Class 7 Social Science The Delhi Sultanate Exam Notes

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Class 7 Social Science The Delhi Sultanate Exam Notes. Please refer to the examination notes which you can use for preparing and revising for exams. These notes will help you to revise the concepts quickly and get good marks.

Cover the Following Topic:

1.The Delhi Sultanate

2.The Delhi Sultan

3.The Expansion Of The Delhi Sultanate

4.The Slave Dynasty

5.The Khalji Dynasty

6.The Tughlaq Dynasty

7.Sayyid Dynasty

8.The Lodhi's Dynasty

9.Decline Of The Sultanate

10.The Vijaynagar Kingdom

11.A Closer Look

12.The Mongals

13.The Sultanate In The Fifteenth And Sixteenth Centuries


Muhammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 AD. It was an important event in the history of Medieval India. The result of the battle was the beginning of the Afghan-Turkish Rule in India. The Afghan-Turkish Rule lasted for 15 years, however, the successors of Muhammad Ghori assumed power in 1206 and ruled India successfully till 1526. Since these rulers called themselves as Sultans, this period in the history of India is called as the Sultanate period.

The period witnessed the rule of five dynasties of the Turkish-Afghan origin.These dynasties are as follow :

- The Slave dynasty    –     1206-1290 AD   

- The Khalji dynasty   –      1290–1320 AD 

- The Tughlaq dynasty   –  1320-1414 AD

- The Sayyid dynasty –      1414-1451 AD

- The Lodhi dynasty   –      1451-1526 AD

The Delhi Sultanate

The Rulers of Delhi :   

(i) Delhi became an important city only in the twelfth century.

(ii) Take a look at Table

Delhi first became the capital of a kingdom under the Tomara Rajputs, who were defeated in the middle of the twelfth century by the Chauhans (Also referred to as Chahamanas) of Ajmer. It was under the Tomaras and Chauhans that Delhi became an important commercial centre. Many rich jaina merchants level in the city and constructed several temples. Coins minted here, called Delhliwal, had a wide circulation.

(iii) The transformation of Delhi into a capital that controlled vast areas of the subcontinent started with the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate in the beginning of the thirteenth century. Take a look at Table 1 again and identify the five dynasties that together made the Delhi Sultanate.

(iv) The Delhi Sultans built many cities in the area that we now know as Delhi. These were Delhi-I Kuhna. Siri and Jahanpanah.

Class 7 Social Science The Delhi Sultanate Exam Notes

(a) Finding out about the Delhi Sultans

(i) Although inscriptions, coins and architecture, provide a lot of information, especially valuable are "histories", tarikh (singular)/tawarikh (plural) written in Persian, the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans.

(ii) The authors of tawarikh were learned men; secretaries, administrators, poets and courtiers, who both recounted events and advised rulers on governance, emphasizing the importance of just rule.

(iii) Following are the additional details : (1) the authors of tawarikh lived in cities (mainly Delhi) and hardly ever in villages.

(2) They often wrote their histories for sultans in the hope of rich rewards

(3) These authors advised rulers on the need to preserve an "Ideal" social order based on birthright and gender distinctions.

Their ideas were not shared by everybody.

(iv) In 1236 Sultan Iltutmish's daughter, Raziyya, became Sultan. The chronicler of the age, Minhaji Siraj, ecognized that she was more able and qualified than all her brothers. But he was not comfortable at having a queen as ruler. Nor were the nobles happy at her attempts to rule independently. She was removed from the throne


(a) From Garrison Town to Empire

(i) In the early thirteenth century the control of the Delhi Sultans rarely went beyond heavily fortified towns occupied by garrison. The Sultans seldom controlled the hinterland of the cities and were therefore, pendent upon trade, tribute or plunder for supplies.

(ii) Controlling garrison towns in distant Bengal and Sind from Delhi was extremely difficult. Rebellion, war, even bad weather could snap fragile communication routes Delhi's authority was also challenged by Mongol invasions from Afghanistan and by governors who rebelled at any sign of the Sultan's weakness. The Sultanate barely survived these challenges. Its expansion occurred during the regions of Ghiyasuddin alban, Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq.

(iii) The first set of campaigns along the "internal frontier" of the Sultanate aimed at consolidating the hinterlands of the garrison towns. During these campaigns forests were cleared in the Ganga-Yamuna doab and hunter-gatheres and pastoralists expelled from their habitat. 

