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Friday, January 15, 2010

Vijayanagar Kingdom

Vijayanagar Kingdom



  India's History : Medieval India : Foundation of Vijayanagar (Deccan) - 1336

The Vijaynagar Kingdom

After the departure of Muhammad bin Tughlak from the Deccan, Harihara declared independence. He and his brother Bukka I under the guidance of famous Hindu saint and the head of Sringeri Math, Vidyaranyasvami, who is also identified with the distinguished jurist Madhav Mantri, established the mighty Hindu Kingdom of Vijaynagar (the City of Victory) in 1336 AD. Vijaynagar illuminated the landscape of Deccan History for 229 years (1336-1565 AD). By 1347 AD, Malerajya and Palasige of the Goa Kadambas were incorporated into the Vijaynagar Empire. Goa formed a strategically and commercially important province on the western border of the Vijaynagar Empire.

Hampi - The Capital of Vijayanagar Kingdom

The first settlement in Hampi dates back to 1st century AD and a number of Buddhist sites belonging to that time have been found nearby. Hampi was the capital of the mighty Vijaynagar Empire. Vijaynagar was one of the largest Hindu empires in India. Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) was the greatest ruler and controlled almost all of peninsular India south of Tungabhadra River. The town of Hampi in 14th century had a population of half a million people. Seven concentric lines of fortifications protected the city. It maintained a huge army to protects it from other kingdoms. The Vijaynagar Empire flourished, as it controlled both cotton and spice trade routes of southern India. Medieval historians refer to Hampi as an important center of trade. However, the glory of Vijaynagar was short lived. With the death of Krishnadevaraya, the combined armies of the five Muslim kingdoms-Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar and Berar-destroyed this mighty empire in 1565.

Vijaynagar Coinage

In the South, the Vijayanagar contemporaries of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughals, were the other dynasty whose currency presents a rare example of a standardised issue which later provided a model for the European and English trading companies. The Vijayanagar period saw the advent of European traders especially the Portuguese. Krishnadevaraya encouraged foreign trade and this necessitated wider use of currency. Coins of the Vijayanagar kingdom was largely struck in gold and copper. Most Vijayanagar gold coins bore a sacred image on the obverse and the royal legend on the reverse. Amongst the significant gold coins of the Vijayanagar Empire were those bearing the image of the deity of Tirupati, i.e., Lord Venkatesvara represented either singly or with his two consorts. These coins inspired the 'Single Swami' Pagodas of the Dutch and French and the 'Three Swami' Pagodas of the English East India Company.


Timur Lang



  India's History : Medieval India : Timur invades India - 1398

The Invasion of India

In 1397 Timur-i-lang obtained the intelligence that the Tughlaq Sultanate in India was on the decline. After the destruction the Southern Alliance of Mir Hussain (whose grandfather, Amir Qazaghan of Balkh was a great backer of Mohamed bin Tughlaq and Firoz Shah Tughlaq) and the conquest of Balkh by Timur, the Tughlaqs lost the backing of the Southern Alliance and the buffer provided by this alliance against the Central Asian Khanates. As a consequence the Kokhars of the Salt Range under Raja Jasrat led a massive rebellion against Mahmud Shah Tughlaq. In South India too, the Tughlaq armies were repulsed by the Hindu revival, and the local Islamic governors of Bijapur, Golconda and Ahmednagar broke free from Delhi. Turkic chieftains in Bengal, Gujarat and Avadh also crowned themselves local Sultans. The Rajput chief Rai Dalachandra liberated himself from the Tughlaqs and took the forts of Bhatnair and Loni on the road from Multan to Delhi. Timur saw a great opportunity of plundering India, and also that for a Jihad on the polytheists. The Zafar Nama piously announces: “There arose in my heart the desire to lead a jihad against the infidels, and to become a ghazi; for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghazi, and if he is slain instead while fighting the fire-worshipers he becomes a shahid. It was on this account that I formed this resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my jihad against the infidels of China or against the idolaters and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Quran, and the verse I opened upon was this: O Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers and treat them with severity. The Quran emphasizes that the highest dignity which man may attain is to wage war in person on the enemies of the Faith. This why I, the great Timur-i-Lang was always concerned about exterminating the worshipers of the fire and the sun, as much to acquire merit as from the love of undying glory.”

He held a Quriltai in 1398 and asked his grand Amirs to give their opinions on the plan to invade India. Some of his Amirs said that in the past Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi the descendent of the Turkish lord Subuqtegin conquered Hindustan with a mere 30,000 cavalry, and established his own naukers as rulers of Hind. He slaughtered Hindus and carried off many thousand carts of gold, silver and jewels from them, besides subjecting them to Jaziya. They posed the rhetoric question: “is our Amir inferior to Sultan Mahmud?” And replied “Allah has made our exalted Amir Timur-i-lang the lord of an even mightier army of Mongols and Turks. He will become a ghazi and mujahid before Allah, we shall be attendants on an Amir who is a ghazi, the army will be contented, the treasury rich and well filled with the gold of Hindustan”. Then Shah Rukh, his youngest son spoke “The conquest of India, it is said is a higher honor than bearing titles like Kha’Khan, Caesar, Shahinshah, Sultan or Faghfur. So it would be a pity if we were not to exterminate the Indians” Then Pir Mohamed, his grandson spoke “We have to grab that land which is full of gold, jewels, and in it there are seventeen mines of gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, tin, iron, lead, copper and mercury.” Timur, pleased by these words, stated “I have made up my mind to rid India of the filth of the polytheistic Hindus who make offerings in fire called Yazad, destroy their temples and idols, and become ghazis and mujahids before Allah.”

