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He declared himself to be Shadow of God

Updated on March 5, 2016

King Balban


Balban declared himself the Sultan of Delhi. During his reign, Balban


the power of the Turkish nobles

Finally, Nasir – Ud – Mahmud was raised to the throne in 1246. he was not effective as a ruler but survived for twenty years because Ghiyasuddin Balban, a cunning and powerful noble who made himself the prime minister, started exercising all powers in the name of the Sultan. He successfully crushed other intriguing and power – hungry nobles. After the death of Nasir – ud – din in 1266, Balban made himself the Sultan.

Balban 1266 to 1286

After becoming Sultan, Balban took steps to effectively crush the power of the forty. He recognized an efficient system of spies who kept him informed of the intrigues and conspiracies of nobles. He severely punished all those who dared to defy his authority and executed many. He patronized Afghans and appointed them to high position in the army and administration as a means to reducing the power of the Turkish nobles. Further, he raised the dignity of the office of the Sultan by introducing a court etiquette which required everyone to bend low before him and to kiss his feet. Thus the nobles were made to realize that they were socially inferior to the Sultan. He also declared himself to be `Shadow of God' (Zilullah)

Balban also improved law and order by carrying out massacres of rebels and robbers in areas extending from Mewat near Delhi to Katihar in Bihar. Hundreds of thousand of people were also captured and sold as slaves in the slave markets of Delhi.

After making his internal administration secure, Balban paid attention to the threat from the Mongols who had advanced up to Lahore and who used to raid his kingdom every year. He built a number of new forts between Punjab and Delhi and strengthened old ones. These were staffed with capable officers and troops and supplied with arms and provisions. The Mongol menace to the Turkish kingdom was thus checked.

Tomb Of Balban


Firuz Shah Tughlaq


Indian Ruler Firuz Shah Tughlaq was elected by the high officials and nobles

North Indian Ruler Firuz Shah Tughlaq was elected by the high officials and nobles

Firuz Shah Tughlaq 1351 to 1388

As Muhammad Tughlaq had no son, his nephew, Firoz Shah was elected by the high officials and nobles to succeeded him.

Firoz made no fresh conquest and his attempts to crush rebellions in Bengal failed. His campaign against Orissa also did not result in annexation of territory. However, he destroyed many temples in both these provinces. He also failed to reconquer many of the provinces of the Deccan which had broken away from the empire during the last years of Muhammad – bin – Tughlaq's reign. But by and large, the reign of Firuz was a period of relative peace.

Firoz Tughlaq is more famous as a religious man who was generous and kind to people including his nobles. He appointed the Ulema (learned Muslim religious scholars) to many of the high offices in the state and ran the affairs of the state according to the Islamic law. He made the posts of high officials in the state hereditary and rewarded may of them with grants of Jagris. His kindness towards corrupt officials and even criminals led to weaknesses in administration.

Firoz Tughlaq is most famous as a builder. He built a new capital in Delhi and named it Firozabad (now known as Kotla Firoz Shah). He also built the new cities of Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh). Hisar and Fatehabad (both in Haryana state). He was fond of gardens and orchards and built about 1200 gardens in Delhi. A number of irrigation canals were also constructed by him.

Firoz Tughlaq was also very fond of collecting slaves. He had collected about 1,80,000 slaves whom he recruited in the army or trained as skilled craftsmen.

By the time Firuz died in 1388, his administration had already started showing signs of weakness.

Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s Tomb and Madrasa



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