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The first Muhammedan invader of the Deccan was Ala-ud-din, the nephew and son-in-law of Jalal-ud-din Khilji, the emperor of Delhi. He undertook an expedition against Bhilsa, where he captured a rich booty, a part of which he sent on to Delhi. Jalal-ud-din was much pleased, and rewarded him with the viceroyalty of Oude in addition to the government of Karra. When Ala-ud-din was at Bhilsa, he heard of the wealth of Devagiri, and meditated an expedition against that city. He withheld the tribute that was due from his district, accumulated funds, and raised a force of about 8,000 men, which he represented was for an advance against Chanderi, a town in Gujarat. Ala-ud-din kept his real design a profound secret, and having learnt from his spies that Ramdev's army was occupied at some distance from the capital, he left Karra in 1294 and suddenly appeared before Ellichpur, which he captured and plundered. Ramdev was completely taken by surprise. He collected all his available troops and sent them against the invader, but they were defeated at Lasura near Devagiri,
and Ala-ud-din entered the city of Devagiri and plundered it. Ramdev shut himself up in the fortress, which was hastily provisioned for a siege. Ala-ud-din appeared before it, and announced that he was only the advance guard of the army of the Sultan of Delhi. Ramdev sued for peace, and succeeded in persuading Ala-ud-din to come to terms under certain easy conditions, when Ramdev's son appeared on the scene with the absent army, and attacked the invaders. The battle would have gone hard with Ala-ud-din, had he not received the timely assistance of Malik Nusrat, who had been left with 1,000 men in charge of the city. Ala-ud-din succeeded in defeating his adversary. Ala-ud-din treated the vanquished with greater severity, and raised his demands; Ramdev submitted. A very heavy indemnity was exacted, Ellichpur and the surrounding country was made over to the victors, and the Raja also promised to send an annual tribute to Delhi.
Ala-ud-din returned to Karra, and shortly afterwards murdered his uncle on 19th July 1296 and usurped the throne on October 3, 1296. Ramdev did not keep up to his promises under the terms of the treaty. In 1307, an expedition of 30,000 horse, under the command of Malik Naib Kafur Hazardinari and Khvaja Haji, was fitted out against Devagiri. The Rai's sons fled, but he himself was taken prisoner and sent to Delhi, where he was detained for six months and was then released with all honours. The Sultan gave Ramdev a red canopy and the title of Rai Rayan (king of kings). In 1308, Malik Naib Kafur and Khvaja Haji arrived with an army at Devagiri, intended for an expedition against Warangal. Rai Rayan Ramdev rendered every assistance, and added a Maratha force of his own consisting of horse and foot. Prataprudra of Warangal was reduced and became a tributary. The imperial army then returned with great spoil by way of Devagiri to Delhi. In 1311 Malik Naib Kafur and Khvaja Haji arrived again at Devagiri for the conquest of the country to the south of the Krishna. Rai Rayan Ramdev was dead, [This is according to Ferishta. But the Purushottampuri plates, dated Shaka 1232, show that Ramdeva was ruling till September 1310. Khushru states in his Tarikh-i-Alai that when the Muhammedan army reached Devagiri on 3rd February, Ramdeva made the necessary preparations for its equipment.] and as the loyalty of his son Shankardev who succeeded him was doubted, a portion of the force was left at Jalna. Malik Kafur marched into the southern countries, and after reducing the rajas returned to Devagiri in April 1311, and then proceeded to Delhi.
In 1313 Malik Kafur came back to Devagiri and the fortress was occupied a second time by the Muhammedan troops. The Raja was dethroned and put to death, and his territories were annexed. Malik Kafur was appointed to settle the Deccan, but was soon afterwards
ordered to Delhi, on account of the serious illness of the king. Harpal-dev, the son-in-law of Ramdev, re-took Devagiri and the whole of the country which had been in possession of the Muhammedans.
On January 6, 1316, Ala-ud-din died and was succeeded by his son Kutbuddin Mubarak Shah. The new Sultan marched to Devagiri in 1317, and troops were sent against Harpaldev. He was taken prisoner and brought to Devagiri, where he was first flayed alive and then beheaded. Ahmadnagar district for the first time came under Muhammedan rule. The Sultan remained at Devagiri during the rains of 1318. He selected Malik Yak Lakhi to be the governor of Devagiri, and appointed revenue collectors and other officers throughout the country. The Sultan was, however, much given to dissipation, and became infatuated with Khushru Khan, whom he raised to great dignity and sent on an expedition to the south, in consequence of which, Malik Asad and other malcontents at Devagiri formed a plot to seize the Sultan on his way to Delhi, but the conspiracy was discovered. Malik Asad and his confederates were arrested and beheaded. The three sons of the late Ala-ud-din at Gwalior were also put to death.
After the Sultan returned to Delhi, Malik Yak Lakhi, the governor of Devagiri, rebelled, and a force was sent against him which made him prisoner. He was publicly disgraced, and Malik Ain-ul-Mulk was made governor, and Taj-ul-Mulk and Yamkhir-ul-Mulk were appointed his assistants. These soon settled the province, regulated the forces, and arranged for the payment of the tribute.
Mubarak Shah was anxious to have Khushru Khan near him, and sent relays of bearers to bring the latter with all haste from Devagiri. Shortly after his arrival, the favourite murdered his master and ascended the throne on April 15, 1320 under the name of Nasir-ud-din. The usurper conferred the office of divan on Taj-ul-Mulk, while Ain-ul-Mulk received the title of Alam Khan, but he was exceedingly unpopular, and Ain-ul-Mulk deserted him. On August 22, 1320 Nasir-ud-din was defeated and put to death by Amir Ghazi Malik, who ascended the throne as Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluk Shah, on September 8, 1320.
In 1321 the Sultan's eldest son, Muhammad Fakhr-ud-din Juna, now called Ulugh Khan, was sent with an army against Warangal. He was joined by some officers and men of Devagiri, and started on his expedition, but after a protracted siege a panic seized the troops, and the prince escaped with only 3,000 horse to Devagiri. Strong reinforcements arrived from Delhi in the following year, and the prince was again sent into Telangana. Bidar was captured. Warangal was also reduced, and the Raja Prataprudra was taken prisoner and sent on to Delhi. In 1324 the Sultan proceeded against Lakhnauti, and sent for Ulugh Khan from Devagiri to act as his vice-regent during his absence.
On his return in 1325, the Sultan was killed by the fall of a pavilion which his eldest son had ordered to be erected for him.
Ulugh Khan ascended the throne as Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluk Shah. He was an able but perverse ruler, and his extravagant projects distracted the people and ruined his exchequer. He tried to introduce a paper currency, but substituted copper tokens for paper. But the most cruel project of all was his attempt to transfer his capital from Delhi to Devagiri. The latter city was centrally situated, and " the design was by no means unreasonable in itself, if it had been begun without precipitancy and conducted with steadiness ". As it was, the people suffered terrible hardships, and the Sultan was forced to abandon his project.
In the Deccan the Sultan's nephew Baha-ud-din rebelled, and Khvaja Jahan and other Amirs were sent against him. The Sultan's troops arrived at Devagiri, and the rebel was defeated and pursued into Karnataka, given up by Ballaldev, and was put to a cruel death. It was about this time that the Sultan arrived in person, and ordered the whole of the inhabitants to remove from Delhi to Devagiri, which was in future to be called Daulatabad or the " fortunate city". But many perished on the road, and those who arrived at Daulatabad could not endure the suffering and exile, and the graveyards of Musalmans sprang up all-round the city. After this the people were permitted to return to Delhi, but two years later they were again compelled on pain of death to leave it. The Sultan became more cruel than ever, and in 1341 he arrived at Daulatabad, which was visited by a famine, and made heavy demands upon the people. He sent a part of his army back to Delhi under Khvaja Jahan, and then started on an expedition towards the east coast; but the force was attacked by pestilence at Warangal, and he himself returned very ill to Daulatabad. The Sultan made Nusrat Khan, governor of Bidar, and entrusted the Maratha country to Kutlagh Khan, his preceptor. The Sultan, who was still ill, started for Delhi in 1341, and permitted the inhabitants to return with him. Owing to the famine which prevailed, the people suffered terribly, and they rose in rebellion on all sides. Nusrat Khan at Bidar also revolted, and was besieged and captured. Next, Alisha, the nephew of Zafar Khan, was sent from Daulatabad to collect the revenues of Gulbarga, but he treacherously killed Bairam, the chief of Gulbarga, and then killed the naib of Bidar. Kutlagh Khan went in person against him from Daulatabad, and Alisha was defeated and taken prisoner.
In 1344 the Hindu Rajas of Telangana and Karnataka formed an alliance, and expelled all the Muhammedan garrisons in their dominions. [According to Ferishta, the Hindu Rajas expelled the Musalmans from every quarter except Daulatabad. Briggs' Ferishta, Vol. I, p. 427.] To make matters worse, the officials of Kutlagh Khan were accused of
reducing the revenues of the country by their rapacity. In 1346 the Sultan proposed to send a former governor, Ain-ul-Mulk, back to Daulatabad. The latter suspected treachery and rebelled, but was defeated and forgiven. Maulana Nizam-ud-din, the brother of Kutlagh Khan, was then appointed governor of the Deccan; and a great addition was laid on the revenues of the country, which was divided into four provinces, and a governor was appointed to each. [The Sultan also engaged inspectors of husbandry, and divided the country into districts of 60 miles square, each under the charge of a Shaikdar, who was to be answerable for its cultivation and improvement. Over a hundred Shaikdars were appointed and about seventy lakhs of rupees were spent to enable them to carry out their work.] The Sultan also despatched a large army in charge of his son-in-law Imad-ul-Mulk, who was probably appointed governor of Berar as he made Ellichpur his head-quarters. Instructions were further sent that the treasure which Kutlagh Khan had accumulated, but which could not be forwarded to Delhi on account of the bad state of the roads, should be kept in the hill-fort adjoining the city of Daulatabad. The people were dis-heartened at the increased demands made upon them, and many in Gujarat and Daulatabad rebelled. Muhammad Tughluk marched in person to Gujarat in 1347 and sent two officials, Zin-banda (Majd-ul-Mulk) and Pisar Thanesari, to inquire into the disaffection at Daulatabad. These were men of low origin, and were detested on account of their cruelties. The rebellion in Gujarat was suppressed in 1347, but some of the rebels fled to Daulatabad, and were protected by the Moghal Amirs. The Sultan ordered Nizam-ud-din to send 1,500 horse-men with the most noted of the foreign Amirs, ostensibly as a reinforcement, but in reality to make prisoners of them on their arrival. At the end of the first stage the Amirs suspected treachery, murdered their guards, and returned to Daulatabad, where they put Nizam-ud-din into confinement. The two officials, Zin-banda and Pisar Thanesari were beheaded, and the treasure in the fort was seized. The Amirs then selected Ismail Khan to be their leader and placed him on the throne. The Hindu Rajas made common cause with them, and there was a general revolt in the Deccan. Muhammad Tughluk acted with great vigour. He arrived at Daulatabad with a large force, defeated the rebels, and besieged their leader, Ismail Khan, in the hill-fort of Daulatabad. Hasan Gangu and other insurgents fled towards Bidar and Gulbarga, and the Sultan sent Imad-ul-Mulk against them. However, before the Deccan was fully settled, the people in Gujarat rose in rebellion. The Sultan appointed Imad-ul-Mulk governor, and leaving Kivam-ud-din and other nobles to carry on the siege, proceeded to Gujarat and defeated the rebels. In the meantime insurgents under Hasan Gangu attacked Imad-ul-Mulk who was defeated and slain; while Kivam-ud-din and his party fled towards Gujarat, and Hasan
Gangu started towards the city of Daulatabad. He crossed the Godavari without a hitch but had to fight with the advance guard of the enemy at Daulatabad. He defeated them and marched towards Bhir and occupied it. Subsequently he routed the Delhi army and met Ismail Khan at Nizampur, where he was joined by the rebels from the hill-fort. Ismail Khan abdicated in favour of Hasan Gangu, who assumed the royal dignity under the name of Ala-ud-din Hasan Gangu Bahamani on August 3, 1347. He was the founder of the dynasty of the Bahamani Sultans, Muhammad Tughluk was disheartened, but resolved first to settle Gujarat thoroughly before he returned to the Deccan. This, however, was never accomplished as the Sultan died in 1350, and the Deccan was lost to his kingdom.
The Bahamani capital was first fixed at Gulbarga about 185 miles south-east of Ahmadnagar, and in 1427 was moved to Bidar or Ahmadabad-Bidar about 100 miles further east. By 1351, Ala-ud-din Hasan Gangu Bahamani, by treating the local chiefs and authorities in a liberal and friendly spirit, had brought under his power every part of the Deccan which had previously been subject to the throne of Delhi.
In the troubles which ended in the establishment of the Bahamani
dynasty the Kolis of the western Ahmadnagar hills gained a great
measure of independence. One of them Papera Koli in 1346 was
made chief of Jawhar in the north Konkan by the Bahamani king.
The Jawhar territories at first included a considerable part of the
Ahmadnagar district. [The Jawhar chief held Ratangad fort in Akola in 1760. Trans. Bom. Geog. Soc. I,
244.] They had twenty-two forts and a yearly revenue of Rs. 9 lakhs. [Mackintosh in Trans. Bom. Geog. Soc. I,240.] So long as they remained quiet the Bahamani kings seem to have left the Kolis practically independent under their own chiefs. Western Ahmadnagar and Poona were divided into Fifty-two Valleys or Bavan Mavals, each under an hereditary Koli chief or naik with the rank of a sardar or noble in the Bahamani kingdom. The head of the Fifty-two Valleys, with the title of Sar Naik or Chief Captain, was a Musalman whose head-quarters were at Junnar in Poona. [Mackintosh in Trans. Bom. Geog. Soc. I, 238. This arrangement was continued by the Ahmadnagar kings and by the Moghals. The last head captain at Junnar was Muhammad Latif about 1670. Ditto.]
In 1357, Ala-ud-din divided his kingdom into four provinces or tarafs, over each of which he appointed a provincial governor or tarafdar. Ahmadnagar formed part of the province of Maharashtra, of which Daulatabad was the centre and which included the country between Junnar, Daulatabad, Bid and Paithan on the north, and Poona and Cheul on the south. This was the chief province of the kingdom,
and was entrusted to the charge of the king's nephew. In 1366, in the reign (1358-1375) of Ala-ud-din's son and successor Muhammad Shah Bahamani a false report of the King's death got abroad, and led several adventurers to cause disturbances. Among them was Bairam Khan Mazindarani whom the king's father had honoured with the tittle of Son. Finding the country empty of troops, he appropriated to his own use the Daulatabad treasures, gathered followers, and combined with Govindadev, a Maratha chief, to raise the standard of revolt. Some of the Berar chiefs and also the Raja of Baglan in north Nasik secretly sent troops to aid him. Most of the towns and districts of Maharashtra fell into his hands, which he divided among his adherents, and in a short time gathered nearly ten thousand horse and foot. Muhammad Shah wrote to Bairam Khan, promising, if he returned to his allegiance, to pardon him and his adherents. Bairam Khan paid no attention to this offer of pardon and increased his preparations for war. Muhammad Shah sent Masnad Ali and Khan Muhammad, with the bulk of his army, in advance, intending to follow shortly after. Bairam Khan and his colleagues moved to Paithan where a great host of needy adventurers gathered round him. Masnad Ali, a veteran of much experience, halted at Shevgaon about forty miles north-east of Ahmadnagar. Bairam Khan attempted to surprise his camp, but was forced to retreat without effecting his object. Taking advantage of this success Masnad Ali was in the act of engaging the rebels, when the king, who was on hunting expedition with only three hundred men, joined him. At this crisis the Baglan chief deserted the insurgents, and they hurriedly sought shelter in the fort of Daulatabad which next day was besieged by the king's troops. Bairam Khan and Govindadev made their escape, and the rebellion was at an end. Under the excellent rule of Muhammad Shah Bahamani the banditti which for ages had harassed the trade of the Deccan were broken, and the people enjoyed peace and good government. This period of prosperity was followed by the awful calamity of the Durga Devi famine, when twelve rainless years (1396-1407) are said to have reduced the country to a desert. In the first years of the famine Mahmud Shah Bahamani (1378-1397) is said to have kept ten thousand bullocks to bring grain from Gujarat to the Deccan, and to have founded seven orphan schools in the leading towns in his dominions. No efforts of any rulers could preserve order or life through so long a series of fatal years. Whole districts were left without people, and the strong places fell from the Musalmans into the hands of local chiefs.
In 1398 the Hindu king Dev Rai invaded the Raichur Doab. Firoz Shah Bahamani marched against him, and detached a portion of his army to check Narsing Rai, the chief of Gondvana, who had been incited by the Musalman Sultans of Malva and Khandesh to invade
Berar. Dev Rai was easily overcome, and the king marched against Narsing Rai, who was driven back into Gondvana, and the chief fort, Kherla, was captured. The Raja became a tributary. In the same year Timur invaded India, and Firoz Shah offered to be his vassal. The Sultans of Malva and Gujarat were suspicious of this embassy, and intrigued with Dev Rai of Vijayanagar to attack Firoz Shah. The country was again wasted by two rainless years in 1421 and 1422. Multitudes of cattle died and the people broke into revolt.
