Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq


Ghiyas-ud-din Tuqhluq was a strong and wise ruler but little is known about his early career or about his family. He came into limelight in the reign of Ala-ud-din Khalaji when he stood victorious and gallant in all the fights against the Mongols and earned the title of Ghazi Malik that means “conqueror king”. He was appointed governor of Dipalpur where he reasserted the authority of the Delhi Sultanate. Ghazi Malik overcame the rebellious Raja of Warangal, suppressed the revolt in Bengal, annexed the territory of Madura with the kingdom and conquered Tirhut (Mithila) on the borders of Bepal, which was hitherto outside the Delhi Sultanate. When Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah became Sultan, he not only confirmed Ghazi Malik in his post but also appointed his son Juna akhur bek (a court officer). Ghazi Malik rose against rule of Khusrau Khan, who had killed Mubarak Shah, the last ruler of the Khilji dynasty. He overthrew Khusrau Khan and founded the Tughluq Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate in September 1320.

During the reign of Ghiyas-ud-din Tuqhluq departments of justice, peace and order prevailed throughout the empire. Police and security officials worked quite efficiently. The land revenue was properly organized and every possible measure was taken to prevent any kind of exploitation and misconduct. Thus he acquitted himself most honorably and successfully as a Sultan during his short reign of five years. His administration was based on principles of justice and moderation. At his accession he found the treasury almost depleted because of an indiscriminate distribution of money by Khusrau Khan to win partisans for himself. So first of all Ghiyas-ud-din called upon all those who had received money from Khusrau Khan to return it to the state treasury. Hadrat Nizam-ud-Din Aulia had also received five lakh tankas from Khusrau but when Ghiyas-ud-din asked him to do so, he replied that all the money had been spent for the relief of the poor in the poor. Though Ghiyas-ud-din Tuqhluq didn’t pursue the matter, yet unpleasant relationship started that continued on the question of legality of sama and raqs.

The Sultan showed deep interest in the well being of his subjects. He was pious and God fearing Muslim and was regular in performing his religious duties. His private life was free from all blemishes. He built the fort of Tughluqabad and several other magnificent buildings including his own tomb. Sultan died in the fifth year of his reign in 1325. On the return from a successful expedition from Bengal when a wooden palace that was built in just three days under the supervision of the royal architect Ahmad bin Ayaz fell upon him. Ibn-i-Battutah who was prejudiced against Juna khan (Muhammad Bin Tughluq) says that the pavilion was specially built to fall down and that Jauna was a patricide. Barani, who also was hostile to Jauna calls the mishap and accident.

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005