Aurangzeb is literally cruel

II. The rule of the cavalrymen Mahmud of Ghazni already owed the success of his Indian raids to his cavalrymen. But since these raids remained sporadic and he established no rule in India, his interventions were ineffective. The medieval Indian war technique with the war elephant as the central branch of arms was still preserved. For the transition to the new cavalry strategy, there was a lack of good horses and trained riders in India. The Indian climate is not favorable for the rearing of horses, which come from Central Asia. Horses are susceptible to health and require expert care. There was a lack of suitable skilled workers in India. Even later, when Indian rulers adjusted to the cavalry strategy, they always had to post huge losses and had to import horses from West Asia at high prices. The second problem - the lack of trained riders - was as significant to India as the lack of horses. The Islamic rulers of Western Asia were well taken care of in this regard. The first expansion of Islamic power was driven by Arab tribal warriors. But the larger the Islamic empires became, the more they relied on slaves, who were trained as cavalry warriors from an early age and were therefore superior to anyone who had mounted their steed too late. Such slaves, which were mostly acquired in the markets of Central Asia, could, if they proved themselves capable, quickly make a career and ultimately rise to rulers themselves. Islamic sultans, who relied on slave warriors, did not need to develop special incorporation strategies. Their patrimonialism was unlimited. The slaves were their personal property. In one relationship, of course, Islamic sultans also had to endeavor to establish a feudal system. The supply of the troops could not be financed from the ruler's budget, it had to be decentralized. This is how the military loan system developed. Cavalry commanders received tax grants (iqta) and had to take care of collecting taxes themselves. Now the cavalry warrior was a good tax collector who could literally ask the peasants to pay the cash from above. The system proved its worth and also prevented the formation of domestic power. Cavalry commanders were mobile and, wherever they were deployed, mostly strangers with no ties to the local population. A rebellion against their overlord was pointless, because the "colleagues" could easily defeat a rebel, unless he went all out and overthrew the sultan. Therefore, the rule of the cavalry warriors was often a rule of usurpers. The main problem of all equestrian warrior states was the maintenance of hundreds of thousands of riding horses suitable for military service. These horses often cost more than the slave who rode them. While a European knight usually owned his horse himself, in Asia the horses were "state property". In the Franconian Empire a riding horse is said to have been worth six cows, in contrast to thirty cows in the Delhi Sultanate. This gives an idea of ​​the tax burden the population in the feudal states of the cavalry had to bear. The importance of the riding horses made the horse dealer in the military feudal states a rich and powerful man. There are a number of examples of horse dealers rising to high political positions. This was especially true in India, where suitable horses could mostly only be obtained through long-distance trade. The role that the Fuggers and Welsers played in Europe was played by the horse traders in India. Most of them came from Persia and had good relationships with the horses' regions of origin. In this way they made themselves indispensable. India was conquered relatively late by the Islamic II. The rule of the cavalry warriors26 cavalry warriors. The enormous range of intervention of professional cavalry armies would have suggested an earlier conquest. But if you wanted to conquer India, you had to choose India. It was not enough just to set up an outpost there. Mahmud of Ghazni had no intention of opting for India. The success of his raids was enough for him. When Mohammad von Ghor followed his example almost 200 years later, he did not want to settle in India either. Only his able military leader, the slave Qutbuddin Aibak, who renounced allegiance to the Ghorids when Mohammad died, decided in favor of India and established the Sultanate of Delhi in 1206 in order to gain independence from his former masters. 