Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate (Persian:دهلی سلطان, Urdu: دہلی سلطنت‬) was a Muslim sultanate based mostly in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526).[5][6] Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90), the Khalji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414),[7] the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51), and the Lodi dynasty (1451–1526). The sultanate is noted for being one of the few states to repel an attack by the Mongols (from the Chagatai Khanate),[8] and enthroned one of the few female rulers in Islamic history, Razia Sultana, who reigned from 1236 to 1240.[9]

Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former Turkic Mamluk slave of Muhammad Ghori, was the first sultan of Delhi, and his Mamluk dynasty conquered large areas of northern India. Afterwards, the Khalji dynasty was also able to conquer most of central India, but both failed to conquer the whole of the Indian subcontinent. The sultanate reached the peak of its geographical reach during the Tughlaq dynasty, occupying most of the Indian subcontinent.[10] This was followed by decline due to Hindu reconquests, states such as the Vijayanagara Empire and Mewar asserting independence, and new Muslim sultanates such as the Bengal Sultanate breaking off.[11][12]

During and in the Delhi Sultanate, there was a synthesis of Indian civilization with that of Islamic civilization, and the further integration of the Indian subcontinent with a growing world system and wider international networks spanning large parts of Afro-Eurasia, which had a significant impact on Indian culture and society, as well as the wider world.[13] The time of their rule included the earliest forms of Indo-Islamic architecture,[14][15] increased growth rates in India's population and economy,[16] and the emergence of the Hindi-Urdu language.[17] The Delhi Sultanate was also responsible for repelling the Mongol Empire's potentially devastating invasions of India in the 13th and 14th centuries.[18] However, the Delhi Sultanate also caused large scale destruction and desecration of temples in the Indian subcontinent.[19] In 1526, the Sultanate was conquered and succeeded by the Mughal Empire.

Delhi Sultanate

پادشاهی دهلی
1206–1526
Flag of Delhi Sultanate
Flag
Delhi Sultanate reached its zenith under the Turko-Indian Tughlaq dynasty.[1]
Delhi Sultanate reached its zenith under the Turko-Indian Tughlaq dynasty.[1]
Capital
Common languagesPersian (official),[2] Hindavi (1451–1526)[3]
Religion
Sunni Islam
GovernmentSultanate
Sultan 
• 1206–1210
Qutb al-Din Aibak (first)
• 1517–1526
Ibrahim Lodi (last)
Historical eraMiddle Ages
12 June 1206
20 December 1305
21 April 1526
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ghurid dynasty
Gahadavala
Chandela dynasty
Paramara dynasty
Deva dynasty
Seuna (Yadava) dynasty
Kakatiya dynasty
Musunuri Nayaks
Vaghela dynasty
Yajvapala dynasty
Mughal Empire
Bengal Sultanate
Gujarat Sultanate
Khokhar Confederacy
Today part of

Background

The context behind the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in India was part of a wider trend affecting much of the Asian continent, including the whole of southern and western Asia: the influx of nomadic Turkic peoples from the Central Asian steppes. This can be traced back to the 9th century, when the Islamic Caliphate began fragmenting in the Middle East, where Muslim rulers in rival states began enslaving non-Muslim nomadic Turks from the Central Asian steppes, and raising many of them to become loyal military slaves called Mamluks. Soon, Turks were migrating to Muslim lands and becoming Islamicized. Many of the Turkic Mamluk slaves eventually rose up to become rulers, and conquered large parts of the Muslim world, establishing Mamluk Sultanates from Egypt to Afghanistan, before turning their attention to the Indian subcontinent.[18]

It is also part of a longer trend predating the spread of Islam. Like other settled, agrarian societies in history, those in the Indian subcontinent have been attacked by nomadic tribes throughout its long history. In evaluating the impact of Islam on the subcontinent, one must note that the northwestern subcontinent was a frequent target of tribes raiding from Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. In that sense, the Muslim intrusions and later Muslim invasions were not dissimilar to those of the earlier invasions during the 1st millennium.[20]

By 962 AD, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in South Asia were under a wave of raids from Muslim armies from Central Asia.[21] Among them was Mahmud of Ghazni, the son of a Turkic Mamluk military slave,[22] who raided and plundered kingdoms in north India from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between 997 and 1030.[23] Mahmud of Ghazni raided the treasuries but retracted each time, only extending Islamic rule into western Punjab.[24][25]

The wave of raids on north Indian and western Indian kingdoms by Muslim warlords continued after Mahmud of Ghazni.[26] The raids did not establish or extend permanent boundaries of their Islamic kingdoms. The Ghurid sultan Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori, commonly known as Muhammad of Ghor, began a systematic war of expansion into north India in 1173.[27] He sought to carve out a principality for himself by expanding the Islamic world.[23][28] Muhammad of Ghor sought a Sunni Islamic kingdom of his own extending east of the Indus river, and he thus laid the foundation for the Muslim kingdom called the Delhi Sultanate.[23] Some historians chronicle the Delhi Sultanate from 1192 due to the presence and geographical claims of Muhammad Ghori in South Asia by that time.[29]

Ghori was assassinated in 1206, by Ismāʿīlī Shia Muslims in some accounts or by Hindu Khokhars in others.[30] After the assassination, one of Ghori's slaves (or mamluks, Arabic: مملوك), the Turkic Qutb al-Din Aibak, assumed power, becoming the first Sultan of Delhi.[23]

Sultans of Delhi Sultanate

Sultans (Kings/Rulers) King in Death Note
Qutb-ud-din Aibak 1206 1210 First Sultan
Aram Shah 1210 1211
Iltutmish 1211 1236
Rukn-ud-din Firuz 1236 1236
Razia Sultan 1236 1240 Woman ruler
Muiz ud din Bahram 1240 1243
Ala ud din Masud 1243 1249
Nasir ud din Mahmud 1249 1266
Ghiyas ud din Balban 1266 1287
Muiz ud din Qaiqabad 1287 1290
Jalaluddin Khalji 1290 1296
Alauddin Khalji 1296 1316
Shihabuddin Omar 1316 1316
Qutb-ud-din Mubarak 1316 1320
Khusrau Khan 1320 1321

Dynasties

Mamluk / Slave

Mamluk dynasty 1206 - 1290 ad
Delhi Sultanate from 1206-1290 AD under the Mamluk dynasty.

Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former slave of Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori (known more commonly as Muhammad of Ghor), was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Aibak was of Cuman-Kipchak (Turkic) origin, and due to his lineage, his dynasty is known as the Mamluk (Slave) dynasty (not to be confused with the Mamluk dynasty of Iraq or the Mamluk dynasty of Egypt).[31] Aibak reigned as the Sultan of Delhi for four years, from 1206 to 1210.

After Aibak died, Aram Shah assumed power in 1210, but he was assassinated in 1211 by Shams ud-Din Iltutmish.[32] Iltutmish's power was precarious, and a number of Muslim amirs (nobles) challenged his authority as they had been supporters of Qutb al-Din Aibak. After a series of conquests and brutal executions of opposition, Iltutmish consolidated his power.[33] His rule was challenged a number of times, such as by Qubacha, and this led to a series of wars.[34] Iltumish conquered Multan and Bengal from contesting Muslim rulers, as well as Ranthambore and Siwalik from the Hindu rulers. He also attacked, defeated, and executed Taj al-Din Yildiz, who asserted his rights as heir to Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori.[35] Iltutmish's rule lasted till 1236. Following his death, the Delhi Sultanate saw a succession of weak rulers, disputing Muslim nobility, assassinations, and short-lived tenures. Power shifted from Rukn ud-Din Firuz to Razia Sultana and others, until Ghiyas ud-Din Balban came to power and ruled from 1266 to 1287.[34][35] He was succeeded by 17-year-old Muiz ud-Din Qaiqabad, who appointed Jalal ud-Din Firuz Khalji as the commander of the army. Khalji assassinated Qaiqabad and assumed power, thus ending the Mamluk dynasty and starting the Khalji dynasty.

Qutb al-Din Aibak initiated the construction of the Qutub Minar[36] and the Quwwat-ul-Islam (Might of Islam) Mosque, now a UNESCO world heritage site.[37] The Qutub Minar Complex or Qutb Complex was expanded by Iltutmish, and later by Ala ud-Din Khalji (the second ruler of the Khalji dynasty) in the early 14th century.[37][38] During the Mamluk dynasty, many nobles from Afghanistan and Persia migrated and settled in India, as West Asia came under Mongol siege.[39]

Khaljis

Alai Gate and Qutub Minar
Alai Gate and Qutub Minar were built during the Mamluk and Khalji dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate.[37]

The Khalji dynasty was of Turko-Afghan heritage.[40][41][42][43] They were originally of Turkic origin.[44] They had long been settled in present-day Afghanistan before proceeding to Delhi in India. The name "Khalji" refers to an Afghan village or town known as Qalat-e Khalji (Fort of Ghilji).[45] Sometimes they were treated by others as ethnic Afghans due to their intermarraiges with local Afghans, adoption of Afghan habits and customs.[46][47] As a result of this, the dynasty is sometimes referred to as Turko-Afghan.[41][42][43] The dynasty later also had Indian ancestry, through Jhatyapali (daughter of Ramachandra of Devagiri), wife of Alauddin Khalji and mother of Shihabuddin Omar.[48]

The first ruler of the Khalji dynasty was Jalal ud-Din Firuz Khalji. Firuz Khalji had already gathered enough support among the Afghans for taking over the crown.[49] He came to power in 1290 after killing the last ruler of the Mamluk dynasty, Muiz ud-Din Qaiqabad, with the support of Afghan and Turkic nobles. He was around 70 years old at the time of his ascension, and was known as a mild-mannered, humble and kind monarch to the general public.[50][51] Jalal ud-Din Firuz was of Turko Afghan origin,[52][53][54] and ruled for 6 years before he was murdered in 1296 by his nephew and son-in-law Juna Muhammad Khalji,[55] who later came to be known as Ala ud-Din Khalji.

Ala ud-Din began his military career as governor of Kara province, from where he led two raids on Malwa (1292) and Devagiri (1294) for plunder and loot. His military campaigning returned to these lands as well other south Indian kingdoms after he assumed power. He conquered Gujarat, Ranthambore, Chittor, and Malwa.[56] However, these victories were cut short because of Mongol attacks and plunder raids from the northwest. The Mongols withdrew after plundering and stopped raiding northwest parts of the Delhi Sultanate.[57]

After the Mongols withdrew, Ala ud-Din Khalji continued expanding the Delhi Sultanate into southern India with the help of generals such as Malik Kafur and Khusro Khan. They collected lots of war booty (anwatan) from those they defeated.[58] His commanders collected war spoils and paid ghanima (Arabic: الْغَنيمَة, a tax on spoils of war), which helped strengthen the Khalji rule. Among the spoils was the Warangal loot that included the famous Koh-i-noor diamond.[59]

Ala ud-Din Khalji changed tax policies, raising agriculture taxes from 20% to 50% (payable in grain and agricultural produce), eliminating payments and commissions on taxes collected by local chiefs, banned socialization among his officials as well as inter-marriage between noble families to help prevent any opposition forming against him, and he cut salaries of officials, poets, and scholars.[55] These tax policies and spending controls strengthened his treasury to pay the keep of his growing army; he also introduced price controls on all agriculture produce and goods in the kingdom, as well as controls on where, how, and by whom these goods could be sold. Markets called "shahana-i-mandi" were created.[60] Muslim merchants were granted exclusive permits and monopoly in these "mandis" to buy and resell at official prices. No one other than these merchants could buy from farmers or sell in cities. Those found violating these "mandi" rules were severely punished, often by mutilation. Taxes collected in the form of grain were stored in the kingdom's storage. During famines that followed, these granaries ensured sufficient food for the army.[55]

Historians note Ala ud-Din Khalji as being a tyrant. Anyone Ala ud-Din suspected of being a threat to this power was killed along with the women and children of that family. In 1298, between 15,000 and 30,000 people near Delhi, who had recently converted to Islam, were slaughtered in a single day, due to fears of an uprising.[61] He is also known for his cruelty against kingdoms he defeated in battle.

