Ala-ud-Din Khilji’s Conquest of the Deccan, Devagiri and Telingana

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By the end of 1305, practically the whole of Northern India fell into the hands of Ala-ud- Din and he could very easily afford to direct his attention towards the conquest of the Deccan. There must have been both political and economic motives behind the campaigns of Ala- ud-Din and his lieutenants in the South. The wealth of the Deccan was too tempting to an enterprising adventurer.

His ambition to establish his control over the South which had so fart not been conquered by the Muslims, must have led Ala-ud-Din to think of conquering Southern India. The political condition in the South was also favourable to Ala-ud-Din. There were four kingdoms in that region at that time. The first was the Yadava kingdom of Devagiri under Ram Chandra Deva (1271-1309). Telingana with its capital at Warangal was under Pratap Rudra Deva I of the Kakatiya dynasty.

The Hoysala kingdom with its capital at Dwarsamudra was under Vira Ballala III (1292-1342). The Pandya kingdom of Madura wa: being ruled at that time by Maravarman Kulasekhara (1268-1311).

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There were some minor rulers like Manma Siddha ruling in the Nellore district, Bhanu-Deva ruling in Orissa, Ravi-Varman ruling from Kollam and Banki-Deva-Alupendra ruling from Mangalore. The Hindu rulers of the South were quarrelling among themselves and consequently they were not in a position to put up a united front. No wonder, they were disposed of one by one.

Conquest of Devagiri (1307) :

In March, 1307, Ala-ud-Din sent an expedition under Malik Kafur against Ram Chandra Deva of Devagiri. The latter had not sent the tribute for the last three years and also given refuge to Rai Karan Deva the fugitive ruler of Gujarat. Malik Kafur was also asked to bring with him Deval Devi, daughter of Kamla Devi, who had escaped at the time of the conquest of Gujarat.

It is stated that Karan Deva II had made arrangements to marry Deval Devi to a Prince named Shankar who was the eldest son of Ram Chandra Deva of Devagiri. When she was being escorted towards Devagiri, she fell into the hands of Alp Khan, Governor of Gujarat, who was going to join

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Malik Kafur in his expedition against Devagiri, Deval Devi was sent to Delhi and was married to hizr Khan, the eldest son of Ala-ud-Din. Malik Kafur marched through Malwa and advanced to vagiri. He destroyed the whole country and captured a lot of booty. Ram Chandra was forced sue for peace. He was sent to Delhi where he was treated kindly by Ala-ud-Din. He was sent ack to his kingdom after six months. Ram Chandra continued to rule Devagiri as a vassal of Ala-ud-Din.

Conquest of Telingana (1310) :

As regards Telingana, an attempt had been made in 1303 to capture Warangal but that had failed. Another attempt was made in 1307 by Ala-ud-Din to bring Telingana under his control. Ala-ud-Din had no desire to annex Telingana and his only object seems to have been to get the ealth of that kingdom and also force its ruler to acknowledge his authority.

Ala-ud-Din is said to have given the following instructions to Malik Kafur who was in charge of the expedition: “If e Rai consented to surrender his treasure and jewels, elephants and horses, and also to send asure and elephants in the following year, Malik Naib Kafur was to accept these terms and not to press the Rai too hard.”

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The Delhi army marched via Devagiri and was given all assistance by ma Chandra Deva Pratap Rudra Deva, the ruler of Telingana, put up stiff resistance. The fort of Warangal was besieged. When the situation became critical, Pratap Rudra Deva sued for peace in March, 1310.

The Raja gave Kafur 100 elephants, 7,000 horses and large quantities of jewels and coined money. He also agreed to send tribute to Delhi every year. Amir Khusro tells us that Malik Kafur came back to Delhi with an immense booty carried “on a thousand camels groaning under the weight of treasure.”

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