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Mahmud of Ghazni – Sabuktigin had two sons: Mahmud and Ismail. Among them, Mahmud was the elder, and Ismail was the younger. Sabuktigin had a greater affection for his younger son, and therefore, before his death, he appointed him as his successor. Mahmud was not prepared to accept this. He suggested dividing the kingdom by giving Ghazni to Ismail and keeping Balkh for himself. However, Ismail did not agree to this. Eventually, Mahmud defeated Ismail in a battle, captured him, and took control of his father’s kingdom.

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Mahmud Ghaznavi's Invasion of India- Objective, Invasion, Evaluation

When was Mahmud of Ghazni born?

Mahmud of Ghazni was born on November 1, 971 AD. His mother was the daughter of a wealthy man from Jabulistan, near Ghazni. Therefore, Mahmud was also known as Mahmud of Jabul. At the age of 27, he became the ruler of his father’s kingdom. He is considered the first Sultan of Persia. According to the “Tarikh-e-Gujida,” after defeating Khalaf bin Ahmad, the king of Sistan, Mahmud adopted the title of ‘Sultan.’ Historians consider him the first ruler to assume the title of ‘Sultan.’ However, his coins bore only the inscription “Amir Mahmud.”

He conquered Herat, Balkh, Bust, and Khorasan. The Caliph of Baghdad, Al-Qadir Billah, acknowledged his authority over these regions and honored him with the titles Yamin-ud-Daula (Right Hand of the Empire) and Amin-ul-Millat (Protector of the Faith). It is said that on this occasion, Mahmud swore to invade India every year.

NameMahmud Ghazni
Known ForFirst sultan in History
Full NameYamin ad-Dawlah Abdul-Qasim Mahmud ibn Sabuktegin
BornNovember 2, 971 in Ghazna, Zabulistan, Samanid Empire
ParentsAbu Mansur Sabuktigin, Mahmud-i Zavuli
Famous AttackSomnath Mandir Gujrat (1025-26 CE)
DiedApril 30, 1030 in Ghazna
SpouseKausari Jahan
ChildrenMohammad and Ma’sud (twins)

Objectives of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasion of India

There is disagreement among scholars about the objectives of Mahmud of Ghazni’s invasions.

According to Muhammad Habib-Mahmud obtained the throne of Ghazni after a contest for succession. Thus, he sought to consolidate his position and gain recognition as a Sultan. After achieving this recognition, he swore to invade India every year to enhance his prestige among the Muslims of Central Asia, aiming to establish his empire there. He presented his campaigns in India as religious endeavors to garner support from devout Muslims. According to Professor Habib, calling Mahmud’s invasions a “holy war” would be fundamentally incorrect. The primary goal behind these campaigns was to acquire wealth.

Professor Habib Nizami has established with solid evidence that no principle in Islamic law justifies or promotes acts of destruction. According to historian Jafar, Mahmud’s objective in India was not to propagate Islam, but to take. He attacked Hindu temples because they were repositories of wealth.

Professor Nazim points out that Mahmud targeted not only Hindu kings but also Muslim rulers of Iran and Transoxiana. The plunder he carried out in the Ganges plains was similar to what he did along the Oxus River. However, Mahmud’s court historian, Utbi, portrayed his invasions as a Jihad. According to Utbi, Mahmud’s primary objective was to spread Islam and eliminate idolatry.

Thus, according to the majority of historians, it is clear that the main objective of Mahmud of Ghazni’s invasions of India was the plunder of wealth. Mahmud aimed to conquer the small and large states scattered across Iran and Central Asia.

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Condition of India During Mahmud of Ghazni’s Invasions

Political Situation: Politically, India was fragmented into various states. The rulers of these states were entangled in mutual jealousy and conflicts. Multan and Sindh were two Muslim states. The Hindu Shahi kingdom, which extended from the Chenab River to the Hindu Kush mountains, was bordered by the Ghaznavid and Ghurid dynasties. Its capital was Udabhandapura. Jaipal was a brave ruler of this dynasty. The Hindu Shahi dynasty was the first to firmly resist Mahmud’s invasions.

Kashmir was one of the prominent states and was ruled by the Brahmin dynasty. In Kannauj, the Pratihara dynasty was in power. Due to continuous conflicts with the Rashtrakuta rulers of the South and the neighboring northern states, this kingdom had weakened by the beginning of the 11th century. The Chandelas of Bundelkhand, the Paramaras of Malwa, and the Chalukyas of Gujarat, who were previously vassals of the Pratiharas, had freed themselves from its control. The invasions by Rajendra Chola weakened the power of the Pala dynasty in Bengal. Mahipal, the contemporary ruler of this dynasty, was a contemporary of Mahmud of Ghazni.

