Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Home > Indic Talks > A Glimpse Of India’s Wealth Looted By Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni | Manoshi Sinha | Somnath Temple

A Glimpse Of India’s Wealth Looted By Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni | Manoshi Sinha | Somnath Temple

This talk by Manoshi Sinha presents a glimpse of India’s wealth looted (amounting in trillions) by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. India was once upon a time the richest country in the world. Existing glory and riches started declining with Islamic invasion, plunder and rule and later British supremacy. One of the biggest loot and plunder of India was conducted by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. With the wealth looted from India, Mahmud turned Ghazna that covered Pakistan, eastern Iran, and parts of Afghanistan into a wealthy empire. Every household, as described by Persian historian Firishta, was abundantly rich with several slaves (captives taken from India, especially women).


Transcript: –

A glimpse of the wealth looted by Mahmud of Ghazni will give us a glimpse, will give us an idea about how rich India was in terms of wealth as well as in terms of temple heritage. It took only 20 days for Sultan Mahmud to win the city completely that he not only plundered the city, he also killed the weak and the innocent took many as captive, raped women and took them as sex slaves, razed temple to the ground, broke the idol, looted all the wealth, that he could come across in temples as well as and then you send the city on fire. Had the barbaric plunderer not plundered India, not to mention other Islamic plunderers followed by the British, India would have continued to be as self-sufficient country with no signs of poverty and with no problems plaguing India, with no various problems plaguing India at present.

Namaste. it greeted to be amongst all of the audience here India has always fascinated the world in one or the other ways. In ancient, medieval period we were famous for being known as a country where riches overflowed and true it was. We were truly and correctly known as Sone ki chidiya, gold has always been the favorite of Indians as it is considered very very precious and often offered to the deities. So we have been since time immemorial been very generous for donating for religious purposes. So obviously temples have always been the richest places in India. It was this whiff of unimaginable wealth that brought hounds and bloodhounds like Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni to our doorsteps. As the topic is related to history, I’d like to give a very brief gist about our glory as well as how our historical dates have been distorted by the west.

India was the richest country in the world in terms of everything right from wealth to knowledge heritage. So who doesn’t know about our ancient Takshashila and Nalanda University, where students from across the world came and studied. Our civilization is the oldest surviving civilization in the world dating back to thousands of years. The Vedas are the first poems ever composed on this earth. So when did the Vedic era start? By puranic and numerous other records, mark the start of the Vedic era at 15,000 BCE, Britishers dropped one 0 and marks 1500 BCE as the start of The Vedic era. So if you search online, even you will find Wikipedia showing 1500 to 500 BC as the Vedic period. So the Ramayana and the Mahabharata happened after the Vedic period.

So obviously these two event did not take this up to 500 BC, the rest follow 4004 BCE as the start of creation and they consider Herodotus as the father of History to show that Civilization started in Greece only. The western, consider all Indian dates as fake. Now why do we need to depend on what and how the west fixes our historical dates for us. But it is a hard truth and I must say, we maximum Indians, in the west and believe whatever they say is true. So during the two hundred years of British rule and the way our education system has been designed after Independence, our minds have been welded to be like this. So there is still time, we can go back to our roots and take pride in our past Glory. So this is how our history and glory has been distorted by the West. It is a long discussion and by continuing to discuss on this will be only deviating away from the topic of today.

That is a glimpse of India’s wealth looted by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. So, how rich was Aryavarta? To speak in today’s terms, India a thousand years ago, a glimpse of the wealth looted by Mahmud of Ghazni will give us a glimpse, will give us an idea about how rich India was in terms of wealth as well as terms of in terms of temple heritage. So though Mahmud raid was centered around central northern and western India. So most of you here must have visited to ancient and medieval era temples in India. I hope so, like in hoysala, then khajuraho, Ajanta, Ellora and there are many many other temples are there, are spread across the country.

So most of this temples, you can well imagine the time and money spent in building this wonderful temples, not to mention the masonary of the gifted artisans in sculpting those wonderful carvings. Well, Mahmud of ghazni destroyed hundreds and thousands of this wonderful temples. Like few of these temples that he destroyed near Mathura where 4,000 years old which in today’s date would have been five thousand years old. This could have been standing proofs of our ancient civilization and 16th to 17th century Persian historian Ferishta has given a detailed account about the loot and plunder committed by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in India, the most of the facts that I shall be presenting today are based on this. So read this book, ‘A history of the rise of Mohammedan Power in India’ translated by John Briggs.

