Ali Gurshap Bam better known by his titular name as Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji (Urdu: علاء الدین الخلجی; died 1316) was the second ruler of the Turkic Afghan Khilji dynasty in India. He was a lecherous and iconoclastic ruler. He is considered the most powerful ruler of the dynasty, reigning from 1296 to 1316.
His historic attack on Chittor in 1303 CE, and the folklore of him hearing of the beauty of queen of Chittor, Rani Padmini, the wife of KingRawal Ratan Singh and the subsequent story has been immortalized in the epic poemPadmavat, written by Malik Muhammad Jayasiin the Awadhi language in the year 1540.
He was a brilliant strategist and an outstanding military commander who commanded forces in the length and breadth of Indian subcontinent. Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji is also noted in history for being one of the few rulers in the world to have repeatedly defeated the invasions of theMongols.
1 Mongol invasions
1.1 Duwa Khan
1.3 Qutlugh Khwaja
1.5 Ali Beg et Tartaq
1.7 Iqbalmand Khan
2 North Indian expeditions
3 Expeditions in southern India
3.1 Devagiri (Deogir) and Baglana
3.3 Dwar Samudra (Halebeedu), Mabar and Madurai
4 Price Control system
6 See also
8 External links
When Kublai Khan died in 1294, the former Mongol Empire was divided into independentKhanates. One such Khanate was the Chagatai Khanate which covered Central Asia and its leader at that time was Duwa Khan. Duwa was active in Afghanistan, and attempted to extendMongol rule to India, but there he was defeated by a formidable foe, General Zafar Khan of theDelhi Sultanate in 1296–1297. The two armies met at Jalandhar in 1297. Zafar Khan defeated the Mongols in this first invasion.
The Mongols attacked again under the command of Saldi and captured the fort of Siri. Zafar Khan holding the honour of being one of the few undefeated military commanders in history had no problem crushing this army, recaptured the fort and brought 2,000 Mongols prisoners before Sultan Alauddin Khilji. It was one of the worst defeats for the Mongols. Legend has it that Zafar Khan created such great terror in the minds of the Mongols that whenever their horses refused to drink water, the Mongols would ask them if they had seen Zafar Khan. The first invasion of the Mongols was an abysmal failure with Zafar Khan almost grinding them into the dust. The Mongols thereafter repeatedly invaded northern India. On at least two occasions, they came in strength. The second time around, they took Delhi but could not keep their hold on the Sultanate.
But in 1299, the Mongols came back. It says much for the tenacious Mongol spirit that they were back so soon and in such strength that they took over the fort of Siri, just beyond Delhi, which Ala-ud-Din Khilji had built. This time they came under a leader who was a legend in his own right,Qutlugh Khwaja, the feared Central Asian warrior and son of Duwa Khan now commanding a force of 200,000 Mongols. Ala-ud-Din Khilji realized that the Mongols meant business. If Qutlugh Khwajahad come himself it meant war, not for gold but for the kingdom itself.
The situation was serious enough for the usually individualistic Sultan Ala-ud-Din Khilji to be forced into taking advice from others. Ala-ud-Din Khilji was urged to sue for peace by his advisors as Qutlugh was virtually wiping his feet at the doorsteps of Delhi. However Ala-ud-Din Khilji did not become the Sultan via cautious diplomacy. He rejected their advice and said,
"If I were to follow your advice how could I show my face, how could I go into my harem? No, come what may tomorrow, I must march into the battlefield."
Ignoring their advice the young sultan attacked the Mongols. The advance guard of the army was led by Zafar Khan himself. He defeated the Mongols again and went off in hot pursuit of them as they withdrew. However, the wily Qutlugh tricked Zafar into a position where he was first surrounded and then killed by the Mongols. Ala-ud-Din Khilji took this loss calmly as Zafar Khan had been too popular for his comfort. However, the death of the general did not improve matters for the Mongols. In face of Ala-ud-Din Khilji‘s continued offensives, they had to retreat to the unconquerable heights from where they had come.
The Mongols took, what was for them, a long time to rally from this setback. They attacked at the worst time possible for Ala-ud-Din Khilji, when he was busy laying siege to Chittor. This time the Mongols traveled light. An army of 12,000 under Targhi’s leadership trickled into India like a shadow and moved to Delhi at a pace that was astonishing even by Mongol standards. Such was the swiftness of the attack that many governors could not send their troops to Delhi in time.