(vi) These lands were given to peasants and agriculture was encouraged. New fortresses and towns were established to protect trade routes and to promote regional trade

(v) The second expansion occurred along the "external frontier" to the Sultanate. Military expeditions into southern India started during the reign of Alauddin Khalji and culminated with Muhammad Tughluq. In their campaigns, Sultanate armies captured elephants, horses and slaves and carried away precious metals.

(vi) By the end of Muhammad Tughluq's reign, 150 years after somewhat humble beginnings, the armies of the Delhi Sultanate had marched across a large part of the subcontinent. They had defeated rival armies and seized cities. The Sultanate collected taxes from the peasantry and dispensed justice in its realm.


The Slave dynasty was founded in 1206 AD by Qutubuddin Aibak.

The prominent rulers of the Slave dynasty were.
- Qutubuddin Aibak – 1206-1210 AD
- Shamsuddin Iltutmish – 1210-1236 AD
- Razia Sultana – 1236-1239 AD
- Ghiyasuddin Balban – 1266-1287 AD
Qutubuddin Aibak

Qutubuddin Aibak, who was a Turkish slave, a had played an important role in the expansion of the territories of Muhammad Ghori. He Declared himself the ruler after the death of Muhammad Ghori. He founded the Slave dynasty. His succesors were called Mamluk which means 'slave' or the son of a slave'.

Qutubuddin Aibak was very kind to all his subjects hence he was called as Lakhbaksh which means the 'Giver of Lakhs'. He was successful in suppressing the internal revolts and external disturbances caused by
the Mongols who invaded from the North-western part of India. Qutubuddin Aibak built the Qutab Minar in Delhi and also several mosques in Delhi and Agra. He did not live long as he fell from a horse and died.

 shamsuddin IItutmish

IItutmish was the slave and the son-in-law of Qutubuddin Aibak. He succeeded the throne and was conferred the title of Sultan. He was known for his efficient administration. Iltutmish introduced the following.

1. His army was organized.

2. He had the nobility, a select group of forty, called the Chalisa of Chahalgani.

3. He divided the empire into small units called Iqtas which were given to the nobles as salaries.

4. He strengthened the North, western Frontier which protected the empire from the Mongols from Central Asia.

5. The introduced Tankas-silver coins and Jitals-Copper coins.

The Qutab Minar at Delhi was completed by Iltutmish. He also built a mosque at Badaun and a tomb at Delhi.

Razia Sultana

Razia Sultana was the daughter of Iltutmish who succeeded her father. She dressed like a man, rode horses and led her army. She was a brave ruler. However, the nobles could not accept Razia Sultana being a

woman as a Sultan. The Clergy (ulema) and Nobility found it humiliating to work under her, hence they betrayed her and killed her in 1239 AD.

Ghiyasuddin Balban

In 1266 AD, a Turkish slave called Balban took over the throne after the death of Razia Sultana. Balban is known for his firm policies and his efficient spy system. He successfully defeated the local enemies and defended his kingdom from all invasions. The Divine Right of Kingship was introduced by Balban. The
justice was given to all and he was very firm in it. His policy is generally called as Blood and Iron Policy,
because he mercilessly punished the robbers and zamindars, who did not accept him as ruler.


The death of Balban led to unrest in the empire. Balban's grandson Kaiqubad ascended the throne but he

was murdered by Jalaluddin Khalji who became the ruler and established the Khalji Dynasty.

The prominent rulers of Khalji dynasty were.

- Jalaluddin khalji – 1290-1296 AD

- Alauddin Khalji – 1296-1316 AD

Jalaluddin Khalji

Jalaluddin Khalji was the founder of the Khalji Dynasty. He was very old when he became the king. He could not rule for a long time. His nephew Alauddin Khalji murdered him and became the ruler in 1296 AD.

Alauddin Khalji

Alauddin Khalji was a great invader and adopted expansion policy. He called himself as 'the Alexander'. He built a city called Siri in Delhi and also constructed Alai Darwaza near the Qutab Minar.

Alauddin Khalji conquered Gujarat, Rajasthan, Malwa Devagiri, Warangal and Dvarasamudra. He managed the Mongols invasion by strengthening the forts. He took measures to prevent rebellions and stopped the intermixing of nobles. New reforms were introduced to collect revenues. Revenue was collected on the basis of measurement of the land. Special officers were appointed to collect the revenue. Alauddin introduced a market control system according to which the prices of all goods were fixed. There were three markets …. One for foodgrains, another for cloths, and the third one for slaves, animals and cattle.

