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The Tughlaq Dynasty

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History of Tughlaq Dynasty

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320 – 25) :

  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq or Ghazi Malik was the founder of the Tughlaq Dynasty. This dynasty is also known as the dynasty of the Qaraunah Turks as the father of Ghiasuddin Tughlaq was a Qaraunah Turk.
  • He was the first Sultan of Delhi who took up the title of Ghazi or slayer of the infidels.
  • He liberalized Alauddin’s administrative policies and took keen interest in the construction of canals and formulated a famine policy. The judicial and police arrangements were made efficient. The Chehra and Dagh system introduced by the Alauddin was continued. Efficient postal services were restored.
  • Built the fortified city of Tughlaqabad and made it his capital.
  • Dispatched his son, Jauna Khan to re-establish the authority in Warangal (Kakatiyas) and Madurai (Pandyas).
  • Had troublesome relationship with the sufi saint, Shaikh Nizamuddin Aulia.
  • Died in 1325, after a fall from a high-raised pavilion. Ibn Batuta, the Moroccon traveller, who was in Delhi at that time, opined that his death was due to sabotage arranged by his son, Jauna Khan.

History of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (1325 – 1351) :

  • Real name was Jauna Khan.
  • Regarded as the most controversial figure in Indian history, because of his five ambitious projects.
    1. Increase in the land revenue in the Doab, between Ganga and Yamuna in north India. The measure proved to be ill – timed, as Doab was passing through famine which was followed by plague.
    2. He was committed to maintaining the Sultanate’s expansion into the newly – conquered provinces of peninsular India. To have better administration of these southern parts of the Empire, Muhammad moved the capital from Delhi to Devagiri in the Deccan, renaming that city Devagiri as Daulatabad.

      Instead of moving just his government offices there, he forcibly moved the entire population of Delhi to the new capital. The plan failed due to inadequate water supply arrangements in Devagiri; the capital had to be shifted back again to Delhi after two years.

      A vast amount of the population died during the moves due to the inadequate travel arrangements. It was said that Delhi was a ghost town for years after the move back.

    3. He also had the idea of introducing token currency for the first time in India, modelled after the Chinese example, using copper coins, backed by silver and gold kept in the treasury. However, very few people exchanged their gold/silver coins for the new copper ones and the tokens were easy to forge, which led to heavy losses. Later, the Sultan repealed his verdict and all the copper coins were redeemed in silver or gold from the treasury, making it empty.
    4. Muhammad Tughlaq planned an expedition for the conquest of Khurasan and Iraq. But the scheme was abandoned as conditions in Iraq improved (paid the extra army for one full year).
    5. The plan for the conquest of Karajal (Kumaon hills) also met with a disastrous end.
  • During his last days, the whole of S.India became independent and three major independent states – The Empire of Vijaynagar, The Bahmani kingdom and Sultanate of Madura were founded.
  • A new department for agriculture Dewan – i – Kohi was setup.
  • He knew Arabic and Persian languages. He was also an expert in philosophy, astronomy, logic and mathematics. He was also a good calligrapher.
  • He built the fortress of Adilabad and the city of Jahanpanah.
  • The famous traveller, Ibn Batuta came to Delhi during 1334. He acted as the Quazi of the capital for 8 years. He has recorded the contemporary Indian scene in his ‘Safarnamah’ (called Rehla).

History of Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351 – 1388) :

  • He was Muhammad’s cousin. He was chosen the Sultan by the nobles.
  • He tried to appease everybody. He cancelled the loans of peasants which had been advanced by his predecessor. He did not give any harsh punishment and banned the inhuman practices like cutting hands, nose, etc. Agriculture was developed by the reclamation of wastelands and by providing irrigation facilities. He constructed four canals for irrigation.
  • He made iqtadary system hereditary. The principle of heredity was recognised not only in civil offices, but also in army. Soldiers were given land assignments instead of cash payment.
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  • Imposed some new taxes :

    1. Kharaj : a land tax equal to 1/10 of the produce of the land (by Hindus only).
    2. Jaziya : a tax by non – muslims (even by brahmins).
    3. Zakat : Tax on property (@ 2.5%) (by Muslims only).
    4. Khams : 1 / 5th of booty captured in war.
  • Took steps to translate Hindu religious texts & Sanskrit books on music into Persian.
  • Built new towns : Hissar, Firozpur, Fatehabad, Firozabad (the present day Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi) and Jaunpur.
  • Set up hospitals, dug a number of canals, dams, mosques.
  • Repaired Qutab Minar when it was struck by lightening.
  • Built his capital Firozabad and to beautify it, brought 2 Ashoka Pillars, one from Topara in Ambala & the other from Meerut.
  • Was fond of slaves (had around 1,80,000 slaves).
  • Wrote a book ‘Fatuhat Firozshahi’.
  • Gained notoriety for temple breaking and Mathura was destroyed during his period.
  • Barani, the historian was in his court. He wrote two well known works of history: Tarikh – i – Firozshahi and Fatwa – i – Jahandari.
  • Khwaja Abdul Malik Isami wrote Futuh – us – Sulatin.
  • He formed Diwan – i – Khairat and built Dar – ul – Shafa or a charitable hospital at Delhi. Also introduced 2 new coins – Adha (50% jital) and bikh (25% jital).

The Later Tughlaqs History :

  • Firoz Tughlaq was succeeded by his grand son who took up the title of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah II. He was a pleasure – loving king who tried to strengthen his position by merely disposing of all possible rivals.
  • Ghiyasuddin was replaced by Abu Bakr Shah in 1389.
  • Abu Bakr was replaced by Nasiruddin Muhammad in 1390, who ruled till 1394. His son Alauddin Sikandar Shah ascended the throne briefly in 1394. But he fell sick almost immediately after his accession and died in 1394 only.
  • The vacant throne now fell to Nasiruddin Mahmud Tughlaq. In his reign, Timur invaded India.

Timur’s Invasion :

  • He was a great Mongol leader of Central Asia. He became the head of the Chaghtai Turks at the age of 33. Before reaching India, he had already conquered Mesopotamia and Afghanistan. He reached Delhi in December 1398. At that time, Nasiruddin Mahmud was the ruler.
  • Timur ordered general massacre in Delhi and robbed people mercilessly.
  • He is said to have inflicted on India more misery than had ever before been inflicted by any conqueror in a single invasion. The Tughlaq Empire could never recover from such a terrible blow and came to an end.

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The Tughlaq Dynasty – Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq – History of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq – History of Firoz Shah Tughlaq

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2 Responses to “The Tughlaq Dynasty”

  • very g for my history project
    By Ragini Kriplani from Mumbai on September 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm
  • tughlugs were ahead of their times..........
    By Shahnawaz Ahmad from Srinagar J&K on June 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm