Delhi Sultanate History Tnpsc – Administration, Significance, and Rulers

Delhi Sultanate (1206 AD-1526 AD)

  • Muslim invasion led to made establishment of the Delhi sultanate from 1206 AD to 1526 AD. The first sultan of Delhi is Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
  • There are Five different dynasties- The slave, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyids and Lodis. Their rule extended throughout north India and penetrated Deccan and south India too.
  • The official language of the Delhi sultanate is Persian and is the language of administration under the Delhi sultans is Persian.
  • The last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate was Ibrahim Lodi.
  • Delhi sultanate period 1206 AD to 1526

Slave Dynasty

  • Also called as Mamluk dynasty. Mamluk is the Quranic term for Slaves. They ruled Delhi from 1206 AD to 1290 AD.
  • Three dynasties were established during this period one was the Qutbi dynasty by Qutbuddin Aibak (1206-1211), the second is the IIbari dynasty by Iltutmish (1211-1266)and the third is the IIbari dynasty by Balban(1266-129.

Founder of slave dynasty: Qutbuddin Aibak(1206-1210)

  • The slave of Muhammad Ghori was made as the governor of Indian possessions. He set up military headquarters at Indraprastha, near Delhi.
  • Then he raised an army and controlled north India during the lifetime of Ghori. After the death of Ghori in 1206, Aibak became independent.
  • Aibak founded the slave dynasty and Delhi sultanate and assumed the title of sultan and made Lahore as capital and his rule lasted only for four years.
  • Muslim scholars called him Aibak Lakh Baksh or giver of lakhs as scholars received a lot of donations.
  • He patronized the great scholar Hasan Nizami. Then started construction of Qutb Minar, named after Sufi saint Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakthiyar, later it was completed by Iltutmish.
  • Died while playing chaugan (Horse Polo) in 1210. Aibak was succeeded by his son Aram Baksh and replaced by Iltutmish after eight months.

Iltutmish Dynasty (1211-1236)

  • Iltutmish belonged to the IIbari tribe and was named as Ilbari dynasty. His half-brother sold Iltutmish to Aibak as a slave.
  • Iltutmish made son-in-law by Aibak. Aibak appointed Iltutmish as iqtadar of Gwalior. Iltutmish defeated Aram Baksh and became sultan. Iltutmish changed Lahore and made Delhi the capital.
  • Temujin or Chengiz khan, the leader of the Mongols started invading central Asia. Chengiz Khan defeated Jalaluddin Mangabarni, ruler of Kwarizam.
  • Mangabarni sought asylum from Iltutmish after crossing the river Indus and Iltutmish refused due to fear of Chengiz Khan.
  • Iltutmish was fortunate, Chengiz khan returned, without entering India. Mongol policy of Iltutmish saved India from Chengiz khan. Iltutmish gained control over Bengal and Bihar.
  • Annexed Multan and Sind. Iltutmish suppressed Ranthampur, Jalor, Ajmir, and Gwalior. Iltutmish expedition was a failure against the Paramaras of Malwa.
  • Iltutmish was a statement and received the Mansur, the letter of recognition from the Abbasid Caliph in 1229, and became the legal sovereign ruler of India.
  • Nominated Raziya as successor. Iltutmish patronized many scholars and a number of Sufi saints Nizam-ul-Mulk, Muhammad Janaidi, Malik Qutb-ud-din, Taj-ud-din, Minhaj-us-Siraj, and Fakhrul Mulk Isami.
  • Iltutmish completes Qutb Minar at Delhi, the mosque at Ajmer. Introduced Arabic coinage and silver tanka weighing 175 grams became standard coins in India and the basis of Modern Indian rupee.
  • Iltutmish also had forty(Turkish Nobles) powerful military leaders.

Raziya (1236-1240)

  • The Qazi of Delhi and wazir put Ruknuddin Feroz on the throne even though Iltutmish nominated his daughter Raziya.
  • Governor of Multan revolted, Ruknuddin fought against Governor Multan using this opportunity Raziya with the support of Amirs of Delhi seized the throne of the Delhi Sultanate.
  • Raziya appointed Yakuth as the master of royal horses. Raziya discarded female apparel and face unveiled.
  • Raziya even went hunting and led the army. The activities of Raziya provoked Turkish nobles.
  • In 1240, the governor of Bhatinda, Altunia revolted against Raziya. Raziya went in person to suppress Altunia and Altunia killed Yakuth and took Raziya as a prisoner.
  • The Turkish noble Bahram put another son of Iltutmish in the thorn. Raziya married Altunia and proceeded to Delhi for the throne but Raziya was defeated and killed.
  • The forty became powerful after Raziya death. Bahram and Masud ruled Delhi for the next 6 years.
  • Fight for the thorn between Sultan and nobles, but in 1246 Balban put younger son Iltutmish named Nasiruddin as Delhi Sultan.

