IAS Resources

IAS Score

Vijayanagar/ Other Regional States

Vijayanagar Other Regional States

Vijayanagar

VIJAYANAGAR EMPIRE

Sources

• The sources for the study of Vijayanagar are varied such as literary, archaeological and numismatics.
• Krishnadevaraya’s Amukthamalyada, Gangadevi’s Maduravijayam and Allasani Peddanna’s Manucharitam are some of the indigenous literature of this period.
• The Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta, Venetian traveler Nicolo de Conti, Persian traveler AbdurRazzak and the Portuguese traveler Domingo Paes were among eminent foreign travelers who left valuable accounts on the socio-economic conditions of the Vijayanagar Empire.
• The copper plate inscriptions such as the Srirangam copper plates of Devaraya II provide the genealogy and achievements of Vijayanagar rulers.
• The Hampi ruins and other monuments of Vijayanagar provide information on the cultural contributions of the Vijayanagar rulers.
• The numerous coins issued by the Vijayanagar rulers contain figures and legends explaining their tittles and achievements.

Political History

• The Vijayanagarempire was founded in 1346 as a direct response to the challenge posed by the sultanate of Delhi.
• The empire was founded by brothers, Harihara and Bukka. Their dynasty was named after their father, Sangama.
• There are several theories with regard to the origin of this dynasty. According to some scholars, they had been the feudatories of the Kakatiyas of Warangal and after their fall they served the Kampili state.
• Another view says that they were the feudatories of the Hoysalas and belonged to Karnataka.
• Harihara and Bukka were helped and inspired by contemporary scholar and a saint Vidyaranya for the establishment of their kingdom. It is believed that to commemorate the memory of their guru, the brothers established the city of Vidyanagar or Vijayanagara on the banks of river Tungabhadra.
• The empire included people from different cultural regions, the Tamil, Telegu and Karnataka region who all spoke different languages and belonged to different cultures.
• Between 1336 and 1565, Vijayanagar was ruled by three different dynasties- Sangama, who remained in power till 1485; the Saluva who remained in power till 1503 and the Tuluvas.
• The last dynasty was the Aravidu dynasty that ruled till seventeenth century.
• Foreign travellers like Nicolo Conti, FernaoNuniz ,DomingoPaes, Duarto Barbosa and AbdurRazzaq wrote about the magnificence of Vijayanagar.

Krishna Deva Raya (1509 – 1530)

• The Tuluva dynasty was founded by ViraNarasimha.
• The greatest of the Vijayanagar rulers, Krishna Deva Raya belonged to the Tuluva dynasty. He possessed great military ability. His imposing personality was accompanied by high intellectual quality. His first task was to check the invading Bahmani forces.By that time the Bahmani kingdom was replaced by Deccan Sultanates.
• The Muslim armies were decisively defeated in the battle of Diwani by Krishna Deva Raya.
• Then he invaded Raichur Doab which had resulted in the confrontation with the Sultan of Bijapur, Ismail Adil Shah. Krishna Deva Raya defeated him and captured the city of Raichur in 1520. From there he marched on Bidar and captured it.
• Krishna Deva Raya’s Orissa campaign was also successful.
• He defeated the Gajapathi ruler Prataparudra and conquered the whole of Telungana.
• He maintained friendly relations with the Portuguese.
• Albuquerque sent his ambassadors to Krishna Deva Raya.
• Though a Vaishnavaite, he respected all religions. H
• e was a great patron of literature and art and he was known as Andhra Bhoja.
• Eight eminent scholars known as Ashtadiggajas were at his royal court.
• AllasaniPeddanna was the greatest and he was called AndhrakavitaPitamaga. His important works include Manucharitam and Harikathasaram.
• PingaliSuranna and Tenali Ramakrishna were other important scholars.
• Krishna Deva Raya himself authored a Telugu work, Amukthamalyadha and Sanskrit works, JambavatiKalyanam and Ushaparinayam.
• He built the famous Vittalaswamy and HazaraRamaswamy temples at Vijayanagar.
• He also built a new city called Nagalapuram in memory of his queen Nagaladevi.
• Besides, he built a large number of Rayagopurams.
• After his death, Achutadeva and Venkata succeeded the throne.
• During the reign of Rama Raya, the combined forces of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Bidar defeated him at the Battle of Talaikotta in 1565.
• This battle is also known as RaksasaThangadi.
• Rama Raya was imprisoned and executed. The city of Vijayanagar was destroyed. This battle was generally considered to mark the end of the Vijayanagar Empire.
• However, the Vijayanagar kingdom existed under the Aravidu dynasty for about another century.
• Thirumala, Sri Ranga and Venkata II were the important rulers of this dynasty.
• The last ruler of Vijayanagar kingdom was Sri Ranga III.

