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In this agreeable locality, as well as in the king's palace, one
sees numerous running streams and canals formed of chiselled
stone, polished and smooth. . . . This empire contains so great
a population that it would be impossible to give an idea of it
without entering into extensive details. In the king's palace
are several cells, like basins, filled with bullion, forming one
mass. . . . The throne, which was of extraordinary size, was
made of gold, and enriched with precious stones of extreme
value.'

Government, &c., of the kingdom. Portuguese authors,
especially one named Nuniz, who wrote about 1535, give a
vivid picture of the government, administration, and institu-
tions of the Vijayanagar kingdom or empire in the days of its
splendour.

The government was of the most absolute kind possible,
the king's power over everybody, great or small, being without
check of any kind. All the attendance on the king was done
by women, many of whom were armed.

' These kings of Bisnaga eat all sorts of things, but not the
flesh of oxen or cows, which they never kill in all the country
of the heathen because they worship them. They eat mutton,
pork, venison, partridges, hares, doves, quail, and all kinds of
birds ; even sparrows, and rats, and cats, and lizards, all of
which are sold in the city of Bisnaga.' *

The empire was divided into about two hundred provinces
or districts, each under the control of a governor, who was
absolute in his domain, but was himself entirely at the mercy
of the king. Each governor had to supply a certain number
of equipped soldiers. The army thus raised numbered fully
a million of men. A huge revenue was collected. While the
king and nobles lived in luxury, the common people were ground
down to the dust, and left barely enough to support life.

The punishments for crime were of appalling severity.

1 Bisnaga is the Portuguese form of the name. ' Heathen ' means Hindus,
as distinguished from ' Moors ', or Muslims.



THE SULTANATE OF DELHI 141

' For a thief, whatever theft he commits, howsoever little it
be, they forthwith cut off a foot and a hand, and if his theft be
a great one he is hanged with a hook under his chin.'

It is not surprising to be told that thieves were ' very few '.
Impalement and the other horrible penalties then common
throughout India were also inflicted.

Duelling was permitted, with the sanction of the minister,
and persons who fought duels were held in high honour. The
victor was given the estate of the opponent whom he killed. 2
Suttee (satl) was widely practised, and when the king died,
four or five hundred of his women had to burn with him.
Telugu women were buried alive with their husbands.

Such was life under a purely Hindu government in the early
part of the sixteenth century.

Later history of Vijayanagar ; Krishnaraya Deva. As already
observed, the external history of the Vijayanagar kingdom
may be summed up in the statement that the Rayas were
engaged continually in fighting their Musalman rivals at
first the Bahmani kingdom, and then the five sultanates of
the Deccan. The most notable of the Rayas was Krishnaraya
Deva (1509-29) who overcame the armies of Orissa, Golkonda,
and Bijapur. He was the last great Hindu sovereign of
Southern India. Krishnaraya Deva was famous for his re-
ligious zeal and catholicity.

' His kindness to the fallen enemy, his acts of mercy and
charity towards the residents of captured cities, his great
military prowess, which endeared him alike to his feudatory
chiefs and to his subjects, the royal reception and kindness that
he invariably bestowed upon foreign embassies, his imposing
personal appearance, his genial look and polite conversation
which distinguished a pure and dignified life, his love for

1 Mr. Frederick Fawcett informs me that in the Malabar District the
custom of duelling among the Nairs was well remembered less than twenty
years ago, and celebrated in popular ballads. The weapons used were
swords.



142 FROM A. D. 1193 TO 1526

literature and for religion, and his solicitude for the welfare
of his people, and above all, the almost fabulous wealth that
he conferred as endowments on temples and Brahmans, mark
him out indeed as the greatest of the South Indian monarchs
who sheds a lustre on the pages of history.' 1

Battle of Talikota. When Sadasiva became nominal Raya,
the actual power was wielded by his brother-in-law, Ramaraja,
whose arrogance so incensed his neighbours that the five sultans
laid aside their private quarrels to combine against the common
Hindu enemy. Enormous armies on both sides met in battle
in January 1565, at a spot to the north of the Tungabhadra
not far from the capital. The battle is known in history by
the name of Talikota, although that village is distant from the
scene of the conflict. The Hindu host was utterly defeated,
and Ramaraja was captured and killed. His splendid city was
mercilessly sacked, and ever since has lain desolate.

