18th February 1266 Nasir ud din Shah l Died And Son In Law Sultan Ghiyas Ud Din Baban Was Crowned Ruler

Nasir ud din Mahmud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coin of Nasir ud din Mahmud

Nasir ud din Mahmud, Nasir ud din Firuz Shah (1246–1266) was the eighth sultan of the Mamluk Sultanate (Slave dynasty). He was the son of Nasiruddin Mahmud(died-1229), who was the youngest son of Shams ud din Iltutmish (1211–1236). He was named after his father, by Shams ud din Iltutmish, for he had grown an intense filial attachment, to the only begot son of his posthumous child. He succeeded Ala ud din Masud after the chiefs replaced Masud when they felt that he began to behave as a tyrant.

As a ruler, Mahmud was known to be very religious, spending most of his time in prayer and renowned for aiding the poor and the distressed. However, it was actually his father-in-law and Deputy Sultan or Naib, Ghiyas ud din Balban, who primarily dealt with the state affairs. After Mahmud’s death in 1266, Balban (1266–1287) rose to power as Mahmud had no children to be his heir.

Personal Life[edit]

Unlike many of his predecessors and successors, Mahmud strictly followed monogamy. He spent most of his times writing down verses of Quran. He sold the handwritten copies and used the money for his personal expenses. Surprising enough, he had no servants to carry out his personal tasks. His wife had to cook the food for the family. [1]

Sultan Ghari[edit]

Octagonal tomb Sultan Ghari from within, with Mihrab on the west side.

Mahmud’s fortified tomb built by Iltutmish, known as Sultan Ghari, lies in theVasant Kunj area, close to Mehrauli, in New Delhi. Built in 1231 AD, it was the first Islamic Mausoleum built in India.[2][3] The octagonal tomb chamber, is one of finest examples of Mamluk dynasty architecture, which also include the Qutub Minar.

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ Vandhargal Vendrargal. Chennai: Vikatan Prasuram. 2012. p. 27. ISBN 81-89780-59-X.
  2. Jump up^ Pankaj Tyagi. “Country’s first tomb is victim of ASI’s neglect”. The Indian Muslim’s Leading News Paper Milli Gazette.
  3. Jump up^ Meera Iyer (2008-05-04). “In memory of…”. Deccan Herald.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ala ud din Masud
Mamluk Dynasty
Succeeded by
Ghiyas ud din Balban
Preceded by
Ala ud din Masud
Sultan of Delhi
Succeeded by
Ghiyas ud din Balban

Shams-ud-din Iltutmish Sultan of Delhi

Shams-ud-din Iltutmish  (r. 1211–1236) was

the third ruler of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi of Turkic origin.

He was a slave of Qutub-ud-din-Aybak and later became his son-in-law

and close lieutenant. He was the Governor of Badaun when he deposed

Qutub-ud-din’s successor Aram Shah and acceeded to the throne of the

Delhi Sultanate in 1211. He shifted Capital from Lahore to Delhi ,

remained the ruler until his death on May 1, 1236.Iltutmish

introduced the silver tanka and the copper jital-the two basic coins

of the Sultanate period, with a standard weight of 175 grains. He

introudced Iqtadari system:division of empire into Iqtas, which were

assigned to the nobles and officers in lieu of salary. He Organised

a group of 40 loyal nobles-Turkan-i-Chahalgani or Chalisa or Forty
He built the Hauz-i-Shamsi reservoir in Mehrauli in 1230, which also

has Jahaz Mahal standing on its edge, used by later Mughal Emperors.

