Category Archives: History

Mohammad Tughluq

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

After the death of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq, his elder son Juna Khan became the King of Delhi in 1325 A.D. He took the title of Mohammad Tughluq.

When Khusro Shah was the King of Delhi, Juna Khan (Mohammad Tughluq) was appointed the Master of the Horse of Khusro Shah. When his father became the Emperor in 1320, Juna Khan was appointed the heir-apparent. He led two expeditions to Warangal in 1321 and in 1323.

It is said that Mohammad Tughluq was a very learned person. He was a careful student of religion. Although, he believed in Islam, at the same time, he was tolerant of other religions and participated in their religious ceremonies and festivals.

Mohammad Tughluq appointed lowborn persons to the highest offices in the administration. He also appointed Hindus to some of the highest offices in the state. He spent a lot of money on poets and scholars. He patronized even Hindu scholars and poets. He actually lavished the treasure on scholars and poets.

Increase in Taxes in Doab

In order to get more money to spend, he increased the rate of taxation in the Doab between the Ganges and the Jamuna rivers. The taxation was increased too much that the farmers were reduced to impotence, poverty and ruin.

Unfortunately, rains failed at the same time, and the famine continued for several years. Thousands of people perished.
The backs of the farmers were broken. Those who were rich became rebels. Other peasantry left their homes and shifted to other places. The King could not get too much money.

This made him angry. Annoyed at the failure of the revenue, the King sought after the wretched farmers, most of them Hindus, like wild beasts, ringed them in the jungles as if they were tigers, and closing in massacred them wholesale.

Then the relief measures of the King such as the giving of loans to the agriculturists, sinking of wells etc. came; but it was too late.

Transfer of Capital to Daulatabad

But Mohammad Tughluq’s most important project was the shifting his capital from Delhi to Devgiri, under the new name of Daulatabad.

Mohammad Tughluq wanted a capital safe from Mongolian invasions, which were constantly threatening Delhi. Devgiri/Daulatabad was considered safe from Mongolian invasions.

He provided all possible facilities for these who were required to migrate to Daulatabad. A broad road was constructed. Shady trees were planted in both sides of the road. A regular postal service was established between Delhi and Daulatabad.

The King Mohammad Tughluq bought the houses and dwellings from all the inhabitants of Delhi and paid the price for them. All the people, with their families and dependants, wives and children, men-servants and maidservants were forced to remove. The people, who had been natives and inhabitants of the land for many years and for many generations, were broken hearted. All the inhabitants of Delhi came out leaving behind their property and baggage, and the city was reduced to a desert. So complete was the ruin that not a cat or a dog was left among the buildings of the city, in its palaces, in its suburbs. Worn out with fatigue, many of them died on the road, and many who reached Daulatabad, could not endure the pain of exile. They died in misery.

At last, the ill -considered plan had failed. Daulatabad was a monument of misdirected energy.

Death of Mohammad Tughluq

When Mohammad Tughluq was in Daulatabad, he heard of a revolt in Gujarat. Taghi was the leader of this revolt. Mohammad Tughluq himself went to Gujarat to suppress the revolt. He was successful in driving out Taghi from Gujarat. Taghi took refuge in Sindh.

Now, Mohammad Tughluq proceeded against Taghi, so he marched towards Sindh. But, Mohammad Tughluq fell ill there and died near Thatta in Sindh on March 20, 1351 A.D.

Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Nasir-ud-Din Khusro was the last king of the Khilji Dynasty. Actually he was once a Hindu, who was converted into the Islam.

Although, he became the King of Delhi, but many Turkish nobles were against him. The governor of the Punjab, Ghazi Malik, was one of them. He marched towards Dehli and reached near the city. The King Khusro Shah himself came forward to resist the invaders, but on September 5, 1320, he was killed in the battlefield. This was the end of the Khilji Dynasty.

When Khusro Shah died in the battlefield, Ghazi Malik declared himself the King of Delhi. Now, he was called Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq.

Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq was a man of humble origin. His father was a Turk, but mother was a Jat woman from Punjab. He started his life as an ordinary trooper and rose to prominence by his ability and hard work. King Ala-ud-Din Khilji appointed him the Warden of the Marches and Governor of Dipalpur.

After defeating Khusro Shah, Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq caused an enquiry to be made whether there was any descendant of Ala-ud-‘din Khilji whom he could put on the throne of Delhi. It cannot be sure how far that inquiry was sincere and how far it was merely a show.

On September 8, 1320, he became the King of Delhi.

Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq tried to win over the confidence of the nobles and officers and to restore order in the empire. The supporters of Khusro Shah were ruthlessly exterminated. Reforms were introduced in other branches of Administration like justice and police, so that order and security prevailed in the country.

Expedition of Warangal

After the death of Ala-ud-Din Khilji, Pratap Rudra Deva second refused to pay the usual tribute to Delhi Government. Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq sent an expedition under his son Juna Khan against Pratap Rudra Dev second in 1321. Juna Khan could not succeed and was defeated by Pratap Rudra Deva second.

Juna Khan was sent again against Pratap Rudra Deva in 1323. Juna Khan captured Bidar, and then marched on Warangal. This time, he defeated Pratap Rudra Deva second and made him prisoner.

While his way back to Delhi, Juna Khan attacked the kingdom of Utkala in Orissa and captured 50 elephants and many other valuable articles.

Expedition of Bengal

Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq himself attacked on Bengal. He appointed Nasir-ud-Din as his viceroy of West Bengal and East Bengal was annexed to Delhi.

On his way back to Delhi, he defeated the King of Tirhut and Tirhut became a fief of the Delhi Sultanate.

Death of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq

When Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq returned from Bengal, his son Prince Juna Khan gave him reception. A special wooden pavilion was erected near Delhi to give reception to the King. The King entered into the pavilion. When he was having a view of the elephants brought from Bengal, some elephants came into contact with the wooden pavilion and the entire pavilion fell. Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq was crushed along with his Prince Mahmud Khan. The King was found bent over the body of Mahmud Khan as if trying to protect him.

