Indian History
General Knowledge

Tughlaq Dynasty

( 1320 - 1414 AD )

Tughlaq Dynasty ( 1320 - 1414 AD )

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq ( 1320 - 25 )

» Khusrau Khan, the last king of the Khilji dynasty was killed by Ghazi Malik. Ghazi Malik ascended the throne assuming the title Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.
» He died in an accident and his son Jauna (Ulugh Khan) succeeded him under the title Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq.

Mohammad-bin Tughlaq ( 1325 - 51 )

» Prince Jauna, son of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq ascended the throne in 1325.
» He tried to introduce many administrative reforms. He had 5 ambitious projects for which he became particularly debatable.

1. Taxation in the Doab (1326)
The Sultan made an ill-advised financial experiment in the Doab between the Ganges and Yamuna. He not only increased the rate of taxation but also revived and created some additional Abwabs or cesses. Although the share of the state remained as in time of Alauddin, it was fixed arbitrary not on the basis of actual produce. Prices were also fixed artificially for covering the produce into money. It is said that the increase was twenty fold and to this were added Ghari or house tax and the Charahi or pasture tax. The Sultan created a new department of Agriculture called Diwan-i-Kohi. The main object of this department was to bring more land under cultivation by giving direct help to peasants.

2. Transfer of Capital (1327)
The most controversial step which Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq under took soon after his accession was the so-called transfer of capital from Delhi to Devagiri. Devagiri had been a base for the expansion of Turkish rule in South India. It appears that the Sultan wanted to make Devagiri second capital so that he might be able to control South India better. Devagiri was thus named Daulatabad. After a couple of years Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq decided to abandon Daulatabad largely became he soon found that just as he could not control South India from Delhi, he could not control North from Daulatabad.

3. Introduction of Token Currency (1329)
Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq decided to introduce bronze coins, which were to have same value as the silver coins. Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq might have been successful if he could prevent people from forging the new coins. He was not able to do so and soon the new coins began to be greatly devalued in markets. Finally Mohammad-bin- Tughlaq decided to withdraw the token currency. He promised to exchange silver pieces for bronze coins.

4. Proposed Khurasan Expedition (1329)
The Sultan had a vision of universal conquest. He decided to conquer Khurasan and Iraq and mobalised a huge army for the purpose. He was encouraged to do so by Khurasaru nobles who had taken shelter in his court. Moreover, there was instability in Khurasan on account of the unpopular rule of Abu Said. This project was also abandoned.

5. Qarachil Expedition (1330)
This expedition was launched in Kumaon hills in Himalayas allegedly to counter Chinese incursions. It also appears that the expedition was directed against some refractory tribes in Kumaon-Garhwal region with the object of bringing them under Delhi Sultanate. The first attack was a success but when the rainy season set in, the invaders suffered terribly.
» His five projects led to revolts. His last days were spent in checking the revolts (altogether 36 revolts in 25 years).
» He died in Thatta while campaigning in Sindh against Taghi, a turkish slave.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq ( 1351 - 88 )

» He was a cousin of Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq. After his death the nobles and the ologians of the court selected Firoz Shah as the next Sultan.
» After his accession Firoz Tughlaq was faced with the problem of preventing the imminent break up of Delhi Sultanate. He adopted the policy of trying to appease the nobality, army and theologians and of asserting his authority over only such areas, which could be easily administered from the centre. He therefore made no attempt to re-assert his authority over South India and Deccan.
» He decreed that whenever a noble died his son should be allowed to succeed to his position including his Iqta and if he had no sons, his son-in-law and in his absence his slave was be succeed.
» Firoz extended the principle of heredity to the army. Soldiers were allowed to rest in peace and to send in their place their sons. The soldiers were not paid in cash but by assignments on land revenue of villages (Vajeha) This novel technique of payment led to many abuses.
» Firoz tried to win over the theologians proclaiming that he was a true Muslim king and the state under him was truly Islamic. In order to keep the theologians satisfied a number of them were appointed to high offices.
» He tried to ban practices which the orthodox theologians considered as non Islamic. Thus he prohibited the practice of Mu slim women going out to worship at graves of saints.
» It was during the time of Firoz that Jizya became a separate tax. Firoz refused to exempt the Brahmanas from payment of Jizya since this was not provided for in Shariat.
» The new system of taxation was according to Quran. Four kinds of taxes sanctioned by the Quran were imposed. These taxes were Kharaj, Zakat, Jizya and Khams. Kharaj was the land tax, which was equal to 1 /10 of the produce of the land, Zakat was 2°% tax on property, Jizya was levied on non-Muslims and Khams was 1 /5 of the booty captured during war.
» In order to encourage agriculture, the Sultan paid a lot of attention to irrigation. Firoz repaired a number of canals and imposed Haque-i-Sharbox Hasil-i-Sharb (water tax).
» He was a great builder. The cities of Fatehabad, Hisar, Jaunpur and Firozabad stand to his credit.
» The two pillars of Ashoka, one from Topra (Haryana) and other from Merrut (U.P.) were brought to Delhi.
» The Sultan established at Delhi a hospital described as Dar-ul-Shifa.
» A new department of Diwan-i-Khairat was set up to make provisions for the marriage of poor girls.
» Another step which Firoz took was both economic end political in nature. He ordered his officials that whenever they attacked a place they should select handsome and well-born young boys and send them to Sultan as slaves.
» However, his rule was marked by peace and tranquility, and the credit for it goes to his Prime Minister Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul.
» He died in 1388.

After Firoz Shah Tughlaq ( 1388 - 1414 )

» The Tughlaq dynasty could not survive much after Firoz Shah’s death. The Malwa, Gujaratand Sharqi (Jaunpur) Kingdoms broke away from the Sultanate.
» Timur’s Invasion :
1398-99- Timur, the lame, Turkish Chief and cruel conqueror from Mangolia and descendant of Chengiz Khan, invaded India in 1398 during the reign of Muhammad Shah Tughlaq the last ruler of Tughlaq dynasty. Taimur s army mercilessly sacked and plundered Delhi. Timur returned to Central Asia, leaving a nominee named Khizr Khan to rule to Punjab. In 1404 he died while on his way to conquer China.