Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Genghis Khan’s India Incursion

Courtesy of Wikipedia-
Jalal ad-Din Monument

Upon the Mongols taking the ancient and legendary trading center of Samarkand, Prince Jalal ad-Din and his remaining troops fled the city. Intent upon his capture Genghis Khan followed him into India.

Resourceful as he was Jalal ad-Din had raised additional fighters along the way and harassed the Mongols given every opportunity. Genghis Khan sent detachments of 20,000 men out in pursuit with orders to bring him back as a captive. They were successful in defeating Jalal in multiple battles. But he was crafty and always escaped with some of his forces.

These skirmishes had depleted Jalal’s army discouraging him. The Mongol General Bala was hot on his trail, but he secreted away taking refuge in a distant fortress. The governor of that district encouraged him not to give up and to gather more soldiers to take to war. Taking that advice Jalal managed to put together 20,000 troops of his own and retook the field.

In 1221, Bala and another Mongol general, Dorbei the Fierce, defeated Jalal at the Battle of Indus. Still Jamal escaped with some of his men. Bala and Dorbei continued to chase him into the Punjab region where a large segment of the population, the Khokhar, had divided loyalties towards Jalal. The Mongols then attacked the cities of Multan, Bhera and Lahore.

Prince Jalal was actually successful in winning a few battles with the Mongols. However, the Mongol army under Genghis Khan numbered approximately 300,000 while at its height Jalal’s force was only 30,000.

In one battle Jalal was isolated from his men by the Mongols who were ordered to bring to Genghis Khan alive. As they closed in Jalal on his horse jumped among the rocks into the raging currents of a river to escape. The Mongols fearing imminent death did not follow but watched his progress. Amazingly, Prince Jamal escaped. Genghis Khan even was impressed by his bravery telling his officers that they could do nothing more about him. Jamal regrouped again and continued his guerilla tactic against the Mongols.

Frustrated with him Genghis Khan managed to take huge spoils of war in gold, jewels and silver from his Indian campaign. The Great Conqueror’s coffers were overflowing and beyond tabulation.

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