From 1451 to 1526, the Delhi Sultanate was governed by the Afghan Lodi dynasty. Bahlul Khan Lodi established it as the Delhi Sultanate’s fifth and last dynasty after ousting the Sayyid dynasty. The family oversaw the “First Indo-Afghan Empire,” as it is sometimes referred to. This article will cover the Lodi Dynasty (1451–1526), a significant component of the UPSC Syllabus’s medieval history course. The UPSC Mock Test can help candidates prepare for the exam with more precision.
Lodi Dynasty History
The Lodi Dynasty was established by the Afghan Ghizali clan. Before entering Delhi, Bahlol Lodi made a wise decision and took advantage of Sayyed ruler’s precarious situation by further capturing Punjab. He took over India from Delhi’s throne in 1451, taking the name “Bahlol Shah Ghazi.” He overthrew the Sharqi Empire.
Sikander Lodhi, whose older sibling Barbak Shah was in a power struggle with him, succeeded Bahlol Lodhi on July 15, 1489. Indian temples in Mathura and Naga Port were demolished by the fanatical Sunni ruler Sikandar Lodhi. Jaziya was forced on Hindus in order to highlight Islam’s superiority. Raja Man Singh repulsed Sikandar Lodi’s five attempts to take control of the Gwalior fort. Ibrahim Khan Lodi succeeded him after a succession conflict with his older sibling Jalal-ud-Din. He passed away in 1517. They clashed frequently.
Lodi Dynasty Important Rulers
Bahlul Lodi (1451-1489 AD)
Malik Sultan Shah Lodi’s nephew and son-in-law, Bahlul Khan Lodi (r. 1451–1489), succeeded him as governor of Sirhind in (Punjab), India, during the authority of Muhammad Shah, the leader of the Sayyid dynasty. Tarun-Bin-Sultan was the title Muhammad Shah bestowed upon him. He kept a loose coalition of Afghan and Turkish commanders together with his charismatic leadership.
He tamed the quarrelsome chiefs of the provinces and gave the government fresh life. On April 19, 1451, Bahlul Khan Lodi succeeded to the sultanate of Delhi after Alauddin Alam Shah, the final Sayyid emperor of Delhi, willingly abdicated in his support. The most important occasion that occurred during his rule was the conquest of Jaunpur. Bahlul spent the majority of his time battling the Sharqi empire, which he ultimately conquered. He installed his surviving oldest son Barbak on the throne of Jaunpur in 1486.
Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517 AD)
After Bahlul passed away on July 17, 1489, his second son Sikandar Khan Lodi (r. 1489–1517; b. Nizam Khan) replaced him and adopted the name Sikandar Shah. On July 15, 1489, he was crowned Sultan after his father selected him to be his successor. In 1504 he established Agra and constructed temples.
He switched the seat of government from Delhi to Agra. He was an advocate for business and trade. He used the pseudonym name Gulruk and was a well-known poet. He was also a supporter of education and had Persian translations of Sanskrit medicinal texts made. By requiring his Pashtun nobles to submit their financial records for state scrutiny, he restrained their tendency towards individualism. He was able to instill energy and discipline in the administration as a consequence. The conquest and annexation of Bihar was his most noteworthy accomplishment.
Sikandar’s oldest son Ibrahim Lodi, who reigned in Delhi from 1517 to 1526, was the final Lodi Sultan. He had the makings of a great fighter, but his choices and deeds were hasty and undiplomatic. His attempt at royal absolutism was ill-timed, and his repressive strategy without steps to fortify the government and expand military capabilities was doomed to failure.
Ibrahim confronted many uprisings and held the opposition at bay for almost ten years. He spent the majority of his reign at war with both the Afghans and the Mughal Empire, and he perished attempting to prevent the extinction of the Lodi Dynasty. At the Battle of Panipat in 1526, Ibrahim was routed. In India, this signaled the end of the Lodi Dynasty and the ascent of Babur’s (reigned 1526–1530) Mughal Empire.
Lodi Dynasty Administration
Establishing a reliable managerial framework is another accomplishment attributed to Sultan Sikandar Lodi. He implemented auditing to examine the muqtas’ and walis’ funds. (governors). The first aristocrat to have his financial records examined was Mubarak Khan Lodi (Tuji Khail), the governor of Jaunpur, in 1506. He was dismissed after being found guilty of embezzlement. A non-Afghan officer-in-charge in Delhi named Khwaja Asghar was also jailed for misconduct.
The Sultan changed the surveillance system in order to stay up to date on the status of the Empire. Due to their dread of upsetting the Sultan, the nobles avoided discussing political matters among themselves. The Sultan created charitable homes in both the capital and the provinces for the benefit of the underprivileged and the disabled out of concern for the welfare of the populace. These charitable organizations gave deserving individuals financial aid.
