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The Sultanate of Delhi
Starting Resource: 42
-- From Land: 33
-- From Trade: 9
Capital Territory: Delhi
Nation Class: Large
Total Starting Military
Ships of the Line: 1
Click on the map to view your nation's position and starting troops
According to Indian folklore, Delhi was to be the site of the magnificent and opulent
Indraprastha, capital of the Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC.
Hindu texts state that the city of Delhi used to be referred to in Sanskrit as Hastinapur,
which means "elephant-city". The Tomara Rajput dynasty founded Lal Kot in 736 near the Qutub
Minar. The Prithviraj Raso names the Rajput Anangpal as the founder of Delhi.
During the last quarter of the twelfth century, Muhammad of Ghor invaded the Indo-Gangetic
plain, conquering in succession Ghazni, Multan, Sindh, Lahore, and Delhi. Qutb-ud-din Aybak,
one of his generals, proclaimed himself Sultan of Delhi and established the first dynasty of
the Delhi Sultanate, the Slave or Mamluk dynasty (mamluk means "slave") after Muhammad's death
in 1206. The territory under control of the Sultans expanded rapidly. By mid-century, northern
India from the Khyber Pass to Bengal was under control of the Sultanate, although the northwest
was contested with the Mongols. Iltutmish (1210-35), and Balban (1266-87) were among the
dynasty's most well-known rulers. Faced with revolts by conquered territories and rival
families, the Mamluk dynasty came to an end in 1290.
The Khilji or Khalji dynasty, who had established themselves as rulers of Bengal in the time
of Muhammad Ghori, took control of the empire in a coup which eliminated the last of the
Mamluks. The Khiljis conquered Gujarat and Malwa, and sent the first expeditions south of the
Narmada River, as far south as Tamil Nadu. The Delhi Sultanate rule continued to extend into
southern India, first by the Delhi Sultans, then by the breakaway Bahmani Sultanate of
The Delhi Sultanate is the only Sultanate to stake a claim to possessing one of, if not the
only female ruler in India, Razia Sultan (1236-1240). While her reign was unfortunately short
she is regarded well in the eyes of historians.
The Sultans of Delhi enjoyed cordial, if superficial, relations with other Muslim rulers in
the Near East but owed them no allegiance. The Sultans based their laws on the Qur'an and the
sharia and permitted non-Muslim subjects to practice their religion only if they paid jizya or
head tax. The Sultans ruled from urban centers--while military camps and trading posts provided
the nuclei for towns that sprang up in the countryside. Perhaps the greatest contribution of
the Sultanate was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent from the potential
devastation of the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the thirteenth century.
The Sultanate of Dehli begins the game with a large economy, but an army spread thin to defend
its land against initial attacks. Its first order of business will be to secure its own borders,
then establish alliances that can let it expand. Dehli can expand south the secure the Indian
sub continent, venture north and east in Samarkand, Herat and the Wite Sheep Turks or Delhi can
build upon its navy further and seek expansion by sea.