Destruction of Hindu heritage and common civilians by a tyrannical ruler named Ala-ud-Din Khilji

Posted on 2018-01-30 14:31:27 in Medieval History of India


Ala-ud-Din Khilji was unbeatable in his thirst for the power and blood. He ruled from 1296 to 1316. He was the worst amongst the 34 Sultans in terms of genocide. Cruel to the core, he assumed power after murdering Jalaluddin Khalji who was his uncle and also father-in-law! He also killed his cousins so that he was free to assume power unchallenged.

I have over-heard the arguments by left leaning and Islamic apologists that Ala-ud-Din Khilji was a great ruler because of his reforms. I read in one of the facebook posts

Ala-ud-Din Khilji was the man to bring into existence the Land Taxation reforms that were even taken up by the major ruling dynasties in the Indian Subcontinent. He was an amazing Economic Policy maker who did introduce the Price Control and Market Reforms with so much efficiency that he managed to have a standing army of 4 Lakh horsemen. Sources also suggest that he even banned alcohol and prostitution when there were famines during his rule.

While some of the above arguments in his favour are true. But left historians will not tell you that Khalji banned alcohol to prevent rebellions because he believed that the rampant use of alcoholic drinks enabled people to assemble, lose their senses and think of rebellion.

Alauddin banned prostitution, and ordered all existing prostitutes of Delhi to be married. Firishta states that he classified prostitutes into three grades, and fixed their fees accordingly. However, historian Kishori Saran Lal dismisses this account as inaccurate. Alauddin also took steps to curb adultery by ordering the male adulterer to be castrated and the female adulterer to be stoned to death.

However we can't judge any rulers only by his reforms. By that logic Hitler will be a great man and a great ruler. To prove my point that contrary to popular belief in left lobby, Khalji of a tyrant I am covering cruel things done by him against innocent civilians during his rule (1296-1316).

Religious violence during his rule

His army commanders such as Ulugh Khan, Nusrat Khan, Khusro Khan and Malik Kafur attacked, killed, looted and enslaved non-Muslim people from West, Central and South India.

The Khalji dynasty's court historian wrote :

The (Muslim) army left Delhi in November 1310. After crossing rivers, hills and many depths, the elephants were sent, in order that the inhabitants of Ma'bar might be made aware of the day of resurrection had arrived amongst them; and that all the burnt Hindus would be despatched by the sword to their brothers in hell, so that fire, the improper object of their worship, might mete out proper punishment to them.

----Amir Khusrow, Táríkh-i 'Aláí

The campaign of violence, abasement, and humiliation was not merely the works of Muslim army, the kazis, muftis and court officials of Allauddin recommended it on religious grounds. Mughisuddin of Bayánah advised Allauddin to "keep Hindus in subjection, in abasement, as a religious duty, because they are the most inveterate enemies of the Prophet, and because the Prophet has commanded us to slay them, plunder them, and make them captive; saying - convert them to Islam or kill them, enslave them and spoil their wealth and property."

The Muslim army led by Malik Kafur pursued two violent campaigns into south India, between 1309 and 1311, against three Hindu kingdoms of Deogiri (Maharashtra), Warangal (Telangana) and Madurai (Tamil Nadu). Thousands were slaughtered. Halebid temple was destroyed. The temples, cities, and villages were plundered. The loot from south India was so large, that historians of that era state a thousand camels had to be deployed to carry it to Delhi. In the booty from Warangal was the Koh-i-Noor diamond. 

In 1311, Malik Kafur entered the Srirangam temple, massacred the Brahmin priests of the temple who resisted the invasion for three days, plundered the temple treasury and the storehouse and desecrated and destroyed numerous religious icons.

Unfair treatment of civilians in the invaded states

Let's have a look on some of his famous invasions :

1. Gujarat Invasion (1297-99) : In 1299, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent an army to ransack the Gujarat region of India, which was ruled by the Vaghela king Karna. The Delhi forces, led by Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan, plundered several major cities of Gujarat, including Anahilavada (Patan), Khambhat, Surat and Somnath.

Ulugh Khan's army thoroughly sacked the wealthy capital city of Anahilavada (modern Patan, called Nahrwala in Muslim chronicles). Karna's wealth and his wives, including his chief queen Kamala Devi, were captured by the invaders. They  destroyed hundreds of towns, including Asapalli (modern Ahmedabad), Vanmanthali and Surat. The invaders also looted several monasteries, palaces and temples.

