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NCERT Summary: The Delhi Sultanate - History for UPSC CSE

Struggle for the Establishment of a Strong Monarchy

Muizzuddin (Muhammad Ghori) was succeeded (1206) by Qutbuddin Aibak, Turkish slave who had played an important part in the expansion of the Turkish Sultanat in India after the battle of Tarain. Another slave of Muizzuddin, Yalduz, succeeded at Ghazni. As the ruler of Ghazni, Yalduz claimed to rule over Delhi as well. This, however, was not accepted by Aibak and from this time, the Delhi Sultanat severed its helped to Prevent India being drawn into central Asian politics.
NCERT Summary: The Delhi Sultanate | History for UPSC CSE

Qutub-ud-din Aibak (c. 1206 – 1210 CE)

  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak founded the Slave dynasty. He was a Turkish slave of Muhammad Ghori who played an important part in the expansion of the Turkish Sultanate in India after the Battle of Tarain. Muhammad Ghori made him the governor of his Indian possessions. He raised a standing army and established his hold over north India even during the lifetime of Ghori.
  • After the death of Muhammad Ghori (c. 1206 CE), Tajuddin Yaldauz, the ruler of Ghazni claimed his rule over Delhi and the governor of Multan and Uchch, Nasiruddin Qabacha wanted independence. He also had to face many revolts from Rajputs and other Indian rulers. However, Aibak, by displaying his mighty power as well as other conciliatory measures, was able to win over his enemies. He defeated Yaldauz and severed all connections with Ghazni and thus founded the Slave dynasty as well as the Delhi Sultanate. 
  • Muslim writers called Aibak “Lakh Baksh” or giver of lakhs because he donated liberally.
  • He was titled “Sultan” and he made Lahore his capital.
  • He also started the construction of the Qutub Minar (first storey only) after the name of the famous Sufi saint Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar. It was later completed by Iltumish.
  • Aibak died suddenly while playing Chaugan (horse polo) in c. 1210 CE.

Aram Shah (c. 1210 CE)

  • Qutub-ud-din was succeeded by his son Aram Shah who was incapable as a ruler. He was opposed by the Turkish armies and his rule lasted for only eight months.

Iltutmish (c. 1210 – 1236 CE)

  • Iltutmish belonged to the Ilbari tribe and therefore, his dynasty was named the Ilbari dynasty. His half brothers sold him as a slave to Aibak who made him his son-in-law by giving his daughter to him. Later Aibak appointed him as Iqtadar of Gwalior. In c.1211 CE, Iltutmish dethroned Aram Shah and became the Sultan with the name of Shamsuddin. He is regarded as the real consolidator of Turkish rule in India.
  • During the first ten years of his reign, he mostly concentrated on securing his throne from his rivals. The commanders of Muhammad Ghori like Yaldauz, Qabacha of Multan and Ali Mardan of Bengal and Bihar rose against him. Iltutmish defeated Yaldauz in the battle of Tarain (c. 1215 CE) and also drove away Qabacha from Punjab.
    Sultanate during Iltutmish`s ReignSultanate during Iltutmish's Reign
  • In c. 1220 CE, the leader of the Mongols, Temujin, popularly known as Chengiz Khan, started his march towards Central Asia. He defeated Jalal-ud-din Mangabarni, the ruler of Khwarizm. Mangabarni escaped from the Mongols and sought asylum from Iltutmish. Iltutmish refused to provide him shelter in order to save his empire from the onslaught of the Mongols. This diplomatic policy of Iltutmish helped him to save his empire from the wrath of Chengiz Khan.
  • Iltutmish brought Bengal and Bihar back into the Delhi Sultanate. He also suppressed the Rajput revolts and recovered Ranthambore in c. 1226 CE and by c. 1231 CE, Iltutmish established his control over Bayana, Mandor, Jalore, and Gwalior. He led an expedition against the Chalukyas of Gujarat but that remained unsuccessful.
  • Iltutmish was a great statesman. In c. 1229 CE, he received ‘mansur’, the letter of recognition from the Abbasid Caliph by which he became the legal sovereign ruler of India.
  • He completed the construction of Qutub Minar at Delhi, the tallest stone tower in India (238 ft).
  • He also introduced the Arabic coinage in India and the silver tanka weighing 175 grams became a standard coin in medieval India. The silver tanka remained the basis of the modern rupee.
  • Iltutmish organised Turkan-i-Chahalgani, a new class of the ruling elite of forty powerful military leaders, the Forty.
  • He patronised many scholars and a number of Sufi saints came to India during his reign. Minhaj-us-Siraj (author of Tahaqqat-i-Nasuri), Taj-ud-din, Muhammad Junaidi, Fakhrul-Mulk-Isami, Malik Qutub-ud-din Hasan were his contemporary scholars who added grandeur to his court.
  • He nominated his daughter as his successor.

