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|Sultanate of Delhi
Delhi Sultanate under various dynasties.
|-||1206–1210||Qutb-ud-din Aibak (first)|
|-||1517–1526||Ibrahim Lodi (last)|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||Independence||12 June 1206|
|-||Battle of Amroha||20 December 1305|
|-||Battle of Panipat||21 April 1526|
|History of the Turkic peoples|
|Turkic Khaganate 552–744|
|Avar Khaganate 564–804|
|Khazar Khaganate 618–1048|
|Old Great Bulgaria 632–668|
|Turgesh Khaganate 699–766|
|Uyghur Khaganate 744–840|
|Kara-Khanid Khanate 840–1212|
|Oghuz Yabgu State
|Shatuo Dynasties 923–979|
|Later Tang Dynasty|
|Later Jin Dynasty|
|Later Han Dynasty (Northern Han)|
|Ghaznavid Empire 963–1186|
|Seljuq Empire 1037–1194|
|Khwarezmian Empire 1077–1231|
|Seljuq Sultanate of Rum 1092–1307|
|Delhi Sultanate 1206–1526|
|Chagatai Khanate 1225–1687|
|Golden Horde 1240s–1502|
|Cairo Sultanate 1250–1517|
|Ottoman Empire 1299–1922|
|Timurid Dynasty 1370–1506|
|Mughal Empire 1526–1857|
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived dynasties, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, mostly of Turkic and Pashtun (Afghan) origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty. The five dynasties were the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90); the Khilji dynasty (1290–1320); the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414); the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51); and the Afghan Lodi dynasty (1451–1526).
Qutb-ud-din Aibak, a former slave (Mamluk) of Muhammad Ghori, was the first sultan of Delhi and his dynasty managed to conquer large areas of northern India. Afterwards the Khilji dynasty was also able to conquer most of central India, but both failed to unite the Indian subcontinent. The sultanate is also noted for being one of the few states to repeatedly defeat the Mongol Empire.
The Sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance. The resulting "Indo-Muslim" fusion of cultures left lasting syncretic monuments in architecture, music, literature, religion and clothing. It is surmised that the Urdu language (literally meaning "horde" or "camp" in various Turkic dialects) was born during this period as a result of the intermingling of the local speakers of Sanskritic Prakrits with immigrants speaking Persian, Turkic and Arabic under the Muslim rulers. The Delhi Sultanate is the only Indo-Islamic empire to have enthroned one of the few female rulers in India, Razia Sultana (1236–1240). In 1526 the Delhi Sultanate was absorbed by the emerging Mughal Empire.
Muhammad Ghori (d. 1206) had extended his state southwards at the expense of the Ghaznavids as far as Lahore and much of Rajasthan and the Punjab and appointed Qutub-ud-din Aibak as governor of this part of his realm. A slave of Cuman-Kipchak origin, he proclaimed independence after the death of his patron and ruled from Delhi. His line is therefore known as the Slave (Mamluk) Dynasty on account of his origin. Aibak began the construction of Qutub Minar, which was completed by Iltutmish, his successor and son-in-law. Aibak's legitimate successor was his son Aramshah, but the nobles preferred Iltutmish, the Subedar of Badaun. Iltutmish was the most able ruler of the Mamluk Sultanate. He trebled the exchequer during his reign. He was followed by Razia Sultana, his daughter, who was a good administrator and the first female sovereign in India. Her rumored relationship with a Sidi adviser, Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut, as he continued to rise in rank, gave her nobles an excuse to revolt against her. After Yaqut was killed and Razia imprisoned, she later wedded Altunia (the Governor of Bhatinda), but she was killed by her nobles after 3 and half years. Balban succeeded her and ruled until 1286 CE. A great Sultan, he was a Sufi devotee and highly regarded their Saints; many a Sufi mystic settled in his sultanate, though only one of them rose to full ascendancy over him. Faced with revolts by conquered territories and rival families in the turmoil for succession after his death, the Mamluk dynasty came to an end in 1290.
The Khilji dynasty were the second Muslim dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. The slave rulers laid a firm foundation to the Delhi Sultanate. Naturally Muslims from territories bordering to western northern India migrated to join other Muslim settlers.
The first ruler of this dynasty was Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah Khilji. He was a weak ruler and adopted a lenient policy towards the Mongols. He got one of his daughters married to tulugh Khan, the Mongol leader. He was succeeded by his nephew Ali Gurshap, who took the title of Ala-ud-din. He became the Sultan of Delhi in 1296 CE. He brought Gujarat and Malwa under his rule. He was the most able ruler in the Khalji dynasty. He introduced a free market policy in which he decreased the price of all essential items needed in daily life. The customs policies of Ala-ud-din Khalji helped double the exchequer. According to Zia-ud-din Barani, a scholar in the sultan's court said that "no gold, silver, tankas, jitals, on any superflous commodities, which are the causes of a rebellion, are to be found in the houses of Hindus." After Ala-ud-din's death, there was a war of succession amongst his sons. The last Khilji ruler was Khusrau Malik. He was weak and thus, the Tughluqs captured the throne of Delhi.
