Delhi Sultanate Continued



Timur 1398 AD

During the reign of Mahmud Tughlaq who fled the city. He assigned Delhi to Khizr Khan & hence Sayyid dynasty was born.


Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan’s reign as well as that of his successors, Mubarak Shah, Muhammad Shah & Alauddin Alam Shah was spent trying to control the rebellious leaders (esp. Khokhars led by Jasrath).


Bahlul Lodi

First dynasty to be headed by Afghans. Principal event of Bahlul Lodi’s life was the annexation of Juanpur kingdom.


Sikander Lodi

Contemporary of Mahmud Begarha of Gujarat & Rana Sanga of

Mewar. The rent rolls of his reign formed the basis during Sher Shah Suri period. Imposed the Jaziya. The Bahluli coin remained in circulation till Akbar’s rule. He was the only sultan to be killed in the battle field.


Smaller States


Ahoms – Greatest ruler during this peiod was Suhungmung


Muzaffar’s Shah grandson, Ahmad Shah I founded new capital Ahmedabad. Was the first sultan to levy Jaziya on hindus of Gujarat. *Mahmud Begarha* was the greatest


Rana Kumbha. His grandson was Rana Sanga.


Under Prithviraj who fought under Rana Sanga at Khanua


Under Sharquis. Jaunpur is in eastern U.P.


*Zianul Abidin*. Abolished Jaziya. Got Ramayana & Mahabharata translated into Persian. Allowed Kashmiri pandits to return to the state.








Mughal Empire



Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur. Ascended throne of Farghana. Daulat Khan Lodi, govenror of Punjab invited him to dethrone Ibrahim Lodi but later retracted. Ibrahim Lodi perished in 1526 at Panipat. Battle of Khanua in 1527 against Rana Sanga in which Babur won by effective use of artillery & mounted archers. Died around 1529 & burried at Kabul. Introduced Char Bagh (symmetric gardens).



His early fight was with Bahadur Shah of Gujarat whom he defeated but did not depose. In Bihar the Afghans rallied under Sher Shah Suri. At the battle of Chausa in 1939 Himayun was defeated by Sher Shah. He finally left India in 1544 for the Safavid court. A decade after the death of Sher Shah, Himayun occupied back Delhi but died within seven months after a fall from the steps of his library.

Sher Shah


Son of a small Jagirdar from Jaunpur. Defeated Raja Maldeo of Marwar in the battle of

Samel in 1544 & also won Chittor. He realized Jaziya from Hindus. Revived system of Dagh & Chehra. Introduced a system of crop rates form the first time. Introduced uniform standard gold, silver & copper coins replacing the debased coins & introduced uniform weights. Maintained army through Sawars. Died in 1545 (5 years rule).



Born in Amarkot. Bairam Khan invited Hemu (Afhan assumed title of Hemchandra

Vikramaditya) in 1556 at the second battle of Panipat in which Hemu was slained. Later Akbar discharged Bairam Khan & married his widow. Akbar’s foster mothers son Adam

Khan won Malwa defeating Baz Bahadur. Won at Gondwana, Chittor (Udai Sing),

Ranthambor & Marwar. Rana Pratap ascended Mewar after the death of Udai Singh. In 1576 the Haldi ghati war between Man Singh (grandson of Bhara Mal of Amber who entered imperial services) & Rana Pratap. In 1571 Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri. Later marched against Ahmedabad, Kabul (deposed Mirza Hakim). In 1585 he trasnferred his capital to Lahore. Later won Baluchistan, Qandhar, Ahmadnagar (Chand Bibi), Khandesh (Akbar’s last major miliary campaign). In 1579 he abolished Jaziya. He issued Mahzar which entitle him to choose one of the interpretations of Muslim law. Only Raja Birbal accepted Din-i-Ilahi. Todar Mal, Bhagwan das, Man Singh declined it. He abolished the position of wazir after Bairam khan. Revived chehra & dagh.



Jehangir’s elder brother Khusrau revolted thrice against Akbar & was blinded. He became the first ruler to conquer Kangra. Amar Singh, Son of Rana Pratap at Ajmer also surrendered. The Persians got control of Qandhar back in their second attempt. Deccan (ruled by Malik Ambar of Ahmadnagar) was subdued again by prince Khurram. Jehangir ordered the murder of fifth sikh guru Arjun Dev (the first to be murdered by Mughals). Visited dargah of Moinuddin Chisti several times. Married Iranian widow (Mehrunisa), who was given the title Nur Jahan.  Nur Jahan’s brother was Asaf khan whose daughter Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Banu) was married to Shah Jahan.    




