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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 11, p. 235.


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HISTORY 235
history, sat on the throne of the Muhammadan empire of Delhi. As
the patriot Hungarians, in the annals of modern Europe, drew their
swords for Rex Maria Theresa, so her subjects gave to queen Raziya
the masculine title of Sulhdn.
The Slave dynasty retained the sovereignty till 1290, when Jalal-ud-
din, Khilji, founded a new line. During the reign of his nephew and
successor, Ala-ud-din, Delhi was twice unsuccessfully attacked by
Mongol hordes, who swept into the country from Central Asia.
In 1321 the house of Tughlak succeeded to the empire ; and Ghiyas-
ud-din, its founder, erected a new capital, Tughlakabad, on a rocky
eminence some four miles farther to the east. Remains of a massive
citadel, and deserted streets or lanes, still mark the spot on which this
third metropolis arose; but no human inhabitants now frequent the
vast and desolate ruins. Ghiyas-ud-dfn died in 1325, and was suc-
ceeded by his son Muhammad bin Tughlak, who thrice attempted to
remove the seat of government and the whole population from Delhi
to Daulatabad in the Deccan, more than Boo miles away. Ibn Batfita
gives a graphic picture of the desolate city, with its magnificent archi-
tectural works, and its bare, unpeopled houses. Firoz Shah Tughlak
once more removed the site of Delhi to a new town, Firozabad, which
appears to have occupied all the ground between the tomb of Ilumayfm
and the Ridge. Amid the ruins of this prince's palace, just outside the
modern south gate, stands one of the famous pillars originally erected
by Asoka, in the third century B.C. This monolith, 42 feet in height,
is known as Firoz Shah's lal or pillar, as it was brought by him from
Topra near Khizrabad in the District of Ambala. It is composed of
pale pink sandstone, and bears a Pali inscription, first deciphered by
Mr. Prinsep.
In December, 1398, while rival claimants of the house of Tughlak
were fighting for the remnants of the kingdom, the hordes of Timar
reached Delhi. Mahmud Shah 11, the nominal king, fled to Gujarat,
after his army had suffered a defeat beneath the walls; and Timur,
entering the city, gave it over for five days to plunder and massacre.
Dead bodies choked the streets; and when at last even the Mongol
appetite for carnage was satiated, the host-retired, dragging with them
into slavery large numbers of both men and women. For two months
Delhi remained absolutely without government, until Mahmud Shah
recovered a miserable fragment of his former empire. Ill I4I2 he
died; and his successors, the Saiyid vassals of the Mongols, held
Delhi, with a petty principality in the neighbourhood, until 14.50, when
the Lodi dynasty succeeded to the Muhammadan empire. In 1503
Sikandar II made Agra the capital of the empire, but Delhi retained
much of its former importance. After his defeat of Ibrahim 11, the
last of the Lodis, at Panipat, Babar entered Delhi in 1526, but resided
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