Delhi Sultanate Dynasty: Medieval Indian History

delhi sultanate dynasty

During the medieval Islamic era, Delhi Sultanate was a dynasty that ruled Northern India. Its origins date back to the 12th century. It stretched over a sizable portion of the Indian subcontinent and ruled it for over 320 years. 

Five dynasties that ruled over northern India during the Middle Ages made up the Delhi Sultanate.

If we have to define the Delhi Sultanate’s territorial region in terms of current geography, we can say that it included parts of modern-day India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and some of Nepal.

This article on Delhi Sultanate Dynasty is worth reading as it is an essential subject for preparation for the Civil Services Exam.

Table Of Contents

Delhi Sultanate

During the late Medieval Era, the Delhi Sultanate reshaped Northern India. It is an Islamic dynasty that ruled the country from the 13th to the 16th century. The Sultanate was ruled by five distinct dynasties from time to time. It reshaped Indian culture by integrating Islamic and Indian traditions.

Sources Of The Delhi Sultanate

The following are some of the key resources for information on the Delhi Sultanate:

Inscriptions: They can be seen on antique coins, historical structures, landmarks, and gravestones.

Monuments: The Delhi Sultans erected a number of monuments that shed light on the sociocultural viewpoint of the rulers as well as the cultural traditions and religious beliefs of the time. The Qutub Minar is one such structure.

Delhi Sultanate Dynasty And Emperors

Sl. No.Dynasty NameFounder
1Slave (Ghulam) or Mamluk DynastyQutubuddin Aibak
2Khilji Dynasty Jalal-ud-din Khilji
3Tughluq Dynasty Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq
4Sayyid Dynasty Khizr Khan
5Lodi Dynasty Bahlul Lodi

Slave (Ghulam) Or Mamluk Dynasty

During this period, the Slave dynasty was the first to rule over Delhi Sultanate. The dynasty came into existence with the birth of the Delhi Sultanate. Aibak was the founder of the slave dynasty and the first ruler of the slave dynasty.

The Mamluk dynasty is another name for the Slave dynasty.  Mamluk is a term that implies “owned.” 

After Aibak, a number of sultans ruled over the slave dynasty. Among the most prominent rulers were Ghiyasuddin Balban, Iltutmish, and Nasir-ud-din Mahmud. The slave dynasty ruled over the Delhi Sultanate from 1206 to 1290. The rulers of the slave dynasty were sold during their early lives.

A Brief Overview:

RulerRuling Period
Qutb-ud-din Aibak(1206–1210)
Aram Shah(1210–1211)
Shams-ud-din Iltutmish(1211–1236)
Ruknuddin Feruz Shah1236
Razia Sultana(1236–1240)
Muizuddin Bahram(1240–1242)
Alauddin Masud(1242–1246)
Nasiruddin Mahmud(1246–1266)
Ghiyas-ud-din Balban(1266–1286)
Muiz ud din Kaiqubad(1287–1290)
Shamsuddin Kayumars1290

Qutb-ud-din Aibak

Qutb-ud-Din Aibak was the Slave Dynasty’s founder. From 1206 A.D., he governed the Delhi Sultanate. He came from a Turkish family of Central Asia.

  1. He was brought to Muhammad Ghori as a slave. Everyone in the court enjoyed the Aibak’s work, including the ruler. Additionally, he received a promotion and rose to the rank of Ghori’s commander and most trusted general.
  2. Following Muhammad Ghori’s murder, Aibak declared himself the Sultan of Delhi in 1206 and assumed control of the Slave Dynasty.
  3. The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in Delhi, one of the first Islamic structures, was built by him. During his early years of rule, work also began on the Delhi Qutub Minar.
  4. Due to his kind character, the people of the kingdom gave him the name “Lakh Bash,” which signifies a gift of lakhs.
  5. He had the title “Sultan,” and Lahore was his seat of government. Around 1210 CE,
  6. Aibak suddenly passed away while playing a game of Chaugan (horse polo).
  7. As the second emperor of the Slave Dynasty, Aram Shah succeeded him.

Aram Shah

Aram Shah, Qutub-ud-din’s incompetent son, succeeded him as monarch. His authority lasted about eight months because the Turkish armies resisted him.