The Era of Balban(1246-1287)

  • Ghiyasuddin Balban (Ulugh Khan) served as Naid or regent to Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud. Made Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud as a son-in-law by giving his daughter.
  • In 1266 Nasiruddin Mahmud died and Balban ascended the throne. Faced threat from the Turkish Nobbles called the forty. Balban introduced strict court discipline and made kissing the sultan’s feet to prove his superiority.
  • Introduced the Persian festival Nauroz to people and nobles. Balban did not share power with other nobles. Indian Muslims did not get an important post in government.
  • Balban monitored the nobles using spies. Then he broke the power of forty by fair and foul means.
  • The governor of Badaun, Malik Baqbaq, was publicly flogged for his cruelty towards his servants.
  • The governor of Oudh, Haybat Khan, was also punished for killing a man who was drunk. The governor of Bhatinda, Sher Khan was poisoned. Balban paid more attention to the law and order, rather than expanding the kingdom.
  • He established a separate military department, Diwan-i-arz.
  • Mewatis, who was involved in robberies on the outskirts of Delhi was mercilessly punished and roads safe for travellers. In 1279 Tughril Khan, the governor of Bengal revolted against Balban and was killed.
  • Balban sent Prince Mahmud against Mongols in the northwest and Prince Mahmud was killed in the war gave a big blow to the Balban. Balban was unable to prevent the Mongols completely from India’s invasion.
  • Kaiqubad, one of the grandsons of Balban succeeded the throne and after four years of rule, Jalaluddin Khalji captured Delhi in 1290.

Khalji Dynasty(1290-1320)

  • Founded by Jalaluddin Khalji, 70 years when came to power. Jalaluddin Khaljji allowed Malik Chhajju, nephew of Balban to be governor of Kara.
  • Jalaluddin Khaljji was generous and lenient, as he allowed Balban nephew in the governor’s post, he pardoned Chhajju who revolted against him, and set the thugs(robbers) after capture.
  • When Malik Chhajju revolted for the second, he was replaced by his son-in-law Alauddin Khalji.
  • Alauddin Khalji took an expedition to Devagiri and returned to Kara. During the reception, Alauddin Khalji murdered Jalaluddin Khalji.

Alauddin Khalji(1296-1316)

  • Alauddin Khalji gave enormous gifts to nobles and amirs of Delhi to control them. Those who opposed were severely punished.
  • Framed regulations to control nobles by checking the general prosperity of nobles, intermarriages between noble families, spy system, and drinking liquor which were reasons for the rebellions.
  • Confiscated the properties belonged to the Nobles. An intelligent system to check the secret activities of Nobles was reported to the Sultan.
  • Patronized poets Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan. Built a famous gateway known as Alai Darwaza and constructed a new capital at Siri.

Reforms of Alauddin Khalji

  • The public sale of liquor and drugs was prohibited. Social gatherings and festivals were subjected to the permission of the Sultan. These measures made the country free from rebellions.
  • Maintained a large standing army, 4,75000 cavalrymen paid them in cash from the royal treasury. Introduced branding of horses called Dagh.
  • Prepared a descriptive list of soldiers called Huliya. Strict reviewing of the Army was carried out to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Paying salaries to the soldiers led to price regulation of market prices for commodities popularly known as Market Reforms.

Market reforms of Alauddin Khilji

  • Khalji established four separate markets in Delhi. The first market for grains. The second market is for cloth, sugar, dried fruits, butter, and oil. Third for horses, slaves, and cattle
  • The fourth market for miscellaneous commodities. Shahna-i-Mandi is the high officer to controls the market.
  • The grain was held in stock in Government storehouses to ensure the supply of grain in all situations. Naid-i-Riyasat was the officer to controlled a separate department called Diwani Riyasat, every merchant was registered under this market department.
  • Munhiyans, secret agents were sent to report the functioning of these markets and sent slave boys to check the prices of various commodities.
  • Harsh punishment was given to the traders who violated market regulations, cheated by false measures in quantity and quality, and sold commodities at a higher price.
  • Even during the famine, the price of commodities did not increase, the Sultan ensured stable prices and continuity in supply in all situations.
  • Market reforms were applied to the provincial capital and towns. Land reform was made by Sultan, Alauddin Khilji who was the first of the Delhi Sultans to have ordered to measure the land.
  • Even the big landlords paid taxes to the government. The land revenue was paid in cash to the government, which was used to pay the government officials and soldiers in cash.
  • The land revenue system was the basis of the land reforms of Akbar and Sher Shah Suri.
Delhi Sultans Empire under Alauddin Khilji map of India
alauddin khilji empire map