Grant of the site of Madras. The history of the kingdom
of Vijayanagar as an important dominant state ends with the
disaster of Talikota, but the successors of Sadasiva long ruled
a considerable principality in the south, with their capital
at first at Penukonda, and afterwards at Chandragiri. In
1640 (N.S.) the Raja of Chandragiri, in consideration of a
yearly rent, executed a conveyance of a strip of sandbank,
situated on the bank of the Couum river to the north of the
decayed Portuguese settlement of San Thome, in favour of
Mr. Francis Day, a British merchant, Member of Council in the
East India Company's Agency at Masulipatam. On the site
so granted the city of Madras was founded. The gold plate on
which the conveyance is said to have been recorded is alleged
to have been lost during the French occupation of Madras,
1746-9.

The Hindu state of Mewar (Udaipur). The Rana of Mewar,
who belongs to the Sisodia or Gahlot clan of Rajputs, is
admittedly the premier Rajput prince. His ancestors never

1 Krishna Sastri, ' The Second Vijayanagara Dynasty ', in Ann. Rep. A. 8.,
India, 1908-9, p. 186.



THE SULTANATE OF DELHI 143

permitted the purity of their blood to be defiled by marriage
of their daughters with the Mughal emperors, and their state
never submitted to Musalman power, except to Jahangir on
honourable terms. The ancient capital, the famous fortress of
Chitor,is supposed to have been occupied in the eighth century.
Its three sieges, by Ala-ud-dm Khilji in 1303, by Bahadur
Shah of Gujarat in 1534, and by Akbar in 1567, gave occasion
for the display of prodigies of valour by the Rajput defenders,
and for ghastly tragedies in the sacrifice of the women by fire
(johar) to save them from capture. After the last siege the
Rana changed his residence to Udaipur, which has been the
capital ever since. The two towers at Chitor known as the
Kirti Stambh and Jai Stambh are notable works of Hindu
art. The conflict between Rana Sanga and Babur will be
noticed in the next chapter.

The Hindu kingdom of Orissa. Orissa, including the modern
Division of that name in the province of Bihar and Orissa,
as well as the Ganjam and Vizagapatam Districts of Madras,
always lay by reason of its situation outside the main stream
of Indian history. During the greater part of the period of
the sultanate of Delhi the country was governed by the Eastern
Ganga dynasty. The first of this line in Orissa, Anantavarman
Cholaganga, reigned for seventy-one years (A. D. 1076-1147),
and established his power over the whole territory between the
Ganges and Godavari. The temple of Jagannath at Puri was
built under his orders towards the close of the eleventh century.

Muhammadan attacks on Orissa. The Muhammadan
historians apply the name of Jajnagar to Orissa. The first
Muhammadan inroad into the province was made by an officer
of Muhammad-i-Bakhtyar in 1205. Later incursions were led
by Firoz Shah and others, tempted by the facilities for obtain-
ing elephants in the country. Akbar subdued the kingdom
more or less completely, and attached it to the Suba of Bengal.
The way had been prepared for this measure by the invasion
of Kala Pahar, a general of the sultan of Bengal, a few years
earlier.



144 FROM A. D 1193 TO 1526

Orissan architecture. The province offers a long series of
fine examples of the ' Indo-Aryan ' style of temples with heavy
steeples and few pillars. The noble temple of the Sun
(Konarka, Kanaruc) at Konakona is proved by inscriptions to
have been built or rebuilt by Raja Nrisimha in the thirteenth
century (1238-64), but looks, and probably is in part, much
older. The magnificent group of temples at Bhuvanesvar
appears to extend over a considerable period.

Government of the sultans of Delhi. The government of
the sultans of Delhi was an absolute despotism, tempered by
rebellion and assassination. The control over distant provinces
was lax and slight, and the bonds which connected them with
Delhi were easily broken in the disturbed times which followed
the tyranny of Muhammad bin Tughlak. The subordinate
governments were equally despotic, and when the rulers were
Musalmans the Hindus generally seem to have had a bad time.
Firoz Shah Tughlak was the only sultan who cared to execute
public works for the general benefit.

Literature and architecture. Many of the Muhammadan
princes had a nice taste in Persian literature, which they
liberally patronized, and, as we have seen (ante, p. 105). the
Hindu Rajas often maintained brilliant courts and encouraged
Sanskrit letters. The numerous splendid architectural works
in the various provinces have been noticed, as well as some of
the buildings with which Delhi was adorned. The name of
Delhi is applied for convenience to a series of cities beginning
with the Old Delhi (Dili!) of Ananga Pa-la in the eleventh
century and extending to the New Delhi (Shahjahanabad) of
Shahjahan in the seventeenth. Yet another Delhi is now
being built to serve as the official capital of India from 1912,
in pursuance of the command of H.M. the King-Emperor.
The architecture of the sultanate that is to say, of the
Muhammadan buildings was designed in various foreign
styles, executed and modified by Hindu architects, whom
the conquerors were obliged to employ. The term ' Pathan
architecture ' is as erroneous and misleading as the corre-



THE SULTANATE OF DELHI 145

spending terms 'Pa than kings' and ' Pa than empire'. The
architects imitated various Muslim buildings in Damascus,
Mecca, and other places.

The Urdu language. The Urdu, or Persianized Hindustani,
language grew up gradually as a means of communication
between the foreign conquerors, who generally spoke either
Turk! or Persian, and their Hindu subjects. The Western
Hindi dialect of Delhi and the upper Doab is the basis of the
language now called Hindustani. When Persian and Arabic
words and phrases are freely admitted, that language takes
the name of Urdu. The word Urdu is the Turk! for ' camp ',
and is the origin of the English word ' horde '. It was specially
applied to the encampment of the warrior Musalman kings,
whose camp was their court, and in the Mughal period coins are
often marked as struck in the urdu, or royal camp. The Urdu
language, therefore, means the form of Hindustani, or polished
Western Hindi, spoken about the court, and thus diffused, in
several varieties, over the greater part of India. The earliest
Urdu literature, written in verse, in the Mekhta dialect, was com-
posed in the Deccan towards the close of the sixteenth century.
Urdu prose is a recent development under English influence.

Spread of Muhammadanism. We have seen something of
the ferocity displayed by the early Muhammadan conquerors
against Hindus. Jains, and Buddhists, all equally hated because
of their use of images in worship. Occasionally a Hindu Raja
and his followers were tempted to save their lives by professing
the creed of Islam, and many of the Indian Musalman families
of the present day are descended from converts made at the
point of the sword in the period of the sultanate. Desire
to escape payment of the jizya or poll-tax imposed on all non-
Muhammadans was a powerful motive which influenced many
conversions, especially among the lower classes. Constant
immigration of Musalmans also went on, and the natural
increase of the offspring of such settlers soon formed a large
Muhammadan element in many parts of India, most numerous
at and near the capital cities.




GURU NANAK



FROM A. D. 1193 TO 1526 147

Causes of Muslim victories. The student may ask for an

explanation of the fact that the Muslim armies were almost
always victorious over much more numerous Hindu hosts.
The combatants on both sides were equally brave and ready
to sacrifice life for the sake of a cause, and the Hindu failure
was not due to cowardice. But the Muhammadans were in
practice the better fighting men, because they were better
equipped, animated by a fierce fanatical spirit which wel-
comed death, and bound together by a sentiment of equality
and unity. They were free, too, from the excessive respect for
the traditions of antiquity which fettered the freedom of
Hindu action. The invaders, coming from colder climates
and using a meat diet, were personally more hardy and
vigorous on the whole than their opponents. They were
better provided with armour, and from the time of Babur
utilized the European invention of big guns. Islam regards
all Muslims as equal and as brethren. The Muhammadans,
rich and poor, freemen and slaves, fought with one mind, and
so had an enormous advantage over the Hindus, broken up
by endless caste divisions and sectional jealousies. Union
was strength, as it always is. The comparatively small
numbers of the invaders forced them to fight for victory or
death. They had no fear of death, but rather longed for it as
the gate to the paradise reserved for the ghazl, the slayer of the
idolatrous infidel, whom it was a pleasure ' to send to hell '.
The Hindu could not look forward to any such special reward
for slaying a Musalman. The Indian generals thought too
much of antiquated rules of their shdstras, and relied too con-
fidently on their elephants. They had quite forgotten the
lesson taught them ages earlier by Alexander of Macedon, who
proved the uselessncss of elephants against horsemen and
archers well led by bold commanders. Ingenuity might, per-
haps, suggest other reasons, but so many may suffice.

Influence of Islam on Hinduism. The religion of the stran-
gers, with its insistence on the great doctrine that ' there is one
God', undoubtedly influenced the spirit of Hindu teaching



148 THE SULTANATE OF DELHI

and had much to do with the appearance of a number of
religious reformers who preached to the effect that all religions
are essentially the same, and all honour the one God under
different names.

