HISTORY OF INDIA
GUJARAT AND KHANDESH
THE great empire of Muhammad Tughluq was dismembered partly by his own ferocious tyranny and partly by the weakness of his successors. Bengal revolted in 1338 and the Deccan in 1347, during Muhammad's lifetime. There were no further defections in the reign of his successor Firuz, who had some success in Bengal, but failed to recover the province, but the twenty-five years which followed the death of Firuz witnessed the accession of one weakling after another to the throne of Delhi, the destruction of such power as still remained in the hands of the central government by the invasion of Timur, and the establishment of independent principalities in Sind, Oudh, Khandesh, Gujarat, and Malwa.
Malik Ahmad, the founder of the small principality of Khandesh was not, however, a rebel against the king of Delhi, but against the Bahmani dynasty of the Deccan. In 1365 he joined the rebellion of Bahrain Khan Mazandarani against Muhammad I, the second king of that line, and, when he was compelled to flee from the Deccan established himself at Thalner, on the Tapti. By 1382 he had conquered the surrounding country and ruled his small territory as an independent prince. He was known both as Malik Raja and Raja Ahmad, but he and his successors for some generations were content with the title of Khan, from which circumstance their small principality became known as Khandesh, 'the Country of the Khans'. His dynasty was distinguished by the epithet Faruqi, from the title of the second Caliph, Umar, al-Faruq, or 'The Discriminator', from whom Ahmad claimed descent.
The kingdom of Gujarat was established in 1396. Farhat-ulMulk, who had been appointed governor of the province by Firuz Shah, had long ceased to pay any heed to orders received from Delhi and the inhabitants groaned under his yoke. In 1391 Muhammad Shah, the youngest son of Firuz, appointed Zafar Khan to the government of Gujarat, and sent him to establish his authority there. The new governor was the son of a Rajput convert to Islam, Wajih-ul-Mulk of Didwana, governor of Nagaur. On January 4, 1392, he defeated and mortally wounded Farhatul-Mulk at Gambhu, eighteen miles south of Patan, and gradually reduced to obedience all disorderly elements in the province. In 1396 the strife between two rival kings, Mahmud Shah and Nusrat Shah, and the impossibility of determining to whom allegiance was due, furnished him with a pretext for declaring himself independent, and he was joined in the following year by his son Tatar Khan, who, having espoused the cause of the pretender Nusrat Shah, had been compelled to flee from Delhi. Zafar Khan was preparing to march to Delhi when he was deterred by tokens of Timur's impending invasion, and devoted the whole of his attention to his campaign against the Rajput state of Idar, which he subdued in 1400.
In 1399 Mahmud Shah of Delhi and large numbers of fugitives fleeing before Timur arrived in Gujarat. They were hospitably received, but Mahmud considered that Zafar Khan’s attitude to him was not sufficiently deferential, and retired to Malwa, where he took refuge with Dilavar Khan Ghuri, the governor.
In 1403 Tatar Khan, learning that Iqbal Khan, or Mallu, who had driven him from Delhi, had so humiliated Mahmud Shah that the latter had fled from him, urged his father to march on Delhi and assume control of the situation, but Zafar Khan was well stricken in years and shrank from the enterprise. He so far yielded to his son’s importunity as to place a force at his disposal in order that he might wreak his vengeance on his former antagonist, but Tatar Khan, finding himself at the head of an army, rose against his father, seized him and imprisoned him at Asawal, and caused himself to be proclaimed king under the title of Nasiruddin Muhammad Shah. Having thus secured his father he appointed his uncle Shams Khan regent of the kingdom, with the title of Nusrat Khan, and set out for Delhi in order to carry out his original project, but as soon as he had left Asawal Zafar Khan persuaded the regent, his brother, to follow the rebel and privily compass his death. Shams (Nusrat) Khan set out for Tatar's camp and there poisoned him in a draught of wine, and on his return released his brother and restored him to his throne, which he now ascended under the title of Sultan Muzaffar.
In 1407 Muzaffar invaded Malwa and besieged the king, Hushang Shah, in Dhar. The pretext for this attack was his resolve to avenge the death of his old friend and comrade, Dilavar Khan, who had been poisoned by his son Hushang. Dhar fell, and Hushang was captured and imprisoned, and Muzaffar established his own brother, Nusrat Khan (Shams Khan) in Dhar.
After capturing Dhar Muzaffar learnt that Ibrahim Shah of Jaunpur, having annexed some districts to the east of the Ganges, intended to attack Delhi; he thereupon marched from Malwa to the support of Mahmud Shah Tughluq, carrying with him the captive Hushang. The menace deterred Ibrahim from prosecuting his enterprise and Muzaffar returned to Gujarat.
Nusrat Khan had made himself so odious by his exactions in Malwa that the army expelled him, and elected Musa Khan, a cousin of Hushang, as their governor, and Muzaffar, who was not prepared to permit the army of Malwa to rule the destinies of that country, sent his grandson Ahmad, son of Tatar Khan, to restore Hushang, who was sent with him. Ahmad reinstated Hushang in Malwa and returned to Gujarat, where he was designated heir to the kingdom by his grandfather.
