Some Facts of History-3

1. Dewal Rani Khizr Khani entitled Ashiqa, narrates the romantic story of Khizr Khan, son of Alauddin Khilzi and Dewal Rani, the daughter of Rana Karan of Gujarat.


(715 AH/1315 AD)

The Ishqiya as it is sometimes called is the third masnavi composed by Amir Khusrau and it was completed in 715 AH/1315. It contains a total of 4519 lines written in two batches.

The central theme of the long poem is the romantic love and the tragic fate of Khizr Khan, son of Sultan Allauddin Khilji and the beautiful princess Dewal Devi, daughter of Raja Karan of Gujarat.

Dewal Rani Khizr Khan was Amir Khusrau’s need to create an Indian epic love story in response to the prevailing Persian and Arabic classic romances – Farhad o Shirin and Layla O Majnun.

Here he wove current historical events as intriguingly as mythical tale. He first completed the masnavi with the marriage of the young Muslim prince with the Hindu princess in spite of his mother’s rejection of their love.

He brings together the symbolic union of two civilizations – Hindu and Muslim. Due to the unfortunate death of prince Khizr Khan as a prisoner of his brother, Sultan Qutubuddin Mubarak Shah Khilji,he later updated the masnavi with a tragic end. By the time he wrote the masnavi, he had already completed the Khamsa and acquired proficiency in the style.

The romance is unique in Persian literature in more than one respect – it has for its theme a contemporary event, it belongs to the domain of history and not mythology, it describes India in stunning detail and contains small tales within the narrative which are original and instructive.


Details of image: Masnavi Duval Rani Khizr Khan, National Museum, New Delhi. Masnuscript dated 1568 AD. The illustration displays the marriage of the Hindu princess Duval Rani with the Muslim ruler Khizr Khan, which the angels have come to bless. Source: Welch, India: Art and Culture.

2. One dies but once-One Sultan, one death – but so many speculations of resting places.

Feroze Shah Tughlaq-had chosen as his place of final rest.

i) Lal Gumbad-but gave it to Kabirudin Auliya as his tomb


Lal Gumbad-Mehrauli-Delhi

ii) Quadam Shareef-but it was destined to be the tomb of his son-Fateh Khan


Quadam Shareef-Delhi

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iii) Hauz Khas

Finally, he rests in peace in Hauz Khas.


Feroze Shah Tughlaq’s Tomb in Hauz Khas-Delhi

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3. Balban constructed a palace in Delhi called Kushki Lal before he became king.

According to Maulvi Zafar Hasan, Kushki Lal, was a magnificent building which was a structure raised on a chabutra (platform). Constructed of red sandstone, it consisted of a “central domed apartment, with dalaans forming a verandah on all four sides. The latter had red sandstone pillars very simply ornamented and lintels supporting a flat roof of the same material over which were chattris (canopies) on the east, west and south, the northern chhatri having disappeared. Some 25 feet to the north-west of the dome on the same chabutra was a double-storied chhatri which was connected originally with the palace”.

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These archival photographs of Kushki Lal aka Lal Mahal display the grandeur of a monument which has now been lost forever.


Kushki Lal aka Lal Mahal – Almost destroyed

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He built “Qila-i-Marzghan”, near the palace after he became king.

4. A Princes lost for eternity

Shahzadi Aqiqa Sultan Begum at Agra. (B.1531) daughter of Humayun and Bega Begum, was eight years-old daughter, when she was lost in Chausa, on 27 June, 1539, and was never recovered.

Humayun became extremely devastated and regretted ever bringing his daughter to Chausa in the first place. He blamed himself, saying, “Why did I not kill her in my own presence?”, rather than have her fall into the enemy’s hands.


Chausa-where Shahzadi Aqiqa Sultan Begum daughterof Humayun and Bega Begum and sister of Akbar was lost forever

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5. Name of Mother of husband of Maham Anga

Her name was Fakhrunissa (Mama), she was mother of Nadim Khan Kukaltash aka Nadim Kuka, a general in the army of and faithful servant of Humayun and husband of Maham Anga.


