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Sultan Sikandar Lodhi (1488-1518 AD)

Sultan Sikandar Lodhi (1488-1518 AD)

After the death of Behlol Lodhi, Nizam Khan, the son of Behlol and Bibi Ambha was nominated as the next king while the other chiefs desired to put Barbak Shah, the ruler of Jaunpur and other son of Behlol. Finally Nizam Khan sat on the throne titled as Sikandar Lodhi on July 15, 1489 AD but Barbak Khan declared his independence in Jaunpur.

Sikandar Lodhi did not avenge after defeating him and reappointed him as the governor of Jaunpur. He came on good terms with Alam Khan, his uncle who tried to seize the throne in the opinion of Sikandar Lodhi.


Sikandar Lodhi marched towards UP to curtail the rebel landlords therein and also conquered Bihar and appointed Dariya Khan Lobani its governor. Azam Humayun, his son was given the responsibilities of Turhat after conquering it. He invaded Bengal but he came to the table of negotiation with Sultan Ala-ud-Din, the ruler of Bengal agreeing on the terms that both the parties would not undermine the cause of the other and that the escaped rebels from Delhi would not be canopied in Bengal. He tried his level best to conquer Gwalior Fort but could not realize his dream even after attacking it five times. He made his inroads by entering Narwar, a place near Gwalior after a siege of eleven months. The people were suffocated to starve on account of the consistent blockage which forced them to bow down before the Sultan. He was again defeated by Maharaja Man Singh, the ruler of Gwalior.

Religious policy of Sikandar Lodhi

Sultan Sikandar Lodhi has been questioned on his policy of religious tolerance though he has been reported by the chroniclers as a kind ruler. He is said to burn a Hindu Pandit (religious entity) alive. The Pandit was found guilty of saying that Hinduism and Islam were the same if practiced with the sincerity and devotion. Historians have found him razing the Hindu temples and constructing mosques instead. He also forbade the Hindus from bathing into the Muslim bath rooms and handed over the pieces of the broken idols to the butchers to use them as weights.

Callousness to the nobles

Sultan adopted a stern policy which was contrary to the Sultan Behlol Lodhi. He ordered them to be accountable to the finance department which noticed the embezzlements of some of the nobles. Chiefs and noble guilty of any misappropriation were severely punished along with the retrieval of the misused money. Due to his policy, some of the elites tried to displace him and put Fateh Khan (his brother) as king but Fateh Khan unfolded the conspiracy of the nobles to the Sultan.

Agra in his age

In 1504 AD Sultan Sikandar Lodhi populated a city near Agra which was named as Sikandra after his name. Sultan made it his capital to supervise the areas of Rajputana and (present) UP. This city was crushed under a terrible earthquake on July 6, 1505 AD.

Remarkable works in his age

Sikandar Lodhi came up as a capable ruler who expanded the Lodhi Empire to Bihar and Gwalior. He brought his own natives Afghan tribe under him through his strategy and expanded his empire to Bihar and Gwalior. His diplomacy with Ala-ud-Din can be quoted as his political approach in that age. Also his trade across the boundaries of the empire shows his keen interest in the financial affairs of the state. The city of Agra is accredited to be commissioned by him in 1503 AD. He built mosques in it and gave new basis to the city. His poetry penned under the name of Gulrukh enjoys a special status in the history of his age. Being fond of learning, he ordered to translate the great works on medicine in Sanskrit to Persian. Persian was made the official language of accountancy in his regime.

Sultan Sikandar Lodhi was a generous ruler who distributed wealth on Fridays among the poor and down trodden strata of the state. He provided them with blankets and quilts in the dead of winter. “Langurs” (food houses) were made to provide free food to the needy. On the occasions of Eids (Muslim festivals) and Milad-ud-Nabi, (the birthday of the Holy Prophet Peace be upon Him), he used to release the prisoners. The lists of the poor people were updated after every six months and they were provided with the food for the next six months. The fame of Sultan Sikandar Lodhi attracted the religious scholars from Bukhara, Iran, Arab and other Muslim countries. Sultan fixed their salaries and provided them with the opportunity to work whole-heartedly on their research.  The author of Tarikh-e-Daoodi mentions two bad habits which were shaving and hearing music. Sultan Sikandar Lodhi died in 1517 AD and was buried in Lodhi Gardens of Delhi.


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