Muzaffar died in June, 1411, and Ahmad was confronted on his succession, by a serious rebellion, headed by his four uncles, Firuz Khan, Haibat Khan, Saadat Khan, and Sher Khan, who resented their nephew's elevation to the throne. He succeeded, without bloodshed, in inducing them to acknowledge him as their sovereign, and was enabled to turn his arms against Hushang Shah of Malwa, whom he had summoned to his aid but who had determined, instead of assisting him, to profit by his difficulties. Hushang, who had hoped to find him fully occupied with the rebels, retreated precipitately when he learnt that the rebellion had been extinguished and that Ahmad was marching against him, but his retirement was followed by a fresh rising of the rebels, who were, however, defeated and dispersed. The rebellion of the raja of Jhalawar then called Ahmad into Kathiawar, and during his absence in that region Hushang, at the invitation of Ahmad's uncles, again invaded Gujarat, and Ahmad, returning from Jhalawar sent his brother Latif Khan against their uncles and Imadul Mulk Shaban, one of his nobles, against Hushang, who, finding that he was not supported, retired to Malwa, while Latif Khan dispersed the rebels and compelled them to seek refuge with the Chudasama chief of Girnar, in Sorath. Ahmad proceeded to chastise the raja for harboring them, defeated him in the field, and besieged him in his fort on the Girnar hill. He purchased peace by a promise to pay tribute, and Ahmad, who was suddenly called away by a report of the invasion of Nandurbar, left two of his officers to collect the tribute and returned to his new city of Ahmadabad, which he had built on the site of Asawal, to assemble troops for the expulsion of the invader.
Raja Ahmad of Khandesh had died on April 29, 1399, leaving two sons, Nasir and Hasan, to inherit his dominions. Nasir had received the eastern and Hasan the western districts, and the former had founded, in 1400, the city of Burhanpur, and had captured from a Hindu chieftain the strong fortress of Asir, while the latter had established himself at Thalner. Such a division of the territories of the small state held no promise of permanence, and in 1417 the elder brother, Nasir, having obtained assistance from Hushang of Malwa, who had married his sister, captured Thalner and imprisoned Hasan before a reply could be received to the latter's appeal for aid to Ahmad of Gujarat. Nasir, with a view to forestalling Ahmad's intervention and to repairing the discomfiture of his father, who had made an unsuccessful attempt to annex the south-eastern districts of the kingdom of Gujarat, attacked Nandurbar. A relieving force sent by Ahmad compelled Nasir to retreat to Asir, and besieged him in that fortress. Peace was made on Nasir’s swearing fealty to Ahmad, and promising to abstain in future from aggression, and Ahmad in return recognised Nasir's title of Khan. Nasir’s brother Hasan retired to Gujarat, where he and his descendants for generations found a home and intermarried with the royal house.
From this treaty dates the estrangement between Khandesh and Malwa, which had hitherto been allies. Nasir Khan resented Hushang's failure to support him adequately against Ahmad Shah and friendly relations were broken off. In 1429 Nasir, in spite of the old animosity of his house towards the Bahmanids, attempted to form an alliance with the Deccan by giving his daughter in marriage to Alauddin Ahmad, son of Ahmad Shah, the ninth king of that dynasty, but the union engendered strife, and Khandesh, after a disastrous war with her powerful neighbor, was at length driven into the arms of Gujarat.
Ahmad himself had advanced as far as Nandurbar, sending Malik Mahmud, one of his officers, to besiege Asir, and while at Nandurbar he heard from his uncle Firuz, who had taken refuge in Nagaur, that Hushang Shah was about to invade Gujarat. This report was followed immediately by the news that Hushang, in response to invitations from the rajas of Idar, Champaner, Mandal, and Nandod, had crossed his frontier and reached Modasa. Ahmad, although the rainy season of 1418 had begun, at once marched northward, traversed the country of the disaffected rajas, and appeared before Modasa. Hushang beat a hasty retreat, but Ahmad had no rest. He was obliged to send expeditions to quell a rebellion in Sorath, and to expel Nasir Khan from the Nandurbar district, which he had invaded in violation of his promise. Both expeditions were successful, and Nasir was pardoned on its being discovered that the real culprit was Hushang's son, Ghazni Khan, who had not only instigated him to invade the district but had supplied him with troops.
It was now evident that the real enemy was Hushang, and Ahmad, having pardoned the rebellious rajas on receiving from them double tribute and promises of better behavior, set out in March, 1419, to invade Malwa.
Hushang came forth to meet him, but was defeated in a fiercely contested battle and compelled to take refuge in Mandu. Ahmad's troops devastated the country, but as the rainy season was at hand he returned to Ahmadabad, plundering on his way the districts of Champaner and Nandod.
In 1420 Ahmad marched to Songarh, and thence, in a north, easterly direction, towards Mandu, 'punishing', on his way, the infidels of the Satpuras. Hushang, dreading another invasion, sent envoys to crave pardon for his past conduct, and Ahmad retired, and in 1422 reduced the raja of Champaner to vassalage. In 1422, during Hushang’s absence on his famous raid into Orissa, Ahmad invaded Malwa, capturing Maheshwar on the Narbada on March 27. He appeared before Mandu on April 5, and besieged it ineffectually until the beginning of the rainy season, when he retired into quarters at Ujjain. In the meantime Hushang returned to Mandu, and on September 17 Ahmad reopened the siege, but, finding that he could not reduce the fortress, retired by Ujjain to Sarangpur, with the object of continuing his depredations in that neighborhood, but Hushang, marching by a more direct route, met him near Sarangpur on December 26. Neither was anxious to risk a general action and after desultory and inconclusive hostilities of two and a half months' duration Ahmad began his retreat on March 17. He reached Ahmadabad on May 15, and in consideration of his army’s labors refrained for more than two years from embarking on any military enterprise and devoted himself to administrative reforms. From 1425 until 1428 he was engaged in hostilities against Idar, which ended in the reduction of Hari Rai, the raja, to the condition of a vassal of Gujarat.
