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Delhi Sultanate, Notes on Dynasties of Medieval India

Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate was a Delhi-based Islamic Empire that reigned over large parts of South Asia for 320 years (1206–1526). The five dynasties that reigned over the Delhi Sultanate were the Mamluk dynasty (1206–1290), the Khalji dynasty (1290–1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414), the Sayyid dynasty (1414–1451), and the Lodi dynasty (1451–1526).

In this article, you will find detailed notes on the Delhi Sultanate, important rulers, founders and important facts associated with the five dynasties from Medieval Indian History.

The Mamluk Dynasty

In 1206 Qutubuddin Aibak made India free of Ghazni’s control. Rulers who ruled over India and conquered new territories during the period 1206-1290 AD are known as part of the Mamluk Dynasty or the Slave Dynasty. The following table contains the Ruler’s names and their respective period of rule.

Ruler Period
Qutb-ud-din Aibak 1206–1210
Aram Shah 1210–1211
Shams-ud-din Iltutmish 1211–1236
Ruknuddin Feruz Shah 1236
Razia Sultana 1236–1240
Muizuddin Bahram 1240–1242
Alauddin Masud 1242–1246
Nasiruddin Mahmud 1246–1266
Ghiyas-ud-din Balban 1266–1286
Muiz ud din Kaiqubad 1287–1290
Kaimur 1290

Let’s look at some of the important rulers of the Mamluk or Slave dynasty from a competitive exam perspective.

Qutubuddin Aibak

Qutubuddin Aibak came from the Turkistan region and he was a slave of Mohammad Ghori. Aibak ruled as a Sultan from 1206 to 1210. While playing Polo, he fell from the horse and died in 1210.

Aram Shah

After Aibak’s death, his son Aram Shah was crowned at Lahore. Later, during a conflict between Iltutmish and Aram Shah, Iltutmish became victorious and became the next ruler.


Iltutmish was a slave of Aibak. He belonged to the Ilbari Turk clan of Turkistan. In 1211, Iltutmish occupied the throne of Delhi after killing Aram Shah and successfully ruled until 1236.

Construction of the Qutub Minar

Qutubuddin Aibak started construction of the Qutub Minar. However, Iltutmish completed the unfinished construction of the Qutub Minar. Iltutmish is also credited with building the Dhai Din ka Jhopra in Ajmer.

Razia Sultan

She was the first lady Sultan who ruled for three years, six months, and six days from 1236 to 1240. She appointed Jamaluddin Yakut as the highest officer of cavalry. In 1240, the feudal lord (Subedar) of Bhatinda, Ikhtiyaruddin conspired against Razia. This led to Yukut being killed and Razia imprisoned. To counter her enemies, Razia married Altunia and attempted to regain power. On 13 October 1240, both Razia and Altunia were killed by dacoits while resting under a tree near Kaithal.


Ghiyasuddin Balban ascended the throne of Delhi in 1266. He is known for his strategically organized Military Department, called Diwan-i-Ariz, for defence from the Mongols.

The Khalji dynasty

The Khalji Dynasty was the second dynasty under the Delhi Sultanate. The important rulers of Khalji dynasty along with their period of rule are mentioned below.

Rulers Period
Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji 1290–1296
Alauddin Khilji 1296–1316
Shihabuddin Omar 1316
Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah 1316–1320
Khusrau Khan 1320

Jalaluddin Feroz Khalji

Jalaluddin Feroz Khalji was the founder of the Khalji dynasty. He was crowned in 1290. His reign was marked with relative stability.

Alauddin Khalji

Alauddin extended the boundaries of his empire through numerous campaigns and reorganized his administration. He adopted the title of Yasni – ul – Khalifat – Nasiri – Amir al Mu’minin and crushed the uprisings in his dominion.

Conquest of Chittor

In January 1303, Alauddin invaded Chittor. After 7 months of siege, he captured the fort. Consequently, Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar instead of surrendering to Alauddin.