Ramanuja, Ramanand, Kablr, Nanak, Chaitanya. Rama-
nuja, who lived at Srirangam in the south at the close of the
eleventh and in the first half of the twelfth century, is recog-
nized as one of the greatest of the teachers who gave special
devotion to the Deity in the form of Vishnu. ' It was the
school of Ramanuja ', Professor Barnett observes, ' that first
blended into a full harmony the voices of reason and of devotion
by worshipping a Supreme of infinitely blessed qualities both
in His heaven and as revealed to the soul of man in incarnate
experience ' a doctrine hardly to be distinguished in substance
from the Christian idea of the Incarnation. The teaching of
Ramanuja, which even in his lifetime was not confined to the
south, was propagated in the north during the fourteenth
century by Ramanand, who sought especially to save the souls
of the poorer and more despised classes. He preferred to
honour God under the name of Rama. The most renowned of
his twelve disciples was Kabir (A. D. 1380-1420), whose terse
sayings are on everybody's lips in Upper India. His teaching
appealed equally to Musalmans and Hindus. In the fifteenth
century, Nanak, the founder of the Sikh sect, taught his dis-
ciples on Kabir's lines, and had followers among the Musal-
mans as well as the Hindus. Bengal especially venerates the
memory of Chaitanya of Nuddea (Navadvipa, 1486-1534),
who denounced the use of animal food, the practice of bloody
sacrifice, and the use of stimulants. He, in common with
many other teachers, rejected the old Brahman doctrine of
salvation by knowledge, and pleaded that men and women
could be saved only by fervent living faith (bhakti) in a per-
sonal, loving God.

The doctrine of faith (bhakti}. This doctrine of bhakti,
which has much in common with some forms of Christianity,
may be traced back to the Bhagavad-glta (ante, p. 39), and lies at




CHAITANYA

(From a photo of a contemporary wooden statue preserved
at Pratapapur, Orissa, supplied by Babu N. N. Va&u.)



150 THE SULTANATE OF DELHI

the base of a great part of mediaeval and modern Hindu litera-
ture in the various vernaculars. The writers may be divided
into three classes according as the object of their worship is
Rama, Krishna, or some form of Siva or his consort. Tulsl
Das (ante, p. 40) (1532-1623) has done much to teach the
masses of the people in Upper India the beauty of faith in
Rama, the Saviour. Chaitanya found the objects of his devo-
tion in Krishna and his divine queen, Radha, and by the
addition of the feminine element produced a highly emotional
form of religion, congenial to the Bengali temperament.



BOOK IV

THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM A.D. 1526 TO 1761
CHAPTER XVI

Babur 1 ; Humayun ; Sher Shah and the Sur dynasty.

Early life of Babur. Babur (Zahir-ud-dln Muhammad), king
of Kabul, whom Daulat Khan called in as his ally against
Sultan Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi (ante, p. 129), was the most re-
markable prince of his age. Descended in the male line from
Timur, in the female from the stock of Chinghiz Khan, he
succeeded his father, Omar Shaikh, on the throne of the little
Central Asian kingdom of Ferghana or Khokand at the age of
eleven. In the course of a stormy youth he passed through
countlesa adventures, and by the time he was twenty-eight
years of age (A. D. 1511) had been driven out of his ancestral
realm and had twice won and lost the kingdom of Samarkand.
Seven years earlier he had seized Kabul, and from that time,
being disappointed in his ambition to restore the empire of
Timur in Central Asia, directed his thoughts and hopes towards
the rich plains of India.

Raids on India, A.D. 1505-25. In 1505 Babur occupied
Ghaznl and raided the Indian frontier as far as the Indus, but
he did not cross that river until 1519, when he effected a tem-
porary occupation of part of the Pan jab. That campaign was
notable for Babur's effective use of European artillery, then
a novelty in the East. In 1524, in response to the appeal of
Daulat Khan and of Alam Khan, the uncle and rival of Sultan
Ibrahim, he reached Lahore and Debalpur, sacking both. But
in consequence of Daulat Khan's desertion, Babur was obliged

1 Babur or Babur, not Babar (J. and Proc. A. S. B., 1910, voL vi, N.S.,
extra number, p. iv).





KABUK



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 153

to return to Kabul for reinforcements, and his final invasion
of India did not begin until November, 1525.

