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Slave Dynasty : Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86)

Slave Dynasty : Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86)

Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86):

  • Balban is known for his theory of kingship. According to him, Sultan is the shadow of God on earth (Zill-e-allah). He borrowed court etiquettes from Iran and introduced the ceremonies of Sijda (prostration before the monarch’s feet) and Paibos (kissing the monarch’s feet) and Nauroz (nine day festival of Sultan’s birthday).
  • He called himself deputy of the Caliph. He claimed superiority over the other nobles and linked his origin to the legendary Iranian King Afrasiyab. He was respectful of the ulema but did not let them interfere in state affairs.  Slave Dynasty : Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86)
  • He excluded Indian muslims from position of power and authority. He gave up drinking, kept a dignified reserve and did not weep or laugh in public.
  • He believed in the theory of blue blood and hated the common people and people of the lower strata of society.
  • Balban did not go for fresh conquests. He recognized the internal dangers from the rebellions and the external dangers from the Mongols and sought to contain them by following a ‘policy of blood and iron’.
  • He created a separate military department called diwan-i-arz and made ariz-e-mamlik the ministry in-charge of military. He took personal interest in training and disciplining the army. He controlled the lawlessness in the area around Delhi by the Mewatis by mercilessly crushing them.
  • He suppressed the rebellions of Hindu zamindars of the ganga-yamuna doab and Awadh. He also suppressed the uprising in Kethru by the Rajputs and also the uprising of the Khokhars in Punjab. He meted out tough punishment to the father of the governor of Badaun and the father of the governor of Awadh for cruelty to their personal slaves.  Slave Dynasty : Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86)
  • He thus earned the reputation of being a just ruler, not making any difference between the high and the low in administering justice.

He also got a huge ball erected outside his gates to answer the needs of the people. Balban also set about countering the invasions of the Mongols from the north-east and constructed a series of forts in the north-west as in Samana, Sunam, Bhatinda, Dipalpur.

  • He put his eldest son, Prince Mahmud in charge of operations, but Prince Mahmud, the heir apparent of Balban, was killed in an encounter against the Mongols. Then, he put Jalaluddin Khalji in charge of operations of against the Mongols in the northwest.
  • But Balban did the mistake of liquidation of the nobles who he perceived were a threat to him, for example, he got his own cousin Sher Khan poisoned.  Slave Dynasty : Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86)

This created a situation where the Sultanate was deprived of capable officers and resulted in the end of the slave dynasty barely four years after his death in 1286. Balban’s dynasty is regarded as the second Ilbari dynasty.



Medieval History

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