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Expansion of Delhi Sultanate

In 1299, the Sultanate carried out its first expedition to Gujarat, where the king surrendered to the two generals, Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan. Malik Kafur was freed and later became most important general of Alauddin. He attacked the Rajput fortress of Ranthambor in 1301 but failed in his first attempt. However, his second attempt was successful when its king, Rana Hamir Dev, a descendent of Prithviraj Chauhan, died while defending bravely.

In 1303, it made a first attempt to invade Warangal but the army was defeated by the Kakatiya rulers.

Marwar was invaded in 1308 by Malik Kamaluddin, who attacked the Siwana Fort and captured its king, Satal Dev after a brutal war. The army was defeated and the king was executed.

After the army (sent to invade Jalore) was defeated by its king, Kanhad Dev Sonigara, Alauddin Khilji entrusted Kamaluddin to carry out the expedition, which turned successful in the second attempt.

In 1306, he attacked the wealthy state of Baglana. It was being ruled by Rai Karan after being expelled from Gujarat. The expedition was successful and Rai Karan’s daughter, Devala Devi, was brought to Delhi and married off to his eldest son, Khijir Khan.

Kafur was sent to Devagiri in 1307 to recover taxes from the king. Upon his refusal, he was brought to Delhi and restored as ‘Rai Rayan’ and returned back as his vassal.

Troops were sent to Mongol-controlled territories in Afghanistan, namely, Kandhar, Ghazni and Kabul, under Ghazi Malik, in 1308. Ghazi Malik crushed the Mongols who did not dare to invade India again before the reign of Tughlaq Dynasty.

In 1310, he easily conquered the Hoysala Empire, south of the Krishna River, whose ruler, Veera Ballala surrendered without a war and agreed to pay annual taxes.

The Mabar territory was raided by Alauddin’s army in 1311 under the command of Malik Kafur, who was defeated by the Tamil ruler Vikrama Pandya. However, Kafur managed to plunder enormous wealth Sultanate. While the North Indian kingdoms were controlled under the direct Sultan Shahi rule, the territories in South India were forced to pay heavy taxes annually since the zone was filled with abundant wealth.

In 1303 Alauddin Khilji invaded the kingdom of Mewar and killed Ratan Singh, the king of Chittor, to abduct his beautiful wife, Rani Padmini, who committed Jauhar (suicide) by burning herself in a funeral pyre.

He progressed towards Malwa in 1305, where a bloody battle was fought between its ruler Mahlak Dev and Alauddin’s general, Ain-ul-Mulk Multani. While the king was killed, Malwa, along with Mandu, Chanderi and Dhar, were captured.

In 1308, he sent his lieutenant, Malik Kafur, to attack Warangal, which saw a fierce battle, after which the Warangal Fort was captured. All its treasure, including one of the largest known diamonds in the world, Koh-i-noor, was looted.

Deccan and South India

By the end of 1305, practically the whole of Northern India fell into the hands of Ala-ud- Din and he could very easily afford to direct his attention towards the conquest of the Deccan.

There must have been both political and economic motives behind the campaigns of Ala- ud-Din and his lieutenants in the South. The wealth of the Deccan was too tempting to an enterprising adventurer.

His ambition to establish his control over the South which had so far not been conquered by the Muslims, must have led him to think of conquering Southern India. The political condition in the South was also favourable to Ala-ud-Din. There were four kingdoms in that region at that time.

The first was the Yadava kingdom of Devagiri under Ram Chandra Deva (1271-1309). Telingana with its capital at Warangal was under Pratap Rudra Deva I of the Kakatiya dynasty. The Hoysala kingdom with its capital at Dwarsamudra was under Vira Ballala III (1292-1342), and the Pandya kingdom of Madura was being ruled at that time by Maravarman Kulasekhara (1268-1311).

The Hindu rulers of the South were quarrelling among themselves and consequently they were not in a position to put up a united front. They were disposed off one by one.

Conquest of Devagiri (1307)

In March, 1307, Ala-ud-Din sent an expedition under Malik Kafur against Ram Chandra Deva of Devagiri.

The latter had not sent the tribute for the last three years and was also given refuge to Rai Karan Deva, the fugitive ruler of Gujarat. Malik Kafur was also asked to bring with him Deval Devi, daughter of Kamla Devi, who had escaped at the time of the conquest of Gujarat.

It is stated that Karan Deva II had made arrangements to marry Deval Devi to a Prince named Shankar who was the eldest son of Ram Chandra Deva of Devagiri. When she was being escorted towards Devagiri, she fell into the hands of Alp Khan, Governor of Gujarat, who was going to join Malik Kafur in his expedition against Devagiri. Now Deval Devi was sent to Delhi and was married to H          izr Khan, the eldest son of Ala-ud-Din.

Malik Kafur marched through Malwa and advanced to Vagiri. He destroyed the whole country and captured a lot of booty. Ram Chandra was forced to sue for peace. He was sent to Delhi where he was treated kindly by Ala-ud-Din. He was sent back to his kingdom after six months. Ram Chandra continued to rule Devagiri as a vassal of Ala-ud-Din.

 Conquest of Telingana (1310) 

As regards Telingana, an attempt had been made in 1303 to capture Warangal but that had failed. Another attempt was made in 1307 by Ala-ud-Din to bring Telingana under his control.

Ala-ud-Din had no desire to annex Telingana and his only object seems to have been to get the wealth of that kingdom and also force its ruler to acknowledge his authority.

The Delhi army marched via Devagiri and was given all assistance by Chandra Deva Pratap Rudra Deva, the ruler of Telingana, put up stiff resistance. The fort of Warangal was besieged. When the situation became critical, Pratap Rudra Deva sued for peace in March, 1310.

The Raja gave Kafur 100 elephants, 7,000 horses and large quantities of jewels and coined money. He also agreed to send tribute to Delhi every year. Amir Khusro tells us that Malik Kafur came back to Delhi with an immense booty carried “on a thousand camels groaning under the weight of treasure.”

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