On September 22, 1422, Ahmad Shah Wali succeeded Firoz Shah, and having reduced Vijayanagar and Warangal, turned his attention towards the Sultans of Malva and Gujarat, who were getting troublesome. He remained a year at Ellichpur, and in 1425 repaired the Narnala fort and completed the fortifications of Gawilgad. In the following year Sultan Hoshang of Malva tried to prevail on Narsing Rai of Kherla to invade Berar, and when the latter declined, the Sultan marched on Kherla. Ahmad Shah went to the assistance of Narsing Rai, and Sultan Hoshang was severely repulsed. In 1427 the Bahamani king removed his capital to Bidar, [Bahamani Rajyacha Itihas, p. 68.] so as to be nearer to his Muhammedan neighbours, and married his eldest son, Ala-ud-din, to a daughter of the Sultan of Khandesh, in order to strengthen himself against the Sultans of Malva and Gujarat.[The fort of Bidar was completed in 1432.
In 1428 the Bahamani king was induced by the Sultan of Khandesh to espouse the cause of a fugitive king of Gujarat. Ahmad Shah occupied Tanna (Thana) near Bombay, but after some severe struggles, his troops were driven out by the son of the reigning king of Gujarat. In 1433 he was again defeated in Khandesh.] In 1429 Malik-ut-Tujjar, the governor of Daulatabad, with the hereditary officers or deshmukhs went through the country restoring order. So entirely had the country fallen waste that the old villages had disappeared and fresh villages had to be formed which generally included the lands of two or three of the old ones. Lands were given to all who would till them, free of rent for the first year and for a horse-bag of grain for the second year. This settlement was entrusted to Dadu Narsu Kale, an experienced Brahman, and to a Turkish eunuch of the court.
Ahmad Shah died in 1435, and was succeeded by Ala-ud-din Shah II. In the same year the king's brother Muhammad Khan was sent to demand arrears of tribute from Vijayanagar, but he rebelled, and the king proceeded in person against Muhammad Khan, who was defeated and forgiven. An expedition was despatched into the Konkan in the following year, and some of the Rajas were reduced to the status of feudatories. It was here that the king received the beautiful daughter of the Raja of Sangameshvar in marriage, and neglected his Musalman queen for the Hindu princess. This led to a war with his father-in-law Nasir Khan, the Sultan of Khandesh, who invaded Berar,
assisted by the king of Gujarat and the Raja of Kherla. Khan Jahan, the governor, was besieged in Narnala, but escaped and joined the army which Ala-ud-din had despatched under Malik-ut-Tujjar to oppose the invaders. He was then sent with a portion of the force towards Ellichpur to cut off the contingent of the Raja of Kherla, while the main army routed the forces of Khandesh and Gujarat at the foot of the Rohankheda pass, which leads up to the Ajanta hills. Malik-ut-Tujjar followed up the enemy's forces, plundered Burhanpur, and again defeated them at Lalling in Khandesh. Nasir Khan died of vexation in 1437, and Malik-ut-Tujjar returned in triumph to Bidar. [Bahamani Rajyacha Itihas, p. 96.] There was another war with Vijaynagar in 1443, and three severe engagements were fought in a month. The Raja eventually submitted, and the peace which followed was not broken for many years. A second expedition was sent into the Konkan in 1453 under the command of Malik-ut-Tujjar, but after a few successes, the force was ensnared into a narrow pass and the whole of it destroyed. [Ibid., p. 102.] In 1455 Ala-ud-din marched against the king of Gujarat, who had invaded his dominions but the latter retired, and the Bahamani king returned to Bidar, where he died in 1457.
The next king, Humayun, entered on a campaign into Telangana in 1459, and during his absence an insurrection broke out at Bidar. He returned, and having quelled the disturbance, put his brothers to a cruel death and was very severe with the insurgents. Humayun died in 1461.
Nizam Shah, his son, was a minor, and a council of regency was appointed, consisting of the queen-mother assisted by Khwaja Mahmud Gawan and Khwaja Jahan Turk. [Khwaja Mahmud Gawan was governor of Berar, having succeeded Khwaja Jahan Turk, who held that appointment before him, in 1460.] The Rajas of Orissa and Warangal, thinking the government would be weak because the king was a minor, invaded the country, but were driven back. The Sultan of Malwa also became hostile and marched upon Bidar, where he defeated the Bahamani army and invested the fort. The queen-mother carried the young king to Firozabad on the Bhima, and solicited the aid of the Sultan of Gujarat. The latter responded with an army of 80,000 horse. and was met by Mahmud Gawan, governor of Berar, who had cut off the communications of the enemy. The siege was raised, and the Malwa army suffered greatly in its retreat through the mountainous country of Gondwana. The invasion was renewed in the following year by way of Daulatabad, but the Sultan of Gujarat again interfered, and the enemy was forced to fall back. Nizam Shah returned to Bidar where he died on July 30, 1463.
Prince Muhammad, the brother of the late king, succeeded to the throne, and as he was only nine years of age, the council of regency was maintained. Khwaja Jahan Turk contrived to keep Mahmud Gawan employed at a distance, while he usurped the queen-mother's authority and greatly misused it in consequence of which, Muhammad Shah denounced him in public durbar, and Nizam-ul-Mulk put him to death. His colleague Mahmud Gawan was called to Bidar, and assumed executive charge, while Nizam-ul-Mulk was appointed governor of Berar. In 1465 Mahmud Gawan was appointed Prime Minister. [Bahamani Rajyacha Itihas, p. 141.]
In 1468 a force was sent against the trouble-some little Gond state on the northern frontier, which in conjunction with Malwa was a constant source of irritation. The expedition was successful, but Nizam-ul-Mulk, who commanded it, was treacherously killed by some of the enemy after Kherla was taken. The king of Malwa then invaded Berar and Ellichpur was captured by his general, Makbul Khan. A peace soon followed, by which Kherla was given to the king of Malwa, who in his turn renounced all claim to Berar or any part of the Bahamani kingdom. Mahmud Gawan next marched into Konkan, while Yusuf Adil Khan, the governor of Daulatabad, was sent against the independent chieftains of the mountains bordering on Khandesh. Both these expeditions were successful, and in 1471 the king entered on a campaign against Telangana. The Prime Minister, Mahmud Gawan, carried out many judicial reforms, and in 1480, reorganised the administration of the country, and substituted eight divisions for the four provinces into which it was originally divided. This was done with the view of weakening the governors, who were becoming too powerful; but it led to a strong combination against him, of which Nizam-ul-Mulk Bahari was at the head. Mahmud Gawan was faisely accused of having written a letter inviting the king of Orissa to march on Bidar, and was put to death in 1481. [Ibid., p. 160.] "With him departed all the cohesion and power of the great Bahamani kingdom." [See Meadows Taylor's Manual of History.] Yusuf Adil Khan was hastily summoned, and ordered to proceed towards Goa against Bahadur Khan Gilani; but the governors of the provinces reluctantly took the field, and when the campaign was over, Imad-ul-Mulk and Khudavand Khan returned to their respective capitals.
Mahmud Gawan was succeeded in the office of Bahamani minister by Nizam-ul-Mulk Bahari. Yusuf Adil Khan had a feud with Nizam-ul-Mulk and declined to take office but retained his military command. He retired to Bijapur, and never afterwards returned to Bidar. About the year 1485 Ahmadnagar and other districts were added to his
estates. The management of part of these lands was made over to the minister's son Malik Ahmad, the future founder of the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmadnagar (1490-1636), who made Junnar in Pune his head-quarters. By the capture of Shivner, the hill-fort of Junnar, which contained five years' revenue of Maharashtra Malik Ahmad was able to secure all the places of the greatest strength in west and south-west Pune. Nizam-ul-Mulk, to strengthen his party, also raised to high rank Malik Waji and Malik Ashraf, two brothers formerly dependents of Mahmud Gawan, appointing Malik Waji governor of Daulatabad and Malik Ashraf his deputy, at the same time exacting from them promises of attachment and fidelity to his son Malik Ahmad. [Briggs' Ferishta. II, 529.] In 1486, Nizam-ul-Mulk was assassinated at the Bidar court and Malik Ahmad assumed his father's titles under the name of Ahmad Nizam-ul-Mulk Bahari. Malik Ahmad was at this time successfully engaged in reducing northern Konkan, where he found the Marathas in a state of rebellion, and when he heard of his father's death, declared his independence. When the time of mourning was over Ahmad Nizam devoted himself to improve the management of his country. Malik Ahmad's character as a general stood so high that no officer of the Bahamani government was willing to march against him though the court was anxious to reduce his power. The king sent repeated orders to Yusuf Adil Khan, the governor of Bijapur to unite with Khwaja Jahan Dakhani and Zain-ud-din Ali Talish, the governor of Chakan in Pune to march against Ahmad Nizam at Junnar. Yusuf Adil Khan, who like Ahmad Nizam, had determined to assume independence, evaded the duty, and told Ahmad Nizam of his danger. Ahmad Nizam appointed Zarif-ul-Mulk Afghan his Chief of the Nobles or Amir-ul-Umra and to Nasir-ul-Mulk Gujarati he assigned the office of Mir Jumla or finance minister. Shaikh Movallid Arab, one of the Bahamani generals, volunteered to reduce Ahmad Nizam and reached Paranda on his way to Junnar. Ahmad Nizam left his family in the fort of Junnar and marched to meet the royal army, but feeling unequal to face so numerous a force in open battle, he hovered round the king's camp with his cavalry and cut off their supplies. While the main body of the Bahamani troops continued their advance, Ahmad, by a sudden counter-march, took Chakan, eighteen miles north of Pune. Meanwhile Nasir-ul-Mulk, who was left with the main army to watch the Bahamani troops, ventured to attack and was twice defeated. Hearing of these reverses Ahmad Nizam rejoined his army and made a mighty attack on the enemy. The Bahamani troops were routed, and Ahmad Nizam taking all the heavy baggage, elephants and tents returned to Junnar and devoted
himself to the civil management of his territories. Another Bahamani army of 18,000 men was despatched, but Ahmad Nizam as before avoided a battle and moved to the hills close to the present town of Ahmadnagar. When the Bahamani troops reached the Muri pass, forty miles south-west of Ahmadnagar, Ahmad Nizam with 3,000 horse pressed towards Bidar, and, seizing the women of all the officers who had marched to attack him, moved with them towards Paranda taking care to treat them with proper respect. The officers of the Bahamani army sent him word that as he had treated their families so well they would not fight against him. On this assurance Ahmad sent the families back to Bidar and marched to Paranda. The Sultan now appointed Jahangir Khan the governor of Telangana in place of his former general against whom complaints were received from his officers. Meanwhile Khwaja Jahan, the governor of Paranda, unwilling to oppose Ahmad Nizam, sent his son Azim Khan to join him and himself retired into his fort. Ahmad Nizam applied for aid to Imad-ui-Mulk Gavalli, the ruler of Berar, and fell back on Junnar. As Jahangir Khan, the new Bahamani general, occupied Paithan, Ahmad Nizam approached the Jeur pass where he was reinforced by Nasir-ul-Mulk Gujarati with a body of troops from Jalna and a convoy of provisions. He secured the Jeur pass and remained among the hills. Jahangir Khan, crossing the hills by the Devalgaon pass near Tisgaon, encamped at Bhingar about two miles north-east of the future site of Ahmadnagar, and both armies remained within twelve miles of each other inactive for nearly a month. This movement of Jahangir Khan effectually turned Ahmad Nizam's position and cut him off from any aid from Paranda. During the rains, fancying himself secure, Jahangir Khan gave himself to comforts and pleasures, an example which soon spread through his army. Ahmad Nizam, who had good intelligence of the state of the enemy, made a night-attack on the 28th of May 1490, accompanied by Azim Khan of Paranda. They entered the enemy's camp as day broke and falling suddenly upon them completely routed the Bahamani troops. All officers of distinction were slain; others were taken prisoners and, mounted on buffaloes, were led about the camp and afterwards sent to Bidar. This victory was called the Victory of the Garden because on that spot Ahmad Nizam built a palace and laid out a garden. [This garden was improved by Ahmad's successor Burhan Nizam who walled it and called it Bagh Nizam.] Ahmad gave public thanks to God for his victory, granted a village near the spot as a residence for holy men, and returned victorious to Junnar. After this battle, by the advice of Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, who had already assumed independence (1489), Ahmad inserted his name in the public prayers and assumed the white canopy of independent rule. Khwaja Jahan and other officers
remonstrated, and Ahmad left his name out of the prayers and said the canopy was only to screen him from the sun. On this some of his officers began to use canopies and Ahmad allowed them, only insisting that no canopy but his should be lined with scarlet. Soon after his officers insisted that he should adopt the signs of a king and have his name read in the public prayers. Ahmad agreed declaring it was only because they wished him. In the same year (1490) after a long siege Ahmad Nizam Shah reduced Danda Rajapur, the land-fort of Janjira in the central Konkan. He thus secured unbroken communication between his Deccan territories and the coast which the Ahmadabad kings held as far south as Cheul and the Bijapur kings held as far north as Bankot, and possession of a large portion of that province. The two brothers Malik Waji and Malik Ashraf whom Ahmad Nizam's father had appointed to Daulatabad had kept on terms of friendship with Ahmad Nizam Shah. To make their alliance closer, after the victory of the Garden, Ahmad Nizam Shah gave his sister Bibi Zinat in marriage to Malik Waji. In due course a son was born. Malik Ashraf, who was anxious to found a kingdom for himself, assassinated both father and son, and assumed independence at Daulatabad. Bibi Zinat sought her brother's protection and he in 1493 marched against Daulatabad. On his way he received letters from Kasim Barid, the minister of the Bahamani king Mahmud II praying for aid against Yusuf Adil Khan who had besieged Bidar. Ahmad marched to Bidar, relieved it, and returned to Daulatabad which for two months he blockaded without success and then withdrew towards Junnar. On reaching Bhingar the site of his great victory over Jahangir Khan, midway between Junnar and Daulatabad, Ahmad resolved to found his capital there and from it determined to send an army every year to lay waste the country round Daulatabad till he reduced it. In 1494 he laid the foundation of a city close to the Bagh Nizam upon the left bank of the Sina river and called it after himself Ahmadnagar. In two years the city is said to have rivalled Baghdad and Cairo in splendour. After this the Ahmadnagar army took the field twice a year at the time of the early and the late harvests, to plunder the country near Daulatabad in order if possible to reduce the fort by famine. In 1495, Ahmad induced Khwaja Jahan of Paranda to march to the aid of Dastur Dinar who held the country between the Bhima and Telangana and was anxious to establish his independence. He afterwards himself marched to join him, but hearing that peace was made between Dastur Dinar and the Bahamani king he returned to Ahmadnagar. In 1498 as Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur had marched against Dastur Dinar, Ahmad Nizam again went to his aid and caused Yusuf to retire. In the same year Ahmad Nizam Shah, Yusuf Adil Shah, and Imad-ul-Mulk of Berar resolved that they should divide the Deccan among them and that
Ahmad Nizam should have Daulatabad, Antora, Galna, and the country beyond those forts as far as the borders of Gujarat. In 1499 Malik Ashraf, the governor of Daulatabad, prayed Mahmud Begada, the greatest of the Ahmadabad kings (1489-1511), who was on his way to Khandesh, to come to his aid. At the same time as Adil Khan Faruqi, the Khandesh king (1457-1503), [The Khandesh family was founded by Malik Raja Faruqi, a distinguished Arab officer in the Delhi army in 1399. Eleven successions lasted over nearly 200 years.] requested Ahmad Nizam to meet the Gujarat king, Ahmad Nizam raised the siege of Daulatabad and repaired with 15,000 cavalry to Burhanpur. Ahmad Nizam Shah's general Nasir-ul-Mulk Gujarati was sent to the Gujarat camp as ambassador. While he was there, at his master's instance, he bribed the Gujarat elephant-keepers at a fixed time to let loose a mad elephant. Ahmad Nizam Shah at the head of 5,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry made a night-attack on the Gujarat camp, and as the mad elephant was set free at the same moment, a panic seized the Gujarat troops, and Mahmud Begada with a few attendants fled for six miles. Soon after Ahmad Nizam made peace with Mahmud Begada and reurned and laid siege to Daulatabad. Ashraf Khan once more applied for aid to Mahmud Begada, promising, if he would relieve him, to read the public prayers in his name and pay him tribute. On Mahmud Begada's approach with a large army, Ahmad Nizam Shah raised the siege and retired to his capital. Ashraf Khan read prayers at Daulatabad in Mahmud Begada's name, went to his camp, and made him valuable presents, which he agreed to renew every year as his vassal. Mahmud Begada levied tribute from Khandesh and returned to Gujarat. No sooner had Mahmud left Khandesh than Ahmad Nizam Shah again marched to Daulatabad, where the Maratha garrison, indignant at becoming tributary to Gujarat, sent offers of submission to Ahmad who surrounded Daulatabad with 30,000 men. When Malik Ashraf heard that his troops had lost respect for him, he fell ill and died in five days, and the garrison handed the fort to Ahmad Nizam. Ahmad gave orders for the repair of the fort, established a garrison of his own, returned to Ahmadnagar, raised a wall round the Bagh Nizam and in it built a palace of red stones. In the same year (1499) he reduced the forts of Antur and other places in Khandesh and forced the chiefs of Baglan and Galna to pay him tribute. About 1502 Yusuf Adil Khan, having proclaimed the public profession of the Shia creed in Bijapur, Ahmad Nizam entered into a religious league with Amir Barid and the king of Golkonda. Amir Barid took Ganjauti, and Ahmad Nizam sent ambassadors to Bijapur demanding the surrender of Naldurg. Yusuf sent back an angry answer and recovered Ganjauti. Amir Barid now sent his son Jahangir Khan to Ahmadnagar with such urgent remonstrances that Ahmad was induced to march with 10,000 horse and
a train of artillery which, with the troops of the other allies, formed a large force. Yusuf, to turn the war from his own territory, marched north and wasted Ahmad Nizam's territory near Bid. Being pursued by the allies he passed into Berar, and by the advice of the Berar king, recalled his edict in favour of the Shia faith and Ahmad Nizam was persuaded to detach himself from the league. In 1507 Ahmad Nizam Shah went with a large force to aid Alam Khan whose claim to the throne of Khandesh was disputed by his nephew Miran Adil Khan. At Thalner, twenty-eight miles north-east of Dhulia, hearing of the approach of Mahmud Begada with a large force to help Miran Adil Khan, with Alam Khan's consent he left 4,000 cavalry with him and himself fell back on Gavilgad. The Ahmadnagar troops deserted Alam Khan and he shortly after joined Ahmad Nizam and craved his protection. Ahmad Nizam advanced to the Gujarat frontier and urged Mahmud Begada to grant Alam Khan a share of Khandesh. His ambassadors were treated with indignity, but Ahmad was not strong enough to contend with the great Gujarat king, and returned quietly with Alam Khan to Ahmadnagar. He died in 1509 after naming as his successor his son Burhan, a child of seven years. He was buried at Roza, to which he was much attached.
