The Sultanate of Delhi 1236


Map Code: Ax02278

The first dynasty to rule what became the Sultanate of Delhi was the Mamluk Dynasty also known as the Slave or Ghulam Dynasty (the word ‘mamluk’ means ‘owned’ and the Mamluks became a powerful military caste in several Muslim societies). In 1206, following the assassination of the childless Sultan of the Ghurid Empire, the empire fragmented amongst his Mamluk generals. Quth ud-Din Aibak became the first Sultan of Delhi (r.1206–1210). When he died his son Aram Shah came to power, only to be deposed by Shams ud-Din Iltutmish in 1211. Iltutmish consolidated the Sultanate, conquering Multan in the west and Gaur and Nudava in the east. He moved the capital from Lahore to Delhi, and created an efficient administrative structure and currency that would endure until the arrival of the Mughals in 1526. Iltutmish successfully defended his lands, standing firm in the face of growing Mongol power, remaining in control until his death on 1 May 1236. On his deathbed Iltutmish nominated his daughter Razia as his heiress. This led to a period of instability, with the throne changing hands several times. Stability was re-established in 1246 after Iltutmish’s grandson, Nasir ud-Din Mahmud came to the throne. The Mamluk dynasty lasted until 1290 when it was replaced by the Khalji dynasty.

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