Chapter – 3 - History The Delhi Sultanate (1206AD - 1526AD)
• Delhi first became the capital of a kingdom under the Tomara Rajputs, who were defeated bu Chuahans (also called Chahamanas) of Ajmer.
• The transformation of Delhi into a capital that controlled vast areas of the subcontinent
• started with the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate in the beginning of the 13th century.
Fig: Delhi Sultanate
Rulers of Delhi:
i) Chauhans: 1165-1192Prithviraj Chauhan: 1175-1192
ii) Tughlaq Dynasty: 1320-1414
iii) Slave Dynasty: 1206-1290
iv) Khalji Dynasty: 1290-1320
v) Tomars: Early 12th century 1165
vi) Sayyid Dynasty: 1414-1451
vii) Lodi Dynasty: 1451-1526
Finding out about the Delhi Sultans:
(i) Inscriptions coins and architecture provide a lot of information.
(ii) Further valuable sources are ‘histories’, tarikh (singular)/tawarikh (plural), written in Persian, the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans.
iii) The authors of tawarikh were learned men; secretaries administrators, poets and courtiers who both recounted events and advised rulers on governance, emphasizing the importance of just rule.
From Garrison Town to Empire:
i) In the early 13th century the control of the Delhi Sultans rarely went beyond heavily fortified towns occupied by garrisons.
ii) Delhi’s authority was challenged by Mongols and by governors who rebelled at any sign of the Sultan’s weakness.
iii) The expansion of Delhi Sultanate took place under the reign of Balban, Alaudding Khalji and Muhammad Tughlaq.
Administration and Consolidation:
i) To have reliable governors the early Delhi Sultans, especially Iltutmish’ favoured their special slaves purchased for military service called ‘bandagan’ in Persian.
ii) The Khaljis and Tughluqs continued to use bandagan and also raised people of humble birth, who were their clients, to high positions like governors and generals.
iii) The Khaljis and Tughluqs appointed military commanders as governors of territories of varying sizes.
iv) These lands were called iqta and their holder was called muqti or iqtadar. The duty of muqtis was to lead military campaigns and maintain law and order in their iqtas.
v) In return, muqtis collected the revenues of their assignments as salary. They also paid their paid their soldiers from this revenue.
vi) Under Alaudding Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq accountants were appointed to check the amount collected by the muqtis.
vii) As Delhi Sultans brought the hinterland of the cities under their control, they forced the samants and the rich landlords to accept their authority.
viii) The attack of Mongols under Genghis Khan forced Khaljis and Tughluqs to mobilise a large standing army in Delhi.
The Sultanate in Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries:
i) The Tughluq, the Sayyid and Lodi dynasties ruled from Delhi and Agra until 1526.
(ii) By then Jaunpur, Bengal, Malwa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the entire South India had Independent rulers who had established flourishing states and prosperous capitals.
iii) New ruling dynasties like the Afghans and Rajputs also arose during the period.
iv) In 1526, Mughals established their empire, though for a brief period Suri Dynasty ruled in Delhi (1540-1555). This administration became the role model for Akbar, the Mughal Emperor.