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Delhi Sultanate

Delhi Sultanate

Evidence about the Delhi Sultanate:

 Delhi Sultanate is an important period in Indian history illuminated by various historical texts that provide valuable insights into the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of the time.

    1. Tariq-al-Hind“, composed by al-Beruni, explores Indian philosophy and religion, providing an Arabic perspective on the cultural nuances of the region.
    2. “Tabaqat-i-Najiri” (1260), composed by Minhaj-us-Siraj  , provides a comprehensive view of world Islamic history in Arabic.
    3. Zia’s Tarikh-i-Feroz Shahi” (1357),  is a historical story narrating the reigns up to Feroz Tughlaq of the Delhi Sultanate, highlighting the political developments of the time.
    4. Amir Khusrau‘s writings excel in Persian, including  “Mifta ul Futu” on Jalaluddin Khalji’s conquests and  “Ul Futu” on Alauddin Khalji’s conquests.
    5. Tughlaq Nama” stands out as a historical document narrating the Tughlaq dynasty in Persian, providing a detailed story of its reign.
    6.  “Tariq-e-Feroz Shahi”, composed by Shams-e-Siraj Afif, incorporates Barani’s notes on the Persian account of the Delhi Sultanate.
    7. Ghulam Yahya, bin Ahmad’s  “Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi”, composed  in Persian  during the reign of Sayyid ruler Mubarak Shah, tells  of the period with its historical insights.
    8. Finally, Ferishta’s “History of Islamic Rule in India” in Persian serves as a comprehensive overview of Islamic rule in India  .

                              These diverse sources, written in different languages and written from different angles, collectively contribute to a nuanced understanding of the Delhi Sultanate, providing a mosaic of historical narratives that enrich our appreciation of this significant era in Indian history.

Delhi Sultanate Origin:

                               The Islamic State (Delhi Sultanate) emerged from the 13th century to the early 16th century  .As a result, Islamic cultures began to dominate India.The Sultanat rule contributed to the economic and cultural development of India, paving the way for the emergence of a multicultural culture.The Arabs were engaged in maritime trade even before the advent of Islam.They carried on maritime trade in all parts of India.

                               Later they settled on the west and east coasts of South India.The Arabs who married Malabar women and migrated there were  called ‘grooms‘.The Arab invasion began in 712. Following this, Rajini and  Ghori invaded and looted the wealth.The Shah of Khurasan and later Genghis Khan invaded Afghanistan and paved the way for the Sultanate of North India.The Mongols then  invaded and  destroyed the Ghori Sultanate and Ghazni. They then looted the treasury of King Sultan Nasiruddin Kubacha.Thus, the Muslims who invaded India ruled the Indian provinces with Delhi as their capital for four centuries.The Delhi Sultanate during this period was not ruled by a single dynasty. It was ruled by people from five different dynasties.

Major dynasties and rulers of the Delhi Sultanate

    1. Slave dynasty or Mamluk dynasty
    2. Khalji Dynasty
    3. Tughlaq dynasty
    4. Sayyid dynasty
    5. Lodi dynasty

Slave Dynasty or Mamluk Dynasty: (1206–1290)

                              Muslim rule in India was established by Muhammad Ghori in the 12th century CE. Ghori had no heirs.After Ghori’s death in 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aibak of a  slave dynasty named  ‘Pandakan proclaimed himself the king.He started the rule of slave dynasties.He founded the Mamluk dynasty . ‘Mamluk’ is an Arabic word  meaning ‘slave’.They were a slave dynasty and ruled for 84 years.

Mamluk Dynasty Rulers:

Name of the Ruler Years of Reign Facts
Qutbuddin Aibak 1206–1210   Muhammad founded the slave dynasty after the death of Ghori.  Started the construction of Qutb Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque.  It consolidated the control of the Delhi Sultanate in northern India.
Aram Shah 1210–1211  Qutb-ud-din was the son of Aibak.  He was killed by the next Sultan, Iltutmish.
Shams-ud-din Iltutmish 1211–1236   He extended the Sultanate up to Bengal and Bihar.  Established an efficient administrative system.  Repulsed the Mongol invasions.  He patronized literature and art.  Chuneri Mosque and Quwwat-ul-Islam extensions were built.  He faced rebellions and Mongol threats.
Ruknuddin Ferruz Shah 1236   son of Iltutmish.  He was killed by his courtiers after ruling for only seven months.
Razia Sultana 1236–1240   Iltutmish’s daughter.  She was the first and only woman ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.  He faced opposition from the nobility because of his gender.  He was deposed and executed by Muizzuddin Bahram.
Muizzuddin Bahraram 1240–1242 Razia killed Sultana and became Sultan.  He was assassinated by his own nobles.
Alauddin Masood 1242–1246   son of Iltutmish.  Weak and incompetent ruler.  Killed by his own Mamlukes.
Nasiruddin Mahmood 1246–1266  grandson of Iltutmish.  Restored order and stability in the Sultanate.  He patronized literature and art.  He built the Alai Darwaza and Qutub Minar complex.
Ghiyasuddin Balban 1266–1286   It strengthened the army and restored order.  It suppressed internal rebellions.  He fought successfully against the Mongols.  He founded Balban’s Fortieth.
Mu’izz-ud-din Kaikubad 1287–1290  Grandson of Balban.  Weak and prodigal ruler. Neglected military and administrative affairs.  He was overthrown by the Khalji dynasty in 1290.
Kaimur 1290   Kaiqubad ruled briefly after his overthrow.  Jalal ud-Din, the founder of the Khalji dynasty, was killed by Khalji.

