The Lodi Dynasty: History & Rulers

4 Mar 2023  Read 537 Views

The fifth and last dynasty of the Delhi sultanate, the Lodi dynasty, was of Afghan descent. One of the Afghan Sardars who had settled in Punjab was Bahlul Lodi. During the Sayyid era, he received the Sirhind iqta. The Khokhars were a ferocious, warlike clan that lived in the Salt Ranges of present-day Pakistan. Bahlul Lodi restrained their rising influence. Muhammad Shah called Sayid Sultan of Delhi to ask for assistance in fending off a Malwa attack. Bahlul remained in Delhi even after thwarting the attempt. In 1451, Bahlul and his troops seized possession of Delhi. For instance, Delhi's "Lodhi" Gardens are examples of tombs built in the Lodhi Dynasty's garden architecture style.

The Kings of the Lodi Dynasty

The following were the kings of the Lodi dynasty:

Bahlul Khan Lodi (1451- 1489)

  • Bahlul spent the majority of his time battling the Jaunpur Sharqi dynasty before conquering it. In 1486, he installed his eldest living son, Barbak, on the throne of Jaunpur.
  • In order to aid in this conquest, he asked the Afghans of Roh (the present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan) to travel to India.
  • He increased his control over upper Uttar Pradesh, Jaunpur, and Gwalior.
  • He designated his younger son Sikander Lodi as his successor and divided his realm among his sons and family members.
  • After his death in 1489, this resulted in a power war.

Sikander Lodi (1489-1517)

Sikander Lodi became the most potent Lodi ruler after ascending to the throne following a series of power battles. He vanquished the Rajput kingdoms of Gwalior, Chanderi, and Dholpur. He annexed Bihar as well. He moved it from Delhi to Agra, the city he established in 1506. It was intended for Agra to control the region of eastern Rajasthan as well as the road to Malwa and Gujarat. He lived at the same time as Rana Sanga of Mewar and Mahmud Begarha of Gujarat.

As opposed to the Afghan Sardar's practise of tribal independence, Sikander forced the Afghan nobles to submit to Sultan's superiority. Sikander built effective governance with a focus on justice. He required jagir holders to produce accounts on a regular basis, and those who were corrupt or stole money faced harsh sanctions.

All roadways were secured against thieves and bandits. He eliminated the octroi fee on wheat because he was interested in agriculture. Created a new yard measurement known as "gazz-i-Sikandar," which was used until the Mughal era. The production of necessities was inexpensive. Rent rolls were initially created under his reign and eventually served as the foundation for Sher Shah's rolls.

He was the fourth sultan (after Qutubuddin Aibak, Iltutmish, and Firuz shah Tughluq) to direct repairs to the Qutub Minar when he did so in 1503.

He supported business and trade. He was a well-known poet who wrote under the pen name Gulruk. He was also a supporter of education and had medical texts written in Sanskrit translated into Persian.

Because Sikander's mother was Hindu, the nobles questioned his dedication to Islam. Sikandar turned became a bigot and an orthodox leader to demonstrate this.

  • Jizyah was once again imposed on Hindus.
  • Destroyed numerous temples (e.g., Nagarkot temple).
  • Muslims were prohibited from visiting saints' graves when Sharia law was imposed.
  • He fell ill and died suddenly in 1517.

Ibrahim Lodi (1517-1526)

  • Ibrahim Lodi, the final monarch of the Lodi dynasty, ascended to the throne following the death of his father Sikander Lodi.
  • He took over a weak and politically unsteady sultanate, with a depleted treasury due to a lack of trade.
  • Although a skilled warrior, he had a very haughty disposition and openly insulted his nobles.
  • Nobles who rebelled were executed.
  • Ibrahim Lodi was assassinated at the First Battle of Panipat by Babur, who had been encouraged to invade India by Daulat Khan Lodi, the governor of Punjab.
  • Alam Khan, his uncle, betrayed him by backing Babur.
  • Rana Sangha, the ruler of Mewar, aided Babur in his victory over Lodi.

First Battle of Panipat, 1526

On April 20, 1526, the Lodi dynasty and Babur's army fought in the first Battle of Panipat. This battle, one of the first, saw the introduction of field artillery and gunpowder-powered weapons to the Indian subcontinent by the Mughals. North India's Mughal Empire was created during this period, ending the Delhi Sultanate. The Sayyid and Lodi dynasties' inept leadership destroyed the sultanate, allowing the Mughals to take over and begin their protracted rule.

About the Author: Gurpreet Kaur Dutta | 80 Post(s)

A legal content writer who pursued BBA-LL.B.(H) from Amity University Chhattisgarh. She has a keen interest in corporate and IPR sectors. 

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