The Tughlaq Dynasty holds are very important place in Modern Indian history. There have been many famous rulers in the dynasty but the most popular among all has been Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.
Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was a highly ambitious ruler. He possessed an unusual originality of mind. Son to Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, he was also called Ullagh Khan. Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq has designated his son as the heir to the throne, so his accession to the throne was smooth and without any opposition. After mourning 40 years of his father’s death, he coronated himself to the throne at Delhi. Initially living at Tughlaqabad, he shifted to the old city and coronated himself in the Daulatabad, which witnessed the coronation of many previous Sultans of Delhi. He had the traditional and conventional approach to solving problems of the empire. He formulated a number of projects characterized by a new orientation of policies and administrative reforms. The main works of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq can be grouped in three sections, namely
Administrative Reforms (Establishment of capital at Devagiri in 1328-1329 A.D.)
There are two theories that go with the establishment of capital at Devagiri. First says that it was a transfer of capital from Delhi to Devagiri. The second theory says it was simply a second capital for South India.
But let us first look into the main objectives of the policy which motivated the Sultan to do so:
Barani writes that he shifted the capital to Devagiri because it was centrally located and equi-distant from Delhi, Gujarat, Mabar, Dwarsamudra and Kampil, Bengal.
Ibn-Batuta writes that the people threw letters of abuses in the council hall. It provoked the Sultan to send the people of Delhi to exile.
Isami writes that the Sultan became suspicious and thought of driving them out,
According to one theory the Sultan wanted to establish a capital which was at a safe distance from the Mongols.
Supporting A.M. Hussain in his book “The Rise and Fall of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq”, Prof. K.A. Nizami writes that he shifted the capital because he wanted to have a better administrative control over the whole region. Supporting his theory are the following evidences:
Ø Al-Qal-Quashandi mentions the presence of the two capitals at Delhi and Daulatabad.
Ø Two kinds of coins were found. One minted in 1329 A.D. mentions Tarikh-i-Delhi and second mentions Tarikh-i-Daulatabad
Ø Barauni states that when he went to Delhi after 5 years of the Decan project in 1334 A.D., he found Delhi full of people with pulsating strengths. There were no ill feelings in the transfer of capital.
The second theory is gradually gaining ground as it is increasingly being accepted by the Modern Indian historians.
(to be continued)….