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Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant PDF, ePub eBook MUHAMMAD WAS A GOOD MAN WHO DID TERRIBLE THINGS AND A TYRANT OF A SULTAN WHO TRIED TO DO GOOD. When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendour, innovation and defeat. A formidable strategist and remarkable scholar, the Sultan will go down in history for MUHAMMAD WAS A GOOD MAN WHO DID TERRIBLE THINGS AND A TYRANT OF A SULTAN WHO TRIED TO DO GOOD. When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendour, innovation and defeat. A formidable strategist and remarkable scholar, the Sultan will go down in history for his brutality as well as his brilliance, unfairly remembered only as a cruel tyrant who might have been raving mad. His high-flown aspirations and grandiose ambitions may have met with crushing failure, but even so, Tughlaq was a great hero of the fourteenth century, albeit a tragic and fatally flawed one. In this fictional retelling, Anuja Chandramouli, one of India's best mythology writers, reimagines Muhammad bin Tughlaq's life and times in incredible detail to bring to life the man behind the monarch.

30 review for Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sumit RK

    He had never been afraid in life, and after everything he had been through and survived, death held no terrors for him. History is replete with instances of kings and queens who brought misery upon their people with their cruelty, poor governance skills or/and lack of sense for reality. But some monarchs went down in history as mad for their baffling actions and unreasonable behavior for which they were ridiculed and often also hated by their subjects. From the Roman Emperor Caligula to Ivan He had never been afraid in life, and after everything he had been through and survived, death held no terrors for him. History is replete with instances of kings and queens who brought misery upon their people with their cruelty, poor governance skills or/and lack of sense for reality. But some monarchs went down in history as mad for their baffling actions and unreasonable behavior for which they were ridiculed and often also hated by their subjects. From the Roman Emperor Caligula to Ivan the Terrible of Russia there are many examples. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (the ruler of Delhi, 1325-1351) has always been remembered as a tyrant king. History remembers Tughlaq as a mad monarch who brought great suffering to his subjects by his disastrous decisions and cruelty. But is there more to his story than what we know? The book was narrated and paced quite well. The book is divided into three parts– Tughlaq as being a young Prince; whose worldview is shaped by the events of his childhood, His rapid rise as a Sultan of one of the biggest Empires of medieval India and finally his great downfall as a king and his descent into a mad monarch which broke apart his family and his kingdom. The story though based on history is a fictional retelling and reimagining Muhammad bin Tughlaq's life and times and the incredible story of the man behind the monarch. The book was able to recreate the medieval times and most of the characters were well created. The book perfectly blends the history with the fiction to take the story forward. The story stays true to history for most parts. It introduces some characters to advance the narrative. Contrary to the book, Tughlaq had indeed married and it would have been interesting to explore that part of his life. There are several other characters but I wish there had been a single character as a counter to Tughlaq’s POV (like Abu in some chapters) Tughlaq’s character is portrayed in an entirely different light; As a misunderstood and flawed hero who meant well. A formidable strategist and remarkable scholar who dreamed big and had grandiose ambitions, his reforms like an alternate capital or new currency were radical but also monumental disasters. A fatally flawed emperor who will be forever known for his brutality as well as his brilliance. The book is able to explain his motivations behind most of his actions. So was Tughlaq a hero or a villain? Everyone loves a Shakespearean tragedy and reading this book is like reading a Shakespearean tragedy. Tughlaq’s story is quite similar to Macbeth (in fact the similarities are remarkable). Macbeth is a complicated character who possessed both good and evil traits. Macbeth’s action from his ascent to throne to his mistakes which made him more paranoid and a tyrant are similar to Tughlaq. Is Macbeth a hero or villain in your book? Therein lies the answer to the question. Overall, the book was quite a page turner and quite enjoyable. It was brilliantly researched and narrated by the writer, exploring the complex character and life of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. Many thanks to the author Anuja Chandramouli for the ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bharath

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi in the early 14th century, and had ruled over a large empire in India. Writing books around this period can be tricky, as opinions are very divided – either as a period where values plunged with mind-numbing cruel violence, or more favourably as being the general practices of the times. Anuja Chandramouli strikes a very good balance in the book – combining historical facts with new voices of the characters. As she mentions history is especially scant Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi in the early 14th century, and had ruled over a large empire in India. Writing books around this period can be tricky, as opinions are very divided – either as a period where values plunged with mind-numbing cruel violence, or more favourably as being the general practices of the times. Anuja Chandramouli strikes a very good balance in the book – combining historical facts with new voices of the characters. As she mentions history is especially scant about the voices of the women of the time, and Anuja gives Muhammad Bin Tughlaq’s mother, wife and sister a voice. The Khilji clan’s reign had ended, and Muhammad Bin Tughlaq becomes the Sultan of Delhi after the death of his father Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq. It was a challenge to match the legacy of his father who was much respected. Muhammad however tries his best to be considerate to his subjects (including non-muslims), while still adhering strongly to the rituals required of his faith. And yet, he was cruel as well with opponents, and (in this version) also his own wife Saira. The bar for values had been set very low by Alauddin Khilji, and hence rulers who followed come across as so much better. However, the cruelty, religious intolerance and violence can still make you cringe by the standards of today. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq runs into issues with a number of rebellions and watching his kingdom coming apart near the end of his life. The narration is a bit dry in parts. Though the author mentions that today, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq is regarded by many more favourably, it is not very clear from the narration in entirety as to why that should be the case. The balance in the writing is the strongest and creditable aspect of the book. The interspersing of the author’s version of incidents over what is widely known is imaginative as well. These two aspects make the book well worth a read. My rating: 3.5 / 5. I received a free copy of the book for providing a review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Supratim

    I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. I am big fan of the author’s fantasy adventure novels, but her historical fiction is equally engrossing. This book tells the story of Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, one of the most controversial figures in the history of India. Honestly, I don’t know much about the character. What little I remember from history lessons in school, and common knowledge as an Indian, Bin Tughlaq has been portrayed as a mad I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. I am big fan of the author’s fantasy adventure novels, but her historical fiction is equally engrossing. This book tells the story of Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, one of the most controversial figures in the history of India. Honestly, I don’t know much about the character. What little I remember from history lessons in school, and common knowledge as an Indian, Bin Tughlaq has been portrayed as a mad tyrant. He had grandiose plans, some which had merit too, but all of these failed terribly. The Sultan used to inflict horrible punishments on his subjects and others who had incurred his wrath. My review will focus on the Muhammad Bin Tughlaq as presented in this novel. Anuja Chandramouli’s novel has depicted the cruelty of the Sultan in its full savagery, but added many nuances to the monarch’s character. Beneath the façade of the cruel tyrant, there was an intelligent man who had loved. The Sultan was a learned man and a formidable military strategist. He wanted to be remembered for spectacular deeds. Then what turned him into a feared tyrant remembered for his atrocities? The Sultan was a devout Muslim who tried to give religious freedom to his Hindu subjects, which also made an enemy of the orthodox elements amongst his co-religionists. He had to fight constantly for his position as his enemies kept plotting his downfall. He was betrayed by people he trusted, and had to suppress many bloody rebellions. All his cherished projects ended in failure due to hasty implement, lack of measures for contingencies, corruption in the bureaucracy and at times, plain and simple bad luck. All these made the hot tempered Sultan an even more dangerous man and his punishments were terrible. I must admit that the writer has done a commendable job in turning the violent mad monarch into a king who was defeated by his temper, hastiness and betrayals. You would feel a bit sorry for him despite his cruelty. Herein lies the success of the author’s storytelling skills. Overall, it is a very well-written book. As usual, the author’s writing is elegant and smooth. The book might also enrich the vocabulary of many readers. Highly recommended to fans of historical fiction!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vishnu Chevli