Sent his two sons Dara  Shukoh & Aurangzeb as hostages to his fathers court. He was helped in his throne capture by his father in law, Asaf Khan. Ordered execution of his brothers & their sons after accession. Increased control over Bundelkhand (Ruled by Jehangir’s hard core friend Bir Singh Deo’s son Jujhar Singh). Qandhar was capture for a brief period but lost back to the Safavids. His Peacock throne & capital Shahjahanabad are remembered. Reformed the zat & sawar system. Iranis & Turanis dominated the nobility. Instituted month scales on the basis of difference between official estimate of income (Jama) & actual amount collected (hasil).



War of succession between Dara, Shah Shuja, Auranzeb & Murad – all sons of Mumtaz Mahal. Mir Jumla was deputed by Aurangzeb to restore authority in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa.

Later in Assam Ahom king agreed to be a vassal of Mughals. He banned Nauroz, the


Persian new year, banned painters, musicians, drinking & women pilgrimage. Pilgrimage tax on Hindu abolished by Akbar reinstated. Destroyed the Keshava Rai Temple at Mathura built by Bir Singh Bundela. Reimposed Jaziya tax. His son prince Akbar revolted & was sheltered by Maratha ruler Sambhaji. Aurangzeb lay seize on Bijapur & Golconda & won. He was also known as Alamgir.


Shivaji tutor was Dadaji Kond-deva. Shivaji killed Afzal Khan (general of Ali Adil Shah II) while meeting. Later he almost defeated the governor of the Deccan, Shaista Khan who was replaced by Prince Mauzzam on orders of Aurangzeb. Raja Jai Singh was given the responsibility of tackling Shivaji who won & conducted the treaty of Purandhar. Later Shivaji visited mughal court & was captured but escaped. 



Shivaji – Sambhaji – Rajaram (Sambhaji’s brother). In the meanwhile Sambhaji’s son Shahu was taken to the Mughal household. Later when Rajaram died, his widow Tara Bai declared her four year old son Shivaji II, king & herself the regent. Later Shahu was released by Bahadur Shah I who appointed Balaji Vishwanath as Peshwa. Baji Rao I succeded who was the most charismatic leader in Maratha history after Shivaji.He conquered Malwa, Bundelkhand & even raided Delhi. He was succeded by his son  Balaji Baji Rao (Nana Saheb – different from the later Nana Saheb, adopted son of Baji Rao II) who defeated the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Maratha however received a terrible blow at the hands of Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761 at Panipat. 


Selective Treaties & Battles

Treaty of Purandhar

Jai Singh defeated Shivaji. Shivaji had to surrender 23 out of the thirty five forts held by him.

Treaty of Palkhed

Nizam of Hyderabad was forced to recognize Maratha claimsto chauth & sardeshmuhi in the Deccan (durin Baji Rao I’s tenure).

Treaty of Warna

Claims of Tara Bai settled by granting her Kolhapur

Treaty of Bhalke 

Marathas won large parts of Khandesh by invading Karnataka. 

Battle of Talikota (1565)

Between Vijayanagara Empire (Rama Raya, son of Achutya Raya) and Deccan sultanates, resulted in Vijayanagar’s defeat.


Books of Medieval Period



Hasan Nizami



Minhaj Siraj


Tarikh-i-Firuzshahi (Most important work of sultanate period)


Ziauddin Barani


Futuh-us-Salatin (establishment of Bahmani Kingdom)






Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi

Yahya Sirhindi


Akbar Nama

Abul Fazal



Nizammudin Ahmad





. Badshahnama/Padshahnama

Abdul Hamid Lahori


. Muntakhab-ul Lubab (Aurangzeb’s reign)

Khafi Khan


. Mirat-i-Ahmadi

Ali Muhammad Khan


. Padmavat (on Padmini – wife of Ratan Singh, King of Chittor)

Malik Mohammad Jaisi


. Tughluq Nama, Tarik-i-Alai, Nuh Sipihr, Ashiqa

Amir Khusro


. Marwar ra Pargani ri Vigat (Info on Rajasthan)

Munhta Nainsi


. Chandayan

Maulana Daud


. Himayun Nama

Gulbadan Begum


. Bhavartha Dipika



. Safarnama or Rihla

Ibn Batuta


. Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri (Autobiography)



. Tarikh-i-Shershahi

Abbas Sarwani


. Tuzuk-i-Baburi/ Baburnama (in Turkish –Autobiography)