  1. Iltutmish was son in law of Qutbuddin Aibak.
  2. His mongol policy saved India from attack of Chengis Khan.
  3. He shifted his capital from Lahore to Delhi.
  4. Both the Qutb Minar and the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque were finished by him.
  5. He established the Iqtha/iqthadari feudalistic system. 
  6. He established the Delhi Sultanate’s coinage system.
    • anka- silver coin
    • Biranz- bronze coin
    • Jittal- copper coin
  7. As his successor, he proposed his daughter Raziya.

Ruknuddin Feruz Shah

He was Iltutmish’s eldest son, and he gained the throne with the aid of nobles. Ruknuddin Feroz Shah marched to put an end to the Multan governor’s uprising.

The Amirs of Delhi assisted Raziya, the daughter of Iltutmish, in seizing the Delhi Sultanate’s crown by taking advantage of this opportunity.

Razia Sultana

  1. By ousting her brother Ruknuddin Feroz, Raziya took over the Delhi throne. 
  2. The first Muslim woman to rule India.
  3. Altuniya was the man she wed. 
  4. Later, a Chalghani coup resulted in the deaths of both Razia and Altuniya.

Muizuddin Bahram

The Mamluk dynasty’s sixth monarch, Sultan Muiz ud din Bahram Shah, was Razia Sultan’s half-brother and the third son of Shams ud din Iltutmish.

Since Shams-ud-din Iltutmish was the first Muslim sultan to control Delhi under his own name, he is recognised as the true founder of the Delhi Sultanate.

Two brief years, from 1240 to 1242, comprised Muiz Al-Din Bahram’s rule. Bahram Shah was incapable of ruling even when there was no conflict.

The forty leaders plotted to remove the Sultan because of his incapacity and the army’s and state administration’s shortcomings. Bahram Shah was killed after being taken prisoner in Delhi in 1242.

Alauddin Masud

Ruknuddin Feroz Shah’s son Alauddin Masud Shah served as the Mamluk dynasty’s seventh emperor. 

Nasiruddin Mahmud took his post because he was unskilled and unable to manage the affairs of the administration.

Nasiruddin Mahmud

After the passing of his forerunner, Alauddin Masud Shah, the Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud assumed power in 1246 and became the eighth sultan of the Slave dynasty

After the passing of his predecessor, Alauddin Masud Shah, the eighth sultan of the Mamluk Sultanate, Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud, assumed power in 1246.

Ghiyasuddin Balban, who has been devoted to him for years, oversaw his four-year reign.

In Mahmud’s reign, Balban was a capable leader who was able to keep things organized.

In 1266, Nairuddin Mahmud Shah passed away.

Balban assumed control and became the Slave Dynasty’s next emperor because there was no one to succeed him for the crown.

Ghiyas-ud-din Balban

The most notable sultan in Delhi Sultanate history was Ghiyasuddin Balban, the ninth Mamluk dynasty emperor. He was a powerful Delhi Sultan who ruled from 1266 until 1287 CE.

Baha Ud Din was his actual name. Ghiyasuddin Balban belonged to the Ilbari Turks.

He brought Sijda/Zaminbosi and Paibosi, two Persian court traditions, to India.

He advocated the Iranian Theory of Divine Rights, according to which the Sultan represents God on Earth. 

He destroyed the “Corp of Forty’s” power and in 1287, he passed away.

Muiz Ud Din Qaiqabad And Shamsuddin Kayumars

The nobility elevated Qaiqabad, a grandson of Balban, to the position of Sultan of Delhi. His son Kaimur took his position shortly after. Around 1290 CE, Kaimur was assassinated and the monarchy was taken by Feroz, the Ariz-e-Mumalik (the minister of war). He founded the Khilji dynasty and adopted the name Jalal-ud-din Khalji.

Khilji Dynasty

During the period of 1290 to 1320, the Khilji dynasty ruled over a large part of the Indian subcontinent.

It was established by Jalal ud din Firuz Khalji and was the second dynasty to dominate the Delhi Sultanate of India. It took control of the region following a revolution that marked the handover of power from Turkic nobility to Afghans.

Its rule is noted for its incursions into present-day South India and for successfully repelling off Mongol incursions into India.

