The Delhi Sultans
Politics of Medieval India at the end of Harsha’s rule was chaotic. There was emergence of regional powers and of Rajputs. Later, Tomar Rajputs declared Delhi as their capital. They were defeated by Chauhans of Ajmer in 1165 AD. After them, for over three centuries, polity in the city of Delhi was characterised by the rule of the Delhi Sultans. Expansion of the Sultanate was slow and went through different stages. It favoured special slaves, called Bandagan, who were carefully trained to man important political offices. Bandagans were loyal to the Sultans but not the heirs.
Under the Sultanate, the landholder - muqti lead military campaigns and maintained law and order in their iqtas. Muqtis collected revenues as salary which was checked by accountants of the state. They also paid their soldiers from the revenue collected. Under Sultanate rule, three types of taxes were collected: Kharaj, Charai and Gharai. Mongol invasions increased in Alauddin Khalji’s rule (1300s) and continued till the end of Muhammad Tughluq’s rule. Alauddin Khalji successfully withstood the Mongol invasion. Muhammed Tughluq adopted Offensive Measures. In the fifteenth Century, Sayyids and Lodis ruled from Delhi and Agra, while Jaunpur, Bengal, Malwa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the entire South India had independent rulers. Sher Shah Suri, defeated Humayun in 1539–1540, after which he captured Delhi and established his dynasty.