So how much wealth did Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni loot from India? Here is the 17 Expeditions in between 1001 to 1025 CE probably more than what the British looted in two centuries. So according to few researchers and historians. The British loot has been estimated at 45 trillion dollars, while few researchers estimate the amount that 48 trillion dollars. So when we speak about wealth in the context of today’s topic. It would include the annual tributes collected by Mahmud from the several Indian rulers of for several years, then the value of war elephants that Sultan Mahmud took a journey from India every time he came to loot, the wealth they looted from forts and temples, loot of gold, golden idols and silver Idols. Now that number to some hundreds and thousands of them and gold and silver plates and in God’s gold ornaments, then gemstones and jeevans like sapphires, emeralds, corals and diamonds etc.

So according to Persian historian Ferishta with the wealth that Mahmud looted and took to Ghazni, he turned Ghazna, which included Pakistan parts of Afghanistan and Eastern Iran into a wealthy Empire. Each household according to Firishta was abundantly rich with several slaves. So those are the states where captives taken from India and they were specially women who were turned into sex slaves. So, I would like to delve on one point here. There are few questions which often crop up in your mind’s: when we always defeated then our ancestors offers any resistance? Did our ancestors surrender so easily? Well, when I posted this about this event on Facebook someone commented us, we talk of Invaders looters and destroyers, what did the local people do then? No resistance, no valor, no show of unity and strength, no effort in uniting people, what you should use did about it? People are interactive, too one-sided narrative.

So, we weren’t always defeated. Our ancestors did offers deep resistance, they fought till your last breath. Now, let me, one example, Sultan Mahmud could not loot and plunder Kashmir. Why because the Raja of Kashmir offered stiff resistance. He was Rajas Sangrama Raja who was the founder of the Lohara Dynasty and he repulsed it, two attack of Ghazni. Besides that he also offered military aid to Trilochanpala the Raja of Lahore, military support to fight against a Mahmud. The combined Army defeated Mahmud. Though in another battle, Trilochan Paula was defeated, but the combined army did defeat Mahmud.

So I will be giving more examples of resistance later. So many are driven by the wrong notion that Indian rulers did not unite against a common enemy like the Islamic plunderers, but here they are wrong again. Like Let me give a few examples.

In the year 1078 CE Mahmud along with his father Sabuktigin, attack to Jaipal. The raja of Lahore, Jaipal sought military aid from the neighboring North Indian rulers, the rulers of Delhi, Kanauj, Kalinjar, Ajmer provided military support. They also gave a financial help. The combined Army fought against Sultan Mahmud huge Army and Lunghan the outskirts of Lahore. So, let me quote Firishta here.

“Sabuktigin ascended a hill to view the forces of Jaipal which appeared in extent like the boundless ocean and the number like the ants or the locus of the wilderness”

So you can well imagine the strength of the army of Jaipal, the Hindu Army of Jaipal against the Mahmud sources. But the Hindu Army of Jaipal laps strategy and Sabuktigin was very clever. So again, let me quote Ferishta.

“Sabuktigin soldiers though few in number were divided into spectrums of 500 men each which are directed to attack successively in one particular point of the Hindu line, so that it might continually have to encounter fresh troops the Hindu being horse mounted than the Cavalry of Sabuktigin, were unable to withstand them and wear it out by the manure just mentioned began to give way. Sabuktigin perceiving their disorder made a general assault”. So, in the Hindu army was thus depicted raja Jaipal was allow to continue his rulership against the promise of famine, the handsome annual tribute.

So let me give another example in 1008 CE. Anandpal who succeeded his father Jaipal to the throne of Lahore provided military aid to one of Muhammad’s enemies. This enraged Mahmud. So he marched towards Lahore with a huge army another. Anandpal immediately sought the military aid from the neighboring rulers, especially rulers from north India and the north Indian rulers are very fast to respond the rulers of Gwalior, Ujjain, Delhi, Ajmer, Kanauj send troops towards Lahore and do you know Hindu women from all near, sold their gold ornaments to support for to donate for this cause and besides the alliance of North Indian rulers, few tribes also provided support to this Alliance and to what mentioning is the Cuckoo tribe of Punjab.