In South India, the later Chalukyas and the Chola dynasty were quite powerful. However, they were engaged in mutual conflicts and did not take an interest in the politics of North India. Thus, it is clear that although the Indian rulers of the time were quite powerful, they lacked unity. Due to internal conflicts, their strength was so weakened that they failed to repel the Turkish invasions.

Social Condition: Socially, India was weak. The society was driven by the ideas of caste and discrimination. The many complexities prevalent in society had narrowed the sense of brotherhood. Society was divided into small classes. People of the upper caste had deprived a large number of lower-class individuals of their rights. Al-Biruni, the author of “Tarikh-e-Hind,” wrote that Indian society was primarily divided into four classes based on birth. These were the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras, arranged according to their social status.

Brahmins occupied the highest position in society, followed by Kshatriyas. Books like “Kritikalpataru” and “Grihastha Ratnakar” provide information about the rights and duties of the Kshatriyas. Vaishyas and Shudras held lower positions in the caste system and were not entitled to divine knowledge. The duties of Vaishyas included animal husbandry, farming, and trade.

Shudras served the other three classes. Below these four castes was a vast community called the “Antyajas” by Al-Biruni, who were not counted in any caste and held no place in society. These people typically followed specific professions or crafts and had eight categories or guilds: washermen, cobblers, magicians, basket or shield makers, boatmen, fishermen, hunters (Vyadh), and weavers. Blacksmiths were not included in these eight categories. These people lived outside the village and were only allowed to enter the village after giving prior notice. Al-Biruni wrote that “if any artisan wanted to leave his job and take up another profession that would bring him more respect, it was considered a sin.”

The lowest social class, even below the Antyajas, included Hadi, Dom, Chandal, and Badhautu. They were assigned menial tasks such as cleaning the village of waste. They were considered illegitimate offspring and were treated as outcasts by society. People who were not “Dwij” (twice-born) were not allowed to gain knowledge.

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Al-Biruni noted that “a Brahmin has the right to perform any work, such as chanting hymns, reciting the Vedas, offering sacrifices to fire, etc. These tasks could not be performed by anyone else. If it was found that a Shudra or Vaishya attempted to recite the Vedas, they would be deemed guilty, and their tongue would be cut off.” Only Brahmins had the right to attain salvation. Brahmins were also exempt from paying taxes.

The caste system had hollowed out society. Due to the practice of untouchability, the condition of society had become deplorable. The caste system was so rigid that caste change, inter-dining, and inter-caste marriages were not possible. The condition of women was pitiful. They were considered merely objects for men’s pleasure. In the upper classes, polygamy, child marriage, and the practice of Sati were common. Widow remarriage was not practiced. Al-Biruni wrote that widows were subjected to shaving their heads. He mentioned the Hindu caste division of classes (Tabakat) and birth-based caste division (nasab).

Religious Condition: During this period, the degradation of religion had begun. The core spirit of religion had disappeared, replaced by rituals and ceremonies. Monasteries, which were once centers of learning, had now become hubs of luxury and inactivity. The Vajrayana sect, which emerged as a blend of Buddhist and Shakta practices, became popular, especially in Bengal and Kashmir.

Drinking alcohol, consuming meat, and engaging in promiscuity were integral parts of the religious activities of Vajrayana followers. The practice of temple dancers (Devadasi) was prevalent in temples and had become a major source of corruption. Shaivism and Vaishnavism were the religions of the common people and orthodox Hindus.

Followers of the Kaula sect believed in enjoying meat, alcohol, and women without any restrictions. Rajasekhara, a famous poet of the 10th century, mentions in his work “Karpuramanjari” the principles of Shaiva Yogi Merwananda, who stated that “we become strong by consuming alcohol and women.” There was also a sect called the Nila-Patha or Nilavastu, whose followers always embraced women and openly engaged in intercourse with them.

The behavior of the Vaishnavite sect had also become lax, and the love of Radha and Krishna was described in highly objectionable terms, as exemplified by Jayadeva’s “Gita Govinda.” There were also differences in religious beliefs, with the educated and uneducated holding divergent views.

Al-Biruni, in his book “Kitab-ul-Hind,” provides a detailed account of the prevalent vows, worship practices, donations, pilgrimages, daily rituals, and more in the society of that time. The evils prevalent in religion and society were also reflected in art and literature.