Administration

• The king enjoyed absolute authority in executive, judicial and legislative matters.
• He was the highest court of appeal.
• The succession to the throne was on the principle of hereditary.
• Sometimes usurpation to the throne took place as SaluvaNarasimha came to power by ending the Sangama dynasty.
• The king was assisted by a council of ministers in his day to day administration.
• The Empire was divided into different administrative units called Mandalams, Nadus, sthalas and finally into gramas.
• The governor of Mandalam was called Mandaleswara or Nayak.
• Vijayanagar rulers gave full powers to the local authorities in the administration.
• Besides land revenue, tributes and gifts from vassals and feudal chiefs, customs collected at the ports, taxes on various professions were other sources of income to the government.
• Land revenue was fixed generally one sixth of the produce.
• The expenditure of the government includes personal expenses of king and the charities given by him and military expenditure.
• In the matter of justice, harsh punishments such as mutilation and throwing to elephants were followed.

Army and Military Organisation of the Vijayanagar Empire

• In order to wage continuous warfare there was a need to keep a large army.
• Artillery was important and well bred horses were maintained.
• The Vijayanagar rulers imported high quality horses from across the Arabian Sea from Arabia and other Gulf countries.
• The port of Malabar was the centre of this trade and trade in other luxury commodities. The Vijayanagar rulers always attempted to control the port of Malabar.
• Like the Bahamanis, the Vijayanagar state also was familiar with the use of firearms and employed Turkish and Portuguese experts to train the soldiers in the latest weaponry of warfare.
• One of the rayas, Deva Raya II enrolled Muslims in his armed services, allotted them jagirs and erected a mosque for their use in the city.
• The walls of the forts to counter the firearms were now made thick and special kinds of door with fortified walls front were constructed.
• On the walls of the forts, special kinds of big holes were made to rest the guns. Special kinds of parapets were constructed on the forts to put the canons on it.
• Firearms were used. Some firearms were small and comprised of rifles and pistols. Some like canons were heavy and had to be put on a bullock cart or on an elephant and pushed into the battlefield.
• One of the important characteristics of the Vijayanagar administration was the amaranayaka system. In this system, the commander of the Vijayanagar army was called the nayaka. Each nayaka was given an area for administration.
• The nayaka was responsible for expanding agricultural activities in his area. He collected taxes in his area and with this income maintained his army, horses, elephants and weapons of warfare that he had to supply to the raya or the Vijayanagar ruler. The nayaka was also the commander of the forts.
• Some of the revenue was also used for the maintenance of temples and irrigation works. The amara-nayakas sent tribute to the king annually and personally appeared in the royal court with gifts to express their loyalty.
• In the seventeenth century, several of these nayakas became independent and established separate states.
• The feudal Nayankaras used to maintain their own soldiers, forces and elephants. They were a powerful section that challenged the Vijayanagar authority, weakened its internal structures and contributed to the defeat of the Vijayangar in the battle of Talikota.

Social Life

• AllasaniPeddanna in his Manucharitam refers the existence of four castes – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras – in the Vijayanagar society.
• Foreign travelers left vivid accounts on the splendour of buildings and luxurious social life in the city of Vijayanagar.
• Silk and cotton clothes were mainly used for dress.
• Perfumes, flowers and ornaments were used by the people.
• Paes mentions of the beautiful houses of the rich and the large number of their household servants.
• Nicolo Conti refers to the prevalence of slavery.
• Dancing, music, wrestling, gambling and cock-fighting were some of the amusements.
• Chidambaram speak the glorious epoch of Vijayanagar. They were continued by the Nayak rulers in the later period.
• The metal images of Krishna Deva Raya and his queens at Tirupati are examples for casting of metal images.
• Music and dancing were also patronized by the rulers of Vijayanagar.

Economic Condition

• According to the accounts of the foreign travelers, the Vijayanagar Empire was one of the wealthiest parts of the world at that time.
• Agriculture continued to be the chief occupation of the people.
• The Vijayanagar rulers provided a stimulus to its further growth by providing irrigation facilities.
• New tanks were built and dams were constructed across the rivers like Tunghabadra. Nuniz refers to the excavation of canals.
• There were numerous industries and they were organized into guilds.
• Metal workers and other craftsmen flourished during this period.
• Diamond mines were located in Kurnool and Anantapur district.
• Vijayanagar was also a great centre of trade.
• The chief gold coin was the varaha but weights and measures varied from place to place.
• Inland, coastal and overseas trade led to the general prosperity.
• There were a number of seaports on the Malabar coast, the chief being Cannanore.
• Commercial contacts with Arabia, Persia, South Africa and Portugal on the west and with Burma, Malay peninsula and China on the east flourished.
• The chief items of exports were cotton and silk clothes, spices, rice, iron, saltpeter and sugar.
• The imports consisted of horses, pearls, copper, coral, mercury, China silk and velvet clothes. The art of shipbuilding had developed.