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Khalji Dynasty (1290 -1320): Delhi Sultanate

                    The Khilji Dynasty, ruling from 1290 to 1320, emerged after Jalaluddin Khilji overthrew the last ruler of the Slave Dynasty.Under Ala-ud-din Khilji, the empire expanded through successful military campaigns and established a centralized administration.They maintained a strong military and implemented policies to enhance internal security.The dynasty witnessed significant cultural and architectural developments, blending Persian, Turkish, and Indian influences.The assassination of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah in 1320 marked the end of the Khilji Dynasty, leading to the rise of the Tughlaq Dynasty.

Khalji Dynasty Rulers:

Ruler Reign Father Facts
Jalaluddin Khilji 1290 – 1296 He defeated the last sultan of the Slave dynasty and established the Khilji dynasty. He attacked Devagiri in South India and captured the treasury. He withstood the invasions of the Mongols.
Alauddin Khilji 1296 – 1316 Jalaluddin Khilji He conquered the Rajput kingdoms and expanded the frontiers of North India. He filled the royal treasury through “Janthu Vari” (Kaltesvara). He shifted the capital of the Sultanate from Delhi to Daulatabad. He introduced a system of market control called “Khatina”.
Malik Kapoor 1316 Alauddin Khilji Alauddin’s general and short-lived sultan. He undertook many successful expeditions in South India.  Qutb-ud-din was murdered by Mubarak Shah.
Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah 1316 -1320 Malik Kapoor He faced rebellions during his brief reign. He gained tyranny by murdering his relatives and officials.  He was deposed and murdered by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.

Khilji Dynasty Military campaigns:

    • Mongols: Defeated the invaders six times.
    • The conquest of Gujarat became possible as Alauddin sent an army under two of his generals, Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan, to conquer Gujarat in 1299.
    • Ranthambre: It is considered to be the strongest fortress in Rajasthan. Initially, the Khalji army suffered losses and Nusrat Khan lost his life as well. In 1301 CE, the fort fell to Alauddin.
    • Chittor: Conquered in 1303, Raja Ratan Singh and women performed Jauhar (controversial intent).
    • Malwa: Conquered in 1305, annexed Ujjain, Mandu, Chanderi  ,  and Dhar.
    • Shivana: In 1308, conquered Raja Sital Deva was defeated.
    • Jalore: Annexed in 1311, became the master of North India.
    • Devagiri: Rai Ramchandra, captured in 1306-07, surrendered with honour.
    • Warangal: Defeated Prataparudra Deva in 1309  and gained great wealth.
    • Hoysalas: Defeated Vira Walla III and captured large booty.
    • He reached Rameswaram, built a mosque and returned with great wealth.

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Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414): Delhi Sultanate

  • The Tughlaq dynasty, which spread from 1320 to 1414, found each of the rulers uniquely contributing to the history of the Delhi Sultanate.

Tughlaq Dynasty Rulers:



Important Events

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq 1320-1325 Founded the Tughlaq dynasty
Muhammad bin Tughlaq 1325-1351 Extended the Delhi Sultanate to its greatest extent
Firoz Shah Tughlaq 1351-1388  Restored peace and order within the Delhi Sultanate
Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah II 1388-1389 He ruled for a short period
Abu Bakr Shah 1389-1394  Stability restored within Delhi
Muhammad Shah Tughlaq 1394-1413 He was ruled as a puppet of Timur

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Sayyid Dynasty (1414-1451 AD): Delhi Sultanate

                             Sayyid Dynasty succeeded the Tughlaq Dynasty as the fourth ruling family of the Delhi Sultanate, reigning from 1414 to 1451 for a total of 37 years.Khizir Khan, who served as the governor of Multan and represented Timur in India, established the Sayyid Dynasty.The Sayyid Dynasty traced its lineage to a dynasty identifying itself as Sayyid or descended from Prophet Muhammad.The dynasty came to power during a period of significant unrest in Delhi and its surrounding regions.Khizr Khan, having been the governor of Multan under Firuz Shah Tughlaq, laid the foundation for the Sayyid Dynasty.Mubarak Shah’s death marked the beginning of the decline of the Dynasty.Bahlol Lodhi succeeded weak rulers like Muhammad Shah and Alauddin Alam Shah, eventually leading to the end of the Dynasty’s rule.The Sayyid family claimed descent from Prophet Muhammad through their daughter Fatima and son-in-law Ali.

Ruler Rule year
Khizr Khan 1414-1421
Mubarak Shah 1421-1434
Mohammad Shah 1434-1445
Alauddin Alam Shah 1445-1451

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Lodi Dynasty (1451-1526):Delhi Sultanate

                           The Lodi dynasty was founded by the Afghan Khizali clan.Bahlol Lodi conquered the Punjab before entering Delhi.Bahlol Lodi seized the throne of Delhi in 1451, adopted the name “Bahlol Shah Ghazi” and overthrew the Sharqi Empire.Sikandar Lodi succeeded Bahlol Lodi on 15 July 1489 amid a power struggle with his elder brother Parbak Shah.Sikandar Lodhi demolished the Indian temples at Mathura andNaga port and imposed Jasya on the Hindus to establish the supremacy of Islam.Raja Man Singh successfully defended the fort of Gwalior against Sikandar Lodi’s attempts to seize control.Ibrahim Khan Lodi succeeded Sikandar Lodi after a succession conflict with his elder brother Jalal-ud-din, who died in 1517.

Lodi Dynasty Ruler:

  King   Reign
Bahlol Lodi 1451-1489
Sikandar Lodi 1489-1517
Ibrahim Lodi 1517-1526


More Information  for Lodi dynasty

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