After Ala ud-Din's death in 1316, his eunuch general Malik Kafur, who was born in a Hindu family in India and had converted to Islam, tried to assume power. He lacked the support of Persian and Turkic nobility and was subsequently killed.[55] The last Khalji ruler was Ala ud-Din Khalji's 18-year-old son Qutb ud-Din Mubarak Shah Khalji, who ruled for four years before he was killed by Khusro Khan, another of Ala ud-Din's generals. Khusro Khan's reign lasted only a few months, when Ghazi Malik, later to be called Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq, killed him and assumed power in 1320, thus ending the Khalji dynasty and starting the Tughlaq dynasty.[39][61]

Tughlaq

Sultanat von Delhi Tughluq-Dynastie
Delhi Sultanate from 1321-1330 AD under the Tughlaq dynasty. After 1330, various regions rebelled against the Sultanate and the kingdom shrank.

The Tughlaq dynasty lasted from 1320 to nearly the end of the 14th century. The first ruler Ghazi Malik rechristened himself as Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq and is also referred to in scholarly works as Tughlak Shah. He was of Turko-Indian origins; his father was a Turkic slave and his mother was a Hindu.[1] Ghiyath al-Din ruled for five years and built a town near Delhi named Tughlaqabad. According to some historians such as Vincent Smith,[62] he was killed by his son Juna Khan, who then assumed power in 1325. Juna Khan rechristened himself as Muhammad bin Tughlaq and ruled for 26 years.[63] During his rule, Delhi Sultanate reached its peak in terms of geographical reach, covering most of the Indian subcontinent.[10]

Muhammad bin Tughlaq was an intellectual, with extensive knowledge of the Quran, Fiqh, poetry and other fields. He was also deeply suspicious of his kinsmen and wazirs (ministers), extremely severe with his opponents, and took decisions that caused economic upheaval. For example, he ordered minting of coins from base metals with face value of silver coins - a decision that failed because ordinary people minted counterfeit coins from base metal they had in their houses and used them to pay taxes and jizya.[10][62]

A View from Daulatabad Fort
Muhammad bin Tughlaq moved his capital to the Deccan Plateau, and build a new capital called Daulatabad (shown). He later reversed his decision because Daulatabad lacked the fresh water supply that Delhi had.[62]
Forced token currency coin of Muhammad bin Tughlak
A base metal coin of Muhammad bin Tughlaq that led to an economic collapse.

On another occasion, after becoming upset by some accounts, or to run the Sultanate from the center of India by other accounts, Muhammad bin Tughlaq ordered the transfer of his capital from Delhi to Devagiri in modern-day Maharashtra (renaming it to Daulatabad), by forcing the mass migration of Delhi's population. Those who refused were killed. One blind person who failed to move to Daulatabad was dragged for the entire journey of 40 days - the man died, his body fell apart, and only his tied leg reached Daulatabad.[62] The capital move failed because Daulatabad was arid and did not have enough drinking water to support the new capital. The capital then returned to Delhi. Nevertheless, Muhammad bin Tughlaq's orders affected history as a large number of Delhi Muslims who came to the Deccan area did not return to Delhi to live near Muhammad bin Tughlaq. This influx of the then-Delhi residents into the Deccan region led to a growth of Muslim population in central and southern India.[10] Muhammad bin Tughlaq's adventures in the Deccan region also marked campaigns of destruction and desecration of Hindu and Jain temples, for example the Swayambhu Shiva Temple and the Thousand Pillar Temple.[64]

Revolts against Muhammad bin Tughlaq began in 1327, continued over his reign, and over time the geographical reach of the Sultanate shrunk. The Vijayanagara Empire originated in southern India as a direct response to attacks from the Delhi Sultanate.,[65] and liberated south India from the Delhi Sultanate's rule.[66] In 1337, Muhammad bin Tughlaq ordered an attack on China, sending part of his forces over the Himalayas. Few survived the journey, and they were executed upon their return for failing.[62] During his reign, state revenues collapsed from his policies such as the base metal coins from 1329-1332. To cover state expenses, he sharply raised taxes. Those who failed to pay taxes were hunted and executed. Famines, widespread poverty, and rebellion grew across the kingdom. In 1338 his own nephew rebelled in Malwa, whom he attacked, caught, and flayed alive. By 1339, the eastern regions under local Muslim governors and southern parts led by Hindu kings had revolted and declared independence from the Delhi Sultanate. Muhammad bin Tughlaq did not have the resources or support to respond to the shrinking kingdom.[67] The historian Walford chronicled Delhi and most of India faced severe famines during Muhammad bin Tughlaq's rule in the years after the base metal coin experiment.[68][69] By 1347, the Bahmani Sultanate had become an independent and competing Muslim kingdom in Deccan region of South Asia.[21]

The Tughlaq dynasty is remembered for its architectural patronage, particularly for ancient lats (pillars, left image),[70] dated to be from the 3rd century BC, and of Buddhist and Hindu origins. The Sultanate initially wanted to use the pillars to make mosque minarets. Firuz Shah Tughlaq decided otherwise and had them installed near mosques. The meaning of Brahmi script on the pillar at right was unknown in Firuz Shah's time.[71] The inscription was deciphered by James Prinsep in 1837; the pillar script of Emperor Ashoka asked people of his and future generations to seek a dharmic (virtuous) life, use persuasion in religion, grant freedom from religious persecution, stop all killing, and be compassionate to all living beings.[72]

The Lat of Ferozeh Shah -Delhi-.
Ashoka Pillar at Feroze Shah Kotla, Delhi 05

Muhammad bin Tughlaq died in 1351 while trying to chase and punish people in Gujarat who were rebelling against the Delhi Sultanate.[67] He was succeeded by Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351–1388), who tried to regain the old kingdom boundary by waging a war with Bengal for 11 months in 1359. However, Bengal did not fall. Firuz Shah ruled for 37 years. His reign attempted to stabilize the food supply and reduce famines by commissioning an irrigation canal from the Yamuna river. An educated sultan, Firuz Shah left a memoir.[73] In it he wrote that he banned the practice of torture, such as amputations, tearing out of eyes, sawing people alive, crushing people's bones as punishment, pouring molten lead into throats, setting people on fire, driving nails into hands and feet, among others.[74] He also wrote that he did not tolerate attempts by Rafawiz Shia Muslim and Mahdi sects from proselytizing people into their faith, nor did he tolerate Hindus who tried to rebuild temples that his armies had destroyed.[75] As punishment for proselytizing, Firuz Shah put many Shias, Mahdi, and Hindus to death (siyasat). Firuz Shah Tughlaq also lists his accomplishments to include converting Hindus to Sunni Islam by announcing an exemption from taxes and jizya for those who convert, and by lavishing new converts with presents and honours. Simultaneously, he raised taxes and jizya, assessing it at three levels, and stopping the practice of his predecessors who had historically exempted all Hindu Brahmins from the jizya.[74][76] He also vastly expanded the number of slaves in his service and those of Muslim nobles. The reign of Firuz Shah Tughlaq was marked by reduction in extreme forms of torture, eliminating favours to select parts of society, but also increased intolerance and persecution of targeted groups.[74]

