Suheldev was a legendary 11th-century Indian king from Shravasti, in the north-eastern Utter Pradesh. He scored a major victory against the Ghaznavid general Ghazi Salar Masud at the battle of Bahraich in 1033 CE.
India’s best selling author and the director of Nehru Centre in London, Amish Tripathi has revived the legend of Suheldev in his latest book Suheldev: The King Who Saved India.
In this fictional account of King Suheldev’s, Amish Tripathi makes a point that by uniting local rulers Suheldev inflicted such a heavy defeat on Afghan invaders that they never dared to look towards India for the next 160 years.
The story of Salar Masud and Suheldev is found in the Persian language biography of Salar Masud, Mirat-i-Masudi. It was written by Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir.
Ghazi Salar Masud, a nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni, invaded India at the age of 16. He crossed the Indus river and conquered Multan, Delhi, and Meerut. He was extremely brutal and carried out large massacres after bloody battles.
His advance was stopped by Suheldev in Bahraich on 15 June 1033. Suheldev managed to form a formidable coalition of local kings to stop the invading Ghaznavid army.
Suhaldev’s retribution was sharp. He not only killed Masud but also brutally chased the invaders until they were all killed.