HISTORY OF INDIA
THE KHALJI DYNASTY AND THE FIRST CONQUEST OF THE DECCAN
THE repugnance of the populace to Firuz was due to the belief that his tribe, the Khaljis, were Afghans, a people who were regarded as barbarous. They were, in fact, a Turkish tribe but they had long been settled in the Garmsir, or hot region, of Afghanistan, where they had probably acquired some Afghan manners and customs, and the Turkish nobles, most of whom must now have belonged to the second generation domiciled in India, refused to acknowledge them as Turks. It was owing to this hostility of the people that Firuz elected to be enthroned in Kaiqubad's unfinished villa at Kilokhri rather than at Delhi, and for some time after his elevation to the throne he dared not enter the streets of his capital. The more prominent citizens waited on him as a matter of course, and swore allegiance to him, and the people in general repaired to Kilokhri on the days appointed for public audiences, but they were impelled less by sentiments of loyalty than by curiosity to see how the barbarian would support his new dignity, and were compelled reluctantly to admit that he carried it well, but their disaffection did not at once abate, and Firuz completed the buildings and gardens left unfinished by Kaiqubad, named Kilokhri Shahr-i-Nau, or the New City, and ordered his courtiers to build themselves houses in the neighborhood of his palace. The order was unpopular, but there was a large class whose livelihood depended on the court, and villas and shops rose round the palace of Kilokhri.
The court of Firuz differed widely from that of the Slave Kings. Balban had undermined, if he had not destroyed, the power of the Forty and the character of the Turkish nobles was changed. They were now represented largely by men born in the country, in many instances, probably, of Indian mothers, and though, as their hostility to Firuz proves, they retained their pride of race, they lost forever their exclusive privileges, which were invaded by Khaljis and by all whom it was the king's pleasure to promote. The change was inevitable. It would have been impossible for a small number of native courtiers to have maintained for ever a claim based on a remote foreign ancestry, and Firuz, though he did not exclude the Turks from office, completed very thoroughly the work which Balban had begun. The fief of Kara-Manikpur was considered an ample provision for Chhajju, the sole survivor of the former royal family, and Firuz had his own relations to consider. His eldest son, Mahmud, was entitled Khan Khanan, his second Arkali Khan, and his third Qadr Khan; his brother was entitled Yaghrush Khan and was appointed to the command of the army, and his two nephews, Ala-ud-din and Almas Beg, received important posts, the latter being entitled Ulugh Khan. Another relation, the blunt and outspoken Malik Ahmad Chap, held the unsuitable post of Master of the Ceremonies.
The popular prejudice against Firuz was soon discovered to be groundless. Save for an occasional outburst of wrath no milder monarch ever sat upon the throne of Delhi. His treatment of Kaiqubad belied his boast that he had never shed the blood of a Muslim, but throughout his reign he displayed the most impolitic tenderness towards rebels and other criminals. His mildness and his conduct when he first ventured into Balban’s Red Palace in the city gained him the adherence of many of those who had opposed him as a barbarian. He declined to ride into the courtyard, but dismounted at the gate, and before entering the throne room wept bitterly in the antechamber for Balban and his offspring and lamented his own unworthiness of the throne and his guilt in aspiring to it. The few old nobles of Balban’s court and the ecclesiastics of the city were moved to tears and praised his sensibility, but the soldiers and those of his own faction murmured that such self-abasement was unkingly, and Malik Ahmad Chap openly remonstrated with him.
In the second year of the reign Chhajju assumed the royal title at Kara and was joined by Hatim Khan, who held the neighboring fief of Oudh. The rebels advanced towards Delhi, where they were confident of the support of a numerous faction not yet reconciled to the rule of the Khalji, but Firuz marched to meet them, and his advanced guard under his son Arkali Khan encountered them near Budaun and defeated and dispersed them. Two days after the battle Chhajju was surrendered by a Hindu with whom he had taken refuge, and he and the other captives were sent, with yokes on their necks and gyves on their wrists, to Budaun. Firuz, seated upon a cane stool, received them in public audience and when he saw their bonds wept in pity. He caused them to be loosed and tended and entertained them at a wine party. As they hung their heads with shame he cheered them and foolishly praised them for their loyalty to the heir of their old master. The indignant courtiers, headed, as usual, by Ahmad Chap, protested against this encouragement of rebellion and demanded that he should consider what his, and their, fate would have been had the rebels been victorious, and the old man, who seems to have entered upon his dotage when he seized the throne, could find no better reply than that he dared not, for the sake of a transitory kingdom, imperil his soul by slaying fellow-Muslims.
Arkali Khan’s victory was rewarded with the fief of Multan, and Chhajju was delivered into the custody of his conqueror, who was known to be opposed to his father’s mild policy. The fief of Kara was bestowed upon Ala-ud-din, who lent a willing ear to the counsels of Chhajju's principal adherents, whom he took into his service. Domestic griefs helped to warp his loyalty, for his wife, the daughter of Firuz, and her mother, who perhaps suspected the trend of his ambition, were shrews who not only embittered his private life, but constantly intrigued against him at court. Ala-ud-din’s original intention seems to have been to escape their malignity by leaving his uncle's dominions and establishing a principality in some distant part of India, but the course of events suggested to him a design yet more treasonable.
Lenity of Firuz
Firuz Shah's lenity and the simplicity of his court were most distasteful to the Khalji officers, who were disappointed of the profit which they had expected from confiscations and murmured against a prince who would neither punish his enemies nor reward his friends. Their strictures on his attitude towards criminals were just, as in the case of the Thags, those miscreants whose religion was robbery and murder and who were the dread of wayfarers in India within the memory of the last generation. A few of these fanatical brigands were captured at Delhi and one gave information which led to the arrest of over a thousand. Not one was punished but the whole gang was carried in boats down the Jumna and Ganges and set free in Bengal. Such culpable weakness would have again thrown the kingdom into complete disorder had the reign of Firuz been prolonged.
The discontent of the nobles found expression at their drinking parties when the deposition of the old king was freely discussed. Firuz, though aware of this treasonable talk, at first paid no heed to it, but at one drinking bout many nobles swore allegiance to Taj-ud-din Kuchi, a survivor of the Forty, and boasted of how they would slay Firuz. He sent for the drinkers and, after upbraiding them, threw a sword towards them and challenged any one of them to attack him. They stood abashed until the tension was relieved by the effrontery of his secretary, Nusrat Sabbah, who, though he had boasted as loudly as any, now told Firuz that the maunderings of drunkards were beneath his notice, that they were not likely to kill him, for they knew that they would never again find so indulgent a master, and that he was not likely to kill them, for he knew, in spite of their foolish talk, that he would nowhere find servants so faithful. Firuz called for a cup of wine and handed it to the impudent apologist, but the boasters were dismissed from court for a year and were warned that if they offended again they should be delivered to the tender mercies of Arkali Khan, who was fettered by none of his father's scruples.
Firuz Shah’s solitary departure from his policy of leniency was unfortunate. A religious leader named Sidi Maula, originally a disciple of Shaikh Farid-ud-din Ganj-i-Shakar of Pak Pattan or Ajudhan had, in 1291, been established for some time at Delhi, where his mode of life attracted general attention. He accepted neither an allowance from the state nor offerings from disciples or admirers, but all might enjoy at the hospice which he had built for himself the most lavish hospitality. His wealth was attributed by the vulgar to his discovery of the philosopher's stone, but it has been suggested that he was a patron and a pensioner of the Thags. The most frequent guests at his private table were the Khan Khanan and some of the old nobles of Balban’s court, who had enrolled themselves as his disciples, and their meetings naturally attracted suspicion. It was discovered, one historian says, by Firuz himself, who attended a meeting in disguise, that there was a plot to raise Sidi Maula to the throne as Caliph, and he and his principal disciples were arrested. Scruples, suggested by the theologians, regarding the legality of the ordeal by fire, disappointed the populace of a spectacle, and Sidi Maula was brought before Firuz, who condescended to bandy words with him and, losing his temper in the controversy, turned, in the spirit of Henry II of England, to some fanatics of another sect and exclaimed, “Will none of you do justice for me on this saint?” One of the wretches sprang upon Sidi Maula, slashed him several times with a razor, and stabbed him with a packing-needle. Arkali Khan finished the business by bringing up an elephant, which trampled the victim to death. One of those dust-storms which, in northern India, darken the noonday sun immediately arose and was attributed by the superstitious to the divine wrath, as was also a more serious calamity, the failure of the seasonal rains, which caused a famine so acute that bands of hungry and desperate wretches are said to have drowned themselves in the Jumna. Shortly after the execution of Sidi Maula the suspiciously opportune death of the Khan Khanan, his principal disciple, was announced, and Arkali Khan became heir-apparent and remained at Delhi as regent while his father led an expedition against Ranthambhor. On his way he captured the fortress and laid waste the district of Jhain, but a reconnaissance of Ranthambhor convinced him that the place could not be taken without losses which he was not prepared to risk, and he returned to Delhi to endure another lecture from his outspoken cousin, Ahmad Chap, to whose just strictures he could oppose no better argument than that he valued each hair of a true believer's head more than a hundred such fortresses as Ranthambhor.
