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  • Anirudh Kanisetti

YUDDHA Ep. 06: The Sultanate Supremacy (Part II)

How Delhi Won (and Lost) the Deccan


As the Mongol threat faded, the warlords of Delhi turned their attention south to the riches of peninsular India. In a matter of a few decades, they would transform the fate of the subcontinent forever. The figures that led this transformation - Alauddin Khilji, Malik Kafur, and Muhammad bin Tughluq - have passed into legend.


The Delhi Sultanate came to dominate the subcontinent. But the conquest of the Deccan also spelt the beginning of its disintegration and decline.


This is the second of a two-part series exploring the improbable rise and fall of the Delhi Sultanate. We discuss the similarities and differences between the Sultanate and the other polities of India; the complex politics of 14th century South India; the emergence of Rajput identity and the reality of the story of the famous Rani Padmavati; the destruction of the Svayambhu Shiva temple in Warangal and the meanings it carried; and the revolt and rise of new Deccan polities, such as Vijayanagara.


YUDDHA is made possible thanks to the support of The Takshashila Institution and the Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF).


Further Reading:

  1. Jackson, Peter. The Delhi Sultanate: a Political and Military History. Cambridge University Press, 2003.

  2. Wink, André. Al-Hind: The Slavic Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th centuries. Vol. 2. Brill, 2002.

  3. Chattopadhyaya, Brajadulal. Representing the Other?: Sanskrit Sources and the Muslims (Eighth to Fourteenth Century). Manohar Publishers & Distributors, 1998.

  4. Lal, Kishori Saran. History of the Khaljis, AD 1290-1320. Asia Publishing House, 1967.

  5. Elliot, Henry Miers, and John Dowson. The History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol. III.

  6. Aiyangar, Sakkottai Krishnaswami. South India and Her Muhammadan Invaders. Asian Educational Services, 1991.

  7. Eaton, Richard M. A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives. Cambridge University Press, 2005.

  8. Gilmartin, David, and Bruce B. Lawrence. Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamic South Asia. Gainesville: University Press of Florida Press, 2000.

  9. Asher, Catherine B., and Cynthia Talbot. India Before Europe. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

  10. Ali, Athar. "MILITARY TECHNOLOGY OF THE DELHI SULTANATE (13-14th C.)." In Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, vol. 50, pp. 166-182. Indian History Congress, 1989.

  11. Talbot, Cynthia. Precolonial India in Practice: Society, Region, and Identity in medieval Andhra. Oxford University Press, 2001.

  12. Bednar, Michael Boris. "Conquest and resistance in context: a historiographical reading of Sanskrit and Persian battle narratives." PhD diss., 2007.

  13. Nossov, Konstantin S. Indian Castles 1206–1526: The Rise and Fall of the Delhi Sultanate. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012.

  14. Wagoner, Phillip B., and John Henry Rice. "From Delhi to the Deccan: Newly Discovered Tughluq Monuments at Warangal-Sult̤ānpur and the Beginnings of Indo-Islamic Architecture in Southern India." Artibus Asiae (2001): 77-117.

  15. Michell, George. "City as Cosmogram: The Circular Plan of Warangal." South Asian Studies 8, no. 1 (1992): 1-18.

  16. Habib, Mohammad. "Khazain-ul-Futuh." Politics and Society during the Early Medieval Period: Collected Works of Professor Mohammad Habib (1933): 182.


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©2020 by Anirudh Kanisetti. Cover images by Apoorva Lakshmi.