Delhi Sultanate

Invasions by Mahmud of Ghazni and Muhammad Ghori into India ultimately resulted in establishment of Turkish rule which is commonly known as Delhi Sultanate. Five different dynasties are collectively referred to as the Turkish rule or Delhi Sultanate

  • The Slave Dynasty
  • The Khalji Dynasty
  • The Tughlaq Dynasty
  • The Sayyid Dynasty
  • The Lodhi Dynasty

This rule resulted in far reaching changes in the Indian society, Administration and cultural life.

Which factors led to establishment of Delhi Sultanate?

 Political Factors

  • The Rajput age in India (c.750 – 1200 CE) was worked by political fragmentation.
  • There was no central authority in India during c.950 – 1200 CE.
  • North India was completely in fragmented politically. The absence of any dominant power in North India played an important role in success of Turk’s against Rajput.
  • The politically divided Indian states could be defeated one after the other by Turkish invader easily.
  • Lack of strategic consciousness among Indian rulers:
  • The rulers of interiors failed to understand their responsibility towards the defense of North Western Frontier. They were busy on their own petty issues.
  • The Hindu Shahi ruling over Afghan – Pak region left to be burnt due to Turkish invasion and hadn’t received any support from other rulers.
  • Even if the support was provided then it was not in full-fledged manner and only by few of rulers only. The Chauhans & Chandela supported Jaypala against Subuktigin. In c.1008 CE Anand Pala was supported by the rulers of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinga, Ajmer & Delhi against Mahmud of Ghazni but these half hearted effort failed to produce any desired outcome.
  • The inward looking attitude of Indian Rulers also contributed to their defeat at the hands of the Turkish invaders.
  • Hardly any contact was maintained by Indian Rulers with outside world during early medieval age. The feudal values were dominant that discouraged travel too far of areas.
  • As a result of this outlook the Indian ruler could not keep a closed watch on the political and military developments going on in central Asia. They never assumed Ghaznavids or other Turkish Invaders as threat to their sovergnity & when they actually posed threat and attacked on them, and then they found themselves unprepared and helpless against these attacks.
  • The failure of Indian Rulers to learn from the mistakes of past also doomed their fate.
  • After the death of Mahmud of Ghazni, there was period of silence for almost 150 years in North Western part of Indian subcontinent but the Rajputs rulers failed to use this opportunity to strengthen themselves politically & military. These failures to learn from history ensured that they will have to face humiliating defeats at the hands of Turkish invaders.
  • The level of ignorance remained the same even in late 12th century and that became the major reason of defeat of Prithivraj Chauhan and other Rajputs rulers at the hands of Muhammad Ghori and their generals.
  • The internal conflicts between Rajput rulers in India also continued greatly to these humiliating defeats. Among these conflicts the contribution of Tri-Partite struggle was most crucial of all.
  • During the late decades of 8th century the Tri-Partite struggle arosed and continued for next than 150 years. This Tri-partite struggle involved three major dynasties of Indian subcontinent – the Gurjar-Pratihara of Rajasthan, Palas of Bengal & Bihar and Rashtrakuta of Deccan.
  • This struggle exhausted the political and military strength of India and also keeped away there attention away from other activities related of foreign policy and lacked about the status of all acitivties of central Asia and possible threat arosed to Turkish and other invaders. This provides a possible vaccum for Turkish invaders to attack and establish themselves in Nothern India by defeating all small state army separately.


Military Factors

  • Army of Rajputs were used to bulkier and numerically heavy compared to Turkish army. Turkish army was well composed, fast moving and highly-trained where Rajputs armies were based feudal system was or wasn’t being able to provide composed, trained and loyal soliders.
  • The Rajput military was feudal in its composition there was no central standing army.
  • Only a small part of Rajput army was maintained by king under his direct command most of the army was raised & commanded by feudal lords their feudal lords used to bring their forces during wars.
  • This feudal army of Rajput used to face of lack of coordination and proper communication among them as there were different commands for them from their feudal lords and their Rajput leader which results the Rajputs failed to stand against the cohesively organized central standing army of Turks.
  • The feudal forces of Rajput rulers was loyal to their immediate commander, there was no loyalty among the soldiers towards their Rajput king as the result of this the soldiers used to run away from the battle field in case of the death or the fleet of their commander. This was one fundamental weakness.
  • On the others hand most of Turkish soldiers was the slaves of Sultan & they used to fight for their commander till the last breath.
  • The nature of warfare of Rajput was also faulty the Rajput fought defensive battles at a time when great offense was required.
  • The Rajput relied more on Elephant force than Cavalry force. The Elephants served Indian rulers to the remarkable success for more than 1500 years but by the 10th century these elephants were more of liability. The Turks used to terrify the elephants by throwing fireball & making loud noise due to which Indian elephant used to crush their own soliders. The elephant lacked mobility aspect as result of which the Rajput would neither attack their enemy suddenly nor could retreat swiftly on bad day whereas Turks army was composed of fast moving cavalry which easily destroyed the Elephants forces quite easily.
  • The movement of Rajput army units was very bulky due to presence of highly non-competents peoples (in terms of military aspects). Along with Rajput army unit a large number of servants, families of Royals and other Feudal leaders used to move to battle field that results in slow movement of units.
  • The weapon systems of Turk’s were of superior quality to then the Rajput counter parts.
  • The Turk’s used superior Persian bow known as Navak. The Turkish archers could shoot from a longer distance with much greater accuracy.
  • The Turk’s used iron stirrup (foot rest) whereas Rajput were using Rope stirrup, as a result of this the Turkish cavaLry man was far more stable on their horseback & they would target enemy even though the horse is moving.
  • The saddle (Raqqab) of Turk’s was far superior of that Rajput because of which the Turk’s could have better control on the movements of their horse.
  • The Turkish cavalry man used the Iron Horse Shoe (Naal). Though Naal was known to Indians but it was not used by them. Because of Iron horse shoe the Turkish horses could move swiftly even in bad Terrains without injuring their feet this was not possible for Rajput.

Cultural Outlooks/Ideals & Values

  • The Rajput used to follows war-ethics and are of high ethical values. This ethics and morality designed them as weak opponent in front of Turkish Invaders.
  • Moral and Ethics was was more important for Rajput than the outcome of battle they believed in the Idea of Dharmayudha (Ethical Warfare). Whereas Turkish leader’ only concern was their victory at any cost.
  • The Rajput used to warn their enemy before attacking them as a result of this they could not use the weapon of surprise attack.
  • The Rajput used to follow the principles of Dawn to Dust. They never attack their enemy before the sunrise and after the sunset. On the other hand, the Turk’s attacked their enemy when chances of victory were highest.
  • Choosing / retreating enemy was considered below prestige killing. A surrendered enemy was also shame for Rajput as a result of this the enemies of Rajput use to get a second chance but the Turk’s committed no such mistake.
  • Attacking enemy on the back was also considered below prestige.
  • Surrendering in battle field was a matter of great shame in battle as the result of this the Rajput couldn’t use surrender as battle strategy they had to fought all out in one go & got no second opportunity.


Social Factors

  • The fight between Turks & Rajput was not justified to be said between two military forces. In reality, it was a struggle between two socio-cultural systems.
  • The Rajput society was in a degenerated state.
  • It was marred by multiple evil practices which were clearly visible Rajput society.
  • Evil practices like caste system & untouchability were dominant.
  • The Islamic society of Turks was based on the principle of equality.
  • Incrementally social practices were against.
  • The Turkish Sultan could eat food from same plate with most ordinary soldier.


Religious Factors

  • Islam also played an important role in the success of Turk’s against Rajputs.
  • The concept of Jehad was used by Turkish Ruler to motivate their soldiers to fight against much stronger Indian enemies 1000’s of miles away from their Home.
  • The Ghazi spirit also motivated Turkish soldiers to fight against Rajput
  • The Indian Religion failed to provide similar motivation to Indian soldiers.


Economic Factors

  • During early Medieval Age the situation of economic dictionary was prevailed in India while the ruler were having limited resources because of agriculural dominated economic.The Indian Temples were world famous for their wealth.
  • The limited resources with the king didn’t allow them to maintain a large army the richness of temples motivated the Turk’s to invade India repeatedly these economic factors had also blended Indian response to Turkish Invaders.





















The Slave dynasty was the first Muslim dynasty to rule India. Muhammad Ghori did not have a natural heir to the throne and he used to treat his slaves like his own children. So after the death of Ghori, one of able slave Qutubuddin Aibak took the throne. The history of the slave dynasty begins with the rule of Qutub-ud-din Aibak. In fact, three dynasties were established during this period. They were:

  • Qutubi dynasty (c. 1206-1211 CE) founded by Qutubddin Aibak.
  • First Ilbari dynasty (c.1211-1266 CE) founded by
  • Second Ilbari dynasty (c. 1266-1290 CE) founded by


Qutub-ud-din Aibak (c.1206-10 CE)

  • He was the founder of Slave dynasty.
  • He was a Turkish Slave of Muhammad Ghori, who played an important role in exapansion of Turkish Sultanate in India and was made the governor of Ghori.
  • After death of Ghori in c. 1206 CE, Tajuddin Yaldauz, the ruler of Ghazni, claimed his rule over Delhi and Nasiruddin Qabacha, the governor of Multan and Uchch aspired for independence. Along with this all, he also had to face many revolts from Rajputs and other Indian chiefs. The successor of Jaichand, Harishchandra, had driven out the Turks from Badayun and Farukhabad.
  • Aibak was able to win over his enemies by conciliatory measures as well as display of power. He defeated Yaldauz and severed all connections with Ghazni. Aibak also re-conquered both Badayun and Farukhabad and thus founded the Slave dynasty as well as Delhi Sultanate.
  • He took the title of ‘Sultan’ and made Lahore his capital.
  • He did not issue any coins and was formally recognized after three years.
  • Due to his good nature, he earned the title of “Lakh Baksh“, which means giver of thousands.
  • He built the first mosque in India – Quwwat-ul-Islam (Delhi)
  • He also commissioned Arahi din ka jhonpara (Ajmer).
  • He patronized great scholar Hasan Nizami – Taj-ul-Massir and Fakh-ul-din – Tarikh-i-Mubarakshahi.
  • He started construction of Qutub Minar (only 1st floor) in the memory of the famous Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutubddin Bakthiyar Kaki. It was later completed by Iltumish.
  • Aibak died suddenly in c.1210 CE, while playing Chaugan (Horse Polo).


Aramshah (c.1210 CE)


  • He was the son of Qutubddin Aibak, who succedded his father but was an incapable ruler, and a weak and worthless young man. The Turkish amirs opposed him. He ruled mere eight months.
  • The Turkish chiefs of Delhi invited the governor of Badayun, Iltumish (son-in-law of Qutubddin Aibak), to come to Delhi. Iltumish disposed of Aram Shah and became the Sultan with the name of Shamsuddin.

Iltutmish (c. 1210-1236 CE)

  • The real founder refers to rulers who protect an established state from various internal & external challenges, provide a political-administration & economic base of such strength that the existence of this political entity doesn’t face any serious threat in future.
  • When Iltutmish set on throne in c.1210 CE, the newly established Turkish Indian Empire was facing a number of serious challenges to its existence. Rajputana had thrown away the yoke of Turkish rule, revolts & rebellion were rampant & external claimants were emphasizing sovereignty.
  • Sultan Iltutmish responded to challenges in determined manner by adopting multipronged strategy.
  • Iltutmish transformed the loosely patched up Turkish Indian territories into a coherent empire.
  • He shifted his capital from Lahore to Delhi.
  • To provide a solid administrationistrative foundation to Sultanate, he created Turkan-i-chihalgai & reorganized the Iqta system. He was the 1st Sultan of Delhi to define duties & responsibilities of Iqtadar.
  • Iltutamish created Hasham-i-Qalb & Sar-i-Jandar.
  • Hasham-i-Qalb was body of troops comprising cavalry men. It was placed directly under command of Sultan.
  • Sar-i-Jandar institution of royal bodyguard.
  • To strengthen economic foundation of Delhi Sultanate, Iltutamish issued pure Arabic coins.
  • The silver coin issued by him was known as Tanka & Jital was copper.
  • This monetization of economic held in the growth of trade & commerce.
  • Iltutamish reconquered the rebellious territories to ensure that the command of Sultan was effective throughout empire.
  • Jalore, Ranthambhor, Ajmer, Mandor were reconquered by him.
  • The rebellious element was suppressed by him at Banaras, Badayun, and Kannauj & Kateher to strengthen the Sultanate internally.
  • Iltutmish defeated Qabacha of Sindh in c.1217 CE & Yaldauj of Ghurids in c.1215 CE to establish the sovereignty of Delhi. Hereafter no external force claimed right over the throne of Delhi.
  • Iltutmish saved the Delhi Sultanate from Major menace by his diplomacy.
  • He also initiated steps to provide a solid cultural foundation to the Delhi Sultanate.
  • A number of scholars were recognition by him in his court among these scholars Meenaj-ud-din Siraj the author of Tabagat-i-Nasiri was the greatest.
  • His authority was recognized by the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad in c.1229 CE as he received the Mansur, by which he became the legal sovereign ruler of India.
  • The cultural prestige of Delhi was so high that it assume popularity as Hajrat-i-Delhi
  • When Iltutmish died in c.1236 CE there was peace & stability all around. No serious threat haunting the Sultan that is why he knows as real founder of Delhi Sultanate.


Ruknuddin Firuz Shah (c. 1236 CE)

  • Sultan Iltutmish aware of that the debased character of sons, he was convinced that Razia would make a great ruler. But Shamshi Noble placed Ruknuddin Firuz Shah on throne after Iltumish as they wanted to keep powers in their hands.
  • Eldest son of Iltumish who was put on the throne by nobles.
  • He took rides on elephants on Delhi distributing gold and the government was handled by Shah Turkan.
  • When the governor of Multan revolted, Ruknuddin marched to suppress that revolt. Using this opportunity, Razia, with support of amirs of Delhi, seized the throne of the Delhi Sultanate. Both Firuz Shah and Shah Turkan were put to death.


Razia Sultan (c. 1236-1239 CE)

  • In the long history of almost 700 years of Turko-Afghan & Mughal Rulers, Razia was only women to sit on throne of Delhi. She was daughter of Sultan Iltutmish. She was highly educated courageous.
  • She began to adorn herself in male attire and rode out in public on an elephant, went for hunting and led the army. This aroused resentment among the Turkish nobles.
  • Discarded fenale apparel and purdah: She used to participate in court activities like princess in
  • Razia was tolerant broad minded & believed in firmly in principle of impartial justice irrespective status of offender tough punishment given to everybody.
  • Razia’s attempt tp create counter nobility of non-Turkish invitd the wrath of the Turkish amirs. Her decision to appoint an Abyssian slave, Malik Jamaluddin Yaqut, to important office of the Amir-i-akhur (Superintendent of royal horses).
  • Razia had the quality of military commandant. She planned & undertook military campaign to reconquer for Ranthambhor captured by Rajput.


