Prepare Prelims 2017-Day-12-Medieval India History


The period from 1206 A.D. to 1526 A.D. came to be known as the Sultanate period.

MAMALUK DYNASTY Qutb-ud-dinAibak (1206-1210A.D.)

  The rule of Qutb-ud-din Aibak the commander of Muhammad of Ghori marked the beginning
      of the Mamaluk rule

  He assumed sovereign powers on 24th June 1206 A.D.   He did not issue coins or read the khutba in his name.   He was the founder of the Turkish dominion in India.   Mamaluk was the Quranic term for a slave

His immediate task

  To prevent Ala-ud-din Muhammad, the Shah of Khwarizm from occupying Ghazni and Delhi   To prevent the Rajputs from recovering their principalities.

  To put down Ali Mardan Khan of Bengal, Qubacha and Yalduz.

An Estimate of Qutb – ud – din

  He built Quwat-ul-lslam mosque at Ajmer

  Dhai Dinka Jhonpara mosque at Delhi.

  He started the construction of Qutb Minar at Delhi.

  He also patronized Hassan Nizami and Fakhre Mudir

  He was called as Lakh Baksh or Giver of Lakhs for his generosity.

Iltutmish (1211 -1236 A.D.)

  Born in the llbari tribe of Central Asia.

  As a boy he was sold as a slave to Qutb-ud-dinAibak.   Aibak made him as his son-in-law.

  He killed Aram Shah, the son of Aibak and became king in 1211A.D.

Conquest of Iltutmish

  Iltutmish was surrounded by enemies on all sides.

  As Yalduz considered himself to be the successor of Muhammad of Ghori, Iltutmish defeated
      him and put him to death.

  He captured Bhakkar, where Qubacha took shelter. Bengal was also brought under his control.   Iltutmish put down the revolt of the Khilji Maliks of Bengal in 1230 A.D.
  Iltutmish refused to give shelter to Jalal-ud-din Mangabarni, the Shah of Khwarizm
  This pleased Chengiz Khan and so he did not invade India.

  In Rajputana, Iltutmish recaptured Ranthambore and Mandor. He defeated Udai Singh.

  Iltutmish re-established his authority over Badaun, Kanauj, Benaras and Katchar-the doab
      region between the Ganga and the Yamuna

  Qutb Minar was built in honour of Sufi Saint Khwaja Qutb-ud-din Baktiyar kaki who died in
      Delhi. The construction started by Aibak was completed by Iltutmish

End of Iltutmish

  Iltutmish undertook an expedition against Bamiyan

  He nominated his daughter Raziah as his successor before his death.


  Iltutmish set up Iqtas under Iqtadars.

  The army was maintained by ‘A Corps of Forty’ or Chahalgan.
  He was the first Turkish ruler to introduce Arabic coinage.


  1. He completed the work of Aibak.
  2. He built up the Turkish Kingdom in North India.

Coins of iltutmish

  The silver tanka of Iltutmish weighed 175 mgs and had an Arabic inscription on it.   Iltutmish also introduced copper Jital.

Sultana Raziah (1236-1240 A.D.)

  Raziah was the first woman ruler of Sultanate period.

  She defeated and killed Firoz Shah who ascended the throne after the death of Iltutmish.
  She successfully restored the prestige of the Turkish Kingdom in India.
  Her rule ended in 1240A.D. because of a conspiracy by the Turkish nobles
  The successors of Raziah were weak and hence Balban rose to power in 1265A.D.

Successors of Raziah

  Bahram Shah 1240-1242A.D

  Alaud-din Masid 1242-1246A.D

  Nasir-ud-din Mahmud 1246 -1264A.D.

.Balban 1265-1 287A.D.

  Balban (1265-1 207 A.D.)

  Balban an llbari Turk became the ruler in 1265A.D.
  He believed in the Divine Right Theory of Kingship.

  He introduced Poibos- a form of salutation to the king by kissing his feet in the court.

  According to Lanepoole, “Balban, a slave, water carrier, huntsman, general, statesman and
      Sultan-is one of the most striking figures among the notable men in the long line of Kings of

Internal policies

  Balban curtailed and destroyed the ‘Corps of Forty’   He introduced a well organised spy system.