1. The Delhi Sultanate: cavalry state of slaves and usurpers Qutbuddin Aibak had already conquered almost all of northern India with his troops of horsemen in the service of his master. He established the military feudal system there, which he knew from West Asia, and established a military feudal state, which as such remained stable, even if the rulers changed quickly. Qutbuddin was inherited by his son-in-law Iltutmish, who was a competent ruler and was also officially recognized as a sultan by the caliph. This was followed by a turbulent interregnum, which was only interrupted by a few years of reign of Iltutmish's very capable daughter Raziyya. Then the usurper Balban prevailed, an extremely cruel ruler who increased the power of the sultanate and - like his predecessors - saved India from the invasion of the Mongols. He was also followed again by a usurper, Jallaluddin Khalji, who succeeded in founding a dynasty. But his successor was worse than an ordinary usurper. It was his nephew and son-in-law Alauddin Khalji who had him murdered in order to come to power. Alauddin (1297-1316) was the most important ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. He succeeded in continuing to repel the Mongols, who remained a constant threat to India. The Mongol Hülägü had conquered Baghdad in 1258 and ousted the caliph from the throne. That was a signal that shook the entire Islamic world. It also indicated the future threat to Delhi. Defense cost a lot of money, and Alauddin struggled to adequately tax his Hindu subjects. The ruling style of the Islamic cavalry warriors was that of overlay feudalism, in which a foreign ruling class subjugated the local population. There were no incorporation strategies here. Brute force alone counted. Alauddin was ready to use them, but saw that he had only limited success in doing so. Only in his capital, Delhi, was he able to enforce his measures with great severity. He squeezed the troops' pay and, in return, dictated the food prices in the market. In its greatest extent, Allauddin's empire was already equal to that of the later Great Mogul Akbar, but its centralized administrative reform was less successful than that of Akbar. Ultimately, he could only fill his treasury with the proceeds of the spoils of war that his great general Malik Kafur brought back from his lightning-fast conquests through southern India. The slave Malik Kafur, a Hindu from Gujarat who had converted to Islam, knew better than anyone how to use the enormous range of intervention of the cavalry. The range of power could not be extended with this strategy. The cavalry lightning war had a demonstration effect. All Hindu rulers who wanted to cope with this onslaught had to turn their empires into cavalry states. The Kakatiya king Prataparudra of Warangal, whose territory in what is now Andhra Pradesh was very close to the area of ​​control of the Delhi Sultanate, pioneered the introduction of a Hindu cavalry state as early as the 13th century. There was no military slavery among the Hindus, instead a new military nobility emerged, the nayaks (cavalry captains), who were given military fiefs in a similar way II. The rule of the cavalry warriors28 as the commanders of the troops of the Delhi Sultanate. Prataparudra thought up an additional measure that reminded of the feudal incorporation strategies of earlier times. He assigned each of the nayaks of his empire a bastion in his capital and thus surrounded himself with a circle of cavalry warriors - a new version of the Samantachakra ("circle of neighbors"), so to speak. But the Kakatiya kingdom was also defeated by Malik Kafur, but its king was reinstated as “governor” by Alauddin. As such, he had a free hand in the period that followed, until the next conqueror approached from Delhi. This next conqueror was Muhammad bin Tughluk (1325–1351), who had come to power in a similarly insidious way as Alauddin had done. He had his father Ghyasuddin Tughluk, who had ascended the throne in 1320, murdered by collapsing a reception hall built on his orders after he had entered it. Muhammad bin Tughluk was an immoderate conqueror, who not only conquered Warangal, but also other southern Indian empires and finally moved his capital to the north of the highlands to Daulatabad. This place is only a few kilometers from Aurangabad, where the Mughal Mughal Aurangzeb moved three centuries later - also to rule an empire that could no longer be controlled from distant Delhi. But while Aurangzeb held out in Aurangabad for 25 years, Tughluk soon hurried back to Delhi because otherwise he would have lost control there. Since there was as yet no field artillery with movable cannons to support the central power, the Delhi Sultanate was much more vulnerable than the Mughal Empire. Like Alauddin before, Tughluk suffered from a lack of money. He therefore had the ludicrous idea of ​​introducing copper coins and thus transformed almost every house in his empire into a forging workshop. The megalomania was Tughluk's undoing. His empire fell apart during his lifetime. What remained of him he bequeathed to his cousin Firoz Shah (1351-1388), who was one of the few sultans of Delhi, 1. The Delhi Sultanate 29 who came to the throne in a peaceful way, which he then held for a very long time should. Under him the power of the sultanate was limited to northern India. But there his rule was safe. A few years after Firoz Shah's death, the great conqueror Timur attacked India, robbed Delhi and dealt the sultanate the fatal blow. It was not until decades later that it flourished again under the Afghan Lodi dynasty, until Ibrahim Lodi was crushed by Mughal Mughal Baber, a descendant of Timur, in 1526. 