War with the Deccan
In 1429 Kanha, raja of Jhalawar, fled from his state and took refuge with Nasir Khan of Khandesh, who, not being strong enough to protect him, sent him to the court of Ahmad Shah Bahmani at Bidar, who dispatched a force into the Nandurbar district to ravage the country. This force was expelled and driven back to Daulatabad, whereupon Ahmad of the Deccan sent an army under his son Alauddin Ahmad to invade Gujarat and re-establish Kanha in Jhalawar. This army, which assembled at Daulatabad, was there joined by Nasir Khan of Khandesh, and against the allied forces Ahmad of Gujarat sent an army under his eldest son, Muhammad Khan. This prince defeated the allies at Manikpunj, about thirty-eight miles north-west of Daulatabad, and Alauddin Ahmad fled to Daulatabad while Nasir and Kanha fled into Khandesh. Muhammad Khan of Gujarat, perceiving that it would be useless to besiege Daulatabad, laid waste part of Khandesh and retired to Nandurbar.
In 1430 Khalaf Hasan of Basrah, an officer of the army of the Deccan, attacked Mahim, the southernmost port of the kingdom of Gujarat, and Ahmad of Gujarat sent his younger son, Zafar Khan, to the relief of the town, while Alauddin Ahmad marched to the support of Khalaf Hasan. Mahim was taken, but Zafar Khan not only besieged the army there, but also took Thana, a port belonging to the kingdom of the Deccan. The campaign was decided, however, by a battle in which the army of the Deccan was completely defeated and was forced to evacuate Mahim and retreat.
Ahmad of the Deccan was much chagrined by the news of this defeat, and led an army in person to invade Baglana, the small Rajput state between Gujarat and the Deccan which was protected by the former, but, on hearing that Ahmad of Gujarat was marching against him, retired to Bidar. Ahmad of Gujarat returned to Ahmadabad and Ahmad of the Deccan again advanced and besieged the fortress of Batnol, which was gallantly defended by Malik Saadat, an officer of Gujarat. Ahmad of Gujarat marched to the relief of the fortress, and Ahmad of the Deccan, raising the siege, turned to meet him. A battle was fought in which each army held its ground but Ahmad of the Deccan, dismayed by the extent of his losses, retreated in the night.
In 1433 Ahmad led a raid into the Dangarpur state, compelled the Rawal to pay a ransom, and left an officer at Kherwara to collect tribute. He continued his depredations in Marwar, compelled his kinsman Firuz Khan, now governor of Nagaur, to pay an indemnity, and returned to Ahmadabad.
In 1436 Masud Khan of Malwa arrived at Ahmadabad as a suppliant seeking redress. His father, Ghazni Khan, had ascended the throne of Malwa in 1435 and had been poisoned in the following year by his cousin, Mahmud Khalji, who had ascended the throne and deprived him of his inheritance. Ahmad welcomed the opportunity of intervening, and in 1438 invaded Malwa with a view to seating Masud on the throne of that kingdom. After many months of fruitless campaigning he was obliged to retire owing to an outbreak of pestilence in his army, and died on August 16, 1442, before he could fulfill his promise to restore Masud. He was succeeded in Gujarat by his eldest son, who ascended the throne under the title of Muizzuddin Muhammad Shah. Soon after his accession to the throne Ahmad had begun to build the town of Ahmadabad on the site of the old city of Asawal, and in spite of the constant military activities of his reign he was able to devote much of his time to the establishment of this city, which even today bears witness to the taste and munificence of its founder.
While Ahmad had been engaged in espousing the cause of Masud Khan in Malwa Nasir Khan of Khandesh had involved himself in hostilities with the Deccan. His daughter had complained that her husband Alauddin Ahmad, who had succeeded his father in 1435, was neglecting her for a beautiful Hindu girl, and Nasir, to avenge his daughter's wrongs, invaded Berar, the northernmost province of the Bahmani kingdom. His son-in-law sent against him a large army under Khalaf Hasan, who defeated him at Rohaukhed and drove him into his frontier fortress, Laling, where he besieged him. Nasir Khan, joined by a large force under his nobles, made a sortie, but suffered a severe defeat, died on September 20, and was succeeded by his son, Adil Khan I. Khalaf Hasan, hearing that a force was advancing from Nandurbar to the relief of Laling, retired to the Deccan with his plunder, which included seventy elephants and many guns.
Adil Khan I reigned in Khandesh without incident until 1441, when he died and was succeeded by his son Mubarak Khan, who reigned, likewise without incident, until his death on June 5, 1457, when he was succeeded by his son Adil Khan II.
In 1446 Muhammad Shah of Gujarat, who was surnamed Karim, or 'the Generous', marched against Idar, to reduce its ruler, Raja Bir, son of Punja, to obedience. Bir appeared before him and made submission, giving him his daughter in marriage and at her intercession Idar was restored to him. Muhammad next attacked, at Bagor, Rana Kumbha, of Mewar, who fled and took refuge with the Rawal of Dungarpur, the chief of his house, but afterwards appeared before the invader and purchased peace with a heavy indemnity
War with Malwa
In 1449 Muhammad attacked Champaner, with the object of expelling the raja, Gangadas, and annexing his state. Gangadas was defeated in the field with great slaughter, and driven into the hill fortress of Pavagarh, above the city. Muhammad indicated his intention of permanently occupying the city by constructing a fine cistern, which was named the Shakar Talao, and by founding a palace and some public buildings. Gangadas appealed for help to Mahmud Khalji of Malwa, who marched to his relief, but on reaching Dahod learnt that Muhammad, in spite of a severe illness contracted at Champaner, had advanced as far as Godhra to meet him. He retreated at once to Mandu, and Muhammad, oppressed by his sickness, was obliged to return to Ahmadabad, where he died on February 10, 1451.