Ruknuddin Feruz Shah (c. 1236 CE)

  • He was the eldest son of Iltutmish who ascended the throne with the help of nobles. When the governor of Multan revolted, Ruknuddin Feroz Shah marched to suppress the revolt. Using this opportunity, Iltutmish’s daughter Raziya with the help of the Amirs of Delhi seized the throne of the Delhi Sultanate.

Raziya Sultan (c. 1236 – 1239 CE)

  • After anxious consideration, Iltutmish finally decided to nominate his daughter, Raziya, to the throne, and induced the nobles and the theologians (Ulama) to agree to the nomination the nomination of a woman in preference to sons was a novel step. In order to asset brothers as well as against powerful Turkish nobles, and could rule only for three years.
    NCERT Summary: The Delhi Sultanate | History for UPSC CSE
  • Though brief, her rule had a number of interesting features. it marked the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs, sometimes called “the forty” or the Chahalgani. Iltutmish had shown great deference to these Turkish chiefs. After his death, these chiefs, drunk with power and arrogance, wanted to install on the throne a puppet whom they could control. They soon discovered that though a woman, Raziya was not prepared to play their game. She discarded the female apparel and started holding court with her face unveiled.
  • She even hunted, and led army in war. The Wazir, Nizam-ul-Mulk Junaidi, who had opposed her elevation to the throne, and backed to supported a rebellion of nobles against her, was defeated successfully established law and order in the length and breath of her Kingdom. But the attempt to create a party of noble, Yaqut Khan. 
  • Rebellions broke out at Lahore and sirhind. She personally led an expedition against Lahore, and compelled the governor to Submit. On the way to Sirhind, internal rebellion broke out in which Yaqut Khan was killed, an Raziya imprisoned at Tabarhinda (Bhatinda). However, Raziya won over her captor, Altunia, and after marrying him made a renewed attempt on Delhi. Raziya fought valiantly, but was defeated and killed in fight by bandits.

Bahram Shah (c. 1240 – 1242 CE)

  • The fall of Raziya Sultan paved the way for the ascendancy of ‘the Forty’. During the reign of Bahram Shah, there continued the struggle for supremacy between Sultan and the nobles. The Turkish nobles supported Bahram Shah in the beginning but later became disordered and during this unrest, Bahram Shah was killed by his own army.

Alauddin Masud Shah (c. 1242 – 1246 CE)

  • He was the son of Ruknuddin Feroz Shah and nephew of Raziya Sultan. After the death of Bahram Shah, he was chosen as the next ruler. However, he was incompetent and incapable of handling the affairs in the government and was replaced by Nasiruddin Mahmud.

Nasiruddin Mahmud (c. 1246 – 1265 CE)

  • He was the grandson of Iltutmish who was young and inexperienced. He had ascended the throne with the help of Balban/Ulugh Khan, a member of Chahalgani (the Forty) who himself assumed the position of regent. He married his daughter to Nasirruddin and therefore, the real power lay in the hands of Balban. 
  • Balban was powerful in the administration but he had to face the intrigues of his rivals in the royal court. He overcame all the difficulties. In c. 1265 CE, Nasirruddin Mahmud died and according to some historians like Ibn Batuta and Isami, Balban poisoned him and ascended the throne.

