Saturday, April 13, 2024

Naiki Devi: Story of the Great Indian Warrior Queen

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Warrior women have captured the attention of people all over the world for millennia, from the fabled Amazons of Greek mythology to Queen Boadicea of Roman Britain. India has its fair share of strong women who have shown to be courageous warriors and capable leaders. These unwaveringly brave Indian women were definitely a force to be reckoned with, devising military plans and storming battlefields. Three of the most well-known instances are Kittur Chenamma, Rani Abbaka Chowta, and Rani Lakshmibai. There are many more people, though, whose tales have been lost.

Naiki Devi, a Goan princess who later became the Chalukya queen of Gujarat and defeated the powerful Muhammad Ghori on the battlefield in Gujarat, is one of these unheralded warrior ladies. So, here we are with the story of the brave woman and satisfy your queries about what accounts for Naiki Devi’s prominence in Gujarat’s history? What about the war makes it a wonderful chapter in Gujarat’s history? Well, here is the hitherto unreported account of how Naiki Devi made history.

Naiki Devi

Naiki Devi, a princess of the Kadamba kingdom, got married to Ajay Pal, the Chalukya Solanki monarch of Patan. After the king’s death in 1175, their son Mularaja II took the kingdom. When Mularaja was a little kid, Naiki Devi assumed control of the kingdom as the Raj Mata. Large portions of the modern states of Gujarat and Rajasthan were once included in the kingdom.

Naikidevi and Sultan of Multan

We are well aware of Muhammad Ghori’s establishment of Islamic dominion over North India in 1192 CE and the founding of the Delhi Sultanate in 1206. Between 1175 to 1206 CE, a fanatical Islamic invader succeeded in conquering India, taking Multan in 1175, Punjab in 1179, Peshawar in 1180, Sialkot in 1185, and finally Delhi in 1192.

But most people aren’t aware of Muhammad Ghori’s loss at the hands of Chalukyan (Solanki) queen Naiki Devi (NaikiDevi) at the battle of Kasahrada in 1178 CE. Numerous historians have written on the history of the Gujarati Solankis, also known as the Chalukyas. The bravery of the legendary Queen Naiki Devi, who overcame Muhammad Ghori at Gujrat in 1178, is still mostly unknown. 

Source of Image:Eyra Magazine

The Great Indian warrior queen Naiki Devi was the offspring of Paramardin, the Kadamba (Goa) chief. King Ajayapala of Gujarat, who rose to the throne in 1171 CE, was wed to Naiki Devi.

However, after just four years in power, monarch Ajayapala passed away in 1175. Mularaja 2, his older son, succeeded him after his death. Because the new monarch was still a minor, his mother Naiki Devi assumed the throne and in essence took over as his representative.

Overview of the Battle

Naiki Devi instantly took charge of the kingdom’s executive and military affairs after being crowned queen. Muhammad Ghori was already setting up the Ghurid kingdom over Afghanistan when he took Multan. 

Ambitious Ghori resolved to conquer India in search of riches from his base in Multan. Having been inspired by tales of raids carried out by Mahmud Ghazni years earlier, he led a sizable army to Uch in the southern Punjab state of Pakistan. 

They were fortunate to traverse the desert from there, and they then started walking towards Anhilwara, the capital of the Chalukya Empire. Rajasthan and Gujarat were then part of the Chalukyan empire. Ghori was fully conscious that the Chalukyan people were defenceless since they lacked a monarch. Given that he had access to a far larger army, he believed the Hindu queen to be weak and simple to destroy. But he was about to be proven utterly incorrect.

At this point, Naiki Devi requested assistance from the nearby feudatory kings Kirtipala of the Jalor Chahamana, Dharavarsha of the Arbuda Paramara, and Kelhanadeva of the Naddula Chahamana. 

The Chalukyan army was dwindling, therefore Naiki Devi picked the rocky terrain of Gadaraghatta, a region near the town of Kasahrada near Mount Abu. She picked here because of the constrained mountain passageways that prevented the attackers from attacking fully and diluted their onslaught.

The Armed Force of Ghori

Muhammad Ghori’s army was composed of veteran warriors, steppe nomads who were skilled, elite armoured cavalry, and central Asian steppe horses, which gave Ghori’s army velocity and endurance. In addition to their technological edge, Muhammad Ghori and his men were driven by a fervent religious conviction. Like all past Islamic invaders, they were driven by a desire to exterminate infidels (non-Muslims) and turn every non-Muslim country into one under Islamic dominion.

12 Brave Indian Queens Who Challenged Norms & Made History
Source of image: the better India

Ghori Vs Naiki Devi

By emphasising that Islamic law mandated that battle be waged over the adversary of one’s faith, Turkish commanders rallied their Muslim followers. Before the fight, it’s thought that Muhammad Ghori sent a messenger to the Chalukyan queen’s court with the request that if the queen herself surrendered to Ghori, he wouldn’t assault Gujarat.

Naiki Devi, who had her kid strapped to her lap, headed towards Muhammad Ghori’s encampment after hearing the following note. Ghori briefly believed that the queen had accepted his proposal. Soon after, the Rajputs attacked the Mlechhas’ troops. The Rajputs united power, led by Naiki Devi, caused chaos among the Ghurids.

Inside Story of Battlefield

The deceitful and dishonorable Ghori, who frequently employed similar strategies, got caught in one this particular instance. The Rajput battle elephants, which were armored, stood in a queue like a stack of metal. Like wind and fire, they tore across the pitch. They were successful in demoralizing Muhammad Ghori’s skilled armed infantry.

Naiki Devi defeated every enemy soldier that came her way with her unwavering will and martial prowess. The fact that she fought this tough struggle with her child strapped to her body is astounding. 

Shortly thereafter, the Ghurid army began to leave the area of combat. Muhammad Ghori suffered a total defeat as a result of the conflict. For the sake of his life, he fled with a couple of his bodyguards. Never again did he attempt to conquer Gujarat; instead, he made an attempt to enter India through the more exposed Punjab area.

Ghori utterly failed to perform throughout the combat. For the sake of his life, he and a handful of his soldiers left the battleground. Because of the blow to his dignity, he never again tried to take over Gujarat. 

 


 

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