forts to fight cavalry.
Between the time of Al-Biruni’s geographical tract (1048) and the travels of
Marco Polo (1271–1295) and Ibn Battuta (1325–1354), the inland routes of
mobility in southern Eurasia became a continuous terrain of dynastic
competition that ran from Qum in Persia, to Samarkand in Central Asia, to
Delhi, Surat and Dhaka in India. Simultaneously, the Indian Ocean became
an integrated commercial system. In the thirteenth century, a new kind of
dynastic realm emerged in Delhi. The Delhi Sultanate had it origins in
victories by Muhammad Ghuri, who marched into the Indus basin to uproot
the Ghaznavids in 1186. In 1190, he occupied Bhatinda, in Rajasthan, which
triggered battles with Prithviraj Chauhan, whom he finally defeated in 1192.
When Muhammad died in 1206, his trusted Mamluk (ex-slave) general,
Qutbuddin Aibak declared an independent dynasty in Delhi. His dynasty was
the first in a series that became collectively known as the Delhi Sultanate.
Delhi Sultanate and Central Asians India had come to be viewed by
Central Asian warriors as a rich place to raid in order to finance their Central
Asian wars. Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Mongols and Timur all looked at India in
this way. But the Delhi Sultanate’s defeat of the Mongols changed the
political environment, because it marked a domestication of Central Asian
sultans inside India, where they had rich territory to defend and where they
became part of a changing political culture. Mongols thus, had many indirect
effects in Indian regions they never saw. Warriors like Aibak, Iltutmish,
Balban, etc. were trained in Mongol warrior skills and used them to defend
their domains against the Mongols. Turkish and Afghan sultans, after settling
down in the Indian lowlands, became members of local societies. They
became diasporic Central Asian migrants resettled in India. However,
migrant warriors from Central Asia continued to conquer in the Indian
lowlands because they had better access than local rivals to trade routes in the
Central Asian interior that carried the latest military technology. Babur is an
excellent example: in the sixteenth century, he deployed matchlocks and
canons against the last Delhi Sultans who persisted with the honorable but by
then, archaic methods of steppe warfare.
  The Delhi Sultanate attained       fame by repelling Mongols who were