Three days after his death the courtiers enthroned his eldest soil, Qutbuddin Ahmad, and the young king was at once called upon to cope with a serious invasion of his kingdom. Mahmud Khalji, on learning the seriousness of Muhammad’s malady, resolved to seize the opportunity of conquering Gujarat, and after his return to Mandu assembled an army of 100,000 horses and 500 elephants, and invaded the Nandurbar district. Alauddin Suhrab, who commanded the fortress of Nandurbar, made no attempt to hold it against such a force, but surrendered it at once, and consulted his own safety by swearing allegiance to the invader and entering his service. After capturing Nandurbar, Mahmud learnt of the death of Muhammad and marched on Broach, where he summoned Marjan, the governor, to surrender. Marjan refused, and Mahmud was about to besiege the town when, by the advice of Alauddin Suhrab, he decided, instead, to attack the capital at once, and marched to Baroda, where he was joined by Gangadas of Champaner and other chiefs. Crossing the Mahi River he advanced to Kapadvanj, where Alauddin deserted him and joined his old master, who received him with great favor and conferred on him the title of Alaul Mulk, Ulugh Khan. Qutbuddin advanced from Ahmadabad with 40,000 horses and encamped six miles from Kapadvanj. On the night of April 1, 1451, Mahmud Khalji left his camp with the object of making a night attack on Qutbuddin, but lost his way, and, after wandering about all night, found himself by daylight before his own camp. Disappointed of surprising the enemy, he drew up his army, and Qutbuddin, who had intelligence of what had passed, advanced to the attack. At a critical moment of the battle which ensued Qutbuddin threw in his reserves, the great army of Malwa was utterly defeated, and Mahmud fled, leaving eighty-one elephants and all his baggage in the hands of the victors. He halted at a short distance from the field until five or six thousand men of his scattered host had assembled round him, and at midnight began his retreat on Mandu, during which he was much harassed by the Kolis, who inflicted heavy losses on the remnant of his army.
In 1453 Mahmud Khalji opened an abortive campaign against Nagaur, which was held by Firuz Khan, the kinsman of Qutbuddin, but was compelled to retire to Malwa without having effected anything. In the same year Firuz Khan died, and his brother Mujahid Khan took possession of Nagaur, expelling Shams Khan, the son of Firuz Khan, who sought aid of Rana Kumbha of Chitor. The Rana promised to restore him to his inheritance on condition that he destroyed three of the bastions of Nagaur, as a symbol that the disgrace of the defeat of Mukal, the Rana’s father, by Firuz Khan was wiped out. Shams Khan agreed to the condition and was restored, but when he had recovered his patrimony his nobles refused to allow him to destroy any part of the fortifications, and Kumbha returned to Mewar to assemble an army for the reduction of Nagaur. Shams Khan fled to Ahmadabad and, by giving a daughter in marriage to Qutbuddin, induced him to send an army to the defence of Nagaur, but the Rana defeated and almost destroyed the army, and overran the whole of the Nagaur territory, though he failed to take the fortress.
In 1456 Qutbuddin marched to Kumbhalgarh to punish Kumbha, and on his way thither captured and destroyed the town of Sirohi and expelled the raja, Sains Mal. He laid waste all the lowlands of the Rana’s territory, defeated him in the field, and besieged him in Kumbhalgarh. The fortress was not taken, but Kumbha was obliged to purchase peace by the payment of ample compensation to Shams Khan for all the injuries which he had inflicted on him, and a heavy indemnity to Qutbuddin.
On returning to Ahmadabad Qutbuddin learned that Ghiyasuddin, the son of Mahmud Khalji, had led a raid into his dominions as far as Surat, but had hurriedly retreated on hearing of his return, and later in the year Mahmud sent a mission to propose a treaty of peace between the two kingdoms, in order that both might be free to wage holy war against the Hindus of Rajputana. These overtures were favorably received, and Mahmud marched to Dhar and Muhammad to the frontier of Malwa in the neighborhood of Champaner, where they halted while plenipotentiaries concluded a treaty binding each to abstain from aggression on the other, and allotting to Gujarat the western and to Malwa the eastern districts of the Rana's dominions as the theatre in which each was to be free to attack the misbelievers.
In 1457 Qutbuddin again invaded the dominions of Rana Kumbha. He had in his camp the chief of Abu, who had been expelled from his mountain fortress by the Rana, and his first care was to restore him. Having accomplished this he attacked and burnt Kumbhalgarh, and slaughtered both men and cattle throughout the neighborhood, but though he burnt the fortress he was unable to take it, and, having devastated the country round about Chitor, he returned to Ahmadabad, where he died, after a short illness, on May 18, 1458.
Qutbuddin was a young man, and as he had hitherto enjoyed good health his sudden illness and death aroused suspicions of poison. He had been addicted to strong drink, and when under its influence had been violent and quick to shed blood. Suspicion fell upon his wife, the daughter of Shams Khan of Nagaur, who was supposed to have instigated his daughter to administer poison to her husband in the hope of succeeding to the throne of Gujarat. Qutbuddin’s officers at Nagaur put Shams Khan to death, and the king's mother subjected his widow to torture and ultimately handed her over to her jealous co-wives, who avenged the preference formerly shown for her by cutting her to pieces.
