Rukunuddin Barbak Shah

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Rukunuddin Barbak Shah (reigned: 1459–1474) was the son and successor of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah. Barbak Shah was appointed the governor of the Satgaon region during the reign of his father. He ascended to the throne in 1459 after the death of Mahmud Shah.

Conflict with Kalinga[edit]

According to the Risalat-us-Shuhada, during the reign of Barbak Shah, the king of Gajapati Kingdom of Kalinga (present-day Orissa) invaded southern Bengal and captured the fort of Mandaran. Barbak sent his general, Shah Ismail Ghazi, against the Oriyas. Ismail Ghazi defeated the Kalinga army and recaptured Fort Mandaran.

Expedition of Kamarupa[edit]

Kameshwar, the king of Kamarupa (present-day Assam), invaded northern Bengal and once again Shah Ismail Ghazi was sent against Kamarupa. In the battlefield of Santosha, Barbak's army was destroyed. But Ismail Ghazi won the heart of Kameshwar by his virtues. And the Kamarupa king accepted Islam and acknowledged the overlordship of Barbak Shah.[1] But Ismail Ghazi's glory did not last long. Soon, the rumour broke out that he was trying to carve out an independent kingdom for himself in Kamarupa and conspiring with Kameshwar. Ismail Ghazi was killed and his head and body were buried at two different places.

Conquest of Mithila[edit]

Barbak Shah invaded Mithila (present-day Janakpur) and conquered the region. He appointed Kedar Rai as the governor of that region.

Ruling area[edit]

From Kamarupa expedition, his ruling extended to Karatoya river in north-east. He also invaded Fort of Hajiganj and surroundings at Tirhut in 1468. This acquisition helped his kingdom extended to Buriganga river in north. According to the Hatkhola inscription, Sylhet continued to be under Barbak Shah's jurisdiction. Again according to the Mirzaganj inscription, the Bakerganj area was also included in his sultanate. He also re-established his authority in Chittagong.[1]

Patron of scholars[edit]

Barbak Shah was a patron of both Muslim and Hindu scholars. During his time Jainuddin wrote his Rasul Vijaya and Ibrahim Qawam Faruqi composed a Persian lexicon Farhang-i-Ibrahim (known as Sharafnamah). Raimukuta Brhaspati Mishra, Maladhar Basu, Krttivas and Kuladhar were the most noted Hindu scholars that time.[1]

Rukunuddin Barbak Shah died in 1474 after ruling Bengal for 15 years.

Rukunuddin Barbak Shah
Preceded by
Mahmud Shah I
Sultan of Bengal
Succeeded by
Yusuf Shah

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ahmed, ABM Shamsuddin (2012). "Ruknuddin Barbak Shah". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.