The death of Firuz Shah Tughlaq created anarchy and disintegration of the kingdom. The last rulers of this dynasty both called themselves Sultan from 1394 to 1397: Nasir ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq, the grandson of Firuz Shah Tughlaq who ruled from Delhi, and Nasir ud-Din Nusrat Shah Tughlaq, another relative of Firuz Shah Tughlaq who ruled from Firozabad, which was a few miles from Delhi.[77] The battle between the two relatives continued till Timur's invasion in 1398. Timur, also known as Tamerlane in Western scholarly literature, was the Turkic ruler of the Timurid Empire. He became aware of the weakness and quarreling of the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, so he marched with his army to Delhi, plundering and killing all the way.[78][79] Estimates for the massacre by Timur in Dehli range from 100,000 to 200,000 people.[80][81] Timur had no intention of staying in or ruling India. He looted the lands he crossed, then plundered and burnt Delhi. Over five days, Timur and his army raged a massacre. Then he collected and carried the wealth, captured women and slaves (particularly skilled artisans), and returned to Samarkand. The people and lands within the Delhi Sultanate were left in a state of anarchy, chaos, and pestilence.[77] Nasir ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq, who had fled to Gujarat during Timur's invasion, returned and nominally ruled as the last ruler of Tughlaq dynasty, as a puppet of various factions at the court.[82]

Sayyid

The Sayyid dynasty was a Turkic dynasty[83] that ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1415 to 1451.[21] The Timurid invasion and plunder had left the Delhi Sultanate in shambles, and little is known about the rule by the Sayyid dynasty. Annemarie Schimmel notes the first ruler of the dynasty as Khizr Khan, who assumed power by claiming to represent Timur. His authority was questioned even by those near Delhi. His successor was Mubarak Khan, who rechristened himself as Mubarak Shah and tried to regain lost territories in Punjab, unsuccessfully.[82]

With the power of the Sayyid dynasty faltering, Islam's history on the Indian subcontinent underwent a profound change, according to Schimmel.[82] The previously dominant Sunni sect of Islam became diluted, alternate Muslim sects such as Shia rose, and new competing centers of Islamic culture took roots beyond Delhi.

The Sayyid dynasty was displaced by the Lodi dynasty in 1451.

Lodi

Baburs Invasion 1526
Delhi Sultanate during Babur's invasion.

The Lodi dynasty belonged to the Pashtun[84] (Afghan) Lodi tribe.[83] Bahlul Khan Lodi started the Lodi dynasty and was the first Pashtun, to rule the Delhi Sultanate.[85] Bahlul Lodi began his reign by attacking the Muslim Jaunpur Sultanate to expand the influence of the Delhi Sultanate, and was partially successful through a treaty. Thereafter, the region from Delhi to Varanasi (then at the border of Bengal province), was back under influence of Delhi Sultanate.

After Bahlul Lodi died, his son Nizam Khan assumed power, rechristened himself as Sikandar Lodi and ruled from 1489 to 1517.[86] One of the better known rulers of the dynasty, Sikandar Lodi expelled his brother Barbak Shah from Jaunpur, installed his son Jalal Khan as the ruler, then proceeded east to make claims on Bihar. The Muslim governors of Bihar agreed to pay tribute and taxes, but operated independent of the Delhi Sultanate. Sikandar Lodi led a campaign of destruction of temples, particularly around Mathura. He also moved his capital and court from Delhi to Agra,[87] an ancient Hindu city that had been destroyed during the plunder and attacks of the early Delhi Sultanate period. Sikandar thus erected buildings with Indo-Islamic architecture in Agra during his rule, and the growth of Agra continued during the Mughal Empire, after the end of Delhi Sultanate.[85][88]

Sikandar Lodi died a natural death in 1517, and his second son Ibrahim Lodi assumed power. Ibrahim did not enjoy the support of Afghan and Persian nobles or regional chiefs.[89] Ibrahim attacked and killed his elder brother Jalal Khan, who was installed as the governor of Jaunpur by his father and had the support of the amirs and chiefs.[85] Ibrahim Lodi was unable to consolidate his power, and after Jalal Khan's death, the governor of Punjab, Daulat Khan Lodi, reached out to the Mughal Babur and invited him to attack Delhi Sultanate.[87] Babur defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodi in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. The death of Ibrahim Lodi ended the Delhi Sultanate, and the Mughal Empire replaced it.

Economy

Before and during the Delhi Sultanate, Islamic civilization was the most cosmopolitan civilization of the Middle Ages. It had a multicultural and pluralistic society, and wide-ranging international networks, including social and economic networks, spanning large parts of Afro-Eurasia, leading to escalating circulation of goods, peoples, technologies and ideas. While initially disruptive due to the passing of power from native Indian elites to Turkic Muslim elites, the Delhi Sultanate was responsible for integrating the Indian subcontinent into a growing world system, drawing India into a wider international network, which led to cultural and social enrichment in the Indian subcontinent.[13]

Economist Angus Maddison has estimated that, during the Medieval Delhi Sultanate era, between 1000 and 1500, India's GDP grew nearly 80% up to $60.5 billion in 1500.[16]

The worm gear roller cotton gin was invented in the Indian subcontinent during the early Delhi Sultanate era of the 13th–14th centuries,[90] and is still used in India through to the present day.[91] Another innovation, the incorporation of the crank handle in the cotton gin, first appeared in the Indian subcontinent some time during the late Delhi Sultanate or the early Mughal Empire.[92] The production of cotton, which may have largely been spun in the villages and then taken to towns in the form of yarn to be woven into cloth textiles, was advanced by the diffusion of the spinning wheel across India during the Delhi Sultanate era, lowering the costs of yarn and helping to increase demand for cotton. The diffusion of the spinning wheel, and the incorporation of the worm gear and crank handle into the roller cotton gin, led to greatly expanded Indian cotton textile production.[93]

