Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mamluk Dynasty - Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim kingdom based mostly in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526). Five Dynasties ruled over Delhi over this period starting from Mamluk(Slave) Dynasty. Four of these dynasties were of Turkic Origin and the last one was of Afghan Origin. The sultanate is noted for being one of the few states to repel an attack by the Mongol Empire.


Tomb of Sultan Ghari

Muhammad Ghori, Sultan of Ghurid Empire, was assassinated in 1206 CE and his Indian kingdom passed into the hands of his slave, and general Qutub-ud-din Aibak. He is known to be the founder of the Mamluk Dynasty. 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.

Muhammad Ghori

Qutb al-Din Aibak, started construction of the Qutub Minar's first storey around 1192. In 1220, Aibak's successor and son-in-law Iltutmish completed a further three storeys. In 1369, a lightning strike destroyed the top storey. Firoz Shah Tughlaq, of the Tughlaq Dynasty, replaced the damaged storey, and added one more. Aibak died of injuries received during an accident in a game of chaugan. He was buried in Lahore near Anarkali Bazaar.

Qutub Minar, Delhi


Qutb ud-Din Aibak was succeeded by Aram Shah who ruled after his death for about an year. An elite group of forty nobles conspired against Aram Shah and invited Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, then Governor of Badaun, to replace Aram. Iltutmish defeated Aram in the plain of Jud near Delhi in 1211 to become the third Sultan of Mamluk dynasty. In 1221, Under his reign the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan appeared for the first time on the banks of the Indus River. He reigned till 1236 and was buried in the Qutb complex in Mehrauli.

Iltutmish's Mausoleum

The death of Iltutmish was followed by years of political instability at Delhi. During this period, four descendants of Iltutmish were put on the throne and murdered. Iltutmish's eldest son, Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, had died in 1229 while governing Bengal as his father's deputy. Rukn ud din Firuz, the fourth sultan ruled for a little over six months, after Iltutmish's death in April 1236 he was viewed as being unfit to rule and was murdered in November 1236.

Rani Mahal(Palace of Queen), Kalinjar Fort

Sultana Razia al-Din referred to in history as Razia Sultan, daughter of Iltutmish sat on Throne of Delhi in November 1236. As the first female Muslim ruler in India, she initially managed to impress the nobles and administratively handled the Sultanate well. But her half-brother Muiz-ud-din Bahram, usurped the throne with the help of the Chihalgani and defeated the combined forces of the Sultana and her husband. They both fell into the hands of Jats and were robbed and killed on October 14, 1240.

Tomb of Razia Sultan

Muiz-ud-din Bahram became the sixth Sultan of Delhi and reigned from 1240 to May 15, 1242. During his reign, the Chihalgani became disorderly and constantly bickered among each other. It was during this period of unrest that the Mongols invaded the Punjab and sacked Lahore. Muiz-ud-din Bahram was too weak to take any action against them, and the Chihalgani besieged him in the White Fort of Delhi and put him to death in 1242. After his death, he was succeeded by his nephew Ala ud din Masud, a son of his half-brother Rukn ud din Firuz.


Coins of Muiz-ud-din Bahram


Muiz-ud-din Bahram was succeeded by Ala-ud-din Masud who reigned from 1242 to 1246. He was effectively a puppet for the Chihalgani and did not actually have much power or influence in the government. Instead, he became infamous for his fondness of entertainment and wine. By 1246, the chiefs had become upset with Ala-ud-din Masud's increasing hunger for more power and replaced him with his cousin Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, who was another grandson of Iltutmish.  The Mongols plundered Lahore in 1246.

Mongols

Nasir ud din Mahmud became the eighth sultan of Mamluk Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate and reigned from 1246 to 1266 CE. He was also the nephew of Razia Sultan. As a ruler, Mahmud was known to be very religious, spending most of his time in prayer and was renowned for aiding the poor and the distressed. It was his Deputy Sultan, Ghiyath-ud-din Balban, who primarily dealt with state affairs.

Coin of Nasir ud din Mahmud

Nasir ud din Mahmud was succeeded by Ghiyas ud din Balban to become he ninth Sultan of Mamluk Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate. He was on throne from 1266 until 1287 CE. Balban was the greatest of the Mamluk Kings. In 1247, Balban suppressed a rising of the Chandela Chief of Kalinjar. He then built military outposts, gave land to soldiers and Afghans to settle. He garrisoned forts at key locations, cleared forests and ensured safe roads. He also unsuccessfully laid siege to the fortress of Ranthambore, but did recapture Gwalior from the Rajputs. He broke up the 'Chahalgani'.

Balban's Tomb


Muiz ud din Qaiqabad (reigned 1287– 14 October 1290) was the tenth sultan of the Mamluk dynasty (Slave dynasty). He was the son of Bughra Khan the Independent sultan of Bengal, as well as grandson of previous Sultan Ghiyas ud din Balban (reigned 1266–87). Being still young at the time, he ignored all state affairs. After four years, he suffered a paralytic stroke and was later murdered in 1290 by a Khilji chief. His three-year-old son Kayumars nominally succeeded him, but the Slave dynasty had ended with the rise of the Khiljis.

The old gate of Lakhnauti

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