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Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim sultanate based mostly in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526).[4] [5] Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90), the Khalji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414),[6] the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51), and the Lodi dynasty (1451–1526). Three dynasties (Mamluk, Khalji and Sayyid) were of Turkic origin, one dynasty (Tughlaq) was of Turko-Indian origin,[7] and the last dynasty (Lodi) was of Pashtun origin.[8] The sultanate is noted for being one of the few states to repel an attack by the Mongol Empire,[9] and enthroned one of the few female rulers in Islamic history, Razia Sultana, who reigned from 1236 to 1240.[10]

Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former slave of Muhammad Ghori, was the first sultan of Delhi and his dynasty conquered large areas of northern India. Afterwards, the Khalji dynasty was also able to conquer most of central India, but both failed to conquer the whole of the Indian subcontinent. The sultanate reached the peak of its geographical reach during the Tughlaq dynasty, occupying most of the Indian subcontinent.[11] This was followed by decline due to Hindu reconquests, states such as the Vijayanagara Empire asserting independence, and new Muslim sultanates such as the Bengal Sultanate breaking off.[12] [13]

During and in the Delhi Sultanate, there was a synthesis of Indian civilization with that of Islamic civilization, and the further integration of the Indian subcontinent with a growing world system and wider international networks spanning large parts of Afro-Eurasia, which had a significant impact on Indian culture and society, as well as the wider world.[14] The time of their rule included the earliest forms of Indo-Islamic architecture,[15] [16] increased growth rates in India's population and economy,[17] and the emergence of the Hindi-Urdu language.[18] The Delhi Sultanate was also responsible for repelling the Mongol Empire's potentially devastating invasions of India in the 13th and 14th centuries.[19] However, the Delhi Sultanate also caused destruction and desecration of politically important temples in South Asia.[20] In 1526, the Sultanate was conquered and succeeded by the Mughal Empire.


The context behind the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in India was part of a wider trend affecting much of the Asian continent, including the whole of southern and western Asia: the influx of nomadic Turkic peoples from the Central Asian steppes. This can be traced back to the 9th century, when the Islamic Caliphate began fragmenting in the Middle East, where Muslim rulers in rival states began enslaving non-Muslim nomadic Turks from the Central Asian steppes, and raising many of them to become loyal military slaves called Mamluks. Soon, Turks were migrating to Muslim lands and becoming Islamicized. Many of the Turkic Mamluk slaves eventually rose up to become rulers, and conquered large parts of the Muslim world, establishing Mamluk Sultanates from Egypt to Afghanistan, before turning their attention to the Indian subcontinent.[19]

It is also part of a longer trend predating the spread of Islam. Like other settled, agrarian societies in history, those in the Indian subcontinent have been attacked by nomadic tribes throughout its long history. In evaluating the impact of Islam on the subcontinent, one must note that the northwestern subcontinent was a frequent target of tribes raiding from Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. In that sense, the Muslim intrusions and later Muslim invasions were not dissimilar to those of the earlier invasions during the 1st millennium.[21]

By 962 AD, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in South Asia were under a wave of raids from Muslim armies from Central Asia.[22] Among them was Mahmud of Ghazni, the son of a Turkic Mamluk military slave,[23] who raided and plundered kingdoms in north India from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between 997 and 1030.[24] Mahmud of Ghazni raided the treasuries but retracted each time, only extending Islamic rule into western Punjab.[25] [26]

The wave of raids on north Indian and western Indian kingdoms by Muslim warlords continued after Mahmud of Ghazni.[27] The raids did not establish or extend permanent boundaries of their Islamic kingdoms. The Ghurid sultan Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori, commonly known as Muhammad of Ghor, began a systematic war of expansion into north India in 1173.[28] He sought to carve out a principality for himself by expanding the Islamic world.[24] [29] Muhammad of Ghor sought a Sunni Islamic kingdom of his own extending east of the Indus river, and he thus laid the foundation for the Muslim kingdom called the Delhi Sultanate.[24] Some historians chronicle the Delhi Sultanate from 1192 due to the presence and geographical claims of Muhammad Ghori in South Asia by that time.[30]

Ghori was assassinated in 1206, by Ismāʿīlī Shia Muslims in some accounts or by Hindu Khokhars in others.[31] After the assassination, one of Ghori's slaves (or mamluks, Arabic: مملوك), the Turkic Qutb al-Din Aibak, assumed power, becoming the first Sultan of Delhi.[24]

Mamluk / Slave

Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former slave of Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori (known more commonly as Muhammad of Ghor), was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Aibak was of Cuman-Kipchak origin,[32] and due to his lineage, his dynasty is known as the Mamluk (Slave) dynasty (not to be confused with the Mamluk dynasty of Iraq or the Mamluk dynasty of Egypt).[33] Aibak reigned as the Sultan of Delhi for four years, from 1206 to 1210.

After Aibak died, Aram Shah assumed power in 1210, but he was assassinated in 1211 by Shams ud-Din Iltutmish.[34] Iltutmish's power was precarious, and a number of Muslim amirs (nobles) challenged his authority as they had been supporters of Qutb al-Din Aibak. After a series of conquests and brutal executions of opposition, Iltutmish consolidated his power.[35] His rule was challenged a number of times, such as by Qubacha, and this led to a series of wars.[36] Iltumish conquered Multan and Bengal from contesting Muslim rulers, as well as Ranthambore and Siwalik from the Hindu rulers. He also attacked, defeated, and executed Taj al-Din Yildiz, who asserted his rights as heir to Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori.[37] Iltutmish's rule lasted till 1236. Following his death, the Delhi Sultanate saw a succession of weak rulers, disputing Muslim nobility, assassinations, and short-lived tenures. Power shifted from Rukn ud-Din Firuz to Razia Sultana and others, until Ghiyas ud-Din Balban came to power and ruled from 1266 to 1287.[36] [37] He was succeeded by 17-year-old Muiz ud-Din Qaiqabad, who appointed Jalal ud-Din Firuz Khalji as the commander of the army. Khalji assassinated Qaiqabad and assumed power, thus ending the Mamluk dynasty and starting the Khalji dynasty.

Qutb al-Din Aibak initiated the construction of the Qutub Minar[38] and the Quwwat-ul-Islam (Might of Islam) Mosque, now a UNESCO world heritage site.[39] It was built from the remains of twenty seven demolished Hindu and Jain temples. The Qutub Minar Complex or Qutb Complex was expanded by Iltutmish, and later by Ala ud-Din Khalji (the second ruler of the Khalji dynasty) in the early 14th century.[39] [40] During the Mamluk dynasty, many nobles from Afghanistan and Persia migrated and settled in India, as West Asia came under Mongol siege.[41]

Khilji pushan
Alai Gate and Qutub Minar were built during the Mamluk and Khalji dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate.[39]

The first ruler of the Khalji dynasty was Jalal ud-Din Firuz Khalji. He came to power in 1290 after killing the last ruler of the Mamluk dynasty, Muiz ud-Din Qaiqabad, at the behest of Turkic, Afghan, and Persian nobles. Jalal ud-Din Firuz was of Turkic origin, and ruled for 6 years before he was murdered in 1296 by his nephew and son-in-law Juna Muhammad Khalji,[42] who later came to be known as Ala ud-Din Khalji.

Ala ud-Din began his military career as governor of Kara province, from where he led two raids on Malwa (1292) and Devagiri (1294) for plunder and loot. His military campaigning returned to these lands as well other south Indian kingdoms after he assumed power. He conquered Gujarat, Ranthambore, Chittor, and Malwa.[43] However, these victories were cut short because of Mongol attacks and plunder raids from the northwest. The Mongols withdrew after plundering and stopped raiding northwest parts of the Delhi Sultanate.[44]

After the Mongols withdrew, Ala ud-Din Khalji continued expanding the Delhi Sultanate into southern India with the help of generals such as Malik Kafur and Khusro Khan. They collected lots of war booty (anwatan) from those they defeated.[45] His commanders collected war spoils and paid ghanima (Arabic: الْغَنيمَة, a tax on spoils of war), which helped strengthen the Khalji rule. Among the spoils was the Warangal loot that included one of the largest known diamonds in human history, the Koh-i-noor.[46]

Ala ud-Din Khalji changed tax policies, raising agriculture taxes from 20% to 50% (payable in grain and agricultural produce), eliminating payments and commissions on taxes collected by local chiefs, banned socialization among his officials as well as inter-marriage between noble families to help prevent any opposition forming against him, and he cut salaries of officials, poets, and scholars.[42] These tax policies and spending controls strengthened his treasury to pay the keep of his growing army; he also introduced price controls on all agriculture produce and goods in the kingdom, as well as controls on where, how, and by whom these goods could be sold. Markets called "shahana-i-mandi" were created.[47] Muslim merchants were granted exclusive permits and monopoly in these "mandis" to buy and resell at official prices. No one other than these merchants could buy from farmers or sell in cities. Those found violating these "mandi" rules were severely punished, often by mutilation. Taxes collected in the form of grain were stored in the kingdom's storage. During famines that followed, these granaries ensured sufficient food for the army.[42]

Historians note Ala ud-Din Khalji as being a tyrant. Anyone Ala ud-Din suspected of being a threat to this power was killed along with the women and children of that family. In 1298, between 15,000 and 30,000 people near Delhi, who had recently converted to Islam, were slaughtered in a single day, due to fears of an uprising.[48] He is also known for his cruelty against kingdoms he defeated in battle.

After Ala ud-Din's death in 1316, his eunuch general Malik Kafur, who was born in a Hindu family in India and had converted to Islam, tried to assume power. He lacked the support of Persian and Turkic nobility and was subsequently killed.[42] The last Khalji ruler was Ala ud-Din Khalji's 18-year-old son Qutb ud-Din Mubarak Shah Khalji, who ruled for four years before he was killed by Khusro Khan, another of Ala ud-Din's generals. Khusro Khan's reign lasted only a few months, when Ghazi Malik, later to be called Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq, killed him and assumed power in 1320, thus ending the Khalji dynasty and starting the Tughlaq dynasty.[41] [48]

Delhi Sultanate from 1321-1330 AD under the Tughlaq dynasty. After 1330, various regions rebelled against the Sultanate and the kingdom shrank.