It happened in 1325 A.D.

Most of the historians believe that the death of the King was the result of a conspiracy in which Juna Khan took part and was not due to any accident.

Later Khiljis

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)


Malik Kafur became to powerful that even the King Ala-ud-Din was merely a puppet in his hands. When Ala-ud-Din died, Malik Kafur placed Shahab-ud-Din Omar on the throne and himself the regent. Shahab-ud-Din was a son of Ala-ud-Din. He was just six years old. Now again, Malik Kafur was the most powerful man in the Kingdom.

Many princes of the royal blood were executed by orders of Malik Kafur. Khizar Khan and Shadi Khan, sons of Ala-ud-Din, were blinded. Mubarak Shah was made prisoner, but he succeeded in escaping.

After only thirty-six days after the death of Ala-ud-Din Khilji, Malik Kafur was killed with some of his associates.

Now, Mubarak Shah, another son of Ala-ud-Din was appointed the regent of the King Shahab-ud-Din, a six years old child. After 64 days, Shahab-ud-Din was killed and Mubarak Shah became the king. Some historians say that Shahab-ud-Din was blinded.

Mubarak Shah

After becoming the king, Mubarak Shah attended to nothing, but drinking, listening to music, merry-making, and distributing gifts. He came under the influence of Hasan who was originally a Hindu shepherd but was converted into Islam. He was raised to the position of Prime Minister and given the title of Khusro.

King Mubarak Shah allowed Khusro to have a separate cavalry of his own, 40,000 strong. Khusro used to live inside the palace.

On the night of April 14, 1320, the troops of Khusro entered the palace. Khusro himself caught hold of Mubarak Shah by the hair and one of his followers stabbed him to death. The head of Mubark Shah was cut off and thrown into the courtyard.

Nasir-ud-Din Khusro Shah

After killing Mubarak Shah, Khusro Shah became the king on April 15, 1320. He took up the title of Nasir-ud-Din Khusro Shah.

Many Turkish nobles were against to the Indian Muslims being in charge of the administration of the country. Ghazi Malik, the governor of the Punjab became the leader of these Turkish. Ghazi Malik marched and reached near Delhi. Khusro Shah himself fought. On September 5, 1320, he was killed in the battlefield. He could rule only for a few months.

Thus, the Khilji Dynasty came to an end.

The Khilji Dynasty: Ala-ud-Din Khilji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Ala-ud-Din Khilji was the nephew and son-in-law of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. It was Jalal-ud-Din Khilji, who brought up him, because Ala-ud-Din was fatherless.

When Jalal-ud-Din Khilji became the King, he appointed Ala-ud-Din as the governor of Kara. Later, he became the Governor of Avadh too, in addition to that of Kara. But it was not enough for him. He was an ambitious man. So, he killed his uncle and father-in-law.

Even the murder of Jalal-ud-Din was not enough to put Ala-ud-Din on the throne of Delhi. Malika Jahan, the wife of Jalal-ud-Din, heard that his husband was killed; he put her younger son Qadir Khan Rukum-ud-Din on the throne. She also called for her elder son Arkali Khan, who was in Multan.

Ala-ud-Din Khilji did not waste his time. He marched towards Delhi from Kara. While going to Delhi, he distributed small gold and silver coins among the people in order to get confidence of the people. Large gifts were given to all and sundry to make them forget that Ala-ud-Din killed his own father-in-law and the King.

Qadir Khan Rukum-ud-Din was not able to resist, so he ran away to Multan. Ala-ud-Din entered in Delhi and on October 3, 1296, he proclaimed himself the King of Delhi.

Then, he sent a large army to capture Rukum-ud-Din etc. In Multan, Ala-ud-Din’s men blinded Rukum-ud-Din and Arkali Khan. Malika Jahan, widow of Jalal-ud-Din and mother-in-law of Ala-ud-Din was imprisoned.

Mongol Invasions

The Mongols invaded India for many times. During the rule of Ala-ud-Din, Mongols attacked India more than a dozen times. The Mongol raids formed a source of constant anxiety and alarm to the Delhi Government for a long time.

The first Mongol invasion during the rule of Ala-ud-Din took place under the command of Amir Daud. The Mongols succeeded to enter Sindh and Punjab. An army under Ulugh Khan defeated the Mongols and they ran away.

Next time, the Mongols attacked under the command of Saldi. This time, they reached near Delhi and captured the fort Siri. Zafar Khan, a famous army officer of Ala-ud-Din, recaptured the fort. About 2,000 Mongols were captured and brought before the King.

But the famous Mongol invasion took place in 1299, when under the command of Qutlugh Khwaja, 2,00,000 Mongols attacked on India. This time they did not want just to rob the country. Now, they wanted to establish their own kingdom.

The Mongols did not plunder the people on the way to Delhi. They did not want to waste their energy doing this. This was a wise step. They succeeded to reach near Delhi.

The situation became very grave. The people of nearby areas entered into Delhi. There was no free space even in mosques.

Ala-ud-Din consulted his ministers and chiefs. Many of them said that it was impossible to say as to which side victory is likely to incline. They said that their own army had spent their lives in warfare with the Hindus only, and had not joined in battle with the Mongols. They suggested for a compromise.

Ala-ud-Din was not ready for it. He rejected their advice and said, “If I were to follow your advice how could I show my face, how could I go into my harem? No, come what may tomorrow, I must march into the battlefield”.

He ordered his army to attack under the command of Zafar Khan and Ulugh Khan. His army men attacked and fought very bravely.

It was very bad experience for the Mongols. They suffered a lot. Zafar Khan created so great terror in the minds of the Mongols that whenever their horsed refused to drink water, the Mongols would ask them if they had seen Zafar Khan.

Ala-ud-Din defeated the Mongols. Zafar Khan was killed in the battlefield. It was rather good news for Ala-ud-Din, because Zafar Khan was dangerous to Ala-ud-Din’s position.

