Open main menu

Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/191

This page needs to be proofread.
xviii]
171
PERIOD, 1000-1764 A.D.

of the governor for the time being, and of the local feudatories or zaminddrs, who were given the right to collect the State's share of the produce on condition of keeping up bodies of armed men for service when required.

The Invasion of Timur.— The long reign of Muhammad Tughlak's successor, Firoz Shah (1351-1388), son of a Hindu Rajput princess of Dipalpur, brought relief to all classes. Besides adopting a moderate fiscal policy, he founded towns like Hissar and Fatehabad, dug canals from the Jamna and the Sutlej, and carried out many other useful works. On his death the realm fell into confusion. In 1398-99 another appalling calamity fell upon it in the invasion of Timurlang (Tamerlane), Khan of Samarkand. He entered India at the head of 90,000 horsemen, and marched by Multan, Dipalpur, Sirsa, Kaithal, and Panipat to Delhi. What lust of blood was to the Mongols, religious hatred was to Timur and his Turks. Ten thousand Hindus were put to the sword at Bhatner and 100,000 prisoners were massacred before the victory at Delhi. For the three days' sack of the royal city Timur was not personally responsible. Sated with the blood of lakhs of infidels sent "to the fires of Hell" he marched back through Kangra and Jammu to the Indus. Six years later the House of Tughlak received a deadly wound when the Wazir, Ikbal Khan, fell in battle with Khizr Khan, the governor of Multan.

The later Dynasties.— The Saiyyids, who were in power from 1414 to 1451, only ruled a small territory round Delhi. The local governors and the Hindu chiefs made themselves independent. Sikandar Lodi (1488-1518) reduced them to some form of submission, but his successor, Ibrahim, drove them into opposition by pushing authority further than his power justified. An Afghan noble, Daulat Khan, rebelled in the Panjab. There is always an ear at Kabul listening to the first sounds of