In 1231, he built Sultan Ghari the mausoleum of his eldest son,

Prince Nasiru’d-Din Mahmud, which was the first Islamic Mausoleum in

Delhi. His own tomb exists, within the Qutb complex in Mehrauli,
Early life and career

Shams-ud-din belonged to the tribe of Ilbari of Turkestan. He was
remarkably handsome in appearance and showed signs of intelligence
and sagacity from his early days, which excited the jealousy of his
brothers, who sold him into slavery. They sold him to a merchant of
Bukhara, Jamal-ul-Din, a horse trader. As a slave he was brought to
Ghazni and then to Delhi, where Qutub-ud-Din bought him. His
accomplishments attracted the notice of Qutub-ud-din-Aybak, then
Viceroy of Delhi, who purchased him at a high price. Because of his
merit and loyal service he quickly rose in Qutub-ud-din’s service,
married his daughter, and served in succession as the Governor of
Gwalior and Baran. He later served as Governor of Badaun between
1206 and 1211 until his accession to the throne in Delhi. In
recognition of his services during the campaign of Muhammad of Ghor
against the Khokhars in 1205-06, he was, by the Sultan’s order,

Sultan of Delhi
Rise to power

Extent of Delhi Sultanate under Iltutmish
In 1210, Qutb-ud-din Aibak died. Muizzi amirs, who had been
appointed by Muhammad of Ghor supported Aram Shah. Qutbi amirs,
owing allegiance to Aibak, invited Iltutmish, then Governor of
Badaun, to seize power in Delhi. Aram Shah acceded to the throne
in Lahore. In 1211, Iltutmish claimed the throne in Delhi. Aram Shah
marched towards Delhi but was slain in battle leaving Iltutmish
unopposed in Delhi.

Early challenges
Coin of Shams-Ud-Din Iltutmish , circa 1210 – 1235.
Obv: Crude figure of Rider bearing lance on caparisoned horse facing
right. Devnagari Legends : Sri /hamirah’. Star above horse. Rev:
Arabic Legends : ‘ shams al-dunya wa’l din iltutmish al-sultan’.
On his accession, Iltutmish faced a number of challenges to his
rule. In the aftermath of Aibak’s death, the Ghurid dominions in
India had divided into four. Iltutmish controlled Delhi.
Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha, the Governor of Uch and Multan asserted his
independence. Ali Mardan, a Khalji noble, who had been appointed
Governor of Lakhnauti by Qutb-ud-din in 1206, had thrown off his
allegiance to Delhi after his death and styled himself Sultan
Ala-ud-din. His successor, Ghiyas-ud-din, conquered Bihar.[6] Lahore
was contested by Iltutmish, Qabacha and Tajuddin Elduz, Muhammad of
Ghor’s adopted son and successor in Ghazni. Elduz attempted to bring
Delhi under his control. Initially, Iltutmish acknowledged Elduz’s
suzerainty by accepting the symbolic presents of the chatr and
durbash. The Hindu princes and chiefs were discontented at their
loss of independence and had recovered Kannauj, Benaras, Gwalior,
and Kalinjar had been lost during Qutub-ud-din’s reign[8] while
Ranthambore had been reconquered by the Chauhans during Aram Shah’s
rule. To add to Iltutmish’s troubles, some of the Amirs of Delhi
expressed resentment against his rule.
The new Sultan first suppressed a rebellion of the Amirs in the
plain of Jud near Delhi, and then brought under his control the
different parts of the kingdom of Delhi with its dependencies like
Badaun, Benares and Siwalik.
In 1215-1216, Elduz, who had been defeated and expelled from Ghazni
by the forces of the Shah of Khwarezm, moved towards Punjab and laid
claim to the throne of Delhi as the heir to Muhammad of Ghor.
Iltutmish refused, stating
the dominion of the world is enjoyed by the one who possesses the
greatest strength. The principle of hereditary succession is not
extinct but long ago destiny abolished this custom.
Iltutmish defeated Elduz at Tarain. Elduz was imprisoned in Badaun
and was later executed
In 1217, Iltutmish moved towards Qabacha at the head of a large

army. Qabacha attempted to retreat from Lahore towards Multan but
was defeated at Mansura. Iltutmish refrained from attacking Sindh
due to the presence of Mongols on his north-west frontier. Iltutmish
was preoccupied with the Mongol threat and did not threaten Qabacha
until 1227.

