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Sikandar Lodhi

Sikandar Lodhi

Bahlol Lodhi was succeeded by his son Nizam Khan who took up the title of Sikandar Shah. There was some hesitation on part of the nobles to accept Sikandar Shah as their ruler as his mother was the daughter of a goldsmith and her son was more of a plebeian than a prince. However this hesitation was overcome and he became the king.

 

Sikandar Lodhi consolidated the gains made during his father’s reign. Soon after his succession he quelled a serious rebellion in Jaunpur, where the Hindu Zamindars had assembled an army of 100,000 horse and foot. The rebels opposed the advance of royal army but they were defeated with great slaughter and dispersed. Sikandar once again reinstated his brother Barbak Shah and retired towards Oudh.

 

Sikandar Shah transferred his capital from Delhi to Sikandria, a suberb of Agra, the Sultan wanted to have more effective control over the fief-holders of Etawah, Biyana, Koil, Gawalior and Dholpur. The new city of Agra was founded in 1504 and very soon a beautiful town came into existence. The Sultan also transferred his residence from Delhi to Agra.

 

Sikandar Shah had to spend a lot of time in fighting but he managed to find some time to look after the administration. He weakened the various chiefs and thereby strengthens his own position. He insisted on the auditing of the accounts of the Afghan Nobles even at the risk of their displeasure. The Sultan encouraged agriculture and abolished corn duties. Traders and merchants were helped in every way to do their work in peace and security. Under the orders of Sultan lists of poor people were prepared every year and they were given Raation for six months. Prisoners were released on certain days in a year.

 

Sikandar Lodhi was a very striking figure of medieval India. He gave a new orientation to Afghan polity in India and considerably raised the stature and dignity of the office of Sultan. Sikandar Lodhi was an able administrator. There was the peace and prosperity in the country. The common man got justice. The judicial system was efficiently organized under Mian Bhua. He patronized men of letters, artists and poets etc. Unfortunately he was narrow-minded and fanatical in religious matters and injured the feelings of his Hindu subjects.

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