In 1304, the Mongols attacked again, under the command of Ali Beg and Khwaja Tash. They reached near Amroha, but Gazi Tuglak defeated them.

In 1306, the Mongols crossed the Indus near Multan and proceeded towards the Himalyaas. Gazi Malik, the governor of Punjab defeated them. A large number of the Mongols were killed. About 50,000 Mongols were made prisoners including Kubak, the Mongol leader.

Next year, the Mongols invaded India again. In 1307, they invaded under the command of Iqbal Manda. They crossed the Indus, but Gazi Tuglak defeated them. Many Mongols were made prisoners and killed by elephants. The Mongols were so frightened by this punishment that they never appeared again in India. It was the last invasion by the Mongols.

Conquest of Gujarat

In 1297, Ala-ud-Din sent a huge army under the command of Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to conquer Gujarat. Rai Karan Dev second was the ruler of Gujarat. He fought for sometimes and then ran away. Ala-ud-Din’s army captured the capital Anhilwara. The beautiful queen of Karan Dev second was made prisoner. She was taken away to Delhi. Ala-ud-Din married her.

Ala-ud-Din’s army plundered Gujarat and took away a large amount of booty. But, the greatest prize of all bagged in ‘Hazar Dinari’ slave, Malik Kafur, who became the prime minister of the King later.


Ranthambhor is a very famous fort of Rajputana. Qutb-ud-Din and Iltutmish conquered it, but now it was being ruled by a Rajput king, Hamir Dev.

In 1299, Ala-ud-Din sent an army under Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to capture the fort of Ranthambhor, but the Rajputs defeated them. Even Nusrat Khan was killed in the battlefield.

When Ala-ud-Din heard of this, he personally proceeded against Ranthambhor in 1301. The Rajputs fought bravely. It took a few months to capture Ranthambhor.

Conquest of Chittaurgarh

In 1303, Ala-ud-Din Khilji sent an expedition against Chittaurgarh, the capital of Mewar. The Guhil Rajput, Rana Ratan Singh, was the ruler of Mewar.

Two Rajput warriors Gora and Badal fought very bravely against the Delhi army. When further resistance became impossible, the Rajputs preferred death to disgrace. The Rajputs performed the Jauhar, a horrible rite, where the females set themselves in the funeral pyre. All the males died in the battlefield.

The Chittaurgarh was captured on August 26, 1303.

Conquest of Malwa

Malwa was under rule of Rai Mahlak Dev. In 1305, Ala-ud-Din Khilji sent an army to Malwa under Ain-ul-Mulk Multani. The Rajput King Rai Mahlak Dev opposed the invaders, but he was killed in the battlefield.

This victory helped the Delhi Army to occupy Ujjain, Mandu, Dhar and Chanderi. By the end of 1306 A.D. practically the whole of Northern India came into the hands of Ala-ud-Din.

Conquest of the South

Now, Ala-ud-Din directed his attention towards the conquest of the South. He was the first Muslim king, who tried to invade the South. After the North had been brought under his control, it was natural for Ala-ud-Din to try for the extension of his influence over the South.

Ram Chandra Deva was the king of Devgiri. He gave refuge to Rai Karan Dev second, the fugitive ruler of Gujarat. Rai Karan Dev second made arrangements to marry Deval Devi, his daughter, to a Prince named Shankar. Shankar was the eldest son of Ram Chandra Deva, the King of Devgiri.
At that time, there were four main kingdoms in the South, Devgir, Telangana, Hoysala and Pandya kingdom.

In 1307, Ala-ud-Din sent an expedition against Devgiri under Malik Kafur, a slave. The King Ram Chandra Deva was defeated and was brought to Delhi. Ala-ud-Din treated Ram Chandra Deva with all honours. He even gave him a royal canopy and the style of King of kings. Ram Chandra Deva continued to rule Devgiri As a vassal of Ala-ud-Din Khilji.

The daughter of Kamla Devi, Deval Devi also was sent to Delhi, where she was married to Khizar Khan, son of Ala-ud-Din. Kamla Devi already was a wife of Ala-ud-Din.

In 1310, Ala-ud-Din’s army under Malik Kafur besieged Warangal, the capital of Telangana. Ram Chandra Deva of Devgiri gave all assistance to Malik Kafur. The King of Telangana, Pratap Rudra Deva was sued for peace. He gave Kafur 100 elephants, 7,000 horses and large quantities of jewels and coined money. He also agreed to send tribute to Delhi every year.

Then Malik Kafur was sent to Dwarsamudra, the capital of King Vir Vallabh, the Hoysala ruler. Vir Vallabh was defeated and made prisoner. The rich temples of the city were plundered and Malik Kafur got a lot of gold, silver, jewel and pearls from these temples. Vir Vallabh was brought to Delhi. Later, he could rule over Dwarsamudra only as a vassal of Delhi.

From Dwarsamudra, Malik Kafur marched towards Madura. Madura was the capital of Pandya Kingdom. Vir Pandya, the King of Madura abandoned his capital and ran away with his queens. Malik Kafur plundered the city. The main temple was destroyed and a mosque was built there. He got many elephants, 20,000 horses, 2,750 pounds of gold and lots of jewels. No such treasure had been brought to Delhi ever before.

In 1312, Malik Kafur attacked Devgiri again, because Shankar Deva, the successor of Ram Chandra, withheld the tribute promised by his father and tried to regain his independence. Shankar Deva was killed. His kingdom was captured.

Death of Ala-ud-Din Khilji

The success in the South made Malik Kafur so powerful that Ala-ud-Din became merely a puppet in his hands. Ala-ud-Din sent his wife and two sons, Khizar Khan and Shadi Khan, to jail, because Malik Kafur told him that they were conspiring against him.

In 1316, Ala-ud-Din Khilji died. It is said that Ala-ud-Din was poisoned by Malik Kafur.

