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A Comprehensive History of India Lecture – 9 February 26, 2012

Sultanates of Delhi Beginning of the Medieval Age

Maharaj Mukherjee

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Different Eras of History • Pre historic Ages – Time before the recorded history (15000 BC – 700 BC) – Hunter Gatherer, Indus Valley, Aryans, Time of the Epics

• Ancient Ages – Time of initial recorded history (700 BC – 900 AD) – Buddha, Alexander, Ashoka, Gupta, Harsha, Pala – We just finished studying the ancient ages

• Middle Ages – (900 AD – 1750 AD) – We will start from here today

• Modern Ages (1750 AD – 2012 AD) – Time we are living in now – What happened in or around 1750?? • Think about it and I will ask the question again in next class. • (HW – for next class 03/03/12) • Hint: There is no single answer.

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Map of the Known World (Around 900 AD)

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Around 900 AD (View of the Eurasia) • • • •

America-s (North and South) were not known Australia was yet to be discovered Most of Africa was not known Rest of the World was well populated and divided into small and big empires, kingdoms, principalities and duchies, sultanates etc. • And they were all fighting with each other • This lasted for almost 500 years.

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Map of the Known World (Around 900 AD)

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Why were they fighting • The same reason people migrate • Basic Needs for Survival – – – –

Food and Water Climate and Weather Population pressure and Competition Freedom

• Pursuit of Happiness – Fight over an Idea – We can be happier in the future

• But there were no more places left to migrate – so they would fight – And that would happen for almost 500 years

• We will study Medieval history in two parts – 900 AD – 1400 AD – 1400 AD – 1850 AD

• Please remember as in any periods of history the transitions do not happen over night.

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Fight for Ideological Reasons • Fight over an Idea – Religion – Our religion is better than yours – Race – Our race is superior to yours – Social Norms or Structure – Our form of government is better than yours

• Why do people fight over an idea? – Because ideas define how the future is going to be – If the present is not good enough you can at least hope that future will be good – Ideas can move larger groups of people than the basic needs alone.

• Medieval Time is the first time when many wars started over Ideas only – without the basic need for foods etc. • In the present times – most wars are essentially fought over ideas • Even in a democracy an election is fought over idea-s © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

The Instruments of Wars • Horses – Cavalry – Used for Offensive or Attack purposes • Forts and Castles – Used for Defensive or Protection Purposes • They both remained important instruments of war until 1920-s (after World War – 1) – The advent of Tanks, Airplanes as well as rockets made both cavalry and forts obsolete © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

War Horses • Arabian Horses do not come from Arabia – They are a breed of horse originally came from Iraq – by the valley of Tigris and Euphrates – Iraq if you remember was part of the original civilization of mankind that extended from the Fertile Crescent to Indus Valley – Though horses were used in warfare for a long time (Remember Aryans) there came a improved variety of horses around 700 AD – Increasingly they decided the results of war because of their speed, strength, size and intelligence – They were used in every wars since 900 through 1900 in every continent including Americas © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Arabian Horses

From the latest movie “War Horse.”

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Castles and Forts • In many city states castles/forts were built to protect the peasants and farmers and all the people around it. • They were the primary instruments of defense in a war in Medieval Ages – Why Forts have become obsolete in modern warfare? – What do people use as defense in modern warfare?

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Medieval Forts and Castles Agra Fort

A Medieval Fort with Moat

Jodhpur Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan

The work of angels, fairies and giants... built by Titans and coloured by the morning sun... he who walks through it loses sense of being among buildings. It is as though he walked through mountain gorges... By Rudyard Kipling © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Rise of Islam • Most of the Rulers of India during the Medieval times were followers of Islam • Islam is the newest major World Religion • It is one of the three major religions coming from the Middle East – Christianity – Islam – Judaism

• All three religions are based on teachings of prophets – Similar to Avatars in Hinduism – Tirthankaras in Jainism

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

About Islam ISLAM: MUHAMMED Sacred Text: QUORAN

CHRISTIANITY: JESUS CHRIST NEW TESTAMENT: Teachings and stories by Jesus Christ Recorded by 4 of his followers

OLD TESTAMENT JUDAISM: Prophets: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Jonah et al © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Influence of Islam in Medieval Time • Islam rejects human, plant or animal forms of symbolisms – Gave rise to Geometry and Algebra – Islamic arts are the first form of abstract arts based on purely geometric design

• The most beautiful palaces were built during the Islamic periods

Typical Islamic Art

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Alhambra Palace, Spain © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Islamic Empires in India Empires of India

British 100%




% of India Ruled









40% 30%


20% 10% 0% -500

SaatVahana Kushana 0

Rashtrakuta Chola 500




Common Era

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Sultanate of Delhi • Most of the Islamic Rulers came either from Afghanistan or Iran • Some of them have originally come from Turkey • There had been several wars between 900 – 1100 AD between Afgan/Iran Sultans and Hindu Indian kingdoms • Mohammed Ghori of Afghanistan established the Sultanate of Delhi in 1191

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Different Dynasties of Delhi Sultanate

Alauddin Khilji: 1294 – 1316 Qutbuddin Aibak: 1206 – 1210 Muhammud Bin Tughlak 1325 – 1351 Iltutmish: 1211 – 1236 Tughlaq and Sayyid Dynasty 1352 -1451 Balban: 1266-1287 Lodhi Dynasty 1460 - 1527 © 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Qutub Minar • Constructed during the rule of Qutub Ud Din Aibak – He was a slave of Muhammad Ghori – Then he became his personal body guard

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Further Reading • Parents – Please help here: – Prithwi Raj Chowhan and Muhammad Ghori – Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmini – Razia Sultana: The empress of India – Qutubuddin Aibak, Iltutmishand: the Slave Dynasty – Bakhtiar Khilji and Sen Dynasty in Bengal – Muhammad Bin Tughlaq – The crazy emperor

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

Quiz • What are the three major religions came from the Middle East? – Islam, Christianity, Judaism

• What is the Sacred Text of Islam? – Quoran

• What are the major war instruments of the Medieval Time? – Forts and Horses

• Name a major architecture of the Medieval Time in India – The Taj Mahal and the Qutab Minar

© 2012 Maharaj Mukherjee

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