Bughra Khan gives the structure of the Khalji army as following the classical
Altaic decimal pattern. The titles are different
though the structure is identical to that of Chingiz Kha’Khan’s or the great
Uighur Khan ‘s army:
1horseman is a sipahi
Each sipahi had: a horse armor and body armor with helmet all made of Indian
-a long sword and a short sword
-a mace (like hindu weapon called parigha not the like the hindu gada)
-a battle axe (like the hindu paTTishi rather than hindu parashu)
-a dagger (like the hindu vrishchika)
-a composite bow. The Khaljis frequently used arrows poisoned with dung in their
jihads on the infidels.
They used 3 kinds of launchers
-manjniq: this was mangonel that hurled ball like a giant catapult.
-arrAdA: a giant crossbow also called a ballista and was the favorite Altaic
-maghrabI: a trebuchet for launching giant projectiles.
The Khalji army had the traditional Turko-Mongol review of man and horse that
lasted a week or fortnight under the
direction of the Sultan himself. At their peak the Khaljis commanded an army
with 475000 horsemen in a permanant
I would like to bring to the attention of detractors that the Hindu rulers of
the time simply never had that magnitude of a
cavalry. Large Hindu cavalries like that of the great harshavardhana were around
100000. Secondly, note that the Ghazi
was armed to teeth and Alla-ud-din ensured that they were maintained well. The
Hindu soldier typically just carried two
swords or sometimes just a sword. Most Hindu archers were on foot and could not
effectively holdout against a Ghazi
charge. The Hindu defensive war was also blunted with the introduction of the
Central Asian ballistics as a result of
Chingiz’s revolution. I shall illustrate all these points but considering in
detail a single Jihad of Jalal-ud-din by
analyzing the military points.