Among Ahmad's great qualities were continence and modesty. When any of his officers were backward on the day of battle it was his custom to reward instead of reproaching them. One of his courtiers asked the cause of this unusual conduct and Ahmad replied that princes like masters of the hunt alone know how to train for the chase. He was famous for his skill as a swordsman, and established schools for single stick and wrestling in all quarters of the city of Ahmadnagar. In all quarrels he who gave the first wound was considered the victor. In consequence of this encouragement, a crowd of young men assembled everyday at the palace to show their skill as swords-men, till at last a day seldom passed in which one or two combatants were not killed. This custom, so congenial to the Deccan Marathas, spread far and wide, and, according to Ferishta, in his time (1588) learned divines and philosophers, as well as nobles and princes, practised duelling. Those who showed any backwardness were considered wanting in spirit.
As Burhan Nizam Shah was child of seven, Mukamil Khan Dakhani, an able statesman and general, was appointed Vakil or Protector, and his son, under the title of Aziz-ul-Mulk, received the office of Sar Nobat or Commander of the Household Troops. So much attention was paid to the education of the young prince that, in his tenth year, he read poetry with ease and with proper emphasis and wrote exceedingly well. During the next three years the pride of Aziz-ul-Mulk, who, with his father had gained complete control over all the affairs of government, grew so unbearable that the other nobles strove to
over-throw his influence, depose Burhan the young king, and raise Raja-ju his younger brother to the throne. Bibi Aisha, who had been nurse to the young king's mother, dressed Raja-ju in girl's clothes, and took him in her litter towards the city. Before she reached the city she was over-taken by the palace servants and brought back. Her object was discovered and the prince was closely watched. Soon after this the protector's enemies were persuaded to quit Ahmadnagar with eight thousand followers. They entered the service of Ala-ud-din Imad-ul-Mulk, ruler of Berar, and incited him to attack Burhan Nizam's dominions. Imad-ul-Mulk marched with a large army. At Ranuri near the frontier he was met by the protector, aided by Khwaja Jahan Dakhani of Paranda, and totally defeated (1510). He fled without halting till he reached Ellichpur leaving his baggage, horses and elephants. Through the intercession of the king of Khandesh he concluded a peace with Mukamil Khan. Burhan, who accompanied the forces, on account of his tender age, was seated on the same saddle with his tutor Ajdar Khan. Some time after this Burhan Nizam Shah's Hindu relations, the accountants of Pathri in Berar expressed a wish to recover their ancient rights in the village. Mukamil Khan wrote to Imad-ul-Mulk, requesting him as a favour to Burhan Nizam Shah to give up Pathri and receive another district in its stead. Imad-ul-Mulk refused the exchange and built a fort at Pathri. Some time after Mukamil Khan, going on a pleasure party to Elura, made a sudden march against Pathri, carried it by assault, and left the fort in charge of Mian Muhammad Ghori who distinguished himself on the occasion, and was honoured with the title of Kamil Khan. When the young king reached manhood he carried a dancing girl called Amina and placed her at the head of the palace. He also learnt to drink wine. Mukamil Khan the protector, aware that his influence was failing, approached the throne, laid the seals of office at the king's feet, and called upon the king as he was able to conduct state affairs to excuse him from interfering in public business. Burhan agreed to Mukamil's request, raised his sons to high rank, and from this time Mukamil led a retired life till his death.
Of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar in the early years of the sixteenth century, Barbosa, the Portuguese traveller, writes, [Stanlev's Barbosa, 69.] " On coming out of Gujarat towards the south and in the inner parts of India is the kingdom of the Dakhani king. The king is a Moor and a large part of his people are Gentiles. He is a great lord and has many subjects and a large territory which stretches far inland. It has very good sea-ports of great trade in the goods used on the main-land, the chief being Cheul in Kolaba about thirty miles south of Bombay."
In 1523, Bibi Mariam, the sister of Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur, was given in marriage to Burhan and the nuptials were celebrated with great splendour. Asad Khan of Belgaum, the Bijapur envoy, in his master's name had promised to give Sholapur as the princess' dowry. Ismail Adil Shah afterwards denied that he had authorised the cession of Sholapur, and Burhan was induced to drop the demand and to return to Ahmadnagar. As Amina, the favourite queen, assumed superiority over her, the Bijapur princess complained to her brother of the affront offered to her. The Bijapur monarch remonstrated with the Ahmadnagar ambassador and the quarrel led to lasting ill-feeling. In 1524 Burhan Nizam Shah, aided by Barid Shah of Bidar and Imad Shah of Berar, marched against Sholapur. Ismail Adil Shah moved with 9,000 bowmen to defend the place. In the engagement that followed the Ahmadnagar troops were defeated by Asad Khan. Imad Shah fled to Gavilgad, and Burhan, overcome with the heat, was conveyed by his troops to Ahmadnagar. In 1527, Imad Shah of Berar led an army against and took Pathri, but it was soon after recovered by Burhan Nizam after a close siege of two months, although Imad Shah called in the assistance of the king of Khandesh. On taking Pathri Burhan razed the works to the ground and gave the district in charity to his Brahman relations in whose hands it continued till the reign of the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605). After destroying Pathri, Burhan marched to Mahur, and from Mahur to Ellichpur. Imad Shah fled to Burhanpur and with the Khandesh king marched back against Burhan. The allies were totally defeated, losing 300 elephants and all their baggage. In 1529, at the request of the allies, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat (1525-1535) marched to their aid. Alarmed at this addition to their strength Burhan sent letters of congratulation to Babar on his elevation to the throne of Delhi, and also addressed Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur, Amir Barid Shah of Bidar, and Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah of Golkonda. Of these only Amir Barid Shah marched to join him with 6,000 foreign horse. Bahadur Shah marched towards Burhan Nizam Shah's army and encamped near Bhir, where he was completely cut off between Paithan and Bhir by Amir Barid Shah. About 3,000 men were killed and upwards of seventy camels laden with treasure fell into the assailants' hands. To avenge this disgrace Bahadur Shah sent 20,000 horse under Khudavand Khan, but this division was also defeated. As a third detachment under Imad Shah followed, Burhan Nizam fell back first on Paranda and then on Junnar. Bahadur Shah marched on Ahmadnagar and lived for forty days in Burhan Nizam's palace. He then left Imad Shah to conduct the siege of the fort and marched to Daulatabad. Burhan Nizam Shah, who meanwhile hovered about the Gujaratis cutting off their supplies, wrote to Ismail Adil Shah praying him to march in person to his relief. Ismail, who was engaged
with Vijayanagar, was unable to come, but sent 500 chosen horse under his general Haidar-ul-Mulk Kazvini. Burhan Nizam Shah, disappointed in his hopes, deprived Shaikh Jafar, who had become very unpopular among all classes of people, of the office of minister or Peshwa, and bestowed it on one Kanhu Narsi, a Brahman, a man endowed with wisdom, penetration and integrity. By Kanhu Narsi's advice Burhan marched with all the troops he could gather from Junnar to Ahmadnagar and shortly after succeeded in gaining a position in the hills near Daulatabad and within eight miles of the Gujarat army. For three months he harassed the enemy by skirmishes and night-attacks, but, being afterwards defeated in a general action, he sued for peace through the Khandesh and Berar kings, to whom he promised to return the forts and elephants he had taken in war. These two princes accordingly represented to Khudavand Khan that they had called in the Gujarat king only to recover Mahur and Pathri, but that he now seemed to have extended his views to the possession of their country. Khudavand remarked that this was their own fault, and they resolved to break the league. When the league was broken and representations made to the Gujarat king. Imad Shah agreed to pass provisions to Daulatabad and retired to Ellichpur. Burhan acknowledged the Gujarat king's superiority by causing the public prayers to be read in his name and Bahadur Shah returned to Gujarat. The Khandesh king's elephants were restored to him, but when the forts of Mahur and Pathri were demanded, Burhan sent an evasive answer and refused to give them up.
In the same year (1529) Burhan Nizam Shah sent Shah Tahir, a distinguished saint and scholar of the Shia faith, with presents of cloth, elephants and horses to Bahadur Shah. Bahadur delayed giving him an audience, as Burhan had discontinued reading the public prayers in his name. At length through the mediation of the Khandesh king Bahadur received Shah Tahir. For some time he treated him with little consideration, but at length his great talents and learning won for him Bahadur's esteem, who at the end of three months dismissed him with honour. In 1530 Burhan again sent Shah Tahir with Narso Pandit to congratulate Bahadur Shah on his conquests in Malwa. They were introduced at Burhanpur to the Gujarat king by Miran Muhammad Khan of Khandesh. As about this time Humayun of Delhi was beginning to spread his conquests south towards Malwa and Gujarat, according to the Khandesh king, it was politic for Bahadur Shah to make a friend of Burhan Nizam. Bahadur was a prince of great ambition and claiming equality with the sovereigns of Delhi
conferred many favours on Shah Tahir, who was sent hurriedly to Ahmadnagar to induce his master to have an interview with
Bahadur Shah at Burhanpur. Burhan Nizam, though he at first declined was
induced by Shah Tahir and Kanhu Narsi to agree to the proposed meeting. He left prince Husain Nizam in charge of the government with 7,000 horse and started for Burhanpur. Hearing on the way that all except holy men were required to stand before the throne of Bahadur, Burhan declined to move further, but at the intercession of Shah Tahir, who undertook that his honour should in no way suffer, agreed to accompany him to the Gujarat king's court. When the Ahmadnagar king arrived at the royal tents, Shah Tahir accompanied him carrying on his head a Qoran in the hand-writing of the prophet Ali. The Gujarat king on learning this instantly descended from the throne, kissed the Qoran, and with it touched his eyes and his fore-head. He then received the compliments of Burhan and re-ascended the throne. He desired Shah Tahir, who was a holy man of the first rank, to be seated. Shah Tahir excused himself saying that he could not sit while his master was standing. Bahadur accordingly asked Burhan Nizam also to be seated. After compliments, Bahadur taking from his waist a sword and jewelled dagger girded them on Burhan, and gave him the title of Shah. He also presented him with the canopy or chhatra, which Bahadur had taken from the Malwa king, and ordered his minister and the Khandesh king to conduct him to the tent which was pitched for reception. In an entertainment on the following day Bahadur seated the Ahmadnagar and Khandesh kings on chairs of gold in front of the throne, and presented Burhan with five horses, two elephants and twelve fighting deer. The two kings then played together at chaugan or polo. Burhan Shah also made offerings to the Gujarat king, but he accepted only a Qoran, a sword, and four elephants and two horses. Bahadur then conferred all the Deccan country on Burhan. On his return Burhan visited Daulatabad, and, paying his devotions at the shrines of the holy men who were buried there, encamped at the Hauzi Kutlu where he was met by his son and minister as well as by ambassadors from Bijapur and Golkonda, who had come to congratulate him. Khwaja Ibrahim and Sambhaji Chitnavis who had preceded the king to Burhanpur to arrange for his reception were honoured with the titles of Latif Khan and Pratap Ray and were henceforward admitted as confidential officers.
Burhan, having now leisure to attend to the management of his dominions, by the wise policy of Kanhu Narsi, reduced thirty forts belonging to Maratha chiefs who had not paid allegiance since Ahmad Nizam Shah's death. In 1531, Amir Barid Shah having prayed for aid against Ismail Adil Shah who was planning the conquest of the forts of Kalyani and Kandhar, Burhan Nizam Shah wrote an imperious letter to Ismail Adil Shah requiring him at once to desist. Ismail reminded Burhan of his late condition at Ahmadnagar, and warned him not to pride himself on honours and titles conferred by a Gujarat king, since
he himself derived his lineage from a race of sovereigns and had been styled a sovereign by the kings of Persia, the descendants of the Prophet. Burhan Nizam
Shah, though ashamed of his conduct, at once marched to Umrazpur, from which, after remaining some days to gather his forces, he crossed into Ismail Adil Shah's territory. In the battle which followed, Burhan Nizam was totally defeated and retreated to Ahmadnagar with the loss of all his baggage and nearly 4,000 men. In 1532 at a meeting of Burhan Nizam Shah and Ismail Adil Shah it was decided that Burhan should invade Berar and Ismail should invade Telangana and that they should divide the Deccan between them. This project came to nothing as Ismail Adil Shah died in 1534. In 1537, at the instigation of Shah Tahir who was a Shia, Burhan substituted the names of the Imams for those of the Sahibas [The three Khaliphas are Abu Bakar, Umar and Othman the immediate successors of the prophet Muhammad.] or Khaliphas in the public prayers, and changed the colour of his canopy and standards to green. He also settled pensions on persons to revile and curse the three first Khaliphas and their followers in mosques and in the streets. This caused much discontent and a number of the disaffected under one Mulla Pir Muhammad, a furious Sunni, besieged the palace. The leader was imprisoned, and the tumult subsided. The kings of Gujarat, Bijapur and Khandesh, enraged at the insult offered to the Sunnis, combined and agreed to divide the Ahmadnagar dominions between them. Burhan offered his services to the Emperor Humayun to aid in an invasion of Gujarat but the rebellion of Sher Shah prevented his offer being accepted. Burhan found means to satisfy the Gujarat and Khandesh kings, and, engaging all the Shia foreigners disbanded by Ibrahim Adil Shah, marched against Bijapur, and captured one hundred elephants and some pieces of cannon. In 1542, Burhan Nizam Shah, taking advantage of the dissensions at Bijapur between Ibrahim and his minister Asad Khan of Belgaum, invited Amir Barid Shah of Bidar to join him. At the same time he caused a false report to be spread that Asad Khan, who was a staunch Shia, had invited the two monarchs to Bijapur and promised to give up Belgaum. Having thus poisoned the Bijapur king's mind against his minister, Burhan Nizam Shah marched on Sholapur, seized its five and a half districts, and made them over to Khwaja Jahan Dakhani. He then marched to Belgaum, took possession of the fort, and plundered the towns that did not submit. Inspite of Asad Khan's prayers Ibrahim Adil Shah, who feared treachery, refused to march against Burhan. Asad Khan, seeing no security but by going over to the enemy, joined the allies with 6,000 troops and Burhan Nizam marched on Bijapur. Ibrahim Adil Shah deserted his capital and took shelter at Gulbarga. Though he had joined the enemy Asad Khan's sympathies were entirely with his
master Ibrahim. He wrote to Imad Shah of Berar explaining his position, and, on the arrival of a reinforcement from Berar, he quitted Burhan's camp and joined the Berar troops. Burhan, who was no match for this combination, retreated towards Ahmadnagar pursued by the Berar and Bijapur army. Being forced to leave his capital a prey to the invaders, Burhan took post in the strong fortress of Daulatabad, where, as his ally Amir Barid Shah of Bidar died, he concluded a peace, and restored to Ibrahim Adil Shah the five and a half districts of Sholapur. Next year (1643) Burhan Nizam Shah sent Shah Tahir to the court of the king of Golkonda to congratulate him on his coming to the throne, and to make private overtures to join in a league with Ram Raja of Vijaynagar against Bijapur. In 1546, at the instigation of Ram Raja, Burhan Nizam Shah again moved to reduce Gulbarga, and Ibrahim Adil Shah marched from Bijapur to oppose him. Burhan took a strong position on the left bank of the Bhima, and Ibrahim, finding it impossible to cross the river during the rains, encamped on the right bank. Both armies lay inactive for three months in sight of each other, till, at last, tired of delay, Ibrahim Adil Shah crossed the river, attacked the Ahmadnagar troops, and totally defeated them with the loss of 250 elephants and 170 cannons and tumbrils. Burhan Nizam Shah now sent his trusty minister Shah Tahir to beg the aid of Ali Barid Shah of Bidar, but his mission failed. In consequence of this refusal of aid, Burhan next year marched with an army against Bidar. He began operations by laying siege to Ausa. The Bijapur troops joined the Bidar forces at Kalyani which was promised as a reward to Ibrahim Adil Shah. The allies raised the siege, but in an action which took place within four miles of Kalyani they were defeated with considerable loss and Ausa shortly afterwards fell to Burhan. Burhan then marched against Udgir which also he reduced, and from Udgir went against Kandhar. Here the allies made another effort to raise the siege and were a second time defeated with the loss of their heavy baggage. Kandhar shortly after fell, and Burhan Nizam Shah returned towards his capital (1548). On his way home he was met by deputies from a party in Bijapur, who, oppressed by the cruelty and bad government of Ibrahim, were anxious to set his younger brother on the throne. Burhan and the king of Golkonda, who had also agreed to join the league, moved towards Bijapur. Burhan made an unsuccessful attempt to take Belgaum from Asad Khan and was compelled to retreat. Shortly after Shah Tahir died and Burhan fell back on his capital and made over the seals to Kasim Beg Hakim and Gopalrav, a Brahman. As Asad Khan of Belgaum died about the same time (1549) Burhan Nizam resolved, with the aid of Ram Raja of Vijaynagar, to make another attack on Bijapur. At Ram Raja's desire Burhan moved at once from
Ahmadnagar and surrounding Kalyani effectually blocked all communication. Ibrahim Adil Shah marched to relieve it. Burhan fortified his lines, and was shortly after fortunate in surprising the Bijapur army so completely that Ibrahim had scarcely time to make his escape and fly towards Bid and Paranda, while his troops fled leaving their tents, baggage and artillery in Burhan's hands. Kalyani surrendered without further opposition. As he fled through the enemy's country. Ibrahim came suddenly before Paranda, and taking possession of it, gave it in charge to one of his Dakhani officers. He laid waste the surrounding country and levied heavy contributions, but hearing of Burhan's approach retreated towards Bijapur. Before the Ahmadnagar troops had arrived within forty miles, Ibrahim's governor at Paranda, who mistook the buzzing of a gnat for the sound of Burhan's trumpets, fled, and, on the third day after his flight, the fortress was occupied by Ahmadnagar troops. Burhan restored Paranda fort to Khwaja Jahan Dakhani and marched back to Ahmadnagar. In the same year (1549) Burhan without opposition marched his army through great part of the Bijapur territory, and, as arranged with Ram Raja of Vijaynagar, he besieged Sholapur, and after a blockade of three months, carried it by assault. He was about to advance to Gulbarga, when, hearing that Ram Raja after reducing Raichur and Mudgal had returned to Vijaynagar, he also returned to Ahmadnagar. In 1553 Burhan again formed an alliance with Ram Raja and marched towards Bijapur, and Ibrahim, unable to cope with him, retired to Panhala near Kolhapur. Bijapur was besieged. But Burhan fell suddenly sick, returned to his capital and soon after died at the age of fifty-four, after a reign of forty-seven years. His body was embalmed and entombed at Karbela in Persia, near the burial-place of Hasan, the son of Ali, the Prophet. He left two sons Husain and Abdul Kadar by his favourite wife Amina, and two others Shah Ali and Miran Muhammad Bakar by Bibi Mariam, the daughter of Yusuf Adil Shah. He had also another son Shah Haidar married to the daughter of Khwaja Jahan Dakhani.
