailed a Hospital in the ancient PATALIPUTRA in fifth century AD , but the concept of the Hospital emerged in the EUROPEAN continent more than five hundred years after that . Similarly , we see in BIHAR a well organized and civilized administrative system during RIG VADIC period King RAJA JANAK of MITHILA , we don’t find any such administrative systems that time in the entire EUROPEAN continent including GREECE as such . We have heard about the ACADEMY OF PLATO in the ancient GREECE of 5th century BC , But that was not a University at all as it was only a short of School of Learning as such . But after the University of TAKSHXILA , we had a full-fledged University in the MAGADHA region of NALANDA which operated from 427 AD to 1197-98 AD and later on even University at VIKRAMASHILA which was founded by DHARAMPALA in 783 AD as such and which was operational until destroyed by the Muslim invaders . When we observe about the University system coming into existence in the EUROPEAN continent , we find that the first UNIVERSITY in EUROPE was founded in the year 1096 AD in the form of the OXFORD UNIVERSITY in ENGLAND , the UNIVERSITY OF PARIS was founded in 1150 AD and the UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE in the year 1209 AD as such . In the ancient GREECE we had the concept of CITY-STATES , as we see CITY-STATES like ATHENS & SPARTA during the time of SOCRATES & PLATO , while the process of Empire building had already started itself during the HIRANYAKA DYNASTY of BIMBISARA at the time of LORD BUDDHA in the MAGADHA i.e BIHAR . we had the first Republican kingdom of VAISHALI during the VAJJI Dynasty of BIHAR in which the king was elected by the people; we do not see any such practices that time in the entire EUROPEAN continent as such . Now , before shifting to the condition of BIHAR after 1200 AD , we must go through the prevailing political conditions of Northern INDIA during this period ; so that we could have better understanding about the political , social and economic conditions of the then BIHAR .
EARLY MEDIEVAL INDIA (12O6-1526) The early Medieval India started with the continuous invasion of MUHAMMAD OF GHOR ( 1149-1206 AD ) and the defeat of PRITHVIRAJ CHAUHAN , the United King of Rajput Confederacy , in the battle of TARAIAN in 1191-92 . It was many years after the first Muslim invasion of MUHAMMAD BIN QASIM on SINDH , the North-Western province of INDIA in 712 AD , the conquest of which resulted into coming in touch of ISLAMIC Civilization with that of the VEDIC Civilization of INDIA . It is said that MUHAMMAD GHORI attacked seventeen times on INDIA and destroyed our ancient Temple of SOMANATH , located in the state of GUJARAT .* Many historians on the subject have stated this facts that the SHIV LINGA in the Temple was fixed in the air without any support and was hanging in the GARVA GRIHA of the Temple due to the Magnetic forces of the Tomb of the Temple . It is also said that it took many months for the ferocious army of the MUHAMMAD OF GHOR to understand the secret of how the SHIV LINGA in the GARVAGRIHA of the SOMANATH Temple was hanging in the air without any support from any side as such . Then , they had been able to destroy the Tomb of the Temple and the hanging-in-the air SHIV LINGA came down on the ground . With such fanatic and ferocious action , the MUSLIM invaders entered from the North-Western part of the INDIAN SUBCONTINENT as ; a plunderer , a destructor and a desecrater .
