Mohammad Shah

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Muhammad Shah was the nephew and successor of Mubarik Shah. He ruled for a period of ten years from 1434 to 1444. His reign was quite ineffectual as Multan became independent under the Langhas, and Behlul Lodhi, the Governor of Sirhind, extended his influence over eastern and Central Punjab. Mahmud Khalaji of Malwa encouraged by these conditions and being invited by a section of high officials invaded Delhi. Muhammad Shah sought help from Buhlul Lodi, the chief of Sarhind who came with a large army. In the course of the battle, however Mohammad Shah started negotiations for peace, but Buhlul attacked and dispersed the Khaljis. Mohammad Shah showered praise and honors on Buhlul, who however wanted to seize the throne. In 1443 he attacked Delhi and besieged it for six months but failing to capture it withdrew to Sarhind. The Sultan’s authority was defied by practically every chieftain now. In the midest of these troubles Muhammad Shah breathed his last as a sick man in 1444.

The tomb of Muhammad Shah, is one of the larger tombs that survives since the 15th century located within the Lodi Gardens. It is based on a configuration used mostly for royal tombs – an octagonal chamber ringed by an outer arcade, while square tombs were for high-ranking members of society. The central dome sits on a sixteen-sided high drum, giving the tomb greater verticality. Hindu influence is reflected in the eight ‘chhatris’ that ring the dome, each centered and in line with a face of the octagon. The dome of each ‘chhatri’ is a smaller version of the central dome, each capped by a lotus finial with a decorative band around the base. The ceiling is decorated with carved stucco using circular designs with arabesques and calligraphic motifs. There are eight graves inside, the central one is believed to be that of Muhammad Shah.

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