Husain Nizam Shah succeeded his father in the thirteenth year of his age. Two parties were formed, the Abyssinians embracing Husain Nizam Shah's cause, and the Dakhanis both Musalmans and Hindus that of his brother Abdul Kadar, who at length being deserted by his party took refuge with Imad-ul-Mulk of Berar. The other brothers Shah Ali and Miran Muhammad Bakar fled to their uncle at Bijapur. Shah Haidar went to his father-in-law at Paranda and laid claim to the throne. Husain marching against him, he with his father-in-law the governor, fled to the Bijapur court, and Paranda fell to the Nizam Shahi forces. Ibrahim Adil Shah openly espoused the cause of the refugees, and marched against Sholapur which had been taken during
the last reign. Husain received from Imad Shah of Berar a reinforcement of 7,000 cavalry and moved to raise the siege. Saif Ain-ul-Mulk, who had left the Nizam Shahi service and had gone over to Bijapur, and who was known throughout the Deccan for his courage and for the efficiency of his horsemen, being driven from the Bijapur kingdom, was allowed to return to Ahmadnagar, and was subsequently treacherously put to death. His family was conducted in safety by one of his chief dependents Kabul Khan to Golkonda where Kabul Khan was received into the service of Ibrahim Kutb Shah. At this time Husain Nizam Shah, in concert with Ibrahim Kutb Shah, marched to invade the Bijapur country. But as Kutb Shah returned to his capital Husain Nizam Shah was compelled to fall back on Ahmadnagar. In the same year Husain detached Muhammad Ustad Nishapuri and Chulbi Rumi Khan against Revdanda, and the Portuguese who had built the fort promised not to molest Ahmadnagar subjects. Husain also carried his arms into Khandesh and took the fort of Galna. In 1559 Ali Adil Shah, the new king of Bijapur, formed an alliance with Ram Raja and Ibrahim Kutb Shah, while Husain Nizam Shah made fresh overtures to Imad-ul-Mulk of Berar who received Husain's daughter in marriage. The allied sovereigns reached Ahmadnagar with an army of 9,00,000 infantry. Husain Shah fled to Paithan and asked the Berar, Khandesh and Bidar kings to march to his aid. Khan Jahan, the brother of the Bidar king, now in the Berar service instead of rendering assistance, marched with 6,000 horse to the Ahmadnagar frontier to attack Husain Nizam Shah, but being defeated joined the Bijapur troops. The allies laid siege to Ahmadnagar. But Ibrahim Kutb Shah, jealous of the Bijapur king's power, connived at supplies passing to the garrison, and one of his generals kept communication both with Husain Nizam Shah at Paithan and with the besieged. When Ram Raja demanded an explanation, Kutb Shah marched during the night for Golkonda, while his general finding his way into the fort joined Husain Nizam Shah at Paithan. Imad-ul-Mulk by way of reparation for Khan Jahan's conduct sent a large force to join Husain. This division being employed to cut off the besiegers' supplies compelled the allies to raise the siege which they meant to renew after buying provisions from Paranda and Ausa. Meanwhile Husain Nizam Shah concluded a peace with Ram Raja. Under the terms of this treaty he ceded the fortress of Kalyani to Bijapur, put to death Jahangir Khan, the Berar general, who had been extremely active against the enemy, and paid Ram Raja a visit and acknowledged his superiority.
On his arrival at Ahmadnagar he caused the fort, which was originally built of mud, to be re-built with stones and to be surrounded by a deep ditch. In 1562, after the celebration in the neighbourhood
of Kalyani of the marriage of Husain's daughter Bibi Jamalli with Ibrahim Kutb Shah, both princes laid siege to that fortress. They were attacked by Ram Raja and Ali Adil Shah aided by the Berar and Bidar kings. Sending his family into the fort of Ausa,
Husain Nizam Shah accompanied by Kutb Shah marched with 700 guns and 500 elephants to within twelve miles of the enemy. A violent storm blew down his tents, and, in the heavy black clay in which he was encamped, the rain made his cannons and guns almost useless. Kutb Shah's army fled without resistance and Husain began his retreat taking with him only forty out of 700 guns. On the third day Husain
was forced to quit even these forty guns and to fly to Ahmadnagar. Attended only by a thousand horse he made his way through 6,000 of the enemy, still keeping the umbrella of State over his head. The enemy, deeming it unnecessary to follow him further, gave over pursuit. Husain threw supplies into Ahmadnagar and retired to Junnar. The allies again laid siege to Ahmadnagar. By Ali Adil Shah's advice Ram Raja raised the siege and pursued Husain Nizam to Junnar, who retired among the hills in the neighbourhood. Husain Rustam Khan Dakhani, Adham Khan Habshi and Sabaji Koli so effectually laid waste the country as to prevent the enemy's advance. At Kanhur Husain Rustam Khan, during the absence of Ali Adil Shah on a hunting party, fell suddenly on the Bijapur army. The uncle of Adil Shah was killed, but the Bijapur troops rallied and in the end slew Rustam Khan and two thousands of his followers. At the approach of the rainy season the allies returned to the siege of Ahmadnagar. Ram Raja's army encamped to the south of the fort on the bank of the Sina. Heavy rain fell in the hills and the river rose so suddenly during the night that 300 of Ram Raja's horses and a vast number of carriage cattle were drowned and twenty officers of rank and upwards of 25,000 men were swept away in the torrent. Ram Raja raised the siege and moved towards the Karnatak, and Ali Adil Shah followed his example. The Bijapur officers made frequent incursions into Sholapur district belonging to Husain Nizam Shah who sent 1,000 bullock-loads of grain under a strong escort to Sholapur to provision the fort for a siege. Murtaza Khan, a Bijapur officer, learning of this convoy, marched and defeated the Nizamshahi detachment between Paranda and Sholapur, and began to plunder and spread over the country. About 150 elephants were captured and sent to Bijapur. Meanwhile the Nizamshahis collected about 2,000 horse and pursuing the Bijapur troops came suddenly upon Murtaza Khan who had retired to Naldurg, took him prisoner and sent him to Ahmadnagar. Husain marched in person at the head of his army and carried with him to Sholapur 30,000 loads of grain. In 1564 Husain entered into a league with the three Muhammedan kings of Bijapur, Bidar and
Golkonda against Ram Raja of Vijaynagar. The united armies marching south crossed the Krishna and encamped on the Hukeri river, near which was Ram Raja at the head of 70,000 cavalry and 90,000 infantry chiefly match-lockmen, besides archers and artillerymen. The allied kings conceiving themselves unequal to cope with this formidable army made overtures for peace. But as Ram Raja refused to listen to their proposals, the Muhammedan kings resolved to fight till death. The Bijapur king was on the right, Husain Nizam Shah in the centre, and the Golkonda and Bidar kings on the left. Husain Nizam Shah's front was covered by 600 guns placed in three lines, heavy, middle-sized, and small, the whole commanded by the famous artillery officer Chulbi Rumi Khan. Two thousand foreign archers in front of the guns kept a heavy discharge on the enemy as he approached. The archers fell back as the Vijaynagar troops advanced till they were close to the heavy battery which opened on them with such effect that they retreated in confusion with dreadful loss. Chulbi Rumi Khan had provided bags of copper money to load with, should the enemy close and these proved so destructive that upwards of 5,000 Hindus were left dead close to the muzzles of the guns. Kishwar Khan, an officer of the Bijapur army, pursued the enemy with 5,000 cavalry into the centre of Ram Raja's line, where in attempting to make his escape on foot, Ram Raja was overtaken by one of the Nizamshahi elephants which seized him in his trunk. On being brought to Husain, Ram Raja was beheaded and his army fled to Vijaynagar. Husain returned to Ahmadnagar where he died shortly after of a disorder brought on by excess. He left four sons and four daughters.
Murtaza Nizam Shah, Husain's son, commonly called the Divana or madman, ascended the throne when he was a minor. His mother Khunza Sultana for six years acted as regent. She raised her three brothers Ain-ul-Mulk, Taj Khan and Etibar Khan to the first rank of nobility, and appointed Mulla Inayat Khan to the office of minister or Peshwa. She sat daily in court, transacting business behind a curtain. Ram Raja's brother Venkatadri, pressed by the Bijapur troops, applied for relief to Khunza Sultana, who, marching against Bijapur at the head of an army accompanied by her young son Murtaza, forced Ali Adil Shah to retire from Vijaynagar to defend his own country. Peace was soon after concluded between the two powers and a league was subsequently formed against Tufal Khan who, as prime minister, had usurped authority in Berar. Both the Bijapur and Ahmadnagar troops entered that country, plundered it, and marched back before the rains. On their return Ali Adil Shah tried to seize the young king of Ahmadnagar, but his mother, the regent, being warned fled through the night and escaped to Ahmadnagar. In 1567, Ali Adil Shah invaded the Nizamshahi dominions and took several places. Khunza Sultana, by the
extreme honour she showed to her relations, gave offence to some of the nobles, who complained to the king. With the king's permission they gained over some of the chief nobles and attempted to overthrow the queen's authority. They some time after repaired to the palace, but the childish fears of the king made him conclude the secret was betrayed. To save himself he revealed the plot to his mother who instantly caused the principal conspirators to be secured. In 1569, the queen marched with her son to oppose the encroachments of Kishwar Khan, the Bijapur general. At Dhamangaon, Murtaza gained over the principal nobles and sent Habash
Khan to tell the queen that she should no longer take part in public affairs.
Enraged at this message she summoned her supporters and made a show of
resistance, but was soon seized and her attendants fled. The king, assuming
charge of the government, marched at the head of the army. On nearing the enemy's camp he received an insulting letter from the Bijapur general, and swore that he would not rest till he had entered the Dharur fort. He put on his armour
and succeeded in reaching the gate, where amidst showers of shot, arrows, and
rockets poured from the fort walls he escaped unhurt, though many of his men,
horses and elephants were killed. As the enemy's fire suddenly ceased the Ahmadnagar troops entered unopposed and found the fort empty. An arrow had pierced the heart of Kishwar Khan and the garrison had fled. Murtaza cut off Kishwar Khan's head and hung it over the battlements, and marched on to invade Bijapur. Ibrahim Kutb Shah of Golkonda, who at first acted in concert with him, was treated in an unfriendly way by Murtaza and was forced to make his escape, leaving his camp to be plundered by the Nizamshahis. Murtaza concluding a treaty with the Bijapur king, returned to Ahmadnagar, and appointing Jalal-ud-din Husain his prime minister marched against the Portuguese fort of Revdanda in the Konkan. Owing to the bravery of the Portuguese, aided according to Musalman accounts by the treachery of Murtaza's officers who were bribed by presents of Portuguese wine, he was obliged to raise the siege and return to Ahmadnagar. He displaced several of his ministers, and conferred the office of agent or vakil on Changiz Khan, a nobleman of great abilities who restored public affairs. His address effected an alliance with the Bijapur king who agreed to allow Murtaza to take Berar and Bidar. In 1572, Murtaza marched to Berar, and by the gallantry and good conduct of his general Changiz Khan drove Tufal Khan and his son from Ellichpur to the hills and took their heavy baggage and 200 elephants. Tufal Khan, after wandering for six months in the hills, fled to Burhanpur, where the Khandesh king for fear of Murtaza's anger refused to give him protection. Tufal returned to his fort of Narnala and applied for aid to the emperor Akbar who, pleased with the
opportunity of mixing in Deccan affairs, required Murtaza at once to retire from Tufal's territory. Murtaza took no notice of Akbar's message. He captured Narnala and all the chief Berar forts, seized and placed in confinement Tufal Khan, his master Burhan Imad-ul-Mulk and his family, who shortly after died, it was said, by poison. Murtaza on Changiz Khan's advice marched to Bidar. But hearing that a force of 3,000 horse and seven or eight thousand infantry, despatched by the Khandesh king Miran Muhammad to support a pretender to the throne, had driven out several of his posts and held a great portion of the country, he returned with the greatest expedition and sent in advance Sayyad Murtaza one of his generals, before whom the pretender was forced to fly and his followers scattered. Murtaza Nizam Shah entered Khandesh by the Rohankheda pass and ravaged the country to Burhanpur, Miran Muhammad, the Khandesh king retiring to the fort of Asir. Murtaza Nizam marched in person to Asir and from it sent parties who wasted the country round, so that Miran was obliged to purchase the retreat of the Ahmadnagar troops. Shortly after this Ibrahim Kutb Shah, through his ambassador, offered Changiz Khan a large sum to prevent the intended attack on Bidar. Changiz Khan refused the money with indignation, saying that the Nizamshahi treasures were at his disposal. The ambassador now endeavoured to effect his purpose by bringing over to his design Sahib Khan, a favourite of the king, who had been ill-treated by Changiz Khan. Sahib Khan entered into the plot and informed the king that he heard that Changiz Khan intended to assume royal titles in Berar. The king did not believe the story, but as Sahib Khan persisted that it was true, he resolved to wait for proof. It happened soon after that Changiz Khan suggested that he ought to stay with an army in the conquered country in order to gain the good will of the people. The king thought this suggestion a striking confirmation of Sahib Khan's story and showed marked displeasure. Changiz Khan, alarmed for his safety, stayed away from the court feigning sickness. This conduct satisfied the king that his suspicions were well-founded. He directed Changiz Khan's physician to administer a poisoned drug as medicine to Changiz Khan. Changiz Khan discovered what had happened, and quietly submitted to his fate, requesting the king to send his body to Karbela, to show favour to some officers whom he named, and to entertain his foreign servants among his guards. Murtaza too late convinced of the uprightness and the attachment of his minister, regretted his death with unfeigned sorrow. On his return to Ahmadnagar, disgusted with his folly, he appointed Mir Kazi Beg his representative in the government, and retired to an apartment in the palace of Ahmadnagar called Bagdad, where no one was admitted to his presence but Sahib Khan. In 1576, as the emperor Akbar advanced to the Deccan frontier to
hunt, the king moved to the north with a few troops in a covered litter. He wished to march to attack the emperor, but at the request of his nobles, remained on the border till, after Akbar's return to his dominions, he again retired to his privacy in Ahmadnagar. In the rainy season while visiting the tombs of saints in Daulatabad, he was seized with religious enthusiasm. One day he was seen withdrawing from his apartment and going alone on foot towards the tomb of Imam Raza and was with difficulty prevailed on to return. After
his return from Daulatabad he made his residence in the garden of Hasht-i-Behisht. At this time the favourite Sahib Khan and his associates, about 3,000 scoundrel Dakhanis, committed the worst of crimes. Children were forced from their parents for evil purposes and among others Mir Mehdi was killed in defending the honour of his family. The regent was afraid of the favourite's influence, till at last he became so insolent as to order a nobleman to change his name because it happened to be the same as his own. The nobleman refused and the favourite resolved to destroy him, but was prevented by Salabat Khan who informed the king. Sahib Khan was forced to quit the court, but the king, who missed his society, followed him to Bidar, and, agreeing to displace Salabat Khan from his office and taking for him the city of Bidar which he besieged, persuaded him to return. Burhan Nizam, the king's brother, escaping at this time from the fort of Junnar and raising an insurrection, Murtaza was obliged to return suddenly to Ahmadnagar and to recall Salabat Khan. Burhan was defeated and fled to Bijapur. Sahib Khan leaving the king a second time was put to death by the nobles who were sent to effect a reconciliation. Salabat Khan became minister without a rival and continued in power for several years to the satisfaction of the people. Since the reign of Muhammad Shah Bahamani (1358-1375) the country had never been so well governed. In 1580, Salabat Khan taking advantage of the minority of the Bijapur king, sent an army under Behazad-ul-Mulk to invade his dominions, but it was defeated with the loss of all its elephants. In 1584, the marriage of the king's son Miran Husain with the Bijapur King's sister was arranged and the princess was brought to Ahmadnagar with great pomp. About this time several nobles combined to attempt to displace Salabat Khan but their attempt came to nothing. Shortly after a discontented faction brought Burhan, the king's brother, to Ahmadnagar in the guise of a holy man with the object of placing him on the throne. On the day the attempt was to be made, Salabat Khan discovered the plot and Burhan fled to the Konkan, and thence to the court of the emperor Akbar from whom he some time after procured a force under Mirza Aziz Koka to attack his brother. An army of 20,000 men under Mirza Muhammad Taki marching on the frontier and acting in concert with
Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh forced Mirza Aziz Koka to turn towards Berar where he was attacked and pursued and forced to return to Malwa.
