Bahmani Sultanate (1347–1527) and its Socio-economic condition, architecture and Culture

Bahamani_sultante_map
Bahamani Sultante Map
It (also called the Bahmanid Empire or Bahmani Kingdom) was a Muslim state of the Deccan in South India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms. Bahmanid Sultanate was the first independent Islamic Kingdom in South India. The empire was established by Turkic general Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah also known as Hasan Gangu in 1347 after revolting against the Delhi Sultanate of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Nazir Uddin Ismail Shah who had revolted against the Delhi Sultanate stepped down on that day in favour of Bahman Shah. His revolt was successful, and he established an independent state on the Deccan within the Delhi Sultanate's southern provinces. 
 
Gulbarga fort in Karnataka
The Bahmani capital was Ahsanabad (Gulbarga) between 1347 and 1425 when it was moved to Muhammadabad (Bidar). The Bahmani contested the control of the Deccan with the Vijayanagara Empire to the south. The sultanate reached the peak of its power during the vizierate (1466–1481) of Mahmud Gawan. The south Indian Emperor Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire defeated the last remnant of Bahmani Sultanate power after which the Bahmani Sultanate collapsed. The power of the Bahmani kingdom reached its peak under the rule of Muhammad Shah III. It extended from the Arabian sea to the Bay of Bengal. On the west it extended from Goat to Bombay. On the east, it extended from Kakinada to the mouth of the river Krishna. The success of Muhammad Shah was due to the advice and services of his minister Mahmud Gawan.

List of Bahmani Sultans: There were a total of fourteen Sultans ruling over this kingdom. Among them, Alauddin Bahman Shah, Muhammad Shah I, Firoz Shah and Ahmed Shah Al Wali Bahamaniwere important.


Personal Name Reign
Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah 1347–1358 A.D
Muhammad Shah Bahmani I 1358–1375 A.D
Mujahid Shah Bahmani 1375–1378 A.D
Dawood Shah Bahmani 1378 A.D
Mahmood Shah Bahmani I 1378–1397 A.D
Ghiyath-ud-din Shah Bahmani 1397 A.D
Shams-ud-din Shah Bahmani 1397 A.D
Feroze Khan 1397–1422 A.D
Ahmed Shah Wali Bahmani 1422–1436 A.D
Ala-ud-Din Ahmed Shah Bahmani 1436–1458 A.D
Humayun Shah Zalim Bahmani 1458–1461 A.D
Nizam Shah Bahmani 1461–1463 A.D
Muhammad Shah Bahmani II 1463–1482 A.D
Mahmood Shah Bahmani II 1482–1518 A.D
Ahmed Shah Bahmani II 1518–1521 A.D
Ala-ud-Din Shah Bahmani II 1521–1522 A.D
Waliullah Shah Bahmani 1522–1525 A.D
Kaleemullah Shah Bahmani 1525–1527 A.D

Dissolution of the Sultanate into 5 Kingdoms namely: Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar, Qutb Shahi of Golconda (Hyderabad), Baridshahi of Bidar, Imadshahi of Berar, Adilshahi of Bijapur. They are collectively known as the "Deccan Sultanates"

Important rulers:

1.Ala-ud-DinBahman Shah ( 1347 - 1358), whose original name was Zafar Khan, was the founder of the Bahmani sultanate. Acccording to a popular legend narrated by Ferishta, he had an original name of Hasan Gangu and worked for a Brahmin master called Gangu, but this is not corroborated by historians. (for detail about Ala-ud-DinBahman Shah, see the individual section)

2.Muhammad Shah I ( 1358–1377) was the second ruler of the Bahmani Sultanate, a late medieval kingdom of India. He succeeded his father Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah. His reign was marked by a series of wars between his kingdom and two neighboring kingdoms, the Vijayanagara and the Warangal under Kapaya Nayaka. He was succeeded by his son Alauddin Mujahid Shah. 
 
Reign: Like his father Alauddin Bahman Shah, Muhammed was involved in wars with Vijayanagara. However he also became embroiled in wars with Warangal. Muhammed died in 1375 from drinking too much.

3.Tajud-Din Firoz Shah was the ruler of the Bahmani Sultanate from 1397 to 1422. Firuz Shah fought against the Vijayanagara Empire on many occasions and the rivalry between the two dynasties continued unabated throughout his reign, with victories in 1398 and 1406, but a defeat in 1419. One of his victories resulted in his marriage to Deva Raya's daughter. (for detail about Firoz Shah, see the individual section)

4.Ahmed Shah Al Wali Bahamani ruled the Kingdom of Bidar from 1422 to 1436 and was a great patron of arts and culture. He brought artisans from Iran, including the metal-worker Abdulla-bin-Kaiser, who was the master of Bidriware, the inlaying of zinc alloy with silver and gold. Ahmed Shah's, and his empress's, tomb is located in Ashtur village, Bidar District, and is the subject of an annual urs, or anniversary of death festival.The tomb of the Bahmani King Ahmed Shah Al Wali is a place of worship visited by Hindus and Muslims, and a centre of communal harmony. He fought battles against Vijayanagar (1423), Warangal (1424–1425), Malwa (an ancient kingdom whose capital was situated in Ujjain) (1425–1435), and against Gujarat (1425–1435).

History of Bahamani Kingdom: Allauddin Hassan, a man of humble origin assumed the name of Gangu Bahamani in memory of his patron, a brahmin named Gangu. Hasan Gangu was the founder of the Bahamani Dynasty and ruled it under the title of Bahaman Shah. Bahamani dynasty was in constant war with the Vijayanagar Empire

Firuz Shah Bahamani left his remarkable foot prints over the Bahamani history. He was a learned man and having knowledge of many religions and natural science. He desire was to develop the Deccan region as the cultural hub of India. He waged three battles against Vijayanagar Empire, and also extended his territories of Warangal. He gave up his kingdom and throne to his brother Ahmed shah I.

Agriculture was the main economic activity of Bahamani kingdom for earning the main revenue of the state.

The nobles in the Bahamani Kingdom were classified into two categories, Deccanis (old comers) and the Afaquis (new comers). They were always having problem of difference of opinion. Mahmud Gawan was a minister in Bahamani Empire who expanded and extended the Bahamani Kingdom rapidly. He was categorized as Afaqui and hence it was difficult for him to win the trust and confidence of the Deccanis. He was executed at the age of seventy by Muhammad Shah of Deccan in the year 1482 for his policy which made matters worse in Deccanis and Afaquis.

Architecture of Bahamani sultanate: The Bahamani kingdom flourished in architectural monuments. In the field of architecture, the Bahamanis paved way for the distinct style by inviting architects from Persia, Turkey, and Arabia and blended it with local styles. The culture that developed during this time was a blend of both north and south styles and also had its own distinct styles. Gol Gumbaz (the world's largest dome) and Charminar located at Hyderabad are the world famous examples of Bahamani architecture. The Bahanamis of Deccan left an important heritage of Indo-Islamic art, language, and spread of Islamic tradition in South India. Hazrat Banda Nawaz (1321 - 1422 CE) the great Sufi saint was patronized by the Bahamani kings and his Dargah of Gulbarga is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Muslims alike.

Culture of Bahamani sultanate: Later rulers of the dynasty believed that they descended from Bahman, the mythological figure of Greater Iranian legend and lore. The Bahamani Sultans were patrons of the Persian language, culture and literature, and some members of the dynasty became well-versed in that language and composed its literature in that language. The craftsman of Bidar were so famed for their inlay work on copper and silver that it came to be known as Bidri.


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