On Qutbuddin’s death the great officers of state raised to the throne his uncle Daud, but this prince immediately displayed such depravity and proceeded to fill the places of those who had enthroned him with favorites so unworthy that he was deposed after a reign of no more than twenty-seven days, and his younger brother Abul Fath Mahmud was raised to the throne on May 25. Sultan Mahmud, a mere youth, was at once involved in the meshes of a conspiracy to raise his brother Hasan Khan to the throne. The courtiers who entertained this design approached him and informed him that the minister, Imadul Mulk Shaban, was conspiring to depose him and to place on the throne Mahmud's son, Shihabuddin, an infant in whose name he would be able to govern the whole country as regent. Mahmud, new to political intrigue, believed them, and permitted them to arrest the minister and imprison him over one of the gates of the palace. During the night Malik Abdullah, the superintendent of the elephant stables, who had access to the young king, informed him privately of the real state of affairs, and warned him that his throne was in danger. Mahmud consulted his mother and a few of his immediate attendants, and at once decided on a course of action. Going in person to the Tarpuliya gate, where the minister was confined, he easily gained admission, for the outer precincts of the gate were held by 500 of his own guards, whom he had lent for the purpose, but he found more difficulty in removing the scruples of the minister’s gaolers, who were the creatures of the conspirators. By stamping his foot and demanding in a loud and angry tone the immediate surrender of the traitor that he might suffer instant death he succeeded both in overawing the gaolers by a display of the divinity that doth hedge a king, and in beguiling them into the belief that compliance with his commands would accomplish their master's design, but as soon as their prisoner was in the king's power they perceived their error. He begged his minister to excuse the mistake which he had made, and to resume his post. The conspirators, supported by their troops, assembled in the morning at the Tarpuliya gate in the expectation of removing their enemy by a summary execution, but to their dismay found the king holding an audience with his minister, who was standing in his accustomed position behind the throne. Trusting to numbers, they attempted to assume control of the situation, but were deserted by many of their troops and by the city mob, who hesitated openly to take up arms against the king. They fled, and some gained secure places of refuge, but others were captured and publicly executed. Among the latter was one who had attempted to flee, but was too corpulent to use the necessary expedition, and was discovered lurking in his hiding place. Before him lay the obvious fate of being trampled to death by an elephant, and the populace was regaled with the unctuous spectacle.
The conspiracy having been thus frustrated the minister resumed office, but shortly afterwards retired. Haji Sultani, one of Mahmud’s confidants, was appointed in his place, with the title of Imadul Mulk, and Mahmud assumed charge of the administration of his kingdom. Imadul Mulk Shaban did not long survive his retirement.
In 1462 Mahmud, while on a hunting expedition, received an appeal for help from the guardians of the infant Nizam Shah of the Deccan, whose dominions had been invaded by Mahmud Khalji of Malwa. Mahmud of Gujarat marched to Nandurbar, where a second messenger informed him that Mahmud Khalji had defeated the army of the Deccan near Kandhar. Mahmud of Gujarat therefore marched eastward into Khandesh and cut off his retreat by that road, so that he was compelled to retire through the Mahadeo hills in northern Berar, where the army of Malwa suffered severely both from want of water and from the attacks of the Korkus.
Invasion of Sorath
In the following year Mahmud Khalji again invaded the Deccan, but had penetrated no further than the northern confines of Telingana when the news that the sultan of Gujarat was again marching to the help of Nizam Shah caused him to retreat. Nizam Shah sent an envoy to thank his deliverer for the assistance which he had given him, and Mahmud of Gujarat wrote to Mahmud Khalji saying that it was unfair to molest a child who had not reached maturity, and warning him that if he invaded the Deccan again he would find his own country overrun by the army of Gujarat. The threat was effectual, and Mahmud Khalji refrained from further acts of aggression.
In 1464 Mahmud of Gujarat attacked the Hindu chief of Pardi, near Daman, who had been guilty of piracy. As he was ascending the hill to capture the fort the chief met him with the keys, and the stronghold was restored to him on his undertaking to pay tribute and promising amendment.
In 1466 Mahmud invaded the territory of Mandalak Chudasama, raja of Girnar, his object being to compel the raja to pay tribute. The state was pillaged, and a number of Hindus perished in the defence of a famous temple, which was sacked. On the receipt of this news Mandalak agreed to pay tribute and Mahmud retired; but in the following year, learning that Mandalak was in the habit of using the insignia of royalty, wrote and commanded him to discontinue their use, and the raja, dreading another invasion, obeyed.
On May 31, 1469, Mahmud Khalji of Malwa died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Ghiyasuddin. The question of the invasion of Malwa was at this time discussed at the court of Gujarat, but Mahmud showed that the warning which he had addressed to Mahmud Khalji when the latter was attacking Nizam Shah of the Deccan had its origin in principle, and declined to invade a state which had just suffered the misfortune of losing its ruler. Later in the year, however, he committed an act as wanton by leading into Sorath a large army against Mandalak of Girnar. It was in vain that the raja pleaded that he had remitted tribute regularly and had been an obedient vassal. Mahmud replied that he was come neither for tribute nor for plunder, but to establish the true faith in Sorath; and offered Mandalak the choice between Islam and death. The answer admitted of no argument, and Mandalak could only prepare to defend himself. He retired to his citadel, Uparkot, and was there closely besieged. When reduced to straits he attempted to purchase peace by offering an enormous indemnity, but to no purpose, and, finding that he could no longer defend Uparkot, he fled with his Rajputs to his hill fort on the Girnar mountains, but was followed by Mahmud, who again closely besieged him until at last, on December 4, 1470, he was compelled to surrender. He accepted Islam and received the title of Khan Jahan, and the long line of Chudasama chiefs of Girnar came to an end. Mahmud incorporated Girnar in his dominions, and at the foot of the hill founded the city of Mustafa-abad, which became one of his capitals.
Mahmud now learned that while he had been besieging Girnar Jai Singh, the son of Gangadas of Champaner, had been committing systematic brigandage and highway robbery in the country between his stronghold and Ahmadabad. He therefore sent Jamaluddin Muhammad to govern this tract, conferring on him the title of Muhafiz Khan, and he put down thieving and highway robbery with such a firm hand that the inhabitants, we are told, slept with open doors.
He had intended at this time to reduce the fortress of Champaner, but he was interrupted by complaints from southern Sind, where Muslims were said to be persecuted by Hindus. He crossed the Rann of Cutch by forced marches, and arrived in what is now the Thar and Parkar district with no more than 600 horse. An army of 24,000 horses which he found before him appears, if it were not that of those who had appealed, at least to have had no hostile intentions, for its leaders readily entered into negotiations with him. It proved to be composed of Sumras, Sodas, and Kalhoras, and its leaders told him that they were professing Muslims but knew little of their faith or its rules, and were wont to intermarry with and to live as Hindus. He invited those who would to enter his service, and to return with him to Gujarat, and many accepted his invitation and received grants of land in Sorath, where teachers were appointed to instruct them in the faith of Islam.
