Old NCERT Summary (Satish Chandra): The Delhi Sultanate Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

UPSC: Old NCERT Summary (Satish Chandra): The Delhi Sultanate Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

The document Old NCERT Summary (Satish Chandra): The Delhi Sultanate Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
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The period from 1206 A.D. to 1526 A.D. came to be known as the Delhi Sultanate period. This period witnessed many dynasties and various rulers.
Some of the major dynasties and rulers this period witnessed are listed below.

 SI. No. Dynasty Name
 1 Slave (Ghulam) or Mamluk Dynasty
 2 Khilji Dynasty
 3 Tughluq dynasty
 4 Sayyid Dynasty
 5 Lodi dynasty

1. Mamluk Dynasty /Slave rule (llbari Turks, Mameluk Turks): Mamluk literally means 'owned' and it refers to a powerful military caste called Mamluks which originated in the 9th century CE in the Islamic Empire of the Abbasid caliphs. Aibak succeeded Ghori for Indian territories in 1206. Yalduz, another slave of Ghori, succeeded him at Ghazni. Since Yalduz also claimed rule over Delhi, Aibak severed ties with him, causing Delhi Sultanate to develop independently instead of being dragged into central asian politics.

Iltutmish (1210-36)
(i) Aram Shah who suceeded Aibak was a weak ruler. It is not clear whether he was a son of Aibak or not. He was conspired against by a group of nobles who invited Shamsuddin lltutmish to be the ruler.
(ii) lltutmish was a son-in-law of Aibak.
(iii) He was a turkic slave born in Central Asia.
(iv) He was the greatest of the slave rulers of Delhi.
(v) He shifted his capital from Lahore to Delhi.
(vi) He defended his empire against Mongol invaders and also resisted the Rajputs.
(vii) In 1221, he stopped an invasion led by Chenghiz Khan.
(viii) He completed the construction of the Quwwat-ul-lslam mosque and the Qutb Minar.
(ix) He set up an administrative machinery for the kingdom.
(x) He built mosques, waterworks and other amenities at Delhi, making it fit to be the seat of power.
(xi) He introduced the two coins, the silver tanka and the copper jital.
(xii) Also introduced the Iqtadari system in which the kingdom was divided into Iqtas which were assigned to nobles in exchange of salary.
(xiii) He died in 1236 and was succeeded by his daughter Razia Sultana as he did not consider his sons equal to the task.

Raziya (1236-39)
(i) Born in 1205 as lltutmish's daughter.
(ii) Was given a sound education by her father.
(iii) She was the first and last Muslim woman to rule over Delhi.
(iv) Also known as Razia al-Din.
(v) Before ascending to the throne of Delhi after her father's death, the reign was briefly handed over to her half-brother Rukn ud-din Firuz. But after Firuz's assasination within 6 months of his ascendency, the nobles agreed to placing Razia on the throne.
(vi) She was known as an efficient and just ruler.
(vii) She was married to Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altunia, the governor of Bathinda.
(viii) She was reportedly killed by her brother's forces.
(ix) Her brother Muizuddin Bahram Shah succeeded her
(x) Her rule marked the struggle between monarchy and Turkish chiefs (chahalgani).

Balban (1265)
(i) The next notable ruler after Razia.
(ii) Ninth Sultan in the Mamluk dynasty.
(iii) He was the wazir of the grandson of lltutmish, Nasir-ud-din-Mahmud.
(iv) Born of Turkish origins, his original name was Bahauddin.
(v) He was purchased as a slave by lltutmish. He rose up the ranks quickly. He carried out successful military campaigns as an officer.
(vi) After Nasir's death, Balban declared himself the Sultan as the former did not have any male heirs.
(vii) He carried military and civil reforms in administration which earned him the position of the greatest Sultanate ruler after lltutmish and Alauddin Khalji.
(viii) Balban was a despot and followed blood and iron policy to maintain law and order. Reorganized military (diwan-i-arz) and insisted on sijada and paibos (prostration and kissing King's feet).
(ix) He refused to share power with anyone and was determined to break the influence of chahalgani.
(x) He laid out severe punishments to the slightest of offences by his courtiers. He had a spy system to keep his nobles in check.
(xi) He introduced the Persian festival of Navroz in India.
(xii) Punjab saw large-scale conversions during his rule.
(xiii) He died in 1286. Incompetent successors of Balbans were overthrown by Khalji dynasty.