Era of Balban (c. 1266 – 1286 CE)

  • The struggle between the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs continued, till one of the Turkish chiefs, Ulugh Khan, Known in history by his later title of Balban, gradually arrogated all power to himself, and finally ascended the throne in 1265 during the earlier period, Balban held the positon of Naib or deputy of Nasiruddin Mahmud, a younger son of Iltutmish, whom Balban had helped in securing the throne in 1246. Balban further strengthened his positon by marrying one of his daughters to the young sultan. The growing authority of Balban alienated many of the Turkish chiefs who had hoped to continue their former power and influence in the affairs of government, since Nasiruddin Mahmud was young and inexperienced.
  • They, therefore, hatched a conspiracy (1250) and ousted Balban from his position. Balban was replaced by Imadduddin Raihan who was an Indian Muslim. Balban agreed to step aside, but carefully continued to build his own group. Within one and a half years of his dismissal, he managed to win over some of his opponents. Sultan Mahmud bowed to the superior strength of Balban’s group and dismissed Raihan. After some time, Raihan was defeated and killed. Balban got rid of many of his other rivals by fair or foul means. He even went so far as to assume the royal in-signia, the Chhatra. But he did not assume the throne himself, probably due to the sentiments of the Turkish, chiefs. In 1265, Sultan Mahmud died. Some historians are of the opinion that Balban poisoned the young king, and also did away to the throne.
  • While Claiming to act as a champion of the Turkish nobility, Balban was not prepared to share power with anyone, not even with members of his own family. His desporters. Balban was determined to finally break the power of the Chahalgani, i.e., the Turkish nobles, and to exalt the power and prestige of the monarchy. He did not hesitate even to poison his cousin, Sher Khan, to achieve this objective.
  • At the same time, in order to win the confidence of the public, he administered highest in the land were to be spared if they transgressed his authority. To keep himself well informed, Balban appointed strong centralized army, both to deal with internal entrenched themselves in the Punjab and posed a serious danger to the Delhi Sultanat.
  • For the purpose, he reorganized them military department ( Diwan-I-arz), and pensioned off those soldiers and troopers who were no longer fit for service. Since many of the troopers were Turks who had come to India in the time of Iltutmish, they raised a hue and cry against this decision, but Balban was not moved. The law and order situation in the area around Delhi and in the doab had deteriorated. In the Ganga-Jamuna doab and Awadh, roads were, poor and were infested with robbers and Dacoits, The Mewatis had become so bold as to plunder people up to the outskirts of Delhi. To deal with these elements, Balban adopted a policy of “Blood and Iron”. Robbers were mercilessly pursued and put to death.

Kaiqubad (c. 1287 – 1290 CE)

  • Kaiqubad was the grandson of Balban and was made the Sultan of Delhi by the nobles. He was soon replaced by his son, Kaimur. In c. 1290 CE, Feroz, the Ariz-e-Mumalik (the minister of war) murdered Kaimur and captured the throne. He took the title of Jalal-ud-din Khalji and established the Khalji dynasty.

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The Delhi Sultanate - II

(Circa 1200-1400)

AFTER THE death of Balban in 1286, there was again confusion in Delhi for some time. Balban’s chosen successor. Prince Muhammad had died earlier in a battle with the Mongols. A second son, Bughra Khan, preferred to rule over Bengal and Bihar although he was invited by the nobles at Delhi to assume the throne. Hence, a grandson of Balban was installed in Delhi. But he was too young and inexperienced to cope with the situation.

The Khaljis (1290-1320)
NCERT Summary: The Delhi Sultanate | History for UPSC CSE

  • For these reasons, a group of Khalji nobles led by Jalaluddin Khalji, who had been the warden of the marchese in the north-west and had fought many successful engagements against the Mongols, overthrew the incompetent successful engagements against the Mongols, overthrew the incompetent successors of Balban in 1290. The Khalji rebellion was welcomed by the non-Turkish sections of the nobility.
  • Jalaluddin Khalji ruled only for a brief peiod of six years. He tried to mitigate some of the harsh aspects of Baiban’s rule. He was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanat to clearly put forward the view that the state should be based on the willing support of the governed, and that since the large majority of the people in India were Hindus, the state in India could not be truly Islamic state. Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316) came to the throne by treacherously muraenng his uncle and father-in-law, Jalaluddin Khalji. 
  • As the governor of Awadh, Alauddin had accumulated a vast treasure by invading Deogir in the Deccan. Alauddin framed a series of regulations to prevent the nobles from conspiring against him. They were forbidden to hold banquet or festivities, or to form marriage alliances without the permission of the sultan. To discourage festive parties, he banned the use of wines and intoxicants. He also instituted a spy service to inform the sultan of all that the nobles said and did.
  • By these harsh methods, Alauddin Khalji cowed down the nobles, and made them completely subservient to the crown. The old nobility was destroyed, and the new nobility was taught to accept anyone who could ascend the throne of Delhi. This bizarre apparent after Alauddin Khalji’s death in 1316.
  • His favourite, Malik Kafur, raised a minor son of Alauddin to the throne and imprisoned or blinded his other sons, without encountering any opposition from the nobles. Soon after this, Kafur was killed.

