Indian History: Delhi Sultanate & Mughal Empire

By Asha Gupta|Updated : November 19th, 2021

Complete coverage of syllabus is a very important aspect for any competitive examination but before that important subject and their concept must be covered thoroughly. In this article, we are going to discuss the fundamental of Indian History: Delhi Sultanate & the Mughal Empire.


The rulers who ruled over Delhi between the 13th and 16th Century AD are known as Sultans and the period is commonly known as Delhi Sultanate.

The rulers of the Delhi Sultanate basically belong to Turkey except for the Lodi they belong to Afghanistan. During this period five dynasties ruler over Delhi:

  • Slave Dynasty 1206-1240
  • Khilji Dynasty 1290-1320
  • Tughlaq Dynasty 1320-1414
  • Sayyid Dynasty 1414-1451
  • Lodi Dynasty 1451-1526

Here we give you short descriptions of the Dynasties mentioned above to understand better about the Delhi Sultanate.

Slave Dynasty (1206-1290): It was the earliest Muslim dynasty that ruled India. Qutub-ud-din Aibak, a slave of Muhammad Ghori, became the leader after his chief founded the Slave Dynasty.

  • Qutubuddin Aibak (1206-1210)
  • Shamsuddin Iltutmish 1211-1236
  • Razia Sultan 1236-1240
  • Bahram Shah 1240-1242
  • Masud Shah 1242-1246
  • Nasiruddin Mahamud 1246-1266
  • Ghiyasuddin Balban 1266-1287
  • Kaiqubad 1287-1290

Khilji dynasty (1290 – 1320): It was the Turko-Afghan Dynasty as the second Delhi Sultanate.

  • Jalaluddin Khilji 1290-1296
  • Alauddin Khalji 1296-1316
  • Shihabuddin Omar 1316
  • Mubarak Khan 1316-1320
  • Khusro Khan 1320

Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414): In medieval history, Ghazi Malik assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq and ruled most of the Indian Subcontinents.

  • Ghiasuddin Tughlaq 1320-1325
  • Muhammad Bin Tughlaq 1325-1338
  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq 1338-1388
  • Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq 1394-1413

Sayyid Dynasty (1414 - 1451): It was founded by Khizr Khan, a former governor of Multan.

  • Khizr Khan in 1414-1421
  • Mubarak Shah (1421-1434)
  • Muhammad Shah (1434-1443)
  • Alam Shah (1443-1451)

Lodhi Dynasty (1451-1526): It was founded by Bahlul Khan Lodi when he replaced the Sayyid dynasty. They followed Sunni Islam and used to speak the Persian language.

  • Bahlul Lodhi (1451-1488)
  • Sikandar Lodhi (1489-1517)
  • Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526 AD)

After that, Sultanate abolished (Babur as Mughal Emperor) on the first battle of Panipat in 1526 AD.

Mughal Empire (1526-1857AD)

Mughal Empire

1526 – 1530 AD


Founder of Mughal empire after the 1stBattle of Panipat

1530 – 1540 AD

1555 – 1556 AD


He was defeated by Sher Shah

1540 – 1555 AD

Sur Empire

Sher Shah defeated Humayun and ruled from 1540-45 AD


2nd Battle of Panipat

Akbar Vs. Hemu

1556 – 1605 AD


Established Din-i-illahi, expanded Mughal empire

1605 – 1627 AD


Captain William Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe visited the Mughal court

1628 -1658 AD


The pinnacle of the Mughal empire and art and architecture

1658 – 1707 AD


Beginning of the decline of the Mughal empire


1707 – 1857 AD


Later Mughals

Decline and disintegration of the Mughal empire with gaining strength of the British


During Babur's Period:

  • Babur also established a tradition of Gardening by laying out a number of formal gardens with running water.
  • He built two mosques, one at Kabulibagh, Panipat and another in Sambhal, Rohilkhand.

