@coffee_rules Thought I would start this thread in order to dispel a few myths related to this great Hindu emperor who fought till his last breath against the marauding Turks. This is going to be a bit long so bear with me.
Also @Gollum @Muloghonto @maniac @sandeep @Mariyam if you guys are interested.
The name ‘Jaichand’ is today synonymous with treason and treachery. Unlike the traitor Mir Zafar, Raja Jaichand died on battlefield of Chandwar. Jaichand was not a traitor. Jaichand as a synonym of traitor is part of the same garbled history peddled to us since long. Jaichand did not betray the other Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan. This is a myth from Prithviraj Raso. He himself valiantly died fighting against Ghori. Jaichand has been vilified by leftist historians who believe in Chand Bardai’s Prithviraj Raso. It has zero historical value. Jaichand divulging Prithviraj’s war plans is mentioned only in the epic poem Prithviraj Raso. Prithviraj Raso, while a commendable epic, is a historically unreliable document. Many things that are claimed in Prithviraj Raso are either not supported or are outright negated by inscriptions from Prithviraj’s reign and other numismatic evidences. The more Contemporary sources Prithviraja Vijaya and Hammira Mahakavya don’t mention Jaichand as a Traitor.
There is no proof that he supported Muhammad Ghori and betrayal to Prithviraj Chauhan. The Jaichand story was fabricated on a later date. No Islamic or contemporary Hindu sources tell tale of Jaichand’s betrayal. JAICHAND WAS A GREAT KING.
According to Prithviraj Raso, Jaichand was a rival of another Indian king, Prithviraj Chauhan. His daughter Samyukta eloped with Prithviraj against his wishes, and he allied with the foreign Ghurids to ensure Prithviraj’s downfall. Because of this legend, he is remembered as a symbol of treachery in the medieval Indian folklore. However, this account is historically inaccurate.
Prithviraj Raso contains a mixture of imaginary stories and historical facts, which it exaggerates for dramatic effect. The largest version of Prithviraj Raso is especially known to contain several inaccuracies, and is of little historical value.
The more contemporary, and accurate, account is the Prithviraja Vijaya written by Jayanaka. Prithviraja Vijaya is the only surviving literary text from the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan. Jaichand is infamous for an offense he did not probably commit at all.
Early life of Jaichand, the powerful ruler of Kannauj :
Jaichand was the last great king of the Gāhaḍavāla dynasty. He is also known as Jaichandra in inscriptions, and Jaichand in vernacular legends. He ruled the Antarvedi country in the Gangetic plains, including the important cities of Kanyakubja (Kannauj) and Varanasi. His territory included much of the present-day eastern Uttar Pradesh and some parts of western Bihar. He belonged to the Gahaḍavala Rajput dynasty and was a son of the king Vijayachandra. According to a Kamauli inscription, he was coronated as a king on 21 June 1170 CE.
He inherited his grandfather Govindachandra’s royal titles: Ashva-pati Nara-pati Gaja-pati Rajatrayadhipati (leader of three forces: the cavalry, the infantry and the elephant corps)
and Vividha-vidya-vichara-vachaspati (patron of different branches of learning).
Battle of Chandawar
The brave Rajput warrior Jaichand fought ferociously against Ghori and died a hero’s death.
According to the contemporary Muslim accounts, Jaichand was “the greatest king of India and possessed the largest territory”.
These accounts describe him as the Rai of Banaras (king of Varanasi). According to Kamil ut-Tawarikh, his army had a million soldiers and 700 elephants.
The Battle of Chandawar (1194) was fought between Mu’izz al-Din Mohammad Ghori Sultan of the Ghurid Empire and Jaya Chandra (Jaichand) of Kannauj and Raja of Banaras of the Gāhaḍavāla dynasty. It took place at Chandwar (modern Firozabad), on the banks of Jamuna River close to Agra. In most accounts the Gahadavalas were close to victory when an arrow hit Jaichand in the eye, killing him. He fell off his elephant, was trampled, and after the battle could only be identified by the gold caps on his teeth. With their leader gone the Gahadavala army broke and fled, taking heavy casualties during the pursuit.
