The tomb of Iltutmish at the Qutb Minar (left), The tomb of Iltumish at the Qutb Minar (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 Tomb of the Emperor Shums ood deen Altumish situated at theKootoob. It is related of Altumish though probably not until after his elevation to the throne in A.D. 1211, that he was of noble family and being like Joseph in his youth the favorite of his father and thereby envied by the rest of his brothers. They stripped him one day when hunting and sold him to a company of travelling merchants. The latter carried him to Bokhara and sold him to one of the relatives of the Prince of the country under whom he received a liberal education. On the death of his master he was again exposed to sale and purchased by a merchant who sold him again to another who carried him to Ghuznee. The Emperor Mohumud Gharee heard of Altumish’s beauty and talents but could not agree with the merchant about his price. He was therefore carried back to Bokhara as none durst buy him on account of the King’s displeasure till Kootoob ood deen (‘the pole star of religion’) alluded to at Page 74 [f. 72v], obtaining the King’s permission purchased him at Dehly whither he had invited the merchant owner, for 50 thousand pieces of silver. Subsequently Kootoob ood deen gave Altumish his second daughter in marriage.
As the son in law of his master, Altumish rose in rank until he was created general in
[The tomb of the Emperor Shams al-Din Altamish, Iltutmish (r.1211-36), lies to the north of the Quwwat ul'Islam mosque, and is first surviving tomb of an Islamic ruler in India. It comprises a square chamber of red sandstone, the interior being covered with Islamic carvings and arabesques. The tomb was originally covered by a dome which has disappeared.]
chief and on the death of his father in law, he advanced against the capital, expelled “Aram” his brother in law and son of his benefactor from the throne and declared himself King with the title of Shums ood deen Altumish.
Shums ood deen signifies the Sun of Religion and Altumish is the Turkish word for sixty and conferred or assumed from the circumstance of his having been purchased for sixty Toomeens.
On his accession he was acknowledged by many chiefs and princes, but some of his generals taking offense went off with the greater part of his Toorkee Horse, the flower of his army. These connecting themselves with other malcontents, advanced to the capital of Dehly where they were opposed by Altumish and defeated. Their chief Furrookh (Propitious) was slain in the field, and the rest so closely pursued, that in a short time, they were all either killed or taken, which established Altumish on the throne.
All Hindoostan, save some insulated portions were made from time to time to acknowledge the government of Dehly: but the obedience of the different portions
was in different degrees. From entire subjection to very imperfect independence.
After these successes Altumish returned to Dehly and died in April 1236 after a reign of 26 years, as he was about to depart on a journey to Mooltan. He was an enterprising, able and good Prince, and during his reign, he received investiture from the Caliph of Bagdad, the most authoritative recognition of a new government that could take place among Mohummudans.
His Wuzeer or Minister towards the latter end of his reign was “Fukhoor ool Moolk” (the Pride of the State) who had formerly been minister to the Caliph of Bagdad for 30 years, whence he was much esteemed on account of his wisdom and learning.
The beautiful column of the Kootoob is said to have been completed in this reign.
[View of the tomb of Iltutmish (r.1211-36) with two men standing by it]
The same tomb as above, but in a different view and by a different artist.