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Politics & War

Politics & War

Ala-Ud-Din Khalji

Ala-Ud-Din Khalji


  • Nothing is known about his date of birth and early upbringing. It seems that he did not receive much education but was expert in fighting
  • Ala-ud-din whose original name was Ali Gurshasp assumed the title of Abul Muzaffar Sultan Alaudduniya-va-din Muhammad Shah Khalji.
  • He was the eldest son of Shihabuddin Mas’ud, who was the elder brother of the Khalji dynasty’s founder Sultan Jalaluddin. He had three brothers: Almas Beg (later Ulugh Khan), Qutlugh Tigin and Muhammad.


  •  Alauddin married Jalaluddin’s daughter, Malika-i-Jahan, long before the Khalji revolution of 1290. The marriage, however, was not a happy one.
  • Ala-ud-din participated in the suppression of the revolt of Malik Chhajju and was awarded the governorship of Kara and Manikpur.
  • In 1296 A.D., he got enormous booty from Devagiri which further raised his prestige and the number of his followers. It helped him in capturing the throne of Delhi. The same year, he trapped Jalal-ud-din and murdered him


  • Alauddin, known as Ali Gurshasp until his ascension in July 1296, was formally proclaimed as the new king with the title Alauddunya wad Din Muhammad Shah-us Sultan at Kara.
  • On 21 October 1296, Alauddin was formally proclaimed as the Sultan in Delhi.
  • He destroyed all claimants to the throne, suppressed all conspiring or revolting nobles, brought distant provinces under his hold, established a strong administration, restored order and peace within the boundaries of the empire, saved his empire from foreign invasions, extended its territories, looted and brought under his influence the entire South India.


  • Initially, Alauddin consolidated power by making generous grants and endowments, and appointing a large number of people in the government offices.
  • However, Arkali Khan, his family and loyal Jalali nobles were at Multan. Ala-ud-din was not secure on the throne till they were alive.
  • Therefore, Ala- ud-din sent a strong army to attack Multan just after a month of his accession to the throne. Arkali Khan surrendered after a month and he along with his followers were taken prisoner. They all were killed afterwards.


  • Ala-ud-din finished all claimants to the throne and those nobles who could prove disloyal to him any time.He, then, appointed his own loyal and capable officers to all important posts.
  • The Mongols invaded in 1297 A.D. and again in 1299 A.D. But both the invasions were repulsed.
  • He was so encouraged by his successes and conquests that he assumed the title of Sikandar-iSani. He dreamed to conquer the world and even thought of starting a new religion.


  • Gujarat and Jaisalmer(1298)
  • Ranthambhor(1301)
  • Chittor(1303)
  • Siwana(1308)
  • Jalore(1310)


  • The Yadava kingdom of Devagiri with its capital at Devagiri.
  • The Kakatiya kingdom of Telingana with its capital at Warangal.
  • The Hoysala kingdom with its capital at Dwara Samudru and
  • The Pandya Kingdom with its capital at Madura.


  • Ala-ud-din succeeded in establishing a vast empire in India. Towards the north-west it extended up to the river Indus and after 1306 A.D. even Kabul and Ghazni came under his sphere of influence; and, towards the east, it extended up to Avadh. Orissa and, probably, Bengal and Bihar were not included within his empire.
  • Kashmir was also not included within his empire but, from Punjab in the north to the Vindhyas in the south all territory formed part of his empire. In the South, except the Pandya ruler Vira Pandya, all rulers had accepted his suzerainty.


