After the Arab penetration into Sindh, it was the Turks who  made inroads into India in 11th Century. The credit of establishing the Muslim rule in India goes to the Turks.

Alptigin, a Trukish Slave of the Samanid king Amir-Abu-Bakr Lawik founded the Ghaznivid
dynasty in 963. He occupied the kingdom of Jabul, with its capital Ghazni. He was followed
by his son-in-law, Subuktigin, a capable and ambitious ruler. He succeeded in capturing all
the territories which lay between Lamghan and Peshawar from the Hindushahi ruler
Jayapala. Thus, the Hindushahi kingdom failed to check the growing power of Ghaznavids
towards East. But his raids did not produce a lasting effect. Subuktigin was followed by his
son Ismail, who was overthrown by Mahmud, his brother in 998. He became famous in
history as Mahmud Ghazni.


Condition of India on the eve of Mahmud Ghazni invasion :

On the eve of invasion North India was divided into a number of independent states.

  • On the frontier of India, there existed the Hindushahi kingdom which extended from the Punjab to Kabul. Its capital was Waihind. Jayapala and his son Anandapala were the prominent rulers.
  • Kashmir was an independent state ruled over by the Lohara dynasty and it had
    family relations with the Hindushahis.
  • Kanuaj was ruled over by Rajyapala, the Gurjara Pratihara king
  • There were independent kingdoms in Bengal (Pala dynasty),Gujarat (Solanki
    dynasty), Malwa (Paramara dynasty) and Bundhelkhand ( Chandella dynasty) as
  • In the south the later Chalukyas and Cholas have their powerful kingdoms.

Mahmud Ghazni invasions :

  • In pursuance of his vow he invaded India many times.
  • His seventeen raids into India made during the period between 1000 and 1027 CE, is a significant event in the history.
  • Mahmud’s invasion of India was purely religious and economic and not political.
  • The initial raids were against the Hindu Shahi kingdom in which its king Jayapala was defeated in 1001.
  • After this defeat, Jayapala immolated himself because he thought that his defeat was a disgrace. His successor Anandapala fought against Mahmud but he was also defeated in the Battle of Waihind, the Hind Shahi capital near Peshawar in 1008.
  • In 1011, he raided Nagarkot in the Punjab hills and Thaneshwar near Delhi.
  • In 1018 Mahmud plundered the holy city of Mathura and also attacked Kanuaj. The ruler of Kanuaj, Rajyapala abandoned Kanuaj and later died. Mahmud returned via Kalinjar with fabulous richest.
  • In 1019 and 1029 he undertook two raids on Gangetic valley.
  • In 1025 he attacked on Somanath, the famous holy town on the coast of Kathiawar. It was a beautiful temple and possessed enormous wealth.

Ruined Somnath Temple

  • In this expedition he preceded through Multan defeated Bhimadeva of Anhilwad and reached Somanath Temple.
  • The Hindus fought very bravely and initially the enemies could not damage
    the temple. However, after 3 days of fights, Mahmud Ghazni’s troops were
    successful in plundering the Somanath temple, in which the sacred idol, Linga was destroyed. Ghazni looted all the treasures of the temple, which was at that time worth 20-million Dinars, more than eighty times of what he had collected in his first invasion.
  • Mahmud came back to India for the last time in 1027 to punish the Jats who had
    troubled him on his return journey from Somanath. The Jats were severely punished, looted property, enslaved their women and children.
  • Thus, Mahmud Ghazni successfully attempted seventeen invasions on Indian Territories and died in 1030 CE


  • He built a wide empire from the Punjab in the east to the Caspian Sea on the west and from Samarkand in the north to Gujarat in the south. The Ghaznavid empire roughly included Persia, Trans-oxyana, Afghanistan and Punjab.
  • His conquest of Punjab and Multan completely changed the political situation in India. He paved the way for the Turks and Afghans for further conquests and make deeper incursions into the Gangetic valley at any time.
  • Mahmud was considered a hero of Islam by medieval historians.
  • He also patronized art and literature. Firdausi was the poet-laureate in the court of Mahmud. He was the author of Shah Namah
  • Alberuni, the scholar of Turki, Sanskrit, Mathematics, Philosophy, Astrology and history stayed in Mahmud’s court and wrote the famous Kitab-iHind, an account on India.