Monday, May 3, 2010


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


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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.


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

independent provinces.

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


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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


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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


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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


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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

this empire.

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


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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

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