    "Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant" is my 7th book read/review by Anuja. I consider myself lucky to get review copy (in exchange for an honest review) of one of India's leading author. She is one of our favorite authors. Her books hold a special place in ourselves. Whenever I feel I got too comfortable with debut Indian author and want a change I try Anuja's books. Her writing style is completely different. She seldom writes multi-protagonist (character) book, she takes one (maximum two) ch "Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant" is my 7th book read/review by Anuja. I consider myself lucky to get review copy (in exchange for an honest review) of one of India's leading author. She is one of our favorite authors. Her books hold a special place in ourselves. Whenever I feel I got too comfortable with debut Indian author and want a change I try Anuja's books. Her writing style is completely different. She seldom writes multi-protagonist (character) book, she takes one (maximum two) character and creates her magic of words. Tughlaq is the book about Juana a.k.a. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. The story started when Tughlaq was kept as caretaker of messenger service under Ghazi Malik, virtually house arrest or kept away from his father Ghiasuddin Tughlaq so that his father cannot attack Delhi. Tughlaq was able to run away from Ghazi Maliq and joined his father. Together they took back Delhi from clutches of Ghazi Malik. His father got the sultanate after Ghazi Malik in absence of capable candidate from Khilji dynasty. It was decided that Juana being the firstborn of Ghiasuddin would inherit the crown after his father. He was young and he had a different thought process, he believed in meritocracy but people around his were old academy guys. His struggle started when he started a campaign against southern kingdoms. Check out the book to know more. Like any of her previous work, Anuja has portrayed her protagonist (Tughlaq) in a completely new avatar. We have been taught about his blunders in schools, but we never got to know his reasoning behind those idea and why they failed miserably. Anuja has shown Tughlag more like a failed hero than a villain who was surrounded by orthodox, power-hungry ministers. Detailing of characters, situations and plots are merged so wonderfully that you feel like watching it as a live. There are many authors whose efforts became visible when they give plot information in between conversation some times such efforts feel like distractions. One thing I observed (and liked) was language usage, Anuja has changed a lot compared to her initial work. She had an awesome control over words, she can easily impress any literature savvy guy. But that can hinder readership count. Luckily all of her books did great till now, still, she has started using easier language. So this time I was enjoying the book more than keeping up with words. Overall a nice read. A different character to read. The book is full with Muslim character's names which were somewhat difficult to cope up with. It made me read some pages more than once. Detailed review link - https://chevusread.blogspot.com/2019/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Finitha Jose

    I took a lot of time to finish this particular historical fiction, partly due to the awfully small letters characteristic of Penguin and also because this is a book which, as per Baconian dictums, should be chewed and digested. Meanwhile, I took it wherever I went -- meetings, academic gatherings -- and unsurprisingly it drew a lot of attention. 'Are you implying that the agendas we are discussing are of Tughlaquian in nature?' One teased the presence of the book. Well, that aptly summarises wha I took a lot of time to finish this particular historical fiction, partly due to the awfully small letters characteristic of Penguin and also because this is a book which, as per Baconian dictums, should be chewed and digested. Meanwhile, I took it wherever I went -- meetings, academic gatherings -- and unsurprisingly it drew a lot of attention. 'Are you implying that the agendas we are discussing are of Tughlaquian in nature?' One teased the presence of the book. Well, that aptly summarises what Tughlaq means to Indians -- a mad monarch with crazy projects. And we are forgetting, quite conveniently it seems, that most of his crazy plans are practised nowadays including that of paper money. If a writer's function is to remind, inspire and correct, then Anuja Chandramouli has completed that task to perfection. Here is the best defence to a monarch who is largely misunderstood due to his innovative schemes. It is said that a wise man goes with the people, a foolish man against them and a great man brings the people to his way. Looking it in that way, it seems there is only a thin line that separates the foolish and the great. Though Muhammad will surely be categorised with the former (he could never stand the foolish whims of his people), his ideas are nothing short of great. In a way, Chandramouli's cleverly crafted work is a eulogy to a monarch who was too modern for his times and who never cared what history speaks of him. We close the book with a heavy heart mourning for a great man whose intentions never really came to fruition.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tam_ the_ med_bookie

    Appreciate the writing style and the well-researched content. I never thought a retelling would be this good and simple to read. I would like to say that the notorious tyrant of the past has not been glorified in this retelling if anyone thinks otherwise. I never imagined that I would read a book about Tughlaq which will make me see him for what he was and the situations he was in. What I like about this retelling: The simple narration. The well built characters. The POVs in between. The crisp dialog Appreciate the writing style and the well-researched content. I never thought a retelling would be this good and simple to read. I would like to say that the notorious tyrant of the past has not been glorified in this retelling if anyone thinks otherwise. I never imagined that I would read a book about Tughlaq which will make me see him for what he was and the situations he was in. What I like about this retelling: The simple narration. The well built characters. The POVs in between. The crisp dialogues. And the cover design rocks. The ending shook me👍 What I feel could make the content better: The book could have been shorter. The less description about the same issue in long paragraphs could be avoided. (It disrupted the reading flow and was a bit distracting.) It was a good read overall.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aishwary Mehta (The_Fugitive_Biker)

    15th Book of 2019 Quote from the Book I Liked - ‘You care too much about what people say. It makes you susceptible to their attacks.’ (Page 63) Rating - 4 Stars Plot Summary - MUHAMMAD WAS A GOOD MAN WHO DID TERRIBLE THINGS AND A TYRANT OF A SULTAN WHO TRIED TO DO GOOD. When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendor, innovation, and defeat. A formidable stra 15th Book of 2019 Quote from the Book I Liked - ‘You care too much about what people say. It makes you susceptible to their attacks.’ (Page 63) Rating - 4 Stars Plot Summary - MUHAMMAD WAS A GOOD MAN WHO DID TERRIBLE THINGS AND A TYRANT OF A SULTAN WHO TRIED TO DO GOOD. When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendor, innovation, and defeat. A formidable strategist and remarkable scholar, the Sultan will go down in history for his brutality as well as his brilliance, unfairly remembered only as a cruel tyrant who might have been raving mad. His high-flown aspirations and grandiose ambitions may have met with crushing failure, but even so, Tughlaq was a great hero of the fourteenth century, albeit a tragic and fatally flawed one. In this fictional retelling, Anuja Chandramouli, one of India’s best mythology writers, reimagines Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s life and times in incredible detail to bring to life the man behind the monarch. My Review - The book is on the life of famously acclaimed ‘The Mad Monarch’, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. The book is divided into three parts as a great writing scheme by the author. The tree parts are – Him as being a young Prince who is Clever as well as Innocent and have a great perspective of how he would bring changes to his Empire once he becomes Sultan, Second part presents him as Sultan, where he has great ideas and performs great reforms for the welfare of his people and Finally, when he became a Mad Monarch. The story proceeds at a steady pace, giving a detailed account of each and every event of his life. Although some parts of the story went a bit haywire and felt a bit haphazard, but overall it went well. As in the words of Muhammad’s best friend Abu – ‘But you are a brilliant thinker and an ambitious dreamer whose skills frankly aren’t up to scratch when it comes to execution’. He was a good planner and always wanted that, all the good fortune comes to his people but being short-tempered and an egoistic person, he was labeled as Mad monarch. Every time his subjects suggested something to him which went against his own thoughts and plans, he executed them in a very macabre way which ultimately leads his people to hate and fear him. All he wanted was good but rather his actions made him into a Tyrant. The whole book also teaches us that to hear others is the very key to go on in the long run. Do whatever you may but to hear the council of Wiseman would never harm your actions. (Keep that in mind) Conclusion - A good account of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq’s Life. Full Review on Blog. Link to Blog - The Tales of Fugitive Biker