Jalal-ud-Din Feroze Khilji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Jalal-ud-Din Feroze Khilji ruled as a king for six years. In the very beginning, people were against him. It was natural, because he became the king only after bloodshed. But he could succeed to remove the hatred of the people by some of his actions.

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji had already proved himself a warrior and a man of iron will before becoming the king, but after getting the throne, he adopted a soft policy. It becomes, sometimes, necessary to take a hard stance in the field of politics. Otherwise, failure is sure. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji was a failed ruler, though he was, generally, a kind man.

Revolt of Malik Chhajju

Some of the relatives of Balban were still alive. Malik Chhajju, a landlord of Kara, was one of them. He was a nephew of Balban. He wanted to overthrow Jalal-ud-Din Khilji.

In 1291, Malik Chhajju revolted against him. He marched towards Delhi. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji sent his son, Arkali Khan, against Malik Chhajju. Near Badaon, he defeated Chhajju and captured him. Chhajju was brought before the king Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. Instead of punishing them, the king pardoned him and fed him from the royal kitchen, though many chiefs were against this policy.

Chhajju was sent to Multan. The king made arrangements for his comforts. Kara was given to Ala-ud-Din, son-in-law of the king.

Policy for Thieves and Robbers

Jalal-ud-Din followed same policy while dealing with thieves and robbers. Once, a number of thieves were arrested, but he delivered a lecture on the evils of stealing before them and released.

Once, thousands of murderers and robbers were sent to Bengal in boats down the Ganges and they were set free there.

Taj-ud-Din Kutchi

Many chiefs were not happy with the mild policy of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. They began to discuss openly plans to overthrow him.

In a party given by Taj-ud-Din Kutchi, a chief said, “I will the king with my knife”. Another chief said, “I will cut him into small pieces”.

The king came to know of this. He threw his sword before them and challenged any one of them to have the courage to use the same against him. No one dared. Jalal-ud-Din pardoned all the chiefs after giving them a warning.

Attack on Ranthambhor

Jalal-ud-Din led his expedition against Ranthambhor in 1290. It was his first expedition. Ranthambhor was a very famous fort. Even Balban could not occupy it.

Jalal-ud-Din saw the fort from a distant and thought that he could not occupy it by force. Jalal-ud-Din decided to give up. He said to his men, “I do not value this fort so much as the hair of one Muslim”.

And he came back to Delhi.

Mongol invasion

The Mongols invaded India once again during the reign of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. This time, the Mongols attacked under leadership of Abdulla, grandson of Halaku.

Though, Jalal-ud-Din was an old man, he went in person to oppose them. He succeeded to defeat Mongols. But this time again, the King made a big mistake. He allowed some of the Mongols to settle near Delhi. These Mongols became Muslims. Their descendants of those Mongols came to be known as New Mussalmans (Muslims).

The New Mussalmans proved turbulent neighbours of the Delhi Government and caused it much anxiety.

Ala-ud-Din’s expeditions

Ala-ud-Din was the nephew and son-in-law of King Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. When he was the governor of Kara, an expedition was undertaken against Mandawar. In 1292, Ala-ud-Din captured it. In the same year, he captured the town of Bhilsa also.

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji now made him the Governor of Avadh in addition to that of Kara.

Ala-ud-Din heard of the wealth of King Ram Chandra, the King of Devgiri. He wanted to get all this wealth. So, in 1294, he attacked on Devgiri and defeated the king, Ram Chandra. He brought a lot of wealth from Devgiri.

Siddi Maula

Jalal-ud-Din usually followed a mild policy, but there was one time, when he discarded this policy. It was in case of Siddi Maula, a saint.

Siddi Maula was a disciple of Sheikh Farid-ud-Din of Pak-Pattan. He used to run a very big Khangah, where thousands of poor people were fed daily.

There was an allegation that some chiefs formed a plot to murder the King Jalal-ud-Din Khilji with the help of Siddi Maula. When Jalal-ud-Din was talking to Siddi Maula, he lost his temper and had Siddi Maula put to death by an elephant.

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji pardoned many thieves, robbers and murderers, but a saint was killed by his order, though Siddi’s fault had yet to be established.

It is said that after the death of Siddi Maula, there was a huge storm. Darkness spread everywhere. There were no rains in that year. Many people died. It was attributed to the great injustice done to Siddi Maula.

Murder of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji

Jalal-ud-Din Khilji’s nephew and son-in-law, Ala-ud-Din was a very ambitious person. The advisers of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji knew this fact. When Ala-ud-Din was leading an expedition against Devgiri, the advisers of the King Jalal-ud-Din Khilji tried to impress upon him that Ala-ud-Din had his eye on the throne and timely action should be taken against him. The King did not agree to them.

Disregarding the warnings of his advisers, he went to welcome his son-in-law Ala-ud-Din in Kara, who was returning after capturing Devgiri. When Jalal-ud-Din Khilji embraced Ala-ud-Din, the latter gave a signal to one of his men, who gave two sword-blows to the King. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji tried to escape, but in vain. Another man of Ala-ud-Din cut the head of the King from his body. Other men of the King were also killed. The head of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji was put on a spear and paraded through the provinces of Kara, Manikpur and Avadh.

One of the cowardly murders in history was perpetrated.

The Khilji Revolution

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Kaikabad was the grandson of Balban. His teacher never allowed him to talk to any girl. He never tasted wine. But when he became the king of Delhi, he could not control himself. He was just 18 years old at that time. He started to spend his time in the company of beautiful girls. He used to drink wine even in daytime. The police officer in charge of Delhi Fakhar-ud-Din’s son-in-law, Nizam-ud-Din became his right hand but he just misguided him.

Nizam-ud-Din could get an order from the king to kill Kai Khusreau. Kai Khusreau was killed near Rohtak, when he was coming to Delhi from Multan.

This was just a murder. It made the chiefs and other people very angry. A group under the leadership of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji came into existence.