Designs of Alauddin. Invasion of the Deccan
In 1292 a horde of Moguls between 100,000 and 150,000 strong, under the command of a grandson of Hulagu, invaded India and penetrated as far as Sunam, where it was met by Firuz. The advanced guard of the invaders suffered a severe defeat and they readily agreed to the king’s terms. Their army was to be permitted to leave India unmolested, but Ulghu, a descendant of Chingiz, and other officers, with their contingents, accepted Islam and entered the service of Firuz, who gave to Ulghu a daughter in marriage. The converts settled in the suburbs of Delhi and though many, after a few years’ experience of the Indian climate, returned to their homes, a large number remained and become known, like their predecessors, as the New Muslims. The recapture of Mandawar from the Hindus and a raid into the Jhain district completed the tale of Firuz Shah’s activities in 1292, but in the same year his nephew Ala-ud-din, having received permission to invade Wawa, captured the town of Bhilsa, whence he brought much plunder to Delhi, and received as a reward the great fief of Oudh, in addition to that of Kara. Nor was this all that he gained by his enterprise, for he had heard at Bhilsa of the wealth of the great southern kingdom of Deogir, which extended over the western Deccan, and his imagination had been fired by dreams of southern conquest. Without mentioning these designs to his uncle he took advantage of his indulgent mood to obtain from him permission to raise additional troops for the purpose of annexing Chanderi and other fertile districts of Malwa.
At this period two Hindu kingdoms existed in the Deccan, as distinct from the Peninsula; Deogir in the west and Warangal or Telingana in the east. The former was ruled by Ramachandra, the seventh of the northern Yadava dynasty, and the latter by Rudramma Devi, widow of Ganpati, fifth raja of the Kakatiya dynasty.
On his return from Delhi Ala-ud-din made preparations for his great enterprise, and, having appointed Malik Alaul-Mulk his deputy in Kara, with instructions to supply the king with such periodical bulletins of news as would allay any anxiety or suspicion, set out in 1294 at the head of seven or eight thousand horse. After marching for two months by devious and unfrequented tracks he arrived at Ellichpur in Berar, where he explained his presence and secured himself from molestation by letting it be understood that he was a discontented noble of Delhi on his way to seek service at Rajamahendri (Rajahmundry) in southern Telingana. After a halt of two days he continued his march towards Deogir, where fortune favored him. Ramachandra was taken by surprise and the greater part of his army was absent with his wife and his eldest son, Shankar, who were performing a pilgrimage, but he collected two or three thousand troops and met the invader at Lasura, twelve miles from the city. He was defeated and compelled to seek the protection of his citadel, which he hastily provisioned with sacks taken from a large caravan passing through the city, only to discover, when it was too late, that the sacks contained salt instead of grain. Meanwhile Ala-ud-din, who now gave out that his troops were but the advanced guard of an army of 20,000 horse, which was following him closely, plundered the city and the royal stables, from which he obtained thirty or forty elephants and some thousands of horse, and Ramachandra sued for peace. Ala-ud-din agreed to desist from hostilities on condition of retaining what plunder he had and of extorting what more he could from the citizens. He collected over 1400 pounds of gold and a great quantity of pearls and rich stuffs, and prepared to depart on the fifteenth day after his arrival, but Shankar, who had heard of the attack on Deogir, had hastened back, and arrived within six miles of the city as Ala-ud-din was starting on his homeward march. His father in vain implored him not to break faith with the invaders and he marched to attack them. Ala-ud-din detached Malik Nusrat, with a thousand horse, to watch the city and himself turned to meet Shankar. He was on the point of being overwhelmed by the superior numbers of the Hindus when Malik Nusrat came to his relief. His force was taken for the army of which Ala-ud-din had boasted and the Hindus broke and fled in confusion. Ala-ud-din now again invested the citadel and treated his captives and the citizens with great severity, and the garrison, on discovering that the place had been provisioned with salt instead of grain, was obliged to sue humbly for peace. Ala-ud-din’s terms were now naturally harder than at first, and he demanded the cession of the province of Ellichpur, which was to be administered at his convenience and for his benefit either by Ramachandra’s officers or his own, and the payment of an extravagant indemnity, amounting to 17,250 pounds of gold, 200 pounds of pearls, 58 pounds of other gems, 28,250 pounds of silver, and 1000 pieces of silk.
The booty was enormous, but it was the reward of an exploit as daring and impudent as any recorded in history. Ala-ud-din’s objective, the capital of a powerful kingdom, was separated from his base by a march of two months through unknown regions inhabited by peoples little likely to be otherwise than hostile. He knew not what forces might oppose his advance, and he was unable to secure his retreat, which, by reason of the wealth which he carried with him, was more perilous than his advance, but fortune befriended him and his own resourcefulness and high courage sustained him, and he reached Kara safely with all his treasure.
His lieutenant at Kara had succeeded, by means of false and temporizing messages, in explaining to the satisfaction of the doting Firuz the absence of reports from his nephew. The king’s advisers were less credulous, but were unable to shake his confidence in Alauddin, whom he loved, he said, as a son.
Late in the year 1295 Firuz went on a hunting tour to Gwalior and there learned that his nephew was returning from the south to Kara, laden with such spoils as had never been seen at Delhi. The news delighted him, and he debated whether he should return to Delhi to await Ala-ud-din’s arrival, remain at Gwalior to receive him, or advance to meet him. Ahmad Chap, without pretending to conceal his suspicions, advocated the last course, which would take the ambitious adventurer by surprise, and bring him to his knees, but Firuz rebuked him for his jealousy of Ala-ud-din, whereupon Ahmad Chip struck his hands together in despair and left the council chamber, exclaiming, “If you return to Delhi you slay us with your own hand”.'
Ala-ud-din was well served at court by his brother Ulugh Khan, who exerted such influence over Firuz that he refused to listen to any warnings, and who kept his brother informed of all that passed at court. It was by his advice that Ala-ud-din assumed an attitude of apprehensive penitence, declaring that his actions and designs had been so misrepresented that he feared to appear at court. Ulugh Khan drew a pitiable picture of his brother's fear and anxiety and so worked on his uncle's feelings by describing his hesitation between taking poison and fleeing to a distant country that he persuaded the old man to visit Kara in person, and himself carried to Ala-ud-din the assurance of his uncle's forgiveness and the news of his approaching visit.
Firuz, disregarding the warnings of his counselors, set out from Delhi and travelled down the Ganges by boat, escorted by his troops, which moved by land under the command of Ahmad Chap. Ala-ud-din crossed from Kara to Manikpur and, as the royal barge came into sight, drew up his troops under arms and sent his brother to lure Firuz into the trap set for him. Ala-ud-din was represented as being still apprehensive and the king was implored not to permit his troops to cross to the eastern bank of the river, and to dismiss all but a few personal attendants. The murmurs of the courtiers were met with the explanation that Ala-ud-din’s troops were drawn up to receive the king with due honor, Firuz Shah's complaints of Ala-ud-din’s obstinacy were silenced by the excuse that he was occupied in preparing a feast and in arranging his spoils for presentation, and Ulugh Khan even persuaded his uncle to order his few personal attendants to lay aside their arms. As Firuz landed Ala-ud-din advanced to meet him and bowed to the ground. The kindly old man raised him up, embraced him, and chid him for his fears, and then took his hand and led him towards the boat, still speaking affectionately to him. Ala-ud-din gave a preconcerted signal and one of his companions, Muhammad Salim, struck two blows at the king with a sword, wounding him with the second. Firuz attempted to run towards his boat, crying “Ala-ud-din, wretch, what have you done?” But another assassin, Ikhtiyar-ud-din, came up behind him, struck him down, severed his head from his body, and presented it to Ala-ud-din. The few attendants of the king were murdered and the royal umbrella was raised above the head of Ala-ud-din, who was proclaimed king in his camp on July 19, 1296. The unnatural wretch caused the head of his uncle and benefactor to be placed on a spear and carried through Manikpur and Kara, and afterwards through Ajodhya. The faithful Ahmad Chap would not acknowledge the usurper but returned by forced marches, and led the army, exhausted by a most arduous march in the rainy season, into Delhi.
Ala-ud-din, doubting his power to cope with the adherents of Firuz Shah’s lawful heir, was hesitating whether he should march on Delhi or retire into Bengal when his difficulty was solved by his old enemy, his mother-in-law. Arkali Khan, the heir, was at Multan, and Firuz Shah’s widow, “the most foolish of the foolish”, deeming that a king de facto was necessary, in such a crisis, to the security of Delhi, proclaimed the younger son of Firuz as king, under the title of Rukn-ud-din Ibrahim. Arkali Khan sulked at Multan and his partisans at Delhi refused to recognize his brother. These divisions encouraged Ala-ud-din to march on Delhi and his spoils provided him with the means of conciliating the populace. At every stage a balista set up before his tent scattered small gold and silver coins among the mob. At Budaun he halted, for an army had been sent from Delhi to bar his way, but no battle was fought, for the nobles were lukewarm in the cause of Ibrahim and Ala-ud-din’s bursting coffers justified a transference of allegiance. He was thus enabled to advance on Delhi at the head of an army of 60,000 horse and 60,000 foot, and Ibrahim, after a feeble demonstration, fled towards Multan with his mother and the faithful Ahmad Chap, and on October 3, 1296, Ala-ud-din was enthroned in the Red Palace of Balban, which he made his principal place of residence.
The new king, having gained the throne by an act of treachery and ingratitude seldom equaled even in oriental annals, conciliated the populace by a lavish distribution of his southern gold, but his example was infectious and attempts to follow it disturbed the early years of his reign. These and other causes, irruptions of the Moguls and the necessity for subjugating the Hindu rulers of Rajputana, Malwa and Gujarat protected the Deccan for a while from a second visitation, for the king of Delhi could not conduct war after the fashion of the desperate adventurer who had been ready to risk all on a single throw.
