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Medieval History / Regional Dynasties

Bahmani Kingdom and Deccan Sultanates


    Ala-ud-din Bahman Shah also called Hasan Gangu (Muhammad bin Tughlaq's officer) was the founder and the first Sultan of Bahmani kingdom. He founded it in 1347 AD. The capital of Bahmani kingdom was Gulbarga. 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

    • Firoz Shah Bahmani

      He was a great soldier and great scholar in Arabic, Persian, Kannada and Telugu. Firoz Shah Bahmani 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 Khwaja Banda Nawaz Gesu Daraz, who settled in Gulbarga. He started living a pious and spiritual life. People used to call him "Wali" (friend of Allah).

      It was Ahmed Shah Wali, who shifted the capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1424. In Bidar phase of Bahmani sultanate, Prime Minister (PM) became the de facto ruler.

    • Muhammad Shah III Bahmani

      • His Prime Minister Mahmud Gawan was very famous. Mahmud 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. Mahmud Gawan Madrasa was built in Bidar after him. Mahmud Gawan Madrasa 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 (or Bidri Work) was patronized by him.

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

      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 Sultanate

      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 Sultanate

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

    • Bijapur Sultanate

      Bijapur Sultanate was founded by Yusuf Adil Shah. By the name of its founder, it is called Adil Shahi dynasty.

      • Ibrahim Adil Shah II - He was a worshipper of Goddess Saraswati. Ibrahim Adil Shah II wrote a book called Kitab-e-Navras (or Navras Nama) on music. Tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II 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 Gulshan-e-Ibrahimi (History of Bahmanis).

      • Mohammed Adil Shah - The Mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah is popularly known as Gol Gumbaz, located in Bijapur. It is the second largest Dome in the world.

        Inside there is Gol Gumbaz 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.
    • Golkonda Sultanate

      Golkonda 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. By the name of its founder, it is called Qutb Shahi dynasty.

      • Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah Wali - It was Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah who constructed Hussain Sagar and Ibrahimpatnam tank, the two famous tanks in Hyderabad.

        He participated in the battle of Talikota. He was popularly known as Malki Bharama by Hindus. He was a patron of Telugu scholars.

      • Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah - He built Hyderabad city in 1591. It was Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, who built Charminar in Hyderabad 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 Tana Shah - He had appointed two Brahmins, Akkana as Sar Lashkar (Senapati) and Madanna as Mir Jumla (PM).

        In 1687, Aurangzeb conquered Golkonda and it became a province of Mughal Empire. Tana Shah was taken as a prisoner to Daulatabad Fort.