Throughout the Empire, academic institutions got funding as well as support from scholars and poets. In government offices, he prohibited the use of any language other than Persian. This inspired a large number of Hindus to study Persian, and they quickly attained fluency in it. They consequently started to oversee and handle the revenue administration. Babur was shocked to discover that the complete revenue department was comprised of Hindus when he first arrived in India. Making sure that everyone receives fair justice was of great importance to Sultan Sikandar Lodi. Through his endeavors, the Empire experienced peace and prosperity.
Lodi Dynasty Economy
Indian temples in Mathura and Naga Port were destroyed by Sikandar Lodhi, a Sunni leader who was traditionally recognised for his fanaticism. For the purpose of proving Islam’s superiority, he enforced Jaziya on Hindus. In order to help farmers measure their cultivated fields, he created the 32-digit Gaz-i-Sikandiri. He established the city of Agra in 1504 and constructed magnificent monuments and structures there.
He helped the industry expand by facilitating imports and exports. Taxes on grains of food are waived for farmers. Support of education Sikandar was a fervent Sunni ruler who lacked respect for other religions.
Lodi Dynasty and First Battle of Panipat
The Lodi dynasty and Babur’s forces engaged in combat in the first Battle of Panipat on April 20, 1526. The Mughals introduced field artillery and gunpowder-powered weapons to the Indian subcontinent in this first fight. During this time, the Delhi Sultanate came to an end with the formation of the Mughal Empire in North India. The sultanate was destroyed by the Sayyid and Lodi dynasties’ poor leadership, which allowed the Mughals to seize power and start their extended reign.
Lodi Dynasty Religion and Architecture
Like their forebears, the Lodhi Sultans acknowledged the dominance of a single Caliphate over the Muslim World by presenting themselves as the Abbasid Caliphs’ deputies. The Quraysh clan, Muhammad’s purported descendants, Sufi shaikhs, and Muslim ulama were all given cash stipends and revenue-free lands, including entire villages. Muslim subjects of the Lodis were obligated to pay the zakat tax for religious reasons, while non-Muslim subjects were obligated to pay the jizya tax in exchange for state security.
In some areas of the Sultanate, Hindus had to pay an additional pilgrimage fee. However, the revenue management of the Sultanate employed a number of Hindu officials. Sikandar Lodi, whose mother was Hindu, used stringent Sunni orthodoxy as a political ploy to establish his Islamic credentials. Under pressure from the ulama, he permitted the execution of a Brahman who claimed Hinduism was equally true to Islam and destroyed Hindu temples.
He also outlawed the yearly procession of the spear of the illustrious Muslim martyr Salar Masud as well as the entry of women into the mazars (mausoleums) of Muslim saints. Additionally, he set up Sharia courts in a number of towns with a large Muslim population, enabling the qazis to apply Islamic law to both Muslim and non-Muslim subjects.
The Bara Gumbad in Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens, which was built in 1490 CE, most likely by Sikandar Lodhi, is thought to have Delhi’s oldest full dome. Built between 1489 and 1517 CE, the Shish Gumbad is a mausoleum from the Lodhi Dynasty. The Rajon ki Baoli stepwell was built in 1516 by Sikandar Lodi.
Lodi Dynasty Decline
The Lodi Dynasty’s political framework had already disintegrated by the time Ibrahim succeeded to the throne as a result of closed trade routes and a depleted treasury. The coastal commerce route known as the Deccan had failed by the late fifteenth century. This particular trade route’s decline and ultimate collapse cut off supplies from the coast to the interior, where the Lodi Empire was located.
Due to their inability to defend themselves in the event that conflict broke out on trade route roads, the Lodi Dynasty avoided using those routes, which led to a decline in trade and treasury and made them more susceptible to internal political issues. The governor of Lahore, Daulat Khan Lodi, asked Kabul’s ruler, Babur, to attack his realm as retaliation for Ibrahim’s insults. As a result, Ibrahim Lodi perished in a conflict with Babur. Ibrahim Lodi’s passing marked the end of the Lodi family.
Lodi Dynasty UPSC
The primary rival to Ibrahim Lodi’s strict rule was his uncle, the governor of Lahore, who betrayed him by inviting Babur to attack the Lodi kingdom in retaliation for the insults Ibrahim had inflicted on Babur. In the First Battle of Panipat, Babur defeated Ibrahim, ultimately ending the Lodhi Dynasty’s 75-year rule in 1526. Students can read all the details related to UPSC visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC online Coaching.