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R. Nath, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[‛Ādil Shāhī]

Dynasty that ruled portions of southern India from 1489 to 1686. Its founder, Yusuf ‛Adil Shah (reg 1489–1509), had come to India from Persia and was appointed governor of Bijapur under the Bahmani family rulers. He declared his independence when that dynasty declined. Yusuf had a prolonged conflict with the Portuguese, who were able to secure Goa in 1510. The ‛Adil Shahis and their rival states in the Deccan formed a series of alliances and counter-alliances in the struggle for hegemony. For example, in 1543 a confederacy of Ahmadnagar, Golconda and Vijayanagara attacked the ‛Adil Shahi capital Bijapur, but Ibrahim ‛Adil Shah (reg 1534–57) maintained control. His successor ‛Ali ‛Adil Shah (reg 1557–79) joined an alliance that destroyed Vijayanagara in 1565. ‛Ali ‛Adil Shah was an enlightened prince who built a large number of public works, including the Jami‛ Mosque at Bijapur. The dynasty reached its zenith under ...

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R. Nath

[Bahmanī; Bahmanid]

Dynasty that ruled portions of southern India from 1347 to 1527. ‛Ala al-Din Hasan Bahman (reg 1347–58) threw off the administrative control that the Tughluq dynasty had exerted in the Deccan and established the Bahmani kingdom with its capital at Gulbarga. Hasan Bahman was followed by Muhammad I (reg 1358–75), who streamlined the administration and raised a number of buildings, notably the Jami‛ Masjid at Gulbarga. From 1375 to 1397 there was a succession of five rulers; the notable monuments of this time are the royal tombs at Gulbarga known as Haft Gumbaz. Taj al-Din Firuz (reg 1397–1422) brought stability to the Bahmani dynasty. Firuz was a noted patron of the arts and founded a city called Firuzabad on the Bhima River. His reign was marked by an influx of Persians, Arabs and Turks from West Asia and the emergence of an eclectic Deccani culture. The friction between the immigrants and native Deccanis (both colonists from Delhi and local converts to Islam) was a source of tension at court....

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R. Nath

[Barīd Shāhī]

Dynasty that ruled portions of southern India from 1527 to 1619. It was one of five successor states that emerged in the Deccan as the Bahmani family kingdom disintegrated. Qasim Barid, a Turkish slave who became a powerful noble under the Bahmani rulers, declared himself chief minister as the dynasty collapsed. His son Amir Barid (reg 1527–43) raised a succession of puppet rulers to the Bahmani throne. When Kalimullah (reg 1526–36), the last Bahmani, fled, Amir Barid threw off any pretext of allegiance and established the Barid Shahi dynasty, ruling from the Bahmani capital of Bidar. ‛Ali Barid (reg 1543–79), the first to assume the title Shah, was a patron of arts and letters. Architectural achievements of his reign include his own fine tomb and the apartments of the Rangin Mahal in Bidar fort, which he had renovated. The rival Nizam Shahi and ‛Adil Shahi family dynasties coveted the territory of Bidar and made several attempts to annex it in the 16th century. In ...

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Robert Hillenbrand

Islamic dynasty that ruled in Afghanistan, Transoxiana, eastern Iran and northern India from ad 977 to 1186. The founder was Sebüktigin (d 997), a Turkish slave employed by the Samanid dynasty, who eventually defied their authority and set up his own principality with its capital at Ghazna, now in Afghanistan. His son Mahmud (reg 998–1030) transformed this principality into a highly militarized empire. At first this expansion was achieved at the expense of the Samanid, Buyid and Qarakhanid dynasties, but Mahmud’s streamlined military machine also had a more ambitious target: 17 near-annual raids were launched between 1001 and 1024 against northern India, an ongoing holy war that made Mahmud’s name a byword for religious orthodoxy. It also brought vast booty and briefly made Ghazna a famous metropolis, with a fabulous mosque prinked out in gold, alabaster and marble, a university, madrasas, libraries, aqueducts and other public works. These campaigns also tilted Ghaznavid policies away from Iran, a weakness successfully exploited by the Saljuq dynasty at the battle of Dandanqan (...

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Ghurid  

R. Nath and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Ghuri; Ghorid]

Dynasty that ruled portions of Afghanistan and north-west India c. 1030–1206. It originated in the Ghur region of Afghanistan; its first fully historical figure is ‛Izz al-Din, who paid tribute to Saljuq and Ghaznavid rulers. Ghaznavid power declined after the death of Mahmud (reg 998–1030), and the Ghurids assumed independence. Under ‛Alaا al-Din Husayn (reg 1149–61) the Ghurids captured and sacked Ghazna and forced the last of the Ghaznavids to Lahore. ‛Alaا al-Din was succeeded by his son Sayf al-Din (reg 1161–3), on whose death the principality of Ghur passed to his cousin Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad (reg 1163–1203). In 1173 Ghiyath al-Din appointed his brother Shihab al-Din (better known as Mu‛izz al-Din Muhammad) to rule from Ghazna and turned his own attention to campaigns in the west. Together the brothers established an empire stretching nearly from the Caspian Sea to north India. Mu‛izz al-Din, known in Indian history as Muhammad ibn Sam or simply Muhammad of Ghur, drove the Ghaznavids from Lahore in ...