. Shahjahannama

Inayat Khan


. Dayabhaga

Jimuta Vahna


. Periya Puranam (12th book of Tamil Veda called Tirumurai)



. Sur Sagar (Life of Krishna)

Sur Das


. History of Aurangzeb, The fall of the Mughal Empire

Jadunath Sarkar


. Mahmud of Ghazni

Mohammad Habib


. The Administration of the Delhi Sultanate

I.H. Qureshi


. Foundation of Muslim Rule in India

A.B.M. Habibullah


. Agrarian System of Mughal India

Irfan Habib


Monuments of Medieval Period

College of Ajmer (Converted to Adhai din ka Jhompra)

Vigraharaja IV Visaladeva

Rudra Mahakala temple, Siddhapura

Jayasimha Siddharaja 

Jagannath Temple at Puri

Anantavarman Chodaganga

Sun Temple, Konark

Narasimha I ( E. Gangas)

Brihadesvara/Rajarajeswara temple at Thanjavur

Rajaraja the Great

Quwwat-al-Islam mosque, Delhi

Qutbuddin Aibak

Adhai din ka Jhompra

Qutbuddin Aibak

Himayun’s Tomb

Akbar’s step mother Haji Begum

Tomb of Sher Shah at Sasaram

Sher Shah

Agra Fort


Buland Darwarza (commemorate Gujarat victory)


Shalimar Garden

Shah Jahan

Badshahi Mosque at Lahore (largest in subcontinent)


Man Mandir, Gwalior

Man Singh

Hauz Khas

Alauddin Khalji

Akbar’s Mausoleum at Sikandara

Akbar. Completed by Jehangir.

Madrasa at Bidar

Mahmud Gawan


Kings & their Court Jewels



Jayadeva, Halayudha, Sridharadasa.


Vikramaditya VI (Chalukya)

Bilhana (Vikramanankadevacharita) Vijnanaeshvara (Mitakshara)


Sharqis of Jaunpur

Malik Muhammad Jaisi



Tansen, Todar Mal, Tulsidas (just contemporary)







Prominent Foreign Travellers


Marco Polo

Venetian Traveller visited Pandya kingdom


Ibn Batuta

Muhammad bin Tughlaq


Nicolo Conti

Italian visited Vijayanagar during the reign of Deva Raya I


Abdur Razaq

Visited the court of Zamorin in Calicut & travelled to Vijaynagar during the reign of Deva Raya II



Russian, visited Bahmani kingdom & Gujarat



Portuguese, stayed at Vijayanagar during Krishna Deva Raya


Ralph Fitch

British during Akbar’s reign


William Hawkins

English merchant. Received a mansab from Jehangir


Thomas Roe

Ambassador of English King James I to Jehangir’s court. Obtained trade concessions. Wrote “Embassy”.


Peter Mundy

English traveller during Shah Jahan’s reign.



French jweller. Aurangzeb’s reign.



French Physician. Most important account of all European. Aurangzeb’s reign. Wrote ‘Travels in the Mughal Empire’.


Nicolo Manucci

Italian. Aurangzeb’s reign.


Jargon of Medieval Period


White slaves


Common village assembly (Chola  period)


Village head


Assembly of merchants (Chola  period)




Assembly of Brahmins (Chola  period)


Village head 


A sermon made in Friday mosque


Muslim law


Tax free grants of land




Grants to muslim religious establishment

Mir Bakshi

Military department


Around Hundred villages.


Muslim believers

Sadr us sadur

Ecclesiastical affairs

Mir Saman

Supply department


Keeper of revenue records 


Headed Pargana.


Revenue based on land measurement


Revenue officer

Ibadat Khana

House of worship (Fatehpur Sikri)


Bills of Exchange


Function of finance (Akbar’s time)


Non-Muslim people


Taxes on cattle,grazing,orchards.


Towers of temple


Indian Muslims nobility




Prime minister (Shivaji)


A grain market


Revenue minister (Shivaji)


Commercial agent


Foreign minister (Shivaji)


A gold coin


Cavalrymen (horse belonged to leader)


Coin (1/4th of rupee)


Portion of revenue given to Zamidar


A number of Paragana


Ministry of Military Affairs


Tax on plunder


Ministry of Royal Correspondences


Non Shariat state laws


Religiour affairs


Incharge of Sarkar


Wazir or chief imperial fiscal minister.


