Conquest of Gujarat:
The first invasion of the Mongols was made over Delhi in 1297 a.d., but Alauddin repulsed it successfully. Then he planned the conquest of the rich and fertile region of Gujarat. Karan Baghela was the ruler of Gujarat and Anhilwara was the capital.
In 1299 a d Alauddin sent his forces under the readership of Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to conquer Gujarat. Karan Baghela was too weak to face the army of Alauddin Khalji. When the Muslim armies reached his territory, he was taken aback and fled away to south. He took shelter in Deogiri where Raja Ram Chandra Yadav was the ruler.
The Muslim army established their control over Anhilwara, the capital of Gujarat, and sacked it unchecked. The royal treasury of Karan Baghela along with his chief queen, Kamla Devi fell in the hands of the Muslim commanders. The famous temple of Somnath was again plundered after 270 years and the sea port of Cambay and many other towns were also looted by the Muslim invaders.
The expedition of Gujarat is memorable, for two reasons. First, Kamla Devi, wife of Raja Karan Baghela was despatched to Delhi to feed the insatiable lust of Alauddin. Second, the greatest prize of all was bagged in the Hazar Dinari slave, Malik Kafur, who was a eunuch.
The autocrat liked him for his beauty and kept him as his favourite until he discovered in him a great conqueror. Malik Kafur was destined to play the role of Aibak and lkhtiyaruddin Khalji to Alauddin for he extended Muslim conquests to the utmost corners of South India. But he also lived to eclipse the Sultan and ruin the Khalji dynasty.
On their retreat to Delhi the New Muslims revolted against the orders of the commanders as they were unacquainted with the Muslim military code and were not prepared to give any part of their plundered money, but their revolt was crushed by the generals. Some of the rebels ran away to Ranthambhor and took shelter with Rana Hamir Deva. Victor Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan reached Delhi quite safe.
Conquest of Ranthambhor:
The easy victory of Gujarat intoxicated Sultan Alauddin Khalji and two years after its conquest, Alauddin turned towards Rajputana. The interval was partly taken up with the Mongols in the Punjab and partly with other activities. As Alauddin wanted to become the undisputed Sultan of India, he invented some reasons for making an invasion against Ranthambhor. Besides the above-mentioned two specific reasons greed for gold and lust for power, Alauddin wanted to invade Ranthambhor because once it had been a part of the Muslim empire during the reign of his predecessors, so be felt it his pious duty to conquer this centre of Rajput power.
Before his invasion, he wrote a letter to Rana Hamir Deva to hand over all those fugitive Mongols who revolted at the time of retreat from Gujarat and after defeat took shelter with him. He knew it well that according to Rajput traditions the Rana would never send them to him.
Thus he again despatched Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan to measure their swords with the Rajputs of Ranthambhor in 1301 a.d. as his proposal of handing over the fugitives was turned down by Hamir Deva’. But after the capture of Jhain, on the way Nusrat Khan was killed in action at the siege of Ranthambhor.
Rana Hamir and his brave Rajputs valiantly defended the stronghold and reinforcements being felt necessary, Alauddin himself marched to assist his lieutenents. Alauddin was very much perturbed by a series of revolts in his camp and in his capital but he did not give up the idea of conquering Ranthambhor like his uncle Sultan Jalaluddin.
After prolonged siege of about one year, the fort fell into the hands of the Sultan through treachery and faithlessness of Ranmai, the minister of Rana Hamir Deva. The Rajput ladies performed Jauhar and all people in the fort died fighting the invaders. Amir Khusrau remarks in Khazain-ul-Futuh in this context, “One night the Rai lit a fire at the top of the hill and threw his women and family into the flames, they sacrificed their lives in despair; the fort (Ranthambhor) was taken by the slaughterer.”
Following the policy begun at Delhi, Ranmal, the treacherous minister of Hamir Deva and others who betrayed their master, were also put to death. Sir Wolseley Haig remarks, ”It was characteristic of Alauddin to avail himself of the services of traitors and then to punish them for the treason by which he had profited.”
Conquest of Chittor:
The victory of Ranthambhor injected a new spirit and enthusiasm in the Sultan of Delhi and he began to feel that no Rajput kingdom was powerful enough to fate the Muslim invaders as there was w unity among them.
The king of Chittor kept mum when Ranthambhor was being sacked. Alauddin took advantage of the internal conflicts of the Rajputs. Soon he discovered a reason for the invasion on Chittor. Alauddin was lured to Chittor both by the itch for conquest and lust for its farfamed queen Padmini, wife of Rana Ratan Singh.
In 1303 a.d. the royal array of Delhi marched against Chittor where Rana Ratan Singh was ruling. He ascended the throne in 1301 a.d and belonged to Guhila clan of Rajputs who were ruling over Chittor since the eighth century.
The siege of Chittor lasted quite long and finding no way of achieving success the Sultan of Delhi adopted a stratagem against the Rajputs. Alauddin made Rana his captive through treachery and offered his freedom on the ransom of his beautiful queen but brave Rajputs under the leadership of Gora and Badal freed him from the captivity of Muslims. It is believed in the Rajput traditions that Rani Padmini or her daughter played a significant role in the release of Rana Ratan Singh.
