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The Sayyids and Lodhi Sultans [1414 AD - 1526 AD]


The Tughlaq dynasty ended soon after the Timurs invasion but the sultanate survived, though it was merely a shadow of its former self. Timurs nominee captured Delhi and was proclaimed the new sultan and the first of Sayyid Dynasty (1414 AD - 1451 AD), which was to rule the earlier half of the fifteenth century. Their rule was short-lived and confined to a radius of some 200 miles around Delhi. They kept the machinery going until a more capable dynasty, the Lodhis, took over. The Lodhis were of pure Afghan origin, and brought an eclipses to the Turkish nobility.

Bahlul Lodhi established himself in Punjab after the Timur's invasion. The most important Lodhi Sultan was Sikandar Lodhi (1489 - 1517), who controlled the Ganga Valley as far as Bengal. He moved his capital from Delhi, to be able to control the kingdom better, to a new town which later become famous as the city of Agra. The last, Lodhi Ibrahim, asserted his absolute power and did not consider the tribal feelings. This lead to his making enemies with them. Finally they plotted with Babar and succeeded in overthrowing him in 1526 at the first battle of Panipat.

As the power of the Sultanate declined, a number of other kingdoms arose.
In Western India - Malwa and Gujarat,
In Eastern India - Jaunpur and Bengal,
In Northern India - Kashmir, and
In the Deccan and the south - The Vijayanagara and the Bahamani.

As the Islamic population in India swelled, the identity of the Indian Moslem acquired a new definition. Islam now actively influenced most facets of life. The Hindu elite adopted the purdha system and their language began to be written in Arabic script, leading to a new language, Urdu. Calligraphy came into its own and was raised to the highest form of aesthetic expression.

Around this time on the north-western part of India, especially around Punjab a new religion Sikhism started to gain popularity