In January 1398 Timur sent a raiding squadron under his grandson Pir Mohamed from Balkh to attack Multan (Mulasthana) and sent another army under his other grandson Mirza Iskander to assault Lahore. Pir forded the Sindhu and besieged Multan and bombarded it with trebuchets and fire pots. After a protracted siege of six months he took the city and looted it completely. In the mean time Iskander took Lahore and they prepared the path for Timur. Timur took his own course; first he decided to destroy the Kalasha Kafirs of Afghanistan. The Kalasha were an ancient Indo-Iranian tribe, who represented the last surviving group of the 3rd branch of the Indo-Iranian peoples. They were inveterate pagans worshiping the old Indo-Iranian deities, completely unaffected by Islam that had washed away the Indo-Aryan culture all around them. Timur decided to strike them in the upper reaches of the Panjshir valley. But he was prevented from entering the valley by the Kalasha Raja, who was blocking the advance of Timur through a guerrilla attack from Siah Posh. He sent a second force of 10,000 cavalry to take Siah Posh, but the Kalasha Raja demolished it through a surprise sally. Furious over this Timur decided to directly attack the Panjshir valley despite the heavy snow. He set up a system of pulleys and lowered his troops into the valley via large baskets braving severe cold and snow storms. Having entered the valley his spread mayhem amidst the Kafirs. However, they fled to the mountains and continued to fight. Timur dejected over the hold up, built fortifications to fend off the Kafirs and marched on, exiting the valley at Khawak. Before leaving he carved an inscription on the mountain defiles of Kator marking his invasion of the Kafir land.

Proceeding south, Timur with a force of 93,000 horsemen, crossed the Sindhu on Sept.24th 1398 and made a broad sweep towards the rich town of Talamba, north of Multan. Having sacked and obliterated the city, he merged with his grandsons’ tuemens at Multan. Then the combined Timurid army marched rapidly towards the west bank of Shutudri (Sutlej) river. Here Timur took on Raja Jasrat and having killed him in a quick heavy cavalry charge, destroyed the Khokhar army. The survivors were forcibly converted to Islam at the threat of immediate execution. Having crossed the river he secured the Multan-Delhi road and started his march on Delhi. The fort of Bhatnair stood on this road and offered formidable defense against the invader. Timur promptly besieged the fort after sweeping through the countryside and forced Rai Dalachandra into the defensive. On 10th November 1398, he suddenly assaulted fort with giant fort-breaking ballistas that hurled huge rocks over a ton on the fort walls. Prince Shah Rukh, Mazid al Baghdadi and Jahan Maliq, Timur’s fierce generals, led the assault on the Hindus. The Hindus retaliated with an heavy rain fireworks from their ramparts, but the Timurids pushed on building mines to break the ramparts. Finally, the fort ramparts were demolished and the Timurid army rushed into the fort capturing Dalachandra and killing other defenders after much desperate fighting at close quarters.

Timur then sacked the town of Sirsuti (on the old Sarasvati) and destroyed it completely slaying numerous Hindus. Then he quickly took the towns of Aspandi, Kaithal, Samana and completely depopulated them. He states that while destroying these places he noticed several fire-worshipers, similar to the Parsis of Iran and exterminated them in the true spirit of a ghazi (most probably he meant Brahmins). On 5th December he sacked Panipat and took the wheat granaries there as the Hindus fled in terror on hearing of his approach. On December 10th he proceed to attack the Loni that stood the north-east of Delhi, the Hindu defenders shaken by the loss of their chief failed to put an effective fight and were trashed by the Timurid army. Timur seized about 100,000 Hindus after the battle by encircling them in a crescent-like movement, even as held their mass Mongols hunting expeditions on the steppe. He ordered his men to slaughter each one of them right away. He proudly describes how a Mullah who had not even killed a sparrow in the past now slew several Hindus with great enthusiasm. On December 17th he reached the banks of the Yamuna, between Delhi and Panipat and engaged the Tughlaq army commanded by Mallu Iqbal and Sultan Mahmud Shah Tughlaq. Timur’s troops first fired bolts shaped like spiked tetrahedra on the field in front of them and retreated behind this zone of spikes. The Tughlaq army seeing the Timurids seeming to retreat, led a direct elephant charge. But, this was immediately nullified as the elephants’s feet were spiked by the tetrahedra. The Delhi cavalry was pressed into a charge on a short notice and was engaged by the right wing of Timur’s army comprising of cavalry archers. As the Delhi cavalry was being mowed down by the Central Asian archers, the left wing of Timur’s army, comprising of the heavily armored cavalry, encircled the right wing of the Tughlaq army, and cut it down. The Tughlaq army faced complete encirclement: Mallu Iqbal was killed and he was speared like a kebob and displayed to force the survivors to surrender. Mahmud Tughlaq escaped just before the encirclement and fled to Gujarat, even as his army lay “with heads and hands mixed with the trunks of the pachyderm”.