In 1472 it was reported to Mahmud that 40,000 rebels had risen against Jam Nizamuddin, the ruler of Sind, whose daughter was the mother of Mahmud. According to Firishta these rebels were Baluchis of the Shiah persuasion, and according to the author of the Zafar-ul-Walih they were pirates who dwelt on the sea coast, owning allegiance to none, and skilled in archery. Mahmud again crossed the Rann by forced marches, and appeared in Sind with his army. The rebels dispersed on hearing of his approach, and Mahmud halted, and before he returned received gifts and a letter of thanks from the Jam, who also sent his daughter, who was married to Qaisar Khan, grandson of Hasan Khan Iftikharul Mulk of Khandesh, who had taken refuge in Gujarat.
On his return from Sind Mahmud marched, on May 14, 1473, to Jagat (Dwarka), the holy town on the coast in the north-western corner of Kathiawar, which was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni. Mahmud Samarqandi, a learned poet and merchant sailing from a port of the Deccan, had been driven ashore at Dwarka, where the Hindus had robbed him of all that he had. He appeared at Sultan Mahmud's court to demand redress, and the king resolved to chastise the idolaters. He marched to Dwarka, from which the Hindus, with their king, Bhim, fled on his approach, plundered and destroyed the temple, and built a mosque in its place. He then marched to Aramura, at the extreme north-western point of the peninsula, where the army was much troubled by lions, and by venomous reptiles and insects, to attack the island fortress of Bet Shankhodhar, where Bhim and his people had taken refuge. The Hindus were defeated in a sea-fight and were compelled to surrender, as their fortress, though well stored with merchandise, had not been provisioned. The plunder was carried to the mainland and transported to Mustafa-abad. Mahmud Samarqandi was summoned and called upon to identify his goods; all that he identified was delivered to him, and over and above this rich presents were bestowed on him. Finally the king delivered to him his enemy, Raja Bhim, that he might do with him what he would. Mahmud Samarqandi thanked the king, but returned the raja, who was sent to Ahmadabad and impaled.
In October, 1473, Mahmud, who had held his court at Mustafa-abad since his capture of Girnar, returned after an absence of nearly five years to Ahmadabad. A fleet of Malabar pirates made a descent on his coasts, but they were driven off and some of their ships were captured. In January, 1474, he ravaged part of the Champaner country and shortly afterwards returned to Mustafaabad (or Junagarh) where he made a practice of spending part of each year, leaving his minister, Khudavand Khan b. Yusuf, who had married his sister, at Ahmadabad in charge of his son Ahmad.
Mahmud's tireless energy and ceaseless activity were most wearisome to his courtiers and officers, and during his absence from his capital his minister, Khudavand Khan, having on December 4, 1480, assembled at Ahmadabad, on the pretext of celebrating the festival Id-ul-Fitr at the end of the month's fast, the principal nobles, formed a conspiracy with the object of deposing Mahmud and raising to the throne his son, Ahmad Khan. The minister desired to put to death Imadul Mulk Haji Sultani, whose fidelity to Mahmud was believed to be unalterable, but Rai Rayan, the chief Hindu noble and one of the leading spirits among the conspirators, was a personal friend of Imadul Mulk, and refused to be a party to his death. He proposed to inform him of the plot and to gain his acquiescence, and, notwithstanding the minister's protests, carried out his intention. Imadul Mulk feigned acquiescence, but secretly summoned his troops from his fiefs and took other steps to defeat the designs of the conspirators, and Qaisar Khan Faruqi, who was at Ahmadabad, privately informed the king of the affair, so that it came to naught.
Mahmud, instead of arraigning the conspirators, as might have been expected from the energy of his character, took steps to test the fidelity of his servants. He made all the necessary preparations for a sea voyage, and announced that he intended to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, leaving his son Ahmad as regent of the kingdom. The nobles were summoned from Ahmadabad to Cambay to consider this proposal, and, perceiving that their plot had been discovered, urged the king to return to Ahmadabad and set the affairs of the kingdom in order before taking any irrevocable step. He accepted their advice and returned to Ahmadabad, where he kept them still on the rack. He desired, he said, to make the pilgrimage, but must leave the matter to the decision of his counselors, and would neither eat nor drink until he had received that decision. The courtiers were in a quandary. They knew not how their advice would be accepted, but knew that they must either forgo the object of their conspiracy or be accounted hypocrites. So long did they hesitate that it became necessary to remind them that the king was hungry and awaited their decision. They had arrived at none, and sent Nizamul Mulk Aisan, the oldest courtier, to the king as their spokesman. Nizamul Mulk, who perceived that the king had outwitted the conspirators, adroitly suggested that just as the king was satisfied of his son's ability to guide the affairs of the kingdom, so he too had a son who was competent to advise and assist him, and requested that he himself might be permitted to accompany the king on his pilgrimage. It was now Mahmud's turn to be at a loss, but he sent Nizamul Mulk back to those who had sent him, saying that he could not permit him to accompany him to Mecca and demanding a categorical answer. By the advice of Imadul Mulk, Nizamul Mulk was sent back to the king with the message that he would do well to conquer Champaner before deciding to make the pilgrimage. This advice was accepted, but it was not convenient to attack Champaner at once, and Mahmud marched to Patan and thence sent Imadul Mulk and Qaisar Khan Faruqi on an expedition to Sanchor and Jalor in Marwar. As the expedition was about to start the two sons of the minister, Khudavand Khan, entered the tent of Qaisar Khan and murdered him for his share in discovering the plot to the king. The actual murderers escaped, but Khudavand Khan was imprisoned, and Muhafiz Khan was made chief vazir in his place. Imadul Mulk died in the same year, and was succeeded by his son, Buda Imadul Mulk. From Patan Mahmud returned to Ahmadabad, and the country now suffered from a failure of the rains and famine.