Cultural Contributions

• The temple building activity further gained momentum during the Vijayanagar rule.
• The chief characteristics of the Vijayanagara architecture were the construction of tall Raya Gopurams or gateways and the Kalyanamandapam with carved pillars in the temple premises.
• The sculptures on the pillars were carved with distinctive features. The horse was the most common animal found in these pillars.
• Large mandapams contain one hundred pillars as well as one thousand pillars in some big temples. These mandapams were used for seating the deity on festival occasions.
• Also, many Amman shrines were added to the already existing temples during this period.
• The most important temples of the Vijayanagar style were found in the Hampi ruins or the city of Vijayanagar.
• Vittalaswamy and HazaraRamaswamy temples were the best examples of this style.
• The Varadharaja and Ekamparanatha temples at Kanchipuram stand as examples for the magnificence of the Vijayanagara style of temple architecture.
• The Raya Gopurams at Thiruvannamalai and Chidambaram speak the glorious epoch of Vijayanagar.
• They were continued by the Nayak rulers in the later period.
• The metal images of Krishna Deva Raya and his queens at Tirupati are examples for casting of metal images.
• Music and dancing were also patronized by the rulers of Vijayanagar.
• Different languages such as Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil flourished in the regions.
• There was a great development in Sanskrit and Telugu literature.
• The peak of literary achievement was reached during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya.
• He himself was a scholar in Sanskrit and Telugu.
• His famous court poet AllasaniPeddanna was distinguished in Telugu literature.

BAHMANI KINGDOM

• The Deccan region was a part of the provincial administration of the Delhi Sultanate.
• In order to establish a stable administration in the Deccan, Mohammad bin Tughlaq appointed amiran-i-sada/ Sada Amir, who were the administrative heads of hundred villages.
• From 1337 the conflict between the officers in Deccan and Delhi sultanate accelerated which led to the establishment of an independent state in the Deccan in 1347 with the capital at Gulbarga in Andhra Pradesh.
• Its founders Haran Gangu assumed the title AlauddinHasanBahman Shah as he traced his descent from the mythical hero of Iran, Bahman Shah and the kingdom was named after him, the Bahamani Sultanate.
• After Mohammad bin Tughlaq there were no attempts by the Delhi Sultanate to control the Deccan region, therefore, the Bahamani Sultans without any checks annexed the kingdom.
• There were a total of fourteen Sultans ruling over this kingdom. Among them, AlauddinBahman Shah, Muhammad Shah I and Firoz Shah were important.
• Ahmad Wali Shah shifted the capital from Gulbarga to Bidar.
• The power of the Bahmani kingdom reached its peak under the rule of Muhammad Shah III. It extended from the Arabian sea to the Bay of Bengal. On the west it extended from Goa to Bombay. On the east, it extended from Kakinada to the mouth of the river Krishna.
• The success of Muhammad Shah was due to the advice and services of his minister Mahmud Gawan.
• One of the important acquisitions was the control over Dabhol, an important port on the west coast.
• Under Bahman Shah and his son Muhammmad Shah, the administrative system was well organised.
• The kingdom was divided into four administrative units called ‘taraf’ or provinces. These provinces were Daultabad, Bidar, Berar and Gulbarga.
• Muhammad I defeated the Vijayanagar kingdom and consequently Golconda was annexed to Bahamani kingdom.
• Every province was under a tarafdar who was also called a subedar.
• Some land was converted into Khalisa land from the jurisdiction of the tarafdar. Khalisa land was that piece of land which was used to run expenses of the king and the royal household.

• Further the services and the salary of every noble was fixed. Those nobles who kept 500 horses were given 1000,000 huns annually.
• If short of the stipulated troops, the tarafdar would have to reimburse the amount to the central government.
• Nobles used to get their salary either in cash or in form of grant of land or ‘jagir’ .
• Bahamani ruler depended for military support on his amirs.
• There were two groups in the ranks of amirs: One was the Deccanis who were immigrant Muslims and had been staying for a long time in the Deccan region. The other group was Afaquis or Pardesis who had recently come from Central Asia, Iran and Iraq and had settled in the Deccan region recently.
• Between both these groups there was always tension to appropriate better administrative positions and because of their feuds, the stability of the Bahamani Sultanate was affected.
• For the first time in India both Bahamani and Vijaynagar kingdoms used gunpowder in the warfare.
• The Bahamanis were already familiar with the use of firearms. They employed Turkish and Portuguese experts to train the soldiers in the latest weaponry of warfare.