Sayings of sufi saint


Department of finance


Silver coin


Land revenue directly for imperial treasury


Sufi lodging 


Spiritual territory of a sufi


Sikh Regions  (12)


Collective term for nobility



Desais & Deshmukh (collective term)

Extent of Mughal Empire at Akbar’s Death


Miscellaneous Facts:

1.Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 AD. The Quran alongwith the Hadith (sayings of the prophet) is venerated as supreme sources of authority in Islam. Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina is known as Hijra & the muslim calendar commences from this year. At the battle of Badr Muhammad first wielded sword to assert his prophethood. Quibla the direction to be faced during prayer changed from Jerusalem to Mecca.

2.Prophet’s son-in-law Ali was regarded as lawful immediate by some section (shiis) while other group considered his close followers Abu Bakr, Umar & Uthman as legal heir (came to be known as Sunnis).

3.Mahmud of Ghazni was the son of Subuktigin (founder of Ghaznavid dynasty). Subuktgin had defeated the Hindhshahi ruler Jaipal. Utbi was the court historian of Ghazni. Mahmud raided 17 times which included Nagarkot, Mathura, Kanauj & Somanath temple (1025 AD when Chalukya king Bhima I was ruling Gujarat). He patronized Al-Beruni.

4.Muhammad Ghur first invasion was against Multan which he won easily. His invasion of Gujarat ended in a crushing defeat at the hands of the Chalukyan forces. Then followed Battle of Tarain I & II, invasion of Ghadavala ruled by Jaichandra. After Ghur’s death his senior slave Tajuddin Yalduz occupied Ghazni, Qubacha occupied Multan, Ali Mardan took Lakhnauti (Bihar-Bengal) while Aibak took Delhi. At the same time Bhaktiyar Khalji, another slave raided province of Bihar destroying monasteries of Nalanda & Vikramshila & even attacked the Bengal ruler Lakshmanasena. Eastern Chalukyas ruled at Vengi.

5.Chola king Rajendra I captured whole of Sri Lanka & reasserted Chola soverignity over Kerala & Pandyan country. He conquered north upto Ganga & assumed the title of Gangaikonda. Marco Polo visited the Pandyan Kingdom around 1293 AD.

6.Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s reign saw the rise of two independent states in south – Vijaynagar &

Bahamani. The Tungabhadra doab had been a source of conflict between the Cholas & the western Chalukyas, between Yadavas & Hoysalas as well as between the Vijaynagar & the Bahmani Kindom.

7.The largest indigenous industry during the Delhi sultanate period was that of textiles. During Firuz Shah the slaves rose to an all time high. While India’s indigenous architecture is trabeate (space spanned by beams laid horizontally), the Islamic form is arcuate (arches are used to bridge a space).

8.All the Lodi rulers were buried on the Bagh-i-Jud known today as Lodi Garden. The coins of Mahmud Ghazni, Iltutmish, Nasirudin Mahmud, Balban, Alauddin Khalji bear the name of Abbasid Caliph.

  1. Mansabdars had dual ranks – zat (personal rank & expenses) & sawar (cavalry rank). Land revenue systems were batai (crop divided between state & the peasant), hast-o-bud (official inspection for estimation), kankut system (estimation of land & yield), nasaq system (based on previous estimates).
  2. The sants of the Vithoba cult & their followers called Varkari emphasized annual pilgrimage to

Pandharpur (Mahrashtra). The most important saint was Jnaneshvar. Saguna Bhakti (Tulsi Das, Chaitanya, Surdas, Mirabai, Nimbarka & Vallabha) believed in doctrine of incarnation while Nirguna bhakti (Kabir) worshiped formless aspect of divinity.

  1. Guru Angad developed the Gurmukhi script. Guru Arjun Dev completed Adi Granth. Guru Hargobind constructed the Akal Takht at the Golden Temple & asked his followers to built the fort of Lohgarh. Enraged Jehangir had the Guru imprisoned for 2 years.
  2. Of the various Sufi orders in India the Chishti (founder was Moinuddin Chisti) & Suharawadi (Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariya whose Khanqah at Multan became an important pilgrimage centre) orders (silsilas) were the most prominent. Other prominent saints were Shaikh Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki & Nizamuddin Auliya. Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (Naqshbandi order) was contemporary of Jehangir.
  3. There was no Maratha in Akbar’s nobility & only one in that of Jehangirs. In Aurangzeb’s time the

Marathas increased considerably & foreign nobility declined. Dara Shukoh brother of Auranzeb got 52

Upanishads converted into Persian, the collective work being known as the Sirr-i-Akbar. Murshid Quli Khan was a talented revenue officer during the time of Shah Jahan who helped prince Aurangzegb streamline the revenues in Deccan. 