Timur triumphantly marched into Delhi and the Ulema begged him to spare the lives of the Moslems. He asked them to proclaim him the exalted sultan of Hindustan. The Hindus seeing that they faced a brutal death revolted enmasse and were slaughtered with much fury in the fierce fighting that broke out through the streets of Delhi. Four pyramids of the heads of slaughtered Hindus were set up in the four corner of Delhi and only the qualified craftsmen were bound and sent off in slave trains to Samarqand. Any Moslems who failed to give Timur’s troops their supplies were also forthwith roasted like Kebobs. Timur spent 15 days in Delhi solemnly occupying the throne of Delhi declaring himself emperor of India. He summoned 120 elephants and made them bow their heads and kneel before him in obeisance and trumpet in unison. He felt that it marked the submission of Hindustan itself at the feet of the world conqueror. He then sent off the elephants in long strings to the Herat, Tabriz, Shiraz and Samarqand. The treasury was taken by Timur and in one stroke the wealth that the Moslem rulers had robbed from Indians over two centuries, comprising of incalculable amounts of gold, silver and gems. He then performed his Islamic prayers in the old Jami Masjid, placed a cleric from Bokhara as its Imam and had him read the Friday Namaz in his name. Finally on January 1, 1399 when the stench of the corpses made his stay impossible, he ordered his troops to burn down Delhi, except for the Moslem quarters, and proceeded to attack Meerut. In Meerut he demolished all the Hindu temples and captured the Hindu inhabitants. The Hindus were then skinned alive or their throats were slit. Timur triumphantly declared that he had observed his vow of waging Jihad and then burnt the city down. He then obtained intelligence regarding the flourishing Indian shrines in Haradwara and decided to destroy them and defile the Ganga with blood of cows and “wearers of the thread”. To this end he fell upon a large group of pilgrims, north of Meerut, who were advancing for the Mela on Ganga and slaughtered several thousands of them. As he advanced towards the banks of the Ganga, when Hindus of all denominations, from throughout the region, both men and women, decided to stop him at all costs. 200000 Indians assembled with whatever weapons they could gather and decided to block the path to the Ganga and the temples of Haradwara. At Bhokar Heri near Ganga the Hindu force took on the Timurid army in a frontal assault. Though Timur was vastly outnumbered, his cavalry was much larger, as only a small subset of the 200000 Hindus, namely the Rajput and Brahmin fighters had horses. The battle raged on fiercely for 3 days with Timur’s general Suleyman Shah leading the charge; despite heavy losses the Hindus, in resolute defense of their holy sites kept their flag aloft, with most of the Rajputs falling in battle. Timur seeing no major gains from this encounter, and also fearing attacks on his heavy booty, decided to withdraw without reaching the Ganga (Though he claims that he crossed it). He captured numerous cows and buffaloes that he used as food in his advance.

He returned taking a northerly route along the Siwaliks and attacked the fortress of Trisarta (modern Kangra) that was under the control of the Raja Ratana Sena and Raja Brihata. The Hindu defenders were beaten in an involved charge led by his heavily armored cavalry. Brihata was slain first and the Hindu women in camp fell into the hand of the Timurid army, much to his delight. He next killed Ratana Sena after a fierce battle that was led by Pir Mohamed and Suleyman Shah and captured 50,000 Hindus as slaves to be sent off to Samarqand and Bukhara. Then he engaged the Hindu Raja of Jammu, Maaladeva again near Jammu and crushed his forces in the encounter. He captured Maaladeva while he was fleeing near the upper Chenab and had the great joy of making him eat beef and forsake Hinduism for Islam. Sikander, the Sultan of Kashmir, humbly submitted to Timur and accepted his suzerainty. He then appointed Khizr Khan Sayyid as viceroy in Delhi and a local Moslem warlord as the governor of Multan. Rich in booty and slaves he triumphantly returned to Samarqand.

Nehru's view on Timur-i-Lang

Nehru was not only a politician but a writer also and that too of no mean repute. Beside his politics, his books too have an indelible impression on the young minds of the nation. He is regarded not only as a social progressive communism oriented thinker, philosopher and a world statesman but also a historian. It is his historical writing that we shall contend here.

"Late in the fourteenth century, Timur, the Turk or Turco-Mongol, came down from the north in India; he came to Delhi and went back. But all along his route he created a wilderness adorned with pyramids of skulls of those he had slain; and Delhi itself became a city of the dead. Fortunately he did not go far and only some parts of the Punjab and Delhi had to suffer this terrible affliction." wrote Nehru in his "Discovery Of India".

In describing Timur's motivation to invade India, Nehru wrote in "Glimpses of World History": "The wealth of India attracted this savage. He had some difficulty in inducing his generals and nobles to agree to his proposal to invade India. There was a great council in Samarkand, and the nobles objected to going to India because of the great heat there. Ultimately Timur promised that he would not stay in India. He would just plunder and destroy and return. He kept his word." He also goes on to write: "So when Timur came with an army of Mongols there was not much resistance and he went on gaily with his massacres and pyramids. Both Hindus and Muslims were slain. No distinction seems to have been made. The prisoners becoming a burden, he ordered all of them killed and 100,000 were massacred."

Describing Timur's savagery, Nehru goes on to write in "Glimpses of World History": "wherever he went he went he spread desolation and pestilence and utter misery. His chief pleasure was the erection of enormous pyramids of skulls. … But Timur was much worse. He stands apart for wanton and fiendish cruelty. In one place, it is said, he erected a tower of 2000 live men and covered them up with brick and mortar."



Bahamani Dynasty



  India's History : Medieval India : Rise of the Bahmani dynasty (Deccan) - 1424

The Bahamani Dynasty

The Bahmani Deccan on the north was bounded by the Vindhyas included the whole of Berar and a part of the modern Madhya Pradesh; on south its frontier was shifting up to Krishna. The eastern kingdom was reached up to Rajah Mundary. On the western frontier occupation was up to Konkan till the end of the Kingdom.

