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India - Delhi - Bahlol Lodi

Bahlol Lodi


¤ Bahlol Lodi's Successful Crusade To The Throne

How Bahlol Lodi was able to successfully complete his campaign to the throne makes interesting reading. Muhammad Shah’s powers had become so depleted that his control ended where Panipat began. So in a certain campaign against forces from Malwa, Muhammad asked for Bahlol’s help. Lodi agreed and defeated the Malwa forces in a swift and well-planned night attack. Muhammad Shah was so happy about this victory that he honoured Bahlol by bestowing the title of Khan Khanam on him and indeed styled him his son. Bahlol was also given Lahore and other areas. All this bonhomie didn’t last for long and Bahlol soon fell out with Muhammad, went back to his dominion and declared himself Sultan Bahlol.


Lodi Garden ¤ Alam's Generosity Towards The Delhi Throne

When Muhammad died, he was succeeded by a complete maverick called Alam Shah, who didn’t care two hoots about power and ruling. He went off visiting to Badaun and liked it so much that he settled there. The concerned nobles in Delhi then asked Bahlol to take the throne of Delhi. In a courteous gesture, Bahlol wrote to Alam and intimated him about the wishes of the nobility. Alam wrote back saying that as far as he was concerned anyone could take the throne of Delhi and be welcome to it. He was probably the first and last ruler of Delhi to show such disdain for the throne.


¤ The Lodi Dynasty

So, on 19th April 1451, Bahlol Lodi was crowned the Sultan of Delhi. With it was laid the foundation of the Lodi dynasty,the last of the Delhi Sultanate. The Lodi dynasty lasted longer than the Khaljis and did more for Delhi than the Tughlaqs and Sayyids put together. The Lodis were Afghans and the character of their kingship strongly reflected the tribal set-up of the frontier people. For instance the army of the sultanate changed from a king’s army to a sort of locally recruited tribal units. It was not centrally recruited, maintained or even administered, and hence lacked uniformity. The privilege of using elephants, which was earlier reserved for sultans came to be commonly practiced by nobles, who kept and fought on elephants. It was also during this period that the hub of power began to gradually drift towards Agra; from where it was found that regions of both Doab and Marwar could be better administered.


¤ Bahlol Lodi Prooved To Be A Good Administator

Bahlol Lodi gave a strong start to the Lodi dynasty. He spent a lot of time in battle and most of his wars were successful. This included the annexation of Jaunpur, which had resolutely evaded others for many years. Bahlol was not anyone’s idea of a good administrator, but his people still loved him. This was partly because he was an extremely unassuming man who did not believe he had to prove his kingliness to anyone. He would sit on a carpet instead of the throne and would not hear of his nobles standing while he sat (usually a practise to show respect to the sultan). He was so patient and just that he would spend hours listening to the complaints of his subjects everyday. Like any Afghan warrior leader, he would distribute war booty equally among his troops. He communicated man to man with his troops and if anyone was displeased he personally saw to it that amends were made. The upshot was that his army enthusiastically followed him everywhere. Bahlol Lodi successfully ruled an empire that extended upto Rajasthan in the west and Gwalior in the south. He was the first ruler to actually pierce through traditional Rajput strongholds. But for all his goodness, he did not hesitate to employ all means fair or foul to get what he wanted.



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