Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Alauddin al Khalji

Alauddin (died 1316) was the second sultan of the Khalji dynasty of Delhi in India. His rule marked the beginning of the sultanate and the rise to power of native Indian Moslems. [ in bahasa ]

Not much is known of the early life of Alauddin. He was appointed governor of Kara by his uncle and father in law, Sultan Jalaluddin Khalji, 1292. Three years later he conquered Malwa, and Bhilsa, a wealthy commercial center, and drew up plans to usurp the sultanate. In 1296 he became the first Moslem conqueror to penetrate the Vindhya Mountains into Deccan and, after defeating the Hindu raja of Devagiri and cracked the enemy troops he released the surrenders but took over their booty that contained 17,250 pounds of gold, 200 pounds of pearls, and 28,250 pounds of silver. Supported by cracked troops and armed with these riches, he conquered his father in law and proclaimed himself the sultan of Delhi in 1296.

For the next 15 years Alauddin reign grown up. By 1303 the western Hindu kingdom of Gujarat, Ranthambhor, Chitor, and Rajasthan had been subdued. During the next 3 years he checked the advance of the Mongol into India and restored tranquility to India’s northwest frontier. In 1305 he overran central India, bringing under his domination Malwa, Ujjain, Chanderi, and Mandawar. Two years later he made a second attempt on Devagiri, and by 1309 his army had reached the southernmost tip of India at Cape Comiron. By 1311 he was the richest sultan in the history of Delhi, and issuing coins referring to himself just like Alexander the Great did.

Alauddin instituted rules under his control to quell rebellions, of course the conquered Hindus were not allowed to posses weapons, but he did not insist them to convert their faith. Private property limitation was controlled. He revised the taxation system, reorganized the army, and stamped out corruption in the supplying of horses for the cavalry by requiring that they be branded. All residents (whether Hindus or Moslems) should pay taxes to provide the country’s security guarantee. It was logical that Moslem residents paid taxes lower than the conquerees. The prices of all the necessities of life were controlled.

Such rigid price controls and the wealth that poured into the sultan’s treasury after the conquests in southern India enabled Alauddin to undertake cultural and architectural activities on a lavish scale. Literati, physicians, astronomers, and historians thronged Delhi –many from Baghdad and Central Asia, which had been sacked by the Mongols. Delhi became the metropolis of the Moslem East under Alauddin, and architecture was its greatest cultural achievement. Delhi’s Jamaat Khana Mosque is highly ornate, spacious, and crowned by an immense dome.

But the excesses of a luxurious life made Alauddin an invalid, and he became dominated by Malik Kafur, his most successful field commander. Alauddin died in January 1316, and the Khalji dynasty came to an end only 4 years later.
[The Biography Institute]

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