Demographics

The Indian population had largely been stagnant at 75 million during the Middle Kingdoms era from 1 AD to 1000 AD. During the Medieval Delhi Sultanate era from 1000 to 1500, India experienced lasting population growth for the first time in a thousand years, with its population increasing nearly 50% to 110 million by 1500 AD.[94][95]

Culture

While the Indian subcontinent has had invaders from Central Asia since ancient times, what made the Muslim invasions different is that unlike the preceding invaders who assimilated into the prevalent social system, the successful Muslim conquerors retained their Islamic identity and created new legal and administrative systems that challenged and usually in many cases superseded the existing systems of social conduct and ethics, even influencing the non-Muslim rivals and common masses to a large extent, though the non-Muslim population was left to their own laws and customs.[96][97] They also introduced new cultural codes that in some ways were very different from the existing cultural codes. This led to the rise of a new Indian culture which was mixed in nature, different from ancient Indian culture. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in India were Indian natives converted to Islam. This factor also played an important role in the synthesis of cultures.[98]

The Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) began to emerge in the Delhi Sultanate period, developed from the Middle Indo-Aryan apabhramsha vernaculars of North India. Amir Khusro, who lived in the 13th century CE during the Delhi Sultanate period in North India, used a form of Hindustani, which was the lingua franca of the period, in his writings and referred to it as Hindavi.[17]

Military

The bulk of Delhi Sultanate's army consisted of nomadic Turkic Mamluk military slaves, who were skilled in nomadic cavalry warfare. A major military contribution of the Delhi Sultanate was their successful campaigns in repelling the Mongol Empire's invasions of India, which could have been devastating for the Indian subcontinent, like the Mongol invasions of China, Persia and Europe. The Delhi Sultanate's Mamluk army were skilled in the same style of nomadic cavalry warfare used by the Mongols, making them successful in repelling the Mongol invasions, as was the case for the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt. Were it not for the Delhi Sultanate, it is possible that the Mongol Empire may have been successful in invading India.[18] The strength of the armies changes according to time. According to firishta during the battle of kili Alauddin led an army of 300,000 cavalry and 2,700 elephants. During the tughlaq period Muhammad bin tughlaq rose an army of 3 million. The soldiers used weapons such as swords, spears, shields etc. Armour such as steel helmet and chainmail was commonly used. Armored war elephants were effectively used against the enemies such as the Mongols .

Temple desecration

Somnath temple ruins (1869)

The Somnath Temple in Gujarat was repeatedly destroyed by Islamic armies and rebuilt by Hindus. It was destroyed by Delhi Sultanate's army in 1299 CE.[99]

Benares- The Golden Temple, India, ca. 1915 (IMP-CSCNWW33-OS14-66)

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak.

Nalanda University India ruins

Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, the military general of Delhi Sultan Qutb al-Din Aibak, was responsible for the destruction of Nalanda university.[100]

Temple de Mînâkshî01

The armies of Delhi Sultanate led by Muslim Commander Malik Kafur plundered the Meenakshi Temple and looted it of its valuables.

Warangal fort

Kakatiya Kala Thoranam (Warangal Gate) built by the Kakatiya dynasty in ruins; one of the many temple complexes destroyed by the Delhi Sultanate.[19]

Rani ki vav1

Rani ki vav is a stepwell, built by the Chaulukya dynasty, located in Patan; the city was sacked by Sultan of Delhi Qutb-ud-din Aybak between 1200 and 1210, and it was destroyed by the Allauddin Khilji in 1298.[19]

Elevation of Kirtistambh Rudramahalaya Sidhpur Gujarat India

Artistic rendition of the Kirtistambh at Rudra Mahalaya Temple. The temple was destroyed by Alauddin Khalji.

Exteriors Carvings of Shantaleshwara Shrine 02

Exterior wall reliefs at Hoysaleswara Temple. The temple was twice sacked and plundered by the Delhi Sultanate.[101]

Historian Richard Eaton has tabulated a campaign of destruction of idols and temples by Delhi Sultans, intermixed with instances of years where the temples were protected from desecration.[19][102][103] In his paper, he has listed 37 instances of Hindu temples being desecrated or destroyed in India during the Delhi Sultanate, from 1234 to 1518, for which reasonable evidences are available.[104][105][106] He notes that this was not unusual in medieval India, as there were numerous recorded instances of temple desecration by Hindu and Buddhist kings against rival Indian kingdoms between 642 and 1520, involving conflict between devotees of different Hindu deities, as well as between Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.[107][108][109] He also noted there were also many instances of Delhi sultans, who often had Hindu ministers, ordering the protection, maintenance and repairing of temples, according to both Muslim and Hindu sources. For example, a Sanskrit inscription notes that Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq repaired a Siva temple in Bidar after his Deccan conquest. There was often a pattern of Delhi sultans plundering or damaging temples during conquest, and then patronizing or repairing temples after conquest. This pattern came to an end with the Mughal Empire, where Akbar the Great's chief minister Abu'l-Fazl criticized the excesses of earlier sultans such as Mahmud of Ghazni.[110]

In many cases, the demolished remains, rocks and broken statue pieces of temples destroyed by Delhi sultans were reused to build mosques and other buildings. For example, the Qutb complex in Delhi was built from stones of 27 demolished Hindu and Jain temples by some accounts.[111] Similarly, the Muslim mosque in Khanapur, Maharashtra was built from the looted parts and demolished remains of Hindu temples.[39] Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji destroyed Buddhist and Hindu libraries and their manuscripts at Nalanda and Odantapuri Universities in 1193 AD at the beginning of the Delhi Sultanate.[64][112]

The first historical record of a campaign of destruction of temples and defacement of faces or heads of Hindu idols lasted from 1193 through the early 13th century in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under the command of Ghuri. Under the Khaljis, the campaign of temple desecration expanded to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, and continued through the late 13th century.[19] The campaign extended to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu under Malik Kafur and Ulugh Khan in the 14th century, and by the Bahmanis in 15th century.[64] Orissa temples were destroyed in the 14th century under the Tughlaqs.