The Tughlaq dynasty lasted from 1320 to nearly the end of 14th century. The first ruler Ghazi Malik rechristened himself as Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq and is also referred to in scholarly works as Tughlak Shah. He was of Turko-Indian origins; his father was a Turkic slave and his mother was a Hindu.[7] Ghiyath al-Din ruled for five years and built a town near Delhi named Tughlaqabad. According to some historians such as Vincent Smith,[49] he was killed by his son Juna Khan, who then assumed power in 1325. Juna Khan rechristened himself as Muhammad bin Tughlaq and ruled for 26 years.[50] During his rule, Delhi Sultanate reached its peak in terms of geographical reach, covering most of the Indian subcontinent.[11]

Muhammad bin Tughlaq was an intellectual, with extensive knowledge of the Quran, Fiqh, poetry and other fields. He was also deeply suspicious of his kinsmen and wazirs (ministers), extremely severe with his opponents, and took decisions that caused economic upheaval. For example, he ordered minting of coins from base metals with face value of silver coins - a decision that failed because ordinary people minted counterfeit coins from base metal they had in their houses and used them to pay taxes and jizya.[11] [49]

Muhammad bin Tughlaq moved his capital to the Deccan Plateau, ordered Delhi's people to move and build a new capital named Daulatabad (shown), then reversed his decision because Daulatabad lacked the river and drinking water supply Delhi had.[49]
A base metal coin of Muhammad bin Tughlaq that led to an economic collapse.

On another occasion, after becoming upset by some accounts, or to run the Sultanate from the center of India by other accounts, Muhammad bin Tughlaq ordered the transfer of his capital from Delhi to Devagiri in modern-day Maharashtra (renaming it to Daulatabad), by forcing the mass migration of Delhi's population. Those who refused were killed. One blind person who failed to move to Daulatabad was dragged for the entire journey of 40 days - the man died, his body fell apart, and only his tied leg reached Daulatabad.[49] The capital move failed because Daulatabad was arid and did not have enough drinking water to support the new capital. The capital then returned to Delhi. Nevertheless, Muhammad bin Tughlaq's orders affected history as a large number of Delhi Muslims who came to the Deccan area did not return to Delhi to live near Muhammad bin Tughlaq. This influx of the then-Delhi residents into the Deccan region led to a growth of Muslim population in central and southern India.[11] Muhammad bin Tughlaq's adventures in the Deccan region also marked campaigns of destruction and desecration of Hindu and Jain temples, for example the Swayambhu Shiva Temple and the Thousand Pillar Temple.[51]

Revolts against Muhammad bin Tughlaq began in 1327, continued over his reign, and over time the geographical reach of the Sultanate shrunk. The Vijayanagara Empire originated in southern India as a direct response to attacks from the Delhi Sultanate.,[52] and liberated south India from the Delhi Sultanate's rule.[53] In 1337, Muhammad bin Tughlaq ordered an attack on China, sending part of his forces over the Himalayas. Few survived the journey, and they were executed upon their return for failing.[49] During his reign, state revenues collapsed from his policies such as the base metal coins from 1329-1332. To cover state expenses, he sharply raised taxes. Those who failed to pay taxes were hunted and executed. Famines, widespread poverty, and rebellion grew across the kingdom. In 1338 his own nephew rebelled in Malwa, whom he attacked, caught, and flayed alive. By 1339, the eastern regions under local Muslim governors and southern parts led by Hindu kings had revolted and declared independence from the Delhi Sultanate. Muhammad bin Tughlaq did not have the resources or support to respond to the shrinking kingdom.[54] The historian Walford chronicled Delhi and most of India faced severe famines during Muhammad bin Tughlaq's rule in the years after the base metal coin experiment.[55] [56] By 1347, the Bahmani Sultanate had become an independent and competing Muslim kingdom in Deccan region of South Asia.[22]

The Tughlaq dynasty is remembered for its architectural patronage, particularly for ancient lats (pillars, left image),[57] dated to be from the 3rd century BC, and of Buddhist and Hindu origins. The Sultanate initially wanted to use the pillars to make mosque minarets. Firuz Shah Tughlaq decided otherwise and had them installed near mosques. The meaning of Brahmi script on the pillar at right was unknown in Firuz Shah's time.[58] The inscription was deciphered by James Prinsep in 1837; the pillar script of Emperor Ashoka asked people of his and future generations to seek a dharmic (virtuous) life, use persuasion in religion, grant freedom from religious persecution, stop all killing, and be compassionate to all living beings.[59]

Muhammad bin Tughlaq died in 1351 while trying to chase and punish people in Gujarat who were rebelling against the Delhi Sultanate.[54] He was succeeded by Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351–1388), who tried to regain the old kingdom boundary by waging a war with Bengal for 11 months in 1359. However, Bengal did not fall. Firuz Shah ruled for 37 years. His reign attempted to stabilize the food supply and reduce famines by commissioning an irrigation canal from the Yamuna river. An educated sultan, Firuz Shah left a memoir.[60] In it he wrote that he banned the practice of torture, such as amputations, tearing out of eyes, sawing people alive, crushing people's bones as punishment, pouring molten lead into throats, setting people on fire, driving nails into hands and feet, among others.[61] He also wrote that he did not tolerate attempts by Rafawiz Shia Muslim and Mahdi sects from proselytizing people into their faith, nor did he tolerate Hindus who tried to rebuild temples that his armies had destroyed.[62] As punishment for proselytizing, Firuz Shah put many Shias, Mahdi, and Hindus to death (siyasat). Firuz Shah Tughlaq also lists his accomplishments to include converting Hindus to Sunni Islam by announcing an exemption from taxes and jizya for those who convert, and by lavishing new converts with presents and honours. Simultaneously, he raised taxes and jizya, assessing it at three levels, and stopping the practice of his predecessors who had historically exempted all Hindu Brahmins from the jizya.[61] [63] He also vastly expanded the number of slaves in his service and those of Muslim nobles. The reign of Firuz Shah Tughlaq was marked by reduction in extreme forms of torture, eliminating favours to select parts of society, but also increased intolerance and persecution of targeted groups.[61]

The death of Firuz Shah Tughlaq created anarchy and disintegration of the kingdom. The last rulers of this dynasty both called themselves Sultan from 1394 to 1397: Nasir ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq, the grandson of Firuz Shah Tughlaq who ruled from Delhi, and Nasir ud-Din Nusrat Shah Tughlaq, another relative of Firuz Shah Tughlaq who ruled from Firozabad, which was a few miles from Delhi.[64] The battle between the two relatives continued till Timur's invasion in 1398. Timur, also known as Tamerlane in Western scholarly literature, was the Turkic ruler of the Timurid Empire. He became aware of the weakness and quarreling of the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, so he marched with his army to Delhi, plundering and killing all the way.[65] [66] Estimates for the massacre by Timur in Dehli range from 100,000 to 200,000 people.[67] [68] Timur had no intention of staying in or ruling India. He looted the lands he crossed, then plundered and burnt Delhi. Over five days, Timur and his army raged a massacre. Then he collected and carried the wealth, captured women and slaves (particularly skilled artisans), and returned to Samarkand. The people and lands within the Delhi Sultanate were left in a state of anarchy, chaos, and pestilence.[64] Nasir ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq, who had fled to Gujarat during Timur's invasion, returned and nominally ruled as the last ruler of Tughlaq dynasty, as a puppet of various factions at the court.[69]


The Sayyid dynasty was a Turkic dynasty[70] that ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1415 to 1451.[22] The Timurid invasion and plunder had left the Delhi Sultanate in shambles, and little is known about the rule by the Sayyid dynasty. Annemarie Schimmel notes the first ruler of the dynasty as Khizr Khan, who assumed power by claiming to represent Timur. His authority was questioned even by those near Delhi. His successor was Mubarak Khan, who rechristened himself as Mubarak Shah and tried to regain lost territories in Punjab, unsuccessfully.[69]

With the power of the Sayyid dynasty faltering, Islam's history on the Indian subcontinent underwent a profound change, according to Schimmel.[69] The previously dominant Sunni sect of Islam became diluted, alternate Muslim sects such as Shia rose, and new competing centers of Islamic culture took roots beyond Delhi.

The Sayyid dynasty was displaced by the Lodi dynasty in 1451.

Delhi Sultanate during Babur's invasion.

The Lodi dynasty belonged to the Afghan Lodi tribe.[70] Bahlul Khan Lodi started the Lodi dynasty and was the first Pashtun, to rule the Delhi Sultanate.[71] Bahlul Lodi began his reign by attacking the Muslim Jaunpur Sultanate to expand the influence of the Delhi Sultanate, and was partially successful through a treaty. Thereafter, the region from Delhi to Varanasi (then at the border of Bengal province), was back under influence of Delhi Sultanate.