Reasons for downfall of Razia

  • In c.1240 CE, a serious rebellion broke out in Sirhind (Bhatinda) under Altuniya (governor). Razia alongside Yaqut, marched against Altuniya, but on the way Turkish followers of Altuniya murdered Yaqut and imprisoned Razia. In the meantime, the Turkish nobles put Bahram, another son of Iltumish, on the throne. However, Razia won over her captor, Altuniya, and after marrying him, she proceeded to Delhi. But she was defeated and killed on the way by Bahram Shah.
  • The historians attributed different reasons for downfall of Sultana Razia. Generally it’s emphasizing that her gender was biggest problem. The Shamsi Nobel opposed her because gender. But such justification doesn’t represent reality.
  • The rule of Razia by Shamsi Nobel because she refused became puppet of their hand. She wanted to be a ruler both in name & in fact. It was her determination to decide state matter & to guide political & military affairs that discarded the theory of being female on Sultanate throne.


Muiz ud-Din Bahram (Bahram Shah) (c. 1240–42 CE)

  • He was the son of Iltutmish and the half-brother of Razia Sultan. While his sister was in Bathinda, he declared himself Sultan with the support of forty chiefs. His sister tried to regain the throne with the aid of her husband Altuniya, a chief of Bathinda, though they were eventually arrested and executed.
  • Even so, during Muiz ud din Bahram’s two years as king, the chiefs that had originally supported him became disordered and constantly bickered among each other. It was during this period of unrest that he was murdered by his own army in c.1242 CE. After his death, he was succeeded by his nephew Alauddin Masud, a son of his half-brother Ruknuddin Firuz.


Alauddin Masud Shah (c. 1242-46 CE)

  • He was the son of Rukn ud-Din Firuz (1236), grandson of Shah Turkan and the nephew of Raziya al-Din (1236–40). After his predecessor and uncle Muiz ud-Din Bahram was murdered by the army in 1242 after years of disorder, the chiefs chose for him to become the next ruler.
  • However, he was more of a puppet for the chiefs and did not actually have much power or influence in the government. Instead, he became infamous for his fondness for entertainment and wine. Like his predecessor, he was considered “incompetent and worthless.”
  • By 1246, the chiefs became upset with his increasing hunger for more power in the government, and replaced him with his cousin Nasir ud din Mahmud, grandson of Iltutmish through his son Nasiruddin Mahmud.


Nasiruddin Mahmud (c.1246-65 CE)

  • Grandson of Iltumish who was inexperienced and young and had ascened to the throne with the aid of Ulugh Khan/Balban (member of Chahalgani), who himself assumed the position of Naib.
  • To further strengthen his position, he married his daughter to Nasiruddin. The real power during Mahmud reign lay in the hands of Balban.
  • The growing authority of Balban alienated many of the Turkish chiefs and with a conspiracy in c.1250 CE, they ousted Balban from his position and replaced him with Imaduddin Raihan, who was an Indian Muslim, as they could not agree among themselves which Turkish noble should succeed Balban’s post. Balban agreed to step aside but carefully build his own group, and within a short span of one and a half years, won over some of his opponents. In due course of time, Balban was reinstated with even more powers and he even assumed the royal insignia, the chhatr.
  • Mahmud died in c.1265 CE, and according to some historians such Ibn Battuta and Isami, Balban poisoned his master Nasiruddin and ascended the throne.


Balban (c.1266-1286 CE)

  • Sultan Balban was one of the greatest rulers in history of Turko-Afghan rule in India. Undoubtedly one of the main architects of the Delhi Sultanate, particularly of its form of government and institutions.
  • Balban’s experience as the regent made him understand the problems of Delhi Sultanate. He knew that the real threat to the monarchy was from the nobles called the Forty. He got every member of Iltumish’s family killed and gave a deadly blow to
  • Challenges faced by Balban at the time of sitting on throne:
  • The prestige of crown had fallen badly. There was neither respect nor fear of authority of Sultan in heart & mind of masses.
  • After death of Iltutmish a number of weak and incompetent rulers ruled the throne of Delhi. They were unfit for the challenge & cause of this they destroyed prestige of crown.
  • The law & order situation in the area around Delhi and in the Doab region had badly deteriorated. In the Ganga – Yamuna doab and Awadh, the roads were infested with robbers and dacoits. They used to rob and kill Merchants & traders. Mewati had become as bold as to plunder people up to the outskirts of Delhi.
  • Semi Divine Origin Of Kingship
  • Emphasis on semi-divine origin of kingship was most important element of Balban’s theory.
  • He proclaimed Sultan was the recipient of divine grace (Nibyabat-i-Khudai).
  • Balban proclaimed himself as a shadow of God on earth (Zil-i-Ilahi).
  • Through this idea Balban could raise the status of Sultan above Nobel, Ulemas & others.
  • Despotism
  • Balban was the firm believer in principles of despotism; he didn’t allow anybody the question the authority of Sultan.
  • He emphasizes that since Sultan receive authority, Sultan only to God for his action. He didn’t allow Nobel, Military / Ulema / people to question his order.
  • Emphasis Paraphernalia
  • Balban introduced rigorous court discipline and new cutoms such as sijada (prostration) and paibos (kissing the Sultan’s feet).
  • Balban maintained a magnificent court and also introduced the Persian festival of
  • He refused to laugh and joke in the court, and even gave up drinking wine so that no one may see in a non serious mood.
  • A Strict Discipline
  • Reign of Sultan Balban is also famous for strict discipline.
  • He himself followed it & forced others to remain in discipline.
  • Every Nobel was to attain the court in particular uniform. Nobody is allowed to sit in front of Sultan. That discipline was so tight, nobody even dares to smile.
  • Sultan Balban was so discipline himself, even his servant never saw him without proper uniform.
  • Mistorism
  • Balban relied on the strength of military to tackle challenges, facing the crown & the Sultanate.
  • He maintained a large army to take on internal & external threats. Successful military campaigns were organized by Balban to wipeout the rebellious element.
  • The entire mewat put on fire to eliminate robber, their wives & children were enslaved.
  • Tughril Baig was hanged publicly along with family to set on existence of others.
  • Racialism
  • Balban was racist in its outlook. He believed in superity of pure Turkish Blood on the Turks who are given high offices in capital.
  • Indian Muslims not given important posts in government. He appointed spies to monitor the activites of the nobles.
  • The non-Turk like Khalji were posted away from capital.
  • Emphasis on Impartial justice
  • Generally deputation result in misuse of authority & exploitation of masses but Sultan Balban used his despotic authority to deliver impartial justice to every without fear & favour.
  • Malik Baqbaq, the governor of Badaun, was publicly flogged for his cruelty towards his servants.
  • Blood and Iron
  • Blood refers to violence & Iron refers to strength. The political opponents shall be suppressed by ruthlessly. Balban symbolized this policy he used every possible method to suppress opponents
  • Many of the senior members were either poisoned to death or dismissed on insignificance ground.
  • Institution of Administration
  • Balban was aware of significance of institution he knew that despotic, centralize system maintain effecting without sound institution.
  • Balban establish a separate department of military (Diwan-i-Arz) recruiting, training & look after logistic needs.
  • He separated the Diwan-i-unzarat (Finance Department) from the Diwan-i-Arz (Military Department).
  • Emphasis on high origin of his family
  • To raise the status of his family in the eyes of other Balban proclaimed himself as descendant of Afrasiab the mythical Persian hero.
  • He gave the name of Persian legends to his grandsons “Kaiqubad” & “Kaimurs”.
  • Balban spared only the most obedient nobles and eliminated all others by fair or foul means. Haybat Khan, the governor of Oudh, was punished for killing man who was drunk. Sher Khan, the governor of Bhatinda, was poisoned.
  • When Balban became the Sultan, his position was not secure. Many Turkish chiefs were hostile to him; the Mongols were looking forward for an opportunity to attack the Sultanate; the governors of the distant provinces were trying to become independent rulers while Indian rulers were also ready to revolt at the smallest opportunity. Many parts of Sultanate declared Independent. Tughril Beg (Governor of Bengal) had declared his Independence.
  • In c.1279 CE, encourages by the Mongol threats and the old age of Sultan, the governor of Bengal, Tughril Beg, revolted, assumed the title of Sultan and had the khutba read in his name. Balban sent his forces to Bengal and had Tughril beheaded. Subquently he appointed his own son Bughra Khan as the governor of Bengal. By all these harsh methods, Balban controlled the situation. He called himself Nasir amir-ul-momin (Caliph’s right hand man) and instructed the ulemas to confine themselves to religious affairs and not to interfere in political activities.
  • He strengthened frontiers against the Mongols but even he could not fully defend northern India against the attacks of the Mongols. Moreover, by excluding the non-Turkish from positions of power and authority and by trusting only a very narrow racial group, he made many people dissatisfied.
  • Patron of men of letters and showered special favours on Amir Khusrau.
  • However, in the north-west, the Mongols reappeared and Balban sent his son, Prince Mahmud, against them. But the prince (Khan-i-Shahid) was killed in the battle and his death was a smashing blow to Balban. He died in c.1287 CE.



  • Sultan Balban was highly successful in immediate scene. He could wipeout all internal & external challenge successfully.
  • The idea of divine origin of kingship enabled Balban to justify access to throne.
  • The divine origin of king monarchical despotism & policy of impartial justice raise the power & prestige of crown.
  • The Balban suppressed the all threats such as robber & rebels by using his policy British & Indian & resorting to militarism.
  • Sultan Balban used his last army to counter Mongol threat.
  • He built number of new fort & repaired old forts.
  • The ability commanders appointed in frontier area at powerful Mongol (Halaku) were bribed by him to keep them away from Indian frontier.


  • Excesssive violence is one of major limitation of Balban’s reign. He kept the critics silent either by killing them or imprisoning them. This policy generated serious negative reaction when Balban was no more. Balban’s political system was over centralized. Everything revolved around his personality. He left behind big vacuum that ordinary successors were never capable of filling it.
  • Balban’s racial approach was another important limitation. This policy of racial discrimination adversely affected the social base Delhi Sultanate. This narrow social base resulted in serious instability immediate after death of Balban.
  • In spite of all possible efforts, Balban couldn’t ensure continuity of dynasty three years after death dynasty collapse.
  • Mongol policy was essential defensive. As result Delhi Sultanate could be saved from Mongol temporally.
  • The threats of Mongol invasion arosed again immediately after death of Balban & by closing years of 13th century the Mongol had gain certain confindence. That they had starting reaching Delhi.

Kaiqubad (c. 1287-90 CE)

  • He was the son of Bughra Khan the Independent sultan of Bengal, as well as grandson of Ghiyas ud din Balban.
  • He was quite inefficient ruler and mostly indulged in luxury leaving the kingdom vunerable to attacks.
  • He appointed Jalal ud Din Firuz Khalji as a new commander of the army. But he took advantage of weak administration and marched his army to Delhi.




The institution of Turkani-i-Chihalgai was created by Sultan Iltutmish by appointing his most trustworthy & mentorious slave officers to look after the civil & military responsibilities.When Iltutamish set on throne, the Turkish Indian Empire was passing through serious crisis. The institutional characteristic was missing as a result of which there was instability everywhere. To counter this crisis, Iltutamish created Turkani-i-Chihalgai.

This institution also mentioned as Group of Forty/Chalisa but the term Chalisa is ordered to be just symbolic because contemporary sources provides only 16 members name of this group. The members of Turkani-i-Chihalgai were appointed in various military & civil capacities.

This institution funded with remarkable success during the reign of Sultan Iltutamish. The members of this group served the state with great loyalty & commitment but after death of Iltutamish, the Chalisha assumed the role of kingmakers. They started support weak contenders of throne so power could remain in their hand.

Ø  Ruku-ud-din-Firoz Shah was placed on throne by Turkani-i-Chihalgai. When he was over throne by Raiza, the members of Turkani-i-Chahilgai were hesitant in accepting her role initially but when they realized that the power could remain in their hand they support Razia (1236-40).

Ø  When Razia started behaving like ruler both in name & in fact. The Turkani-i-Chihalgai started apposing her questions were raised about character of Raiza & her Gender was taken as excuse to raise the banner of revolt “Malik-Aitzin” a member of group of forty was a leader Razia was defeated in a battle near Kaithal imprison & killed. Behram Shah (40-42) was raised to throne by Turkani-i-Chihalgai & after his death Alauddhin Masood Shah (40-46) was placed on throne.

After death of Masood Shah, Kishlu Khan a member of group of 40 declared himself as Sultan but he was put aside by Nasiruddin Meh (46-66). During his reign, Balban emerged real power behind the throne member of group of 40 and he was appointed as Nayab. After death of Nassar Meh Balban captured power & declared as Sultan.

Ø  Being a member of Turkani-i-Chihalgai, Balban knew about ambition & indiscipline of behavior of the Shamsi Nobel. He destroyed the institution Turkani-i-Chihalgai by dismissing some them on ground of old age, inefficiency some other poisoned to death. During period of Balban this institution seized to existence












Jalal-ud-din Khalji (Firuz) (c.1290-1296 CE)

  • He was the founder and first Sultan of the Khalji dynasty.
  • Jalal-ud-din was around 70 years old, when he came to power and ruled only for a short span of six years. He was known as a mild-mannered, humble and kind monarch to the general public.
  • During the first year of his reign, he ruled from Kilokhri to avoid confrontations with the Old Turkic nobles of the imperial capital Delhi. Several nobles considered him as a weak ruler, and unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow him at different times.
  • He meted out lenient punishments to the rebels, except in case of a dervish Sidi Maula, who was executed for allegedly conspiring to dethrone him.
  • Jalal-ud-din avoided making any radical changes to the administrationistrative set-up, and retained the Old Turkic nobles in the offices that they held during Balban’s reign. For example, Fakhruddin was retained as the kotwal of Delhi; Khwaja Khatir was retained as the wazir, and Balban’s nephew Malik Chajju was retained as the governor of Kara-Manikpur.
  • He repelled the attack of Mongols under Abdullah and the Mongols who settled near Delhi were called the ‘New Musalmans’.
  • He was generous and also the first sultan of Delhi Sultanate to have a benevolent attitude towards Hindus.
  • He avoided harsh punishments, even to those who revolted against him.
  • Jalaluddin tried to win the goodwill of the nobility but adopting policy of tolerance.
  • He married his daughter to Ulugh Khan, a descendant to Chengiz Khan (to win the Mongols’ goodwill).
  • During his regin in c.1294 CE, Devagiri was invaded by Alauddin Khalji (Ali Gurshap) during the reception there in July c.1296 CE, Alauddin Khalji treacherously murdered his father-in-law Jalaluddin Khalji near Kara and usurped the throne of Delhi.


