Taj-ud-Din Firuz Shah: Bahmani Sultanate

Taj-ud-Din Firuz Shah was the ruler of the Bahmani Sultanate from 1397 to 1422. He 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.

At the beginning of his reign, Harihara II of the Vijayanagar Empire had advanced as far as the Raichur Doab and posed a threat to the Bahmanis. This threat was thwarted by a calculated and incisive attack by Firuz, which forced Harihara to retreat to his capital after his son was killed. Firuz led a successful expedition against Narsingh Rai of Kherla who had to surrender forty elephants and his daughter to Firuz. In 1420, an attack on Pangal, which had been taken by Vijayanagar, proved disastrous. Firuz was trounced by Vijayanagar and Firuz retreated, surrendering the southern and eastern districts of his kingdom. This defeat had a deep impact on his morale and he was henceforth a broken man. He spend his final two years in asceticism and piety.

He abdicated the throne to his younger brother Ahmad, "considered a saint by both the Muslims and Hindus." Firuz was determined to make the Deccan region the cultural centre of India. He inducted a large number of Hindus into his administration. Firuz Shah paid much attention to the ports Chaul and Dhabol, which attracted trade ships from the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. 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 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 Jan 30, 1331 and started living near ‘Gulbarga Jama Masjid’. He died on Nov 1, 1422 AD 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 and he was taken to dying king Firoz. Firoz died on Sep 28, 1422.

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