So as the battle started, let me quote Ferishta again, 30,000 cuckoors with your hands and feet bare. So they did not wear, they did not cover the area, head bands or they did not wear any slippers, had some feet bare and I’m with various weapons penetrated into the mohammedan lines, where a dreadful Carnage ensued and 5,000 mohammedans in a few minutes were slain. So now because, if I described the complete battle it will go on and on, and so I have just quoted two lines from Ferishta.

So the Hindus are almost winning this battle, when Anandpal who commanded the Hindu army faced an uncontrollable situation. So love did not favor us since the last 1,000 years. So the elephant he was riding on suddenly turned unruly due to the effect of Nuthalla balls and the flight of arrows towards it and it flight away from the battlefield. These confused the Hindu army who have already winning and they started fleeing from the battle field, ran away. Likewise, other rulers also offered resistance to Mahmud but their army and Military strategy group weaker than that of Mahmud.

So there are two key reasons why Indian rulers failed in battle against Mahmud and later Islamic plunderer and Invaders.

Number one – the fighting spirit in Indian warriors started declining after the concept of non-violence gained momentum. So, Most Indian Kings and their subjects lost interest in warfare, most rulers did get little importance to maintaining a strong army or upgrading their military infrastructure. So generation after generation, the courage, fearlessness and fellow, which were otherwise the key attributes of warriors and soldiers, started to decline.

Now hence they were taken unawares when Mahmud of Ghazni attacked or other Islamic thunderbirds attacked, but not all kingdom follow this concept of non-violence. Those rulers who kept the ready, steady army and upgraded their military infrastructure survived the attacks and there are many examples; there are many examples of our taste of valor of our ancestors that resistance they offered in the victories they won. But this are not highlighted in history. We have been projected as losers and Invaders have been glorified. So how do we take pride over ancestors? So as two slides back, I’ve showed you a comment posted by someone on Facebook – why do you know our ancestors offer no resistance? why were we always defeated so and so because we have grown up reading only the taste of valor of Invaders not about our ancestors. So the condition prevails.

Number two – Indian rulers always follow the rules of Dharma in warfare. They never fought against an opponent who is already, who was already engaged or involved in the fight with another. They took care of the injured the end of the day, never start from behind or they avoided hitting below the navel and they considered women prisoners of war and farmers as sacred. They never teenaged land or destroyed standing structures. They were merciful if enemies sought pardon and Battlefield exploits always took place during the day. This was followed since time immemorial.

But Islamic plunderers and Invaders did exactly opposite to these rules of dharma followed by the Indian Warriors. They follow the tactics of treachery, deception and cruelty. So that plundered kingdoms, they raped women and took them as sex slaves. The kill the weak and the innocent of the stabbed from behind. That destroyed standing structures, raised temples to the ground. And they broke Idols they looted wealth, what and what not. The converting the defeated to Islam was one of the keys strategies. So there are hundreds of examples of both, but again, but talking discussing on that be like deviating away from the main topic.

Ferishta through the eyes of Sultan Mahmud has described many Indian cities as Grand. So Mahmud destroyed many of these Grand cities and spared few against promise of a payment of and hence annual tribute. So few of the grants, cities not mentioning are Mathura, Somnath, Thaneshwar, Nagarkot. Then Lahore and last goes on. So our Focus area today in this session would be the cities of Lahore, Thaneshwar, Mathura, Nagarkot and Somnath. So let us start with Mathura.

About Mathura, Sultan Mahmud wrote a letter to his governor, that no one could build a city as Grand as Mathura within a period of even 200 years involving lakhs of deenars that it was next to Impossible in building such a grand city. So you can well imagine how Grand Mathura was thousand years ago. Can you imagine? The intensity of destruction of Mathura caused by the barbaric plunder, the grand city turned into ruins in 20 days. Mathura was then under the ruler of Delhi, but as I described earlier that most Indian rulers did not keep already standing army. And hence the ruler of Delhi could not protect the holy city. It took only 20 days for sultan Mahmud to win the City completely like he not only plundered the city he also killed weak and the innocent took many as captives, raped women and took them as sex slaves, raze campus to the ground, broke the idols, looted all the wealth that you could come across in temples as well as and then you said the city on fire. He said the grand city on fire.