A Brief Overview:

Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji1290–1296
Alauddin Khilji1296–1316
Shihabuddin Omar1316
Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah1316–1320
Khusrau Khan1320

Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji

Jalal ud din Khilji laid the foundation of the second dynasty and sat on the throne at the age of 70. The first ruler of the Khalji dynasty was Jalal al-Din Firuz Khalji. 

The Khaljis, who were of mixed Turkish and Afghan origin, did not bar Turks from holding high office, but their ascent to power put an end to the Turkish monopoly on these positions.

He attempted to ease some of Balban’s harsher characteristics of authority.

He was the first sultan of Delhi who made it plain that the state should be founded on the consent of the governed and that since Hindus made up the vast majority of the country’s population, India could not have an Islamic state.

He had a great reputation as a benevolent, considerate, and courteous ruler.

Jalal-ud-din Khalji was able to quell the rage of the Delhi citizens because of his generosity and altruistic actions.

Alauddin Khilji

Alauddin Khalji was Jalal-ud-din Khalji’s nephew and son-in-law.

During Jalaluddin Khalji’s reign, he was chosen to serve as both the Arizi-i-Mumalik (minister of war) and the Amir-i-Tuzuk (Master of Ceremonies).

He adopted Balban’s administration style, which was completely at odds with Jalaluddin’s tolerance-based style.

He believed that the main causes of uprisings were the widespread wealth of the nobility, intermarriage between noble families, an ineffective spy system, and alcohol consumption. As a result, he enacted the following four laws:

  1. Alcohol and drug sales in public were completely prohibited.
  2. All the hidden acts of the aristocracy were instantly reported to the Sultan after the intelligence system was reorganised.
  3. Nobles’ belongings were seized by him.
  4. Without the Sultan’s approval, social events and celebrations were prohibited.
  5. His rule was free from uprisings thanks to such strict regulations.

Shihabuddin Omar

Shihab-ud-din Omar was the third Khalji Dynasty sultan and the fourteenth Delhi Sultan.

When his father passed away in 1316, he succeeded to the crown. General Malik Kafur, an Alauddin slave, backed him. He was deposed the next year by Qutb-ud-din Mubarak. 

During Kafur’s brief reign, Shihabuddin’s involvement in government was restricted to his participation in a daily court ritual.

Kafur used to meet with authorities one-on-one to make decisions and give orders while also sending Shihabuddin to his mother.

Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah

The Delhi Sultanate was governed by Mubarak Shah. Ala-ud-din Khilji was his father.

He succeeded in getting away from Malik Kafur’s grasp and became the Sultan of the Khilji Dynasty. On 1316, Mubarak Shah ascended to the throne under the name Qutubuddin.

He retained the governors and officers of Alauddin. This ensured a steady administration for the duration of his first year in authority.

He replaced Allauddin Khalji’s “blood and iron” ideology with the “forgive and forget” doctrine.

Khusrau Khan

Khusrau Khan assassinated Mubarak Shah and then rose to the throne, taking the regal name Nasiruddin.

After killing Mubarak Shah, Khusrau Khan begged for forgiveness from the nobility.

As a result, he was given their full support and anointed king. He adopted Nasiruddin Khusrau Shah as his new name.

Khusrau only held power for two months. There were many unrests and instabilities throughout this time.

Khasrau made an effort to maintain his supporters’ pleasure by providing them with plenty of wealth and respectable positions in the court.

Ghazi Malik, the governor of Dipalpur, killed Khusrau Khan when he tried to put down a rebellion started by him and his son Fakhruddin Jauna.

As a result, the Khilji dynasty was overthrown and the Tughlaq dynasty was installed as Delhi’s rulers.

Tughluq Dynasty

Due to the fact that Ghazi Malik’s father was of Qaraunah Turk descent, this dynasty is also known as the Qaraunah Turks.

The Tughlaq dynasty was established by Ghazi Malik. As Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, he seized the throne.

Between 1320 and 1413, the Tughlaq dynasty ruled over a significant portion of the Indian subcontinent.