Ulugh Khan and Hijabruddin were sent with an army of 40,000 to Multan to secure the persons of Arkali Khan, Ibrahim, and their mother. The city surrendered at once and the princes and their few remaining adherents fell into the hands of Ulugh Khan, and by the king's instructions they, their brother-in-law Ulghu Khan the Mogul and Ahmad Chap were blinded when they reached Hansi, and the widow of Firuz was kept under close restraint.
During the early years of his reign Ala-ud-din was ably and faithfully served by four men, his brother Ulugh Khan, Nusrat Khan, who was rewarded for his services at Deogir with the post of minister, Zafar Khan, who had served him well at Kara, and Alp Khan of Multan. Ala-ul-Mulk, his faithful lieutenant at Kara, received the post of Kotwal of Delhi, being now too gross for more active employment.
Ala-ud-din had been no more than a few months on the throne when a large horde of Moguls invaded his kingdom. Zafar Khan, who was sent against them, defeated them with great slaughter near Jullundur, and his victory was celebrated with rejoicings at Delhi, but his military genius rendered him an object of jealousy and suspicion to his master.
After the repulse of the Moguls the king considered the case of those nobles whom his own bribes had seduced from their allegiance to his predecessor. It ill became him to condemn them but it was evident that they were not to be trusted, and cupidity and policy pointed in the same direction. They were despoiled by degrees, first of their hoards and then of their lands, and when nothing else remained they suffered in their persons. Some were put to death, some were blinded, and some were imprisoned for life, and the families of all were reduced to beggary. All deserved their fate, but none was so guilty as he who decided it.
In 1297 Ala-ud-din resolved to undertake the conquest of the Hindu kingdom of Gujarat which, though frequently plundered, had never yet been subdued, and had long enjoyed immunity, even from raids. Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan were selected for the task and invested and took its ancient capital, Anhilvara, now Patan, captured the wife of raja Karan, its ruler, and sent to Delhi as a trophy the idol which had been set up at Somnath to replace that destroyed by Mahmud. Raja Karan and his daughter, Deval Devi, fled, and found an asylum for a time with Ramachandra of Deogir. Nusrat Khan plundered the wealthy merchants of the port of Cambay and obtained, with much other booty, a Hindu eunuch nicknamed at first Kafur and afterwards Hazardinari, “the thousand dinar Slave” from the price for which he had originally been bought. This wretch became successively the king’s vile favorite, lieutenant of the kingdom, and, for a short time before and after Ala-ud-din’s death, its ruler.
After establishing a Muslim government in Gujarat Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan set out for Delhi, and at Jalor distributed the plunder taken in the expedition. The allotment of the greater part of it caused grave discontent, and the New Muslims mutinied and slew Nusrat Khan’s brother and a nephew of Ala-ud-din. The great drums were sounded, the troops responded to the call to arms, and the mutineers, outnumbered, took to flight and were pursued with great slaughter. Those who escaped took refuge with various Hindu chieftains, principally with Hamir Deo, raja of Ranthambhor, but were unable to escape vicarious punishment, for the fierce tyrant of Delhi put their wives and families to death in circumstances of revolting brutality, and Nusrat Khan avenged his brother's death by delivering the wives of the murderers to the embraces of the scavengers of Delhi, an unspeakable degradation.
The historians of India attribute to Ala-ud-din the introduction of the barbarous practice of visiting the sins of rebels on the heads of their innocent wives and children; but the accusation is not strictly just, for there are instances of the practice before his time. It was he, however, who first elevated it into a political principle.
In this year the Moguls again invaded India and took the fortress of Sibi, which Zafar Khan recaptured after a short siege, and took their leader with 1700 of his followers and their wives and daughters, and sent them to Delhi; but the success was another step towards his ruin.
Hitherto Ala-ud-din had prospered in everything to which he had set his hand, and his success had turned his brain. He detected an analogy between himself with his four faithful servants and the founder of his faith with his four companions and successors, Abu Bakr, Usman, Umar, and Ali, and dreamed of spiritual as well as material conquests. In the latter he sought to surpass Alexander of Macedon and in the former Muhammad. He would ask his boon companions, over the wine-cups, why he should not surpass both. His suggestion that he should declare himself a prophet was received in silence by his associates but his proposal to emulate Alexander was applauded.
These projects had been considered at the royal symposia for some time before Ala-ul-Mulk the Kotwal, who by reason of his corpulence was excused from attendance at court oftener than once a month, was commanded to deliver his opinion upon them. After demanding that the wine should be removed and that all but the king's most intimate associates should withdraw he deprecated Ala-ud-din’s wrath and proceeded to speak his mind. Innovations in religion; he said, were for prophets, and not for kings. Their success depended not on might, nor on power, but on the will of the Lord of Hosts. It was useless for a king, however great, to attempt the foundation of a new religion, for unless he were truly inspired of God he would not long be able to deceive himself, much less the world.
Ala-ud-din remained for some time sunk in thought, and at length, raising his head, acknowledged the justice of the rebuke and declared that he had abandoned his impious design. Against the second project Ala-ul-Mulk had no moral objections to urge, but he observed that a great part of India remained yet unconquered, that the land was a constant prey to marauding Moguls, that there was no Aristotle to govern the realm in the king’s absence and that there were no officers to whom the government of conquered kingdoms could be entrusted. Waxing bolder he exhorted Ala-ud-din to avoid excess in wine, and to devote less of his time to the chase and more to public business. The king professed himself grateful for this candid advice and generously rewarded his honest counselor, but he could not forgo the petty vanity of describing himself on his coins as “the Second Alexander”.
In 1299 an army of 200,000 Moguls under Qutlugh Khvaja invaded India. Their object on this occasion was conquest, not plunder; they marched from the Indus to the neighborhood of Delhi without molesting the inhabitants, encamped on the banks of the Jumna, and prepared to invest the city. Refugees from the surrounding country filled the mosques, streets, and bazaars, supplies were intercepted by the invaders, and famine was imminent. The king appointed Ala-ul-Mulk to the government of the city and led his army out to the suburb of Siri, where he summoned his nobles to join him. The timid Kotwal ventured to resume the character of adviser, and implored Ala-ud-din to temporize with the Moguls instead of risking all by attacking them at once, but the king refused, in his own phrase, to sit on his eggs like a hen. “Man” he said, with good-humored contempt, to the unwieldy Kotwal, “you are but a scribe, the son of a scribe; what should you know of war?” On the morrow he attacked the Moguls. The bold and impetuous Zafar Khan charged the enemy's left with such vigor that he drove it before him and pursued it until he was lost to the sight of the rest of the army. Other bodies of the enemy turned and followed him, so that he was surrounded and slain, after refusing to surrender. Even in this moment of peril Ala-ud-din and Ulugh Khan saw with satisfaction that the object of their jealousy had rushed to certain death, made no attempt to support or succor him, and contented themselves with a languid demonstration against the diminished army which remained opposed to them; but the valor of Zafar Khan had so impressed the invaders that they retreated precipitately in the night, and when the sun rose Ala-ud-din, finding that they had decamped, returned to Delhi, hardly less thankful for the death of Zafar Khan than for the flight of the enemy. It is said that the name of Zafar Khan was for some years afterwards used by the Moguls as that of Richard of England is said to have been used by the Saracens of Palestine, and that they would urge their weary beasts to drink by asking whether they had seen Zafar Khan, that they feared to slake their thirst.
The rebellion of Akat Khan
The strength of Ranthambhor, formerly an outpost of the Muslims, but long since a stronghold of the Hindus, had defied Balban’s arms and daunted Firuz; its ruler, Hamir Deo, who boasted descent from Prithvi Raj, had recently insulted Ala-ud-din by harboring the rebellious New Muslims, and the king resolved to punish him. Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan were sent against him and, having first reduced Jhain, encamped before Ranthambhor. The death of Nusrat Khan, who was slain by a stone from a balista, discouraged the army, and a sortie by Hamir Deo drove Ulugh Khan back to Jhain. Ala-ud-din marched from Delhi to his aid but halted for some days at Tilpat to enjoy his favorite recreation, the chase. After a long day’s sport he and his small escort were benighted at a distance from his camp, and when he rose in the morning he ordered his men to drive some game towards him while he awaited it, seated on a stool. His absence had caused some anxiety, and as he awaited the game his brother’s son, Akat Khan, arrived in search of him with a hundred horse, New Muslims of his own retinue. Akat Khan’s ambition was suddenly kindled by the sight of his uncle’s defenseless condition and he ordered his Mogul archers to draw their bows on him. The king defended himself bravely, using his stool as a shield, and a faithful slave named Manik stood before him and intercepted the arrows, but he was wounded in the arm and fell. Some foot soldiers of his escort ran up and, drawing their swords, stood round him, crying out that he was dead. Akat Khan, without waiting to ascertain whether they spoke the truth, galloped back to the camp, announced that he had slain Ala-ud-din, and demanded the allegiance of the army. He held a hurried and informal court, at which some officers rashly came forward and offered him their congratulations, but when he attempted to enter the harem the more cautious guards refused to admit him until he should produce his uncle’s head.