Alauddin Khalji (c. 1296–1316 CE)







Alauddin Khaljī


  • Born as Ali Gurshasp, Alauddin was a nephew and a son-in-law of his predecessor Jalaluddin. When Jalaluddin became the Sultan of Delhi after deposing the Mamluks, Alauddin was given the position of Amir-i-Tuzuk (Master of ceremonies). He was also appointed Arizi-i-Mumalik (Minister of War).
  • Alauddin obtained the governorship of Kara in c.1291 CE after suppressing a revolt against Jalaluddin, and the governorship of Awadh in c.1296 CE after a profitable raid on Bhilsa.
  • In c.1296 CE, Alauddin raided Devagiri, and acquired loot to stage a successful revolt against Jalaluddin. After killing Jalaluddin, he consolidated his power in Delhi, and subjugated Jalaluddin’s sons in Multan.
  • The Khalji’s were people of low origin though they were originally Turks but they were ordered they were Afghan cause for many generation Khalji living in Afghan.
  • Such rise of common born people on throne of Delhi was nothing less than revolution.
  • Their rise shattered principle of aristocracy.
  • The Khalji believed the principle of equality the idea of racism emphasized by Balban was shattered by them.
  • Khalji didn’t discriminate among the Muslim on the basis their racial background.
  • The principles of divine origin of monarchy were also abounded by Khalji ruler.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji emphasize on principle of strength. He proclaimed that there is nothing like legitimate of illegitimate kingship. Anybody can sit on throne on basis of his strength & everybody must follow orders of Sultan because crown provides its own justification.
  • Emphasis on separation of religion from political was another new element of political philosophy of Khalji.
  • Alauddin Khalji asked Ulemas to remain away from political-administration matter as political decision making was the prerogative (duty) of Sultan.
  • This emphasis on separation of religion from politics wasn’t indication of secular character in polity, in reality it was reflection of Khalji despotism.
  • Monarchical deposition carries of new height by rise of Khalji.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji didn’t allow the Ulema, Nobel or the common citizens to challenge the authority of Sultan.
  • His administrationistrative reforms, revenue reforms & market reforms were the expression of his despotism.
  • The Khalji transformation a north Indian principles into Pan India Empire. They followed the policy of expansionism. During the reign of Balban focus on consolidation of Sultanate.
  • The rise of Khalji resulted in number of innovation & reforms.
  • In two decades long reign Sultan Alauddin Khalji initiates reforms in civil Administration revenue Administration, military system as well as fun of market forces. He reforming hands didn’t leave any sphere of state activity untouched.
  • Because these larger scale fundamental changes, historian Mohammad Habib coined term Khalji Revolution / Urban Revolution symbolize the significance of rise of Khalji.
  • The term important refers to an ideology emphasize power & prestige of crown internal as well as external.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji was great imperialist he firmed believe that Sultan has the responsibility to carryout territorial expansion of state. The expansion of territorial boundaries ordered as symbol of life of his state.
  • Important manifest itself as domestic as well as external fronts.
  • Internally the administrationistrative reforms military reforms the revenue market reform symbolized Khalji imperialist.
  • External it manifest itself inform of expansion carried out through military campaigns.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji followed the policy of conquest enciaction in North India.
  • The North India was buried by him & territories were merged by Delhi Sultanate.
  • He conquered West Gujarat in c.1299 CE, Ranthambor in c.1301 CE, Malwa in c.1303 CE, Mewar in c.1305 CE & Jalore in c.1308 CE.
  • 1st Sultan of Delhi to cross Vindhyas. He understood a series of well-planned military campaign to subject peninsular India.
  • His Deccan policy was guided by the principles of Indirect Rule the peninsular were defeated & subject to authority of Delhi. These defeated rulers were stored to their position once they agreed to send regular revenue.
  • Lust of Gold & hunger for glory guided Alauddin Khalji Deccan policy. He was aware of wealth of South India state & main object to fill his by appropriating this wealth.
  • The peninsular state Devagiri (c.1295 CE, c.1306 CE, c.1313 CE), Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) (c.1308 CE), Dwarsamudra (Karnataka c.1309 CE), Madurai (Tamil Nadu Pandy c.1310 CE) were subject by Alauddin Khalji with the help of military campaign organized under the command of Malik Kafur.
  • Khalji was not satisfied only by conquest of India. He dreamed world conquest this idea was discussed with his friend Alauddin Khalji (the Kotwal of Delhi).
  • The title of Sikandar-i-Sani (2nd Alexander) found on his coin indicate same.
  • This plan of world conquest couldn’t be implemented because Alauddin Khalji realizes the practicality of this idea.


Significance of Khalji’s Imperialistic views

  • The successes of military campaign raise power & prestige of Sultan Khalji.
  • Resulted in political unification of India after a long time or long gap of more than 800 years Pan India Empire emerged.
  • The success of his Deccan brought him immense wealth.
  • The large army maintain by Khalji was used to busy all the time. The military commander didn’t find any opportunity to created trouble for Sultan.
  • The success of Khalji imperialistic is strengthening external defense as well. He would successfully counter Mongol threat.
  • Khalji imperialistic also contributed to cultural integration of India. The Islamic culture gained foot hoods peninsular India, Kafur built most in Rameshwaram in the humour of Khalji.
  • The Khalji imperialistic proceeded the way for Tughlaq imperialistic Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq followed the direct rule over peninsular India.


Administrationistrative Reforms of Alauddin Khalji

  • Represented an important component of his domestic policy these were Alauddin Khalji response to challenge of recurs revolts & rebellious against authority of Sultan.
  • After sitting on thrown in c.1296 CE Alauddin Khalji came in dept thought to reasons behind recurring revolts & rebellions against authority of Sultan resulted in four conclusions.
  • Presences of excess wealth make people rebellious because they have free time to think strengths & weakness of Sultan.
  • The failures of Sultan to keep a close watch on the activities taking place allow the rebellious elements to gain strength & authority of Sultan.
  • The practices of using wine were also found to be an important cause because under the influence of wine people forget their real status & start coming under illusion that the authority could be challenged.
  • Matrimonial alliances among Nobel: It was found to be another important cause of recurring revolts against Sultan cause through matrimonial alliances, Nobel gains strength to challenge authority of Sultan.
  • To counter these causative factors, Sultan Alauddin Khalji issued ordinances famously known as his administrationistrative reforms.
  • Through the 1st ordinance Alauddin Khalji took away free grants by various people in form of Inam (Grant for meritorious service), Milk (grant to man of religion), Idrar (Grant to poor person), Waqf (Grant to a religious institution – example Mosque).
  • Alauddin Khalji revenue reforms were also directed by taking away wealth of intermediaries & peasants.
  • Through his 2nd ordinance Sultan Alauddin Khalji strengthen the spy system.
  • Efficient spies were appointed throughout Sultanate. They were instructed to inform Sultanate about any significant activities taking in areas. In the case of failure spy were punished severely.
  • 3rd ordinance was issued to impose prohibit to set on example Sultan Alauddin Khalji himself gave up habit of drinking. According to Barani, the wine ports were brought to gate palace & broken publicity.
  • This ordinance could not be implemented efficient because people strongly stilling privately in home & ill effects of drinking continued. Over & above state suffering through loss of revenue because of this, the ordinance was modifying by Khalji & provision was imposed only on public drinking & drinking in groups.
  • Through his 4th ordinance Sultan Alauddin Khalji prohibited inter-marriage in Nobel without his prior permission. They social gathering were also prohibited. The gambling practices being used by Nobel for entertainment were also declared illegal.


  • Significance of administration reforms
  • The administration of reforms were highly successful in achieving intended object because during his long reign (2nd decade Sultanate remain free from challenges of revolt).
  • Except imposing of prohibition other reform get success.
  • The peace & stability prevailed in Sultan in his reign as a result of which the economy grows rapidly.


Military Reforms

  • Khalji was a despotic ruler & the success of his despotism was depended on military strength
  • He requires a strong & efficient army to counter Mongol threat & to implement imperialistic designs.
  • Alauddin Khalji raised large central standing army.
  • Most of army was maintained in capital under direct command of Sultan.
  • Alauddin Khalji abounded practice of paying soldier land he pays every soldier in cash.
  • Salary of cavalry person was 234 Tanka for annum. In this soldier was to maintain horse. If soldier maintain additional horse he gave 78% Tanka extra.
  • Salary foot soldier 78 Tanka Annum.
  • To ensure that the soldier & horses were good equality Sultan Alauddin Khalji introduced the practices of Dag (granting horse) Huliya (maintain facial roll). This was a more to check use of proxies during wars & battles.
  • The Iqtadars were ordered to bring their soldiers to capital for inspection regularly.
  • The soldiers given weapons & horses by state to ensure fighting capacity of highest order.


Revenue Reforms

  • The revenue reform of Khalji represented his most important step in direction of internal re-organization.
  • Alauddin Khalji was 1st Sultan of Delhi to initiate the revenue reform. The previous Sultan had continued to followed old practices.


Why Khalji did introduce revenue reform?

  • The revenue reforms were directed by the internal & external needs of empire.
  • Through this revenue reforms Alauddin wanted to take away excess wealth ling with people so that possibility of revolt & rebellious could be eliminated.
  • Alauddin required a large army to counter Mongol threats & implement his imperialistic design for maintenance of his large army huge amount of resources require.
  • Alauddin wanted to fill his treasury by collecting maximum possible amount from wealth from people. He was aware of fact that the real strength was dependent of availability of resources.


Where were revenue reform implemented?

  • Sultan Alauddin implemented reform in Doab region 1st cause-
  • The peasant & intermediary were most powerful here.
  • This area located close to capital & he could personally supervise the implemented of reforms.


Details of Revenue Reforms-

  • The practice of assessing Land Revenue through method of crop sharing was abounded. He introduced a new system Mashat in which the revenue was assits through survey & measurement of land.
  • The rate of Land Revenue was increased to 250% of produce.
  • The peasants were giving freedom to pay revenue in either cash/coins from Doab region 50% of lr as demanded in kind so supply of food grain ensured in market.
  • The intermediaries were ordered to pay Land Revenue at normal rate practice they were free from the burden of revenue.
  • The local accesses such as Haqq-i-Khuti & Kismat-i-Khuti collected by village headmen/intermediary (King and Muqaddam) were abolished.
  • Alauddin Khalji imposed new taxes Grahi (house tax) & Chari (grazing tax) on the people.
  • The rate of Khums (share of state in war booty) was increased to 4/5.
  • Traditionally only 1/5th of war booty was retained by state as Khums & 4/5 was distributed among the soldiers.
  • Alauddin Khalji set up a new department known as Diwan-i-Mustakhraj to collect dues (arrears) of lying of Iqtadar.
  • To eliminate the evil of corruption prevailing in revenue department Sultan Alauddin Khalji appointed senior honest officials.
  • He raised the salary of revenue officials. He used to check papers of Patvari (record) himself.
  • Corrupt practices were strongly punished.
  • According to Barani, the fear of punishment was so high that no father used marries his daughter to revenue officials.


Significance/Impact of Revenue Reforms

  • The revenue reform of Alauddin were highly successful as he could take away the excess wealth ling with people – eliminate the possibility of revolts & rebellious.
  • The treasury of state remained filled upto brill. No economic difficulty of any kind was faced by state in reign of Alauddin.
  • The success of his revenue reform carries Khalji’s despotism to new heights because he could impose his will effectively on soldiers as well as civilian.
  • The Nobel intermediaries & peasant goes impoverish due to his revenue reform.
  • The “Diwan-i-Mustakhraj” brought immense pressure on Nobel.
  • According to Barani, the intermediaries impoverish such extent they could not ride horse they could not chew battle leaf & wives work in other Muslim house.
  • The revenue policy of Alauddin was lacking any pro-peasant (former) element because of this agriculture suffered immensely. The peasants lost interest & motivation in the long run this effected economic health of state.
  • The revenue reform eliminates evil of corruption from revenue department as a result of this the administration becomes much more effective.


Market Revolution/Price Control Measures

  • Alauddin was 1st Sultan of Delhi to initiate number of economic reforms & among these reforms his market regulations were most important for 1st time in history of India such an effort was made by any ruler.
  • Under this regulation the prices & the weight system were fixed by state steps were taken to ensure to availability of goods in these control markets.


Aims & Objectives behind Market Reforms

  • The historians both contemporary & modern have put forward different opinion about the object behind Alauddin market reforms.
  • According to Barani, Alauddin market refers were guided by his military needs. This view was expressed in his book “Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi”.
  • Amir Khusaro in his book “Khazain-Ul-Futuh” wrote that market reference plant trophic in nature because Alauddin wanted to ensure welfare of people similar.
  • View expressed by Hamid-al-din in “Khair-ul-Majalis”.
  • Barani in his another book “Fatwa-i-Jahandari” wrote that a powerful Sultan should initiate market research for benefit of people.
  • Modern historian also differs in their understanding of the object behind market reference.
  • According to Dr. K.S. Lal, Alauddin wanted to maintain a large army at low cost through his market reforms.
  • According to Dr. Md. Habib market reference guided by plant trophic object because market was common to all & goods were sold for common use.
  • Irfan Habib, Alauddin wanted to keep cost of his military campaign low through market reference.
  • Alauddin was despotic ruler, welfare outlook missing in his policies. He needed a large army to counter Mongol & carry out territorial expansion.
  • Alauddin paid very little salary to his soldiers. In this salary soldiers could survive only if the items of common use were available in low cost in market.
  • The main target of Alauddin Khalji was to meet his military needs through market regulation but at the same time it is also clear that civilian living in capital were also benefited.


Mechanism of Market Reforms

  • Alauddin created new department known as “Diwan-i-Riyasat” for implementation of his market reference.
  • The Sultanate divided into two parts known as control zone & free zone.
  • The market reforms were implemented in Control Zone.
  • This was located in & around the capital.
  • Sultan could personally ever see the implementation of zone.
  • The real army was used to stay in this zone for most part of year.
  • Most of military campaign was organized in Control Zone.
  • This zone comprised from Lahore to Allahabad along with some part of Rajputana.
  • New markets were established for sale of different market commodities.
  • Mandi was market for food grain.
  • Sarai-i-Adl was market for Sugar & Cloth
  • 3rd market trading living things.
  • Each market established by Sultan was placed under policy officer “Shahna-i-Mandi”.
  • He was responsible for day to day functioning of market.
  • Traders were issued licenses by state to set up shops in these controlled market.
  • Traders had to be give undertaking that all regulations of the state shall be followed.
  • The prices of each & every item sold in market were fixed by Sultan himself as informed by Amir Khusro.
  • Weights & measures were followed in the market.
  • Traders were punished severely for charging extra or selling underweight. Equal amount of flesh will be cut from the body of traders found to be selling underweight item. According to Barani, the fear of punishment is so high; the traders used to sell more than require weight.
  • Steps were taken to ensure supply of commodities to market.
  • To ensure supply of food grains buffer stocks were maintained. The peasants in Doabs region were asked to pay 50% of lr in time.
  • To ensure regular supply of other domestic goods, Alauddin used his despotic authority.
  • To ensure supply of imported commodities from the importer, giving subsidy by state.
  • Alauddin appointed special class of spies (Munchiyan) to keep watch on functioning of markets.


