Iltutmish (reign: 1211-1236) was one of the slaves of Qutb-ud-din Aibak who later became his Son-in-Law. He was from the Ilabari tribe of the Turks and that is why some scholars call the slave dynasty has Ilabari dynasty.

Chihalagani/ Chalisa/ Corp of Forty

The Ilabari tribe used to have administrative & military elite called “Chihalgani” or the “Corp of Forty“. Immediately after Qutb-ud-din died, the Chihalgani appointed one Aram Shah as is successor. However, Aaram Shah was ill qualified and very soon through a conspiracy appointed “Iltutmish” has Sultan of Delhi. Iltutmish was Governor of Badaun at that time. There was a war with Aaram Shah at Jud (Delhi). Aaram shah was defeated easily and after that what happened to him, nobody knows. What was relation of Aaram with Qutb-ud-din is not certain.

Hauz Shamsi

Iltutmish is known to have built the Hauz-i-Shamshi near Mahrauli in Delhi. On the edge of this reservoir, the Jahaz Mahal was built by the Lodhi Rulers. His eldest son when died he made built the First Islamic Mausoleum Sultan Garhi in Delhi.

Qutub Minaar

The Foundation of the Qutub Minar was laid by the Rajputs and the present Qutub Complex was a complex of temples built by Tomaras and Chauhans. However, it was turned into a Minar of victory by Qutb-ud-din who used the same material to build the Minar. The first storey was built by Qutub-ud-din and rest of the work was completed by Iltutmish.

Iqta System

The Iqta system was a practice of Tax farming that was introduced by Iltutmish in Delhi Sultanate. It was basically grant of revenue from a territory in lieu of salary. This grant was not hereditary and was subject to passing from officer to officer. Iqta system linked the farthest part of the Sultanate linked to the Central Government.

Organization of Army

Iltutmish organized the army of the sultanate and made it the “King’s army” which was centrally recruited and centrally paid.

Coins: Tanka and Jital

Iltutmish introduced Silver Tanka and Copper Jital , the two coins of the Delhi Sultanate.

The coins prior to Iltutmish were introduced by the invaders which bear the Sanskrit characters and even Bull and Shivalinga. Iltutmish was the first to introduce a “Pure Arabic Coin” in India. The Coins were engraved with “The Mighty Sultan, Sun of the Empire and the Faith, Conquest-laden, Il-tutmish,” after he received an investiture of Sovereign Sultan of Delhi from the Caliph of Baghdad. The Silver Tanka issued by Iltutmish was weighing 175 grains. Gold Tanka of the same weight was later issued by Balban.

Mongol Attack

During the times of Iltutmish, the Mongols attacked under Chengez Khan. The Mongols were able to conquer the area around Indus River and crossed to invade Punjab. But fortunately their eyes were set at the west and they returned quickly from the Punjab towards Sind, Multan & Qabacha. Chengez Khan died in 1227. This was followed by an attack of Iltutmish on Western territories won by Mongols and placed Lahore and Multan under Delhi Sultanate. After that he campaigned against the Rajput territories viz. Ranathambore, Mandsaur, Bayana, Ajmer, Sambhar, Nagaur, Gwalior etc. In 1235, Iltutmish sacked Ujjain and destroyed the Mahakal Temple. He died in 1236. He is buried at Qutub Complex in New Delhi.


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