Medieval India

Delhi Sultanate | Tughlaq Dynasty

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq laid the foundation of the Tughlaq dynasty. The Tughlaq was the personal name of the Ghiyasuddin. According to some scholars the Tughlaqs belonged to the race of Qarauna Turks. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq had to face numerous problems as the sultan. There were riots in various parts of the empire and the royal treasury was empty. He pursued a policy of reconciliation with the nobles and the people who were severely restricted under Alauddin. He liberalized administration in certain respects. He attempted to improve the finances of the state and perused a policy to encourage agriculture.

He put down revolts of Hindus in the Doab and in the neighborhood of Delhi while those who had offered opposition to Khusru were taken in the state service and granted jagirs. In 1321 he dispatched crowned prince Jauna Khan to reestablish Sultan’s authority in the south. In 1325 when Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was returning after concluding his military campaign in Bengal, Prince Jauna Khan raised a wooden pavilion at Afghanpur village near Delhi to welcome the Sultan. The pavilion, under which the sultan was received, collapsed suddenly crushing the sultan under its debris.

Rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty

Rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty AD
1. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah 1320-1325
2. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq 1325-1351
3. Firuz Tughlaq 1351-1388
4. Later Tughlaq 1388-1414

Jauna Khan ascended the throne in 1325 with the title of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. He ruled up to 1351.He was the most remarkable sultans of Delhi. He was a profound scholar of Persian, a critic, a litterateur of repute and master of rhetoric. He preferred to depend on his own intellect rather than on traditional interpretation of the Ullema.Thus he offended the orthodox Muslim ullema by curbing their political influence. Different Scholars have divergent estimates of his character. During Muhammad Bin Tughlaq reign rebellions, famines and epidemics followed in such intermittent succession as they conformed to a predetermined plan to subject him to trial and ultimate failure. To promote public welfare he sought to introduce many reforms. But some of them were so novel and revolutionary in character that the people failed to realize their significance so that instead of helping them to make them success they offered a determined opposition.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq had to face a number of revolts. The first rebellion took place in 1326 and by 1351when the Sultan died in pursuit of a rebel he had to deal with as many as 34 rebellions, 27 of them in the south alone. The areas affected ranged from Multan in the northwest t o Bengal in the east and Malabar in the south. While going to Thatta in Sindh to punish Taghi the rebel, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq died in 1351.

Firoz Tughlaq succeeded Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. He lacked the temperament and courage of a successful ruler. He failed to recover the areas that had been lost to the sultanate. He started his reign with liberal ideas .He tried to please the nobles and set to ameliorate the distress caused to the people during the long and troubled reign of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. He led two campaigns into Bengal but was unsuccessful in both. Bengal was thus lost to the Sultanate. He also led a campaign against the ruler of Jajnagar in Orissa. He also dealt with rebellions in Gujarat and Thatta.Although the rebellions were crushed the army suffered great hardship due to losing its way in the Rann of Kutch. But his reign was a period of peace and quiet development. When Firoz Tughlaq died in 1388 a civil war broke out among his successors. His grandson took up the title of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq II succeeding Firoz Tughlaq. Within a year he fell victim to intrigue and beheaded in 1389.For next five years 3 sultans �€“ Abu Bakr, Muhammad Shah and Alauddin Sikander ruled. In 1390 Nasir-uddin entered Delhi and enthroned himself. He was the last sultan of the dynasty and ruled from 1390 to 1412.During his reign Timur the great Mongol leader of Central Asia invaded India.Timur’s invasion dealt a fatal blow to the Tughlaq dynasty and the Sultanate of Delhi.Nasiruddin died in 1412.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq laid the foundation of the Ttughlaq Dynasty. The word Tughlaq was not the name of any tribe or clan but was the personal name of Ghiyasuddin. He had to face enormous problems as a Sultan. There were riots in various parts of the empire and the royal treasury was empty. He pursued a policy of reconciliation with the nobles and the people who were severely restricted under Alauddin. He liberalized administration in certain respects. He gave up the practice of physical torture in case of economic offences and recovery of debts. He also discarded Alauddin’s system of measurement of land for the assessment of land revenue. He attempted to improve the finances of the state and perused a policy to encourage agriculture. His twin object was to increase land under cultivation and improve economic condition of the cultivators. He took keen interest in the construction of canal for irrigation and formulated famine policy to provide relief to peasants in time of drought. The state demand of revenue was fixed between 1/5th and 1/3rd of the produce. He further instructed that the land revenue should not be enhanced more than 1/11th of the estimated produce.