Beyond destruction and desecration, the sultans of the Delhi Sultanate in some cases had forbidden reconstruction of damaged Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples, and they prohibited repairs of old temples or construction of any new temples.[113][114] In certain cases, the Sultanate would grant a permit for repairs and construction of temples if the patron or religious community paid jizya (fee, tax). For example, a proposal by the Chinese to repair Himalayan Buddhist temples destroyed by the Sultanate army was refused, on the grounds that such temple repairs were only allowed if the Chinese agreed to pay jizya tax to the treasury of the Sultanate.[115][116] In his memoirs, Firoz Shah Tughlaq describes how he destroyed temples and built mosques instead and killed those who dared build new temples.[117] Other historical records from wazirs, amirs and the court historians of various Sultans of the Delhi Sultanate describe the grandeur of idols and temples they witnessed in their campaigns and how these were destroyed and desecrated.[118]

Temple desecration during Delhi Sultanate period, a list prepared by Richard Eaton in Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States[19][119]
Sultan / Agent Dynasty Years Temple Sites Destroyed States
Muhammad Ghori, Qutb al-Din Aibak Mamluk 1193-1290 Ajmer, Samana, Kuhram, Delhi, Kol, Varanasi Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, Shams ud-Din Iltumish, Jalal ud-Din Firuz Khalji, Ala ud-Din Khalji, Malik Kafur Mamluk and Khalji 1290-1320 Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramashila, Bhilsa, Ujjain, Jhain, Vijapur, Devagiri, Somnath, Chidambaram, Madurai Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu
Ulugh Khan, Firuz Shah Tughlaq, Raja Nahar Khan, Muzaffar Khan Khalji and Tughlaq 1320-1395[120] Somnath, Warangal, Bodhan, Pillalamarri, Puri, Sainthali, Idar[121] Gujarat, Telangana, Orissa, Haryana
Sikandar, Muzaffar Shah, Ahmad Shah, Mahmud Sayyid 1400-1442 Paraspur, Bijbehara, Tripuresvara, Idar, Diu, Manvi, Sidhpur, Delwara, Kumbhalmer Gujarat, Rajasthan
Suhrab, Begdha, Bahmani, Khalil Shah, Khawwas Khan, Sikandar Lodi, Ibrahim Lodi Lodi 1457-1518 Mandalgarh, Malan, Dwarka, Kondapalle, Kanchi, Amod, Nagarkot, Utgir, Narwar, Gwalior Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh

See also

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  121. ^ Somnath temple went through cycles of destruction by Sultans and rebuilding by Hindus

Bibliography

  • Kumar, Sunil. (2007). The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate. Delhi: Permanent Black.
1311 massacre of Mongols in the Delhi Sultanate

In 1311, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji ordered a mass massacre of the "New Muslims" (Mongols who had recently converted to Islam), after some Mongol amirs of Delhi conspired to kill him. According to chronicler Ziauddin Barani, 20,000 or 30,000 Mongols were killed as a result of this order.

Gujarat Sultanate

The Gujarat Sultanate was a medieval India Islamic kingdom established in the early 15th century in present-day Gujarat, India. The founder of the ruling Muzaffarid dynasty, Zafar Khan (later Muzaffar Shah I) was appointed as governor of Gujarat by Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad bin Tughluq IV in 1391, the ruler of the principal state in north India at the time, the Delhi Sultanate. Zafar Khan's father Sadharan, was a Tanka Rajput convert to Islam. Zafar Khan defeated Farhat-ul-Mulk near Anhilwada Patan and made the city his capital. Following Timur's invasion of Delhi, the Delhi Sultanate weakened considerably so he declared himself independent in 1407 and formally established Gujarat Sultanate. The next sultan, his grandson Ahmad Shah I founded the new capital Ahmedabad in 1411. His successor Muhammad Shah II subdued most of the Rajput chieftains. The prosperity of the sultanate reached its zenith during the rule of Mahmud Begada. He subdued most of the Rajput chieftains and built navy off the coast of Diu. In 1509, the Portuguese wrested Diu from Gujarat sultanate following the battle of Diu. The decline of the Sultanate started with the assassination of Sikandar Shah in 1526. Mughal emperor Humayun attacked Gujarat in 1535 and briefly occupied it. Thereafter Bahadur Shah was killed by the Portuguese while making a deal in 1537. The end of the sultanate came in 1573, when Akbar annexed Gujarat in his empire. The last ruler Muzaffar Shah III was taken prisoner to Agra. In 1583, he escaped from the prison and with the help of the nobles succeeded to regain the throne for a short period before being defeated by Akbar's general Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana.

Hauz Khas Complex

Hauz Khas Complex (Hindi: हौज़ ख़ास, Punjabi: ਹੌਜ਼ ਖ਼ਾਸ, Urdu: حوض خاص‬‎) in Hauz Khas, South Delhi houses a water tank, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign. It was part of Siri, the second medieval city of India of the Delhi Sultanate of Alauddin Khalji Dynasty (1296–1316).

The etymology of the name Hauz Khas in Farsi is derived from the words ‘Hauz’: "water tank" (or lake) and ‘Khas’:"royal"- the "Royal tank". The large water tank or reservoir was first built by poonam saini in memory of bansu {the plaque displayed (pictured in the gallery) at the site records this fact} to supply water to the inhabitants of Siri.

The tank was de–silted during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351–88). Several buildings (Mosque and madrasa) and tombs were built overlooking the water tank or lake. Firuz Shah’s tomb pivots the L–shaped building complex which overlooks the tank.In the 1980s, Hauz Khas Village, studded with domed tombs of Muslim royalty from the 14th to 16th centuries, was developed as an upper class residential cum commercial area in the metropolis of South Delhi, India. It is now a relatively expensive tourist cum commercial area with numerous art galleries, upscale boutiques and restaurants.