So, as I told earlier near Mathura, there are few temples which were around 4,000 years old. So these temples would have been five thousand years old or as I said earlier, these would have been standing of our ancient civilization. So, let me quote Ferishta here, among the temples of Mathura. So, Mathura was pronounces Mudra. So among the temples of Mathura were found golden Idols whose eyes were two rubies valued at $50,000 dinar and another idol was found a sapphire ring 400 lbs at the image itself being melted down, produced ninety eight thousand three hundred lbs of pure gold. Besides these images there were above hundred Idols of silver which loaded as many camels. The king carried in Mathura in 20 days in which time the city suffered greatly from fire, beside the damage It sustained by being pillaged.

At length he continued his march along the course of a stream on whose banks were seven strong fortifications all of which fell in succession. There are also discovered some very ancient temples which according to the Hindus that adjusted for 4,000 years, having set to these temples and force the troops were led against the fort of Munch, Munch is a Rajput kingdom. So, after looting and destroyed mathura he proceeded towards rajput kingdoms. So near Mathura, you can well imagine the intensity of Destruction caused by Mahmood in Mathura.

So let us take Nagarkot. So in 1009 CE Sultan Mahmud attacked Nagarkot, which is located at Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh. He plundered the city raising temples to the ground and breaking the idols the Mahmud army destroyed grim fort setting it on fire after killing the inhabitants and looting wealth the port located atop a steep Mountain served as the treasury for various small neighboring kingdoms. So the gold and other valuables were donated by devotees in the temples of Nagarkot and in neighboring kingdoms were stored in this fort. So you can well imagine the amount of wealth stored in the fort.

So Bheem was the fort, It was built by raja Bhim. He was from the clan of Yudhisthira of Kuruksetra. So the fort was built several centuries ago and since the time of Bhim, wealth had been stored in the fort treasury, so he looted all the wealth stored in that Fort. So in Bhim were found 700000 golden dinars, 700 muns of gold and silver plates, 200 muns of pure gold ingots, 2000 muns of silver bullion and 20 muns of various jewels including pearls, corals, diamond and rubies which had been collected since the time of Bhim the detail of which would be tedious. So he has not given full complete details of the amount of wealth looted from that fort.

So, you can well imagine how much wealth was looted from Nagarkot only. So I’ve already described to you how much wealth in looted from Mathura. So and then at Nagarkot like there are various numerical like one month, right from 2Lb between 11 lb according to now, one vary from 2lb between 11 lb according to historians of those times, but again according to today’s calculations, these are much higher than the given amount. So let me quote here 20 months of jewels, jewels are the gemstones like sapphires, rubies, diamonds, pearls, emeralds.

So let me give one instance, here is away from the topic again. Like I have practiced as an astrologer for quite a number of years, and I’ve also prescribed the gemstones. I prescribed gemstones to as remedies. So I have also studied gemology. So I know the value of the stones. So 20 month of jewels imagine how many kilos more than a hundred kg, going by the historians won by the account of the historians, of doubles, that period is around 95 to 100 kgs, but will going by today’s accounting, it goes beyond 100kg. So 100kg jewels. So i’m wearing a Gherkin this are waiting carats. This is a just a tiny one and the I’m wearing a yellow Sapphire also, and so the part carats the way yellow Sapphire the value of yellow Sapphire ranges from say 40,000 to 3 lakhs.

