30 Nov 2013

The Deccan Sultanates

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The death of Mahmud Gawan, the able Minister of Bahmani Sultanate, in 1482 marked the decline of the Bahmani Kingdom and later the Bahmani Kingdom broke up into five states: Adil Shahis of Bijapur (1490), Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar (1490), Imad Shahis of Berar (1490), Barid Shahis of Bidar (1492) and Qutub Shahis of Golconda (1518); collectively known as the Deccan Sultanates. These five kingdoms were constantly at war among themselves; but united briefly to defeat Rama Raya of Vijayanagar in the battle of Talikota in 1565. Bidar was annexed to Bijapur in 1619. Berar was conquered by Ahmednagar in 1572. Bijapur, Ahmednagar and Golconda were finally conquered by the Mughals.

The Adil Shahis of Bijapur (1490-1686):

the kings of bijapur

The Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur was established in 1490 by Yusuf Adil Shah (1490-1510), the Governor of Bijapur. Yusuf Shah was succeeded by his son Ismail Adil Shah (1510-1534) in 1510 and during his reign the Portuguese captured Goa from Bijapur. In 1520, Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar captured Raichur from Ismail Adil Shah following his victory in the Battle of Raichur. Ismail was succeeded by Mullu Adil Shah (1534-1535), Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1535-1557) and Ali Adil Shah (1557-1580). Ali Adil Shah participated in the Battle of Talikota against Rama Raya. His wife was the celebrated Chand Bibi, daughter of Hussein Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar.

Muhammad Adil Shah with his retinueAli was succeeded by his nephew Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1626) and during his minority the kingdom was ruled by Chand Bibi, widow of Ali Adil Shah. In 1586, he married Princess Mallika Jahan, sister of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah of Golconda. Ibrahim was the most famous ruler of Bijapur Sultanate. He was a poet, calligrapher and musician. He also wrote the book Kitab-e-Navras (Book of Nine Rasas) in Dakhani. He defeated and killed Ibrahim Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar in 1595. Bidar was defeated and annexed to Bijapur by him in 1619. His mausoleum, known as the Ibrahim Rauza, is one of the most beautiful tombs in Deccan. Ibrahim's son Muhammad Adil Shah (1626-1656) succeeded him in 1626. He built the magnificent Gol Gumbaz, which has the second largest Dome in the world. During his reign the Marathas were revolted against Bijapur. Mughal campaigns continued in the Deccan under Shah Jahan. Muhammad was followed by Ali Adil Shah II (1656-1672) and later Sikander Adil Shah (1672-1686), who was the last ruler of the dynasty. Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur ended in 1686 when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb annexed it to his empire after defeating Sikandar Shah. 

The Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar (1490-1636):

The Nizam Shahi dynasty was established in Ahmednagar (the new city built by Ahmed Nizam Shah) by Malik Ahmed (1490-1508) with the title of Ahmed Nizam Shah. Ahmed Shah was succeeded by his son Burhan Nizam Shah I (1508-1553) and during his reign Ahmednagar was invaded by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Burhan was succeeded by his son Hussein Nizam Shah I (1553-1565), who joined the confederacy of the Deccan Sultanates against Rama Raya. His minor son Murtaza Nizam Shah (1565-1588) succeeded Hussein in 1565 with his mother Khanzada Humayun Sultana as the regent. In 1572, Murtaza Shah conquered Berar. Muratza arranged the marriage of his son Miran Hussein with Khudija Sultana, sister of Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur in 1584. Murtaza was succeeded by Miran Hussein (1588-1589) in 1588, however, he was put to death after ten months.