After Bahlul Lodi died, his son Nizam Khan assumed power, rechristened himself as Sikandar Lodi and ruled from 1489 to 1517.[72] One of the better known rulers of the dynasty, Sikandar Lodi expelled his brother Barbak Shah from Jaunpur, installed his son Jalal Khan as the ruler, then proceeded east to make claims on Bihar. The Muslim governors of Bihar agreed to pay tribute and taxes, but operated independent of the Delhi Sultanate. Sikandar Lodi led a campaign of destruction of temples, particularly around Mathura. He also moved his capital and court from Delhi to Agra,[73] an ancient Hindu city that had been destroyed during the plunder and attacks of the early Delhi Sultanate period. Sikandar thus erected buildings with Indo-Islamic architecture in Agra during his rule, and the growth of Agra continued during the Mughal Empire, after the end of Delhi Sultanate.[71] [74]

Sikandar Lodi died a natural death in 1517, and his second son Ibrahim Lodi assumed power. Ibrahim did not enjoy the support of Afghan and Persian nobles or regional chiefs.[75] Ibrahim attacked and killed his elder brother Jalal Khan, who was installed as the governor of Jaunpur by his father and had the support of the amirs and chiefs.[71] Ibrahim Lodi was unable to consolidate his power, and after Jalal Khan's death, the governor of Punjab, Daulat Khan Lodi, reached out to the Mughal Babur and invited him to attack Delhi Sultanate.[73] Babur defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodi in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. The death of Ibrahim Lodi ended the Delhi Sultanate, and the Mughal Empire replaced it.


Before and during the Delhi Sultanate, Islamic civilization was the most cosmopolitan civilization of the Middle Ages. It had a multicultural and pluralistic society, and wide-ranging international networks, including social and economic networks, spanning large parts of Afro-Eurasia, leading to escalating circulation of goods, peoples, technologies and ideas. While initially disruptive due to the passing of power from native Indian elites to Turkic Muslim elites, the Delhi Sultanate was responsible for integrating the Indian subcontinent into a growing world system, drawing India into a wider international network, which led to cultural and social enrichment in the Indian subcontinent.[14]

During the Middle Kingdoms era from 1 CE to 1000 CE, the Indian economy was stagnant with no GDP growth for a thousand years, remaining static at $33.75 billion. During the Medieval Delhi Sultanate era, between 1000 and 1500, India began to experience GDP growth for the first time in a thousand years, increasing by nearly 80% up to $60.5 billion in 1500.[17] In terms of GDP per capita, India's per-capita income was lower than the Middle East from 1 CE (16% lower) to 1000 CE (about 40% lower), but by the late Delhi Sultanate era in 1500, India's GDP per capita had increased to being almost on-par with the Middle East.[76]

The worm gear roller cotton gin was invented in the Indian subcontinent during the early Delhi Sultanate era of the 13th–14th centuries,[77] and is still used in India through to the present day.[78] Another innovation, the incorporation of the crank handle in the cotton gin, first appeared in the Indian subcontinent some time during the late Delhi Sultanate or the early Mughal Empire.[79] The production of cotton, which may have largely been spun in the villages and then taken to towns in the form of yarn to be woven into cloth textiles, was advanced by the diffusion of the spinning wheel across India during the Delhi Sultanate era, lowering the costs of yarn and helping to increase demand for cotton. The diffusion of the spinning wheel, and the incorporation of the worm gear and crank handle into the roller cotton gin, led to greatly expanded Indian cotton textile production.[80]


The Indian population had largely been stagnant at 75 million during the Middle Kingdoms era from 1 AD to 1000 AD. During the Medieval Delhi Sultanate era from 1000 to 1500, India experienced lasting population growth for the first time in a thousand years, with its population increasing nearly 50% to 110 million by 1500 AD.[81] [82]


While the Indian subcontinent has had invaders from Central Asia since ancient times, what made the Muslim invasions different is that unlike the preceding invaders who assimilated into the prevalent social system, the successful Muslim conquerors retained their Islamic identity and created new legal and administrative systems that challenged and usually in many cases superseded the existing systems of social conduct and ethics, even influencing the non-Muslim rivals and common masses to a large extent, though the non-Muslim population was left to their own laws and customs.[83] [84] They also introduced new cultural codes that in some ways were very different from the existing cultural codes. This led to the rise of a new Indian culture which was mixed in nature, different from ancient Indian culture. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in India were Indian natives converted to Islam. This factor also played an important role in the synthesis of cultures.[85]

The Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) began to emerge in the Delhi Sultanate period, developed from the Middle Indo-Aryan apabhramsha vernaculars of North India. Amir Khusro, who lived in the 13th century CE during the Delhi Sultanate period in North India, used a form of Hindustani, which was the lingua franca of the period, in his writings and referred to it as Hindavi.[18]


The bulk of Delhi Sultanate's army consisted of nomadic Turkic Mamluk military slaves, who were skilled in nomadic cavalry warfare. A major military contribution of the Delhi Sultanate was their successful campaigns in repelling the Mongol Empire's invasions of India, which could have been devastating for the Indian subcontinent, like the Mongol invasions of China, Persia and Europe. The Delhi Sultanate's Mamluk army were skilled in the same style of nomadic cavalry warfare used by the Mongols, making them successful in repelling the Mongol invasions, as was the case for the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt. Were it not for the Delhi Sultanate, it is possible that the Mongol Empire may have been successful in invading India.[19]

Temple desecration
The Somnath Temple in Gujarat was repeatedly destroyed by Islamic armies and rebuilt by Hindus. It was destroyed by Delhi Sultanate's army in 1299 AD.[86]

Historian Richard Eaton has tabulated a campaign of destruction of idols and temples by Delhi Sultans, intermixed with instances of years where the temples were protected from desecration.[20] [87] [88] In his paper, he has listed 37 instances of Hindu temples being desecrated or destroyed in India during the Delhi Sultanate, from 1234 to 1518, for which reasonable evidences are available.[89] [90] [91] He also noted there were also many instances of Delhi sultans, who often had Hindu ministers, ordering the protection, maintenance and repairing of temples, according to both Muslim and Hindu sources. For example, a Sanskrit inscription notes that Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq repaired a Siva temple in Bidar after his Deccan conquest. There was often a pattern of Delhi sultans plundering or damaging temples during conquest, and then patronizing or repairing temples after conquest. This pattern came to an end with the Mughal Empire, where Akbar the Great's chief minister Abu'l-Fazl criticized the excesses of earlier sultans such as Mahmud of Ghazni.[92]

In many cases, the demolished remains, rocks and broken statue pieces of temples destroyed by Delhi sultans were reused to build mosques and other buildings. For example, the Qutb complex in Delhi was built from stones of 27 demolished Hindu and Jain temples by some accounts.[93] Similarly, the Muslim mosque in Khanapur, Maharashtra was built from the looted parts and demolished remains of Hindu temples.[41] Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji destroyed Buddhist and Hindu libraries and their manuscripts at Nalanda and Odantapuri Universities in 1193 AD at the beginning of the Delhi Sultanate.[51] [94]

The first historical record of a campaign of destruction of temples and defacement of faces or heads of Hindu idols lasted from 1193 through the early 13th century in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under the command of Ghuri. Under the Khaljis, the campaign of temple desecration expanded to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, and continued through the late 13th century.[20] The campaign extended to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu under Malik Kafur and Ulugh Khan in the 14th century, and by the Bahmanis in 15th century.[51] Orissa temples were destroyed in the 14th century under the Tughlaqs.

Beyond destruction and desecration, the sultans of the Delhi Sultanate in some cases had forbidden reconstruction of damaged Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples, and they prohibited repairs of old temples or construction of any new temples.[95] [96] In certain cases, the Sultanate would grant a permit for repairs and construction of temples if the patron or religious community paid jizya (fee, tax). For example, a proposal by the Chinese to repair Himalayan Buddhist temples destroyed by the Sultanate army was refused, on the grounds that such temple repairs were only allowed if the Chinese agreed to pay jizya tax to the treasury of the Sultanate.[97] [98] In his memoirs, Firoz Shah Tughlaq describes how he destroyed temples and built mosques instead and killed those who dared build new temples.[99] Other historical records from wazirs, amirs and the court historians of various Sultans of the Delhi Sultanate describe the grandeur of idols and temples they witnessed in their campaigns and how these were destroyed and desecrated.[100]

Temple desecration during Delhi Sultanate period, a list prepared by Richard Eaton in Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States[20] [101]
Sultan / Agent Dynasty Years Temple Sites Destroyed States
Muhammad Ghori, Qutb al-Din Aibak Mamluk 1193-1290 Ajmer, Samana, Kuhram, Delhi, Kol, Varanasi Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, Shams ud-Din Iltumish, Jalal ud-Din Firuz Khalji, Ala ud-Din Khalji, Malik Kafur Mamluk and Khalji 1290-1320 Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramashila, Bhilsa, Ujjain, Jhain, Vijapur, Devagiri, Somnath, Chidambaram, Madurai Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu
Ulugh Khan, Firuz Shah Tughlaq, Nahar, Muzaffar Khan Khalji and Tughlaq 1320-1395[102] Somnath, Warangal, Bodhan, Pillalamarri, Puri, Sainthali, Idar, Somnath[103] Gujarat, Telangana, Orissa, Haryana
Sikandar, Muzaffar Shah, Ahmad Shah, Mahmud Sayyid 1400-1442 Paraspur, Bijbehara, Tripuresvara, Idar, Diu, Manvi, Sidhpur, Delwara, Kumbhalmer Gujarat, Rajasthan
Suhrab, Begdha, Bahmani, Khalil Shah, Khawwas Khan, Sikandar Lodi, Ibrahim Lodi Lodi 1457-1518 Mandalgarh, Malan, Dwarka, Kondapalle, Kanchi, Amod, Nagarkot, Utgir, Narwar, Gwalior Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh
See also
  1. "Arabic and Persian Epigraphical Studies - Archaeological Survey of India". Asi.nic.in.
  2. Alam, Muzaffar (1998). "The pursuit of Persian: Language in Mughal Politics". Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press. 32 (2): 317–349. doi:10.1017/s0026749x98002947. Hindavi was recognized as a semi-official language by the Sor Sultans (1540-55) and their chancellery rescripts bore transcriptions in the Devanagari script of the Persian contents. The practice is said to have been introduced by the Lodis (1451-1526).
  3. Jackson, Peter (16 October 2003). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. Cambridge University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-521-54329-3.
  4. Delhi Sultanate, Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. A. Schimmel, Islam in the Indian Subcontinent, Leiden, 1980
  6. Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 68–102. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
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  102. Ulugh Khan also known as Almas Beg was brother of Ala-al Din Khalji; his destruction campaign overlapped the two dynasties
  103. Somnath temple went through cycles of destruction by Sultans and rebuilding by Hindus
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Delhi Sultanate


The Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim sultanate based mostly in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526). Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90), the Khalji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414), the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51), and the Lodi dynasty (1451–1526). Three dynasties (Mamluk, Khalji and Sayyid) were of Turkic origin, one dynasty (Tughlaq) was of Turko-Indian origin, and the last dynasty (Lodi) was of Pashtun origin. The sultanate is noted for being one of the few states to repel an attack by the Mongol Empire , and enthroned one of the few female rulers in Islamic history, Razia Sultana , who reigned from 1236 to 1240. Qutb al-Din Aibak , a former slave of Muhammad Ghori , was the first sultan of Delhi and his dynasty conquered large areas of northern India. Afterwards, the Khalji dynasty was also able to conquer most of central India, but both failed to conquer the whole of the Indian s ...more...

