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Medieval History / Regional Dynasties

Bahmani Kingdom and Deccan Sultanates

    In 1347 AD, Bahmani kingdom was founded by Ala-ud-din Bahman Shah also called Hasan Gangu (Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s officer) with Gulbarga as capital. There were 14 rulers from this sultanate and they ruled for about 150 years. By 1500 AD, Bahmani sultanate was disintegrated and 5 successor Deccan Sultanates were formed.

    Political History of Bahmani Kingdom

    • Firuz Shah Bahmani - He was a great soldier and great scholar in Arabic, Persian, Kannada and Telugu. He wrote commentaries on Shariat and Quran. He built astronomical observatory at Daulatabad. Strong secular traditions were followed by Sultans of peninsular India.

    • Ahmed Shah Wali Bahmani - He was very much influenced by the Sufi saint Bande Nawaz Gesu Daraz, who settled in Gulbarga. He started living a pious and spiritual life. People used to call him "Wali" (friend of Allah). He changed the capital in 1424 from Gulbarga to Bidar. In Bidar phase, Prime Minister (PM) became the de facto ruler.

    • Mohammed Shah III -
      • His Prime Minister Mahmud Gawan was very famous. Gawan had a title named Malik-ul-Tujjar (Chief of Merchants).

      • Mahmud Gawan -
        • During the reign of Gawan as PM, Bidar became educational and political center. Gawan's Madrasa was built in Bidar after him. It is one of the biggest Madrasas (3-storeys) in the country built in Indo-Persian style.

        • During his reign as PM, territorial expansion happened largely. Krishna-Tungabhadra and Krishna-Godavari doabs were conquered. It expanded up to Kanchi in South and Konkan region in West. Gawan strengthened the economy and encouraged trade and commerce a lot. BIDRI craft was patronized by him.

      • In 1481, Mahmud Gawan was executed (hanged) by Mohammed Shah III because of conspiracy by other ministers. After one decade of his execution, Bahmani kingdom got disintegrated into 5 kingdoms (previously 5 provinces of Bahmani Sultanate) namely Berar, Bidar, Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda. First one to be independent is Berar.

    Five Deccan Sultanates

    The five Deccan Sultanates were ruling in the Deccan Plateau region between the Vindhya ranges and the Krishna river after the Bahmani kingdom got disintegrated.

    • Berar - Gawilgarh was the capital city. Governor of Gawil, Fathullah Imad-ul-Mulk declared independence in 1490. This dynasty is known as Imad Shahi dynasty. It was also the first State to disappear. In 1574, Ahmadnagar conquered Berar and ended the Imad Shahi dynasty.

    • Bidar - When the last Bahmani Sultan was ruling from Bidar, the PM named Qasim Barid put the Sultan in prison and came to power. This dynasty is known as Barid Shahi dynasty. In 1619, it was conquered by Sultan of Bijapur.

    • Ahmadnagar - Capital city was Ahmednagar. Governor of Junnar, Ahmad Nizam Shah made it an independent kingdom. This dynasty is called Nizam Shahi dynasty. In 1637, this kingdom was conquered by Shah Jahan.

    • Bijapur - This Sultanate was founded by Yusuf Adil Shah. It is called Adil Shahi dynasty.

      • Ibrahim Adil Shah II - He was a worshipper of Goddess Saraswati. He wrote a book called Nauras Nama (Kitab-e-Navras) on music. His tomb in Bijapur is known as Ibrahim Rauza. A historian named Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah was in his court and was popularly known as Ferishta, who wrote a book Gulshan-e-Ibrahimi (History of Bahmanis).

      • Mohammed Adil Shah - His tomb, popularly known as Gol Gumbaz, is there in Bijapur. It is the second largest Gumbaz (Dome) in the world. It is having a whispering gallery. A small whispering sound gets amplified and can be heard clearly in the vast Dome.

      • Sikandar Adil Shah - In 1686, during his reign, Aurangzeb conquered Bijapur.

    • Golconda - It is the last state to declare independence from Bahmani kingdom and it is also the last state to go. In 1512, Governor Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk (a Shia from Iran) declared independence. It is called Qutb Shahi dynasty.

      • Ibrahim Qutb Shah - He built two famous tanks in Hyderabad, namely Hussain Sagar and Ibrahimpatnam tank. He participated in the battle of Talikota. He was popularly known as Malkibharama by Hindus. He was a patron of Telugu scholars.

      • Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah - He built the Hyderabad city in 1591. He built the Charminar in memory of plague victims during 1591-92. French merchant, Tavernier explained the city as full of gardens and called it Bagh Nagar.

      • Muhammad Qutb Shah - He built Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and it was later completed by Aurangzeb.

      • Abul Hasan Shah - He is popularly known as Tana Shah. He had appointed two Brahmins, Akkana as Sar Lashkar (Senapati) and Madanna as Mir Jumla (PM). In 1687, Aurangzeb conquered Golconda and it became a province of Mughal Empire. Tana Shah was taken as a prisoner to Daulatabad Fort.