Founder of the Lodi dynasty (1451-1526):
The Lodi dynasty founded by Bahlol Lodi lasted for about 76 years. The dynasty derives its name from an Afghan tribe known as Lodi.
There were three rulers of this dynasty. Bahlol Lodi founded the dynasty, Sikandar Lodi enhanced its prestige and power.
The last ruler Ibrahim Lodi tried to increase its prestige and strength, but Babur a Mughal attacked India, defeated him and laid the foundation of the Mughal dynasty.
Achievements of Bahlol Lodi as a ruler:
End justifies the means:
Bahlol Lodi was a courageous soldier, successful general, a great diplomat and a realist. He believed in the principle that the end justifies the means. He understood his limitations and circumstances.
Pragmatic dealing with Afghan nobles:
Bahlol won the confidence, cooperation and respect of the Afghan nobles with his very amiable behaviour. He gave them jagirs and high offices. He treated them as friends and considered himself as one of them. In a crisis, he would not hesitate to take off his turban from his head and solicit forgiveness from his Amirs saying, “If you think me unworthy of the situation I occupy, choose someone else and bestow on me some other office.” This paid him dividends. This enabled him to consolidate and utilize the strength of the Afghans in the interest of the state.
It is said about him that he personally attended on the sick nobles.
The Sultan avoided showing his superior status. In the words of S.R. Sharma, “In social meetings he never sat on the throne and would not allow his nobles to stand; and even during public audiences he did not occupy the throne, but seated himself on a carpet.”
Conquests of Bahlol Lodi:
When he ascended the throne, the territory of his kingdom extended upto Palam and a few miles around Delhi. But the time he died at the age of eighty, his empire extended from Panipat to the frontiers of Bihar and included many important towns and cities. A part of Rajasthan was also under him. Bahlol’s most important conquest was that of the state of Jaunpur. This proved his military talents. It added to his resources and raised his prestige among nobles and other rulers.
A devout Muslim:
He was liberal in his general as well as religious outlook. He offered Namaz regularly. He kept the company of the Ulemas, studied Quran carefully but he was not a fanatic. He gave several important offices to the Hindus. Bahlol could be very generous to the defeated enemy. He captured twice the wife of his enemy ruler Hussain Shah but sent her back to her husband honourably both times. Dr. K.S. Lai’s comment on this are, “For a victorious Muslim Sultan in medieval India, this treatment was unique.”