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Title: Balban  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Delhi Sultanate, Amir Khusrow, Iltutmish, Nagaur, Mehrauli, Manikpur, Uttar Pradesh, Sakit, Dipalpur, Ranthambore Fort, Timeline of 16th-century conversion of Hindu clans to Islam
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Ghiyasuddin Balban
Sultan of Delhi
Reign 1266–1287
Buried Tomb of Balban, Mehrauli
Successor Muiz ud din Qaiqabad (grandson)
Issue Muhammad khan
Nasiruddin Bughra Khan
Dynasty Mamluk dynasty of Delhi

Ghiyasuddin Balban (reigned: 1266 – 1287) (Urdu: غیاث الدین بلبن‎) was the ninth sultan of the Mamluk dynasty.[1]

Early life

He was son of a Central Asian Turkic noble of the Ilbari tribe, but as a child he was captured by Mongols and sold as a slave at Ghazni[2] Later, he was bought by Sultan Iltutmish in 1232 CE.

He was liberally educated. He introduced the Persian culture of Zaminbos that is lying flat on one's face before the emperor. He was first appointed as Khasdar (king's personal attendant) by the Sultan.[2] He became the head of the Chalissa, a group of forty Turkic nobles of the state. After the overthrow of Razia Sultana, he made rapid strides in the subsequent reigns. He was initially the Prime Minister of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud from 1246 to 1266 and married his daughter. 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 Ghyasuddin Balban.[2]

Military Campaigns

One of 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. He took upon himself the task of chastising the turbulent people of Mewat, the region south of Delhi.[3]

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. He tried to establish peace and order in the country of India. He built many outposts in areas where there was crime and garrisoned them with soldiers. Balban wanted to make sure everyone was loyal to the crown by establishing an efficient espionage system. 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. Balban was strict administrator of justice. He did not show any partiality even to his own kith and kin. 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." When a complaint was made that Malik Baqbaq, a powerful landlord of Badaun killed one of his own servant, Balban ordered his death sentence. The news-writer(spy), who was responsible for Badaun reporting was also executed because he failed to report this act of injustice to Sultan.[4]

He ruled as the Sultan from 1266 until his death in 1286, and was succeeded by his grandson, Muiz ud din Qaiqabad, who reign (1287–1290). His successors were weak and incompetent and the throne was eventually captured by 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,[5] 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.[5]

See also


External links

  • Ghiyas ud din Balban Biography
  • Ghiyas ud din Balban's biography at
  • Image of Tomb of Balban
Preceded by
Nasir ud din Mahmud
Slave Dynasty
Succeeded by
Muiz ud din Qaiqabad

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