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ella Heart

    *An ARC is provided to me by the author in Exchange for an honest Review* Quite interestingly, even after knowing many stories of and about Indian History and mythology, I never did came across the name Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and so when the book came on my door, i didn't know what to make of it. But in that context, i felt that the author did a fabulous job in introducing me to the tale of a tryant - and when i mean tyrant - i mean literally a person who kept his people in a state of constant fear, *An ARC is provided to me by the author in Exchange for an honest Review* Quite interestingly, even after knowing many stories of and about Indian History and mythology, I never did came across the name Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and so when the book came on my door, i didn't know what to make of it. But in that context, i felt that the author did a fabulous job in introducing me to the tale of a tryant - and when i mean tyrant - i mean literally a person who kept his people in a state of constant fear, who did every bizzare thing that came into his mind, never saw his plan and ideas through till the end and was constantly chasing fame and power, which only rendered to make him a fool in his people's eyes. But even then Anuja tried to show us a man who was kind, generous and benevolent beyond all that mistakes and errors; a man who pulled an entire part of his city out of a famine. She tried to show us not the king but a person who made more mistakes than the conquests he achieved. The writing style and in depth research that were done were another thing that impressed me. The very first sentence had me hooked, a part of it goes like :- ....oblivious to the splendor of the setting sun, which was discarding its golden rays like a gorgeous women undressing at leisure as the sky blushed and shut its eyes, allowing darkness to descend. WOW💜💕! I think that what got me hooked in the novel from the get go. Honestly, this was a good read written beautifully and i would love to read more from the author in future. Till the next book then, Hugs and Happy Reading Everyone!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to the author, and Penguin RandomHouse India for a review copy of this book. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (reign 1325–1351) was the second ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty, which ruled over a large part of the country described as the Delhi Sultanate, ruled over by five different dynasties, the Mamluks, Khaljis, and Tughlaqs among them. This book opens in a period of turmoil around the Delhi/Dilli throne when after the demise of Alauddin Khalji, his son Mubarak Shah has proved to be a disappointmen My thanks to the author, and Penguin RandomHouse India for a review copy of this book. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (reign 1325–1351) was the second ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty, which ruled over a large part of the country described as the Delhi Sultanate, ruled over by five different dynasties, the Mamluks, Khaljis, and Tughlaqs among them. This book opens in a period of turmoil around the Delhi/Dilli throne when after the demise of Alauddin Khalji, his son Mubarak Shah has proved to be a disappointment, wasting his opportunity on the throne on his own pleasures and debauchery with the result that he has been murdered and the throne taken over by Nasiruddin Khusrau Shah, one of Khalji’s generals. In his capital, young Jauna Khan, son of Ghazi Malik, is a hostage of sorts, though officially Master of the Horse. But he is courageous and manages to make his escape and join his father, who goes on to found the Tughlaq dynasty as Ghiasuddin Tughlaq. His father’s death on return from one of his campaigns sees Jauna ascend the throne as Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, but the circumstances of the death mean that Muhammad will always be suspected of patricide. As the Sultan, Muhammad was a visionary, attempting a series of innovations from shifting his capital, to introducing currency—minting coins of base metals with higher value—and also had other radical ideas including pertaining faith and tolerance which were ahead of his time and did not sit well with his officials or people, despite his own good intentions. Unfortunately for him, most of his schemes and a few of his campaigns failed, and he is remembered as cruel or mad rather than for his ideas. In telling his story, the author explores all of these facets of his personality and of his life, as he goes from being Prince Jauna to Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq to the Mad Monarch amidst a few (his mother and sister) who loved and genuinely cared for him to others like his officials who didn’t really seem to understand him, and still others who were ever ready to betray. This is the third book of historical fiction I’ve read by the author and it was my favourite so far. I really liked how she’s presented Muhammad (from whose point of view the story is told) as a person—a powerful monarch, yes, but not as someone good or bad or classifiable into clear cut categories, but rather an interesting but much misunderstood person, with ideas much ahead of his time, whether it be his innovations or his interest in interacting with those from other parts of the world. He is cruel certainly and the tortures he perpetrated on those who crossed him were horrifying but I felt it was no less so than other monarchs—the Mughals after him or Henry the VIII for that matter (which is not to say that those actions were not despicable but just that they weren’t extraordinarily so). (Incidentally, while in some of the author’s earlier books, I found what I called the ‘gory bits’ a bit much for me, here while they were still disturbing to read (as they should be), I didn’t feel that they were out of place where they were included.) Also he acts on his whims at times which again was characteristic of so many monarchs (and people generally). But from the overall portrait that this book paints, the feeling one comes away with is some level of sympathy for a man who certainly deserved better than he got. Of the themes the author explores in the book, the one that stands out throughout is the need for tolerance for difference, whether it be of faith or other aspects—this is something that is relevant even in the current context and yet a lesson that people refuse to learn. I enjoyed the author’s writing and descriptions, especially of celebratory occasions like his sister Khuda’s wedding—the vivid pictures she paints make one feel like one is there viewing the ceremonies and celebrations oneself. In some places, though, I felt some word choices were a touch modern and didn’t quite fit the historical context/atmosphere in the book. But while parts of the story and Muhammad’s personality might be as the author imagined them, the research that has gone into the book shows. Another small complaint I had with the book was something I felt with her earlier historical book, Prithviraj Chauhan as well—in a work of historical fiction, especially when a monarch and his kingdom is the centre of discussion, including a map/s of the Sultanate as it was in the period or periods being written of would have made the reading experience better as one could have immediately referred to it to see what places or areas were being spoken of. The second element which would also have been helpful was a list of characters mentioned or even a family tree/s. The first chapter of the book where the author describes the situation of the Delhi throne after Khalji’s death, numerous characters are mentioned, not all of whom one was familiar with and I found it a little confusing to keep who was who straight in my mind. I realise that many of these (in fact, most) don’t really come up again in the story, but still a cast of characters describing people in the different dynasties would have helped keep things clearer. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book which presented many facets of a very interesting historical personality. A solid 4 stars. This review is also on my blog: https://potpourri2015.wordpress.com/2...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hitessh Panchal

    Full account of Life and Death of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and Everything in Between !!! This is probably the only book on Tughlaq, I have come across and everything I have ever read about him was in history books in school , just as a passing reference. Anuja Chandramouli gives account of entire life in her book. The book is divided in three parts, viz, his life as Prince Jauna , his ascend to the throne and his last years. The book is a complete character reading of Tughlaq and describes how Prince J Full account of Life and Death of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and Everything in Between !!! This is probably the only book on Tughlaq, I have come across and everything I have ever read about him was in history books in school , just as a passing reference. Anuja Chandramouli gives account of entire life in her book. The book is divided in three parts, viz, his life as Prince Jauna , his ascend to the throne and his last years. The book is a complete character reading of Tughlaq and describes how Prince Jauna carves his way to the throne. During his years as Sultan, Tughlaq had fought many battles and had many Revolutionary ideas and implemented almost all his ideas including introduction of copper coins instead of gold and silver for trading. However noble his causes were , due to corrupt administration and improper implementation, all his revolutionary ideas failed miserably. With a masterly finesse and excellent play of words , Anuja not only brings out the life of Tughlaq as a Ruler , but also flaunts his soft side as a son, brother to his sister and lover. His prowess towards his religion, but equally respecting all the other religion of his times, making him a villain of the religious fanatics have been extensively covered. Although , I found there were certain disconnects between the stories at times , that makes this a four starrer, this book does not fails to be a Very Goodread. This book has definitely added one more author (and a genre)to the list of my favorites !!! Received an ARC in return of honest review ! Loved it ! Liked !! Will Treasure it !!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krutika Puranik