Ala-ud-Din Khilji was forced to duck into Siri and stay put for about two months. The Mongols stomped through and pillaged not only the surrounding areas, but Delhi itself. However they could not get into Siri. Although minor skirmishes were fought, a decisive win eluded both parties. This deadlock dragged on for more than a couple of months. In the end when Ala-ud-Din Khilji was fervently hoping for a miracle to help him, his prayers were answered.
The Mongols were a nomadic restless lot, and Targhi was more impatient than most of them. When Ala-ud-Din Khilji dug in his heels and stayed put in his seemingly impregnable fortress for months, Targhi lost interest in the whole affair, washed his hands of it and ordered his army to withdraw.
Barani, the contemporary historian at that time, attributed this marvel to the prayers of the Sufimystic Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya. Ala-ud-Din Khilji’s defenses were so strong and enduring that the whole situation had really become quite an impasse. He wisely realized that the Mongols could not hold out forever and had to go home to Central Asia some time. That was where the Mongol power was concentrated and they could not afford to be away for too long.
Targhi had to go back with the consolation that he was leaving behind a much disturbed and thoughtful Ala-ud-Din Khilji, The seriousness of the Qutlugh Khwaja and Targhi led Mongol invasions which had left Siri panting for breath, forced Ala-ud-Din Khilji to take stock of the situation. A defensive measure like hiding in Siri till the Mongol storm blew over must have gashed his proud spirit. He had the forts along the border strengthened and equipped with larger garrisons. New, more effective fortifications were built along this area. A whole new army, with its own special governor, was created whose portfolio was managing and guarding the border areas.
Ali Beg et Tartaq
A few months later the Mongols under the leadership of Ali Beg and Tartaq, suddenly appeared in the Punjab and the neighborhood of Amroha. The Mongols plundered the Punjab and burnt everything to cinders along the way.
But this time Ala-ud-Din Khilji was ready for them. He sent a strong army led by two of his toughest generals Ghazi Malik and the famous Malik Kafur after them. They surprised the Mongols on their way back to Central Asia with their plunder. The two generals pooled in their immense talents and defeated the Mongols. The Mongol generals were captured and brought back to Siri, along with other prisoners. Ala-ud-Din Khilji had the generals trampled to death by elephants while the other prisoners were put to death and their heads hung from the walls of the fort.
Even after the gory treatment meted out to their last expedition, the Mongols came again in 1306 under the command of Kebek son of Duwa. He crossed the Indus near Multan and was moving towards the Himalayas, when Ghazi Malik (who was by then the governor of the Punjab) intercepted his army. Kebek's army was attacked on the banks of the Indus River and suffered a high number of losses. About 50,000 Mongols were made prisoners. Ala-ud-Din Khilji put them all to death and sold their wives and children as slaves.This was one of the last Chagatayid campaigns against India to take place before a temporary cessation of the Mongol raids (1307–1327, when they were resumed under Khan Tarmashirin).
The last Mongol invasion took place in 1307-1308 under Iqbalmand. He had just about managed to cross the Indus when Ala-ud-Din Khilji’s armies overtook them and put them all to the sword.
After 1308, the Mongols did not attack India again. There were a number of reasons for this. Principal among these was that during their earlier descent from the mountains into the Indus plains, the Mongols became aware of their handicap in an environment of higher temperatures, humidity and their lack of dexterity in riding horses at the speeds they were comfortable at in higher & drier areas. To a lesser extent, of course that Ala-ud-Din Khilji, by repeated ruthlessness, finally managed to drive home the point that he would deal firmly and mercilessly with invaders into his territory. This was one of the greatest achievements of Ala-ud-Din Khilji. He was an original thinker and brilliant as a strategist. If the Mongols had still been serious about an Indian empire, they could have kept sending armies to India. It is to Ala-ud-din’s credit that he drove the idea of an Indian empire from the heads of the Mongols.
But he did not stop there, Ala-ud-Din Khilji had to be sure that the Mongols would never come back .The only way to do that was to attack them, he sent plundering armies under the veteran general Ghazi Malik to Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul. The Mongols were already so much in awe of him that they did not even bother to defend their own territories against him. These offensives effectively crippled the Mongol line of control leading to India until the arrival of Timur Lane.