A Brief Overview:

RulersRuling Period
Ghiyath al-Din (Ghiyasuddin) Tughluq1320–1325
Muhammad bin Tughluq1325–1351
Firoz Shah Tughlaq1351–1388
Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughluq II1388–1389
Abu Bakr Shah1389–1390
Nasir ud din Muhammad Shah III1390–1394
Ala ud-din Sikandar Shah I1394
Nasir ud din Mahmud Shah Tughluq1394-1413
Nasir-ud-din Nusrat Shah Tughluq1394–1398

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq/Ghazi Malik

  1. He established the Tughlaq dynasty.
  2. Tughlaqabad, a formidable fort close to Delhi, was founded by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.
  3. In order to attack Warangal (Kakatiyas) and Madurai, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq despatched his son Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
  4. Over the course of his rule, Tughlaq established a reliable government that was dominated by Multanis.
  5. This demonstrated his methods for assuming power as well as his local power center in Punjab and Dipalpur.
  6. He was able to apprehend and imprison the Mongol chiefs who had invaded North India.
  7. Around 1325 CE, Jauna Khan is thought to have murdered his father on purpose so he could take the throne as Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq

Fakhr Malik Jauna Khan superseded his father Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq as Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1325.

He conducted numerous monetary experiments and earned the moniker “Prince of Moneyers” for issuing the most coins among the Delhi Sultans.

His novel policies brought him a negative image because they were implemented incorrectly.

The relocation of the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, the use of token currency, the Doab experiment, and the voyage to Kangra were all unsuccessful endeavors.

The kingdom experienced a wave of noble and provincial governor uprisings during the latter phase of Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s rule. Hassan Shah’s uprising led to the establishment of the Sultanate of Madurai. Vijaynagara kingdom was established somewhere around 1336 CE. The Bahmani kingdom came into existence in or around 1347 CE. Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s rule was challenged by the rulers of Sindh, Multan, and Oudh. Taghi rebelled in Gujarat against the Sultan after spending over three years being chased by him.

Due to a deterioration in his health, Muhammad bin Tughlaq passed away around 1351 CE.

The Sultan was set free from his subjects, and the subjects were set free from the Sultan, according to Baduani.

Muhammad bin Tughlaq, in Barani’s opinion, was a blend of opposites. The start of its collapse occurred under his tenure.

Firuz Shah Tughlaq

  1. The nobility selected Firuz Shah Tughlaq to succeed Muhammad bin Tughlaq as Sultan after the latter’s passing in around 1351 CE.
  2. The Sharia principle served as the foundation of Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s religious policies.
  3. Firoz depended significantly on his commander, Malik Maqbul. After being imprisoned, he embraced Islam. The Sultan referred to him as “Khan-i-Jahan,” the real monarch.
  4. Malik played the role of the king when Firoz Shah set out on an expedition.
  5. Diwan-i-Khairat was the name of the office that Feroz established for the underprivileged.
  6. Diwan-i-Bundagan (department of slaves), a separate place for the slaves, was built.
  7. In memory of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq, Jaunpur city was established.
  8. Firuz Shah Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi, constructed Jaunpur, also known as Sheeraz-e-Hind, in 1359. He gave the city that name in remembrance of his cousin Muhammad bin Tughlaq, whose birth name was Jauna Khan.
  9. Scholars like Barani, the author of Tarikh-i-Firoz Shah, Fatawa-i-Jahandari, and Khwaja Abdul Malik Islami, the author of Futah-us- Sulatin were all patronized by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. The author of Futuhat-e-Firozshahi was himself. 
  10. After Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s passing in around 1388 CE, the Sultan and nobility once more engaged in a power war.

Ghiyath ud din Tughluq Shah II

Ghiyath Ud Din Tughluq Shah II became the ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty in 1388 CE. Over a period of five months, he was the Sultan of Delhi. 

A succession problem shook his dynasty as Muhammad Shah Ibn Feroze Shah attempted to ascend to the throne. He was beheaded less than a year after becoming king as a result of palace intrigue.

Abu Bakr Shah

Sultan Abu Bakr Shah, a Turkish emperor, ruled as the Tughlaq dynasty’s Muslim ruler from 1389 to 1390. In A.D. 1389, after executing his cousin Tughluq Shah, he ascended to the throne.

Although he was a somewhat bright and effective leader, he was soon entangled in internal intrigue and civil conflict.

His uncle Muhammad Shah, on the other hand, had a rivalry with Abu Bakr over the throne since he also wanted to be king. 

After Abu Bakr was deposed in August 1390, Muhammad Shah became the new king and ruled from 1390 till 1394. 

Abu Bakr was taken prisoner in the fort at Meerut after his defeat and later died there.