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq - Tale of a tyrant. ~ "Muhammad bin Tughlak was freed from his people and they from their king." - `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni. ~ Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was a visionary, a man with a kind heart and a strong personality. Before he went on to become the King, people appreciated his efforts of leading his father Ghiasuddin Tughlaq's army and assisting him during wartime. Due to the untimely death of Ghiasuddin, Muhammad accepts the crown and becomes the new King. Though his father died un Muhammad Bin Tughlaq - Tale of a tyrant. ~ "Muhammad bin Tughlak was freed from his people and they from their king." - `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni. ~ Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was a visionary, a man with a kind heart and a strong personality. Before he went on to become the King, people appreciated his efforts of leading his father Ghiasuddin Tughlaq's army and assisting him during wartime. Due to the untimely death of Ghiasuddin, Muhammad accepts the crown and becomes the new King. Though his father died under unfortunate circumstances, rumours were circulated about Muhammad being a parricide. It is then that the life of a King was written and sealed under a sad series of events. ~ Muhammad was always known as a man who thought from his heart and not from his mind. This might be one of the reasons of him being addressed as a tyrant by people of the same faith as him. He never involved or encouraged brutal acts to be done to the Hindus. Instead, he supported other religions by building temples and other prayer houses. People under his rule never forgot to remind him that he murdered his father inspite of Muhammad trying to clear the air. This was just the beginning of the continuous hate he received from his people. When Muhammad decided to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, his people weren't happy to leave back their homes. People often failed to understand his attempts to protect their land. ~ Muhammad was a renowned scholar and often thought of writing books. But he lacked patience to see his plans fall into place and in such cases, executed people ruthlessly without giving them a chance to explain. Though he was a good man, he fell short in bonding with his people and his tales of cruelty further pushed them away. The fact that he didn't receive enough support from other rulers and also from within his own advisors, turned him bitter and finally, a tyrant. In this book, Anuja thoroughly goes to explain the depth of Muhammad's character and what caused him to turn into someone so irrational. The amount of research gone behind this book is truly fantastic. A treat to those who enjoy History. ~ Rating - 5/5.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Archit Ojha

    "If there is one thing undesirable in an emperor, it is the weakness." Muhammad bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. Described as an Intelligent Fool, the history has been very harsh on him. His decisions and action might look useless and foolish but he was certainly ahead of his time. He was an expert in experiments, being a king gives you the leverage and he utilized his position ardently. This book explores all aspects of a ruler Tughlaq was with a balanced amount of fiction "If there is one thing undesirable in an emperor, it is the weakness." Muhammad bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. Described as an Intelligent Fool, the history has been very harsh on him. His decisions and action might look useless and foolish but he was certainly ahead of his time. He was an expert in experiments, being a king gives you the leverage and he utilized his position ardently. This book explores all aspects of a ruler Tughlaq was with a balanced amount of fiction and references to the arduous reading and research done by the author for this characters so much misunderstood by the common audience. Though there are some works on Muhammad bin Tughlaq but never like this. This work is modern and suitable for the new readers who want a blend of both entertainment and information - infotainment. Anuja Chandramouli is one of the finest authors in India. Her genres ranges from historical fiction to mythology to creating a curiosity in the reader's mind to explore more about their culture and history. The writing style is refined. You read the first few pages and know this is a work of an expert who knows how to increase your interest in history and culture. You should definitely try reading it if you love Indian History and want to see it in new light.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sahil Pradhan

