The Lodhi Dynasty

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

‘Lodhi’ is a clan of Afghans. Bahlol Lodhi was the founder of the Lodhi Dynasty. He belonged to the Lodhi clan. So, this dynasty is called the ‘Lodhi Dynasty.

When Bahlol Lodhi became the King of Delhi, India was already divided into many independent states. Gujrat, Malwa, Jaunpur and Bengal were independent states. Lahore, Dipalpur and Sirhind were under the control of Bahlol Lodhi himself.

Bahlol Lodhi

Bahlol Lodhi was born of a fighting clan. He was ambitious and determined to restore the strength of the Kingdom.

His grandfather Malik Bahram migrated to Multan during the reign of Firoz Tughluq. Malik Bahram worked under Malik Mardan Daulat, the Governor of Multan. In 1419, Bahlol’s uncle Sultan Shah was appointed the Governor of Sirhind by Khizar Khan and also given the title of Islam Khan. Islam Khan married his daughter to Bahlol Lodhi. He also nominated Bahlol as his heir. Thus, after the death Islam Khan, Bahlol Lodhi became the Governor of Sirhind. King Mohammad Shah bestowed upon him Dipalpur and Lahore.

When King Alam Shah retired to Badaon, Bahlol Lodhi became the King Delhi on April 19, 1451.

Bahlol Lodhi occupied Jaunpur, Mewat, Sambhal, Koil, Rewari, Etawah and Chandawar.

Sikandar Lodhi

His son Nizam Khan succeeded Bahlol Lodhi. Nizam Khan took up the title of Sikandar Shah. There were many chiefs, who wanted to put Barbak Shah, the elder brother of Sikandar Lodhi, on the throne. It is said that Sikandar’s mother was the daughter of a goldsmith; so many chiefs were against Sikandar. However, Sikandar Lodhi became the King in 1489.

After becoming the King, Sikandar attacked on his elder brother Barbak Shah, who was the ruler of Jaunpur and defeated him. Barbak Khan ran away to Badaon. He was pursued there and ultimately made to surrender. Sikandar put him once again on the throne of Jaunpur, but litter power was left in his hands.

Religious policy of Sikandar Lodhi

Sikandar Lodhi ordered to destroy the Hindu temples of Mathura. Mosques were constructed in their places. The idols of Hindu gods were given to butchers, who made them into meat weights.

A Brahman of Bengal maintained that Islam and Hinduism were both true and God could be approached by following any one of them. The Brahman was ordered to embrace Islam, because he himself admitted the truth of Islam. As the Brahman refused to embrace Islam, he was put to death.

Sikandar Lodhi also broke the sacred images of the Jawalamukhi temple at Nagarkot. During his reign, the Hindus were not allowed to have their bath on the banks of Jamuna.

Sikandar died on November 21, 1517.

Ibrahim Lodhi

After the death of Sikandar Lodhi, his eldest son Ibrahim Lodhi became the King.

Some the chiefs put Jalal Khan, a younger brother of Ibrahim, on the throne of Jaunpur. Ibrahim himself attacked on Jaunpur. Jalal Khan fled towards Agra. Ibrahim Lodhi was chasing him. Then, Jalal Khan took refuge with the King of Gwalior. When Ibrahim captured the fort of Gwalior, Jalal Khan fled towards Malwa. Some of landlords captured Jalal Khan and handed over to Ibrahim. He was put to death by the order of Ibrahim Lodhi.

Though Ibrahim Lodhi was a brave man, but he was not a wise person. He unwisely followed a policy of suppression towards some powerful chiefs. By this, he lost the sympathy of the chiefs.

Even the ordinary people were not happy with him. When discontent arose, and revolt sprang up, he endeavoured to reduce the rising conflagration by the blood of some of the leading chiefs.

In this situation, Avadh, Jaunpur and Bihar became independent states. Daulat Khan Lodhi also became the independent ruler of Punjab

It was under these circumstances that Alam Khan, a uncle of Ibrahim, and Daulat Khan Lodhi sent an invitation to Babur to invade India. Daulat Khan Lodhi thought that he could use Babur as a tool in establishing his own power in Punjab. Alam Khan wanted to be put on the throne of Delhi.

In 1524, Babur captured Lahore and gave the fiefs of Jallandhar and Sultanpur to Daulat Khan Lodhi. When Daulat Khan Lodhi did not behave well, these were taken away from him and given to Dilawar Khan, son of Daulat Khan.

After making arrangements for the administration of Punjab, Babur returned to Kabul. Now, Daulat Khan Lodhi took away the fief of Sultanpur from his son and turned out Alam Khan from Dipalpur.

Under these circumstances, Babur again attacked India with only 12,000 soldiers. First of all, he defeated Daulat Khan Lodhi. Then, he marched towards Delhi via Sirhind. Ibrahim Lodhi came out of Delhi to give battle to Babur. The opposing armies met on the historic plains of Panipat on April 21, 1526.

15,000 soldiers were killed in the battlefield. Ibrahim Lodhi was one of them.

The battle of Panipat ended the Lodhi Dynasty and placed the Delhi empire in Babur’s hands.