Battle of Indus

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Battle of Indus
Part of the Mongol invasion of Central Asia
During the battle of Indus.jpg
Genghis Khan watches in amazement as the Khwarezmi Jalal ad-Din prepares to ford the Indus.
Date Spring 1221
Location Near the Indus River, located in modern-day Pakistan
Result Mongol victory
Khwarezmia annexed to the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire Khwarezmian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Genghis Khan Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu
30,000 men[1] 50,000 men[1]
Casualties and losses
Heavy Heavy

The Battle of Indus was fought at the Indus river, in the year 1221 between Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, the sultan of the Khwarezmid Empire and his only remaining forces of thirty thousand against the two hundred thousand strong Mongolian army of Genghis Khan.


Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu was fleeing to India with his men and thousands of refugees from Persia, following the Mongol sacking of several cities, including Bukhara and Samarkand, the latter being the Khwarezmian capital. After having won the Battle of Parwan,[2] near the city of Ghazni, Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu headed for India to seek refuge together with his army of some fifty thousand men and several thousand refugees.[1] However, the army of Genghis Khan caught up with him when he was about to cross the river Indus.


Jalal al-Din Khwarazm-Shah crossing the rapid Indus river, escaping Genghis Khan and his army

Jalal ad-Din positioned his army of fifty thousand men in a defensive stance against the Mongols, placing one flank against the mountains while his other flank was covered by a river bend.[2] The initial Mongol charge that opened the battle was beaten back.[2] Jalal al-Din counterattacked, and nearly breached the center of the Mongol army.[2] Genghis then sent a contingent of ten thousand men around the mountain to flank Jalal ad-Din's army.[2] With his army attacked from two directions and collapsing into chaos, Jalal al-Din fled across the Indus river.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Trevor N. Dupuy and R. Ernest Dupuy, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, (Harper Collins Publishers, 1993), 366.
  2. ^ a b c d e f A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle, Vol. I, ed. Spencer C. Tucker, (ABC-CLIO, 2010), 273.

Coordinates: 24°18′43″N 67°45′49″E / 24.312059°N 67.763672°E / 24.312059; 67.763672