Sultanate Period (1206-1526AD) Ancient History




I. The Delhi Sultanate

The Background of Delhi Sultanate

1. First Muslim Invasion-Mohammad Bin Qasim's Invasion (712AD): Mohammad Bin Qasim invaded India in 712 AD and conquered Sindh which became the province of Omayyad Khilafat.

2. First Turk Invasion-Mahmud Ghaznavi's Invasion (998-1030 AD): Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni led about 17 expeditions to India to enrich himself by taking away the wealth from India. In 1025 he attacked and raided the most celebrated Hindu temple of Somnath that lies on the coast in the extreme south of Kathiawar. The temple was destroyed in 1026 AD.

3. Second Turk Invasion-Mohammad Ghori's Invasion (1175-1206 AD): Mohammad Ghori invaded India and laid the foundation of the Muslim dominion in India. He may be considered the 'founder of Muslim rule' in India.

4. Reasons for the Success of Turks in India : (i) Rajputas lacked unity and organization and were divided by rivalries (ii) There was no central government (iii) The Rajput Kingdoms were small and scattered (iv) The Turks were better organized and took advantage of the lack of mutual co-operation among the Rajputs.



The Delhi Sultanate: 1206-1526 AD

Mohammed Ghori's conquests became the nucleus of a new political entity in India-the Delhi Sultanate. This period can be divided into 5 distinct periods viz.

(i) The Slave Dynasty (1206-90) 
(ii) The Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320) 
(iii) The Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414) 
(iv) The Sayyid Dynasty (1414-51) 
(v) The Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526).


The Slave Dynasty: 1206-90 AD

Qutubuddin Aibak: 1206-10

1. A Turkish slave by origin, he was purchased by Mohammad Ghori who later made him his Governor. After the death of Ghori, Aibak became the master of Hindustan and founded the Slave Dynasty in 1206. For his generosity, he was given the title of Lakh Bakhsh (giver of Lakhs).

2. He died in 1210 while playing Chaugan or Polo.

3. He constructed two mosques-Quwat-ul-Islam at Delhi and Adhai din ka Jhonpra at Ajmer. He also began the construction of Qutub Minar, in the honour of famous Sufi Saint Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. Aibak was a great patron of learning and patronized writers like Hasan-un-Nizami, author of 'Taj-ul-Massir' and Fakhruddin, author of 'Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi'.



Shamsuddin Iltutmish: 1211-36

1. He was a slave of Qutubuddin Aibak and occupied the throne of Delhi in 1211 after deposing Aram Bakhsh.

2. He was a very capable ruler and is regarded as the 'real founder of the Delhi Sultanate'. He made Delhi the capital in place of Lahore.

3. He saved Delhi Sultanate from the wrath of Chengiz Khan, the Mongol leader, by refusing shelter to Khwarizm Shah, whom Chengiz was chasing.

4. He introduced the silver coin (tanka) and the copper coin (vital). He organized the Iqta System and introduced reforms in civil administration and army, which was now centrally paid and recruited.

5. He set up an official nobility of slaves known as Chahalgani/Chalisa (a group of 40).

6. He completed the construction of Qutub Minar which was started by Aibak.

7. He patronised Minhaj-us-Siraj, author of 'Tabaqat-i-Nasiri'.



Ruknuddin: 1236

He was the son of Iltutmish and was crowned by her mother, Shah Turkan, after the death of Iltutmish. He was deposed by Razia, daughter of Iltutmish when he was out of the capital to curb a rebellion in Avadh against him.


Razia Sultana: 1236-40

1. Though Iltutmish had nominated his daughter Razia as the successor, the nobles placed Ruknuddin Firoj on the throne. However, Razia got rid of Ruknuddin and ascended the throne.

2. She was the 'first and only Muslim lady who ever ruled India'.

3. She was popular among the people but was not acceptable to the nobles and theologians. She further offended the nobles by her preference for an Abyssian slave Yakut.

4. Soon after her accession, the governors of Multan, Badaun, Hansi and Lahore openly revolted against her. There was a serious rebellion in Bhatinda. Altuna, governor of Bhatinda refused to accept the suzerainty of Razia. Razia accompanied by Yakut marched against Altuna.

5. However, Altunia got Yakut murdered and imprisoned Razia. Subsequently, Razia married Altunia and both of them marched towards Delhi.

6. In 1240 AD, Razia became the victim of a conspiracy and was assassinated near Kaithal (Haryana).



Bahram Shah: 1240-42

1. After Razia, Iltutmish's third son Bahram Shah was put on the throne by the powerful Turkish council Chalisa.

2. He was considered only as de jure ruler, while Naib-e-mamlakat (the regent) was the de facto ruler.

3. Bahram Shah lost his life after his failed attempt to assert his authority once on the throne.


Masud Shah: 1242-46

He was the son of Ruknuddin but was deposed after Balban and Nasiruddin Mahamud's Mother, Malika-e-Jahan, conspired against him and established Nasiruddin Mahamud as the new Sultan.

Nasiruddin Mahamud: 1246-66
He was the son of Iltutmish and was known as the Darvesi King as he was very pious and noble. He died in 1266.