After the death of MUHAMMAD OF GHOR in 1206 , his lieutenant QUTUBDIN AIBAK was chosen a King of the GHURID territory of the NORTH INDIA , thus , establishing the SLAVE DYNASTY in INDIA . It is also called MAMLUK DYNASTY or DELHI SANTANAT which , in general , produced three Rulers of outstanding importance : 1. ILTUTMISH (1213-1236)AD , 2. RAZIYA SULTANA ( 1236-1240) , 3. BALBAN (1266-1286) . BALBAN revitalized and consolidated the DELHI SANTANAT , however , in 1290 JALALUDDIN KHILJI ascended the throne of DELHI SANTANAT , establishing the KHILJI DYNASTY in INDIA . His brief rule saw ‘ the first armed penetration of the South by the TURKS ‘. ALAUDDIN KHILJI , the nephew and son-in-law of JALALUDDIN KHILJI usurped the throne of DELHI in 1296 after slaughtering the latter . His reign of about twenty years was important in the Medieval History of India as he conquered the Kingdom of DEVAGIRI , WARANGAL , DWARASAMUDRA , and MALABAR in the south , GUJARAT , RANTHAMBHOR , MEWAR and MALWA in the Western and Central INDIA between 1297& 1305 AD , and beat back the MUGALS on the North-Western boarder of INDIA . An epitome of intolerance , apart from invasion , his little contribution ( which failed later ) was in the fields of the Market Control and the Prohibition . GHAYAUDDIN TUGHLAK ousted KHILJIS ,who after an accidental death, was succeeded by his son MUHAMMAD TUGHLAK ( 1325-51 AD ) , though intellectually sound , his main contribution was shifting his capital from DELHI to DEVAGIRI and re-shifting them . And His scheme of Token Copper Currency failed completely . His cousin FIROZ SHAH TUGHLAK ( 1351-88 AD ) was a little wise Ruler who got rid of the rigidity in administration of the past Ruler. But his generosity paid him heavily in the form of rebellions of the governor of BENGAL and his death followed a phase of king-making and king-breaking . TAIMUR LUNG , the king if SAMARKAND , in 1398 AD invaded INDIA , plundered DELHI , slaughtered people and looted thier wealth . DAULAT KHAN LODI , an Afgan , succeeded the TUGHALAK with the help of court nobles who was soon driven out in 1414 AD by TAIMUR’S representative KHIZIR KHAN SAIYYAD whose DYNASTIC rule after his four successors ended in hollowness . Later came BAHLUL KHAN LODI ( 1451 AD ) , SIKANDER LODI and IBRAHIM LODI who lastly was defeated by BABAR in 1526 AD in the battle of PANIPAT , thus , MUGAL rule in INDIA , now , started . This was the political conditions of Northern India , in brief , in the Early Medieval time . It will put light on our study on the HISTORY , MYSTERY AND MONESTRIES OF BIHAR in the next blog .
SUGGESTED READINGS : 1. AN OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE INDIAN PEOPLE—–BY H.R. GHOSAL 2. A HISTORY OF INDIA ( VOL-1 ) —– BY ROMILA THAPAR 3. THE WONDER THAT WAS INDIA—– BY A.L. BASHAM
NOTE : ROMILA THAPAR *, a renowned historian , has written about the plundered and destruction of SOMANATH TEMPLE in the following words ( in brief) , ” The Hindus used to go on pilgrimage to it whenever there was an eclipse of the moon and would assembled there to the number of more than a hundred thousand …..Everything of the most precious was brought there as offerings , and the temple was endowed with more than ten thousand villages …..A thousand brahmans were employed in worshiping the idol and attending on the visitors , and five hundred damsels sung and danced at the door —all these were maintained upon the endowments of the temple . The edifice was built upon fifty-six pillars of teak covered with lead . The shrine of the idol was dark but was lighted by jewelled chandeliers of great value . Near it was a chain of gold weighing two hundred mans . When a portion ( watch ) of the night closed , this chain used to be shaken like bells to rouse a fresh lot of brahmans to perform worship . When the Sultan went to wage religious war against India , he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnat , in the hope that the Hindus would become Muhammadans . He arrived there in the middle of …..December A.D. 1025 . The Indians made a desperate resistance . They would go weeping and crying for help into the temple and then issue forth the battle and fight till all were killed . The number of slain exceeded 50,000 . The king looked upon the idol with wonder and gave orders for the seizing of the spoil and the appropriation of the treasures . There were many idols of gold and silver and vessels set with jewels , all of which had been sent there by the greatest personages in India . The value of the things found in the temple and of the idols exceeded twenty thousand dinars . When the king asked his companions that what they had to say about the marvel of the idol , and of it staying in the air without prop or support , several maintained that it was upheld by some hidden support . The king directed a person to go and feel all around and above and below it with a spear , which he did but made with no obstacle . One of the attendants then stated his opinion that the canopy was made of loadstone , and the idol of Iron, and that the ingenious builder had skilfully contrived that the magnet should not exercise a great force on any one side — hence the idol was suspended in the middle . Some coincided others differed . Permission was obtained from the Sultan to remove some stones from the top of the canopy to settle the point . When two stones were removed from the summit the idol swerved on one side , when more were taken away it inclined still further , until at last it rested on the ground “. **
** THAPAR , ROMILA : A HISTORY OF INDIA ( VOL-1 ) , PENGUIN BOOKS , 1966 , PP.- 233-234 .