The Ghurid Empire

The last post of the Indian History Series was about Mohammed Ghori who was one of the most powerful rulers in the Ghurid Empire. This post is on the Ghurid Empire in general and they way it expanded and it came to an end.

Mohammed Ghori was a skilled commander and an efficient administrator. During the 11th and 12th centuries, he fought his neighbouring rulers and conquered the Ghaznavid Empire (Afghanistan and Iran). He moved to conquer the territories of Rajputs (Pakistan and India) by defeating Prithviraj.

Qutub-ud-din-Aibak’s Background

When Qutbuddin Aibak was still a young boy he was captured and sold as a slave. He was purchased by the chief judge of Nishapur. The judge treated Qutbuddin as a son, and raised him as an educated man skilled in archery and horsemanship. Upon the judge’s death, Qutbuddin was placed on the market again and was bought by the Sultan of Ghowr’s brother, Mohammed Ghori. After Ghori defeated Prithviraj, Qutbuddin was appointed the ruler of Delhi and the Viceroy of India. He built the Qutub Minar in the 12th century.

The Iqta System

The Ghorids, and by inheritance the Delhi Sultanate later secured their territory via a system known as Iqta. The Iqta system involved assigning strategically important land to one of the slave generals. The Iqta holders could support themselves by taxing the local population, and were expected to secure and expand their Iqta if they could.

End of Ghorid Empire

Mohammed Ghori’s brother died in 1203 which meant Ghori now had to take care of affairs in Central Asia along with conquests in India. In 1205, Ghuri made the mistake of attacking the Khwarizm Shah. His forces were defeated and then his army was all but annihilated by the Karakhitai while it was retreating. This defeat encouraged the Gakkar tribes of the salt range to rise in rebellion. They defeated the governor of Multan and plundered Lahore. This cut the Ghazni-Lahore route that allowed revenue from India to reach Ghuri in Ghazni. Ghuri hurried into the Punjab to confront the Gakkars and managed to defeat them with the timely arrival of Qutbuddin’s troops from Delhi. Muhammed Ghuri was assassinated in 1206 by either a Gakkar or Ismaili fanatic on his return to Ghazni.

Following Muhammed Ghuri’s death the more powerful Iqta holders in India declared independent sultanates. In 1206, the slave, Qutbuddin Aibak proclaimed the Delhi Sultanate and became the first sultan. It took twenty two years for Qutbuddin and his successor, Iltumish, to establish control over the other breakaway sultanates. The areas of the Ghurid Empire in Afghanistan and Central Asia were permanently lost to the Mongols. The Delhi Sultanate went on to be the dominate power in India, controlling all the way to the southern tip.

To read up more refer this and this and this

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So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
September 2009
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