At this time one Fatteh Shah, a dancer who succeeded Sahib Khan in the king's favour, began to abuse his power by obtaining large grants of land and gifts of royal jewels. At last as the king ordered the two most valuable necklaces taken from Ram Raja's plunder to be given to the favourite. Salabat Khan, unwilling that such priceless gems should be lost to the royal family, substituted two strings of mock jewels in their place. When the king heard of this, he ordered all his jewels to be laid out for inspection, and seeing the two jewels were still missing threw them all into a large fire. From this time the king was considered mad. Taking into his head that his son had a design to dethrone him, he attempted to put him to death, but Salabat Khan watched over the safety of the young prince. Salabat Khan at this time having refused, unless the Sholapur fort was delivered, either to celebrate the Bijapur princess's marriage or to return her to her brother, Ibrahim Adil Shah declared war and laid siege to the fort of Ausa. Murtaza Nizam Shah, offended at the conduct of his minister, upbraided him with treachery and declared himself weary of his control. Salabat Khan begged the king to appoint any place for his confinement, and on his naming Danda Rajapur, inspite of the remonstrances of his friends, immediately submitted himself to the king's guards and was carried to his prison. He was succeeded by Kasim Beg Hakim as regent and by Mirza Muhammad Taki as minister. Peace with Ibrahim Adil Shah being concluded at the king's command, the marriage of prince Miran Husain with the Bijapur princess was celebrated with great splendour. Not long after this the king again becoming suspicious of his son resolved to destroy him, and while the youth was sleeping in his chamber set fire to his bedclothes and fastened the door upon him. The prince's cries for help brought to his aid his father's favourite Fatteh Shah who secretly carried him off to Daulatabad. When the king heard of this, he confined all his ministers and appointed others, and, as they also refused to kill the prince, they were displaced and the regency was given to Mirza Khan. Mirza Khan, seeing the disordered state of the king's intellect, pretended acquiescence with the king's commands, and wrote privately to Bijapur that if a detachment were sent to the borders he would make it a pretext for raising troops and would then openly espouse the prince's cause. The Bijapur regent complying with the request, Mirza Khan, by the king's order, collected troops and marched from Ahmadnagar and encamped near the town of Ranuri. Mirza Khan did not move onwards. Ferishta, the historian, was sent to enquire the cause. Mirza Khan, knowing Ferishta's attachment to the king, bribed
Fatteh Shah, the king's favourite, to obtain the king's order for his recall and for the immediate advance of the army. Ferishta, getting timely notice of Mirza Khan's orders to prevent his return from the camp, made his escape in the night. Mirza Khan meanwhile marched to Daulatabad to bring the prince and seat him on the throne. The king being too ill to mount a horse, by Ferishta's advice, sent orders to release Salabat Khan and prepared to go himself in a litter to meet him. But learning from Fatteh Shah that the guards would seize and imprison him, he resolved to wait in the palace for Salabat Khan's arrival. The troops, perceiving the king's imbecility, deserted in crowds to Daulatabad, whence Mirza Khan hastened to the capital accompanied by the prince so that he might arrive before Salabat Khan. At the time he came Ferishta was head of the palace guard, but being deserted by his people, and as no one was left with the king but Fatteh Shah and a few domestics, opposition was vain. The prince and Mirza Khan rushed into the fort with 40,000 armed men and put to death all they found except Ferishta who as he had been the prince's school fellow was spared. The prince both in word and action treated his father the king with every possible insult. Murtaza looked on him with silent contempt, and when his son drew his sword and passed the bare blade across his breast, threatening to kill him, the king only sighed. The prince caused the king to be put into a warm bathing room and closing the doors and windows lighted a great fire underneath, and the king was speedily suffocated (1588). The deceased king was buried with due ceremony in the Roza garden, and his bones were afterwards taken to Karbela and buried near those of his father and grand-father.
Caesar Frederick, 1586: In 1586, according to the Venetian traveller Caesar Frederick, the Moor king Zamalluco, that is Nizam-ul-Mulk, was of great power with 2,00,000 men of war and a great store of artillery some of them made in pieces because the whole gun was too great to carry. Though they were made in pieces the guns worked marvellously well. Their shot was of stone and some of the stone-shots had been sent to the king of Portugal for the rareness of the thing. The city where king Zamalluco had his being was Abueqer, that is Ahmadnagar seven or eight days inland of Cheul. [Hakluyt's Voyages, II, 345.]
Miran Husain Nizam Shah, who was head-strong and cruel, began his reign by tyranny and oppression. He appointed Mirza Khan prime minister, but paid little regard to his advice. He promoted several youths to high rank and made them the companions of his pleasures and excesses. He one day confined his minister on a suspicion of his having privately brought from Junnar and concealed in his house Shah Kasim, the king's uncle. Next day finding he was mistaken he
restored the minister and gave him his full confidence. To prevent future suspicions Mirza Khan advised the king to put to death the surviving males of the royal family, and fifteen princes were murdered in one day. As Mirza Khan's power became irksome to the king's companions they accused him of treachery, and the king in his drunken hours declared that he would behead Mirza Khan or have him trod to death by elephants. Mirza Khan resolved to ensure his safety by deposing the king who was trying every means in his power to ruin him. On the 15th of March 1588 in order to assassinate Mirza Khan the king sent for him to partake of a banquet in the house of his favourite Bangash Khan. Mirza Khan excused himself, on the plea of sudden illness, and sent his friend Agha Mir to make his excuse. When Agha Mir had eaten some of the dinner he pretended to be seized with violent pains, and declaring that he was poisoned left the house. Mirza Khan sent a message to the king that Agha was dying and entreated to see him. The king went with a few attendants and was seized by the minister and made prisoner. Mirza Khan sent for the king's cousins Ibrahim and Ismail who were confined at Lohogad in Poona, and meanwhile kept the king's imprisonment a secret. When the princes came from Lohogad Mirza Khan summoned several of the leading nobles into the fort, and declared to them that the king was deposed, and that Ismail Nizam, the younger of the two brothers then only in his twelfth year was appointed his successor. While the assembly was saluting the new king, Jamal Khan, a military leader, with several other officers and soldiers, chiefly Abyssinians and Dakhanis, assembled at the gates of the fort demanding to see Miran Husain their lawful sovereign. Jamal Khan sent persons to proclaim through the city what had been done by Mirza Khan and to warn the people that if Mirza Khan were allowed to act thus uncontrolled, the native nobles and people of the country would soon be slaves to foreign adventurers. The Dakhani troops and the inhabitants flew to arms and in a short time about 5,000 horse and foot with a numerous mob joined Jamal Khan who was also supported by all the Abyssinians. Mirza Khan commanded the king's head to be cut off, and placing it on a pole, planted it on one of the bastions of the citadel. At Jamal Khan's instance the mob heaped piles of wood and straw against the gates of the fort and set them on fire. The gates were burnt and Mirza Khan and his friends rushed from the fort. Numbers were slain but Mirza Khan made good his escape. The troops and the mob put to death every foreigner they found in the fort and in the city. Mirza Khan was seized near Junnar and brought back to Ahmadnagar. He was first carried through the city on an ass and his body mangled. The massacre continued for seven days, and nearly a thousand foreigners were murdered, a few only escaping under the protection of Dakhani
and Abyssinian officers. Miran Husain's reign lasted ten months and three days.
Jamal Khan now acknowledged Ismail Nizam Shah as king. Being of the Mehdvi sect he persuaded the king to embrace the same tenets and to commit the power of government into the hands of his followers. He seized the property of the few foreigners who had escaped the massacre and forced them to quit Ahmadnagar. Most of these, including the historian Ferishta, obtained service with the king of Bijapur. Among the discontented nobles was the chief of Berar. who, being at some distance from the capital, released Salabat Khan who had long been confined in the fort of Kherla on the Berar frontier. Several discontented nobles joined his standard to oppose the Mehdvis, and, resolving to expel them from Ahmadnagar, Salabat Khan marched towards the capital, while Dilawar Khan, the Bijapur regent, also approached from the south. Jamal Khan first moved against Salabat Khan whom he totally defeated at the town of Paithan and forced to retreat to Burhanpur. He then marched against the Bijapur army. For fifteen days the two armies halted at Ashta in Sholapur, without making any hostile movement. At length a peace was concluded. Chand Bibi, the widow of the late Adil Shah of Bijapur and the aunt of the present Ahmadnagar king, was to be sent to the Bijapur camp and the Nizamshahi government were to pay £850,000 (270,000 huns) to defray the war expenses.
[This is called nalbaha or the price of horse-shoes. Since then the tax has been frequently levied by the Marathas.] In 1589, Salabat Khan, who was now in his seventieth year, was allowed to retire to Talegaon, twenty miles north-west of Poona, a town which he had founded. He died before the close of the year and was buried in a tomb which he had built during his ministry on a hill six miles east of Ahmadnagar.
Learning of the commotions at Ahmadnagar the emperor Akbar recalled Burhan Nizam from the estates which had been granted to him in the north of India, allowed him to start for the Deccan, and allotted the frontier district of Handia for his support till he should regain his authority from his son. He also wrote to Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh to support him. Having received overtures from many of the nobility, Burhan Nizam marched against his son, but was defeated. On renewing his attempt he was joined by a vast number of the Nizamshahi troops as well as by an army from Bijapur. Jamal Khan, having ordered Sayyad Amjad-ul-Mulk of Berar to oppose Raja Ali and Burhan Nizam on the northern frontier, himself marched with his troops, among whom were 10,000 Mehdvis, against the Bijapur army. At Darasan where the two armies met, the Bijapur troops were defeated with the loss of 300 elephants. Soon after, learning that the Berar troops had gone over to Burhan Nizam, Jamal Khan marched his victorious army
towards Berar, while the Bijapur king despatched the whole of his Maratha cavalry to follow Jamal Khan and cut off his supplies. Deserted by his other troops, Jamal Khan relied on the Mehdvis whose existence was identified with his welfare. An action near the frontier, though his troops suffered from want of water, was nearly ending in his favour when Jamal Khan was killed by a chance shot. His death was the signal of the king's defeat. His army fled, accompanied by Ismail Nizam Shah, who was taken in a village and confined by his father after a reign of two years.
Burhan Nizam Shah II, who was advanced in years, on ascending the throne gave himself to pleasure. His first act was to annul the orders in favour of the Mehdvi doctrines, and, by threatening with death those who persisted in the heresy, drove the sect out of his dominions. The Shia religion was restored, and many of the foreigners who had been driven out in consequence of Mirza Khan's rebellion, returned. The Bijapur regent Dilawar Khan, who had been compelled to fly from Bijapur to Bidar, came to the Ahmadnagar court and was honourably received. Ibrahim Adil Shah remonstrated and Burhan sent an insulting letter which brought on war.
In 1592, at Dilawar's instigation Burhan marched towards the Bijapur frontier. On arriving at Mangalvedha, about thirteen miles south of Pandharpur, seeing that no army was sent to oppose him, he became suspicious of some stratagem to draw him into the heart of the enemy's territory, and would have retreated, had not Dilawar Khan prevailed on him to continue his advance as far as the Bhima. Here he halted, and, finding a ruined fortress, ordered it to be repaired. For some time the Bijapur king acted as if he was ignorant that an enemy was in his country. At length finding matters ripe for the execution of his design, he sent a messenger to Dilawar Khan, requesting him to return and again take the charge of his affairs. Dilawar, over-joyed at obtaining once more absolute power over the king, obtained his dismissal from Burhan Nizam Shah who in vain represented to him that he was hastening to his destruction. On reaching Bijapur Dilawar Khan was blinded and sent as a prisoner to the fortress of Satara. Then Ibrahim sent 10,000 horse under Rumi Khan Dakhani and 3,000 of the house-hold troops under Elias Khan. As the Bijapur Maratha cavalry defeated several of his detachments, Burhan Nizam Shah went against them in person and drove them across the Bhima, which shortly after became so flooded that the Ahmadnagar troops could not cross in pursuit. Famine and pestilence caused such loss in Burhan's camp that he was forced to retire some marches towards Ahmadnagar, where, as he received supplies of provisions and as the pest had somewhat abated, he moved again towards Sholapur, but was defeated with the loss of 100 elephants and
400 horses. His troops wearied by the long and fatiguing campaign deserted him, and as he found out a conspiracy among his officers to place his son on the throne, he began his retreat towards Ahmadnagar. Being harassed on his march he was obliged to sue for peace. Ibrahim Adil Shah for nearly a month refused to listen to any proposals. But at last he agreed to peace on condition that Burhan would destroy the fort which he had built in Bijapur territory. Burhan agreed and retired to Ahmadnagar mortified with the result of his campaign. In the same year Burhan marched against Revdanda, and, despatching a large force to Cheul, built the Korla fort to command the harbour. The Portuguese in Revdanda obtained reinforcements from many ports, and made two night-attacks on the Muhammedans, killing on each occasion between three and four thousand Dakhanis. [The Portuguese historian states that 300 men came from Bassein and 200 from Salsette, making in all, with the garrison, 1,500 Europeans and as many native soldiers who attacked the Muhammedans and slew 10,000 men. Farhad Khan, the governor, and his family were taken prisoners. He and his daughters became Christians and went to Portugal. Seventy-five guns were captured on this occasion. Faris-e-Souza, III, Part I, Chapter Six.] Burhan sent a reinforcement of 4,000 men under Farhad Khan to Korla. And as other Portuguese troops were expected from Daman and Bassein, he appointed Bahadur Gilani, at the head of all the foreign troops, governor of Korla, to blockade Revdanda. The Muhammedans being now on their guard, the Portuguese lost in an attack on Revdanda 100 Europeans and 200 native Portuguese. After this Revdanda was so closely besieged that no aid could reach it by sea. The Portuguese were on the point of capitulating, when the tyranny of the king at Ahmadnagar induced many of the officers to quit the camp and proceed to court. At this time a fleet of sixty vessels full of men and stores, passing close to Korla, under cover of the night, anchored in the harbour of Revdanda where they landed 4,000 men, and on the following morning proceeded to attack Korla. Many of the Muhammedans fled in confusion to the fort, where being pursued they were massacred by the enemy. Upwards of 12,000 Muhammedans fell and the fort was reduced to ashes. The destruction of the Dakhanis enabled Burhan Nizam Shah to raise foreigners to the chief stations in the kingdom. In 1594, to assist Ismail in deposing his brother Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur, Burhan marched from Ahmadnagar to Belgaum. But at Paranda, hearing that Ismail had been taken and put to death, he returned to his capital where he shortly after fell dangerously ill. Ibrahim Adil Shah to punish Burhan for supporting Ismail, ordered his army to lay waste the Ahmadnagar frontier. On this Burhan entered into an alliance with Venkatadri of Penkonda who agreed to invade Bijapur on the south, while from the north Burhan sent an army to reduce Sholapur. This expedition ended in disaster. Uzbek Bahadur, the
Ahmadnagar general, was killed and his force defeated under the walls of Sholapur. This news increased Burhan Shah's disorder. Passing over Ismail, who was known to be an enemy of the Shias and a strict Mehdvi, he appointed Ibrahim his successor. Inspite of this appointment a report spread that Ismail was to succeed his father, and all the foreigners fled to Bijapur. Yekhlas Khan Muvallid, a partisan of Ismail, raised a force and marched to Ahmadnagar. Burhan Shah, though sick nearly to death was carried in a palanquin at the head of his troops to Humayunpur, and there defeated the prince who fled to Paranda. The march greatly weakened the king who died on the day after his return to Ahmadnagar (15th March 1594), after a reign of four years and sixteen days.