The temples of Khajuraho and Puri, adorned with erotic sculptures, are indicative of the artistic tastes of that era. A minister of the king of Kashmir wrote a book called “Kuttanimata” or “The Ideas of a Mediator.” Kshemendra wrote “Samaya Matrika” or “The Life of a Courtesan,” which represents the literature of that time.

Economic Condition: Economically, India was prosperous. The land was fertile, and foreign trade was thriving. Apart from the rulers and the merchant class, temples also served as repositories of wealth. Temples housed immense quantities of diamonds and jewels. It was this vast wealth that attracted Mahmud of Ghazni to invade India.

At that time, India was under the leadership of weak rulers, and thus Mahmud did not face much difficulty in seizing wealth. Consequently, during the foreign invasions, India was politically, socially, and religiously weak. The main reason for this was that the people of India were isolated from the outside world. They were so content among themselves that they were indifferent to the events occurring beyond their borders. This led to a sense of inactivity and narrow-mindedness among them.

Al-Biruni, who studied Hindu philosophy, religion, and culture, wrote in his book “Tarikh-e-Hind” that “Hindus firmly believe that there is no country like India, no nation like theirs, and no king comparable to their king.” He wrote that “Hindus do not want to reclaim something that has once become impure, even if it can be purified and reclaimed.” Al-Biruni highlighted the narrow-mindedness of the Hindus, which hindered their progress.

Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasions

There is a scholarly debate about how many invasions Mahmud Ghaznavi launched on India. Henry Elliot claims that between 1000 and 1027 AD, Mahmud invaded India 17 times. Most scholars support Elliot’s view.

1- First Invasion (1000 AD): Mahmud Ghaznavi’s first invasion in 1000 AD targeted border towns of the Hindu Shahi kingdom. After capturing some forts in the border regions, he returned to Ghazni.

2- Second Invasion (1001 AD): Mahmud’s second invasion in 1001 AD was against the Hindu Shahi kingdom, ruled by Raja Jayapala at the time. Jayapala resisted near Peshawar but was defeated, and captured, and Mahmud Ghaznavi took control of Jayapala’s capital, Waihind or Udabhanda. Eventually, Mahmud released Jayapala after receiving a ransom of 25 elephants and 2,50,000 dinars. Humiliated by continuous defeats, Jayapala committed suicide. His son, Anandapala, succeeded him on the throne. The Hindu Shahi kingdom in Northern India was the first significant Hindu kingdom to fall prey to Muslim invasions. Its rulers offered the most resistance to Mahmud Ghaznavi’s invasions. Its capital was either Waihind or Udabhanda.

3- Third Invasion (1004 AD): Mahmud’s third invasion in 1004 AD targeted the kingdom of Bajra near present-day Uchh because it did not provide military assistance against Jayapala. Bajra was defeated and looted ruthlessly, and its inhabitants forcibly converted to Islam.

4- Fourth Invasion (1005 AD): Mahmud’s fourth invasion was on Multan in 1005 AD. At that time, Multan was ruled by Sultan Fath Dawood, who was associated with the Shia Muslim sect. To evade Mahmud’s invasion, Dawood sought assistance from Hindu Shahi ruler Anandapala. Anandapala faced Mahmud near Mera but was defeated. Dawood also surrendered and promised an annual tribute of 20,000 dirhams. Mahmud gained control of Multan and appointed Anandapala’s son Sukhpal as its ruler. Sukhpal, originally a Hindu, converted to Islam. After becoming ruler, he reverted to Hinduism, so Mahmud deposed him and made him a captive.

5- Fifth Invasion (1008 AD): Mahmud’s fifth invasion targeted Sukhpal for abandoning his allegiance and rejecting Islam. Sukhpal was defeated and imprisoned.

6- Sixth Invasion (1010 AD): In 1010 AD, Mahmud’s sixth invasion was against Anandapala. After seizing power, Anandapala’s situation was dire. The boundaries of his kingdom in the south clashed with areas governed by Multan’s Amirs and included regions like Bhathiya and the western shores of Jhelum. During his reign, Bhathiya’s ruler, Vijayraj, tried unsuccessfully to prevent Mahmud’s invasion.

7- Seventh Invasion (1011-1012 AD): Mahmud’s seventh invasion was on Thaneshwar. He plundered the Chakraswami temple there. On the way, Dera’s ruler tried to stop him but failed.

