|Biographical detail : ||First Sultan of the Gaznavi dynasty in Afghanistan.
Mahmud the eldest son of Amir Subtagin, helped his father gain a kingdom from the Samanids.
Between 1000 and 1026, Mahmud launched at least seventeen attacks on India and plundered the rich temples. His expedition of Somnath Temple in 1025 was most important.
Mahmud was a great patron of poets and learned men. Asadi, Tusi, Unsuri and Firdausi who wrote the famous Shahnama were his court poets. To his court came historian like al-Biruni and Farabi, the philosopher. His relationship with his favourite slave Ayaz was legendary.