SLAVE DYNASTY AND THE HOUSE OF KHlLjl. 121 compact for mutual support and advancement with forty of his Turk! fellow-slaves in the palace, he had, when he came to the throne, to break the powerful confederacy thus formed. Some of his provincial governors he publicly scourged; others were beaten to death in his presence ; and a general who failed to reduce the rebel Muhammadan Viceroy of Bengal was hanged. Balban himself moved down to the Gangetic delta, and crushed the Bengal revolt with merciless skill. His severity against Hindu rebels knew no bounds. He nearly exterminated the Rajputs of Mewat, south of Delhi, putting 100,000 of them to the sword. He then cut down the forests which formed their retreats, and opened up the country to tillage. The miseries caused by the Mughal hordes at that time in Central Asia drove a crowd of princes and poets from Afghanistan and other Mu- hammadan countries to seek shelter at the Indian court. Balban boasted that no fewer than fifteen once independent sovereigns had fed on his bounty, and he called the streets of Delhi by the names of their late kingdoms, such as Baghdad, Kharizm, and Ghor. He died in 1287 a.d. His successor was poisoned, and the Slave Dynasty ended in 1290. House of Khilji, 1290-1320.— In that year, Jalal-ud-dm, a ruler of Khilji', succeeded to the Delhi throne, and founded a line which lasted for thirty years. The Khilji dynasty extended the Muhammadan power into Southern India. Ala-ud-dfn, the nephew of Jalal-ud-din, when governor of Karra near Allaha- bad, pierced through the Vindhya ranges with his cavalry, and plundered the Buddhist temple-city of Bhflsa, 300 miles off. After tryirg his powers against the rebellious Hindu princes of Bundelkhand and Malwa, Ala-ud-din formed the idea of a grand raid into the Deccan. With a band of only 8000 horse, he rode into the heart of Southern India. On the way he gave out that he was flying from his uncle Jalal-ud-din' s court, to seek service with the Hindu King of Rajamahendri. The generous Rajput princes abstained from attacking a refugee in his flight ; and Ala-ud-dfn surprised the great city of Deogiri, the modern Daulatab&d, at that time the capital of the Hindu kingdom of Maharashtra. Having suddenly galloped into its streets, he announced himself as only the advance guard of the whole imperial
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/125
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