Siege of Champaner
In 1482 Mahmud obtained the opportunity which he sought of attacking Champaner. Malik Sudha, his governor of Rasulabad, fourteen miles south-west of Champaner, led a raid into the raja’s territories, and plundered and laid them waste nearly to the walls of the fortress, slaying the inhabitants. As he was returning, the raja, Patai, son of Udai Singh, followed him up, attacked and slew him, recovered all his booty, took two elephants, and sacked and destroyed Rasulabad. Mahmud, on hearing of this defeat, assembled his forces, and on December 4, 1482, marched from Ahmadabad to Baroda, on his way to Champaner. From Baroda he sent an army to besiege Champaner while he invaded the raja's territories to collect supplies for the besiegers, whom it was difficult, owing to the famine, to provision.
Raja Patai came forth to meet his enemy, but was defeated and driven into Pavagurh, his hill fortress above Champaner, while the besiegers occupied the town. Patti succeeded in cutting off one convoy sent by Mahmud to his army, but this was his sole success. When Mahmud joined the besieging army in person Patti made repeated offers of submission, but none was accepted, and Mahmud displayed his determination to capture the place by building in the city the beautiful mosque which still adorns its ruins. This measure not only discouraged Patai, but stimulated the Muslim officers, who now perceived that they would not be allowed to leave the fortress uncaptured, to exertions more strenuous than their former faint efforts. Patai sent his minister, Suri, to seek help of Ghiyasuddin Khalji of Malwa, and Ghiyasuddin, assembling his troops, left Mandu and marched as far as Nalcha. Mahmud, leaving his officers to continue the siege, led a force as far as Dohad to meet Ghiyasuddin, but the latter, repenting of his enterprise, which, as he was advised by Muslim doctors at his court, was unlawful, retired to Mandu, and Mahmud returned to Champaner and continued the siege.
The operations lasted for a year and nine months, throughout which period Mahmud, besides besieging the fortress, continued to plunder the country, so that there remained no town, no village, no house, of which the money was not taken into the royal treasury, the cloths and stuffs into the royal storehouses, the beasts into the royal stables, the corn into the royal granaries and kitchens. At the end of this time the Rajputs were reduced to extremities, and resolved to perform the dreadful rite of jauhar. The women were burnt, and the men, arrayed in yellow garments, went forth to die. On November 21, 1484, the Muslims forced the gate and met their desperate opponents. Of the seven hundred Rajputs who performed the rite nearly all were slain, but Raja Patai and a minister named Dungarsi were wounded and captured. Mahmud called upon them to accept Islam, but they refused and remained steadfast in their refusal during an imprisonment of five months, at the end of which time they were executed, together with the minister Suri. Patai's son accepted Islam and in the next reign became Amir of Idar, receiving the title of Nizamul Mulk.
Mahmud now made Champaner one of his principal places of residence, giving it the name of Muhammad-abad, the other being Mustafa-abad or Junagarh. The kingdom of Gujarat had reached its extreme limits. After this conquest Mahmud held possession of the country from the frontiers of Mandu to the frontiers of Sind, by Junagarh; to the Siwalik Parbat by Jalor and Nagaur; to Nasik Trimbak by Baglana; from Burhanpur to Berar and Malkapur of the Deccan; to Karkun and the river Narbada on the side of Burhanpur; on the side of ldar as far as Chitor and Kumbhalgarh, and on the side of the sea as far as the bounds of Chaul. It seems to have been after the conquest of Champaner that Mahmud was first styled Begarha.
In 1487, while he was hunting at Halol, near Champaner, a company of horsedealers complained to him that the raja of Abu had robbed them of 403 horses, which they were bringing to Gujarat for him by his order. Mahmul paid them the full price of the horses and gave them a letter to the raja demanding restitution of the stolen property. The raja was terrified, and restored 370 horses, paid the price of 33 which had died, gave the merchants valuable gifts for Mahmud, and begged them to intercede with him. Mahmud, content with this display of his power and the raja's humiliation, permitted the merchants to retain the horses as well as their price.
Depredations of Bahadur Gilani
In 1491 Mahmud received complaints of the exactions of Bahadur Gilani, who, during the troubles which had fallen upon the Bahmani kingdom, had possessed himself of the whole of the Konkan and committed piracy at sea and brigandage on land, his depredations extending as far north as Cambay. Qivamul Mulk, who was sent with an army to punish him, discovered that he could not reach him without invading the Deccan, and returned to Ahmadabad to seek authority for this action, but Mahmud was averse from any act of aggression against the southern kingdom, and contented himself with writing to Mahmud Shah Bahmani, reminding him of the claims which Gujarat had on the gratitude of his house and requesting him to suppress the marauder. Bahadur was in fact in rebellion against the feeble Bahmanid, who had no control over him, but a reassuring reply was sent to Gujarat and Mahmud Bahmani, or rather his minister Qasim, Baridul Mamalik, with the help of Ahmad Nizam Shah, who was now virtually independent at Junnar, undertook a campaign against the pirate. The operations were protracted, and it was not until 1494 that Bahadur Gilani was defeated and slain and full reparation was made to Gujarat. The ships which Bahadur had taken were restored to their owners, and gifts consisting of Arab horses, a large quantity of pearls, five elephants, and a jeweled dagger were sent to Mahmud.