Mahmud Gawan

• One of the most important personalities in the Bahamani kingdom was Mahmud Gawan. The Bahmani kingdom reached its peak under the guidance of Mahmud Gawan.
• Mahmud Gawan’s early life is obscure. He was an Iranian by birth and first reached Deccan as a trader. He was granted the title of ‘Chief of the Merchants’ or Malikut-Tujjar by the Bahamani ruler, Humayun Shah.
• The sudden death of Humayun led to the coronation of his minor son Ahmad III. A regency council was set for the administration and Mahmud Gawan was its important member.
• He was made wazir or the prime minister and was given the title of ‘Khwaju-i-Jahan.’
• The history of Bahmani kingdom after this period is actually the record of the achievements of Mahmud Gawan.
• He lived a simple life and was magnanimous. He was also a learned person. He possessed a great knowledge of mathematics.
• He made endowments to build a college at Bidar which was built in the Persian style of architecture.
• He was also a military genius. He waged successful wars against Vijayanagar, Orissa and the sea pirates on the Arabian sea.
• His conquests include Konkan, Goa and Krishna-Godavari delta and thus he expanded the Bahmani Empire through his conquests.
• Despite of being an Afaqui he was liberal and wanted a compromise between the Afaquis and the Deccanis.
• He controlled the kingdom in an efficient manner and provided it stability.
• Gawan conquered the Vijayanagar territories up to Kanchi.
• On the western coast, Goa and Dhabol were conquered. Losing these important ports was a great loss for Vijayanagar.
• Bahamani strengthened its trading relations with Iran and Iraq after gaining control over Goa and Dabhol.
• His administrative reforms were were aimed to increase the control of Sultan over the nobles and provinces.
• Gawan carried out many internal reforms and attempted to put an end to the strife in the nobility. Royal officers were appointed in each province for this purpose. Most of the forts were under the control of these officers.
• In order to curb the military power of the tarafdar, Gawan ordered that only one fort of each province was to be under the direct control of the provincial tarafdar.
• The remaining forts of the province were placed under a Qiladar or commander of the forts. The Qiladar was appointed by the central Government.
• However, soon after his death, the governors declared their independence and the Bahamani kingdom broke up.
• In the fifteenth and the sixteenth century, some amirs in Bidar, Ahmadnagar, Golconda and Bijapur and Berar established independent sultanates of their own and formed new states.
• These were the NizamShahis of Ahmadnagar, the AdilShahis of Bijapur, the QutbShahis of Golconda, and the ImadShahis of Berar and the BaridShahis of Bidar.
• They formed a league of states and strengthened them by matrimonial alliances.
• They maintained the traditional rivalry with the Vijayanagar rulers.
• Golconda and Bijapur entered into matrimonial alliances and led the Battle of Talikota against Vijayanagar.
• They finally succumbed to the Mughal armies.

Conflicts between the Vijayanagar and the Bahamani Kingdoms

• There were constant conflicts between the Vijayanagar and the Bahamani kingdoms over the control of Raichur doab which was the land between rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra.
• This area was fertile and rich in mineral resources. The famous diamond mines of Golconda were located in the eastern part of the doab region.
• The geography of both the kingdoms was such that expansion was possible only across Tungabhadra in the Deccan.
• It appears that the battles between the two were not conclusive and the status quo was maintained.
• Sometimes, Bahamani had an advantage and sometimes, Vijayanagar had an advantage. For instance, in 1504, the Bahamani managed to reconquer the Raichur doab. However, with the ascent of Krishna Deva Raya, the Bahamanis lost Raichur, Mudkal, Nalgonda and other inland towns.
• An important result of these wars was that both the powers were so involved amongst themselves that they never realized the increasing power of the Portuguese on the coast of South India.
• Besides, continuous warfare exhausted the resources of both the states and weakened them.
• The other areas of conflict were the Marathwada region and the deltaic region of Krishna-Godavari.
• Both regions had fertile areas and important ports that controlled trade to the foreign countries.
• The fertile area in the Marathwada region was the Konkan belt that also had the port of Goa which was an important region for trade and export and import especially import of horses from Iraq and Iran.
• Often, the battles between the Vijayanagar and the Bahamani states are perceived as Hindu-Muslim conflicts, but the above mentioned reasons show that the struggle was not due to any religious differences.
• Territorial and economic motives were the main causes for the war.
• Despite hostilities between the two states, there were times when they also co-operated with each other.
• Krishna Deva Raya, for example, supported some claimants to power in the Sultanates and took pride in the title “establisher of the Yavana kingdom”.
• Similarly, the Sultan of Bijapur intervened to resolve succession disputes in Vijayanagra following the death of Krishna Deva Raya.
• There were also sharing and exchange of ideas, especially in the field of art, literature and architecture.

Other Regional States

• The fifteenth and early sixteenth century was the crucial period between the death of the last Tughlaq king in 1413 AD and emergence of a new Turkish power in the sub-continent- the Moghuls.
• There were two main process at work in Muslim India at this point of time:

– the disintegration of Delhi sultanate, and
– the rise of independent regional kingdoms.

