Authors: Dr. Roohi Abida Ahmad
The present article examines the establishment of two political powers - the Sultanate of Delhi, and of Mongols under Changis Khan in central Asia. It also analyses how the rise of the Mongol powers became a serious threat to the Delhi Sultanate. Generally, the Indo-Mongolian relations is seen in the context of continual warfare for more than a hundred years, but there are other aspects too, which has not, yet, been analysed by the historians, are unrestricted trade and commerce carried on by the merchants between these two empires, the flight of princes and political dignitaries from one empire to the other due to court intrigues. Besides, it also examines the exchange of gifts and diplomatic relationship between the two rival powers. This article also compares the basic structure of Indian polity and Mongol institutions and society in the 13th century that helped them in becoming the greatest conquerors of the world. What were the reasons that the early Turkish rulers lagged behind, in strategy and enforcement of discipline amongst their soldiers, has also been debated.
In the course of conquest, the Mongols had devastated and destroyed all the great centres of Muslim civilization and culture like Samarqand, Bukhara, Khwarazm, Naishapur, Merv. From Samarqand, Chengiz Khan marched to the bank of the Indus; no one along the route of his march was allowed to survive. However, India was the only country where the victims of the Mongol disaster could find refuge, security and livelihood. A large number of refugees belonging to distinguished families came to India and got absorbed in the administration of Iltutmish’s empire.
The present article is based on primary sources of the period such as “Tabaqat-i Nasiri” by Minhaj-i Siraj, “Tarikh-i Jahan Gushan” by Ata Malik Juwainis, and “Jami-ut-Tawarikh” by Rashiduddin fazlullah. Almost in all the sources whether they are in Persians, Chinese or Indian, all of them have commented very elaborately on the rise of the Mongols, the extent of destruction by them and their success as well as their effect on posterity. This article re-examines the outcome of Indo- Mongolian relationship and its significance to social, economic and political developments.
Keywords: Chengiz Khan, the Mongols, Delhi Sultanate, warfare, trade and commerce, Culture