Military Campaigns of Alauddin Khalji

  • Alauddin maintained a huge permanent standing army. He sent his army six times against the Mongols. The first two were successful but the third Mongol invader, Khwaja came up to Delhi but was stopped from entering the capital city. The next three Mongol invasions were also dealt with severely and thousands of Mongols were killed. The northwestern frontier was fortified and Ghazi Malik (Ghayasuddin Tughlaq) was appointed as the Warden of Marches to protect the frontier.
  • Conquest of Gujarat: Alauddin Khalji sent an army under two of his generals, Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan to capture Gujarat in c. 1299 CE. The ruler Rai Karan and his daughter escaped while the queen was caught and sent to Delhi. Malik Kafur, a eunuch was also taken to Delhi and later he was made the military commander.
  • Conquest of Rajputana: After capturing Gujarat, Alauddin’s attention turned towards Rajputana.
    • Ranthambore: It was considered to be the strongest fort of Rajasthan. Initially, the Khalji army suffered losses and Nusrat Khan even lost his life. In c.1301 CE, the fort fell to Alauddin. The Rajput women committed Jauhar or self-immolation.
    • Chittor: Alauddin next turned against Chittor. It was another powerful state of Rajputana. In c. 1303 CE, Alauddin stormed the Chittor fort. According to some scholars, Alauddin attacked Chittor because he coveted Padmini, the beautiful queen of Raja Ratan Singh. Raja Ratan Singh and his army fought bravely but were defeated. The Rajput women including Rani Padmini performed Jauhar. This Padmini episode was graphically mentioned in the book Padmavat written by Jayasi.
    • Malwa and others: In c. 1305 CE, under the able leadership of Ain-ul-Mulk, the Khalji army captured Malwa. Ujjain, Mandu, Chanderi and Dhar were also annexed. After this, Alauddin Khalji sent Malik Kafur to the south and himself attacked Siwana. Raja Shital Deva, the ruler of Siwana fought valiantly but was defeated. In c. 1311 CE, Jalore – another Rajput kingdom was annexed. Thus, by c.1311 CE, Alauddin Khalji became the master of north India and captured large parts of Rajputana.
  • Conquest of Deccan and the far South: Alauddin’s greatest achievement was the conquest of Deccan and the far south. This region was ruled by four important dynasties – Yadavas of Devagiri, Kakatiyas of Warangal, Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra and the Pandyas of Madurai. Alauddin sent Malik Kafur to lead the Khalji dynasty invasions to south India.
  • In c. 1306 – 1307 CE, Malik Kafur attacked Devagiri. The ruler of Devagiri, Rai Ramachandra surrendered and was treated honourably. He was given a district of Gujarat and one of his daughters was married to Alauddin. In c. 1309 CE, Malik Kafur launched his campaign against Warangal. Its ruler Prataparudra Deva was defeated and an enormous booty was collected from him. Malik Kafur’s next target was the Hoysala ruler Vira Ballala Ⅲ. He was defeated and a huge booty was seized and sent to Delhi. Kafur then marched against the Pandyas. Vira Pandya fled the capital Madurai and Kafur seized enormous wealth from the Pandya kingdom. According to Amir Khusrau, Malik Kafur reached as far as Rameshwaram, built a mosque there and returned to Delhi with huge wealth.
  • Alauddin honoured Malik Kafur by appointing him Naib Malik of the empire. Alauddin Khalji died in c. 1316 CE. Although the Sultan was illiterate, he patronized poets like Amir Hasan and Amir Khusrau. He built a famous gateway known as Alai Darwaza and constructed a new capital at Siri. Alauddin assumed the title of Sikander-i-Azam and gave the title of Tuti-i-Hind to Amir Khusrau.

