The Saiyyid dynasty
Then came the Saiyyid dynasty founded by Khizr Khan. The Sayyids ruled from about
1414 AD to 1450 AD. At a time when the provinces were declaring themselves
independent the first task of Khizr Khan was the suppression of the revolts. In 1412 AD
he conquered Gujarat, Gwalior and Jaunpur. In 1416 he defeated Bayana and in
1421AD he attacked Mewat. Due to illness he died in the year 1421 AD. He was
succeeded by Mubarak Shah who succeeded in suppressing the revolts against him in a
conspiracy against him he was killed by his opponents in 1434 AD. After him
Muhammad-bin-Farid came to the throne. During his reign there was confusion and
revolts. The empire came to an end in 1451 AD with his death.
The Lodhi dynasty
Behlol Lodhi who was in service during Khizr Khan founded the Lodhi dynasty.
Behlol Lodhi was an Afghan of the Lodi tribe. He became the governor of Punjab and
was proclaimed the Sultan in 1451AD. After coming to the throne he quelled the
rebelling nobles and Jagirdars. He gave jagirs to the Afghan nobles to win their
cooperation, and brought Mewar, Sambal and Gwalior under his rule.
Behlol Lodhi nominated his son Nizam Khan as his successor. But the nobles placed
Barbak Shah on the throne. In the struggle that ensured Nizam Khan was successful
and ascended the throne as Sikandar Lodi. He proved to be a capable ruler who
brought back the lost prestige of the Sultan. He maintained friendly relations with the
neighbouring states. Sikandar Lodi settled his differences with his uncle Alam Khan
who conspired against him. He also defeated Barbak Shah who in co-operation with
Hussain Shah of Jaunpur fought against him. Barbak Shah was appointed the
governor of Jaunpur. He brought Gwalior and Bihar under his rule. Though he was a
religious fanatic yet he brought changes in some of the practices of the Muslims. He
encouraged education and trade. His military skill helped him in bringing the Afghan
nobles under his control.
Sikandar Lodi was succeeded by Ibrahim Lodi who is said to have been the last great ruler
of the Lodi dynasty. He came to the throne in 1517 AD. The nobles brought his younger
brother Jalal Khan as the ruler of Jaunpur. The nobles who wanted division of the empire
into two created problems of Ibrahim Lodi. He defeated Jalal Khan in a battle. He
conquered Gwalior, and came into conflict with Rana Sanga the ruler of Mewar who
defeated him twice. His relations with the Afghan nobles became worse and this led to
several conflicts with him. The discontented Afghan chiefs sent Daulal Khan Lodi to invite
(3) of (8)
Babur the ruler of Kabul to India. After many incursions in the year 1525 and1526 Babur
defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the battle of Panipat. With this defeat the Delhi Sultanate was
laid to rest.
The History of India added a new outlook with the coming of Babur. This was the
beginning of a rule that is recorded as the medieval history of India.
THE BAHMANI DYNASTY OF THE DECCAN
Between the period 1343 AD and 1351 AD, during the region of Muhammad-bin-
Tughluq a series of revolts resulted in the vast empire being divided into numerous
An Afghan or Turkish officer of the Delhi Sultan named Hassan assumed the title of
Bahman Shah and after occupation of Daulatbad in the Deccan proclaimed
independence. He was also known as Alauddin I, the founder of the Bahmani dynasty.
His capital was at Gulbarga which was also called as Hassanabad after the Sultan's
name Hassan. He conquered large part of the Deccan. By 1358 AD his empire
included areas near the west coast, the ports of Goa and Dabhal. Alauddin I was
succeeded by Muhammad Shah I. He waged wars against the Hindu rulers of
Vijayanagar and Warangal. With his policy of subjuction he subdued countless
number of rival Hindu rulers, and accumulated vast treasures. He administered the
provinces by yearly tours and was advised by a group of eight ministers. Thus he set a
pattern of administration for the Bahmani kingdom.