    10 reasons why you should read Anuja Chandramouli’s 10th Novel Holding a copy of Anuja Chandramouli’s ‘Muhammad bin Tughlaq’ in your hands can be somewhat intimidating, mostly because it gives every indication of being a weighty tome in every sense of the word. Not surprisingly, it is not possible to classify this literary extravaganza which is many things without limiting itself to anything in particular. Anuja Chandramouli’s remarkable book is not really meant to be analysed, rather the reader 10 reasons why you should read Anuja Chandramouli’s 10th Novel Holding a copy of Anuja Chandramouli’s ‘Muhammad bin Tughlaq’ in your hands can be somewhat intimidating, mostly because it gives every indication of being a weighty tome in every sense of the word. Not surprisingly, it is not possible to classify this literary extravaganza which is many things without limiting itself to anything in particular. Anuja Chandramouli’s remarkable book is not really meant to be analysed, rather the reader would do well to cast aside all reservation and be swept up in its surging currents, delighting in the sheer sensations it evokes. What makes it more special is its special character, Tughlaq. When movies like Jolly LLB 2 has made a fun of Tughlaq, where people get angry when named Tughlaq, Chandramouli has taken her pen to make a balanced narrative of the man who Tughlaq was, through her esoteric language and prowess over the celestial narration. If you search through your nibbling fingers on the internet, I challenge you to find any other book, a novel especially on Tughlaq, except Anuja’s one. And then there was only one. Revel in the inspired ideas, relish the asides that are funny as well as heart-breaking and ride on the wings of lyrical prose that transcends the limits of the medium while allowing your soul to soar towards the very height of great art powered by a superior mind at the very height of its prowess. Her play of celestial language In his remarkable speech at the burial of Julius Caesar, Marc Antony starts by criticizing Caesar and praising Brutus, but from the first word itself, it is loaded with political shrewdness. Anuja Chandramouli is a brilliant writer. In a country where English proficiency is equated with brilliance, she often dazzles the middle-class Indians with her esoteric English wordplay. However, possession of a good thesaurus and nimble fingers for writing are of not much help in navigating the complex jungle of Indian marketing and the glitterati of the Indian publishing, where ruthless beasts of greater shrewdness roam around. It seems Chandramouli has decided to use her skills in writing to carve out a space for herself in this teeming wilderness and perhaps become the lion queen one day. India has seen various lore in its fictional realms, penned by authors with varied passages of imagination and many titles remain highly anticipated. Armed with the right arsenal to undertake this genre, Anuja has nine successful titles under her belt, all penned in fair succession and put out into a world that continues to fall in love with the mythological realm. Her prowess over writing in fair succession When author Anuja Chandramouli started down the road of mythological fiction, her choice of protagonists was heroic and her stories, flamboyant. Her prolific bibliography includes tales about Arjuna, Shakti, Kamadeva, Yama, Padmavati, Prithviraj Chauhan, and even Kartikeya and Ganga, most recently – the clearly victorious characters in the razzle-dazzle of the Indian mythic universe. But she has steadily moved towards lesser-known tales, rewriting, recasting, re-inventing them. Like her counterpart, Anand Neelakantan, she enjoys flipping the stories around, turning heroes into villains and underdogs into heroes. Chandramouli has gone on to write books on Kamadeva, Yamadeva, Queen Padmavati and Kartikeya, deeming herself a “New Age Indian Classicist”. “New Age” is certainly a useful disclaimer, because, in the blender of her imagination, many things classical and historical are rendered unrecognizable. The latest case in point is her book, Muhammad bin Tughlaq The Tale of a Tyrant. Chandramouli, I am sure, has some super power, the reason why I tell you this is here. In October 2017, Anuja got a contract of three books at a time from three different publishers. And in December there they were freshly printed and hot off the press, ready to be sold. Imagine three books in two months, calculating roughly around 4000 words every day, this is what is called speed. Still not impressed here is some more of proof. In January 2019, she wrote a 310 page magnum opus Ganga . Adding around 120000 words more to her record in writing. In 2 months again she is here with the next book, making her The Lady Protector of Art of Creative Writing, Breaker of Myths, Mother of Bestsellers, The Anuja Chandramouli. Humanization is her brick to answer Expect riveting storylines and subplots from her latest, it is Anuja’s mastery of vocabulary and of the celestial language that keeps audiences enraptured. Detailed descriptions of battle and violence, while a natural aspect of this horror-oriented tale, are not for the faint of heart though. Anuja Chandramouli has been appreciated for her gripping and racy style of writing. Each of her novels holds on to the reader’s attention given the steady pace of her novels and the way she merges the real world with fantasy. Readers find the characters relatable because while telling the stories of God or Kings, she humanizes them in the most relevant way. Her in-depth research on every character – essentially the gods, goddesses, historical heroes and heroines we revere – and the plots show in her every piece of work. She oscillates between ostentatious language and simple presentation making her books attractive to read. Her narration is balanced and realistic with subtle social commentary. Deviation and Beautification As the title suggests, Chandramouli’s newest offering uses the core myths around the Delhi Sultanate ruler, well known for being a pompous bastard of Delhi history, Muhammad bin Tughlaq to weave a fictional narrative. The Tughlaq story is a tough one because he’s not a “straightforward” hero or villain-like many others in the Delhi Sultan pantheon. There are different versions of his story found in the folklore, novels and non fiction and even play like one by Girish Karnad, among other texts. Many of these traits were carried forward in the folk myths and documented histories of Ibn Battutah and others of this grey shaded character, and are also faithfully represented in Chandramouli’s version. However, the author deviates in several ways from the central history, and this is what makes it “fiction”. Some of these deviations are clever and some seem unnecessary, but she manages to hold the narrative together through it all. It would be useful to recount the most popular versions of the core tale, in order to compare the points of difference. Fanciful inventions and stomach-churning scenes In fact, Chandramouli dwells upon this dynamic so much that the supremely royal couple is reduced to an annoying duo next door. But this is just an example of her overarching need to humanize both gods and kings in her stories. In doing so, Chandramouli liberally alters the “classical fates” of these characters. With fanciful inventions like these, the author tries to make her characters more relatable. While the result is sometimes effective, it also disappoints. Perhaps readers want their heroes and villains to be larger than life and not petty squabblers? That’s not to say Chandramouli cannot write “big”. She is particularly skilled in painting stomach-churning pictures of violence and war, bordering on the crass. Perhaps that is intended, for murders by ghouls and goblins must sound different from man-made deaths in her books. Her Damn Imagery and Narration Chandramouli’s prowess over language makes her books among the biggest hits that the world of mythology can ever have. Her novels are enough great and enough large and beautiful to compete with the Booker ones if Historical-Fiction turns into a genre in their list. The beauty of the tale and her imagery with that of the surroundings around her and the nature within the state of her mind and the book. Her scenes may it be the scene of the wars or the scenes where the capital shifts, everything is etched out to the perfect note. As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. Tughlaq demonstrates on every page the miracle of Anuja Chandramouli’s storytelling gifts. A gem a great tempest of a novel: a remarkable creation, a story both intimate and international, swelling with comedy and outrage, a tale that cradles the world’s most fragile people even while it assaults brutal villains. Tughlaq is a thoroughly absorbing work of art a hybrid of satire, romance, thriller, fable, mythology, and history. Here is writing that swirls so hypnotically it doesn’t t feel like words on paper so much as ink on water. This vast novel will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion. Tughlaq is the follow-up we’ve been longing for a poetic, densely populated contemporary novel in the tradition of Ghosh and Sundaresan. Here, sample this; “Every emperor has his faults, and some deserve to be killed, but staining your hands with the blood of your relatives is insupportable,” Jauna said firmly. Anuja Chandramouli, Muhammad bin Tughlaq A balanced realm Modern historians concur that Muhammad bin Tughlaq has been terribly misunderstood and so called scholarly accounts from the likes of Ibn Batuta, Barani and Isami reek of bias. He was exceedingly unpopular among the followers of his own faith for daring to be tolerant to his subjects who belonged to other religions, failing to zealously guard the principles of Islam from idolatry and heresy and raising non – believers to high posts instead of dealing with them using the savagery he was infamous for. The Sultan had a rough time of it with the orthodoxy who sought repeatedly to undermine his reign and even tried to have him killed. But Muhammad bin Tughlaq refused to give in to their fanatical demands, choosing instead to provoke them further by killing key religious leaders in spectacularly barbaric fashion. Needless, to say he paid a heavy price for his belligerent attitude. It probably explains why he issued an extraordinary proclamation prohibiting public prayers in the empire for a period of five years though by all accounts he himself was a devout practitioner of Islam! Anuja Chandramouli In Chandramouli’s beautifully created fictional world, which is a mirror of the real one, where intolerance, hatred and spite prevail, happiness and peace are but dreams for anybody irrespective of gender or circumstance. By preserving the proper spirit of the past contained not just in Indian history but in those belonging to different parts of the world, passed on by storytellers, wandering minstrels, bards and yes, present day writers on the subject, we can find a way to deal with the horrors of the present in order to usher in a better future where sense prevails. In addition to this, the challenges of ruling an unwieldy empire where his subjects in the various provinces had their own language, customs, all of whom were uniformly proud and prickly about their roots which in turn led to endless bickering and ceaseless hostility often erupting into bouts of communal violence proved too much for him. The unrelenting pressures of governance and the lack of support from his officials and subjects made him bitter and cynical. Not that it stopped him from doing his utmost to implement his outré innovations and ‘madcap’ schemes viewed with alarm and disbelief by his contemporaries with his trademark impulsiveness and recklessness which effectively doused the sparks of genius that went into the making of his grandiloquent plans. The man was an exceptional scholar well – versed in theology, rhetoric, poetry, philosophy, economics and finance with a keen mind imbued with the spirit of enquiry. Author’s note, Anuja Chandramouli Chandramouli has done a wonderous job by staying faithful to the material which is pure gold. The historical facts are juicy and the pace is crisp, making for a riveting read. Muhammad bin Tughlaq is a triumph that brings to life one of the most glorious epochs in all of history and is definitely worth a read. Tughlaq seeks to answer his own question, “How far can your life take you when there is nothing to hold you back?” and the revelation will leave you with a lump in the throat, a smile on the lips and a fervent desire to become an honest to goodness. The intense action culminates in an explosive finale that will leave a chill in the heart which will not be easily dispelled. Many of his ill – advised reforms particularly the one where he sought to replace gold and silver coins with alternative currency were sound but the manner in which they were enforced left a lot to be desired. A failure to seek the counsel of his councillors and experts, anticipate problems in execution, the rampant corruption which derailed many of his projects before they could take off, and careless cruelty with which he dealt with his subjects when they failed to fall in with his plans led to untold suffering and nearly derailed his authority. The Sultan had neither the pragmatism nor the patience to see his revolutionary ideas pertaining to administration, agriculture and taxation through to a successful conclusion. When confronted with successive failures which led to a loss of face for the emperor, he became increasingly embittered and his mercurial temper led to savage reprisals which led to his being universally reviled. Anuja Chandramouli Chandramouli is determined to perform a delicate balancing act between the opposing viewpoints of the conqueror and conquered and is even-handed to the point of being exasperating. Anuja in choosing to champion the best of the Tughlaqs, who did not deserve the shabby treatment meted out to them by history, has achieved something amazing and deserves to be championed too! Clearing the mist Yet, even his harshest critics have conceded that Muhammad bin Tughlaq was also a kind, generous and benevolent ruler. He seemed to have genuinely cared about the welfare of his subjects and worked tirelessly to end their suffering during the terrible famine that beset his reign and laid waste to the countryside for long years. Anuja Chandramouli Chandramouli along with her mind boggling lines and heart stopping dialogues makes you ponder over who Tughlaq really was, Tyrant or Ideal ruler, what she does at the best through her research and prose is clearing the mists surrounding the man who Tughlaq was. If only the Sultan had not been opposed at every turn by his subjects, circumstances and his own temperament not to mention the rash of rebellions that robbed his empire of stability he may have met with a modicum of success and changed the history of this land and realized his vision to make it a better place. Perhaps we would not be plagued with the problems of incompetent leaders, greedy bureacrats, indifferent citizens, corruption, and communal strife to this very day. Anuja Chandramouli In a surprising move, Chandramouli is not content to chart the diverse dramatis personae lives and measure the successes of this one extraordinary men, though she does do that while opting to shift focus without warning to a dizzying array of colourful characters, who are an eclectic mix of wives, fighters, small commoners and even a vast array of ministers and other royals and even double agents all of whom made their own mark on history and left valuable impressions behind of the cultural, political and moral landscape of a crumbling empire. What no one does, she does This book is an attempt to recreate the life and times of Muhammad bin Tughlaq and clamber into the chaotic headspace of one who was considered to be a mad monarch. Painstaking research must has gone into the foundation as every word echoes of this truth. But when it came to building upon the character of this towering persona, I have taken some creative liberties. When confronted with conflicting versions of certain events, I have gone with what makes sense to me personally or have cobbled together missing fragments with chunks from my own imagination. Their stories have mixed results in that they do shed light on a veritable avalanche of complex historical facts which manage to occasionally engage the reader while also leaving him or her disconcerted with the sheer density of information conveyed detachedly in opaque prose and a penchant for dogged descriptiveness that is not always flavoursome enough to be savoured. The frequent meandering detours and a surfeit of material crammed into an overcrowded stage with too much happening at all levels can be most vexing. Oftentimes, the process of perusing this excellent material feels as laborious and cumbersome as scaling an unforgiving peak under extremely unfavourable conditions which makes one want to give up in abject despair. Chandramouli has a gift for telling stories that boast of the robust prose, muscle and sinew favoured by the author in this tale as well. Her characters are delicately sketched out and pulse with life as they leap off the pages into the consciousness of those who have gotten to know them so intimately. Her decision not to make it unduly melodramatic but rather keep it simple and clinical even, succeeds in making the horror all the more stomach turning. A voice to the harem All chroniclers of Muhammad bin Tughlaq have been annoyingly negligent when it comes to the women in his life. His mother Makhduma Jahan (Mistress of the World) is referred to with said honorific and no one saw fit to mention her real name though she is believed to have been hugely influential and known to have received foreign dignitaries and taken an active interest in governance. His sister, Khudawandzada, also gets a passing mention because the Sultan’s munificence was on display during her wedding and she dared to make a bid for power on behalf of her son Dawar Malik during his successor, Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s reign. There is next to nothing about his wife (wives?) or progeny which is truly puzzling since everybody in those times had an unhealthy obsession with the love lives of their Sultans and the fecundity of their wives. (not that things have changed drastically in these enlightened times) Anuja Chandramouli Be that as it may, Chandramouli has sought to give the royal ladies a voice, even if it is mostly my own. With regard to Muhammad bin Tuglaq’s love interest, Girish Karnad gave her the germ of an idea in his wonderful play on Tughlaq and she ran with it, though in a different, much darker direction. It is a juicy premise, and in Chandramouli’s hands it becomes something extraordinary, grabbing readers by the throat, plunging them into the depths of the feminine and male psyche with its myriad hues that run the gamut from the sublimely beautiful and inspiring to the sordid and shocking. A magnificent book that depicts the bitter battles men fight, on the blood soaked terrain and women fight, far from the battlefield. Feel free to make of it what you will, dear reader. For those who insist on knowing where exactly fact and fiction diverge or converge in these pages, I suggest you do what I did which is read up on Tughlaq and make up your own mind. Every time, I make a date with historical novels, I see the present in the past as well as the past in the present. This book is Chandramouli’s attempt to make sense of both in order to get an inkling of the potential and perils held by the future. A brilliant read, this book should be mandatory reading for Indians just so they can learn from the past, wise up in the present and prevent the future from being reduced to a disaster waiting to happen. This reviewer would like to thank her for making him so enamoured with this book, he would gladly marry it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    MRIDULA

