Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah

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Ala-ud-Din Hasan Bahman Shah (r. 3 August 1347 – 11 February 1358), whose original name was Zafar Khan, was the founder of the Bahmani sultanate.


His original name was Zafar Khan titled with "Alauddin Bahman Shah Sultan - Founder of the Bahmani Dynasty" with his capital at Gulbarga (Hasanabad) and all his coins were minted at Hasanabad.

Gulbarga City in Karnataka, India

Gulbarga, also known as Kalaburagi, is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Gulbarga district and a major city of the North Karnataka region. Gulbarga is 623 km north of the state capital city of Bangalore and 220 km from Hyderabad. Previously it was part of Hyderabad State and incorporated into a newly formed Mysore State through the States Reorganisation Act in 1956.

Ancestry and early life

Zafar Khan was a Turkic noble in the employ of Muhammad bin Tughluq. His descent is unknown. [1] [2] However, there is a popular legend regarding him narrated by the 17th century poet Ferishta, which says that he was a servant of a Brahmin astrologer named Gangu (Gangadhar Shastri Wabale) of Delhi and he was himself called Hasan Gangu. Historians have not found any corroboration for the legend. [3] [4] [5]

Turkic peoples collection of ethnic groups

The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. The origins of the Turkic people are to be found with people who lived in present-day South Siberia and Mongolia, while the roots of those people may be traced back to the West Liao River Basin. The Turkic peoples speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds.

Muhammad bin Tughluq 18th Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate and 2nd from the Tughluq dynasty

Muhammad bin Tughluq was the Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. He was the eldest son of Ghiyas -ud -Din -Tughlaq, the Turko-Indian founder of the Tughluq dynasty. He was born in New Delhi. His wife was the daughter of the Raja of Dipalpur. Ghiyas-ud-din sent the young Muhammad to the Deccan to campaign against king Prataparudra of the Kakatiya dynasty whose capital was at Warangal in 1321 and 1323. Muhammad ascended to the Delhi throne upon his father's death in 1325. He was interested in medicine and was skilled in several languages — Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Sanskrit. Ibn Battuta, the famous traveler and jurist from Morocco, was a guest at his court and wrote about his suzerainty in his book. From his accession to the throne in 1325 until his death in 1351, Muhammad contended with 22 rebellions, pursuing his policies, consistently and ruthlessly.

Brahmin is a varna (class) in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers (acharya) and protectors of sacred learning across generations.

Zafar Khan began his career as a general serving under the Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq. He was made a governor. In 1347 he was made commander of an army in Daulatabad. On 3 August 1347 Nasir-ud-Din Ismail Shah (Ismail Mukh, whom the rebel amirs of the Deccan placed on the throne of Daulatabad in 1345) abdicated in his favour and he set up the Bahmani Kingdom with its headquarters at Hasanabad (Gulbarga). [6] [7]

Daulatabad, Maharashtra Town in Maharashtra, India

Daulatabad, also known as Devagiri, is a 14th-century fort city in Maharashtra state of India, about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) northwest of Aurangabad. The place was originally named Devagiri when it was an important uplands city along caravan routes, but the intervening centuries have reduced it to a village. However it is also considered to be one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra and a developing tourist spot.

Before the establishment of his kingdom, he was holding the jahangir of Miraj, Belgaum and Hukeri on behalf of Tughlaq's and he used to live along with his widowed mother at Miraj town. After establishing his kingdom, he handed over his kingdom to his eldest son. The sources like Isami and The Buran mentions Miraj was his headquarters of his Jahangir. [8]

Miraj City in Maharashtra, India

Miraj is a city in southern Maharashtra, India, that was founded in the early 10th century. It was an important Jagir of the Adil Shahi Court of Bijapur

Belgaum City in Karnataka, India

Belgaum is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka located in its northern part along the Western Ghats. It is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous Belgaum division and Belgaum district. The Government of Karnataka has proposed making Belgaum the second capital of Karnataka, hence a second state administrative building Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated on 11 October 2012.

Hukeri Town in Karnataka, India

Hukkeri is a Town Municipal Council and taluka in Belagavi district in the Indian state of Karnataka.

