Monday, May 3, 2010



Delhi Sultanate

This section covers

1) The Muslim period of Indian history beginning with the Turkish conquests under Mahmud

of Ghazni and Muhammad Ghori.

2) The Slave dynasty established under Qutub-ud-din Aibek and Iltumish.

3) Khilji dynasty established by Allauddin Khilji.

4) The Tughluq dynasty which gained ground under Muhammed - bin- Tughluq and Feroz


5) Saiyyids and the Lodhi's established themselves in northern India before the Mughals.

6) Bahmani Dynasty

7) Other Dynasties including Nizam Shahi Dynasty of Ahmadnagar, Adil Shahi Dynasty of

Bijapur, Qutab Shahi Dynasty of Golkonda.


1) Rise of Mughal power under Babur and the Sur Dynasty of Sher Shah.

2) The golden age of Mughal empire under Akbar and reign of his successors.

3) The independent kingdoms of the Sayyids, the Avadh, the Rajput and Jat, the Sikhs, the

Marathas, Hyderabad, Carnatic and Mysore. These kingdoms dominated over various regions

before the advent of the Europeans.

Kingdoms of South

1) The history of South India which represented a separate entity till the medieval period with

-the Kalchuris of Chedi, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Chalukyas of Kalyani, the

Yadhavas of Devgiri, the Hoyasalas of Dwarasamudra, the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas


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and the Cheras.

2) Vijayanagar Kingdom

Europeans in India

1. The Portuguese and the Dutch

2. The English East India Company

3. The French East India Company.

4. Battle of Plassey and Buxar


The Turkish Conquest

The Muslim conquest of India from 1175 to

1340 AD. The causes for their conquest

though various, the major reason was the

spread of Islam. The Muslim dominated

Kabul, the Punjab, and Sindh, before

intruding in to India. The first attempt to

enter the Indian territory was determined by

the circumstances leading to the invasion of

Sindh. The wealth in India lured the

Muslim rulers. Further the inter-rivalry

between the kingdoms in India paved the

way for their entry in to India. The

immediate cause of Muslim intervention is

said to be plundering of some ships which

carried costly gifts from the king of Ceylon

for the Khalifa, near the port of Debal by sea

pirates. The Hindu ruler of the Sindh, Raja

Dahir was asked to compensate for this by

the Governor of Iraq. The refusal to comply with this demand for the reason that the port was

not under his control infuriated the Governor who sent two expeditions to defeat the Raja .

But both the attempts to defeat the Raja failed. This further infuriated the governor who sent

his son-in law Muhammad-bin-Qasim in 711AD with a large army to conquer Sindh. In 712

AD Raja Dahir was defeated and put to death. Sindh, Multan and Kannauj were conquered.

The next invasion by the Turks who opposed the authority of the Khalifas was by Alaptagin.


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He had established himself in Khorasan and extended upto Kabul and Ghazni. He was

succeeded by one of his slave Sabuktagin. In 986 AD he came into conflict with Raja Jaipal

of Bathinda. In 991 AD Raja Jaipal allied with other Hindu king including Rajyapala the

Prathira king of Kannauj and Dhanga the ruler of the distant Chandela kingdom to avenge his

defeat. The allies were defeated , Peshwar and Kurram valley came under Muslim influence.

Mahmud of Ghazni

The elder son of Sabuktagin, Mahmud of Ghazni assumed the throne in 997 AD. He was very

conscious of the wealth he could achieve from further conquests into India. He was also a

religious fanatic who aimed to spread Islam. At the eve of Mahmud's invasion there existed

no strong power to confront his military might. There existed numerous kingdoms who were

involved in quarrelling and fighting with each other. Mahmud is said to have invaded India

seventeen times. His first raid dates to 1001 AD. In course of his second expedition he

defeated Jaipal. In 1004 AD he invaded and captured Bhera. In 1006 AD he captured Multan.

In 1008 AD he invaded again and captured Multan. Anandapal, the son of Jaipal continued

the struggle against Mahmud . Having allied with the ruler of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kannauj,

Delhi and Ajmer he posed a serious threat to Mahmud's army. But unfortunately Anandapal

had to ceed to the Muslim army.

In 1009AD Mahmud attacked the fortress of Kangra or Bhimnagar and accumulated vast

treasures. In 1013AD Mahmud reduced the honour of the Hindushahi Kingdom by their

defeat. In the year 1014AD Mahmud invaded Thaneshwar and acquired more wealth from the

temples. In 1018 Mahmud led an expedition against Kannauj and succeeded its ruler's

willingness to convert to Islam. Mathura was also invaded and its magnificient temple was

burnt. In 1021-22 AD Mahmud invaded Gwalior, Kashmir and Lahore. The ruler of Kalinjar

and Gwalior combined and invaded Kannauj and killed its ruler Rajayapala. In the conflict

that resulted Mahmud looted the wealth of Kalinjar and went back to Ghazni.