Mongol threat
In 1221, the Mongols, under Genghis Khan appeared for the first time
on the banks of the Indus. They had overrun the countries of Central
and Western Asia with lightning rapidity. The Mongols captured Khiva
and forced its ruler, Jalal-ud-din Mangabarni to flee to the Punjab.
He sought asylum in the dominions of Iltutmish. The Sultan of Delhi
refused to comply with the request. Mangabarni entered into an
alliance with the Khokhars, and after defeating Qabacha of Multan,
plundered Sindh and northern Gujarat and went away to Persia. The
Mongols also retired. India was thus saved from a terrible calamity,
but the menace of the Mongol raids disturbed the Sultans of Delhi in
subsequent times.

Consolidation of power

Southern Bihar was captured by Iltutmish in 1225-26. Lakhnauti was
captured in 1226. Revolts continued until the Khalji Maliks of
Bengal were reduced to complete submission in the winter of 1231.
Ala-ud-din Jani was appointed Governor of Lakhnauti.
With the death of Genghis Khan in 1227, Iltutmish attacked Qabacha.
Multan and Ucch were captured. Qabacha was surrounded on all sides
in the fort of Bhakkar, on the banks of Indus. He drowned while
attempting to escape. Sindh and Multan were incorporated into the
Delhi Sultanate and placed under separate governors.
Due to his problems first with Turkic nobles and then with the
Mongols, Iltutmish had ignored the Rajputs, who had regained
territory lost earlier to the Turks, for the first fifteen years of
his reign. Starting in 1226, however, Iltutmish began a series of
campaigns against the Rajputs. Ranthambore was taken in 1226,
Mandsaur in 1227. Bayana, Ajmer and Sambhar were also captured.
Nagaur was captured in 1230 and Gwalior in 1231. Iltutmish’s army

was forced to retreat with heavy losses from Gujarat by the ruling
Chalukyas. In 1235, Iltutmish sacked Ujjain and destroyed its
temples including the Mahakala Temple.
Iltutmish’s son Nasir-ud-din Mahmud captured the Gangetic valley
territories of Budaun, Benaras, and Kanauj, which had fallen into
the hands of local Hindu chieftains. Rohilkhand was taken with heavy
He built Gandhak-ki-Baoli, a stepwell for Sufi saint, Qutbuddin
Bakhtiar Kaki, who moved to Delhi during his reign.

Death and succession

In 1236 Iltumish died, and buried with the Qutb complex in Mehrauli.
Iltutmish’s eldest son, Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, had died in 1229 while
governing Bengal as his father’s deputy. The surviving sons of the
Sultan were incapable of the task of administration. In 1236
Iltutmish, on his death-bed, nominated his daughter Raziya as his
heiress. But the nobles of the court were too proud to bow their
heads before a woman, and disregarding the deceased Sultan’s wishes,
raised to the throne his eldest surviving son, Rukn-ud-din Firuz.
The death of Iltutmish was followed by years of political
instability at Delhi. During this period, four descendants of
Iltutmish were put on the throne and murdered. Order was
re-established only after Balban became the Naib or Deputy Sultan
and later on Sultan in 1265.



Qutub-ud-din Aibak was a slave of Mu’izz al-Din, whose reign started Delhi Sultanate. He was of CumanKipchakorigin.[19] On account of his lineage, his dynasty is known as the Mamluk (Slave) Dynasty (not to be confused withMamluk dynasty of Iraq or Mamluk dynasty of Egypt).[20]

Aibak reign as the Sultan of Delhi lasted 4 years. After his death, Aram Shah assumed power in 1210, but he was assassinated by Iltutmish (his nephew) in 1211.[21] Iltutmish’s power was precarious, and a number of Muslim amirs (nobles) challenged his authority. Some Qutbi amirs supported him. After a series of conquests and brutal executions of opposition, he consolidated his power.[22] His rule was challenged a number of times, such as by Qubacha, and this led to a series of wars.[23] Iltumish conquered Multan and Bengal from contesting Muslim rulers, as well as Ranathambhore and Siwalik from the Hindu rulers. He also attacked, defeated and executed Taj al-Din Yildiz, who asserted his rights as heir to Mu’izz al-Din Muhammad.[24] Iltutmish’s rule lasted till 1236. Following the death of Iltutmish, Delhi Sultanate saw a succession of weak rulers, disputing Muslim nobility, assassinations and short lived tenures. Power shifted from Rukn ud din Firuz to Razia Sultana and others, until Ghiyas ud din Balban came to power and ruled from 1266 to 1287.[23][24] He was succeeded by 17-year old Muiz ud din Qaiqabad, who ordered poisoning of Nizam-ud-Din and appointed Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah Khilji as the commander of Delhi Sultanate army. Khilji assassinated Muiz ud din Qaiqabad and assumed power, thus ending the Mamluk dynasty.