• The centralizing authority of Delhi Sultanate ceased to be paramount power in Indian political life, and its power and position were taken over by other regional kingdoms, which were more powerful than the Delhi sultanate with better organized state machinery.
• Many of these states also centers of artistic activity.
• Though the Delhi Sultanate has fallen from its former glory during this period, it continued to be viewed as symbol of prestige and source of wealth for which many factions struggled and fought.
• The Deccan states, and Bengal in the east, and Sindh and Multan in the west had broken away towards the end of Muhammad- bin -Tughlaq’s rule, and after some feeble efforts, Firuz saha reconciled himself to this loss.
• Follwing the Timurid invasion, the governors of Gujarat, Malwa and Jaunpur (in the east of Uttar Pradesh) declared themselves independent, while Khizr Khan assumed full powers in the Punjab.
• With the expulsion of the Muslim governor from Ajmer, the various states of Rajputana also asserted their independence.
• While these various provincial kingdoms and Rajput states fought against each other, it would be wrong to consider the 15th century a period of decadence and decline in north India.
• Politically, warfare between the various states rarely extended beyond the border regions, with a definite pattern of balance of power emerging between the states located in the various regions, – east, west and north.
• In the west, Gujarat, Malwa and Mewar balanced and checked the growth of each others’ power.
• In the east, Bengal was checked by the Gajapati rulers of Orissa, as also by the Sharqi rulers of Jaunpur.
• In the north, while Kashmir remained aloof, the rise of the Lodhis at Delhi towards the middle of 15th century led to a long drawn out struggle between them and the rulers of Jaunpur for the mastery of the Ganga -Yamuna doab.
• The balance of power began to break down by the end of the 15h century. With the final defeat of Jaunpur by the Lodis, and the extension of their rule from Punjab upto the borders of Bengal, the Sultanat of Delhi had been virtually re-established and the heat was on eastern Rajastahan and Malwa.
• Meanwhile, Malwa started disintegrating due to internal factors, leading to a sharpened rivalry between Gujarat and Mewar. Thus, Malwa once again became the cock-pit of the struggle for mastery of north India.
• Culturally, the new kingdoms which arose tried to utilize local cultural forms and traditions for their own purposes. This was mostly manifested in the field of architectures where efforts were made to adopt and adapt the new architectural forms developed by the Turks by utilitarian local forms and traditions.
• In many cases; encouragement was given to local languages, while political necessity compelled many of them to establish a closer association with Hindu ruling elites. This, in turn, had an effect on the processes of cultural rapprochement between the Hindus and the Muslims which had been working apace.

REGIONAL STATES

Bengal

• After conquest by Bakhtiyar Khalji in A.D.1204, Bengal in a freakish nature continued to be ruled by governors appointed by the Delhi Sultans.
• Its long distance from Delhi tempted its governors to seek sovereignty, hence rebellions were a recurrent feature in Bengal.
• The history of Bengal as an independent kingdom may be dated from A.D. 1338 hen one Fakhruddin taking advantage of Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s troubles proclaimed himself ruler of eastern Bengal as Sonargaon its capital under the title of Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah.
• Shortly after, Alauddin Ali Shah (A.D. 1339-1342) established its authority in western Bengal with Lakhnauti as its capital.
• About A.D. 1342, Ilyas, an officer of Alauddin Ali Shah, made himself independent ruler of the entire Bengal, assuming the title of Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah and founded Ilyas Shahi dynasty.
• He overran Tirhut and went as far as Kathmandu in Nepal (A.D. 1346). He then exacted a tribute from the ruler of Orissa. He also defeated the ruler of Sonargaon and annexed his dominions.
• Firuz Tughlaq attempted twice to capture Bengal but failed.
• The rule of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty continued till A.D. 1415 when it was superceded by that of Raja Ganesha; though it was recovered in about A.D. 1442.
• But there followed a period of weak monarches and the throne was finally seized by Malik Andil, an Abyssinian commander of the Ilyas Shahi army.
• The Abyssinian regime covered a short period of 6 years (A.D. 1487-1493) and comprised three weak rulers.
• Then the throne was occupied by one Syed Hussain, who assumed the title of ‘Alauddin Hussain Shah’. His long reign (A.D. 1493-1519) is noted for public works and for promotion of Bengali literature.
• Chaitanya, the famous Hindu reformer, enjoyed Alauddin Hussain Shah’s patronage and was able to propagate his ideas freely.
• Alauddin Hussain Shah was succeeded by his son Nusrat Shah, a contemporary of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi.
• The Afghan rebel chiefs who were rising against the Sultans sided with Nusrat Shah who is said to have conquered Tirhut. Subsequently, he made a treaty with Babar, and was assassinated soon after in A.D. 1532.
• Then decline set in and there followed a quick succession and one Mahmud Shah was overthrown in A.D. 1538 by Sher Khan Suri and sought shelter with Humayun who had then advanced in Bihar with the object of suppressing Sher Khan.
• Humayun turned out the latter, and sat on the throne of Gaur (the other new capital) as emperor for three months. But Sher Khan defeated Humayun at Chausa and recovered the independence of Bengal.
• But after his death Bengal fell under confusion till it was annexed to the Mughal empire in A.D. 1575.