  • Ala-ud-din passed his last days in misery and disappointment. His growing age had sapped up his physical and mental energy.
  • When Ala-ud-din found himself ill and seriously neglected by his family members, he called back Kafur from the South in 1315 A.D. Kafur, in his own turn, tried to take advantage of the breaking health of the Sultan and attempted to capture the throne for himself.
  • Thus, Ala-ud-din’s authority was challenged from different quarters while he himself lay helpless in the bed. He died under such conditions on 5 January 1316 A.D


  • By first ordinance all grants and pensions were revoked. All lands given to people as gifts, pensions, grants and endowments were confiscated.
  • By the second ordinance Ala-ud-din re-organised the system of espionage.
  • The third ordinance prohibited the sale and use of wine and other intoxicating drugs.
  • The fourth ordinance prohibited social gathering and inter-marriages among the nobles without the consent of the Sultan.


  • During the rule of Ala-ud-din Khilzi, the Hindus were worst sufferers. They had to lead a life of acute poverty and misery due to many severe measures of Ala-ud-din against them.
  • Ala-ud-din acted according their advices and took some severe measures to crush the Hindus. The land revenue was raised to the fifty percent of their total production. Besides some other taxes such as grazing tax, Jiziya, Customs and excise taxes were collected from the Hindus.


  • He was bent upon to build a strong permanent standing army at the centre. Previously the Sultans of Delhi had no permanent standing army at the centre and they all depended on the forces of provincial nobles and feudatory chiefs for strengthening their own forces.
  • He appointed an army minister (Ariz-i-mamalik) who directly recruited the soldiers of the sultan’s army. Ferishta, the Sultan’s army consisted of 4, 75,000 cavalrymen


  • Ala-ud-din had devised a very good market system and fixed the prices of various essential commodities. It is said that Ala- ud-din had had done so in order to maintain a vast army.
  • He appointed an officer who acted as controller of grain market and was known as shahana-i- Mandi. The office of Shahana-i-Mandi controlled the grain Market and prepared a chart mentioning the prices of various essential commodities.


  • Except those authorized merchants, no one was allowed to buy grains from the cultivators. Advances were given to those merchants who had no sufficient capital to run their business.
  • The merchants had to sell all commodities at the fixed rates without any deviation in it. If a merchant was found black-marketing the commodities, he was subjected to severe punishments.
  • Even if a merchant sold a commodity under-weight, the same amount of flesh was cut off from his body. The other important officers engaged in this work were ‘Diwan-i-riyasat’ and ‘Sarai adl’, who acted as a judge.


  • Ala-ud-din had given utmost importance to increase the state revenue as it was necessary for the expansion of his empire as well as to extract as much money as possible from the hands of the people so that they could not get any scope to revolt against the Sultan.
  • He confiscated all lands given as grants and gifts. The Hindus were compelled to pay Jizya and many other taxes.
  • He imposed a 50% kharaj tax on the agricultural produce in a substantial part of northern India.


  • He was the first Sultan who separated religion from the state administration. He was the first Sultan of Delhi who conquered south.
  • In 1296, Alauddin constructed the Hauz-i-Alai (later Hauz-i-Khas).In the early years of the 14th century, Alauddin built the Siri Fort.
  • Alauddin commissioned the Alai Darwaza, which was completed in 1311.In 1311, Alauddin repaired the 100- acre Hauz-i-Shamasi reservoir.


  • Just like the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s four Rashidun caliphs helped spread Islam, Alauddin believed that he too had four Khans (Ulugh, Nusrat, Zafar and Alp), with whose help he could establish a new religion
  • Alauddin and his generals destroyed several Hindu temples during their military campaigns. These temples included the ones at Bhilsa (1292), Devagiri (1295), Vijapur (1298–1310), Somnath (1299), Jhain (1301), Chidambaram (1311) and Madurai (1311).


  • Alauddin’s wives included Jalaluddin’s daughter, who held the title Malika-i-Jahan, and Alp Khan’s sister Mahru.He also married Jhatyapali. Alauddin had a son with Jhatyapali, Shihabuddin Omar, who succeeded him as the next Khalji ruler.
  • Alauddin also married Kamala Devi, a Hindu woman, who was originally the chief queen of Karna, the Vaghela king of Gujarat.
  • A deep emotional bond developed between Alauddin and Kafur