|Fig.1: The Mongols thought this map needed just a little more tan in the south...|
|Fig.2: MC Genghis always just beat you flat, and on your|
grave he spat, cause you're nothing but a rat, and your
mother's so fat. What you think about that?
Genghis, however, stuck around on the other side of the Indus, sacking a few cities for good fun. For reasons unknown, he soon moved out of the area (hypotheses include not having enough men, preferring to focus on other lands, and hating how curry went straight through him), leaving India's possible conquest to his offspring after his death in 1227. Really all you see for the next couple of decades are half-hearted invasions that demonstrated the Mongols "just weren't feeling it" when it came to this region. A force took over Kashmir (located in present-day...actually I'll leave you to figure that one out) around 1235, setting up a government there just so that they can get nice, soft sweaters for free. Genghis's favorite son and successor, Ögedei, ordered his generals to cross the Indus and besiege the city of Lahore in 1241. It looked like this was going to be the invasion we were all waiting for, but word reached them that Ögedei died, and the Mongol troops rushed back to partake in the traditional succession dispute extravaganza! The Delhi Sultanate was safe...for now!
An opportunity emerged in 1248, when Jalal al-Din (a different one than the Khwarazmian prince; the name was pretty much the equivalent of "Emily" in its day) asked the new Great Khan, Möngke, for help in seizing the Delhi throne from his brother. The Mongols were considered pros in sticking their Mongoloid noses in other people's business, so Möngke agreed to send one of his best generals, Sali, to cross the Indus once more (they would have made a killing on bridge tolls). They attacked their old stomping grounds (literally) of Lahore, which Jalal al-Din was happy enough to rule in order to escape from that Mongol stench. While Sali was there, he found a few local rulers who openly welcomed the Mongols and proclaimed themselves their vassals, which really makes the Delhi Sultanate look bad that their citizens preferred the rule of people known for making pyramids out of human skulls than themselves. In the end, the Mongols still didn't have a good enough hand to go all in on India (not when they knew the rulers in the Middle East were buffing with pocket 2s), and quickly made peace with the sultan. The excitement would have to wait another day.
|Fig.3:"What, you think the Mongols|
have better beards than I do? I'll
But the wheels would eventually come undone for the Delhi Sultanate. In 1327, Tarmashirin, grandson of Duwa (and thus great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Genghis) took advantage of Alauddin being dead to sack and pillage his way across the Ganges Plain. When he got to Delhi, the sultan paid him a large ransom to leave them alone, which was the 14th century equivalent of "telling the teacher." Later in 1398, the famous Islamic conqueror Timur (or Tamerlane), who wasn't a direct descent of Genghis but pretended to be, invaded because he believed the Sultanate was being too nice to the Hindus. He captured Delhi on December 17, and it was said that the city reeked for days with the smell of decomposing bodies, which sums up the condition of my locker by the end of 7th grade.
|Fig.4: Now that's what I call a beard!|
(Don't tell Alauddin I said that.)
So while the Mongols had some false starts and holding penalties on the drive, they scored a touchdown in Indian territory anyway. The Mughal Empire would become an important chapter in South Asia's history, leaving their imprint on the region's politics, cuisine, and architecture, with the most notable example of the latter being the Taj Mahal (which would have been made of human skulls if Genghis was the one who took India). This shows that patience is a virtue, that slow and steady win the race, and you should never eat soggy waffles (wait, that might be something else). The same can't be said for our next chapter in the Mongol conquests, where Russia didn't benefit from any procrastination. But until then, I hope I brought some much needed gore and violence to your Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Omisoka/Boxing Day/whatever it is you celebrate!