I am writing about the Qaimkhanis not only because of Fatehyab but also because, as an intruder, I married into their conservative community. Fatehyab’s family were Muslim Rajputs from Rajasthan who traced their ancestry to Prithviraj Chauhan ─ dharti ka veer ─ who ruled over Ajmer and Delhi and was ultimately defeated and killed in battle by Muhammad Ghori in 1247. Notably, one of Chauhan’s descendants, Karamchand also known as Karam Karan Singh (1335-1419), son of Raja Motay Rai Chauhan of Dorayra and his two brothers converted to Islam during the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1309-1388). There are many stories about how this happened but all we know with certainty is that when he became a Muslim, Karamchand took the name of Qaim Khan and the descendants of all three brothers collectively came to be known as Qaimkhanis. They were a warrior clan, much acclaimed and respected for their valour and chivalry.
Qaim Khan was educated by a nobleman in Feroz Shah’s court, joined his army and was appointed governor of Hisar Ferozah. Feroz Shah gave him the title of Khan-e-Jahan. He continued as governor, ruling almost independently over a vast area, under Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlaq (reigned 1389-1394). He lived through Taimur’s invasion of India but fell out with Khizr Khan (reigned 1414-1421) who established the Sayyid dynasty. It is said, but not with certainty, that Khizr Khan murdered him in 1419 and threw his body Continue reading