The Tughlaqs (AD 1320-1421)

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (AD 1320-1325)

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah (real name Ghazi Malik ) founded the third dynasty of the Sultanate. He also discarded Alauddin’s system of measurement of land for the assessment of land revenue. Then he took keen interest in the construction of canals for irrigation and formulated a famine policy to provide relief to peasants in the time of drought. He built the fortified city of Tughlaqabad and gave a new touch to the architecture of the Sultanate period. He made his capital at Tughlaqabad. After that he came in conflict with Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya. He was on bad terms with the famous Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya.
The Tughlaq Dynasty

Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq (AD 1325-1351)

Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq (real name Jauna Khan) succeeded Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq under title Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq. He was the most remarkable personality among the Sultans of Delhi. A new department was set up for agriculture Diwan-i-Amiri-Kohi. Ibn Batuta (the famous traveller) came to Delhi in AD 1334.

He acted as the Quzi of the capital for eight years. Ibn Batuta has recorded the contemporary Indian scene in his Safarnamah called Rehla. During his period the Vijaynagar empire was established in AD 1336 by Harihar and Bukka and the Bahamani kingdom in AD 1346 by Hasan Gangir Behram Shah. He died at Thatta while campaigning Sindh against Taghi a Turkish slave.
Tughlaqabad Fort
Amibitious Projects of Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq
  • Shifting the capital from Delhi to Devagiri (Daulatabad) in AD 1327. But it was found to be unsuitable because it was not possible to control North India from there. So he decided to re-transfer the capital to Delhi.
  • Introduction of the token currency (AD 1329-30) (introduction of the bronze tankas in place of silver tankas).
  • The value of token coin was equal to a silver coin. But this experiment failed on account of the circulation of counterfeit coins on a very large scale. So, he withdrew the token currency and offered to exchange all the token coins for silver coins.
  • The Sultan planned an expedition for the conquest of Khurasan and Iraq, but the scheme was abandoned when the Sultan learnt that the conditions in Iraq had improved.
  • The plan for the conquest of Qarachil (Kumaun Hills) met with a disastrous end. Qarachil has been identified with a Rajput state in the Kumaun Garhwal region.
  • Taxation in the Doab (AD 1326). He not only increased the rate of taxation but also revived and created zone additional abwabs or cesses.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)
Tomb of Firoz Shah 

Firoz Shah Tughlaq who became the Sultan in AD 1351 was a patron of arts and literature. He did not give any harsh punishment and banned the inhuman practices like cutting hands, nose etc. The Army stopped for a week at Siwistan, where the Friday Khutba was read in the name of Firoz for the first time. He abolished as many as twenty-three taxes and substituted them wiht only the following four taxes.

  1. Kharaj ( a land tax equal to 1/10 of the produce of the land)
  2. Jaziya ( a tax by non-Muslims)
  3. Zakat (tax on property 2.5%)
  4. Khams (1/5th of the booty captured in war)

Not only this, Firoz also made the civil and the military post hereditary. One remarkable feature of his reign was his interest in civil works. He founded a number of new cities and towns, three most famous being Hissar, Fatehabad, Jaunpur and Firozabad, Firoz Shah Kotla (in Delhi). To beautify his new capital Firozabad in Delhi, the Ashoka pillars were brought, one from Topara in Ambala and the other from Meerut.

Firoz was very fond of collecting a large numeber of Slaves (about 180000 slaves) and had a separate department for it known as ‘Diwan-Bandaga’. He set up a separate department called the Diwan-i-Kharat, for the help of the poor and the needy. The Futuh-us Sultan is written by Khwaja Abdul Malik Isami. Firoz built Dar-ul-Shafa or a charitable hospital. Barani (the historian was in his court) wrote two well-known works of history, the Tarikh-i-Firuzshahi and the Fatwa-i-Jahandari.

Firoz introduced two new coins: Adha (50% jital) and Bikh (25% jital). He wrote his autobiography ‘The Fatuhar-Firuzshahi’. Timur’s invaded India during his reign. During Nasiruddin Mahmud’s (last ruler) reign, Timur, the Mongol leader of Central Asia invaded India. Timur reached Delhi in December 1398 and ordered general massacre. Timur left Delhi in early AD 1399.


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