Dschaloliddin Manguberdi, Jaloliddin Manguberdi, Djaloliddin Manguberdi, Jalāl al-Dīn Mankubirni, Джалолиддин Мангуберди

Jaloliddin Manguberdi

Jaloliddin Manguberdi: An Ode to Cultural Grandeur and Historical Splendor

Jaloliddin Manguberdi, known by his full name Jalal al-Dunya wa-din Abu-l-Muzaffar Mankburni ibn Muhammad, reigned as the final Shah of Khorezmia from 1220 onwards. He was born in 1199 to Ala al-Din Muhammad II and his Turkmen wife Aychichek, though his exact birth date remains uncertain, believed to be around 1198.

Raised in a military milieu, Jaloliddin earned the moniker Mekburni (or Manguberdi), denoting “with a birthmark on his face”. Despite his lineage, his grandmother Turkan-Khatyn, a revered Kipchak queen at the court of Gurgandj, influenced the appointment of Jaloliddin’s younger brother Uzlaghan as heir to the throne, deviating from established customs.

Growing up, Jaloliddin immersed himself in martial pursuits, demonstrating prowess as a warrior from an early age. Although initially designated ruler of Ghazna, his father harbored suspicions of conspiracy, thus keeping Jaloliddin close in Gurganj. Undeterred, the young prince sought to break free, engaging in relentless border skirmishes against external adversaries.

When Jaloliddin Manguberdi became aware of Genghis Khan’s impending attack, he urged his father to mobilize forces at Syr Darya to confront the enemy. However, his father, believing in the impregnability of defensive structures, opted not to raise troops. Consequently, the Mongols swiftly captured cities, starting with the conquest of Bukhara in 1220, followed by Samarkand. Muhammad, Jaloliddin’s father, compelled to retreat westward after successive defeats, according to legend, faced his mortality on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Gravely ill, he designated Jaloliddin as his successor, adorning him with the symbol of authority and instructing his younger sons to obey. Despite the populace’s backing, upon Muhammad’s demise, Jalal al-Din ascended the throne, yet the nobility of Gurganja withheld recognition.

Undeterred by political discord, Jaloliddin rallied an army of three hundred loyal Turkmen warriors and advanced into Khorasan. Near Nisa, they encountered a Mongol detachment of seven hundred soldiers, whom they decisively defeated. This initial triumph galvanized the people of Khorasan to resist Mongol incursions, prompting Genghis Khan to dispatch a retaliatory force to Khorezmia and Khorasan. Tragically, this force clashed with Jaloliddin’s younger brothers’ army, resulting in their ruthless slaughter.

During his journey to reclaim his hereditary province, Jaloliddin Manguberdi forged crucial alliances. He found support in the governor of Merv, Khan Malik, who commanded forty thousand soldiers, and Turkmen Khan Seif ad-Din, leading an additional forty thousand troops. Their combined forces achieved a significant victory over the Mongols near Kandahar, allowing Jaloliddin to advance to Ghazna.

Upon reaching the headwaters of the Murghab, Jaloliddin was joined by Khan Malik and Seif ad-Din. Upon arrival in Ghazni, he swiftly organized a formidable army of ten thousand soldiers. They launched a successful assault on the Mongol command besieging Kandahar, further bolstering Jaloliddin’s reputation.

As news of Jaloliddin’s triumphs spread, commanders of Khorezm units flocked to Ghazni, swelling his forces to approximately 70,000 soldiers. Among his supporters were his cousin Amin al-Mulk, Temur Malik, Khan of the Karluks Azam Malik, and Afghan leader Muzaffar Malik. Unaware of Jaloliddin’s strength, Genghis Khan dispatched a 30,000-strong army led by Shigi Kutuku to confront him.

Battle of Parwan

During the spring campaign, Jaloliddin Manguberdi’s advancing forces encountered Shigi Kutuku’s vanguard near Valian village along the Gori River. The skirmish resulted in devastating losses for the Mongol unit, with only a hundred survivors remaining. Jaloliddin strategically positioned himself in a gorge, preparing for the impending battle. Sensing the gravity of the situation, Shigi Kutuku mobilized his entire army to confront Jaloliddin’s forces at this location.

The confrontation unfolded in a rugged gorge, surrounded by towering cliffs, rendering it unsuitable for traditional cavalry maneuvers. Recognizing the tactical challenges posed by the terrain, Jaloliddin instructed Temurmalik to lead the advance with foot archers. Despite Shigi Kutuku’s resilience on the first day of battle, the Khorezmians exploited a vulnerable point in the enemy’s defenses, scaling the cliffs and raining down heavy fire upon the Mongol ranks, inflicting substantial casualties.

Jaloliddin’s astute command and the strategic advantage gained by exploiting the terrain contributed to the Khorezmians’ success in inflicting significant damage upon the Mongol forces. This pivotal engagement highlighted Jaloliddin’s prowess as a military strategist and his ability to adapt to challenging battlefield conditions.

As dawn broke, Jaloliddin Manguberdi’s warriors surveyed the gorge, witnessing the augmented Mongol forces. Shigi Kutuku had cunningly bolstered his numbers by placing straw figures on spare horses. Undeterred by this ruse, Khorezmshah reassured his commanders and directed the dismounting of the entire first line of his army.

The Mongol assault on the enemy’s left flank met fierce resistance, as Khorezmian archers unleashed a relentless barrage of arrows. Despite Shigi’s directive for a full-frontal attack, the treacherous terrain and ceaseless arrow barrage thwarted the Mongols’ advance.

Responding with agility and precision, Jaloliddin swiftly remounted his warriors and spearheaded a decisive counterattack. Caught off guard by this audacious maneuver, the Mongols faltered and retreated.