Political-Administration Impact

  • The Turk’s brought new political ideas & institution with them as a result of which transformative changes were witnessed in Indian political system.
  • The age of political fragmentation had come to an end for the 1st time in many centuries, a central authority immersed in North India.
  • The military achievements of Turkish rulers carried out political unification of India, in the beginning it was limited to Northern parts but gradually peninsular India was also brought under Delhi control.
  • The Turks brought a folio system of administration; specific departments were maintained by them to handle specific administration responsibilities.
  • Diwan-i-Wazir – department of Prime Minister & finance minister
  • Diwan-i-Arz – military department
  • Diwan-i-Insha – department of royal correspondence
  • Diwan-i-Risalat – department of foreign affairs

These were the four central pillars of the political system established by Turkish rulers.

  • The Turk’s also brought a new approach of handling administration responsibilities from Urban Centers. They did not interfere directly in Indian Rural life at local level. The existing institution practices were allowed to continue.
  • The age of secular polity came to an end with an establishment of Turkish Rule. Islamic state system was followed by the Turks.
  • Iqta system was another noble element introduced by Turk in India. It was originally an Arabic practice. The Turks adopted it from Arabs & brought it to India.
  • Under this system the nobles/military commanders were given the responsibility to administrationister a part of territory known as Iqta. The holder of Iqta was known as Iqtadar.
  • Imperialistic outlook remerged in North India as a result of establishment of Turk’s. The Sultan’s organized regular military campaign to carry out territorial expansion.


Military Impact

  • The nature & character of Indian military transformed fundamentally as a result of the establishment of the Turkish rule.
  • The Turk’s maintained a central standing army directly commanded by Sultan; the age of feudal levies came to an end.
  • The elephant force was no longer the main stay of army, the Turk’s relied more on cavalry to ensure swiftness.
  • The Turk’s introduced new weapon systems (Naal etc).
  • New battle strategies were also brought by Turk’s in India.
  • Traditionally Indian rulers used strategy of frontal attack with full military strength but the Turk’s used to follow strategy by surrounding enemy from all sides. They used to maintain a part of army as reserve to attack enemy in the last part of day when their forces got too tired. This fatal blow on enemy used to play an important role in a decisive victory of Turk’s.
  • The regular inspection systems were also introduced by Turk’s.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji introduced the practices of Dagh & Huliya so that the use of proxies during inspection is eliminated.


Social-cultural effect

  • The Turk’s brought a new socio-cultural outlook along with them, it was elegatirian liberal. The evils like caste system & untouchability were absent.
  • This positive Turkish culture left a deep impact on India; the elegatirian outlook of Islam inspired the Bhakti Saints to condemn the discriminatory Indian practices, as a result, the force began to be made for social equality & significant reforms were witnessed in India during 13th – 16th
  • On negative side, the establishment of Turkish rule & the arrival of Islamic culture posed a serious threat to the very existence of Indian social and cultural life as a result of this the degree of rigidity in society increased enormously.
  • The fear factor associated with the establishment of Turkish rule intensified the evils like child marriage, veiling (parda), Sati, Johar.
  • The arrival of Islamic culture posed a threat to Indian socio-culture life in one way. Since Islamic society was free from the evil of untouchability & rigidity of caste system, it attracted the lower Indian castes in large number.
  • This conversion of Indian into Islam also posed another major challenge to Indian Society.
  • The social and religious reforms propagated by the Bhakti Saints tried to address this problem as well.
  • Islam emerged as a dominant force in India as a result of establishment of Turkish Rule since it was a religion of Ruling class that attracted a considerable section of Indian population towards it.
  • New festivals, dress pattern & food habits also entered India along with Turk’s.
  • The Turk’s brought Persian language & literature with them; historiography got a boost, because the Turkish ruler patronized history writers in their court.
  • Assimilation of Persian & Hindi language resulted in the origin of Urdu.
  • The language emerged in military centers initially & there after it was adopted by the intellectuals as well.
  • Sufi Saints also entered India along with Turkish invaders.
  • Chishti was the 1st to come to India from Persia, Sheikh Muin-Ud-din Chishti was 1st Sufi Saint to put his feet on Indian soil, and he came along with Muhammad Ghori.
  • New forms & features of architecture were also brought by Turk’s. This Islamic architecture was considerably different when compared with traditional Indian architecture.
  • The arrival of Islamic culture along with Turkish commenced a process of social & cultural assimilation.
  • Both Indian & Islamic cultures adopted element from each other this process of assimilation in the emergence of a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture.


Economic Impact

  • The establishment of Turkish rule produced most significant changes in economic sphere. The arrival of Turk’s gave boost to Indian economic & a new phase of an economic prosperity came in.
  • Turk’s brought a new economic outlook; it was favorable to secondary & tertiary activities.
  • The artisans & craftsmen were got high status both under state as well as in society were patronized by Turkish ruler in large number as a result of this positive outlook, the economic got a boost.
  • The Turk’s brought a number of new technologies with them.
  • New technology of paper manufacturing were brought by Turk’s paper was manufacturing in Western India earlier as well but the quantum of production was very low. New technology increased paper production to such an extent that the paper became an item of common use. It was easily accessible that even sweet sellers of Delhi used paper packets in 13th
  • The technology of book binding was also brought by Turk’s & it emerged as a new craft.
  • A number of technology related to textile were also brought by Turk as a result of which textile witnessed most remarkable progress.
    • The Turk’s brought superior Persian cotton carder known as
    • Pit-loom also brought earlier Horizontal loom was used in India in which the weaver could employ only his hands.
    • New technique of dying the cloths was also brought by Turk’s as a result of which multicolor cloths could be manufacturing.
  • Gun powder was also brought to India by Turk’s during Sultanate period. Gun powder used only for pyro technique Sultan Firoz-Shah Tughlaq used to organized public exhibition of pyro technique.
  • Irrigation facilities also received a big boost as a result of the establishment of Turkish rule. The Turk’s brought Persian wheel known as Sakiya it enable the fixing of buckets to a wheel & continuous water could be taken out the well.
    • Later on gear mechanism was invented & when it was attached to Sakiya, Rahet came into existence. This Rahet allowed the conversion of circular motion of animal’s vertical motion of wheel.
    • The progress in irrigation facilities helped in the growth of agriculture.
  • Technique of Tin plating (metal plating) was also brought by Turk’s; it was used to put layer of tin or silver on to the metals to prevent food poisoning.
  • Magnetic compass known as Qutub Numa was also brought by Turk’s. Its knowledge greatly facilitated the overseas trade.
  • The military technique brought by Turk’s also contributed to the emergence of new crafts such as the manufacturing of Iron horse shoe, superior Persian Bow & Iron Strip.
  • A number of technique of civil engineering also brought by Turk’s in the form of the construction of Domes & Arches.
  • The technique of using line motor was also brought by Turk’s.
  • Monetization of economic also got a boost as a result of the establishment of Turkish rule.
  • Sultans like Iltutmish, Mohammad Bin Tughlaq issued large number of coins.
  • The monetization of economic resulted in the growth of exchange networks the trade & commercial transaction became easier.
  • The Turkish Sultan used to maintain state factories (Karkhana), best of the craftsmen were employed here on which to meet state need at low cost.
  • These Karkhana’s worked as centers of excellence & invention. They used to develop new design as well as new manufacturing technique. These new elements were handed over to the ordinary craftsmen by a state agency.
  • The unity & integrity established by Turk’s as well as their uniform administration also helped in the growth of Trade & Commerce.
  • The remarkable progress in economic during 13th century resulted in the emergence of a number of centers of arts & crafts & centers of Trade & Commerce. This process resulted in an urban revolution in North India & for the 3rd time India witnessed Urbanization.
  • This process of Urbanization was also supported by the approach of Turk’s ruler since they followed the practice of running the affairs of state from towns & cities a number of military & administration towns also emerged in India in 13th


Nature & character of Politic & administration of Delhi Sultanate

  • The establishment of Delhi Sultanate marked the beginning of new phase of politics of India as the nature & character of Turko-Afghan polity was significantly different from traditional Indian political system.
  • Reference found in contemporary sources help in understanding the fundamental features & character of the political system by Sultan of Delhi.
  • The closure examine of essential elements of Delhi Sultanate reveals that its political administrationistrative system was marked by elements of change & continuity.


Elements of change in character of Delhi Sultanate

  • During its initial phase, the Turkish Indian Empire led independent, sovereignty political status because Indian territories ruled by Turk were part of Central Asia Ghurid Empire.
  • Under Qutubuddin Aibak, the Turkish Indian territories assumed the character of Independent state but sovereignty still doubtful because Tajuddin Valdog of Ghurid & Nassir-ud-din-Qubacha of Sindh was claiming their sovereignty over Delhi.
  • Under Iltutamish, the Delhi Sultanate emerged in real form. It gained the character of Independent sovereignty state.
  • Balban transformed the Sultanate into highly centralized state system.
  • He maintained firm control over whole of territory.
  • The Iqtadar were regularly transferred by Iqta to another.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji transformed Sultanate into a Pan India Empire. He was 1st Turkish ruler to cross Vindhyas. His commander Malik Kafur led series military campaign & got control of entire India.
  • Mohammad Bin Tughlaq established direct rule over peninsular India, as a result, territorial expansion of Delhi Sultanate raised to its Zenith.
  • Under Firoz Shah Tughlaq the Sultanate assumed character of decentralized state because he made Iqta system handedly.
  • After death of Iqtadar his son / son-in-law / slave was allowed to succeed.
  • Under Lodhi’s, the Sultanate transformed into confederacy because Lodhi followed Afghan theories Kingship in which Sultan was the 1st amongst equal.
  • The Iqtadar allowed retaining full revenue coming from Iqta.


Elements of continuity

  • The Sultanate was monarchically a state because the position of Sultan of Delhi was very much similar to kings of Ancient Age.
  • The institution of monarchically was not very well developed because there was no laws of succession. On most of occasions the issue of succession was decided in battle field.
  • Sultanates were also based on ideal royal despotism. It was an existence of absolute estate system because in theory as well as practical the Sultanate was whole powerful; his order was the law of the lent.
  • The political system of Delhi was centralized in character of most of the period. Throughout the history of Turko-Afghan rule in India, the Sultan remained the center of power for entire territory.
  • Portfolio system was important feature of Delhi Sultanate.
  • Iqta system was another important element in political administration mechanization of Delhi Sultanate.
  • Sultanate was existence of police state because the Sultan of Delhi focused only on collection of revenue & maintenance of order. They didn’t bother about welfare & progress about people.
  • Sultanate was a military state from beginning state.
  • A military state refers to such state system no differentiation practices between civil. The military officers are appointed in civil capacity as well.
  • The 2nd element of military state is the fact that the existence of the state excision system depends on maintenance in military in municipality; till the time army remain whole powerful such state continue to excision & when army loses his sheen (power) the states comes to end.
  • Elements of cultural state were also present in character of Delhi Sultanate because the Sultan of Delhi was not only military conquer & efficient but at same time they great patron of art & culture.
  • Art form of music, literature & architecture witness remarkable progress under Delhi Sultanate.
  • A strong imperialistic outlook was visible. The Sultans of Delhi organized the regular military campaign to carry out territorial expansion.
  • Sultanate was an Islamic state in formal state because Islam was the religion of the state. The Ulema enjoyed high states but it wasn’t a theocracy as some times portraits.


Sultanate as a Theocracy

  • Theocracy refers to state system in which the head of religion is also head of state. The political & religious powers were exercised by single person institution.
  • The character of Delhi Sultanate has variously interpreted by different sections of historians some scholars try to portrait Sultanate as Theocratic state but the reality was quite different.
  • In Theocracy the king was guided because the king had to follow the religious law as interpreted by the precisely class. The king couldn’t exercise his judgment independently.
  • A theocracy state exists for religion because the political authority is dedicated to religious cause dispread of religion is most fundamental duty of king.
  • The religious class enjoyed political status. The status of king was below them.
  • The followers of religion of state were ordered to be the citizen; other faiths were not recognized in Theocracy.


Arguments for Theocratic character of Delhi Sultanate

  • The supporter of theocratic character of Delhi Sultanate emphasised that the Caliph was the real head of state as the Sultan used to recognize his supremacy.
  • The Sultan of Delhi sought investiture (letter of recognition) from Caliph & claimed themselves as deputy of caliph.
  • The name of Caliph was inscribed on coins.
  • Khutba (special Friday prayer) was read in name of Caliph.
  • The holy robe sent by Caliph was put on Sultan while sitting on throne.
  • The supporter of theocratic character also emphasised on Islam was dominant religion propagated by Sultan by using authority of state. Temples were broken.

·         Jaziya was imposed & even power of sword is used to carry out conversions.

  • It’s also emphasis that Ulemas enjoyed the great political influence in Delhi Sultanate the Sultan followed advice.
  • The supporter of Theocracy also emphasis on Islamic Law “Shariat” was a law in Delhi Sultanate.
  • Only Muslims were recognized as true citizens. They were termed as privileged class (Millat). The Hindus were termed as “Zimmis” (protected people).


Critical examination of character of Delhi Sultanate

  • The closer examination of nature of relation between Caliph and Sultan of Delhi revealed that it was just a formal ceremonial relation. Its political significance was negligible.
  • None of the Sultan of Delhi set on thrown cause the recognition of Caliph & none lost the crown because the person didn’t seek recognition of Caliph.
  • No Delhi Sultanate south prior permission before issuing any order. In reality the Sultan of Delhi was Independent Sovereignty entity in his own right. The Sultan ruled on basis of his strength. The recognition of Caliph was decisive factor.
  • All Delhi Sultanate didn’t seek investiture from Caliph.
  • Granting recognition of Sultan of Delhi was emitter for Caliph because Sultan was most powerful person in entire Islamic World no Caliph ever denied the grant of investiture of Sultan of Delhi.
  • This formal relation was deliberate emphasis because revolt by a Muslim against Sultan recognized by Caliph was ordered as anti-Islam. In this way, relation was psychological tour to ensure loyalty of Muslim.
  • The examination of status of Islam under Delhi Sultanate also did not support the theocratic character of state.
  • Islam was religion of Sultan & ruling class but it wasn’t imposed on entire population by Sultan’s of Delhi. In fact no Sultan ever attempted it. Iltutamish was suggested by Ulemas to convert India into Islam but he flatly refused & rejected suggestion stated that the condition of India is different from Central Asia.
  • There was very few existence of forcefully conversion of entire Delhi Sultanate.
  • The destruction of temple had nothing to do with promotion of Islam such destruct carried out either to meet the need of mosque or shuttle the moral of people so that they remain subjected to authority of Sultan.
  • Jaziya also not tool of religion conversion because majority of population was free from Jaziya (Brahmin-except during reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq, women, unemployed, beggers & disable were free from Jaziya).
  • The Islam was religion of state but no restriction as such imposed on other religions. All the religion of India existing at the establishment of Turkish rule had continued to flourish to Sultan period.
  • The Ulemas enjoyed high status in Delhi Sultanate but their status (political) were not higher than Sultan. The political influence of Ulemas was indirectly proportional of strength of Sultan. Only in reign of weak Sultan Ulemas influence the state. The powerful ruler Alauddin Khalji & Mohammad Bin Tughlaq didn’t allow Ulemas to enter.
  • Sultan Aluddin Khalji was strongly emphasized the separation of religious from politics.
  • The Islamic law was followed by Sultan only in general. It wasn’t rigidly imposed by anybody in the entire history of Delhi Sultanate.
  • The Sultan of Delhi issued secular order (Zawabit) on situation demand it.
  • Even Zia-ud-din-Burni had refused to accept Sultanate as Bindari (state guided by religious considered) the Sultanate is Zahandari.
  • The status of Muslim & Hindu in Delhi Sultanate did not support theocratic character of it.
  • The Muslims were ordered prevailed class but Hindu’s also allowed to live a normal life. There was no state policy outline expressed against Hindu.
  • Throughout Sultanate period most of land owned by Hindu. Most of the valerians were Hindu. The rich merchant & traders were Hindu. The state nothing to do deprived Hindu their resources.