Nasir Ud Din Muhammad Shah III

Muhammad held the position of the sultan of Delhi from 1390 to 1394. He ruled the Sultanate of Delhi under Tughlaq Dynasty for four consecutive years.

On January 20, 1394, Muhammad Shah passed away.

Ala Ud Din Sikandar Shah I

Ala-ud-din Sikandar Shah, also referred to as Humayun Khan, was the son of Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughluq.

In 1394 C.E., he succeeded to the imperial throne because he was a clear choice. He did, however, hold power for almost one month and sixteen days.

Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah Tughlaq became heir to the throne after his passing.

Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah Tughlaq

Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Shah Tughlaq ruled between the years 1394 and 1413.

The dynasty would eventually end because the king had no living children.

The Timur invasion was one of many setbacks the Sultanate experienced at this time.

Nasir-Ud-Din Nusrat Shah Tughluq

In 1394, Nusrat Shah was granted authority, which he held until 1398. When he came into control, the Delhi Sultanate was split into two factions. 

He served as the Tughlaq dynasty’s final ruler.

Sayyid Dynasty

In the year 1414 AD, the Sayyid dynasty ousted the Tughlaq dynasty and seized control of the Delhi Sultanate. They remained in power until 1451 AD. 

The Sultanate of Delhi was ruled by the fourth dynasty at the time.

The monarchs of the Sayyid Dynasty declared their right to the throne on the pretext that they were divinely entitled to do so. 

They claimed to be direct descendants of the Quraish Tribe, which also contained Islam’s founder Prophet Muhammad

The name Sayyid Dynasty was given to the dynasty since Sayyid was its founder.

A Brief Overview:

RulersRuling Period
Khizr Khan1414–1421
Mubarak Shah1421–1433
Muhammad Shah1434–1445
Alam Shah1445–1451


Khizr Khan

  1. Khizr Khan was named governor of Multan by Timur before he departed India.
  2. Around 1414 CE, he conquered Delhi and established the Sayyid dynasty.
  3. He preferred Rayat-i-Ala and refrained from adopting the title of Sultan. 
  4. In the Sayyid dynasty, he is regarded as a significant ruler.
  5. He made fruitless attempts to strengthen the Delhi Sultanate.
  6. Around 1421 CE, he passed away.

Mubarak Shah

  1. With the acquisition of power in 1421, Mubarak Shah was the second in order to reign the fourth dynasty.
  2. Sayyid Mubarak Shah built the city of “Mubarakbad” along the Jamuna River. 
  3. Mubarak Shah wiped out the local Doab area chiefs and Khokhar. 
  4. The first Sultan king to do so was him when he appointed Hindu nobility to the Delhi court.

Muhammad Shah

  1. From 1434 to 1445 A.D., Sultan Muhammad Shah governed the Delhi Sultanate.
  2. He overthrew the Malwa king with the help of Lahore’s governor, Bahlul Lodi.
  3. Due to his indulgence in sensuous pleasure and inadequate leadership, he was unable to be a successful king for Delhi.
  4. The Sayyid dynasty’s administration saw a serious decline under his 12-year rule.
  5. Throughout his rule, law and order were completely nonexistent.
  6. Mubarak Shah adopted his nephew Mohammad Shah because he had no heirs. 
  7. Mohammad Shah had a great chance to change the way the kingdom was administered because the nobles had unified behind him, but he put his personal interests ahead of his duties as king. As a result, there were uprisings and lawlessness everywhere.
  8. Bahlol Lodi was referred to as his son by him. He gave the name Khan-i-Khanan upon him. 
  9. Alam Shah was chosen by Muhammad Shah to succeed him as king before he passed away in the year 1445. 
  10. The tomb of Muhammad Shah is a striking site located in New Delhi’s Lodi Garden.

Ala-ud-din Alam Shah

  1. Of all the Sayyid princes, he was the least strong and showed himself to be incapable. 
  2. Hamid Khan, who served as his wazir, asked Bahlul Lodhi to command the army.
  3. Alam Shah decided to retire to Badaun after realising it would be challenging to hold onto power.

Lodi Dynasty 

The Lodhi dynasty has Afghan ancestry. In the year 1451, the Lodi Dynasty became the fifth to rule the Delhi Sultanate after the four preceding dynasties. Up until the year 1526, this dynasty ruled.

