Yusuf Adil Shah

Last updated

Yusuf Adil Shah
Adil Shahi
The House of Bijapur Album leaf, ca. 1680 Deccan, Bijapur. Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg
Painting created c.1680 in Bijapur. Yusuf Adil Shah, shown seated, is being handed the key of legitimacy by Shah Ismail I of Safavid Iran, symbolizing the unwavering allegiance of the Adil Shahi family to the Shia creed of Islam. All nine Adil Shahi sultans are depicted in the painting in a dynastic assembly probably inspired by Mughal paintings.
Reign1490–1510 [1]
Successor Ismail Adil Shah
Gogi, Shahpur, Karnataka
SpouseBubuji Khanum
Issue Ismail Adil Shah
Mariam Sultan
Khadija Sultan
Bibi Sati
Abul Muzaffar Yusuf Adil Shah Sawi
Dynasty Adil Shahi Empire
Religion Shia Islam

Yusuf Adil Shah (1450–1510 [1] ), referred as Adil Khan or Hidalcão by the Portuguese, was the founder of the Adil Shahi dynasty that ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur for nearly two centuries. [2] As the founder of the newly formed Bijapur dynasty (as the Adil Shahi dynasty is also known), Yusuf Adil Shah is credited with developing the town of Bijapur and elevating it to significant status.


Legend of origin

The founder of the dynasty, Yusuf Adil Shah, may have been a Georgian slave [3] [4] who was purchased by Mahmud Gawan from Iran. Other historians mentioned him of Persian [5] or Turkmen [6] [7] origin.

Some historians state Yusuf was a son of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II. [8] [9] Ferishta states that Yusuf was a fugitive son of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II, a story which was related to him by Mirza Mohamed of Sava and Khwaja Nuzr, a member of the ruling Bahmani dynasty. Ferishta also stated that this origin was related by Shah Jamaluddin Hussain himself. [10] Rafiuddin Shirazi, author of Tazkirat ul Mulk, states Yusuf was the nephew of Governor Ahmed Baig of Sava. [10] Another theory states he was a Turkman of the Aq-Quyunlu. [11]


Yusuf's bravery and personality raised him rapidly in the Bahmani sultan's favor, and resulted in his being appointed Governor of Bijapur.

In 1489, Yusuf took advantage of the decline of the Bahmani power to establish himself as an independent sultan at Bijapur. He waged war against the Vijayanagar empire, as also against Bijapur's Muslim neighbours.

Adil Shah is personally responsible for building the imposing Citadel or Arkilla [12] and the palace named Faroukh Mahal. Yusuf was a man of culture and invited poets and artisans from Persia, Turkey and Rome to his court. He was also an accomplished musician and scholar with deep religious tolerance that was reflected in art and architecture from this time.

Adil Shah died in 1509-10 while engaged in an 'annual jihad', possibly a plundering expedition, against the Vijayanagara empire to the south. The practice was initiated by Sultan Mahmood Shah Bahmani II in 1501, in which all the Bahmani chieftains participated. However, in 1509, Krishnadevaraya ascended the throne of Vijayanagara. He countered the Bahmani expedition at a location called Dewani (unidenfied) and decisively defeated it. The Sultan was thrown off the horse and had to be carried away from the battlefield. Raya then pursued the retreating army of Bijapur. Adil Shah turned around to give him battle at Koilkonda, in which he was killed. [13] [14] [15]

His death occurred shortly after the loss of Goa to the Portuguese governor Afonso de Albuquerque.[ citation needed ] He was succeeded by his son Ismail Adil Shah, who being a minor, was aided in his rule by a certain Kamal Khan. [16]

Yusuf left behind a strong if small state, one which persisted through two relatively chaotic centuries in a region rife with political ferment. The Bijapur sultanate he founded was a formidable force for close to two centuries until it succumbed to Maratha power and finally resolved by Aurangzeb in 1686 in an ineffective bid to check Maratha power. [9]


Yusuf Adil Shah married Punji, the sister of a local landlord , later renamed Bubuji Khanum. [9] By this marriage he had a son and three daughters: [17] [18]