  A separate military department called Diwan-i-arz was established.

  Many military posts were set up at Bhojapur, Patiali, Kampil and Jalali

Divine right Theory

The ruler was considered as a representative of God on earth.

  1. Balban suppressed Tughril Khan,
  2. Who declared his independence and recovered Bengal.
  3. Balban was a great patron of learning
  4. He patronized Amir Khusrau who is called as the ‘Parrot of India’ and Amir Hasan.

End of Balban

  1. He was shocked when his son Mahmud was killed during an encounter with the Mongols.
  2. He never recovered from the sorrow and died in 1287A.D.

End of the Mamaluk Dynasty

  1. Balban was succeeded by Kaiqubad his grandson who was very incompetent.
  2. The nobles made Kayumar, the infant son of Kaiqubad as ruler.
  3. Jalal-ud-din Khilji, the commander of Balban became the regent of the infant king.
  1. He killed Kaiqubad and Kayumar and became the ruler of Delhi.


Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji (1290-1296 A.D.)

 He followed the policy of peace after he became the ruler.  He wanted to rule without bloodshed.

 Hence, he was called as Clemency Jalal-uddin.

Domestic Policies

 Jalal-ud-din suppressed a revolt by Malik Chhajju at Kara.

 He appointed his nephew and son-in law Ala-ud-din Khilji as the Governor of Kara.

Mongol Invasion

  1. Jalal-ud-din defeated and arrested the Mongols who tried to advance up to Sunam in 1292 A.D.

End of Jalal-ud-din

  1. Jalal-ud-din’s policy of peace was not liked by the young Khiljis.
  2. Ala-ud-din Khilji the son-in-law of Jalal-ud-din treacherously murdered him

Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296-1316 A.D.)

  • Ala-ud-din Khilji ascended the throne in 1296A.D.

Conquests in the North

 Ala-ud-din Khilji sent a strong army under his generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to
      conquer Gujarat and they succeeded in doing so

 Ranthambore was captured and its ruler Hamir Deva was killed.

 Chittor, Malwa, Mandu, Ujjain, Dhar, Chanderi, Marwar and Jalor were also captured.

Conquest in the South

 Ala-ud-din Khilji was the first Sultan who invaded South India.

 He sent his most trustworthy general, Malik Kafur against the rulers of the south.

 Ramachandra Deva, the Yadava ruler of Devagiri, Prataprudra-ll of Warangal and Vira
      Ballala-lll, the Hoysala ruler were defeated

 He reached as far as Rameswaram and built a mosque there.

 The kingdoms of the south accepted the over lordship of Ala-uddin khilji and agreed to pay
      tribute to him.

The Mongol Invasion

  • Ala-ud-din successfully repelled the Mongol invasion more than a dozen times.

Domestic Policies of Ala-ud-din Khilji

 Ala-ud-din believed in the Divine Right Theory of Kingship.  He introduced four ordinances to prevent frequent rebellions.  He confiscated religious endowments

 Free grants of lands

 Reorganized the spy system,

 Prohibited social parties and use of wine

 A permanent standing army was organized by Ala-ud-din.

 Introduced the system of branding of horses and descriptive roll of individual soldiers to
      prevent corruption.

 The prices of essential commodities were fixed which less than the usual market rates was.  Black marketing was strictly prohibited.

 Revenue was collected in kind and not in cash.

 Revenue was collected in kind and not in cash.

 He followed a harsh policy towards the Hindus.

 Jizya, grazing tax and house tax were imposed on them.

Marketing System

Officers like Diwan-i-riyasat an Shahana-i-mandi Appointed to regularize the market

All merchants were required to register themselves in the office of the Shahana-i-Mandi and sell their goods at fixed rates.

An Estimate

 Ala-ud-din was the first to raise a standing army,  He built Alai Darwaza,

 Fort of Siri and the Palace of a thousand pillars.

End of the Dynasty

 Ala-ud-din died in 1316A.D

 Due to weak successors like Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah (1316-1320 A.D.)  Nasir-ud-din Khusrav Shah (1320A.D.)