But Nizam-ud-Din was not stopped by anyone. He insulted Khwaja Khatier in the public. Governor of Sultanpur was killed by his order. In order to save themselves, even many Turk chiefs joined the group led by Jalal-ud-Din Khilji. In this situation, some friends of the king killed Nizam-ud-Din in 1281.

When Nizam-ud-Din died, two Turk chiefs, Malik Kachchhan and Malik Surbha, got the real power. The king Kaikabad had a paralytic stroke. He was now on bed. Malik Kachchhan and Malik Surbha and some other chiefs enthroned Kayumars, the three years old son of king Kaikabad.

Malik Kachchhan and Malik Surbha were Turks. They planned to kill all non-Turk chiefs. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji, the minister for army, was a non-Turk. He was aware of all situations. He went to a village near Delhi to avoid any mishappening. Malik Kachchhan called him, but he did not go. Now, Malik Kachchhan went himself to that village. It was his big mistake. Khilji’s men killed him brutally. Jalal-ud-Din Khilji’s men entered into the royal palace and took the king Kayumars, a three years old child, into their custody. Malik Surbha and his supporters were killed.

People arose against the Khilji, but many Turk chiefs joined the Khilji camp. A man, whose father was killed by the order of Kaikabad, killed Kaikabad in his own palace.

For some time, Jalal-ud-Din worked as a guardian of three years old king, and then he became himself the king of Delhi. It was the year of 1290.

This is called ‘Khilji revolution’ in some history books.

The Slave Dynasty

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

During the time period of 1206 to 1290, all the Muslim rulers of Delhi were either slaves or progeny of slaves. Kutab-ud-Din Aibak, Altutmish and Balban were slaves at one time. Aram Shah, Behram Shah and Masud were relatives of slaves. That is why this dynasty is called the slave dynasty.

Kutab-ud-Din Aibak

In 1206, Mohammad Gauri died. He had no child, so after his death, his kingdom was divided into many parts by his slaves. Taj-ud-Din Yildoz became the ruler of Ghazni. Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji got Bengal. Nasir-ud-Din Quabacha became the king of Multan. Kutab-ud-Din became the king of Delhi.

Kutab-ud-Din Aibak was the founder of the slave dynasty. Mohammad Gauri appointed him the viceroy of Delhi, but after the death of Gauri, he declared himself the independent king of Delhi.

Basically, he was from Turkistan. A Muslim priest bought him, when he was just a child. That priest belonged to Khurasan.

The priest provided him with good education. Then, he was sold to Mohammad Gauri. Very soon, Aibak pleased Gauri with his learning and ability.

By his ability, Aibak became Gauri’s commander. During invasions on India, Aibak helped him a lot. Gauri was happy with him. So, when Gauri returned to Ghazni, he appointed Aibak as his viceroy.

Kutab-ud-Din Aibak worked as Gauri’s viceroy till Gauri’s death, and then he became an independent king of Delhi. He remained the king until his death in 1210.

Aibak’s Main Conquests

As a commander of Gauri, Aibak attacked on Delhi and Hansi in 1191. In 1194, he occupied Ranathambhor and Banaras.

As a viceroy, he occupied Gwalior in 1196. Next year, he attacked Gujrat’s capital Anhilwara and defeated the king. In 1202, Aibak attacked on Kalinjar, the capital of Bundelkhand and occupied it.

As a king of Delhi, first of all he attacked on Taj-ud-Din Yildoz. Yildoz became the independent king of Ghazni after death of Gauri. Aibak attacked on Ghazni with the help of Mahmud and occupied it in 1208.

When Yildoz started to pressurize Ghazni after his defeat, Aibak came back to Delhi. Delhi was more important for him than Ghazni.

When Gauri was the king, he appointed Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji as his viceroy to Bengal and Bihar. Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji died before Kutab-ud-Din Aibak became the king of Delhi. When Aibak became the king, the successors of Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji and another chief, Ali Mardan Khan were quarreling for the throne. Aibak interfered and appointed Ali Mardan as governor of Bengal and Bihar. Ali Mardan agreed to pay him annual tax.

In 1210, when he was playing Polo, he fell down from his horse and died. He was buried in Lahore.

Aram Shah

After the death of Aibak, his son Aram Shah became the king, but some governors did not accept him as a king. He could rule only for one year.

The chiefs selected Iltutmish for the post of king. He was son-in-law of Kutab-ud-Din Aibak.


Iltutmish was a Turk. He was sold to a trader. He impressed Aibak and then Aibak purchased him. Rising step by step, he became chief of the hunt. It is said that he was unequalled in beauty, virtue, intelligence and nobleness of character.

Anyhow, Iltutmish made Aibak so happy that he could marry Aibak’s daughter. Aibak appointed him as governor of Gwalior. When Aram Shah was not accepted as the king, Iltutmish became the king.

The Conquest and Main Events by Iltutmish

Although Iltutmish became the king by chance; but it was not an easy job for him. There were many other chiefs who wanted to become king. They were constantly making plans to get their goal.

Many governors stood in revolt. When Iltutmish was facing already many problems, the Mongols started to invade.

But Iltutmish did not give up. He set himself to the task of dealing with the situation in a bold and decisive manner.

Suppression of hostile Turk Chiefs

Many Turk chiefs stood in revolt. All of them were united against Iltutmish. Iltutmish fought against them in a battlefield outside of Delhi. Most of them were killed and thus, Iltutmish passed his first examination.

Defeat of Yildoz

Yildoz was once a slave of Mohammad Gauri. After the death of Gauri, he became the king of Ghazni in 1206. It is said that Yildoz was a great monarch of excellent faith, mild, beneficent, of good position and very handsome. Even Kutab-ud-Din could not harm him. Now, Iltutmish tried to defeat him.

Actually, Yildoz occupied Punjab in 1214. Iltutmish could not tolerate this. So, he defeated Yildoz in 1215. Yildoz was killed in Iltutmish’s custody.