2. Khaljis
Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji (1290-1296 A.D.)
(i) He was the founder of Khilji Dynasty. He was also called as "Clemency Jalal-uddin" as he followed peace and wanted to rule without violence.
(ii) rebelled against Balban's incompetent successors and ascended the throne. Khaljis were soldiers in Balban's army but were not given due recognition.
(iii) He reasoned that majority of population was Hindu, so rule could not be Islamic. Believed that state should be based on the willing support of the governed.
(iv) Allowed non-Turks to hold high offices.

Domestic Policies of Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji
(i) He suppressed Malik Chhajju's revolt at Kara
(ii) He appointed Ala-ud-din Khilji as the Governor of Kara. Alauddin was his son-in-law and also nephew.

Mongol Invasion
(i) In 1292 A.D. Jalal-ud-din defeated the Mongols who had come up to Sunam.

End of Jalal-ud-din
(ii) Jalal-ud-din was treacherously murdered by Ala-ud-din Khilji his son-in-law.
(iii) Jalal-ud-din's policy of peace was not liked by many.

Alauddin Khalji

(i) Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316) used ruthlessness and repression to quell internal rebellion.
(ii) He even gave harsh punishments to wives and children of the rebels and massacred the Mongols who had settled in Delhi.
(iii) Framed a series of regulations for the nobles - no festivities or marriage alliances without his permission, banning of wine and intoxicants etc., making the nobles subservient.
(iv) In 1296 A.D. Ala-ud-din Khilji succeeded Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji and ascended the throne.

Ala-ud-din Khilji Invasions in the North
(i) Ala-ud-din Khiliji's generals namely, Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan conquered Gujarat.
(ii) He captured Ranthambore and killed Hamir Deva its ruler.
(iii) He also captured Malwa, Chittor, Dhar, Mandu, Ujjain, Marwar, Chanderi and Jalor.

Ala-ud-din Khilji Invasions in the South
(i) He was the first Sultan who attacked South India.
(ii) He sent his confidante and general Malik Kafur against the rulers of the south.
(iii) Prataprudra-ll of Warangal, Ramachandra Deva, the Yadava king of Devagiri, and Vira Ballala-lll the Hoysala king were defeated.
(iv) He constructed a mosque in Rameswaram.
(v) The kingdoms of the south acknowledged the power of Alauddin Khilji and paid his monetary tributes.

The Mongol Invasion
(i) Ala-ud-din successfully resisted the Mongol invasion more than 12 times.

Domestic Policies of Alauddin Khilji
(i) Ala-ud-din followed the Divine Right Theory of Kingship.
(ii) He introduced four ordinances to prevent repeated revolts.
(iii) He impounded pious grants and free grants of lands
(iv) He restructured the spy system.
(v) He banned social parties and wine.
(vi) He introduced a permanent standing army.
(vii) He started the system of branding of horses and descriptive roster of individual soldiers to inhibit corruption.
(viii) He fixed the prices of necessary commodities which were below the normal market rates.
(ix) He strictly prohibited black marketing.
(x) Revenue was collected in cash and not in kind.
(xi) He followed discriminatory policies towards the Hindus and imposed the Jizya, a grazing tax and a house tax on the Hindu community.

Marketing System
(i) Officers called Diwan-i-riyasat were appointed in the offices called Shahana-i-mandi to standardize the market.
(ii) Merchants should have to register themselves in the office (Shahana-i-mandi) before selling their goods at the fixed rates.

Ala-ud-din-Khilji's Estimate
(i) He was the first to bring the standing army system.
(ii) He constructed Alai Darwaza, the Palace of a thousand pillars and the Fort of Siri.

Successors after Ala-ud-din-Khilji
(i) Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah (1316-1320 A.D.)
(ii) Nasir-ud-din Khusrav Shah (1320A.D.)
Nizamuddin Auliya acknowledged Khusrau's rule. Muslims of Delhi were no longer swayed by racial considerations and were accepting of anyone.
(iii) his widened social base of the nobility.
(iv) His successors were weak.

