Khalji Dynasty (1290-1320 A.D.)

The Khalji rulers ruled for three decades. They expanded the’Sultanate further. The first ruler of the dynasty was Jalal-uddin Khalji.

Jalal-ud-din Firuz Khalji (1290 – 1296 A.D.)

Jalal-ud-din Khalji was very old when he ascended the throne.’He was not a strong ruler. He adopted a lenient policy towards’the Mongols and married one of his daughters to Ulugh Khan,’the leader of the Mongols. Jalal-ud-din was succeeded by Ali’Gurshap, who took the title of Ala-ud-din.

Ala-ud-din Khalji (1296 -1316 A.D.)

Ala-ud-din Khalji was the most powerful ruler of the dynasty.’He was an ambitious king and wanted to establish an all-India’empire. He needed money to expand the empire. To increase’revenue collection, Ala-ud-din introduced many economic’reforms.

Economic Measures

Ala-ud-din Khalji ordered the measurement of all land under’cultivation. After assessing its fertility, the land was divided into’different categories. The land tax was fixed accordingly.

To get more revenue, Ala-ud-din raised the land tax in the’doab region (the fertile land between the Ganga and the Yamuna’rivers) to one-half of the produce. He also tried to keep a check’on the extra income that the nobles got by levying extra taxes’on the peasants.

Ala-ud-din introduced a market control policy. He fixed the’prices of all essentials commodities at a low level. Shopkeepers’were asked to adhere to those rates. He appointed special’officials to keep a check on the shopkeepers. Whoever charged’even a little extra from the people was severely punished.

Reforms in the Army

Revenue reforms made more money available to the king.’With that money, Ala-ud-din was able to keep a permanent’standing army. He paid his soldiers in cash. He started branding’horses to prevent the substitution of good horses by horses of’inferior quality. A descriptive roll (chehra) was maintained for’each soldier. The king also employed spies who were posted in’different parts of the empire.

Expansion of the Empire

Ala-ud-din Khalji conquered Gujarat and Malwa in the year’1297 A.D. and this gave him control over the western sea ports.’Between 1301-1303, he captured Ranthambore and Chittor in’Rajasthan. Thereafter, he sent a large army towards the south’under his trusted general, Malik Kafur. He defeated the rulers’of the Yadava, Kakatiya, Hoysala and the Pandya kingdoms.’These rulers were also made to pay a tribute. For a short period,’Ala-ud-din Khalji’s empire was as large as that of King Ashoka.

After Ala-ud-din Khalji’s death in 1316, a war of succession’broke out. The last Khalji ruler, Khusraw Malik, was replaced’by the Tughluq Sultans.

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