History behind the Ruined Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Balban
Balban was a powerful ruler of the Slave dynasty and ruled over Delhi till his death. The Slave dynasty was known as the Mamluk dynasty. Before we talk about the history of tomb of Balban; it’s better that we first know the history of Balban. Ghiyas-ud-din Balban was born in 1206 AD in the Ilbari tribe to a Turkish nobleman. He was a water carrier boy. It is said that the Mughals captured him and sold him as a child slave to Ghazi Khwaja Jamal-ud-din Basri, who was a Baghdadi merchant, in Afghanistan’s bazaars.
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He was then again sold to Iltutmish as a slave. But Iltutmish’s emperor, Qutub-ud-Aibak (Delhi sultanate’s sultan) ordered him to release Balban from slavery. Qutub-ud-din Aibak parented Balban as his own son. He educated him as a prince. He also appointed Balban as his PA and a close confidante. After Razia Sultan’s death, Balban won several regions neighboring Delhi. He took over as prime minister when Nasir-ud-din Mahmud was crowned sultan. Balban married his daughter and thus when Nasir died; Balban became the sultan of Delhi sultanate. At some places, his age is mentioned as 60 years and at some places, he is mentioned to be 66 years old when he became the sultan. He was the ninth and the last ruler of the Slave dynasty. He is known as a ruler with an iron fist.
Now let’s talk about the history of the tomb of Balban located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park. As per the records, the tomb is said to have been built in 1287 CE. The tomb today stands in a ruined condition where most of the structures have either fallen down or broken, no one knows. The tomb also houses the grave of Khan Shahid, who is said to be his son. Khan Shahid died in 1285 in Multan while against the Mongols. When Balban heard the news of his son’s death, he was so grief-stricken that he too ultimately died. His other son was in Bengal but he didn’t come to see his father. Thus, Balban had to declare his grandson as the next ruler.
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