End of the Dynasty
(i) Ala-ud-din Khilji died in 1316 A.D.
(ii) Successors of Ala-ud-din-Khilji were weak rulers.
(iii) Eventually, in 1320 A.D. the Governor of Punjab Ghazi Malik led a group of nobles, conquered Delhi and captured the throne.
(iv) Ghazi Malik assumed the name 'Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq' at Delhi and founded the Tughluq Dynasty, a dynasty of rulers

3. Tughlaqs
Ghiyas-ud-din
(i) Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq or Ghazi Malik was the founder of the Tughluq dynasty.

Tughluq or Ghazi Malik (1320-1325 A.D.)
(i) He rose from a humble origin.
Domestic and Foreign Policies
(ii) Ghiyas-ud-din reinstated order in his empire.
(iii) He gave more importance to postal arrangements, judicial, irrigation, agriculture, and police.
(iv) In 1320A.D. he ascended the throne
(v) He brought Bengal, Utkala or Orissa, and Warangal under his control
(vi) The Mongol leaders who invaded North India were seized and confined by him.

End of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq rule
(i) In 1325 A.D. Ghiyas-ud-din was crushed to death while attending an event for his victories in Bengal.
(ii) Junakhan, the crown prince succeeded him.

Muhammad-binTughlaq (1325-1361A.D.)
(i) In 1325 A.D. Junakhan, the crown prince sworn the title Muhammad-bin-Tughluq.
(ii) Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq stood for the administrative and political unity of India.
(iii) In 1327 A.D. he captured Warangal.

Domestic Policies of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq
(i) To fill the empty treasury, he raised taxes in the Doab region.
(ii) Many people ran away to the forests to avoid heavy taxes due to which cultivation was neglected and severe food shortage occurred.
(iii) He shifted his capital from Delhi to Devagiri to protect his capital and ordered the common people and government officials to shift to Devagiri, after many difficulties he ordered them to return to Delhi.
(iv) He introduced the copper currency system.
(v) The value of coins dropped; hence he had to withdraw the copper token currency.
(vi) To conquer Khurasan, Iraq, and Transoxiana, he raised an army of 3,70,000 men.
(vii) Mohammed-bin-Tughluq's national treasure had a great burden due to the policy of huge presents given to Tamashirin, the Mongol leader in order to avoid Mongol Invasion.
(viii) Mohammed-bin-Tughluq's domestic policies were good but due to faulty implementation measures, they failed.
(ix) The decline of the Delhi Sultanate is claimed due to his hasty decisions and defective policy implementation.

Firoz Tughlaq (1351-1388 A.D.)
In 1351A.D. Firoz Tughlaq was the son of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq's younger brother. He succeeded the throne.

Administrative Reforms
(i) He withdrew all Taquavi (agricultural) loans granted by Mohammed-bin-Tughlaq.
(ii) He raised the salary of the revenue officers.
(iii) He brought to an end to all unlawful and unjust taxes.
(iv) He collected four important taxes which are:

  1. Kharaj-1/10 of the produce of the land
  2. Khams-1/5 of the war booty
  3. Jizya-Poll Tax
  4. Zakat-Tax on Muslims for specific religious purposes

(v) He constructed 150 wells, 100 bridges, and 50 dams, and also dug many irrigation canals.
(vi) He constructed towns like Firozabad, Hissar, Jaunpur, and Fatehabad.
(vii) Firoz banned all kinds of damages and torture.

Foreign Policy
(i) Firoz Tughlaq surrounded Bengal in 1353 A.D. and 1359A.D.
(ii) He seized Jainagar.
(iii) He devastated the Jagannath Temple at Puri.