By his father's advice Ibrahim Nizam Shah appointed Mian Manju Dakhani, his tutor, to be his prime minister. Yekhlas Khan was pardoned, but he no sooner arrived at Ahmadnagar than he began to collect Abyssinians and Muvallids, and in a short time there were two parties, one headed by the minister and the other by Yekhlas Khan. Affairs fell into confusion and civil war seemed inevitable. As both parties behaved insolently towards Mir Safvi, the Bijapur ambassador, who had come to condole and congratulate, Ibrahim Adil Shah declared war and marched to Shahdurg to help the Ahmadnagar king who had now entirely lost his authority. Yekhlas Khan was for war while Mian Manju proposed to conclude a peace with Bijapur that the whole forces of the Deccan might join to meet Akbar's intended invasion. Yekhlas Khan, not to be turned from his purpose of attacking Bijapur gained the king's consent and sent an army to the frontier. Ibrahim Adil Shah had yet made no attack on Ahmadnagar and Mian Manju again proposed to make overtures of peace. But the king would not hear of retreating, passed the frontier, and levied contributions on the Bijapur villages. Hamid Khan, the Bijapur general, opposed him, but, at Mian Manju's intercession, who represented the king's conduct as the result of his vicious habits and the evil practices of designing and wicked men, he avoided the Nizam-shahis and encamped at a distance of two miles. The king who was given to drinking, persisted in an attack on the Bijapur army, and was shot in the head in the action which followed. His troops fled to Ahmadnagar with his body. His reign lasted only four months.
On reaching the capital Mian Manju took possession of the treasury and the fortress and sent for Yekhlas Khan and other officers into the fort to consider the best means for conducting the government. Most of the Abyssinians proposed that the king's only son Bahadur, an infant in arms, should be proclaimed under the regency of Chand Bibi, his father's aunt. As Mian Manju was opposed to this and instead under his advice it was agreed to bring
Ahmad, the son of a certain Shah Tahir who had claimed to be the nephew of Husain Nizam Shah, a boy twelve years of age who was imprisoned at Daulatabad, Ahmad was crowned on the 6th of August 1594 and the prayers were read in the name of the twelve Imams. The chiefs divided the kingdom among themselves, and removing Bahadur, the late king Ibrahim's son from the charge of his aunt, sent him by force to the fortress of Chavand. Shortly after, as it was discovered that Ahmad Shah was not of the royal family, Yekhlas Khan, with the Muvallids and Abyssinians, deserted his cause. Mian Manju with the Dakhanis encamped in a large body on the plain of the Kala Chabutra near the fort. He despatched his son Mian Hasan with 700 horse to disperse the mob under Yekhlas Khan and himself accompanied by Ahmad went upon a raised ground from whence they could see the result. The two parties engaged and the struggle was long doubtful till a shot from the insurgents struck the king's canopy and caused great confusion in the fort. A report was spread that the king was dead, and Mian Hasan took to flight and threw himself into the fort. Yekhlas Khan's party advanced and laid siege to the place both by a close blockade and regular approaches. Nehang Khan the Abyssinian and Habash Khan Muvallid, who had been in close confinement at Daulatabad ever since the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah II, were at once released by Yekhlas Khan's order, but the governor of Chavand refused to comply with his order for the delivery of Bahadur into his hands without the express command of Mian Manju. Yekhlas Khan in the meantime, procuring a child of the same age, proclaimed him as the descendant and lawful heir of the late Ibrahim Nizam Shah and by this means collected between ten and twelve thousand cavalry. Mian Manju, in a fit of desperation, wrote a letter to Prince Murad Mirza, Akbar's son, who was then in Gujarat, to march to his assistance, promising to give him the Ahmadnagar revenues. Murad, who had been sent to Gujarat with the object of taking advantage of the first opportunity to invade the Deccan, promptly accepted this invitation. Before the letter reached Murad, the Abyssinian chiefs fell out about the distribution of places, and a mutiny took place in Yekhlas Khan's camp. A large body of the Dakhanis deserted him and joined Mian Manju in the fort, who, on the following day (18th September 1595), marched to the neighbourhood of the Idgah where he attacked and completely routed the Abyssinians. Among the prisoners was the boy whom Yekhlas Khan had created king. About a month after (14th December) prince Murad, at the head of 30,000 Moghal and Rajput horse, accompanied by Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh and Khan Khanan, one of Akbar's generals appeared to the north of Ahmadnagar. On reaching the Idgah a few shots passed between his line and the fort, and the
Moghal army encamped in the Hasht-i-Behisht gardens about four miles to the north-west of the fort. Mian Manju, who was in a fair way of settling matters according to his own wishes, repenting of his overtures to Murad, prepared to resist any attempt on the capital. Having supplied it with provisions for a long siege and leaving Ansar Khan, one of his adherents, to defend the place and Chand Bibi as regent of the kingdom, he with the young king Ahmad Shah, took the route to Ausa to implore the assistance of the Bijapur and Golkonda sovereigns. Chand Bibi directed all the operations of the siege, and in a few days procured the assassination of Ansar Khan and proclaimed Bahadur Shah, king of Ahmadnagar. Aided by Muhammad Khan, she took the whole management of affairs into her hands, and induced Shamsher Khan Habshi and Afzul Khan Borishi with many of their adherents to join her in the fort. Besides the government in the fort, the Nizam Shahis were divided into three other parties; Mian Manju and his nominee Ahmad Shah who were encamped on the Bijapur borders praying for aid to Ibrahim Adil Shah; Yekhlas Khan near Daulatabad, who had declared another child called Moti to be the rightful heir to the crown; and Nehang Khan the Abyssinian who went to the Bijapur territories induced Shah Ali, the son of Burhan Nizam Shah I, then upwards of seventy years of age, to leave his retirement and assume the royal canopy Prince Murad immediately sent off a strong guard to protect the inhabitants of Burhanabad, which had been founded by Burhan Nizam Shah II, in the neighbourhood of Ahmadnagar with directions to treat them with lenity. The troops were also ordered to proclaim protection to all natives, so that they relied entirely on the good disposition of the Moghals towards them. On the second day the prince in person went out, and with the advice of his engineers marked out the ground for the trenches against the fort and allotted to each division of the army its separate post round the garrison. On the 27th Shahbaz Khan, one of the Moghal generals, who was notorious for tyranny and cruelty, under pretence of hunting sallied forth towards Burhanabad, and, inspite of the prince's orders, encouraged his men to plunder, himself setting the example. In the course of an hour the towns of Ahmadnagar and Burhanabad were completely sacked. As soon as the prince heard of these disorders he hanged in front of the lines several men taken with plunder. But the people no longer trusted his promises and during the night both towns were deserted. Yekhlas Khan, with a force of 12,000 men, was on his march to the capital, when Daulat Khan Lodi with a body of 6,000 Moghal cavalry attacked and totally defeated him on the banks of the Godavari; and thence following up his success, arrived at the flourishing town
of Paithan, and sacked it scarcely leaving the people enough to cover themselves.
Though she had proclaimed Bahadur Nizam Shah, yet as he was still in confinement at Chavand, and as Manju with the present king was also in force on the Bijapur frontier, Chand Bibi thought it advisable to make overtures to Nehang Khan and Shah Ali to join her in the fort. Nehang Khan put his force of 7,000 men in motion and arrived within twelve miles of Ahmadnagar. He was told that the east face of the fort was not invested and that it was the only road by which he could make his entry. He marched during the night, but when he came within about three miles of the place he found part of the Moghal camp on the direct road pointed out for his entry. This division consisted of a picket of 3,000 men under Khan Khanan who had been sent there only the morning before as the prince had noticed that this part of the fort was not invested. Nehang Khan resolved to force his way, and coming on the party unexpectedly cut off a number of the Moghals. The post was reinforced but with a few followers he dashed on into the fort. Shah Ali was less successful and in attempting to retreat, 700 of his men were cut off by the Moghals under Daulat Khan Lodi. The Bijapur king, hearing of this defeat, despatched Sohail Khan with 25,000 horse at Shahdurg on his frontier to await orders. Sohail Khan was here joined by Mian Manju and Ahmad Shah as well as by Yekhlas Khan, who for the present had laid aside every private consideration, in the hope of saving the government by forming a union. This army was soon after joined by Mehdi Kuli Sultan Turkoman with 6,000 Golkonda horse sent express from Hyderabad. Prince Murad, hearing of the assemblage of this force at Shahdurg, called a council of war and resolved that the fort should be attacked before the allies could relieve it. In a few days five mines were carried under the bastions on one face of the fort. All were charged with powder and built with mortar and stones, excepting where the train was to be laid, and it was resolved to fire them on the following morning (20th February 1596). During the night, Khwaja Muhammad Khan Shirazi, admiring the resolution of the besieged and unwilling that they should be sacrificed, made his way to the walls and informed them of their danger. At the instance of Chand Bibi, who herself set the example, the garrison immediately began to counter-mine. By day-light they had destroyed two of the mines and were searching for the others when the prince, without communicating with Khan Khanan, ordered out the line and resolved to storm without him. The besieged were in the act of removing the powder from the third and largest mine when the prince ordered them to be sprung. Many of the counter-miners were killed and several yards of the wall fell. When the breach was made several of the
leading officers of the garrison prepared for flight. But Chand Bibi, clad in armour and with a veil thrown over her face and a drawn sword in her hand, dashed forward to defend the breach. The fugitives to a man returned and joined her, and, as the storming party held back for the springing of the other mines, the besieged had time to throw rockets, powder, and other combustibles into the ditch, and to bring guns to bear on the breach. The Moghals at length advanced to storm. The defence of the foot of the breach was obstinate and the assailants suffered severely from the fire of the besieged. The ditch was nearly filled with dead bodies. From four in the evening till night-fall party after party forced their way into the breach but all were repulsed. Both camps were filled with admiration of the heroic leader of the defence whose title by common consent was raised from Lady Chand to Queen Chand. After midnight when the attack slackened, the queen in person superintended the repairs of the breach, and by dawn the wall was built seven or eight feet high. Next day she despatched letters to the allied armies at Bid to hasten their approach, representing the distress of the garrison for supplies. These despatches fell into the enemy's hand who forwarded them to their destination with a letter from prince Murad inviting them to hasten as he was anxious to meet them, the sooner the better. The allies marched by the Manikdaund hills to Ahmadnagar. The Moghal camp which was much distressed for provisions became still more straitened by the approach of the allies. The prince thought it advisable to make overtures to the fort, and agreed to quit the country on condition of receiving a grant for the cession of Berar, the sovereignty of which he required Ahmadnagar formally to renounce. Chand Sultana at first refused these terms, but reflecting that if the allies were defeated she might not obtain even these conditions she signed the treaty in the name of Bahadur Shah. The Moghals retreated by the route of Daula-tabad. Three days after the raising of the siege the allies arrived. Mian Manju expected allegiance to be paid to Ahmad Shah. To this the nobles in the fort would not agree; Nehang Khan shut the gate of the fort against him and sent a force to bring Bahadur Shah from his confinement in Chavand. Chand Sultana now asked the aid of her nephew, the Bijapur king, to quell the internal commotions of the Ahmadnagar kingdom. Ibrahim Adil Shah sent Mustafa Khan with a body of 4,000 men to her aid, and wrote to Mian Manju requiring him to desist from pressing the claims of Ahmad Shah and to repair to Bijapur.
On his arrival at Bijapur, Ibrahim Adil Shah having clearly ascertained that Ahmad Shah was not a lineal descendant of the Nizam-shahi family, gave him a handsome estate for life and enrolled Mian Manju among the nobles of his own kingdom. On his arrival at
Ahmadnagar Bahadur Shah was proclaimed king, and Muhammad Khan, Chand Sultana's friend and adviser, was appointed Peshwa or minister. Shortly after establishing his authority Muhammad Khan promoted his own adherents and relatives to the chief offices of the State. Thinking that those who had distinguished themselves in the war would not tamely submit to be passed over, Muhammad seized and confined Nehang Khan and Shamsher Khan, the two Abyssinian generals, and the rest of the chiefs fearing a similar fate, fled the kingdom. Muhammad Khan's influence at the capital was unrestrained, and Queen Chand foresaw her approaching loss of power. She wrote to her nephew, Ibrahim Adil Shah, begging his interference, and asking that a considerable force might be sent to re-organise the government, now usurped by Muhammad Khan. Sohail Khan was again despatched for this purpose with an army to Ahmadnagar with instructions to regulate his conduct according to the wishes of Queen Chand. In the beginning of 1596, Sohail Khan arrived and, as Muhammad Khan opposed his entry, he invested the fort and blockaded it for four months. Muhammad Khan, finding a strong party against him, wrote to Khan Khanan, the Moghal commander-in-chief in Berar, promising if he came to his help that he would hold the country as a vassal of the Delhi emperor. Hearing of this treachery the garrison seized Muhammad Khan and delivered him to the queen. This change at once restored her authority. She released Nehang Khan, the Abyssinian and appointed him minister. On his way to Bijapur Sohail Khan sent word to Bijapur that the Moghals had laid hands on the town of Pathri which had not been included in the Berar cessions. In reply he was ordered to march against the invaders. Muhammad Kuli Sultan, with force from Golkonda, was directed to co-operate with Sohail Khan, who was also joined by 20,000 Nizamshahi troops from Ahmadnagar. He marched towards Berar with an army of nearly 60,000 horse and camped at the town of Sonpat. Khan Khanan, the Moghal general, joined by Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh, Raja Jagannath and several other officers of distinction, halted on the banks of the Godavari, and, taking a position close to the enemy, intrenched his camp. For fourteen days beyond partial skirmishes no action took place. In a general action on the 26th of January 1597, though Raja Ali and Jagannath were both killed, Sohail Khan was compelled to retreat to Shahdurg, and the Nizam Shahis retired to Ahmadnagar. Nehang Khan, the minister, gaining unlimited power, devised a scheme for seizing Queen Chand and taking on himself the management of the orphan king and the government. Learning his intentions, the queen shut the gates against him, and, securing the person of the king, refused Nehang Khan admittance, saying that he might transact business in the town but not in the fort. Nehang Khan submitted
quietly for some days. He then openly attacked the fort and several skirmishes took place. Ibrahim Adil Shah made overtures to effect a reconciliation, but both parties rejected his offers, as nothing less than complete submission of their rivals would satisfy either. Nehang Khan, taking advantage of Khan Khanan's absence and of the rainy season, sent a detachment, and re-took the town of Bid from the Moghals. The governor of Bid marched out twelve miles to meet the Ahmadnagar force, but being wounded and defeated, he with great difficulty reached Bid, which was soon invested. Akbar despatched prince Daniyal Mirza and Khan Khanan (1599) to the governor's relief, when Nehang Khan immediately raised the siege and marched with 15,000 horse and foot to seize the Jaipur Kotli pass and there meet the Moghals. The prince, learning of this movement, marched round by the village of Manuri and avoided the pass. Nehang Khan, finding himself out-manoeuvred and unable to withstand the Moghal force, set fire to his heavy baggage and retreated to Ahmadnagar. He wished to compromise matters with the queen but she refused to listen to him and he fled to Junnar. The Moghal forces reached the fort without opposition and having laid siege to it began mining. The unfortunate Queen Chand, placing no trust on those around her, applied for advice to Hamid Khan, an eunuch, and an officer of rank in the fort. Hamid Khan recommended that they should fight and defend the place against the Moghals. The queen declared that after what she had seen of the conduct of officers she could place no trust in them. She thought it advisable to agree to give up the fort, if the safety of the garrison and of their property were secured and then to retire to Junnar with the young king. Hearing this Hamid Khan ran into the streets, declaring that Chand Sultana was in treaty with the Moghals for the delivery of the fort. The short-sighted and un-grateful Dakhanis, headed by Hamid Khan, rushed into her private rooms and put her to death. In the course of a few days the mines were sprung and several breaches made. The Moghals stormed and carried the place, giving little or no quarter. Bahadur Shah and all the children of the royal family were taken prisoners, and the unfortunate king, with the regalia and jewels, was sent to the emperor Akbar at Burhanpur and afterwards confined in the fort of Gwalior. His reign lasted for three years. As the great fort of Asirgad fell at the same time, Akbar made over Khandesh and the Ahmadnagar Deccan to prince Daniyal.