The Delhi Saltanate King Muhammad bin Tughluq had an effective control over his Empire in the first phase of his reign which extended to as far south as Madura and even further. He after 727 AH/1327 AD divided his Capital in two for some time, one at Delhi and other at Deogir, later named as Quwwatul Islam and then Daulatabad. He constructed a highway to connect Delhi with Daulatabad which was first of its kind in the history of India. He done this for the better control over his huge Empire seeing rebellious activities from south Kings and Amirs. Earliest Deccan rebellion was Sultan's maternal cousin, Baha-ud-din Gurshasp in 727 AH/1327 AD. He ordered leading Muslim families of Delhi to migrate to new capital Daulatabad. During the first period 1327-1341 AD there was perfect peace in the southern India. Decision of second capital was apparently a great success for the Tughlaq Empire. Very soon the nobles and amirs have broken the unity of the Empire and establish the independence of the Deccan which was to las for three centuries and a half.

In 737 AH Shihab-i-Sultani Nusrat Khan, Governor of Bidar claimed himself King. In 740 AH Ali Shah Nathu proclaimed himself king at Dharur with the title of Ala-ud-din Ali Shah and was joined by his three brothers Hasan Gangu, Ahmad and Muhammad. Syed Jalaluddin Ahsan Governor of Kaithal was able to found Royal Dynasty in Madura in 734 AH. He defeated Narayana after breaking the wall of Mudgal Fort in 1342 AD. New Amirs appointed by Delhi Sutan carried out a successful revolution and created an independent Kingdom in Deccan in 746 AH. Amirs selected Abul Fatah Nasiruddin Ismail Shah as their King in 746 AH against Sultan. Zafar Khan defeated Sultan's army. Zafar Khan was received by Ismail Shah. Ismail Shah Asked Zafar Khan to become the King with the title of Sikandar-uth-thani Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahman Shah al-wali. The new King was crowned on Friday Aug 3, 1347 (24.04.748 AH) in the mosque of Qtub-ud-din Mubarak Shah Khalji at Daulatabad. After a long reign Bahmani Saltanate broken into five offshoots, viz. Nizam Shahi at Ahmadnagar, Imad Shahi at Berar, Barid Shahi at Bidar, Adil Shahi at Bijapur and Qutub Shahi at Golkunda.

The Bahamani Dynasty 1347 - 1538 AD
Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahman Shah 1347 - 1358 AD
Muhammad I 1358 - 1375 AD
Ala-ud-din Mujahid Shah 1375 - 1378 AD
Daud Shah I 1378 - 1378 AD
Muhammad II 1378 - 1397 AD
Ghiyas-ud-din Tahmatan Shah 1397 - 1397 AD
Shams-ud-din Daud Shah II 1397 - 1397 AD
Taj-ud-din Firoz Shah 1397 - 1422 AD
Shihab-ud-din Ahmad Shah I 1422 - 1436 AD
Ala-ud-din Ahmad Shah II 1436 - 1458 AD
Ala-ud-din Humayun Shah 1458 - 1461 AD
Nizam-ud-din Ahmad Shah III 1461 - 1463 AD
Shams-ud-din Muhammad Shah III 1463 - 1482 AD
Shihab-ud-din Mahmud 1482 - 1518 AD
Ahmad Shah IV 1518 - 1520 AD
Ala-ud-din Shah 1520 - 1523 AD
Wai-ullah Shah 1523 - 1526 AD
Kalim-ullah Shah 1526 - 1538 AD

During the 191 years of Bahmani reign following rulers ruled with Gulbarga and Bidar as their capital:

Ala-ud-Din Hasan Bahman Shah - The Founder of Bahmani Dynasty of Deccan

Nasir-ud-din Ismail Shah asked Zafar Khan to become the King with the title of Sikandar- uth- thani Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahman Shah al-wali. The new King was crowned on Friday Aug 3, 1347 (24.04.748 AH) in the mosque of Qtub-ud-din Mubarak Shah Khalji at Daulatabad. According to one historian Hasan was the nephew of Malik Hizhbar-ud-din entitled Zafar Khan' Alai, who was killed in 697 AH/ 1298 AD when Hasan was only 6 years old.

The first act of the new king was to transfer his title of Zafar Khan to prince Muhammad. King adopted the title of Bahman. He sent Qutbul Mulk who conquered Kotgir, Maram, Mahendri and Akkal Kot. Qir Khan was sent to conquer Kalyan. After the news of this great victory of Kalyan, King renamed Daulatabad to Fatahabad.

Sikandar was send to Malkher which was held by the Hindu Zamindars who opposed first but subdued later. Krishna Nayak of Tilangana entered into treaty and became friend of Sikandar and loyal to the King. Quir Khan revolted and was beheaded by the king. King renamed Gulbarga as Ahsanabad and made it the capital of Deccan.

The King died on Rabi-ul-awwal 1, 759 AH / Feb 11, 1358 at the age of 67.

Muhammad Shah I - Son of Bahman Shah

Muhammad Shah ascended the throne on 1-3-759 AH. He is better known as organizer of Bahmani Kingdom and founder of its institutions. His Silver throne from his father was replaced by the magnificent Takht-e-Firoza (Turquoise Throne) on March 23, 1363 presented to him by Raya of Tilangana. He constructed Jama Masjid in Gulbarga Fort and Shah Bazaar Masjid in Gulbarga town. In 764 AH Sultan invaded Tilangana, Kanya Nayak offered Huns, elephants and horses along with Golkunda Town. Sultan died on Zi-qada 19, 776 AH / April 21, 1375 AD.