Tughlaq Dynasty





  • The Tughlaq Dynasty also referred to as Tughluq or Tughluk dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Turko-Indian origin which ruled over the Delhi sultanate in medieval India. Its reign started in c.1320 CE in Delhi when Ghazi Malik assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. The dynasty ended in c.1413 CE. The dynasty expanded its territorial reach through a military campaign led by Muhammad bin Tughluq, and reached its zenith between c.1330 CE and c.1335 CE. Its rule was marked with torture, cruelty and rebellions, resulting in the rapid disintegration of the dynasty’s territorial reach after c.1335 CE.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (c. 1320-1325 CE)

  • He was the founder of the Tughluq dynasty and the first Sultan to take the title of
  • First Sultan to start irrigation works.
  • Built a strong fort called Tughlaqabad near Delhi.
  • Dispatched his son, Jauna Khan/Mohammad Bin Tuglaq, to re-establish authority in Warangal (Kakatiyas) and Madurai (Pandayas).
  • He had a troublesome relationship with the Sufi saint, Sheikh Nizamuddin Aulia.
  • Died due to the collapse of a wooden structure; some scholars like Ibn Batuta believe that his death was an act of sabotage orchestrated by his son Jauna Khan.

Mohammad Bin Tughlaq/Jauna Khan (c. 13251-1351 CE)

  • He is considered an ill-fated idealist owing to his ambitious schemes and novel experiments, which ended in miserable failures because they were all ahead of their times.
  • Ziauddin Barani mentions his five experiment/ campaigns:


Transfer of Capital

  • In year c.1327-28 CE Mohammad Bin Tughlaq transfered his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad (Devagiri). The Transfer was carried out in two groups; at first, the members of royal family were shifted, later on others were asked to move.


Need for Capital Transfer

  • Sultan wanted to punish the resident of Delhi who used to write abusive letters to Barani but this did not appear to be correct.
  • On the basis of other available sources, modern historicals believe that capital was transfer from Delhi to Daulatabad because:
  • Sultan wanted a capital far away from Delhi so that it could remain safe from Mongol invaders. Delhi was threatened by Mongol invaders.
  • Sultan followed policy of direct control over peninsular India so he wanted his capital in Deccan so that the newly annex territories could be administrationistered effectively.


Extent of Transfer

  • According to Barani, every resident of Delhi was ordered to move to Daulatabad.
  • Modern historian believe that only the peoples who was from royal family, officials, courtier Sufi Saints, scholar were ask to move Delhi to Daulatabad. The common people living people were not disturbed.


Problems caused by Capital Transfer Project

  • According to Barani, people of Delhi suffered immensely due to that project. He emphasized that half of people died while going to Daulatabad. Many lost their lives in Daulatabad suffering from home sickness summer, plague, many died while coming back.
  • The people suffered due to ill fated behavior of Sultan but cause of fact that transfer was carried out in month of April when temperature was quite high.


Bringing back of Capital to Delhi

  • According to Barani, Sultan realized his mistake & he ordered the people to go back Delhi.
  • The closer examination of circumstances in which capital was brought to Delhi during c.1335-36 CE reveals that the decision was outcome of changed ground level geopolitical circumstances.
  • Deccan was destructed by a severe epidemic of plague. Complete disorder developed in peninsular India. A large part of Sultan’s army was died due to plague. The provincial governors declared their Independence.
  • 1335 – Madurai declared Independence.
  • 1336 – Vijaynagar was founded by Harihara & Bukka.
  • Sultan was not in position to reconquer these territories immediately.
  • Under these circumstances, it meant to have capital at Daulatabad so Sultan moved back to Delhi.


Impact of Capital Transfer Project

  • According to Barani, the city of Delhi lost its prosperity, the people died in large number.
  • The failure of this project had definitely detached the prosperity of Delhi but its difficult to accept Barani’s exception that people of Delhi has turned against Sultan.
  • Irrespective the fact the project had failed, it produced some positive consequences.
  • A large number of Muslim families & Sufi Saints had decided to stay back at Daulatabad.
  • Their presence in Deccan gives the way cultural integration of North & Southern India.


Token Currency



  • In 1329 CE, Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq introduced token currency, made of copper/pure quality bronze to replace the silver and gold coins. These token coins were having face value of silver & gold coin. It was modeled on the basis of Chinese example (Kublai Khan issued paper money in China).
  • According to Barani, token currency was intro because Sultan wanted to preserve gold & silver. He wrote that Sultan was facing discarsity of silver.
  • The closer object clearly reveals that there was no shortage of precious matter.
  • Barani himself wrote that when circulation of token currency was stopped, Sultan paid people back in gold & silver.
  • The token currency was the product of innovative mind of Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. It was not outcome of any compulsion as such.


Cause of Failure

  • The token currency expansion failed, Barani said the house of every Hindu was converted into a (Taksal) & marked got plugged with forged coin.
  • The merchants & traders refused to accept Token Currency, the trade & commerce come to stand.
  • Barani blamed Mohammad Bin Tughlaq for failure of expansion.
  • Failed because state couldn’t maintain its monopoly over maintain of coins.
  • The design of Token Currency was too simple & these coins could be easily duplicated.
  • The failure of this project was not the outcome of any mistake on part of Sultan, the project fail because of bureaucracy.
  • The token currency expansion of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq was far ahead of his times but this statement was not correct because Token Currency was aLready in circulation is China & Persia at that time.


Impact of failure

  • The trade & commerce got affected seriously because of failure of this expansion. The merchants & traders stopped excepting the token coins.
  • The rebellious elements used Token Currency to purchase weapons & horses as result to that the state had to face serious political instability.
  • The state suffered loss of revenue because the peasant used Token Currency to pay the lr.
  • Barani’s states that treasury got exhausted when Sultan stopped circulation of Token Currency that didn’t appear to be correct because Sultan raised large army around the same time when circulation of Token Currency stopped.
  • The mountain of coins mentioned by Barani near the gate of Sultan’s palace was perhaps the mountains of those coins those were rejected by state official when people paid back in gold & silver coins in their token coins.


Khurasan Expedition (c.1332-33 CE)

  • Khurasan was located in Central Asia. The kingdom of Khurasan was crossing through a phase of political instability. A situation of civil war had arised in Khurasan and Iraq. Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq planned to conquer Khurasan and Iraq due to this reason.


Why was Khurasan expansion planned?

  • According to Barani, the expedition planned because Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq was flattered by Khuraani Nobel who had taken shelter in his court. For Nobel gifts & privileges from Sultan, these Nobel praised him beyond reality.
  • Sultan came under their influence & planned Khurasan expansion.
  • According to Barani, a large army of 370000 was raised; the soldiers were paid advanced for 1 year.
  • Mohammad Bin Tughlaq was a very powerful ruler; he had immense resources at his disposal. His decision to plan conquest of Khurasan was well thought out. Khurasan was passing through political disorder; there was nothing in planning to conquer it.

Why was campaign for expansion abounded?

  • According to Barani, Sultan realized his mistakes and he abandoned the campaign.
  • In reality, it was abounded because of changed geo-political circumstation.
  • When campaign was planned, the powerful ruler Abusaid established his rule over Khurasan; under these circumstances, the execution of campaign could have been disaster.


  • According to Barani, Sultan dismissed the newly raised army after six months the soldier lost their employment & they got converted into brigandage (robbers). As a result of this, states were started facing serious revolts.
  • Barani also emphasized that Sultan was made offer to take back advanced salary by soldiers, as a result suffered serious financial loss.
  • The Barani’s station about Khurasan expansion appeared far feast because the soldiers demobilized by Sultan were without any employment 6 months back.
  • The decision of Sultan was not to take back advanced salary paid to soldier, reflected his strength not weakness. It was an indication of plan trophic outlook because finally the soldiers were his subject.

Qarachill (Kumaon Hills) Expedition

  • Qarachill was a small Hindu kingdom located in Himalaya between India & China. It was independent of authority of Delhi. Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq planned its conquest as he was a very powerful ruler. The expedition was directed by religions as some historian try to portrait.
  • A large army of 10000 cavalry men were sent by Sultan to subjugate the kingdom of Qarachill.
  • The campaign was successful because king of Qarachill accepted the suzerainty of Delhi. But when royal army returning the rainy season set in land sites & other challenges resulted in loss of major part of Sultan army.
  • Royal soldiers were attacked by locals as a result, the challenge had got intensified.
  • Barani said only 10 soldiers returned & they were also executed by the order of Sultan.
  • It’s difficult to accept the Barani view but the clear loss was taken place. This loss affected the military strength & political stability of Sultanate.
  • Campaign wasn’t a failure as some historian tried to portrait on the basis of reforms of Barani because contemporary resources found that king of Qarachill sent the revenue for many years.

Increase in taxation in Doab Region (c.1333-34 CE)

  • Sultan tried to augment the resource by increasing taxes in Doab region.
  • There was no unanimity on amount of increase.
  • Barani said taxes were increased 10 to 20 times.
  • Badayuni said taxes doubled.
  • Tarik-i-Mubarakshahi (Yayha-bin-Ahemad) said taxes were increased by 20 times & peasants were asked to pay Grahi & Chari as well.
  • Modern historians believe that the increased rate of lrs was 50% of produce along with this peasants were asked to pay Grahi & Chari.



  • The taxation increased project failed majorly. Agriculture got rayon the peasants abounded the villages & escaped into forest. As a result of this the amount of the peasant who lost their agriculture & had left villages got converted into rebels, as a result, Sultanate faced serious political un-stability.
  • The project failed because the Sultan used officially decreed (order) yield at official decreed prices in collection of Land Revenue.
  • The biggest failure of project was natural calamity.
  • When the rate of taxes was implemented, Doabs region structed by social famine lasting 8 years.
  • The official used a state power to force peasant to pay Land Revenue in rate. Peasant suffered immensely & agriculture got ruined result.
  • Unable to pay taxes at new rate peasant’s escape in forest.


Response of Sultan

  • Suffering of peasants & destruction of agriculture were not due to Mohammad Bin Tughlaq when he got to know problem of peasants.
  • The Sultan gave huge amount of special loan known as Soandhar to peasants to restart their agriculture activities.
  • State assistance was provided to purchase seeds, implements & animals but it took many years before to normally could return in Doab region.


Model Agriculture Farm (c.1337-38 CE)

  • Having failed in his attempt to augment his resources in state by increasing taxes in Doab region, Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq decided to improve the financial condition of state by bringing more land under the plough.
  • Department of agriculture (Diwan-i-Amir kohi) was established. It was giving the responsibility carrying out the extension of cultivation.


Implementation of the project

  • A piece of land measuring about 60 miles x 60 meters was selected.
  • Amount of 70 lac Tanka was invested over period of system. This amount distributed among peasants so that new land could be brought under the plough.


Cause of failure

  • Barani said the project failed completely & not a single inch of new land could be brought under plough.
  • The project failed because officials misappropriated the money. There was nobody to check them.
  • This project failed because wrong piece of land was selected by the officials.
  • Purpose was to bring fertile land line fellow (uncultivated) under plough but piece of selected was completely barren.
  • Doabs region was just recovering from massive, famine as a result, peasant, used to amount advance given to personal needs.


New Orientation

  • Monarchical despotism was carried to climax most powerful Sultan in Delhi Sultanate.
  • Imperialism end Md. Bin Tughlaq because followed policy of direct rule over peninsular India. Md. Bin Tughlaq crated heterogonous nobility appointed non-Turk Muslims non-Muslims as well as Hindu in his nobility.
  • Bin Tughlaq emphasize on merit in the appointment under state. His attitude was nondiscriminatory.
  • Sultanate emerged as secular under Md. Bin Tughlaq he used to celebrate festival Holi.
  • Jaina scholar – Jaina Prabhu was his close find. Md. Bin Tughlaq was not satisfy status his region witness a large number of innovation & reforms.
  • He tried to bring more lands under cultivation model agriculture area.
  • He gave loan to peasants to purchase seeds, animal’s implements & to big wells.
  • Increased the cultivation of superior crops.
  • According to Barani, the cultivation of wheat was increased than millet grains. Cultivation of sugarcane was increased in those areas where wheat was being cultivation. Cultivation of fruits was increased where sugarcane cultivated.
  • These initiatives couldn’t produce much success because his project to carry out extension of cultivation & the loan granted to peason when their crop had damaged & agriculture had got ruined due to increase the burden of taxation & long period of famine.


Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88)

  • Mohammad Bin Tughlaq’s Wazir Khwaja Jahan placed a boy on throne in capital by claiming him the son of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq.
  • He distributed money from state treasury to strength support base.
  • Historian Barani also supported the claim of boy.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq marched on capital with the royal army. Conspirators are captured & Barani was put in jail. He wrote his book in jail probably to win appreciation of Sultan. Barani released after few years.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq succeeded in wiping out conspirators & ruled for 37 long years.


Challenges faced by Firoz Shah Tughlaq after sitting on throne

  • When Firoz Shah Tughlaq set on throne, the Sultanate was facing internal & external challenges because the failure of the grand projects experiments of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq had resulted in serious crisis everywhere.
  • Every section of population was seeking with discontent & number of territories of states declared independence.


External Challenges

  • By the time, Firoz Shah Tughlaq set on throne whole of peninsular India had moved out of control of Delhi.
  • Madurai declared Independence – 1335.
  • In 1336 the kingdom of Vijayanagar was found a Harihara.
  • 1347 Bahamani kingdom was founded by Abdul Hasan Bahaman Shah (part of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka Northern).
  • Bengal had declared Independence after death of Md. Bin Tughlaq.
  • Sindh was already up in arms when Md. Bin Tughlaq died.


Response of Firoz Shah Tughlaq

  • Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq didn’t have qualities of a military commander. He was a man of religious mindset. He had never participated actively in politico-administration matters.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq organized only 3 military campaigns & all these campaigns ended in measurable failure.
  • 2 campaigns – Bengal (1353 & 1359)

1 campaign – Sindh

During this campaign, royal army lost in desert. There was no information about Sultan & army for 6 months. It was quite response of Wazir Khan-i-Jahan Telgani that saved Sultan & his army.

  • After failure of these campaign Firoz Shah Tughlaq realized his limitation & their after he didn’t tried to reconquer the areas that declared the Independence. In this way his external policy was failure.


