The Tomb known as Sultan Ghari built by Iltutmish for his eldest son near the Qutb Minar
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 Naser oodeen (‘Defender of the Faith’) Mohumud (‘Name of the Prophet’) at the Kootoob commonly known by the name Sooltan (‘Emperor’) Gharee (‘From Ghar a cavern the emperor having decided that he should when dead be thrown into a hole’).
By the Honorable W. Elphinstone he is said to have been a grandson, and by native historians the son of the Emperor Shumsoodeen Ultimish, page … [f. 75]. He was imprisoned immediately on his father’s death, and though he had been some time released and entrusted with a government, he retained the retired and studious habits of his youth. He succeeded his grand nephew, the Emperor Alaoodeen (‘Glory of Religion’), who after a reign of two years of cruelty and licentiousness was deposed and put to death A.D. 1241. The twenty years reign of Naseroodeen was full of disturbances foreign and domestic, though none sufficient to overturn his government.
He at first reposed implicit confidence in his Minister Gheeasoodeen (‘Aid of Religion’) Bulbeen (‘Proper name, no meaning’),
[The Tomb of Sultan Ghari. This is the earliest Muslim tomb in Delhi, erected in 1231 by Iltutmih (r. 1211-36), over the grave of his eldest son, Nasir al-Din Mahmud, reusing pillars from temples. He is not the same as the Emperor Nasir al-Din Muhammad.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i Sultan Ghari.
whose measures were eminently successful, and although the King accompanied the army and was the ostensible author of all its military success, he nevertheless began to feel uneasy in the secondary place which he really occupied, and was induced by the insinuation of an artful courtier Imadooddeen (‘Pillar of Religion’), who had risen by the favor of the minister to remove the latter from his port, and confer it on his secret accuser.
All the ministers’ immediate adherents were also soon displaced. The misgovernment which followed created extensive discontents and remonstrances were addressed to the king demanding the dismissal of the new minister.
Gheeasoodeen was recalled, and henceforth became the real head of the government. Imadoodeen A.D. 1215 [1251?], raised a rebellion, in which he involved a relation of the king,
and though he was soon taken prisoner and put to death, the rebellion was not quelled till the end of the second year.
In A.D. 1258, it was found necessary to put down the inhabitants of Mewat a brave and turbulent race of mountaineers, to the south of Dehly, and though not distant more than 25 miles, it was not without great exertion and some danger that the King defeated them in battle and ultimately reduced their country. Ten thousand of the insurgents are said to have been slain. This predatory tribe were never entirely quieted until the establishment of the British Government.
The Emperor died a natural death in February A.D. 1266. His private life was that of a Dervice. He defrayed all his personal expence by copying books. His fare was of the humblest description and was cooked by the Queen to whom he allowed no female servant. He was an eminent patron of Persian literature; and a general history of Persia and India, a work of the highest celebrity was written at his court.
He was succeeded by his Minister Gheeasoodeen Bulbeen.