Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a special postage stamp last month in Ghazipur, dedicated to Maharaja Suheldev. Historians believe that Maharaja Suheldev killed the Ghaznavid general Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud in the early 11th century. His name has been mentioned in a historical romance work called Mirat-i-Masudi, written in Persian.
A biography of Salar Masud was written by Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Since then, Maharaja Suheldev has been more of a fictional character than a real one. As per the legend, Suhaldev was the eldest son of King Mordhwaj of Shravasti. He is also known by various names.
Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud was a nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni. He invaded India when he was 16 years old. After entering Multan, Delhi, Meerut and Satrikh, he sent his armies to defeat the local kings. Sayyad Saif-ud-din and Mian Rajjab were sent to Bahraich. The local Raja of Bahraich and other Hindu kings of surrounding kingdoms stood together. However, they were defeated by an army led by Masud's father Gazi Saiyyed Salar Sahu. The local kings continued with their revolt. In 1033 CE, Masud himself started attacking and successfully defeating his enemies. However Suhaldev's army managed to defeat Masud, and the latter was killed in a battle in 1034 CE. The legend has been altered and promoted in different ways by people belonging to various castes and political groups.
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