Bengal Sultanate–Delhi Sultanate War


The Bengal Sultanate–Delhi Sultanate War was a conflict between the Bengal Sultanate and the Delhi Sultanate in the Indian subcontinent . The war resulted in Delhi recognizing the separation of Bengal from its authority. Background In the early 14th century, Delhi's rebel governors in Bengal formed their own sultanates. By 1352, Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah defeated other rulers in Bengal and united the region into one sultanate. Ilyas Shah proclaimed himself as the Sultan of Bengal. Ilyas Shah's earlier military campaigns also involved the sacking of Kathmandu and Varanasi ; and an invasion of Orissa . Location The conflict centered on the mud fort of Ekdala. The fort was located on an island surrounded by a moat and marshy jungle. The exact location of the area is unclear; with various sources saying it may have been in Dinajpur , Dhaka or Pandua . Siege of Ekdala (1353) Firuz Shah Tughluq , the Delhi sultan, led his army and navy into Bengal in 1353. Ilyas Shah's forces deserted the capital Lakhnauti and took she ...more...

1311 massacre of Mongols in the Delhi Sultanate


In 1311, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji ordered a mass massacre of the "New Muslims" ( Mongols who had recently converted to Islam), after some Mongol amirs of Delhi conspired to kill him. According to chronicler Ziauddin Barani , 20,000 or 30,000 Mongols were killed as a result of this order. Background The Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate was of Turkic origin, and had fought several wars against the Mongol invaders from Central Asia. In 1292, the Delhi Sultan Jalaluddin Khalji had permitted several thousand Mongols to settle in his empire after they converted to Islam . These Mongol converts were called New Muslims (or Neo-Muslims), and by 1311, more than 10,000 of them lived in the capital Delhi alone. Several of them served in the Delhi army, and during the 1299 Gujarat campaign of Jalaluddin's successor Alauddin, some of them had staged an usuccessful mutiny . After facing three other rebellions (not by Mongols), Alauddin had taken several measures to prevent further rebellions, includ ...more...

Bahram Khan


Bahram Khan was the governor of Sonargaon , East Bengal (now Bangladesh ), from 1328 until 1337. He was a general of Delhi Sultanate. He was also appointed the governor of Satgaon during 1324–1328. History When Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah declared independence of Sonargaon , Delhi Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq sent his general, Bahram Khan, to depose him. In the battle, Bahadur Shah was defeated and killed. Bahram Khan recaptured Sonargaon for the Delhi Sultanate and was appointed the governor of Sonargaon. Death When Bahram Khan died in 1338, his armor-bearer, Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah , declared himself the independent Sultan of Sonargaon. Preceded by Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah Governor of Sonargaon 1328–1337 Succeeded by Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah See also List of rulers of Bengal References Khan, Muazzam Hussain (2012). "Tatar Khan" . In Islam, Sirajul ; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh . Bahram Khan was the governor of Sonargaon , East Benga ...more...

Delhi Sultanate literature


The Delhi Sultanate literature began with the rise of Persian speaking people to the throne of the Sultanate of Delhi , naturally resulted in the spread of the Persian language in India . It was the official language and soon literary works in the language began to appear. Initially Persian literature talked about topics which were familiar to those from Persia . Gradually however as more Indians learnt the language, the literary works began to have a more Indian theme. Amir Khusrav was a noted writer of the period, who was one of the first writers to write Persian literature about events concerning India. His inspiration came from events he saw around, his work soon grew to be appreciated and he became a court poet. Sanskrit continued to remain an important language of the time, and despite the increasing influence of Persian, it was able to hold its ground. Many preferred Sanskrit poets as they were more established and experienced then those that worked in the new languages. A centre for Sanskrit learning ...more...

Turkish slaves in the Delhi Sultanate


Turkish Slaves and the Delhi Sultanate Turkish slaves throughout the Islamic world, and in the Delhi Sultanate were valued members of society. Their value, for their patrons, was their military capabilities, their loyalty and discipline. Their ability to capitalize on opportunity for social mobility, while maintaining their own unique cultural identity created an interesting tension in their social narrative. Their slave origins created a discrepancy in their nobility. This discrepancy was often eluded in commentary by the Persian Chroniclers of the time. Their Need The need to secure the Sultanate regime from Mongol marauders led to the delineation of a frontier that needed to be defended. To guard the Punjab marches, there was increasingly more and more slaves that were being bought. Their allegiance was not along ethnic lines, and their dedicated patronage allowed them to incorporate themselves into the military hierarchy as trusted officers and commanders. The Sultanate bought Turks in order to develop a ...more...

Shah Turkan


Shah Turkan was a mistress of Iltutmish , the Mamluk ruler of the Delhi Sultanate , and the mother of his successor, Rukn ud din Firuz . After the death of Iltutmish, Ruknuddin indulged himself in the pursuit of pleasure and left his mother to handle the affairs of the state. Turkan had been a Turkish hand-maid and had risen to take control of the Sultan's harem. She took this opportunity to wreak vengeance against all those who had slighted her in the past. Consequently, Ruknuddin's rule turned unpopular and paved the way for the ascension of Razia Sultana . References Chandra, Satish (2004). Medieval India : from Sultanat to the Mughals (Revised ed.). New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. p. 48. ISBN   9788124110645 . Retrieved 26 May 2017 . Shah Turkan was a mistress of Iltutmish , the Mamluk ruler of the Delhi Sultanate , and the mother of his successor, Rukn ud din Firuz . After the death of Iltutmish, Ruknuddin indulged himself in the pursuit of pleasure and left his mother to handle the affairs of the sta ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Malwa


Mandu Delhi In 1305, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent an army to capture the Paramara kingdom of Malwa in central India. The Delhi army defeated and killed the powerful Paramara minister Goga, while the Paramara king Mahalakadeva took shelter in the Mandu fort. Alauddin appointed Ayn al-Mulk Multani as the governor of Malwa. After consolidating his power in Malwa, Ayn al-Mulk besieged Mandu and killed Mahalakadeva. Background The Paramara dynasty ruled the Malwa region in central India. By 1305, nearly all the Indian rulers to the north of Malwa had acknowledged Alauddin's suzerainty. The Paramara king Mahalakadeva was a weak ruler, and his prime minister (pradhan) Goga (called Koka in Muslim chronicles) was more powerful than him. Goga's death In 1305, Alauddin sent a cavalry to capture Malwa. It is not clear who commanded this army, but he might have been Ayn al-Mulk Multani , whom Alauddin later appointed as the governor of Malwa. According to the Delhi chronicler Amir Khusrau , the Delhi ar ...more...

Yahya bin Ahmad Sirhindi


Yahya bin Ahmad Sirhindi was a 15th century Indian chronicler who wrote Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi, a Persian language chronicle of the Delhi Sultanate . Written during the reign of Mubarak Shah , his work is an important source of information for the Sayyid dynasty . Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi Yahya expected to become a courtier of Mubarak Shah (r. 1431-1434), a ruler of the Delhi Sultanate . Therefore, he wrote Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi and presented it to the Sultan, hoping to win the royal patronage. The book begins with the conquests of Muhammad of Ghor (1149-1206), and ends abruptly in 1434. Several earlier royal chroniclers had written texts describing the 13th-15th century history of the Delhi Sultanate. For example, Minhaj-i-Siraj covered the period up to 1259 in his Tabaqat-i Nasiri , Ziauddin Barani covered 1259-1356, and Shams-i Siraj Afif covered 1356-1388. Yahya carried forward this chronology all the way to 1434. For the events up to 1351, Yahya selectively borrowed from the earlier writers, and arranged ...more...

Chhan, Sawai Madhopur


Chhan is a village in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan , India. It is identified with Jhain (or Jhayin ), which is mentioned in the Delhi Sultanate chronicles as an important town of 13th and 14th century India. History Chhan is identified with the Jhain town mentioned in the Delhi Sultanate chronicles. In the late 13th century, Jhain was a part of the Chahamana kingdom, and guarded the approaches to the kingdom's capital Ranthambore . According to the Delhi Sultanate chronicles, Jhain was renamed to Shahr-i Nau ("new town") in 1301. Therefore, historian Kishori Saran Lal (1950) speculated that Jhain may be the modern Naya Gaon (or Naigaon) village located near Ranthambore. However, Satya Prakash Gupta (1975) identified Jhain with Chhan (or Chhain), located between Naya Gaon and Ranthambore, around 16 km from Naya Gaon. Gupta notes that according to the Mughal courtier Abul Fazl , the pass of Jhain led to Ranthambhore. This description fits Chhan, where the road to Ranthambore ascends the hills. Th ...more...