Miran's cousin Ismail Shah (1589-1591) succeeded him however, the real power was in the hands of Jamal Khan, the leader of the Deccani group in the court. Jamal khan was killed in the Battle of Rohankhed in 1591 and soon Ismail Shah was also captured and confined by his father Burhan, brother of Murtaza Shah, who then ascended the throne as Burhan Nizam Shah II (1591-1594). Ibrahim Nizam Shah (1594) succeeded Burhan, however, he was defeated and killed by Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II of Bijapur. Chand Bibi, aunt of Ibrahim Nizam Shah, became the regent of Ahmednagar during the reign of Ibrahim's minor son Bahadur Shah (1595-1599). After the death of Chand Bibi, a large part of Ahmednagar was annexed by Akbar in 1600. Bahadur Nizam Shah was taken as prisoner.

Malik Amber (1600-1626), the regent of Ahmednagar, defied the Mughals using guerrilla tactics and declared Murtaza Nizam Shah II (1600-1610) as the sultan at a new capital Parinda. Burhan Shah III (1610-1631) succeeded Murtaza. The capital was first shifted to Junair and then to a new city Khadki (Aurangzeb called it Aurangabad), which was constructed by Malik Amber. Later Malik Ambar was defeated by Shah Jahan first in 1617 and again in 1621. After the death of Malik Ambar in 1626, his son Fateh Khan (1631-1633) succeeded him as the regent of Sultan Burhan Shah III. Later Fateh Khan murdered Sultan Burhan Shah and placed Sultan Hussein Shah II (1631-1633) on the throne. Ahmednagar was conquered by the Mughals after defeating both Fateh Khan and Hussein Shah. However Shahji (father of Chathrapati Shivaji), a Maratha chief placed Murtaza Shah III (1633-1636) on the throne and continued their resistance against the Mughals. After defeating Shahji, Aurangzeb annexed Ahmednagar to the Mughal empire in 1636.

The Imad Shahis of Berar (1490-1572):

Imad Shahi dynasty was established by Fatheh-ullah Imad Shah (1490-1504) in Berar. He was succeeded by his eldest son Ala-ud-din (1504-1530) in 1504. In 1528, Ala-ud-din resisted Burhan Nizam Shah's invasion with the help of Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Ala-ud-din was succeeded by Daria Imad Shah (1530-1562). His daughter Bibi Daulat was married to Hussein Nizam Shah. Burhan Imad Shah (1562-1574) succeeded Daria. Tufal Khan, minister of Burhan, usurped the throne in 1574 and later in the same year, Murtaza Nizam Shah conquered Berar and annexed it to Ahmednagar.

Fatheh-ullah Imad Shah, founder of Imad Shahi dynasty

The Qutub Shahis of Golconda (1518-1687):  

Qutub Shahi dynasty was founded by Quli Qutub Shah (1518-1543) in Golconda. He built the famous Golconda fort. He was succeeded by his son Jamsheed (1543-1550) and later by Ibrahim Qutub Shah (1550-1581), who joined the confederacy against Vijayanagar. He was succeeded by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah (1581-1611), who shifted the capital of the kingdom from Golconda to Hyderabad. He constructed the Charminar at Hyderabad. Hasan Qutub Shah (1672-1687) was the last ruler of the dynasty. Golconda was annexed to Mughal Empire by Aurangzeb in 1687.

Sultan Quli Qutub Shah, founder of Qutub Shahi Dynasty of Golconda

The Barid Shahis of Bidar (1492-1619):

In 1492, Kasim Barid (1492-1504) became the de facto ruler of the Bahmani Sultanate. After his death in 1504, his son Amir Barid (1504-1542) controlled the administration of the sultanate. The last of the Bahmani Sultans: Ahmad Shah III, Aladdin Shah and Wali-Ullah Shah, were mere puppets in the hands of Amir Barid. Kalim-Ul-Lah, the last Sultan of the Bahmani Kingdom, fled from Bidar to Ahmednagar. Amir Barid was succeeded by his son Ali Barid Shah (1542-1580), who was the first to assume the title of Shah. Ali Barid joined hands with the other Deccan Sultanates against Rama Raya. Amir Barid Shah II (1609-1619), the last ruler of Bidar was defeated and the sultanate was annexed to Bijapur in 1619.

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