He was succeeded by Alauddin Mujahid who ruled for 3 years before,being murdered
by his cousin brother Duad, which resulted in a civil war. Ahmad Shah ascended the
throne in 1422 after deposing Firoz who was the eighth Sultan who ruled from 1397
AD to 1422 AD. He attacked Vijayanagar and resorted to brutal subjection of his
opponents who resisted his attacks. Peace was concluded with Vijayanagar. Ahmad
Shah also fought against the Sultan of Malwa and Gujarat and the Hindu chiefs of the
Konkan. It was during his reign that the capital of the Bahamani kingdom was shifted
to Bidar, also called Ahmedabad. Ahmad Shah was succeeded by his eldest son
Alauddin II who ruled from (1435-57 AD). He was succeeded by Humayun who
ruled from (1451-1461 AD). He pursued a cruel policy of subjuction and brutal
punishments till he was succeeded by Muhammad Shah III ,who ruled from (1463-
1482 AD) assisted by his able minister Khwaja Mahmud Gawan. A series of conquest
followed which involved capture of the strong fortress of Belgaum in 1473 AD and
recovery of Goa in 1472 AD from the rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire. It was during
his rule that the famine of Bijapur befell over the Deccan in 1473 AD. Kanchipuram
was raided in the course of the campaign against Vijayanagar in 1481 AD. In 1482
(4) of (8)
AD Khwaja Mahmud Gawan was murdered and Mahmud Shah succeeded to the
throne in 1482 AD and ruled till 1518 AD. During his reign the provincial governors
declared their independence and set up five separate kingdoms.
The Imad Shahi Dynasty of Berar
This consisted of the northern part of the Bahamani Kingdom. The Shahi Dynasty of
Berar lasted for four generations till 1574 AD.
The Barid Shahi Dynasty of Bidar
The Barid Shahi dynasty was governed by the Barid Shahi Sultans. It was established
in 1492 AD by Qasim Barid the minister of Mahmud Shah Bahamani. This dynasty
lasted till 1619 AD when it was annexed by Bijapur.
The Nizam Shahi Dynasty of Ahmadnagar
The Nizam Shahi dynasty was founded by Nizam-ul-Mulk Bahri. In 1490 AD his son
Malik Ahmad defeated the army of Mahmud Bahmani and established himself
independent. He assumed the title of Ahmad Nizam Shah and after him the dynasty
was named Nizam Shahi dynasty. The next ruler was Burhan Nizam Shah was the
next ruler who ruled for forty five years. He was succeeded by Hussain Shah. The
state was later annexed in 1637 during the reign of ShahJahan.
The Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur
The Adil Shahi was founded by Yusuf Adil Khan, the governor of Bijapur who
declared his independence in 1489. Yusuf Adil Shah waged war against Vijayanagar
and other Muslim neighbours. It was duringhis rule that Yusuf Adil Shah's favourite
residence, of Goa was captured by the Portuguese commander. Alberquerque in 1510
AD. Ismail Shah succeeded Adil shah but being a minor he was helped by Kamal
Khan. He lost his life in a conspiracy and was succeeded by Ibrahim. Ibrahim
assumed the title of Ibrahim Adil shah and ruled till 1557 AD.Ali Adil Shah
Succeeded Ibrahim Adil Shah. Following a policy of alliance he married Chand Bibi
the daughter of Hussain NIzam shah of Ahamadnagar. In the year 1564 AD the four
sultans allied at Talikota against the Vijayanagar Empire. The Battle of Talikota
followed in 1565 AD. Commanded on the Muslim side by Hussain Nizam shah of
Ahmadnagar. Ali adil Shah of Bijapur, Ali Barid shah of Golkonda. Victory for the
Muslim forces came after a fierce battle and the empire of Vijayanagar was annexed
to the territory of Bijapur and Golkonda. In 1570 AD Ali Adil Shah with the other
sovereigns attempted to capture settlements of the Portuguese. Adil shah was killed in
(5) of (8)
1579 AD. The throne was passed on to Ibrahim Adil Shah II who was a minor. His
mother chand Bibi looked after him while ministers ruled the kingdom. In 1595 AD
the Ahmadnagar monarch was killed in a fight between Bijapur and Ahmednagar.
Ibrahim Adil Shah II died in 1626 AD. In 1680 AD this country was annexed by
The Qutab Shahi Dynasty of Golkonda
The Qutab Shahi dynasty was a part of the Bahmani Empire which was called
Golkonda. The founder of this dynasty was Sultan Quli Qutab Shah who was formerly
the governor of the eastern province. He declared his independence in 1518 AD.
Qutab Shah met with his death in 1543 AD and his son Jamshed ruled till 1550 AD.
