Sultan Shamshuddin Iltutmish: History & Achievements | Ruler of Slave Dynasty UPSC

Shamsuddin Iltutmish was a Sultan who ruled over the Delhi Sultanate during the 13th century. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and successful rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, having consolidated its power and extended its territories. During his reign, he introduced several administrative reforms and patronized the arts, leaving behind a lasting legacy.

In this article, you will get to know about the complete history of Shamsuddin Iltutmish, who was a great ruler of the Slave Dynasty in the Delhi Sultanate. This topic is very important for UPSC prelims. So, let’s start.

Who was Iltutmish?

Shamshuddin Iltutmish was a powerful ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in India during the 13th century. He was the third Sultan of Delhi and is considered one of the greatest rulers of the time, due to his military conquests, administrative reforms, and cultural achievements. Iltutmish rose to power in a time of great political turmoil and was able to establish stability and security in the region, making significant contributions to the development of the Delhi Sultanate.

SultanShamshuddin Iltutmish
DynastySlave Dynasty
Time Period1210-1236 AD
Iltutmish’s FatherIlam Khan
BuiltQutub Minar
StartedIqta System
DaughterRazia Sultana
Overview of Iltutmish

History of Shamsuddin Iltutmish

Aram Shah became Sultan before Iltutmish, but he was not able to handle the Sultanate, many states declared themselves independent during his rule. In this deteriorating situation, some Turkish nobles and military officers had chosen the most capable and brave Turk as their Sultan, so Iltumish became Sultan without any difficulty.

Iltutmish was a skilled warrior and efficient administrator. In 1200 AD, he was made the Amir of Badaun after the Gwalior victory and was given the Badaun’s Ekta to rule, which was the biggest Ekta of the Sultanate.

In the time of Mohammad Gohri, Iltutmish played an important role in suppressing the Khokhars. That’s why Gohri was very happy with Iltutmish. However, Iltutmish used to be a slave of Quitubuddin Aibak. So, at the behest of Mohammad Gauri, Qutubuddin Aibak freed Iltumish from slavery, and being impressed by this, Aibak married his daughter to him and also gave him the title of Amir-ul-Umara.

Reign of Iltutmish (1210-1236 AD)

  • 1210-20 AD: Suppression of Yalduz and Qabacha
  • 1220-28 AD: Mongols and other Problems
  • 1228-36 AD: Work for Dynastic Prestige

Suppression of Yalduz:

  • The Yalduz was given to rule Ghazni, but after being expelled from Ghazni by the ruler of Iran “Khwarizm Shah“, Yalduz took control of Lahore.
  • As a result, in 1215-16 AD, the Third Battle of Tarain took place between Iltumish and Yaldouz.
  • In this battle, Yaldouz was defeated and taken prisoner and after some time he was murdered in Badaun Jail.

Suppression of Qabacha:

  • Qabacha was given to rule Multan and Sindh but he wanted to take over Sirhind as well.
  • In 1217, Iltumish turned towards Qabacha, and then the Battle of Mansura took place between the two, in which Qabacha fled the field.

The threat of Mongol Invasion (Genghis Khan):

  • Jalaluddin Magbarani, son of Khawarizm Shah, reached India to escape from Genghis Khan (Mongol invader) and asked for help from Iltumish but Iltumish did not want to take any enmity with Mongols, so he refused the help.
  • During this, Genghis Khan came to the Sultanate but did not attack.
  • Hence, Jalaluddin Magbarani left India in 1228 AD and the problem of the Mongol invasion of Iltumish was also averted.

Bengal Victory

  • Bengal declared itself independent at the time of Aram Shah (Ghiyasuddin Khilji, the successor of Alimardan).
  • In 1226, Nasiruddin Mahmud, son of Iltumish, invaded Bengal and annexed it to the Sultanate.

Also Read: Religious Policy of Mughals

Victory Campaign of Iltutmish

Meanwhile, Iltumish also did victory campaigns:-

  1. 1226 AD: Ranthambore Victory(First Turk to win)
  2. 1227 AD: Mandore Victory
  3. 1228 AD: Marched toward Qabacha who committed suicide by jumping into the Indus River.
  4. 1232 AD: Gwalior Vijay Raja Mangal Dev (Razia was with him)
  5. 1235 AD: Suppression of Khokhra of Punjab.

Achievements of Iltutmish

  • In 1229, the emissaries of the Caliph of Baghdad (Caliph Al Sir Billah) came to Delhi and awarded Mansoor(certificate) to Iltumish, as well as the title of Sultan-e-Azam.
  • Pleased with this, Iltutmish assumed the title of Nasir Amir ul Momin.
  • After getting the recognition, he issued coins in his own name and got the Khutba read.
  • For this reason, Iltumish is considered the first Sultan of the Sultanate.
  • Iltumish was a visionary ruler who implemented the map of Delhi made by Aibak.
  • Further, he formed Turk-e-Chahalgani by joining 40 slaves for administration.
  • Moreover, he also started the Iqta system.
  • The first sultan to introduce pure Arabic coins (Silver- Tanka, Copper- Jital)
  • Made red a symbol of justice and appointed Amir-e-Daad in the cities for justice.

In this way, he gave a present form to the spoiled state and purified it, which is why he is considered the real founder of the Delhi Sultanate (slave of a slave). Further, in 1236, while on a campaign to Bamiyan (Pakistan), Iltumish fell ill and died and now his tomb is present in Qutub Minar Complex, Delhi.


Despite facing numerous challenges and opposition during his reign, Shamshuddin Iltutmish was able to not only maintain the power of the Delhi Sultanate but also expand its territory through military conquests. He was also a patron of the arts and education and is credited with having built several religious and cultural institutions, such as the Qutub Minar in Delhi. The legacy of Iltutmish continues to be celebrated in India and his rule is remembered as one of the golden ages of the Delhi Sultanate.

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Who was Shamsuddin Iltutmish?

Shamsuddin Iltutmish was a Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate, who ruled from 1211 to 1236. He was the third ruler of the Slave Dynasty, which was founded by Qutbuddin Aibak.

What are the achievements of Iltutmish?

Iltutmish, the Sultan of Delhi (1211-1236), consolidated the Delhi Sultanate, extended its territories, defeated several Hindu kingdoms, repelled Mongol invasions, established a centralized government with a council of ministers, introduced a new currency system, and patronized the arts, commissioning several mosques and tombs in Delhi.

Related Links:

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