Domestic Challenges

  • When Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq set on throne, there was discontent, instability & crisis throughout Sultanate. Every section of population had suffered during the reign of Md. Bin Tughlaq in one way or other.
  • Nobility was treated just like ordinary servant by Md. Bin Tughlaq their prestige & influence had disappeared.
  • Soldiers were tried of the continuous military campaigns organized by Md. Bin Tughlaq.
  • 4/5th of war booty was collected as Khums during his reigon.
  • The people of Delhi had suffered quite badly due to capital transferproject.
  • The peasantry was badly destroyed by his taxation increased experiments.
  • The Ulemas were unhappy cause of secular outlook of Md. Bin Tughlaq. The Ulemas were lost their political influence.


Response of Firoz Shah Tughlaq to domestic challenges

  • Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq didn’t have the qualities of a capable administrationistrator. The challenges prevailing in Sultanate required a king of exceptional abilities to counter them successfully. But Firoz Shah Tughlaq didn’t have any prior exceptional confronting such challenges so instead of facing the challenges head on he resoted policy of appeasement.
  • The Ulemas were appeased by adopting orthodox religious policy.
  • He initiated revenue reforms & judicial reforms to appease peasant & other section of population.
  • To appease the population of Delhi, a number of welfare, major initiated.
  • To appease the soldiers, military campaigns were abounded.
  • To appease Nobel their privileges were restored & Iqta system had declared hereditary.


Revenue Reforms

  • To reduce the burden of taxes being paid by population, Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq abolished 21 miscellaneous asses (abwabs).
  • Only 5 taxes sanctioned by Shariyat were left out (Jaziya, Jakat, Kharach LR paid by non-Muslim)
  • Ushra – Land Revenue paid by Muslim
  • Khums – states share in war booty
  • Jaziya – religious tax collected by Hindu
  • Jakat – religious tax collected by Muslim.
  • Sultan ordered a revenue survey to assess the amount of revenue income of a state.
  • This survey was carried out by Khawaja Hisamuddin. He travelled across Sultanate for 6 years & estimated that total revenue income of state was 6 cr 75 lac Tanka.
  • This income was fixing in perpetuity, so peasant do not have to bear wear extra burden.
  • Differs were ordered not to show harshness to peasants & Iqtadar while collecting revenue.
  • Sultan stopped practice of receiving gifts, ceremonies gifts from Iqtadars (Peshkash) because he knew that burden of these gifts was gifts was fallen ultimate on peasants only.
  • For benefits of soldiers, the rates of Khums were reduced to 1/5 of war booty.


  • Judicial Reforms
  • Judicial legal system was harsh & cruel when Firoz Shah Tughlaq set on throne.
  • Trial of accused through fire & water ordeals was common.
  • Amputations of limbs & capital punishment are also common.
  • For benefit of common people, Firoz Shah Tughlaq abolished the torture, the abuse & criminal Amputation limbs as punishments was stopped and penal code was made mild by him.


  • Welfare Measaures
  • For his benefit of his Muslim subject, Firoz Shah Tughlaq initiated a number of welfare measures.
  • Diwan-i-Khairat (department of Charity) was established for benefit of poor. This department used to provide financial help to poor Muslim parents for the marriage of daughter.
  • Diwan-i-Ishtiaq (pension) to provide financial assistant to those people who were suffered during reign of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq.
  • According Akbar Afif (Shams-i-Siraf Afif) author of Tarik-i-Firozshahi 4200 men received assistance from this department.
  • Diwan-i-Bandagan (department of slaves) was established to look after the slaves of Sultan.
  • This department maintains 118000 slaves.
  • Free hospitals known as Darul-ul-Shafan were established competent physician were appointed free medicine were also distributed.
  • Free kitchens were established to provide food for poor & needy.
  • For benefits of travelers & to ensure their safety Sultan ordered that when any travelers died during journey, his body must be examined by Qazi of area in presence of respected Muslims.
  • Only after asserting that death was caused by natural factors, the body was to be buried.
  • Belonging of death traveler were to be sent to his next of kingdom & if no such person could be traced, the belonging were deposited to state.


  • Agrarian Reforms of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq
  • For benefits of peasants Firoz Shah Tughlaq waived Sondhar loan giving by state during reign of Md. Bin Tughlaq.

According to Afif, an amount of 2 cr maal (name of currency) was written off.

  • Cultivation of superior crops was increased.
  • 5 canals were dugged for development of irrigation facility.
  • An irrigation tax known as Haqq-i-Sharab was collected from those peasants who used water from these canals. The rate of this tax was 10% of produced.
  • Pilot farms (expansion farms on small scale) were established where new agricultural technology was tested new seeds were developed.
  • Once these seeds & technology were found to be successful then they were passed to ordinary peasant.
  • 1200 gardens were planted in the vicinity of Delhi.
  • An income of 180000 Tanka was received from these gardens.
  • According to Barani, these expeditions were highly successful. The production of food grains increased emulously.
  • Prices of fruits of had fallen to such that even common people can afford them.
  • Nobody was hungry in reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq & stocks (godown) are full.


  • Public Works/Construction Activities
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq was great builder. He took interest in construction activities at a number of monuments were built during his region.
  • Four mosque, four hospitals, 5 canals, 5 reservoirs, 30 palaces, 100 tombs, 100 pillars, 100 bridges, 150 wells & 200 sarai (in public rest house) were built in his region.
  • Number of new cities was laid out viz Jaunpur (Mohammad Bin Tughlaq), Firozabad, Fatehabad, Firozpur, Hisar, Firoza.
  • Not only new monuments were building Firoz Shah Tughlaq, at the same time he repair monuments of previous rulers.
  • Hauz-i-Shamsi (pond of Iltutamish) & Hauz-i-Alai (pond of Ala-ud-din-Khalji) were repaired.
  • The top story of Qutub Minar got damaged due to lightening it was replaced by 2 new storeys as a result of which the height of Qutub Minar increased to 234 feet from original 225 feet.
  • Two pillars of Ashoka were brought to Delhi. The pillar brought from Meerut was installed in his hunting palace at Wazirabad. The pillar brought from to para (near Ambala) was installed at top of his palace in Firoz Shah Kotla.
  • Clock tower known as Tash-i-Ghaidyat was built the person used to stand on top of tower to announce time periodically.
  • Astrological charts known as Utsurlab were built to calculate precise location of astronomical bodies, so that beginning & end of seasons could be accountained accurately helped peasant. Appliances increased producting quite significantly.
  • Numbers of schools were established for promotion of learning.


Religious Policy

  • The religious policy of Firoz Shah Tughlaq was orthodox.
  • He accorded to high status to Ulemas not single important decision was made by him without consulting Ulemas.
  • Islam was promoted by using the force of strength & by giving temptation. The converts were appointed under states. They were giving Jagirs.
  • He was only Sultan of Delhi to impose Jazia on Brahmins. A Brahmin burnt alive at the order of Sultan just he said that both Hindusim & Islam had element of truth.
  • Hindu temples were demolished during his reign.
  • He suppressed heretic element with Islam.
  • Shariyat was followed by him.
  • Shariyat was followed by him 21 non-shariyat taxes were abolished.



  • The orthodox measures of Firoz Shah Tughlaq were largely influence by political & military needs & personal background.
  • He was son of Hindu mother, because of this orthodox element used to doubt his religious credential. To convince everybody that he was true Muslim, orthodox measures were adopted by him.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq lacked the qualities of a successful military commander & efficient administration. He needed a support of Ulemas, Muslim Nobel & his other co-religionist. That is why he adopted religious policy.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq not religious bigot because-
  • He bowed his head at Jwalamukhi temple (Kangra – HP) & this temple was not demolished.
  • Ashokan pillars were worshiped by local people these object of worship brought Delhi & restored.


Limitation of His Reign

  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq was successful but he can’t be termed as great ruler because he committed a number of mistakes during his reign. These mistakes weakened the foundation of Delhi Sultanate. Immediately after his death, Sultanate goes pushed into a crisis.
  • Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq re-introduced Jagirdari system.
  • During the reign of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq soldiers were paid cash. It was necessary move to ensure the strength & effectiveness of army. Professionalism required the regular payment of salary. Re-introduction of Jagirdari system affected the effectiveness of army.
  • The practice of inspecting troops regularly was not followed. On one occasion Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq gave silver coin in his soldier to get his horse passed during inspection. Such acts of supporting corruption degraded the entire political-military mechanism.
  • The Iqta system was mandatory by him to appease Nobel. As a result, the centrifugal forces become powerful & central authority lost his effectiveness.
  • The positions in military would also made hereditary by him affected the strength & effectiveness of military force of Delhi Sultanate.
  • The orthodox religious policies of Firoz Shah Tughlaq seriously affected the social base of Delhi Sultanate because majority of population got excluded. It targeted only Muslims.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq spend huge amount on public works & welfare measures. This accessory spending adversely affected wealth of Delhi Sultanate.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq maintained a large army of slave. The department of slaves (Diwan-i-Bandigan) maintains 118000 slaves. Theses slaves created serious disorder after death of Firoz Shah Tughlaq.
  • These limitations of policies & works of Firoz Shah Tughlaq clearly indicated that he was not a great ruler though he was successful.


Decline of Tughlaq

  • Tughlaq ruled for longest period in history of Delhi Sultanate under the capital leadership of early Tughlaq rulers, the power & prestige of Delhi Sultanate reached its climax but very soon Sultanate entered in a phase of decline. This process destroyed the Tughlaq dynasty & resulted in emergence of Saiyyad at the throne of Delhi.
  • There were various factors responsible for decline of Tughlaq dynasty. This process of declination was quite long well drawn out. It commenced during the reign of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq in around c.1335 CE & got completed in c.1414 CE when Khizr Khan Saiyyad established his rule over Delhi.

Faliures of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq

  • When Md. Bin Tughlaq set on throne, the Sultanate was extremely strong & effective. The failure of his project and bad decisions gave a serious blow to the strength of Sultanate & when he died there was disorder everywhere. In this way Mohammad Bin Tughlaq was responsible for initially process of disintegration of Tughlaq dynasty.


Failures of Firoz Shah Tughlaq

  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq inherited the empire facing serious challenges. The Sultanate requires a king of exceptional ability to reverse this process of decline but Firoz Shah Tughlaq was neither efficient administrationistrator nor a successful military commander. He responded prevailing challenges with policy of a peasant.
  • This approach based on appeasement could haunt the process of decline for time being but inner strength of Sultanate continued to degenerate gradually. These forces of degeneration were active during beneath the carpet in reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq & immediately after his death these forces became visible on surface. As a result of this process of decline Tughlaq dynasty recommence with much great momentum after death of Firoz Shah Tughlaq.


Responsibility of weak successor of Firoz Shah Tughlaq

  • Death of Firoz Shah Tughlaq was followed by a number of weak rulers on throne of Delhi. Within span (c.1388-1394 CE) of 6 years, 5 rulers set on throne. None of them capable enough to guide the Sultanate out from prevailing crisis.
  • Had there been a strong & worthy successor of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq, this process of degeneration could have been reversed.


Role of Foreign Invaders/Invasions

  • Invasion of Taimur in c.1398 CE gave a death blow to Tughlaq. These Mongol invaders capture Delhi & Sultan Nassiruddin Mohammad Tughlaq Saved his life by fleeing the capital. This Sultan could not give to enter in capital in 6 years.
  • This invasion exposed the hollowness of political-military system of Delhi Sultanate. The prestige of Tughlaq dynasty got shattered beyond put of recovery. The downfall of Tughlaq dynasty & replacement by new one was mere formality.


Iqta System

  • Iqta system was one of most important feature of Turko-Afghan political system witnessed during period of Delhi Sultanate.
  • It was originally an Arabic practice from Arab Turk adopted it & Turks brought it to India. For the first time Iqta were distributed in Punjab by Muhammad Ghori & gradually the practice was extended to other territories.
  • Iqta system plays an important role in the rise & fall of Turko-Afgha rule in India. In the beginning it provided immense strength Sultanate but later on it become main source of weakness.
  • Iqta system was bureaucratic mechanical cause Iqtadar were officers of state. They performed various politico-administration functions.
  • The system had economic & military dimensions as well because Iqtadar collected revenue & maintain fixed number of troops.
  • Iqta system was based on merit because most meritorious commanders were appointed as Iqtadar.
  • It was a centralized mechanism because Iqtadar were appointed by Sultan & they were always accountable to him.
  • It was based on practice of transfers Iqtadars were transferred after every 3-4 years. The system was non hereditary because Iqtas were granted only for lifetime of officers. After death of holder, the Iqta was taken away.
  • This system was based on law of escheat.
  • At the death of Iqtadar all the properties / wealth accumulated by him during his lifetime was taken away.
  • The system was progressive in nature because perform was rewarded & non-performance was punished.
  • Iqta system evolved with passage of time. It gain many essential features under different Sultan


  • Evolution of Iqta System
  • After being introduced by Muhammad Ghori, the Iqta system was reorganized properly by Sultan Iltutmish for first time. He defined the duties & responsibilities of Iqtadar elaborately. Under this re-organized system the Iqtadar were responsible for-
  • Maintaining fix numbers of troops.
  • Looking after the administration the area under control.
  • Collection of revenue.
  • Depositing Fawazal in central treasury.
  • Sultan Balban imposed greater central control over Iqtadars.
  • He appointed an accountant Khwaja with every Iqtadar to check authentication of records maintained by them.
  • Balban transferred Iqtadar from one Iqta to another so they couldn’t develop any bonding with people.
  • Sultan Alauddin Khalji abolished number of small Iqtas in Doab region to carry out expansion of Khalisa land.
  • He increased the revenue demands from Iqtadar.
  • A new department – Diwan-i-Mushtkharaz for collection of arrears of revenue living with Iqtadar.
  • Mohammad Bin Tughlaq increased central control on Iqtadar futhers.
  • He separated the income & expenditure of Iqtadar. They ordered to deposit entire revenue in central treasury & from where they were paid against their salary & other expenses.
  • During reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq Iqta system was declared hereditary.
  • After death of Iqtadar his son / son-in-law / slave / widow was allowed to succeed.
  • During Lodhi period the concept of Fawazal was abolished. The Iqtadar allowed retaining the revenue collected from Iqta. This was an expansion of Afghan kingship in Lodhi, in which Sultan was ordered as first among the equals. Name Iqta got changed into Pargana & Sarkar. Smaller Iqta came to known as Pargana & bigger is Sarkar.




Contribution of Iqta system

  • The Iqta system contributed immensely to consolidation & expansion of Turko-Afghan rule.
  • The system free Sultan responsibility of looking after. The administration of newly conquered territory once territory allowed to Iqta to commander every responsibility handled by him.
  • Since Iqtadar central officers & directly accountable to Sultan, the system helped in maintain effective central control even over the remote areas.
  • Iqta system increased merits & performance because best performing commander were rewarded by allocating Iqta.
  • Iqta helps into territorial expansion because Iqtadar used to take military campaign on behalf of Sultan against neighbouring Independent state.
  • The system also facilitated the maintenance of large army because responsibility to maintain soldiers was divided between Iqtadar.
  • It also helps in strengthening the economic foundation of Sultanate because Iqtadar used to collect revenue & deposit in treasury. The system kept capital free from conspiracy held by powerful commanders such ambitious Nobel kept away from central by appointing them as Iqtadar in different area.
  • System provides opportunity to capable commander to use their strength for benefit of state.


