Chapter – 3 : THE DELHI SULTANS

Table of Contents

1. Which ruler first established his or her capital at Delhi?

Answer –

Tomara Rajputs were the first ruler to establish their capital at Delhi.

2. What was ‘twarikh’?

Answer –

Twarikh were the histories written in Persian, the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans. The authors of twarikh were learned men like secretaries, administrators, poets, and courtiers, who both recounted events and advised rulers on governance, emphasizing the importance of the just rule. They often wrote histories of Sultans in the hope of rich rewards.

3. What was the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans?

Answer –

Persian was the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans.

4. Write a short note on Raziyya Sultan.

Answer –

Raziyya Sultan was the daughter of Iltutmish. She became the sultan of Delhi in 1236. She was more able and qualified than all her brothers. But the nobles were not happy with her attempts to rule independently. She was removed from the throne in 1240.

5. What was Minhaj-i-Siraj’s thought about Raziyya?

Answer-

Minhaj-i Siraj recognized that she was more able and qualified than all her brothers. But he was not comfortable with having a queen as ruler. He thought that the queen’s rule went against the ideal social order created by God, in which women were supposed to be subordinate to men.

6. What were garrison towns?

Answer –

Garrison towns were fortified settlements with soldiers.

7. What is meant by the “internal” and “external” frontiers of the Sultanate?

Answer –

The ‘internal’ frontiers of the sultanate –

  • It aimed at consolidating the hinterlands of the garrison towns.
  • During these campaigns forests were cleared in the Ganga-Yamuna doab and hunter-gatherers and pastoralists expelled from their habitat.
  • These lands were given to peasants and agriculture was encouraged.
  • New fortresses, garrison towns and towns were established to protect trade routes and to promote regional trade.

The ‘external’ frontiers of the sultanate –

  • It was the second expansion of 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.

8. Who built the Qutub Minar?

Answer –

The Qutub Minar was built by two Sultans: Qutbuddin Aibak and Iltutmish.

9. Who were bandagans?

Answer –

  • Bandagans were the special slaves of the early Delhi Sultans who were purchased for the military service.
  • They were appointed as the governors.
  • They were carefully trained to man some of the most important political offices in the kingdom.
  • Since they were totally dependent upon their master, the Sultan could trust and rely upon them.

10 . What were iqtas?

Answer –

  • Iqtas were the territories of varying sizes in the reign of Delhi Sultans.
  • Military commanders were appointed as the governors of the iqtas.
  • The holder of an iqta was called iqtadar or muqti.

11. Who was muqti or iqtadar?

Answer –

  • The holder of an iqta was called iqtadar or muqti.
  • The duty of the muqtis was to lead military campaigns and maintain law and order in their iqtas.
  • In exchange for their military services, the muqtis collected the revenues of their assignments as salary.
  • They also paid their soldiers from these revenues.

12. In whose reign did the Sultanate reach its farthest extent?

Answer – Muhammad Bin Tughluq

13. From which country did Ibn Battuta travel to India?

Answer – Morocco.

14. What were the steps taken to ensure that muqtis performed their duties? Why do you think they may have wanted to defy the orders of the Sultans?

Answer –

The steps taken to ensure that muqtis performed their duties were the following –

  1. Their office was not inheritable.
  2. They were assigned iqtas for a short period of time before being shifted.
  3. Accountants were appointed by the state to check the amount of revenue collected by the muqtis.
  4. Care was taken that the muqti collected only the taxes prescribed by the state and that he kept the required number of soldiers.

Muqtis may have wanted to defy the orders of the sultans because their offices were not inheritable and they were assigned iqtas for a short period of time before being shifted. They may have wanted to utilize this period to increase their power and economical status in society. So they could have collected more revenue than it had been prescribed.

15. What was the impact of the Mongol invasions on the Delhi Sultanate?

Answer –

Mongol invasions on the Delhi Sultanate forced the rulers to mobilize a large standing army in Delhi which posed a huge administrative challenge.

16. Why were the Delhi Sultans interested in cutting down forests? Does deforestation occur for the same reasons today?

Answer –

The Delhi sultans were interested in cutting down forests because –

  • They gave these lands to peasants to encourage agriculture.
  • New fortresses, garrison towns and towns were established to protect trade routes and to promote regional trade.

Yes, for the same reasons deforestation occurs nowadays. With the increase of population, there is an increase in need food production so more forests are being cleared for agricultural land, and urbanization increases for more human settlement.

17. How Alauddin Khalji handled the administrative challenge posed by the Mongol invasion?

Answer –

  • When Delhi was attacked twice, in 1299/1300 and 1302-1303 by Mongols, Alauddin Khalji took the defensive measure and raised a large standing army.
  • He constructed a new garrison town named Siri for his soldiers.
  • The soldiers were fed through the produce collected as tax from lands between the Ganga and Yamuna.
  • Tax was fixed at 50 per cent of the peasant’s yield.
  • Alauddin chose to pay his soldiers salaries in cash rather than iqtas.
  • The soldiers had to buy their supplies from merchants in Delhi and it was thus feared that merchants would raise their prices so to stop this, Alauddin controlled the prices of goods in Delhi.
  • Prices were carefully surveyed by officers, and merchants who did not sell at the prescribed rates were punished.

18. How Muhammad Tughluq handled the administrative challenge posed by the Mongol invasion?

Answer –

  • The Sultanate was attacked in the early years of Muhammad Tughluq’s reign and he defeated the Mongol army.
  • He was confident about the strength of his army and his resources to plan an attack on Transoxiana. He therefore raised a large standing army.
  • Rather than constructing a new garrison town, the oldest of the four cities of Delhi (Dehli-i Kuhna) was emptied of its residents and the soldiers garrisoned there. The residents of the old city were sent to the new capital of Daulatabad in the south.
  • Produce from the same area was collected as tax to feed the army.
  • But to meet the expense of maintaining such a large number of soldiers the Sultan levied additional taxes.
  • Muhammad Tughluq paid his soldiers in cash. But instead of controlling prices, he used a “token” currency, but made out of cheap metals, not gold and silver.

19. Who introduced the ‘token currency’?

Answer – Muhammad Bin Tughluq

Previous CHAPTER – 2: NEW KINGS AND KINGDOMS
Next CHAPTER – 5 RULERS AND BUILDINGS

Leave a Reply