In the meantime stray horsemen, to the number of sixty or seventy, had gathered round Ala-ud-din and dressed his wounds, and on his way towards the camp he was joined by other small bodies of horse, which brought his numbers up to five or six hundred. Ascending a knoll he caused the royal umbrella to be raised over his head, and the sight drew the troops and the courtiers out to join him. Akat Khan, finding himself deserted, fled, but was pursued, taken, and beheaded. The tedium of Ala-ud-din’s convalescence was alleviated by the punishment of Akat Khan’s associates, who were put to death with torture, and when he had recovered he marched on to Ranthambhor, where Ulugh Khan, encouraged by the news of his approach, had already opened the siege.
While the siege was in progress news reached him that his sister’s sons, Amir Umar and Mangu Khan, had raised the standard of revolt in Budaun and Oudh, but loyal fief-holders speedily overpowered and captured the young men, and sent them to their uncle, in whose presence their eyes were cut out.
This rebellion had hardly been suppressed when a serious revolt in the capital was reported. Ala-ul-Mulk, the fat Kotwal, was now dead, and the oppressive behavior of his successor, Tarmadi, aroused the resentment of the populace, who found a willing leader in the person of Haji Maula, an old officer who resented his supersession by Tarmadi. Encouraged by rumors of discontent in the army before Ranthambhor he assembled a number of dismissed and discontented members of the city police and others, and by exhibiting to them a forged decree purporting to bear the royal seal, induced them to join him in attacking Tarmadi. On reaching his house they found that he, like most Muslims in the city, was asleep, for the faithful were keeping the annual fast, which fell in that year in May and June, the hottest months of summer. He was called forth on the pretext of urgent business from the camp, and was at once seized and beheaded. The crowd which had been attracted by the disturbance was satisfied by the exhibition of the forged decree, and Haji Maula, having caused the gates of the city to be shut, attempted to deal with Ayaz, the Kotwal of Siri, as he had dealt with Tarmadi, but Ayaz had heard of Tarmadi’s fate, and refused to be inveigled from the fortress of Siri. Haji Maula then marched to the Red Palace, released all the prisoners, broke into the treasury, and distributed bags of money among his followers. He seized an unfortunate Sayyid, with the suggestive name of Shahinshah, who happened to be descended through his mother from Iltutmish, enthroned him nolens volens, and, dragging the leading men of the city by force from their houses, compelled them to make obeisance to the puppet. The dregs of the populace, lured by the hope of plunder, swelled the ranks of the rebels, but the more respectable citizens halted between the fear of present violence and the apprehension of the royal vengeance. In the seven or eight days during which Delhi was in the hands of the rebels, several reports of their proceedings reached Ala-ud-din, but he set his face, concealed the news from his army, and continued the siege.
On the third or fourth day after the rebellion had broken out Malik Hamid-ud-din, entitled Amir-i-Kuh, assembled his sons and relations, forced the western gate of the city, marched through to the Bhandarkal gate and there maintained himself against the determined attacks of the rebels. His small force was gradually swelled by the adhesion of some loyal citizens, and by a reinforcement of troops from some of the districts near the capital, and he sallied forth from his quarters at the Bhandarkal gate, defeated the rebels, and slew Haji Maula with his own hand. The troops recaptured the Red Palace, beheaded the unfortunate Sayyid, and sent his head to the royal camp. Ala-ud-din still remained before Ranthambhor but sent Ulugh Khan to Delhi to see that order was thoroughly restored.
Fall of Ranthambhor
These successive rebellions convinced Ala-ud-din that something was wrong in his system of administration, and after taking counsel with his intimate advisers he traced them to four causes:
1.-The neglect of espionage, which left him ignorant of the condition, the doings, and the aspirations of his people;
2.-The general use of wine, which, by loosening the tongue and raising the spirits, bred plots and treason;
3.-Frequent intermarriages, between the families of the nobles which, by fostering intimacy and reciprocal hospitality, afforded opportunities for conspiracy; and
4.-The general prosperity which, by relieving many of the necessity for working for their bread, left them leisure for idle thoughts and mischievous designs.
He resolved to remedy these matters on his return, and in the meantime brought the siege of Ranthambhor to a successful conclusion. Hamir Deo, the New Muslims who had found an asylum with him, and his minister, Ranmal, who had, with many other Hindus, deserted him during the siege and joined Ala-ud-din, were put to death. It was characteristic of Ala-ud-din to avail himself of the services of traitors and then to punish them for the treason by which he had profited. After appointing officers to the government of Ranthambhor he returned to Delhi to find that his brother Ulugh Khan, who had been making preparations for an expedition to the Deccan, had just died.
Ala-ud-din now addressed himself, in accordance with the decision at which he had arrived, to the enactment of laws for the prevention of rebellion, and, with the severity which was part of his nature, framed regulations which might have been designed to punish actual rather than forestall potential rebels. Private property was the first institution which he attacked, and he began by confiscating all religious endowments and all grants of rent-free land, both of which supported numbers of useless idlers. Tax-collectors were appointed and were instructed to extort gold, on any pretext that could be devised, from all who possessed it. The result of this ordinance, as described by the contemporary historian, was that gold was not to be found save in the houses of the great nobles, the officers of state, and the wealthiest merchants, and that excepting lands of an annual rental of a few thousand tangas in the neighborhood of Delhi all rent-free grants in the kingdom were resumed.
The second ordinance established an army of informers, whose business it was to spy upon all and to report to the king anything deemed of sufficient importance for his ear. Everything which passed in the houses of the nobles and officers of state was known, and was reported the morning after its occurrence, until the victims of the system hardly dared to converse in open spaces otherwise than by signs. Even the gossip and transactions of the market place reached the king's ear.
By the third ordinance the use of intoxicating liquor and drugs was prohibited, and those who used them were banished from the city, thrown into prison, or heavily fined. The king himself set the example of obedience by causing his wine vessels to be broken and the wine to be poured out near the Budaun gate, but the habit could not be eradicated. Stills were set up in private houses and liquor was distilled and sold in secret, or smuggled into the city on pack animals, under other merchandise, but the system of espionnage made all attempts at evasion dangerous, and many were compelled to cross the Jumna and travel twenty or twenty-five miles to satisfy their craving, for the suburbs were as closely watched as the city itself. Offenders were cruelly flogged and confined in pits so noisome that many died in their fetid and polluted atmosphere, and those who were dragged forth alive escaped only with constitutions permanently shattered. At length Ala-ud-din learnt that the use of intoxicants cannot be prevented by legislation, and the ordinance was so far relaxed as to permit the private manufacture and consumption of strong drink, but its sale and convivial use remained forbidden.
The fourth ordinance prohibited social gatherings in the houses of the nobles and marriages between members of their families without special permission. Fear of the informers ensured obedience, and even at court the nobles were so closely watched that they dared not exchange whispered complaints of the tyranny under which they lived.
Ala-ud-din next framed a special code of laws against Hindus, who were obnoxious to him partly by reason of their faith, partly by reason of the wealth which many of them enjoyed, and partly by reason of their turbulence, especially in the Doab. The Hindu hereditary officials enjoyed a percentage on revenue collections and the wealthier Hindus and those of the higher castes were inclined to shift to the shoulders of their poorer brethren the burdens which they should themselves have borne. All this was now changed, and it was decreed that all should pay in proportion to their incomes, but that to none was to be left sufficient to enable him to ride on a horse, to carry arms, to wear rich clothes, or to enjoy any of the luxuries of life. The government's share of the land was fixed at half the gross produce, and heavy grazing dues were levied on cattle, sheep, and goats. The officials and clerks appointed to administer these harsh laws were closely watched, and any attempt to defraud the revenue was severely punished. Hindus throughout the kingdom were reduced to one dead level of poverty and misery, or, if there were one class more to be pitied than another, it was that which had formerly enjoyed the most esteem, the hereditary assessors and collectors of the revenue. Deprived of their emoluments, but not relieved of their duties, these poor wretches were herded together in droves, with ropes round their necks, and hauled, with kicks and blows, to the villages where their services were required. The Muslim officials, under Sharaf Qai, the new minister of finance, earned the hatred of all classes, and were so despised that no man would give his daughter in marriage to one of them. This measure of Ala-ud-din's is remarkable as one of the very few instances, if not the only instance, except the jizya, or poll-tax, of legislation specially directed against the Hindus.
It was not until these repressive and vexatious laws were in full operation that Ala-ud-din, disturbed possibly by murmurs which had reached his ears, began to entertain doubts of their consonance with the Islamic law, and sought the opinion of Qazi Mughis-ud-din of Bayana, one of the few ecclesiastics who still frequented the court, on the ordinances and other questions. The fearless and conscientious qazi replied that an order for his instant execution would save both time and trouble, as he could not consent to spare the king’s feelings at the expense of his own conscience, but, on being reassured, delivered his opinion on the questions propounded to him. The first was the persecution of the Hindus, which he pronounced to be not only lawful, but less rigorous than the treatment sanctioned by the sacred law for misbelievers. The apportionment of the plunder of Deogir was a more delicate question, and though Ala-ud-din defended himself by maintaining that the enterprise had been all his own, and that nobody had even heard the name of Deogir until he had resolved to attack it, the qazi insisted that he had sinned in appropriating the whole of the plunder and in depriving both the army and the public treasury of their share. Last came the question of the cruel punishments decreed for various offences, and the qazi rose from his seat, retired to the place reserved for suppliants, touched the ground with his forehead, and cried: “Your Majesty may slay me or blind me, but I declare that all these punishments are unlawful and unauthorized, either by the sacred traditions or by the writings of orthodox jurists”. Ala-ud-din, who had displayed some heat in the discussion, rose and retired without a word, and the qazi went home, set his affairs in order, bade his family farewell, and prepared for death. To his surprise he was well received at court on the following day. The king commended his candor, rewarded him with a thousand tangas, and condescended to explain that although he desired to rule his people in accordance with the Islamic law their turbulence and disobedience compelled him to resort to punishments of his own devising.
