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Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khalji

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Title: Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khalji  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Muhammad of Ghor, Khilji dynasty, Sena dynasty, Bogra District, History of Bihar, Architecture of Bengal, List of rulers of Bengal, Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud, Timeline of Bihar, Munger Fort
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Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khalji

Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji
Died 1206
Occupation Military General
Part of a series on the
History of Bengal
Ancient Bengal
 Vedic Period 
Ancient Bengali States
Gangaridai Kingdom, Vanga Kingdom,
Pundra Kingdom, Suhma Kingdom,
Anga Kingdom, Harikela Kingdom

Mauryan Period
Classical Bengal
The Classical Age
Age of Empires
Pala Empire
Sena Empire
Medieval Bengal
Arrival of Islam
Sultanate of Bengal
Deva Kingdom
Bakhtiyar Khilji, Raja Ganesha
Mughal Period
Pratap Aditya, Raja Sitaram Ray
Principality of Bengal
Modern Bengal
Company Raj
Zamindari system, Bengal famine of 1770
British Indian Empire
Bengal Renaissance
Brahmo Samaj
Swami Vivekananda, Jagadish Chandra Bose,
Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose

1947 Partition of Bengal, Bangladesh Liberation War
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Jyoti Basu

See Also
Bangladesh, West Bengal

Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji (also known as Malik Ghazi Ikhtiyar 'l-Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji or Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji) (died 1206) was a Turkic[1] military general of Qutb-ud-din Aybak.

Early life

IIkhtiyar Uddin Khilji, a member of the Khilji tribe,[1] a Turkic tribe long settled in what is now southern Afghanistan,[2] was head of the military force that conquered much of eastern India at the end of the 12th Century.


Khilji came from the town of Garmsir in southern Afghanistan. Tradition has it that Khilji's conquest of Bengal at the head of 18 horsemen was foretold.[3] It is reported that he was of common birth,[4] had long arms extending below his knees,[3] a short physical stature and an unfavorable countenance. He was first appointed as the Dewan-i-Ard at Ghor. Then he approached India in about the year 1193 and tried to enter in the army of Qutb-al-Din, but was refused rank. Then he went further eastward and took a job under Maklik Hizbar al-Din, then in command of a platoon at Badayun in northern India.[4] After a short period he went to Oudh where Malik Husam al-Din, recognized him for his worth.[4] Husam gave him a landed estate in the south-eastern corner of modern Mirzapur district. Khilji gathered some Muslims under his banner and soon consolidated his position, carrying out raids into neighboring territories.


In 1190s, Khilji was also responsible for the destruction of Nalanda University, which was an ancient Buddhist University in Bihar, India, nearby to the stronghold of Bihar. He apparently also massacred the students. The main Persian source for this[5] explains Khilji attacked the fortress unaware that it was a University.

Khilji's career took flight with a campaign which subjugated Bihar in 1203. This effort earned him political clout in the court at Delhi. In the same year he took his forces into Bengal. As he came upon the city of Nabadwip, it is said that he advanced so rapidly that only 18 horsemen from his army could keep up. Khilji went on to capture the capital Gaur and intruded into much of Bengal. [6][7]

Death and Aftermath

Ikhtiyar Khilji left the town of Devkot in 1206 to attack into Tibet, leaving Ali Mardan Khilji in Ghoraghat Upazila to watch the eastern frontier from his headquarters at Barisal. Khilji forces were ambushed in Assam and Ikhtiyar returned to Devkot with about one hundred surviving soldier. Upon Ikhtiyar Khilji's return to India, while he was lying ill at Devkot, he was assassinated by Ali Mardan. [8]

Loyal troops under Muhammad Shiran Khilji avenged Ikhtiyar's death, imprisoning Ali Mardan. Ghiyas-ud-din Iwaz Khilji became the successor. Ali Mardan escaped and was made Governor of Bengal by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, but was killed in 1210. Ghiyas-ud-din again assumed power and proclaimed his independence. [8]


Al Mahmud, a Bangladeshi poet, composed a book of poetry titled Bakhtiyarer Ghora (Horses of Bakhtiyar) in early 1990s. He depicted Khilji as the praiseworthy figurehead of conquest of Bengal. During Bakhtiyar Khilji's reign, Islam achieved most number of converts in India.[9] Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji had the Khutbah read and coins struck in his own name. Mosques, madrasas and Khanqahs arose in the new abode of Islam through Bakhtiyar's patronage, and his example was imitated by his Amirs.

He promoted religion and destroyed knowledge by burning down the ancient Nalanda University.[10][11]

Preceded by
Sena dynasty
King Lakshman Sen
Khilji Dynasty of Bengal
Succeeded by
Muhammad Shiran Khilji

See also


External links

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