The Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate basically refers to the Muslim rulers who ruled India through Delhi. Five dynasties ruled over Delhi Sultanate sequentially, the first four of which were of Turkic origin and the last was the Afghan Lodi. The Lodi dynasty was replaced by the Mughal dynasty. The five dynasties were the Mamluk dynasty(1206–90); the Khilji dynasty (1290–1320); the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414); the Sayyid dynasty (1414–51); and the Afghan Lodi dynasty (1451–1526).

Qutb-ud-din Aibak, a former slave of Muhammad Ghori, was the first sultan of Delhi and his dynasty conquered large areas of northern India. Afterwards, the Khilji dynasty was also able to conquer most of the central India, but both failed to unite the Indian subcontinent.

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Five dynasties ruled over Delhi Sultanate are:

Mamluk Dynasty

The Indian slave dynasty lasted from 1206 to 1290. The slave dynasty was the first Muslim dynasty to rule India. It is said that Muhammad Ghori did not have a natural heir to the throne and the habit of treating his slaves like his own children. Thus after the death of Ghori, one of the most able slaves by the name of Qutub-ud-din Aibak descended the throne. The history of the slave dynasty begins with the rule of Qutub-ud-din Aibak.

During the Mamluk dynasty, Qutub’ ud-Din Aibak initiated the construction of Qutub Minar and Quwwatu’l-Islam (literally, Might of Islam) mosque

First Battle of Panipat

The first battle of Panipat was actually the event that marked the end of the Lodhi dynasty and the beginning of the Mughal dynasty in India. The 1st battle of Panipat was fought between the last ruler of Lodhi dynasty, Ibrahim Lodhi and the ruler of Kabul, Babur.

Khilji Dynasty

After the decline of the Slave dynasty, the Sultanate became even more fragile and instable due to the numerous revolts and internal aggression. The Khilji dynasty started with the crowning of Jalaluddin Khilji by the nobles. This was around the year 1290 A.D. But within a few years, he was killed by his nephew Alauddin Khilji under a conspiracy hatched by the latter.

Lodi Dynasty

The Lodi dynasty in India arose around 1451 after the Sayyid dynasty. The Lodhi Empire was established by the Ghazali tribe of the Afghans. They formed the last phase of the Delhi Sultanate. There were three main rulers in the history of Lodi dynasty.

Sayyid Dynasty

After the Tughlaq dynasty disintegrated, the Sayyid dynasty rose to power. They were essentially the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate of India and reigned from 1414 to 1451. The history of the Sayyid dynasty is not clearly known but they claimed to be the descendants of Prophet Mohammed.

Must Read: Second Battle of Panipat

Tughlaq Dynasty

The Tughlaqs were basically of Turkish origin and the family was essentially Muslim. Around the year 1321, Ghazi Tughlaq ascended the throne and was given the title Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq. The Tughlaq dynasty was able to withhold its rule due to their strong allies like the Turks, Afghans and the Muslim warriors of south Asia.

Delhi Sultanate marked an era of temple destruction and desecration. Mohammad Bakhtiyar Khilji destroyed Buddhist and Hindu libraries and their manuscripts at Nalanda and  Odantapuri Universities at the beginning of Delhi Sultanate. The first historical record of a campaign of temples destruction and defacement of faces or heads of Hindu idols are from 1193 through early 13th century in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under the command of Ghuri.

In 1526 the Delhi Sultanate fell and was replaced by the Mughal Empire.

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