Who Is Buried Here, Father Or Son? | Balban’s Tomb

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हिस्ट्री जियोग्राफी बड़े बेवफा रात को याद करो सुबह को सफा !!

(History and Geography are very disloyal, you memorize them at night and they are forgotten by the morning.)

This is the line which haunts me anytime I visit any historical place. Something which was much alive has now become a part of that era which is heard or read only in books and movies now a days, but is that all which we deal with? This is the motif of mine whenever I visit any historical place, looking beyond the Archaeological Departments declarations which are found at the start of every site we hold in the present.

Introduced to Mr. Sultan : Well this day it was like one another day for me, roaming in the jungle of Delhi which has got a name now “Mehrauli Archaelogical park”. Any thoughts why some common another day gets a mark in the list of blogs to be written. Well the first reason being this was the first time I was going for a Heritage Walk with fellow bloggers of TCBG group. Now comes the second, well any guesses you clicked by now? Oh hell, readers that’s not supportive, isn’t it obvious second reason is the main story of the whole piece of writing.

I was again in the jungle, once more saying Hello to those graves to whom I have seen many a times, I am sure by now they must be knowing my name. I had seen those ruins before too, but today I was getting introduced to one specific of them, yes till that time it was just another grave of an another ruler who once ruled this part of Delhi and called it “Slave Dynasty”. Hope now you have got the point, I am going to talk a bit about Ghiyas ud din Balban and the place where He may or may not have been Resting in Peace all these gone years, Balban’s Tomb.


First view of Balban’s Tomb and the First True Arch in history of India.


               Tooti phooti qabr bhi kar do barabar shauq se 

               yeh bhi apni benishani ka nishaan ho jayega

         (Decimate this broken down grave,if you so please

                For this my anonymity,will become a sign)


Sultans Runied Fate : We were standing in the courtyard of Balbans tomb, which is an open and ruined area which has seen the sun going up and down and its feary heat writing the script of its present condition. Once known as Darul Ul Aman i.e House of Refuge, which was built by the Balban only and it is said this was the area where all the wrongs were pardoned off. If somebody with huge debt entered this refuge, his debt was pardoned, he was declared a free man, wow what place it would have been if it would have been functional today I am sure Vijay Mallya’s Bentley would have been the first to be parked here.

First True Arch of India : It is obvious, thing has to go in a sequence like History, same rule is applied here. Any place we go what is the first thing which our feet touches, its the gate of the place. Here too I was watching the ruined gates of the Balban’s tomb, once they were majestic, carved with shades of blue in it but now only the base was left. It was the base of the gate which had a story to tell of its own, I was watching the first True Arch to be built in India.

Why is it so? Why India is always late in getting hold of something new which is born in another world. It is still happening in India, we own a car which has already been washed out and replaced in another country, when we were welcoming 3G in our country people outside the borders of India were already enjoying 4G from long ago, this mystery I am yet to understand. Same happened during that era, we were already 2000 yrs behind, Romans were already making True arch’s but we were happy in Qutub complex fake arch’s, but finally masons eyes opened and they realized now its time to make a mark and deploy the Key stone of History at Balban’s tomb.


Father or Son? Who is Sleeping here?


Sultan The Wrongly Famous King : It is said Balban was one of the cruelest kings Delhi has ever seen. A person belonging to the Slave community of that time, but who with his efforts and treacherous acts plus the luck brought himself to the throne, after the Shamsi Sultan Nasir Ud Din. First appointed as Water carrier to the Sultan, and ending up his career at the position of being the Sultan himself, isn’t it something which should be seen with #Respect.

Sultan’s Life After Death : Like his career, his after death events have also been quite mysterious. I don’t know how many people come every day to see Balban’s tomb in Mehrauli Archaelogical park, but the mystery lies in the tomb only. If we believe the words of Rana Safvi, the historian and writer of the book “Where Stones Speak”, the tomb where we were standing is Balban’s tomb only, which was once his Darul Ul aman, but the grave right in front of us is not of Balban, but of his son Khan E Mohammad aka Khan E shaheed. This compound in which we were standing is known as Balban’s tomb, but what we were looking in front of us was his son’s grave, isn’t it ironical.

What? Is he gone mad? I hope these would be your first reactions on reading these lines, but I can say only one thing about this, “This is what I love about History”, it happened, it left proofs, but those proofs give many meanings, with every mouth comes the new story, but trust me they are the best and most reliable source.