The throne was held by Ibrahim till 1580 AD and later his son Muhammad Quli ruled
till 1611 AD. The state was finally annexed by Aurangzeb in 1687 AD.
In the Deccan there also existed a small kingdom which was not a part of the Bahmani
kingdom. This was the Faruqi dynasty of Khandesh. It was established in 1388 AD
and came to an end in 1601 AD after the fortress of Asirgarh was surrendered to
THE MUGHAL RULE ( 1526-1707)
Babur was also called Zahir-ud-din Mohammad and was related closely to both Chingiz
Khan and Timur. At an early age of 12 he became the king of Farghana. He was nourished
militarily by the experiences he had from facing the enemies who plotted against him. In
1497 AD Babur captured Samarkand. His ministers pronounced him dead and put his
younger brother on the throne. He failed in his attempt to recover Farghana. On his venture to
retrive Farghana his cousin Ali usurped his authority over Samarakhand. Babur now was
kingdom less. In 1499 AD he was able to capture Farghana. In his early days of succession
he had to face many oppositions. In 1497AD Babur captured Samarkand but lost Farghana. In
1498AD Babur lost both Samarkand and Fargana. In 1499AD he regained Farghana and in
1500 AD Samarkand was reconquered the second time. Babur set put for Kabul and occupied
it in 1504 AD and ruled till 1526 AD during which he conquered Qandhar and Herat. His
attempt to conquer Samarkand which he lost in 1502 AD failed and he turned towards India
on a fresh venture. The conditions that prevailed in India at that juncture invited him to set
out to conquer India. By 1524 AD he had brought Lahore under his sway. From Lahore he
marched to Delhi where he was met by Ibrahim Lodi on the battle field of Panipat. Ibrahim
Lodi was defeated owing to the superior artillery of Babur. Babur then sent his forces to
occupy Delhi and Agra. Thus started the rule of the Chaghtai Turks who ruled under the
name of Mughals.
On beginning his rule in India Babur had to face the problems of the Rajputs and the Afghan
chiefs. He battled Rana Sanga of Mewar in 1527 AD in the battle of Kanwah. Rana lost the
(6) of (8)
battle. The defeat of Rana Sanga shook the power of the Rajputs. In 1528 AD Babur attacked
Chanderi which was held by Medini Rai and captured it. In the year 1529 AD. Babur
marched against Mahmud Lodi a brother of Ibrahim Lodi and the battle of Ghagra followed
which resulted in the defeat of the Lodis.
By then Babur's empire extended from Bhera and Lahore to Bahraich and Bihar and from
Sialkot to Ranthambhor.
Babur died in 1530 AD. He was succeeded by Humayun the eldest of his four sons . At the
age of 20 he was appointed the governor of Badakshan. He had contributed his services in the
battle of Panipat and Kanwah. After the death of his father he placed himself on the throne of
Agra in 1530. Humayun was faced with numerous difficulties. He had to reorganise his army
that comprised of mixed races. He faced problems from his brothers, and nobles. The
Afghans though defeated by Babur were not vanquished.
The rise of Sher Khan and Bahadur Shah of Gujarat was a matter of concern. Above all he
had an empire which had yet to be consolidated and administered in a manner by which his
authority would be accepted. In 1531AD he set out on an expedition to besiege the fort of
Kalinjar. He was not successful in this mission owing to the Afghan mission towards
Jaunpur. In the battle of Dourah in 1532 AD he defeated the Afghans. In 1532 AD he
besieged the fort of Chunar under Sher Khan and resorted to mere submission. Between the
period 1535-36 AD Humayun fought wars with Bahadur Shah. Bahadur Shah had annexed
Malwa in 1531 AD, captured the fort of Raisin in 1532 AD and defeated the Sisodia chief of
chittor in 1533 AD. He was opposed to the Mughal rule and created the circumstances that
turned Humayun against him. On the request of Rani Karnawali of Chittor he accepted the
request but fell short of his promises. Bahadur Shah captured Chittor. Humayun now had a
reason to attack Bahadur Shah. Humayun now besieged the fort of Mandu and captured it.
Bahadur Shah who now fled to Champanir which was also besieged and captured . Humayun
captured Ahmedabad and Cambay and finally central Gujarat. Humayun then spent
celebrating his victory over Gujarat while his administration lagged. This helped Bahadur
Shah who with the local chiefs won Gujarat in 1536 AD. Sher Khan had been building
himself against Humayun in Bengal and Bihar .
