Lodhi dynasty

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Lodhi Dynasty (Pashto / Urdu: سلطنت لودھی) was made up of Gilzai (khilji) Afghans (ethnic Pashtuns), who ruled over the Delhi Sultanate during its last phase. Their rule was from 1451 to 1526.

Bahlul Lodhi: After the last Sayyid ruler of Delhi, Mohammed-bin-Farid, died in 1451, Bahlul Khan Lodhi, a warrior and governor of Punjab, took the throne of the Delhi sultanate. He quelled uprisings in the provinces and garnered political support by granting extensive lands to his native Afghan nobles.

Sikandar Lodhi: Bahlul nominated his second son, Sikandar Lodhi (born Nizam Khan) to succeed him. However, nobles backed the rule of Barbak Shah, his elder son, who had been appointed viceroy of Jaunpur. A power struggle ensued; Sikandar eventually won the struggle against Barbak and his ally, Hussain Shah of Jaunpur. He proved to be a capable ruler, and was somewhat merciful to his opponents. He allowed Barbak the governorship of Jaunpur and also resolved differences with an uncle, Alam Khan, who had conspired to overthrow him. Sikandar also brought many Afghan nobles under his control, conquered Gwalior and Bihar, and encouraged trade across his holdings. He was a kind ruler and founded the present-day city of Agra in 1503.

Ibrahim Lodhi: Sikandar's son Ibrahim Lodhi took the throne in 1517. His rule began on a problematic note; in an attempt to divide his kingdom, the nobles recognized his break-away brother Jalal Khan as independent ruler over Jaunpur. Ibrahim had his brother assassinated in an attempt to consolidate power. However, he never really gained the support of his nobles, as he ruled by fear. He was very strict and disrespectful to his nobles.

Ibrahim retook Gwalior in a military campaign and then menaced Mewar, then ruled by Rana Sanga. Under the premise that Ibrahim threatened to expand the Delhi Sultanate into the desert regions of Rajasthan, which had largely been left alone by previous sultans, Rana Sanga was able to unite the rajput chieftains of the desert into a shortlived military alliance. This alliance made common cause with discontented Muslim nobles of the sultanate to invite Babur, the ruler of Kabul, to overthrow the Lodhi dynasty.

Babur was officially invited to take India by Daulat Khan Lodhi, a governor in Lahore, and by Alam Khan, an uncle of Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi. Babur was able to defeat the Lodhis at the Battle of Panipat in 1526. His army's use of artillery, plus the desertion of many nobles and soldiers from Ibrahim Lodhi's forces, led to victory despite Babur being heavily outnumbered. This victory caused the Delhi sultanate to be supplanted by the Mughal Dynasty founded by Babur.

The Lodhis continued to control Agra, until it too was taken by the Mughal emperor Akbar.

See also