Medieval India

Delhi Sultanate | Lodi Dynasty

Bahlol Lodi was the founder of Lodhi dynasty. He ruled for 39 years. His links were with a famous Afghan clan known as Shahurbel. He established his suzerainty by defeating and capturing the jagirdar of Mewat, Sambha, Koel, Khari, Bhogaon, Etawah and Gwalior. He annexed the Jaunpur kingdom in his empire. In the last years of his life he invaded Gwalior and obtained 80 lakh tankas from the ruler. He was succeeded by his son Nizam Shah who ascended the throne with the title of Sikandar Shah.

He was ablest of three Lodhi rulers. In 1504 he established the city of Agra. He conquered south Bihar in 1494-95 and concluded a treaty of friendship with Alauddin Husain Shah the ruler of Bengal. He introduced the measurement of land and started a measurement known as Sikandar Gaz. He tried to propagate Islam and crush Hinduism. He died at Agra in 1517. The last Lodhi ruler was Ibrahim Lodhi. In 1526 Ibrahim Lodhi fought with Babur the battle of Panipat. In this fierce battle Ibrahim Lodhi was defeated. The Sultanate came to an end and a new power Mughals came to rule India.

Rulers of the Lodhi Dynasty

Rulers of the Lodhi Dynasty AD
1. Bahlol Lodhi 1451-1489
2. Sikander Lodhi 1489-1517
3. Ibrahim Lodhi 1517-1526

Jalaluddin’s ambitious nephew Alauddin who succeeded Malik Chajju at Kara began to establish an independent kingdom for himself. In 1292 AD he attacked Bhilsa and Malwa. On his return he was made the governor of Avadh in addition to that of Kara. In 1294 AD he defeated Ram Chandra Deva the ruler of Devagiri.He invited Jalaluddin to Kara where he was murdered by Alauddin Khalji. In 1296 AD Alauddin was proclaimed sultan in his camp. He marched to Delhi from Kara and assumed power at Delhi. His first task after assuming power at Delhi was the elimination of the surviving members of the former sultan’s family including his son Arkhali Khan. He also exterminated the old Balbani and Jalali nobles.

Delhi Sultanate Lodi Dynasty
Delhi Sultanate Lodi Dynasty


The reign of Alauddin Khalji marks the zenith of the power of the Delhi Sultanate. Since the death of Iltutmish no serious attempts had been made to annex new territories to the Sultanate. He broke this tradition and inaugurated a whirlwind period of conquests. He believed that defense, expansion and consolidation could all go together. By the end of 1305 AD the whole of northern India fell into the hands of Alauddin and he directed his energies to the conquest of Deccan. Between 1307 and 1312 he began the southward expansion of his empire. He invaded Devagiri in 1306-07.The immediate causes for this was unduly long delay in sending the annual tribute. In 1309 the Kaktiya kingdom was attacked. The next expedition was against Vira Ballala III the Hoysala ruler in 1311.Alauddin had to face more than dozen invasions. These invasions started from the end of 1296 AD and continued up to 1308 AD.The Mongols threatened Punjab, Multan and Sindh but also the Ganga Yamuna Doab. This grave crisis compelled him to take strong measures for the protection of the northwest frontier. The twenty years rule of Alauddin came to an end with his death in 1316 AD.

On the death of Alauddin Khalji his general Malik Kafur set aside the claims of the heir apparent Khizr Khan and crowned the infant son of late sultan Shihabuddin Umar and himself became his regent. Soon another son of the sultan murdered Kafur and ascended the throne as Qutubuddin Mubarak Shah Khalji. He tried to win the goodwill of the people after ascending the throne. He repealed Alauddin’s economic regulations. The lands that were confiscated were given back to their legitimate owners. Taxes were lowered. He was murdered by his Wazir Khusro.Khusro ascended the throne in 1320 and took the title of Nasiruddin Khusro Shah. Thus Khalji dynasty came to an end.

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