Administration of Alauddin Khalji

  • Military Reforms: Alauddin Khalji maintained a large permanent standing army and paid them in cash from the royal treasury. According to historian Ferishta, he recruited 4,75,000 cavalrymen. He introduced the system of dagh (branding of horses) and prepared huliya (descriptive list of soldiers). In order to have maximum efficiency, a strict review of the army from time to time was carried out.
  • Market Reforms: Alauddin established four separate markets in Delhi, one for grain (mandi); another for cloth, sugar, dried fruits, oil and butter; third for horses, cattle and slaves and the fourth market for miscellaneous commodities. Each market was under the control of a high officer called Shahna-i-Mandi. The supply of grain was ensured by holding stocks in government storehouses. There were regulations in place to fix the price of all commodities. A separate department called Diwan-i-Riyasat was created under an officer called Naib-i-Riyasat. Every merchant was registered under the market department. There were secret agents called munhiyans who sent reports to the Sultan regarding the functioning of these markets. The Sultan also sent slave boys to buy various commodities to check prices. Any violation of the Sultan’s orders resulted in severe punishment. No hoarding was permissible and even during famines, the same price was maintained. Land 
  • Revenue Administration: Alauddin took important steps in the land revenue administration. He was the first sultan of Delhi who ordered measurement of land. Land revenue was collected in cash which enabled the Sultan to pay the soldiers in cash. His land revenue reforms provided a basis for the future reforms of Sher Shah and Akbar. The state officer measured the land and fixed land revenue accordingly.

Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah (c. 1316 – 1320 CE)

  • After the death of Alauddin Khalji, Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah (one of the sons of Alauddin) ascended the throne. He abolished all the harsh regulations of his father. 
  • He was not able to run the administration efficiently and was murdered.

Nasiruddin Khusrau Shah (c. 1320 CE)

  • He killed Mubarak Shah. His reign did not last long. The governor of Dipalpur, Ghazi Malik killed Khusrau Shah and ascended the throne of Delhi under the title of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq in c. 1320 CE. 
  • He was the only Hindu convert to sit on the throne of Delhi.

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The Tughlaqs (1320-1412)
NCERT Summary: The Delhi Sultanate | History for UPSC CSE

  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq established a new dynasty which ruled till 1412. The Tughlaqs provided three competent rulers: Ghiyasuddin, his son Muhammad bin Tuglaq (1324-51), and his nephew Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88). The first two of these sultanas ruled over an empire which comprised almost the entire country. The Turkish rulers had strong reasons for coveting Malwa and Gujarat. Not only were these areas fertile and populous, but they also controlled the western seaports and the trade routes connecting them with the Ganga valley. Another reason for the sultans of Delhi to establish their rule over Gujarat was that it would secure them better control over the supply of horses to their armies. The import of Arabi, Iraqi, and Turki horses to India from the western seaports had been an important item of trade since the eighth century.
  • Early in 1299, an army under two of Alauddin Khalji’s noted generals marched against Gurajat by the way of Rajasthan. On their way, they raided and captured Jaisalmer also. The Gujarat ruler, Rai Karan, was taken by surprise, and fled without offering a fight. The famous temple of Somnath was plundered and sacked. It was here that Malik Kafur, who later led the invasions of south India, was captured. He was presented to Alauddin, and soon rose in his estimation.


  • After the conquest of Gujarat, Alauddin turned his attention to the consolidation of his rule over Rajasthan. The first to invite his attention was Ranthambhor which was being ruled by the Chauhan successors of Prithviraj. Its ruler, Hamirdeva, had embarked on a series of war like expeditions against his neighbors. Alauddin despatched an army commanded by one of his reputed generals but it was repulsed with losses by Hamirdeva. Finally, Alauddin himself had to march against Ranthambhor. The famous poet, Amir Khusrau, who went along with Alauddin, has given a graphic description of the fort and its investment. After three months of close siege, the fear jauhar ceremony took place: the women mounted the funeral pyre, and all the men came out to fight to the last. This is the first description we have of the jauhar in Persian. All the Mongols, too, died fighting with the Rajputs. This event took place in 1301.
  • Alauddin, next, turned his attention towards Chittor which, after Ranthambhor, was the most powerful state in Rajasthan. It was, therefore necessary for Alauddin to subdue it. Apart from this, its ruler Ratan Singh had annoyed him by refusing permission to his armies to march to this, its ruler Ratan Singh had annoyed him by refusing permission to his armies to march to Gujarat through Mewar territories. There is a popular legend that Alauddin attacked Chittor because he coveted Padmini, the beautiful queen of Ratan Singh. However, many modern historians do not accept this legend because its mentioned for the first time more than a hundred years later. In this story, Padmini is the princess of Singhal dvipa and Ratan Singh crosses the seven seas to reach her and brings her back to Chittor after many adventures which appear improbable. The Padmini legend is a part of this account.
  • Alauddin closely invested Chittor After a resistance by Mewar besieged for several months Alauddin stormed the fort (1303). The Rajputs performed jauhar and most of the warriors died fighting. Alauddin also overran Jalor which lay on the route to Gujarat.

