Mahmud Khalji

15th-century sultan of the Malwa Sultanate

Mahmud Khalji (1436–69), also known as Mahmud Khilji and Ala-ud-Din Mahmud Shah I, was the Sultan of Malwa, in what is now the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.[1] Khilji came into power after assassinating Mohammad, the son of the previous ruler, Hoshang Shah, in 1435. He mounted an unsuccessful campaign against the Delhi Sultanate however, it was under his reign that the Malwa Sultanate reached its greatest height.


  • “After he had crossed the river Bhîm, he started laying waste the country and capturing its people by sending expeditions towards Chittor everyday. He started constructing mosques after demolishing temples. He stayed 2-3 days at every halt.”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan) in Nizamuddin Ahmad : Tabqãt-i-Akharî, in :S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p. 74-86
  • “When he halted near Kumbhalmîr which was a very big fort of that province, and well-known for its strength all over Hindustãn, Devã the Vakîl of the Governor of Kumbhã took shelter in the fort and started fighting. It so happened that a magnificent temple had been erected in front of that fort and surrounded by ramparts on all sides. That temple had been filled with weapons of war and other stores. Sultãn Mahmûd planned to storm the ramparts and captured it [the temple] in a week. A large number of Rajpûts were made prisoners and slaughtered. About the edifices of the temple, he ordered that they should be stocked with wood and fired, and water and vinegar was sprinkled on the walls. That magnificent mansion which it had taken many years to raise, was destroyed in a few moments. He got the idols broken and they were handed over to the butchers for being used as weights while selling meat. The biggest idol which had the form of a ram was reduced to powder which was put in betel-leaves to be given to the Rajpûts so that they could eat their god.”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan) in Nizamuddin Ahmad : Tabqãt-i-Akharî, in :S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p. 74-86
  • “He started for the conquest of ManDalgaDh on 26 Muharram, AH 861 (AD 24 December, 1456) after making full preparation… Reaching there the Sultãn issued orders that ‘trees should be uprooted, houses demolished and no trace should be left of human habitation’… A great victory was achieved on 1 Zilhijjã, AH 861 (AD 20 October, 1457). Sultãn Mahmûd offered thanks to Allãh in all humility. Next day, he entered the fort. He got the temples demolished and their materials used in the construction of a Jãmi‘ Masjid. He appointed there a qãzi, a muftî, a muhtasib, a khatîb and a mu‘zzin and established order in that place…”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Mandalgadh (Rajasthan) in Nizamuddin Ahmad : Tabqãt-i-Akharî, in :S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p. 74-86
  • “Sultãn Mahmûd started again in AH 863 (AD 1458-59) for punishing the Rajpûts. When he halted at ÃhãD, Prince Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn and Fidan Khãn were sent towards Kîlwãrã and Dîlwãrã in order to lay waste those lands. They destroyed those lands and attacked the environs of Kumbhalmîr....“When they came to the presence of the Sultãn and praised the fort of Kumbhalmîr, the Sultãn started for Kumbhalmîr next day and went ahead destroying temples on the way. When he halted near that fort, he mounted his horse and went up a hill which was to the east of the fort in order to survey the city. He said, ‘It is not possible to capture this fort without a siege lasting for several years’…”159
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Kelwara and Delwara (Rajasthan) in Nizamuddin Ahmad : Tabqãt-i-Akharî, in :S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p. 74-86
  • “…Sooltan Mahmood now attacked one of the forts in the Koombulmere district, defended by Beny Ray, the deputy of Rana Koombho of Chittor. In front of the gateway was a large temple which commanded the lower works. This building was strongly fortified, and employed by the enemy as a magazine. Sooltan Mahmood, aware of its importance, determined to take possession of it at all hazards; and having stormed it in person, carried it, but not without heavy loss; after which, the fort fell into his hands, and many Rajpoots were put to death. The temple was now filled with wood, and being set on fire, cold water was thrown on the, stone images, which causing them to break, the pieces were given to the butchers of the camp, in order to be used as weights in selling meat. One large figure in particular, representing a ram, and formed of solid marble, being consumed, the Rajpoots were compelled to eat the calcined parts with pan, in order that it might be said that they were made to eat their gods…”
  • “On the 26th of Mohurrum, in the year AH 861 (AD Dec. 23, 1465), the King again proceeded to Mundulgur; and after a vigorous siege occupied the lower fort, wherein many Rajpoots were put to the sword, but the hill-fort still held out; to reduce which might have been a work of time but the reservoirs of water failing in consequence of the firing of the cannon, the garrison was obliged to capitulate, and Rana Koombho stipulated to pay ten lacks of tunkas. This event happened on the 20th of Zeehuj of the same year AH 861 (AD Nov. 8, 1457), exactly eleven months after the King’s leaving Mando. On the following day the King caused all the temples to be destroyed, and musjids to be erected in their stead, appointing the necessary officers of religion to perform daily worship…”
  • “Sooltan Mahmood, in the year AH 863 (AD 1485), again marched against the Rajpoots. On arriving at the town of Dhar, he detached Gheias-ood-Deen to lay waste the country of the Kolies and Bheels. In this excursion the Prince penetrated to the hills of Koombulmere, and on his return, having given the King some description of that fortress, Sooltan Mahmood resolved to march thither. On the next day he moved for that purpose, destroying all the temples on the road…”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta. Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1435-1469) On Way to Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan) , in Hindu Temples, Shourie et al
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.
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