According to today’s value Because I’ve dealt in gemstones while prescribing for when client use to come for to show these chart horoscope. So 100kg of jewels, you can well imagine the value. I’m just Letting you guess. Such was the vastness of the booty looted from Nagarkot, that upon return to Ghazni Sultan Mahmud arranged a magnificent festival well to commemorate his success including wealth from India. So in this festival, he displayed the looted wealth in Golden thrones. So the jewelz and gemstones were piled up in a plane area for display so and to every officer of the Ghazni Empire, Sultan Mahmud conferred a princely gift from the looted wealth. So let me quote Ferishta here:

“Mahmud having reached Thaneswar before the Hindus had time to take measures for its defense. The city was plundered the idols broken and the idol Jucksama was sent to get need to be trodden under foot. According to Haji Muhammad Qandahari, a ruby was only one of the temples going for 5-0 lbs. One lbs is equal to 4.25 gram. So Ruby for 5-0 lbs means such a big Ruby and it would have cost around trillions. I’m also wearing a ruby such a small ruby at Cost around 20 to 25 thousand. So one big Ruby for 15 mc and it was allowed by everyone who saw it to be a wonder that had never been before even heard of.

So the Idol jacksama are so anyone have had any idea about who the deity Jacksama. So we haven’t heard. so jacksama may refers to Mahadev or Vishnu. So yum kubera and moon are also known by this name. So Ferishta has described the Jacksama as the principal deity. So I have I’m an avid Heritage traveler. So I have visited so many temples ancient and Medieval Era temples in and around central western and Northern India. So many of these temples dating back from the 8th to 12th century the principal deity of this Temple. It’s like is either Mahadev or Vishnu. So going by that Jacksama may be either Mahadev and Vishnu.

So from this Thaneshwar Expedition, Sultan Mahmud took 2 lakh hindu to Ghazni as captives and every soldier in Ghazni became wealthy with riches and each household keeping several slaves. So this is Ferishta account. This is not an account by any Indian historian. So Ferishta wont exaggerate facts. So only from his Thaneshwar Expedition he took two lakh Indian captives and most of these captives were women because they’re usually kill the men and take the women as slaves. So each household during the time used to have several women’s slaves. So you can imagine only from Thaneshwar to take this many number of captives and he looted he plunder india 17 times. So you can well imagine the count the captives that you might have taken.

Mahmoud had heard a lot about the vast wealth stored in somnath Temple. He marched towards Somnath with a huge Army the rulers of Gujarat offered a stiff resistance and the battle took place for several days until Mahmud gained hold of the shrine. So in history you most of us even I well growing up have read that the rulers of Gujarati did not offer any resistance the king ran away. So we’re projected as losers like we did not offer any resistance. But here this is Ferishta account the resistance offered by the rulers of Gujarat the princes of Gujarat.

“So the battle raged with great Fury. Victory was long doubtful due to Indian princess Brahma Dev and dabisleem with other reinforcements joined their countrymen during the action and inspired them with fresh courage. Mahmood at this moment perceiving his troops to waver leaped from his horse and prostrating himself before God implored his assistance then mounting again he took Abul Hasan the circassian (one of his generals) by the hand by way of encouragement and advanced of the Enemy. At the same time he cheered his troops with such energy that ashamed to abandon their King he refers to a Mahmud with whom they had of so often fought and glad that, they with one accord gave a loud shout and thrust forwards in this charge. The Muslims broke through the enemy’s line and late 5000 Hindus dead at their feet”.

So This is just an example of the resistance offered by the Hindus. But as I already mentioned the last strategy. So here is a description of somnath Temple by Firishta. Superb edifice built of hewn Stone. Hewn stone is a stone slab cut from rocks and chiseled to Perfection. The lofty roof was supported by 56 pillars the wonderful carvings in the ceiling’s walls and pillars. So, all carving were set with precious stones. So, this must be only temple of its kind because all the carving and the pillars walls and ceilings were set with precious stones not to mention the idols. Stay where some more than a thousand Idols of deities and Somnath Temple.

So in the centre of the hall was Somnath a stone Idol five yards in height. So you can well imagine how the height of the idol of Somnath. So one yard is equal to three feet. So five yards in height two of which were sunk in the ground. Maybe one has to climb steps below to worship the idol. So there were no lighting arrangements except one pendant lamp jewels in the idols and walls reflected on the pendant lamp which brightened the dark Interiors. So let me come back to the last point. So ancient and mediaeval era temples including temples of the modern period have arrangements for lighting at night. So everyone knows that. But Somnath Temple did not have any lighting arrangements. The whole Interiors of The somnath temple were so full of jewels started in the walls ceilings idols and the pillars that reflection of this jewels that fell on the pendant brightened of the dark Interiors. So how gifted our ancient Indians were.

