History

The Rich Islamic History of Delhi Sultanate in India

The Delhi Sultanate refers to the bygone era of the Muslim kings of Turkic and Afghani origins during 1206 and 1526 CE. According to the history of Delhi Sultanate, the first sultanate of Delhi was Qutb- ud-din Aibek from the Mamluk Dynasty, also known as the slave dynasty which reigned between 1206 and 1290 CE. It’s interesting to note that the literal meaning of the Arabic word ‘Mamluk’ translates to slave in the English language and Qutb ud-Din Aibek was a Turkic slave of Muhammad Ghori.  The Delhi Sultanate with its base in Delhi comprises of five dynasties: Mamluk Dynasty (1206 to 1210), Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320), Tughlaq Dynasty (1320 to 1414), Sayyid Dynasty (1414 to 1451), and Afghan Lodi Dynasty (1451 to 1326)and they all lasted for very short periods of time.

Timeline of Delhi Sultanate rulers from 1206 to 1526:

               Name of Sultan                    Years of Ruling    Ruling Dynasty Qutub-ud-din-Aibak              1206 to 1210      Mamluk DynastyRazia Begum                           1236 to 1240      Mamluk DynastyJhalal-ud-din Khilji                 1290 to 1296      Khilji DynastyTughlaq Shah                          1388 to 1398     Tughlaq DynastyMuhammad Shah                  1434 to 1445      Sayyid TughlaqIbrahim Lodhi                         1517 to 1526      Lodhi Dynasty    

Interesting facts about Delhi Sultanate:

  • The Delhi Sultanate has a lot of historical significance in India because it paved the way for the Islamic rule in India after it was  founded by Muhammad Ghori who took over control from the Rajput King Prithiviraj Chauhan after defeating him in 1192
  • Delhi was chosen as the Delhi Sultanate capital in 1206 under the Mamluk Dynasty
  • The Delhi Sultanate reached the pinnacle of geographical reach during the Tughlaq Dynasty (1320 to 1414 CE) during which time the Sultanate was able to expand its territories from northern India to Central India but failed to conquer the whole of India
  • The geo graphical reach of the Delhi Sultanate started to decline due to the states of Mewar and the Vijayanagara gaining independence from them due to reconquests from other Hindu rulers
  • The power of the Delhi Sultanate started to weaken during 1398 to 1399  when it was shattered by the Turkic invader Timur
  • The Delhi Sultanate ended when its last ruler Ibrahim Lodi from the Lodi Dynasty was killed by the Mughal emperor, Babar in the historical battle of Painpat in the year 1526 and with it the new rule of the Mughal Empire was established in India

What are the influences of the Delhi Sultanate rule on India?

The Delhi Sultanates were known for their intolerance for other religions and they were responsible for the destruction of many Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious temples. The greatest contributions of the Muslim rulers of the Delhi Sultanate to India are in the areas of architecture and fine arts.

Delhi Sultanate Architecture:

When it comes to architecture, the Delhi Sultanate takes the credit of introducing Islamic architectural structures and designs like minarets, arches, and domes which were previously unheard of in India. The iconic Qutub Minar, situated in Mehrauli Archeological Park, Delhi is a rare architectural wonder that cannot be missed during the tour of Delhi and is probably the best architectural wonders built by them. The Qutub Minar in Delhi is the tallest minaret in the world with inscriptions of beautiful floral designs and verses from Quran on it. The main gateway, known as  Alal Darwaza in the Qutub Complex is the first surviving dome in India and is a must-visit along with Qutub Minar. Another fascinating thing about the Islamic monuments built by the Sultanate rulers is most of them have influences of Hindu architectural designs in them.

Paintings:

Although the Delhi Sultanates were against the depiction of anthropomorphic figures in art, you can still find a handful of paintings with traditional Indian groups of people in them. Most of the paintings from the Delhi Sultanate period echoes the Mughal and Rajput way of lives and were inspired by the Indo-Persian school of art that drew heavily from Jain and Iran schools of art.

New Delhi is the seat of India’s political power and is worth visiting not only for exploring the rich history of Delhi Sultanate but also other attractions including great tasting regional food cuisine, thriving nightlife and high-end shopping malls. Have your cheap flights to Delhibooked with Indian Eagle[D1]  for exploring the old-world charm of the Delhi Sultanate right away!

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