Jaunpur

• Jaunpur is now in Varanasi division in eastern Uttar Pradesh on the banks of river Gomati.
• It was a prosperous province in the eastern part of the Delhi Sultanate.
• The governor of Jaunpur was Malik Sarwar, who was a prominent noble during Feroz Shah Tughlaq’s period.
• In 1394, Sultan Nasiruddin Mohammad Shah Tughlaq made him a minister and gave him the title of Sultanu-Sharq which means the master of the east. Thereafter, he was known as Malik Sarwar Sultanus Sharq.
• After Timur’s invasion and the weakening of the Delhi Sultanate, Malik Sarwar took advantage of a weak political situation and declared himself independent.
• Malik Sarwar was succeeded by his son Mubarak Shah Sharqi. The Sultan struck coins in his name.
• During the period of Mubarak Shah Sharqi, the ruler of the Delhi sultanate was Mahmud Shah Tughlaq, who tried to annex Jaunpur, but failed. Thereafter, there were constant tensions between the various rulers of Jaunpur and Delhi Sultanate.
• The Sharqi Sultans made several attempts to conquer Delhi, but they could never be successful.
• In 1402, Ibrahim Shah Sharqi, Mubarak Shah’s brother became the Sultan and ruled Jaunpur for thirty four years.
• Ibrahim was also a scholar, well versed with Islamic theology and law, music and fine arts. He was a great patron of architecture.
• A distinct style of architecture evolved called the Sharqi style that had some Hindu influence.
• At its height, the Sharqi Sultanate extended from Aligarh in western Uttar Pradesh to Darbhanga in north Bihar in the east and from Nepal in the north to Bundelkhand in the south.
• It was during the reign of Hussain Shah Sharqi (1458– 1505) Bahlol Lodhi attacked Jaunpur in 1484 and Hussain Shah had to flee.
• Finally, Sikandar Lodhi who succeeded Bahlol Lodhi annexed Jaunpur. Hussain Shah died and the Sharqi dynasty came to an end.

Kashmir

• Kashmir is in the northern part of India. In the eleventh century, the rulers were followers of Saivism, and Saivism became the central religion in Kashmir. It was a closed kingdom.
• Albiruni, the Arab traveller who visited India during this period remarked in his work, Al-Hind that no one, not even Hindus from outside was allowed access to Kashmir.
• In 1320s, the ruling dynasty of Kashmir could not check the devastating Mongol invasions.
• It therefore, lost all public support. In 1339, Shamsuddin Shah deposed the Saiva ruler and became the ruler of Kashmir. From this period onwards, Islam influenced the Kashmiri society.
• A group of Sufi saints known as the Rishis propagated a religion that combined features of Hinduism and Islam Sufi saints and refugees migrated from Central Asia to Kashmir and further influenced the society and religion.
• Gradually, the poorer section of the population started converting to Islam. The state encouragement to Islam took place when the Kashmiri Sultan, Sikandar Shah (1389–1413), issued an order that all Hindus especially, the brahmanas living in his kingdom should embrace Islam or leave his kingdom.
• These orders were issued at the instance of the king’s minister, Suha Bhatt who was a Hindu and had recently converted to Islam.
• Perhaps, one of the greatest rulers of Kashmir was Zainul Abidin (1420–1470). He was an enlightened ruler and called back those Hindus who had left the state due to the persecution of Sikandar Shah. He abolished jaziya and prohibited cow slaughter and gave the Hindus important state posts. A large number of temples were repaired and new ones constructed.
• Abul Fazl, the court historian of the Mughal Emperor Akbar noted that Kashmir had one hundred and fifty big temples.
• Sultan Zainul Abidin married the daughters of the Hindu raja of Jammu. Some scholars call Zainul Abidin as the Akbar of Kashmir. Under him, Kashmir became prosperous and he was called the Bud Shah or the great king of Kashmiris.
• The Sultan Zainul Abidin contributed to the agricultural development of Kashmir by constructing dams and canals. Agricultural records were maintained. During the period of famine and other natural calamities, relief in terms of loans and grains and fodder was provided to the peasants.
• Sultan Zainul Abidin also introduced reforms in the currency. He introduced market control and fixed prices of the commodities. Traders and merchants were asked to sell the commodities at fixed prices. Sultan also subsidized the import of the commodities which were scarce in the state.
• To make up for the shortage of salt, he imported salt from Ladakh and helped the traders in every possible way.
• Sultan also paid attention to the development of handicrafts. He sent some people to Samarqand for training of paper making and book binding.
• Sultan also encouraged stone cutting and polishing and many other crafts. He introduced carpet and shawl making, which make Kashmir famous till day.
• Sultan also founded the towns of Zaingir, Zainket and Zainpur and laid out the islands on the Dal Lake.
• His chief engineering achievement was the Zaina Lanka, an artificial island in the Woolur Lake on which he built his palace and mosque.
• He was a great scholar of Persian, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Arab languages and patronised the Sanskrit and Persian scholars.
• Under his patronage, the Mahabharat and Kalhana’s Rajatarangini were translated into Persian and many Persian and Arabic works were translated into Hindi.
• He himself was a poet and wrote poetry under the pen name ‘Qutb’.
• After him weak rulers ascended the throne of Kashmir and there was confusion. Taking advantage of this, Mirza Haider, Babur’s relative occupied Kashmir.
• In 1586, Akbar conquered Kashmir and made it a part of the Mughal Empire.