Bahlul Lodi put an end to the Sayyid Dynasty by laying the cornerstone for the fifth and last dynasty.

An Afghan tribe is whence the name Lodhi originates.

Bahlol Lodhi, Sikandar Lodhi, and Ibrahim Lodhi were the three kings who presided over the Afghan dynasty. 

 A Brief Overview:

RulersRuling Period
Bahlul/Bahlol Lodi1451–1489
Sikander Lodi1489–1517
Ibrahim Lodi1517–1526

Bahlul Lodhi

  1. The Lodi Dynasty was founded by Bahlul Lodi, who also served as its first king. 
  2. 1451 through 1458 A.D. were the years of Bahlol Lodhi’s rule. 
  3. He was a wise statesman who was conscious of his limitations.
  4. He overthrew the ruler of Jaunpur and subjugated it to the Delhi Sultanate in around 1476 CE.
  5. Additionally, he extended Delhi’s authority over the rulers of Kalpi and Dholpur.
  6. In addition to introducing Bahlol copper coinage, he seized the Sharqui dynasty.
  7. He adhered to the Afghan view of kingship and saw himself as the only first among equals. 
  8. Bahlul won the trust, gratitude, and support of the Afghan lords with his exceptionally kind conduct.
  9. Due to its superior military capabilities, the Lodi dynasty was able to make a name for itself in the history of the Delhi Sultanate.
  10. 1489 was the year of his death. 
  11. In 1489, Sikandar Khan Lodi Lodhi succeeded Bahlul khan Lodi, who had been in a perpetual power struggle with his elder brother Barbak Shah.

Sikander Lodi

  1. Of the three Lodhi kings, Sikander Shah was the greatest. He conquered the entirety of Bihar, overthrowing numerous Rajput lords in the process.
  2. He conquered Bengal, forcing its king to sign a treaty with him, and expanded his dominion from Punjab to Bihar.
  3. He promoted trade, improved educational facilities, patronised Persian poetry, and sponsored the development of several roads.
  4. He improved the effectiveness of governmental institutions, restructured the army, and improved provincial governments’ financial management.
  5. During his tenure, trade expanded, the economy prospered, and agriculture prospered.
  6. He created a new yardstick for measurement, the Gazz-i-Sikandari, as well as a system of account auditing.
  7. He had admirable traits, but he also had bigoted views and was intolerant of those who were not Muslims. 
  8. He ruined many temples and reinstituted Jiziya for non-Muslims. 
  9. Agra City’s foundation fell under his purview as well. 
  10. A renowned poet named Sikandar Shah composed Persian poetry under the pen name “Gulrukhi.” 
  11. Due to illness, Sikander Shah passed away in 1517.

Ibrahim Khan Lodi

  1. Ibrahim Lodi superseded his father, Sikander Lodhi, as ruler of the Lodi dynasty.
  2. He was the final Afghan ruler of India.
  3. He only held the throne for nine years (1517–1926) because he was despised by the people who would inherit his realm.
  4. Even within his own ministers, he was disliked because to his poor leadership skills, dislike of the nobility, and lack of interpersonal skills.
  5. One of his own noblemen requested Babur to succeed him as monarch due to the turmoil he created.
  6. The Mughal dynasty came to power in India after his defeat at the First Battle of Panipat.

Delhi Sultanate Administration

Based on Muslim laws derived from the Quran and Sharia, the Delhi Sultanate was administrated.

The Sultan and nobility of the Delhi Sultanate have a responsibility to uphold Islamic law in all affairs of state.

The intended administration is divided into many departments, each with a different minister assigned to carry out a particular duty.

Central Department

Diwan-i- KohiAgriculture 
Diwan-i-Ariz  Military  
Diwan-i-Bandagan  Slaves

Delhi Sultanate Architecture

Some of the features of art and architecture of Delhi Sultanate were given below:

  1. Hindu architectural features are incorporated into Muslim structures.
  2. The development of a unique Islamic aesthetic combining elements from Persia, Central Asia, and India. 
  3. The arch and dome method was the only one that allowed for the construction of large halls with unobstructed views. This technique does away with the requirement for a sizable number of pillars to support the roof.

Architecture and art under the Delhi Sultanate period underwent a change that blended Arabic and Indian forms.

