Battle of Parwan

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Battle of Parwan
Part of the Mongol invasion of Central Asia
Date 1221
Location Parwan Afghanistan
Result Khwarezmian victory
Mongol Empire Khwarezmian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Shikhikhutug Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu
Unknown 60,000
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Parwan was fought between sultan Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu of the Khwarezmid Empire and the Mongols in 1221.[1]


Following the Mongol invasion of Khwarezm Jalal ad-Din was forced to flee towards the Hindukush, where he began to muster additional troops to face the Mongols. With the arrival of over 30,000 Afghan warriors from what is now Afghanistan; his strength reportedly rose to 60,000. Genghis Khan sent his chief justice Shigi Qutugu to hunt down Jalal al-Din, but only gave the rookie general 30,000 troops. Shigi Qutugu was overconfident after the continuous Mongol successes, and he quickly found himself on the back foot against the much more numerous Khwarezmian force. In order to deceive Jalal al-Din, he mounted straw warriors on spare remounts, and while this may have spared him from a killing stroke, he was still driven off in defeat.[2]

But the Khwarezmian prince did not prove himself as able in victory as he had been in defeat.[3] In a dispute over the spoils – a Mongolian white horse – between his father-in-law and an Afghan Chief, he sided with his father-in-law. Many of the Afghans left their campfire burning and left the same night, despite being completely exhausted by the day's fighting. Having lost many thousands of men, Jalal ad-Din retreated the next day towards the east.


When Genghis Khan heard of the news of Shigi Qutugu's defeat, he immediately made forced marches in order to catch Jalal al Din before he escaped into India. Genghis marched with Shigi Qutugu, and instructed him on where he went wrong at the battlegrounds.[4] The Shah attempted to cross Indus river to the area north of the present city of Kalabagh, Pakistan. However, Mongols caught up with him on the banks of the Indus and defeated him what in now referred to as the Battle of Indus.[5]

The battle had grave repercussions in Afghanistan and Iran, since the illusion of Mongol invincibility had been broken. Cities who had peacefully surrendered rose up in arms, which forced Genghis and his son Tolui to spend extra months subduing the revolts.


  1. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1; Volume 3. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2003. p. 33. 
  2. ^ Juvaini, the History of the World Conqueror.
  3. ^ Harold Lamb, Chenghez Khan, 173.
  4. ^ Juvaini, the History of the World Conqueror.
  5. ^ A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle, Vol.I, ed. Spencer C. Tucker, (ABC-CLIO, 2010), 273.