During the winter of 1302-03 Ala-ud-din marched into the country of the Rajputs, and without much difficulty captured Chitor and carried the Rana, Ratan Singh, a prisoner to Delhi. At the same time he dispatched an expedition under the command of Chhajju, nephew and successor of Nusrat Khan, from Kara into Telingana. For some obscure reason this expedition marched on Warangal, the capital of the Kakatiya rajas, by the then unexplored eastern route, through Bengal and Orissa. Unfortunately no detailed account of the march has been preserved, but the expedition was a failure. The army reached Warangal, or its neighborhood, but was demoralized by the hardships which it had endured in heavy rain on difficult roads, and, after suffering a defeat, lost most of its baggage, camp equipage, and material of war and returned to Kara in disorder.
The Moguls had missed the opportunity offered by the siege of Ranthambhor and the simultaneous disorders of the kingdom, but the news of Ala-ud-din’s departure for Chitor, the siege of which appeared likely to be protracted, encouraged them to make another attempt on Delhi, and Targhi, their chief; led an army of 120,000 into India and encamped on the Jumna, in the neighborhood of the capital, but Ala-ud-din had already returned from Chitor. He had lost many horses and much material of war in the siege and during his retirement, the army of Kara was so disorganized by the unsuccessful campaign in Telingana that before it could reach Baran and Koil the Moguls had closed the southern and eastern approaches to the capital, and the movements of the invaders had been so rapid that they were threatening the city before the great fief-holders could join the king with their contingents. He was thus unable to take the field and retired into his fortress of Siri, where he was beleaguered for two months, while the Moguls plundered the surrounding country and even made raids into the streets of Delhi. Their sudden and unexpected retreat, attributed by the pious to the prayers of holy men, was probably due to their inexperience of regular sieges, the gradual assembly of reinforcements, and the devastation of the country, which obliged them to divide their forces to a dangerous degree in their search for supplies.
This heavy and humiliating blow finally diverted Ala-ud-din’s attention from vague and extravagant designs of conquest to the protection of the kingdom which he had so nearly lost. On his north-western frontier and between it and the capital he repaired all old fortresses, even the most important of which had long been shamefully neglected, built and garrisoned new ones, and devised a scheme for increasing largely the strength of his army. This was no easy matter, for his subjects were already taxed almost to the limit of their endurance, but he overcame the difficulty by means of his famous edicts which, by arbitrarily fixing the prices of all commodities, from the simple necessaries of life to slaves, horses, arms, silks and stuffs, enabled him to reduce the soldier’s pay without causing hardship or discontent, for the prices of necessaries and of most luxuries were reduced in proportion. Strange as the expedient may appear to a modern economist, it was less unreasonable than it seems, for the treasure which he had brought from the south and had so lavishly distributed had cheapened inflated prices. The fall in the purchasing value of however, in those days of defective and imperfect port and communication, largely restricted to the suburban area, which were the centre of wealth to a degree hardly comprehensible by those who use railways. Nevertheless, so drastic a measure necessarily met with much opposition, which Ala-ud-din overcame, in the case of the grain-merchants, by prohibiting the purchase of grain elsewhere than at the state granaries, until the merchants were fain to agree to sell their stocks at a rate lower than originally fixed, and after surmounting a few initial difficulties he was able to maintain, through good years and bad, and without any real hardship to sellers, the scale of prices fixed by him. In the districts around the capital the land revenue was collected in kind, so that when scarcity threatened, in spite of edicts, to enhance prices, the king was enabled to flood the market with his own grain, and in the provinces the governors possessed the same power.
These measures, crude as was the conception of political economy on which they were based, attained so well the object at which they aimed that Ala-ud-din was able to raise and maintain a standing army of nearly half a million horse. Nevertheless in 1304 a horde of Moguls invaded India under Ali Beg, a descendant of Chingiz, and another leader, whose name is variously given. The invasion was a mere raid, undertaken with no idea of conquest. The Moguls evaded the frontier garrisons and marched in a southeasterly direction, following the line of the Himalaya until they reached the neighborhood of Amroha, plundering, slaying, ravishing, and burning as they advanced. The king sent the eunuch Kafur Hazardinari, who was already in high favor, and Malik Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq, master of the horse, against them. These two commanders intercepted them on their homeward journey, when they were burdened with plunder, and defeated them. The two leaders and 8000 others were taken alive and sent to Delhi, together with 20,000 horses which the invaders had collected. Ala-ud-din held a court in the open air, beyond the walls of the city, and the two chiefs were trampled to death by elephants in view of the people. The other prisoners were decapitated and their heads were built into the walls of the fortress of Sin, where the king habitually dwelt.
As a reward for his success on this occasion Tughluq was appointed, in 1305, governor of the Punjab, and at the same time Alp Khan was made governor of Gujarat, and Ain-ul-Mulk, governor of Multan, was sent on an expedition to Jalor and to Ujjain and Chanderi in Malwa. As he advanced into Malwa the raja Koka, or Haranand, came forth at the head of an army of 40,000 horse and 100,000 foot to oppose him. The armies met on December 9, and the Hindus, after a determined resistance, were routed. This victory, the news of which was received with great joy at Delhi, made the Muslims masters of Ujjain, Mandu, Dhar, and Chanderi, and so impressed Kaner Deo, the Chauhan raja of Jalor, that he accompanied Ain-ul-Mulk on his return to Delhi and swore allegiance to Ala-ud-din.
The Rana had been imprisoned at Delhi ever since the fall of Chitor, two years before this time, and was so weary of his confinement that when Ala-ud-din demanded of him the surrender of his beautiful wife Padmani as the price of his liberty he was disposed to comply. His thakurs, or nobles, who were wandering as outlaws in the hills and jungles of Mewar, heard of his intention and sent him messages beseeching him not to disgrace the name of Rajput. They offered to send him poison, which would enable him to avert dishonor, but the fertile brain of his daughter devised a scheme for restoring him to liberty without the sacrifice of his honor or his life. He and his nobles were to feign compliance with the demand, and a train of litters, ostensibly containing the Rana’s wife and her retinue, but filled with armed men, was to be sent to Delhi, escorted by a large force of horse and foot. The cavalcade reached Ratan Singh’s prison in safety, the armed men sprang from their litters, slew the guards, and carried off their master. Bodies of Rajputs had been posted at intervals along the road to cover his flight, and though they were defeated one by one they so delayed the pursuers that Ratan Singh reached his country in safety and assembled in the hills a force which enabled him to raid even the environs of Chitor. Ala-ud-din avenged his discomfiture by removing from the government of Chitor his own son, Khizr Khan, an indolent and self-indulgent youth, and appointing in his place Ratan Singh’s sister’s son Arsi, who had entered his service, and thus sowed the seeds of dissension among the Rajputs. Many of the thakurs transferred their allegiance from Ratan Singh who had forfeited their respect, to Arsi, who remained loyal to Ala-ud-din and until his death attended regularly at court to present his tribute.
Capture of Deval Dag
In 1306 the Moguls invaded India to avenge Ali Beg. A horde under Kabk crossed the Indus near Multan, marched towards the Himalaya, plundered the country, and was returning homewards in the hot weather when it found the passage of the Indus barred by a large army under Tughluq, who now bore the title of Ghazi Malik. Faint and weary, and well-nigh perishing for want of water, they were compelled to attack the foe who stood in their path, and of fifty or sixty thousand no more than three or four thousand escaped. Kabk and many others were taken alive and carried by Ghazi Malik to Delhi, where they were thrown under the feet of elephants. Traces of the column built of their heads on the plain outside the Budaun gate are said to have been visible more than two hundred and fifty years later, in the reign of Akbar. Their wives and children were sold as slaves in Delhi and in the principal cities of northern India. During Ala-ud-din’s reign the Moguls only once again ventured to invade his kingdom. In 1307-08 a chieftain named Iqbalmand led a horde across the Indus and was defeated and slain. The captives were, as usual, sent to Delhi and crushed to death, and this last defeat deterred the barbarians from invading India until the disorders arising from the misgovernment of Ala-ud-din's son, Qutb-ud-din Mubarak, invited their aggression.
In 1306-07 Ala-ud-din observed that Ramachandra of Deogir had for three successive years failed to remit to Delhi the revenues of the Ellichpur province, and a large army was sent under the command of Kafur Hazardinari, now entitled Malik Naib, or lieutenant of the kingdom, to punish his negligence and reduce him to obedience. The expedition had a secondary object. The wife of raja Karan of Gujarat, Kamala Devi, longed for the society of her daughter, Deval Devi, who had been carried off by her father to Deogir, and Malik Naib was instructed to secure her and bring her to Delhi.
Karan, after his flight from Gujarat, had not remained an idle guest at Ramachandra’s court, but had rebuilt the town and fortress of Nandurbar and ruled, as Ramachandra’s vassal, a small principality. Malik Naib passed through Malwa and entered the Deccan, and Alp Khan, governor of Gujarat, who had been ordered to cooperate with him, attacked Karan, who for two months offered a most determined resistance.