The Tughlaq Dynasty

The Tughlaq dynasty lasted from 1320 to nearly the end of the 14th century. The first ruler Ghazi Malik renamed himself Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq. He is also referred to in scholarly works as Tughlak Shah.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq

His name was Ghazi Malik or Ghazi Beg Tuglaq. After defeating Khusrau Khan, he ascended the throne of Delhi in 1320. He became the founder of the new dynasty known as the Tughlaq dynasty. He ruled up to 1325.

Tughlaq Shah

Tughlaq Shah sat on the throne with the title of Ghyasuddin II in 1388. But he ruled for only 5 months. After his death, Abu Bakr was made the king of Delhi.

The list of other important rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty is given below:

Rulers Period
Ghiyath al-Din (Ghiyasuddin) Tughluq 1320–1325
Muhammad bin Tughluq 1325–1351
Mahmud Ibn Muhammad 1351 (March)
Firoz Shah Tughlaq 1351–1388
Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughluq II 1388–1389
Abu Bakr Shah 1389–1390
Nasir ud din Muhammad Shah III 1390–1393
Ala ud-din Sikandar Shah I 1393
Mahmud Nasir ud din 1393–1394
Nasir-ud-din Nusrat Shah Tughluq 1394–1399
Nasir ud din Mahmud 1399–1412

Tughlaq Dynasty: Rulers And Policies Of the Tughlaq Dynasty

The Sayyid Dynasty

The Sayyid dynasty ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1415 to 1451. Khizr Khan was the first ruler and founder of the Sayyid dynasty. In 1414,  Khizr Khan captured Delhi. He ruled Delhi until 1421. His son Mubarak Khan ascended the throne of Delhi in 1421 after his father’s death and adopted the title of Mubarak Shah. He ruled for over 13 years from 1421 to 1434. His time was spent struggling against foreign enemies and internal conspirators.

Rulers Period
Khizr Khan 1414–1421
Mubarak Shah 1421–1434
Muhammad Shah 1434–1445
Alam Shah 1445–1451

The Lodi Dynasty

The Lodi Dynasty belonged to the Pashtun (Afghan) Lodi tribe. Bahlul Khan Lodi founded the Lodi dynasty and was the first Pashtun ruler to rule the Delhi Sultanate. Sikander Lodi was the most prominent ruler of the Lodi Dynasty who founded Agra City. After him, Ibrahim Lodi became the last ruler of the Lodi Dynasty as well as the Delhi Sultanate.

Rulers Period
Bahlul/Bahlol Lodi 1451–1489
Sikander Lodi 1489–1517
Ibrahim Lodi 1517–1526



How many dynasties ruled under the Delhi Sultanate?

There were a total of five dynasties of Delhi Sultanate. These were, in chronological order, the Mamluk or Slave, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyid, and Lodi Dynasties.

Who founded the Mamluk Dynasty and also the Delhi Sultanate?

Qutubuddin Aibak, a slave of Mohammad Ghori, founded the Mamluk Dynasty in 1206 which also set the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate which continued for 320 years.

Who was the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate?

The last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate was Ibrahim Lodi from the Lodi Dynasty. His rule ended in 1526 with his defeat in the First Battle of Panipat against Babur who founded his new dynasty i.e. the Mughal Dynasty.

Who built the Qutb Minar in Delhi?

The construction of Qutb Minar was started by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, a ruler of Slave or Mamluk Dynasty. The construction was completed by his successor, Iltutmish.

Who were the founders of Mamluk, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyid and Lodi dynasties?

Mamluk Dynasty - Qutbuddin Aibak
Khalji Dynasty - Jalal ud Din Khalji
Tughlaq Dynasty - Ghiasuddin Tughlaq
Sayyid Dynasty - Khizr Khan
Lodi Dynasty - Bahlol Lodi

Who was Razia Sultan?

Razia Sultan was the first and only female ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. She belonged to the Mamluk Dynasty ruling from 1236 to 1240.

About the Author

Aishwarya Bhandarkar is a content writer having experience of 3.5+ years in blogging of creating content for competitive entrance and government exams. She believes in delivering simplifying complex concepts into understandable and user-friendly content on time to the readers and helping aspirants for various exams..