Ever heard of Avanijanasraya Pulakesiraja? Our history books describe military superiority of Islamic invaders , but never mention military victories of Hindus like Pulakesiraja, who defeated Arabs in 8th c. so decisively, that they couldn’t invade India for the next 300 years.
After Bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh, Dahir’s son apostated back to Hinduism. During the Caliphate of Al-Hisham (724-743), Junaid was sent to get Sindh back. He killed Dahir’s grandson Jaisimha & recaptured the territory, & then marched further to conquer the interior of Bharat.
Junaid’s army overcame the Saindhavas, Kachchellas, Chavotakas, Mauryas & Gurjaras, but Pratihara king Nagabhata defeated him in Gwalior. In Navsari, Junaid’s army faced such a ferocious counter attack from Chalukya Pulakesiraja, that he abandoned India, never to return.
Pulakesiraja’s Navsari copper inscriptions (738 AD) vividly describe the victory over Tajika (Arabs) cut down as streams of blood gushed from disemboweled intestines pierced by spears, heads fell like lotus stalks being plucked, & horseshoe arrows pierced their hairy bodies.
So significant was Pulakesiraja’s victory, that Chalukya emperor Vikramaditya 2 honored him with titles Dakshinapathashara (Pillar of South), Prithivivallabha (Beloved of Earth), Challukikulalamkara (ornament of Chalukkis), & Anivartakanivartayitri (Repeller of Unrepellable)
Pulakesiraja also helped to defend the kingdom of Valabhi from the Arabs during this conflict. Valabhi had a world famous Buddhist university, along with hundreds of Jain & Buddhist monasteries. The Hindu Shaivite Maitrika dynasty of Valabhi had always ensured their protection.
The Arab records omitted this defeat out of shame, however Al-Baladhuri’s contemporary statement that “In the days of Tamim (Junaid’s successor) the Muslims withdrew from the land of Al-Hind & abandoned their headquarters, & they have not returned so far since” confirms it.
Al-Baladhuri’s account mentions that after this event, Arabs had to flee to the Westernmost frontier of the Indus & shift their capital there. After Pulakesiraja’s resounding defeat of the Arabs, they did not dare to venture into India beyond Multan, for the next 3 centuries.
Just as Charles Martels saved Europe from Arab conquest by his famous victory in Poitiers, Avanijanasraya Pulakesiraja’s victory over Junaid at Navsari was no less momentous. Nagabhata & Pulakesiraja saved India from Islamic occupation at a crucial stage & changed our history.
Our history books ignore Hindus victories with superior military strength over Islamic invaders, to perpetuate the myth of Hindus as always weak & indecisive. Real historical evidence show us how heroes like Pulakesiraja deserve to be celebrated by Hindus.
The Arab Invasion of India – R.C. Majumdar
Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. 4, Pt. 1: Inscriptions of Kalachuri-Chedi Era – Dept. of Archaeology, India
New Dynasties of Gujarat History – Amrit Pandya
Ancient History of Saurashtra – Dr. Krishnakumar J. Virji