Alaud-din Mujahid Shah - Son of Muhammad Shah

Muhammad I was succeeded by his son Ala-ud-din Mujahid Shah on 17th of Shawwal 776 AH at the age of 19. Mujahid Shah was murdered on 17th of Zil-hij 779 AH by Masud Khan (son of Mubarak Khan) and Daud Khan.

Daud Shah I

Immediately on Mujahid's murder Daud Shah proclaimed king of Deccan and all those present paid homage to him. It is said that Ruh Parwar Agha (Mujahid's sister) got Daud murdered through a royal slave Bakah while he was attending Friday prayer on 22nd of Muharram, 780 AH in great mosque of Gulbarga Fort.

Muhammad Shah II - Son of Mahmud Shah

Ruh Parwar after taking revenge of her brother's death, blinded Sanjar ( S/o Daud I ). She put Muhammad II brother of Daud I on throne. Muhammad Shah II's 19 year reign was one of the most peaceful period in the whole Bahmani history. Since he had no son so he adopted two sons Firoz Shah and Ahmad I of his uncle Ahmad Khan s/o Bahman Shah. But after the birth of Tahmatan Shah, Muhammad on his death bed wished that Ghiyasuddin Tahmatan Shah should succeed him and Firoz and Ahmad should pay homage to him.

Muhammad died of typhoid on 21th of Rajab, 799 AH. The next day died the grand old man of the Deccan Mallik Saif-ud-din Ghori who had lived through five reigns and who was the Prime Minister of Bahmani State in the time of storm and three of four rulers.

Ghiyas-ud-Din Tahmatan Shah - Son of Muhammad Shah II

Muhammad's elder son Ghiyas-ud-din Tahmatan Shah succeeded to the throne without any trouble. Taghalchin ( Turkish slave ) who wanted to be the Prime Minister arranged a big feast at which king was also invited. Taghalchin blinded the king on 17th Ramadan, 799 AH and imprisoned him at Sagar and his step brother Shams-ud-din Daud II was put on the throne.

Shams-ud-Din Daud Shah II - Son of Muhammad Shah II

The first thing the boy king was made to do was to promote Taghalchin to be the Malik Naib and Mir Jumla of the kingdom. The manumitted slave girl who was Shamsuddin's mother was now raised to the rank and title of Makhduma-i-Jahan (Dowager Queen). Taghalchin tried to persuade Shamsuddin to imprison Firoz and Ahmad and asked king's mother to have them done to death. On hearing of the conspiracy the two brothers fled to Sagar. Firoz proclaimed himself king making his younger brother Ahmad Khan Amir-ul-umra, Mir Fazlil-lah Inju Wakil (Prime Minister). He had the blind boy Ghiyasuddin Tahmatan with him. He directly attacked into the Darbar Hall Taghalchin and his son was killed Daud II was blinded and allowed to move Mecca with his mother on 23rd Safar, 800 AH. Shamsuddin Daud II died in 816 AH / 1414 AD at Mecca.

Taj-ud-Din Firoz Shah - Son of Ahmad Khan

Firoz Shah was one of the most learned of Indian sovereigns. He was a good calligrapher and poet (poetic name Uruji or Firozi). Among other public works he under took the construction of an Observatory on the chain of hills near Daulatabad called Balaghat in 810 which could not be completed due to his death.

Hazrat Khwaja Syed Muhammad Gesu Draz was a Sufi (saint) and was deeply related with the Bahmani kings and the people of Gulbarga. He was the s/o Syed Yusuf who came to Daulatabad in the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq. Hazrat was born on 4th Rajab, 721 AH (Jan 30, 1331) and started living near Gulbarga Jama Masjid since 819 AH. He died on Nov 1, 1422 AD / 16th Zi Qada, 825 AH at the age of 105 years.

Firoz Shah paid tribute to him. He gave him many villages for his maintenance.

He knows and can carry translation in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and many other languages. He tamed prince Bukka and Harihara of Vijayanagar and Narasingha of Kherla in battle.

Firoz's army tried to kill Ahmad Khan ( brother of Firoz ) but defeated in battle fought cleverly by Ahmad. Gates of the city was opened for Ahmad on 5th of Shawwal, 825 AH and he was taken to dying king Firoz. Firoz died on 11th of Shawwal, 825 AH / Sep 28, 1422.

Shihab-ud-Din Ahmad I - Son of Ahmad Khan

At the begening of his reign he suffered the shock of the death of Hazrat Khwaja Syed Muhammad Gesu Draz. He decided and shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar between 827-830 AH. He made Khalaf Hasan Basri as his Wakil-e-Saltanate (Prime Minister).

He constructed the Tomb of Gesu Daraz at Gulbarga any buidings at Bidar.

Ahmad Shah attacked Vijayanagar and over powered Vijayaraya I. In the last year of his reign he appointed his eldest son Ala-ud-din Zafar Khan to be his heir, giving him the full charge of kingdom. King died on 29th of Ramadan, 839 AH after a short ilness.

Ala-ud-Din Ahmad II - Son of Ahmad Shah I

Ahmad I had been very successful as a king and when he died he was popular even to the extent of being regarded as a saint. His son Zafar Khan who asumed the title of Ahmad on his accession. He gave preference to newcomers from outside over the old in his cabinet. This created a great cleavage between them and the Dakhnis (old comers). He married the daughter of Raja of Sangmeswar and gave her the title of Zeba Chehra apart from the daughter of Nasir Khan Faruqi of Khandesh Agha Zainab.