In 1025AD Mahmud invaded Somnath and looted its temple on the coast of Saurashtra or

Kathiwar. Enormous treasure of the fortified temple was looted. In 1026AD he invaded

Punjab. His last invasion was in about 1027 AD. He died in 1030AD.

The invasion of Mahmud opened the way for the future Muslim adventures in India. The

repeated success of Mahmud was an eye opener for the Muslim thirst for consolidating

themselves politically, economically and to promote their religious outlook. The status of

Ghazni grew to a big empire. The next important Muslim ruler who had made hisi nfluence in

Indian history known was Muhammad Ghori. Muhammad Ghori is said to have invaded India

seven times. The Ghurs who originally belonged to Persia. After the downfall of the rule of

Ghazni in the 12th century. The credit for the destruction of Ghazni goes to Alauddi Ghiyasud-

din of Ghur wrested Ghazni from the Turks and gave the power of consolidating the

empire to his brother Sahabuddin. He was known as Mohammad Ghori.


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Mohammad Ghori

Mohammad Ghori invaded Multan in about 1175-76AD. In 1178 he attempted the conquest

of Gujarat. He was strongly resisted by Bhimdev II who inflicted a crushing defeat on him in

1178 AD.In 1179 he conquered Peshwar and annexed Lahore. In 1186 AD Mohammad Ghori

deposed Khusru Malik, the last prince in the generation of Sabuktgin and Mahmud and after

occupying Punjab kept himself in a strong position in the Indus region.

In 1191AD Mohammad Ghori met Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the first battle of Tarain. Here

unlike the separate independent forces which Mohammad met in his previous campaigns. He

had to face combined armies of Prithviraj, the Chauhan ruler of Ajmer and Delhi.

Mohammad Ghori was severely wounded and outnumbered. He was defeated and left the


In the very next year in 1192 AD both the armies met again at Tarain. This time Mohammad

cleverly out did Prithvi Raj Chauhan. The gateway to Delhi was opened.

In 1194 AD Mohammad Ghori invaded and defeated the ruler of Kannauj. He occupied

Benares. Mohammad Ghori had left Qutab-ud-din Aibek who was a slave from Turkistan in

charge of the Indian affairs. In 1193 Qutab-ud-din Aibek occupied Delhi and he joined

Mohammad Ghori's invasion on Kannauj whose ruler Jaichand was defeated and killed.

Gwallior and Anhilwara the capital of Gujarat besides Ajmer was also occupied by 1197 AD.

Qutab-ud-din's general Muhammad Khilji successfully plundered and conquered the fort of

Bihar in 1193 AD. In about 1199-1202AD Muhammad Khilji brought Lakshmana Sena the

ruler of Bengal under his authority. In 1203 Qutab-ud-din Aibek conquered Bundelkhand.

Mohammad Ghori died in 1206AD.


Qutab-ud-din Aibek

Qutab-ud-din Aibek established himself as the sultan of Delhi at Lahore. He strengthened his

position through matrimonial alliances with his rivals. He gave his daughter to Iltumish the

foremost of his slaves. Qutab-ud-din died in 1210AD. He had laid the foundation of a new

dynasty called the Slave dynasty in 1206AD.


After Qutab-ud-din his son Aram Shah succedded to his throne. He was not able to display

the skill of conquests and administration shone by his forerunners. This had demanded

Iltumish to take charge of the situation as desired by the nobles too. A battle followed in

which Aram Shah was defeated and killed. In 1211 AD Iltumish came to the throne. He was


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also known as Shams-ud-din. He spent his days in retriving the lost territories of Qutab-uddin,

and also added Malwa and Sind. During the reign of Iltumish he fought against the rival

slave chiefs Yildiz and Qabacha. His attempts to appease Yildiz diplomatically to accept his

authority gave time to prepare himself. At the battlefield of Tarain both of them met and

Yildiz was defeated.

Another important problem faced by Iltumish was the Mongols led by Chingiz Khan. In his

diplomatic decision he avoided a conflict with the might Mongol by preventing Jalad-ud-din

the ruler of Khawarism from coming to India. Iltumish defeated his rival slave chieftain

Qabacha and captured both Multan

and Sindh. After this he made Ghias

ud-din ceed to the supremacy of

Iltumish. Later, he defeated Ghias-uddin

who revolted ,and conquered his

territories of Bengal and Bihar.