Importance of Firoz Tughlaq in Medieval Indian History
Firoz proved his prominence by

(i) His generous measures and contributions to the affluence of the people.
(ii) Futuhat-i-Firoz Shahi is an autobiography of Firoz Tughlaq.
(iii) He patronized scholar Zia-ud-din Barani.
(iv) During his reign, a number of Sanskrit books on medicine, science and arts were translated into Persian.
(v) Kutab- Feroz Shahi - a book which dealt with Physics

Later Tughlaqs-successors of Firoz
(i) Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq Shah II
(ii) Abu Bakr Shah,
(iii) Nasir-ud-din Mohammed Tughlaq

End of Tughlug Dynasty
(i) The successors of Firoz were not very strong or competent.
(ii) By the end of the 14th century, most of the territories became independent.
(iii) Only Punjab and Delhi remained under the Tughlaqs.
(iv) Timur's invasion took place during the Tughlug period.
(v) Timur's Invasion (1398 A.D.)
(a) The fabulous wealth of India attracted Timur the ruler of Samarqand.
(b) During the period of Nasir-ud-din Mohammed Tughlaq, he invaded India.
(c) In 1398 A.D. Timur captured Delhi and caused the annihilation of the Tughlaq dynasty by pillaging and slaughtering people.

4. THE SAYYID DYNASTY (1414-1451 A.D.)
Khizr Khan (1414-1421 A.D.)
(i) He was the founder of Sayyid Dynasty
(ii) He did not swear any royal title.
(iii) He was the Governor of Multan.
(iv) He took advantage of the disordered situation in India after Timur's invasion.
(v) In 1414 A.D. he occupied the throne of Delhi.
(vi) He brought parts of Surat, Dilapur, and Punjab under his control.
(vii) But he lost Bengal, Deccan, Gujarat, Jaunpur, Khandesh and Malwa.
(viii) In 1421 he died.
(ix) Mubarak Shah Khizr Khan's son succeeded him.

Mubarak Shah (1421-1434A.D.)
(i) Mubarak Shah crushed the local chiefs of the Doab region and the Khokhars.
(ii) He is first Sultan ruler to appoint Hindu nobles in the court of Delhi.
(iii) He constructed "Mubarakbad" City on the banks of the river Jamuna.
(iv) Muhammad Shah Mubarak's nephew succeeded him.

Muhammad Shah (1434-1445 A.D.)
(i) He defeated the ruler of Malwa with the help of Bahlul Lodi the Governor of Lahore.
(ii) He conferred Bahlul Lodi with the title Khan-i-Khanan for helping in defeating the ruler of Malwa.
(iii) Later Ala-ud-din Shah succeeded him.

Ala-ud-din Shah (1 445-1457 A.D.)
(i) He was a weak ruler.
(ii) In 1457 A.D. Bahlul Lodi the Governor of Lahore captured Delhi and made Ala-ud-din Shah to step down from the throne and sent him to Badaun.
(iii) In 1478 A.D. Ala-ud-din Shah died in Badaun.

5.LODI DYNASTY (1451 to 1526)
Bahlul Lodi (1451 -1489 A, D.)
(i) Bahlul Lodi was the founder of Lodi Dynasty.
(ii) The Lodi Dynasty is the last ruling dynasties of the Sultanate period.
(iii) He was a wise statesman who knew his limits.
(iv) He took various measures to gratify his nobles.
(v) He conquered Etawa, Gwalior, Mewat, Sakit, and Samthal.
(vi) He died in 1489 A.D.
(vii) Bahlul Lodi was a wise ruler, he never sat on the  throne and he used to sit on the carpet in front of the throne with his nobles to gain their recognition and support.

Sikandar Shahi (1489-1517 A.D.)
(i) Sikandar Shahi was the son of Bahlul Lodi.
(ii) He swore the title Sikandar Shah and ascended the throne.
(iii) He set up a well-organized spy system.
(iv) He developed agriculture and industry.
(v) He was an orthodox Muslim.
(vi) He put severe restrictions on the Hindus.
(vii) Sikandar Shah enjoyed "Shehnai" Music.
(viii) A work on music names "Lahiati-Sikandar Shahi" was created during his reign.

End of Lodi Dynasty (1517- 1526 A.D.)
(i) Ibrahim Lodi succeeded Sikhandar Lodi.
(ii) He was an intolerant and adamant ruler
(iii) He had humiliated many nobles and killed some nobles cruelly.
(iv) He also treated his son Dilwar Khan Lodi cruelly.
(v) Daulat Khan, the most powerful noble of Punjab, who was discontended with Ibrahim Lodhi, invited Babur the ruler of Kabul to invade India.
(vi) Babur invaded India and defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat in 1526 A. D.