Siege of Siwana


Siwana Delhi Delhi and Siwana in present-day India In 1308, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji captured the Siwana fort located in present-day Rajasthan , India. The Delhi army breached the fort after a prolonged siege. Faced with a defeat, Sitala Deva, the ruler of the Siwana, tried to flee, but was captured and killed. Background At the beginning of the 14th century, the present-day Rajasthan had several small principalities centered around hill forts. Most of these principalities had acknowledged Alauddin's suzerainty after his conquest of the powerful Ranthambore (1301) and Chittor (1303) kingdoms. However, the forts of Siwana and Jalore , located in the south-west end of Rajasthan, remained independent. Siwana, located near the Thar Desert , was controlled by a Paramara chief named Sitala Deva (also called "Satal Deo" or "Sital Dev" in medieval chronicles). A number of local chiefs acknowledged his suzerainty. According to the Delhi courtier Amir Khusrau 's Dawal Rani, the Delhi army had been besi ...more...

Gujarat under Delhi Sultanate


Gujarat , a region in western India, fell under Delhi Sultanate following repeated expeditions under Alauddin Khalji around the end of 13th century. He ended the rule of Vaghela dynasty under Karna II and established Muslim rule in Gujarat. Soon the Tughluq dynasty came to power in Delhi whose emperor carried out expeditions to quell rebellion in Gujarat and established their firm control over the region by the end of the century. Following Timur 's invasion of Delhi, the Delhi Sultanate weakened considerably so the last Tughluq governor Zafar Khan declared himself independent in 1407 and formally established Gujarat Sultanate . Background Due to long coast of Gujarat, Muslim presence on its shores has been recorded since 8th century due to economic and cultural reasons. Except the expedition of Mahmúd Ghazni against Somnáth in 1024; the defeat of Muhammad Muiz-ud-dín or Shaháb-ud-dín Ghori by Chaulukya king Bhima II of Aṇahilaváḍa (now Patan, Gujarat ) about 1178; Ghurid campaigns in 1172 and 1197; and the a ...more...

Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah


Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah (reigned 1349–1352) was an independent sultan of Sonargaon . History Ikhtiyaruddin was the son and successor of Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah . During his reign in 1350, he lost Chittagong region to the king of Arakan . Death In 1352 Ilyas Shah , independent Sultan of Lakhnauti , who already captured Satgaon , attacked Sonargaon . In the battle Ikhtiyaruddin was defeated and killed. Thus for the first time in history, Bengal was unified comprising Sonargaon, Satgaon and Lakhnauti. Preceded by Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah Independent Sultan of Sonargaon 1349–1352 Succeeded by Ilyas Shah Independent Sultan of Bengal See also List of rulers of Bengal Sonargaon References Muazzam Hussain Khan, http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Ikhtiyaruddin_Ghazi_Shah Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah, Banglapedia : The National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka , Retrieved: 2012-01-23 Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah (reigned 1349–1352) was an independent sultan of Sonargaon . History Ikhtiyar ...more...

Hasan Nizami


Hasan Nizami was a Persian language poet and historian, who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries. He migrated from Nishapur to Delhi in India, where he wrote Tajul-Ma'asir, the first official history of the Delhi Sultanate . Early life Little is known about the family background of Hasan Nizami, since neither him nor his contemporaries provide any such information. The later historians such as Mīr-Khvānd , Abu'l-Fazl and Kâtip Çelebi call him "Sadru-din Muhammad bin Hasan Nizami". Ziauddin Barani calls him "Sadr-i-Nizami". According to the 14th century Persian historian Hamdallah Mustawfi , Nizami was a son of Persian poet Nizami Aruzi , but there is no evidence to substantiate this claim. Nizami originally lived in Nishapur , in the Khorasan region of present-day Iran . When the region became unsafe because of the Khwarazmian - Ghurid conflict, Nizami visited the Imam Reza shrine and sought advice from his religious preceptor Muhammad Kufi. Kufi advised him to leave Nishapur and migrate to India. During his ...more...

Mongol invasion of Sindh


In 1298-99, a Mongol army (possibly Neguderi fugitives) invaded the Sindh region of the Delhi Sultanate , and occupied the fort of Sivistan . The Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khalji dispatched his general Zafar Khan to evict the Mongols. Zafar Khan recaptured the fort, and imprisoned the Mongol leader Saldi and his companions. Mongol invasion The Mongol Chagatai Khanate had invaded the Delhi Sultanate a number of times. In February 1298, a Delhi army led by Alauddin Khalji 's general Ulugh Khan inflicted a crushing defeat on the Mongols. Sometime later, a Mongol force invaded the Sindh region on located on the western frontier of the Delhi Sultanate. The invaders occupied the fort of Sivistan (also called Siwistan or Sibi). This place can be identified with the north-western part of Sindh (around modern Sehwan ). The invasion seems to have happened in 1298-99. According to the 17th century chronicle Zafar-al-Walih, the Mongols occupied the Sivistan fort in 697 AH , and the Delhi forces recaptured it in 698 AH. The ...more...

Zafar Khan Malik Dinar


Malik Dinar was a native Indian slave who served as general in Khalji Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate . He served as subordinate officer Malik Kafur and was also a Shihna-yi pil or intendant of elephantry and was sent by Kafur to suppress rebellion in Gujarat. His daughter has been married the third Khalji dynasty sultan, Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah . he was given the title 'Zafar Khan '(literally chief of victory). The very same title which bestowed to one of greatest Khalji military general who repelled the Chagatai Khanate repeated invasions into India, Zafar Khan Malik Hizbaruddin . References Peter Jackson (2003). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, quoting TFS 388-9 . Cambridge University Press. p. 175. ISBN   0521543290 . Peter Jackson (2003). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History . Cambridge University Press. p. 177. ISBN   0521543290 . Iqtidar Alam Khan (2008). Historical Dictionary of Medieval India . Scarecrow Press. p. 59. ISBN   0810864010 . Satish Chandra Misra (198 ...more...

Siege of Dwarasamudra


Delhi Dwarasamudra In late 1310, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent his general Malik Kafur on an expedition to the southernmost regions of India. In February 1311, Malik Kafur besieged the Hoysala capital Dwarasamudra , and the defending ruler Veera Ballala III surrendered without much resistance. Ballala agreed to pay the Delhi Sultanate an annual tribute , and surrendered a great amount of wealth, elephants and horses. Background By 1310, Alauddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate controlled large parts of northern India, and had ended the Mongol threat . The Yadava and Kakatiya rulers of Deccan region in southern India had become his tributaries . During the 1310 Siege of Warangal against the Kakatiyas, his general Malik Kafur had learned that the region to the south of the Yadava and Kakatiya kingdoms was also very wealthy. After returning to Delhi, Kafur told Alauddin about this, and expressed his desire to lead an expedition there. Alauddin readily agreed to the proposal. His motive appears to ...more...

Sayyid dynasty


The Sayyid dynasty was the fourth dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate , with four rulers ruling from 1414 to 1451. Founded by a former governor of Multan , they succeeded the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled the sultanate until they were displaced by the Lodi dynasty . Members of the dynasty derived their title, Sayyid , or the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad , based on the claim that they belonged to the Prophet's lineage through his daughter Fatima , and son-in-law and cousin Ali . History Following the 1398 Sack of Delhi , Amir Timur appointed the Sayyids as the governors of Delhi. Their dynasty was established by Sayyid Khizr Khan , deputised by Timur to be the governor of Multan ( Punjab ). Khizr Khan captured Delhi from Daulat Khan Lodi on May 28, 1414 thereby establishing the Sayyid dynasty. Khizr Khan did not take up the title of Sultan and nominally, continued to be a Rayat-i-Ala (vassal) of the Timurids - initially that of Timur, and later his grandson Shah Rukh . Khizr Khan was succeeded by his son Sayyid ...more...

Mongol invasion of India, 1306


In 1306, the Chagatai Khanate ruler Duwa sent an expedition to India, to avenge the Mongol defeat in 1305 . The invading army included three contingents led by Kopek, Iqbalmand, and Tai-Bu. To the check the invaders' advance, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji dispatched an army led by Malik Kafur , and supported by other generals such as Malik Tughluq . The Delhi army achieved a decisive victory, killing several thousands of the invaders. The Mongol captives were brought to Delhi, where they were either killed or sold into slavery. After this defeat, the Mongols did not invade the Delhi Sultanate during Alauddin's reign. The victory greatly emboldened Alauddin's general Tughluq, who launched several punitive raids in the Mongol territories of present-day Afghanistan . Background Duwa , the ruler of the Mongol Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia, had dispatched multiple expeditions to India before 1306. Alauddin Khalji , the ruler of Delhi Sultanate of India, had taken several measures against these invas ...more...

Alam Shah


Alam Shah ( r.  1445  –  1451 ) was the fourth and last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled the Delhi Sultanate . Born Ala al-Din, he succeeded his father, Muhammad Shah to the throne and took on the regnal name of Alam Shah ("world king"). According to a 16th-century wit, by this time the Delhi Sultanate only extended from Delhi to the nearby suburb of Palam . Alam Shah was an incapable ruler who abandoned his charge in 1448 and retired to Budaun . Three years later, Bahlul Lodi , who had made two prior attempts at capturing Delhi, took control of the capital to mark the beginning of the Lodi dynasty . Notes Jackson 2003 , p. 322. EB . References Jackson, Peter (2003). The Delhi Sultanate : a political and military history (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN   9780521543293 . "Sayyid dynasty" . Encyclopedia Britannica. Alam Shah ( r.  1445  –  1451 ) was the fourth and last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled the Delhi Sultanate . Born Ala al-Din, he succeeded his father, Muhammad ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Multan


Delhi Multan In November 1296, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent an expedition to conquer Multan . His objective was to eliminate the surviving family members of his predecessor Jalaluddin Khalji , whom he had assassinated to usurp the throne of Delhi. Multan was governed by Jalaluddin's eldest son Arkali Khan. Alauddin's generals Ulugh Khan and Zafar Khan besieged Multan for around two months. They managed to gain control of the city after Arkali Khan's officers defected to their side. The surviving family members of Jalaluddin were imprisoned, and later, several of them were either blinded or killed. Background Alauddin had become the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate after assassinating his father-in-law Jalaluddin . Multan , which was located in the Punjab region to the north-west of Delhi, was under the control of Jalaluddin's eldest son Arkali Khan. Jalaluddin's widow (the former queen or Malka-i-Jahan) and his younger son Ruknuddin Ibrahim and taken shelter in Multan after fleeing Delhi. After ...more...

