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Jaunpur Sultanate | History & Early Life

November 12, 2017 0 Comment


There are just many great kingdoms that have lived and marked their place in this country of ours, India. Going through one more such kingdoms and giving us yet another dynasty that had a tremendous influence in the shaping the history of India.

The foundation of the Jaunpur Sultanate

Of the many kingdoms that ruled the norther part of India, one such independent kingdom was Jaunpur sultanate. It was an independent rule in the north of India. Present day Uttar Pradesh is what we can call the Jaunpur or Jounpoor sultanate. If we go by who was the one that initiated the kingdom, then the credit would go to Firuz Shah.

The one who succeeded him was Mahmud Tughlaq, he had given the seat to officially administrate the rule to a noble from his court, he was Sarwar or popularly known as Khawaja Jahan. Sarwar was the minister in the court of Muhammad Shah IV Tughluq.

Tughlaq handed over the command to his and from then the Jaunpur Sultanate was carried on and after Khawaja Jahan, who was once a nobleman in his court. He took the command in the year 1394, and did some tremendous changes in the Jaunpur sultanate.

Of such changes were that he ruled from the headquarters. After Sarwar, his adopted son took over the control, and so he ruled the Jaunpur Sultanate for a brief period. He was however was in Delhi and as soon as the it was seized by Timur, Sarwar’s son freed himself and after which he  presented himself as the ruler of the Jaunpur sultanate.

He took the name of Mubarak Shah Sharqi and thus proclaimed himself as the ruler of the independent kingdom, Jaunpur, in the year 1399.  Sarwar as previously mentioned was the first ruler of the Jaunpur sultanate is originally named and known in the history as Khawaja-I-Jahan Malik Sarwar, he spread his reign to the regions of Ganges and Yamuna. He even took control of the Awadh portion.

The ruler who actually took the flag and reign of this rule was Ibrahim Shah, who made his mark in the pages of history. But unfortunately the last heir to this kingdom had to succumb to the Lodi Rule. And so the last remains of the Jaunpur Sultanate was overthrown by Sikander Lodi. And the regions were taken under the Delhi Sultanate.

Let’s look into the lives of some of the prominent rulers who took control over as the Jaunpur rulers and see their administration in brief.

The beginning

The first ruler of the Jaunpur Sultanate was at first serving as the minister in the court of Tughlaq, later he was given the command to run a sovereign independent state and thereafter he continued to extent the reign of the Jaunpur kingdom.

He was also given the title of the “Malik-us-Sharq” or more widely known as the “lord of the east”. He was given this title by the Mahmud Shah II Tughlaq. In the year 1389, Malik Sarwar announced himself as the Khawaja-I-Jahan. He extended the rule of Jaunpur towards Awadh, Kara, Sandila, Bihar and many such places that came under the Ganges-Yamuna.

Khawaja was also credited with the capture of some dominating rulers of the cities such as Kanauj, Koil etc. and so it happened that the rising power of the Jaunpur King Khawaja, some kings even sent him elephants so as to appreciate the increasing power. The successors of Khawaja, proved to be even more powerful and effective ruler. Mubarak Shah took the throne after the death of his father.

Ibrahim Shah

Ibrahim Shah was the most prominent and the renowned king of the Jaunpur rule. He was the brother of the previous king that would be Mubarak Shah. However just like any other family in the historic past the need for control was stronger than the blood relation and so the love of throne made one brother to die leaving the other to rule the kingdom thereafter.

Mubarak Shah was displaced in the year 1402 when he was killed. Although, the accent of throne of Ibrahim Shah was rough he proved to be the efficient and the most remarkable king who sat on the throne of Jaunpur Sultanate. He overthrew the remains of the rule of Mahmud Tughlaq and had cared for the betterment of the people in Malwa.

He even extended his power to Delhi. Ibrahim was a kind and generous king who looked after the welfare of his subjects. He addressed their grievances. Not only he was interested in extending his rule but also he was a patron of art, music and architecture.

He had his equal interest in the cultural department. Ibrahim was also responsible for standing against the Sayyid Brothers who were at the rise of their powers.  He was the patron for the foundation of the Atala Masjid. Ibrahim was the ruler who ruled for a brief amount of time.

He reigned for a good 40 years. His successor, his son Mahmud also walked the footsteps of his father. He was equally efficient to lead the Jaunpur Sultanate after the death of Ibrahim Shah in the year 1440.

Their love for Art

The rulers of the Jaunpur were especially famous for their love of art and architecture. They were well admirers of the art and culture and so they introduced many forms of building to the Indian history. Of those many still stand strong and took the test of time only to describe that they were wonderful builders of the art. They introduced a mahummadan culture.

Before the Mughals their building made a distinction in the Indian history. They extended their patronage for the same. This sultanate was called as the Shiraz of Bharat. We can very well witness its beauty, by the world renowned architecture and if not all this particular building is known by every Indian soul.

And that would be the Jama Masjid. The style was called the Sharqi style and some of the famous architectures are The Lal Darwaja Masjid, Atala Masjid and of course the Jama Masjid. It has been mentioned in the history that the patron for the Atala Masjid was Firuz Shah Tughluq and initiated the work in the year 1376.

But later the work was completed under Ibrahim Shah’s rule in the year 1408. The mosques under the Jaunpur rule also had a hint of Hindu culture. These were before the advent of the Mughals in the country. The massive gates were the major attraction of these mosques.

Jaunpur rulers were great patrons of these splendid architecture. Ibrahim Shah took the patronage of many such buildings and so one of the famous monuments that he laid work of was the Jhanjhiri Masjid in the year 1430. The ruler that succeeded was Mahmud Shah.

Just like his predecessors he too had a love for art and architecture and so along with many buildings that were given by the Jaunpur he too took the patronage of The Lal Darwaja Masjid in the year 1450.

The world famous Jama Masjid was built under the rule of the last Jaunpur ruler Hussain Shah in the year 1470. This world famous architecture is one of the tourist attraction of India. It serves as the major attraction of the Jaunpur Sultanate.

Their love for Music

Along with their tremendous contribution towards the art and architecture, the Jaunpur rulers were also admires of music. And so the last ruler took the title of Gandharva as he contributed majorly in this field of music. Khayal, one of the old forms of Indian classical music, was developed by Hussain Shah, the last Jaunpur ruler.

Decline of the Jaunpur Sultanate

Just like the previous dynasties that ruled the Indian region, this kingdom soon reached its end and so it too had to surrender itself to time. Jaunpur Sultanate ended with its last ruler Hussain Shah. He was defeated by Bahlul Lodi in the year 1545 and so had to flee the kingdom.

He was given and stayed as a refugee under the rule of Bengal at that time. At that time it was King Husain, who ruled Bengal and so provided refugee to him. He was soon given the position of a viceroy by the son of the then king, Barbak.

But this was short lived as the other son of the king, who happened to be Sikander Lodi one of the prominent king of the Delhi sultanate and also of the history. Sikander Lodi not only threw the Jaunpur Sultanate but also overthrew his own brother. And altogether took control of the entire Jaunpur sultanate. And brought it under the control of the Delhi Sultanate.

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