The Delhi Sultanate


Delhi became a prominent city in India in the twelfth century. It was the capital city of the Tomara Rajputs who were defeated by the Chauhans of Ajmer in the middle of the 12th century. When Mohamed Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan and captured Delhi in 1192, he marked the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate. However, it was Qutub-ud-din Aibak, one of his slaves and general who proclaimed himself as the ruler of Delhi. He led to the foundation of the Delhi sultanate with his lineage of rulers known as the Slave Dynasty. Later on, many other notable Delhi sultanate dynasties also ruled the land.




The subject of history is a very important subject for the students because it helps the students in learning about our past, and the struggle as well as the glories of our forefathers. India is a country which has a wide and Profound history, and importantly we have a record of the same with us. And the same goes with the history of the Delhi Sultanate, who for a little more than three centuries, has ruled a rather greater part of India, and hence learning about their rules is vital for the students in the subject of History. That is to say the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, their Administration, and their Dynasties.

Therefore, to help the students in understanding the part of the history that deals with the reign of the Delhi Sultanate, Vedantu provides the complete explanation of the same. The explanation that Vedantu provides, is prepared by the teachers who have years of experience in teaching the subject of history to the students, and therefore there is a guarantee of quality, and also, the complete explanation is provided totally free of cost.

Brief Account of the Introduction on Delhi Sultanate

The introduction of the Delhi sultanate marks the period when various Muslim dynasties ruled in India ( 1210-1526). It all started with the campaigns of Muhamed bin-Sams and his lieutenant Qutub-ud-din Aibak between 1175-1206. It was the victory against the Rajput kings which marked the foundation of Delhi sultanate. 


It was Prithviraj Chauhan who ruled the land of Delhi till the 12th century. During his rule, he fought many prominent battles which also included the two battle of Tarain. In both of these battles, he fought against Mohamed of Ghur from the Ghuride dynasty of Afghanistan. In the first battle of Tarain fought in 1191 A.D between Mohamed of Ghur and Prithviraj Chauhan with other Indian rulers, the former faced a harsh defeat and had to retreat. However, in 1192 A.D he came with more reinforcement and a stronger army that eventually made him succeed. The defeat of the Rajputs ended their supremacy in northern India and gave way for the Turkish rulers to establish themselves under the Delhi sultanate. 

Write about the Delhi Sultanate Administration

The Delhi sultanate administration was governed as per the Muslim laws that were based on the Quran and Sharia. About the Delhi sultanate, there are primary duties of the Sultan and nobles to observe the Islamic laws in the matters of the state. The planned administration has various departments with different ministers appointed to carry specific responsibilities. 

  • Sultan- 

The sultan was regarded as the head of state and enjoyed unlimited power in every sphere.

  • Naib- 

He also held an equivalent position to that of the sultan. 

  • Wazir- 

It was the position of the prime minister who also looked after the financial department. 

  • Diwan –I- Ariz- 

It was the military establishment that was headed by the Sultan as commander in chief. 

  • Diwan –I- Risalat- 

The foreign minister was in charge of establishing charges with the neighbouring kingdoms and alliance with powerful rulers. 

  • Diwan-I-Insha- 

The minister was responsible for local correspondence and different offices. 

  • Sadr –Ur -Sadar - 

It is the religious department that safeguarded the Islamic laws.

  • Amir –I-Mazls -Shahi - 

Headed by the minister of the state for public conveniences and the arrangement of festivals. 

Delhi Sultanate Dynasties

The Delhi sultanate dynasty was a brief period of 1210- 1526 where many Muslim leaders ruled Delhi. It all begins with the second battle of Tarain fought between Mohhamed Ghori and Prithviraj Chauhan in 1192 A.D. After winning, Ghori left his kingdom to his trusted lieutenant and former slave Qutub-ud-din Aibak who started the Slave or Mamluk Dynasty. He laid the foundation of the famous Qutub Minar which was later completed by Illtutmish.


After this, the Khilji Dynasty came into existence with Jalaluddin Khilji as the founder and first ruler of the dynasty. He killed the last ruler Kaikubad of the Slave dynasty. 


