Tughlaqabad (left), The tomb of the Emperor Ghiyas al-Din Tughlaq (right)
Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)
Medium: Ink and colours on paper
[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]
The citadel and town of Toghluckabad was built by the Emperor Gheeasoodeen (‘ Aid of Religion’) Toghluck the son of a Toorkee slave. In AD 1321 the King Mobaruck (‘Propitious. Fortunate’) Shah (‘King’) of the Khiljee Tribe was put to death by Khoosroo (‘a great king’) Khan an ungrateful favorite to whom the whole administration of the government had been confided. On the death of the King, Khoosroo at once assumed the vacant throne and murdered all the survivors of the Royal Family. His sovereignty was but of short duration for Ghouse Khan the governor of the Punjab went into open rebellion and marching to Dehly with the veteran troops of the frontier, he gained a victory over the dissolute and ill commanded bands opposed to him and put an end to the reign and life of the usurper, to the universal joy of the people.
[The citadel and town of Tughluqabad was built by Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq (r.1320-1325), east of the Qutub Minar. The fortress stands on a high outcrop of rock, with rubble built walls, surviving intact all along the 7 km perimeter, with a vast reservoir on the south. The fortress was divided into three sections-the citadel, the palace and the city. All that remains of the complex of palaces, houses and halls is a few arches. The citadel has a high masonry mound in the centre known as Vijay mandal (tower of victory). ]
Inscribed: naqsha-i qil‘a-i Tughluqabad.
On entering Dehly Ghouse Khan made a declaration that his only object was to deliver the country from oppression, and that he was willing to place any of the Royal line on the throne. No member of the Khiljee family was found to have survived and Toghluck was himself proclaimed under the title of Gheeasoodeen. His whole reign was as commendable as his accession was blameless. He began by restoring order in his internal administration and by putting his frontier in an effective state of defence. In AD 1324/5 the King proceeded in person to Bengal where Bohara (‘a Turkish word’) or Boghra Khan the father of a former Emperor Keikobad (‘a proper name’) still retained his government after a lapse of 40 years. He was now confirmed in possession and permitted the use of Royal Ornaments by the son of his father’s former slave.
The King also settled some disturbances in Dacca, then a Province independent of Bengal, and, on his was back reduced Tirhoot and took the Raja prisoner as he approached his capital in February of AD [blank, 1325] the Emperor was met by his eldest son Fukheeroodeen (‘Pride of the Faith’) Jonah (‘Old, ancient’) Khan,, who received him in magnificence in a wooden pavilion erected for the occasion. During the ceremonies the building gave way and the King with five other persons was crushed on its fall.
The misfortune may have been accidental but as before stated at page 40 [f. 39v] strong suspicions existed that such was not the case, more especially as Jonah Khan was absent at the time and that his next brother, who was the father’s favorite, was involved in the same calamity.
The city of Toghluckabad is still remarkable for its extent and massive grandeur, and at its day, cannon being unknown, it must have been impregnable. It was chiefly built of immense masses of stone raised one above the other to a considerable height and without cement of any kind to connect them.
After the death of its founder it was not again the seat of Empire and on the introduction of our rule in 1803, it was found to be the abode of thieves who were the terror of the surrounding country. By present measurement the ruins extend 3 miles in length and same in breadth. The bastions are 61 and the gateways 13 in number.
[The tomb of the Emperor Ghiyas al-Din Tughluq (r.1320-25). Originally it stood within a reservoir and was attached to Tughlaqabad fort by a causeway. The tombs sloping walls pioneered a style that was used in all subsequent Tughlaq architecture. The tomb also has the graves of Ghiyas ud-Din's wife and his son Muhammad Bin-Tughlaq (r.1325-51).]
[Note: It is unlikely that this artist ever went near this tomb, which is represented more like that of Safdar Jung than of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. ]
Inscribed: naqsha-i Tughluqabad va sultan-i ‘adil.
The tomb of the Emperor Toghluck is connected with the citadel by a causeway, and surrounded by beautiful cultivation during the spring harvest.