NCERT Notes: Arab And Turkish Invasions [Medieval History Of India For UPSC]

Arab and Turkish invasions in India are an important part of medieval Indian history for the UPSC civil services exam. Given below is a gist of the important aspects of the Arab and Turkish invasions of India for the IAS exam preparation.

To know more about UPSC 2023, refer to the linked article.

Arab And Turkish Invasions (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

Arab and Turkish Invasions

Arab Invasion in India

  • Al-Hajjajj, the Governor of Iraq sent Muhammad-bin-Qasim to India
  • He Conquered Sind with the permission of Caliph Walid

Battle of Rewar

  • Fought between Muhammad-bin-Qasim and Dahir the ruler of Sind
  • Dahir was defeated. Sind and Multan were captured.
  • Muhammad-bin-Qasim called Multan as ‘The City of Gold’ 

Administrative System

  • Sind and Multan were divided into a number of Iqtas or districts by Muhammad-bin-Qasim and Arab military officers headed the Iqtas.
  • The sub-divisions of the districts were administered by the local Hindu Officers.
  • Jizya was imposed on non-Muslims. 

Muhammad bin Qasim’s Army

  • 25,000 troops with 6000 Camels, 6000 Syrian horses, 3000 Bactrian Camels and an artillery force with 2000 men, advanced guards, and five catapults.

End of Muhammad-bin-Qasim

  • Caliph Walid was succeeded by Caliph Sulaiman.
  • He was an enemy of Al-Hajjaj, the Governor of Iraq.
  • Muhammad-bin Qasim was the son-in-law of Al-Hajjaj, so he dismissed him and sent to Mesopotamia as a prisoner where he was tortured to death.
  • For more than 150 years, Sind and Multan continued to remain as the part of the Caliph’s Empire. 

Effects of Arab Conquest

  • The subjugation of Sind made way for Islam into India.
  • The art of administration, astronomy, music, painting, medicine and architecture were learnt by Arabs from our land and they spread astronomy, Indian Philosophy, and numerals to Europe.

History is an important subject for UPSC 2021 preparation. Read some important Medieval Indian History topics to aid your preparation from the links given below:

  1. Deccan Kingdoms
  2. Delhi Sultanate
  3. Vijaynagara Empire
  4. India under Mughals
  5. List of Bhakti Movement Saints
  6. Difference Between Bhakti and Sufi Movements
  7. Mamluk Dynasty
  8. Khilji Dynasty

The Turkish Invasion in India

  • In the 8th and 9th centuries, the Turks dominated the Caliphs of Baghdad
  • They extended their dominion beyond Sind and Multan into India.
Rani Bai’s heroic defense

  • The wife of Dahir and the other women of Sind put up a heroic defence within the Fort of Rewar.

Indian Impact

Brahma Siddhanta

  • Brahma Siddhanta a Sanskrit work of Brahma Gupta was translated into Arabic in which the names of Indian Scientists like Sindbad, Bhala, Manaka are mentioned.
  • In a hospital at Baghdad, Dhana was appointed as a chief Medical officer.
  • A serious disease of Caliph Harun-al-Rashid Manaka, a physician cured.
Mahmud of Ghazni (971 to 1030)
  • In 1001 A.D. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India
  • He was the first Turkish to invade India.
  • He returned to Ghazna with enormous wealth after defeating
    • Jaipala, the ruler of the Hindu Shahi Dynasty
    • Fateh Daud of Multan
    • Anandpala of Nagarkot
    • the Chandelas, the rulers of Mathura
    • Kanauj, and Gwalior.
  • Mahmud’s significant invasion in Hindustan was against the Somnath temple in 1025 A.D., located on the coast of Kathiawar and Raja Bhima Dev the ruler of Kathiawar and his followers escaped from the place. 

Mahmud of Ghazni’s Character Estimation

  • Mahmud of Ghazni was one of the greatest Muslim rulers of Asia.
  • He patronised art and letters and scholars like Firdausi and Alberuni.

End of Ghazni’s rule in India

  • Ghazni died in 1030. Mahmud of Ghori came up.

Muhammad of Ghori (1149 – 1206)

  • He was the third Muslim ruler who invaded India.
  • He became the ruler of Ghori. 
Muhammad of Ghori invasions
  • He first invaded India in 1175 A.D. 

First Battle of Tarain (1191 A.D.)

  • He seized the fortress of Bhatinda in 1189 A.D. and then progressed into the kingdom of Prithviraj Chauhan.
  • Muhammad of Ghori was defeated by Prithviraj in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191 A.D. and recovered Bhatinda. 

Learn more about the First Battle of Tarain of 1191 in the linked article.

Second Battle of Tarain (1192 A.D.)

  • In the second battle of Tarain, the joined forces of the Rajput rulers under Prithviraj were defeated by Muhammad of Ghori.
  • Prithviraj was held as a prisoner and later put to death.
  • The Turkish rule began for the first time in Indian history with the end of The Second Battle of Tarain.
  • Qutb-ud-din Aibak was appointed as the commander by Muhammad of Ghori 

Read important facts about the Second Battle of Tarain of 1192 in the linked article.

Rajput Uprisings

  • There were many Rajput mutinies between 1193 and 1198 A.D.
  • Qutb-ud-din-Aibak defeated them and brought many regions under his control.
  • Muhammad of Ghori made Delhi as the capital.

Read about the Rajputs for history preparation in the linked article.

Battle of Chandawar (1194 A.D.)

  • Muhammad of Ghori defeated Jaichandra, one of the greatest Rajput ruler of Kanauj and killed him in the battle. 

Conquest of Bengal and Bihar

  • Muhammad-bin-Baktiyar Khilji, one of the commanders of Muhammad of Ghori destroyed Vikramasila in 1202 and Nalanda Universities in 1203A.D. 

Death of Muhammad of Ghori

  • He was assassinated on 25th March 1206 A.D. in Central Asia by some Shia rebels and Khokhars.
  • He is considered to be the real founder of the Turkish Empire in India because of his various invasions and subjugations of the Rajput territories in North India.

Online Quiz 2023

Frequently Asked Questions on Arab and Turk Invasion


Q 1. What were the main causes for the success of Turkish invasions in India?

Ans. One of the key reasons for the success of Turks in invading the country was that India lacked unity and discrimination based on social and economic factors was severely spread. While the Turks on the other hand were politically united when they invaded India. Another reason is that Turks possessed a superior army in comparison to the Rajput army.

Q 2. Why did the Turks and Arabs invade India?

Ans. The Arabs initially came to India for the purpose of trade but prior to their attack on Sindh, their desire to increase the military power increased and they became ambitious. By invading India and defeating the Indian rulers they could also take over the kingdom’s wealth and strengthen their military and expand their rule.

Arab And Turkish Invasions (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

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  1. Informative, short, and useful. Regards. Thanks.