Suppression and death of Qubacha

Nasir-ud-Din Qubacha declared himself the king of Multan and Uch. In 1217, Iltutmish declared a war against him. He could succeed to defeat Qubacha, but then he ran away to Sindh. For many years, Iltutmish remained busy against Mongols. At last in 1227, he could able to defeat Qubacha. Qubacha was running away, when he drowned in river Sindh. Iltutmish got rid of another enemy.

Suppression of Giasu-ud-Din

After the death of Aibak, Ali Mardan became the king of Bengal. When Ali Mardan died in 1212, his son Ivaz became the king and adapted a new title ‘ Giasu-ud-Din for himself.

Iltutmish wanted Giasu-id-Din to accept his superiority, but Giasu-ud-Din refused, so Iltutmish attacked on Bengal in 1220. Giasu-ud-Din was defeated, but when Iltutmish went back, Giasu-ud-Din stood again in revolt and became the king of Bengal. Iltutmish sent his son Nasir-ud-Din with a big army to suppression Giasu-ud-Din. In the battlefield, Giasu-ud-Din was killed. Thus, Iltutmish occupied Bengal.

The Conquests against Rajputs

After Aibak’s death, the Rajputs became independent kings of Gwalior, Kalinjar and Ranthambhor. So, in 1226, Iltutmish attacked on Ranthambhor and defeated Rana Vir Narayan. In 1231, Iltutmish attacked on Gwalior. He could occupy it after eleven months long fight. The king of Gwalior Mangal Dev was defeated. He ran away to save his life.

Then Iltutmish attacked on Malwa. Ujjain was its famous city. The city was looted. The sacred Mahakal temple was destroyed.

He also attacked on Bihar and Avadh.

The Invasion of Changez Khan

In 1221, the Mongols attacked on India. Changez Khan was their commander. Actually, he was chasing Shah of Khwarizm, Jalal-ud-Din, who entered into India in order to save his life.

Changez Khan defeated him near river Sindh. Jalal-ud-Din fled to Delhi and prayed for asylum. Iltutmish did not want to pick up a quarrel with Changez Khan, so he refused to protect Jalal-ud-Din. Thus, Changez Khan went back and Iltutmish felt little restful.

In April 1236, Iltutmish died.

Razia Begam

Razia Begam was the daughter of king Iltutmish. Iltutmish appointed her his successor. He said to his chiefs, “My sons are devoted to the pleasures of youth, and no one of them is qualified to be a king. They are unfit to rule the country and after my death you will find that there is no one more competent to guide the State than my daughter”.

Thus, after the death of her father, Razia became the first Muslim woman ruler of Delhi, in 1236.

She suppressed the revolts in Multan, Lahore, and Hansi etc very bravely. She used to wear gents-dress. She took part herself in battles.

When she was fighting against Altunia, a chief of Bathinda, the enemy captured her. She could fascinate her enemy, Altunia, and was married to him.

While she was in Bathinda, her brother Behram declared himself the king of Delhi with help of some chiefs. Razia Begam tried to regain Delhi with the help of her husband, Altunia, but both of them were arrested by their enemy and got killed in 1240.


Behram was a brother of Razia Begam. He became the king of Delhi with the help of 40 chiefs. Though chiefs selected him the king, but they were not united. So, Behram’s two year of power were spent in plots and counterplots, and cruel murders.
In this situation, his own army killed him in 1242.


After the murder of Behram, the chiefs selected Masood as the king of Delhi. He was a nephew of Razia Begam.

In practical, Masood had no power. He was just a puppet in the hands of chiefs.

Masood became fond of pleasure, drinking and the chase and paid not attention to the business of the Government. When Masood began to behave like a tyrant, the chiefs gave charge of the kingdom to Nasir-ud-Din, another son of Iltutmish. It happened in the year of 1246.

Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud

In 1246, Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud became the king. He was the younger son of Iltutmish.

The young king possessed the virtues of continence, frugality and practical piety, rare among his kind. He was a pious, God-fearing, compassionate ruler, who patronized the learned and sympathized with the poor and the distressed.

Balban was the chief minister of Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud. It is said that Nasir-ud-Din was the nominal king, but the reigns of the power were in the strong bands of Balban.

In 1266, Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud died. He had no son, so his chief minister, Balban, became the next king.


Balban was a Turk. In early days of his life, he was sold to a trader of Basra. The trader sold him to Iltutmish.

It is said that Iltutmish refused to buy him, because of his shortness and ugly face. Balban said to Iltutmish, “Master of the world! for whose sake have you bought these other servants?”

Iltutmish laughed and replied, “For mine.”

“Then buy me for the sake of God,” Balban begged. Thus Iltutmish bought him.

Rising step by step, Balban became the Personal Attendant of the king Iltutmish. Very soon, he became one of the 40 chiefs. When Razia Begam became the ruler, Balban was appointed as the Lord of the Hunt. When Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud became the king, Balban worked as the prime minister for 20 years. Then for next 20 years, he worked as the king.

Balban died in 1286.


Balban wanted his son Mohammad to be the next king, but Mohammad died in the life time of Balban. Then he thought that his second son Bughra Khan would take the charge of the Kingdom. Bughra Khan already was the governor of Bengal. He did not agree to become the king. Then, Balban appointed Kai Khusro as his successor. Kai Khusro was his grandson.

But after the death of Balban, Kaikabad became the king with the help of the chiefs. He was son of Bughra Khan and grandson of Balban.

Kaikabad remained the king for four years. In 1290, a Khilji chief killed him.

Before and after the murder of King Kaikabad, his three years old son, Kayumars, was enthroned for sometime. (for details see The Khilji Revolution.

Thus, the Slave Dynasty ended.

Mohammad Gauri’s Invasions

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Shahab-ud-Din, mostly known as Mohammad Gauri, was the younger brother of Ghais-ud-Din, the ruler of Gaur.