Historical reliability of Prithviraj Raso and Prithviraja Vijaya
The historicity of Pṛthvīrāj Rāso was proved unreliable by historical writers like Buhler, Morrison, G.H. Ojha and Munshi Devi Prasad. Pṛthvīrāj Rāso contains a mixture of historical facts and imaginary legends, and is not considered historically reliable.
● Jayachandra is a prominent character in the historically unreliable legendary text Prithviraj Raso. According to the text, Jayachandra (“Jaichand”) was a cousin of the Chauhan Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan. Their mothers were sisters born to the Tomara king of Delhi. This claim is directly contradicted by the more reliable contemporary text Prithviraja Vijaya, according to which Prithviraj’s mother had nothing to do with the Tomaras.(She was in fact a Chedi princess from the central india).
~ R. C. Majumdar in Ancient India
● Prithviraj Raso claims that Jaichand launched a digvijaya campaign (conquest in all directions). At the end of this campaign, he conducted a Rajasuya ceremony to proclaim his supremacy. However, none of the Gahadavala inscriptions mention such a ceremony by Jaichand. The contemporary literary work Rambha-Manjari, which presents Jaichand as a hero, does not mention this campaign either.
~ Swami Parmeshwaranand in Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Vedic Terms.
● Although this account (Prithviraj Raso) is disputed by the historians, the name “Jaichand” became synonymous with the word “traitor” in Indian folklore because of this legend.
~ Dhirendra K Jha; Krishna Jha in Ayodhya The Dark Night : The Secret History of Rama’s Appearance In Babri Masjid.
Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya was composed by Jayanaka, who was a court-poet of Prithviraja Chauhan. Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya is one of the most important sources of information about the Chauhan dynasty. It was most probably written during 1191-1192 CE. Thus, Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya is the only extant literary text from the reign of Prithviraja Chauhan.
● Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya and Hammira Mahakavya, are entitled to greater credence as historical sources.
~ Dasharatha Sharma in Early Chauhān Dynasties.
● Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya is the foremost among literary sources of information. According to historian R. B. Singh of Gorakhpur University, the text “suffers from literary embellishments”, but “its contents find full confirmation from the epigraphic evidence. Having been written at the court of Prithviraj Chauhan, the text is one of the most important sources of information about the Chāhamānas (Chauhan) dynasty.
~ R. B. Singh in History of the Chāhamānas.
● Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya was found to be more authentic from the historical point of view. Prithviraj Raso contains a mixture of imaginary stories and historical facts, which it exaggerates for dramatic effect. The largest version of Prithviraj Raso is especially known to contain several inaccuracies, and is of little historical value.
~ K. Ayyappa Paniker in Medieval Indian Literature: Surveys and selections.
● It is totally baseless that Jaichand invited Mohammed Gauri to attack Prithviraj Chauhan. ~ J. C. Powell-Price in History of India
● The notion that Jaichand invited Muslims to fight against Prithviraj, is baseless. Some texts of that time are attainable, but this incident is not mentioned. There is no such mention in the description of Prithviraja Vijaya, Hammira Mahakavya, Rambha -manjari, Prabandhakośa or no such mention in the description of any Muslim traveler. History is a testimony to the fact that Jayachand did a brave war with Muhammad Ghori in Battle of Chandawar. ~ Mahendra Nath Mishra
● In the history book, Early History of India, Historian Vincent Arthur Smith has not mentioned this allegation. ~ Vincent Arthur Smith in Early History of India.
● It is absolutely untrue that Jaichand invited Shahbuddin to attack Prithviraj. Shahabdadin knew very well that unless the super-mighty Jaichand would be defeated in North India, the powers done on the land of Delhi and Ajmer would not be permanent, because the ancestors of Jaichand and Jaichand himself defeated Turks many times from the front. ~ Ibn Nasir in Kamil-ut-Tawarikh.
● Jaichand was not a traitor. Unfortunately, It’s a misconception that he (Jaichand) invited Muhammad Ghori to attack Prithviraj Chauhan. ~ Anandswaroop Mishra in Kannauj ka Itihas.