Famous Personalities of India : Ghiyas-ud-din Balban
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BALBAN, GHIYAS-UD-DIN (r. 1266-1285). One of the "famous forty" Turkish (Central Asian) slaves of Iltutmish, real founder of the Delhi Sultanate. They were brought to Delhi in 1232. Balban's abilities as a military commander won him high rank at court. He joined other nobles in opposing the brief rule of Raziyah, daughter and heiress of Iltutmish, and succeeded in deposing her in favor of her brother. Balban became his close adviser, father-in-law, and then successor on the throne at a time of turbulence. He tried to enhance the majesty of the Delhi Sultanate by introducing elaborate court rituals and enforcing strict justise. He reorganized the army and stamped out rebellions. More importantly, Balban guarded the western marches of India against Mongol attacks with vigilance and substantial success.

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