Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316) was the nephew and son-in-law of Jalaluddin Khilji. Alauddin was named “Amir-i-Tuzuk”, which means master of ceremonies. He was one of Delhi’s most influential monarchs of the Khilji Dynasty. He is well-known for his revenue and price policy innovations. During his rule, he instituted several organizational improvements. He was the primary reason for the Mongols not to invade in the Subcontinent.
Alauddin Muhammad Khilji was born in 1250 to Shihabuddin Masud in Bengal, the brother of Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji, the first Sultan of the Khilji dynasty.
Alauddin Khilji was not educated formally, but he grew up to be a formidable and skilled warrior. For Jalaluddin Khiliji, Alauddin raided various territories and states. Kara, Awadh, and Devagiri were all captured by Alauddin in 1291.
Alauddin khilji assassinated his uncle Jalaluddin and became the king after accumulating enough power in the Sultanate.
Alauddin Khilji-Personal Life
Alauddin married his uncle Jalaluddin’s daughter “Mehrun-Nisa”. She was awarded the title of “Malika-i-Jahan” after Alauddin became the Sultan. Alauddin married a variety of women; some of them were Hindus and others Muslims. Throughout their marriages, Alauddin’s second Mahru khan wife was a major cause of discord. Mahru Khan was Alp Khan’s sister.
Alauddin Khalji married two Hindu women. Jhatyapali was the first Hindu wife of Alauddin, daughter of Ramachandra, king of Devagiri. He married Jhatyapali and had a son, who succeeded Alauddin after his death. Kamala Devi, Alauddin’s second Hindu wife, was the supreme queen of the Vaghela Dynasty.
Accession & Reign
- The Sultan in his court nominated him as Amir-i-Tuzuk (Master of Ceremonies).
- After effectively defeating Malik Chhajju’s uprising, he was appointed Governor of Kara in 1291. After the victorious expedition of Bhilsa in 1292, he was also given the province of Oudh.
- In 1296, Alauddin assassinated Jalaluddin and seized the throne of Delhi, becoming the new Sultan.
- Throughout the years 1296-1308, the Mongols attacked Delhi many times but got defeated by Alauddin at the battles of Jalandhar (1298), Kili (1299), Amroha (1305), and Ravi (1306)
- In 1303, he attacked Mewar and assassinated Ratan Singh for Rani Padmavati.
- In 1305, he arrived in Malwa and defeated Mahlak Dev.
- In 1308, he dispatched his lieutenant, Malik Kafur, to assault Warangal, which resulted in a bloody battle and the capture of the Warangal Fort.
Padmavati Alauddin Khilji
The story of Alauddin Khalji and Rani Padmavati inspired an epic conflict. She was the wife of the King of Mewar. Rani Padmavati inspired him after hearing tales of her beauty. Alauddin fought for her with the king of Mewar. When Alauddin defeated Ratan Singh King of Mewar and conquered Mewar, Rani Padmavati did Johar (Suicide ). Ala-ud-din returned to Delhi after appointing Khizr Khan as governor of Chittor. The story of Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji is mentioned in Padmavat, an epic poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi
Achievements of Alauddin Khilji
These are the most appreciated achievements of Alauddin Khilji.
The first Muslim monarch to expand his empire into the Deccan was Ala-ud-din. His goal was to take advantage of Deccan’s richness and resources while also extending his political dominance. There were four major kingdoms in the Deccan during the time which was included in the achievements of Alauddin Khilji.
- The first was Devgiri, a Yadava kingdom.
- The Kakatiya kingdom of Telangana, with its capital at Warangal, was the second.
- The Hoysala kingdom, with Dwarasamudra as its capital, was the third.
- The Pandya kingdom, with its capital in Madura, was the fourth.
Alauddin captured all these kingdoms and added them to the Khilji dynasty. One of the achievements of Alauddin Khilji expanded the boundaries of his empire was also included.
In 1309, Sultan Ala-ud-din dispatched an expedition led by Malik Kafur against the Kakatiya Raja, the ruler of Telangana. Malik Kafur arrived in Warangal and besieged Telangana fort.
The army of Telangana fought a brave fight, but they were eventually defeated and agreed to sign a peace deal. Telangana king offered 100 elephants, 7000 horses, a considerable amount of gold and silver, and a variety of gems to Malik Kafur.
Wars with Mongol
The Mongols of the Chaghatai Khanate, led by Duwa Khan, attempted to invade the Indian Subcontinent several times during Khilji’s reign. It was not the first time the Mongols attacked the Subcontinent and Alauddin also had defeated Mongols earlier.
Alauddin Khilji’s military defeated the Mongols not once but five times, and he managed to avert loss a sixth time when the Mongols struck with tremendous forces.
The first invasion effort, which consisted was on 100,000 horse riders, took place in 1298 CE. Alauddin dispatched an army led by his brother Ulugh Khan and the general Zafar Khan, who defeated the Mongols and captured 20,000 prisoners, all of whom were executed.
The Mongols attacked Sindh again in 1299 CE, this time capturing the fort of Sivastan. Alauddin dispatched Zafar Khan to defeat them and retake the defense. He achieved without using siege engines.
The Battle of Kili
After the devastating setback, Duwa Khan decided to launch another full-scale attack on India in 1306 CE, sending about 200,000 warriors to end the Delhi Sultanate finally. The Mongol army arrived well-prepared for the assault on Delhi and a long campaign, with ample food supplies. Alauddin’s counselors were terrified and encouraged him not to face the dreaded Mongols who had arrived in such numbers. Nevertheless, Alauddin defeated the Mongols again, and after that, the Mongols never came to India again.
Alauddin Khilji Architecture
Alauddin Khilji Architecture included
- Alai Darwaza
- Siri Fort
- Jamiat Khana Mosque
In 1311 CE, the Alai Darwaza was added to the already existing Qutub Minar complex in Delhi, India. It is a massive entrance gate located to the south of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque.
Siri Fort was a massive fortress built in the city of Siri in 1303. Only ruins remain today, but it was once a magnificent structure that safeguarded Alauddin Khilji and his family and the people of Siri from the Mongol forces that invaded the Delhi Sultanate and laid siege to Siri. Siri Fort was the Alauddin Khilji Architecture.
Jamiat Khana Mosque
The Jamiat Khana Masjid is one of Delhi’s oldest mosques, and it is still used for prayer by Muslims. It is the largest building of the Nizammudin Basti Dargah and is located in the Nizam-ud-din Auliya Complex. It was built between 1315 and 1325. It was the Alauddin Khilji Architecture
Death of Alauddin Khilji
Alauddin was very ill in his last days. Except for Malik Kafur, his general slave, he had no faith in anyone.
Malik Kafur is also blamed for the condition of distrust of Alauddin. Because Kafur desired to be an influential figure in the Sultanate, he made Alauddin distrustful of everyone, and Khalji murdered several of his ministers and counselors out of fear. The conspiracy about the death of Alauddin Khilji was suspected as a conspiracy of Malik Kafur and other officers of the Sultanate.
In the year 1316, Alauddin Khalji died. According to some historians, Alauddin was assassinated by Kafur, who transported Alauddin’s body to Siri Palace. Alauddin Khalji was buried in a Mausoleum after his death. His elder son Qutbuddin Mubarak succeeded him after his death.