Expansion, Reforms in and Disintegration of Delhi Sultanate
Expansion
(i) Dynasties of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Malwa were always at war. In Maratha region, Deogir was at war with Warangal in Telangana and Hoysalas in Karnataka. Hoysalas were at war with Pandyas in TN.
(ii) Turkish wanted to conquer Gujarat because of fertile area and access to sea-trade due to western ports. Access to large amounts of gold and silver as well as access to good quality horses to counter rise of Mongols was the need for controlling Gujarat ports. Alauddin sent two generals to conquer Gujarat. They sacked Anhilwara, Jaisalmer and Somnath and collected large booty. Gujarat became a part of the empire, except South Gujarat.
(iii) Then came consolidation of Rajasthan. Successors of Prithviraj Chauhan ruled. Mongol soldiers of Khalji's army rebelled and sought refuge with Chauhan king Hamirdeva. Khalji ordered Hamirdeva to kill or expel them. On refusal, he marched to Ranthambore. Amir Khusrau went with him and has given a graphic description of the fort. Jauhar (women sacrificing themselves in funeral pyre) happened and men came out to fight. This is the first description of Jauhar in Persian. Dated 1301.
(iv) Khalji invested Chittor - under Ratan Singh - in 1303. Rajput rulers were allowed to rule but had to pay regular tribute and obey orders.
(v) Then came Deccan and South India. First campaign against Rai Karan, erstwhile ruler of Gujarat and second against Rai Ramachandra, ruler of Deogir. Malik Kafur led the second charge and was victorious. Alliance was forged with Rai Ramachandra. Two campaigns by kafur in South India b/w 1309-11. One against Warangal and second against Dwar Samudra and Mabar (K'tka) and Madurai (TN). Khusrau wrote about these campaigns and the Malwa campaign. Kafur was appointed malik-naib (vice regent) of the empire by Khalji. Within 15 years, all these territories were brought under direct administration of Delhi.
(vi) After death of Khalji, successive rulers also adopted forward policies. Territories of Sultanate reached upto Madurai by 1324. Last Hindu principality - Kampili in South K'taka - was annexed in 1328.
(vii) This extensive expansion created numerous administrative and financial problems. These were tackled through

Reforms in the Sultanate
(i) Alauddin's policy of market control: Tried for the first time in the known world.

Controlled prices of all commodities. Set up three markets at Delhi - one for foodgrains, second for costly cloth and third for horses, slaves and cattle. Each market under control of officer = shahna.

(ii) Need to control prices because

  1. To enjoy popularity among citizens.
  2. Less and stable prices = enough food for large army.
  3. Low prices of horses = increased efficiency of army.
  4. Barani says major objective of market control = punishing Hindus who formed a majority of local traders that profited from increased foodgrain prices.

(iii) Khalji ordered that revenue of Ganga doab would be raised to half of produce and paid to state and not given as iqta to anyone.

(iv) Supply chain was managed. Peasants were asked to pay in cash, they sold at low prices to banjaras who sold it at fixed prices in markets.

(v) All agents were registered and their families held responsible in case of violation of law.

(vi) Raising revenue in cash = paying soldiers in cash, being the first sultan to do so. Unclear if market control applied only to Delhi or to other cities as well.

(vii) Land revenue administration:

  • First sultan to insist that revenue would be decided on basis of assessment of land under cultivation.
  • Landlords (khuts/muqaddams) had to pay same taxes as others - like taxes on milch cattle, houses.
  • Amils and other officials were given sufficient salaries, their accounts were strictly audited and severe punishment was given to ensure honesty.

(viii) Muhammad bin Tughlaq's reforms:

(a) Paid a keen interest in agriculture.

(b) Well-versed in religion and philosophy and conversed with Jain saints like Jinaprabha Suri, in addition to muslim clerics. Was hasty and impatient.

(c) Termed "ill-starred idealist".

