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Muhammad Bin Tughlaq

11-AUG-2014 17:00

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq is known as one of the most interesting sultans of Delhi Sultanate. He was intelligent, had a good knowledge of mathematics and science and was very much fond of Persian poetry.

    In fact, he was a genius but impatient and ahead of his times. He had the vision but failed to understand the consequences of his adopted measures. He experimented with the idea of a central capital and Token Currency but turned out to be complete failures.

    Khurasan and Quarachi Expeditions

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq dreamt of conquering Persia (Khurasan Expedition) and China (Quarachi Expedition). When he tried to execute these two projects, it met disastrous results.

    Tax reforms

    He introduced tax reforms which increased pressure on the peasants of fertile Doab region. It led to rebellious conditions and famine.

    Transfer of Capital

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq found it difficult to rule over Deccan from Delhi. Therefore, he decided to transfer his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad. It was near Pune. But instead of transferring the official court, he decided to shift the whole population of Delhi to Daulatabad. The people who resisted the migration were forced to do so. Many old and sick people died on their way to Daulatabad. After reaching Daulatabad, The Sultan realized his folly and once again asked his subjects to move back to Delhi. The result was disastrous.

    Token Currency

    The new sultan issued the copper coins in place of Silver Tanka as a token currency. But he failed to realize that the issuing authority should be under the king only. As a consequence, every household started making the copper coins. The token money lost its value and its credit which made the government poor.

    Ultimately, the sultan ordered the exchange of copper coins with the silver coins. It aggravated the problem as there were so many copper coins in Delhi that it almost emptied the imperial treasure during the exchange process.

    Setting up Diwan-i-Kohi

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq set up a loan system for the benefit of famine struck peasants. He also created Diwan-i-Kohi, the department of Agriculture.

    Literary Sources

    Ziauddin Barni’s Twarikh-i-Firuzshahi and Fatwa-i-Jahandari reveals information about Muhammad Bin Tughlaq’s rule. Ibn Batuta’s Rihla also provides information on Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. The sultan had appointed Ibn Batuta as Qazi and ambassador to China.


    In 1351, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq died. Since he had no sons, his cousin Firoz Shah Tughlaq became the new sultan.

    Find Information on:

    Sayyid Dynasty

    Invasion of Timur

    Firoz Shah Tughlaq

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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