First battle of Panlpat, 1526. Babur's little force of less
than 12,000 men met the host of Sultan Ibrahim, estimated to
number about 100,000 men, on the plain of Panlpat, some fifty
miles to the north of Delhi, on April 21, 1526. The invader
had the advantage of possessing seven hundred field-guns ; the
sultan, after the Indian manner, relied on his elephants and,
like Porus, found them useless to protect his infantry against
cavalry well handled. Babur executed the manoeuvre which
Alexander had found so successful against Porus, and wheeling
his horsemen round with resistless speed, attacked the enemy's
rear. In the course of the forenoon the army of Delhi was
completely routed, and Sultan Ibrahim lay dead on the field
with fifteen thousand of his men. 'By the grace and mercy
of Almighty God ', Babur wrote, 'this difficult affair was made
easy to me, and that mighty army, in the space of half a day,
was laid in the dust.'

Babur proclaimed as Padshah. The victor, who used the title
of Padshah in preference to that of Sultan, quickly occupied
Delhi and Agra, being proclaimed sovereign at both cities on
Friday, April 27. Vast booty having been distributed, Babur's
troops, disgusted with the intense heat, longed to return to the
cool hills of Kabul, and were appeased with difficulty by a
speech from their commander.

Battle of Kanwaha or Sikri, 1527. During the short
remainder of his life Babur was employed in trying to secure
the foothold which he had obtained in the country, and had no
leisure to think of the problems of civil government. His
most formidable foe was the gallant Rana Sanga, lord of the
fortress of Chitor, chieftain of Mewar, head of the Rajput clans,
and leader of a confederacy comprising more than a hundred
Hindu princes. The Rana, the 'fragment of a man', a 'col-
lection of casualties ', whose valour in countless fights was
proved by the eighty wounds on his body, brought into the
field a huge army supposed to number 200,000. Babur's force,



154 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761

which was much inferior in numbers but superior in artillery
and generalship, met the Hindu host at Kanwaha (Kanwa,
Khanua, or Khanwah) near Sikri, about twenty miles from
Agra, on March 16, 1527. From morning until evening the
battle was fiercely contested, but was decided against the
Hindus by the tactics which had succeeded at Panipat. The
victory was complete, and the Rajput power was broken. The
storming of Chanderi, a strong fortress in the south-east of
Malwa, crowned the victory, and left Babur free to deal with
other enemies.

Battle of the Ghaghra (Gogra). Babur's third great Indian
battle was fought in May, 1529, near the confluence of the
Ghaghra with the Ganges, against the Afghan chiefs of Bihar
and Bengal, who had taken up the cause of Mahmud, the
brother of Sultan Ibrahim, who fell at Panipat. This conflict
too resulted in victory for the Padshah, who made a treaty
with Nasrat Shah, the independent king of Bengal, and became
the sovereign of Bihar. But Babur's sovereignty was of a very
precarious kind, and depended solely on the power of his
sword ; the task of converting a mere military occupation into
a well-ordered government was reserved for his grandson.

Death of Babur. Babur's stormy life ended in 1530, when
he was only forty-eight years of age. A pathetic story related in
an appendix to his Memoirs tells how his beloved son Humayun
was desperately ill with fever, and was believed to have been
saved by his father's taking the malady on himself. ' He
entered his son's chamber, and going to the head of the bed,
walked gravely three times round the sick man, saying the
while : " On me be all that thou art suffering." The prayer
was answered. The son regained health and the father died.
This touching incident happened at Sambhal in Rohilkhand.
On December 26, 1530, Babur passed away in his palace at
Agra. His dust lies in the garden below the hill at Kabul,
'the sweetest spot in the neighbourhood ', which he had chosen
to be his last resting-place.

Character of Babur. Few warrior princes have left behind



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 155

them a memory as pleasing as that of Babur. Like all the
kings of his family he loved literature and the society of
polished and learned men. In his inimitable Memoirs he has
drawn a living picture of himself, his virtues and vices, his
wisdom and his folly, which stands almost alone in literature.
Valiant, strong, and fearless beyond the common, he was no
mere soldier, but is justly entitled to the higher praise due to
a capable general. At times, no doubt, he allowed himself to
display something of the bloodthirsty ferocity of his ancestors,
but in general his conduct was marked by chivalrous generosity.
He was a man of strong affections, and inspired by a tender,
passionate admiration for the beauties of nature which is rare
among the ' men of blood and iron '. For some years he, like
many of his ancestors and descendants, allowed his noble
qualities to be obscured by intemperance. His will, however,
was strong enough to subdue his vice, and when he found
himself committed to a life-and-death struggle with Rana
Sanga he broke his cups and never tasted wine again. But he
missed his liquor sorely, and lamented in verse :

' Distraught I am since that I gave up wine ;
Confused, to nothing doth my soul incline.'


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