Another major threat to the power of

Iltumish was the independent Rajput

rulers who inspite of their rivalry

could pose a serious danger to the

Sultanate. On 1226 AD he attacked

Ranthambor and Mansor. He also

occupied Ajmer, Jalor, Nagor. In 1229

Gwalior was was occupied and the

fort of Kalinjar was plundered.

Kannauj, Banaras and Badaun were

under his dominion. In the year 1229

AD the Caliph of Bagdad recognised

him as Sultan. This bestowed upon

him the power to nominate his


Iltumish was also a patron of art and learning. His completion of the Qutab Minar proves him

to be a man of good architectural skills and tastes besides striving adequately for promoting

his religion. Iltumish was succeeded by his son Rukn-ud-din Feroze who came to the throne

as desired by the nobles even though Iltumish had nominated his daughter Razia to the

throne. Rukn-ud-din did not prove to be a competent ruler and he left his duty of

administration to his mother Shah Turkan. The unpopular rule that followed led to revolts by

several governors of various provinces. Finally Rukn-ud-din and his mother Shah Turkan

were murdered and the throne was succeeded by Razia Begum who ruled from 1236 AD

to1240 AD. She had accomplished the major task of subduing the revolting governors and the

bringing the territories under her control. She married Altunia the governor of Bhatinda. In

1240 AD the Turkish nobles deposed her and declared. Bahram Shah as their ruler, and both

Razia and Altunia was killed. Bahram Shah was a mere puppet in the hands of the nobles. He


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was succeeded by Masud Shah ,a nephew of Razia Begum. Owing to his inability the nobles

displaced him with Nasir-uddin Mahmud the youngest son of Iltumish. He was in power for

twenty five years. The affairs of the state was left to his father-in-law and minister Ulugh

Khan Balban. After the death of Nasir-ud-din Mahmud in 1226 AD the power was taken over

by Balban.

As a minister during the time of Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Balban had accomplished himself as

an able administrator. His ideas of diplomacy and suppression of revolts with an iron hand

helped him in establishing a strong rule in the history of the slave dynasty. As a minister he

put down the revolting rajputs, the khokars, and the rulers of the Doab region. Ramthambhor,

Gwalior, Chanderi and Malwa came under his rule. He was able to quell the power of

Mewatis in 1259 AD.He firmly resolved the rivalry among the 'Fourty slaves' whose decision

was the final word of the dynasty. They plotted against Balban with the help of the Sultan.

But this resulted in Chaos which forced the Sultan to call back Balban. To ensure the

kingdom's safety against the invading Mongols he built forts on the borders and stationed a

strong army. In 1258 AD and 1259 AD Balban led campaigns against the Rajputs of the

Doab and Meos of Delhi. During his early days of rule of Balban, he pursued the

suppression of the Meos. He brought order in Rohilkhand. He suppressed the revolt of

Tughril Khan, the governor of Bengal. Balban died in 1287 AD. His achievements besides

the consolidation of the slave kingdom include his contribution to increase the power and

importance of the ruler. He had brought various code of conduct in his court that involved

even the manner of dressing and addressing. He reorganised his army with equipments and

stationed them in forts at vulnerable places of foreign intrusion. He paid them well in cash

besides appointing governors to supervise the activities of the army.

His administration was strongly based on his military power. Enforcement of decision and

disposition of justice with a competent spy system kept him informed of the activities of

every one in his kingdom. He maintained a strict attitude towards the Hindus and kept them

under strong suppression with the help of his military power. He was undoubtedly the

greatest of the military rulers of the Slave dynasty. He was to be succeeded by Kai Khasrau,

but a diplomatic gamble brought Qaigabad the son of Bulhara Khan the governor of Bengal

to the throne. He was a grandson of Balban. Aged eighteen. Qaigabad turned a blind eye to

the affairs of the state. He was disposed off by the nobles bringing his three year old son to

the throne.

Another series of uprisings and revolts started amongst the nobles, many of them declaring

independence thus unleasing a state of confusion. This was the period when Jalaluddin Khilji

of the Khilji tribe who was placed on the throne by the nobles brought a new rule to follow

under the name of the Khilji dynasty. The rule of this dynasty started in 1290 AD and

continued till 1340 AD.



