Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, a former slave of mixed parentage–Turkish and Mongol–
ascended the throne in 1320 and led successful campaigns to Warrangal, Orissa
and Bengal. Within four years of his rule he extended the boundaries of Delhi up
to Madurai in the south. In 1320, Ghyasuddin extended the territories of the
Delhi sultanate upto Madurai. In 1321, Ghiyasuddin began work on a new fortified
city of Tughlaqabad, towards east of the existing city, and shifted his capital
there three years later. The fort was built on a mammoth scale with sloping
bastions, 13 gates, and a citadel with three gates within. It was also connected
to Old Delhi by a secret underground passage.
During Ghiyasuddin’s reign lived the great Sufi saint - Nizamuddin, and his
devotee - the Persian poet Amir Khusrau. Khusrau was an accomplished musician
too and his art reflected amalgamation of the Muslim and Hindu traditions.
Around the time Tughlaqabad was being built, Nizamuddin was having his Baoli
(reservoir) constructed, which the Sultan neglected. As the legend goes, the
incensed saint prophesized that the new fort would be inhabited by nomads and
eventually crumble down to ruins. Following Ghiyasuddin’s death in 1324, his
successor, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, moved back to the previous city and nomads used
the fort for a while, until it was abandoned and eventually fell to ruins.
Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq's experiments with his ideas of administration are
noteworthy. The transfer of his capital from Delhi to Daulatbad earlier known as
Devagiri. This transfer of capital involved the shifting of the army, officials,
servants, tradesman, court and shift of population. This was a torture of the
people who suffered greatly. The introduction of token currency brought
discredit to his rule. The rampant circulation of copper coin and withdrawal of
silver and gold coins brought down the value of currency. Copper coins lost its
value. To overcome this the Sultan ordered exchange of silver coins for copper
coins. Thus people got silver coins in abundance and copper coins were in heaps.
The taxation in Doab which resulted out of the conditions of an empty treasury
and the scheme which was implemented in a wayward manner made it a failure. The
conquest of Khorasan which required a strong army and later disbanding it was an
act of instability.
Muhammad bin Tughluq's engagements with his domestic affairs made him turn a
blind eye to the Mongols who made use of his opportunity and invaded India in
1328 AD. The shifting of the capital from Delhi to Devagiri also proved
advantageous to the Mongols, as they prepared for more conquests. The Sultan's
ambitions plan of invading Himachal and the devastationof his army owing to
inhospitable climatewas another blunder by Mohammed-bin -Tughluq. An attempt to
capture Malabar in 1335 AD failed owing to the spread of Cholera in the army.
In1338 Fakhruddin Mubarak of Bengal declared himself independent. In 1340 the
Governor of Gujarat declared himself independent. The Sultan faced problems from
the Afghans led by Hasan Gangu . In 1350 AD the province of Gujarat revolted and
under Taghi. Pursuing the enemy to inflict punishment, unfortunated Mohammed
bin-Tughluq died out of illness. He was succeeded by his cousin Feroz Tughlug
who was delivered of a Rajput mother.
Firoz Shah Tughlaq succeeded his cousin Muhammad Bin Tughlaq after his death.
But he could not contain the rebellions that broke out during his reign,
instead, he spent most of his time in philanthropic pursuits, such as
beautification of the city, renovating his predecessors’ monuments and building
schools, hospitals and wells. In 1354, Firoz Shah started construction of
Firozabad on the banks of the Yamuna. The new city included three palaces and a
citadel, known today as Firoz Shah Kotla, surrounded by gigantic ramparts. The
Sultan also had two Ashokan pillars transported from Topra (in Punjab) and
Meerut and had them planted in Delhi. They can be seen at Firoz Shah Kotla and
near Bara Hindu Rao in North Delhi. Firoz Shah also built the two existing
shrines - Dargah Roshan in Chiragh Delhi, and Qadam-i-Sharif in Old Delhi near