7. HINDU COUNTER-ATTACKS & ROLLING BACK OF MUSLIM RULE
From the very first battles of the Rajas of Makara (Makran) and Sindh in 638, till the final elimination of Muslim rule by the Maratha, Jats, Rajputs, Gurkhas and Sikhs in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Hindus kept up the counterattack against Muslims.
Hindus had realized that Muslims can be defeated only by using their tactics: treachery, deception and cruelty. Here are 2 examples of such defeating tactics by Hindu kings:
1. How Narasimhadeva defeated Tugan Khan in 1248 C.E.
In the 13th century, when Tugan Khan attacked Orissa, the then ruling king of Orissa, Narsimhadeva, decided to use subterfuge against the Muslims. He sent word to the invader that he wanted to surrender as had Lakshmansena, the ruler of Bengal without a fight. Tugan Khan had easily conquered Bengal a few years earlier, since the king of Bengal instead of fighting fled the advancing Muslim armies and Bengal fell without a fight.
Tugan accepted Narasimhadeva's surrender proposal and asked for the surrender of the major city of Puri (Narasimhadeva had his capital elsewhere at Jajanagara), hand over all weapons and embrace Islam in the central square in front of the Jagannath Temple and convert the temple into Mosque.
To the delight of the Muslims, all these terms were accepted and the Muslims advanced into the city, blissfully unaware that the Hindu king had laid a trap for them. On the orders of Narasimhadeva, the bustling city had been completely evacuated of its pilgrims and soldiers from all over the kingdom had occupied every nook and corner of the city, hidden away inside the closely built houses Once the Muslim army was inside the city, it had to disperse itself into the maze of narrow lanes and by lanes with which they were not familiar and where they had to dismount from their horses. They advanced towards the central square where the surrender ceremony was to take place.
When the Muslim army was dispersed in the city, the temple bells started ringing, and this was the signal for the Hindus to pounce on the Muslims. The pitched battle lasted whole day and went into the night pierced by the cries of wounded and dying Muslim and Hindu soldiers. While the Hindus took many losses, the entire Muslim army was caught like in a mousetrap and annihilated. Very few Muslims could escape this trap. And this idea succeeded, as it had never been used till then, by any Hindu king, as it went against the Hindu rules of warfare based on fair-play and a noble war.
But precisely because of its being totally unexpected, Hindus emerged victorious. Orissa was to remain a Hindu bastion for many centuries and this explains the very low percentage of Muslims in Orrisa even today, unlike Bengal, where the eastern part (known today as Bangladesh) has been totally islamized, and the Western half of Bengal is undergoing the process of Islamization especially in the district of Murshidabad.
The victorious King of Orissa, Narasimhadeva erected a victory pillar designed as a war chariot. This temple was dedicated to Surya the Sun god, at a place near the temple town of Puri. He named this place Konark which means "Essence of the Corners" While the structure commemorates the victory in the battle against the Muslims, the name Konark commemorates the science of astronomy of which the King was an avid student.
2. How Vijaynagar survived for two hundred years battling the Muslim Aggression from 1331 up to 1565
Vijaynagar was the first Hindu kingdom which gave up the Hindu practice of not molesting non-combatants. Thus they started paying the Muslims with the same token. Whenever the armies of Vijaynagar overran any Bahamani town or village, they torched it completely. With this they put the fear of death into Muslim minds and soon, the Adilshahi and Nizamshahi sultans sued for a treaty with Vijaynagar that would proscribe the killing of civilians by either side.
Thus from then on till Vijaynagar was finally defeated at the battle of Talikotai, was this treaty adhered to by both the Hindus and Muslims. But with the final defeat of the Hindus at Talikotai, the Muslims repudiated this treaty, as their founder had repudiated the treaty of Hudaibiya, and indulged in a gory slaughter of all the inhabitants of Vijaynagar, they could lay their hands on. Not a single person was allowed to live in that beleaguered city. The city itself was reduced to rubble, after six months of pillage and wanton destruction.
However, Muslim rulers were constantly harassed and their agents killed by Marathas, Jats, Rajputs, Gurkhas and Sikhs in the 18th and early 19th centuries, which weakened Muslim rule and a large parts of India gradually became free from their tyranny.