Medieval India

Brief History of Jaunpur Sultanate

Brief History of Jaunpur Sultanate

Early History: The city of Jaunpur was founded by Firuz Shah. His successor, Mahmud Tughlaq, entrusted the government of his eastern dominions to a powerful eunuch noble named Sarwar, who bore the title of Khwaja Jahan.

Thus Khawaja Jahan became the ‘Lord of the East’ and he fixed his headquarters at Jaunpur where he ruled in practical independence. During the confusion that followed Timur’s invasion, his adopted son formally broke loose from Delhi and proclaimed himself an independent king of Jaunpur Sultanate under the title of Mubarak Shah Sharqi in 1399.

Reign of Ibrahim Shah: Ibrahim Shah was the greatest king of Jaunpur Sultanate. Ibrahim Shah was the brother of Mubarak Shah. After the death of of Mubarak Shah in 1402 by his younger brother, Ibrahim Shah, sat of the throne. He proved himself to be the most successful of the Sharqi kings of Jaunpur.

He repelled the diplomatic advances of Mahmud Tughlaq and one the death of the latter even invaded Delhi. He held his own against the Sayyid rulers of Delhi and carried on warfare with Malwa. He was an energetic and benevolent prince and an enlightened patron of arts and learning. The beautiful Atala Mosque was built by him. He died in 1440 after a prosperous reign of forty years and was succeeded by his son, Mahmud. Like his father Mahmud was an able ruler. He took part in the struggle that centered round the decayed power of Delhi which he once besieged in 1452. He died after a reign of 18 years.

Fall of Jaunpur Sultanate: Husain Shah, the last independent king of Jaunpur Sultanate. He was overthrown by Bahlul Lodi in 1457 and was compelled to seek refuge with King Husain of Bengal. Bahlul appointed his son, Barbak, as viceroy of Jaunpur with full sovereign powers. But Sikandar Lodi, another son of Bahlul, who succeeded him to the Sultanate, drove out his elder brother, Barbak, and definitely annexed Jaunpur to the Delhi Empire.

Art and Architecture of Jaunpur Sultanate: The rulers of Jaunpur Sultanate were great builders and patrons of learning. The Sharqi kings of Jaunpur were great patrons of learning and under them Jaunpur became the home of Muhammadan culture and refuge for men of letters. But they are best remembered for the splendor of their architecture.

The Atala Mosque built by Ibrahim Shah, the Lal Darawaja built by Mahmud, and the magnificent Jami Masjid built by Husain are amongst the finest monuments of architecture erected in pre-Mughul days. These splendid mosques ‘are designed in peculiar style, including many Hindu features’. They are very massive and have imposing gateways and are without minarets.