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This post was published to IAS Help at 18:52:09 25/02/2010

Indian History #15 | Study Material::General Studies | IAS Help Category

Indian History


The Delhi Sultanate was a period from the 13th to the 16th centuries when several Turkic and Afghan dynasties ruled northern India from Delhi The dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate were o Mamluk dynasty (1206-1290) o Khilji dynasty (1290-1320) o Tughlaq dynasty (1320-1413) o Sayyid dynasty (1414-1451) o Lodi dynasty (1451-1526) The Delhi Sultanate was established upon the death of Muhammad Ghori in 1206 CE and was absorbed by the newly emerging Mughal Empire in 1526 CE

Mamluk Dynasty    

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Also known as the Slave Dynasty, the Mamluk dynasty was the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate and ruled from 1206-1290 CE The Mamluks were essentially a Turkic people It was established by Qutub-ud-din-Aybak, a slave and general of Muhammad Ghori, who took over Ghori’s Indian territories following the latter’s death in 1206 CE Important rulers of the Mamluk dynasty include o Qutub-ud-din-Aybak (1206-1210 CE) o Shams-ud-din-Iltutmish (1211-1236) o Razia Sultana (1236-1240) o Ghiyas-ud-din-Balban (1266-1287) The Qutub Minar (New Delhi) was commissioned by Qutub-ud-din-Aybak in 1193 CE. At 72.5 m, it is the world’s tallest brick minaret and is one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is part of the Qutub Complex – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Balban’s tomb is located in Mehrauli, New Delhi The Sultan Ghari, also in New Delhi, is the oldest Islamic mausoleum in India. It was built by Iltutmish for his son Nasir-ud-din Mahmud in 1231 CE Razia Sultana was the first female ruler of a Muslim kingdom anywhere in the world

Khilji Dynasty    

The Khiljis were the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. They ruled north and northwestern India 1290-1320 CE They were Turko-Afghan people The greatest ruler of the Khilji dynasty was Ala-ud-din-Khilji (1296-1316 CE) Khilji attacked Chittor in 1303 after hearing of the beauty of queen Padmini, wife of king Rawal Ratan Singh. This event is the setting of the epic poem Padmavat written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi (in 1540 CE), in the Awadhi language

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Khilji’s plunder of Gujarat in 1297 CE is noted for the loot of the Somnath temple and the destruction of the Sivalingam into pieces. Ala-ud-din-Khilji is noted for the first Muslim invasions of southern India. Khilji’s general, Malik Kafur, conquered Devagiri and Warangal, caused the collapse of the Hoysalas, and went as far south as Madurai, which was occupied for a brief period of time Ala-ud-din-Khilji’s most important achievement was repelling repeated Mongol invasions of India between 1294 CE and 1308 CE, which would inevitably have brought destruction and devastation on a colossal scale

Tughlaq Dynasty 

The Tughlaq dynasty ruled from 1321 to 1394 CE

They were of Turkic origin

The Tughlaq dynasty was founded by Ghiyas al-din Tughlaq in 1321 CE

The most important ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty was Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1325-1351 CE)

Muhammad bin Tughlaq was a renown scholar, was tolerant towards other religions and an innovative administrator. However, his experiments in reforming public administration often failed, earning him much satire

He was responsible for the expansion of the Delhi Sultanate southwards into the Deccan region

In order to strengthen his hold on newly conquered territories in peninsular India, Muhammad bin Tughlaq moved the capital of the Sultanate from Delhi to Devagiri in Maharashtra (which was renamed Daulatabad). Due to poor planning and facilities, the capital had to be moved back to Delhi two years later.

Muhammad bin Tughlaq also introduced copper-based token currency, the first such experiment in India. Although the copper currency was backed by gold and silver in government reserves, the switch was not embraced by the public and the experiment had to be abandoned

Muhammad bin Tughlaq was succeeded by his cousin Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-1388 CE). Firoz Shah Tughlaq re-built the top two storeys of the Qutub Minar with white marble, when the earlier structure was partially destroyed by lightning

Sayyid Dynasty 

The Sayyid dynasty ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1414 CE to 1451 CE

The Sayyid’s came to power following a power vacuum induced by Timur’s invasion and devastation of Delhi in 1398 CE

Lodi Dynasty 

The Lodi dynasty ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1451 CE to 1526

They were of Afghan origin

The Lodi dynasty was founded by Bahlul Khan Lodi in 1451 CE

Sikandar Lodi (1489 CE-1517) founded the city of Agra in 1504. He attacked Gwalior five times but was repulsed each time by Maharaja Mansingh of Gwalior

Sikandar Lodi is known for his benevolence to Muslim subjects and extreme harshness to Hindu subjects

The last ruler of the Lodi dynasty was Ibrahim Lodi (1489 CE-1526).