Limitation/Drawbacks of System

  • The Iqta system functions perfectly under strong Sultan but weak ruler set on throne it always used to become because of trouble.
  • After death of powerful ruler many of the Iqtadar used to declare their Independence from Sultan. New Sultan has to struggle hard to resurely gate the control.
  • Iqtadar had immense resource both financial & military. They always in position to defy order of weak Sultan.
  • When Iqta system gets hereditary by Firoz Shah Tughlaq the centrifugal force get dominant & it contributed to big way decline Tughlaq dynasty.
  • Under Lodhi Iqta system became because of further trouble because Lodhi stop collecting Fawazal from Iqtadar. Some of Lodhi Iqtadar in Punjab conspired by to gain power ended up.


Decline of Delhi Sultanate

  • Limitations of the character of Delhi Sultanate. It was a military state. The Sultan of Delhi Sultanate failed get support of majority of people. The Sultanate continued to rely on role of army & when army was no longer invisible, it came to end.
  • Sultanate was despotic state. In such system, the personality of ruler decides the fate of state till the time rulers were powerful Sultanate continue to flourish & when weak rulers came to rule, Sultanate ended.
  • Islamic character of state also contributed to downfall, because Hindus who constituted majority of people remain eliminated. The social base of Sultanate remains narrow from beginning to end.
  • Limitation of the institution of monarchy.
  • There was no fixed law of successors in Sultanate as a result of this the death of Sultan was followed by battles to decide issue of successors. This conflict exhausted strength of Sultanate in big way.
  • Degeneration of nobility also contributed to decline of Sultanate. Instead of serving state the noble had started aspiring to get the crown for themselves. This tendency was very dominant during Lodhi period.
  • Changes in Iqta system also played role in decline of Delhi Sultanate.
  • Changes in characters of armed forces also played important role. When Turk came to India, their army was homogeneous but gradually non-Turk started finding last places in armed forces. This seriously affected the unity homogeneity & fighting capacity.
  • Foreign invasion had kept on disturbing the safety & security of Delhi Sultanate.
  • Mongol invaded repeatedly. These Mongol invasions seriously affected the military & financial strength of Sultanate.
  • Invasion of Babar & defeat of Ibrahim Lodhi in 1st battle of Panipat doomed the fate of Sultanate.

Mongol Policy of Sultanate of Delhi

  • The Mongol was originally from Mongolia under leadership of Changiz Khan or Genghis Khan captured Central Asia & there after they started invading India as well. These Mongol invasions continued throughout 13th& 14th




Why did Mongol invade India?


  • The richness of resources in India was most important factor behind Mongol invasion. The Central Asia territories ruled by Mongols were deficient in resources.
  • Vulnerability of Delhi Sultanate invited Mongol invasions because death of every prominent Sultan was followed by phase of international conflict & instability. Neglect of safety of North Western frontier was another prominent reason. The Sultan of Delhi had to face recurring revolts & rebellious as a result of which they were busy in international affairs & defense of North Western frontier remain neglected.


History of Mongol invasions & Anti-Mongol policy of Delhi Sultanate

  • For the 1st time, Mongol reached Indian frontier under leadership of Changez Khan in 1221 when he was chasing Jalaluddin Mangbarni, the prince of Khwarizn.
  • Sultan Iltutamish responded fact fully. He saved the Sultanate by Mongol invasion by his diplomacy.
  • The next Mongol invasion took place in 1241 under the leadership of Tair. Behram Shah was Sultan of Delhi. There was hardly any arrangement for safety in north-west. The royal army defeated by Mongol Lahore was captured by them & their resistance. After capturing city Mongol were tired.
  • During c.1240 CE, there was chaos condition in Delhi because political disorder. Similar disorder prevailing in North-western region as well. As a result, most of Sindh & region between Indus & Jelum rivers passed into hands of Mongol.
  • Balban effectiveness measures were taken to counter Mongol invasion old fort repaired & new created. Most capable commanders were appointed in North-Western region. As a result, when Mongol attacked India in c.1279 CE & 1285 they could defeated decisively by roces of Delhi.
  • During reign of Sultan Khaikubad, Mongol attacked India, under leadership of Timur Khan. The invasion was massive, but arrangement made by Balban till intact so Mongols were defeated.
  • When Jallauddin Khulji was Sultan of Delhi, a massive Mongol invasion took place in c.1292 CE under Abdulla but Jalauddin Khalji responded swiftly he himself Mongol & defeated Mongol.
  • More than a dozen of invasion took place during reign of Ala-ud-din-Khalji. For 1st few years, the army of Delhi could provide no effective resistance.
  • In c.1303 CE, more than 1 lac Mongols invaded in India. They directly reached Delhi & lay seized in the city. Sultan Alauddin Khalji remained trapped inside Siri Fort for 6 months because royal army was away in South. It was only when army returned from south Mongol lifted seized.
  • After initial set back, Alauddin Khalji initiated a number of strong measures. The command of anti Mongol campaign was given to Zafar Khan his most meritorious commander. He defeated Mongols repeatedly shattered their courage & after that Mongol not dare to attack India for 50 years.
  • The last major invasion took place in 1398 when Mongol captured Delhi under the leadership of Timur.


Significance/Impact of Mongol Invasions

  • Mongol invasion threatened the safety of Sultanate repeatedly the frontier towns like Lahore, Multan Savan continued to phase heat of Mongol invasion. Huge loss of man & material was witnessed.
  • The Mongol invasion caused political instability because whenever the royal army was losing to Mongol, the prestige of Sultan was shattered.
  • Sultan of Delhi had to pay huge amount on strengthen defense on North-West frontier so that Delhi remain safe from Mongol.
  • These invasions affected the capacity of Sultan of Delhi to organize successful military campaign against other state because they have to keep one eye on safety of new frontier.
  • Invasion produced positive outcome as well; the Mongol invasion cut off Sultan of Delhi from Islamic world. They couldn’t maintain regular contact with Central Asia & middle east as a result of this a typical Indian identity developed among Turko-Afghan rulers of India.


The Saiyyad Dynasty (1414-1451 A.D.)

The Saiyyad dynasty was the fourth dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, with four rulers ruling from 1414 to 1451. Founded by Khizr Khan 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, Saiyyad, or the descendants of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, based on the claim that they belonged to his lineage through his daughter Fatima, and son-in-law and cousin Ali.

Khizr Khan (1414-1421)

Khizr Khan, the founder of this dynasty was once the governor of Multan appointed by Firoz Tughlaq. He supported Timur when the latter attacked India. Before leaving India, Timur appointed him the governor of Multan, Lahore and Dipalpur. After Timur’s return, there was no strong power in Delhi for about 14 years.Taking advantage of the chaotic conditions; he occupied the throne of Delhi in 1414. He claimed to be the descendant of the Prophet. The seven years of his reign were spent in suppressing revolts in various parts of India. He was successful in protecting the Delhi Sultanate from the rulers of Gujarat, Malwa and Jaunpur who aspired to conquer Delhi.

Khizr Khan’s personality and his rule have won praise from Fersihta in these words, “Khizr Khan was a great and a wise King and was always true to his word. His subjects loved him with so much a graceful affection that great and small, master and the servant sat and mourned for him in black garments, till the third day, when they laid aside their mourning garments and raised his son, Mubarak Shah, to the throne.”

Mubarak Shah (1421-1434)

Yahya Bin Sirhindi, a famous historian of his time, in his book Tarikh- i-Mubarak Shah’ has written about his reign as, “The reign of Mubarak Shah was a period of disquiet and rebellions, so his entire reign was spent in suppressing these.” One feature of his reign is remarkable. In the history of Sultanate, for the first time we learn that there were two Hindu Amirs in his reign.” Mubarak Shah built a city on the banks of river Yamuna and named it Mubarkabad. He was assassinated in a plot.

Muhammad Shah (1434-45)

Muhammad Shah was a very weak ruler. The real authority of the Sultan extended merely 40 miles around Delhi. During his reign, disorder and mismanagement prevailed. The ruler of Malwa attacked Delhi during his reign. However with the timely help of Bahlol Lodi, the governor of Lahore and Sirhind, the Sultan was able to face the challenge successfully.

Later on during the reign of Muhammad Shah, Bahlol Lodi tried to capture Delhi but he failed. About the state of affairs during the reign of Muhammad Shah, the historian Nizam-ud-Din wrote, “The affairs of the state grew day by day more and more confused.”

Ala-ud-Din Alam Shah (1445-1451)

Alam Shah was a pleasure-loving, incompetent and weak king. He used to reside at Badaun. According to some historians, he transferred his capital from Delhi to Badaun on account of the fear of Bahlol Lodi, governor of Lahore and Sir-hind. Taking advantage of his absence from Delhi, Bahlol Lodi, supported by Sudan’s ‘Vazir’ occupied Delhi in 1451. Alam Shah continued to live at Badaun till his death in 1478.

Lodhi Dynasty (AD 1451-1526)

The Lodhi Dynasty under the Delhi Sultanate was the first Afghan Pashtun Dynasty in India who ruled from AD 1451 to 1526.This dynasty replaced the Sayyid Dynasty and it was a period of reforms in administration, strengthening the army, gearing up the machinery of land revenue administration, expansion and improvement of the cultivation and welfare of the people. Here, we are giving a complete overview on the Lodhi Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate.

The Lodhi Dynasty under the Delhi Sultanate was the first Afghan Pashtun Dynasty in India who ruled from AD 1451 to 1526.This dynasty replaced the Sayyid Dynasty and it was a period of reforms in administration, strengthening the army, gearing up the machinery of land revenue administration, expansion and improvement of the cultivation and welfare of the people. Here, we are giving a complete overview on the Lodhi Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate.

Bahlol Lodhi (AD 1451-1489)

  • He was the founder of the Lodhi dynasty. During the reign of Muhammad Shah he served as the Subedar (Governor) of Lahore and Sirhind.
  • He tried to restore the greatness of the Delhi sultanate, hence conquered territories surrounding Delhi. The most successful war was against Mahmud Shah Sharqi of Jaunpur. Territories conquered by Bahlol Lodhi.
  • Mewat (Ahmad Khan), Sambhal (Dariya Khan), Koll (lsa Khan), Suket (Mubarak Khan), Manipur and Bhongaon (Raja Pratap Singh), Rewari (Qutb Khan), Etawah and Chandwar.
  • He was succeeded by his able son Nizam Shah under the title of Sultan Sikandar Shah in AD 1489.

Sikandar Lodhi (AD 1489-1517)

  • He was the ablest of the three Lodhi rulers. He conquered Bihar and Raja of Tirhut and concluded a friendship treaty with the Alauddin Hussain Shah of Bengal. Dariya Khan was appointed as the Governor of Bengal.
  • Sikandar extended his empire by conquering Dholpur, Chanderi etc. He kept strict vigilance on his nobles and Jagirdars whom he strictly suppressed. He set up an efficient espionage system and introduced the system of auditing the accounts.
  • He relaxed restrictions on trade, which greatly promoted the economic prosperity of the people. He introduced “Gaz-i-Sikandari” (Sikandar’s yard) of 39 digits or 32 inches, for the measurement of agricultural land.
  • He transferred his capital from Delhi to Agra, a city which was founded by him. The village of Sikandara, near Agra, where the tomb of Akbar stands, was named after Sikandar.
  • He was staunch Sunni and a Muslim fanatic. He lacked religious tolerance and levied Jaziya and Pilgrim’s tax on Hindus. He was a liberal patron of arts and letters. He wrote verses in Persian under the pen name of Gulrukhi.

Ibrahim Lodhi (AD 1517-1526)

  • Sikandar Shah was succeeded simultaneously by his two sons Ibrahim on the throne of Agra and Jalal on the throne of Jaunpur. Later, Ibrahim killed Jalal and succeeded his father.
  • There were many revolts during his reign; Bihar declared its independence under Dariya Khan Lohani.
  • His repressive policy towards the Lohani, Formuli and Lodhi tribes and his unsympathetic treatment of Dilawar Khan, the governor of Lahore, turned the nobles against him. Battle of Panipat, AD 1526.
  • Daulat Khan Lodhi (father of Dilawar Khan) and Alam Khan invited Babu, the Timurid ruler of Kabul, to invade India.
  • In the first battle of Panipat (AD 1526), Babur defeated Ibrahim and killed him. He became the master of Delhi and Agra. This puts an end to the Sultanate and the rise of Mughal dynasty in India.

Monetary Policy during Medieval Age

  • With the establishment of Turko-Afgan & Mughal rule in India, the monetary system got a boost because these rulers issued large number of coins for meeting needs of state & market exaction.
  • These coins were issued in various metals and in different standards.
  • The coinage was part important part of progress of Medieval Indian History.


Coinage during Delhi Sultante

  • Sultans of Delhi, beginning from reign of Iltutamish paid attention to the task coinage. He was 1st ruler of Delhi issued pure Arabic coins “Tanka” & “Jital”. These coins laid the foundation of monetary system of Medieval Age.
  • Sultan Mohammad Bin Tuglaq carried out major currency expenditure by issuing “Token Currency”.
  • Face value of these coins was more than their intrinsic metallic worth.
  • This Token Currency system failed because the Token coins were easy to duplicate & market got flooded with forge coins.
  • Firoz Shah Tuglaq issued Gold coins “Adha” & “Bikh” (1/24 quarter). Nature of coinage varies from Sultan to Sultan in DS. No uniform standard of coinage could develop during Sultanate period.

Monetary System of Sher Shah Suri

  • In history of monetary system in India, the reign of Sher Shah Suri enjoyed a pledge of great significance. Though he ruled only for few years but left lasting impact on coining system. Sher Shah laid foundation of Tri-Metallic Currency System.
  • Gold coins – Muhar
  • Silver coin – Rupaiya
  • Copper coin – Dam

These coins were of very high standard because uniform weight & standard of quality maintained. The Mughal continued this system started by Sher Shah.

Educational System

  • Throughout the history of existence of India education & learning have enjoyed the place great significance. Beginning from Vedic Age highly developed education institutions have flourished India.
  • With advent of Turko-Afgan, Mughal ruler, a number of significant changes were witnessed in education system. This process continued to evolve throughout Medieval Indian History.