People were strictly punished on any violation of rules and unauthorized competition. Alauddin also controlled the prices of essential commodities. In the army, he introduced a system called Huliya in which the army soldiers were recorded. A Dagh (branding of horses) was used for cavalry with a royal seal. The Spy system was very efficient and well organised.


In 1320 AD, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq killed the last Khalji ruler and founded the Tughlaq dynasty.

The prominent rulers of the Tughlaq dynasty were.

- Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq – 1320-12325 AD

- Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq – 1325-1351 AD

- Feroz Shah Tughlaq – 1351-1388 AD

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was an efficient ruler and statesman, a good administrator and was able to establish

peace in his territory. The famous Taghlaqabad Fort in Delhi was constructed by him but he died in 1325 AD

in a mysterious circumstances.


Jauna Khan succeeded his father and took the title Muhammed-bin-Tughlaq in 1325 AD. The source of information was the writings of Moroccan traveler, Ibn Batuta.

Muhammed bin-Tughlaq was a scholar and chose reasonable and rational methods to solve all religious issues. He ill-treated the Ulemas and restricted their influence on the society. He also tried to break the barrier between northern and southern India. Most of his projects were controversial and led to his downfall. One such project was the transfer of the capital from Delhi to Devanagiri in 1327 AD and it was renamed as Daulatabad. He actually decided to change the capital because it was closer to south India but the decision brought the downfall of his rule due to the following reasons :

1. He ordered all the people to shift with their bag and baggage which caused inconvenience to all.

2. North India was far away from this place hence its administration suffered.

3. The Mongols started attacking the North-west Frontier regions.

4. The long travel and journey caused misery to all people. However, Tughlaq decided to come back to Delhi within five months which caused a lot of hardship to all the people.

The introduction of the token currency was the second project. In order to overcome the shortage of silver the token currency was introduced which was made of bronze and copper. Since the right to mint the coins was not reserved, every household started minting coins. As a result there were circulation of counterfeit coins. This resulted in confusion in trade and finally all coins had to be withdrawn which caused heavy loss for the government.

The third project was to increase the tax in the Ganga-Yamuna Doab at a time when it was effected by famine. The peasants were unhappy hence, it was withdrawn in the end. By the time it was too late and the agriculture sector was affected . He faced a lot of rebellions in the last phase of his period and he died in 1351.

Feroz Shah Tughlaq

Feroz Shah Tughlaq succeeded Mohammed-bin-Tughlaq. He was a very soft ruler. His policies were very moderate. For example

- Punishment became less severe

- All loans granted by the earlier rulers were written off.

- He introduced the Jazia, a tax on non-muslims for giving them state production. Feroz Shah Tughlaq did not strengthen the army. However he did a lot of welfare activities for his people such as :

- Construction of canals and baolis.

- A separate department for the poor was established. He built various sarais and madarasas.

- Set up workshops for handicrafts.

The reign of Feroz Shah Tughlaq was a period of peace and prosperity. He established many towns such as Hissar, Firozabad and Ferozepur.

Feroz Shah Tughlaq died in 1388 AD. After his death, the Tughlq dynasty could not survive for a long. It was during the reign of Naziruddin Mohammed Tughlaq, the last ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty, Timur, theTurk ruler of Smarkand invaded India in 1398. In 1399 a final blow was given to the Tughlaq Empire.


Khizr Khan captured the throne when Timur left India and established the Sayyid dynasty, in 1414. The prominent rulers of the Sayyid dynasty were.

- Khizr Khan – (1414-1421)

- Mubarak Shah – (1421-1434)

- Mohammed Shah – (1434-1443)

- Alam Shah – (1443-1451)

Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan ruled over Delhi and surroundings for 7 years. Although he was throughout busy in putting down revolts. He defeated Hindu rules of Doab, Kalithar and Chandwar for not paying the tributes. He was a tolerant ruler.

Mubarak Shah

Mubarak Shah succeeded Khzir Khan in 1421. He also fought with invaders. The only achievement was that he laid the foundation of the city Mubarakabad. He was killed by the nobles in his court.

Mohammed Shah

Mohammed Shah was not a competent ruler, although, he ruled over Delhi for 7 years. He continuously fought against internal revolts.

Alam Shah

Alm Shah was very weak ruler. He moved to Badaun instead of staying in Delhi which gave a blow to the Sayyid dynasty.


Mohammed Shah, the last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty descended in favour of Bahalul Lodhi. Then Bahalul Lodhi founded the Lodhi dynasty in 1451. The prominent rulers of the Lodhi dynasty were.