North Indian expeditions
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Gujarat[/COLOR]
Karnadev Vaghela II of the Vaghela dynasty was the king of Gujarat. Alauddin Khilji sent two of his great generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan. Nusrat Khan starterd for Gujarat from Delhi on February 24, 1299 AD, Ulugh Khan started from Sindh and joined Nusrat Khan near Chittorgarh. The army crossed Vanasa river and captured the Ravosa fort. Karnadev was defeated and fled to the kingdom of Devagiri with his daughter Devaladevi and Gujarat was captured by Alauddin Khilji. But the queen of Karnadev, Kamaladevi had fallen in the hands of Alauddin's army and thence fell into the hands of Alauddin Khilji. Alauddin was infatuated by her beauty and put her into his harem. Kamaladevi was extremely witty and could well understand the fact that there was no chance for her either to escape or to remain a hindu anymore. Therefore, she accepted Alauddin's offer for a marriage probably with the condition that she be made his chief queen. Then she converted to islam, 'nikkah'ed the sultan and became his chief queen. Not only that, she used to influence the sultan's decisions also which was evident from the second attack on Devagiri in 1306.Alauddin also loved her very much .She was also most beloved begam of sultan. Apart from Noor Jahan, probably no other queen in the history of muslim rule in India had so much influence on the ruling emperor.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Ranathambor[/COLOR]
In 1290 Jalaluddin Khilji attacked Ranthambhore but was repulsed.
Hamir Dev, a descendant of Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Ranthambor. Seventeen kilometers from Sawaimadhopur stands a fort, encompassing in its stately walls, a glorious history of the Rajputs. Ranathambhor's venerable structure, rapturous beauty and sublime expressiveness seem to be continuously vocalizing the great legends of Hamir Dev, the Rajput king, who ruled in the 13th century.
Hamir Dev belonged to the Chauhan dynasty and drew his lineage from Prithviraj Chauhan who enjoys a respectable place in the Indian history. During his 12 years' reign, Hamir Dev fought 17 battles and won 13 of them. He annexed Malwa, Abu and Mandalgarh and thus extended his kingdom to the chagrin of Delhi Sultan, Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji, who had misgivings about Hamir's intentions. Jalaluddin attacked Ranathambhor and had it under siege for several years. However, he had to return to Delhi unsuccessful.
Jalaluddin was assassinated by his nephew Allaluddin Khilji who then crowned himself as the new Sultan of Delhi. Muhammad Shah was instrumental in making this coup successful which earned him a basketful of privileges. Muhammad Shah was even allowed access to the harem as a result of which he soon built up a good rapport with its inmates.
Chimna was one of Allaudin's begums, but Allaudin never gave her as much attention as other begums of the harem received from him. He had inadvertently managed to antagonize her. To make things worse Chimna Begum saw a valiant soldier in Muhammad Shah and was extremely impressed by his courage and boldness. Soon the vindictive begum and the ambitious Muhammad Shah started a conspiracy to slay Allaudin. Their objective was to see Muhammad Shah as Sultan and the begum as queen. The conspiratorial plans somehow leaked out. Allaudin was enraged as he came to know of Muhammad Shah's intentions. To escape the fury of Allaudin, Muhammad Shah had to flee from Delhi along with his brother. He sought asylum in many nearby kingdom but no one was ready to stand up to the wrath of Allaudin.
Muhammad Shah approached Hamir Dev. The brave Rajput was moved by his humble pleading and misery and agreed to him shelter. Allaudin's ire was roused when he came to know of it. He immediately attacked the fort of Ranathambhor. The armies of Allaudin and Hamir Dev met in a battle on the banks of river Banas. The Rajputs had the initial victory. However, because of the personal feud between the Prime Minister and the Senapati (General-in-charge of the army) Hamir Dev's army got disorganized. The Senapati of the army was Gurdan Saini. The Prime Minister succeeded in getting the Senapati killed. Meanwhile, Allaudin reorganized his forces and made a renewed attack on the fort. Some unscrupulous officers of Hamir Dev, with Bhoj Dev as their leader, colluded with Allaudin and started giving him secret information about the fort. The war continued. The strong walls of the fort were strategically so situated that it was not possible to blow them down with gunpower, for the debris so created had already killed numerous soldiers of the Sultan in their futile attempt to break in to the fort. At last Allaudin sent a message to Hamir Dev saying that in case he was ready to hand over Muhammad Shah to him, he would go back to Delhi. Hamir Dev was too self respecting to make such an ignominious compromise. He sent back the messenger with the reply that when the Rajputs promised to protect someone, they even gave their lives for his safety. Muhammad Shah saw the hopelessness of the situation and conselled Hamir Dev to hand him over to Allaudin rather than fight such a long drawn-out war and suffer such an enormous loss of lives and resources. Allaudin's army was immense. He put a complete siege on the Ranathambhor fort. Bhoj Dev and his informers kept on supplying him information on the food of water situation inside the fort. The ill-fated war bended with the Sultan's legions emerging victorious. The female members of the Rajput kingdom committed jauhar and gave up lives on the pyres. Hamir Dev, along with his Rajput bravehearts decided to perform shaka that is the fight unto death.
After the victory, Allaudin entered the fort. Wounded Muhammad Shah was brought to him.
"What is your last desire?" asked Allaudin. "To kill you and place Hamir's son on the throne of Ranathambhor", replied Muhammad Shah. Then he took out his dagger and committed suicide.
Allaudin, now, turned to Bhoj Dev and his other informers. Their faces were keen with eagerness to receive the long awaited reward from the Sultan. On the countrary, Allaudin roared, "Shave of the heads of these traitors. They have not been loyal to their own king".
Within minutes, the heads of all his accomplices rolled on the ground. Allaudin's laughter reverberated against the walls of the fort. After Khilji the fort once again passed on to the Rajput rulers.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Mewar[/COLOR]
Mewar was the most powerful kingdom of all the Rajput kingdoms. On 28 January 1303 Alauddin Khilji started for Mewar. The Songara Chauhan Rajput generals Gora & Badal decided to beat the Sultan at his own game and sent back a word that Padmini would be given to Ala-ud-din the next morning. On the following day at the crack of dawn, one hundred and fifity palaquins (covered cases in which royal ladies were carried in medieveal times) left the fort and made their way towards Ala-ud-din's camps The palanquins stopped before the tent where king Ratan Singh was being held prisoner. Seeing that the palanquins had come from Chittor; and thinking that they had brought along with them his queen, King Ratan Singh was mortified. But to his surprise from the palanquins came out, not his queen and her women servants but fully armed soldiers, who quickly freed Ratan Singh and galloped away towards Chittor on horses grabbed from Ala-ud-din's stables. Gora fought bravely during the skirmish and laid down his life while Badal was able to took the Rana safely to the fort
On hearing that his designs had been frustrated, the Sultan was furious and ordered his army to storm Chittor. But hard as they tried the Sultans army could not break into the fort. Then Ala-ud-din decided to lay siege to the fort. The siege was a long drawn one and gradually supplies within the fort were depleted. Finally King Ratan Singh gave orders that the Rajputs would open the gates and fight to finish with the besieging troops. On hearing of this decision, Padmini decided that with their men-folk going into the unequal struggle with the Sultan's army in which they were sure to perish, the women of Chittor had either to commit the divine suicide called as Jauhar or face dishonour at the hands of the victorious enemy.
The choice was in favour of suicide through Jauhar. A huge pyre was lit and followed by their queen, all the women of Chittor jumped into the flames and deceived the lustful enemy waiting outside. With their womenfolk dead, the men of Chittor had nothing to live for. They decided to perform Saka. Each soldier got dressed in kesariya robes and turbans. They charged out of the fort and fought on furiously with the vastly Powerful array of the Sultan, till all of them perished. After this phyrrhic victory the Sultan's troops entered the fort only to be confronted with ashes and burnt bones of the women whose honour they were going to violate to satisfy their lust.
These women who committed Jauhar had to perish but their memory has been kept alive till today by bards and songs which glorify their act which was right in those days and circumstances. Thus a halo of honour is given to their supreme sacrifice
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Malwa[/COLOR]
Alauddin Khilji's conquest of Mewar, Ranathambor and Gujarat stuck fear in the mind of the remaining Rajput Kingdoms. But Mahlak Dev refused to give in to Alauddin Khilji so easily. He gathered 20,000 horsemen and 90,000 infantry to confront Alauddin's army. Harnanda Koka was the general of his army. On the other hand Ain-ul-Mulk Multani was on the head of a 160,000 Muslim army. After a bloody war Harnana Koka was killed and the Rajput forces retreated. Malwa along with Mandu,Dhara and Chanderi fell to Alauddin Khilji. Ain-ul-Mulk Multani was appointed the governor of Malwa.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Marwar[/COLOR]
Alauddin Khilji invaded Marwar in 1308. Satal Dev was the king of Marwar and the owner of the famous Siwana fort. Alauddin Khilji sent Malik Kamaluddin as the general of his army. After a fierce battle the Marwari army was defeated. Satal dev was captured and was executed.
Alauddin Khilji invaded Jalore next. The first expedition was a failure, khilji's army was defeated byKanhad Dev Songara. Alauddin Khilji then sent Malik Kamaluddin. The Rajput's were no match for this army and succumbed to the superior skill and valor of Malik Kamaluddin's forces.
Expeditions in southern
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Devagiri (Deogir) and Baglana[/COLOR]
In 1306–07, Alauddin Khalji completed two campaigns. The first was against Rai Karan who after his expulsion from Gujrat, had been holding Baglana. His younger daughter Devala Devi was also with him. Her mother Kamala Devi, now the chief begum of Alauddin,had expressed her desire to have Devala Devi with herself in Delhi. Therefore, an expedition was launched to dethrone Karan and to bring Devala Devi to Delhi. It was successful and ultimately Devala Devi was brought to Delhi and was married to Khijir Khan - the heir apparent. The second expedition under his slave general [Malik Kafur] was against Deogir, under King Ramachandra, an ally of Rai Karan. Ramchandra was defeated, and Rai Ramachandra was restored to his dominions with the title "Rai Rayan" by Delhi. He was also given the Gujrat and one of his daughters, called Jatyapali, was married to Alauddin Khalji. This alliance was to prove to be of great value to Alauddin in his further aggrandizement in Deccan.
But, after the death of Rai Ramachandra in 1315, his sons threw off the yoke of Delhi. Malik Kafur quickly came and crushed the rebellion and assumed direct administration of the area.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Warangal[/COLOR]
After conquering Devagiri Malik Kafur invaded Warangal (1309) with help of Rai Ramchandra. It was only after a fierce battle Malik Kafur was able to occupy the Warangal fort and he was able to force the ruler of Warangal to sue for peace, to surrender all their treasures, and to promise an annual tribute. King Prataprudradev of the Kakatiya dynasty signed a treaty with Delhi.
Alauddin Khilji got the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, once the largest known diamond in the world, from Warangal. It was most recently seized by the East India Company and became part of theBritish Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Dwar Samudra (Halebeedu), Mabar and Madurai[/COLOR]
After conquering Devagiri and Warangal, Alauddin Khilji sent Malik Kafur (1311) against king Veera Ballala of the Hoyasala dynasty ruling Dwar Samudra (Halebeedu). Veera Ballala surrendered without a fight and Kafur was able to force the ruler of Dwar Samudra to sue for peace, to surrender all their treasures, and to promise an annual tribute.
But, in the case of Mabar, even this formal agreement was not forthcoming. However, Malik Kafur returned to Delhi with untold booty, such as those from at Chidambaram, without being able to defeat the Tamil armies.
But, within a decade after the death of Alaudin Khalji, all the southern kingdoms mentioned above were wiped out, and the territories brought under the direct administration of Delhi.
[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Price Control system[/COLOR]
Alauddin Khilji Introduced Price control system in order to maintain a large scale army because he was in danger from Mongols. He fixed the price of every commodities by himself and make it sure that there should be a balance between demand and supply. He reduced the pay of the soldiers and enhanced the size of his army. His army did not suffer of low salary because the things were cheap.
Alauddin died in January 1316, of oedema. It is believed that his lieutenant Malik Naib hastened his death. His tomb and madarsa dedicated to him, exists at the back of Qutb complex, Mehrauli, inDelhi