Ibrahim Lodi was defeated by the Afghan Mughal Babur in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. With this, the Delhi Sultanate was dissolved and the Mughal Empire was established

Legacy of the Delhi Sultanate    

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Delhi Sultanate was insulating the Indian subcontinent from the devastation of Mongol invasions in the 13 th century However, the Delhi Sultanate failed to prevent the sacking of Delhi by Timur (aka Tamerlane). Timur sacked and pillaged Delhi in 1398 CE, leading to widespread devastation and destruction The Delhi Sultanate established a network of market centres through which traditional village economies were both exploited and stimulated Agricultural practices of shifting to cash crops (like sugarcane) instead of food crops were encouraged


The Deccan Sultanates were five Muslim ruled kingdoms located in the Deccan plateau

They ruled south central India from 1527 to 1686

The Deccan Sultanates were established following the breakup of the Bahmani Sultanate in 1527

The five kingdoms of the Deccan Sultanates were o

Ahmadnagar (1490-1636)


Bijapur (1490-1686)


Berar (1490-1572)


Golkonda (1518-1687)


Bidar (1528-1619)

The Deccan Sultanates were generally rivals but united against the Vijayanagara Empire in the Battle of Tallikota in 1565

An important cultural contribution of the Deccan Sultanates was the development of Dakhani Urdu – drawn from Arabic, Persian, Marathi, Kannada and Telugu

The period is also famous for the development of Deccani miniature paintings, which flourished in Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golkonda

Ahmadnagar Sultanate 

The Ahmadnagar Sultanate was located in northwestern Deccan, between the Gujarat and Bijapur sultanate

The Sultanate was established by Malik Ahmad in 1490, who founded the Nizam Shahi dynasty

The capital city of the Sultanate was initially Junnar, which was later shifted to Ahmadnagar

The earliest examples of miniature paintings are found in the manuscript Tarif-i-Hussain Shahi (c. 1565)

This period is also known for the encyclopaedia Nrisimha Prasada written by Dalapati

The Ahmadnagar Sultanate was annexed into the Mughal Empire by Aurangzeb (during the reign of Shah Jahan) in 1636

Berar Sultanate 

The Berar Sultanate was established by Imad-ul Mulk in 1490

It was annexed by the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in 1572

Bidar Sultanate 

The Bidar Sultanate was established by Qasim Barid in 1490

Bidar was sandwiched between the Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda sultanates

Bidar was annexed by Ibrahim Adil Shah II of the Bijapur Sultanate in 1619

An important type of metalwork called Bidri originated in Bidar. These metalworks were carried out on black metal (mainly zinc) with inlaid designs of silver, brass and copper

Bijapur Sultanate 

The Bijapur Sultanate was established by Yusuf Adil Shah in 1490, who founded the Adil Shahi dynasty

The Bijapur Sultanate was located in northern Karnataka, with its capital at Bijapur

Under the Adil Shahi dynasty, Bijapur became an important centre of commerce and culture in India

The Begum Talab was a 234 acre tank constructed by Mohammad Adil Shah in 1651 in memory of Jahan Begum. Underground pipes, encased in masonry supplied water from the tank to the city residents

Ibrahim Adil Shah II wrote a book of songs in Dakhani urdu called Kitab-i-Navras. This work contains a number of songs set to different ragas

The Bijapur Sultanate was annexed into the Mughal Empire by Aurangzeb in 1686

Golconda Sultanate

The Golconda Sultanate was established in 1518 by Qutb-ul-Mulk, who founded the Qutb Shahi dynasty

The Golconda Sultanate was located in northern Andhra Pradesh

The capital city was Hyderabad

The Qutb Shahi dynasty was responsible for the construction of the Jami Masjid (1518), Charminar (1591) and Mecca Masjid (1617)

Another famous structure from the period is the fort of Golconda

The Shahi dynasty was instrumental in the development of Dakhani urdu

Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah wrote the Kulliyat-i-Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in Dakhani urdu

Golconda was annexed into the Mughal Empire by Aurangzeb in 1687



Indian History #15 | Study Material::General Studies | IAS Help Category Indian History This post was published to IAS Help at 18:52:09 25/0...