In 1297, a noyan of the Mongol Chagatai Khanate Kadar invaded the Delhi Sultanate ruled by Alauddin Khalji. The Mongols ravaged the Punjab region, advancing as far as Kasur. Alauddin sent an army led by his brother Ulugh Khan and general Zafar Khan to stop their advance.
This army comprehensively defeated the invaders on 6 February 1298 killing around 20,000 of them and forcing the Mongols to retreat.
During Alauddin’s reign, the Mongols invaded India again, larger than the previous one.
The first of these invasions was ordered by the Mongol ruler Duwa, who sent his noyan Kadar to India with a 100,000-strong force.
In the winter of 1297-98, Kadar invaded and captured the Punjab region of the Delhi Sultanate, which was ruled by Alauddin Khalji. Alauddin’s courtier Amir Khusrau mentions that the Mongols reached India by crossing the Sulaiman Mountains.
They crossed the major rivers of Punjab and burnt the Khokhar villages. They advanced up to Kasur, where they destroyed houses. According to Khusrau, the light emitted from the burning of the houses could be seen from the suburbs of the city.
After knowing the destruction caused by the Mongols, Alauddin directed his brother and general Ulugh Khan to march against the invaders.
According to Ziauddin Barani, Zafar Khan led the Delhi army along with Ulugh Khan, but Alauddin’s courtier Amir Khusrau ignores Zafar Khan’s name.
Barani is probably correct. Zafar Khan’s name was omitted in the dynasty’s official chronicles because Alauddin was unhappy with his reckless disregard during the Battle of Kili.
According to Khusrau, Ulugh Khan covered the distance of two marches in a single day to face the Mongols. On 6 February 1298, the Delhi army reached Jaran-Manjur, a place located on the banks of the Sutlej River.
According to the contemporary chronicler Amir Khusrau’s Dawal Rani, the battle was fought at a place called Jaran Manjur on the banks of the Sutlej River. The name of the place appears as “Jadwa o Manjur” and “Jurat Mahud” in the various manuscripts of Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi,, a work by the near-contemporary chronicler Ziauddin Barani.
Henry Miers Elliot, who translated Barani’s text into English, identified the site of the battle as modern Jalandhar (which lies to the north-west of the Sutlej river). Firishta (16th century) states that the battle was fought near Lahore, which is located around 130 km from Jalandhar. `Abd al-Qadir Bada’uni (16th century) names the site as Jaran Manjur. Nizamuddin Ahmad Harawi (17th century) states that the site was located in Sindh.
At the battle site, Ulugh Khan ordered his soldiers to cross the Sutlej River without the boats.
According to Khusrau, 20,000 Mongols were killed in the ensuing battle. He claims that the Mongols “fled like ants and locusts, and were trampled like ants”. The hit among the Mongols was beheaded, and the other survivors were put into chains. The prisoners were brought to Delhi, where they were trampled to death by elephants.
The victory increased Alauddin’s prestige and stabilized his position on the throne of Delhi, which he had ascended recently in 1296.
Measures followed by Alauddin Khalji to stop Mongol Invasion
- Old forts were repaired and experienced troops under the charge of capable officers were posted.
- New forts were built and put under the charge of seasoned officers and well-trained soldiers.
- Armament factories were set up and skilled engineers and technicians were appointed.
- A permanent and separate army was prepared for the defense of the North-West Frontier.
- A special governor was appointed for the North-West Frontier.
- In the frontier areas of Dipalpur, Samana, and Multan, separate armies were stationed.
- The army was re-organized and its striking power enhanced.
- The responsibility of defending the border was interested in experienced generals like Zafar Khan, Ghazi Malik, and Malik Kafur have.
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