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402
[MAHOMMEDAN PERIOD
INDIA

from 1325 to 1351, is described by Elphinstone as “one of the most accomplished princes and one of the most furious tyrants that ever adorned or disgraced human nature.” He wasted the treasure accumulated by Ala-ud-din in purchasing the retirement of the Mogul hordes, who had already made their appearance in the Punjab. When the internal circulation failed, he issued a forced currency of copper, which is said to have deranged the whole commerce of the country. At one time he raised an army for the invasion of Persia. At another he actually despatched an expedition against China, which perished miserably in the Himalayan passes. When Hindustan was thus suffering from his misgovernment, he conceived the project of transferring the seat of empire to the Deccan, and compelled the inhabitants of Delhi to remove a distance of 700 m. to Deogiri or Daulatabad. And yet during the reign of this sultan both the Tughlak dynasty and the city of Delhi are said to have attained their utmost growth. Mahommed was succeeded by his cousin Feroz, who likewise was not content without a new capital, which he placed a few miles north of Delhi, and called after his own name. He was a kind-hearted and popular, but weak, ruler. Meanwhile the remote provinces of the empire began to throw off their allegiance to the sultans of Delhi. The independence of the Afghan kings of Bengal is generally dated from 1336, when Mahommed Tughlak was yet on the throne. The commencement of the reign of Ala-ud-din, the founder of the Bahmani dynasty in the Deccan, is assigned to 1347. Zafar Khan, the first of the Ahmedabad kings, acted as an independent ruler from the time of his first appointment as governor of Gujarat in 1391. These and other revolts prepared the way for the fourth great invasion of India under Timur (Tamerlane).

Accordingly, when Timur invaded India in 1398, he encountered but little organized resistance. Mahmud, the last of the Tughlak dynasty, being defeated in a battle outside the walls of Delhi, fled into Gujarat. The city was Timur’s invasion. sacked and the inhabitants massacred by the victorious Moguls. But the invasion of Timur left no permanent impress upon the history of India, except in so far as its memory fired the imagination of Baber, the founder of the Mogul dynasty. The details of the fighting and of the atrocities may be found related in cold blood by Timur himself in the Malfuzat-i-Timuri, which has been translated in Elliot’s History of India as told by its own Historians, vol. iii. Timur marched back to Samarkand as he had come, by way of Kabul, and Mahmud Tughlak ventured to return to his desolate capital. He was succeeded by what is known as the Sayyid dynasty, which held Delhi and a few miles of surrounding country for about forty years. The Sayyids were in their turn expelled by Bahlol, an Afghan of the Lodi tribe, whose successors removed the seat of government to Agra, which thus for the first time became the imperial city. In 1526 Baber, the fifth in descent from Timur, and also the fifth Mahommedan conqueror, invaded India at the instigation of the governor of the Punjab, won the victory of Panipat over Ibrahim, the last of the Lodi dynasty, and founded the Mogul empire, which lasted, at least in name, until 1857.

In southern India at this time authentic history begins with the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar, which exercised an ill-defined Vijayanagar. sovereignty over the entire south from the 14th to the 16th century. The empire of Vijayanagar represents the last stand made by the national faith in India against conquering Islam. For at least two centuries its sway over the south was undisputed, and its rajas waged wars and concluded treaties of peace with the sultans of the Deccan on equal terms.

The earliest of the Mahommedan dynasties in the Deccan was that founded by Ala-ud-din in 1347, which has received the name of the Bahmani dynasty. The capital was first at Gulbarga, and was afterwards removed Bahmani Dynasty. to Bidar, both which places still possess magnificent palaces and mosques in ruins. Towards the close of the 14th century the Bahmani empire fell to pieces, and five independent kingdoms divided the Deccan among them. These were—(1) the Adil Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Bijapur, founded in 1490 by a Turk; (2) the Kutb Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Golconda, founded in 1512 by a Turkoman adventurer; (3) the Nizam Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Ahmednagar, founded in 1490 by a Brahman renegade; (4) the Imad Shahi dynasty of Berar, with its capital at Ellichpur, founded in 1484 also by a Hindu from Vijayanagar; (5) the Barid Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Bidar, founded about 1492 by one who is variously described as a Turk and a Georgian slave. It is, of course, impossible here to trace in detail the history of these several dynasties. In 1565 they combined against the Hindu raja of Vijayanagar, who was defeated and slain in the decisive battle of Talikota. But, though the city was sacked and the supremacy of Vijayanagar for ever destroyed, the Mahommedan victors did not themselves advance far into the south. The Naiks or feudatories of Vijayanagar everywhere asserted their independence. From them are descended the well-known Palegars of the south, and also the present raja of Mysore. One of the blood-royal of Vijayanagar fled to Chandragiri, and founded a line which exercised a prerogative of its former sovereignty by granting the site of Madras to the English in 1639. Another scion claiming the same high descent lingers to the present day near the ruins of Vijayanagar, and is known as the raja of Anagundi, a feudatory of the nizam of Hyderabad. Despite frequent internal strife, the sultans of the Deccan retained their independence until conquered by the Mogul emperor Aurangzeb in the latter half of the 17th century. To complete this sketch of India at the time of Baber’s invasion it remains to say that an independent Mahommedan dynasty reigned at Ahmedabad in Gujarat for nearly two centuries (from 1391 to 1573), until conquered by Akbar; and that Bengal was similarly independent, under a line of Afghan kings, with Gaur for their capital, from 1336 to 1573.

When, therefore, Baber invaded India in 1525, the greater part of the country was Mahommedan, but it did not recognize the authority of the Afghan sultan of the Lodi dynasty, who resided at Agra, and also ruled the historical The Mogul Dynasty. capital of Delhi. After having won the battle of Panipat (1526) Baber was no more acknowledged as emperor of India than his ancestor Timur had been. Baber, however, unlike Timur, had resolved to settle in the plains of Hindustan, and carve out for himself a new empire with the help of his Mogul followers. His first task was to repel an attack by the Rajputs of Chitor, who seem to have attempted to re-establish at this time a Hindu empire. The battle was fought at Sikri near Agra, and is memorable for the vow made by the easy-living Baber that he would never again touch wine. Baber was again victorious, but died shortly afterwards in 1530. He was succeeded by his son Humayun, who is chiefly known as being the father of Akbar. In Humayun’s reign the subject Afghans rose in revolt under Sher Shah, a native of Bengal, who for a short time established his authority over all Hindustan. Humayun was driven as an exile into Persia; and, while he was flying through the desert of Sind, his son Akbar was born to him in the petty fortress of Umarkot. But Sher Shah was killed at the storming of the rock-fortress of Kalinjar, and Humayun, after many vicissitudes, succeeded in re-establishing his authority at Lahore and Delhi.

Humayun died by an accident in 1556, leaving but a circumscribed kingdom, surrounded on every side by active foes, to his son Akbar, then a boy of only fourteen years. Akbar the Great, the real founder of the Mogul empire Akbar. as it existed for two centuries, was the contemporary of Queen Elizabeth of England. He was born in 1542, and his reign lasted from 1556 to 1605. When his father died he was absent in the Punjab, fighting the revolted Afghans, under the guardianship of Bairam Khan, a native of Badakshan, whose military skill largely contributed to recover the throne for the Mogul line. For the first seven years of his reign Akbar was perpetually engaged in warfare. His first task was to establish his authority in the Punjab, and in the country around Delhi and Agra. In 1567 he stormed the Rajput stronghold of Chitor, and conquered Ajmere. In 1570 he obtained possession of Oudh and Gwalior,