There became two party, aparently the old-comers and the new-comers. King died early due to his wound in his shin (front of lower leg)

Ala-ud-Din Humayun Shah - Son of Ahmad Shah II

Ahmad Shah II had nominated his eldest son Humayun heir to his throne. King made Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, Malik-ut-tujjar, trafdar of Bijapur and Wakil-e-Sultunate giving him full control of military matters. Humayun was a very short tempered and cruel man. He made his own cousin Sikandar Khan as Sipahsalar. Sikandar became rebellion and was crushed to death with the help of Mahmud Gawan. Humayun died on 28th Zi-Qada 865 AH.

Nizam-ud-Din Ahmad III - Son of Humayun Shah

On Humayun's death his son Ahmad succeeded to the throne as Nizam-ud-din Ahmad III at the age of 8. He was escorted to the throne by Shah Muhib-ul-la and Syed-us-Sadat Syed Hanif. Late king had nominated a council of Regency constituting of Khwaja-e-Jahan Turk, Mahmud Gawan with the Dowager Queen Makhduma-e-Jahan Nargis Begum. Master mind which ruled the country during the short reign of Ahmad Shah III was that of the great queen. All the political prisoners of Humayun period were released. Ahmad III died on the very night of his marriage on 13th Zi-Qada and was succeeded by his younger brother Muhammad Khan as Shams-ud-din Muhammad Shah III.

Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Shah III - Son of Humayun Shah

Shamsuddin Muhammad was between 9 and 10 years when he succeeded his elder brother. He was escorted to the Turquoise Throne by Shah Mohib-ul-lah (who was released by his captor Mahmud Khalji of Malwa) and Syed Hanif. Nizam-ul-mulk murdered Khwaja-e-Jahan Turk (one of the member of the three party committee of Regency after the death of Humayun ) ) at the instance of Queen in the presence of boy king in 870 AH.

Mohammad Shah III got married at the age of 14 years. Dowager Queen retired from active role. Malik-ut-tujjar Mahmud Gawan was made Prime Minister. The Prime Minister ship of Mahmud Gawan saw the Bahmani State attaining high unequalled in the whole of its history. During this period Parenda Fort, Great College of Bidar and Madarsa at Bidar. Kherla was besieged in 872 AH. Kapileswar of Orissa was defeated in 1470 AD. Goa was annexed on 20th of Shaban 876 AH. Queen Dowager died in 877 AH.

Boundaries of Bahmani Kingdom now touching the Bay of Bengal in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Mahmud Gawan was one of the first ministers in Medieval India to order a systematic measurement of land, fixing the boundaries of villages and towns and making a thorough enquiry into the assessment of revenue.

King annexed Kanchi on 1st Muharram, 886 AH. This was the southern most point ever reached by Bahmani. Nobles conspired against Khwaja Mahmud Gawan and prepared a false paper on behalf of Khwaja saying he wants Deccan to be partitioned between him and Purushottum of Orissa. King sentenced Khwaja to death on 5th Safar 886 AH at the age of 73. Later King came to know that Khwaja was innocent. He appointed his son Mahmud as his heir. He died on on 5th Safar 887 AH.

Shihab-ud-Din Mahmud - Son of Ahmad Shah III

The long reign of Mahmud Shah Bahmani, was a period of gradual weakening of the state. He ascended the throne at the age of 12 years, when new-comers had been over thrown. New Regency was formed with Queen as president. Qasim Barid was entitled with Barid-ul-mumalik.

King began to indulge in wine women and song and spent so much money that he had to extract many jewels from the Turquoise throne at the instigation of Qasim Barid. Qasim Barid forced Mahmud to make Prime Minister of the kingdom in 897 AH. Malik Ahmad Nizamul-mulk revolted and made a beautiful palace making it the center of his newly created capital, which he named after himself, Ahmadnagar in 900 AH. Qutbul-Mulk was appointed as the Governor of Tilangana in 901 AH /1495-96 AD who controlled over Warrangal, Rajakonda, Dewarkonda and Kovilkonda. Qasim Barid died in 910 AH and was succeeded byhis son Amir Barid. Ahmad Nizam died in 914 AH and succeeded by his son Burhan. Sultan died on 24th Zil-hij 924 AH.

Ahmad Shah IV - Son of Mahmud Shah

Amir Barid was very clever, He put Mahmud's son Ahmad on throne. Amir Barid was careful that king should not leave the palace but he actually set about to spoil his life and morals. New Sultan was forced to breakup the the ancient crown of the Bahmanis, worth 15 lakhs of Rupees (Rs. 1,500,000). and sell the jewels in order to provide himself with the means of ease and pleasure. Sultan died on 1st Muharram 927 AH.

Ala-ud-Din Shah - Son of Ahmad Shah IV

Amir Barid's wish to become king was rekindled with Ahmad's death. He put the crown on Ahmad's son Ala-ud-din on 17th of Rabi-us-sani 929 AH after 15 day's of thinking.The new Sultan was wise and courageous. Amir Barid conspired against him and Sultan was dethroned on 17th Rabi-us-sani 929 AH.

Wali-ul-Lah Shah - Son of Mahmud Shah

Amir Barid put Waliullah son of Mahmud on throne. He was imprisoned in his own zanana (ladies room) and lived on bread and clothes provided to him by his master. Amir Barid married the pretty Bibi Sitti, Ahmad's widow who was just 22-23 yrs. Amir Barid was now a royal kinsman and was free to enter the zanana apartment of the palace. He began to make love with the queen. When Sultan resisted he was poisoned in the begining of 932 AH.