 Emperor Akbar & Maham Anga

Moghul Miniature Akbarnama Painting Rare Handmade Art

6. Baghi-i-Alam ka Gumbad (Shihabu’d-Din Khan’s tomb-1501)

During the reign of Sikandar Lodhi, in 1501 Bagh-i-Alam-ka-Gumbad (Deer Park, Hauz Khas, Delhi) was built around the grave of Mia Shihabu’d-Din Taj Khan (a fakir), to commemorate his memory.


Baghi-i-Alam ka Gumbad

(Built to renovate and add magnitude to Shihabu’d-Din Khan=-1501)

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7. Tardi Beg was a military commander in the 16th century in Mughal India. He served under the Mughal Emperors Humayun and Akbar.

It is reported that he was disliked by both the troops and generals and was eventually killed for cowardice by Bairam Khan.

(His grave is reported to be near Humayun’s Tomb but is not identified)

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The Tomb of Humayun’s Vizier

Artist: Wilson, Horace H, Medium: Lithograph; Date: 1841

8. Sultan Garhi

Surprisingly, the tomb is not dedicated to a holy man but to a prince who would have been emperor, or sultan. Nasiru’d-Din Mahmud was the heir-apparent to the throne after his father Sultan Iltutmish but met an untimely death around 1231 A.D. Nasiru’d-Din was the brother of Razia Sultan, the first and only woman monarch to rule from Delhi. Tragically, all siblings met with untimely or violent deaths.


Sultan Garhi-Delhi

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9. Malik Ayaz, son of Aymáq Abu’n-Najm, was a Turkish slave of Georgian origin who rose to the rank of officer and general in the army of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (also known as Mahmud Ghaznavi). His rise to power was a reward for the devotion he bore his master.


Mahmud and Ayaz
The Sultan is to the right, shaking the hand of the sheykh, with Ayaz standing behind him. The figure to his right is Shah Abbas I who reigned about 600 years later.
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran

10. In 1021, the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raised Ayaz to kingship, awarding him the throne of Lahore, which the Sultan had taken after a long siege and a fierce battle in which the city was torched and depopulated.

11. It is said that in old age “Sultán Mahmúd Mahmud of Ghazni spent his whole time in the society of Malik Ayáz, neglecting the business of the state.”The tomb of Malik Ayaz can still be seen in the Rang Mahal commercial area of Lahore.


Tomb of Malik Ayaz-Lahore

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12. Shahabuddin Ghori had no offspring, but he treated his Turkic slaves as his sons, who were trained both as soldiers and administrators and provided with the best possible education. Many of his competent and loyal slaves rose to positions of importance in Shahabuddin Ghori’s army and government.


Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori (also spelled Ghauri, Ghouri, Ghori)

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Slaves of Shahabuddin Ghori

a. Qutb-ud-din Aibak became ruler of Delhi in 1206, establishing the Sultanate of Delhi, which marked the start of the Slave dynasty.


Qutb ud din Aibak

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b. Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha became ruler of Multan in 1210.

c. Tajuddin Yildoz became ruler of Ghazni.


Tajuddin Yildoz Coins

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d. Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji became ruler in parts of Bengal.

A certain reference in literature suggests that in 1193, the ancient college-city of Nalanda and the university of Vikramshila were sacked by Bakhtiyar Khilji. The Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, in his chronicle the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, reported that thousands of monks were burned alive and thousands beheaded as Khilji tried his best to uproot Buddhism. The burning of the library continued for several months and “smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for days like a dark pall over the low hills.


The end of Buddhist Monks, A.D. 1193

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13. Sultan Qutbuddin Mubarak Khalji and Kurbat Hasan Kangu, the ruler of Malabar

A typical and complete hermaphrodite was Sultan Qutbuddin Mubarak Khalji (1316-1320). He occasionally dressed himself in female attire, embroidered with laces and adorned with gems, and went about dancing in the houses of the nobles like a typical hijra.

Similarly, Kurbat Hasan Kangu aka Hasan Gangu, the ruler of Malabar, often used to come to court (darbar-i-am) dressed in the fashion of females. He bedecked his arms and neck with jewellery and ornaments.




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