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Khalji  

R. Nath

[Khaljī]

Dynasty of Afghan Turks who ruled northern India from 1290 to 1320. Jalal al-Din Khalji seized the throne in 1290 from Shams al-Din Kaimuth, the last Mamluk ruler of Balban’s line. The third Khalji ruler, ‛Ala al-Din (reg 1296–1316), extended sultanate authority into the Deccan and captured important forts in Rajasthan. ‛Ala al-Din’s ambitious architectural projects in Delhi included a new walled city called Siri and enlargements to the Quwwat al-Islam Mosque. Only the gate known as the ‛Alaاi Darvaza is preserved intact; it is characterized by the use of spearhead or lotus-bud fringes on the arches and inscribed marble bands set against a red sandstone fabric. ‛Ala al-Din began, but was unable to complete, a huge minaret at the Quwwat al-Islam that would have been twice the size of the Qutb Minar; only the first storey is preserved. During the reign of ‛Ala al-Din his son Khidr Khan is said to have constructed the Jama‛at Khana Mosque near the tomb of Nizam al-Din Auliya. Its architectural style is closely related to the ‛Ala’i Darvaza. The last Khalji ruler was Qutb al-Din Mubarak Shah (...

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Lodi  

R. Nath

[Lodī]

Dynasty of Afghans that ruled portions of northern India from 1451 to 1526. It was founded by Buhlul Lodi, an ambitious Afghan governor who captured the throne of Delhi as the Sayyid house disintegrated. Buhlul (reg 1451–89) was preoccupied for most of his reign with subduing the Sharqi rulers of Jaunpur. His tomb, a modest square structure, is in Delhi. Buhlul’s successor Sikandar (reg 1489–1517) continued to reassert sultanate authority and to regain lost territory. Sikandar’s campaigns focused on Malwa and Gwalior, where he had a protracted conflict with the Tomar Rajputs. Sikandar constructed a number of buildings in Agra, where the suburb of Sikandra bears his name. His tomb in Delhi is contained in a walled garden with a mosque (see Delhi §III). It exemplifies the octagonal mausolea that appeared in the time of the Sayyids and, like much Lodi architecture, has features that anticipate developments under the Sur (...

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R. Nath and Robert Irwin

[Arab. mamlūk: ‘slave’]

Name applied to two distinct sequences of Islamic rulers in northern India and the Levant from the 13th century. Many but not all of the rulers were manumitted slaves of Turkish origin, hence the common names of the lines.

R. Nath

This quasi-dynastic line of Turks conquered and ruled northern India from 1206 to 1290. The line of sultans is known as the Mu‛izzi Mamluks of Delhi because Qutb al-Din Aybak (reg 1206–10) was originally a slave of the Ghurid king Mu‛izz al-Din Muhammad; two later sultans, Shams al-Din Iltutmish and Ghiyath al-Din Balban, were also manumitted slaves. As a trusted lieutenant, Qutb al-Din extended Ghurid power over the Gangetic doab. In Delhi he initiated the construction of the Quwwat al-Islam Mosque (see Delhi, §III, 1) and in Ajmer the Arhai Din ka Jhompra Mosque. These are the earliest and most important monuments of the Sultanate period. ...

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Jonathan M. Bloom and R. Nath

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Moghul; Mogul]

Dynasty of Central Asian origin that ruled portions of the Indian subcontinent from 1526 to 1857.

R. Nath and Jonathan M. Bloom, revised by Sheila S. Blair

The dynasty’s name Mughal derives from the word Mongol, as the founder (1) Babur (‘tiger’) was a Chaghatay prince in Central Asia who was descended on his father’s side from the Mongol warlord Timur (see Timurid family, §II, (1)) and on his mother’s from Genghis Khan. After losing his Central Asian kingdom of Ferghana, Babur conquered Kabul in 1504 and then defeated the Lodi sultan at Panipat in 1526 and the Rajput cliefs at Kanwa near Agra the following year. With these victories he gained a foothold in northern India and established a capital at Delhi (see Delhi, §I, 6; see fig.). Babur was succeeded by his son (2) Humayun (‘auspicious’), who was dislodged within a decade by nobles of the old Lodi regime, particularly Farid Khan Sur (...

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R. Nath

[Niẓām Shāhī]

Dynasty that ruled portions of southern India from 1490 to 1636. It was one of five successor states that emerged in the Deccan with the collapse of the Bahmani family dynasty. Malik Hasan Bahri, a convert to Islam who became a powerful noble under the Bahmani rulers, was murdered following his involvement in a conspiracy in 1481 to kill Mahmud Gawan, the Bahmani minister. His son Malik Ahmad (reg 1490–1510) rebelled against the Bahmanis in 1490 and founded the Nizam Shahi dynasty, which ruled from Ahmadnagar. In the constant struggles for power in the Deccan, Burhan Nizam Shah (reg 1510–54) opposed the ‛Imad Shahis of Berar and the ‛‛Adil Shahi family dynasty of Bijapur. Husayn Nizam Shah (reg 1554–65) joined the alliance that destroyed the Vijayanagara empire in 1565. Husayn died shortly thereafter and was succeeded by Murtaza Nizam Shah (reg 1565–88). When the Mughals, having conquered Gujarat, Malwa and Khandesh, appeared on the northern frontier of the Nizam Shahi territory, the dynasty was already entering a state of decline. Six rulers succeeded to the throne between ...

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