- Bahalul Lodhi – (1451-1488)
- Sikander Lodhi – (1489-1517)
- Ibrahim Lodhi – (1517–1526 AD)

Bahalul Lodhi

In 1451, Bahlul Lodhi who was the Governor of Punjab occupied the throne of Delhi and founded the Lodhi dynasty. He ruled over Delhi for 37 years.

Sikander Lodhi
Sikander Lodhi ascended the throne in 1488. He annexed Jaipur and Bihar and brought the entire region of the Gangetic plains under his control.

Ibrahim Lodhi

Ibrahim Lodhi faced lots of rebellions. Rana Sanga of Mewar was powerful in the western Rajasthan. Sultan suppressed him. He earned the displeasure of nobles when he replaced old and experienced senior commanders, with younger ones. Daulat Khan Lodhi invited Babur the ruler of Kabul to invade India. Babur defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat which marked the beginning of Mughal Empire in India.

Administration of Ibrahim Lodhi

Sultan was the head of the administration. Persian was the language used by the nobles. The Ulemas advised the Sultan. The Turkish nobles were very powerful and enjoyed luxurious life style.

The empire was divided into Iqtas or provinces which were under the charge of Muftis and Walis. The iqtas were sub divided into shiqs under shiqdars. The villages clubbed together as Parghanas and the administration of village was carried out by Headmen or Muqqaddam. The land records were maintained by Patwari and the Munsif collected land revenues. The entire adminisstration was looked after by ministers appointed for various portfolios such as.

1. Wazir – looked after the revenue collection and other financial issues.

2. Ariz-i-Mumalik – Took care of the army and military affairs.

3. Diwan-i-Insha – looked after the state correspondence.

4. Chief Sadr – in charge of the department of justice.

5. Diwani-i-Risalat – supervised the religious affairs.

6. Wakil-i-Dar – took care of the sultan's house hold.

The agriculture policy was very well-planned the revenue was based on the measurement of land sometimes depended on crop sharing also. However, the officers were not very caring they harassed the peasants.


The Sultanates were not very successful. Most of the rulers were very soft and weak which led to the downfall of the empire.

The reasons were many, such as :

- The imposition of Jazia, a tax for nonmulsims, Conversion of people to Islam, Destruction of temples and other places of worship made the rulers unpopular.

- Many rulers were weak which made the nobles assume powers.

- The succession war after the king had died weakened the kingdom.

- The invasions of foreign rulers gave the final blow to the empire.

- Many revolts led to the formation of independent kingdoms such as Vijayanagar and Bahamani.


The Vijayanagar kingdom was founded by Harihara and Bukka in the year 1336. it had its capital at Hampi.

This kingdom flourished during the period of Krishnadeva Raya. During his period many temples were constructed. Bahamani kingdom was founded by Zafar khan. It had its capital at Gulbarga. The famous rulers of this kingdom were Feroz Shah and Muhammed Shah.

Later the kingdom was divided into five independent kingdoms of Berar, Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Golconda and Bidar.


(a) Invasion by Genghis Khan

(i) The Mongols under Genghis Khan invaded Transoxiana in north-east lran in 1219 and the Delhi Sultanate faced their onslaught soon after. Mongols attacks on the Delhi Sultanate increased during the reign of Alauddin Khalji and in the early years of Muhammad Tughluq's rule. This forced the two rulers to mobilise a large standing army in Delhi which posed a hugh administrative challenge. The two Sultans dealt with this, in their own ways.

(ii) For the first time in the history of the Sultanate, a Delhi Sultan planned a campaign defensive measures, Muhammad Tughluq's measures were conceived as a part of a military offensive against the Mongols.


(a) Sayyid and Lodhi Dynasties :

(i) After the Tughluqs, the Sayyid and Lodi dynasties ruled from Delhi and Agra until 1526. By then, Jaunpur, Bengal, Malwa, Gujrat, Rajasthan and the entire south India had independent rulers who established flourishing states and prosperous capitals. This was also the period which saw the emergence of new ruling groups like the Afghans and the Rajputs.

(ii) Some of the state established in this period were small but powerful and extremely well administered. Sher Shah Suri (1540-1545) his career as the manager of a small territory for his uncle in Bihar and eventually challenged and defeated the Mughal emperor Humayun (1530-1540, 1555-1556). Sher Shah captured Delhi and established his own dynasty. Although the Suri dynasty ruled for only fifteen years (1540-1555), it introduced an administration that borrowed elements from Alauddin Khalji and made them more efficient.
Sher Shah's administration became the model followed by the great emperor Akbar (1556-1605) when he consolidated the Mughal Empire


(a) Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq

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