Sikandar Lodi Of Lodi Dynasty: Vital Ruler Of Delhi Sultanate

sikandar lodi of delhi sultanate

The Lodi dynasty ruled Delhi for almost a century. Bahlol Lodi, the founder, was a ruler from 1451 to 1489. Sikandar Lodi was a renowned ruler of the Lodi dynasty. His birth name was Nizam Khan and Bahlul Khan Lodi was his father. He was the second Sultan to take over the dynasty. He was a brilliant administrator as well as a great scholar. He expanded the Empire and restored the reputation of the Sultanate.

Sikandar Lodi reigned from 1489 to 1517 and was the most successful ruler of the Lodi Dynasty. At times, he is regarded as the greatest Lodi Sultan. He encouraged the building of roads, promoting trade, improving educational facilities, patronizing Persian poetry, and constructing many roads.

Read this article further to discover more about him. Students preparing for the UPSC Exam will find this article worth reading. This is a part of Medieval Indian History covered under the UPSC Syllabus.

Biography

Like his father, Sikandar Khan Lodi conquered and defeated rival nobility, restoring the prestige of the Sultan. He was a brilliant scholar and encouraged men to learn.

Before becoming the ruler, Sikandar Khan Lodi had considerable administrative experience. He reorganized the army, increased the efficiency of government institutions, and reformed the finances of provincial governments. The growth of trade, economic prosperity, and agriculture flourished during his reign.

Sikandar Lodi’s military skill allowed him to suppress revolts and strengthen his authority. He was a patron of the arts as well as translated important works of Ayurveda. Besides, he built many significant buildings.

Sikandar Lodi was the second of three rulers of the Lodi dynasty. He ascended to the throne following his father, Bahlul Lodhi, who died on 12 July 1489 CE. Sikandar Khan Lodi took the throne of power on July 17, 1489CE. His reign spanned the Lodhi Kingdom and he proved to be a successful ruler.

Sikandar Lodi, a successful ruler, died in 1517 and his burial tomb is in Delhi. The tomb was built by his son Ibrahim Khan Lodi, after his death in 1517 CE. It is now popular as Lodhi Gardens at Lodhi Road in the present Mughal of Delhi. Sikandar Lodi, a poet and author of many Persian poems as well as a book of Persian poetry, was also known under his surname “Gulrukhi”. Besides the contributions to the nation’s culture, Sikandar Lodi’s effort to promote education for children of the Muslim community is appreciable.

Ascension To The Throne

The question of succession of the throne heaped with the last breaths of Bahlol Lodi. Several rivalry groups came into action. One of the groups was rigid with the motive to enthrone Sikandar Shah. But other comparatively stronger groups were against Sikandar, only for the reason that he was the son of a goldsmith’s daughter.

These groups were determined to enthrone the eldest son of sultan Barbaq Shah. They tried to part Sikandar from his father while Bahlul Lodi was counting his last breaths. But a major mistake of Sikandar’s cousin led to a clear decision. On July 17, 1489, Sikandar Lodi took over the throne.

Sikandar Lodi’s ascent to the throne marked the establishment and transfer of Delhi as the capital and the creation of Agra city.

To learn about Bahlul Lodi, First Sultan of the Lodi Dynasty, click the linked article.

Administration Of The Empire

  1. Sikandar Lodi was a man of power and an appreciable administrator.
  2. To confirm the effectiveness of temporary governors, extensive research was done during his reign.
  3. Under his leadership, the records of numerous officials were rigorously reviewed. And theft offenses were severely punished.
  4. Like Balban, he generally upheld the honor of his position and avoided casual social interaction with the populace.
  5. A competent framework of covert operations was maintained. It helped to keep tight control over the disobedient governors, nobility, and other uncivilized members of the state.
  6. To ensure efficient exchange and transport, numerous new roads were constructed.
  7. Effective measures were taken to guard them against thieves, crimes, and cheats.
  8. He never gave a low-born individual a high position. The needs of the underprivileged were completely upheld.
  9. With careful organization and administration, Sikandar Lodi ran the entire realm.

Achievements

The most significant, efficient, and ablest ruler of the Lodi Dynasty is Sultan Sikandar Lodi. His accomplishments have won him numerous honors from historians. In addition to being a capable military commander, he was a brave and kind king who was able to put down uprisings and increase the Sultanate’s power.

  1. He was a brilliant administrator who supported agriculture and trade in addition to being a renowned scholar. He introduced proper auditing of revenue and expenditure and punished embezzlement. Mubarak Khan Lodi, one of his viziers, was responsible for Jaunpur’s collection of revenue.
  2. By including Jaunpur, Chanderi, Dholpur, and Gwalior, he enhanced the reign of his power. He successfully maintained control over the rogue boss and the recalcitrant governors.
  3. Sikandar was a strong proponent of equity as well.
  4. He listened to the poorest of the poor’s problems and made an unbiased decision.
  5. He was also in charge of establishing Agra City. Agra too developed into a key metropolis under Mughal control.
  6. He promoted education, especially among Afghan nobility children, to instill a culture in them and made mosques educational institutions.
  7. He appointed a religious preacher, as well as a teacher, in each mosque. He had world-renowned scholars come to his country to lecture his subjects.  
  8. He was a strong advocate for both writing and craftsmanship.
  9. He was a brilliant scholar who could produce beautiful Persian verse.
  10. He was a brilliant scholar who could produce beautiful Persian verse. He was able to recall several crucial details thanks to his strong memory.
  11. By translating outstanding Sanskrit writings into Persian, he helped the literate.
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Conflict With Man Singh Tomar

Sikandar Lodi was an excellent ruler of Delhi who had a prolonged dispute with Man Singh Tomar, another prominent ruler of Delhi. Born to Raja Kalyanmall, the Tomar Rajput ruler of Gwalior, Maharaja Man Singh Tomar ruled for over 30 years. During his years, the Tomar often had conflicts and alliances with the sultans of Delhi.