Gujarat

• Gujarat was annexed to the Delhi Sultanate in 1297 by Alauddin. From that time it was ruled for long time by Muslim governors appointed by the Delhi Sultans.
• Sultan Nasiruddin Muhammad, sixth king of the Tughlaq house, appointed in A.D. 1391, Zafar Khan as governor of Gujarat.
• In A.D. 1407, he took the title of Sultan Muzaffar Shah and founded the Muzaffari Dynasty which continued till A.D. 1573 when it was annexed by Akbar to the Mughal empire.
• Of the fourteen kings of this dynasty, the most important are three – Ahmad Shah I, Mahmud Begara, also known as Mahmud I and Bahadur Shah.
• Ahamd Shah (A.D. 1411-1443) was a grandson of Muzaffar Shah and is remembered for founding the city of Ahmadabad on the Sabarmati. He died at Ahmedabad in A.D. 1442.
• Ahmad Shah’s grandson, Mahmud I (A.D. 1449-1511), commonly known by his surname Begara, was by far the most eminent Sultan of Gujarat. Champaner was rechristened by him as Muhammadabad.
• Towards the close of his reign, he attempted, in alliance with Egypt, to check the power of the Portuguese who monopolized the lucrative trade which passed through Egypt and Red Sea to India. After his death, the decline of the empire began.
• Only Bahadur Shah (A.D. 1526-1537) proved to be a capable ruler. He invaded Mandu fort and entered the city unopposed. The king of Malwa, Mahmud Khalji II, was taken prisoner and his territory was annexed to Gujarat in A.D. 1591.
• Bahadur Shah also captured the fortress of Ujjain, Bhilsa and Raisen completing the conquest of Malwa.
• In A.D. 1535, he captured Chittor. By this time, the Mughal emperor, Humayun as it is felt it necessary to stem the tide of Bhadur’s conquests he marched into Malwa and occupied Mandasor.
• In the reign of the last ruler Muzaffar III, Akbar annexed Gujarat to his empire.

Sind

• Sind retained some degree of independence, the desert of thar being a fairly effective barrier to frequent communications with Rajastan and Delhi.
• The Arabs who conquered Sind in 8th century after reverses they met with appear to have lost interest in enlarging their indian possessions.
• During the period of the sultanate Sind was ruled by obscure tribes.
• In 1520 Shah Beg Arghun the governor of Kandhar having been driven out of Afghanistan by Babur migrated to Sind, conquered it and laid the foundation of the Arghun dynasty. His son shah Hussain consolidated his conquest by annexing Multan.
• At the time Babur’s invasion the power was Arghuns was in Sind was at its height.

Malwa

• Iltutmish attacked Chilsa and Ujjain but the kingdom had continued to be under the paramara rulers and their feudatories.
• It became a province of the Delhi Sultanate in A.D. 1310 under Alauddin.
• In A.D. 1390 one Delawar Khan Ghauri was made governor of Malwa, but from A.D. 1401 he ruled independently without a formal proclamation.
• In A.D. 1406 he died and Alp Khan ascended the throne with the title of Hushang Shah.
• He made Mandu his capital, strenghthened its defences and decorated its residential buildings, palaces, mosques and tombs.
• He died in A.D. 1935 and was buried in a marble tomb at Mandu.
• Mahmud Khalji, a cousin and minister of the new ruler Muhammad Shah Ghauri, murdered him and seized the throne (A.D. 1436).
• His war with Rana Kumbha of Chittor was inconclusive. Strangely enough, both sides claimed success, and while the Rana of Mewar erected the tower of victory at Chittor, the Sultan of Malwa built a seven-storeyed column at Mandu to commemorate his triumph.
• In A.D. 1469 Mahmud Khalji died at Mandu at the age of sixty-eight.
• Mahmud Khalji was succeeded by his eldest son, Muhammad Shah, under the title of Sultan Ghiyasuddin (A.D. 1469). After his accession he waged only one war with Raimal, the Rana of Chittor and was defeated. He is credited with the construction of Jahaz Mahal.
• Muhammad Shah was succeeded in A.D. 1500 by Nasir Shah. After Nasir Shah’s death in A.D. 1510, his third son ascended the throne with the title of Mahmud Khalji II.
• Mahmud Khalji II conferred the office of wazir on Medini Rai.
• Mahmud was defeated and killed by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Baz Bahadur proclaimed independence and assumed regal power and title after his father’s death in A.D. 1555.
• Baz Bahadur fell in love with Rupmati who was noted for her gift of music and poetry.
• Baz Bahadur was the last independent ruler of Malwa. Malwa was finally annexed to the Mughal empire in A.D. 1562.

