Delhi Sultanate

Delhi Sultanate
   After the defeat of Prithviraja III in the sec-ond battle of Tarain (1192), the territories annexed to the Ghaurid Empire in north India came to be administered from Delhi. The rise of Iltutmish (1211-1236) as the sovereign ruler (sultan) of Delhi duly recognized by the Abbasid caliph in 1229 may be treated as the foundation of Delhi sultanate. It was ruled successively by four dy-nasties. Two of them were founded by slaves, Shams al-Din Iltutmish (accession 1211) and Ghiyas al-Din Balban (accession 1266). The Khaljis (1290-1320) and Tughlaqs (1320-1412) were the other two.
   During the 14th century, the Delhi sultanate came to control almost the entire Indian subcontinent. It also succeeded in checking the ad-vance into north India of the Mongol hordes located in Central Asia and Iran.
   To begin with, the nobility of the Delhi sultanate comprised mainly the Persian-speaking Tajiks and the Turkish slaves. Among them, the latter were more influential. During the 14th century, there came to be included many nobles not necessarily of Turkish or Tajik origin. In-dian coverts to Islam were also accommodated as well as Hindu war-rior elements (rautas), who had a long tradition of military service. Ziya' Barani's perception of the rise of the "lowborn" under Muham-mad bim Tughlaq (1325-1351) seems to reflect this tendency.
   A system of land assignments and military organization rooted in the institution of iqta' contributed to a high degree of centralization within the Delhi sultanate. Two hundred years of its rule gave rise to a distinct cultural tendency revolving around the Persian language that began to interact with traditional Indian to create a genuinely composite culture. The emergence of a large Muslim population was a part of this cultural process.

Historical dictionary of Medieval India. . 2011.

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