  1. 1 2 Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011, p. 174.
  2. Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 119. ISBN   978-9-38060-734-4.
  3. Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (2002). History of Medieval India: From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. p. 101.
  4. Subrahmanyam, Sanjay (2012). Courtly Encounters: Translating Courtliness and Violence in Early Modern Eurasia. p. 101.
  5. Meri, Josef W. (January 2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization, Volume 1 An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 108. ISBN   978-0-415-96691-7. In 1481, Yusuf 'Adil Khan, a Persian slave who claimed to descend from the Ottoman sultan Murad III, became the governor of Bijapur.
  6. Vernon O. Egger (2016). A History of the Muslim World since 1260: The Making of a Global Community. ISBN   9781315511078.
  7. Clifford Edmund Bosworth (2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. p. 55. ISBN   978-9004153882.
  8. Nikki R. Keddie,Rudi Matthee (2011). Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics. University of Washington Press. p. 25. ISBN   9780295800240.
  9. 1 2 3 Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011 , p. 174
  10. 1 2 S. K. Sinha (1968). Medieval History of the Deccan. pp. 1–2.[ unreliable source? ]
  11. Bolar, Varija R (2012). "Turks in Karnataka" (PDF). International Journal of Social Studies 4 (1): 423.
  12. Ahammad, Mustak (2013). Military Architecture under the Adilshahis of Bijapur. p. 2.
  13. Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India 1958, pp. 268–269.
  14. Eaton, Richard M. (2005), A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives, Cambridge University Press, p. 88, ISBN   978-0-521-25484-7 : "The string began in 1509, when at Koilkonda, sixty miles southwest of Hyderabad, Krishna Raya defeated the last remnant of Bahmani power, Sultan Mahmud, along with Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, who was killed in the engagement."
  15. Sarma, P. Sree Rama (1992), A History of Vijayanagar Empire, Prabhakar Publications, p. 79: "The Bahmani army headed by Mahmood Shah II marched out off Bidar. It was accompanied by Malik Ahmed Bahri, Nuri Khan, Khwaja-i-jahan, the Adil Khan, Qutb-ul-Mulk, Dastur-i-Mamalik, Mirza Latf-ul-tab and others. The progress of Bahmani troops was checked by Vijayanagara troops at Diwani, which place tremains unidentified."
  16. Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011, p. 175.
  17. Hari Narain Verma, Amrit Verma, Indian Women Through the Ages (1976), p. 29
  18. Abraham Eraly, Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Moghuls (2007), chp. 11
  19. K.K Basu, Career of Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, Indian Culture, Vol. III, Issue I (1937), p. 117


Further reading

Preceded by
Founder of the Dynasty
Adil Shahi Rulers of Bijapur
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

Deccan sultanates Former states in India

The Deccan sultanates were five late-medieval Indian kingdoms—on the Deccan Plateau between the Krishna River and the Vindhya Range—that were ruled by Muslim dynasties: namely Ahmadnagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda. The sultanates had become independent during the break-up of the Bahmani Sultanate. In 1490, Ahmadnagar declared independence, followed by Bijapur and Berar in the same year. Golconda became independent in 1518, and Bidar in 1528.

Bahmani Sultanate Former Muslim state in Southern India

The Bahmani Sultanate was a Persianate Sunni Muslim empire of the Deccan in South India. It was the first independent Muslim kingdom of the Deccan, and was known for its perpetual wars with its Hindu rivals of Vijayanagara, which would outlast the Sultanate.

Qutb Shahi dynasty

The Qutb Shahi dynasty ruled the Golconda Sultanate in northern Deccan Plateau (Telangana) from 1512 AD to 1687 AD, a Persianate Shia Islamic dynasty, the Qutb Shahis were descendants of Qara Yusuf from Qara Qoyunlu of Hamadan province of Persia, originally a Turkoman Muslim tribe. After the collapse of Bahmani Sultanate, the "Qutb Shahi" dynasty was established in 1512 AD by Quli Qutb Mulk who assumed the title of "Sultan". In 1636, Shah Jahan forced the Qutb Shahis to recognize Mughal suzerainty and pay periodic tributes. The dynasty came to an end in 1687 during the reign of its seventh Sultan Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb arrested and jailed him for the rest of his life in Daulatabad, absorbed Golconda into the Mughal empire. The kingdom extended from the parts of modern-day states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana. The Golconda sultanate was constantly in conflict with the Adil Shahis and Nizam Shahis.

Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah Wali Fourth Sultan of Qutb Shahi dynasty

Ibrahim Qutb Shah Wali, also known by his Telugu names Malki BhaRama and Ibharama Cakravarti, was the fourth ruler of the kingdom of Golconda in southern India. He was the first of the Qutb Shahi dynasty to use the title "Sultan". He ruled from 1550 to 1580. He lived for seven years in exile at the court of Vijayanagara as an honoured guest of Rama Raya. Ibrahim is known for patronizing Telugu extensively because he was moved by a genuine love for the language.