In 1173, Ghais-ud-Din conquered the Ghazni. He started to rule over Gaur and gave the control of Ghazni to his younger brother, Mohammad Gauri.

Mohammad Gauri was not satisfied with just Ghazni. So, he decided to attack on India.

The Conquest of Punjab and Sindh

In 1175, he attacked on Multan and defeated the Ismailian Heretics, who were the ruling power there. Then, he conquered the fort of Uch.

Now, Mohammad Gauri was in high spirits. So, he decided to attack on Gujrat, but it was not his right decision. The powerful king of Gujrat, Bhimdev, defeated him. Mohammad Gauri could save his life by very difficulty.

During 1179 to 1186 Gauri occupied Lahore and Sindh. With the help of king of Jammu, he attacked on Peshawar, and then he occupied the fort of Sialkot.

The occupation of Lahore opened the way for his future conquests of India. Till now, he fought against Muslim rivals. Now, he could turn to the Hindus.

The First Battle of Tarain

Mohammad Gauri wanted to conquer India, so he moved forward to Delhi in 1191. He occupied Sirhind.

Now, he had to face the Rajputs. The king of Delhi, Prithavi Raj Chauhan, was a Rajput. In 1191, both the armies took stand against each other in Tarain, a place about 10 miles far from Karnal (now in Haryana state of India).

The Rajputs were very brave soldiers. They used to fight to the death. They showed their skill in the battlefield. The invaders could not stand before them. Gauri was wounded badly. He had no other option. He decided to return.

It was absolutely a terrible defeat for the invaders at the hands of the Hindus.

The Second Battle of Tarain

Next year, Mohammad Gauri invaded India again, with 1,20,000 army. This time, he got help of Afghans, Turks, and Persians etc.

In the battlefield of Tarain, the king of Delhi, Prithavi Raj Chauhan came forward to fight against the invaders. He had 2,00,000 army men.

This time, Mohammad Gauri could defeat Prithavi Raj. Prithavi Raj was captured and later, killed.

The Battle against Jai Chand Rathor

When Mohammad Gauri was fighting against Prithavi Raj Chauhan, the king of Kannauj; Jai Chand Rathor did not help Prithavi Raj. Jai Chand rejoiced in the fall of Prithavi, but two years later the same tragic fate was to overtake him.

In 1194, Mohammad Gauri invaded India again and attacked on Kannauj. In the battlefield of Chandawar, he defeated Jai Chand Rathor.

Gauri appointed Kutab-ud-Din Aibak his viceroy and returned to Ghazni.

The Conquest of Gujrat and Bundelkhand

As a viceroy of Mohammad Gauri, Kutab-ud-Din Aibak attacked on Anhilwara, the capital of Gujrat. The king of Gujrat, Bhimdev, fought bravely and defeated Kutab-ud-Din.

Kutab-ud-Din attacked again and this time he could defeat Bhimdev. He got too much money.

Then, Kutab-ud-Din attacked on Bundelkhand, which was under control of Chandel Rajputs. Kutab-ud-Din defeated them. 50,000 people were arrested. Mosques were constructed destroying Hindu temples.

The Conquest of Bengal and Bihar

While Kutab-ud-Din was fighting in Gujrat and Bundelkhand, another slave of Mohammad Gauri, Mohammad-Bin-Bakhtiyar Khilji, attacked on Bihar in 1197. The Buddhist king of Bihar, Indraman, did not fight against the invaders. Without any battle, this state was occupied by Mohammad-Bin-Bakhtiyar.

The Buddhist-temples were destroyed and thousands of Buddhist monks were killed.

In 1202, Khilji attacked on Bengal with a few soldiers. Lakshman Sen, the king, ran away. The invaders looted the state. Now, Khilji was the viceroy of Mohammad Gauri in Bengal and Bihar.

Revolt of Khokhars

In 1205, Mohammad Gauri came into India, when the Khokhars stood in revolt. He defeated them and reestablished his rule.

On March 15, 1206, when Gauri was going to Ghazni from Lahore, someone killed him in Dhamyak in district of Jehlam (now in Pakistan).

Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasions

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Born in 971, Mahmud Ghaznavi was the elder son of Subuktagin, the king of Ghazni. When Subuktagin attacked on King Jaipal, Mahmud fought for his father in the battlefield. But, Mahmud was not the next king, though he was the elder son of his father.

It is said that in his last days, Subuktagin was not happy with Mahmud. So, when Subuktagin died in 997, his younger son Ismail became the king of Ghazni.

Ismail became the king, but only for a little time. Very soon, Mahmud defeated him and became the king.

Mahmud began a series of raids into northwestern India at the end of the 10th century. He raided as far as the present state of Uttar Pradesh in north central India. Mahmud did not attempt to rule Indian territory except for the Punjab.

He invaded India for seventeen times. Here is the list of his main invasions: –

War against Jaipal

Jaipal was the king of Hindushahi Kingdom. Mahmud had already fought against him, when Subuktagin was the king of Ghazni. When Mahmud became the king, he decided to attack on Hindushahi Kingdom, as its king, Jaipal, was his old enemy.

In 1001, Mahmud attacked on Hindushahi Kingdom. 15,000 Hindu army men were killed. Jaipal was defeated and captured. He was presented before Mahmud with his 15 other relatives.

Mahmud looted all his wealth. He got 2,50,000 Dinar (a currency) to free Jaipal. About 5,00,000 Indians were taken to Ghazni as slaves. Though Jaipal was freed, but he refused to survive his disgrace. He cast himself upon a funeral pyre and died.

War against Anandpal

Anandpal was the son of Jaipal, who was defeated by Mahmud. Now Anandpal became the king of Hindushahi Kingdom.

In 1008, Mahmud attacked on Anandpal. Anandpal called other Hindu kings to help him. The kings of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kannauj, Delhi, Ajmer etc. came to help him with their armies. In the battlefield of Peshawar, both the armies remained standing before each other, but no one attacked each other.

