Sultan Ghari- First Islamic Tomb of India

It’s been a hectic fortnight at work, with lots of travel and lots of PowerPoint presentations. It must be a sign of severe addiction, considering how restless I felt, not being able to blog!

Couple of posts back, I had shared photographs of Agrasen Ki Baoli, a beautiful step-well built some 500 hundred years back.

 Today I want to share some photographs of the first Islāmic tomb of India, built nearly 800 years back!

Sultan Ghari was built by Iltutmish, the third Sultan of the Slave Dynasty. Just to put things into perspective, the 1st Sultan of the Slave Dynasty was Qutub Ud Din Aibak, who built the famous Qutub Minar in Delhi. Sultan Ghari was built Iltutmish, in memory of his eldest son, who was being groomed as his successor, but had an untimely death.

It is said that the sudden death of his son, left Iltutmish overcome with grief, and in his memory he built the tomb. He himself died 5 years later. His daughter, Razia Sultan, soon acceded to the throne of Delhi, becoming the first and only lady ruler of both the Sultanate and Mughal period.

The crypt or the tomb is inside a Ghari (Cave), hence the name Sultan Ghari. The cave is covered by an octagonal roof slab. The exterior structure of the tomb is built with Delhi sandstone with marble adornments. It has a walled area with bastions, making it look like a tiny fort.


Some more photographs of the people I met inside the building.








Hope you enjoy the photographs. 🙂

32 thoughts on “Sultan Ghari- First Islamic Tomb of India

  1. Oh, I think it’s definitely a very severe addiction. 😀 That’s quite interesting about the lady ruler. Do you know how many years she ruled? Was she a good and well liked ruler? Sorry, guess that little snippet called to my imagination. 🙂

    • So glad that you asked about Razia Sultan! She ruled for about 4 years(1236-1240), and apparently she was a shrewd enough and competent enough ruler, who was able to keep control over the powerful nobles.which would be quite an achievement even today( we men like to talk about gender equality, as long as the women are submissive 😛 ), and I am talking about events 900 years back..but it seems, her love affair with a slave, caused much jealousy amongst the nobles, and eventually using this a reason for a rebellion, which caused her downfall…I have visited her grave, in Delhi. It is in the bylanes of the old city, and in very bad shape…not more than a small vacant plot of land…such a shame!

      • Wow, fascinating. Love affair with a slave.She sounds likes some kind of lady (I mean that in a good way). Thank you so much for the added info. I agree it is a shame about her final resting place. I love these little history lessons you offer and all the photographs. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Great photos. Where’s this place? In Delh, or is it justy built with Delhi sandstone? If it’s in Delhi: where are the crowds?!?
    Another question: Why does it say “follow this blog” when I’m already following it??? So many questions today 🙂

    • Thank you CG!!! 🙂 It is very much in Sultan Ghari…but, I guess not very popular with the “crowds” because it is not too big ( size matters, doesn’t it?). Interestingly, I was speaking to a colleague yesterday, who resides in Delhi, and he had never heard of this place! 🙂
      To the second question….I have no idea!! But, sure am glad that you find my blog follow-worthy! 🙂

  3. I wonder how Iltutmish would feel knowing people are happy to visit there even today. Thanks for the lesson and the trip there, through pictures. I’m now following your blog!

    • Thanks a lot! 🙂 It’s an interesting question…I believe perspectives change over time…but, I think Iltutmish would have preferred to have seen his son remain alive and probably succeed him to the throne, rather than have people visit his tomb, a thousand years hence. Cannot be easy for a father to build his son’s tomb..

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  5. This is very interesting. I was in Delhi for three years but never visited this place. And its so good that your get to travel so much! Loved the info, because normally one does not come across it easily. Though I did know about Razia Sultan and the Slave Dynasty.

    • Thank you! Glad that you found it interesting…Traveling for work is not much though!! 🙂 The interesting thing is….i sourced all this info from wikipedia..availability of info is not the problem…problem is overload of info…so, if someone presents it in a concise form, its convenient! 🙂

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