Alai Gate and Qutub Minar were built during Mamluk and Khalji dynasty periods of Delhi Sultanate.[25]

During the Mamluk dynasty, Qutub’ ud-Din Aibak initiated the construction ofQutub Minar and Quwwatu’l-Islam (literally, Might of Islam) mosque, now a UNESCO world heritage site.[25] It was built from materials reused from 20 demolished remains of Hindu temples, and completed by Muhammad-bin-Sam. The Qutub Minar complex was expanded by Iltutmish, later by Alauld-Din Khalji in early 14th century.[25][26] During the Mamluk dynasty, many amirs (nobles) of Afghan and Persia migrated and settled in India, as West Asia came under Mongol seize.[27]


Main article: Khilji dynasty

The first ruler of Khilji dynasty was Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah Khilji. He came to power in 1290, after ending the life of Mamluk dynasty’s last ruler Muiz ud din Qaiqabad, at the behest of Turkic, Afghan and Persian amirs.

Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah Khilji was of Turko-Afghan origin, and ruled for 6 years before he was murdered in 1296 by his nephew Juna Khan, who was also his son-in-law.[28] Juna Khan later came to be known as Ala al-din Khilji . Ala al-din began his military career as governor of Kara province, from where he led two raids on Malwa (1292) and Devagiri (1294) for plunder and loot. His military campaign returned to these lands as well other South Indian kingdoms after he assumed power. He conquered Gujarat, Ranthambor, Chitor and Malwa.[29]However, these victories were cut short because of Mongol attacks and plunder raids from northwest. The Mongols withdrew after plundering, and stopped raiding northwest parts of Delhi Sultanate.[30]

After Mongols withdrew, Ala al-din Khilji continued expanding Delhi Sultanate into South India, with the help of generals such as Malik Kafur and Khusraw Khan, collecting large war booty (Anwatan) from those they defeated.[31] His commanders collected war spoils, paid Ghanima (الْغَنيمَة, tax on spoils of war) which helped strengthen the Khalji rule. Among these loots was the Warangal loot that included one of the largest known diamond in human history, the Koh-i-noor.[32]

Ala al-din Khilji changed tax policies, raising agriculture taxes from 20% to 50% – payable in grain and agricultural produce, eliminating payments and commissions on taxes collected by local chiefs, banned socialization among his officials as well as inter-marriage between noble families to help prevent any opposition forming against him; he cut salaries of officials, poets and scholars in his kingdom.[28] These tax policies and spending controls strengthened his treasury to pay the keep of his growing army; he also introduced price controls on all agriculture produce and goods in kingdom, as well as controls on where, how and by whom these goods could be sold. Markets called shahana-i-mandiwere created.[33] Muslim merchants were granted exclusive permits and monopoly in these mandi to buy and resell at official prices. No one other than these merchants could buy from farmers or sell in cities. Those found violating thesemandi rules were severely punished, such as by cutting out their flesh. Taxes collected in form of grain were stored in kingdom’s storage. During famines that followed, these granaries ensured sufficient food for the army.[28]

Ala al-din is also known for his cruelty against attacked kingdoms after wars. Historians note him as a tyrant and that anyone Ala al-din Khilji suspected of being a threat to this power was killed along with the women and children of that family. In 1298, between 15,000 to 30,000 people near Delhi, who had recently converted to Islam, were slaughtered in a single day, due to fears of an uprising.[34]