Khandesh

• The kingdom of Khandesh was situated in the valley of Tapti, its Governor Malik Raja declared his independence of the Delhi sultanate and ruled his small realm wisely and well until his death in 1399.
• From the very beginning the Sultanas of Gujarat were desirous of establishing their supremacy over Khandesh. Hence the two kingdoms were at war.
• Under the last notable monarch Adil Khan Farrukhi ( I457- I503) great progress was made in the country.
• For some time the little kingdom lingered on as a political entity until at last Akbar’s reign saw its close.

Rajputana

• Mewar with its capital at Chittor was the most extensive and powerful state in Rajasthan.
• Babur’s contemporary on the throne was the famous Rana Sangram Singh popularly known as Rana Sangha.
• He was a man of the great military powers and was a terror to the muslim states.
• Devoted to military activites all through his life his body bore the signs of eighty wounds in addition to an eye blinded and a leg crippled.
• He fought successfully against Gujarat and repulsed an invasion of Mewar by Ibrahim Lodhi.
• Rana Sangha helped Medini Rai against Mehmud II of Malwa who was taken as captive to Chittor.
• The economic resources and the military forces of Mewar were thoroughly organized and it was clear that any other power aiming at supremacy in Hindustan would have to contest it with him.
• In the Deccan that is beyond Vindhyas two formidable empires viz. the Bahamani Kingdom (the Muslim Kingdom) and the Vijyanagar Kingdom (The Hindu Kingdom) had been founded during the rule of Muhammed Bin Tughluq.

Social and Cultural Conditions

• The Indian society in the beginning of 16th century was divided into two distinct communities – Hindus and Muslims. But socially the country was passing through a period of transition from conflict to co-operation between Hindus and Muslim.
• The bitterness between the Hindus and Muslims had gradually subsided. Islam had come to stay in India and Muslim culture had become a part of the Indian society.
• The Turks – Afghan rulers and their followers were shedding their foreign ways and were becoming Indiansied.
• More over a large number of Hindus converted as Muslims, though these Hindustani Muslims were considered inferior to the pure foreign blood.
• The Muslims were the dominant class in the state enjoying considerable prestige.
• Muslims followed the teachings of the Quaran and muslim traditions. The holy men were consulted on important questions of religions and state but their advice was not always followed.
• The Hindus were divided into castes, the Sudras being the lowest in society.
• Slavery was common and there was sale and purchase of slaves.
• The life of Hindus was governed by the rules laid down in the Smritis and they led pure and dignified lives, restricted by the convention of their caste. Sati was prevalent in certain parts of India.
• Foreign writers like Ibn Batuta and Nicolo Conti testify to the practice of Sati in the state of Delhi and Vijyanagar empire in the Deccan.
• The property right of women were recognized and they were declared absolute owners of their stridhana which they could dispose of without any interference from their husbands.
• Caste distinctions were rigidly observed.
• Although India was politically divided yet culturally she was becoming one.
• It was during this period that the saints of the Bhakti movement played a very important part in abridging the gulf between Hinduism and Islam.
• The reformers of the Bhakti cult such as Ramanand, Chaitanya, Namdev and particularly Kabir and Nanak stressed the need of Hindu-Muslim unity.
• The work of these saints was supplemented by the Sufi mystics of the day.
• Close cooperation between Hindus and Muslims had an interesting side effect; it led to the growth of vernacular languages like Hindi Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati.

Economic Conditions

• The Indian economy so far as its agricultural and material wealth was concerned was quite sound and there was general prosperity.
• Agriculture was in flourishing condition. In normal times the peasants produced so much corn that after satisfying the needs of the country it was exported to foreign lands.
• However, on account of frequent invasions villages were built and destroyed very often.
• India had brisk inland and foreign trade.
• There was a lot of trade with Malaya, China, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran and Tibet.
• Many kinds of industries like textile industry sugar, mental and paper industries were found in most parts of the country.
• People lived a life of ease and comfort. The common man though poor had few needs and did not suffer from starvation.

Military Conditions

• Militarily India was weak at the beginning of 16th century.
• The Indian as well as the Muslim rulers no doubt maintained huge armies but there was not much of discipline and training.
• The military organization was based upon feudalism. The Indian rulers did not have direct control over their troops. They depended upon feudal nobility for the supply of most of the fighting men. Therefore these soldiers were more loyal to their immediate masters than to the kings.
• Moreover the training and the military skill differed from contingent to contingent. There was no uniformity in their actions on the battle field.
• The Indian rulers were also ignorant of the latest invasions in the field of military science, including the use of artillery which had become quite popular with the countries of Central Asia who had borrowed from the West.
• The use of elephants in the advance guard, the lack of reserve force and the absence of second-in-command in the battle fields were some of other defects in the Indian Military organization.
• The Delhi army under the Lodhis was not a national force. It was organised on clannish basis. The Lodhis had failed to safeguard the north western frontier which gave Babur a free hand to deal with the Indian situation as he pleased. Such were the political, social, economic and military conditions of India on the eve of Babur’s invasion in 1526.

Quick Contact