Delhi Sultunate : Mongols

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The Mongols continually threatened northern India, harassing the Sultanate until 1306 A.D. when domestic troubles in Transoxiana caused there return to central Asia. Meanwhile, Alauddin had campaigned in Gujarat and Malwa, had captured the two important forts of Ranthambhor and Chittaur, and had mounted an expedition to south, though this had been unsuccessful. He still dreamed of bringing the peninsula under the Sultanate. Another expedition was sent under one of his officer Malik Kafur, a handsome Hindu convert from Gujarat, and he was successful. It seemed that Alauddin was in a process of a stable empire, when his plans was wrecked by the intrigues in the northern kingdoms.

The dream of empire began to fade as Gujarat, Chittaur and Devanagri broke away from the Sultanate. Alauddin died, a disappointed man, in 1316 A.D. Soon many kings came and went in quick succession last of whom was a low-caste Hindu convert who had risen to be the favourite of the Sultan, whom he eventually killed to usurp his throne. The historians give much significance to his low-caste origin, which theoretically should not have been of any consequence in the allegedly egalitarian Islamic society. Both his Indian origin and his low-caste status were exploited by a Turkish family in successfully organizing a revolt against him.

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq, the warden of the marches in the north, led the revolt, and in 1320 he proclaimed himself Sultan at Delhi and founded the Tughluq line. The successor of Ghiyas-ud-din was Muhammad bin Tughlaq; a rather controversial figure, some historians considering him mad owing to the unconventional nature of his actions. Yet, although his policies did on occasion border on the fantastic, there was some logic behind them.

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