Deccan and South India

  • In 1306-7, Alauddin planned two campaigns. The first was against Rai Karan who after his expulsion from Gujarat, had been holding Baglana on the border of Malwa. Rai Karan fought bravely, but he could not resist for long. The second expedition was aimed against Rai Ramachandra, the ruler of Deogir, who had been in alliance with Rai Karan. In an earlier campaign, Rai Ramchandra had agreed to pay an yearly tribute to Delhi. This had failed into arrears. The command of the second army was entrusted to Alauddins slave, Malik Kafur. Rai Ramchandra who surrendered to Kafur, was honourably treated and carried to Delhi where, after some time, he was restored to his dominaions with the title of Rai Rayan. 
  • A gift of one lakh tonkas was given to him along with a golden coloured canopy which was a symbol of rulership. he was also given a district of gujarat. One of his daughters was married to Alauddin. The Alliance with Rai Ramachandra was to prove to be of great value to Alauddin in his further aggrandisement in the Deccan.
  • Between 1309 and 1311, Malik Kafur led two campaigns in south India - the first against Warangal in the Telegana area and the other against Dwar Samudra and Mabar (modern Karnataka) and Madurai (Tamil Nadu). The court poet, Amir Khusrau made them the subject of a book. For the first time, Muslim armies penetrated as far south as Madurai, and brought back untold wealth. The trade routes to south India were well known and w hen Kaf ur’s armies reached Pain tan in Mabar, they found a colony of Muslim merchants settled there. The ruler even had a contingent of Muslim tropps in his army.

    These expeditions greatly raised Kafur in public estimation and Alauddin appointed him malik-naib or vice-gegent of the empire.

  • Following the accession of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq in 1320, a sustained and vigorous forward policy was embarked upon. After reorganizing his armies, the attacked again and this time no quarter was given to the Rai. This was followed by the conquest of Mabar which was also annexed. Muhammad bin Tughlaq them raided Orissa, and returned to Delhi with rich plunder. Next year, he subdued Bengal which had been independent since the death of Balban. Thus, by 1324, the territories of the Delhi Sultanat reached up to Madurai. The last Hindu principality in the area, Kampili in South Karnataka, was annexed in 1328. A cousin of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, who had rebelled, had been given shelter there, thous providing a convenient excus for attacking it.

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Sayyid Dynasty (c. 1414 – 1451 CE)

Khizr Khan (c. 1414 – 1421 CE)

  • Before Timur left India, he appointed Khizr Khan as governor of Multan. He captured Delhi and founded the Sayyid dynasty in c. 1414 CE. He did not adopt the title of Sultan and was content with Rayat-i-Ala.
  • He is considered to be an important ruler of the Sayyid dynasty. He tried to consolidate the Delhi Sultanate but in vain. He died in c. 1421 CE.

Mubarak Shah (c. 1421 – 1433 CE)

  • Khizr Khan was succeeded by his son Mubarak Shah.

Muhammad Shah (c. 1434 – 1443 CE)

  • Muhammad Shah who succeeded Mubarak Shah was always busy acting against conspirators and gradually lost control over his nobles.
  • Muhammad Shah died in c. 1445 CE and was succeeded by his son Alam Shah.

Alam Shah (c. 1445 – 1451 CE)

  • He was the weakest amongst all Sayyid princes and proved to be incompetent.
  • His wazir, Hamid Khan invited Bahlul Lodhi to take charge of the army. Alam Shah realised that it would be difficult to continue as a ruler, so he retired to Badaun.

Lodi Dynasty (c. 1451 – 1526 CE)

The Lodhis/Lodis were the last ruling dynasty of the Sultanate period and the first to be headed by the Afghans, who ruled over Sirhind when the Sayyids ruled in India.

