Malik Kafur was a Hindu, captured as a slave in the Gujarat region by the Muslims after the conquest of the area then sold to Alauddin's general Nusrat Khan for 1,000 dinars, Due to the price paid for him by Nusrat Khan, Malik Kafur was also known as "Hazardinari" which means "thousand-coin man". Later converted to islam it was under Alauddin's patronage that Malik Kafur rose to become a prominent general and commander in the Delhi Sultanate.
Kafur led a series of expeditions in the southern part of India, against the Yadavas (1308), the Kakatiyas (1310), the Hoysalas (1311), and the Pandyas (1311).
Kafur's military campaigns laid the foundation of Muslim power in the Deccan region and marked the beginning of a new phase in the history of southern India.
Kafur vs Yadavas
Ramachandra was the king of the Yadava dynasty, which ruled a large part of present-day Maharashtra. In 1296, Alauddin Khilji, raided Devagiri, the capital of the Yadava kingdom. Ramachandra had agreed to pay an annual tribute to Alauddin after this raid to avoid further attacks.
However, in the mid-1300s, Alauddin was occupied with his campaigns in northern India and did not receive the tribute from Ramachandra. As a result, Alauddin sent a force led by his general Malik Kafur to subjugate Ramachandra and bring him under the control of the Delhi Sultanate.
The Yadava king Ramachandra Deva surrendered without offering any resistance. Malik Kafur then proceeded to loot and plunder Devagiri, taking away enormous wealth and precious gems, including the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond. He also took the king and his family as prisoners and sent them to Delhi as a token of his victory.
Malik Kafur was successful in his mission, and the Yadava kingdom became a vassal state of the Delhi Sultanate.
This event is significant in Indian history as it marks the expansion of the Delhi Sultanate's control over southern India. It also highlights the importance of tribute payments in maintaining political relationships in medieval India.
Kafur vs Kakatiyas
Malik Kafur, as a commander of Alauddin Khilji's army, invaded the Kakatiya kingdom in 1310 CE. The Kakatiyas were a powerful dynasty that ruled a large part of South India, with their capital at Warangal. The Kakatiya king at the time was Prataparudra II.
Malik Kafur was sent to attack the Kakatiya dynasty in the early 14th century. After conquering a fort on the Kakatiya frontier, Malik Kafur marched towards Warangal, the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty.
In 1310, Malik Kafur reached Warangal and laid siege to the city. The siege lasted for about a month, during which the Kakatiya ruler Prataparudra II attempted to defend the city. However, due to the superior numbers and weaponry of Malik Kafur's army, Prataparudra II eventually surrendered and negotiated a truce with the Delhi Sultanate.
As part of the truce, Prataparudra II surrendered a large amount of wealth to the Delhi Sultanate and promised to send annual tributes to Delhi. This marked the end of the Kakatiya dynasty's independence and the beginning of their subjugation under the Delhi Sultanate.
Kafur vs Hoysalas
In the early 14th century, Hoysala dynasty ruled the southern parts of Karnataka was one of the most powerful kingdoms in South India, with its capital at Dwarasamudra (present-day Halebidu in Karnataka). Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, did dispatch his general Malik Kafur to attack the Hoysala monarch Veera Ballala III, but the purpose was not to "settle a score." Rather, it was part of Ala-ud-din's larger strategy of expanding his kingdom and consolidating his power over the Deccan region of South India.
Malik Kafur was sent with a large army to attack the Hoysala kingdom in 1311 CE. The Hoysala king, Veera Ballala III, put up a strong resistance, but ultimately he was defeated by the superior force of Malik Kafur's army. The defeat of the Hoysalas was a major victory for Ala-ud-din, and it helped to expand his kingdom further south.
Kafur vs Pandyas
The Pandyas were one of the four major Tamil dynasties that ruled over parts of South India. They were known for their naval power, trade, and cultural achievements. However, they were also often at war with their neighbors, including the Cholas, Cheras, and the Hoysalas.
In the 14th century, the Pandya kingdom in southern India was facing internal conflicts and political instability. The dispute over the Pandya throne between the two royal brothers, Sundara and Vira Pandya, led to a power struggle and political instability in the kingdom. Taking advantage of this situation, the neighboring Hoysala king, Ballala III, invaded the Pandya territory. However, at the same time, Malik Kafur, a general of the Delhi Sultanate, invaded the Hoysala kingdom, forcing Ballala III to retreat to his capital. After subjugating Ballala III and his forces, Kafur and his army marched towards the Pandya territory.
Malik Kafur invaded the territories of both claimants to the throne. The Pandya brothers, Sundara Pandya and Vira Pandya, who were ruling the kingdom at that time, fled their headquarters in an attempt to escape from the invading forces. During the invasion, Malik Kafur looted the city and its temples, including the famous Meenakshi Temple, which was known for its architectural beauty and religious significance. He also established a mosque in the city as a symbol of the Delhi Sultanate's dominance over the region.
Malik Kafur's invasion of the Pandya kingdom in 1311 was a significant military campaign that resulted in the capture of Madurai, the capital city of the kingdom.