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Timur lane was uzbek Mongol chieftain, and an alleged decendant of Genghis Khan and had embraced Islam. In 1380, when the successors of Feroz Shah were at feud and brought the empire to the brink of destruction, he invaded India from North and wrecked the centralized rule of Dehli. In 1398, he destroyed the Turkish Sultanate of Delhi and ordered the execution of at least 50, 000 captives before the battle of Delhi, and after the battle around 100, 000 of Delhi inhabitants were taken as slaves. It is estimated that Timur’s army may have butchered as many as 100,000 natives. Timur marched as far the Ganges but troubles in Western Asia made him return. After invasion and plunder of Delhi, Timur retired to Samarqand, leaving behind vast numbers of Uzbek genes across North India. Timur and his Mongol- Turkish hordes, in these invasions overran Persia, Khorasan, Jurjan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, that is why Tamerlane was often referred to as the “Prince of Destruction”.
Timur became the leaders of the Chaghtai Turks at the age of 33, he then conceived the idea of world conquest. After the conquest of Persia, Afghanistan and Mesopotamia, he turned towards India. Early in 1398, he sent his grandson Pir Muhammad who proceeded with an army of 30,000 horses. He crossed the river Indus and captured Uch and Multan. In August 1398, Timur himself marched towards India with a big force of 92, 000 cavalry. He reached Delhi, Muhammad Shah, the last ruler of the house of Tughlaq, was the sultan of Delhi. Timur entered the city of Delhi in 1399 as a conqueror. He agreed to spare the lives of the citizens on the condition of payment of a heavy ransom. But the conduct of the soldiers in collecting provisions led the Hindus to resist and Timur then ordered a general massacre and converted Delhi into shambles.
Timur than did not stay at Delhi so he left Delhi after 15 days with a large number of slaves and booty. He appointed Khizar Khan as the governor of Multan, Lahore and Dipalpur, leaving behind him the tales of horror and destruction as well as famine and pestilence. When Timur left India, the whole of India was in disorder and confusion. As a result of the whole destruction of stores of grain and standing crops, famine and pestilence came and it took Delhi mare than half a century to recover from devastation. Thousands of innocent people had been ruthlessly killed, many cities and large villages reduced to ashes, the administration of the provinces completely thrown out into gear. “Delhi was utterly ruined and those of its people who were left while for two whole months not a bird moved wing in the city”, says Badauni.
Effects of Timur’s Invasion
Timur’s invasion has far reaching political, Cultural and economic effects on the history of Subcontinent. In India Timur did destruction and plunder the city, famine and pestilence behind him. He took away with him enormous wealth and left the people quite poor and helpless. Delhi never regained her own place until it came under the great Mughal Empire.
Timur invasion gave a death blow to the Tughlaq Empire in India. The defeat of the Tughlaq dynasty received such a setback that it could not last long. After Timur’s invasion, the whole of the Northern India was in disorder and chaos. Delhi was in ruins and almost depopulated. The inhabitants had to face famine and pestilence, which was a wholesale destruction of the stores of grains and standing crops by the invading army. Pestilence was caused due to the pollution of the air and water supply of the city by the dead bodies of the thousands of inhabitants.
Timur invasion caused social, political and economic inequality in Subcontinent. Thousand of them were murdered ruthlessly and thousands of them had became homeless. The country thus presented a chaotic picture. Timur’s invasion created a widespread anarchy in the country. There prevailed confusion in the provinces of the empire. Delhi became completely paralyzed. Famine and pestilence added the horrors which destroyed men and cattle and caused suspension of the agriculture.