After Ala-ud-din’s death in 1316, his army general Malik Kafur who was born in a Hindu family in India and had converted to Islam, tried to assume power. He lacked the support of Persian and Afghan nobility. Malik Kafur was killed.[28] The last Khilji ruler was Ala-ud-din’s 18-year old son Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah Khilji, who ruled for 4 years before he was killed by Khusraw Khan. Khusraw Khan reign lasted few months, when Ghazi Malik later to be called Ghiasuddin Tughlaq killed him and assumed power in 1320 AD, thus beginning the Tughluq dynasty of Delhi Sultanate.[27][34]

Ghiyas ud din Balban

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ghiyasuddin Balban
Sultan of Delhi
Reign 1266–1287
Successor Muiz ud din Qaiqabad (grandson)
Issue Muhammad Khan
Nasiruddin Bughra Khan
Burial Tomb of Balban, Mehrauli

Ghiyas ud din Balban (reigned: 1266–1287) (Urdu: غیاث الدین بلبن‎) was the ninth sultan of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi. Ghyias ud Din was the vizier and heir of the last Shamsi sultan, Nasir ud-din. He reduced the power of the treacherous nobility and heightened the stature of the sultan. In spite of having only few military achievements, he was the most powerful ruler of the sultanate between Shamsuddin Iltutmish and Alauddin Khilji.

A born Turk, Balban quickly rose to power under Shams ud din and his successors, being one of the forty nobles and eventually the Sultan’s vizier. After the Sultan Nasir ud din’s death (possibly of Balban’s design), he was made Sultan Ghiyas ud din. He elevated the position of the sultan in the Sassanid fashion and crushed the power of the forty nobles so that it could not usurp his rule.

Ghiyas made several conquests, some as vizier. He routed the Mewats that harassed Delhi and reconquered Bengal, all while successfully facing the Mongol threat, a struggle that spent his son and heir’s life. So it came to pass that upon his death in 1287 his grandson Qaiqubad was nominated sultan, undermining the achievements of his grandfather.

In spite of having only a few military achievements, Ghiyas ud-din made civil and military reforms that earned him the position of the strongest ruler between Shams ud-din Iltutmish and the later Alauddin Khilji, whose military achievements rest on the order established within the sultanate by Ghiyas ud din Balban.

Early life[edit]

He (born 1200 AD) was son of a [Central Asia] Turkic noble of the Gujjar tribe, but as a child he and others from his tribe – was captured by Mongols and sold as a slave at Ghazni. Prof K.Ali (1950, reprint 2006)”A new history of Indo-Pakistan”. He was sold to Khwaja Jamal ud-din of Basra, a Sufi who nicknamed him Baha ud din. The Khwaja brought him to Delhi where he and the other slaves were bought by Sultan Shams ud-din Iltutmish, himself a captured Ilbari Turk in origin, in 1232 CE.

Balban was first appointed as a simple water carrier, but quickly rose to the position of Khasdar (king’s personal attendant) by the Sultan. He became one of the most notable of the forty Turkic nobles of Delhi, or the Chalissa. During the reign of Razia Sultan, he was the amir-i Shikar or lord of the hunt, a position of some importance at the time, having military and political responsibilities. After her overthrow, he made rapid strides in the subsequent reigns, earning the fief of Rewari under Bahram Shah, and later became the Jagir (lord) of Hansi, which was an important fief.

Balban was instrumental in the overthrow of Masud Shah, installing as Sultan and himself as his Vizier from 1246 to 1266, after Mahmud had already married one of Balban’s daughters. Balban also installed Kishlu Khan, his younger brother, as lord chamberlain (Amir-i Hajib) and appointed his cousin, Sher Khan, to the Jagir of Lahore and Bhatinda.

Balban’s position did not go unnoticed by the other nobles and there was some resentment. His main antagonist was Imad ud-din Raihan, who in works written after Balban’s time, is characterized as a Hindu Murtad (who revoked Islam), although some claim him to be of Turkic origin as well. Imad ud-din managed to persuade the Sultan that Balban was an usurper. Balban and his kin were dismissed and even challenged in combat. However, negotiations between Balban and the Sultan had brought to the dismission of Imad ud din at 1254, and Balban was reinstalled.

