Medieval Age (7th century to 18th century)
Middle age in India was an era of immense changes, a drastic change in civilization, dynasties and invasions maintained that the middle age in India is a transition between the ancient and modern world. The medieval history of India mainly includes incidents of foreign rule and invasion due to lack of stability in Indian rulers.
The medieval era in India starts approximately with the rise of the Rajput clan that arose around 7th Century. The Rajputs came into prominence on the political map of North India after the death of Harsha. Rajput Period was considered as Dark Age of India. They were concentrated in Rajasthan and some central parts of India.
The royal Rajputs of Rajasthan ruled successfully over Rajasthan and Gujarat for a period of 500 years. The Rajputs were devoted warriors, but their internal rivalry weakened their empire. This gave an opportunity to foreign invaders especially Turks.
The Turks invaded Rajput ruling India on every given opportunity. The Turks were not only interested in India's wealth but also wanted to establish their empires and take over other kingdoms. Medieval history of India began with the Turkish conquests led by Mohammad bin Gazni.
The period between 1206 A.D. and 1526 A.D. in India's history is known as the Delhi Sultanate
. Five dynasties ruled in Delhi during the period of over three hundred years. These were:
- Slave dynasty (1206-90)
- Khilji dynasty (1290-1320)
- Tughlaq dynasty (1320-1413)
- Sayyid dynasty (1414-51)
- Lodhi dynasty (1451-1526)
When Mohammad bin Tughlaq was loosing his powers, around 13th century two strong kingdoms namely Vijayanagar Empire and Bahmani Kingdom emerged very strong in Deccan Peninsula. The most famous king of the Vijaynagara Empire was Krishnadeva Raya. Hasan was the first king of Bahmani Kingdom.
Then emerged the rule of one of the most powerful empires in Indian History - The Mughals
. Babar defeated Lodhi in the battle of Panipat and established the Mughal Empire in 1526. The successors of Babar were Humayun, Sher Shah Suri, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurengzeb.
The major contributions of Mughals were in the field of art and architecture. Many exquisite pieces of architecture conceptualized by them are still among heritage sites. They also introduced the system of Central governance against decentralized rule in India.
During the decline of Mughal Empire five major princely states were formed and simultaneously four kingdoms also arose namely Kingdom of Awadh, Maratha Kingdom, Kingdom of Mysore, and Kingdom of Punjab.
Apart from these major empires there were some major cultural influences that integrated with the culture and traditions of India. The Bhakti Movement
gave away the concept of idol worship in India and instilled devotion and belief in God.
The concept of Sufism represents the inward or esoteric side of Islam and the mystical dimension of Muslim religion. Sikh religion was founded in the sixteenth century A.D by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, which is ranked as the world's fifth largest religion in the world.