He continued the system of Dagh and Chehra instituted by Alauddin. He built the fortified city of Tughlaqabad and gave a new touch to the architecture of the Sultanate period. In 1321 he dispatched the crown prince Jauna Khan to re-establish Sultan’s authority in the south. He annexed Warangal. Madurai and Bengal.

Mohammad Bin Tughlaq

Jauna Khan ascended the throne in 1325 AD with the title of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. He ruled up to 1351. He was a profound scholar of Persian, a penetrating critic, a litterateur of repute. He was a great scholar of Persian and Arabic. He faced many revolts and rebellions. The first of these revolts included his attempt to consolidate his empire by curbing the rebellions of 1327 by his cousin Bahauddin Garsharp in the Deccan and other of Kishulu Khan the governor of Multan and Sind in 1328. One of the much condemned experiments of the Sultan was the transfer of capital from Delhi to Devagiri (1327). The transfer was attempted primarily due to two reasons -for its central location and secondly its close proximity to the south which was a newly conquered region.

The transfer of capital involved the shifting of the army, officials, servants, tradesmen, court and shift of population. There was a widespread resentment against the Sultan who decided to retransfer the capital to Delhi. The order of going back to the old capital caused much distress to the people. Another of his novel and daring experiments was the introduction of the token currency of bronze coins in place of silver tanka in 1329-30. The value of the token coins was deemed to be equal to a silver coin. The main reason for this measure was the scarcity of silver. This measure proved useful in the beginning but later on it caused serious problems. People soon began to manufacture counterfeits of bronze in large numbers. There was a surfeit of coins in circulation. This naturally led to its depreciation and most people began to prefer copper tankas for payments and silver or gold issues for receipts. The Sultan was compelled to withdraw the token currency. He offered to exchange all the token coins for the silver coins resulting in huge losses to the treasury. He planned an expedition for the conquest of Khurasan and Iraq.

He raised an army of 3,70,000 soldiers and gave it a whole year’s salary in advance. But the army did not leave for the expedition and was disbanded. The scheme was abandoned when the Sultan learnt that the conditions in Iraq had improved and was not conducive to an expedition. Towards the end of his reign the sultan increased the land revenue in the doab. He decided to enhance the land tax in the doab because of richness of its soil. Doab was facing total famine which was followed by plague. The Sultan raised the tax from 5 to 10%. Therefore the peasants instead of paying the taxes abandoned their lands and adopted highway robbery. The tax collectors continued to collect taxes by oppression. It resulted in extensive revolts. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq died in 1351. The whole of south India became independent during his life time and three major independent states- the empire of Vijaynagar, the Brahmani kingdom and the Sultanate of Madura were founded in the territories of the sultanate of the south.

Firoz Tughlaq

Firoz Tughlaq was succeeded by his grandson who took up the title of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah II. Within a year of his accession he fell victim to intrigue and was beheaded in early 1389. For the next five years Sultans- Abu Bakr, Muhammad Shah and Alauddin Sikandar Shah ruled.

In 1390 Nasiruddin entered Delhi and enthroned himself. He was the last sultan of the dynasty and ruled from 1390-1412. During his reign Timur the Mongol leader of Central Asia invaded India. After plundering Delhi he returned to Samarkand. On his way back he plundered Firozabad, Kangra, Meerut and Jammu. Khizr Khan was appointed governor of Multan, Lahore and Dipalpur. Timur’s invasion dealt a fatal blow to the Tughlaq dynasty and the Sultanate of Delhi. In 15th century the Sultanate completely disintegrated and numerous provincial kingdoms emerged in various parts of the country.

What are useful gifts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button