Kampili kingdom


The Kampili kingdom was a short-lived Hindu kingdom of early 14th-century in the Deccan region. The kingdom existed near Gulbarga and Tungabhadra river in northeastern parts of the present-day Karnataka state, India . It ended after a defeat by the armies of Delhi Sultanate , and a jauhar (ritual mass suicide) in 1327/28 CE when it faced a certain defeat. The Kampili kingdom in some historical accounts is called the Basnaga kingdom, and as what inspired and ultimately led to the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire . The founder of the kingdom was a Hoysala commander, Singeya Nayaka-III (1280–1300 AD), who declared independence after the Muslim forces of the Delhi Sultanate defeated and captured the territories of the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri in 1294 CE. Nayaka-III was succeeded by his son Kampilideva in 1300, who remained in dispute with the territorial claims of Delhi Sultanate. The Kampili kingdom finally fell to the invasion in 1327/28 CE from the north by the forces of Muhammad bin Tughluq , the Sultan of Del ...more...

Mongol invasion of India, 1297-98


In the winter of 1297, Kadar, a noyan of the Mongol Chagatai Khanate invaded the Delhi Sultanate ruled by Alauddin Khalji . The Mongols ravaged the Punjab region , advancing as far as Kasur . Alauddin sent an army led by his brother Ulugh Khan (and probably Zafar Khan ) to check their advance. This army defeated the invaders on 6 February 1298, killing around 20,000 of them, and forcing the Mongols to retreat. Mongol raids The Mongol Chagatai Khanate had invaded the Delhi Sultanate a number of times, including in 1241, 1245, 1257, and 1285. Alauddin's predecessor Jalaluddin also faced a Mongol invasion, and was forced to negotiate a humiliating truce. During Alauddin's reign, the Mongols invaded India again: compared to the previous invasions, these were large-scale invasions. The first of these invasions was ordered by the Mongol ruler Duwa , who sent his noyan Kadar (or Keder) to India with a 100,000-strong force. In the winter of 1297-98, Kadar invaded and ravaged the Punjab region of the Delhi Sultanate , ...more...

Battle of Amroha


The Battle of Amroha was fought on 20 December 1305 between the armies of the Delhi Sultanate of India and the Mongol Chagatai Khanate of Central Asia. The Delhi force led by Malik Nayak defeated the Mongol army led by Ali Beg and Tartaq near Amroha in present-day Uttar Pradesh . Background The Mongol Chagatai Khanate had invaded the Delhi Sultanate a number of times in the 13th century. After Alauddin Khalji ascended the throne of Delhi, four such invasions had been repulsed in 1297-98 , 1298-99 , 1299 , and 1303 . During the 1303 invasion, the Mongols managed to enter Alauddin's capital Delhi, which prompted him to take a series of steps to prevent further Mongol invasions. Alauddin started residing in the newly-constructed Siri Fort , repaired and built several frontier forts, and appointed powerful commanders in the frontier regions. Mongol march to India Despite Alauddin's measures, a Mongol force led by Ali Beg invaded the Delhi Sultanate in 1305. The Delhi chronicler Ziauddin Barani describes Ali Beg ...more...

Mongol invasion of India, 1303


In 1303, a Mongol army from the Chagatai Khanate launched an invasion of the Delhi Sultanate , when two major units of the Delhi army were away from the city. The Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khalji , who was away at Chittor when the Mongols started their march, returned to Delhi in a hurry. However, he was unable to make adequate war preparations, and decided to take shelter in a well-guarded camp at the under-construction Siri Fort . The Mongols, led by Taraghai, besieged Delhi for over two months, and ransacked its suburbs. Ultimately, they decided to retreat, having been unable to breach Alauddin's camp. The invasion was one of the most serious Mongol invasions of India , and prompted Alauddin to take several measures to prevent its recurrence. He strengthened military presence along the Mongol routes to India, and implemented economic reforms to ensure adequate revenue streams for maintaining a strong army. Background Alauddin Khalji , the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate , had successfully warded off Mongol (Mugha ...more...

Khalji dynasty


The Khalji or Khilji dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Turko-Afghan background, which ruled large parts of South Asia between 1290 and 1320. It was founded by Jalal ud din Firuz Khalji and became the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India . The dynasty is known for their faithlessness and ferocity, as well as their raids into the Hindu south and defending the Sultanate against the repeated Mongol invasions of India . Origins Copper coin of Alauddin Khalji The Khalji rulers were of Turko-Afghan heritage. They trace their roots to Central Asia and were originally of Turkic origin. They had long been settled in present-day Afghanistan before proceeding to Delhi in India . The name "Khalji" refers to an Afghan village or town known as Qalat-e Khalji (Fort of Ghilji ). Sometimes they were treated by others as ethnic Afghans due to their adoption of some Afghan habits and customs . As a result of this, sometimes the dynasty is referred to as a Turko-Afghan. The three sultans of the Kha ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's raid on Bhilsa


Kara Bhilsa As a general of Sultan Jalaluddin , Alauddin Khalji (then known as Ali Gurshasp) raided the Paramara city of Bhilsa in 1293 CE. He damaged the city's Hindu temples , and looted a large amount of wealth. Background Alauddin Khalji was the governor of Kara in Sultan Jalaluddin 's Delhi Sultanate . Although he feigned allegiance to the Sultan, he was determined to dethrone Jalaluddin, and sought to raise money for a successful coup. Towards this objective, he decided to target Bhilsa , a wealthy city in the Paramara kingdom of Malwa . By the 1290s, the Paramaras had been weakened by Chahamana , Vaghela , and Yadava invasions. In late 1292 CE, Alauddin Khalji obtained the Sultan's permission to raid Bhilsa. The raid In 1293 CE, Alauddin marched towards Bhilsa via the Chanderi - Ujjain road. His sudden attack took the city's residents by surprise. The town had several richly-endowed Hindu temples , from which Alauddin obtained a large amount of wealth, including precious metals and cattle. The resi ...more...

Battle of Beas River


The battle of Beas River was a battle between Chagatai Khanate army and the Mamluk sultanate in 1285. Ghiyas ud din Balban arranged a military defense line across Beas River as part of his "blood and iron" fortification chain strategy at Multan and Lahore as a countermeasure against the Chagatai Khanate invasion. Balban managed to repulse the invasion. However, his son Muhammad Khan was slain in battle. Primary sources Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi Ziauddin Barani Reference List Satish Chandra (2004). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206-1526) - Part One . Har-Anand Publications. pp. 66–. ISBN   978-81-241-1064-5 . Kausar Ali (1978). A new history of Indo-Pakistan: from Dravidians to Sultanates . Aziz Publishers. John McLeod (2015). The History of India . ABC-CLIO. pp. 42–. ISBN   978-1-61069-766-8 . Jaswant Lal Mehta (1979). Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India . Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 131–. ISBN   978-81-207-0617-0 . The battle of Beas River was a battle between Cha ...more...

Yajvapala dynasty


The Yajvapala ( IAST : Yajvapāla) dynasty ruled parts of central India during the 13th century CE. Their capital was located at Nalapura (present-day Narwar in Shivpuri district ). They are also known as Jajapella or Jajpella. The Yajvapalas carved out a kingdom in northern Madhya Pradesh during the first half of the 13th century, and successfully resisted invasions by the Chandelas and the Delhi Sultanate over the next few decades. It is not certain how their rule ended, but they probably fell to the Delhi Sultanate by the end of the century. History Find spots of the Yajvapala-era inscriptions (map of India) A 1339 VS (c. 1282 CE) Yajvapala inscription, issued during the reign of Gopala, names the dynasty's progenitor as Jayapala (called Jajapella in vernacular language). It names the dynasty's place of origin as Ratnagiri (unidentified), and attributes the rise of Jayapala to the blessings of the goddess Maharunda (probably a family deity ). The next known member of the family is Ya[pa]ramadi-raja, whose s ...more...

Siege of Warangal, 1323


Delhi Devagiri Warangal In 1323, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq sent an army led by his son Ulugh Khan (later Muhammad bin Tughluq ) to the Kakatiya capital Warangal , after the Kakatiya ruler Prataparudra refused to make tribute payments. Ulugh Khan's first siege of Warangal failed because of a rebellion resulting from a false rumour about Ghiyath al-Din's death in Delhi. Ulugh Khan had to retreat to Devagiri , but he returned to Warangal within four months, this time with refinforcements from Delhi. Prataparudra was defeated and taken captive, resulting in the end of the Kakatiya dynasty. Background The Hindu Kakatiya kingdom, ruled by Prataparudra , was located in the eastern part of Deccan region of southern India. The Muslim Khalji rulers of Delhi Sultanate had invaded the Kakatiya capital Warangal twice, in 1310 and 1318, forcing Prataparudra to become their tributary . Amid the political instability resulting from the end of the Khalji dynasty in 1320, Prataparudra stopped sending tr ...more...

