The Delhi Sultanate and the "seven cities" of Delhi in the 1300's

(*The story begins in the 1200's...*)
An overview of the rapid rise, constant fluctuations, and steep decline of the Sultanate; and here's a *dynastic chart* and a *map of early Delhi monuments*;
also a good *coin research site*

(2) SIRI-- A new seven-gated fort (now gone) was built in 1303 by Ala ud-Din Khilji (r.1296-1316) after dangerous Mongol raids
To the Qutb Minar complex Ala ud-Din Khilji added the impressive "Ala'i Darvaza"
He also planned to build an ambitious victory tower in the precincts of the Qutb that would overtop the Qutb Minar itself

(3) TUGHLUQABAD-- Its massive (anti-Mongol) walls were built with great speed by by Sultan Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq (r.1320-25), who didn't live long enough to profit from them
Appropriately, Tughluqabad contains Sultan Ghiyas ud-Din's tomb (he died in the collapse of a victory pavilion built to celebrate his return from suppressing a revolt in Bengal)

(4) JAHANPANAH-- Muhammad Tughluq (r.1325-51) gave this name to his early and short-lived attempt to unite the fortifications of Dilli, Siri, and Tughluqabad; under him the Sultanate briefly (c.1330-35) controlled almost the whole subcontinent
During Muhammad Tughluq's reign the famous traveller Ibn Batuta paid him a visit, and left a vivid record of both his generosity and his vengefulness
In 1327, Muhammad Tughluq dragged the whole population of Delhi down to Daulatabad, near Aurangabad (1327-35), thus giving a strong impetus to the development of what later became Urdu
He also experimented with issuing some remarkable *bronze coins*; but he was too far ahead of his time, and the attempt proved disastrous
In 1336, the south broke away, and the new kingdom of Vijayanagar was established; it lasted till 1565
In 1342, always-restive Bengal broke away forever; the town of PANDUA, near Gaur, became its new capital, and repeated expeditions to reclaim it all failed
Then in 1347, the Deccan broke away and became the new Bahmani Sultanate, with its early capital at Gulbarga (1347-1425), its later one at *Bidar* (1425-1518)

(5) FIROZABAD-- Firoz Shah ka Kotla, built by Firoz Shah Tughluq (r.1351-88), survives as a series of ruins (with his carefully installed Ashokan pillar)
Firoz Shah's tomb is at Hauz Khas, in the complex of madrasah, mosque, and tank that he constructed there
One of Firoz Shah's courtiers, Junan Shah Maqbul, built the Kalan Masjid (1387) near the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin
Eid celebrations at Firoz Shah ka Kotla, 2004: two views

Timur's sack of Delhi and massacre of its people in 1398 was a blow from which the Sultanate never really recovered: the *Tarikh-i-Rashidi* offers a Mongol-centric view
At just thie time, the great Tunisian historian *Ibn Khaldun* (1332-1406) was developing his famous theory: from tough desert marauders to effete urban elites in three generations

*The story continues in the 1400's...*

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