Pre-attack of Muhammad Bakhtyar for the invasion of Bengal
This is the story that is current about Muhammad Bakhtyar's invasion of Nadia and his capture of the palace of Raja Lakshman-sena that decided for ever the fate of the Hindu sovereignity of Bengal. There is another account of the same pisode given slightly in a different way by Isami, the author of Futuh-us salatin written less than a century after the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri of Minhaj. Isami writes that Muhammad Bakhtyar in the disguise of a horse-trader from Seistan came to the palace gate of Raja Lakshmansena and induced him to inspect the many curiosities that he had brought from distant lands for sale.
"When the Rai reached the Karwan" (halting place of caravans), Isami continues, "Mahammad offered him a rich peskhas of precious things and at the same time made a signal to a party of his soldiers to fall upon the Hindus. The Turks charged and defeat befell the Hindu soldiers, a party of whom, how-ever, stood their ground firmly around the Rai and created alarm among the Turks at last when the brave warriors of the Khalji bread made a hurricane-1ike onslaught and killed some Hindu "Sawars', the Rai fell a prisoner to Bakhtyar". The story of the conquest of Nadia by Bakhtyar Khalji with only 18 troopers and the ignominious flight of Lakshmansena has given rise to controversies. Lakshmansena's conduct has been painted as cowardice and imbecile.
Benaras and Jagannath and that Keshavasena was still a powerful king ruling in Eastern Bengal
Many stories are current in variant ways. According to tradition and as recoded in the Tabaquti-Nasiri, the court astrologers of Raja Lakshmansena made a forecast to this effect that his kingdom was fated to be conquered by a Turk according to their astrological calculations. When the Raja enquired about any marks or symbols of the invader who would conquer his kingdom, the astrologers replied thus ' The indication of him is that when he stands upright on his two feet and lets down his two hands, his hands will reach beyond the point of his knees and will touch the calves of his legs". The Raja sent men in all directions to ascertain whether any Tark had those marks or indications and Bakhtyar was found to have such marks as described by the astrologers.
Brahmans and the wealthy merchants fled to Eastern Bengal
Thereupon most of the Brahmans and the wealthy merchants fled to Eastern Bengal, Kamrup and other places for safety. Before leaving their homes and hearths the Brahman astrologers told the Raja that "the time appointed was approaching; the Turks had already taken Bihar and next year they would also attack his country; it was therefore advisable that the Rai should make peace with them, so that all the people might emigrate from the territory and save themselves from contamination with the Turks". But Lakshmansena did not lend his ears to their advice to leave Nadia. This story seems to be absurd. This account as given by the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, distorted as it must have been by the desire of the Muslim adventurers who accompanied Muhammad Bakhtyar to exaggerate the courage of the invaders or to have a hit at the Hindu belief in astrology, should be compared by the evidence of a contemporary Indian record viz. the Bakergunj Inscription of Kesavasena. It, no doubt, exaggerates the prowess of Lakshmansena and Keshavasena.
But it makes no mention whatever of this ignominous defeat of Lakshmansena. Moreover, Lakshmansena is herein praised as a valiant king who had raised three victory columns at Allahabad, Benaras and Jagannath and that Keshavasena was still a powerful king ruling in Eastern Bengal. It is certain that the descendants of Lakshmansena ruled in Eastern Bengal for a long time after this event. "We therefore think" writes Vaidya "that if we put the two records (Bakergunj Inscription of Keshavasena and the Tabaqat) together, the reasonable inference would be that Bengal fell after resistance and not as ignominiously as depicted in the account."
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