Abdul Malik Isami


Abdul Malik Isami (1311-?) was a 14th century Indian historian and court poet. He wrote in Persian language , under the patronage of Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah , the founder of the Bahmani Sultanate . He is best known for Futuh-us-Salatin (c. 1350), a poetic history of the Muslim conquest of India . Early life Isami was born in 1311, possibly in Delhi . His father's name was 'Izz ul-Din 'Isami. His ancestor Fakhr Malik Isami had migrated from Baghdad to India during the reign of Iltutmish (r. 1211–1236). In 1327, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Muhammad bin Tughluq decided to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in Deccan region. Several residents of Delhi, including Isami's family, were ordered to move to Daulatabad. His 90-year old grandfather died during this journey. In Bahman Shah's service At Daulatabad, Isami was appalled with what he perceived as Tughluq's misdeeds and tyranny. At one point, he decided to migrate to Mecca, but he was determined to write a history of Muslim rule in India before leaving the ...more...

Siege of Chittorgarh (1303)


Chittor Delhi In 1303, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji captured the Chittor Fort from the Guhila king Ratnasimha , after an eight month long siege. The conflict has been described in several legendary accounts, including the historically unreliable Padmavat , which claims that Alauddin's motive was to obtain Ratnasimha's beautiful wife Padmini . Background The Mewar region in north-western India was ruled by the Guhila dynasty , whose seat was located at the Chittor Fort (Chittorgarh). In 1299, Alauddin's general Ulugh Khan had raided the Mewar region on his way to Gujarat . However, this appears to have been a light raid rather than a serious invasion, and the Guhila king Samarasimha protected his country from the raiders, possibly by paying a tribute . In 1301, Alauddin conquered Ranthambore , which was located between Delhi and Chittor, and then returned to Delhi. The same year, Ratnasimha ascended the throne of Chittor. The later legends based on Malik Mohammad Jaisi 's epic poem Padmavat stat ...more...

Kailas Pal


Raja Kailas Pal Pathania (1313–1353 CE) was a King of Nurpur , who succeeded Raja Jas Pal as the chief of the Pathania Clan of Rajputs . He is accorded credit for wounding and defeating a famous Muslim General, Tatar Khan, who was a governor of Khorasan and who had invaded the Punjab. Kailas Pal received a reward of a Mansab of 5,000 Cavalry and Infantry from the Delhi Sultanate. Such a reward displayed that he was regarded as a powerful Chief and an important ally by the Delhi Sultanate. Most probably it refers to some local conflict between the Pathania King and Tatar Khan, the viceroy of the Punjab, under Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325–51). It took place previous to 1342 which was the year Tatar Khan was killed in a battle with the Gakhars . A couplet commemorating the battle between Kailas Pal and Tatar Khan has come down to our own time: “ Jo mukh dekhan arsi sise dil-kananda । Mathe Phat Tatar Khan Kailase anda । । When he looks at his face in the heart-rending mirror, Tatar Khan sees on his forehead the sc ...more...

Ziauddin Barani


Ziauddin Barani (1285–1357) was a Muslim political thinker of the Delhi Sultanate located in present-day North India during Muhammad bin Tughlaq and Firuz Shah 's reign. He was best known for composing the Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi, a work on medieval India , which covers the period from the reign of Ghiyas ud din Balban to the first six years of reign of Firuz Shah Tughluq and the Fatwa-i-Jahandari which details the caste system among Muslims in the Indian Subcontinent . Life Barani was born to a Muslim family in 1285 in which his father, uncle, and grandfather all working in high government posts under the Sultan of Delhi . His family were natives of Meerut and Bulandsahar. His maternal grandfather Husam-ud-Din, was an important officer of Ghiyas ud din Balban and his father Muwayyid-ul-Mulk held the post of naib of Arkali Khan, the son of Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji. His uncle Qazi Ala-ul-Mulk was the Kotwal (police chief) of Delhi during the reign of Ala-ud-Din Khalji. Barani never held a post, but was a nadim (c ...more...

Chahamanas of Ranastambhapura


Ranthambore Ranthambore in present-day India The Ranthambore fort The Chahamanas of Ranastambhapura were a 13th century Indian dynasty. They ruled the area around their capital Ranastambhapura ( Ranthambore ) in present-day Rajasthan , initially as vassals of the Delhi Sultanate , and later as sovereigns. They belonged to the Chahamana (Chauhan) clan of the Rajputs , and are also known as Chauhans of Ranthambore in vernacular Rajasthani bardic literature. The Chahamana line of Ranastambhapura was established by Govindaraja , who agreed to rule as a vassal of the Ghurids in 1192, after they defeated his father, the Shakambhari Chahamana king Prithviraja III . Govindaraja's descendants gained and lost their independence to the Delhi Sultanate multiple times during the 13th century. Hammira , the last king of the dynasty, adopted an expansionist policy, and raided several neighbouring kingdoms. The dynasty ended with his defeat against the Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khalji at the Siege of Ranthambore in 1301. History ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's raid on Devagiri


Kara Devagiri The Devagiri hill In 1296, Alauddin Khalji (then known as Ali Gurshasp) raided Devagiri , the capital of the Yadava kingdom in the Deccan region of India. At the time, Alauddin was the governor of Kara in Delhi Sultanate , which was ruled by Jalaluddin Khalji . Alauddin kept his march to Devagiri a secret from Jalaluddin, because he intended to use the wealth obtained from this raid for dethroning the Sultan. When Alauddin reached Devagiri, the Yadava king Ramachandra retreated to the hill fort, and Alauddin's army thoroughly ransacked the lower city. The defenders were under-prepared for a siege, as the Yadava army was away on an expedition under Ramachandra's son Simhana and the fort of Devagiri had insufficient provisions. Therefore, Ramachandra agreed to a peace treaty, offering Alauddin a large sum of money. However, Simhana soon arrived in the capital and engaged Alauddin in a battle. Alauddin emerged victorious, and forced the Yadavas to agree to a peace treaty. This time, the Yadavas wer ...more...

Alp Khan


Alp Khan (died late 1315 or early 1316) was a general and brother-in-law of the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji . He served as Alauddin's governor of Gujarat , and held considerable influence at the royal court of Delhi during the last years of Alauddin's life. He was executed on the charges of conspiring to kill Alauddin, possibly because of a conspiracy by Malik Kafur . Early life Alp Khan was originally named Junaid, and was later called Malik Sanjar. He appears to have come from a family of Khalji chiefs. According to Isami , Alauddin brought him up since his childhood. Upon becoming the Sultan of Delhi in 1296, Alauddin gave him the title Alp Khan ("Powerful Khan "). His sister (called Mahru according to the 16th-17th century chronicler Haji-ud-Dabir ) married Alauddin: Khizr Khan was the issue of this marriage. Career Alauddin appointed Alp Khan as Amir-i-Majlis (chief of protocol), and granted him the iqta' of Multan . In c. 1310, Alauddin granted Alp Khan the iqta' of Gujarat . . The Jain wor ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Gujarat


Asavalli (Ahmedabad) Anahilavada (Patan) Khambhat Somanatha (Somnath) Surat Delhi In 1299, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent an army to ransack the Gujarat region of India, which was ruled by the Vaghela king Karna . The Delhi forces plundered several major cities of Gujarat, including Anahilavada (Patan), Khambhat , Surat and Somnath . Karna was able to regain control of at least a part of his kingdom in the later years. However, in 1304, a second invasion by Alauddin's forces permanently ended the Vaghela dynasty, and resulted in the annexation of Gujarat to the Delhi Sultanate . Background After becoming the Sultan of Delhi in 1296, Alauddin Khalji spent a few years consolidating his power. Once he had strengthened his control over the Indo-Gangetic plains, he decided to invade Gujarat. According to the Persian historian Wassaf ( fl. 1299-1323), Alauddin invaded Gujarat because "the vein of the zeal of religion beat high for the subjection of infidelity and destruction of idols." Gujarat was ...more...

Malika-i-Jahan (wife of Alauddin Khalji)


Malika-i-Jahan ("Queen of the World") was the first and chief wife of Sultan Alauddin Khilji , the second and most powerful ruler of the Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate . She was the mother of her husband's eldest son and heir-apparent, Crown prince Khizr Khan. Family and lineage Malika-i-Jahan was the daughter of Jalaluddin Khilji , the first sultan of the Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. Her mother, also titled Malika-i-Jahan, was Sultan Jalaluddin's chief wife. She was quite an ambitious and arrogant lady and held great influence over Sultan Jalaluddin. She also influenced contemporary politics to great extent. Malika-i-Jahan had at least three brothers: Khan-i-Khan, Arkali Khan and Qadr Khan. Alauddin was the son of Jalaluddin's older brother, Shihabuddin, making Malika-i-Jahan a first-cousin of her husband. Marriage Malika-i-Jahan married Alauddin long before the Khalji revolution of 1290. The marriage was not a happy one. In 1296, Alauddin murdered his uncle, Jalaluddin, in a deceitful m ...more...

Lodi dynasty


The Lodi dynasty (or Lodhi) was an Afghan dynasty that ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1451 to 1526. It was the last dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, and was founded by Bahlul Khan Lodi when he replaced the Sayyid dynasty . Bahlul Lodi Bahlul Khan Lodi ( r.  1451  –  1489 ) was the nephew and son-in-law of Malik Sultan Shah Lodi, the governor of Sirhind in ( Punjab ), India and succeeded him as the governor of Sirhind during the reign of Sayyid dynasty ruler Muhammad Shah . Muhammad Shah raised him to the status of an emir. He was the most powerful of the Punjab chiefs and a vigorous leader, holding together a loose confederacy of Afghan and Turkish chiefs with his strong personality. He reduced the turbulent chiefs of the provinces to submission and infused some vigour into the government. After the last Sayyid ruler of Delhi , Ala-ud-Din Aalm Shah voluntarily abdicated in favour of him, Bahlul Khan Lodi ascended the throne of the Delhi sultanate on 19 April 1451. The most important event of his reign was th ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Devagiri


Delhi Devagiri The ruins of the Devagiri fort Around 1308, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent a large army led by his general Malik Kafur to Devagiri , the capital of the Yadava king Ramachandra . Alauddin had earlier raided Devagiri in 1296 , and forced Ramachandra to pay him tribute . However, Ramachandra had discontinued these tribute payments, and had given asylum to the Vaghela king Karna , whom Alauddin had displaced from Gujarat in 1304. A section of the Delhi army, commanded by Alp Khan , invaded Karna's principality in the Yadava kingdom, and captured the Vaghela princess Devaladevi , who later married Alauddin's son Khizr Khan. Another section, commanded by Malik Kafur captured Devagiri after a weak resistance by the defenders. Ramachandra agreed to become a vassal of Alauddin, and later, aided Malik Kafur in the Sultanate's invasions of the southern kingdoms. Date There is some confusion over the date of Alauddin's second invasion of Devagiri. His courtier Amir Khusrau dates this invasi ...more...

