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Delhi Sultanate - Medieval History Notes 

History covers a good number of questions making it an important topic to cover in SSC Exams. Around 5-8 questions asks from History which surely makes it important for you to study the topic well for upcoming SSC and Railway Exams. Here is Medieval History Notes which you should not ignore.

Delhi Sultanate

The five dynasties which founded subsequently after the Turkish invasion were collectively known as Delhi sultanate. They are:
  1. Slave Dynasty- 1206 - 1290
  2. Khilji Dynasty-1290 - 1320
  3. Tughlaq Dynasty- 1320 - 1412
  4. Sayyid Dynasty- 1414 - 1451
  5. Lodi Dynasty-1451 – 1526


Slave Dynasty (1206 - 1290)

  • Slave Dynasty was also called Ilbari Dynasty, Yamini Dynasty or Mamluk Dynasty.
  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak was a slave of Muhammed Ghori and he founded the Slave Dynasty in 1206 AD.
  • Aibak was the first Muslim ruler of India.
  •  The capital of Qutub-ud-din Aibak was at Lahore
  • He was known as ‘Lakh Baksh’ or ‘giver of lakhs’ or ‘giver of favours’ for his magnanimity.
  • Hasan Nizami was a famous historian in the court of the Aibak.
  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak started the construction of Qutub Minar in 1199 in Delhi in memory of the Sufi saint Quaja Qutub - ud-din Bhaktiar Kaki.
  • Its construction was completed by Ithumish. It is a five storied building.
  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak died 1210 by falling from horseback while playing Polo.
  •  After the death of Qutubuddin, Aram Shah ascended the throne but he was deposed by Ilthumish and crowned himself the Sulthan
  • During the period of Ilthumish (1210-1236) Chengizkhan, the Mongole conqueror attacked India (1221).
  • Ilthumish is considered as the real founder of Delhi Sulthanate.
  • Ilthumish was the first Sulthan of Delhi to get recognition of the Khalif of Bagdad.
  • Ilthumish was also the first Sulthan to make Delhi his capital.
  •  He issued a purely Arabic coinage of Silver and was the first to do so.
  • Coins introdued by Ilthumish, ‘Silver Thanka’ and ‘Copper Jital’ were the two basic coins of the Sulthanate period.
  • He organised the ‘Chalisa’ or the famous Turkish forty to help him in the administration.
  • Iltumish completed the construction of Qutub Minar.
  • The revenue system of the Sulthanate ‘Iqta system’, was introduced by Ilthumish.
  • Ilthumish was succeeded by his son Ruknuddin Firoz Shah. But he was later executed and Razia became the sulthan (daughter of Ilthumish)
  •  Sulthana Raziya, the only women ruler of, the Sultanate came to power in 1236 and reigned till 1240. Sulthana Raizya rejected the Pardah, she adorned the male dress and held open courts.
  • In October 14, 1240 both Razia and Altunia who earlier raised arms against Razia but later joined with her were, beheaded at Kaithal.
  • After Raizya Behran Shah (1240 - 42) Allaud-din- Masudshah (1242 - 46) and Naziruddin Muhammad (1246 - 1266) ruled and Balban, the founder of the second Ilban dynasty, became the Sulthan.
  • Ghiasuddin Balban ‘a slave water carreer, huntsman, noble, statesman became the Sulthan of Delhi in 1266 and continued in power till 1686 AD.
  •  Balban is considered as the founder of Second Ilbary Dynasty.
  • Balban described himself as ‘shadow of God’ or the ‘viceregent of God on Earth’ (Zil-i-illahi)
  • Balban because of his autocratic rule is considered as a ‘typical oriental despot’.
  • The Chalisa or forty established by Ilthumish was abolished by Balban.
  •  His policies are considered to be ‘Draconian’.
  •  He started the Iranian system of Sajda and Piabos.
  •  He was a patron of men of letters and showed special favour to the poet Amir Khusrau.
  •  After Balban’s death in 1286, Kayqubad (1287 -90) became the Sulthan.
  •  Madhavacharya of the Dwaita Philosophy got help from Balban.
  •  Balban’s Tomb is situated in Delhi. It was constructed by Balban himself.
  • Kayqubad was the last Slave Sulthan. (Kayumars who ruled for a term of three months was actually the last Slave Sulthan. He was killed by Jalaluddin Khilji) and founded the Khilji Dynasty.

Khilji Dynasty (1290 -1320)

