Bahlul Lodi

Eyridiki Sellou | Feb 20, 2023

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Bahlūl Khān Lōdī In pashto بهلول لودهی (... - July 12, 1489) was an Afghan leader.

He was a Pashtun chieftain of the Lōdī tribe. Founder of the Lodi dynasty that ruled the Sultanate of Delhi after the abdication of the last pretender of the Sayyid dynasty. Bahlūl became Sultan on April 19, 1451 (855 AH).

Bahlūl's grandfather, Malik Bahram Lōdī, was a Pashtun chieftain of the Lodi. He served under the governor of Multan, Malik Mardan Dawlat. Malik Bahram had five sons. The eldest, Malik Sulṭān Shāh Lōdī, served in turn under the Sayyid dynasty ruler, Khiḍr Khān, and distinguished himself by killing in battle one of his ruler's chief enemies, Mallu Iqbāl Khān. He was rewarded with the title of Islām Khān and in 1419 was appointed governor of Sirhind. Bahlūl, son of Malik Kala, younger brother of Malik Sulṭān, married the daughter of his uncle Malik Sulṭān. In Islamic (and other) cultures, marriage to a cousin is called a "preferential marriage" by anthropologists, since it does not disperse the family heritage.

As a young man, Bahlūl was involved in the horse trade and on one occasion sold his well-bred horses to Sultan Sayyid Muḥammad Shāh. As payment he was granted a pargana (administrative unit, productive of income) and thus earned the title of amīr (Emir). After Malik Sulṭān's death, he became governor of Sirhind and was then allowed to extend his rule to Lahore as well. Once, Sultan Muḥammad Shāh asked him for help when the Sultan of Malwa, Maḥmūd Shāh I invaded his territories. Bahlūl joined the sultanal army with 20000 mounted soldiers. Because of his cunning skills he was able to be considered victorious over the invading army, and Sultan Muḥammad Shāh bestowed on him the honorific title of Khān-i Khānan (Lord of Lords) and accepted Bahlūl's accomplished occupation of large parts of the Punjab.

In 1443, Bahlūl attacked Delhi, but unsuccessfully. During the reign of the last member of the Sayyid dynasty, Sultan ʿĀlam Shāh, in 1447 a further attempt to conquer Delhi and the Sultanate was implemented by Bahlūl, but again unsuccessfully. Finally, however, when ʿĀlam Shāh retreated to Bada'un in 1448, a minister of ʿĀlam Shāh, Ḥamīd Khān, invited him to occupy the throne of Delhi. After ʿĀlam Shāh's voluntary abdication, Bahlūl Shāh ascended the throne on April 19, 1451 and took the title Bahlūl Shāh Ghāzī. ʿĀlam Shāh continued to live in Bada'un until his death in July 1478.

After his accession to the throne, Bahlūl decided to eliminate Ḥamīd Khān. His cousin and brother-in-law Malik Maḥmūd Khān, namely Quṭb al-Dīn Khān (governor of Samana) imprisoned Ḥamīd Khān.

In 1479, Sultan Bahlūl Lōdī defeated and annexed to his own domains those of the Sharqi dynasty that governed the Sultanate of Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. Bahlūl put much effort into stopping rebellions and insurgencies in his territories, and extended his control over Gwalior, Jaunpur and the northern part of Uttar Pradesh. Exactly like the previous Sultans of Delhi, he elected Delhi as his capital.

In 1486, he appointed his son Babrak Shāh Viceroy of Jaunpur. In time, the choice proved problematic, so much so that a second son of his, Niẓām Khān (Sikandar Lōdī) was appointed successor, however, generating fierce confrontation after Bahlūl's death in July of.

The site of his burial is not certain.

Bahlūl married twice:


  1. Bahlul Lodi
  2. Bahlul Lodi
  3. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996). The New Islamic Dynasties. Columbia University Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-0231107143.
  4. ^ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006). India Before Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780521005395.
  5. ^ Sengupta, Sudeshna (2008). History & Civics 9. Ratna Sagar (P) Limited. p. 126. ISBN 9788183323642.
  6. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 122–125. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  7. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, New York City, NY, Columbia University Press, 1996, p. 304.
  8. ^ Catherine B. Asher and Cynthia Talbot, India Before Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 116.
  9. ^ Sudeshna Sengupta, History & Civics 9, p. 126.
  10. ^ Sailendra Sen, A Textbook of Medieval Indian History, Primus Books, 2013, pp. 122–125, ISBN 978-93-80607-34-4.
  11. Simon Digby: The Tomb of Buhlul Lodi. In: The Bulletin of SOAS, Vol. 38, No. 3, 1975, S. 550–561.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Iqtidar Alam Khan, 2008.

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