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Tatar Khan


Tatar Khan governor of Sonargoan under the Tughlaqs. Tatar Khan was of Turki origin. He is identified as the son of a sultan of Khorasan and the adopted son of Delhi Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq. The sultan of Khorasan once happened to lead an army with an object of capturing Multan and Dipalpur, and encamped in the neighbourhood. Having intelligence of the campaign, Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq rushed to the scene, launched a surprise attack on the camp of the sultan of Khorasan and inflicted a serve defeat upon him. Tatar Khan was born in the camp of the sultan of Khorasan on the very night when the assault was made by Tughlaq Shah. In the confusion that followed, the child was left in its cradle and was later placed before Sultan Ghiyasuddin who brought him up like a son and gave him the name of Tatar Khan.

Tatar Khan, a powerful general in the service of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, played an important role in extending the Tughlaq's domination in Bengal. Sultan Ghiyasuddin took Tatar Khan with him in his eastward march in 1324 AD for the conquest of Trihut and Bengal. Tatar Khan was then the governor of Jafarabad (near Jaunpur). He was entrusted with the task of subduing ghiyasuddin bahadur shah who had established himself in authority in Lakhnauti and Sonargoan. Tatar Khan ousted Bahadur Shah from Lakhnauti, and on his retreat towards East Bengal defeated and made him a captive (1324). Tatar Khan was placed in the government of Sonargoan and Satgoan regions by Sultan Ghiyasuddin. After the release of Ghiyasuddin Bahadur (1325) and his assignment to rule Sonargoan as a vassal king, Tatar Khan was assigned to act as emperor's representative in the administration of Sonargoan. After the revolt of Bahadur Shah in 1328 AD, Tatar Khan took immediate action, defeated Bahadur, made him a captive, and put him to death, thereby putting an end to the rule of the new Mamluq dynasty in Bengal. Tatar Khan was invested with the title of Khan-i-Azam Bahram Khan by Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq, and was confirmed as governor (wali) of Sonargoan in 1328 AD, which office he held till his death in 1337 AD.

Tatar Khan was a great patron of learning. He is reported to collect a great number of commentaries of the Holy Quran, and having secured the assistance of a group of learned men in Sonargoan he produced a commentary which he called Tafsir-i-Tatarkhani. He also sponsored the compilation of a book of law called Fatwa-i-Tatarkhani. One work on fiqh titled Majmu-i-Khani fi Ayn al-Ma'ani, compiled in Arabic by one Kamal-i-Karim, was dedicated by the author to one Ulugh Qutlugh Izzuddin Bahram Khan, governor of Bengal, evidently Bahram Khan alias Tatar Khan, governor of Sonargoan. Tatar Khan died at Sonargoan in 1337 AD (738 AH), presumably a natural death. [Muazzam Hussain Khan]