Suhaldev is a legendary Indian king from Shravasti, who is said to have defeated and killed the Ghaznavid general Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud in the early 11th century. He is mentioned in Mirat-i-Masudi, a 17th-century Persian-language historical romance by Abdur Rahman Chishti. According to Chishti, his work is based on Tawarikh-i-Mahmudi by Mulla Muhammad Ghaznavi. It was written by during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) .
According to the legend, Suhaldev was the eldest son of King Mordhwaj of Shravasti. In different versions of the legends, he is known by different names, including Sakardev, Suhirdadhwaj, Suhridil, Suhridal-dhaj, Rai Suhrid Dev, Susaj, Suhardal, Sohildar, Shahardev, Sahardev, Suhar Deo, Suhaaldev, Suhildev, Suheldev and Suheldeo.
Alexander Cunningham, based on the traditional accounts of Tharu Rajas of Gonda, came up with the following genaology of Suhaldev’s family:
Mayura-dhwaja or Mora-dhaj, c. 900 CE
Hansa-dhwaja or Hans-dhaj, c. 925 CE
Makara-dhwaja or Makar-dhaj, c. 950 CE
Sudhanya-dhwaja or Sudhanwa-dhaj, c. 975 CE
Suhaldev or Suhridal-dhaj, c. 1000 CE
Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud was son of Ghazi Salar Sahu, a descendant of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, son of Hazrat Ali, and Sitr-i-Mu’alla, who was sister of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi (the plunderer of the Somnath temple). According to Mirat-i-Masudi, Masud was born in 1015 CE. As a child, he accompanied his uncle in the Ghaznavid raids on the Hindu temple at Somnath.
Salar Masud , invaded India at the age of 16 with his uncle Salar Saifudin and teacher Syed Ibrahim Mashadi Bara Hazari (Salar-i-Azam of Ghaznavi) in early 11th century to the South Asia for propagation of Islam.
He crossed the Indus river, and conquered Multan, Delhi, Meerut and finally Satrikh. At Satrikh, he established his headquarters, and dispatched armies to defeat the local kings. Sayyad Saif-ud-din and Mian Rajjab were dispatched to Bahraich. The local Raja of Bahraich and other neighbouring Hindu kings formed a confederation, but an army led by Masud’s father Gazi Saiyyed Salar Sahu defeated them. Nevertheless, they continued to threaten the invaders, and therefore, in 1033 CE, Masud himself arrived in Bahraich to check their advance. Masud inflicted defeat after defeat on his enemies, until the arrival of Suhaldev. Suhaldev’s army defeated Masud’s forces, and Masud was killed in a battle in 1034
After the defeat of this foreign invader Muslims dared not enter the gangatic plain till Muhammad Ghori invaded in 1186 when Muhammad Ghori ended the Ghaznavid dynasty after having captured Lahore and executed the Ghaznavid ruler Khusrau-Malik.Ghori defeated Raja Jaichand of Kannauj in 1193 in the Battle of Chandwar . After the death of Raja Jaichand Kannauj army expected Ghori to attack the capital next, but he chose to target the defenseless city of Varanasi, a famous Hindu pilgrim center. He plundered all the temples and enslaved the populace. One thousand temples were converted into mosques. Immense booty was taken, including several hundred elephants, and the Muslim army took possession of the Asni fort. But Rajput resistance continued till Jayachandra’s son, Harishchandra, recovered Kanauj, Jaunpur and Mirzapur in AD 1197. Kanauj seems to have stayed independent until Iltumish conquered it.
A dargah (mausoleum) of Salar Masud, said to have been constructed by Firuz Shah Tughlaq, is located in Bahraich.