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Subjects /Indian History / Medieval History / Delhi Sultanate from 1206AD to 1526AD PartII

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Introduction
08 Mar 2021

The five dynasties which were founded subsequently after the Turkish invasion were collectively known as Delhi Sultanate.

These are-


  • Slave/Mamluk Dynasty (1206AD-1290AD)
  • Khilji Dynasty (1290AD-1320AD)
  • Tughlaq Dynasty (1320AD-1412AD)
  • Sayyid Dynasty (1414AD-1451AD)
  • Lodhi Dynasty (1451AD-1526 AD)


The Khilji Dynasty from 1290AD to 1320AD

Founder: Jalaluddin Khaliji (1290-96)

  • He overthrew the slaves and became sultan.
  • The khilji rebellion was welcomed by the non-Turkish sections in the nobility. The khaljis who were of mixed blood did not exclude the Turks from high offices, but the rise of the khiljis to power ended the Turkish monopoly of high offices.
  • He ruled for a brief period of six years. He was the first first ruler of Delhi sultanate to clearly put forward the view that the state should be based on the willing support of the governed and that since the since the large majority of the people in India were Hindus, the state in India could not be a truly Islamic state.
  • He also tried to gain the goodwill of the nobility by a policy of tolerance an avoiding harsh punishments.

Alauddin khilji(1296-1316)

  • He came to the power by treacherously murdering his uncle and father-in-law, Jalaluddin khilji.
  • He adopted the title of “Sikander - i - sani or Second Alexander”.
  • Alauddin won over most of the nobles and soldiers to his side by lavish use of gold.
  • To overthrow his opponents, Alauddin khilji adopted methods of utmost severity and ruthlessness.
  • He was the strongest of all the sultans of Delhi sultanate because:
  • He was very visionary.
  • Though he was illiterate, came up with many new & successful policies in India.
  • He had the most efficient army during entire sultanate history.
  • He started some important military reforms.

Army reforms:

  • His army was completely corruption free which made the army very strong.
  • Dagh system: Introduced for the first time by him. In order to check corruption, the horses were marked with imperial seal.
  • Chehra/Huliya system: For the first time introduced by him in army. The physical details of each soldier was maintained by the state.
  • He was the 1st Turk who invaded south India for wealth.
  • He had a large army. Maintaining such a huge army burdened the state treasury. Therefore, their salaries were reduced.
  • So he came up with a new policy of ‘Market control’.
  • He was the first king to bring this policy in India.
  • Prices of all commodities were fixed by him and there were severe punishments if anybody defied such prices.
  • These prices were cheapest in entire Delhi sultanate.
  • Termed as the ‘wonder of the world’.
  • Alai Darwaza: Second Islamic monument in which Second true ‘Arch ‘was built by Alauddin. It is the first fully Scientific Islamic Monument.

The Tughlaq Dynasty from 1320AD to 1412AD

Founder: Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.

  • Also referred to as Tughluq or Tughluk dynasty, was a Muslim dynasty of Turko-Indian origin .
  • These were the Turkish rulers.
  • The Tughlaqs provided three competent rulers: Ghiyasuddin, his son Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1324-51) and his nephew Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88).
  • The first two sons ruled over an empire which comprised almost the entire country.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq

  • Also known as Ghiyath AL-Din tughlaq or Ghazi Malik.
  • He built a new capital Tughlaqabadh in south Delhi.
  • During the rule of Alauddin the capital of Delhi was ‘Siri’.
  • He ruled for a brief time and died accidently under mysterious circumstances.
  • The wooden pavilion used for his reception collapsed, killing him and his second son Prince Mahmud Khan.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (1325 – 51)

  • He is considered as the most learned, philosophical King in Delhi sultanate.
  • He was the first king in sultanate to participate in the Holi (Hindu festival).
  • Aurangzeb banned Holi and Diwali during his time.
  • He came up with many new and Unique policies and programs. But all policy programs failed.

Reforms: He came up with a new type of currency reform called as ‘Token Currency’.

  • Prior to him Iltutmish had issued 2 types of currency in India: Tanka (made from silver) & Jital(made from copper).
  • Currently we are following his idea of currency.
  • Earlier Exchange value = Metallic value of currency used Coins but Muhammad bin Tughlaq issued ‘Biranj ‘coin made of Brass value which was less than the metallic value of Tanka (silver) but exchange value was equal to Metallic value of silver (Silver was insufficient in India).
  • He was the first sultan to see money in form of form of exchange value and not metallic value.
  • This currency was discontinued because the masses were not ready to understand and accept the concept of this token money.
  • The capital of Delhi was transferred from Delhi to ‘Devagiri’ in Maharashtra.
  • Later Devagiri was renamed as ‘Daulatabad’.
  • But the capital was again transferred back to Delhi due to 2 Major reasons:
  • It was during the extreme summer days. So it was difficult and caused inconvenience for many people especially the old, sick among who many died on the way to Daulatabadh.It was around 40 day’s journey.
  • Political reasons: In south India, major revolt broke out in South India when Muhammad bin Tughlaq was in Delhi. So, due to transport and communication problem, it was difficult for him to crush the revolt from Delhi.
  • Revolt was successfully crushed but another revolt broke out in Delhi area therefore, he came back to Delhi and shifted his capital back there.
  • But due to shifting of capital, the communication & transport improved that Muhammad bin Tughlaq used to drink water of Delhi every day.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq from 1351AD to 1388AD

  • He became sultan after the death of Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
  • He introduced Anti- Hindu policies:
  • Three important Hindu temples were destroyed.
  • Mahana temple near Delhi.
  • Gohana temple in Haryana.
  • Silahpur temple in Doab area.
  • He was born to Hindu Mother & Qazi charged him that he was not a true Muslim. So, He took anti-Hindu policies to project himself as true Muslim.
  • Jaziya Tax was made a separate tax (This tax was collected by Qazi or Muslim Ulemas and Kharaj to land revenue officer).
  • He collected only those taxes which are legal in Islam.
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq died in 1388 and after his death, the sultanate disintegrated and north India was divided into a series of small states. Although the Tuglaq continued to rule till 1412.

The invasion of Delhi by Timur in 1398 maybe said to mark the end of the Tughlaq empire.

Did You Know


Siri Auditorium: khilji built their new capital in Delhi at ‘Siri’.


  • Delhi is called as City of 7 Cities because of 7 capitals .



  • According to sharia law only 4 taxes are legal which are:
  • Kharaj: Land revenue (Given by the other area which was invaded by king). It was a Regressive Tax (Rate of tax decreases as Income Increases).
  • Jaziya Tax: Extra Tax applied on non-Muslims who live under muslim rule.
  • Zakat: Tax imposed on rich Muslim, two and half of their wealth was given to the government which was further given to poor.
  • Ghari Tax: Those who used to live in well-furnished houses need to pay (collected by Allauddin khlaji ).
  • Charai Tax: Those who had large no of animals need to pay this tax.Collected by Allauddin khalji and abolished by Firuz shah Tughlaq.



  • Regressive Tax: The rate of Tax decreases as Income increases.