DELHI SULTANS, ‘Ala Al Din Muhammad Khalji 1296-1316 AD, copper paika,


DELHI SULTANS, ‘Ala Al Din Muhammad Khalji, 1296-1316 AD, paika, no date, Obverse: AL SULTAN AL ‘AZAM, Reverse: ‘ALA AL DUNYA WA AL DIN, copper, 15mm, 3.5g, GG-D235F

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He was a strongman kind of ruler. Helped his own people, punished outsiders. Held back a Mongol invasion, not THAT invasion, but a later invasion of a Mongol successor state, like an aftershock after an earthquake.

Dehli is how Delhi is written in Arabic. The Dehli Sultans, or “slave kings of Delhi,” started out as Turkish slave soldiers (mamluks). As mamluks were often given positions of responsibility by their owners, there was a tendency for them to usurp power and establish dynasties, and that’s what happened in Delhi. The reference used for the coins is “The Coins of the Indian Sultanates,” by Goenka and Goron.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver, and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.