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THE DELHI SULTANATE- I - CIRCA 1200 -1400 AD

PUBLISHED BY: SURENDER KUMAR
OCTOBER 25, 2012

   
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 THE DELHI SULTANATE- I - CIRCA 1200 -1400 AD

Qutbuddin Aibak, Ghuari's trusted slave, who ruled for 4 years, died while playing chaugan (polo). He was succeeded by Illtutmish in 1210, who was the real consolidator of Turkish conquests in north India. Illtutmish (1210-36) also built the Qutub Minar in Delhi, which had been started by Aibak in the honour of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a respected Sufi saint. The Mongol invasions appeared first in India at this time.

 

 

 

RAZIA SULTAN (1236-39)

Illtutmish nominated Razia, his daughter, who became the first woman to sit on Delhi throne. However, her rule was short-lived due to constant tussle with the nobles and her brothers. However, her rule began the struggle for power between the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs called “the forty” or the chahalgani. Iltutmish had great respect for these Turkish chiefs. They sought the same privileges from Razia, which she was declined. Though a woman, she ruled the state disregarding social conventions. Her romantic alliance with an Algerian slave Yakut is well-known. Razia was killed soon in a fight, while controlling rebellions.

 

 

 


BALBAN (1246-84)

The struggle between the monarchy and the Turkish chiefs continued, till one Turkish chief Balban, gradually assumed all powers and ascended the throne in 1265. With this began an era of strong, centralized and stable government. Balban is quite famous for his ruthless blood and iron policy”,  which quelled any rebellion with mighty force. He constantly tried to increase the power of the monarchy.

 

 

 He was famous for his impartial justice, and spared none, not even the ulema (the clergy). He reorganized the military department (diwan-I-arz) and had a strong army to fight the Mongol invasions. He started two important royal ceremonies called the sijada (prostration) and paibos (kissing the king’s feet).

 

 

Balban was a major architect of the Delhi government and its institutions. His governmental machinery continued even under the Mughals.




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