History of Delhi

The Indian capital city of New Dehli has a long history, and has been an important political centre of India as the capital of several empires. Much of Delhi's ancient history finds no record and this may be regarded as a lost period of its history. Extensive coverage of Delhi's history begins with the onset of the Delhi Sultanate in the 12th century. Since then, Delhi has been the centre of a succession of mighty empires and powerful kingdoms, making Delhi one of the longest-serving capitals and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.Delhi is very famous It is considered to be a city built, destroyed and rebuilt several times, as outsiders who successfully invaded the Indian Subcontinent would ransack the existing capital city in Delhi, and those who came to conquer and stay would be so impressed by the city's strategic location as to make it their capital and rebuild it in their own way.The Delhi Sultanate is the name given for a series of five successive dynasties, who ruled North India with Delhi as their capital. The rule of the Delhi Sultanate was established in 1206 by Qutb-ud-Din Aibak. The relics of the Delhi Sultanate include the Qutb Minar and its surrounding monuments and the Tughlaqabad Fort. During this time, the city became a center for culture. The Delhi Sultanate came to an end in 1526, when Babur defeated the forces of the last sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi at the first Battle of Panipat, and formed the Mughal Empire.

The Mughal Empire would rule the area for three centuries. During the 16th century, the city declined as the Mughal capital was shifted. The fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the walled city of Shahjahanabad within Delhi, and its landmarks, the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. His reign would be considered the zenith of the empire. After the death of his successor Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire was plagued by a series of revolts. They lost major portions to the Maratha and Sikh empires, and Delhi was sacked and looted by Nader Shah. In 1803, the Delhi was captured by the British East India Company.

During Company Rule in India, the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II was reduced to merely a figurehead. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 sought to end company rule and declared Bahadur Shah II the Emperor of India. However, the British soon recaptured Delhi and their other territories, ending the short-lived rebellion. This also marked the beginning of direct British Rule in India. In 1911, the capital of British India was shifted from Calcutta to New Delhi, the last inner city of Delhi designed by Edwin Lutyens.

After India's Independence from the British, New Delhi became the capital of the newly formed Republic of India.

Indo-Persian culture

Indo-Persian culture refers to those Persian aspects that have been integrated into or absorbed into the cultures of the Indian subcontinent.

Persian influence was first introduced to the Indian subcontinent by Muslim rulers of Turkic and Afghan origin, especially with the Delhi Sultanate from the 13th century, and in the 16th to 19th century by the Mughal Empire. In general, from its earliest days, aspects of the culture and language were brought to the Indian subcontinent by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan rulers, such as Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi in the 11th century.

Persian was the official language of the Delhi Sultanate, the Bengal Sultanate, the Bahamani Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and their successor states, as well as the cultured language of poetry and literature. Many of the Sultans and nobility in the Sultanate period were Persianised Turks from Central Asia who spoke Turkic languages as their mother tongues. The Mughals were also culturally Persianized Central Asians (of Turco-Mongol origin on their paternal side), but spoke Chagatai Turkic as their first language at the beginning, before eventually adopting Persian. Persian became the preferred language of the Muslim elite of north India. Muzaffar Alam, a noted scholar of Mughal and Indo-Persian history, suggests that Persian became the official lingua franca of the empire under Akbar for various political and social factors due to its non-sectarian and fluid nature. The influence of these languages led to a vernacular called Hindustani that is the ancestor of today's Urdu and Hindi.

Jauhar

Jauhar, sometimes spelled Jowhar or Juhar, was the Hindu custom of mass self-immolation by women in parts of the Indian subcontinent, to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by any foreign invaders, when facing certain defeat during a war. Some reports of jauhar mention women committing self-immolation along with their children. This practice was historically observed in northwest regions of India, with most famous Jauhars in recorded history occurring during wars between Hindu Rajput kingdoms in Rajasthan and the Muslim armies. Jauhar is related to sati, and sometimes referred in scholarly literature as jauhar sati.Kaushik Roy said that the jauhar custom was observed only during Hindu-Muslim wars, but not during internecine Hindu-Hindu wars among the Rajputs.The term jauhar sometimes connotes with both jauhar-immolation and saka ritual. During the Jauhar, Rajput women committed suicide with their children and valuables in massive fire, to avoid capture and abuse in the face of inescapable military defeat and capture. Simultaneously or thereafter, the men would ritually march to the battlefield expecting certain death, which in the regional tradition is called saka.Jauhar by Hindu kingdoms has been documented by Islamic historians of the Delhi Sultanate, and the Mughal Empire. Among the oft cited example of jauhar has been the mass suicide committed in 1303 CE by the women of Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan, faced with invading army of Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. The jauhar phenomenon was also observed in other parts of India, such as in the Kampili kingdom of northern Karnataka when it fell in 1327 to Delhi Sultanate armies.

Khalji dynasty

The Khalji or Khilji dynasty was a Muslim dynasty which ruled large parts of the Indian subcontinent between 1290 and 1320. It was founded by Jalal ud din Firuz Khalji and became the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India. The dynasty is known for their faithlessness and ferocity, conquests into the Hindu south, and for successfully fending off the repeated Mongol invasions of India.

Lodi dynasty

The Lodi dynasty (or Lodhi) was an Afghan. dynasty that ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1451 to 1526. It was the last dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, and was founded by Bahlul Khan Lodi when he replaced the Sayyid dynasty.

Madurai Sultanate

Ma'bar Sultanate (Persian: مابار سلطنت‎), unofficially known as the Madurai Sultanate, was a short lived independent kingdom based in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India. The sultanate was proclaimed in 1335 when the then viceroy of Madurai, Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan declared his independence from the Delhi Sultanate. Ahsan Khan and his descendants ruled Madurai and surrounding territories until 1378 when the last sultan, Ala-ud-Din Sikandar Shah fell in battle against the forces of the Vijayanagara Empire led by Kumara Kampana. In this short reign of 43 years, the Sultanate had 8 different rulers.

Mamluk dynasty (Delhi)

The Mamluk Dynasty (sometimes referred as Slave Dynasty or Ghulam Dynasty) (Persian: سلطنت مملوک‎), (Urdu: غلام خاندان‎) was directed into Northern India by Qutb ud-Din Aibak, a Turkic Mamluk slave general from Central Asia. The Mamluk Dynasty ruled from 1206 to 1290; it was the first of five unrelated dynasties to rule as the Delhi Sultanate till 1526. Aibak's tenure as a Ghurid dynasty administrator lasted from 1192 to 1206, a period during which he led invasions into the Gangetic heartland of India and established control over some of the new areas.