Kalim-ul-Lah Shah - Son of Mahmud Shah

Kalimullah son of Mahmud Shah was the last king of the Bahmani Dynasty. He was closely guarded by Amir Barid. A new political force had now appeared on the Indian Horizon in the person of Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur. All the rulers of Deccan i.e. Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar, and Burhanpur sent their congratulations to the Mughal conqueror. Kalimulla also wrote letter to Babur to relieve him from Amir Barid. This news was leaked and out of fear of his life Kalimullah Shah fled to Bijapur in 934 AH / 1527 AD. He was not welcomed there. He left for Ahmadnagar. He was first received well by Burhan Nizamul Mulk, but never again called in open court. Kalimullah soon breathed his last in Ahmadnagar. His coffin was brought to Bidar. His date date of death could not be confirmed. After the death of Kalimullah his son Ilhamullah proceeded to Mecca and never returned.



Lodi Dynasty



  India's History : Medieval India : The Lodi dynasty established in Delhi

Reign of Buhlul Khan Lodi (1451-1489)

Buhlul Khan Lodi was an Afghan noble. He was a great soldier. When Alam Shah voluntarily abdicated the throne to him, Buhul Khan seized the throne on April 19, 1451 with the support of his minister Hamid Khan. He was the first Afghan ruler of Delhi. Buhlul Khan extended his territories over Gwalior, Jaunpur and upper Uttar Pradesh. He appointed his eldest son Barbak Shah as viceroy of Jaunpur in 1486. Buhlul Khan was confused as to who should succeed him among his sons Barbak Shah and Nizam Shah and grandson Azam-i-Humayun.

Reign of Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517)

After Buhlul Khan's death, his second son Nizam Shah was proclaimed the king, under the title of Sultan Sikandar Shah, on July 17, 1489. He made all efforts to strengthen his kingdom. He extended his kingdom from Punjab to Bihar, and also made a treaty with Alauddin Husain Shah of Bengal. He founded a new town in 1504 (where now the modern city of Agra stands) to control the chiefs of Etawab, Biyana, Koli, Gwalior and Dholapur. He was also a good administrator. He was kind to his subjects. He died on November 21 1517.

Reign of Ibrahim (1517-1526)

After the death of Sikandar, his son Ibrahim ascended the throne. A faction of the nobility advocated a partition of the kingdom and set up Ibrahim's younger brother Jalal Khan on the throne of Jaunpur. But soon Jalal Khan was assassinated by his brother's men. Ibrahim was not an able ruler. He became more and more strict with the nobles. He used to insult them. Thus, to take revenge of their insults, Daulat Khan Lodi, governor of Lahore and Alam Khan, an uncle of Sultan Ibrahim, invited Babur, the ruler of Kabul, to invade India. Ibrahim Lodi was killed at Panipat in 1526 by the Babur army. Thus came the final collapse of Delhi Sultanate and paved the establishment of new the Turkish rule in India.



Guru Nanak - The Founder of Sikhism



  India's History : Medieval India : Guru Nanak - The Founder of Sikhism - (1469-1538)

Guru Nanak - The Founder of Sikhism

Khanda - Symbol of Sikhism The history of Sikhism starts with Guru Nanak, a son of the ruler or warrior caste who lived from 1469 to 1538. He was born into northern India. The spiritual branches Sufi Islamic and Bhakti Hindu, "sacred" men influenced him.

Guru Nanak believes into a supreme creature and determined that every religion used various names for the similar deity which Nanak called "Sat Nam". Nanak wanted to combine Islam and Hinduism together. Although there can be several similarities observed between Hinduism, Sufism and Sikhism. The typical responses to claim of a connection are met with an adamant position for Sikhism as a direct revelation from God.

The Guru word is combination of the 2 small words Gu and Ru. The Gu means darkness and the Ru means light. The Sikhs say guru means "the Light to dispel darkness," but as "darkness" comes first it appears more similar, "the darkness to parades while light."

The Life of Guru Nanak

Guru NanakGuru Nanak is founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. He was born in the village of Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in present-day called Pakistan.

Guru Nanak parents, Matta Tripat and Mehta Kalu were Hindus and belong to the merchant caste. Still as a boy, Nanak was enthralled with religion and his desire to discover the mysteries of life ultimately led him toward leave home.

Nanak was married to Sulkhni of Batala, and they had 2 sons, Sri Lakhmi and Chand Das. Brother in law of Guru nanak, the husband of Nanak's sister, Nanki available a job for him into Sultanpur as the manager of the government granary.

When he was 28 years old, one morning Nanak went as usual down to the river to meditate and bathe. It is said that he was gone for 3 days. When he reappeared, filled with the spirit of God, he said, "There is no Muslim and no Hindu." After that he started his missionary work.

Tradition states that he completed four super journeys, traveling to every part of India, and also to the Persia and Arabia; visiting Baghdad and Mecca. He spoke before Jains, Parsees, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Parsees. He spoke at mosques and temples, and on different pilgrimage sites. During this period Nanak met Kabir, a saint revered with both Muslims and Hindus.

The Teachings of the Sikhism

Founder of Sikhism - Guru Nanak The teachings of the Sikhism are syncretism of the principle of Hinduism and Islam. Instead of borrowing from the Islamic and Hindu scriptures, the Sikhs wrote their individual scripture based on their interpretation of certain thoughts taught into Islam and Hinduism. The Sikhism really rejects several teachings of Islam and Hinduism. The effect is an appealing combination of both Moslem theology and Hindu.