2. The Sultanates of the Highlands The Delhi Sultanate should not remain the only sultanate on Indian soil. When Tughluk gave up Daulatabad, it was not Hindu kings who filled the power vacuum, but an adventurer named Zafar Khan, who then called himself Bahman Shah and founded the Bahmani Sultanate. He conquered Daulatabad in 1345, but then moved his capital to Gulbarga in the northernmost part of today's Karnataka. Gulbarga lies in a fertile basin and has a very favorable location for ruling the highlands. The early center of power of the Rashtrakutas was also in this area. A later Bahmani Sultan then moved the capital to Bidar, which is about halfway between Gulbarga and Haiderabad. The Bahmani sultans, like the Persians, were Shiites. The religious division of Islam between Shiites and Sunnis began early and has remained significant to this day. The Shia (= party) of Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, had opposed the first three caliphs (successors of the Prophet). Ali became the fourth caliph in 656, but he was murdered in 661 and his son Husein in 680. The Shiites did not recognize the later caliphs, but only followed their imams (= prayer leaders). Except in Persia, where the Safavids made the Shia the state religion, the Shiites remained a minority among Muslims. The followers of the caliphs claimed to uphold the tradition (= sunna) of the prophet. The Safavids used their relations with the Shiite sultans of the Indian highlands to play them off against the Sunni Delhi Sultanate. The influence of Persian art and court culture shaped the Bahmani Sultanate. This sultanate reached the height of its power under the able minister Mahmud Gawan, who held the reins from 1461 to 1481 and conquered southern India from coast to coast for his master - with the exception of the Hindu empire Vijayanagar, of course will still have to be reported. Gawan was a Persian horse dealer who demonstrated in a particularly impressive way how one could gain political influence and ultimately power in the state from this position. The Sultan did not thank Mahmud Gawan for his great services, but had him executed in 1481. Only then did he realize the loss his sultanate had suffered in this way. It disintegrated into its individual parts, in which the governors declared themselves sultans. This was an exception to the rule that central power is retained because only a usurper who goes all out has the chance to come to power. But the Bahmani Sultanate had grown too rapidly and too heterogeneous to stick together. Gawan had introduced a central administrative reform with some success, but it was precisely because of this that it aroused the resistance of the greats of the empire, who were not innocent of his execution. When his strong hand no longer had the sultanate under control, centrifugal tendencies set in. This created four new sultanates, those of Bijapur, Ahmednagar and Golkonda - and the rump state of Bidar, in which the impotent Bahmani Sultan was retained by the Barid Shahis dynasty to legitimize their usurped power. The most magnificent and powerful of these new sultanates were those of Bijapur and Golkonda. Bijapur still impresses the visitor with the mausoleum of Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah, which was built in 1659 and is called Gol Gumbaz. It is the largest domed structure in the world. The visitor is equally impressed by the mighty fortress in the 2. The Sultanates of the Highlands 31 near Haiderabad, which the sultans of Golkonda built. Their nearby mausoleums provide an interesting example of the enrichment of Persian architecture with elements of Hindu temple architecture. The sultanates of Bijapur and Golkonda were the closest neighbors of the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar, with which they were constantly feuding, not infrequently being played off against each other. The old pattern of warring regional empires seemed to emerge anew here. Orissa also played a role in this, becoming the most important Hindu empire alongside Vijayanagar. There was also a Sultanate of Bengal, which benefited from the decline in power of the Delhi Sultanate. It should not be described in more detail here, because apart from the successor states of the Bahmani Sultanate, only the Hindu states deserve special attention. 3. The Hindu Equestrian Warriors of the South The decline in the Delhi Sultanate's potential for intervention enabled the rise of rival empires in South India, which had now completely converted to the cavalry strategy. How similar these empires were in their structure to the Delhi Sultanate is shown by the largest Hindu empire in the south, which also did not have a dynastic name, but was named after its capital Vijayanagar and in which usurpers also came to power. The son of such a usurper, the greatest ruler of Vijayanagar, Krishnadevaraya, saw this resemblance very clearly and once referred to himself as a "Hindu Sultan". The dominant stratum of this empire were Telugu cavalrymen, whose rule in the Tamil south can also be described as overlay feudalism. The founders of the Empire of Vijayanagar were the brothers Harihar and Bukka, who successively held the throne from 