  1. Uprisings during Aurangzeb period were Jats (Gokula, Rajaram, Churaman & Surajmal-the adopted son of Badan Singh), Satnami, Sikhs (Guru Harkishan summoned to Delhi – Bangla Sahib is the site where he resided; Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded at present Sis Ganj Gurudwara site; Guru Gobind Singh born in Patna), Bundelas of Ochha (under Chhatrasal)
  2. On Baisakhi day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa panth. In the succession that followed after Aurangzeb, Govind Singh supported Bahadur Shah in the hope of getting justice against Wazir Khan (who killed Guru’s son) but all in vain. Gobind Singh appointed Banda Bahadur (later kille Wazir khan) to wage war against the mughals but he failed & was humiliated before being executed.
  3. Shivaji assumed titles of Chhatrapati, Gobrahmance Pratipalak (protector of cows & Brahmins). His consecration marked the commencement of a new era, the Rajyabhisheka saka.
  4. Bengal was the main silk centre. Land owner ship was Khudkhasta (Owner & land in the same village), Pahikashta (different village) & Muqarari raiya (He leased his spare land to tenants called muzarin). During mughal period there is no evidence of joint ownership of land. Slave trade focus shifted from Multan to Kabul. Freshly minted coins had a greater value than those minted in previous regimes.
  5. Thomas Roe went to Jehangirs court to get concessions for operation. Dutch obtained a farman from the Sultan of Golconda to operate at Masulipatnam.
  6. The Mughal school of painting began with Himayun & reached its pinnacle during Jehangir. Himayun also started the Mina Bazar for royal ladies.


Miscellaneous Facts from Mocks:

  1. Qutbuddin Aibak was not recognized by the Caliph of Baghdad. Kashmir was never a part of sultanate of Delhi. ‘Janam Sakhis’ are the biographical writings abouth the Sikh gurus. The utterances of Namdev, Kabir, Ravidas, Shaikh Fariduddin Masud (Sufi Saint), Dhanna have been included in Adi Granth.

Printing press was introduced in India by the Portuguese. 

  1. The most important system of land revenue was the Zabti system. The term ‘Urs’ referred to the death anniversary of a Sufi saint. The Sisodiyas of Mewar did not submit to Akbar during his reign. Shahjahan did not write his autobiography. Bairagis in India were a Vaishnavite sect.
  2. Portuguese-Dutch-English-French was the correct sequence of foreigners coming to India. In medieval period Polaj was the most fertile land & banjar the least fertile.
  3. Bijapur (Adil Shahi Dynasty), Ahmadnagar (Nizamshahi dynasty), Golkonda (Qutbshahi dynasty), Bidar (Barid Shahi dynasty).
  4. Delhi Sultanate reached its maximum limit during Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Invasion of Chengiz Khan

(Iltutmish reign), Invations of Tarmahirin (Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s reign), Invasion of Nadir Shah (Muhammad Shah) & Invasion of Timur (Nasiruddin Mahmud Tughlaq).

  1. Mir Syed Ali, Daswant & Khwaja Abdus Samad were famous painters at the court of Himayun &

Akbar. Mansur & Bishan Das were leading court painters under Jehangir. The translation of

Mahabharata in Persian (Razmnama) was carried out during the reign of Akbar by Faizi. Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur s built over the tomb of Muhammad Adil Shah.

  1. The dominant form of decoration employed in the buildings of the sultanate period is called arabesque. Various regional languages of medieval India arose out of Apabhramsa. The pushtimarg was the philosophy of Guru Vallabhacharya (Surdas was his disciple).
  2. Moinuddin Chisti (Ajmer), Nizamuddin Auliya (Delhi), Farduddin Masud (Pak Patan, Pakistan) & Khwaja Syed Mudammad Gesu Daraz (Gulbarga) are the famous sufi shrines.
  3. Krittivasa translated Ramayana into Bengali. Kabir, Ravidas, Dhanna & other low cast bhakti saints were belived to be disciples of Ramananda. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah of Golconda founded the city of Hyderabad. Arabs were not a part of Mughal nobility. Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan was a mughal noble & poet under Akbar.
  4. The sufi silisilas were Suhrawadi, Firdausi, Shattari, Chisti, Qadiri & Naqshbandi. Amer was Jaipur, Marwar (Jodhpur), Mewar (present-day districts of Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Udaipur).