Lodhi dynasty (1451–1526)

The Delhi Sultanate

This article gives a brief but comprehensive account of the Lodhi dynasty that ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1451 to 1526. 


The Lodhi dynasty was founded by Bahlul Shah Lodhi by replacing Alaudin Alam Shah, the last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty. Alaudin Alam Shah voluntarily abdicated the throne in favor of Bahlul Khan Lodi in 1451. The assumption of power by Bahlul Shah as the new Sultan marked the start of the last dynasty that ruled the Delhi Sultanate for about 75 years until it was replaced by Zaheerudin Babur to found the Mughal Empire in India. 

Table: Rulers of Lodhi dynasty ( 1451-1525)

Serial no.  Rulers  Tenures 
1 Bahlul Khan Lodi 1451 – 1489
2 Sikandar Lodi 1451 – 1417
3 Ibrahim Lodi 1517 – 1526

The successions to the throne

Sultan Bahlul Lodhi ruled the sultanate for 38 years since he ascended to the throne in 1451. In the last days of his rule, his elder son, the future Sultan made some unsuccessful attempts to overthrow his father to ascend to the throne. However, he succeeded as the new Sultan only after the death of Bahlul in 1489.

Sikandar Lodhi died on November 1517 due to an illness after ruling the Sultanate for 19 years. The next sultan was Ibrahim Khan Lodhi, the son of Sikandar Lodhi who ascended to the throne after the death of his father. Sultan Ibrahim was the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. He was killed in the First Battle of Panipat and his forces were defeated by the invading army of Zaheerudin Babur. The war marked the end of the Delhi Sultanate and the start of the Mughal Empire in India. 

Fall of Delhi Sultanate 

Zaheer ud din Babur, the Mongol warrior chieftain led an invasion of India in 1525 with the support of some disgruntled local governors of the Delhi sultanate. He also enjoyed support from the ottoman and Safavid empires in his latest campaign in India. While it was on its way, the invading army defeated and put important places under the control of the Babur’s people.

As part of his attempts to stop the enemy’s advance, Sultan Ibrahim decided to meet Babur’s forces at the place of Panipat. A fierce war ensued which today we know as the First Battle of Panipat between the forces of Sultan Ibrahim and Babur. In the end, Babur’s army killed Sultan Ibrahim and defeated the defending forces of the Delhi Sultanate. 

The victory to Babur led to the establishment of the Mughal empire that lasted from 1525 to 1857 until it was formally dissolved by the British Raj in the wake of the Indian Rebellion of 1857

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