1346 to 1377. This empire was founded almost simultaneously with that of the Bahmani Sultanate, with which it should be in constant feud. Vijayanagar was a II from the start. The rule of the cavalry warriors32 cavalry state. Its main class were the cavalry captains and military liege lords, called Amaranayakas. Vijayanagar experienced an early peak of his power under King Deva Raya II (1406–1422), who conquered the Tamil coastal region that had once been the center of the rule of the Cholas. As in the north, the military feudal state shaped a new type of city in the south. The towns were garrison and administrative towns as well as market towns. The cavalry captain was garrison commander and head of the district administration, as such he also had a certain influence on the market. Older forms of local self-government have been wiped out in this way. Cavalry captains could possibly also become city founders, like Kempe Gowda, who is still honored as the founder of Bangalore today. Cities of this type appear sterile and sober when compared to older temple cities and cultural centers. They express that the feudal state of the cavalry warriors was primarily based on the exercise of military power and only to a small extent provided the cultural achievements that the Hindu states had to offer in earlier times. Even the buildings of Vijayanagar, with all their splendor, lack the charm of earlier art. They look rough compared to the chola art. Vijayanagar was not the only bastion of the Hindus against the overwhelming power of the Muslims.Orissa had also shown astonishing resilience, although it was much closer to the centers of Muslim power in northern India. Orissa benefited from the structure of its landscape, which makes it quite inaccessible to invaders. The coastal plain is surrounded by a wreath of hilly woodland, which is ideal as a retreat. The plain is crossed by rivers, which often overflow in the rainy season and make this area impassable. In the early and high Middle Ages there were empires there that maintained their independence, but hardly played along in the concert of the great regional empires. In one respect, Orissa was of particular importance. 3. The Hindu Equestrian Warriors of the South 33: This is where most of the elephants lived, which were popular as war elephants all over India. The kings of Orissa were therefore known and respected as "Gajapati" (lord of the elephants). After the invasion of the cavalry warriors, Orissa also had to become a cavalry state, and it is significant that its greatest ruler, Kapilendra (1434–1467), emerged from the ranks of the nayaks, usurped the throne and founded the Suryavamsha dynasty. Kapilendra benefited from the fact that he lived after Deva Raya II of Vijayanagar and had his greatest successes before Mahmud Gawan led the Bahmani Sultanate to the height of his power. His victorious armies advanced as far as Bengal in the north and as far as the Tamil region in the south, where he challenged Vijayanagar for the supremacy that Deva Raya II had only recently established there. Kapilendra's wide range of intervention demonstrated that Hindu rulers could now use the cavalry strategy successfully. When Krishnadevaraya (1509–1529) then led the Vijayanagar empire to the peak of its power, Orissa had to back off again. The Tamil coast also came under the rule of Vijayanagar again. Krishnadeva tried to legitimize his rule there religiously with a large temple building campaign in his Tamil "Ostmark". As the son of a usurper who founded Vijayanagar's third dynasty, Krishnadeva, the "Hindu Sultan", was particularly keen on such symbolic gestures. He was a contemporary of the great mogul Baber, of whose victory over Ibrahim Lodi he may have heard, but like the great Chola kings Rajaraja and Rajendra, the contemporaries of Mahmud of Ghaznis, Krishnadeva could not measure his strength against the great ruler of the north . This kind of unrelated contemporaneity has happened again and again throughout Indian history. A few decades after Krishnadeva's death, the army of Vijayanagar was defeated by the united armies of the neighboring sultanates at Talikota (1565). After the battle the enemies also conquered Vijayanagar and plundered it. It could no longer live up to its name («Victory City»). For this, some of the nayaks (cavalry captains) now developed their rule, such as Tirumala Nayak from Madurai. Like the Kakatiya king Prataparudra before, he surrounded himself with a circle of nayaks, to which he assigned bastions of his capital. Madurai used to be the capital of the pandyas in competition with the Cholas. It had temporarily been the capital of the southernmost Indian sultanate and then became the outpost of Vijayanagar. It flourished once again under the rule of the nayaks. With its famous Minakshi Temple, it remained an important cultural center in South India and stood out favorably from the military feudal cities. Here you can admire the centuries-old historical substance of an Indian city like only in a few other Indian cities. 3. The Hindu cavalry warriors of the South 35