J. L. Mehta has thus described the story of Padmini on the basis of Padmavat composed by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 a.d. “According to Jayasi, the lustful Alauddin promised to raise the siege of Chittor if the Rana gave him a glimpse of his illustrious queen.
The Rana obliged him; Alauddin was admitted into the fort and Padmini was shown to him in a standing posture from behind a glass screen. When the Rana and the nobles came out of the fort to see off the Sultan, they were taken captives by the Muslim soldiers. Thereafter, Alauddin demanded the hand of Padmini as a price for the freedom of Rana Ratan Singh. The latter was, however, rescued by the Rajputs through a clever manoeuvre.”
There is a sharp difference of opinion about the validity of this story. Different versions of this story are given by various authors; hence its historicity is doubtful. Historians like Dr. G S. Ojha, Dr. B. P. Sexena and Dr. K. S. Lai do not agree with the story of Pad- mini as a historical fact, as the contemporary historians like Ismi, Ibn Batuta and Amir Khusrau have not dealt with it; but Abul Fazl, Ferishta and Nainsi accept this story as true. Dr. Ishwari Prasad and Dr. Srivastava feel it difficult to agree with this story but they also write that “it should not be totally rejected as a myth.”
After the rescue of Rana Ratan Singh, a bloody war was fought between the Muslims and the Rajputs. Rana Ratan Singh died fighting on the battlefield and innumerable men, women and children were assassinated in and after the battle in cold blood. The Rajput ladies performed Jauhar before a Muslim could touch their chastity.
Colonel Tod has described the scene of Jauhar in these words, “The fire of Jauhar was lighted in a subterranean cavern, which still exists, and the Rajput ladies led by Padmini, jumped into the flames. The fair Padmini closed the throng which was augmented by whatever of female beauty or youth could be tainted by Tartar lust. They were conveyed to the cavern and the opening closed upon them, leaving them to find security from dishonour in the devouring element.”
Alauddin appointed his son, Khizr Khan, Governor of Chittor and the fortress was renamed Khizrabad. A large number of Muslim soldiers were garrisoned and competent commanders were appointed to assist the prince in the administration. But the Rajputs could not resign themselves to the loss of their freedom and they started a struggle through guerilla warfare. Khizr Khan was forced to leave Chittor by the year 1311 a.d. and Maldeva, a Rajput relative of Rana Ratan Singh, was appointed in his place so that peace could be established in Rajputana.
But the Rajputs did not accept his supremacy and continued the freedom struggle. Ultimately Maldeva was also forced to flee by the successor of Rana Ratan Singh and Chittor became free from the influence of Delhi within two years of the death of Alauddin Khalji.
Conquest of Malwa:
Rajput power was absolutely shattered by the defeat of the Rajputs of Ranthambhor and Chittor. It had adversely affected the chivalry of other Hindu kings and they began to feel that the Muslim army was invincible.
Alauddin Khalji sent a large army under the command of Ain-ul-Mulk Multani against Maiwa where Mahlak Deva was ruling. He tried to check the advance of the Muslim army in his territory but could not succeed and perished on the battlefield. The Muslim army conquered Ujjain, Dhar, Mandu and Chanderi also. Alauddin appointed Ain-ul-Mulk Multani, governor of the conquered territories.
Conquest of Sivaua. Parmara Rajput king Shital Deva ruled over Sivana. He was considered to be a powerful ruler of contemporary Rajasthan. The constant successes of Alauddin Khalji inspired him to attack Sivana and he besieged the fort of Sivana.
The Sultan himself directed the siege of Sivana. The Rajputs offered a tough resistance but they were forced to measure their swords with the Muslims in the battlefield as the water supply of the fort was blocked by Alauddin with the help and treachery of one of the Rajputs. Shital Deva was killed in battle, and the authority of Alauddin Khalji was established on Sivana. Kamaluddin Gtirg was appointed in-charge of Sivana.
Expedition to Jalore:
Dr. K. S. Lai opines that Kanhar Deva, the ruler of Jalore had accepted the supremacy of Alauddin Khalji in 1305 a.d. but some historians do not agree with this opinion. After some time Kanhar Deva assumed freedom in the internal affairs and refused to pay homage to the Sultan of Delhi.
Alauddin Khalji, therefore, launched a punitive expedition against the rebellious attitude of the king of Jalore, under the command of one of his maid-servants, Gul-i-Bahishta and his son, but both of them were killed in the battle. In the beginning Kanhar Deva attained victory against the-army of Alauddin but at last Alauddin resorted to diplomatic means and won the favour of Maldeva. The brother of Kanhar Deva, and defeated him. The king was killed in the battle along with his relatives and Jalore was annexed to Delhi.
Thus, by the year 1305 a.d. Alauddin Khalji had occupied almost the entire northern India excluding Nepal, Kashmir and Assam. It fired the imperialistic and expansionist lust of the Sultan. Although Rajput resistance continued, Alauddin was so much encouraged by these victories that he began to make efforts for expansion of his territory in the South.