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.
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.
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