By 1536 Sherkhan became the ruler of Bengal and Bihar. In 1537 Humayun attacked the
territories of Sher Khan and decided to occupy Bengal. During the period 1538-39 Sher Khan
with his military tactics was a threat to Humayun. Sensing his worse position in an area under
Sher Khan's control he turned back to Agra. Sher Khan pursued Humayun engaged himself
in the battle of Chausa in 1539. Humayun was defeated and had to flee.
In the year 1540 Humayun after having reached Agra again fought a battle against Sher Khan
in the battle of Kannauj. Humaun lost the battle and had to abandon his throne. He was
sheltered by the Raja of Amarkot in Sind. In the year 1542 Akbar was born. He went to
Persia and received the grace of the Shah who granted him soldiers to regain his throne. In
(7) of (8)
1544 Humayun captured Kabul and Khandar. In 1546 he lost Kabul to his brother Kamran. In
1547 he recaptured it. In 1549 Kamran occupied Khan dar. Humayun again had to fight
against Kamran who was defeated and blinded. After the death of Sher shah in 1545 his son
Islam Shah who ruled upto 1553. After him Muhammad Adil Shah. As a result of the
onslaught by Ibrahim Shah and Sikander Shah the Sur empire was broken up. Humayun who
now prepared himself to attack India reached Peshwar in 1554 and in 1555. He occupied
Lahore and Dipalpur. The same year saw the battle of Machiwara against the Afghans, and
the defeat of Sikander Sur in the battle of Sirhind. By July 1555 Humayun reached Delhi
where he spend his time in administration of his kingdom. His son Akbar was now slowly
rising to power. In 1556 Humayun died in an accidental fall. After the death of Humayun the
(mughal rule) history of India saw the rule of greatest of the Mughal rulers, Akbar the great.
Sher Shah and the Sur Dynasty
The return of Humayun to power in 1555 was preceeded by the a period of rule by Sher Shah
who established the Sur dynasty. Sher Shah was the grandson of Ibrahim Sur, who came to
India and joined military service under Bahlol Lodi. Ibrahim Lodi gave the Jagirs of
Sahsaram, Khawaspur and Tanda to Sher Shah. Sher Shah rose to power and had planned to
join Mahmud Lodi in his attempt to revive the Afghan Empire. Circumstances were
unfavourable and in 1527 Sher Shah joined the Mughal service and assisted Babur in his
conquests in India. Owing to differences of opinions he left the Mughal service in 1528. In
1529 Sher Shah joined Mahmud Lodi. After Mahmud Lodi's abdication,Sher Khan captured
South Bihar. In 1529 Mahamud lost the battle of Ghagra but wanted to attempt to capture
power in 1530. With the help of the Afghan chiefs and Sher Shah he marched against
Humayun. But Humayun proved a strong rival to Mahmud Lodi. By 1534 after the battle of
Surajgarh in which the ruler of Bengal was defeated, Sher Shah became the ruler of Bihar.
By 1530 Sher Shah captured the whole of Bengal. In the battle of Chausa in 1539 he defeated
Humayun. In 1540 Sher Shah fought the battle of Kannauj and defeated Humayun. In 1542
Sher Shah conquered Malwa, and Raisin in 1543. He also brought Multan and Sind and parts
of Punjab under him. In his attempt to defeat the Raja of Kalinjar in Budelkhand he was
successful but lost his life in 1545.
After his death his son Jalal ruled with the title of Islam Shah till 1553 AD. Islam Shah
destroyed the Afghan nobles whom he did not trust. This ultimately led to the downfall of
Islam Shah was succeeded by his son Firuz who was put to death by Mubariz Khan, the son
of Sher Shahi's brother and the brother of Firuz's mother. Mubariz Khan took up the title of
Muhammad Adil. He was not a capable ruler. His minister Hemu who was appointed by him
rose to importance. Hemu was defeated in the second battle of Panipat and killed. After
Hemu the empire witnessed a struggle for independence between five Afghan kings namely
(8) of (8)
Muhammad Shal Adali, Ibrahim Sur, Ahmed Khan sur, Muhammad Khan and Daulat Khan.
This internal strife proved advantageous for Humayun who defeated Sikandar Sur and caused
the end of the second Afghan rule