A coin of Ala ud din Bahman Shah 002bahman-2.JPG
A coin of Ala ud din Bahman Shah

The reign

On establishing an independent kingdom Zafar Khan took the title of Abu'l-Muzaffar Ala-ud-din Bahman Shah. [7] [5] He gave Ismail Mukh a jagir near Jamkhandi and later conferred to him the highest title of his kingdom, Amir-ul-Umara . But Narayana, a local Hindu chieftain still succeeded in turning Ismail against Bahman Shah for a short period before he poisoned Ismail. [9]

Bahman Shah led his first campaign against Warangal in 1350 and forced its ruler Kapaya Nayaka to cede to him the fortress of Kaulas. His kingdom was divided into four provinces and he appointed a governor for each province. [9] During his reign Hasan fought many wars with Vijayanagara. By the time of his death the kingdom stretched from north to south from the Wainganga River to Krishna and east to west from Bhongir to Daulatabad. [10]

He was succeeded by his son Mohammed Shah I after his death in 1358. [10]

Related Research Articles

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Tughlaq dynasty dynasty

The Tughlaq dynasty also referred to as Tughluq or Tughluk dynasty, was a Muslim dynasty of Turko-Indian origin which ruled over the Delhi sultanate in medieval India. Its reign started in 1320 in Delhi when Ghazi Malik assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. The dynasty ended in 1413.

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Qasim Barid I Deccan politician

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Gulbarga Fort

The Gulbarga Fort is located in Gulbarga City in the Gulbarga district of North Karnataka. It was subsequently significantly enlarged in 1347 by Al-ud-din Hasan Bahmani of the Bahmani Dynasty after he cut off his ties with the Delhi Sultanate; Islamic monuments such as mosques, palaces, tombs, and other structures were also built later within the refurbished fort. The Jama Masjid built later, within the fort, in 1367, is a unique structure built in Persian architectural style, fully enclosed, with elegant domes and arched columns, which is unlike any other mosque in India. It was built to commemorate the establishment of the dynastic rule of the Bahmani kingdom at Gulbarga fort between 1327 and 1424. It remained the capital of the Bahmani Kingdom till 1424 where after the capital was shifted to Bidar Fort, as Bidar had better climatic conditions.

The Bahmani Sultanate, or Bahmanid Empire, was a Muslim state of the Deccan Plateau in southern India between 1347 and 1527 and was one of the great medieval kingdoms. It occupied the North Deccan region to the river Krishna. According to historians, a rebel chieftain of Daulatabad was under Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

Tughluq Khan 20th Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate and 4th from the Tughlaq dynasty

Ghiyath-ud-din Tughluq Shah II, born Tughluq Khan, was the son of Fateh Khan, the son of Feroze Shah. He was a Sultan of the Tughlaq dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate; he ascended to the throne in 1388 C.E. However, a succession crisis started almost immediately with Muhammad Shah ibn Feroze Shah staking his claim with the support of his brother Fateh Khan’s brother Zafar Khan's son Abu Bakr Khan. Tughluq Khan dispatched troops against his uncle towards the foot of the hills of Sirmur. Muhammad Shah ibn Feroze Shah after a brief battle took shelter in the fort of Nagarkot, and Tughluq Khan’s army returned to Delhi without pursuing him any further due to the difficulties of the venture & terrain. Eventually though some Amirs joined Abu Bakr Khan son of Zafar Khan and Fateh Khan’s brother Zafar Khan's son and grandson of Sultan Feroze Shah Tughluq and plotted to assassinate Tughluq Khan. In 1389 they surrounded the Sultan and Khan Jahan, his vizier and, put them to death and hung up their heads over the gate of the city; the duration of the reign of Tughluq Khan, was five months and eighteen days.

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Abdul Malik Isami (1311-?) was a 14th-century Indian historian and court poet. He wrote in Persian language, under the patronage of Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, the founder of the Bahmani Sultanate. He is best known for Futuh-us-Salatin, a poetic history of the Muslim conquest of India.


  1. Avari 2013, p. 88.
  2. Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 170.
  3. Chandra 2004, p. 177.
  4. Majumdar 1967, p. 248.
  5. 1 2 Bhattacharya 1972, p. 100.
  6. Mahajan, V.D. (1991). History of Medieval India, Part I, New Delhi:S. Chand, ISBN   81-219-0364-5, pp.279-80
  7. 1 2 Bhattacharya. Indian History. p. 928
  8. Congress, Indian History (2007). "Proceedings, Indian History Congress" . Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  9. 1 2 Majumdar 1967, pp. 249-250.
  10. 1 2 Bhattacharya. Indian History. p. 929