Shankar Deo, the eldest son of Ramachandra, had for some time been a suitor for the hand of Deval Devi, but Karan’s Rajput pride would not consent to his daughter's union with one whom he stigmatized as a Maratha. Shankar took advantage of Karan's difficulties to renew his suit, and sent his younger brother Bhim Deo with an escort to convey Deval Devi to Deogir. Karan could not but prefer for his daughter an alliance with the Yadava prince to captivity with the unclean foreigners, and surrendered her to Bhim Deo, who carried her off towards Deogir.
Alp Khan, ignorant of Deval Devi’s departure, attempted to capture her by overwhelming her father with his whole force, defeated him, and pursued him towards Deogir. In the neighborhood of that fortress he granted leave to three or four hundred of his men to visit the wonderful cave temples of Ellora, situated in the hills above the town. While they were inspecting the temples they perceived, marching towards them, a Hindu force which they suspected of the intention of cutting them off, and accordingly received with a flight of arrows. The force was, in fact, Deval Devi’s escort, commanded by Bhim Deo, and one of the arrows wounded the horse on which the princess rode. As the pursuers came up with her her attendants revealed her identity and besought them to respect her honor. She was at once escorted to Alp Khan, who retired to Gujarat and dispatched her thence to Delhi, where she rejoined her mother and was married, in the summer of 1307, to Khizr Khan, the king's eldest son. The story of their loves is told by Amir Khusrav in a long poem. The enmity between Malik Naib and Alp Khan, which had fatal results for the latter at the end of the reign, undoubtedly arose from his forestalling the eunuch on this occasion.
Malik Naib obviated any future default in the remittance of the revenues of Ellichpur by appointing Muslim officers to administer the province, and advanced to Deogir, where Ramachandra, profiting by past experience, was prepared to make his submission. Leaving his son Shankar Deo in the citadel he went forth with his principal officers of state to make obeisance to the king’s representative. He was courteously received and was sent to Delhi with a letter of recommendation from Malik Naib. The gifts which he offered in place of the arrears of tribute due from him and as a peace offering included 700 elephants, and the king, with a generosity which was attributed to a superstitious regard for Deogir and its ruler as the origin of his wealth and power, freely pardoned him, bestowed on him the title of Rai-i-Rayan (Chief of chiefs) and appointed him to the government of Deogir as a vassal of Delhi.
While Malik Naib was engaged in restoring Muslim supremacy in the Deccan an army from Delhi was besieging Siwana in Marwar, described later, in the Ain-i-Akbari, as one of the most important strongholds in India. The siege progressed languidly until Ala-ud-din himself appeared on the scene and infused such vigor into the operations that Sital Deo, the raja, sued for peace. In order to escape the humiliation of appearing before his conqueror as a suppliant he caused a golden image of himself to be made and sent it, with a hundred elephants and many other gifts to Ala-ud-din, but he was disappointed, for the king retained all the gifts and returned a message to the effect that no overtures would be considered until Sital Deo made them in person. After his submission Ala-ud-din parceled out Marwar among his own nobles and swept the fort clean of everything that it contained, “even the knives and needles”, but permitted the raja to retain the empty stronghold.
Kaner Deo of Jalor had been permitted to return to his dominions, though he had once aroused the king’s wrath by the foolish vaunt that he was prepared at any time to meet him in the field. The boast was not forgotten, and on the raja’s exhibiting signs of contumacy Ala-ud-din sent against him, in bitter contempt, an army under the command of one of the female servants of his palace, named Guli-Bihisht (the Rose of Paradise). The woman was a capable commander, the Kaner Deo was on the point of surrendering to her when she fell sick and died. Her son Shahin, who succeeded her in the command, had less military ability than his mother, and was defeated and slain, but after the arrival of reinforcements under Kamal-ud-din Gurg (the Wolf) Jalor was taken and Kaner Deo and his relations were put to death.
In 1308 Ala-ud-din made a second attempt to establish his authority in Telingana, and a large army under the command of Malik Naib and Khvaja Haji was dispatched from Delhi by way of Deogir. He had no intention of annexing more territory than could be conveniently administered from Delhi, and Malik Naib's instructions were to insist upon no more than the formal submission of the raja of Warangal and an undertaking to pay tribute. Ramachandra hospitably entertained the whole army during its halt at Deogir, and when it advanced towards Telingana supplied it with an efficient commissariat.
Conquests in the South
Malik Naib, after passing Indur, the frontier town between the kingdoms of Deogir and Warangal, wasted the country with fire and sword, driving its inhabitants before him towards Warangal. The reigning king at this time was Prataparudradeva II, the seventh known raja of the Kakatiya dynasty, who had succeeded to the throne when his grandmother Rudramma Devi, alarmed, in 1294, by the news of Alduddin’s descent on Deogir, abdicated in his favor. The statement of the historian Budauni, who says that the dynasty had reigned for 700 years before its final extinction in 1321, is corroborated by Hindu tradition, but so far as our knowledge at present extends the first of the line was Tribhuvanamalla Betmaraja, who reigned in the first half of the twelfth century.
Rudramma Devi had surrounded the city of Warangal with an outer wall of earth, which enclosed an area about two miles in diameter, and within this was an inner wall of stone, with a circumference of four miles and six hundred and thirty yards, which had been designed by her husband Ganpati and completed under her supervision, and formed an inner line of defence. The invaders, after numerous assaults in which the garrison suffered heavy loss, carried the outer line of defence and captured large numbers of the citizens with their families, and the raja tendered his submission, offering, as an immediate indemnity, three hundred elephants, seven thousand horses, and large quantities of coined money and jewels, and, for the future, the payment of an annual tribute. The terms were accepted, and Malik Naib returned towards Delhi, where the news of his success, which preceded him, relieved the prevalent misgivings as to his fate, for during the siege the Hindus had intercepted the postal runners between the army and the frontier of Telingana.
Reports which he brought of the great wealth of the temples and the Hindu rulers of the extreme south excited the king’s cupidity, and in 1310 Malik Naib and Khvaja Haji were again sent southwards with a large army to plunder the kingdom of the Hoysala Ballalas, which lay to the south of the Krishna, and to explore the southern extremity of the peninsula. The army marched again by way of Deogir, where Shankar Deo had succeeded his father who had, in the words of an uncompromising historian, “gone to hell”, either late in 1309 or early in 1310. Historians are not agreed on Shankar’s attitude to the Muslims. Some describe him as being as loyal as his father, but one says that his fidelity was not above suspicion, and that Malik Naib deemed it prudent to protect his communications by establishing a military post Jalna, on the Godavari. From Deogir he took the direct route to Dvaravatipura, the capital of the Hoysala Ballalas, called by Muslim historians Dhorasamundar, the ruins of which are still to be seen at Halebid, in the Hassan district of the Mysore State. The rapidity of his advance took the Hindus by surprise; Vira Ballala III, the tenth raja of the dynasty, was captured in the first attack on his capital, and the city itself fell, with great ease, into the hands of the invaders. Thirty-six elephants, the plunder of the great temple, and all the raja’s treasures rewarded them, and a dispatch announcing the victory was sent to Delhi. From Dvaravatipura Malik Naib marched to the kingdom of the Pandyas in the extreme south of the peninsula, to which the attention of Ala-ud-din had been attracted by recent events. Sundara Pandya had slain his father, Kulashekharadeva, and attempted to seize his throne, but was defeated by his brother, Vira Pandya, and in 1310 fled to Delhi. Malik Naib advanced to Madura, which Vira had evacuated, plundered and destroyed the great temple, and thence marched eastwards to the coast. Here he founded, either at Rameswaram on the island of Pamban or on the mainland opposite to it, a mosque which he named after his master.
According to Muslim historians Malik Naib found two rajas ruling kingdoms in this region. One was Vira Pandya, and the other was probably Ravivarman or Kulashekharadeva of Kerala. Both were defeated and plundered, and a Muslim governor was left at Madura. An interesting fact recorded of the expedition into the kingdom of Dvaravatipura is the encounter of Malik Naib's army at Kadur with some Moplahs, who are described as half Hindus, and lax in their religious observances, but as they could repeat the Kalima, or symbol of Islam, their lives were spared.
Malik Naib left Madura on April 24 and reached Delhi on October 18, 1311, with the enormous spoils of his enterprise, which included 312 elephants, 20,000 horses, 2,750 pounds of gold, equal in value to 100,000,000 tangas, and chests of jewels. No such booty had ever before been brought to Delhi: the spoils of Deogir could not compare with those of Dvaravatipura and Madura, and the king, when receiving the leaders of the expedition in the Palace of the Thousand Pillars at Siri, distributed largesse to them and to the learned men of Delhi with a lavish hand.
Ala-ud-din’s power, having reached its zenith, began to decline. He had hitherto shown considerable administrative capacity, and, though headstrong and self-willed, had usually sought and frequently followed the advice of others, even to the abandonment of some of his most cherished dreams; but his intellect was now clouded and his naturally fierce temper embittered by ill-health, and though he was physically and mentally less capable than formerly of transacting business of state, he rejected the counsels even of his own chosen ministers, and insisted on administering his vast dominions by the light of his own unaided intelligence, with the result that the affairs of the kingdom fell into such disorder that his declining years were darkened by rebellions and disturbances.
