Khilji Dynasty – Founder, Rulers, Alauddin Khilji

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Khilji Dynasty also known as Khalji Dynasty, was an ancestral line of Turko-Afghan monarchs who ruled the Sultanate of Delhi between 1290–1320, thus becoming the second dynasty of the Sultanate. The dynasty had the exact origin (Turkish) as the Slave dynasty and occupied Afghanistan for a longer time. All three kings of the Khilji Dynasty are well-renowned for their violence, faithlessness, and entrance into the Hindu south.

Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji was regarded as the first sultan of Khilji Dynasty after the defeat of the last Slave king, Kayqubad. Persian was the tribunal language of the Khiljis, the second being Arabic and indigenous Turkoman, along with a few dialects from north India. As a result of the co-existence of mixed languages during the Khilji dynasty, there was a birth of a new early form of speech, Urdu. In this article, read about the Khilji Dynasty rulers, their rise, policies undertaken, and the end of dynasty in detail.

Khilji Dynasty Timeline (1290 A.D. –1320 A.D.)

Jalal-ud-din Firuz Khalji started Khilji Dynasty. The second group of rulers who governed the Delhi Sultanate belonged to the Khilji Dynasty. The commencement began with the establishment of the Khilji dynasty and the Afghan Village.

Jalal-ud-din Khilji murdered the final ruler of the Mamluk dynasty and declared himself Delhi’s ruler in 1290 AD. The dynasty’s rule is recalled for advancements in contemporary-day Southern India and for effectively repulsing Mongol invasions in India.

Khilji Dynasty Rulers

Jalal-ud-din was the first ruler, and Qutb-ud-Din was the Khilji dynasty’s last ruler in India. The dynasty ended in the year 1320 A.D. by Khusro Khan. The top Khilji Dynasty rulers and the years they governed are mentioned below.

Formal Name Personal Name Reign
Jalal-ud-din Malik Firoz 1290–1296
Alauddin Khilji Ali Gurshasp 1296–1316
Shihab-ud-din Umar Khan 1316
Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Khan 1316–1320
Khalji dynasty got ended in 1320 by Khusro Khan.

Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji (1290-1296 A.D.) – Khilji Dynasty Founder

The founder of Khilji Dynasty was Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji. He was known to follow peace and did not support violence during this reign, which is why he is referred to as “Compassion Jalal-uddin”.

Domestic Policies of Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji

He stopped the rebellion of Malik Chhajju at Kara. Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji was the one who nominated Alauddin Khilji as the Kara Governor.

  • Alauddin was Firoz Khilji’s nephew and also son-in-law.
  • Jalal-ud-din attacked and conquered Mongols, who arrived till Sunam.

End of Jalaluddin

He was betrayed and killed by his son-in-law, Alauddin Khilji. The citizens did not appreciate the policy of Firoz Khilji as it was based on peace and non-violence.

Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316 A.D.) Empire and History

Alauddin Khilji succeeded Jalal-ud-din Khilji in 1296 A.D. and mounted the royal seat. He successfully opposed the Mongol attack greater than 12 times.

  • Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan, the generals of Alauddin Khilji, defeated Gujarat.
  • He is acknowledged as killing Hamir Deva, the ruler of Ranthambore, and eventually capturing the area.

Other regions captured by Alauddin Khilji during his rule were:

  • Dhar
  • Marwar
  • Ujjain
  • Chanderi
  • Jalor
  • Chittor
  • Mandu
  • Malwa

South Invasions by Alauddin Khilji

The first ruler or Sultan who invaded Southern India was Alauddin Khilji. To fight against the kings of the south, he sent his companion and general Malik Kafur.

  • The defeated rulers were the Yadava king of Devagiri, Ramachandra Deva, Prataprudra-II of Warangal, and the Hoysala king, Vira Ballala-III.
  • The South Empire realized his power and disbursed his financial recognition.

Market Reforms of Alauddin Khilji

  • Several officers, known as Diwan-i-Riyasat, were designated to formalize the office market (Shahana-i-mandi).
  • The merchants were mandated to register themselves in the Shahana-i-mandi (office) before selling goods at a set price.
  • He built the Palace of a thousand pillars called Alai Darwaza and the Fort of Siri.

Domestic Policies of Alauddin Khilji

The Alauddin Khilji obeyed the Divine Right Theory of Kingship rule. Around 4 ordinances of Alauddin Khilji were initiated to stop persistent rebellions. The following domestic policies of Alauddin Khilji were introduced.

  • The collection of revenue was always performed in cash and no other method.
  • He rigorously banned the black trade.
  • He set a particular cost for essential commodities less than the usual market rates.
  • He prohibited wine, drinks, and social parties.
  • He reorganized the approach of spy.
  • He seized holy contributions and free grants of lands.
  • He created the horses branding method and illustrative registration of individual warriors to inhibit crime.
  • Alauddin Khilji policies offered a permanent standing military.
  • He increased agriculture taxation to 50%, which had to be paid in the form of rural produce or cash and grain, without any option of instalments.
  • Alauddin Khilji charged four distinct kinds of taxes on non-Muslims: Jizya (poll tax), Kari (house tax), Chari (field duty), and Kharaj (land tax).

Architecture under Alauddin Khilji Rule

Alauddin Khilji firmly supported architecture and education. He was uneducated, but many recognized people were his benefactors, including Mir Hasan Dehlvi and Amir Khusrau.

  • Alauddin Khilji built a Qutabi mosque in Rameswaram and the entire city of Siri.
  • At the dargah of Nizam-ud-din Auliya, he constructed Jamiat Khana Mosque.
  • He made many historical buildings and architectural monuments, namely: Alai Darwaja, Alai Minar- incomplete (double size as that of Qutub Minar), Gateway/Entrance to Qutub Minar, and Hauz Khas lake.

Khilji Dynasty Map

The map below depicts the major cities occupied by the Khilji Dynasty in India’s map during their reign from 1290 A.D. to 1320 A.D.

Khilji Dynasty

End of Khilji Dynasty (1320 A.D.)

The decline of the Khilji dynasty was marked by the death of Alauddin Khilji in 1316 A.D. The successors of Alauddin Khilji were less potent than him.

  • Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah (1316-1320 A.D.)
  • Nasir-ud-din Khusrav Shah (1320 A.D.).

The Ghazi Malik (Punjab Governor) directed the patricians’ group, overpowered Delhi, and grabbed the throne in 1320 A.D.

  • After Malik Kafur died in 1316, the last sultan or ruler of the Khalji dynasty was Mubarak Shah.
  • He was the elder son of Alauddin, and during his rule, he led to market inflation by pulling all the reforms performed by his father.
  • Though Mubarak Shah was very fond of Khusrau Khan (his slave), Khusrau was the only one who murdered Mubarak Shah in 1320 to take revenge.
  • Khusrau Khan was defeated after he lost the Battle of Lahrawat and the Battle of Saraswati.
  • The events led to the beginning of the Tughluq Dynasty by Ghazi Malik, who earned the name ‘Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq’ in Delhi.

Khilji Dynasty UPSC Notes

Khilji Dynasty is an important topic for aspirants to learn for the IAS Exam. This section is a crucial part of the UPSC syllabus and comes under the section of Medieval History of India. Candidates can write down brief notes and mark the relevant points, including dates, and events, which they can utilize during revision before the examination.

Students can review the previous year’s question papers after reading and comprehensively learning the whole topic. Candidates can also view the History Books for UPSC to get an idea about the most recommended textbooks by specialists and lecturers.

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