After the death of Anandapala, his son Trilochan Pal ascended the throne. Trilochan Pal also had to face Mahmud Ghaznavi’s invasion. On the advice of his son Bhimpal, who was his chief assistant in administration, Trilochan Pal adopted a policy of opposing Mahmud. Bhimpal had imprisoned himself in the Margalla Pass. Mahmud tried to stop his troops but won the battle and captured the fort of Nandan. Trilochan Pal and Bhimpal fled to Kashmir and made preparations to fight Mahmud Ghaznavi with King Sangram Raj (1003-1028 AD) of Kashmir. Tung, a Kashmiri minister, was sent to help him. After defeating Anandapal, in addition to the loot of war, he did not have anything special in his hands. So, to satisfy his hunger for loot, he launched the seventh invasion in 1009 CE on the mountainous region of Nagarkot, Kangra.

The Hindus had collected a lot of wealth in the castle of Nagarkot. Nobody confronted Mahmud there. Mahmud Ghaznavi received immense wealth from the fort of Nagarkot. According to the angel, Mahmud returned from India with 700,000 gold dinars, 700 silver dishes, 200 man-refined gold coins, 2000 men plain silver, and 20 man emeralds, diamonds, pearls, etc.

8- Eighth Invasion (1010 AD): In 1010 AD, Mahmud Ghaznavi launched another invasion of Multan. Dawood, the rebellious ruler of the time, was defeated and imprisoned, and Mahmud claimed Multan.

9- Ninth Invasion (1011-1012 AD): Mahmud’s ninth invasion was on Thanesar. He looted the Chakraswami temple there. On the way, Dera’s ruler tried to stop him but failed.

10- Tenth Invasion (1012 AD): After the death of Anandapala, his son Trilochan Pal ascended the throne. Trilochan Pal also had to face Mahmud Ghaznavi’s invasion. On the advice of his son Bhimpal, who was his chief assistant in administration, Trilochan Pal adopted a policy of opposing Mahmud. Bhimpal had imprisoned himself in the Margalla Pass. Mahmud tried to stop his troops but won the battle and captured the fort of Nandan. Trilochan Pal and Bhimpal fled to Kashmir and made preparations to fight Mahmud Ghaznavi with King Sangram Raj (1003-1028 AD) of Kashmir. Tung, a Kashmiri minister, was sent to help him. There was a decisive battle near the river Toshi (modern Tohi) near the Sindhu River. 30,000 Khokhars struck so that Mahmud Ghaznavi’s army began to shake. Mahmud began to think about retreating. Unfortunately, the fear of being burned by the sulfur flames left by Mahmud’s army, the elephant of Anandapal’s battlefield, ran away. Anandapal’s army started to run away and Mahmud became victorious. He destroyed the new capital of Anandapal Salt range.

Mahmud Ghaznavi was victorious. After defeating Trilochan Pal, he moved towards the Shivalik hills of Punjab and began consolidating his power again. He established friendship with Vidhyadhar, the ruler of Bundelkhand who was then the most powerful northern ruler, and attempted to regain his lost territories. In 1018-19 CE, Mahmud Ghaznavi marched against the Chandellas and encountered resistance near the Rāhib or Ramganga River. Despite Trilochan Pal’s attempt to confront him, he was defeated and fled to the Chandela camps to save his life. Ultimately, he was killed in 1021-22 CE. With Trilochan Pal’s death, the Shahi dynasty also came to an end. Though his son Bhimapal succeeded him and ruled the regions around Lahore until 1026 CE, he held no significant place in the history of the Shahi dynasty.

11- In the 11th invasion (1015-16 CE), Mahmud Ghaznavi attempted to invade Kashmir but due to geographical barriers, he could not advance beyond Loh Kot.

12- In the 12th invasion (1018 CE), Mahmud attacked Kannauj, the capital of the Indian empire at that time, ruled by the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty. This marked his first incursion into the Ganges Valley. During the Kannauj invasion, Mahmud also attacked and plundered Bhatnair, Mahawan, Mathura, and Vrindavan, finally capturing Kannauj. In 1018 CE, Mahmud departed from Ghazni and conquered all the fortresses en route, reaching Bann (Bulandshahr). The ruler there, Haridatta, accepted his suzerainty out of fear and even converted to Islam along with some of his companions. Mahmud subsequently attacked Mahavan. At that time, Yadava rulers under Kulachandra’s rule resisted him vigorously but were ultimately defeated. After looting Mahavan, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked the renowned Mathura, a pilgrimage site for Hindus with thousands of temples. There was no defense organized for Mathura, and Mahmud looted it as desired.