The New Muslims
The New Muslims had been a perpetual source of trouble and anxiety during the reign. It was they who had rebelled when the army was returning from the conquest of Gujarat, and the followers of Akat Khan had been New Muslims. They were generally discontented, not entirely without cause. They had exchanged the cool highlands of the north for the burning plains of Hindustan, and their change of domicile and change of faith had not been adequately rewarded. Their prince, Ulghu Khan, had been treated with distinction by Firuz, but he had been blinded by Ala-ud-din, and if he was still alive was living in captivity and misery. No other Mogul appears to have attained to wealth or high place, which is not surprising, for though a few leaders may have received some veneer of civilization the mass of the tribe was probably not far removed in habits and customs from the ignorant and filthy savages described with such warmth of feeling and language by their sometime captive, the poet Amir Khusrav. Ala-ud-din dismissed all New Muslims from his service. They were permitted to enter that of any noble who would employ them, but those who could not obtain or would not accept such employment were told that they might depart whither they would. Many were too proud to serve the courtiers, and remained without employment until they could surreptitiously creep back into the royal service in inferior positions and on insufficient wages. They waited in vain for signs of relentment in the king, and at length in their despair hatched a wild plot to assassinate him while he was hawking near Delhi. The plot was discovered and the vengeance taken was characteristic of Ala-ud-din. Orders were issued that every New Muslim, wherever found, whether at Delhi or in the provinces, should be put to death, and obedience was ensured by a promise that the slayer of a New Muslim should become the owner of all that his victim had possessed. Between twenty and thirty thousand were massacred, and their wives, children, and property were appropriated by their murderers.
In 1312 Khizr Khan was invested with an umbrella and designated heir-apparent. Ala-ud-din had paid no attention to his son’s education, and the young man had grown up weak, self-indulgent, thoughtless and slothful. Between him and the favorite, Malik Naib, there existed hatred and mistrust. The able and enterprising minister might well despise the weak and indolent prince, and Khizr Khan would have been worthless indeed had he felt anything but contempt for a creature so vile as the eunuch.
Malik Naib was so resentful of Khizr Khan’s advancement and so weary of his quarrels with the prince's mother that he begged that he might be sent back to the Deccan, where the presence of an officer of high rank happened to be required. Prataparudradeva of Warangal had complained of the great distance to which he was obliged to send the tribute demanded of him, and had requested that an officer empowered to receive it might be posted at a reasonable distance from Warangal; and Shankar of Deogir had been guilty of some acts of defiance of the royal authority. He was accordingly dispatched, in 1313, to Deogir, where he put Shankar to death and assumed the government of the state. In order to establish his authority in its more remote districts he led an expedition southwards, captured Gulbarga, and annexed the tract between the Krishna and the Tungabhadra, after taking its chief fortresses, Raichur and Mudgal. After overrunning some of the southern districts of Telingana he marched westwards, took the seaports of Dabhol and Chaul, and then invaded for the second time the dominions of Vira Ballala III. Thence he returned to Deogir and dispatched to Delhi the spoils and tribute which he had collected.
Death of Ala-ud-din
Ala-ud-din’s excesses had now so undermined his health that he was compelled to take to his bed. Neither his wife nor his eldest son bestowed much attention on him. The former, whom he had neglected, amused herself with arranging and attending marriages and other festivities of the harem, and the latter could spare no time from his wine parties, polo matches, music, dancing, and elephant fights. Ala-ud-din summoned Malik Naib from Deogir and Alp Khan from Gujarat, and complained bitterly to the former of the heartless conduct of his wife and son. The eunuch perceived an opportunity of destroying all his enemies at once, and assured his master that his wife and son were in league with Alp Khan to take his life. An inopportune proposal by the wife that her second son, Shadi Khan, should be permitted to marry the daughter of Alp Khan, confirmed Ala-ud-din’s suspicions. Khizr Khan was banished to Amroha, but on hearing that his father's health was restored returned to Delhi, in accordance with a vow, to offer thanks at some of the shrines near the capital. The act of disobedience was represented as a willful defiance of authority, and though Khizr Khan’s filial piety at first regained his father’s affection, Malik Naib’s persistence and his skilful distortion of facts confirmed the king’s belief in the existence of the conspiracy. Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan were sent to Gwalior, now apparently used for the first time as a state prison, their mother was removed from the harem and imprisoned at Old Delhi, Alp Khan was put to death, and Kamal-ud-din Gurg was sent to Jalor to slay his brother, Nizam-ud-din, who commanded that fortress.
These tyrannical acts caused widespread discontent. Alp Khan’s troops in Gujarat rose in rebellion, and when Kamal-ud-din Gurg was sent to restore order they seized him and put him to death with horrible tortures. The Rana of Chitor seized many Muslim officers who held fiefs in his dominions and threw them, bound, from the battlements of his fortress. In Deogir Harpal Deo, a son-in-law of Ramachandra, proclaimed himself independent and occupied most of the fortified posts established by the Muslims.
The news of these successive rebellions augmented the king’s disorder, remedies failed of their effect, and he wasted away daily until, on January 2, 1316, he died, his end, according to the generally accepted belief, having been hastened by his favorite, who, two days later, assembled the nobles present in the capital and read to them his will. This document, possibly authentic, but certainly procured by misrepresentation and undue influence, disinherited Khizr Khan and made Shihab-ud-din Umar, a child of five or six, heir to his father. The infant was enthroned and Malik Naib acted as regent. He caused Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan to be blinded and, eunuch though he was, he pretended to marry Ala-ud-din’s widow, possessed himself of all her jewellery and private property, and then again imprisoned her. His object was to destroy the whole of Ala-ud-din’s family and ascend the throne himself. He had already imprisoned Mubarak Khan, Ala-ud-din’s third son, a youth of seventeen or eighteen years of age, and now sent some men of the corps of infantry on guard at the Palace of the Thousand Pillars, which he had chosen as his residence, to blind him. The prince reminded the soldiers of the duty which they owed to his house, bribed them with some jewellery, and sent them back to the palace on another errand. That night, thirty-five days after the death of Ala-ud-din, they slew Malik Naib and his companions. The nobles then recognised Mubarak as regent for his infant brother, and for two months he acquiesced in this obviously temporary arrangement, but on April 1 blinded the unfortunate child and ascended the throne with the title of Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah.
The new king, who had but lately been a prisoner trembling for his eyesight, if not for his life, began his reign by releasing all prisoners, by recalling all those who had been banished from the capital by his father, and by showing clemency and mercy to all except the murderers of Malik Naib. Like his father, he could inspire and profit by treachery, but he could not endure the sight of his instruments. The soldiers, however, brought their fate on themselves. They adopted an attitude similar to that of the Praetorian Guards of the Roman Emperors, and demanded extravagant honors. Their two principal officers, Bashir and Mushir, were put to death, and the corps was drafted, in small detachments, to distant garrisons.
Mubarak gained much popularity in the early days of his reign by the rescission of all his father’s harsher enactments. The compulsory tariff was abolished, with the result that the prices of all commodities rose suddenly, to the great satisfaction of the mercantile community. Some of the lands and endowments resumed by the despot were restored to the original grantees, and the possession of wealth by private persons ceased to be regarded as a crime. The sudden removal of all the harsh restraints which the people had suffered produced an outburst of licentiousness similar to that which had disgraced the short reign of Kaiqubad, and once again the king's example encouraged the extravagance of his subjects, for his morals were no better than his father's and from the earliest days of his reign he was entirely under the influence of a vile favorite. This wretch was by origin a member of one of those castes whose touch is pollution to a Hindu, whose occupation is that of scavengers, and whose food consists largely of the carrion which it is their duty to remove from byre and field. He was nominally a Muslim, and received at his conversion the name of Hasan and from his infatuated master the title of Khusrav Khan and the office of chief minister of the kingdom.
Plot against Mubarak
As soon as Mubarak was firmly established on the throne he took steps to restore order in the rebellious provinces of Gujarat and Deogir. Ain-ul-Mulk Multani was sent to the former province, and after he had quelled the rebellion Mubarak's father-in-law, who received the title of Zafar Khan, was appointed its governor. The other task Mubarak reserved for himself and, having appointed as regent in the capital a slave named Shahin, upon whom he conferred the title of Vafa Malik, he set out in 1317 for the Deccan. The usurper Harpal was not a formidable foe, and fled from Deogir as the army approached it, but was pursued and captured, and after he had been flayed and decapitated his skin was stretched upon, and his head placed above, one of the gates of the city. Mubarak spent the rainy season of 1318 at Deogir, once more parceled out Maharashtra among Muslim officers, and appointed military governors to Gulbarga and Sagar, and even to distant Dvaravatipura. During his sojourn at Deogir he built the great mosque which yet stands within the walls of Daulatabad, as the town was afterwards named, using in its construction the materials of demolished temples, the pillars of which are still recognizable as Hindu handiwork. When the rains abated he appointed Malik Yaklaki to the government of Deogir, sent his favorite, Khusrav Khan, on an expedition to Madura, and set out for Delhi. On his way thither a serious conspiracy against his life was formed by his cousin Asad-ud-din, the son of Yaghrush Khan, brother of Firuz Shah. Mubarak was to have been assassinated in the camp, but the plot had ramifications in the capital, for two coins struck at Delhi in A.H. 718 (A.D. 1318-19) bear the title of Shams-ud-din Mahmud Shah, which was either that which Asad-ud-din intended to assume or, more probably, that of a ten-year old son of Khizr Khan, whose elevation to the throne was, according to Ibn Batutah, the object of the conspiracy. It was arranged that Mubarak should be attacked in his harem on an occasion on which he diverged, for the distance of a few marches, from the route followed by the army, and took a different road attended only by a small guard, but one of the conspirators lost heart and disclosed the design to Mubarak, and Asad-ud-din and his confederates were seized and executed. Mubarak at the same time caused all the family and descendants of his grand-uncle, Yaghrush Khan, at Delhi, to the number of twenty-nine, some of whom were mere children, to be put to death.