Military Campaigns[edit]

Balban had several military achievements during his vizierhood, first raising the Mongol siege of Uch under Masud Shah in 1246. When the ruler of Bengal, Tughan Khan, had revoked the authority of Delhi and invaded its territory of Avadh, Balban sent his own slave, Tamur Khan, to reconquer the country, a campaign which proved successful until Tughan’s heir again asserted independence until his death in 1257. Bengal was than conquered by the governor of Kara, Arslan Khan, who asserted independence as well. It was brought back under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate at Tughril Khan’s rise during Balban’s reign.

One of the famous military campaigns of Balbun was against Meo, or Mayo, the people of Mewat who used to plunder the people of Delhi even in the day light. The distress caused by the Meo is well described in Barni’s words:He has killed many Mayo’s in his military campaign.

The turbulence of the Mewatis had increased, and their strength had grown in the neighbourhood of Dehli, through the dissolute habits and negligence of the elder sons of Shams ud-dín, and the incapacity of the youngest, Násiru-d dín. At night they used to come prowling into the city, giving all kinds of trouble, depriving the people of their rest; and they plundered the country houses in the neighbourhood of the city. In the neighbourhood of Dehli there were large and dense jungles, through which many roads passed. The disaffected in the Doáb, and the outlaws towards Hindustan grew bold and took to robbery on the highway, and they so beset the roads that caravans and merchants were unable to pass. The daring of the Mewatis in the neighbourhood of Dehli was carried to such an extent that the western gates of the city were shut at afternoon prayer, and no one dared to go out of the city in that direction after that hour, whether he travelled as a pilgrim or with the display of a sovereign. At afternoon prayer the Mewatis would often come to the Sar-hauz, and assaulting the water-carriers and the girls who were fetching water, they would strip them and carry off their clothes. These daring acts of the Mewatis had caused a great ferment in Dehli.

He took upon himself the task of chastising the turbulent people of Mewat, the region south of Delhi. In order to deal with the Mewatis, who dwelled in the Jungles, Balban had large portions of wood cut down and killed a large number of Hindu men and enslaved their women and children. He then build outposts on the roads (we are told that the guards of the outposts were Afghan mercenaries) and marched his armies to clear out the routes, in order to re-establish trade and pilgrimage.

He also laid siege to the fortress of Ranathmbhore, which rebelled against Delhi after the death of Shams ud din Iltutmish. After a long siege, the fort was conquered. In 1247, Balban suppressed a rising of the Chandela Chief of Kalinjar. In 1251, he led an expedition against the ruler of Gwalior.

His Reign[edit]

Coin during the reign of Balban

Since Sultan Nasiruddin did not have male heir, after his death, Balban declared himself the Sultan of Delhi. Balban ascended the throne in 1266 at the age of sixty with the title of Sultan Ghyasuddin Balban.

Silver coin of Balban

During his reign, Balban ruled with an iron fist. He broke up the ‘Chahalgani’, a group of the forty most important nobles in the court. Balban wanted to make sure everyone was loyal to the crown by establishing an efficient espionage system, in the style of the Umayyad Barid. Sultan Balban had a strong and well-organized spy system. Balban placed secret reporters and news-writers in every department. The spies were independent authority only answerable to Sultan.

Furthermore, Balban had his nobles punished most harshly for any mishap, including severe treatment of their own slaves. One of his nobles, Malik Bakbak, the Muqta’ of Badaun, was punished for ordering

one of his slaves to be beaten to death, apparently when being drunk. Ghiyasudding, heeded by the slave’s widow, ordered to scourge the noble to death in the presence of the widow. The spies who failed to report the incident to the king were hung in the city’s gates. About his justice Dr. Ishwari Prasad remarked “So great was the dread of Sultan’s inexorable justice that no one dared to ill-treat his servant and slaves.”