Military Campaigns of Alauddin Khalji

  • Alauddin was successful in defeating the Mongols. Alauddin Khalji sent the army six times against the Mongols, The first two times were successful.
  • The third time was unsuccessful but managed to defend the capital city. The next three Mongols were severely defeated and thousands of Mongols were killed.
  • The northwest was fortified by Gazi Malik, who was appointed as warden of Marches to protect the North-West frontier.
  • Sent Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan to capture Gujarat in 1299, and the King and his daughter escaped while the queen was captured and sent to Delhi.
  • Kafur, a eunuch was also taken and made the Malik Naib- Military commander. In 1301, Alauddin captured Ranthampur and after a three-month fight, Rajput women committed Jauhar or self-immolation including Rani Padmini.
  • Chittor fort was captured in 1303, a powerful fort in Rajasthan after several months of fights, Raja Ratan Singh and his soldiers found and later surrendered.
  • Alauddin sent Malik Kafur against Devagiri ruler Ramachandra Deva but submitted rich booty.

Alauddin khilji campaign in South India

  • In 1309 Malik Kafur sent against Warangal and its ruler Pratabarudra Deva was defeated and rich booty was collected.
  • Hoysala ruler Vira Ballala III was defeated and rich booty was taken to Delhi. Vira Pandya of Madurai was defeated, Pandya escaped from Madurai, and rich booty was taken to Delhi.
  • Alauddin Khalji died in 1316. The successors of Alauddin Khalji were Mubarak Shah and Khusru Shah.

Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414)

  • The governor of Dipalpur, Ghazi Malik killed Sultan Khusu Shah and ascended the throne in 1320 under the title Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.
  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq became the founder of the Tughlaq Dynasty. He sent his son Juna Khan to fight the Pratabarudra of Warangal and returned with rich booty.
  • Ulugh Khan killed his father and ascended as Sultan in the name of Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1325.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (1325-1351)

  • He was tolerant in religious matters, and an attractive character, and his ambitious schemes and experiments were ahead of time and failed miserably.
  • Maintained diplomatic relations with distant countries like Egypt, China, and Iran. Introduced many liberal and beneficial reforms.
  • He was the only Delhi Sultan who received a comprehensive literary, religious and philosophical education. Transferred his capital to make Devagiri as second capital to control South India better.
  • In 1327, he prepared to transfer of royal household, ulemas, and Sufis from Delhi to Devagiri which was renamed Daulatabad.
  • Many people died during the travel during the summer of distance 1500 km. After two years, the sultan abandoned the transfer of capital.

Token Currency

  • Muhammad bin Tughlaq introduced token currency in 1329-30. Due to the shortage of silver throughout the world in the 14th century, Kublai Khan issued paper currency in China.
  • Muhammad bin Tughlaq issued copper coins at the same value as the silver Tanka coins. Goldsmiths began to forge the token currency and soon copper was not acceptable in the market.
  • Then Muhammad bin Tughlaq stopped the circulation of token currency and exchanged it with silver coins. Many people exchanged copper coins for silver coins as a result the treasury became empty.

Taxation in Doab

  • Due to the failure of Token currency and change in capital, the treasury went almost empty.
  • In order to overcome the financial problems, Mohammed Bin Tuglaq increased the revenue of farmers who were between the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
  • And to add fuel to the farmer’s misery, there came famine, that forced the farmer to evacuate the villages. There were even several revolts done by the farmers.
  • Muhammad bin Tughlaq had several harsh measures and stopped the revolt and farmers from escaping the villages.

Agriculture Reforms by Muhammad bin Tughlaq

  • Sultan realized that only by bringing agriculture reforms, we can improve the financial solution. He launched Takkavi loans which are loans for cultivation, for buying seeds, etc.
  • Diwan-i-kohi is a department for agriculture that was established. A model farm was created by the state with an area of 64 square miles, by spending 70 Lakh Tankas.
  • This experiment was continued by Firoz Tughlaq.

Rebellions against Mohammed bin Tuglaq

  • Nobles and provincial governors revolted against Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s rule. Hasan Shah a rebellion established Madurai Sultanate.
  • Then Vijayanagar was founded in 1336, and the Bahmini Kingdom was established in 1347. The governors of Oudh, Multan, and Sind revolted against the authority of Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
  • In Gujarat, Taghi rose against the sultan, Muhammad bin Tuglaq died in 1351 after his health became worse.

