Tomb of Ghias-uddin Tughlaq is a family mausoleum which was made up of stone edifice decorated with choice marbles. Located on the southern part of the Tughlaqabad Fort, this structure monument stood at the centre of a large reservoir which used to be filled with water. While the Sultan of Delhi, Ghias- ud- din Tughlaq decided to fortify every corner of his territory in order to save it from external attacks, he included his fort as well. This monument which is located across the Bardarpur border reflects one of simplest form of architecture which existed during the period of Delhi Sultanate. Though the reservoir is no more filled with water and the bridge between the tomb and the fort is broken for building highways, yet this monument is regarded as one of the significant historical models of Delhi.
Tomb of Ghias -ud -din Tughlaq is a very simple structure which is mainly designed as a warrior`s tomb. The tomb is made up of sloping red sandstone which has arch shaped gateway decorated with beautiful latticework with white marble. The tomb is mainly white in colour decorated with some inscription from the Holy Quran including some panels which are decorated as borders on the walls of the tomb. It contains some lattice screens and `lotus-bud` edge which decorates the monument. Towards the left of the entrance in the corridor there is a tiny grave which is said to be Sultan` s favourite dog which is different from the usual conventions of the Muslim tombs.
Tomb of Ghias-uddin Tughlaq unlike other tombs is a family tomb which includes the grave of sultan`s wife Makh Dumai Jaan and his second son Mahmud Khan who died with him under the pavilion. Near the northern side of the tomb there is another tomb which is octagonal in shape and carries an inscription which states that there lies the grave of Zafar Khan. However the identity of Zafar Khan is not known but it holds a lot of significance as this was the first tomb which was initially located in that area and gave Ghias- ud -din, the idea of constructing tombs in this part of the fort.
Tughlaq shah was gifted with some originality of character, but great courage and untring energy. He repulsed from mughal invasions with such slaughter that for the to of his life be established for himself the reputation being the most succesful general of his time. In 725 (1825 A.D) while returning from a succesful invasions of Bengal one of the Governors of which country, Shah he had sent to Delhi with a rope round his neck he was informed of the seditious predictions of certain wise men and astrologers that he would never see Delhi again, but the king replied by threats against them. Chief among these offenders was the saint Nizamuddin Aulia, who had long been at war with tughlaq shah, and who was apparently in league with his son Muhammad Shahagainst the king. Tughlaq shah indignant at the defiant attitude of the saint, ordered him to quit Delhi. Let me but reach Delhi said Tughlaq Shah, and this fiend priest shall be humbled. When news reached the capital that tughlaq Shah within the few miles of the place, the friends of Nizam-uddin Aulia importuned him to leave the city and visit multan. The saint however was not to intimidated he had only one answer to all friendly imortunities : Delhi dar ast --- Delhi is still off.
When Tughlaq Shah arrived at afghanpur, about six miles from his capital, he was accomodated by his son in a temporary wooden place, built in three days, where says Zia-uddin barni, the author of Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi, the sultan might saty for night and take rest before marching on the following day into the city with pomp and triumph. The sultan Tughlaq Shah arrived in the afternoon and stopped. The The sultan's table had been spread and he took food, the nobles came out to wash thier hands, A thunderbolt from the sky descended upon the earth, and the roof under which the sultan was seated fell down, crushing him and five or six other person so that the died. Ibn batauta gives the popular account of than the story of the thunderbolt from the sky. After describing the construction of the temporary places, Batuta goes on to say that the object with which it was built with this that it should fall down with a crash when the elephant touched it in a certain part. The Sultan stopped at this building and feasted the people, who afterwards dispersed . His son asked permission to made the elephants before him fully accoutred. The Sultan consented. The sultans favorite son Mahmud was with the king when elephants passed along the side, the building fell down upon the sultan and his son Mahmud. The Sultan's son Muhammad ordered pickaxes and shovles to be brought to dig and seek for hid father, but the made signs for them not to hurry, and the tools wrere not brought after sunset. The the began to dig and the found the sultan, who had bent over his sons to save him from death, some assert that Tughlaq was taken out dead others on the country maintain that he was alive and that an end end was made of him. He was carried away at night to the tomb which he had himself built near the city, called after himTughlaqabad, and there he was interred. It was to the skilful management of the wazir, khwaza-i-jahan, in constructing the edifice with fell upon him, Tughlaq that the owwed position which the latter had for him.