By incorporating geometric patterns, calligraphy, inscriptional artwork, etc., the Delhi Sultanate’s style of Indian art and architecture was subdued from what had been ornamental exuberance.

It illustrates how Indo-Islamic architecture has advanced and changed over time.

To learn more about the art and architecture of Delhi Sultanate, check out the linked articles.

Delhi Sultanate Monuments

For religious and artistic purposes, several of the prominent buildings had Quranic verses written in Arabic.

A few mosques still display this style’s architectural elements.

Here are a few instances. 

The most noteworthy Delhi Sultanate structures are those listed above.

1. Adhai Din Ka Jhopra

India’s Ajmer is home to the enormous and majestic Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra. It was erected in 1192 CE by Sultan Qutub ud-din Aibek.

Early Indo-Islamic architecture is beautifully displayed in the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra.

2. Qutb Minar

Afghan architecture had an early effect on the Qutb Minar. 

The Qutub Minar was first constructed in 1192 CE by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak.

Mohammed Ghori’s victory is commemorated by this structure, also referred to as the Victory Tower.

Qutb-ud-din Aibak began work on the Qutb Minar, and Iltutmish finished it. The final two levels were added to it by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

The Qutb Minar was built with materials taken from Hindu temples and structures. 

Hindu artisans who also employed the inlaying method used in temples adorned it.

The chains, cloches, and floral designs were made to adorn the mineral discovered among the temple ruins.

A tapering shape may be seen in the Qutub Minar’s tower. At the base of it is the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque.

3. Alai Darwaza/Alai Darwaja

A historic door in Delhi is the Alai Darwaza. It was built in the Khilji period.

Alai Darwaza is referred to be the “Gem of Islamic architecture” since it was one of the first and most significant buildings in India to use Islamic architecture.

It was built in 1311 AD. within the Qutub complex. To increase the appeal of the complex, it was constructed as an addition to the Quwwat-ut-Islam Mosque.

Early Turkish screen artistry is displayed in this antique Darwaza.

It has been given world heritage site status.

4. Moth Ki Masjid

A famous landmark in Delhi is the Moth ki Masjid. The Lodi clan erected it around the year 500 AD.

Its name, which translates as “Lentil Mosque,” alludes to the notion that the selling of lentils contributed to the building of the structure.

5. Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque 

The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque is the earliest surviving example of Ghurid architecture from the Indian subcontinent.

Qutbuddin Aibak, the first Muslim monarch of Delhi, oversaw its construction in 1190 CE.

The 27 demolished Jain and Hindu temples served as the foundation for the majority of its construction.

The mosque is noted for its magnificent calligraphic inscriptions and use of marble and red stones.

Delhi Sultanate Literature

  1. Religious movements contributed to the development of popular literature in numerous languages.
  2. Hindu epics were translated into Persian by translators the sultans employed.
  3. Some Delhi Sultans, such as Amir Khusro and Firoz Shah Tughlaq, were writers, accomplished scholars, and supporters of education.
  4. As a result, literature—particularly Persian literature—made tremendous advancements during their lifetime, which spans from 1205 to 1520 A.D.
  5. During the reign of the Delhi Sultanate, a number of languages, including Persian and Sanskrit, as well as Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, Tamil, etc., made important advancements.
  6. The promotion of historical writing was in addition to poetry and theology.
  7. At this time, Hasan Nizami, Shams Siraj, Minhaj-us-Siraj, and Zia-ud-din Barani were the most well-known historians.
  8. A general summary of the history of Muslim dynasties up to around 1260 CE may be found in Minhaj-us-Tabaqat-i-Nasari. Siraj’s
  9. Barani penned Tarikh-i-Firoz, an account of the Tughlaq dynasty.

Social Structures During Delhi Sultanate

During the reign of the Delhi Sultanate, the society was split into a number of divisions and factions. The Delhi people’s social structure was divided into four divisions and parts.

In the four distinct segments, there were numerous figures and features. 


Of all the social classes, this one was the richest and most well-known. That group included the sultan, his kin, merchants, bankers, and nearly everyone else who was affluent or prosperous. All of these individuals resided in the city’s upscale and well-liked regions.


This group included the ulemas and brahmins. This group was also wealthy because the sultan provided them with tax-free land and accommodation.

Towns People

The residents of the town were wealthy people, businesspeople, and traders.