13- In the 13th invasion, after looting Mathura, Mahmud attacked Vrindavan. There too, he accumulated vast wealth through plunder. From there, he proceeded to Kannauj. The last ruler of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty, Rajyapal, fled without a battle. Fearful of Mahmud Ghaznavi and the Ghurid dynasty, he fled eastward, across the Ganges. Mahmud Ghaznavi extensively looted Kannauj. He then attacked Manjavvan near Kanpur, famous for the fort of Brahmins. After 25 days of struggle, Mahmud finally achieved victory. While returning, he also conquered the fortresses of Asi and Sirsawa (near Saharanpur). The rulers of Asi, Chandrapal, and Sirsawa, Chandra Rai, did not challenge him, and Mahmud returned with immense wealth.

14- In the 14th invasion, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked the Chandel ruler to punish him. After Mahmud’s return, the Chandel ruler Diddadhara, along with the ruler of Gwalior, allied with some Hindu kings. This alliance aimed to punish Rajyapal, the ruler of Kannauj, who had fled without a battle, which the Rajput rulers considered a disgrace. These kings joined forces and attacked Rajyapal, eventually killing him at the command of Vidhyadhar.

In 1019-20 CE, Mahmud returned to India to punish Vidhyadhar. He proceeded towards Bari, which the Pratiharas had established as their capital after looting Kannauj. Trilochan Pal ruled there. He too fled without a fight, and Mahmud destroyed Bari. Subsequently, Mahmud proceeded to Bundelkhand to defeat his main enemy Vidhyadhar. Vidhyadhar was ready to confront Mahmud with a large army. Mahmud was initially surprised to see Vidhyadhar’s vast army but eventually defeated a part of Vidhyadhar’s army in the battle that ensued at night. Vidhyadhar lost courage and quietly fled. Mahmud looted his entire kingdom and returned with a lot of plunder.

15- In the 15th invasion (1021-22 CE), Mahmud returned to India and entered Punjab. This time, he was determined to establish direct rule over Punjab. Mahmud’s objective was to establish a military center in India by conquering distant regions. Punjab was suitable for this purpose. After gaining control over Punjab, Mahmud Ghaznavi adopted the prevalent royal coins of Punjab. He adopted the symbols of “horseman and Nandi” on his coins, which were already prevalent, and also had inscriptions in Sanskrit saying “A great avatar Mahmud”. He even named the coin in Sanskrit “This tank (coin) was struck in the city of Mahmud”. Mahmud was the first Muslim ruler to issue coins in the Indian style. After gaining control over Punjab, Mahmud Ghaznavi appointed Aryanruk as its governor.

16- Somnath Campaign (1025-26 CE): In 1025-26 CE, Mahmud led a massive army to attack the Somnath Temple. This campaign was the most famous of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s campaigns. The Somnath Temple was one of the most important temples in India, located in Gujarat. It was a Shiva temple with immense wealth that became the primary reason for Mahmud Ghaznavi’s invasion. Mahmud entered Kathiawad through Multan and then reached Anhilwara, the capital of Kathiawad. At that time, Bhimadev ruled there and fled without a battle, fearful of Mahmud. Mahmud looted Anhilwara without any resistance. He then reached near the Somnath Temple. After a struggle, he seized the temple and amassed a huge amount of wealth from there. Mahmud destroyed the temple and returned to Ghazni with unparalleled riches. On his way back, Mahmud faced significant losses at the hands of the Jats but managed to safely return to Ghazni.

17- In the 17th and final invasion (1027 CE), Mahmud Ghaznavi invaded India for the last time in 1027 CE to punish the Jats and Khokhars. While returning after looting Somnath, Mahmud suffered heavy losses from the Jats and Khokhars in northwestern India. In his retaliatory action, Mahmud invaded them and dealt with them severely. The Khokhar tribe resided in border areas and were fierce residents. They created problems for both Mahmud Ghaznavi and Muhammad Ghori. defeating numerous Indian rulers with his military prowess. He traversed regions from Gujarat to eastern Uttar Pradesh. Despite these successes, Mahmud did not establish his rule in India permanently because his aim was not empire-building but rather accumulating wealth, an objective he accomplished remarkably well. The only lasting consequence of his invasions was integrating Punjab, Sindh, and Multan into the Ghaznavid Empire. Mahmud Ghaznavi’s most significant impact was exposing India’s political and military vulnerabilities. He passed away in 1030 CE.

