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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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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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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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Sayyid  

R. Nath

Dynasty that ruled portions of northern India from 1414 to 1451. Khidr Khan (reg 1414–21), the governor of Punjab, attacked Delhi after the death of Mahmud, the last Tughluq king, legitimizing his coup by paying formal allegiance to Shahrukh, a son of Timur. Khidr Khan’s son, Mu‛izz al-Din Mubarak Shah (reg 1421–34), is said to have founded a centre in Delhi called Mubarakabad. This has disappeared, but the site is perhaps indicated by Mubarak Shah’s octagonal tomb, which is located in the area called Kotla Mubarakpur. The reign of Muhammad Shah (reg 1434–45), the next Sayyid king, was marked by a decline in the authority of the sultanate. In particular, Buhlul Lodi, the Afghan governor of Sirhind, emerged as an autonomous power. Muhammad Shah’s tomb, also of the octagonal type, is located in the Lodi Gardens, Delhi. In the face of a disintegrating sultanate, ‛Ala al-Din ‛Alam Shah (...

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