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Bahamani Kingdom and Shahi Kings

Bahamani Kingdom

Following a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate which governed the region, the Bahamani sultanate was founded on 3 August 1347 by the Turkish governor, Zafar Khan (otherwise known as Hassan Gangu). Ascending the new throne as Alauddin Hassan Bahman Shah, he was possibly of Tajik-Persian descent. He took over on the very day the sultanate was founded when the originator of the revolt, Naziruddin Ismail Shah, stepped down in his favour.

The new territory included parts of modern Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, although the true authority of the Deccan was always contested with the Vijaynagar empire.

The Bahamani (or Bahmani) sultans claimed descent from the mythical early Persian king, Kai Bahman, and maintained a keen interest in Persian affairs and culture.

Aladdin Hassan Bahman Shah was a man of humble origins, just like his sultanate, which was mainly agricultural in terms of economic activity. One of his first acts of expansion was to conquer the remnants of the Kadamba kingdom of Goa, apparently in 1340, prior to the Bahamani rebellion. Once this rebellion had taken place, the Bahamani capital between then and 1425 was Gulbarga (which was soon renamed Ahsanabad).

Naziruddin Ismail Shah asked Zafar Khan to become sultan of the new empire, with the title ‘Sikandar- uth- thani Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahman Shah al-wali’. He is crowned on 3 August, and his first act is to transfer his title, Zafar Khan, to his son and adopt the title Bahaman. Bukka Raya of the Vijaynagar Empire gained the upper hand over the Bahamanis for control of the Tungabhadra-Krishna doab.

Ruh Parwar, sister of the murdered Mujahid Shah, took revenge for her brother’s death by arranging the death of Daud Shah and blinding Sanjar, his son. She placed Muhammad II, brother of Daud, on the throne. Muhammad Shah’s nineteen year reign heralded one of the most peaceful periods in the whole of Bahamani history.

The reign of Deva Raya of the Vijaynagar empire to the south was marked by continual attacks by the Velamas of Telangana, the Reddis of Kondavidu, the Gajapatis of Orya, and the Bahamani Sultan himself.

The capital was moved to Muhammadabad (Bidar) in 1425, and the Sultanate reached the peak of its power during the Vizierate (1466-1481) of Mahmud Gawan. However, during this period the nobles in the sultanate became classified into two categories, Deccanis (oldcomers) and Afaquis (newcomers).

There were frequent differences of opinion between the two groups, culminating in the execution of the vizier in 1482. Later sultans were too weak to hold the empire together, and it fractured into five independent sultanates by 1518, with the last sultans ruling a rump state.

Shahi Kings

 The Bijapur Sultanate was ruled by the Adil Shahi dynasty from 1490 to 1686. The Adil Shahis were originally provincial rulers of the Bahmani Sultanate, but with the break-up of the Bahmani state after 1518, Ismail Adil Shah established an independent sultanate, one of the five Deccan sultanates.

The Bijapur sultanate was located in southwestern India, straddling the Western Ghats range of southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. Ismail Adil Shah and his successors embellished the capital at Bijapur with numerous monuments.

The Adil Shahis fought the empire of Vijayanagar, which lay to the south across the Tungabhadra River, and fought the other sultanates as well.

The sultanates combined forces to deliver a decisive defeat to Vijayanagar in 1565, after which the empire broke up. Bijapur seized control of the Raichur Doab from Vijayanagar.

In 1619, the Adil Shahis conquered the neighbouring sultanate of Bidar, which was incorporated into their realm. In the 17th century, the Marathas revolted successfully under Shivaji’s leadership and captured major parts of the Sultanate like Bijapur. The weakened Sultanate was conquered by Aurangzeb in 1686 with the fall of Bijapur, bringing the dynasty to an end.

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