    |4.5 stars| Full Review @https://ecstaticyetchaotic.wordpress.... Muhammad Bin Tughlaq- a tyrant known for his short temper, violent conquests, ambitious nature, and shrewd politics has been given a new story by Anuja Chandramouli and here’s is what I have to say: It’s bloody brilliant. Tughlaq’s conquests have been documented widely by historians and poets alike, but behind this violent personality is a life of sufferings, regrets, and loss. The story begins when he rebels against the present Sult |4.5 stars| Full Review @https://ecstaticyetchaotic.wordpress.... Muhammad Bin Tughlaq- a tyrant known for his short temper, violent conquests, ambitious nature, and shrewd politics has been given a new story by Anuja Chandramouli and here’s is what I have to say: It’s bloody brilliant. Tughlaq’s conquests have been documented widely by historians and poets alike, but behind this violent personality is a life of sufferings, regrets, and loss. The story begins when he rebels against the present Sultan of Delhi, followed by his controversial coronation and his final downfall in the hands of pestilence. Being a character-driven plot, much emphasis has been given in writing each character who played a significant role in the Sultan’s life. Be it his family or his close associates and advisers, these characters are well formed. Tughlaq’s character especially, made a place in my heart because the author brought out all the sides to his character one by one and justified it with plot twists and political strategies. Tughlaq’s life in this story almost resembles the one in history and a few characters and events have been added by the author to push the story forward. A flawed emperor, driven by his nature and his circumstances, Tughlaq can’t exactly be categorized as a hero or a villain. It is up to the readers to judge him and form an opinion about his reign and his life. Chandramouli’s extensive research and storytelling skills shaped Muhammad Bin Tughlaq into a compelling and engrossing read. It’s one of those books that will surprise you in a positive manner.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rajan

    “I go into any movie that's historical fiction thinking, 'OK, I'm here to watch a work of art, something delivering a series of opinions, and if it's a good work of art, these opinions become so deeply embedded in complexity and richness that I won't even be bothered by the opinions. I'll make my own mind up.” Tony Kushner MBT is an enigmatic ruler and has divided opinions about him. Some say he was a visionary way ahead of his times. Others say he was a mad man. The history is made up most of the “I go into any movie that's historical fiction thinking, 'OK, I'm here to watch a work of art, something delivering a series of opinions, and if it's a good work of art, these opinions become so deeply embedded in complexity and richness that I won't even be bothered by the opinions. I'll make my own mind up.” Tony Kushner MBT is an enigmatic ruler and has divided opinions about him. Some say he was a visionary way ahead of his times. Others say he was a mad man. The history is made up most of the times by the rulers. Even in present day and age this holds true. Media is managed by the rulers. The story of MBT is lesser known but most of us know him as a ambitious, visionary but a mad ruler. “Tughlaghi Firman” even today is used for an outlandish order. Some say he was way ahead of his times and other say he was a maniac. The book starts with Alluddin Khilji end and his successor takes over, he is a sex maniac and Ghiayasuddin takes over from him. MBT is his son and when ascends to throne without any blood bath he has many plans. I have an opinion that a historical book should be assessed from that era’s rules and values. Here the book faltered and the current era rules are imposed in a rather high-handed manner. Like the thing about Hindus breaking the Masjids and taking revenge. Many such things are there in the book which are forced from today’s day and age. I could not finish and left it in between. The book is boring also and seemed stretched. 3/ 5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Swetha Amit

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi for sometime in the 14th century. This book recreates his life and times as a tyrant. Divided into three parts, the first part talks about his childhood experiences that shaped his personality. The second part talks about his journey as a ruler where he faces the challenge to live up to his late father's legacy. The third part describes his downfall and his kingdom falling apart. Most of the story is based on History and some parts are fictional retel Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the Sultan of Delhi for sometime in the 14th century. This book recreates his life and times as a tyrant. Divided into three parts, the first part talks about his childhood experiences that shaped his personality. The second part talks about his journey as a ruler where he faces the challenge to live up to his late father's legacy. The third part describes his downfall and his kingdom falling apart. Most of the story is based on History and some parts are fictional retelling of his story. The characters in the book were sketched out well. The dialogues were a compelling read and author appears to have done a good amount of research. Themes of power and politics are touched upon here. It was interesting to see the complexity of the character of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq which leaves us thinking if he was a hero or a villain. An interesting read for especially those who like history.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dhanya Rakesh