The Ahmadnagar dominions extended over the greater part of Berar and the whole of what was afterwards included in the Subha of Aurangabad, Galna, and some other districts in Nasik and Khandesh and the district of Kalyan in the Konkan from Bankot to Bassein. Under the Ahmadnagar kings, though perhaps less regularly than afterwards under the Moghals, the country was divided into districts
or sarkars. The district was distributed among sub-divisions which were generally known by Persian names, pargana, karyat, sanmat, mahal, and taluka, and sometimes by the Hindu names of prant and desh. The hilly west, which was generally managed by Hindu officers, continued to be arranged by valleys with their Hindu names of khora, sura, and maval. The collection of the revenue was generally entrusted to farmers, the farms sometimes including only one village. Where the revenue was not farmed, its collection was generally entrusted to Hindu officers. Over the revenue farmers was a government agent or amil. who, besides collecting the revenue, managed the police and settled civil suits. Civil suits relating to land were generally referred to juries or panchayats. Though the chief power in the country was Muhammedan, large numbers of Hindus were employed in the service of the State. The garrisons of hill-forts seem generally to have been Hindus, Marathas, Kolis, and Dhangars, a few places of special strength being reserved for Musalman commandants or killedars. Besides the hill-forts some parts of the open country were left under loyal Maratha and Brahman officers with the title of estate-holder or jagirdar, and of district head or deshmukh. Estates were generally granted on military tenure, the value of the grant being in proportion to the number of troops which the grant-holder maintained. Family feuds or personal hate, and, in the case of those whose lands lay near the borders of two kingdoms, an intelligent regard for the chances of war, often divided Maratha families and led members of one family to take service under rival Musalman States. Hindus of distinguished service were rewarded with the Hindu titles of raja, naik, and rav. Numbers of Hindus were employed in the Ahmadnagar armies. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 36, 38.]
Maratha Chiefs: The Maratha chiefs under Ahmadnagar were Jadhavrav, Raja Bhosle and many others of less note. Jadhavrav, Deshmukh of Sindkhed, is supposed, with much probability, to have been a descendant of the Rajas of Devgad. Lakhuji Jadhavrav in the end of the sixteenth century held an estate or jagir under the Nizam-shahi government for the support of 10,000 horse. The respectable family of the Bhosles, which produced the great Shivaji, first rose to notice under the Ahmadnagar government. They are said to have held several patilships, but their principal residence was at the village of Verul or Elura near Daulatabad. Bhosaji who is said to have been the first of the family to settle in the Deccan, and from whom the name Bhosle is sometimes derived, claimed descent from a younger or from an illegitimate son of the royal family of Udepur in Rajputana. Maloji Bhosle married Dipabai, the sister of Jagpalrav Naik-Nimbalkar, the deshmukh of Phaltan. At the age of twenty-five, in the year 1577,
by the interest of Lakhuji Jadhavrav he was entertained in the service of Murtaza Nizam Shah with a small party of horse of which he was the proprietor. Maloji was an active shiledar or cavalier, and acquitted himself so well in various duties entrusted to him that he began to rise to distinction. He had by some means made an addition to his small body of horse and was always much noticed by his first patron Jadhavrav. The story told of his rise to power in the Ahmadnagar court is, that in 1599 at the time of the Holi festival in March-April, Maloji took his son Shahaji, a remarkably fine boy of five, to pay his respects to Lakhuji Jadhavrav, Maloji's patron. Lakhuji Jadhavrav, pleased with the boy, seated Shahaji near Jiji his daughter, a child of three or four. The children began to play, and Lakhuji jokingly said to the girl, ' How would you like him for a husband ! '. The guests laughed but Maloji rose and solemnly accepted Lakhuji's offer of marriage. Lakhuji and his wife were furious, but Maloji was unshaken.
He retired to his village, where, it is said, the goddess Bhavani
appeared to him and discovered a large treasure. At all events he and
his brother Vithoji became possessed of money in some secret manner.
Their agent or their receiver was a banker of Chambhargonde or
Shrigonde about thirty miles south of Ahmadnagar, named Shesho
Naik Punde, in whose hands the cash was placed. [It is remarkable, as it bespeaks a connection maintained, that Shivaji's treasurer in 1669 was the grand-son of Shesho Naik Punde. Grant Duff's Marathas, 106.] According to
Maratha legends, the discovery of this treasure was the means provided
by the goddess for carrying out her promise, that one of the clan
would become a king and found a family which would reign for
twenty-seven generations. Maloji spent his money in buying horses,
and in the popular works of digging ponds and wells and endowing
temples. He still clung to his favourite scheme of being connected
with the family of Jadhavrav. Jagpalrav Naik-Nimbalkar of Phaltan,
the brother of Dipabai, Maloji's wife, warmly interested himself to
promote the proposed marriage of his nephew. Wealth and power at
a falling court like that of Ahmadnagar could procure anything. As
Jadhavrav's chief objection was Maloji's want of rank, this difficulty
was removed by raising him to the command of 5,000 horse with the
title of Maloji Raja Bhosle. The forts of Shivneri and Chakan in Poona
with their dependent districts were likewise placed in his charge; and
the sub-divisions of Poona and Supa were made over to him as estates.
Jadhavrav had no longer any excuse for not performing what he was
urged to by his sovereign (1604). The marriage of Shahaji to Jijibai
was celebrated with great pomp, and was honoured by the presence of
the Sultan. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 40, 42.]
On the fall of Ahmadnagar (1600) the emperor Akbar conferred the
government of the country on Khwaja Beg Mirza Safawi, a relation of Shah Tahmasp of Persia and Mirza Muhammad Salih, who lived in the country, and, according to the Moghal
historian, conferred many kindnesses, obligations and comforts on the people. [Anfa'u-l-Akhbar in Elliot and Dowson, V. I, 247.] The officers of the Ahmadnagar kingdom refused to admit that the fall of the capital carried with it all hope of independence. They declared Murtaza, the son of Shah Ali, king and made Paranda about seventy-five miles south-east of Ahmadnagar, Junnar and Daulatabad in succession as temporary seats of safety for the new Sultan. Of these officers, Malik Ambar, an Abyssinian and Mian Raju Dakhani, inspite of the Moghal forces, for more than twenty years held almost the whole of the Nizamshahi dominions. Malik Ambar's rule extended from the Kutbshahi and Adilshahi borders within two miles of Bid and eight of Ahmadnagar, and from sixteen miles west of Daulatabad to within the same distance of the port of Cheul. Mian Raju held Daulatabad and the country north and south from the Gujarat frontier to within twelve miles of Ahmadnagar. Both officers professed allegiance to Murtaza Nizam Shah II whom they kept in the fort of Ausa about 130 miles south-east of Ahmadnagar and gave the revenues of a few surrounding villages for his subsistence. Malik Ambar and Mian Raju were bitter rivals and their rivalry often broke into open hostility. Khan Khanan, the Moghal governor of Deccan, learning of their rivalry, sent a party from Berar to take a small district belonging to Malik Ambar on the Telangana boundary. Malik Ambar started to relieve his district with a detachment of six to seven thousand horse and succeeded in defeating the Moghals and recovering the land. Mirza Airich, the son of Khan Khanan, was at once sent to attack him with a picked force of 5,000 horse. In a severe battle at Nander about 200 miles east of Ahmadnagar many were slain on both sides and in the end the Dakhanis were beaten and Malik Ambar who lay wounded on the field was saved from falling into the enemy's hands only by the devoted gallantry of his attendants.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III, 315.] Malik Ambar recovered from his wounds, and gathered fresh troops. Khan Khanan, fearing his popularity and enterprise, made overtures for peace. Malik Ambar, who suspected the late attack was due to Mian Raju's enmity, gladly accepted the offer, and a treaty was concluded under which Malik Ambar was confirmed in the possession of his territory. Ever after this Khan Khanan and Malik Ambar continued on the most friendly terms.
Not long after this, Venkatrav Koli, Farhad Khan Movallid, Malik Sandal, and other officers deserted Malik Ambar and joined Murtaza Nizam Shah II at Ausa. Malik Ambar marched against the malcontents and defeated them under the walls of the fort. Venkatrav was
taken prisoner, but the other chiefs fled with the king into the fort and came to terms. As Malik Ambar was anxious to gain Paranda he took the king with him to that fortress. The governor refused to surrender to Malik Ambar, who, he said, belonged to the Moghal party. Malik protested that he was a true and loyal servant of the Nizamshahi family and was ready to support his king till his last breath. Still the commandant refused to admit him into the fort, the garrison were strengthened by Farhad Khan and Malik Sandal, and to prevent the king from joining the Paranda governor, Malik Ambar was forced to keep him a state prisoner. After a month's siege the people of the town rose and slew the governor's son who had been guilty of some cruelty and forced the father, Farhad Khan, and Malik Sandal to fly to Bijapur. The garrison still held out, but Malik Ambar, freeing Murtaza from restraint, was allowed to introduce the king into the fort while he himself remained encamped outside. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 316.] In 1604 Prince Daniyal, the Moghal governor of the Deccan, whose head-quarters were at Burhanpur on the eastern borders of Khandesh, came to Ahmadnagar to receive his bride, the Bijapur king's daughter. The prince expected that, as Malik Ambar had done, Mian Raju would meet him and acknowledge his authority in the Deccan. Mian Raju was asked to the Moghal camp, but, instead of attending, so harassed Daniyal's army with 8,000 light cavalry, that Khan Khanan had to march against him with 5,000 cavalry from Jalna. After the marriage which was celebrated at Paithan, the prince returned to Burhanpur and Khan Khanan to Jalna. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 317.]
The French traveller Francois Pyrard, who was in India between 1601 and 1608 writes: The reigning prince of Cheul is called Melique that is Malik and is a vassal of the great Moghal. The Malik, he adds, has a large number of elephants. When he dines he sends for many handsome women who sing and dance during the meal. Then some of them cut a piece of cloth called taffety
into bits so minute that they have no other use than that of being carried away
by the spectators, who stick them to their breasts, as if they were so many
medals. When the spectacle is over, the king remains alone in his palace, his
mind absorbed in the contemplation of the vanity and uncertainty of life until
he goes to sleep. [Da Cunha's Chaul, 63.]
Meanwhile as Murtaza complained to Mian Raju of the treatment he received from Malik Ambar, Mian Raju marched to Paranda without opposition, conferred with the king, and promised to reduce Malik Ambar. When Malik Ambar heard of Mian Raju's approach, he marched to meet him. For about a month the two forces were
camped near Paranda. Several skirmishes ended so favourably for Mian Raju that Malik Ambar asked Khan Khanan for help. Mirza Husain Ali Beg, the Moghal governor of Bid, was at once sent to Malik's aid, with 3,000 cavalry. Mian Raju was defeated, and fled to Daulatabad. After this the death of Prince Daniyal and the absence of Khan Khanan from Jalna gave Malik Ambar an opportunity of spreading his power. Gathering an army he marched to Daulatabad, and defeated Mian Raju, who applied to Khan Khanan for aid. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 318.] Khan Khanan came and for six months prevented the rival chiefs from attacking each other; in the end Malik Ambar, perceiving that Khan Khanan was rather well disposed to Mian Raju, deemed it politic to yield to his wishes and make peace. On his return to Paranda, finding Murtaza constantly intriguing and raising factions against him, Malik thought of deposing him and choosing a less independent successor. Before taking action Malik consulted Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur, and as he was strongly opposed to the scheme, Malik Ambar gave it up. In 1607 Malik made Murtaza's position easier and more dignified, and mutual confidence was established. In the same year at the head of 10,000 cavalry they marched together against Junnar and made it the seat of Murtaza's government. From Junnar Malik despatched an army to Daulatabad. Mian Raju was defeated and taken prisoner and his territory became part of Murtaza's dominions. In the following years Malik Ambar's power increased. He founded a new capital at Khadki, whose name Aurangzeb afterwards (1658-1707) changed [Grant Duff's Marathas, 483.] to Aurangabad, and, profiting by dissensions between Khan Khanan and the other generals, repeatedly defeated the Moghal troops, and invested the town of Ahmadnagar. Every effort was made to defend the place and Khan Khanan and the other Moghal nobles who were with Prince Parvez at Burhanpur marched to relieve it. Through the jealousies and dissensions of the leaders, and from want of supplies, the army was conducted by roads through mountains and difficult passes, and shortly became so disorganized and so badly supplied with food that it was forced to retreat. [Elphinstone's History of India, 480.] Inspite of the efforts of the commandant Khwaja Beg the Ahmadnagar garrison was so disheartened by the retreat of the relieving force that Khwaja Beg capitulated and retired to Burhanpur. As Khwaja Beg had acted with skill and bravery, he was promoted to the command of 5,000. At the same time he was removed and Khan Jahan Lodi was sent in his place. In 1612 to restore success to their arms in the Deccan, Jahangir organised a combined attack on Malik Ambar. At the same moment Abdulla Khan, the viceroy of Gujarat, was to advance from Gujarat and
Prince Parvez and Khan Jahan Lodi, reinforced by Raja Mansing, were to advance from Khandesh and Berar. Before the time agreed on, Abdulla Khan arrived from Gujarat and Malik Ambar hurried to attack him before the Khandesh and Berar armies could take the field. The neighbourhood of the European ports enabled Malik to have better artillery than the Moghals, and his artillery afforded a rallying point on which he could always collect his army. But under ordinary circumstances like the Marathas after him, Malik trusted more to his light cavalry than to his artillery. His light horsemen cut off the Moghal supplies and harassed their march, hovered round their army when they halted, alarmed them with false attacks, and often made incursions into the camp, carrying off booty and causing constant disorder and alarm. These tactics were applied with unusual vigour and success to prevent the advance of the Gujarat army. Abdulla Khan, the viceroy of Gujarat, who had advanced well into Khandesh was so worn by this warfare that he determined to retire. His rear-guard was cut to pieces, and his retreat had nearly become a flight before he found refuge in the hills and forests of Baglan, whence he passed in quiet to Gujarat. By this time the Khandesh and Berar armies had taken the field, but disheartened with the failure of the plan of the campaign they feared to risk a battle and centred their forces at Burhanpur. Inspite of the success with which he guarded the Deccan from the advance of Moghal power Malik Ambar had the greatest difficulty in keeping his confederates and even his own officers loyal to him. On 4th February 1616 chiefly owing to the rivalry of other Musalman officers, Malik Ambar was defeated in a great battle with the Moghals near the northern boundary of Ahmadnagar at Roshangaon in a bend of the river Dudhna about 10 miles west of Jalna. Though apparently no share of the shame for this defeat attached to the Marathas in Malik Ambar's service, for Shahaji Bhosle who had succeeded his father Maloji, Lakhuji Jadhavrav, and one of the Naiks of Phaltan all fought with distinguished bravery, the result of the battle so disheartened them, that several Marathas went over to the Moghals. The most important of the chiefs who deserted Malik Ambar was Lakhuji Jadhavrav, Deshmukh of Sindkhed, the chief Maratha estate-holder under the Nizamshahi government. The very high importance which the Moghals attached to the Maratha leaders is shown by the fact that Lakhuji Jadhavrav was given a command of 24,000 with 15,000 horse and that his relations were raised to high rank. Malik Ambar fled for life and saved himself by taking shelter in the fort of Daulatabad. Shah Nawaz, the Moghal general, razed to ground Malik Ambar's new capital of Khadki and carried away enormous plunder to Burhanpur.
However, as soon as the Moghal troops retired, Malik Ambar soon
renewed hostilities and recaptured all the territory that had been wrested from him. When the news of this fresh advance on the part of Malik Ambar reached Jahangir, he dispatched his third son Khurram with a large force against Malik Ambar. Khurram was joined at the ford of Narmada by Khan Khanan, Mahabat Khan, Khan Jahan and other renowned Moghal generals in the Deccan. Khurram at once started vigorous action. He sent his envoys to Bijapur demanding help and co-operation from Adil Shah. Considering it difficult to oppose this formidable advance of the Moghals Adil Shah and Malik Ambar sent costly present to the prince and agreed to deliver over Burhanpur, Aurangabad and Ahmadnagar. Malik Ambar personally delivered the keys of various forts and the territory of Balaghat-Berar. Thereupon Khurram consigned the protection of the newly-conquered territories to his two generals Khan Khanan and his son Shah Nawaz Khan and retired to Mandu where his father, the Emperor, was camping (12th October 1617). It was at this time that he received the title of Shah Jahan from the emperor. Khan Jahan Lodi, Udaram and possibly Lakhuji Jadhav and other officials from the Deccan also paid their respects to the Emperor.
