Useful Notes: The Khiljis (1290-1320AD)

  • The Khiljis, wrongly believed to be Afghan were actually Turks who had for a long time settled in the region of Afghanistan called Khalj and adopted Afghan manners and Customs.
  • The Ghaznavi’s and Ghori’s invasions and Mongol pressure from Central Asia had pushed them into India.
The Khiljis

Jalal-Ud-Din Khilji (1290-1296AD) The Khiljis

  • Jalaluddin was the founder of and the first king of the Khilji dynasty.
  • He followed mild and generous policies.
  • This generous policy of the Sultan affected his foreign policy as well.
  • In 1290, he invaded the fort of Ranthambore.
  • In 1294 Alauddin Khilji a nephew of Jalal-Ud-din invaded Ramchandra, the ruler of Devagiri in the south.
  • Ramchandra was defeated by Alauddin and returned with immense booty.
  • Jalal-Ud-din himself advanced to kara to give warm welcome to his nephew who got him treacherously murdered and himself usurped The throne in 1296.

Ala-Ud-Din Khilji (1296-1316 AD)

  • The history of Alauddin’s reign had three features of permanent interest. Firstly, he was the first Muslim ruler of Delhi to create an Empire embracing the larger portion of India’s political Unity was restored after many centuries of disintegration.
  • Secondly, he give some sort of Administrative Cohesion to the Sultanate which had so long been little more than a collection of military fiefs.
  • Thirdly, he was a bold innovator in respect of the relation between the state and the Shariat or Islamic law.
  • The most important experiment undertaken by the Alauddin was the attempt to control the markets.
  • Alauddin sought to control the prices of all commodities from food grains to Horses, and from cattle and slaves to costly imported cloth.
  • He was the first monarch in the Sultanate to establish direct relations with the peasants to know the actual amount they paid by way of land revenue.
  • He also builds up an efficient espionage system.

His Conquests

  1. Ranthambore (1301)
  2. Mewar (1303)
  3. Jalor (1311)
  4. Conquests of the Deccan (1305)
  5. Devagiri (1307)
  6. Telangana (1310)
  7. Dwarasamudra (1311)
  8. Pandya Kingdom (1311)
  9. Devagiri

Economic Reforms

  • Introduction of the Dagh or branding of horses and Chehra (descriptive roll of Soldier).
  • Confiscation of the religious endowment and free grants of lands.
  • Creation is of a new department viz Deewan-e-Mustakhraj to enquire into the revenue arrears and to collect them.
  • Establishment of separate markets for food grains, clothes, horses, fruits, etc.
  • The check on markets was kept by two officers- Diwan-i-Riyasat and Sahana-i-Mandi.

Administrative Reforms

  • Reorganized by the spy system.
  • Prohibition on the use of wine.
  • Nobles should not intermarry without his permission.

Military Reforms

  • Abolition of Iqtas of Royal troopers and the payment of their salaries in cash.
  • Regular muster of the Army.

The Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1399 AD)

Ghiyas-Ud-Din-Tughlaq (1320-1315 AD)

  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was the founder of the Tuglak dynasty.
  • From an ordinary person, he rose to the position of provincial governor of the Dinapur under Alauddin Khilji.
  • He repelled the Mongol invader several times.
  • He killed Khusro Khan usurper and became the Sultan.
  • He was a wise and generous ruler.
  • In 1323 he defeated the ruler of Warangal and annexed his territory.
  • The war of succession was going on in Bengal Ghiyas-Ud-din took an advantage of such a situation and invaded Bengal.
  • He suppressed the Rebel and in this way, Bengal also became a part of his Empire on his way back to Delhi he defeated the ruler which he also annexed.

Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq (1325-1351 AD)

  • Muhammad Bin Tughlaq is best remembered as a ruler who undertook a number of bold Experiments and showed a keen interest in agriculture.
  • He was deeply read in religion and philosophy and had a critical and open mind.
  • He had a deep interest in Philosophy, astronomy, logic, and mathematics.
  • He converged not only with the Muslim mystics but also with the Hindu Yogis and Jain saints and such as Jina Prabha Suri.
  • He was also prepared to give Hai offices to people on the basis of merit, irrespective of whether they belonged to Noble families or not.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-1388 AD)

  • The nobles and theologians at the court selected Muhammad’s cousin Firoz shah as the next Sultan.
  • He gave a number of important concessions to the theologians and he tried to band practices with the orthodox theologians and considered un-Islamic.
  • Thus, he prohibited the practice of Muslim women going out to worship at the Graves of Saints.
  • He persecuted a number of Muslim sects that were considered heretical by the theologians and he refused to exempt the Brahmin from the payment of Jaziya since this was not provided for in the Shariat.
  • Worse, he publicly burnt a Brahmana for preaching to the Muslims on the ground that he was against the Shariat.

Successors of Firoz Shah

  • Firoj Shah died in 1388 his successors were weak and incompetent.
  • They were merrily Kings in name and acted as puppets in the hands of their ministers.
  • Consequently, the Tuglak Empire went rapidly down the path of decay.
  • Firoz Shah was followed by Tughlaq Shah, Abubakar and Naseeruddin Muhammad Shah .
  • It was during the reign of Naseeruddin Mahmud Shah that Timur invaded India in 1398.

Invasion of Timur

  • Conqueror of Persia Afghanistan and Mesopotamia Amir Timur or Timurlane invaded India in 1398.
  • He had no intention of annexing India to his empire in a Summerquan, but To Loot its reach Booty.
  • Following his invasion, there was a disorder and confusion in the country Delhi was ruined and depopulated.
  • His invasion widened and Gulf between the Hindus and the Muslims. Indian art found its way in Central Asia as he took a large number of skilled artisans as captives.
  • Timur’s invasion paved the way for the Mughal conquest. Babur was a descendant of Timur and he claimed the Throne of the Delhi partly on that account.

See Also…


Sultanate Period