Ghiyasuddin Balban: 1266-87

1. Balban ascended the throne in 1266.

2. He broke the power of Chalisa and restored the prestige of the crown. That was his greatest contribution towards the stability of the Sultanate.

3. To keep himself well-informed Balban appointed spies.

4. He created a strong centralized army to deal with internal disturbances and to cheek Mongols who were posing a serious danger to Delhi Sultanate.

5. He established the military department Diwan-i-Arz.

6. The Persian court model influenced Balban's conception of Kingship. He took up the title of Zil-i-Ilahi (Shadow of God).

7. He introduced Sijda (prostration before the monarch) and Paibos (kissing the feet of the monarch) as the normal forms of salutation.

8. He destroyed the Mewati Rajputa brigandage in the doab, where forests were cut and forts built.

9. In his last days he overlooked the Sultanate affairs due to the death of his eldest and most loving son, Muhammad, and rebellion by his closest and most loved slave, Tughril. Muhammad died fighting the Mongolians in 1285 while Tughril was captured and beheaded.

Kaiqubad : 1287-90

A grandson of Balban was seated on the throne by Fakruddin, the Kotwal of Delhi who assumed high political authority during the last days of Balban. But Kaiqubad was killed by the Khiliji family, which saw the end of Slave dynasty and beginning of Khiliji dynasty at Delhi throne.

The Khilji Dynasty : 1290-1320 AD

Jalaluddin Khilji : 1290-96

Jalaluddin Khilji founded the Khilji dynasty.

Alauddin Khilji : 1296-1316

1. He was a nephew and son-in-law of Jalaluddin Khilji. Alauddin Khilji killed him and succeeded the throne in 1296.

2. He was the first Turkish Sultan of Delhi who separated religion from politics. He proclaimed 'Kingship knows no Kinship'.

Alauddin's Imperialism

Alauddin annexed Gujarat (1298), Ranthambhor (1301), Mewar (1303), Malwa (1305), Jalor (1311). In Deccan, Aluddin’s army led by Malik Kafur defeated Ram Chandra (Yadava ruler of Devagiri), Pratap Rudradeva (Kakatiya ruler of Warangal), Vir Ballal III (Hoyasala ruler of Dwarsamudra) and Vir Pandya (Pandya ruler of Madurai).



Administrative Reforms

1. In order to avoid the problems created by the nobles, Alauddin issued4 ordinances. The Ist ordince aimed at the confiscation of the religious endowments and free grants of lands. By the IInd ordinance Alauddin reorganised the spy system. The IIIrd ordinance prohibited the use of wine. The IVth ordinance issued by Alauddin laid down that nobles should not have social gathering and they should not inter-marry without his permission.

2. He introduced the system of Dagh (the branding of horse) and Chehra (descriptive roll of soldiers).

3. Alauddin ordered that all land was to be measured and then the share of state was to be fixed.

4. The post of special officer called Mustakharaj was created for the purpose of collection of revenue.

5. The peasants had to pay the produce as land revenue.

6. Alauddin sought to fix cost of all commodities. For this purpose he set up three markets at Delhi: one market for food grains, the second for costly cloth, and the third for horses, slaves and cattle. Each market was under the control of a high officer called Shahna who maintained a register of the merchants and strictly controlled the shopkeepers and the prices. The check on market was kept by two officers- Diwan-i-Riyasat and Shahna-i-Mandi.

7. All goods for sale were brought to an open market called Sara-i-Adal.

8. Many forts were built by him and the most important of them was Alai fort. He also constructed the Alai Darwaja, the entrance gate of Qutub Minar. He also built the Palace of thousand Pillars called Hazar Sutun.

9. He was a patron of art and learning. Amir Khusrau the poet-musician was his favorite court poet.

10. In 1316, after the death of Alauddin, Malik Kafur, called Hajardinari seized the throne. Before Kafur died, he nominated Shihabuddin (Alauddin's 6-year-old prince) as King but imprisoned the eldest prince Mubarak Khan. Kafur was killed by the loyalists of the royal family of Alauddin.



Mubarak Khan: 1316-20

After the death of Kafur, Mubarak khan was freed from prison and worked as regent for Shihabuddin. He captured the throne at the first opportunity he got, but could rule only for a years as he sank into debauchery and could not give up his dissipated lifestyle. He awarded his lover Mubarak Hassan authority over army and palace guards, who soon obtained full control over Sultan's palace. Mabarak Hassan was given the title Khusrau Khan by the Sultan and within months Khusrau killed Mubarak Khan and assumed the title of Nasirudin in mid-1320.

Khusrau Khan: 1320

Khusrau Khan was killed by Ghazi Malik, governor of Dipalpur, when he tried to oppose a rebellion by Ghazi Malik and his son Fakhruddin Jauna. This brought the end of Khilji dynasty and established the Tughlaq dynasty on the throne of Delhi.



The Tughlaq Dynasty: 1320-1414 AD

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq: 1320-25

1. Khusrau Khan, the last king of the Khilji dynasty was killed by Ghazi Malik. Ghazi Malik ascended the throne assuming the title Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.

2. He died in an accident and his son Jauna (Ulugh Khan) succeeded him under the time

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