(d) Transferred capital from Delhi to Deogir (Daulatabad) in order to have a better control over south India. Caused lots of deaths and discontent and he could not control north India from Deogir. The experiment ultimately failed.

(e) Several religious divines had settled in Deogir after this experiment. They spread the cultural, religious and social ideas of Turks to South India and caused a new process of cultural interaction.

(f) Tughlaq introduced token currency. China's Qublai Khan had successfully experimented with it earlier. MBT introduced a bronze coin equivalent to silver tanka. He couldn't stop people from forging new coins, which resulted in devaluation of the currency. It had to be withdrawn. Failure of these two experiments led to wastage of money and reduction in sovereign's prestige.

(ix) Since early times, attempts had been made by Indian kings to secure the "scientific frontier" = Hindukush and Kandahar. This was needed because once invaders crossed the passes in Hindukush, it was easy for them to breach Indus and reach Delhi. A strong army at the scientific frontier would help in repelling the invaders.

(x) MBT also recruited a large army to defend this frontier after Mongols invaded India and reached till Meerut. Another expedition was launched in Kumaon Hills in Himalayas to counter Chinese excursions. Called the Qarachil expedition. Kangra hills also saw an expedition and were secured.

(xi) MBT faced rebellion from peasants of the doab. Relief efforts came too late. So he started reforms to rejuvenate agriculture. Established new deprtment = diwan-i-amir-i-kohi. Officials were placed in charge of blocks and tasked with providing loans to peasants and inducing them to produce superior crops such as wheat and grapes in place of barley and sugarcane. Scheme failed because of corruption.

(xii) MBT also faced problems with nobility.

  • Non-turks were allowed since the time of Khaljis. MBT also included foreigners, hindus and Indian converted muslims into nobility.
  • Descendants of earlier noble families resented it.
  • Nobility consisted of divergent sections which did not have any cohesion or loyalty towards the sultan.
  • Vast extent provided opportunities for rebellion.

Disintegration of Sultanate
(i) Many rebellions in different parts of the empire - in Bengal, TN, Warangal, Kampili, Awadh, Gujarat and Sindh due to spreading discontent among nobles regarding MBT's policies.
(ii) MBT rushed from place to place to quell these.
(iii) Plague broke out in the army and almost 2/3rd perished.
(iv) Meanwhile, Harihar and Bukka rebelled and set up the Vijayanagar Empire which soon embraced entire south India.
(v) Some foreign nobles set up principalities near Daulatabad which expanded into the Bahmani empire.

MBT died while quelling rebellions and was succeeded by Firuz.
(i) Made no effort to reassert sovereignty over South.
(ii) Faced with imminent breakup of Sultanate, he followed a policy of appeasement of the nobles, army and theologians.
(iii) Decreed the iqtas to be made hereditary and abolished torturing of nobles in case of mismanagement of accounts.
(iv) Extended heredity to army and paid soldiers by assignments of land revenue. To placate theologians, he persecuted sects that were considered heretical, banned practices considered unislamic.
(v) Jizyah became a separate tax. Brahmanas had to pay. Women, children and dependents were exempt.
(vi) Wall paintings on palace walls were erased (unislamic) but ordered Hindu religious works to be translated to Persian from Sanskrit.
(vii) Abolished inhuman punishments like cutting of limbs.
(viii) Set up hospitals for free treatment of the poor and ordered kotwals to make a list of unemployed people.
(ix) Emphasized that state was not meant for awarding punishments and collecting taxes but was also a benevolent institution.
(x) Set up a PWD and built many canals, longest being 200 kms from Sutlej to Hansi, for water supply to several new towns - Hissar-Firuzah and Firuzabad.
(xi) Ordered that after attacking a palace, handsome boys should be sent to sultan as slaves. These were trained in handicrafts and sent to workshops (karkhanas) and made into soldiers completely dependent on the sultan,
(xii) After his death, nobility and governors reasserted independence and the empire was further weakened by Timur's invasion of Delhi in 1398. The invasion was for plunder and exposed the weaknesses due to absence of a strong state in Delhi. Timur took large amounts of gold, silver, jewels and also capable artisans to help him build his capital Samarqand.

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