Let us read about the Delhi Sultanate dynasties and rulers.
Delhi, the present-day capital of India is also pivotal to its history. But unlike other cities in India, Delhi came into the limelight as the base for invading Islamic dynasties. Delhi served as a base camp for these dynasties, in their mission of conquering India.
Read inspiring stories about India's history, culture and heritage
Get 5 stories every week, straight to your inbox!
Delhi Sultanate remained strong for more than three centuries, It saw five different dynasties rule over it. These dynasties competed against each other as well as other contemporary dynasties of the Indian subcontinent. The Sultanate at its peak was able to extend its reach up to the southernmost point of India. Only the lands of modern-day Odisha, Jharkhand, and Northeastern states remained untouched.
The Ghurid Dynasty
Delhi was first chosen as its fortress by the Turkic invader Mohamad Ghori of the Ghurid dynasties. Like every other Muslim king, he too left many successors of his throne after his death. This was the reason for the fall of Ghurids. But this also gave birth to the first indigenous groups of Indo-Muslim groups to come into power. The Mamluk dynasty was the first one to rule the Delhi sultanate.
The Mamluk Dynasty
Aibak was the founder of the Mamluk dynasty. He was a slave of Mohmmad Ghori. Slaves in Ghori’s reign did not fit the depiction of slavery in the west. These slaves were great assassins, spies, translators, and brilliant-minded strategists. Hence after Ghori’s death, Aibuk used his connections with important military generals to establish the Mamluk dynasty.
The Khiliji Dynasty
Mamluk dynasty established a rule of religious conversion in their reign. But these conversions were led by an Afghani tribe named Ghilji. The leader of this tribe Jalal ud Din Feroz Khilji started the Khiliji revolution against the Mamluks. He became the new king at the age of 70. But it was his son-in-law, Alaudin Khilji that took this dynasty to its peak. Alauddin was brutal. He murdered his father-in-law to come to power. And then continued to expand using similar paths of blood and violence.
Alauddin was an evil tyrant. He increased taxes manifolds. He eliminated anyone he suspected of betraying him. And he believed in the total annihilation of his enemies. This brutality proved successful for him as the Delhi sultanate was able to infiltrate southern India. After his death, his slave and a close companion Malik Kafur took the throne. But he was not supported by many as he was a converted Muslim.
The Tughlaq Dynasty
The decline of Khilijis gave rise to the Tughlaqs. Juna Khan or Muhmmad bin Tughlaq was the most prominent ruler of this dynasty. Under him, the Delhi sultanate reached its geographical peak. But he proved to be a terrible strategist. His failure with the coin system is an iconic event in Indian history. Such poor management led to revolts against him in different parts of India. Smaller sultanates in Bengal, Mysore, Hyderabad started separating.
The Sayyid Dynasty
The Tughlaqs were succeeded by the Sayyid dynasty. This dynasty only ruled for 4 decades. The Sayyids were then succeeded by the Lodi dynasty. Lodi dynasty originated in the modern-day region of Pashtun, Afghanistan. They raided Delhi’s sultanate from the North and overthrew the Sayyid dynasty.
The Lodhi Dynasty and the decline of the Delhi Sultanate
With the Lodhi dynasty, the Shia sect of Muslims came to power for the first time. The duo of Sikandar Lodhi and Ibrahim Lodi reignited the Hindu-Muslim clashes in north India. Sikander Lodi moved his capital from Delhi to Agra. And sanctioned destruction of nearby temples. His successor Ibrahim was a tyrant who killed his own brother to expand his power. His uncle Daulat Khan Lodi knew he would be the next in line and hence invited Babur to attack the Lodi dynasty. Ibrahim and Babur clashed on the field of Panipat. Ibrahim lost both the battle and his life. This brought an end to the Delhi Sultanate.