From Jhain Mubarak dispatched an officer to Gwalior to put to death Khizr Khan, Shadi Khan, and Shihab-ud-din Umar. As the three princes had already been blinded their murder was wanton and superfluous, but Mubarak coveted Deval Devi, the wife of his eldest brother, and after the murder of her husband the unfortunate princess was brought to Delhi and placed in his harem.
The murder of his brothers appears to have whetted Mubarak’s appetite for blood, and on his return to Delhi he summoned from Gujarat his father-in-law, Zafar Khan, and for no apparent reason put him to death. He also executed Shahan, who had been left as regent at Delhi, and though historians allege no specific crime against this victim it can hardly be doubted that he had been implicated in the recent conspiracy.
Mubarak now indulged in the grossest licentiousness and the most disgusting buffoonery. He delighted to appear before his court tricked out in female finery and jewels. Harlots and jesters were assembled on his palace roof and greeted the great nobles, such men as Ain-ul-Mulk Multani and Qara Beg, who held no fewer than fourteen offices, with lewd gestures and foul abuse, and, descending from the roof, ran naked among the courtiers. Yet the degraded youth who could organize and enjoy such scenes as these assumed a character to which no former ruler of Delhi had ventured to aspire. Others had eagerly sought recognition by, and proudly owned allegiance to the Caliphs, and even Ala-ud-din had readily abandoned his brief and impious dream of posing as a prophet. It remained for his son, who inherited his vices without his genius, to arrogate to himself the titles of Supreme Pontiff and Vicegerent of the God of heaven and earth, and to assume the pontifical title of al-Wasiq-billah.
Khusrav Khan’s Treason
Hisam-ud-din, half-brother of Khusrav Khan, and partner with him in the king’s affections, was sent to Gujarat in the place of Zafar Khan, and his first act there was to attempt to raise a rebellion against his master, but the nobles of the province refused to follow such a leader, seized him, and sent him to Delhi, where, for his own sake and that of his brother, he was not only pardoned, but restored to favor.
Malik Yaklaki, encouraged by reports of the demoralization of the court, raised the standard of rebellion in Deogir and proclaimed his independence, but was defeated and captured by an army sent against him and carried, with his associates, to Delhi, where Mubarak’s perverted sense of justice permitted him to put the subordinates to death while he inflicted on Yaklaki no heavier punishment than mutilation of the nose and ears, and shortly afterwards appointed him governor of Samana.
Khusrav Khan was meanwhile active in the south. Having collected much booty in the Madura district he returned to Telingana, where he was detained by the rainy season and beguiled the tedium of inaction with ambitious dreams. He discussed with his intimates the possibility of establishing himself as an independent ruler in the south, and would have put the design into execution had not some of the officers of the army reported it to the king and compelled him to lead them back to Delhi. Mubarak ignored the report and, in his impatience to embrace his favorite, ordered him to travel from Deogir to the capital in a litter and by posting relays of bearers on the road enabled him to perform the journey of nearly 700 miles in seven days. Khusrav Khan at once resumed his former ascendency and persuaded his master that the reports sent from the camp were false and malicious. When his accusers reached Delhi, prepared to substantiate their charges and expecting at least commendation for their fidelity, they were dismissed from their posts and forbidden the court, and one of them, Malik Talbagha of Kara, was thrown into prison.
Khusrav Khan’s treasonable design had failed principally because he had, although he was in chief command, no personal troops to support him against the nobles of whose contingents his army was composed, and so deeply was the king infatuated that, notwithstanding the revelation of his favorite’s treachery, he lent a sympathetic ear to his complaints and permitted him to raise in Gujarat a corps of 40,000 horse, largely composed of and exclusively commanded by members of his despised tribe. The long meditated treason was now nearly ripe for execution and, after a design for assassinating Mubarak in the hunting field had been abandoned as too dangerous, it was decided that he should be put to death in his palace.
Khusrav Khan, by complaining that his nightly attendance prevented him from meeting his relations, obtained possession of the keys of the palace gates, and was enabled to admit large numbers of his relations and of his corps of horse to the palace, in the lower story of which they used nightly to assemble. A warning given to Mubarak on the eve of his death by his former tutor was repeated to Khusrav Khan, and served only as a text for hypocritical protestations; which entirely disarmed suspicion. On the night of April 14, 1320, all was ready and he who had uttered the warning to the king was cut down as he was inspecting the guard. The uproar which ensued disturbed Mubarak in the upper story of his palace and he asked Khusrav Khan to see what was amiss. Khusrav, having ascertained from a glance into the courtyard that the work was already begun, told him that the men were trying to catch some horses which had broken loose. Even as he spoke the assassins were ascending the stairs and Mubarak, as they burst into his room, sprang up in terror and ran towards the female apartments, but Khusrav seized him by the hair and held him while Jaharya, one of the Parwaris, stabbed him to death. His head was severed from his body and thrown into the courtyard, as a signal to all that the throne was vacant, and the outcastes broke into the harem, murdered the children of the royal family, and outraged the women.
When Mubarak’s head was recognised the royal guards on duty at the palace fled, and left all in the hands of Khusrav’s tribesmen. The palace was illuminated and all the great nobles then present in the capital were summoned to court, and hastened thither in ignorance of what had happened. They were detained until the morning and were then forced to attend a court at which the outcaste was proclaimed king under the title of Nasir-ud-din Khusrav Shah. The proclamation was followed by a massacre of many of the old servants of Ala-ud-din and Mubarak, whose known fidelity rendered them dangerous to the usurper; and the Khalji dynasty, which had reigned for no more than thirty years, but had given to the Muslim empire in India its first administrator, was wiped out. Khusrav possessed himself of the person of the unfortunate princess Deval Devi, who had been successively the wife of Khizr Khan and of his brother and murderer Mubarak. Against the union with the foul outcaste who became her third husband her proud Rajput blood must indeed have risen.
In the distribution of honors and rewards with which Khusrav, following the usual custom, inaugurated his reign his own near relations and those of his tribe who had most distinguished themselves in the late tumult were the most favored, but an attempt was made to conciliate those powerful nobles who had been entrapped and compelled unwillingly to countenance by their presence the enthronement of the outcaste, and Wahid-ud-din Quraishi was entitled Tajul-Mulk and permitted to retain office as minister. Ain-ul-Mulk Multani received the titles of Alam Khan and Amir-ul-Umara, but Khusrav applied himself especially to the conciliation of the son of the powerful Ghazi Malik, Fakhr-ud-din Muhammad Jauna, whom he appointed master of the horse. Ghazi Malik himself had always avoided the intrigues of the capital, and seems never to have visited Delhi during Mubarak's brief and profligate reign, but he was dreaded by the gang of outcastes and pseudo-Muslims now in power both as a loyal adherent of the Khalji dynasty and as a rigid Muslim, and his son was valuable either as a supporter or as a hostage. The attempt to secure him failed, and he escaped from Delhi at midnight with only two or three followers, and took the road to Dipalpur, his father's headquarters. A force sent in pursuit of him failed to overtake him, and Jauna was joyfully welcomed by his father at Dipalpur. The governor of Multan hesitated to support Ghazi Malik against the king de facto, but was slain by a less scrupulous officer, Malik Bahram Aiba, who led the army of Multan to Dipalpur and joined the old warrior who stood forth as the champion of Islam.
Islam stood in sore need of a champion. None of Khusrav’s tribe was a Muslim in more than name, and only a few had made profession of the faith. Muslim historians record with indignation the open celebration of idolatrous worship at court and the gross insults offered to their faith. Mosques were defiled and destroyed and copies of the scriptures of Islam were used as seats and stools.
Ghazi Malik now set out for Delhi. He was first opposed by Yaklaki, the noseless and carless governor of Samaria, but swept the feeble obstacle from his path. Yaklaki fled to Samana and was preparing to join Khusrav at Delhi when the landholders of the district rose against him and cut him to pieces. At Sirsa Ghazi Malik defeated and put to flight an army under the command of Hisam-ud-din, the usurper’s half-brother, and continued his march to Delhi. Khusrav prepared to meet him near the old fort at Indarpat, and in attempting to secure the fidelity of his troops by donations varying in amount from four to two and a half years' pay and to conciliate by means of gifts the most respected professors of the religion which he and his followers had outraged, completely emptied the treasury. His profusion availed him little, for Ain-ul-Mulk, who was hardly less powerful than Ghazi Malik, deserted him and withdrew with his troops into Malwa.
The armies met on September 5, and though Ai-nul-Mulk’s defection had damped the spirits of the usurper’s faction his troops fought bravely until they were overpowered by Ghazi Malik’s veterans. Khusrav attempted to save himself by flight, but was found lurking in a garden, and was brought before the conqueror and beheaded. Ghazi Malik halted for the night at Indarpat, where he received from some of the leading citizens the keys of the gates of Siri, and on the following day he entered the Palace of the Thousand Pillars and wept as he beheld the scene of destruction of his old master's family. He asked whether there yet remained any descendant of Ala-ud-din who might claim his allegiance, but was informed that the whole family had been extinguished and was urged to ascend the throne. After a decent profession of reluctance he was proclaimed king on September 8, under the title of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq Shah.