There is no longer nay doubt as to Muhammad Shah's complicity in the death of his father, and the testimony of Ibn Batauta is about the best evidence it is possible to have on the subject. Hardly less convincing are the inferences to be drawn from the conduct of Muhammad Shah and Nizam-uddin Aulia. The hier-spparent was a devoted admirer of the saint, he used to visit Nizam-uddin when the Aulia was under the influence of ecstatic fits., and it was in one of these inspired monuments that he got Nizaum-uddin to promise him the throne of Delhi. When Muhammad succeeded his father Ghiyas-uddin on the throne, he paid the saint the most profound respect, and when the death of tha latter occured, Muhammad boro his bier on his shoulder . On the other hand Nizam-uddin was constantly at war with the late KIng and was sometimes in dread of his life. He alsi knew the KIng Tughlaq Shah had heared of his prophecy, and that the king would keep his promise to humble the priest. His assurance under the circumstances expressed in a phrase now household words throughout literate Hindustan was the result of implict confidence in the success of the conspiracy against the life of the king. Ghiyas-uddin Tughlaq Shah died in 725 A.H (1324 A.D.)
Although Ibn Batuta states that Tuglaq Shah had nuilt his own tomb as is supposed to have built one at Multan while governer of that place theg bgegtgter gopinion is that the tomb at Delhi was the work of Muhammad Shah, and that it was built a year of his father's death. Darul-aman, house of rest where the great Balban lies buried, but the same honured appellation was applied to Tughlaq, the grandson of Ghiyas-uddin Tughlaq, describes it in the following words, "This is Bed and resting place of Great men". I have new sandal wood doors made for it, and over the tombs of these distinguished men I had curtains and hangings suspended.
The following description of the tomb, I have reproduced from General Cunningham's reports, with occassional addition, it is situated in the midst of an artificial lake, fed by the overflowing of Hauz shamsi and by alot of natural drains which flowed into the base of the fort and which at one time must have formed one of its natural defences.
It is surrounded by a pentagonal outwork, which is connected with the fortross by a causeway 600 feet in length supported in 27 archers, In plan the tomb is square of (Thirty eight and half) 38½ feet iterior, and (sixty one and half) 61½ feet exterior dimensions. The outer walls are (Thirty eight and half) 38½ feet in height to the top of the battlement, with a slot of 2.333 per foot. At this rate this whole slop is (seven and half) 7½ feet in (Thirty eight and half) 38½ feet, the walls at base are 11¼ feet thick, and the top only four feet, but the projecting mouldings of the interior ncrease the thickness of the wall at the springing of the dome to about 6 or 7 feet or perhaps more, These diameter of the dome is about 31 feet inside and about 14 feet outside, with aheight of 20 feet, the dome is of marble striped with red stone, the whole height of the tomb to the top of the dome is 70 feet and to the top of pinnacle which is made of red stone about 80 feet.
Each of the four side has lofty doorway in the middle 24 feet in height, with pieced arched fronted on the outer edge. There is 5 feet 9 inches in width, but the same base in the middle of the great entrancees, the archway oneway white marble lattice screen of bold pattern. The decoration of the exterior depends chiefly on differnce of colour, which is effected by the free use of bands and borders of red stone. The horse shoe arches are white marble and broad band of the same goes completely round the building at the springing of the arches. ANother broad band of marble in upright salbs, 4 feet in height, goes all round the dome just above its springing. The present effect of this mixture of colours is certainly pleasing, but I believe that much of its beauty is due to the mellowing hand of time, which has softened the crude redness of sand stone as well as the dazzling whiteness of the marble. The building itself is in very good order.
The entarnce to the outwork of the tomb is a high and massive gateway of red sand stone, which is reached by a flight of 32 steps. There are rooms in the enclosure walls, which were intened, for the accommodation of the poor and the angles of the pentagon are supported by towers which are surrounded by pavillionss. There is a sort aof double tower in the extreme laft angle of the gateway, containing graves which have not been identified, but judging from Foroz Shah Tughlaq's description of the place, it is by no means unlikely that they were in exitence when sultan Firoz repaired and adoorned the tomb.
Inside the tomb there are three graves that in the middle in undoubtedly the garave of Tughlaq shah, but of the two others, one on either side of it, it is impossible to speak with graves, were either removed or destroyed . One of the two smaller graves is supposed to belong to Makhdum-al-jahan Tughlaq the son, successor, and murdered of Ghiyas-uddin Tughlaq Shah, who died of fever in sindh in the year 752 A.H. (1351 A.D.)