During Humayun’s Period:

  • The Purnakwila was constructed by Humayun but its construction was completed by
  • Humayun’s tomb is situated in Delhi (the first building in India having double domes) which was built by Haji Begum.
  • Humayun tomb is known as the predecessor of Tajmahal because Taj was modelled after this, also known as a dormitory of the house of Mirak Mirza Ghias was its architect.
  • In 1533 Humayun built the city of Dinpanah (world refuge) in Delhi.

During Sur Empire:

  • Shershah constructed the Grand Trunk Road from Sohargaon to Attock (Calcutta to Amritsar) He introduced the National Highway concept for the first time in Now the Grand Trunk Road is known as Shershah Suri Marg. Its part from Delhi to Amritsar is known as National Highway -1.
  • He also built roads from Agra to Jodhpur and Chittoor and Lahore to Multan. He built Sarais at a distance of every two These sarais later developed into Market towns, Qasbas. They were also used as stages for news services, Dak-Chowkis.
  • He built the Purana Qila in Delhi (its Construction was started by Humayun) and his own Mausoleum (Tomb) at Sasaram in Bihar.
  • He also constructed the Khooni Darwaza (blood-stained gate) the gateway of Firozshah Kotla in Delhi.

During Akbar’s period:

  • He built Agra Fort, Lahore Fort, Allahabad Fort, Humayun’s tomb and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra.
  • At Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar built Ibadat Khana or Hall of Prayer in which he called selected theologians and mystics with whom he discussed religious and spiritual topics.
  • Akbar built Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri in 1601 to commemorate his victory over Gujrat.
  • He opened Ibadat Khana to people of all religions and took liberal views in discussing religions.

During Jahangir's Period:

  • Jahangir built Shalimar and Nishant Gardens in Srinagar.
  • He completed the tomb of Akbar at Sikandara.
  • Jahangir introduced the vigorous use of Marble instead of red sandstone and the use of Pietra dura for decorative Nurjahan built Itimad-ud-doula/Mirza Ghiyas Beg’s Marble tomb at Agra.
  • He built Moti Masjid at Lahore and his own mausoleum at Shahdara.

During Shah Jahan’s period:

  • Shah Jahan’s period is considered the Golden Age of Mughal Architecture and Shah Jahan is known as the Prince of Builders.
  • In 1631, he started the construction of the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife and completed it in Ustad Iza, a Turkish/ Persian was its architect. British administrator Furguson called it ‘a love in marble’.
  • In 1638 Shah Jahan built his new capital Shahjahanabad in Delhi and shifted the capital from Agra to there. He also built Takht-i-Taus or Peacock throne.
  • In 1639, he started the construction of the Red Fort in Delhi on the model of Agra fort built by Akbar. The Diwan-i- Aam, Diwan-i-Khas and the Moti Masjid are situated inside the Red Fort. The Moti Masjid in Agra was constructed by Shah Jahan.

During Aurangzeb’s Period:

  • Aurangzeb’s son built Bibi ka Makbara in 1679 AD in memory of his mother Rabia-Durrani.
  • The only building by Aurangzeb in Red Fort is Moti Masjid. He also built the Badshahi Masjid in Lahore.

Significance of Akbar's Period: (1556 - 1605)




Akbar ascends the throne at the age of 14


2nd Battle of Panipat between Hemu and Bairam Khan(khan-i-khannan). Hemu gets defeated in the battle


Akbar becomes independent at the age of 18 and dismisses Bairam Khan


Abolition of Jizyah tax


The Foundation of Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, was laid


Mansabdari system introduced


Ibadatkhana was built


Battle of Haldihatti fought between Rana Pratap and the Mughal army led by Raja Man Singh


Dahsala Bandobast system introduced



Din-i-illahi – a new religion was propounded by Akbar which was s synthesis of values taken from several religions like Hinduism, Islam, Jainism etc. It was a move against religious orthodoxy and bigotry. He followed the policy of Sulh-Kul or peace to all.

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