However, with the departure of Shah Jahan, Malik Ambar started his former aggression by first enlisting the support of both Adil Shah and Qutb Shah. The confederacy made elaborate plans for driving the Moghal forces back beyond the Narmada. They harassed the Moghal governor Khan Khanan at Burhanpur so severely that he sent piteous appeals to the emperor for further provisions and help. Malik Ambar's advanced parties had even crossed Narmada and entered Malwa. Under the circumstances the emperor ordered Shah Jahan to go to the Deccan and put down Malik Ambar's rebellion. Shah Jahan was supplied with a powerful army and great treasures. Shah Jahan who conducted this and his other Deccan campaigns with great ability taking his brother prince Khushru with him started for the Deccan and reached Burhanpur on 4th April 1621. He at once pursued Malik Ambar with vigour and expedition and drove him back beyond Godavari. Malik Ambar as usual cut off supplies and detachments hung on the line of march, and attempted by long and rapid marches to surprise the camp. He found Shah Jahan always on his guard and at last was forced to risk the fate of the campaign in a general action, in which he was defeated with considerable loss. The imperial forces advanced to Paithan on their way to relieve Ahmadnagar which was besieged by a force of Malik Ambar's. Feeling further resistance hopeless Malik Ambar sent envoys to express repentance and ask forgiveness. He promised ever afterwards to remain loyal and to pay tribute, and in addition to furnish a war indemnity. A great scarcity of provisions in the imperial camp made Shah Jahan anxious to accept Malik Ambar's
submission. [Elphinstone's History of India, 562, 563.] Khanjar Khan, the commandant of Ahmadnagar, was strengthened by fresh troops and treasure, and it was agreed that about thirty miles of territory near Ahmadnagar should be ceded to the Moghals and Rs. 50 lakhs paid into the Imperial treasury.
In 1624 in the hope of gaining the management of the Deccan, Malik Ambar who was then at war with Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur, sent an envoy to Mahabat Khan, the Moghal commander-in-chief in the Deccan to express obedience and devotion. Ibrahim Adil Shah about the same time made similar offers and his offers were accepted. Malik Ambar, vexed and disappointed, sent his children with his wives and attendants to the fortress of Daulatabad [Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI, 411-412.] and marched with the king from Khadki to Kandhar on the borders of Golkonda to receive his fixed payments or zar-i-mukrari which were two years in arrear. After receiving the tribute and securing himself on that side by a treaty and oath Malik marched to Bidar, surprised and defeated Ibrahim Adil Shah's forces, and plundered Bidar. From Bidar he marched against Bijapur. As his best troops and officers were at Burhanpur, Ibrahim Adil Shah avoided a battle and took shelter in Bijapur. When they heard of Malik Ambar's success, Lashkar Khan and all the Deccan nobles, together with Muhammad Lari, the commander of the Moghal troops, marched from Burhanpur towards Bijapur. Malik Ambar wrote to the Imperial officers stating that
he was not less loyal to the Imperial throne than Ibrahim Adil Shah and asking that Nizam-ul-Mulk and Adil Shah might be allowed to settle their old standing differences without interference. To this remonstrance the Moghal officers paid no attention. As they continued to advance Malik Ambar was forced to raise the siege of Bijapur and retire into his own territories. Even here he was followed by the Moghal army, and, inspite of most humble offers, Muhammad Lari, the Moghal commander, persisted in hunting him down. At last, driven to desperation, and taking advantage of the carelessness which their belief in his powerlessness had brought on the Moghals, Malik suddenly fell on their camp at Bhatwadi ten miles from Ahmadnagar. The battle was fought in November 1624. At the first onslaught Muhammad Lari, the Moghal commander, was killed. His fall threw the Bijapur forces into confusion. Jadhavrav and Udaram fled without striking a blow, and the defeat ended in a rout. Ikhalas Khan and twenty-five of Adil Shah's leading officers were taken prisoners. Of these Farhad Khan who had sought Malik Ambar's death was executed and the others imprisoned. Lashkar Khan and other Imperial chiefs were also made prisoners. Khanjar Khan by great exertions escaped to Ahmadnagar and prepared the fortress for a siege, and Jan Sipar
Khan reached Bid and set the fort in order. Of the rest who escaped some fled to Ahmadnagar and some to Burhanpur. The success in the battle was mainly due to Malik Ambar's superior tactics of long and patient manoeuvring for contriving an inescapable trap in which the Moghal and Bijapuri forces were caught. [Graphic descriptions of this battle are given by Paramanand in his Shiva Bharat and by Persian writers. Paramanand gives about 20 names of Muslim generals and of more than a dozen Maratha captains. Most of the former are also mentioned by Fazuni Astarabadi.] In this battle Shahaji's genius shone brilliantly in support of Malik Ambar and gave Shahaji an importance and worth of which the latter soon became jealous. Shahaji soon quitted the service of the Nizam Shah and sought his fortune under the Adil Shah. Malik Ambar, successful beyond his hopes, sent his prisoners to Daulatabad and marched to lay siege to Ahmadnagar. As, inspite of every effort, he made no impression on Ahmadnagar, Malik left part of his army to maintain the investment and himself marched against Bijapur. Ibrahim Adil Shah took refuge in the fortress and Malik Ambar occupied his territories as far as the frontiers of the Imperial dominions in the Balaghat. He collected an excellent army and laid siege to and took Sholapur. So complete was his success that the Moghal officers received strict orders from Delhi to keep within the forts they held and attempt no operations until reinforcements arrived.
Malik Ambar died on 14th May 1626 in the eightieth year of his age. Great as was his success as a general, Malik Ambar is best known by his excellent land system. He stopped revenue-farming, and, under Musalman supervision, entrusted the collection of the revenues to Brahman agents. He renewed the broken village system, and, when several years of experiments had enabled him to ascertain the average yield of a field, took about two-fifths of the out-turn in kind, and afterwards (1614) commuted the grain payment to a cash payment representing about one-third of the yield. Unlike Todar Mal, Akbar's (1566-1605) famous minister, by whom the lands of north India were settled, Malik Ambar did not make his settlement permanent, but allowed the demand to vary in accordance with the harvest. This system was so successful that, inspite of his heavy war-charges, his finances prospered and his country throve and grew rich.
With the death of Malik Ambar the fortunes of Ahmadnagar began thereafter to decline rapidly. Its end was hastened by two other events of political importance, viz., the death of Jahangir on 29th October 1627 and the accession of Shah Jahan on 4th February 1628. Ibrahim Adil Shah who had patronised Shahaji also died on 12th September 1627. Another event which had a bearing upon the history of the
Deccan was the birth of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha independence, on 6th April 1627.
Malik Ambar left two sons Fatteh Khan and Changiz Khan, of whom Fatteh Khan the eldest succeeded him as regent of the Nizam-shahi kingdom. As, after Malik Ambar's death, Nizam-ul-Mulk in concert with Fatteh Khan continued the war against the Moghals, Khan Jahan placed Lashkar Khan in charge of Burhanpur and marched to Khadki. Nizam-ul-Mulk, who was in the fortress of Daulatabad, made Hamid Khan, an able Abyssinian slave, his commander-in-chief, and delivered over to him the management of his state. According to the Moghal historians Nizam-ul-Mulk was kept under control out-of-doors by the Abyssinian and in-doors by the Abyssinian's wife. When Khan Jahan drew near to Daulatabad, Hamid Khan took lakhs of huns and went to meet him. The Abyssinian's wiles and the love of money led Khan Jahan astray. He took the money and agreed to restore to Nizam-ul-Mulk all the Balaghat as far as Ahmadnagar. He wrote to the commandants of the different posts ordering them to give up the places to the officers of Nizam-ul-Mulk and to return to court. Sipahdar Khan, the commandant of Ahmadnagar, received one of these letters, but when Nizam-ul-Mulk's officers reached Ahmadnagar the Khan said: Take the country; it is yours; but without the Emperor's order I will not surrender the fort. The representatives of Nizam-ul-Mulk did their utmost to persuade him, but in vain. Sipahdar Khan never swerved, and busied himself in laying in provisions, and putting the fortress in a state of defence. The other officers weakly surrendered at the command of Khan Jahan and repaired to Burhanpur. [Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI, 433,434,437.] Khan Jahan thus became the immediate cause of a sudden turn in the politics of the Deccan. When Shah Jahan had rebelled, his position had become delicate due to conflicting orders he received as the governor of the Deccan from the two powerful factions in the Moghal court. He was commanded to hunt out Shah Jahan from the Deccan where he had proceeded to enlist the support of the Deccan sultanates. Khan Jahan therefore came to incur the bitterest displeasure of Shah Jahan. He tried to prepare for the evil day by appeasing the authorities of the Nizamshahi government. Naturally much of Shah Jahan's achievements in the conquest of the Deccan now came to be nullified by Khan Jahan.
Shah Jahan with the experience he had gained during his expeditions in the Deccan had a thorough grasp of the circumstances and situation prevailing in the Deccan. He well knew the policy of Malik Ambar and the power and influence of Shahaji Bhosle and was personally acquainted with the declining condition of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar. Naturally
the first subject that attracted his attention after the coronation was the subjugation of Deccan, particularly the Nizamshahi State. Shah Jahan rightly judged that the troubles of the Deccan were the creations of Khan Jahan Lodi's mischievous policy. He therefore commanded Khan Jahan to take back the territory of Balaghat which he had ceded to Nizam Shah and which Shah Jahan had himself conquered some years before from Malik Ambar. Khan Jahan, however, did not do his best to execute the orders of Shah Jahan with the result that he was recalled. During the visit Khan Jahan behaved insolently and fearing punishment fled and broke in open revolt. He sought protection with Murtaza Nizam Shah who gave him all the help he could afford and assigned him the district of Bid for expenses.
In 1629 Murtaza Nizam Shah II came of age. He was wanting in ability, vindictive, flighty, and unfit to meet the difficulties by which he was surrounded. His first care was to reduce the regent's power, a task which Fatteh Khan's violent and inconsistent conduct made easy. With the help of an officer named Takkerib Khan Murtaza seized Fatteh Khan and threw him into confinement. He called back Shahaji from Bijapur to his service and prepared for a stiff contest with the emperor. Shah Jahan immediately realised the danger and personally undertook the offensive with the dual purpose of putting down Khan Jahan Lodi and subjugating the kingdom of Ahmadnagar. He also threatened Adil Shah and obtained powerful contingents from that kingdom under Ranadullah Khan and Kanhoji Jedhe. By the time Shah Jahan reached the Ahmadnagar country the Moghal force was aided by a movement from Gujarat. Khan Jahan, after some unavailing attempts to make head against this great force, retired to the south, and by rapid movements eluded the Moghal detachments. Failing to persuade the Bijapur king to take up his cause, he was once more obliged to enter the Ahmadnagar dominions. Murtaza Nizam Shah had sufficient confidence to try a decisive battle. He assembled his army at Daulatabad and took post in strong ground among the neighbouring passes. But the strength of the Imperial troops was too great for him, and he was forced to seek safety in his forts and in desultory warfare. Khan Jahan, overwhelmed by the defeat of his allies, the destruction of their territory, and the additional calamities of famine and pestilence, retired from the country. The flight of Khan Jahan did not end the war with Nizam Shah. At this time the Deccan was wasted by famine. The rains of 1629 failed and the sufferings were raised to a terrible pitch by a second failure of rain in 1630. Vast numbers remained in their homes and died, and, of the thousands who left their homes, many perished before they passed beyond the limits of the famine-stricken country. Large tracts fell waste and some did not recover at the end of forty years. Besides
of grain, there was a total failure of forage and all the cattle died. To complete the miseries the famine was followed by a pestilence. [Elphinstone's History of India, 507. See also Badshah Nama in Elliot and Dowson, VII, 24, 25.] Under these circumstances Shah Jahan found his task most difficult to accomplish. He therefore tried under-hand intrigues in the councils of Murtaza Nizam Shah. Lakhuji Jadhavrao already had been weaned away and now, he, backed by the support of the emperor, harassed the Nizam Shah from his seat at Sindkhed. Nizam Shah now decided to encompass his destruction by treachery and inviting him to Daulatabad under the pretext of negotiating some important political move murdered Jadhavrao and most of his relations who had accompanied him. These wanton murders created a feeling of revulsion among the Maratha followers of Nizam Shah. Shahaji had already received tempting offers from the emperor to desert the Nizam Shah and go over to the Moghals. Under the pressure of circumstances, he thought it prudent to give up the rapidly-declining fortune of the Nizam Shah and went over to the Moghals. He was confirmed in his estates and was given a command of 5,000 horse, a dress of honour and Rs. 2,00,000 in cash. He remained in the Moghal service for about a year and a half from November 1630 to March 1632.
In the meanwhile Azam Khan, the most active of Shah Jahan's officers, continued to press Murtaza Nizam Shah, who, ascribing his disasters to the misconduct of his minister, removed him from his office, released Fatteh Khan from prison, and restored him to power. Foreseeing the ruin of the Nizamshahi government and the consequent danger to himself the Bijapur king brought a reasonable relief to the weaker party by declaring war against the Moghals. This aid came too late to save Murtaza Nizam Shah from his own imprudence. Fatteh Khan, more mindful of former injuries than of recent favours and ambitious of recovering his father's authority, turned all his power to Murtaza's destruction. Aided by Murtaza's weakness and unpopularity he was soon strong enough to put him and his chief adherents to death and to take the government into his own hands (1631). At the same time he sent an offer of submission and a large contribution to the Moghals, and set Husain Shah, an infant son of Murtaza Nizam Shah, on the throne openly professing that he held his dignity from the Emperor. His terms were at once accepted and Shah Jahan turned his whole force against Bijapur. Fatteh Khan evaded the fulfilment of his promises, was again attacked by the Moghals, and once more joined his cause with that of the Bijapur king. He was afterwards reconciled to the Moghals, and during the progress of the war made several more faithless and shifty changes.
In 1632, Shah Jahan returned to Agra, leaving Mahabat Khan in
command of the Deccan. After some time Mahabat Khan succeeded in shutting Fatteh Khan in Daulatabad where he defended himself with occasional aid from the king of Bijapur. The fate of the Nizam-shahi monarchy was at last decided by a general action in which the combined attempt of the Dakhanis to raise the siege was defeated. Fatteh Khan soon after surrendered the fort of Daulatabad on 7th June 1633 and entered the Moghal service, while the king whom he had set up was sent prisoner to Gwalior. Shah Jahan now recalled Mahabat Khan and the Deccan was divided into two commands under Khan-i-Dauran and Khan-i-Zaman. This change weakened the Moghals. The Nizamshahi monarchy, which, on the surrender of Fatteh Khan, seemed to have come to an end, was revived by Shahaji Bhosle, who, disgusted by the Moghals' treatment of him, had gone to Bijapur and had fought against them. Within only three months of the fall of Daulatabad, he selected Pemgiri or Bhimgad as the capital of the Nizamshahi State and placed there a young Nizamshahi prince as the lawful heir of Nizam Shah (September 1633). He now began to manage the country, seized the forts, occupied the districts in the name of the new king, and gathered troops from all quarters. Except a few forts he succeeded for a time in over-running the whole of the Ahmadnagar Konkan and the country as far east as Ahmadnagar from the Nira river on the south to the Chandor range on the north. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 50.] In this adventure Shahaji managed to enlist the sympathies of Adil Shah and his minister Murar Jagdev who personally came to his help with fresh and well-equipped armies. Shahaji's bold stand embarrassed Mahabat Khan who sent repeated requests to the emperor for fresh troops and funds. He also called upon Adil Shah to withdraw his help from Shahaji. In this he did not succeed and hence invited so severe a rebuke from Shah Jahan that he put an end to his life on 26th October 1634. Shah Jahan was however finally roused to this new danger. He marched rapidly to the Deccan in 1635 and reached Daulatabad after crossing the Narmada on 4th January 1636. He now decided to close in upon Shahaji from all directions simultaneously and assigned definite tasks to his various generals putting Aurangzeb with the general execution of the measures determined upon. The Sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda were forced into co-operation with the Moghals under a threat of complete extinction. Shahaji had collected under him 12,000 troops and he now started raiding Moghal territory moving between Junnar and Sangamner with the fort of Mahuli as the headquarters of the puppet Nizam Shah. Shaista Khan pursued Shahaji through Junnar and Sangamner. In the meanwhile the Bijapuris, finding resistance to the Moghals difficult, accepted the
Moghal terms and deserted Shahaji. Qutb Shah of Golkonda was also coerced into submission and it was now left to Shahaji to bear the whole brunt of the relentless war with the Moghals. In the treaty with Bijapur, Adil Shah agreed to pay to the Moghals 20 lakhs pagodas a year and in return received the south and south-east portions of the Nizamshahi dominions. This treaty sealed Shahaji's fate who was now cut off from the outer world and hemmed in at the fort of Mahuli. Adil Shah now discreetly stepped in to save Shahaji from utter ruin and informed the emperor of his willingness to take away from Shahaji the five forts which he still held. Shah Jahan agreed to this proposal from Adil Shah and left for Agra on 11th July 1636 entrusting the conduct of the remaining campaign to his general Khan Zaman, his son Aurangzeb and Adil Shah. Within three months of the departure of Shah Jahan, Shahaji came to his last grasp. At last he submitted, gave up his pretended king and with the consent of Shah Jahan entered the Bijapur service. The kingdom of Ahmadnagar was thus at an end.