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|Juna Khan Khilji|
|Sultan Alauddin Khilji|
Sultan Alauddin Khilji
|Place of death||Delhi, India|
|Predecessor||Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji|
|Successor||Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah|
|Royal House||Khilji dynasty|
Juna Khan Khilji, commonly known by his title as Ala-ud-din Khilji (علاء الدین الخلجی; died 1316), was the second ruler of the Turko-Afghan Khilji dynasty in India. He is considered the most powerful ruler of the dynasty, reigning from 1296 to 1316.
His historic attack on Chittor in 1303 CE, and the folklore of him hearing of the beauty of queen of Chittor, Rani Padmini, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh and the subsequent story have been immortalized in the epic poem Padmavat, written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in the Awadhi language in the year 1540.
He was a brilliant strategist and an outstanding military commander who commanded forces across the Indian subcontinent. Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji is also noted in history for being one of the few rulers in the world to have repeatedly defended his empire against Mongol invasions. He defeated large Mongol armies and then launched punitive expeditions against them in Central Asia, around modern-day Afghanistan.
Alauddin Khilji successfully defended his realm from the Mongol invasion. He improved the border's fortifications and established garrisons. He defeated the Mongol armies at the battles of Jalandhar (1298), Kili (1299), Amroha (1305) and Ravi (1306).
"During his 20-year-long reign Ala al-Din Khalji conducted a number of campaigns that greatly expanded his authority. [...] Threatened by the Mongol expansion from Central Asia, he successfully repelled several Mongol attacks on northwestern India between 1296 and 1308. [...] The Mongol invasions in 1305 were also defeated, first at Amroha and then on the banks of Ravi River, allowing Ala al-Din to launch punitive expeditions into Mongol-controlled territories in Afghanistan."
North Indian expeditions
Karnadev Vaghela II of the Vaghela dynasty was the king of Gujarat. Alauddin Khilji sent two of his great generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan. Nusrat Khan started for Gujarat from Delhi on February 24, 1299 AD, Ulugh Khan started from Sindh and joined Nusrat Khan near Chittorgarh. The army crossed Vanasa river and captured the Ravosa fort. Karnadev was defeated and fled to the kingdom of Devagiri with his daughter Devaladevi and Gujarat was captured by Alauddin Khilji. But Kamaladevi, Karnadev's queen, had fallen into the hands of Alauddin's army. They took her with them, and handed her over to Alauddin Khilji. Alauddin was infatuated by her beauty, proposed her and put her into his harem . Later Alauddin converted her into a Muslim and married her. She became the chief queen of the sultan.
In 1290 Jalaluddin Khilji attacked Ranthambhore but was repulsed. Hamir Dev, a descendant of Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Ranthambor. Seventeen kilometers from Sawaimadhopur stands a fort, encompassing in its stately walls, a glorious history of the Rajputs. Ranathambhor's venerable structure, rapturous beauty and sublime expressiveness seem to be continuously vocalizing the great legends of Hamir Dev, the Indian king, who ruled in the 13th century.
Hamir Dev belonged to the Chauhan dynasty and drew his lineage from Prithviraj Chauhan who enjoys a respectable place in the Indian history. During his 12 years' reign, Hamir Dev fought 17 battles and won 13 of them. He annexed Malwa, Abu and Mandalgarh and thus extended his kingdom to the chagrin of Delhi Sultan, Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji, who had misgivings about Hamir's intentions. Jalaluddin attacked Ranathambhor and had it under siege for several years. However, he had to return to Delhi unsuccessful.
Jalaluddin was assassinated by his nephew Allaluddin Khilji who then crowned himself as the new Sultan of Delhi. Muhammad Shah was instrumental in making this coup successful which earned him a basketful of privileges. Muhammad Shah was even allowed access to the harem as a result of which he soon built up a good rapport with its inmates.
Chimna was one of Allaudin's begums, but Allaudin never gave her as much attention as other begums of the harem received from him. He had inadvertently managed to antagonize her. To make things worse Chimna Begum saw a valiant soldier in Muhammad Shah and was extremely impressed by his courage and boldness. Soon the vindictive begum and the ambitious Muhammad Shah started a conspiracy to slay Allaudin. Their objective was to see Muhammad Shah as Sultan and the begum as queen. The conspiratorial plans somehow leaked out. Allaudin was enraged as he came to know of Muhammad Shah's intentions. To escape the fury of Allaudin, Muhammad Shah had to flee from Delhi along with his brother. He sought asylum in many nearby kingdom but no one was ready to stand up to the wrath of Allaudin.
