Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316): Overview, Policies, Invasion – GK

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This article talks about “Kihilji Dynasty” which is an important topic from Sultani period for UPSC and other competitive govt job examinations.

Alauddin Khalji was one of the most successful rulers of the Khilji Dynasty. He was the nephew and son-in-law of Jalaluddin Khalji. His father’s name was Shahabuddin. The traveler Ibn Battuta called Alauddin Khalji “the best Sultan of Delhi“. He also successfully defended against several Mongol invasions.

KingAlauddin Khilji
FatherShihabuddin Masud
Reign1296–1316 AD
Real NameAli Gurshasp
TitleSikandar-i-Sani or Alexander II
ArchitectureAlaidarwaza (Entrance to Qutub Minar), Built the Jamaitkhana Mosque
CommanderMalik Kapur
Introduced TaxCharai, Gharai
Military CampaignsAgainst the Mongols, Yadava dynasty, Gujarat, and Rajasthan
Administrative ReformsIntroduced price controls, market regulations, and a spy system

Alaudin Khilji’s Policies

Marketing System of Alauddin:

Four types of markets were introduced in Delhi during the reign of Alauddin Khalji-

  1. Shahana-i-mandi or Grain market
  2. Ser-i-Adal (cloth, sugar, oil, etc.)
  3. Animal market
  4. Market for essential commodities (vegetables, fish).
  • In all markets, the prices of goods were fixed.
  • To standardize the market, officials known as Diwan-i-riyasat were assigned to the offices of Shahana-i-mandi.
  • It should be mandatory for merchants to register at the Shahana-i-mandi before they can sell their products at specified rates.
  • Alauddin appointed Barid (Spy) to look after different types of markets and commodities rates.
  • He also introduced a new spy system to maintain control over his vast empire.
Check this article on Background of Delhi Sultanate GK

Domestic Policies:

  • Goods had to be sold at a fixed price set by the government.
  • High prices were severely punished.
  • If a merchant delivered goods less by weight, an equal amount of meat was cut from his body.
  • Alauddin Khalji introduced a market price policy to meet the expenses of a large army.
  • He introduced the rationing system and created the posts of Shahna-i-Mandi (market overseer) and Mustakaraj (tax collector).
  • Many historians have criticized that Alauddin Khalji controlled market prices to discipline the Hindus, and imposed the Jizya.
  • He raised taxes by 50 percent. He introduced the postal system to support the huge army.

Military Policy

  • During the reign of Alauddin Khalji, the expansion of the Sultanate increased greatly. His army consisted of 4 lakh 75 thousand cavalry.
  • He introduced the practice of dagh’ and ‘chehra‘ systems to prevent fraudulent musters.
Check this article on Muhammad Ghori – Key Points (Pre-sultanate era)

Invasion by Alaudin Khilji

Conquest of Gujarat

  • This was his first invasion after becoming the ruler.
  • Alauddin Khalji conquered Gujarat in 1299.
  • In this campaign, Alauddin Khalji’s commanders were Ulugh Khan and Nasrat Khan.
  • Karnadeva” was the ruler of Gujarat at that time.
  • Fearing this attack, Karnadeva rescued himself and his family and escaped to Devagiri in Maharashtra.
  • However, Kamaladevi, wife of King Karnadeva was caught. Alauddin Khalji’s son Khijr Khan married Kamaladevi.
  • Here, Alauddin met Malik Kafur who was a slave. Malik Kafur played a key role in the expansion of Alauddin’s kingdom.

Conquest of Ranthambore

  • Alauddin Khalji conquered Ranthambore in 1301.
  • At that time the king of Ranthambore was Rana Bir Hamirdev from the Chauhan dynasty.
  • He defeated and killed Rana Ratan Singh and conquered Chittor in 1303.
  • Chittor was renamed Khizirabad.
  • Many historians believe that Khalji attacked Chittor to get Rana Ratan Singh’s wife.
  • Alauddin Khalji’s commander Nasrat Khan was killed in this battle.

Alauddin Khalji’s expedition to South India-

He conquered the northern Indian states and brought them directly under the control of the Delhi Sultanate. However, he conquered the southern Indian states and made them pay tribute instead of directly ruling them. This was the main difference between his conquests in the north and south. He defeated the Yadava king Ramachandradeva of Devagiri, the Kakatiya king Prataparudra of Warangal, and the Pandya king Vira Pandya in the far south.

Devgiri (1306-1307 AD)

The Yadav dynasty rule­d Devgiri unde­r King Ramdev during this time. Ramdev refused to pay the tax. Alauddin attacked Devgiri. Ramdev was brought to Delhi, whe­re he surre­ndered.

Warangal/ Telangana (1308) :

The Kakatiya dynasty was ruling the­ kingdom of Warangal/Telangana under Pratap Rudra Dev. His wealthy kingdom became a target for Alauddin’s attack. Pratap Rudra De­v accepted Alauddin’s rule and gifte­d him the Kohinoor diamond.

Dwar Samudra (1310) :

Dwar Samudra was located on the we­st coast of Karnataka and was ruled by the Hoysala dynasty under Ballal III.

Madura (1311)

The­ Pandya dynasty ruled the kingdom of Madura under Vir and Sundar Pandya. A conflict de­veloped betwe­en them, and Sundar Pandya sought help from Alauddin. Toge­ther, Sundar Pandya and Alauddin defe­ated Vir Pandya, and Sundar Pandya accepted Alauddin’s rule­.

The commander of all these­ South Indian victories was Malik Kafur.

Death of Alauddin Khilji

The exact reason for Alauddin Khilji’s death is unknown. Some historians said that Alauddin suffered from swelling due to a buildup of fluids in his body. But according to Ziauddin Barani, Alauddin’s general, Malik Kafur, may have poisoned him. Alauddin died in 1316. Kafur’s tenure as ruler was short. Soon he was killed. Alauddin’s elder son, Mubarak Khan ascended the throne.

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