Meanwhile the Khokhars (a race) also came there to help Hindus. Mahmud deployed 6, 000 archers to attack. Khokhars attacked on Muslims and started to kill them. Approximately 5,000 Muslims were killed.

Unfortunately, Jaipal’s elephant got mad and took him out of the battlefield. As soon as Jaipal left the battlefield, the Hindu army got confused and ran away. Muslims chased them and killed 20,000 Hindus.
Thus, the best organized national efforts ever made by medieval Hindu India against the foreigners ended.

Invasion on Nagarkot or Kangra

Nagarkot was very famous for its temples and wealth kept in these temples. So, Mahmud decided to invade Nagarkot. His army ruined the area of Nagarkot.

The Mahmud’s army was coming like a swarm of locusts. The Hindus opened the gate out of fear and fell on the earth. Mahmud got lots of jewelry, gold and silver from here. When he returned to his capital, the people congregated to see the incredible wealth of India.

It was the year of 1009.

Invasion on Thanesar

Mahmud came to know that there was too much gold and diamonds in Hindu temples in the city of Thanesar. So, he ordered his army to attack.
In 1014, he invaded Thanesar. Hindus wanted to reach on a compromise, but Mahmud refused. His army destroyed the city and plundered the sacred temples. This carnage was so terrible that the water of the stream became red with the blood of the innocents.

Invasion on Mathura and Kannauj

In 1018, Mahmud invaded Mathura. He was amazed to see huge and beautiful Hindu-temples in Mathura. No one dared to stop him. Thus, he entered into the city without any resistance. Hindu-temples were looted.

Then, he attacked on Kannauj. It was January of 1019. King of Kannauj, Rajpal Pratihar did not dare to stop him and ran away. The invaders looted the sacred temples. Many innocent people were killed.

Later, the king of Kannauj, Rajpal Pratihar accepted the superiority of Mahmud Ghaznavi and then Mahmud returned back.

Invasion on Kalinjar

Rajpal Pratihar, the king of Kannauj, accepted the superiority of Mahmud. This made other Rajput kings angry. The Rajput kings of Kalinjar, Gandda Chandel, with the king of Gwalior and others attacked on Kannauj and killed the king Rajpal Pratihar.

Mahmud was unhappy with this. To punish the culprits, he attacked on Kalinjar. The king Gandda Chandel accepted the superiority of Mahmud. Mahmud got sufficient money from him and returned.

It happened in the year of 1021.

The Somnath expedition

Mahmud’s sixteenth invasion on India is very famous. This time, Mahmud attacked on the famous Somnath temple, in Gujrat.

The Somnath temple was very famous for its treasures. There were one thousand priests to serve the temple. Hundreds of dancers and singers played before its gate. There was famous Linga, a rude pillar stone, adorned with gems embroidered with precious like stars, which decorated the shrine.

In 1025, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked on the Somnath temple. The brave Hindu Rajputs came forward to defend the temple. Shouting ‘Allah hu Akbar’, the enemy tried to entered into the temple. The Hindus fought very bravely and the invaders could not damage the temple. The battle lasted for three days.

After three days, the invaders succeeded and entered into the Somnath temple. 5,000 Brahmans and Rajputs died in the battlefield.

Mahmud ordered to destroy the sacred Linga. He looted the treasures of the temple. It is said that he got wealth worth 2, 00, 00, 000 Dinars.

Definitely, it was one of his remarkable acts of military adventure.

The Last Expedition

After looting the Somnath temple, when Mahmud was going back to Ghazni, the Jats attacked on his army. So, to punish the Jats, he returned and defeated them. It happened in the year of 1026.

It was his last invasion on India. On April 30, 1030, he died in Ghazni at the age of 59 years.

Northern Indian Kingdoms During Mahmud Ghaznavi’s Invasion

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

During the time period of 1000 to 1026, Mahmud Ghaznavi invaded India seventeen times. He raided as far as the present state of Uttar Pradesh in north central India. At that time, India was just a bundle of states. All the states were independent. These states were busy fighting against one another. They used to destroy one another’s territory.

These were major kingdoms of Northern India: –

Multan and Sindh

Arabs conquered Sindh in 712. Then they occupied Multan as well.

When Mahmud Ghaznavi Invaded India, Fateh Daud was the ruler of Multan. Sindh was independent from Multan and was under control of Arabs.

The Hindushahi Kingdom

From river chinab to Hindukush mountains, there was the Hindushahi Kingdom. Kabul was its part. In the north of this kingdom there was Kashmir and in south there was Multan.

For two centuries, Arabs tried to occupy Hindushahi Kingdom, but in vain. In about 988, the Turks succeeded to win the Kabul, which was the part of Hindushahi Kingdom, for sometime.

At the time of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s invasion, Jaipal was the ruler of Kabul.


The Kashmir was a very important kingdom in Northern India. 958 to 1003, Didda, a woman was the ruler of Kashmir, when Mahmud invaded India.


When Harsh was the ruler, the kingdom of Kannauj was a very rich and famous.

At the time of Mahmud’s invasion, Rajpal was the ruler of Kannauj.


A powerful and brave king ‘Gandda’ was the ruler of Kalinjar, when Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked this country.


Mahmud did not reach Bengal. At that time, Mahipal was ruling the Kingdom.


Before ninth century, Malwa was under control of Kannauj Kingdom, but then Krishan Raja declared Malwa an independent state. During the time period of 1010 to 1054, Bhoj was the king of Malwa Kingdom.

Bhoj was a very powerful king. He was a brave man. Mahmud did not dare to attack on Malwa.


A former part of Kannauj Kingdom, Gujrat declared its independence in tenth century, when Mulraj became its king.

When Mahmud invaded India, Bhimdev was the ruler of this kingdom.

Other small kingdoms

There were some other small kingdoms in Northern India. For example, Bhera, Nagarkot, Thanesar and Gwalior.