Balban re-organised the military against the threat of the Mongols. He re-organised the revenues of the Iqatadars, which have been passed on to the offsprings of their original holders from the time of Shams ud-din, or maintained their hold of the Iqta even after they ceased to serve in the military. The old Muqta’s, who could not serve as military commanders (emirs) for their revenue, were to be dismissed from their fief and settled with a pension of forty to fifty tankas. The younger Muqtas had been taxed for the surplus revenue (which was not taken from them as it should have) and the children and women who took possession of the Iqta of their forebearers, were to be deprived of their Iqtas and compensated with the money required to sustain them. However, he was partially dissuaded from this ruling due to the advice of the old Kotwal, Fakhr ud-din, and the old nobles retained their lands.

Balban’s steps against the nobility were so extreme as to raise suspicion from his brother, Sher Khan, who is said to have never visited Delhi. It appears that resentment between the brothers had to come to a degree that made the Sultan poison his brother

Balban also elevated the position of the Sultan, further reducing the force of the nobility. He took the title “Shadow of god on earth” and introduced the Persian culture of Zaminbos that is lying flat on one’s face before the emperor and kissing his feet. He always appeared in his full uniform and in the company of his royal procession. He would not laugh (an inappropriate custom in the Islamic view) and did not permit laughter in his court. We are told that he also rid the court of wine and gambling, which Islam prohibits.

Nevertheless, Ghiyasudding Balban still took game. However, his hunting excursions were more frequently used as a form of military training, or even as a cover for military expeditions (supposedly to prevent the Mongols from hearing of his departure).

The old gate of Lakhnauti, an evidence of the city’s strong fortifications, easily overcome by Balban.

One of these military expeditions was set against Bengal, after its ruler, Tughril Khan, had revolted and took the Laqb Nasir ud din. In order to prevent political and military vacuum from occumulatig in his capital, he first sent his warlords against the rebel, but two of them were defeated and it is told that many of their troops deserted to Tughril’s side due to his rumored wealth. Ghiyasudding was much infuriated by this, hanging his failed warlords and eventually being resolved upon heading to Bengal himself.

A large army was assembled and crossed the Saru on boats. The army made its way even during the rainy season of Monsoon, with a band of Turkic riders as scouts sent ahead of the main force. The very rumor of the Sultan’s arrival to Bengal had frightened Tughril Khan to the point of fleeing into the countryside, leaving his capital Lakhnauti to the conquest of Balban’s forces. To the dismay of the locals, the Sultan ordered stakes to be erected in the Bazar for a mile’s length, ordering that anyone even remotely associated with Tughril was to be staked. However, his advisors later dissuaded him from this.

Tughril himself was later found camping in the jungles by the scouts. A surprise attack was initiated long before the army reached the site, but in the panic of being assaulted, Tughril’s camp seemed to have figured that the army of the Sultan was upon them. Tughril himself had fled through the back of his tent, but was stuck by an arrow and later decapitated. His bane was nicknamed Tughril-kush (bane of Tughril) and earned many riches and robes.


Grave in Balban’s tomb enclosure, Mehrauli

He ruled as the Sultan from 1266 until his death in 1286, allegdly at the age of eighty, which was very old at the time. His destined heir was his older son, Muhammad Khan, but he had perished in battle against the Mongols. His other son, Bughra Khan, was not so highly esteemed by his father, and sought to remain the ruler of Bengal instead. He therefore choose his grandson, Qai Khusrau, son of Bughra Khan, as heir apparent. However, after his death his nobles nominated Qai Khusrau’s brother, Qaiqubad as Sultan Muizz ud-din.

Qaiqubad reign (1287–1290), while his father, Bughra Khan, asserted independence in Bengal. Qaiqubad was very weak and incompetent and eventually fell to stroke and had to pass the rule to his three years old son,Shamsuddin Kayumars, who was eventually dethronned by his guardian, Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji in 1290, bringing an end to the Slave dynasty.

Today, Tomb of Balban wherein a true arch and a true dome were built of the first time in India, lies within the Mehrauli Archaeological Park in Delhi, adjacent to which stands that of his son Khan Shahid and wall mosque. The domes of both the tombs have collapsed and the structures are ruined structures were restored in the recent years when the conservation work began in the park.

Preceded by
Nasir ud din Mahmud
Slave Dynasty
Succeeded by
Muiz ud din Qaiqabad

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