 Finally in 1320 A.D. a group of nobles led by Ghazi Malik, the Governor of Punjab,  Invaded Delhi and captured the throne.

 Ghazi Malik assumed the title of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq and founded a new line of rulers at
      Delhi known as the Tughluq Dynasty.

Tughluq Dynasty

  • Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq or Ghazi Malik was the founder of the Tughluq dynasty.

Domestic and Foreign Policies

 Ghiyas-ud-din restored order in his empire. Lot of importance was given to agriculture,
      irrigation, judicial, police and postal arrangements.

 From a humble origin he ascended the throne by his ability and hard work in 1320A.D.  Warangal, Utkala or Orissa and Bengal were brought under his control
 He captured and imprisoned the Mongol leaders who invaded North India.

End of his rule

 While attending a reception for his victories at Bengal the pavilion

 On which he stood gave way and Ghiyas-ud-din was crushed to death in 1325 A.D.  The crown prince Junakhan succeeded him.

Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq (1325-1361A.D.)

 Prince Junakhan took up the title Muhammad-bin-Tughluq in 1325 A.D.  He stood for political and administrative unity of India.
 He captured Warangal in 1327A.D.

Domestic Policies

 Mohammed-bin-Tughlug raised the taxes in the Doab region to fill up his empty treasury.  To avoid heavy taxes the people ran away to the forests.

 As cultivation was neglected severe famines occurred

 In order to protect his capital, he transferred his capital from Delhi to Devagiri

 He ordered both the government officials and the common people to shift to Devagiri.  Due to practical difficulties he ordered them to return back to Delhi
 Copper currency system was introduced by the Sultan.

 The value of coins fell so low that the Sultan withdrew the copper token currency

 Mohammed-bin-Tughluq raised an army of 3, 70,000 men in order to conquer Tranoxiana,
      Khurasan and Iraq.

 Mohammed-bin-Tughluq’s policy of giving huge presents to Tamashirin, the Mongol leader, to
      avoid a Mongol invasion was a great burden on his exchequer.

 The domestic policies of Mohammed-bin-Tughluq were good but his operative measures
      ended in a failure.

 His character of taking hasty decisions and inoperative policies were responsible for the decline
      of the Delhi Sultanate.

Firoz Tughluq (1 351-1 388 A.D.)

  • Firoz Tughluq, the son of the younger brother of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq ascended the
    throne in 1351A.D.

Administrative Reforms

 He cancelled all Taquavi (agricultural) loans granted by Mohammed-bin-Tughluq.  He increased the salary of the revenue officers.

 Unlawful and unjust cesses were abolished.

He collected four important taxes such as

  1. Kharaj-1/10 of the produce of the land,
  2. Khams-1/5 of the warbooty
  3. Jizya-Poll Tax
  4. Zakat-Tax on Muslims for specific religious purposes.

o   He excavated many irrigation canals, constructed 50 dams, 150 wells and 100 bridges.

o   He built the towns like Firozabad, Fatehabad, Jaunpur and Hissar.

o   Firoz prohibited all kinds of mutilations and torture.

o   He imposed Jizya on the Brahmans.

o   An Employment Bureau, Marriage Bureau, (Diwani-i-kherat) and hospitals (Dar-
      ul-shafa) were established.

o   Diwan-i-lstibqaq was established to give financial help to the poor.

Foreign Policy

  1. In 1353A.D. and 1359A.D. Firoz besieged Bengal.
  2. He captured Jainagar and destroyed the Jagannath Temple at Puri.

An Estimate

 Firoz proved his greatness by

 His benevolent reforms and contributed to the material prosperity of his people.  The Sultan himself wrote his autobiography called Futuhat-i-Firoz Shahi.
 He patronized the scholar Zia-ud-din Barani

 During his period a number of Sanskrit books on medicine, science and arts were translated
      into Persian.

 Kutab- Feroz Shahi was a book which dealt with Physics


 Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq Shah II, Abu Bakr Shah, Nasir-ud-din Mohammed Tughluq were the
      successors of Firoz.

 They were not very strong and powerful.

