Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah

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Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah
Sultan of the Kingdom of Lakhnauti
Reign 1342–1352
Predecessor Sultan Alauddin Ali Shah of the Kingdom of Lakhnauti
Successor Himself as Sultan of whole Bengal
Sultan of Bengal
Reign 1352–1358
Predecessor Sultan Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah of the Kingdom of Sonargaon
Successor Sikandar Shah
Issue Sikandar Shah
House House of Ilyas Shah

Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah (reigned: 1342–1358) was an independent ruler of Bengal, who became the sultan of the kingdom of Lakhnauti in 1342 and after conquering the kingdom of Sonargoan in 1352, he became the sole ruler of whole Bengal and thus he became the founder of a sultanate of the unified Bengal. He founded the Ilyas Shahi dynasty which ruled Bengal for 73 years (1342–1415) and after a gap of 20 years (1415–1435) the dynasty again ruled Bengal for 52 years (1435–1487). Ilyas Shah was succeeded by his son Sikandar Shah.[1]

Early life[edit]

He worked under the service of Delhi but facing problems he escaped to Bengal. Then Ilyas started working under Izzuddin Yahya, the provincial governor of Satgaon under the Delhi Sultanate. In 1338, after Izzuddin Yahya's death, Ilyas Shah took control of Satgaon and declared independence from the Delhi Sultanate.[2] Consolidating his authority at Satgaon, he waged a long drawn war (1339–1342) against Sultan Alauddin Ali Shah of Lakhnauti and after defeating him, Ilyas Shah ascended the throne of Lakhnauti in 1342 under the title of Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah.[1]

Sultan of the unified Bengal[edit]

During the early period of his reign, he occupied Tirhut region and raided Nepal. Next, he invaded Orissa. Due to the weakness of Bhanudeva II, the Eastern Ganga dynasty ruler, he could advance through Jajpur and Katak as far as the Chilika Lake and returned with an immense booty which included forty-four elephants. Finally he led a campaign against Sultan Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah, the ruler of Sonargaon and annexed his dominions after defeating him in 1352. Thus he became the sole ruler of the whole Bengal. Towards the end of his reign, he also led a successful campaign against Kamarupa (present-day Assam).[1]

Campaign of Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq[edit]

In November, 1353 Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq of Delhi led a formidable army against Bengal. His army marched direct to Pandua. Unable to resist the army, Ilyas evacuated Pandua and took shelter in the fortress city of Ekdala. Sultan Firuz occupied Pandua without any opposition. Next, Sultan Firuz marched to Ekdala. Unable to capture the fort by assault, Sultan Firuz laid a siege. After continuing for two months, he raised the siege. Ilyas pursued Firuz's troops with his entire army. Firuz's army fought back with Ilyas' army. The battle probably ended in the discomfiture of Ilyas' army. According to Yahya Sirhindi, after staying two days in the battlefield, Sultan Firuz made his way to Delhi on the third day. After he left for Delhi in September 1355, Ilyas re-occupied Pandua and re-established his authority up to the banks of the Koshi River.[1]

Preceded by
Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah of Sonargaon
Alauddin Ali Shah of Lakhnauti
Sultanate of Bengal
Succeeded by
Sikandar Shah

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2006). The Delhi Sultanate, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, pp.197-201
  2. ^ KingListsFarEast

Further reading[edit]