Delhi Sultanate: Jalal ud din Khilji and Alauddin Khilji (Khilji Dynasty)

The slave or the Mamluk Dynasty was replaced by Khilji Dynasty as the ruling dynasty of India. The founder of Khilji Dynasty was Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji. He killed the last descendent of Slave Dynasty and declared himself the sultan of Delhi sultanate at the age of 70 years in 1290 AD. The Khilji clan traced their origin to Afghan village of Khalji. Jalal-ud-din Firuz Khilji’s original name was Malik Firuz. He was not cruel by nature. When Balban’s nephew Malik Chhajju imposed a war on Jalal-ud-din Firuz Khilji, the former was defeated and captured alive but was forgiven by the Sultan of Delhi.

Mangols attacked India during Jalaluddin Khilji’s times under Halaku but avoided an open war after some negotiations.

Mongols attacked once again under Ulugh Khan. He accepted Islam and was given sultan’s daughter in marriage. He settled near Delhi.

Jalal-ud-din Khilji pardoned criminals whether it was a conspirator or a traitor. This policy was not appreciated by his courtiers and nobles. They were actually exasperated by his kind behavior. As a result, Jalaluddin Khilji was killed by his nephew and son-in-law Alauddin Khilji who succeeded him as the new king of Khilji Dynasty.

Alauddin Khilji

The real name of Alauddin Khilji was Ali Gurshap. He sat on the throne of Delhi Sultanate in 1296 AD after killing his uncle Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji.  Allauddin Khilji was known as the most powerful ruler of Delhi sultanate. Despite the fact that Alauddin was illiterate, he was an able soldier. He excelled in commanding the army. He expanded the territory of Delhi Sultanate to down south. During his time the empire extended from Indus to Bengal and from Himalayas to Vindyas. He defeated the ruler Raja Ramchandra and forced him to flee to hills.

Invasion of Mongols

Aluddin Khilji successfully encountered the invasion of Mongols. Mongol forces numbering around 200000 attacked India under Kutlugh Khwaja, the grandson of Kublai Khan.Alauddin met the Mongols in the battlefield near Siri and defeated them convincingly.
However, Mongols attack continued as another invasion took place under Targhi. Other Mongol invasions also took place under Kebek, Iqbalmand Khan and Tartak. But Alauddin Khilji crushed them with an iron hand to the extent that Mongols couldn’t gather courage to attack India for a long time.
Alauddin at some point during his rule had tried to imitate Hazarat Muhammad and establish a new religion. He also aspired to become a second Alexander and gave instructions to Muslims to take his name in the Namaz.

Alauddin was a great  war lord. Therefore, let’s have a look at his conquests.

Conquest of Ranthambore

Allaudin Khilji led a siege to the fort of Ranthambore after its king Raja Hammir had given shelter to Muhammad Shah. This happened in 1299 AD. After initial failures, Alauddin treacherously captured the fort with the help of Rajput traitor Ranmal. Hammir dev along with Muhammad Shah was killed.

Conquest of Chittor

The Army of Delhi sultanate invaded Chittor in 1303 AD. The Chittor was ruled by Rawal Rattan Singh. It is believed that Aluddin coveted Padmini, Rani of Chittor. After 8 months seize, Chittor was finally won by the Sultan of Delhi.
Khijra Khan was made governor of Chittor and it was named Khijrabad.

Victories in Deccan

After winning two important forts of Chittor and Ranthambore, Alauddin desired the conquest of Deccan. He sent a huge army under Malik Kafur in 1303 AD to recover Devagiri whose king had refused to pay tribute to Delhi Empire. The army of Devagiri was defeated and the king was taken as prisoner.
Malik Kafur went further in the south region and invaded Warangal region. He also campaigned against Veera Ballala III, the Hoyasala king. Malik Kafur returned to Alauddin Khilji with a great booty.

The Highlights of Alauddin Khilji’s Rule

• He introduced  Dagh and Chehra during his rule. Dagh is the system of branding the horses and Chehra was related to the biometric information about soldiers.
• He treated his nobles with an iron hand. He forbade them to marry among each other’s families.
• Diwan-i-Mustakhraj was introduced by Allauddin Khilji to know and collect the revenue arrears.
• He also set up separate markets for food grains and cloths etc. Diwan-i-riyasat and Shahna-i-Mandi were created by him to control the markets.
• The espionage system was strengthened. Alauddin was the first sultan of Delhi to have a standing army.
• The Iqta system introduced by Iltutmish, was abolished by Alauddin and the salary was paid to soldiers in cash.

Alauddin died in 1316 AD amid chaos within the empire. His sons were not capable enough to carry out his legacy. Alauddin was a strong and capable ruler of India.