Mahmud of Ghazni – Key Points (Pre-sultanate era)

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Mahmud of Ghazni was an important person during the Middle Ages in India, known for le­ading several attacks into the subcontinent. Here are the key points about Mahmud of Ghazni useful for UPSC exam preparation.

Mahmud of Ghazni Notes GK: Mahmud was the rule­r of the Central Asian Ghaznavid Empire from 998 to 1030 CE. He­ is known for leading military campaigns into India. Mahmud of Ghazni is a significant historical figure to learn about for e­xams like the UPSC because­ he was a key part of India’s medie­val past. His army’s victories started a long time of Muslim gove­rnance over much of northern India.

Mahmud of Ghazni
Reign: 998 – 1030 AD
Founder of: Ghaznavid dynasty
Military Expansion: Afghanistan, Iran, Northwest India (Punjab)
Most famous raid: Somnath temple in Gujarat (1027 AD)
Mahmud of Ghazni - Key Points


  • In 977 AD Alptigin’s son-in-law’s son-in-law Sabuktigin ascended the throne of Ghazni.
  • In 986 AD, there was a battle with King Jaipala of the Hindu Shahi dynasty at Khuja and Jaipala was defeated.
  • Jayapala was miserably defeated in Sabuktagin’s second attack in 988 AD.
  • Sabuktagin died in 997 AD.
  • Then Islamia sat on the throne.
  • But Mahmud, Sabuktagin’s eldest son, ousted his younger brother and ascended the throne in 998 AD.
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Mahmud’s invasion of India

Sultan Mahmud invaded India 17 times between 1000-1027. Some of the famous expeditions are given below table.

1001Defeated Jaipal in the Battle of Peshawar.
1009Mahmud defeated Jaipala’s son Anandapala in the battle of Waihind.
1007-1008Against Nowash Shah of Kashmir.
1009Against Narayana Raja of Rajasthan.
1012-1013Trilochana defeated the Shahi dynasty and took over.
1014Expedition to the ‘Chakra Swami’ temple at Thaneswar. (The statue was a bronze statue of Vishnu).
1015-1016Against the King of Kashmir.
1018Sacks Kanauj and Mathura
1020-21The Pratihara king was defeated and killed the governor.
1025-26The sixteenth expedition was to Gujarat. Mahmud looted the Somnath temple in Gujarat.
1027Mahmud’s last campaign against the Jaths.
Read More: Pushyabhuti Dynasty 


  1. Firdausi, the poet of Sultan Mahmoud, composed ‘Shahnama’ containing 1000 poems.
  2. In 1017, Alberuni, the author of ‘Tahqiq-i-Hind’ came to India with Mamud.
  3. His status in the Islamic world increased for breaking the idols of Hindu gods and goddesses.
  4. Mahmud was called ‘Batsikan‘ or destroyer of idols. Mamud died in 1030 AD.


Mahmud was succeeded by his son, Mas’ud I. Mahmud’s raids into India marked the start of a series of Islamic invasions that would have a major impact on the Indian subcontinent’s history and culture.