Prithviraj Chauhan and His Times : My aim in writing this book is to study the struggle of Prithviraj Chauhan III against the Turks and to highlight the cultural activities of that period. The scholars stress exclusively on the chronicles of the Muslim-Court annalists who familiarized us with the invader’s version of conquest. The heroic resistance offered by the Chauhan rulers and other Rajputs residing on the border areas has not so far been studied in correct perspective. The Goverdhan and other memorial inscriptions are very important. These were engraved in order to commemorate the heroic deeds of those brave persons, who gave away their lives while fighting against the invaders in order to rescue “cows women and religious shrines”. good number of such inscriptions are still available on the border areas of Rajasthan. I have utilised some of these inscriptions for the first time.
The Prithviraj Vijay, the Hamir-Mahakavya and other Jain works, inspite of rhetorical exaggeration, furnish valuable historical information. I have utilised these works very carefully. The Prithviraj Raso is very popular work composed to eulogise the heroic deeds of Prithviraj Chauhan. It’s several recensions prove its popularity. Existence of its shortest form during the 13th century A. D. is also proved from the literary sources. But its pre sent form is not very useful for the students of history.
This book is divided in to six chapters. In chapter first the early history of the Chauhans of Ajmer is given. In chapter second details of exploits and other battles of Prithviraj have been furnished. Basing en epigraphical and literary sources. I have also tried to locate the route taken by Muhammad Ghori during the course of his invasion in 1178 A.D. The chapter third consists of the account of Prithviraj’s battles against the Ghori. I have. attempted to prove that the Rajput version about the captivity of the Ghori in 1191 A. D. has sufficient weight. Mass migration of population after the disastrous defeat of Prithviraj in the battle of Tarain (1192 A. D.) is also proved from various inscriptions and literary sources. Interesting details of persons who gave away their lives while fighting against the invarders are also noticed from the contemporary epigraphs. The chapters fourth, fifth and sixth contain systematic account of administrative cultural and architectural activities. Seven appendices have been added. A detailed history of several contemporary families has been furnished for the first time in appendix VI, The text of the inscriptions, colophons and other Sanskrit works, given in appendix VII would prove helpful not only for the study of the period of Prithviraj Chauhan but also for the study of pre-medieval Rajasthan.