Later, with the collapse of the Khilji dynasty, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq took charge of Delhi and established the Tughlaq dynasty. Feroz Tughlaq and Muhammad bin-Tughlaq were the prominent rulers from this dynasty. Eventually, the Tughlaq dynasty also came to an end in the 14th century with the invasion of the Turkish ruler Timur. Soon Timur left a local governor from Multan known as Khizir Khan. He then declared himself as the ruler of Delhi and established the Sayyid dynasty. 

An Overview of the Delhi Sultanate.

From 1206 to 1526, that is to say, about 320 years Delhi Sultanate, which was an Islamic empire, had ruled a substantial part of India. The capital of the Sultanate was Delhi and it was expanded to the great part of the Indian Subcontinent. In these 320 years, a total of 5 dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate had ruled over Delhi and the subsequent Indian sub-continent. These five dynasties were Mamluk, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyid, Lodi. If we have to understand the territorial region of the Delhi Sultanate in modern geographical terms, then we can say that the territory of the Delhi Sultanate covered modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and some regions of Nepal.

The Delhi Sultanate was originally ruled by Muhammad Ghori, who was a Turkic slave general, and who managed to win over a large part of northern India, and also in many terms, the Delhi Sultanate can also be termed as the successor of the Ghurid dynasty.

Before 1000 AD India was ruled by the Hindu and Buddhist kingdom. But starting from 962 AD, the invasion began from Central Asia, more specifically from Afghanistan. These raids and invasions continued for many years it did not establish the permanent boundaries of their kingdom, not until 1173. In 1173 Muhammad Ghori made a systematic attack in order to expand his rule to north India, and hence he created his kingdom. Ghori died in 1206, and one of the mamluks who were Turkic Qutb al-Din – Aibak became the first sultan of Delhi.

Qutb al – Din – Aibak reigned as the sultan for 4 years, that is to say, from 1206 to 1210. After him, the power was given to Aram Shah, who ruled for a brief period of one year. In such a manner the reign of the Delhi Sultanate expanded over the course of the next three centuries, until in 1526, when Ibrahim Lodi lost the battle of Panipat to Babur, and hence ended the Delhi Sultanate.

Also, if you are looking for the notes of Delhi Sultanate, then you may like to follow this CBSE Class 7 History Chapter 3 Notes - Delhi Sultans (

Did You Know?

A religious tax ‘zakah’ was imposed on the wealthy and rich Muslims in India. It was during the rule of the Delhi sultan, jakath meant 2 ½ percent of the income. This religious tax was a vital source of revenue for the administration. The other taxes that fall under the religious and land categories comprise the khams, kharja, jizya, and usher. 

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. State the Economic Condition under the Delhi Sultanate Period?

The economic condition under the Delhi sultanate period was characterized by the rise of trade and commerce. Textile trading got prominence in exchange for ivory, horse, and spices with regions of China and West Asia. The Arabs dominated the trade but there was significant participation from other communities like Tamilians, Gujaratis, and Kalingas. The communication system also developed with posts carried by horse riders. Roads connecting to Lahore, Delhi, and Bengal were created. It was during this time the new industrial centers were established at Lahore, Multan, Delhi, and Lakhnauti. It primarily focused on paper making, textiles, and metal works. The Sultans and nobles lead a lavish lifestyle followed by the landowners who were also prosperous. The middle class included the artisans and shopkeepers while laborers lived at the sustenance level. Slavery was also present at this time. 

2. Explain the sources of Delhi Sultanate? 

Ans: The essential sources of the Delhi sultanate are found mentioned in various places and writings. These are given below:

  • Inscriptions: There are numerous inscriptions that give us information about the Delhi sultanate like historical monuments, tombstones, milestones, and old coins. 

  • Monuments: The Sultans of Delhi constructed several monuments that give insights into the cultural traditions and living conditions of that period. It also reflected on the faith, belief, and socio-cultural outlook of the rulers. All the significant monuments are found in the Qutub-ud-din complex ground of Delhi. 

  • Chronicles: The introduction of the Delhi sultanate period and different dynasties are also mentioned in history books of writers written in the Persian language known as tarikh or tawarikh.