Bahlol Lodhi (c. 1451 – 1489 CE)

  • He founded the Lodhi dynasty.
  • In c. 1476 CE, he defeated the sultan of Jaunpur and annexed it to Delhi Sultanate. He also brought the ruler of Kalpi and Dholpur under the suzerainty of Delhi. He annexed the Sharqui dynasty and introduced Bahlol copper coins.
  • He died in c. 1489 CE and was succeeded by his son, Sikander Lodhi.

Sikander Lodhi (c. 1489 – 1517 CE)

  • He was the greatest of the three Lodhi sovereigns. He brought the whole of Bihar under his control and many Rajput chiefs were defeated. He attacked Bengal and forced its ruler to conclude a treaty with him and extended his kingdom from Punjab to Bihar.
  • He was a good administrator, he built roads and many irrigation facilities were provided for the benefit of the peasantry.
  • He introduced the Gazz-i-Sikandari, a new measurement yardstick and a system of auditing of accounts.
  • Despite having applaudable qualities, he was a bigot and was intolerant towards non-Muslims. Many temples were destroyed and he re-imposed Jiziya on non-Muslims.
  • In c. 1504 CE, he founded Agra and wrote Persian verses under the name Gulrakhi.

Ibrahim Lodhi ( c. 1517 – 1526 CE)

  • Sikander Lodhi was succeeded by his eldest son, Ibrahim Lodhi who was an arrogant and repressive ruler. He insulted his nobles in the court and the ones who revolted were put to death. Daulat Khan Lodhi, the governor of Punjab was humiliated and disaffection between king and courtier became very common during his reign. Greatly displeased by the attitude of Ibrahim Lodhi, Daulat Khan Lodhi invited Babur to invade India. Babur marched against Delhi, defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat in c. 1526 CE. The Afghan kingdom thus lasted for only seventy-five years.

Thus, the Sultanate of Delhi which had its birth on the battlefield of Tarain (c. 1192 CE), ended just a few miles away on the battlefield of Panipat (c. 1526 CE).

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FAQs on NCERT Summary: The Delhi Sultanate - History for UPSC CSE

1. What is the significance of the Sayyid Dynasty in the establishment of a strong monarchy during the Delhi Sultanate?
Ans. The Sayyid Dynasty played a crucial role in the establishment of a strong monarchy during the Delhi Sultanate. They focused on consolidating power, improving administrative efficiency, and introducing land reforms to strengthen the monarchy. They also maintained a strong military and implemented policies to enhance revenue collection. Their efforts laid the foundation for a more centralized and powerful monarchy.
2. How did the Lodi Dynasty contribute to the struggle for a strong monarchy in the Delhi Sultanate?
Ans. The Lodi Dynasty continued the efforts of the previous rulers to establish a strong monarchy in the Delhi Sultanate. They further centralised power, reformed the administration, and worked towards expanding their territorial control. They also implemented policies to strengthen the military and improve revenue collection. However, their rule eventually faced challenges from external invasions, which led to the end of the Delhi Sultanate.
3. What were the key administrative reforms introduced by the Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties to strengthen the monarchy?
Ans. The Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties implemented several administrative reforms to strengthen the monarchy. They focused on improving administrative efficiency, enhancing revenue collection, and centralizing power. Some of the key reforms included the introduction of a more organized bureaucracy, land reforms to increase revenue, and the appointment of capable administrators. These reforms aimed to establish a strong central authority and ensure effective governance.
4. How did the military policies of the Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties contribute to the establishment of a strong monarchy in the Delhi Sultanate?
Ans. The military policies of the Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties played a crucial role in establishing a strong monarchy in the Delhi Sultanate. They focused on maintaining a strong and disciplined army, which helped in consolidating their power and defending the kingdom against external threats. The dynasties also introduced reforms in the military administration, such as improving the recruitment process, training soldiers, and organizing the army structure. These measures ensured the monarchy's stability and authority.
5. What were the major challenges faced by the Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties in their struggle for a strong monarchy in the Delhi Sultanate?
Ans. The Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties faced several challenges in their endeavor to establish a strong monarchy in the Delhi Sultanate. One of the major challenges was the constant threat of external invasions, particularly from the Timurid Empire. These invasions weakened the empire and posed a significant challenge to the dynasties' authority. Additionally, internal conflicts, regional rebellions, and the rising power of regional governors also posed challenges to their centralized rule. Despite their efforts, the dynasties ultimately succumbed to these challenges, leading to the end of the Delhi Sultanate.
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