Basic beliefs of Sikhism

  • God
  • Salvation
  • Sikh Baptism
  • Prayer
  • All other Scripture
  • monotheistic
  • reincarnation
The Ten Gurus of Sikhism

Ten Gurus of SikhismSikhism was developed and established with ten Gurus through the period of 1469 to 1708. All Gurus appointed his own successor. The Guru Nanak Dev was the 1st Guru and the Guru Gobind Singh the last Guru into human form. The Guru Gobind Singh nominated the Sri Guru Granth Sahib the final and ultimate Sikh Guru.

  1. Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539): The Guru Nanak Dev founder of the Sikhism.
  2. Guru Angad Dev (1504-52): Guru Angad Dev developed the Gurmukhi. The Gurmukhi script used for Punjab language and collected 62 hymns those were afterward included into the Guru Granth Sahib.
  3. Guru Amar Das (1479-1574): Guru Amar Das became Guru at the age of 73. Guru Amar Das organized 3 annual gatherings for the Sikhs, set up first pilgrimage site on Goindval Sahib and introduced Sikh rituals for birth and death. His most famous hymn - Anand Sahib, is part of Sikh daily ritual.
  4. Guru Ram Das (1534-1581): Guru Ram Das was founded Amritsar, the city of holy of the Sikhism. Guru Ram Das was composed the Lavan marriage song, even used into Sikh marriages.
  5. Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606): Guru Arjan Dev Collected the songs of earlier Gurus and extra 2616 of his individual to type the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhism. He also developed the Golden Temple.
  6. Guru Hargobind (1595-1644): The Guru Hargobind son of the Guru Arjan. His father introduce a dress code that include wearing of two swords. Out of the two swords, one signifies his religious (fakiri) and other signifies his political (amiri) authority. Guru Hargobind tried to combine Hundus and Sikhs against the Mughals, for that he had to face the wrath of Jahangir - The Mughal Emperor.
  7. Guru Har Rai (1630-1661): Guru Har Rai grandson of the Guru Har Gobind.
  8. Guru Har Krishan (1656-1664): Guru Har Krishan younger son of the Guru Har Rai. Guru Har Krishan became guru on the age of five and died due to smallpox on the age of eight.
  9. Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75): Guru Tegh Bahadur was great uncle of Guru Har Krishan..
  10. Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708): Guru Gobind Singh son of the Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Gobind Singh was founded the Sikh baptism and Khalsa, composed several poems. Swami Vivekananda called him as "the most glorious hero of our race"


Adil Shah Dynasty



  India's History : Medieval India : Adil Shah dynasty at Bijapur

The Adil Shahi Kingdom

Yusuf Adil Shah was the son of Murad II, the Sultan of Turkey. After the Sultan's death and succession to throne by the crown prince, all other sons were executed. However, Yusuf's mother secretly replaced him with a slave boy and sent him to Persia. After many romantic adventures, Yusuf reached the court of the Bidar Sultanate. His bravery and personality raised him rapidly in Sultan's favor, resulting in his appointment as the Governor of Bijapur. He built the Citadel or Arkilla and the Faroukh Mahal. Yusuf was a man of culture. He invited poets and artisans from Persia, Turkey and Rome to his court. He married Punji, the sister of a Maratha warrior. When Yusuf died in 1510 A.D., Ismail, his son, was still a boy. Punji in male attire valiantly defended him from a coup to grab the throne. Ismail Adil Shah thus became the king of Bijapur, which till then was a province of Bahamani kingdom.

Ibrahim Adil Shah I who succeeded his father Ismail fortified the city and built the old Jami Masjid. Ali Adil Shah I who next ascended the throne, aligned his forces with other Muslim kings of Deccan and together, they brought down the Vijayanagar empire. With the loot gained, he launched ambitious projects . He built the Gagan Mahal, Ali Rauza (his own tomb), Chand Bawdi (a large well) and the Jami Masjid. Ali I had no son, so his nephew Ibrahim II was set on the throne. Ali I's queen Chand Bibi had to aid him till he came of age. Ibrahim II was noted for his valor, intelligence and leanings towards the Hindu music and philosophy. Under his patronage the Bijapur school of painting (see: Deccan Miniatures) reached its zenith. Muhammad Adil Shah succeeded his father Ibrahim II. He is renowned for Bijapur's grandest structure, the Gol Gumbaz, which has the biggest dome in the world with whispering gallery round about slightest sound is reproduced seven times. He also set up the historical Mallik-E-Maidan, the massive gun. Ali Adil Shah II inherited a troubled kingdom. He had to face the onslaught of Shivaji on one side and Aurangjeb on another. His mausoleum, Bara Kaman planned to dwarf all others was left unfinished due to his death.

Ibrahim Adilshah II, the fifth king of the Bahamani dynasty is known in the Indian history as "Jagadguru Badshah." He tried to bring in cultural harmony, between the Shiyas and the Sunnis (sects within Islamic religion) and between Hindus and Muslims through music. He was a great lover of music, played musical instruments, sang and composed praises of Hindu deities Saraswati and Ganapati. He wrote the book Kitab-E-Navras (Book of Nine Rasas) in Dakhani. It is a collection of 59 poems and 17 couplets. According to his court-poet Zuhuri, he wrote it to introduce the theory of nine Rasas, which occupies most important place in Indian aesthetics, to acquaint people who were only brought up in Persian ethos. The book opens with prayer to Saraswati, the Goddess of learning. He claimed that his father was divine Ganapati and mother the Holy Saraswati.



Attached: Vijayanagar Kingdom
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