Tughral Tughan Khan

Tughral Tughan Khan governor of Bengal from 1236 to 1245 AD. A man of courage and sagacity he gained a good deal of experience before assuming authority at lakhnauti. He had been the governor of Badayun under iltutmish, and, in 1232 AD, was transferred to Bihar. During this time Saifuddin Aibak held the governorship of Lakhnauti where he died in 1236 AD. In the same year Sultana Razia succeeded her father as the sultan of Delhi.

On Saifuddin's death one of his companions, aur khan assumed power at Lakhnauti. The Bihar governor Tughral Tughan Khan, however, challenged him, killed him in a battle and thus became the master of the united territories of Lakhnauti and Bihar. He legalised his position by obtaining recognition from Razia. He used to express his allegiance to Delhi by sending presents whenever a new sultan succeeded to the throne of Delhi.

During his rule of about ten years, Tughral Tughan Khan, instead of seeking expansion towards the east and southwest, involved himself in north Indian affairs. With this end in view he made a successful dash first into Tirhut (north Bihar) and then proceeded towards the west at the beginning of September 1242 AD. The confusions over succession at Delhi emboldened him and he advanced as far as Kara (Allahabad) where he got the news of the accession of Sultan Masud Shah at Delhi.

Taking advantage of his absence in north India the Orissa ruler Raja Narasimhadava I (son of Anangabhima III) advanced from the southwest as far as Lakhnor and started ravaging the Muslim territory. From Kara, therefore, Tughral sent his envoy to Delhi with presents and expressing loyalty to the sultan, retraced his steps and returned to Lakhnauti in June 1243 AD accompanied by the historian Minhaj.

Tughral, confirmed in his post by the sultan, marched against the Orissans in April 1244 AD, and pushed them beyond Katasin, some seventy miles south of Lakhnor. He entered deep into the Orissa territory but was suddenly attacked from the rear. He succeeded in conducting a safe retreat. The Orissa army occupied Lakhnor and killed its governor. Under the circumstances Tughral sent his envoys to Delhi seeking military assistance. Masud Shah at once ordered Malik Qara Qash Khan, governor of Kara-Manikpur (Allahabad) and Malik Tamar Khan of Oudh to unite their forces and proceed to Tughral's assistance. In the meantime the Orissa forces made further advance into Muslim territory and reached even the vicinity of Lakhnauti in March 1245 AD. On the information of the reinforcement from north India the Orissa army hurriedly withdrew.

With the withdrawal of Orissa army Malik Tamar Khan pressed Tughral Khan for relinquishing the charge of Lakhnauti to him and defeated him in a series of skirmishes. Minhaj negotiated a peace between the two and as per the agreement Tughral surrendered Lakhnauti and Bihar to Tamar Khan and in return he was allowed to depart unmolested with his treasures and followers.

Tughral reached Delhi in July 1245 AD. Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud (the younger) appointed Tughral to Tamar Khan's former province, Oudh, but shortly after his arrival there Tughral died in June 1246 AD. Curiously enough Tamar Khan also died on the same day at Lakhnauti. [M Delwar Hussain]