Muhammad Shah approached Hamir Dev. The brave Rajput was moved by his humble pleading and misery and agreed to him shelter. Allaudin's ire was roused when he came to know of it. He immediately attacked the fort of Ranathambhor. The armies of Allaudin and Hamir Dev met in a battle on the banks of river Banas. The Rajputs had the initial victory. However, because of the personal feud between the Prime Minister and the Senapati (General-in-charge of the army) Hamir Dev's army got disorganized. The Senapati of the army was Gurdan Saini. The Prime Minister succeeded in getting the Senapati killed. Meanwhile, Allaudin reorganized his forces and made a renewed attack on the fort. Some unscrupulous officers of Hamir Dev, with Bhoj Dev as their leader, colluded with Allaudin and started giving him secret information about the fort. The war continued. The strong walls of the fort were strategically so situated that it was not possible to blow them down with gunpower, for the debris so created had already killed numerous soldiers of the Sultan in their futile attempt to break into the fort. At last Allaudin sent a message to Hamir Dev saying that in case he was ready to hand over Muhammad Shah to him, he would go back to Delhi. Hamir Dev was too self-respecting to make such an ignominious compromise. He sent back the messenger with the reply that when the Rajputs promised to protect someone, they even gave their lives for his safety. Muhammad Shah saw the hopelessness of the situation and conselled Hamir Dev to hand him over to Allaudin rather than fight such a long drawn-out war and suffer such an enormous loss of lives and resources. Allaudin's army was immense. He put a complete siege on the Ranathambhor fort. Bhoj Dev and his informers kept on supplying him information on the food of water situation inside the fort. The ill-fated war bended with the Sultan's legions emerging victorious. The female members of the Rajput kingdom committed jauhar and gave up lives on the pyres. Hamir Dev, along with his Rajput bravehearts decided to perform shaka that is the fight unto death.
After the victory, Allaudin entered the fort. Wounded Muhammad Shah was brought to him.
"What is your last desire?" asked Allaudin. "To kill you and place Hamir's son on the throne of Ranathambhor", replied Muhammad Shah. Then he took out his dagger and committed suicide.
Allaudin, now, turned to Bhoj Dev and his other informers. Their faces were keen with eagerness to receive the long awaited reward from the Sultan. On the countrary, Allaudin roared, "Shave of the heads of these traitors. They have not been loyal to their own king".
Within minutes, the heads of all his accomplices rolled on the ground. Allaudin's laughter reverberated against the walls of the fort. After Khilji the fort once again passed on to the Rajput rulers.
Mewar was the most powerful kingdom of all the kingdoms of northwest India. On 28 January 1303 Alauddin Khilji started for Mewar According to legend Alauddin heard of the unparalleled beauty of Rani Padmini, wife of Ratan Singh. He went to Chittor with an intention to siege the fort and went in by saying that he wanted to see the Rani. This of course was an act of shame for a Hindu king, but Ratan Singh gave in. He persuaded his wife to let the sultan see her. She gave her consent and allowed Alauddin see her reflection in a mirror. While all this was going on his men secretly surveyed the inside of the fort. On seeing the beauty of the queen Alauddin was determined to get her for his harem. On his return to Delhi he got Ratan Singh in accompaning him. he used this opportunity and kidnapped him. The Songara Chauhan generals Gora & Badal decided to beat the Sultan at his own game and sent back a word that Padmini would be given to Ala-ud-din the next morning. On the following day at the crack of dawn, one hundred and fifity palaquins (covered cases in which royal ladies were carried in medieveal times) left the fort and made their way towards Ala-ud-din's camps The palanquins stopped before the tent where king Ratan Singh was being held prisoner. Seeing that the palanquins had come from Chittor; and thinking that they had brought along with them his queen, King Ratan Singh was mortified. But to his surprise from the palanquins came out, not his queen and her women servants but fully armed soldiers, who quickly freed Ratan Singh and galloped away towards Chittor on horses grabbed from Ala-ud-din's stables. Gora fought bravely during the skirmish and laid down his life while Badal was able to took the Rana safely to the fort.
On hearing that his designs had been frustrated, the Sultan was furious and ordered his army to storm Chittor. But hard as they tried the Sultans army could not break into the fort. Then Ala-ud-din decided to lay siege to the fort. The siege was a long drawn one and gradually supplies within the fort were depleted. Finally King Ratan Singh gave orders that the Rajputs would open the gates and fight to finish with the besieging troops. On hearing of this decision, Padmini decided that with their men-folk going into the unequal struggle with the Sultan's army in which they were sure to perish, the women of Chittor had either to commit the divine suicide called as Jauhar or face dishonour at the hands of the victorious enemy.
The choice was in favour of suicide through Jauhar. A huge pyre was lit and followed by their queen, all the women of Chittor jumped into the flames and deceived Alauddin's army waiting outside. With their womenfolk dead, the men of Chittor had nothing to live for. They decided to perform Saka. Each soldier got dressed in kesariya robes and turbans. They charged out of the fort and fought on furiously with the vastly Powerful array of the Sultan, till all of them perished. After this pyrrhic victory the Sultan's troops entered the fort only to be confronted with ashes and burnt bones of the women.
Alauddin Khilji's conquest of Mewar, Ranathambor and Gujarat stuck fear in the mind of the remaining Indian Kingdoms of northern India. But Mahlak Dev refused to give in to Alauddin Khilji so easily. He gathered 20,000 horsemen and 90,000 infantry to confront Alauddin's army. Harnanda Koka was the general of his army. On the other hand Ain-ul-Mulk Multani was on the head of a 160,000 Muslim army. After a bloody war Harnana Koka was killed and his forces retreated. Malwa along with Mandu,Dhara and Chanderi fell to Alauddin Khilji. Ain-ul-Mulk Multani was appointed the governor of Malwa.
