Alternative History

The Shansabanid Empire at its height

The Shansabanid Empire, also known as the Ghurid Empire after the homeland of its ruling dynasty, was a Persian state in the early second millennium that at its height covered much of present-day Iran, Baktristan and India. It emerged about 1011 in the Ghor region of Baktristan as one of many successor states of the Sassanid Empire, and quickly began to reunite the east.

From about 1100 it began to expand into northern India as far as Bengal, gradually supplanting the declining Indo-Sassanid Empire as the dominant power in the region. Later shahs even set up secondary capitals at Lahore and Delhi, which were mainly used in the winter.

From the very beginning, the Shansabanids were forced to compete for power with the Khwarezmian Turks, who had formed a powerful state in central Asia. On several occasions the Shansabanids were forced to pay protection money to the Khwarezmians. Nevertheless, by 1215 they had finally managed to defeat the Khwarezmians once and for all, the survivors of whom fled north and were eventually absorbed into the Mongol confederation.

However, just a few years later the Shansabanids themselves were almost wiped out in a lightning campaign by Genghis Khan. Shah Firuz V fled to his Indian territories and tried to rebuild his strength, but Delhi too had been conquered by 1265. The Shansabanid territory was divided between the khanates of Chagatai and Delhi.