    It is always amazing to give another direction to the normally accepted version of history. This is the interesting thing about historical retelling and the author Anuja Chandramouli through this novel is giving a fictional retelling of one of the most controversial figures Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. Thankyou Anuja Chandramouli the review copy Given below are my honest views about the book. Tughlaq has always been associated with badly implemented decisions and horrible cruelty inflicted on his subjec It is always amazing to give another direction to the normally accepted version of history. This is the interesting thing about historical retelling and the author Anuja Chandramouli through this novel is giving a fictional retelling of one of the most controversial figures Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. Thankyou Anuja Chandramouli the review copy Given below are my honest views about the book. Tughlaq has always been associated with badly implemented decisions and horrible cruelty inflicted on his subjects. He was thought of as a mad tyrant who wanted to bring out big change but ended up not able to rise up to his expectations & of his subjects. Thus for a historical retelling Tughlaq is a very ideal candidate. The novel is told in 3 parts... Tughlaq as a young prince in dilemma of the power struggle and anxious of the change happening around. This is followed by his ascent to the throne and his various ideas and projects for prosperity & progress. This part also gives us an idea about what goes into his mind,  what he actually intended to do and what materialised in reality. The last part talks about his downfall as a mad monarch and how he went on to be remembered in history. There are some interesting things in this novel. The attempt to give the mad tyrant a voice has been effectively done here. What goes in his mind, what his vision was and how it was ultimately unsuccessful because of the bad implementation and lack of support has been well detailed here. This is a well researched work which can be understood by the endnotes provided by the author. Here she details the various incidents in the life of Tughlaq with a lot of references. This was very interesting to read. The one of the issues I had with the book is that it is a slow paced novel and reads like non fiction mostly. It feels mostly like a personal account rather than a historical one. Hence it is a little hard to get hooked. It does take a while to settle too. For readers looking into a different narrative of controversial figures and for avid history buff, this will be a good read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vinu

    Tughlaq - the name has become synonymous with bumbling cruelty, the Sultan who moved his capital from Delhi to the Deccan on a mere whim, and caused untold hardship to his people. Why ? In her latest book, Anuja Chandramouli attempts to get into the mind of one of history's enigmas, one to whom that unforgettable Maniratnam question "Neenga nallavara, kettavara ? sollunga" would be most apt.... As one can expect from Anuja's pen, her story of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (Jaunna in his younger days) is Tughlaq - the name has become synonymous with bumbling cruelty, the Sultan who moved his capital from Delhi to the Deccan on a mere whim, and caused untold hardship to his people. Why ? In her latest book, Anuja Chandramouli attempts to get into the mind of one of history's enigmas, one to whom that unforgettable Maniratnam question "Neenga nallavara, kettavara ? sollunga" would be most apt.... As one can expect from Anuja's pen, her story of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (Jaunna in his younger days) is told with verve and wit. We are given a background of Jaunna's world, to the violence, intrigue and darkness which was part of the Delhi sultanate. Jaunna is portrayed as an idealistic brave youth, but with moral paradoxes at an early age. He loathes his erstwhile rulers for their barbaric excesses, and resolves to abstain from such pursuits, but has a streak of cruelty, reserved for those who he deems as 'traitors' which included his soldiers, nobles and citizens. Anuja writes of a king who longed to change the world, but seldom had his feet on the ground, and descended into the same paroxysm of violence, intrigue and fear which he swore he would never be part of. The book is well researched, and littered with historical anecdotes from Barani, the court historian and Ibn Batutta, interestingly enough who was part of Tughlaq's court. Much of the information was new to me, who knew Tughlaq only as the force behind that ill-fated capital shift. The Sultan's court is full of interesting characters, the Khwaja, Najib, Barani, his mother, and his unwilling wife Saira. I never knew that Tughlaq was a man fascinated by modern technology and progress, and undertook steps to help the general populace of his empire. That they ended in failure, due to administrative corruption and hubris, is a lesson for leaders everywhere. We come away with a better understanding of a man who lived on the knife's edge in treacherous times, and may have been full of contradictions in an attempt to control an unstable and dangerous world. Heartily recommend this book, you will be inspired to dig a little deeper into our rich history. Happy reading !

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rutuja Ramteke

    📚Muhammad Bin Tughlaq By Anuja Chandramouli📚 When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendour, innovation and defeat.  . 📚Revisiting history is my favourite part of reading. I have heard alot about author Anuja but never got a chance to come across any of her book, though this is my first read from her. Let's talk about the cover first, because it is too catchy to leave the book. 📚Muhammad Bin Tughlaq By Anuja Chandramouli📚 When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendour, innovation and defeat.  . 📚Revisiting history is my favourite part of reading. I have heard alot about author Anuja but never got a chance to come across any of her book, though this is my first read from her. Let's talk about the cover first, because it is too catchy to leave the book. I am in total love with the cover. The book is tells a tale of Prince Jauna who is the future of Delhi and he is the person responsible for the safety and security of his men. The book is majorly divided into three parts, where the first one deals with Prince Jauna, the second one deals with his grown up phase as the ruler of Delhi and also, famously known as Muhammad bin Tughlaq and the third part focuses on the mad king of Delhi who has destroyed his own people and Kingdom, well, this is what we know about him or this is what we have always heard about him. . We never know what the real secrets are and what was the real reason behind his behaviour. Anuja Chandramouli carefully unfolds each and every secret of his life and reveals the unknown. Definitely, the book has taken me to various unknown places and has alot of historical information not only about our main protagonist but provides an overall view on the ERA of 14th century. I loved the narration, it was simple and easy to absorb. The language too was easy. I wish the book has a bit of justification of various events. Overall, I definitely loved it and as a work of history it's surprisingly interesting. Definitely recommended. . Rating: 4🌟

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aishwarya Arun Kumar

    #BookReview ~ Name of the book: Muhammad Bin Tughlaq Author: Anuja Chandramouli (@anujamouli ) My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟/5 ~ As you may have guessed, this book is the fictional retelling of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, the tyrant. The reason I picked this book for review was because I knew so less about Tughlaq and I've always thought he was a misunderstood King. I wasn't wrong. While Tughlaq sure was a tyrant, there were other traits to him that I wasn't aware of. Well in the beginning of the book it was made clear th #BookReview ~ Name of the book: Muhammad Bin Tughlaq Author: Anuja Chandramouli (@anujamouli ) My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟/5 ~ As you may have guessed, this book is the fictional retelling of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, the tyrant. The reason I picked this book for review was because I knew so less about Tughlaq and I've always thought he was a misunderstood King. I wasn't wrong. While Tughlaq sure was a tyrant, there were other traits to him that I wasn't aware of. Well in the beginning of the book it was made clear that this man was not a womanizer and nor an alcoholic. Unlike many Kings mentioned in the book, Tughlaq respected women and hated places such as brothels. He had immense respect towards his parents which was something that wasn't seen during that period. Fathers were killed in order for their sons to take over. ~ The story was bit slow-paced for me but what I loved was the vocabulary. The choice of words chosen by the author in this book impressed me. There were quite a few words I hadn't heard of and I was glad for that. Also, the author provides some detailed notes at the end of the book for the readers to understand the references better. There's mention of betrayal, incest, strategies and what not. It was a holistic read but it took me a while to get through it. ~ Things I liked: ~ 📚Unique narration style 📚Usage of words 📚Detailed research conducted ~ Things I didn't like: ~ 📚Slow paced 📚Could be a little boring 📚Sounded too much of an autobiography than fiction ~ Do I recommend? This read isn't for all. Only lovers of history who have immense interest in the subject would enjoy this thoroughly.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dipali Gupta