 By the end of the fourteenth century, most of the provinces under them became independent.  Punjab and Delhi alone remained in the hands of the Tughluqs.

 It was during their period that the invasion of Timur took place.

Timur’s invasion (1398 A.D.)

 The ruler of Samarqand, Timur was attracted by the fabulous wealth of Hindustan.  He invaded India during the period of Nasir Mahmud Tughluq.

 Occupied Delhi in 1398 A.D. Timur inflicted untold miseries on the people by
      plundering and massacring them


 Khizr Khan (14 14- 142 1 A.D.) the Governor of Multan took advantage of the chaotic
      conditions in India after Timur’s invasion occupied the throne of Delhi in 1414 A.D.
 Khizr Khan, the founder did not assume any royal title.

 Though he brought Punjab, Dilapur and parts of Surat under his control,  He lost Jaunpur, Malwa, Gujarat, Khandesh, Bengal and Deccan.
 He died in 1421 A.D

 And was succeeded by his son Mubarak Shah (1421-1434A.D.)

Mubarak Shah (1421-1434A.D.

 He suppressed the Khokhars and the local chiefs of the Doab region.

 For the first time Hindu nobles were appointed in the court of Delhi.

 He built a city called “Mubarakbad” on the banks of the river Jamuna.

 Mubarak’s nephew, Muhammad Shah (1434-1445 A.D.) succeeded him.

 He put down the ruler of Malwa with the help of Bahlol Lodi the Governor of Lahore  For the help rendered by Bahlol Lodi he was conferred with the title Khan-iKhanan  Muhammad Shah was succeeded by Ala-ud-din Shah (1 445-1457 A.D.).
 He was a very feeble ruler.

 Bahlol Lodi the Governor of Lahore occupied Delhi in 1457A.D. and allowed Ala-ud-din Shah
            to retire to Badaun where he died in 1478 A.D.

LODI DYNASTY Bahlol Lodi {1451 -1489 A, D.)

 The Lodi Dynasty was founded by Bahlol Lodi.

 It was the last of the ruling dynasties of the Sultanate period.

 He was a shrewd politician who clearly realized his limitations.  He always took steps to satisfy his nobles.

 He conquered Mewat, Samthal, Sakit, Etawa and Gwalior. Hediedin 1489A.D.

 Bahlol Lodi did not take his seat on the throne but sat on the carpet in front of the throne along
      with his nobles in order to get their recognition and support.

Sikandar Shahi (1489-1517 A.D.)

 Bahlol’s son Sikandar Shahi (1489-1517 A.D.) ascended the throne under the title of Sikandar

 He built the city of Agra which became an important administrative and cultural center of the

 He organized an efficient spy system.
 He improved agriculture and industry.

 He enjoyed “Shehnai “music. A reputed work on music titled “Lahjati-Sikandar Shahi was
      prepared during his reign.

 He was an orthodox Muslim and put serious restrictions on the Hindus.

End of Lodi Dynasty

 Ibrahim Lodi (1517-1526 A.D.) succeeded Sikandhar Lodi. He was an uncompromising and
      intolerant ruler.

 Ibrahim Lodi humiliated many of his nobles and killed some of them cruely.

 Dilwar khan Lodi the son of Daulat khan Lodi was treated cruely by Ibrahim Lodi.

 In order to take revenge on him, Daulat khan Lodi invited Babur the ruler of Kabul

 Babur accepted his invitation, invaded India and defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of
      Panipat in 1 526 A. D.

Administration under the Delhi Sultanate

  1. The Sultanate of Delhi which extended from 1206 A.D. to 1526 A.D., for a period of about 320
  2. A Theocratic as well as a Military State.
  3. Administration was based on Islamic laws.

Ministers to Sultan

  1. Wazir

Prime Minister and Finance Minister

  1. Diwani-I-Risalt

Foreign Affairs Minister.

  1. Sadr-us-Suddar Minister of Islamic Law.


Correspondence Minister

  1. Diwan-I-Ariz

Defence or War Minister

  1. Qazi-ul-quzar Minister of

Central Administration

  1. The Sultan was the head of the empire. He enjoyed vast powers.
  2. Many officials were also appointed to take care of the administration.