Character and evaluation of Mahmud

Mahmud was a very ambitious person. He was a courageous soldier and a successful commander. He assigned tasks to everyone according to their abilities and acted as per his own wishes. The army, comprised of various races, became a powerful force under his leadership. He appointed Hindus in his multicultural army.

Mahmud was a patron of scholars and artists. Prominent scholars protected in his Ghaznavid and Ghorid court included Al-Biruni, the historian Utbi, the philosopher Farabi, Baihaki, the Persian poet Ujari, the Khurasani scholar Tusi, Unsuri, Asjadi, Farrukhi, and Ferdowsi, among others. Utbi was the great literary figure of Mahmud’s time. He was also a royal historian. His major works are “Kitab-ul-Yamani” and “Tarikh-e-Yamani,” which provide detailed descriptions of Mahmud’s life and achievements. Ferdowsi was the famous poet of Mahmud’s court, honored with the title of the eastern Homer. His most famous work is “Shahnama.” It is said that Mahmud promised Ferdowsi 60,000 gold coins for writing the Shahnama, but upon its completion, he only gave him 60,000 silver coins, which Ferdowsi refused to accept due to Ayaz’s conspiracy against him in Mahmud’s wrath. Ferdowsi abandoned Ghazni forever in anger. Finally, Mahmud apologized and sent 60,000 gold coins to Ferdowsi, but Ferdowsi’s body was being taken for burial before the gift arrived.

Ferdowsi, who laid the foundation of the Persian language, sanctified it through his work “Shahnama.” It is noteworthy that Ferdowsi did not come to India, yet he described Indian subjects in his book “Shahnama.” Rajnikant Sharma translated it into Hindi. Al-Biruni (973-1048 AD) was a scholar of astronomy, geography, logic, pharmacology, mathematics, philosophy, religion, and religious studies. He was born in 973 AD in Khiva (ancient Khwarazm).

Before Mahmud Ghaznavi’s conquest of India, he served as a scholar and diplomat in the court of the last ruler of the Khiva dynasty as a scholar and diplomat. In 1017 AD, Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered the Khwarazm Shah and acquired Al-Biruni. In 1018-19 AD, he came to India with Mahmud Ghaznavi. His famous work is “Kitab-ul-Hind,” which describes Indian life between 1017 and 1030 AD. This book is in Arabic and was later translated into Persian. Edward C. Sachau translated this book into English as “Alberuni’s India: An Account of Religion.”

Rajnikant Sharma translated it into Hindi. Al-Biruni praised the excellence of Indian life in constructing tanks and reservoirs in sacred places of the Indians in his book “Kitab-ul-Hind.” Al-Biruni writes that India was originally a sea, filled with mud brought by the rivers of the Himalayas over many centuries. He never visited centers of Brahmin education such as Kannauj, Banaras, and Kashmir. He mentions Brahmagupta’s Brahma-siddhanta, Varahamihira’s Brihat-samhita, Kapila’s Sankhya, and Patanjali’s Yoga as compositions for understanding Indian conditions and culture. He cites the Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Purana, and Vayu Purana in several places.

Thus, Al-Biruni was the first Muslim to study the Puranas. Baihaki (996-1077 AD) was a royal writer of Mahmud. Lenepun gave him the title of “Eastern Sir Papiey.” He was closely associated with the Ghaznavid court and its emirs. He compiled the extensive history of Ghaznavid rulers until 1059 AD in ten volumes. This is known as the “Tarikh-e-Baihaki.” His various volumes include “Tarikh-e-Subuktigin,” “Taj-ul-Futuh” (History of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni), and “Tarikh-e-Mas’udi” (History of Sultan Mas’ud). Farabi, a philosopher of logic, was associated with Mahmud’s court. Ujari, a resident of Rey in Persia, was also a poet of Mahmud’s court. Asadi Tusi was a resident of Khurasan. Unsuri was a great scholar of his time.

Mahmud was also a protector of creators, artists, and architects. He summoned artists from home and abroad to build magnificent buildings in Ghazni. He built several magnificent mosques in Ghazni, which were called wonders of the East. He also established a university, a large library, and an astonishing palace in Ghazni. He built the dam of Sultan Baad on the river Nava for flood control.

In this way, under Mahmud’s protection, Ghazni became famous as a cultural center. Its mention began in beautiful cities of Central Asia. Mahmud was also a just ruler. Despite his nephew’s attempt to humiliate him after opposing a woman, Mahmud had him murdered. He kept his subordinates under control to maintain a stable governance system. Mahmud Ghanavi’s successors after Mahmud ruled until 1086 AD, but their era is famous for wars, decline, and the weakening of the empire.

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