Mongol invasions of India


Genghis Khan The Mongol Empire launched several invasions into the Indian subcontinent from 1221 to 1327, with many of the later raids made by the unruly Qaraunas of Mongol origin. The Mongols occupied parts of modern Pakistan and other parts of Punjab for decades. As the Mongols progressed into the Indian hinterland and reached the outskirts of Delhi , the Delhi Sultanate led a campaign against them in which the Mongol army inflicted huge losses on the rival army, but were beaten back nonetheless. The Mughal Empire founded by Babur , however, successfully conquered most of the Indian subcontinent in the 16th and the 17th centuries. Background After pursuing Jalal ad-Din into India from Samarkand and defeating him at the battle of Indus in 1221, Genghis Khan sent two tumens (20,000 soldiers) under commanders Dorbei the Fierce and Bala to continue the chase. The Mongol commander Bala chased Jalal ad-Din throughout the Punjab region and attacked outlying towns like Bhera and Multan and had even sacked the outsk ...more...

Malik Kafur's invasion of the Pandya kingdom


Delhi Madurai During 1310-1311, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent an army led by Malik Kafur to the southernmost kingdoms of India. After subjugating the Hoysalas , Malik Kafur invaded the Pandya kingdom (called Ma'bar in Muslim chronicles), taking advantage of a war of succession between the Pandya brothers Vira and Sundara. During March–April 1311, he raided several places in the Pandya territory, including their capital Madurai . He was unable to make the Pandya king a tributary to the Delhi Sultanate, but obtained a huge plunder, including elephants, horses, gold and precious stones . Background By 1310, Alauddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate had forced the Yadava and Kakatiya rulers of Deccan region in southern India to become his tributaries . During the 1310 Siege of Warangal against the Kakatiyas, Alauddin's general Malik Kafur had learned that the region to the south of the Yadava and Kakatiya kingdoms was also very wealthy. After returning to Delhi, Kafur told Alauddin about this, and o ...more...

Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Jalore


Jalore Delhi In 1311, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji dispatched an army to capture the Jalore Fort in present-day Rajasthan , India. Jalore was ruled by the Chahamana ruler Kanhadadeva , whose armies had earlier faced several skirmishes with the Delhi forces, especially since Alauddin's conquest of the neighbouring Siwana fort . Kanhadadeva's army achieved some initial successes against the invaders, but the Jalore fort ultimately fell to an army led by Alauddin's general Malik Kamal al-Din . Kanhadadeva and his son Viramadeva were killed, thus ending the Chahamana dynasty of Jalore. Background The kingdom of Jalore was ruled by a branch of the Chahamanas . In 1291-92, Alauddin's predecessor Jalaluddin Khalji invaded Jalore, but was forced to retreat after the Vaghelas came to the rescue of the Jalore king Samantasimha . From at least 1296 to 1305, Samantasimha's son and successor Kanhadadeva jointly ran the administration with his father. During this period, in 1299, Alauddin dispatched an army ...more...

Aram Shah


Aram Shah was the second sultan of the Mamluk dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate . He reigned from 1210 to 1211. Origins The relationship of Aram Shah with Qutb al-Din Aibak (the first sultan of Delhi, who ruled from 1206 to 1210) is a subject of controversy. According to some, he was Aibak's son, but Minhaj-i-Siraj distinctly writes that Qutb al-Din only had three daughters. Abul Fazl has made the "astonishing statement" that Aram Shah was Qutb al-Din's brother. A modern writer has hazarded the opinion that "he was no relation of Qutb al-Din" but was selected as his successor as he was available on the spot. Succession There were no fixed rules governing the succession in the Sultanate, with Aram being selected by Turkic amirs (nobles) at Lahore . However, Aram was ill-qualified to govern a kingdom. An elite group of forty nobles known as "Chihalgani" soon conspired against him and invited Shams ud-Din Iltutmish , then Governor of Badaun , to replace Aram. Both Aram Shah and Iltutmish marched towards Delhi f ...more...

Battle of Kili


The Battle of Kili was fought in 1299 between the Mongols of the Chagatai Khanate and the Delhi Sultanate . The Mongols, led by Qutlugh Khwaja , invaded India, intending to conquer Delhi . When they encamped at Kili near Delhi, the Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khalji led an army to check their advance. Alauddin's general Zafar Khan attacked a Mongol unit led by Hijlak without Alauddin's permission. The Mongols tricked Zafar Khan into following them away from Alauddin's camp, and then ambushed his unit. Before he died, Zafar Khan managed to inflict heavy casualties on the Mongol army. The Mongols decided to retreat after two days. Background The Delhi Sultanate was ruled by Alauddin Khalji, who had taken the throne of Delhi after assassinating his uncle in 1296. The Chagatai Khanate controlled Central Asia, and its leader since the 1280s was Duwa Khan who was second in command of Kaidu . Duwa was active in Afghanistan, and attempted to extend Mongol rule into India. Negudari governor Abdullah, who was a son of Chagat ...more...



Hammiradeva ( IAST : Hammīra-deva; r. c. 1283-1301) was the last Chahamana (Chauhan) king of Ranastambhapura (modern Ranthambore ). He is also known as Hamir Dev in the Muslim chronicles and the vernacular literature. Hammira ruled a kingdom centred around Ranthambore in present-day Rajasthan . In the 1280s, he raided several neighbouring kingdoms, which ultimately left him without allies. In the 1290s, he successfully defended his kingdom against Jalaluddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate . In 1299, he gave asylum to some Mongol rebels from Delhi, which prompted Jalaluddin's successor Alauddin Khalji to invade his kingdom. Hammira's forces achieved some successes against Alauddin's generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan , but he was ultimately defeated and killed in 1301 after a long siege. Hammira is celebrated as a hero in several texts composed after his death including Nayachandra Suri's Hammira Mahakavya , Jodharaja's Hammira-Raso, and Chandrashekhara's Hammira-Hatha. Early life Hammira was a son of the Chah ...more...

Malik Maqbul


Malik Maqbul or Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul was the Wazir or Prime Minister of the Delhi Sultanate , in the government of Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1351–1388 CE ), in the Indian sub-continent. Initially, he was the commander of Warangal Fort (Kataka paludu) located in the state of Telangana , south India . Early life and background After the fall of Warangal in 1323, the Kakatiya king Prataparudra and his trusted minister and commander Gannama Nayaka,also known as Yugandhar or Nagaya Ganna, were captured and taken to Delhi . King Prataparudra committed suicide by drowning himself in the river Narmada . Yugandhar was converted to Islam and given the name Malik Maqbul. Harihara Raya and Bukkaraya , treasurers in the court of Warangal were also captured and converted to Islam. Warangal was placed under the control of Burhanuddin, governor of Daulatabad . The rebellion led by Musunuri King Prolaya Nayaka resulted in the liberation of large parts of Telugu country in 1326 CE. The full title of Maqbul was "Masnad-i-Aali Ulugh ...more...

Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq


Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq (reign: 1394 − February 1413 CE) was the last sultan of the Tughlaq dynasty to rule the Islamic Delhi Sultanate . History During his reign in 1398, Amir Timur the Chagtai ruler invaded India. He carried away with him a large booty from Delhi and the surrounding area. Soon after the invasion, the Tughlaq dynasty came to an end. Successor The succeeding sultan of the Delhi Sultanate was Khizr Khan , the first of the Sayyid dynasty . References Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 100–102. ISBN   978-9-38060-734-4 . Preceded by Nasir ud din Muhammad Shah III Sultan of Delhi 1394–1413 Succeeded by Khizr Khan , Sayyid dynasty Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq (reign: 1394 − February 1413 CE) was the last sultan of the Tughlaq dynasty to rule the Islamic Delhi Sultanate . History During his reign in 1398, Amir Timur the Chagtai ruler invaded India. He carried away with him a large booty from Delhi and the surrounding area. Soon after the inv ...more...

Mokhadaji Gohil


Ranoji, father of Mokhadaji Gohil Mokhadaji Gohil (1309–1347) was a Rajput ruler of Ghogha , near Bhavnagar in Gujarat during the mid 14th century. He was a descendant of Sejakaji Gohil of Khergadh who migrated to Saurashtra during early 13th century. Mokhadaji Gohil was contemporary of Muhammad bin Tughluq , (1325–1351) of Tughluq dynasty in Delhi . Background and birth Mokhadaji Gohil was born to Gohil Rajput ruler Ranji Gohil of Ranpur , a small jagir near Dhandhuka in present day of Ahmedabad district. Ranji Gohil was son of Sejakaji Gohil of Khergadh in Rajasthan. Reigns Dhanmer Thakor of Dholera due to his old age had given the throne of Dholera to Mokhadaji Gohil and decided to spend the rest of his life in Himalayas. Dhanmer Thakor went to Himalayas and young Mokhadaji accompanied him around 1320 AD. On his return from Himalayas, Mokhadaji visited Delhi to find out about the situation because at that time, it was the political center for most of India. He met Khusro Khan in Delhi. Khusro Khan encourag ...more...

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