The Slave Dynasty

When Muhammad Ghori died in 1206 AD he had left no male heir to succeed him.Taj-uddin Yildoz Governor of Kirman ascended the throne of Ghazni.Nasir-uddin-Qabacha held Uchch and Qutubuddin became the governor of the Indian provinces of Ghori.He functioned as an independent ruler.Qutubbudin not only helped Muhammad in all his Indian campaigns but also consolidated and extended his conquests in his absence,

Qutubbudin began his reign with the modest title Malik and Siphasalar that had been conferred upon him by Muhammad Ghori.The rise of Qutubuddin roused jealousy of Yildoz of Ghazni.Aibak charged him with exercising undue influence on Mahmud of Feroz Khoh and marched against him. In 1208 he even occupied Ghazni and also won over Sultan Mahmud to his own side. During his brief reign of 4 years he did not make any fresh conquests because his entire attention was devoted to the establishment of law and order and strengthening of his army of occupation. Aibak died in 1210 AD.He earned the title of Lakh Baksh.

Iltutmish was the greatest of the slave kings. He was the real founder of the Sultanate. At the time of Qutubbudin's death he was the governor of Badaun.He made Delhi the capital of his empire. He devoted the first 10 years of his reign to securing his throne from rivals .He defeated other nobles in 1216-17 AD and thus made his position secure. The reign of Iltutmish saw the decline of Lahore and the rise of Delhi. Delhi gradually became the greatest centre of learning and culture in India. The Delhi Sultanate owes the outlines of its administrative system to Iltutmish.He organized the Revenue and Finance depts. He got completed the famous Qutub Minar near Mehrauli in Delhi in the year 1231-32.A magnificent mosque was also built by the orders of the Sultan. Although Iltutmish had many sons but all of them were incompetent. He appointed his daughter Raziya as his successor.

Raziya is the first and the last woman ruler of medieval India. She assumed the title of sultan and did her best to play the part of a man. Her reign lasted for 3 years and six months. She aimed at removing the uncalled for interference and influence of Turkish chiefs on administration. She discarded Purdah and began to adorn the attire of the male. Raziya tried to concentrate power in her own hands and succeeded. This provoked serious opposition that took the shape of a protest against her.

Alauddin Masud Shah also met the same fate of Bahram Shah who succeeded Raziya's successor. Bahram Shah was weak and incompetent ruler and was overthrown by the nobles after a brief reign of 2 years. In 1246 Nasiruddin Mahmud the grandson of Iltutmish ascended the throne. He owed his throne to the Turkish aristocracy and the latter was bound to have tremendous influence in the administration. He placed all his powers in the hands of Prime Minister Balban. In 1266 Nasiruddin Mahmud died.

Balban sat on the throne of Delhi in 1266 AD and adopted the name of Ghiyasuddin Balban. With his accession the line of rulers of the family of Iltutmish ended. He started the era of strong centralized government. He increased the power and position of sultan. He introduced Persian ceremonies and etiquettes in his court and allowed no manner of levity here. Balban did not try to extend his empire although he had a strong army. He instead concentrated on consolidating the territory already in possession. He suppressed the revolts in the Doab and Oudh and tracked down elements in Rohilkhand.The Mongols invaded again in 1279 and 1285 but were defeated and driven away. In 1286 the Mongols reappeared and this time Prince Muhammad was killed. Balban could not recover from this tragedy and died in 1286 AD.

He was succeeded by his grandson Kaikubad.He was inefficient and incapable. Jalaluddin Khilji placed himself at the head of a powerful faction and routed the Turkish amirs. He eventually murdered Kaikubad and seized the throne.