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Lodi Dynasty ( ) was a Ghilzai (Khilji) Afghan dynasty, who ruled over the Delhi Sultanate during its last phase. The dynasty founded by Bahlul Lodi ruled from 1451 to 1526. The last ruler of this dynasty, Ibrahim Lodi was defeated and killed by Babur in the first Battle of Panipat on April 20, 1526.

Bahlul Lodi

Bahlul Khan Lodi (r.1451–89) was the nephew and son-in-law of Islam Khan (Malik Sultan Shah Lodi), the governor of Sirhindmarker (Punjab) in Indiamarker and succeeded him as the governor of Sirhind during the reign of Sayyid dynasty ruler Muhammad Shah (Muhammad-bin-Farid). Muhammad Shah raised him to the status of an Amir. After the last Sayyid ruler of Delhimarker, Ala-ud-Din Alam Shah voluntarily abdicated in favour of him, Bahlul Khan Lodi ascended the throne of the Delhi sultanate on April 19, 1451. He quelled uprisings in the provinces and garnered political support by granting extensive lands to his native Afghan nobles. Bahlul spent most of his time in fighting against the Jaunpur Sultanate and ultimately annexed it. He placed his eldest surviving son Barbak on the throne of Jaunpur in 1486.

Sikandar Lodi

Sikandar Lodi (r.1489–1517) (born Nizam Khan), the second son of Bahlul, succeeded him after his death on July 17, 1489 and took up the title Sikandar Shah. He was nominated by his father to succeed him. However, nobles backed the rule of Barbak Shah, his elder son, who had been appointed viceroy of Jaunpur. A power struggle ensued; Sikandar eventually won the struggle against Barbak and his ally, Hussain Shah of Jaunpur and was crowned as king on July 15, 1489. He proved to be a capable ruler, and was somewhat merciful to his opponents. He allowed Barbak the governorship of Jaunpur and also resolved differences with an uncle, Alam Khan, who had conspired to overthrow him. Sikandar also brought many Afghan nobles under his control, conquered Gwaliormarker and Biharmarker, and encouraged trade across his holdings. He was a kind ruler and founded the present-day city of Agramarker in 1504. But, in one occasion, he also ordered for destruction of Hindu temples in Mathuramarker and the construction of the mosques in their placesHe abolished corn duties and patronized trade and commerce. He was a poet of repute. He composed under the pen-name of Gulruk. He was also patron of learning and ordered Sanskrit work in medicine to be translated into Persian.

Ibrahim Lodi

An old Afghan sketch work of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi.
Sultan Ibrahim Khan Lodi (1489–1526), the youngest son of Sikandar, was the last Lodi Dynasty Sultan of Delhimarker. Sultan Ibrahim (r.1517–26) was a fearless military leader and kept out the opposition for almost a decade. He was engaged in warfare with the Afghans and the Mughals for most of his reign and died trying to keep the Lodi Dynasty from annihilation. Sultan Ibrahim was defeated in 1526 at the Battle of Panipat. This marked the end of the Lodi Dynasty and the rise of the Mughal Empire in Indiamarker led by Babur (r. 1526–1530).

By the time Ibrahim ascended the throne, the political structure in the Lodi Dynasty had dissolved due to abandoned trade routes and the depleted treasury. The Deccanmarker was a coastal trade route, but in the late fifteenth century the supply lines had collapsed. The decline and eventual failure of this specific trade route resulted in cutting off supplies from the coast to the interior, where the Lodi empire resided. The Lodi Dynasty was not able to protect itself if warfare were to break out on the trade route roads; therefore, they didn’t use those trade routes, thus their trade declined and so did their treasury leaving them vulnerable to internal political problems.

Another problem Ibrahim had when trying to ascend the throne as the next Lodi emperor were the Afghan chiefs. The Afghan chiefs didn’t like Sultan Ibrahim, so they split the Lodi empire and gave Ibrahim’s older brother, Jalaluddin the area in the east at Jaunpur and gave Ibrahim the area in the west, Delhimarker. Despite the situation, Sultan Ibrahim being the military man that he was, gathered enough military support and killed his brother and reunited the kingdom by the end of that same year in 1517. After this incident, he arrested Afghan nobles who opposed him. The Afghan nobles tended to be loyal to the Governor of Biharmarker, Dariya Khan because they wanted him to rule Delhi, not Sultan Ibrahim.

Men who tried to take over the Lodi throne were extremely common during Sultan Ibrahim’s time. From what sources there are on Sultan Ibrahim, not one mentioned him making a law regarding succession to the throne. Due to the lack of this law of succession, Ibrahim was forced to put down a great deal of these ambitious men. His own uncle, Alam Khan, working off his own ambitions, betrayed Ibrahim because he wanted to rule Delhi. Alam Kahn decided to place his loyalty in the Mughal emperor, Babur.