Firoz Tughlaq (1351-1388)

  • Firoz Tughlaq ascended the throne after Muhammad bin Tuglaq. He was chosen by the nobles as Sultan.
  • He appointed Khan-i-Jahan Maqbal as Prime Minister (Wazir), who was a converted from Telugu Brahmin. Wazir helped in administration.

Military Campaigns of Firoz Tughlaq

  • He tried to stop breaking the Delhi Sultanate. He concentrated his authority over the North rather than the South and Deccan. Led two expeditions to Bengal but failed.
  • Bengal went on to become from Delhi Sultanate. He led a military campaign against Jajnagar (Orissa) and came with rich booty from the temples.
  • He made the ruler of Nagarkot pay tributes. He translated 1300 Sanskrit Manuscripts to Persian which were collected from the Jawalamukhi temple library.
  • He crushed the revolt in the Sind region created by Thatta.

Administrative Reforms of Firoz Tughlaq

  • He strictly followed ulemas advice in administration. Iqta system was not only revived and made hereditary. He levied taxes based on Islamic law.
  • Jiziya was imposed on non-Muslims. He was the first sultan to impose an irrigation tax. He dug irrigation canals and wells. There were about 1200 fruit gardens in and around Delhi yielding more revenue.
  • He abolished the taxon 28 items that were against Islamic law. Thousands of slaves were employed in royal factories called Karkhanas. And 300 new towns were built.
  • The famous one among them was Fizozabad near Red Fort in Delhi now called Firoz Shah Kotla. He repaired Jama Masjid and Qutb-Minar.
  • To take care of widows and orphans he created a new department called Diwan-i-Khairat. He also established free hospitals and marriage bureaus for poor Muslims.
  • He patronized scholars like Barani and Afif and was intolerant towards Shia and Sufis.
  • He was the precursor of Sikander Lodi and Aurangazeb, as he treated Hindus as second-grade citizens and imposed Jiziya. He increased slaves and reportedly had one lakh eighty thousand slaves.
  • He died in 1388, in the following year Delhi Sultanate disintegrated. Then Malwa and Gujarat declared their independence.
  • After Timur invasion in 1398 worsened the situation, as there was no opponent, he looted Delhi for three days and murdered thousands. Timur invasion gave a death blow to the Tughlaq dynasty.


  • Timur appointed Khizr Khan as governor of Multan before leaving India. Khizr Khan captured Delhi and founded the Sayyid dynasty in 1414.
  • He tried to consolidate the Delhi sultanate but failed. Khizr Khan died in 141 and was succeeded by his Mubarak Shah.
  • Muhamad Shah lost control over his nobles. Buhlul Khan Lodi dominated everything. Muhammad Shah died in 1445 and was succeeded by his son Alam Shah (1445-1451), the weakest of Sayyid kings.
  • He handed over the throne to Buhlul Lodi and retired to Badaun.

Lodis (1451-1526)

  • Lodis were Afghans. Buhlul Lodi was the first Afgan ruler while his predecessors were all Turks.
  • Buhlul Lodi died in 1489 and his son Sikander Lodi ascended the throne.

Sikander Lodi (1489-1517)

  • He was the greatest among the three Lodi sovereigns. He defeated Rajput chiefs and brought the whole of Bihar under his control.
  • He defeated the Bengal ruler and forced him to sign a treaty and extend the empire from Bihar to Punjab.
  • Sikander Lodi was a good administrator. He built roads, and irrigation facilities, and provided benefits to the farmers.
  • He was a bigot, he destroyed temples and imposed restrictions on Hindus. He made the Sultanate powerful.
  • He was succeeded by Ibrahim Lodi, his son.

Ibrahim Lodi

  • He was arrogant and insulted nobles openly in court. Also killed the nobles who revolted against him. Then own uncle Alauddin revolted. Daulat Khan Lodi, governor of Punjab was insulted.
  • The Daulat Khan Lodi invited Babur to invade India. Babur went to Delhi and killed Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat (1526). The last ruler of the Lodi dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate was Ibrahim Lodi.
  • The Afghan Kingdom lasted only 75 years.

Impact of the Mongol invasions on the Delhi Sultanate

  • Mongols attacked Delhi during the rule of Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq. To tackle this, the Mongol Delhi Sultanate founded new Garrison towns and had to maintain a large standing army.
  • The agricultural produce from the Ganga and Yamuna regions is collected as tax to feed the army. The soldiers were also fed with salaries.
  • This drained the Delhi Sultanate’s salary and eventually weakened the Delhi Sultanate.
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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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