India and South Asia 1453 CE

The history of India has entered a new phase with the dominance of Muslim-ruled states throughout most of the subcontinent.

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What is happening in India and South Asia in 1453CE

The legacy of the Delhi sultanate

The past two and a half centuries of India’s history have seen, first, the expansion of the Delhi Sultanate throughout India, immediately followed by its rapid disintegration. This process was greatly helped by the sack of the capital, Delhi, in 1398, by the forces of the central Asian conqueror, Timur, invading from Iran. By this date the sultanate is merely one amongst many small states in northern India.

Religious toleration

The rise and decline of the Delhi sultanate has left a legacy of Muslim princes ruling in many parts of the sub-continent, along with older Rajput regimes, who have come to an accommodation with their Muslim neighbors. Although much of India is ruled by Muslims, the mass of the population largely remains true to its ancestral Hinduism. For the most part the Muslim rulers do not attempt to impose their own religion of their subjects, and indeed most employ Hindus as senior officials in their governments. In art and architecture, Muslim and Hindu elements are fusing together into a new style which will, in due course, give rise to such wonders as the Taj Mahal.

Warfare in the south

In the south, two powerful states have been established in the wake of the Delhi sultanate’s conquests there. One is the Bahami sultanate, a powerful Muslim state, and the second is the kingdom of Vijayanagra. This is a Hindu state, whose rulers see themselves as the champions of the old religion against the alien forces of Islam. These two states are at almost constant war with one another.

Next map: India and South Asia in 1648

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The Medieval Era of India

The Delhi Sultanate

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Medieval India in 1226 CE  (and all the following maps)

The Mughal Era in 1450

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