Growth of Literature during the Sultanate Period:
The Sultanate period witnessed the growth of literature in different languages and in different fields.
The most important aspects of the period in this respect were the following:
1. Preparation of historical texts which so far had remained neglected in India.
2. Beginning of the growth of literature in different regional languages in India.
Historical literature in Persian and Arabic:
This was primarily produced in Persian and Arabic by Muslim scholars.
Important works are:
(1) ‘Tahquiq-Hind’. (11th century A.D.) by Al-Beruni who accompanied Mahmud Ghazni provides valuable account regarding affairs of India in the 11th century.
(2) ‘Taj-ul-Maasur’ (13th century) by Hasan Nizami dealing with the events of the Slave Dynasty.
(3) ‘Tarikh-Firoz Shahi’ (14th century) by Zia-ud-Barani giving information about the Tughlaq Dynasty.
(4) ‘Kitab-ur-Rahlah’ (15th century) by Ibn Batuta dealing with the Lodi Dynasty.
(5) Tarikh-i-Ferishta’ (16th century) by Ferishta.
Historical Literature in Sanskrit and Hindi:
(i) ‘Rajtarangini’ (11th century) by Kalhan dealing with the history of Kashmir.
(ii) Prithvi Raj Raso (11th century) by Chandbardoi, the court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan, describing his exploits.
Growth of regional literature:
The saints of the Bhakti movement contributed richly to the development of literature in regional languages. Hindi literature owes a lot to Kabir, Surdas, Tulsidas and Mirabai. Guru Nanak wrote in Punjabi.
Chandi Das, Vidyapati and Chaitanya composed devotional songs in Bengali.
Narsi Mehta enriched Gujarati literature.
Jnaneshwar, Namadeva, Eknath and Tukaram wrote beautiful poems in Marathi.
Amir Khusro was a prolific writer of prose, poetry and music. He was the first Muslim to write in Hindi.
The Vijayanagara rulers encouraged Tamil, Telugu and Kannada literature.
Development of Urdu:
A good example of the interaction of the Hindu and Muslim cultures was the evolution of the Urdu language.
The Hindu rulers, particularly those of Gujarat, Warrangal and Vijayanagara gave encouragement to Sanskrit literature— philosophical works, works of poetry, plays, art, astrology, music and medicine.