Tomb of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi

Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (r. 1517-26) was the last Lodi ruler to sit on the throne of Delhi. It was during his reign that the Mughals started knocking at the doors of India.

Zahiruddin Babur, the Timurid prince of the House of Ferghana, after his defeats at the hands of the Uzbeks, had been holding Kabul since 1504. Since coming to Kabul, his eyes were towards India. His first formal contact with India was in 1519 when he fought a battle at Bajaur, where for the first time he used the Rumis and their canons. After Bajaur he came in contact with Alauddin and Daulat Khan Lodi, the recalcitrant Lodi commanders of Ibrahim Lodi. During the same period letters were also sent to him by Rana Sangram Singh inviting him to come to India. The idea was that Babur would come, defeat Ibrahim and gift the territory to the collaborators and after taking his booty return back. This information is given to us by Babur’s cousin, Mirza Haider Dughlat. Babur too subsequently alludes to it later on.

In 1525 Babur thus assured of local help, started for India. And in April 1526 he reached the environs of Delhi. The battle was fought at Panipat. The large unmanageable army of Ibrahim Lodi was defeated. In the face of the new battle formation and the use of hand guns as well as canons in open battle, the Lodi army was surrounded. In the face of the effectiveness of Babur’s military strategy and techno superiority the Lodi army was worsted. Ibrahim Lodi was killed in the battle and the area of Delhi passed over to Babur.

After the battle of Panipat, Ibrahim Lodi was buried near the battlefield itself. His tomb survived till the Colonial period. At the time when the Grant Trunk Road was being built by the British, the tomb was shifted to its present location.

Today it exists in the form of a simple but high brick platform with the grave of the Sultan marked at the top. Probably in its original form too it was simply conceived as a platform tomb.

The view that the grave of Ibrahim Lodi is in the Lodi Gardens in Delhi is a later day concoction.