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 MUSLIM PERIOD IN INDIAN HISTORY
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 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.
THE SLAVE DYNASTY
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
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
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.
THE KHILJI DYNASTY
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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.