The Khilji Dynasty-An Entourage of Power, Treachery and Bloodbath! (and also the vagaries of nature!)

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Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji  (died 20 July 1296) – was killed by Alauddin Khilji, his nephew and son-in-law.

Jalaludin Khilji aka Malik Firuz, was the first sultan of the Khilji dynasty, who reigned for four years- from 1290 to 1296. Born and raised in Afghanistan, Jalaluddin had built his capital at Kilughari, a few miles from the city of Delhi, and completed the unfinished palace and gardens of Sultan Qaiqabad. He ruled much of Northern India for six years, from 1290 to 1296.

Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji too, had killed Qaiqabad to obtain the throne!

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Painting of Jalaludin Khilji aka Malik Firuz and a Dervish

  After Balban-Quaiqabad

Muiz ud din Qaiqabad was the grandson of Ghiyas ud din Balban. Balban  was unable to recover from the shock of death of his favourite son and heir apparent – Muhammad, in 1286 at the hands of the Mongols. On his death bed he called his son Bughra Khan, who was then the Governor of Bengal, to stay with him, but due to the stern nature of his father he slipped away to Bengal. Eventually, Balban chose his grandson and son of Muhammad, Kay Khusroe, to be his successor. However, when Balban died, Fakhr-ud-Din, the Kotwal of Delhi, set aside the nomination and chose the 17 years old, Muiz ud din Qaiqabad, son of Bughra Khan, to become ruler instead.

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Coin of Balban

After he became the Sultan, he indulged in the life of wine and women. He appointed Jalal ud Din Firuz Khilji as a new commander of the army, of his weakened reign, Taking advantage of this Jalal-ud-Din Firuz marched his army to Delhi. After four years of reign Quaiqabad suffered from a paralytic stroke  and was later on murdered in 1290 by a Khilji chief. His three year old son, Kayumars (1290), succeeded him but he was eventually overthrown.

This was the end of the Mamluk dynasty instigating the Khilji Revolution and commencement of Khilji Dynasty.

Jalaluddin, after the accession to the throne, wisely allowed officers of the previous ruler to retain their posts. He had conferred appropriate titles and portfolios to his sons and younger brother and nephews.

One of the nephews-Alaudin Khilji was his son in law too (and his future murder). Alauddin Khilji was ordered by his father to lead an expedition of between 4,000 and 7,000 men into the Hindu Deccan (where many rulers had refused to submit) and capture Ellichpur and its treasure. Alauddin was also responsible for a successful raid in to Deccan as Governor of Kara under his uncle, Jalaluddin.

Jalaluddin was killed by his nephew Alaudin Khilji aka Ali Gurshap when he arrived to dinner with him at Kara!

Alaudin Khilji aka Ali Gurshap aka Juna Khan Khilji, was the second and most powerful ruler of the Khilji dynasty in Northern India, reigning from 1296 to 1316.

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Ala-ud-din Khilji (died 1316), of oedema. But it is believed that his lieutenant Malik Naib hastened his death!

Alaudin Khilji is notorious for his infamous attack on Chittor in 1303 CE to capture the queen of Chittor, Rani Padmini, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh. Rani Padmini had embraced ‘Jauhar’ (pagan custom of Rajput ladies to burn themselves alive) to save her honour.

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The unfinished Alai minar at Qutb Complex hints at Alaudin Khiljis wish for a structure that would measure twice the height of Qutub Minar. He wished to accomplish this feat that would put him in the limelight and announce his victories for life. He wanted to be known as the one responsible for the creation of a monumental masterpiece that would be even more grandeur and more awe-inspiring than the magnificent Qutub Minar.

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Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji also ensured that the size of the enclosures of the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid was increased by four times its original size.

Another big feat of the Sultan was to build the Siri Fort (it is believed that its foundations had the heads of killed Mongols) and the famous Palace-Hazaar Sutun (As explained by the Moroccan Traveller-Abn Batuta during Mohammed Bin Tughlaq’s time).

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Hazaar Sutun-Imaginary Depiction

Alauddin came to power in a bloody coup. He was a brilliant strategist and an outstanding military commander who was known for his ruthlessness. He repeatedly defeated the invading Mongols. He prefixed the title of Sikandar Sani which means the Second Alexander. But eventually death overcame him in the form of Malik Kafur.

Shihab-ud-din aka Umar Khan Khilji (1316) As a minor, he briefly ascended the throne when his father died with the help of Malik Naib who failed to garner support and was assassinated.

Shihab-ud-din was moved to Gwalior where he died the same year. His reign was 3 months and a few days.

Royalty of a different kind-Sultan Qutbuddin Mubarak Khalji

Qutb-ud-din aka Mubarak Khan Khilji. Qutb-ud-din was 18 years old when he became Sultan. He mismanaged state affairs, assassinated and replaced many nobleman and appointed one person who would change the fate of the Khilji dynasty namely, Khusro Khan.

Gradually he indulged in alcohol and debauchery, ignoring state affairs. Khusro Khan gradually took over the government and appointed his Bawariya clansmen. Eventually, he hatched a plot to assassinate the Sultan, which he did.

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Sultan Qutbuddin Mubarak Khalji (1316-1320 was a typical and complete hermaphrodite. He occasionally dressed himself in female attire, embroidered with laces and adorned with gems, and went about dancing in the houses of the nobles like a typical hijra.

Sultan Qutbuddin Mubarak Khalji was killed by Khusro Khan!

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This marked the end of Khilji Dynasty – A saga of power, treachery, bloodbath

and also the vagaries of nature!

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