[PDF Notes] Causes of Rajput Failure against the Ala-ud-Din Khilji

Almost all the important states of Rajputana submitted before Ala-ud-Din. The question has been asked as to what were the causes which were responsible for the defeat of the Rajputs and many reasons have been given. The Rajputs were disunited politically.

It is true that every Rajput kingdom put up stiff resistance, but singly none of them was a match for the Sultan of Delhi. Their disunity helped the Sultan. Reference may be made in this connection to the case of Sevana and Jalor. While the fall of Sevana was imminent, the ruler of Jalor, a neighbour, kept aloof. The result was that after the conquest of Sevana, Jalor was also conquered.

Another cause of the defeat of the Rajputs was their reliance on their forts. These forts were usually constructed on the top of some hillocks as a measure of defense. However, once a fort was besieged, it was cut off from the plains and provisions could not reach it. Sanitary condition inside the forts was not satisfactory. That was particularly so during a siege when frosts became over-crowded and epidemics often took a heavy toll of life.

Another cause of their failure was that they continued to follow the age-old traditions of j warfare. They did not bother about the new techniques of fighting evolved on other parts of the world. The Sultans possessed engines of war like Arrada, Gargach, etc., (i.e., stone-throwing machines). They also knew the art of constructing pashibs for escalading the fort walls.

The Rajputs fought with elephants in open engagements. The though it below their dignity to resort to ambuscade, camouflage and feigning retreats in which the Turks were experts. Another cause of their defeat was that their resources were limited. Their country was hilly and barren. Crops and water were scarce.

They could not fight successfully against the Sultans of Delhi who had at their command the resources of the Punjab and Avadh which were the most fertile regions of the country and thus could depend upon an unlimited supply of provisions and reinforcements.

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