A Brief Survey – Medieval India
A BRIEF SURVEY OF MEDIEVAL INDIA
Conquest of Sind (712 AD): The conquest of Sind by the Arabs under Mohammed Bin Qasim in 712 AD was a “triumph without result.” The administration was left mostly in the hands of the natives.
Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (997-1030 AD): He was the son of Suhuktin, the Amir of Ghazni. He led as many as 17 expeditions into India, the most famous being that of Somnath in 1025.Alberuni and Firdausi were very famous scholars in his court.
Mohammad Ghori (1175-1206 AD): Sahab-ud-din Mohammad Ghori invaded India and defeated local rulers. He laid the foundation of the Muslim dominion in India. He may be considered the real founder of Muslim rule in India.
The Sultanate of Delhi (1206-1526 AD): The period from 1206 to 1526 is known in Indian history as the Sultanate of Delhi or the Pathan Period. Different dynasties ruled India during this period.
1. The Slave Dynasty (1206-1290AD): Founded by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, a slave of Mohammad Ghori. The other important rulers of this dynasty were Iltutmish, Razia and Balban.
2. The Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320AD): Sultan Jalal-ud-din Khilji (1290-1296) was the founder of the Khilji dynasty. Jalal-ud-din was murdered when he went to Kara to welcome his commander, Ala-ud-din. Ala-ud-din proved to be the ablest Khilji Sultan.
3. The Tughlak Dynasty (1320-1414 AD): (i) Ghiasuddin Tughlak (1320-1325) was the founder of the Tughlak dynasty. He was a very able and merciful king Mohammad Tughlak and Feroz Shah Tughlak were other important rulers of the dynasty.
4. The Sayyad Dynasty (1414-1450 AD): There were only four kings of this dynasty. The rule of this dynasty was confined to Delhi and a few surrounding districts. The last Sayyad king descended in favour of Bahlol Lodhi and himself retired.
5. The Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526 AD): Bahlol Lodhi (1451-1488) was the founder of the Lodhi dynasty. Sikandar Lodhi (1488-1517) succeeded his father, Bahlol Lodhi. He transferred the capital from Delhi to Agra. Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526) was the last king of this dynasty.
The Mughal Dynasty: The Mughal dynasty had the following outstanding emperors:
Zahiruddin Babar (1483-1530AD). He laid the foundation of Mughal rule, in India by defeating Ibrahim Khan Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. In 1527, Babar defeated Rana Sanga at Khanua near Fatehpur Sikri.
Humayun (1508-1556 AD): He succeeded Babar in 1540. He was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in the Battle of Kannuaj. He fled the country and returned to power only in 1555, after Sher Shah Suri’s death and the battle of Sirhind.
Akbar (1556-1605 AD): He was the greatest Mughal ruler. He was crowned emperor of India at the age of 13. He defeated Hemu in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 and became the unquestioned master of the country. His empire finally extended from Bengal to Afghanistan, and from Kashmir to the Godavari in the South. His greatest achievement was the land revenue administration. Great scholars like Abul Fazl, poets like Faizi, statesmen like TodarMal, witty administrators like Birbal, and musicians like Tansen flourished in the court of Akbar. Tulsidas, who wrote Ramcharitmanas lived in this period. Akbar built Fatehpur Sikri, the forts at Agra, Lahore and Allahabad, and Humayun’s Tomb at Delhi.
Jehangir (1605-1627AD): He is known for his strict administration of justice. His reign first witnessed the coming of European travellers such as Thomas Roe.
Shahjahan (1627-1658AD): His reign is known for promotion of art, culture, and architecture. Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Taj Mahal etc., were built by him.
Aurangzeb (1658-1707AD): His reign is marked by ruthless persecution and religious vendetta against Hindus. After his death, the Mughal empire disintegrated.
The Suri Dynasty (1540-1555 AD): The Suri dynasty is particularly noted for the administration and reforms brought about by Sher Shah Suri in the fields of central and provincial administration, land revenue, police, military and judicial spheres. Roads were made to encourage trade—the most important one being the Grand Trunk Road.