  • Khilji dynasty was founded by Malik Firoz in 1290 and assumed the title Jalaluddin Khilji (1290- 96)
  • In 1292 the Mongols under Abdulla accepted defeat from Jalaluddin Khilji.
  • Alauddin Khilji, the nephew of Jalaluddin Khilji, killed him after his victory on Devagiri in 1296.
  • Alauddin Khilji’s early name was Ali Gurushap.
  •  He became the Sulthan in 1296 AD and ruled till 1316 AD.
  • In 1303 Alauddin Khilji attacked Chittor, the capital of Mewar, to marry Padmini the wife of Chittor king Ratna Singh.
  • But Padmini and other Rajput women committed Juhar (Juhar is a mass suicide by Jumping into fire, committed by Rajput women to escape from being polluted by others)
  • Padmavat is a historical kavya about Padmini episode written by Malik Muhammed Jayasi.
  • Malik Muhammed Jayasi was the court poet of Shersha Suri.
  • Alauddin Khilji was the first Muslim ruler to at- tack South India.
  • Malik Kafur was Alauddin Khilji’s Commander who attacked South India.
  • Alauddin Khilji was the most famous ruler of the Khilji Dynasty.
  • Alauddin was the Sulthan of Delhi who banned the use of liquor.
  • Alauddin had a dream of a World Conquest so he assumed the title ‘Sikhandar-i-sani’ or Second Alexander.
  • Demitrius a Bactrian ruler is popularly known as Second Alexander.
  • Alauddin abolished the Zamindari System and imposed tax on cattle.
  • He was the first muslim ruler of Delhi to introduce measurement of land for tax assessment.
  • His market regulations were to get goods at controlled price to the people of Delhi.
  • Alauddin Khilji was the first Sulthan of Delhi who separated religion from politics.
  • He was also the first to proclaim ‘‘I am the Khalifa’’.
  • Alauddin constructed Alai Darwaza the gate way of Qutub Minar.
  • He built the city of Siri, the second of the seven cities of Delhi, near Qutub Minar.
  • The first marriage between a muslim ruler and a Hindu princess was between Alauddin and Kamala Devi, the widow of the ruler of Gujarat.
  • Alauddin Khilji was killed by his commander Malik Kafur by poisoning.
  • Amir Khusru was the court poet of Alauddin
  • Amir Khusru is known as the ‘Parrot of India
  • He is considered as the father of Urdu language and the inventor of Sitar.
  • Laila Majnu and Tughlaq Nama are the famous works of Amir Khusru.
  • Alauddin khilji was the first Sulthan to maintain a permanent standing army.
  • Alauddin Khilji was responsible for the introduction of postal system in medieval India.
  • Mubarak shah khilji was the last ruler of the khilji Dynasty.
  • Khilji dynasty came to an end when the Mubarak shah Khilji was killed by Khusrau Khan.
  • Some historians consider Khusrau Khan as the last Khilji Sulthan.

Tughlaq Dynasty (1320 - 1412)

  • Tughlaq Dynasty was founded by Ghiazuddin Tughlaq. His real name was Ghazi Malik.
  • Ghiasuddin Tughlaq founded the dynasty after killing Khuzru Khan in 1320. Ghiazuddin died by the collapse of a pavilion.
  • He built the Tughlaqabad Fort in Delhi the third city of Delhi to the east of Qutub complex.
  • Ghiassudhin Tughlaq was the first Sulthan to start irrigation works.
  • GhiassuddinTughlaq was succeeded by his son Jauna Khan, popularly known as Muhammed Bin Tughlaq.
  • Muhammed Bin Tughlaq is considered as the single most responsible person for the decline of Delhi Sulthanate.
  • Muhammed Bin Tughlaq was known as a mixture of opposites, wisest fool, Pagal padushah, unfortunate idealogue and the predecessor of Akbar in intellectual and religious matters.
  • Ibn Batuta called him ‘‘an illstared idealist’’.
  • He shifted his capital from Delhi to Devagiri (Daulatabad) in 1327.
  • In 1330 he introduced token currency of bronze and copper.
  • Moroccan Traveller Ibn Batuta visited India during his period.
  • Edward Thanas described him as ‘prince of moneyers’.
  • Muhammed Bin Tughlaq was succeeded by his elderly cousin, Firoz Shah Tughlaq.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq was the first Sulthan of Delhi to impose Jaziya. It was a religious tax for the freedom of worship. He imposed it only upon Brahmins.
  • He built the city of Firozbad in Delhi. The Firoz shah Kotla was also built by him. The gate way of Firozshah Kottla is Khooni Darwaza, or blood stained gate. It was constructed by Shersha Suri.
  • He transplanted two Ashokan Pillars to Firozabad.
  • He is the author of Fatuhat -i- Firozshahi
  • After Firozshah Tughlaq Muhammed Shah Tughlaq or Naziruddin Muhammed came to the throne.
  • It was during the period of his reign that Timur the Lame or Tamerlain a Turkish conqueror of  Tartar tribe from Samarkhand attacked India in 1398.
  • Timur appointed Khizr Khan, the governor of Multan his authority in India.

Sayyid Dynasty (1414 - 1451)

  • Sayyid Dynasty was founded by Khizr Khan in 1414.
  • Last Sayyid Sulthan was Alauddin Alamshah or Shah Alam I. He was killed by Bahalol Lodhi in 1451.

Other rulers of Sayyid Dynasty

  • Mubarak Shah (1421-1434)
  • Muhammad Shah (1434-1443)
  • Alam Shah (1443-1451)
  • Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526)

Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526)

Bahlol Lodhi (1451-1488)

  • He founded the Lodhi dynasty by usurping the throne from the last of the Sayyid rulers.
  • Bahlol belonged to the Shahu Khel clan of the Lodhi Pashtun tribe.

Sikandar Lodhi (1489-1517)

  • He was the son of Bahlol Lodhi.
  • In 1504, he founded the city of Agra and made it his capital.
  • He introduced the Gaz-i-Sikandari

(Sikandar's yard) of 32 digits for measuring cultivated fields.

Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526 AD)

  • He was the last king of Lodhi dynasty and the last Sultan of Delhi.
  • He was the son of Sikandar Lodhi.
  • He was defeated and killed by Babur in the first battle of panipat in 1526 AD


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