So a huge chain of gold weighing around 200 months can well imagine how huge the chain was to be it hung from the top of the main building by a ring and it supported a big bell as is present in all Hindu temples at the main entrance or at the entrance towards the Garbha Griha, the Sanctum sanctorum.

Do you know, a group of brahmins offered a huge donation of gold to Sultan Mahmud to save the idol of Somnath. Sultan men agreed and they will try to convince their Master. But Sultan Mahmud disagreed why because he wanted to be known in history as Mahmud the Destroyer, not as Mahmud the idol seller. So he directed his troops to continue with their destruction work. So Mahmud ordered his men break the idol of Somnath. The hallowed Belly of the idol of Somnath was filled with precious gemstones and jewels, when they broke open the, broke the idol, they discovered the hidden jewels in the belly and the value of this jewels were much much higher than the value of the amount of gold offered by the brahmins to save the idols. The king approaching the image raised his Maze and struck off its nose. He ordered two pieces of the idol to be broken off and sent to Ghazni, that one might thrown at the threshold of the public mass.

And the other at the court door of his own Palace two more fragments were reserved to be sent to Mecca and Medina. So when Ferishta wrote this book it was passed 600 years of the destruction of Somnath by Mahmud. So Ferishta that identical fragments of the Somnath idol where sent Ghazni during his time. So Somnath temple falls thousand and years ago. This is according to Ferishta.

So three lakh visitors visited the temple during eclipses, during those times a thousand years ago. So regular donations were offered by rulers as well as devotees from far and near, two thousand villages were bestowed to the Somnath temple authorities for the maintenance of the temple. So ancient scripture and survey by British corroborate the grant of villages by rulers for maintaining of temples. Besides, temples also served as learning centers like they were good mutts and gurukuls. That served as learning centers and also as treasury.

The Shivalinga was baited twice with Ganga Jal every day. So you can well imagine the temple authorities must have traveled regularly to Haridwar to take Ganga Jal. To some not so 2000 brahmins served as priest in the temple. 300 Barbers’s were appointed. So the devotees shave before entering sanctum sanctorum. So Ferishta described with no royal treasury about contained such fast wealth Besides the main Somnath idol thousands of other idols of deities and in gold and silver. So as per Ferishta, the Somnath Temple was a storehouse of vast wealth. No other Royal treasury ever contained such great wealth. So Mahmud looted all the wealth of the temple.

So amongst the earliest Hindu rulers to be subjugated by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was Jaipal, Raja Jaipal of Lahore. Muhammad and his father Sabuktigin had attacked a Jaipal in 978 CE, Jaipal was Defeated and the Ghaznavid ruler and next major parts of the Lahore territory to the Ghaznavid Empire. So Jaipal was left free against the payment of hence annual tribute. So when Jaipal stopped paying tribute Mahmud attacked him again. It was 1001 CE. 978…. then 1001… in between he regularly paid tributes. So you can and the tribute that he paid amounted to lakh of dinars.

So you can well imagine how much tribute Mahmud collected from Lahore alone. Jaipal offered a steep resistance but he could not match the crippled tactics employed by Mahmud was. So Jaipal was left free against the payment of hence annual tribute which amounted two lakh of deenars. So besides the tribute Mahmud took from Jeipal 16 necklaces in laid with jewels, one of necklace belong to Jaipal which during the time valued at 180000 dinaras. This is an account by Ferishta.

So Mahmud also took war elephants from each kingdom when he came to loot. So the value of war elephants going by today’s time you can well imagine. So Mahmud looted the wealth of many other cities and collective tributes of numerous rulers for several years. So discussing each of them would be time-consuming and the top of go on and on. So this is an account by a Persian historian, truth prevails. So Ferishta would not exaggerate the facts.

Though he missed here giving more details about the plunders the loot committed by Mahmud of ghazni. So Ferishta account does give us an Idea, how rich India was a thousand years ago. So how rich and magnificent India was. Had the barbaric plunderer not plundered India, not to mention other Islamic plunderers, followed by the British, India would have continued to be a self-sufficient country with no signs of poverty and with no problems plaguing India with no various problems plaguing India at present. So united with sustain and queen divided we fall and fail.

Jai Hind
Thank you

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