Mongol invasion of India (1306)

In 1306, the Chagatai Khanate ruler Duwa sent an expedition to India, to avenge the Mongol defeat in 1305. The invading army included three contingents led by Kopek, Iqbalmand, and Tai-Bu. To the check the invaders' advance, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji dispatched an army led by Malik Kafur, and supported by other generals such as Malik Tughluq. The Delhi army achieved a decisive victory, killing tens of thousands of the invaders. The Mongol captives were brought to Delhi, where they were either killed or sold into slavery.

After this defeat, the Mongols did not invade the Delhi Sultanate during Alauddin's reign. The victory greatly emboldened Alauddin's general Tughluq, who launched several punitive raids in the Mongol territories of present-day Afghanistan.

Mongol invasions of India

The Mongol Empire launched several invasions into the Indian subcontinent from 1221 to 1327, with many of the later raids made by the unruly Qaraunas of Mongol origin. The Mongols occupied parts of modern Pakistan and other parts of Punjab for decades. As the Mongols progressed into the Indian hinterland and reached the outskirts of Delhi, the Delhi Sultanate led a campaign against them in which the Mongol army suffered serious defeats.

Moth ki Masjid

Moth Ki Masjid (moʈʰ kiː masdʒɪd) is a heritage building located in Delhi, and was built in 1505 by Wazir Miya Bhoiya, Prime Minister during the reign of Sikander Lodi (1489–1517) of the Lodi dynasty. It was a new type of mosque developed by the Lodis in the fourth city of the medieval Delhi of the Delhi Sultanate. The name of the mosque literally translated into English language means ‘Lentil Mosque’ and this name tag ‘Lentil’ has an interesting legend. This mosque was considered a beautiful Dome (Gumbad) structure of the period.The mosque is now completely enclosed within the modern locality of South Extension Part II, Uday Park and Masjid Moth comprising residential and commercial establishments in the urban setting of South Delhi.It is surrounded by various other smaller dargahs and monuments that may be found peppered within the nooks of this urban village.

The local representative in collaboration with residents is now trying to revive the monument.

Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent

Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 12th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into modern Afghanistan and Pakistan as early as the time of the Rajput kingdoms in the 8th century. With the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Islam spread across large parts of the subcontinent. In 1204, Bakhtiyar Khalji led the Muslim conquest of Bengal, marking the eastern-most expansion of Islam at the time.

Prior to the rise of the Maratha Empire, which was followed by the conquest of India by the British East India Company, the Muslim Mughal Empire was able to annex or subjugate most of India's kings. However, it was never able to conquer the kingdoms in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, such as those of modern Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan; the kingdoms of the extreme south of India, such as Travancore and Tamil Nadu; or the kingdoms in the east, such as the Ahom Kingdom in Assam.

Sayyid dynasty

The Sayyid dynasty was the fourth dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, with four rulers ruling from 1414 to 1451. Founded by Khizr Khan a former governor of Multan, they succeeded the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled the sultanate until they were displaced by the Lodi dynasty. Members of the dynasty derived their title, Sayyid, or the descendants of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, based on the claim that they belonged to his lineage through his daughter Fatima, and son-in-law and cousin Ali.

Siri Fort

Siri Fort, in the city of New Delhi, was built during the rule of Alauddin Khalji , the Turkic (Afghan) ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, to defend the city from the onslaught of the Mongols. It was the second of the seven cities of medieval Delhi built around 1303 (stated to be the first entirely constructed by Turks), which at present is seen only in ruins with a few remnants (pictured)Near the Siri Fort ruins modern auditoriums, the Asian Games Village Complex and residential and commercial establishments fill the modern landscape between the Khel Gaon Marg and the Aurobindo Marg in the heart of South Delhi.

Sultan Ghari

Sultan e Garhi (Hindi: सुल्तान ग़ारी, Urdu: سلطان غاری‎) was the first Islamic Mausoleum (tomb) built in 1231 AD for Prince Nasiru'd-Din Mahmud, eldest son of Iltumish, in the "funerary landscape of Delhi" in the Nangal Dewat Forest, Near Nangal Dewat Vasant Kunj).Iltumish was the third Sultan of the Slave Dynasty who ruled in Delhi from 1210 to 1236 AD. The area where the Ghari (meaning: cave) tomb is situated, was part of medieval Delhi known as the Slave Dynasty that ruled during the period 1206 CE to 1290 CE, pre-existed as a Hindu temple from Gurjara-Pratihara era (700 to 1100 CE). This area is now part of the Qutb complex. The Slave Dynasty was the forerunner under the early Delhi Sultanate that ruled from 1216 CE to 1516 CE. This dynastic city was followed by creation of other five cities of Delhi ruled by different dynastic rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, namely, the Khalji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1413 CE), the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51 CE), and the Lodi dynasty (1451–1526 CE). The rule of the Mughal Empire then followed and lasted from 1526 CE to 1857 CE.The crypt or the tomb is implanted in a Ghari (cave), approached by winding steep stairs made of stone, and supported by pillars and flooring. The cave is covered by an unusual octagonal roof stone slab. The exterior of the tomb structure built in Delhi sandstone with marble adornment exhibits a walled area with bastions (towers) on corners, which impart it the look of a fortress in aesthetic Persian and Oriental architecture. The other tombs inside the Ghari have not been identified.

Tughlaq dynasty

The Tughlaq dynasty also referred to as Tughluq or Tughluk dynasty, was a Muslim dynasty of Turko-Indian origin which ruled over the Delhi sultanate in medieval India. Its reign started in 1320 in Delhi when Ghazi Malik assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. The dynasty ended in 1413.The dynasty expanded its territorial reach through a military campaign led by Muhammad bin Tughluq, and reached its zenith between 1330 and 1335. Its rule was marked with torture, cruelty and rebellions, resulting in the rapid disintegration of the dynasty's territorial reach after 1335 AD.

Ziauddin Barani

Ziauddin Barani (1285–1357 CE) was a Muslim political thinker of the Delhi Sultanate located in present-day North India during Muhammad bin Tughlaq and Firuz Shah's reign. He was best known for composing the Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi, a work on medieval India, which covers the period from the reign of Ghiyas ud din Balban to the first six years of reign of Firuz Shah Tughluq and the Fatwa-i-Jahandari which promoted a racial hierarchy among Muslim communities in the Indian subcontinent.

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