The first ever woman ruler in the world — Razia Sultan could not have been ‘interred’ in two graves. She ‘rests’ rather as turbulently as in real life at two places, one in Delhi and the other at Kaithal. Sadder part of the story is that at both the places her ‘graves’ are in utter state of neglect.
Razia Sultan ruled the Sultanate of India between 1236 to 1240. She did not conform to the orthodox harem culture the women of those days were confined to. The nobility did not accept her as the ruler till her brother who was discredited for his debauchery and life style given to pleasures was killed alongwith his mother.
But soon discontentment began and the palace intrigues started to surface and posed challenge to Razia’s authority. She robed herself in men’s attire and even rode elephant in wars.
Yakut, an Abyssinian Slave became very loyal to Razia and both developed relationship which was not acceptable to the Nobility. Altunia, a governor in Punjab challenged her authority and in order to save her life she agreed to marry him. However Altunia was killed and Razia brought back to Delhi. Another story says that she was killed while fleeing with her slave-lover Yakut.
There exist two graves in Siwan near Kaithal, a town in Haryana (India) which are believed to be those of Razia and Yakut. But in Delhi also the grave of Razia is found. It is not known as to how could there be two graves of the same person. In the absence of any conclusive input from the Historians, the local folk gossip holds enough water particularly in the face of existing structures at Kaithal.
A newsletter of the Haryana chapter of Intach-Virasat says “ Restoration of Razia Sultan’s tomb at Kaithal and its beautification was prepared by HUDA engineers at an estimated cost of Rs. 52.85 lakhs. The absence of response from the Waqf Board that had been approached for release of funds was noted, and the Haryana chapter now proposes to approach some corporate sector companies.”
Other noticeable initiative of INTACH in Haryana include taking up issues pertaining to renovation, maintenance and upkeep of Kalayat Muni Temple, Raiyya Inn, etc.
One photo taken from