    One more time she has proven that she can write in all genre and she succesfully writes and reimagine time of Muhammad bin Tughlaq urf Juna Khan. This book is an attempt of author to clear his bad boy image in history and she definitely dispelled some of our assumptions. She has done indepth research before penning down about Tughlaq right from juna khan his young days to his crowning as the Emperor after his father Ghhaisuddin tughlaq death and about his reign. Content: Muhammad bin Tughlaq was wel One more time she has proven that she can write in all genre and she succesfully writes and reimagine time of Muhammad bin Tughlaq urf Juna Khan. This book is an attempt of author to clear his bad boy image in history and she definitely dispelled some of our assumptions. She has done indepth research before penning down about Tughlaq right from juna khan his young days to his crowning as the Emperor after his father Ghhaisuddin tughlaq death and about his reign. Content: Muhammad bin Tughlaq was well known for his wisdom and character. People had a lot of expectations from him and he on the other hand, had the desire for more valuable contribution for his countrymen than his predecessors. That is why right from the beginning of his rule; he decided to take some bold reformative measures for the improvement as well as safeguard of the country. As a devout Muslim,he practised the faith in keeping with rationalism and did not seek to promote or propagate Islam. He even tried to understand other religions and this practice of him birth more his enemies. Ibn Batuta the famous moroccan traveller when came to india in his Reign,he was impressed with Tughlaq’s secularism and he wrote all this in his book. My Opinion:This book has the power to attract the reader and compel him to turn one page after other. Her imagination is of another level,her love for history and mythology is imbibed in her writing. She done a wonderful job and in my opinion she has a power to recreate story in her own way that reader just travelled in her world of imagination.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Belladonnaoflavender

    Just got done with @anujamouli 's new muse, Tughlaq! And sure as hell loved the mid week reading... Find out why... 👹 👺 Five things stood out: 👌it's not lengthy, prose like or imposing. 👌 The notes in the end, the references, particularly the fact that Ibn Batuta's travel diaries (whose references are max to most) and mostly everything worthwhile ever written is produced in the author's own words and research. 👌 The personal commentaries are a pleasure to read 👌 It's fictionalizes the Mughal Empero Just got done with @anujamouli 's new muse, Tughlaq! And sure as hell loved the mid week reading... Find out why... 👹 👺 Five things stood out: 👌it's not lengthy, prose like or imposing. 👌 The notes in the end, the references, particularly the fact that Ibn Batuta's travel diaries (whose references are max to most) and mostly everything worthwhile ever written is produced in the author's own words and research. 👌 The personal commentaries are a pleasure to read 👌 It's fictionalizes the Mughal Emperor to the best there is to till now 👌 A must read for history brooders and one's fond of the Mughal period in India What I didn't like was that there's not much reproduction of story or history but mostly conversational paraphernalia and sometimes the book reads like a script. Tughlaq isn't really a fondly remembered King and thus, not really interesting and if you are reading the book to find out how interesting he was, maybe now's not the time. But, the book does aid justice to his personality and mystique 🤘☠️ The retelling is well RESEARCHED(And most of you know how I love a good research!) Which is why you should read this maybe? 👺

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gunjan Mittal

    I’m a big fan of historical fiction but have hardly read anything on the Tughlaq dynasty; but then Anuja is an author who always writes about characters which are unusual and not really spoken about. I’m one of her biggest fan! Muhammad Bin Tughlaq ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1325–1351 and was the second ruler in the dynasty. The story starts when a series of events lead to young Jauna Khan take the throne as Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, just that the circumstances of his father’s murder will always I’m a big fan of historical fiction but have hardly read anything on the Tughlaq dynasty; but then Anuja is an author who always writes about characters which are unusual and not really spoken about. I’m one of her biggest fan! Muhammad Bin Tughlaq ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1325–1351 and was the second ruler in the dynasty. The story starts when a series of events lead to young Jauna Khan take the throne as Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, just that the circumstances of his father’s murder will always point to him. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq as a king had a strong vision and ideas for his kingdom, which were really ahead of time. He had some good and radical ideas which most of the times did not go well will his officials and people. Over the time, he came to be known as a mad and cruel king rather than a visionary. Read the complete review on my blog - http://blushesandsparkle.com/muhammad...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Divya Mahajan

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq famous as the mad king, where every stupidity is compared with Tughlaq and ridiculed as so. Any order that makes no sense from those in power elected or otherwise is called tughlaqi farmaan. It is a paradox that despite being a famous name very little is known about this king or reasons and situations behind his supposedly mad orders. In this well researched and a little fictional account, Anuja brings about the personality and thoughts that make Jauna , the Tughlaq as he is Muhammad Bin Tughlaq famous as the mad king, where every stupidity is compared with Tughlaq and ridiculed as so. Any order that makes no sense from those in power elected or otherwise is called tughlaqi farmaan. It is a paradox that despite being a famous name very little is known about this king or reasons and situations behind his supposedly mad orders. In this well researched and a little fictional account, Anuja brings about the personality and thoughts that make Jauna , the Tughlaq as he is famous for. She brings the bravery, and progressive thoughts and his burning desire to be more famous than any other and his conflicting arguments with himself, his desire for upliftment of his subjects and his brutality. Tughlaq is not just a mad king but a very complex man and Anuja Chandramouli beautifully tries to bring out all facets of this complex character. This book is an unbiased account of this Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. A must read for everyone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shashank Pandey

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, whenever we hear this name we visualise an insane, tyrannical and cruel emperor who was doom for his people. But we never actually tried to find the truth behind these all presumptions and sayings. You will find the actual truth about Muhammad Bin Tughlaq inside this book. The book is well-researched and represents the hard work done by the author in writing this book. Also, the book is written in a positive point of view and does not aim to defame Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, as i Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, whenever we hear this name we visualise an insane, tyrannical and cruel emperor who was doom for his people. But we never actually tried to find the truth behind these all presumptions and sayings. You will find the actual truth about Muhammad Bin Tughlaq inside this book. The book is well-researched and represents the hard work done by the author in writing this book. Also, the book is written in a positive point of view and does not aim to defame Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, as it is done usually., Of course, it is a mixture of fact and fiction but almost every story told in this book is more than 50 per cent based on facts. You will find new facts about Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. The writing style of the author is also captivating which makes the book a page-turner. Overall, this book is a must-read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Swift

    When his father died Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of dilli as Muhammad bin Tughlaq his reign will prove to be epic and bloody but unsurpassed in splendours innovation and defeat The book is divided into 3 chapters 1. Deal with Prince Jauna 2. Present him as sultan 3. Mad king of Delhi who madly smashed his own people and kingdom.. I don't wanna reveal this Stroy you need to find out what is going to happen 😲 Book cover is so bright and beautiful Author has written in simple language w When his father died Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of dilli as Muhammad bin Tughlaq his reign will prove to be epic and bloody but unsurpassed in splendours innovation and defeat The book is divided into 3 chapters 1. Deal with Prince Jauna 2. Present him as sultan 3. Mad king of Delhi who madly smashed his own people and kingdom.. I don't wanna reveal this Stroy you need to find out what is going to happen 😲 Book cover is so bright and beautiful Author has written in simple language which is really easy to understand.. Overall i enjoyed this book! I recommend this book to everyone who loves historical and mythological stories They will love this book 👏 Thanks to the author for giving me a copy of it 🙏🏼❤

  27. 4 out of 5

    bongbooksandcoffee

    Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of A Tyrant by Anuja Chandramouli is a Historical Fiction based on the Life of a Flawed Genius, One of the most Enigmatic Rulers of India. The book takes the reader through the journey of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq from his early years as Prince Jauna till his death in Thatta. Anuja Chandramouli covers all the significant events, mostly failed experiments and the large scale revolts that the Sultan had to deal with. The account is refreshingly researched and remains true to h Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of A Tyrant by Anuja Chandramouli is a Historical Fiction based on the Life of a Flawed Genius, One of the most Enigmatic Rulers of India. The book takes the reader through the journey of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq from his early years as Prince Jauna till his death in Thatta. Anuja Chandramouli covers all the significant events, mostly failed experiments and the large scale revolts that the Sultan had to deal with. The account is refreshingly researched and remains true to history. The book performs highly on all the parameters of evaluation for a historical fiction and makes for an engrossing read. Full review available on my blog www.bongbooksandcoffee.com

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jiten Upadhyay

    I will give it around 7 to 7.5 stars out of 10. The stars above are rounded off. [Detailed book review is available at: https://thinkerviews.com/books/englis...]

  29. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  30. 5 out of 5

    Subrus

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