Provincial Administration

  1. The empire was divided into several Iqtas.
  2. Iqtas were administered by Iqtadars
  3. Iqtas were divided into smaller units called Shiqqs, Parganas and the Villages.
  4. Important officials of the Pargana were the Amil or Munsif,

Local Administration

 The village was the smallest unit of administration.

 Local  hereditary  officers  and  the  Panchayats  in  each  village  carried out   the village administration.

 The Panchayat looked after education, sanitation, justice, revenue etc.
 The Central Government did not interfere in the village administration.

Revenue Administration

  • Land revenue was the main source of income.

Judicial Administration

 The Sultan was the highest judicial authority.  Qazi-ul-quzar was the Chief Judicial officer.  There was a Quazi in every town.

 Usually severe punishments were given to the criminals.

Military Administration

 The Sultan was the Commander of the army

 The four divisions of the army were the Royal army, Provincial or Governor’s army, Feudal
      army and War Time army.

Social life of the Sultanate period

  • The important characteristic of the society was the division of people on the basis of their

•   Foreign Muslims, Indian Muslims and Hindus.

Economic conditions of the people

 The people were mainly involved in agriculture and industry  Textile industry was the primary industry.

 Sugar industry, paper industry, metal work, stone cutting, pearl diving, ivory and sandal works
      were the other industries of this period.


  1. Indian textiles were in great demand in foreign countries.
  2. Bengal and Gujarat were famous for their quality fabrics.
  3. Cotton, woollen and silk of different varieties were produced in large quantities.
  4. The clothes were studded with gold, diamonds, pearls, silver and stones


Art and Architecture

  1. Delhi Sultans had a genius for architecture.
  2. There was a blend of Indian and Islamic styles

The three well developed styles were

  1. Delhi or Imperial Style,
  2. Provincial Style
  3. Hindu architectural style
  4. Qutubminar, Quwat-ul-lslam mosque,the tombs of Nasir-ud-din Muhammad and Balban were
    built by the Mamaluk rulers.
  5. Siri the new town in Delhi
  6. Dargah of Hazrat Nizam – ud – din Aulia
  7. The Alai Darwaza belonged to Khilji period
  8. The rulers of Tughluq period did not give importance to ornamentation.
  9. Their buildings were solid and strong
  10. The Lodi Garden and Moti Masjid in New Delhi and the tomb of Sikandar Lodi are some
    examples of Lodi architecture.


Great scholars namely

  • Alberuni,
  • Amir Khusrau
  • Zia-ul-Barani

Many Sanskrit works were translated into Arabic.

Urdu language originated during the Sultanate period.

Scholars of sultanate period

 Alberuni an Arabic and Persian Scholar served under Mahmud of Ghazni  He learnt and translated two Sanskrit works into Arabic.
 He was impressed by the Upanishadsand BhagavatGita
 In his work Tarikh-ul-Hind,

 Referred to the socio-economic conditions of India
 Amir Khusrau was a great Persian poet
 He is said to have written four lakh couplets.

 He was a great singer and was given the title ‘Parrot of India’.

Impact of Turkish Conquest

 The Turkish conquest of India had its impact on various fields.  It paved the way for a centralized political organization.
 It restored contacts with the rest of Asia and parts of Africa.  A permanent army was established.

 Trade developed due to the uniform legal system, tariff regulations and currency.
 Persian became the court language and brought uniformity in administration.

Disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate

 The disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate had begun during the Tughluq period.

 The invasion of Timur and the incompetent and intolerant nature of some of the Sayyid and
      Lodi rulers led to the crumbling of the Delhi Sultanate.

 The first to break free from Delhi in the South were the rulers of the Vijayanagar and
      Bahmani Kingdom.

 Khandesh, Bengal, Sind, Multan, Gujarat, Malwa, Jauripur, Kashmir, Assam and Orissa also
      asserted their independence.

 Further the defeat of Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat in 1526 A.D. by Babur ended
      the Lodi dynasty

 Brought the downfall of the Delhi Sultanate in India.

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