Adil Shahi dynasty Muslim dynasty (1490–1686)

The Adil Shahi or Adilshahi, was a Shia, and later Sunni Muslim, dynasty founded by Yusuf Adil Shah, that ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur, centred on present-day Bijapur district, Karnataka in India, in the Western area of the Deccan region of Southern India from 1489 to 1686. Bijapur had been a province of the Bahmani Sultanate (1347–1518), before its political decline in the last quarter of the 15th century and eventual break-up in 1518. The Bijapur Sultanate was absorbed into the Mughal Empire on 12 September 1686, after its conquest by the Emperor Aurangzeb.

Quli Qutb Mulk, known by the regnal name Quli Qutb Shah, was the founder of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, which ruled the Sultanate of Golconda in southern India from 1518 to 1687.

Ibrahim Adil Shah II Adil Shahi Emperor

Ibrahim Adil Shah II was king of the Sultanate of Bijapur and a member of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Under his reign the dynasty had its greatest period as he extended its frontier as far south as Mysore. He was a skilful administrator, artist, poet and a generous patron of the arts. He reverted to the Sunni sect of Islam, but remained tolerant of other religions, including Christianity. However, during his reign high-ranking Shiite immigrants became unwelcome and in 1590, he ordered the confinement of criers who read the khutba in the Shia form. After his reign, increasing weakness permitted Mughal encroachment and the successful revolt of the Maratha king Shivaji, who killed the Bijapur general Afzal Khan and scattered his army. The dynasty left a tradition of cosmopolitan culture and artistic patronage whose architectural remains are to be seen in the capital city of Bijapur.

Firishta or Ferešte, full name Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, was a Persian historian, who later settled in India and served the Deccan Sultans as their court historian. He was born in 1560 and died in 1620. The name Firishta means angel in Persian.

Berar Sultanate

Berar was one of the Deccan sultanates. It was established in 1490 following the disintegration of the Bahmani Sultanate.

Tuluva Narasa Nayaka was the founder of the Tuluva dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire. He was the father of emperor Krishnadevaraya.

Chand Bibi Regent of Bijapur and Ahmednagar

Sultana Chand Bibi was an Indian ruler and warrior. She acted as the Regent of Bijapur Sultanate during the minority of Ibrahim Adil Shah II in 1580-1590, and regent of Ahmednagar Sultanate during the minority of her great nephew Bahadur Shah in 1595-1600. Chand Bibi is best known for defending Ahmednagar against the Mughal forces of Emperor Akbar in 1595.

Battle of Raichur

The Battle of Raichur was a battle fought between the Vijayanagar Empire and the Sultanate of Bijapur in 1520 CE in the town of Raichur, India. It resulted in a decisive victory for Vijayanagara forces, and the Bijapur ruler was defeated and pushed across the river Krishna.

Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1534–1558) was a Sultan and later Shah of the Indian kingdom. of Bijapur. He succeeded his elder brother, Mallu Adil Shah, through the machinations of the Afaqi faction at the court. He was the first Adil Shahi ruler to assume the royal title of Shah.

Qasim Barid I was prime-minister of the Bahmani sultanate and the founder of the Bidar Sultanate, one of the five late medieval Indian kingdoms together known as the Deccan sultanates.

Ahmadnagar Sultanate 16th century Indian kingdom located in southern India, also known as the "Nizam Shahi" dynasty

The Ahmadnagar Sultanate was a late medieval Indian kingdom located in the northwestern Deccan, between the sultanates of Gujarat and Bijapur. Malik Ahmad, the Bahmani governor of Junnar after defeating the Bahmani army led by general Jahangir Khan on 28 May 1490 declared independence and established the Nizam Shahi dynasty rule over the sultanate of Ahmednagar. Initially his capital was in the town of Junnar with its fort, later renamed Shivneri. In 1494, the foundation was laid for the new capital Ahmadnagar. In 1636 Aurangzeb, then Mugal viceroy of Deccan, finally annexed the sultanate to the Mughal Empire.

Bijapur Fort

The Bijapur Fort is located in the Bijapur city in Bijapur District of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bijapur fort has a plethora of historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty.

Mahmood Shah or Shihab-Ud-Din Mahmud was the sultan of the Bahmani Sultanate from 1482 until his death in 1518. His long rule is noted for the disintegration of the sultanate and the creation of the independent Deccan Sultanates.

Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah was the founder of the Nizam Shahi dynasty and the Ahmadnagar Sultanate.