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Ruknuddin Kaikaus


Ruknuddin Kaikaus was the sultan of lakhnauti from c 691-701 AH/1291-1300 AD. He was the son of bughra khan and ascended the throne after his father had abdicated in his favour. His inscriptions were found in Maheshvar and Laksmisarai of Mungair, Devkot, Tribeni and mahasthan. Besides, innumerable of his coins, issued from the mint town of Lakhnauti, have come to light. He styled himself in some of his coins and inscriptions as Sultan-bin-Sultan (the sultan, son of a sultan).

From his Maheswar (1292-93) and Lakhmisarai (1297) inscriptions found in Monghyr, devkot inscription (1297) found in Dinajpur, Tribeni inscription (1298) found in Hughli and Mahasthan inscription (1300) found in Bogra and a number of coins issued from the Lakhnauti mint it may be assumed that Kaikaus succeeded to some extent in the expansion of territory. From the find places of the inscriptions it is proved that Kaikaus's domain extended to Bihar in the west, Devkot in the north and Satgaon in the south. On the testimony of coins it can also be assumed that he led some expeditions to southeast Bengal, occupied some area and from its revenue issued coins. At least a portion of eastern Bengal was within his jurisdiction as evidenced by his coins. The name of Mutasim Billah, the last of the Abbaside khalifas, appears in his coins though the khalifa had been killed and Baghdad sacked by Halaku Khan as early as 1258 AD. This bears testimony to his allegiance to the institution of Khilafat.

It appears that he had divided his kingdom into two parts ' Bihar and Lakhnautia and appointed two able lieutenants to administer them. Ikhtiyaruddin Firoz Itgin was appointed governor of Bihar while Shahabuddin Zafar Khan Bahram Itgin was the governor of Lakhnauti. The province of Lakhnauti extended from Devkot to satgaon. In his inscription the sultan calls him Sultan-us-Salatin (the sultan of sultans). Even his deputies of Bihar and Lakhnauti were styled as Alexander the second. Perhaps these lofty titles were taken to show that they were in no way inferior to the Khaljis who were, according to them, mere usurpers of power in Delhi. The House of Balban at Lakhnauti maintained its independent status and was ever vigilant to maintain the integrity of its territory. It may be recalled that Alauddin Khalji did not disturb the kingdom of Lakhnauti even though he had brought under his sway almost the whole of rest of India.

The last date of Kaikaus, as indicated by his coins and inscriptions, is 1300 AD. It is not sure how his region came to an end. Perhaps he died childless or was removed from power at about the age of 30 and thus the House of Balban was extinct at Lakhnauti as well. [Muhammad Ansar Ali]