If we believe on those words from the many mouths only, local people and Sufi Faqirs of Mehrauli says “Balban was extremely cruel man and his ascension to the throne was marked by bloodletting and this could be the reason his after life is cursed”. Wow, I was once again stuck in a mystery i.e “Life and After Life”, it has been the biggest mystery of whole mankind and it was again coming right in front of me. By the time Rana Safvi ji was telling the ordeals done by Balban, in the back of mind I was gone way back, when humans faced the biggest challenge of understanding the concept of death, suddenly somebody goes silent, stops movement, cut off from the world, and in the effort to decipher this mystery they came with another mystery by the word “Soul” and “After Life”, and we are still stuck and trying to solve the mystery.

Keeping aside the mystery of “Life and After Life”, lets concentrate on Life of Balban, who did so bad that even his grave couldn’t handle the pressure of nature over him. His grave was inside the most inside chamber of Darul-Ul-Aman, the square room which was now roofless or say whose tomb has been vanished with the time and the nature’s toll went directly over the grave of Sultan Ghiyas Ud Din Balban. Some 36 meter  apart from his son he slept, but now there was no sign of it, where has the grave gone. Now what to believe, Shall I believe the words of Faqirs and locals or go by the knowledge I have gained in my life about the weathering effect on the stones, but If I go by the knowledge then what went wrong that same effect din’t harm a single bit to his son Khan E Shahid’s grave?.

Khan E Shahid The Messiah , A Fulfill er of Wishes : Going by the word of mouth only, at present time too people go to the same Darul Ul Aman i.e House of Refuge on the Thursday evening and pray at the grave of Khan E Shahid to fulfill their wishes. Every Thursday local faqirs, inhabitants of mehrauli and other places come there and light incense sticks, candles and put some attar(perfume) to please the Jins who visit this place every Thursday night. The engravings on the grave have turned black with the soot and oil from it. This has been the history of real India, asking the dead one’s to fulfill their wishes, they resort to these common practice every now and then.


Even grass is unable to grow, where once Sultan Balban slept for his next coming life after Death.


                तुम्हारे बाद जैसे जागता है शब का सन्नाटा
             दर ओ दीवार को देता है कोई िसन अ गोयाई

       After your departure echoes of silence,shriek  

As if someone gives these walls permission to speak……

                         Khurshid Ahmad Jami


Moral Of the Story : By this time you have come to know one phase of Balban’s life, his efforts to uplift his life from the shackles to Diamonds and again back to shackles. But why locals say he was cruel, his acts were treacherous; this is where the basic of his ruling style comes. Balban was the ruler who rose to that position from being a slave once, he was ruled by somebody who owned his flesh and blood and it was his payback time to the society who brought the trend of Slavery into the world. Balban was the ruler who came up with his own style of ruling known as “Theory of Kingship”.

“My Lord : Koi insaan Maa Ke Pet Se Mujrim Paida Nahi Hota”

I am sure most of you might have heard this dialogue in many of Indian Hindi movies “My Lord : Koi insaan Maa Ke Pet Se Mujrim Paida Nahi Hota”, we have laughed a lot on this dialogue many a times but this dialogue holds a strong proof in here. Scientifically too it has been proved in many cases, “Brutal acts over a child lead to uncomfortable life ahead” and same happened in life of our protagonist and Sultan of an era.

Thinking of Darul Ul Aman i.e House of Refuge, if I am not wrong many politicians these days hold “Janta Adalat” sort of courts at their homes and offices where they hear the problems of the people, even our Mr. Arvind Kejriwal planned to organize the same but the number of pardoners put an halt on that, and the same concept of Darul Ul Aman took the shape of “Helpline numbers”.

Books and stories tell only about Balban’s life and death and his brutal acts, no one highlighted the torture he had gone through till he attained the freedom from the tag Slave, may be that’s why he put the stone of Slave dynasty, where anybody going harsh on his slave was treated with harshest of punishment.

By this piece of writing I don’t say that a single visit to Balban’s tomb has made me a Fan of him, seriously I have never been fan of any body but yes, somehow his life and stories about his acts does make me feel, “Centuries have gone, kings came and gone followed by the democratic government but what difference they have made”. True Arch took centuries to come to India, so took freedom from Britishers, we are dealing with the lighter versions of Balban in the society and its only the time which is keeping them in lighter mode.

I hope everybody who ever reads this blog on Balban would surely pay a visit to the great king, who proved that “Destiny is not written, it is made”.


Thanks to Rana Safvi Ji and TCBG (Travel correspondents and Bloggers group) for again taking me to these hidden gems of Delhi.


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