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Alauddin Khilji

After coming to the throne of the Khilji dynasty Jalal-ud-din expanded the boundaries of his

empire. Besides this his achievements include suppression of the revolt of Malik Chhaju with

the governor of Qudh. He suppressed the 'Thuggees' a band of robbers and send them off

peacefully to Bengal. It was during the conquest of Bhilsa that Ala-ud-din the nephew of

Jalal-ud-din started realising the dream of being Sultan. In 1292 AD Alauddin led an

expedition to Devagiri hearing of its wealth. Devagiri was forced to pay a huge war

indemnity. This helped Alauddin in buying the nobles and pleasing the soldiers who were

disatisfied by the rule of Jala-ud-din. Alauddin then hatched a conspiracy and got Sultan

Jala-lud din killed and proclaimed himself as the Sultan. In the year 1296 AD Alauddin

became the Sultan, after Malika Jan the widow of Jalal-ud-din and her younger son Qadin

Khan left Delhi. In 1297 AD Alauddin Khilji set off for conquering Gujarat. The Raja of

Gujarat took shelter in Devagiri where Nusrat Khan an Ulugh Khan pursued them and looted.

Here Nusrat Khan purchased a Hindu slave called Malik Kafur who in due course helped

Alauddin Khilji in his future conquests. In 1301 Ramthambhor was captured and the Rajput

Hamir Deva was murdered. In 1303 he conquered Chittor killing Rana Rattan Singh. His

queen Rani Padmini with the other women committed Jauhar.

In 1305 Alauddin Khilji captured Malwa and annexed Ujjain, Mandu, Dhar and Chanderi.

Allauddin Khilji's expedition to Bengal was not successful and it remained independent.

In 1308, Allauddin led an expedition to capture a fort in Sivana, Rajasthan. In 1311AD

Allauddin set off on the Jalor expedition. Thus he almost completed his conquests of North.

Allauddin now set out to conquer the south lured by the wealth of Devagiri.Being the first to

have thought of venturing to the south this region could be a source of revenue for him. In

this adventure of his, Malik Kafur his slave who in course of time turned to be an able

commander contributed greatly.Allauddin had already invaded Devagiri in the year 1294 AD

and had reconciled for the condition that a tribute would be paid. Malik Kafur led the

operation . A huge war indemnity was paid and a tribute offered. In 1310 AD Malik Kafur

was sent to invade the Hoyasala kingdom of Dwarasamudra. The ruler conceded to his

demands and further assisted Malik Kafur in his quest against the Pandya kingdom.In

1311AD Malik Kafur went on an expedition to the Pandya kingdom which had its capital at

Madurai. Malik Kafur came out successful. In 1313 AD Allauddin set out on Devagiri and

annexed it to Delhi. During the rule of Allauddin Khilji, the Mongols invaded the country

several times. The first invasion came during the period of 1297 AD. The forces of Sultan

successfully repulsed this invasion .

In 1298 AD Saldi's invasion was neutralized by Zafar Khan thus increasing his prestige. In

1299 AD Qutlugh Khwaja invaded India for the third time. A fierce battle was the result

involving Zafar Khan, Nusrat Khan and Alagh Khan. The Mongols were routed but it cost the

life of Zafar Khan. In the year 1303 AD under the leader ship of Targhi another mongol


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invasion was carried out. From this invasion Allauddin Khilji learnt the lessons of keeping

himself prepared, not only with a strong army but by fortifying and organizing his armed

forces. In 1305 AD the Mongols led by Ali Beg and Tartaq invaded India but were brutally

defeated. The last of the mongol invasion was the under the leadership of Kubak and

Iqbamand. Even this invasion was successfully met by Allauddin Khilji.

In his later days Allauddin had to face many troubles. Malik Kafur influenced all his actions.

He met with his death in the year 1316 AD. An infant son of the Sultan was placed on the

throne and he acted as the regent. Malik Kafur imprisoned, blinded and killed other members

of the royal family. But Malik Kafur was murdered, and Mubarak Khan the third son of

Alauddin Khilji became the regent. He then imprisoned Sahib uddin and ascended the throne

as Qutb-ud-din Mubarak in the year 1316 AD. The rule of Qutb-ud-din Mubarak was an utter

failure owing to his liberal administration and luxurious life style. Above all he was under the

influence of youth called Hassan who later was called Khusru Khan. The misdoings of Qutbud-

din Mubarak led to his death at the hands of Khusru Khan. The death of Mubarak sealed

the fate of the Khilji dynasty. Khusru who came to the throne after Qutbuddin Mubarak was

not favoured by the Turkish nobles. He was killed by a Qaraunak Turk noble, Ghazi Malik

Tughluq. This paved the way for the foundation of a new dynasty called the Tughluq dynasty.

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