(Sample Material) UPSC IAS Mains History (Optional) Study Kit "Regional Centres of Power"

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains History Study Kit

Subject: History (Optional)

Topic: Regional Centres of Power


In the fifteenth century, the Khens established their rule over Kamarupa. The initial attacks of the Bengal rulers on Kamta yielded mixed results and it was only in the time of Alauddin Hussain Shah that the kingdom was annexed to Bengal. The Sultan nominated his son as governor of the newly conquered territory. Some time later, Vishasinha of the Koch tribe emerged as the ruler of Kamarupa. In the reign of Nara Narayan, a subsequent ruler of the tribe, the kingdom was divided into two parts known as Kuch Bihar and Koch Hajo.

The Ahoms, who belonged to the Shah tribe, had established their hold on Assam by the beginning of the thirteenth century. The reigning Ahom king, Suhungmung, was the most outstanding ruler of the dynasty. On adopting Hindu customs and ways, he changed his name to Svarga Narayana. Vaishnavism made great strides in the region due to the efforts of Sankaradeva, the great reformer. The Ahoms conquered Kamarupa and retained their hold over it and Assam throughout the period of the Delhi Sultanate.


Though Gujarat had for all practical purposes assumed independence soon after Timur’s invasion, it was only in 1407 that Zafar Khan (son of a Rajput convert to Islam) formally, proclaimed himself ruler with the title of Muzaffar Shah. Muzaffar Shah’s grandson, Ahmad Shah I (1411-43), considerably expanded the kingdom, reorganised the administration and founded the new capital city of Ahmedabad on the site of the old town of Asawal. He was successful in wresting the fort of Girnar (in Saurashtra), but restored its ruler on the promise of indemnity. He also subjugated the Rajput states of Jhalawar and Dungarpur.

Ahmad Shah devastated the famous Hindu pilgrimage centre of Sidhpur and destroyed several of its beautiful temples. He was the first Sultan to levy jaziya on the Hindus of Gujarat. Gujarat’s most famous Sultan was Mahmud Begarha (1459-1511), so called because he had subdued, two formidable forts (garhs), Girnar in Saurashtra and Champaner in South Gujarat. Mahmud Begarha effected the final annexation of the rich and prosperous region of Saurashtra into his realm. His victory at Girnar has been attributed to treason by the defending raja’s minister. The Sultan founded the town of Mustafabad near the fort.

Click Here for UPSC Mains History Study Material

Mahmud Begarha also attacked Jagat (Dwarka) on the pretext that some of its inhabitants were harassing pilgrims to Mecca. He destroyed several temples in the region. The fort of Champaner too, was valiantly defended by its raja and his men, who fought to the last man while the women committed jauhar. Mahmud Begarha built a new township, Muhammadabad in the vicinity. The last great ruler of Gujarat was his grandson, Bahadur Shah, who annexed Malwa, attacked Chittor and fought the Mughal emperor Humayun. He was killed by the Portuguese.


The centrally located region of Malwa, which controlled both the trade routes between Gujarat and north India, as also between the North and South, threw off the yoke of Delhi in the wake of Timur’s invasion. In the fifteenth century, the capital of the state had shifted from Dhar to Mandu, where many buildings decorated with glazed tiles were erected. Among the early Sultans of Malwa was Hushang Shah, a ruler recognised for his general policy of tolerance and his encouragement to Rajputs to settle in his domain. But the most powerful of Malwa Sultans was Mahmud Khilji, who ruled in the mid-fifteenth century. He is associated with the destruction of several temples.


The kingdom of Mewar, dating back to at least the eighth century A.D., was a centre of resistance throughout the Sultanate period. It again emerged as an important factor in north Indian politics under Rana Kumbha. Kumbhalgarh was besieged several times by Gujarat while Mahmud Khilji advanced as far as Ajmer. The Rana repulsed these attacks and retained hold over most of his conquests. He also built the famous Victory Tower at Chittor, besides reservoirs and temples. His grandson was the renowned Rana Sangha, who has been described as “the fragment of a soldier,” his body bearing the scars of over eighty wounds. He fought successfully against Malwa, Gujarat and Delhi.

Click Here for UPSC Mains History Study Material

<<Go Back To Main Page