Man Singh Tomar decided to dodge a war by delivering Bahlul Lodi 800,000 tankas (coins). Later, when Sikandar Lodi took over the throne following Bahlul Lodi, he dealt with Man Singh Tomar. Further in 1500, Manasimha was found involved in a plot to dethrone Sikander Lodi. The Sultan wanted to retaliate against Manasimha, and extend his territory. Hence, he established a penal journey against Gwalior.

Even after continuous efforts, he failed to take over the Gwalior fort. Thus he captured the smaller forts surrounding Gwalior. Sikander Lodi’s war against Gwalior proved to be a costly venture. It also saw the loss of Narwar’s subsidiary fortress. Lodi’s persistent campaign continued to hammer away on the ancient forts of Gwalior. Eventually, they encircled Gwalior. The siege continued for several more years, as the Lodi troops were not armed by artillery.

After the continuous efforts of Sikandar Lodi, things changed at his death, and in 1516, Ibrahim Lodhi laid siege on the fort. Man Singh died while the siege was on but his son held on to the fort for one year before surrendering.

Religion

Sikandar Lodi’s mother was a Hindu. Thus he referred to substantial Sunni orthodoxy as political practicality. He tried to demonstrate his Islamic credentials. He was a supporter of Muslims. The favoritism for the Muslims was visible in his rule. The intimidation from the ulama allowed the execution of a Brahman who stated Hinduism to be as accurate as Islam.

The orthodoxy of Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s religious policies was evident. He gave Ulemas a high standing, and he never made any significant decisions without consulting them. Islam was propagated by the use of force and temptation. The converts were given lower positions. Jagirs were being given out.

Only he, as Delhi’s Sultan, could impose Jazia on Brahmins. A Brahmin was executed by burning at the Sultan’s command after he claimed that both Hinduism and Islam included parts of the truth. During his rule, Hindu temples were destroyed. He used Islam to stifle the heretical element. He was following Shariyat.

He considered that women must be debarred from visiting the Mazars of Muslim saints. He also designated sharia courts in several villages with significant Muslim inhabitants. Thus stimulating the gazis to administer Islamic law to Muslim as well as non-Muslim matters.

Tomb Of Sikandar Lodi

The tomb of Sikandar Lodi can be found in the Indian city, New Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens. It was built between 1517 and 1518 CE and is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India. After Sikander Lodi’s death, Ibrahim Lodi, the son, built this memorial to bury him in the tomb.

The Tomb of Sikandar Lodhi, a unique and architecturally fascinating tomb, is a piece of art and architectural efficiency. It is partly inspired by Muhammad Shah’s tomb. It is the first enclosed tomb in a garden in the ancient city of the Indian subcontinent with high boundary walls and tall arches. It is within a massive fort surrounded by beautiful gardens and lush flora, with a tall dome that resembles the top of a double-story structure. The Lodi Gardens is located near the Panipat tehsil office, which is named after him. 

Conclusion

Sikandar Lodi was one of the most significant of the Lodi Sultans, with good administrative skills. He was a great conqueror who attempted to preserve the enormity of the city of Delhi. With exceptional execution and rule, he built a strong empire in his reign and improved the economy of the Lodi dynasty.

He passed away in 1517. Further, the throne was taken over by his son Ibrahim Lodi. Ibrahim Lodi ruled India from 1517 to 1526 AD and was the last Sultan. He was a courageous ruler and faced many rebels during his time in power. He was eventually overthrown at Panipat’s First Battle of Panipat when Babur, a Mughal ruler, overthrew him.

UPSC Previous Year Questions

Q1. Which one of the following is the correct chronological order of the Afghan rules to the throne of Delhi? (UPSC 2006)

a) Sikandar Shah-Ibrahim Lodi-Bahlol Khan Lodi
b) Sikandar Shah-Bahlol Khan Lodi-Ibrahim Lodi
c) Bahlol Khan Lodi-Sikandar Shah-Ibrahim Lodi
d) Bahlol Khan Lodi-Ibrahim Lodi-Sikandar Shah

Ans. (c) Bahlol Khan Lodi-Sikandar Shah-Ibrahim Lodi

Explanation: Bahlol Lodi ruled the Delhi Sultanate from the year 1451 to 1489. Next who ruled the Delhi Empire under the Lodi Dynasty was Sikandar Lodi. After the demise of his father, Bahlol Lodi, he sit on the throne in 1489 and ruled it till 1517. Following the death of Sikandar Lodi, his youngest son Ibrahim Lodi wear the crown in the year 1517 and hold the power till 1526 AD. He was the last sultan of the Lodi Dynasty.

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