Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1300-1351), originally named Fakhr-ud-din Muhammad Junna Khan, was one of the most remarkable rulers of the Tughlaq dynasty
. He became king after his father, Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq - the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty - died in an accident. Muhammad bin Tughlaq was fluent in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Sanskrit
. He also had sound knowledge of philosophy, logic, mathematics and medicine. During his reign, a number of hospitals were established in Delhi
However, in Indian history, Muhammad bin Tughlaq will be known for controversies and eccentricity. He took the controversial step of transferring the capital from Delhi to Devagiri near modern Aurangabad
, which was base for expansion of the Turkish rule in South India. The purpose of making Devagiri - which he renamed as
- a second capital was to control South India better. Though the attempt to have a second capital failed, it helped in bringing North and South India closer together by improving communications. Another step taken by Muhammad Tughlaq was the introduction of token currency. A bronze coin was introduced as token currency. But this experiment failed because the government was not able to prevent people from forging coins. The token currency was subsequently withdrawn.
The failures of these two experiments affected the prestige of the sovereign, and also led to wastage of money. Muhammad bin Tughlaq increased taxes in the fertile land of the Doab to increase the revenue of the empire, which in turn led to discontent among the subjects. Muhhamad bin Tughlaq passed away on March 20, 1351 at Thatta.