Education in Delhi Sultanate

  • The 1st reference of education system in Delhi Sultanate came from Tabaqat-i-Nasiri of Minhaj-al-Siraj Juzjani. According this book, Iltutamish set up Nasiruddin in memory of son Nasiruddin who died while fighting rebel.
  • Balban also found school in same name in memory of his master. Nasiruddin Mahmud in Delhi.
  • Sultan Firoz Shah Tuglaq took special interest in progress of education. The main college set up by his was Madarsha-i-Firozshahi.
  • According to Ibn-Batuta (Moroccan traveler – c.1334-1385 CE) there was separate school for boys & girls in India.
  • The educational system in Delhi Sultante can be classed into 2 categories-
  • Comprise education system of Hindus that was based on traditional lines.
  • Comprise education of Muslims that was managed through Maktab (primary education) and Madarsa (Center for secondary education).
  • Sultan of Delhi concentrated on education of Muslim. They didn’t interfere in education of Hindu.
  • Lands & grants issued to education institute for their survival. The liberal ruler like SS issued lands grants for both Hindu & Muslim.
  • The Hindu education system comprised of:
  • Family based education.
  • Education in formal schools eg. Gurukulas.
  • Education imparted by trade & craft organization.
  • Education imparted by temples.


Postal & Communication System

  • Reference found in contemporary sources like Kitab-i-Rehla of Ibn-Batuta provides detail information about postal & communication system of Sultanate period.
  • Sultan Jalaluddin-Khalji is considered as the originator of postal system & this continued to evolve with passage of time under other rulers.
  • Sarai builds a longer road were used as post offices (Dakchaukis).
  • Relay system was followed for exportation of post.
  • According to Ibn Batuta, the postal age was of 2 types. In 1st case, horse was used & in 2nd case the carrier used to walk on feet.
  • The horse rider based postal system was termed by him as “Uluq” & foot based postal system “Dawa”. One horseman used to cover distention of 4 mile footman used to cover 1/3rd mile distention.
  • Horseman/footman used to carry bell which was used to warm the person of another location to get ready for forward journey.
  • Horseman/postman used to run distention cover allowed to them.
  • According to Batuta, this relay system was so efficient that normal length of journey between Delhi & Sind was 50 days but post reached within 5 days.
  • This relay based postal system was used to export Dry Fruits from Khurqsan from Royal palace as well as other necessities. Sultan Sher Shah reformed postal system, he appointed Daroga-i-Dakchouki as head of each post office located in Sarai. He was responsible for safe & quick exportation of letters and parcels from one post to other.


Medieval Indian Architecture

  • With the establishment of Turkish rule in India a new phase coming in history of Indian Art & Architecture because Turk brought Islamic style of architecture to India. This new style was significanctly different from traditional Indian style. But over period of time both styles underwent assimilation.


Essential features of Islamic Architecture

  • Islamic architecture characterized by use of Archie’s, Domes & minarets.
  • Archie’s were used for making doors & windows.
  • Dome was used to make roof.
  • Minarets were erected in 4 corners of building.
  • The traditional Indian style of architecture was characterized by use of columns & brims.
  • Flat roof was essential feature.
  • The size of building was moderate to small because with flat roof is not practically possible to have large halls.
  • Traditional Indian style known as. Terabit style, Islamic style, Arquet style.
  • Over period of time, Indian traditional style & Islamic style underwent assimilation & resulted in emergence of Indo-Islamic architecture.


Technological dimensions of Indo-Islamic Architecture

  • The Archie’s & domes used in Islamic monuments reflected technological superiority over the traditional Indian architecture.
  • Building having Archie’s & dome wasn’t only beautiful in appearance but at same time it was technological superior.
  • Turks brought line mortar with them.
  • At time of establishment of Turkish rule, mud mortar was being used.
  • Line mortar enabled construction of stronger & bigger monuments.
  • During Khalji period, technology of lading the bricks as headers & steeper.
  • Brick laid headers in one layer &stricter
  • This technological strengthen stability of monuments.
  • The construction of pentagonal & octagonal tombs during Tughlaq period reflected not only new forms but also significance technology advancement.
  • In these buildings the dome used to have 5 (pentagonal) & 8 (octagonal) centers.
  • Charbhagi style brought by Babur represented great civil engineering advancement.
  • In this style, the entire plot of land in 4 part & monument was built in middle.
  • This monument work surrounded by park.
  • Flowing water was used around monument not only ornaments were also for temple estability.
  • Charbhagi style modify by Shahjahan. He shifted monument to one side of park monument built on raised platform so that it appear massive.
  • The double domes constructed within tombs & mosque during Sultanate-period & Mughal was another technological advancement.
  • In this 2nd dome was built over the original 1st time there was gap between two domes.
  • The air filled between two domes used to help in maintaining temperature stability. The acoustics (sound) was far better inside monuments inside double domes.


Assimilation in Indian Islamic feature

  • Beginning from Turkish rule to age of Mughal rule, procedure of assimilation of Indian Islamic continued.
  • During early phase, the Turkish ruler used Indian craftsmen in construction of their monuments. The material was used from existing Indian monuments because of this number of Indian features used to find place unconsciously in Islamic building.
  • Indian methods of ornamentation were used in Islamic building in form of geometrical designs, flower designs & the paintings.

This adaptation also constructed to growth of Indo-Islamic architecture.

  • Rulers like Akbar consciously adopted many features of Indian architecture such as Chatra (umbrella), Jharokha (balcony), Chajja (producing wall), Jali (perforated walls), and Kalash was put on mosques & tombs. This integration contributed to emergence of composite culture during medieval age.

Persian Histography


  • The establishment of Turkish rule in India resulted in emergence of new genre of language & literature among various dimensions of progress witnessed during Sultanate period historiography was one of most important.
  • The art of history writing wasn’t absent in India before arrival of Turks as early historian tried to portray but at same time it can’t be denied that arrival of Turks added new dimensions to historiography.
  • This genre of writing was far more advanced in Persia & Central Asia when compared with India.
  • Among prominent history writer of Sultanate period, the names of Amir Khusaro & Ziyaudin Baruni came foremost.
  • Amir Khusro was the author of number of proiment works such as Khazain-ul-Futuh, Tughlaq–Nama, and Barani –Tarik-i-Firoz Shahi.
  • Though literal work of Amir Khusaro was imparted without any doubt but it mostly emphasized that he was more of a poet & less of historian.
  • The works of Amir Khusaro were prepared either under direction of rainy Monarch or presentation to them.
  • It appears that primary concern that to demonstrate his literally ability. He was busy in living behind a lasting reputation.
  • His main interest was in pleasing his patron so that he could get reward because of his works of Amir Khusaro present only brighter side of picture. He deliberately glossed over short comings & failures of his patron.
  • His works suffers from factual error, lack of chronological sequence & he indulged selective reporting.
  • Amir Khusaro left behind feasible act of many insignificant events.
  • A thorough examination of his work indicated that he was not deliberately loyal. He didn’t disclose fact that he included those works in his work which win appreciation of master.
  • Barani left behind the history of century belonging to Sultanate period. His book Tarik-i-Firozshahi covers developed from 1259-1359 but his account suffer from serious personal bias. He deliberate distorted facts just to win appreciation of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq who had put win in jail.
  • Most of the writing was carried out by Barani during c.1352-59 CE, when he was quite old (born 1285). During this period, he neither was financial sound nor was mentally stable as his entire assets had featured for Firoz Shah Tuglaq for supporting the claim of boy put on throne of Delhi by Khwaja Jahan, PM of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq.
  • Events described by Barani are not chronological accurate.
  • Though historiography developed art form during Sultanate period but same time it must emphasized works of these historians that shouldn’t be accepted on face value. A critical examination of their records is must to understand the prevailing reality.



First Battle of Panipat (1526)


Panipat has been described as the pivot of Indian history for 300 years. And its story begins in the first great battle of 1526.After the fall of the sayyids; the Afghan Lodi dynasty had seized power at Delhi. The power of the sultanate had decreased considerably at this time, though the sultan could still command significant resources. Ibrahim Lodi, the third ruler was unpopular with the nobility for his persecution and execution of a large number of old nobles. A prominent noble, Daulat khan fearing for his life appealed to Zahir-ud-din Babur, the Timurid ruler of Kabul to come and depose ibrahim Lodi. It was thought that Babur would defeat Lodi, plunder and leave. Babur however had different ideas.


Babur, a timurid prince with descent from Timur and Chengiz khan had originally inherited the kingdom of Fergana — one of the brekaway regions in the aftermath of the breakup of the once mighty timurid empire.The two foremost powers in the region at this time were the Safavids of Iran and The Uzbeks of central Asia. Squeezed between them Babur had to fight for survival. Gaining and losing Samarkand 3 times he eventually moved to Kabul in 1504, where he aimed to consolidate a powebase. It was here that he came into touch with India and between 1504 and 1524 had raided across the Northwestern frontier 4 times. His main goal at this time was to consolidate his position in Afghanisthan by crushing the rebellious Pathan tribes of the region, particularly the Yusufzais. Having given up his aspirations of retaking Samarkand in 1512 he now dreamed of a new empire east of the Indus, and bided his time for an oppurtunity. In the Baburnama he writes that as these territories were once conquered by timurlane he felt it was his natural birthright and he resolved to acquire them by force if necessary.The invitation of the Afghan chiefs provided him with this opportunity.



Babur started for Lahore, Punjab, in 1524 but found that Daulat Khan Lodi had been driven out by forces sent by Ibrahim Lodi. When Babur arrived at Lahore, the Lodi army marched out and was routed. Babur burned Lahore for two days, then marched to Dipalpur, placing Alam Khan, another rebel uncle of Lodi’s, as governor.There after he returned to Kabul to gather reinforcements. Alam Khan was quickly overthrown and fled to Kabul. In response, Babur supplied Alam Khan with troops who later joined up with Daulat Khan and together with about 30,000 troops; they besieged Ibrahim Lodi at Delhi. He defeated them and drove off Alam’s army, Babur realized Lodi would not allow him to occupy Punjab. Meanwhile Alam also demanded Babur assigns Delhi to him after its capture, which was not acceptable to Babur. In 1525 November ,Babur set out in force to seize the empire he sought.Crossing the Indus a census of the army revealed his core fighting force numbering 12,000.This number would grow as it joined his garrison in Punjab and some local allies or mercenaries to around 20,000 at Panipat. Entering Sialkot unopposed he moved on to Ambala. His intelligence alerted him that Hamid Khan was about to reinforce Lodi’s force with a contingent,he sent his son Humayun to defeat his detachment at Hisar Firoza.From Ambala the army moved south to Shahabad, then east to reach the River Jumna opposite Sarsawa.


At the same time Ibrahim Lodi, Sultan of Delhi, had gathered his army and was advancing slowly north from Delhi, eventually camping somewhere close to Panipat. Late in March 1526 Ibrahim decided to send a small force across the Yamuna into the Doab (the area between the Yamuna and the Ganges).Babur learnt of this when he was two days south of Sarsawa, and decided to send a raiding force across the river to attack this detachment. His right wing had won the victory on 26 February, and so this time he detached his left wing, once again reinforced with part of the centre, so the two armies may have been about the same size. Babur’s men crossed the Jumna at midday on 1 April, and advanced south during the afternoon.At day-break on 2 April Babur’s men reached the enemy camp. Daud Khan and Hatim Khan would appear to have been caught by surprise and attacked before they could form their men up into a proper line. Babur’s men quickly broke their resistance, and chased Ibrahim’s men until they were opposite Ibrahim’s main camp. Hatim Khan was one of 60–70 prisoners captured, along with 6 or 7 elephants. Just as after the battle on 26 February most of the prisoners were executed, again to send a warning to Ibrahim’s men.


After this victory Babur continued to advance south, reaching Panipat on 12 April. Here Babur recieved news of the apparent huge size of Lodi’s army and began to take defensive measures. He was confident in his troops, the core of which were battle hardened veterans, loyal friends to him through thick and thin. He also enjoyed a solid rapport with his men and treated them on a equal footing. Any could dine at his table. Ibrahim lodi however was facing dissension in ranks.He even had to resort to distributing riches to encourage his troops and promised more.Personally brave,ibrahim was an inexperienced commander and quite vain which upset some of the afghan nobility. For eight days both armies stood facing each other without making a decisive move. Finally Babur in an attempt to goad Lodi into attacking him ordered a night raid by 5000 picked horsemen.However the attack faltered badly, and the mughals narrowly escaped. Elated by his success, Lodi now advanced to meet Babur’s forces on the fields of Panipat.


Babur’s victory led to the end of the Delhi sultanate and the establishment of the Mughul dynasty which was to mark an epoch in the history of medieval India. Babur went on to deal with threats to his position at Khanua against the Rajputs and Gogra against the Afghans, but died before he could consolidate what he had conquered. His son humayun had to deal with a resurgent afghan threat under Sher Shah. The final consolidation of the Mughul Empire was left to Akbar, Babur’s grandson.Militarily; the battle of panipat marks the beginning of the gunpowder age in earnest and the end of the age of elephants as the prime weapon of Indian warfare.


  • Intelligence:  The difference in efficient intelligence had been apparent. Babur’s espionage system allowed him to intercept reinforcements from hamid khan to Lodi. While Babur continuously probed the Afghans during the standoff, Ibrahim Lodi had not sufficiently prepared for the true nature of the Mughul defences and was surprised.His intelligence on Babur’s army too seems to have been minimal as he gave no thought to effect of cannons on elephants and made them a cornerstone of his tactics.


  • Discipline: Babur’s army was by far more disciplined, being able to execute the complex wheeling manuevre flawlessly, while the Afghans were thrown into disorder by their own follies and also charged prematurely ahead of the centre.


  • Morale:  Morale seems to have been high in Babur’s camp. Babur treated his soldiers with an air of equality and the mughals were in enemy territory with nowehere to run. Ibrahim Lodis’ troops on the other hand, at least a part of them were discontent and the vanity of Lodi himself didn’t help matters.The elephant havoc and Lodi’s death was the last straw.


  • Technology: Babur’s forces had the next generation of weapons technology available in form of cannons and matchlocks.While these were still primitive in form they rendered the elephants useless and gave Babur an edge.


  • Firepower Dominance: While the Afghans placed their faith on shock tactics, the mughals enjoyed a total dominance throughout the battle in firepower.The artillery, matchlocks but above all. The turko-mongol composite bow shattered Afghan ranks with a ceaseless barrage. Firepower’s effect is not only physical, but also psychological-as there is nothing worse to a soldier than to be fired at without being able to reply.


  • Surprise: Babur’s unorthodox tactics. The use of the cart line and the artillery placement and the Tulughma flanking attacks, befuddled the Afghans.These were things not seen before in the subcontinent’s battlefields.


  • Failure of Elephants: The reverse rout of the elephants trampling through their own ranks,totally ruined afghan rear ranks cohesion and was a major reason why they never participated in the battle. But the elephant was a weapon of a bygone age.


  • Ibrahim’s Death: Lodis’ charge was premature and unnecessary, while things were desperate upfront, he still had his centre division-shaken and albeit disorganized, but intact. He would have better served to rally his reserve and assault the flanking mughal columns. If he had lived another hour, the mughals may have lost the battle as Babur had minimal reserves left and the mughals too had suffered heavy causalities.


Security:  To Napoleon is credited the saying — ‘’the whole art of war consists of a well-thought out and extremely circumspect defensive, followed by a rapid and audacious counterattack’’. Babur’s tactics at Panipat were a perfect balance between caution and aggression. He secured his flanks with natural or artificial obstacles and his centre with this cart-line offsetting the Afghan advantage in numbers.