Alauddin's army also demolished the Somnath temple. According to the contemporary chronicler Amir Khusrau, the temple was bent into the direction of Kaaba. The invaders looted the temple's wealth, and carried its main idol to Delhi, where its fragments were thrown to be trampled under the feet of Muslims.

Image : Ruins of Somnath Temple in 1869

Wassaf describes the conquests stating:

In short, the Muhammadan army brought the country to utter ruin and destroyed the lives of the inhabitants and plundered the cities and captured their offsprings, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden under foot, the largest of which was one called Somnat...The fragments were conveyed to Delhi and the entrance of Jami Masjid was paved with them, that people may remember and talk of this brilliant victory.

They also captured a handsome Hindu boy (called Chand Ram) who was presented to Sultan Allauddin; and he became the Sultan’s lover, converted to Islam, and he was none other than the infamous Malik Kafur (Muslim name) who in due course became a General and had the distinction of invading the South and razing down Halebid and many other famous temples!

Reference : Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Gujarat

2. Ranthambore Invasion : In 1301, Allauddin led his forces and attacked Ranthambore which was  ruled by Hammir Dev, a descendant of Prithviraj Chauhan. Hammir was a brave warrior and initially had the upper hand. However, some treacherous officers (Ratipala and Ranamalla) joined hands with Allauddin who won an ultimate victory after a long siege. The Rajput females committed “jauhar” rather than becoming slaves to the Sultan. Allauddin also destroyed the temples of Sawai-Madhopur and Jhain and had a large number of inhabitants killed.

The Mongol leaders who helped Hammir Dev included Muhammad Shah (called Mahimashahi in Hammira Mahakavya), his brother Garbharuka, Tichara and Vaichara (the last three are Sanskritized names given in Hammira Mahakavya: the original names are not certain). So the entire argument that Hindus would have been extint if Mongols had defeated Khalji doesn't make sense.

Source : Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Ranthambore

2. Invasion of Chittor : Contrary to popular belief that Khalji attacked Chittor to expand his kingdom. The Sultan attacked the fort but could not force an entry, but thanks to a very long siege ( in 1303), the provisions inside the fort got badly depleted. Rana Ratan Singh then threw open the gates of the fort and he and his men laid down their lives fighting against a larger force. Rani Padmini and the women committed “jauhar” by falling into burning pyres.

According to his courtier Amir Khusrow, he ordered a massacre of 30,000 local Hindus after this conquest.

Image : Jauhar Kund

3. Conquest of Malwa (Ujjain) : In 1305, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent an army to capture the Paramara kingdom of Malwa in central India. The Delhi army defeated and killed the powerful Paramara minister Goga, while the Paramara king Mahalakadeva took shelter in the Mandu fort.

The Delhi chronicler Amir Khusrau states that the battlefield was "bloody with mud" as far as the human eye could see. Goga's horse was caught in a mire, and he was killed by arrows. His head was sent to Delhi, where it was trampled under the feet of horses at the palace gates. 

Still want to believe he was not a psycho freak? 

Chanderi was attacked next by Allauddin and the ancient temples were demolished. In this way, he took his destruction toward Hindus and their temples as far as he could”.

Source : Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Malwa

4. Invasion of South : Allauddin Khalji was the first Muslim King to invade the south. Malik Kafur led the southern expeditions that resulted in immense killing and looting if not territorial acquisition. Hindu temples and sculptures were mindlessly destroyed during the campaigns which covered Devagiri (Maharashtra), Warangal (in Andhra, the capital of Kakatiya kingdom), Dvarasamudra (Halebid, in Karnataka ruled by Hoysala king), Madurai, Sri Rangam and Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) and Malabar. According to Muslim historian Ziauddin Barani, Kafur came back to Delhi with 241 tonnes of gold, 20,000 horses and 612 elephants laden with the looted treasure. He appropriated the famous Kohinoor diamond from Warangal which finally landed on Queen Victoris’s crown.


Alauddin's administration meted out brutal punishments to the mutineers' families in Delhi, including killings of children in front of their mothers. According to the Delhi chronicler Ziauddin Barani, the practice of punishing wives and children for the crimes of men started with this incident in Delhi.

It is pretty much evident that in almost all the invasion he targetted innocent civilians, Hindus and temples. Any ruler doing that can't be considered great. 





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