Due to their residence in the town, the nobles had integrated themselves into the administration.


This was the lowest rung on the Delhi Sultanate’s social ladder.

The members of this group resided in the village and were obligated to pay taxes to the government.

Delhi Sultanate Coins

The first half of the 14th century saw the introduction of coins by the Delhi Sultanate as a component of the monetary economic system throughout the provinces of India.

As the introduction of the monetary system enhanced the social and economic circumstances of the kingdoms, it marked the beginning of a new age for the Indian subcontinent.

The following are the various coins that the Delhi Sultanate’s kings introduced:

To study the time of the Delhi Sultans, copper jitals are accessible.

The gold coins of Ala-ud-din Khalji, the copper token currency of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq, and the silver tanka introduced by Iltutmish are examples of the coinage as well as the economic progress or lack thereof of the nation at the period.

Being constructed of copper and brass and having the same value as silver and gold coins, Muhammad-bin-token Tughlaq’s money was regarded as a total failure.

Many people then began counterfeiting and issuing these coins from the comfort of their homes.

Delhi Sultanate Significance

The Delhi Sultanate was notable because of how significantly it altered Northern India in the late Middle Ages.

The Delhi Sultanate witnessed the economic and population growth of Northern India reach unprecedented heights as a result of converting sizable segments of the people to Islam and introducing other cultures to the area.

Modernizing India helped it become ready for centuries of economic domination as the Mughal Empire during the Early Modern Period. This modernization included bringing new technologies from the Middle East, growing urban areas, and improving agricultural practises.

Causes of Decline of Delhi Sultanate

  1. There was no set succession law because the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate seized power with a sword and an army.
  2. The fundamental determinant of throne succession was military prowess, which eventually spawned political instability.
  3. Nobles possessed great influence and served as the kingmakers who oversaw the feeble sultans.
  4. The Delhi Sultanate fell apart as a result of the Iqtadari, Zamindari, and Jagirdari systems. 
  5. The main reason why the Delhi Sultanate was overthrown was due to Timurid Babar’s invasion, which caused chaos.


Hinduism is frequently cited as one of India’s most influential religions in Indian history.

By the same badge, a lot of people typically overlook the fact that enormous and powerful Islamic kingdoms founded by Turkic immigrants ruled the Indian subcontinent from 1206 to 1857.

However, the Sultanate of Delhi was burdened with establishing the contours of Muslim rule in a warm area with a robust populace that even the Mongols had failed in the past to subdue before the formidable Mughal Empire (1526–1827) could develop.

Five separate dynasties ruled the Delhi Sultanate, an Islamic empire in Northern India, from 1206 to 1526.

The Delhi Sultanate fundamentally altered India in two ways: first, by introducing Islam and converting a sizable portion of the local populace; and, second, by building a strong economy that supported the country’s rapid population expansion.

FAQs On Delhi Sultanate Dynasty

Write The Timeline Of Delhi Sultanate?

The Delhi Sultanate era, which lasted from 1206 AD to 1526 AD, came to be recognised by this name.

Who Was The First Woman Ruler Of Delhi Sultanate?

Razia Sultana was the first women to govern the Delhi Sultanate.

Name The Capital Of Delhi Sultanate.

The capital city of Delhi Sultanate varies from time to time and the capitals are listed below:
1. From 1206 to 1210, Lahore was the capital
2. From 1210 to 1214, Badayun was the capital
3. From 1214 to 1327, Delhi was the capital
4. From 1327 to 1334, Daulatabad was the capital
5. From 1334 to 1506, Delhi was the capital
6. From 1506 to 1526, Agra was the capital

Who Are Ulemas In Delhi Sultanate?

In order to learn about Islamic literature, law, and doctrines, the Ulema played a crucial role in Muslim society.

Why Was the Delhi Sultanate Significant?

The Delhi Sultanate served as a transitional period between early modern and medieval India.
Additionally, the sultanate brought a long-lasting Islamic legacy to India, which aided in its economic and population booms.

How Was The Administration Of The Provinces In The Delhi Sultanate?

There were numerous Iqtas that made up the entire empire. These were then broken down into smaller groups known as villages, Shiqs, and Parganas.

Why Slave Dynasty Was Called So?

This is due to the fact that this first dynasty was ruled by mamluks who were slave soldiers.

Related Posts