The warriors under Khoresmshah’s command pursued the retreating enemy, inflicting significant losses. Historians widely acknowledge this triumph over Shigi Kutuku as a pivotal moment, representing the lone major defeat suffered by the Mongols throughout their extensive military campaigns in Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan during Genghis Khan’s westward expansion.

Jaloliddin Manguberdi garnered widespread support, revered as a fair and rightful leader, not only by the warrior class but also among the populace. Following their defeat at Parwan, the Mongols withdrew from Afghanistan. Subsequently, Genghis Khan himself opted to confront Khorezmshah anew. However, internal discord among the commanders backing Jaloliddin emerged, leading to the departure of the Kipchaks, Karluks, and Afghans just as preparations for a crucial battle with Genghis Khan were underway.

Following the Mongols’ defeat at Parvan, Genghis Khan personally led his main force towards Jaloliddin Manguberdi. On December 9, 1221, they converged at the banks of the Ind River. Khorezmshah strategically deployed his army in a crescent formation, flanking both sides along the river.

The Mongols initiated their attack on the flanks, swiftly overpowering them. However, the central force of Khorezmshah’s army faced severe casualties as they attempted to break through. In a desperate act to avoid capture, Jaloliddin commanded his harem to be drowned in the river before plunging himself and his horse off a cliff into the Indus waters.

Despite the chaos, the Shah of Khwarezm managed to escape to the opposite bank of the Indus with a contingent of 4,000 horsemen, defiantly brandishing his sword at the Mongols. In the ensuing battle, Jaloliddin’s family was captured and executed, prompting him to flee to India.

Legend has it that Genghis Khan, impressed by the young sultan’s bravery, remarked to his sons about the qualities of a worthy father. Despite efforts by the Mongols to pursue Jaloliddin, led by the Temniks Balo-Noyon and Durban, their trail went cold upon reaching the city of Multan.

Upon learning of Jaloliddin Manguberdi’s presence with the remnants of his army, the local Indian Rana from the Shatra district in the Jude Mountains swiftly mobilized forces. With 5,000 infantrymen and 1,000 horsemen, they marched to confront him.

In a sudden turn of events, Jaloliddin himself launched an attack on the enemy forces. Personally leading the charge, he swiftly dispatched the wounded commander, causing his troops to scatter after a brief skirmish.

Jaloliddin’s military campaigns extended over three years prior to 1224, spanning across India, Iran, and Mesopotamia. His conquests during this period resulted in the annexation of vast territories under his rule.

Engaged in relentless warfare, Jaloliddin spent four years battling against the Mongols in India, demonstrating unwavering determination and strategic prowess in resisting their incursions.

Jaloliddin Manguberdi marshaled a fresh army of Turkmen, embarking on a campaign from western Iran into the Caucasus. In 1225, he launched an invasion of northern Iran from the south, swiftly seizing Maraga without significant resistance and subsequently laying claim to Tabriz.

The flight of Atabek Uzbek to Hanzak, and then to the formidable fortress of Alindja, marked a strategic retreat as Jaloliddin’s influence rapidly expanded. Cities like Ganja, Barda, and Shamkir, among others in Arran, soon acknowledged his authority.

Expanding his territorial control further, Jaloliddin’s forces penetrated into parts of Georgia and Armenia. The Battle of Garni, fought on August 8, 1225, near Dvin in eastern Armenia, saw Khorezmshah emerge triumphant.

In 1226, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, fell to Jaloliddin’s forces. During the conquest, the destruction of churches and the plundering of the city ensued, sparing only those inhabitants who had embraced Islam.

The collapse of the Ildeghizid state unfolded amidst Jaloliddin’s advances into Eastern Transcaucasia. Additionally, the Shirvanshahs acknowledged their vassalage to Jaloladdin, further solidifying his dominance in the region.

In 1227, Jaloliddin Manguberdi achieved a significant victory by defeating Mongol forces near Ray. During the same year, he responded to the call for aid from the people of Isfahan, successfully leading his troops to victory against the Mongols near the city.

Operating on multiple fronts, Jaloliddin engaged in warfare against Mongol troops in western Iran while simultaneously confronting Armenian and Georgian forces in Transcaucasia. Despite facing formidable challenges, his strategic acumen enabled him to navigate these conflicts effectively.

However, in 1228, Jaloliddin encountered a formidable alliance comprising the Rum Sultan Aladdin, Cilician-Armenian King Getum I, and the Egyptian Sultan Ashraf. Together, they launched a coordinated assault against Jaloliddin’s forces, resulting in his defeat.

Amidst these trials, Jaloliddin Manguberdi reached out to the Kipchak Khans, proposing a unified resistance against the Mongol conqueror. Despite receiving a letter from his captured sister advocating cooperation with the Mongols, Jaloliddin remained steadfast in his resolve, choosing not to respond to the proposition.

Jaloliddin Manguberdi exhibited unwavering resistance against his adversaries. Despite his valor, after the conquest of the Hilat fortress in Iraq in 1230, he faced defeat at the hands of the combined rulers of Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. The decisive blow to Jaloliddin’s forces came from the Mongol army under the command of Ugedei, led by Commander Charmaghan. Severely wounded in the battle, Jaloliddin sought refuge in the mountainous terrain of Kurdistan, where he met his demise.

Renowned as one of the “national heroes,” Jaloliddin Manguberdi’s legacy resonates prominently. In 1999, his 800th birthday was commemorated with grandeur. Numerous monuments paying homage to his valor and leadership were erected across Uzbekistan. Additionally, a memorial complex dedicated to Jaloliddin Manguberdi was established in the Khorezm region, serving as a testament to his enduring impact.

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