Bahamani Kingdom

The Deccan region was a part of the provincial administration of the Delhi Sultanate. In order to establish a stable administration in the Deccan, Mohammad bin Tughlaq appointed amiran-i-sada/ Sada Amir, who were the administrative heads of hundred villages. From 1337 the conflict between the officers in Deccan and Delhi sultanate accelerated. This led to the establishment of an independent state in the Deccan in 1347 with the capital at Gulbarga in Karnataka.


Political History:

  • Alauddin Hassan Gangu Bahaman Shah was the founder of Bahamani sultanate in the year 1347AD.
  • Rivalry with Vijayanagar kingdom over the fertile region of Raichur doab started from his period , and continued till the last of Bahaman rule.
  • He had frequent conflicts with Warangal state, reddy kingdoms of Rajhmundry and Kondavidu. Bahman Shah emerged victorious in all these expeditions and assumed the title Second Alexander on his coins.
  • Mohammed I succeeded Bahman Shah.
  • His attack on Warangal in 1363 brought him a large indemnity, including the important fortress of Golkonda and the treasured turquoise throne, which thereafter became the throne of the Bahmani kings.
  • The next hundred years saw a number of Sultans one after another, by succession or usurpation. All of them fought with their southern neighbour, but without gaining much territory.
  • In 1425 Warangal was subdued and their progress further eastwards was challenged by the Orissan rulers.
  • In the year 1429 Ahmed Shah al wali shifted capital city from Gulbarga to Bidar.

The rule of Mohammad III (1463–1482) is worthy of mention because of his lieutenant Mohammed Gawan, a great statesman.

Mohammad Gawan:

  • The Bahmani kingdom reached its peak under the guidance of Prime minister Mahmmad Gawan. He was a Persian merchant.
  • He was well-versed in Islamic theology, Persian, and Mathematics. He was also a poet and a prose-writer. 
  • He was also a military genius. He waged successful wars against Vijayanagar, Orissa and the sea pirates on the Arabian sea.
  • He built a Madarsa at Bidar in Persian architectural style.
  • This madarasa was great learning centre  with collection of 3000 manuscripts from all over the world.
  • Gawan’s progress was not tolerated by native Muslim leaders.They made false allegations. They made Sultan to punish him with death sentence.
  • After execution of Gawan Bahamani Sultanate started to decline.
  •  After  few years Sultanate gradually broke up into five independent kingdoms: Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar , Golkonda and Bidar.

– Gawans madarasa, Bidar, Karnataka


  • The kingdom was divided into four administrative units called ‘taraf’ or provinces. These provinces were Daultabad, Bidar, Berar and Gulbarga
  • Every province was under a tarafdar who was also called a subedar
  • Some land was converted into Khalisa land from the jurisdiction of the tarafdar.( Khalisa land was that piece of land which was used to run expenses of the king and the royal household).
  • Nobles used to get their salary either in cash or in form of grant of land or ‘jagir’.


  • Bahamani ruler depended for military support on his amirs
  • There were two groups in the ranks of amirs: One was the Deccanis who were immigrant Muslims and had been staying for a long time in the Deccan region. The other group was Afaquis or Pardesis who had recently come from Central Asia, Iran and Iraq.
  • Bahamanis were  familiar with the use of gunpowder in warfare.


  • Persian ,Arabic and Urdu literature flourished in this period.
  • Mohammad Gawan wrote poems in Persian language. Riyaz-ul-Insha, Manazir-ul-insha are his works.
  • A new dialect called “Dakhini urdu “ became popular during this time.
  • The famous sufi saint of Gulbarga, Khwaja Bande Nawaz Gesu Daraj wrote in this language.


  • They followed Indo-Islamic style of architecture with some improvisation. Local materials were used to construct the buildings.
  • The architecture was highly influenced by Persian architecture.
  • Some features of this style are
    • Tall minarets
    • Strong arches
    • Huge domes
    • Spacious Hazaras
    • Crescent moon at the top of the building


  • Monuments at Gulbarga: Shah bazaar mosque, Hafta Gumbaz, Jama maszid etc
  • At Bidar : Mohammad Gawan’s madarasa, solah khamba mosque, Rangeen mahal, Janata mahal etc
  • At Bijapur : Gol gumbaz(built by Mohammad Adil shah in 1656AD), Ibrahim roza, Bara Kaman, Anand mahal, Chand Bawdi etc.