Gold Tanka of Ala-al-Din Khilji

16 Oct 2018  Tue

The Khilji or Khalji Dynasty was a Muslim Dynasty having a Turkic origin which ruled north India from 1290-1320 AD. They were the 2nd dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. Known for assassinators and tyrants, the Khiljis were a powerful dynasty who successfully stopped the Mongol invaders and raided into the south of the country.

Though of a Turkic origin, they had Afghani habits and customs and hence are sometimes considered as ethnic Afghans. Nearly all of Khiljis came to power by killing many of their family members and other contenders to the throne.

Ala-ud-din Khilji came to the throne by treacherously murdering his uncle and father-in-law, Jalal-ud-din Khilji. His first act after ascending to the throne was killing all the surviving members of former Sultanate family of Mamluk Dynasty and further proceeded to kill the Jalali nobles and his own family as well.

The reign of Ala-ud-din marked the zenith of the Delhi Sultanate. He conquered and annexed many neighbouring kingdoms and led many expeditions to the central, Deccan and southern regions of India. By invading south India, Ala-ud-din succeeded in his motives of securing great wealth and forcing the southern kingdoms to accept his suzerainty. He died in 1316 AD ending his twenty-year-long rule.

The coin depicts alongside is an 11.00g Gold Tanka of Ala al-Din Muhammad Khilji (1296-1316 AD) issued from Dar al-Islam mint, AH 711. The obverse has the Arabic legend “al-Sultan al-'Azam 'Ala al-Dunya wa al-Din Abu al-Muzaffar Muhammad Shah al –Sultan” while the reverse has in a circle the Arabic legend “Sikandar al-Thani Yameen al-Khilafah Nasir Amir al-Mumineen”; date and mint details in the margin.

Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatics Gallery

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