The Tughlaq dynasty lasted for close to a hundred years. During this period, many parts of India, such as the states in southern India became independent. It produced two powerful Sultans, Muhammad bin Tughlaq and Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq (1320–1325), an efficient military commander, was the first ruler of the dynasty. He was succeeded by Jauna Khan, who took the title of Muhammad bin Tughlaq and became the most able ruler of the Tughluq dynasty. He became the Sultan in 1325 CE. His empire covered the regions from Peshawar in the North to Madurai in the South and from Sindh in the west to Assam in the East. Muhammad made attempts at improving the administration of his vast empire. He tried to reform the currency. He minted new copper coins. He ordered that copper coins should be used in place of the gold and silver coins. However, there was no control over the minting of the copper coins. This created a lot of confusion in the transactions. Therefore, Muhammad made arrangements for exchanging gold and silver coins against copper coins. This put a tremendous strain on the government treasury. He had to take back this scheme. He refused to accept the title of Emperor though he expanded his rule to the peninsula. He doubled the exchequer and shifted his capital in 1326 from Delhi to Daulatabad. He was man of ideas, but he lacked the skill required for putting these into practice. That was why, though his ideas were good, they proved unsuccessful. The last few years of his reign witnessed turmoil and rebellions everywhere. His empire began to disintegrate during his own life-time. He died in 1351 CE He was succeeded by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351–1388) who was very successful as a reformer.
The Sayyid dynasty ruled Delhi Sultanate in India from 1414 to 1451. They succeeded the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled the Sultanate until they were displaced by the Lodi dynasty.
The Lodi Dynasty was a Pashtun dynasty that was the last Delhi Sultanate. The dynasty founded by Bahlul Khan Lodi ruled from 1451 to 1526. The last ruler of this dynasty, Ibrahim Lodi was defeated and killed by Babur in the first Battle of Panipat on April 20, 1526.
In the first half of the 14th century, the Sultanate introduced a monetary economy in the provinces (sarkars) and districts (parganas) that had been established and founded a network of market centres, through which the traditional village economies were both exploited and stimulated to be drawn into the wider culture. State revenues remained based on a successful agriculture, which induced Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325–51) to have village wells dug, to offer seed to the peasants, and to encourage cash crops like sugarcane.
Mongol invasion and the fall of the Sultanate
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Sultanate was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent from the potential devastation of the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the thirteenth century. However, the invasion of Timur in 1398 significantly weakened the Delhi Sultanate. It revived briefly under the Lodis before it was conquered by the Mughal emperor Babur in 1526.
The last Lodi ruler, Ibrahim Lodi, was greatly disliked by his court and subjects. Upon the death of his father Sikander Lodi, he quashed a brief rebellion led by some of his nobles who wanted his younger brother Jalal Khan to be the Sultan. After seizing the throne, by having Jalal Khan murdered, he never really did succeed in pacifying his nobles. Subsequently Daulat Khan, the governor of Punjab and Alam Khan, his uncle, sent an invitation to Babur, the ruler of Kabul to invade Delhi.
By way of superior generalship, vast experience in warfare, effective strategy and appropriate use of artillery, Babur won the first Battle of Panipat (April 1526), in which Ibrahim Lodi was killed on the battlefield. Babur subsequently occupied Agra and Delhi and the new Mughal dynasty was to rule Delhi until 1857.
- Qutb-ud-din Aibak (1206–1210), appointed Naib us Sultanat by Muhammad of Ghori, first Muslim Sultan of India, ruled with Delhi as capital
- Aram Shah (1210–1211)
- Shams ud din Iltutmish (1211–1236), son-in-law of Qut-bud-din Aibak
- Rukn ud din Firuz (1236), son of Iltutmish
- Raziyyat-ud-din Sultana (1236–1240), daughter of Iltutmish
- Muiz ud din Bahram (1240–1242), son of Iltutmish
- Ala ud din Masud (1242–1246), son of Ruk-nud-din
- Nasir ud din Mahmud (1246–1266), son of Iltutmish
- Ghiyas ud din Balban (1266–1286), ex-slave, son-in-law of Sultan Nasir ud din Mahmud
- Muiz ud din Qaiqabad (1286–1290), grandson of Balban and Nasir-ud-din
- Jalal ud din Firuz Khalji (1290–1296)
- Alauddin Khalji (1296–1316)
- Umar Khan Khilji (1316)
- Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah (1316–1320)
- Khusro Khan (1320)
- Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq (1320–1325)
- Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325–1351)
- Mahmud Ibn Muhammad (March 1351)
- Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351–1388)
- Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq II (1388–1389)
- Abu Bakr Shah (1389–1390)
- Nasir ud din Muhammad Shah III (1390–1393)
- Sikander Shah I (March - April 1393)
- Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq (Sultan Mahmud II) at Delhi (1393–1413), son of Nasir uddin Muhammad, controlled the east from Delhi
- Nasir uddin Nusrat Shah (1394–1414), grandson of Firuz Shah Tughluq, controlled the west from Firozabad
- Khizr Khan (1414–1421)
- Mubarak Shah (1421–1434)
- Muhammad Shah (1434–1445)
- Alam Shah (1445–1451)
- Bahlul Lodi (1451–1489)
- Sikandar Lodi (1489–1517)
- Ibrahim Lodi (1517–1526), defeated by Babur in the First Battle of Panipat on April 20, 1526
- "Arabic and Persian Epigraphical Studies - Archaeological Survey of India". Asi.nic.in. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Peter Jackson, The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, (2003), Cambridge University Press. p.28. ISBN 0521543290
- The state at war in South Asia By Pradeep Barua, pg. 29
- Bruce R. Gordon. "Nomads of the Steppe". My.raex.com. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Braudel 1984, pp 96f, 512ff
- Tughlaq Shahi Kings of Delhi: Chart The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 2, p. 369..
- Elliot, H. M. (Henry Miers), Sir; John Dowson. "15. Táríkh-i Fíroz Sháhí, of Ziauddin Barani". The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period (Vol 3.). London : Trübner & Co.
- Srivastava, Ashirvadi Lal (1929). The Sultanate Of Delhi 711-1526 A Dlurl=http://www.archive.org/stream/sultanateofdelhi001929mbp#page/n5/mode/2up. Shiva Lal Agarwala & Company.
- Khan, Mohd. Adul Wali (1974). Gold And Silver Coins Of Sultans Of Delhi. Government of Andhra Pradesh.