Alauddin Khilji invaded Marwar in 1308. Satal Dev was the king of Marwar and the owner of the famous Siwana fort. Alauddin Khilji sent Malik Kamaluddin as the general of his army. After a fierce battle the Marwari army was defeated. Satal dev was captured and was executed.
Alauddin Khilji invaded Jalore next. The first expedition was a failure, khilji's army was defeated by Kanhad Dev Songara. Alauddin Khilji then sent Malik Kamaluddin. The Hindu forces were defeated this time by Malik Kamaluddin's forces. Book "Kahnad-dev Prabhand" is related to this king and it was written by Padmnabh
Expeditions in southern India
Devagiri (Deogir) and Baglana
In 1306–07, Alauddin Khalji completed two campaigns. The first was against Rai Karan who after his expulsion from Gujrat, had been holding Baglana. His younger daughter Devala Devi was also with him. An expedition was launched to dethrone Karan and to bring Devala Devi to Delhi. It was successful and ultimately Devala Devi was brought to Delhi and was married to Khijir Khan - the heir apparent. The second expedition under his slave general Malik Kafur was against Deogir, under King Ramachandra, an ally of Rai Karan. Ramchandra was defeated, and Rai Ramachandra was restored to his dominions with the title "Rai Rayan" by Delhi. He was also given the Gujrat and one of his daughters, called Jatyapali, was married to Alauddin Khalji. This alliance was to prove to be of great value to Alauddin in his further aggrandizement in Deccan.
But, after the death of Rai Ramachandra in 1315, his sons threw off the yoke of Delhi. Malik Kafur quickly came and crushed the rebellion and assumed direct administration of the area.
After conquering Devagiri Malik Kafur invaded Warangal (1309) with help of Rai Ramchandra. It was only after a fierce battle Malik Kafur was able to occupy the Warangal fort and he was able to force the ruler of Warangal to sue for peace, to surrender all their treasures, and to promise an annual tribute. King Prataprudradev of the Kakatiya dynasty signed a treaty with Delhi.
Alauddin Khilji got the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, once the largest known diamond in the world, from Warangal. It was seized by the East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.
Dwar Samudra (Halebeedu), Mabar and Madurai
After conquering Devagiri and Warangal, Alauddin Khilji sent Malik Kafur (1311) against king Veera Ballala of the Hoyasala dynasty ruling Dwar Samudra (Halebeedu). Veera Ballala surrendered without a fight and Kafur was able to force the ruler of Dwar Samudra to sue for peace, to surrender all their treasures, and to promise an annual tribute.
But, in the case of Mabar, even this formal agreement was not forthcoming. However, Malik Kafur returned to Delhi with untold booty, such as those from at Chidambaram, without being able to defeat the Tamil armies.
But, within a decade after the death of Alaudin Khalji several south Indian rulers like Prolaya Vema Reddy of the Reddy dynasty, Musunuri Kaapaaneedu and Hakka and Bukka of the Vijayanagara Empire liberated whole south India from the Delhi Sultanate. Additionally the Bahmani Sultanate also gained its independence in the Deccan in the 14th century.
1. Measures against nobles On his accession to the throne, Ala ud din khilji had to face a number of revolts by the nobles and some of his own relatives. He studied the causes of these revolts and made some reforms to root out these. For example, he took back the land and property, which had been given to the nobles as gifts or religious endowments. he set up an efficient spy system. Afraid of being overheard, no one could move about or talk freely. Severe punishments were given for disloyalty. in this way, the nobles as well as the common man found it difficult to revolt against him. He also checked corruption. The land holders were forbidden to levy extra taxes on the peasants.
2. Economic reforms and price control Ala ud din Khilji was an ambitious and a powerful ruler. His ambitious conquests required a standing and strong army. To maintain the army, he undertook various reforms . He took various steps to control the prices. He exercised supervisions over the market. He fixed the prices of all the commodities from top to bottom. Market officers called shahna were appointed to keep a check on the prices. The defaulters were heavily punished. Land revenue was fixed and the grain was stored in government granaries. These market regulations and stability of prices were the wonders of his age. The soldiers and the civil population were greatly benefitted from these measures due to the low prices of the essential goods.
Alauddin died in January 1316, of oedema. It is believed that his lieutenant Malik Naib hastened his death. His tomb and madarsa dedicated to him, exists at the back of Qutb complex, Mehrauli, in Delhi 
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- Táríkh-i 'Aláí; or, Khazáínu-l Futúh, of Amír Khusrú The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians: The Muhammadan Period, by Sir H. M. Elliot. Vol III. 1866-177. Page:67-92.
- Khalji Dynasty - Encyclopædia Britannica
- Khilji followed The Slave Dynasty
Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji
|Sultan of Delhi
Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah