in Sri Lanka (c.1300): "A Tamil-speaking kingdom is
on the Jaffna Peninsula of Sri Lanka. This marks the beginning of a
linguistic division of the island between Tamil in the north and east
Sinhalese to the south and west" (--Met).
trouble from the Mongols-- In 1303 the Mongols actually
Delhi, and the sultan, 'Ala ud-Din Khilji, is forced to leave the city;
but after two months the Mongols retire (because of the prayers of
Nizamuddin, some say). The sultan now takes energetic military
The Mongols invade in 1305 and again in 1306, but 'Ala- ud-Din's
have such military success that they even take the offensive; after
there is a long respite from Mongol attacks.
ud-Din Khilji (r.1296-1316): This energetic ruler
Devagiri in the Deccan, conquers Gujarat, captures the important fort
Chitor, makes major incursions into the south (with some help from
allies); considers establishing a new religion or conquering the world,
but is dissuaded; takes many authoritarian measures; experiments with
controls; presides over a brilliant cultural flowering. Discussion: *Ikram
Ch. 5*; *India
cities of Delhi: 'Ala ud-Din Khilji creates a layer of
called "Siri" (*delhi
gov*); then Ghiyasuddin Tughluq (r.1320-25) constructs
After that comes the "Firozabad" (or Firoz Shah ka Kotlah) of Firoz
Tughluq (r.1351-88) (*archnet*).
Delhi in the Deccan? In 1327, Muhammad Shah Tughluq
decides that since his kingdom now includes (nominally) most of India,
he should govern from a more central location. So he orders the whole
of Delhi to trek down to Devagiri (which he renames Daulatabad) in the
Deccan. Many poor people die on the way, but the cultural ferment
in the new capital of Daulatabad plays a large role in the growth of
will later become Urdu. The project never quite works, though, and by
he's obliged to give it up. Discussion: *Ikram
Ch. 5*. Images: *Tokyo
(early among the "Ellora" ones). (*Routes*)
Shah's bronze coin experiment (c.1330-32): Muhammad Shah
Tughluq issues coins made not of silver or gold, but of bronze, and
in vain to get them accepted in the marketplace. The resulting turmoil
(and counterfeiting) almost wrecks the economy, and he has to abandon
attempt. He was too far ahead of his time.
Battuta visits (c.1333–47): Ibn Battuta (1304–78),
the famous traveler, adventurer, and chronicler from Tangier, spends
in India, serves as a qazi in Delhi--and even travels to China as an
for Muhammad Shah Tughluq. Excerpts from his account of his Indian
Bahmanids form a new kingdom in the Deccan
Muhammad Shah Tughluq loses the southern parts of his never-very-secure
realm. In the Deccan, one of his generals rebels, gives himself a fancy
Persian name, and founds the Bahmanid kingdom (*wiki*),
with its capital at Gulbarga (*U.
Tokyo*). (In the early 1500's, this kingdom fragments into several
smaller successors.) More background on the Bahmanids: *cloud
dazzles visitors (c.1343-1565): In South India,
another new state, also takes shape as the tide of the Delhi Sultanate
recedes. Its capital is one of the richest cities in the world, with
palaces and enormous gateways. Both architecturally and culturally,
is built of a mixture of indigenous elements and Islamic influences.
Hindu rulers refer to themselves as "sultans among kings," wear
of Muslim court dress, and freely make (and break) military alliances
neighboring states on political, not religious, grounds. William
shows how radically V. S. Naipaul and others have misrepresented its
Further discussion: Sanjay Subramanyam (*Outlook*
More on its architecture: *art
and archaeology*; *cloud
painting reaches a high point (c.1350): "Jain painting
its greatest refinements in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Paintings typically
illustrate sacred texts such as the Kalpasutras, and are characterized
by their angular figures with protruding eyes" (--Met).
Along with paintings, Jain bhandars, or manuscript storehouses, are
refuges for many medieval texts that would otherwise have been lost.
Ded (c.1355?- ?): A Kashmiri poet-saint of the bhakti
Lal Ded is traditionally placed in this century. She is said to
her marriage and family, and take as her husband the god Shiva alone.
then on she wanders naked on the roads like a madwoman, singing her
of love and mystical devotion. Discussion: *kashmir
Odin, Manushi 138*.
John Mandeville (c.1366), in his fanciful but extremely
"Travels," has a great deal to say about India and the vicinity,
"wherefore the emperor of Ind is clept (called) Prester John" (Chapter
32), and the story of the gold-digging ants (Chapter 33), and about the
headless people and other Herodotus-like wonders (Chapter 22): *romanization*.
in Bengal: The Adina Mosque (1375) was a sign of cultural
and political change coming to Bengal too, as Muslims began to arrive
settle there. See Chapter Three in Richard M. Eaton's *The
Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier*.
sacks Delhi, 1398: The Mongol ruler Timur, known as
(for "Timur-i lang," Timur the Lame) (1336–1405), takes advantage of
fragmenting of the Delhi Sultanate to invade Delhi itself and sack the
city, slaughtering much of the population. This terrible defeat
finishes off the Delhi Sultanate, though weak rulers linger for some
and then the Lodhis try to rebuild. More on Timur: *silk
road* and the *Tarikh-i-Rashidi*.
For the artistic side of Timur: *Met*