Not only was Ibrahim threatened by his uncle, Alam Khan, who joined forces with Babur, but he was also threatened by the Rajput leader, Rana Sanga of Mewar (1509–1526). Daulat Khan, the governor of Punjab also spoke with Babur about Sultan Ibrahim. Khan pledged his allegiance to Babur as well. Sultan Ibrahim Khan Lodi was easily threatened because his region was surrounded by several other dynasties and territories. The Khalji Dynasty was positioned to the northeast. The Rajputs were located to the northwest and the Sultan of Gujaratmarker blocked the sea to the east. To the south, lied the Khandesh and Berar regions. The Sultanate of Jaunpur located in modern day Uttar Pradeshmarker also surrounded the Lodi Dynasty.

After being confronted by these men, Alam Khan (Ibrahim’s uncle) and Daulat Khan, Babur gathered his army. Babur wanted to fight Sultan Ibrahim because he wanted Sultan Ibrahim’s power and territory. They did not fight against each other because of religious affairs. Babur and Sultan Ibrahim were both Sunni Muslims. Babur and his army of 24,000 men marched to the battlefield armed with cannons and artillery. Sultan Ibrahim prepared to fight. He gathered 100,000 men and 1,000 elephants. This is known as the Battle of Panipat in 1526. Sultan Ibrahim was at a disadvantage. Even though he had more men, Sultan Ibrahim had never fought in a war with artillery and cannons. Strategically, Sultan Ibrahim didn’t know what to do militarily. Babur had the advantage. Sultan Ibrahim perished on the battlefield along with 20,000 of his men in April 1526. He had withstood foreign invasion and obliteration for almost an entire decade.

After Sultan Ibrahim’s tragic death on the battle field, Babur named himself emperor over Sultan Ibrahim’s territory, instead of placing Alam Khan (Ibrahim’s uncle) on the thrown. Sultan Ibrahim’s death lead to the establishment of the Mughal Empire in Indiamarker. He was the last emperor of the Lodi Dynasty. What was left of his empire was absorbed into the new Mughal Empire. Babur continued to engage in more military campaigns.

Historically, after Sultan Ibrahim’s death, the Rajput, Rana Sanga and the Rajput states joined forces against Babar. Babar managed to boost the morale of his troops, which enabled them to defeat the Rajputs. Sultan Ibrahim’s brother, Sultan Mahmud in Biharmarker, also fought an important battle against Babur; the Battle of Khanua, which Babur won. Thus, his continuous successful military battles resulted in his control of the Jumnamarker and central Gangesmarker region.

See also

Notes

  1. Mahajan, V.D. (1991, reprint 2007). History of Medieval India, Part I, New Delhi: S. Chand, ISBN 81-219-0364-5, p.244
  2. Mahajan, V.D. (1991, reprint 2007). History of Medieval India, Part I, New Delhi: S. Chand, ISBN 81-219-0364-5, p.256
  3. Prof K.Ali (1950, reprint 2006)"A new history of Indo-Pakistan" Part 1, p.311
  4. Jacob, Lt. Gen. Jack Frederick Ralph. “History: The Battle of Panipat.” Chandigarh Tribune Online Edition, April 24, 2003.
  5. D.R. SarDesai. India The Definitive History. (Colorado: Westview Press, 2008), 146.
  6. D.R. SarDesai. India The Definitive History. (Colorado: Westview Press, 2008), 162.
  7. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 50.
  8. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 66.
  9. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 66.
  10. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 66.
  11. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 61.
  12. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 53.
  13. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 52.
  14. D.R. SarDesai. India The Definitive History. (Colorado: Westview Press, 2008), 163.
  15. John F. Richards. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965), 53.
  16. D.R. SarDesai. India The Definitive History. (Colorado: Westview Press, 2008),163.


References

Beck, Sanderson. INDIA & Southeast Asia to 1800: Ethics of Civilization. California: World Peace Communications, 2006. /www.san.beck.org/2-9-MughalEmpire1526- 1707.html>.

Desoulieres, Alain. “Mughal Diplomacy in Gujarat (1533-1534) in Correia's 'Lendas da India'.” Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3. pp. 454. /www.jstor.org/stable/312590>.

Haider, Najaf. “Precious Metal Flows and Currency Circulation in the Mughal Empire.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 39, No. 3 (1996), pp. 298- 364. /www.jstor.org/stable/3632649>.India. Indian History: Medieval History. 2005. /india.gov.in/knowindia/medieval_history1.php>. 3/10/09.

Jacob, Lt. Gen. Jack Frederick Ralph. “History: The Battle of Panipat.” Chandigarh Tribune Online Edition, April 24, 2003. /www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030425/cth2.htm>.

Richards, John F. “The Economic History of the Lodi Period: 1451-1526.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Aug. 1965). /www.jstor.org/stable/3596342>.

SarDesai, D.R. India The Definitive History. Colorado: Westview Press, 2008.

Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. “A Note on the Rise of Surat in the Sixteenth Century.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 43, No. 1 (2000), pp. 23–33. /www.jstor.org/stable/3632771>.

The World Book Encyclopedia, 1979 ed. “Mogul Empire.”

Ud-Din, Hameed. “Historians of Afghan Rule in India.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jan. – Mar., 1962), pp. 44–51. /www.jstor.org/stable/595978




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