In 1492 Bahauddin Ulugh Khan, son of Ulugh Khan Suhrab and governor of Modasa, oppressed the people and appropriated the pay of his troops, so that they rose against him and he fled. Mahmud sent Sharafi Jahan to reassure him, but the mission was a failure, and Ulugh Khan, just as his father had joined Mahmud Khalji, sought an asylum with Ghiyasuddin Khalji of Malwa, who refused to receive him. He then went to Sultanpur, and besieged the governor, Azizul Mulk Shaikhan, but on the arrival of a relieving force fled into Baglana, and was followed thither and defeated. After wandering for some time as a fugitive he submitted to the king, and was pardoned and reinstated, but shortly afterwards, having murdered one of his officers, was thrown into prison, where he died in 1496.
On November 20, 1500, Ghiyasuddin Khalji of Malwa had been deposed by his son, Nasiruddin, and died in February 1501, not without suspicion of poison. Mahmud resolved to punish the reputed parricide, and prepared to invade Malwa, but Nasiruddin succeeded in persuading him that his father had acquiesced in his deposition, and that he was innocent of his death, and the expedition was abandoned.
Vasco da Gama had appeared on the Malabar Coast in 1498, and the Portuguese were now firmly established in more than one western port. In 1506 a strong fort was built at Cochin, which was their chief emporium, and in 1507 a settlement was made on the island of Socotra, near the entrance of the Red Sea. Thus, in less than a decade, they had diverted the greater part of the lucrative spice trade from the Red Sea and Egypt; for the discovery of the direct sea route to Europe had deprived the Manila Sultans of one of their chief sources of revenue, heavy dues being levied both at Jedda and Alexandria on goods in transit. The important ports of north-western India, such as Cambay and Chaul, which were held by the Muslims, were at the same time seriously affected, and thus the Portuguese incurred the hostility of all the Muhammadan powers surrounding the Arabian Sea, who determined to make a combined effort to oust the infidel intruders. It was finally arranged, by correspondence which passed between Qansauh-al-Ghauri, sultan of Egypt, the king of Gujarat, other local Muhammadan rulers, and the Zamorin of Calicut, who had been the most intimately associated with the Europeans, that a fleet should be equipped at Suez and dispatched to India, where it would be reinforced by such vessels as were available locally. The Egyptian fleet was under the command of Amir Husain the Kurd, governor of Jedda, while the Indian contingent was commanded by Malik Ayaz, a Turkish subject who had found his way to the court of Gujarat. Up to the year 1507 the Portuguese had confined their activities inland to the Malabar Coast, though they had frequently harassed the trading vessels and pilgrim ships bound from Gujarat, the Gate of Mecca to Indian Muslims, for Jedda. The Portuguese Viceroy, Francesco de Almeida, in this year resolved to exploit the northerly coast of India, and dispatched his gallant son Lourenço with a squadron to explore the coast as far as Gujarat. It does not appear that the Viceroy had any intimation of the attack which was to be made by the Egyptian fleet, although he was aware of the correspondence which had been passing between India and Egypt. Had he known that Amir Husain was on his way it is unlikely that he would have sent so small a squadron under his son. Amir Husain reached India at the end of 1507 and encountered Lourenço in the harbor of Chaul in January, 1508, when a fierce fight ensued in which the Portuguese were utterly defeated by Amir Husain and Malik Ayaz, and Dom Lourenço died a hero's death. After this victory, which was the occasion of much jubilation and of mutual congratulations among the Muslims, Mahmud returned to Champaner.
War of Succession in Khandesh
We must revert to the history of Khandesh, in the affairs of which Mahmud was now, not unwillingly, entangled. We have already traced its history, in outline, to the succession of Khan II in 1457.
Adil Khan II was one of the most energetic and most powerful rulers of Khandesh. He consolidated his authority in that region, and extended it over Gondwana, he suppressed the depredations of the Kolis and Bhils, thus ensuring the safety of travelers in his dominions, and carried his arms as far as Jharkhand, the modern Chota Nagpur, from which circumstance he is known as Jharkhandi Sultan. Since Khalaf Hasan’s invasion the rulers of Khandesh had regarded the king of Gujarat as their natural protector, and had paid him tribute, but Adil Khan II, in his career of victory, had scorned dependence, and had omitted to send the usual tribute. A demonstration of force by Mahmud in 1499 or 1500 had sufficed to bring him to his senses, and from that time until his death, more than a year later, he was on cordial terms with his suzerain and visited his court.
On September 28, 1501, Adil Khan II died without issue and was succeeded by his younger brother, Daud Khan. There was, however, another aspirant belonging to the Faruqi family, named Alam Khan, who had enjoyed the protection of the king of Gujarat. This Alam Khan was the great-great-grandson of Hasan Khan, who had been expelled from Khandesh by his elder brother, Nasir Khan, and had fled to the court of Ahmad Shah of Gujarat. Ali Hasan Khan's descendants, with the exception of one, who married a daughter of Jam Nizamuddin of Sind, had married princesses of the royal house of Gujarat, and Alam Khan was the grandson of Mahmud Begarha. It thus came about that Mahmud induced Adil Khan II to nominate his youthful kinsman as his heir, to the exclusion of his brother Daud, but in 1501 Mahmud was not in a position to press his grandson’s claim, and Maud succeeded without opposition to the throne of Khandesh. He was a feeble but reckless prince, who contrived to embroil himself with Ahmad Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, who invaded Khandesh and could not be expelled until Daud had purchased the aid of Nasiruddin Khalji of Malwa by the humiliating concession of causing the khutba to be recited in his name. His death on August 28, 1508, ended an inglorious reign, and he was succeeded by his son Ghazni Khan, who was poisoned after a reign of ten days. Ahmad Nizam Shah now again invaded Khandesh with the object of placing on the throne another scion of the Faruqi house also named Alam Khan, who had taken refuge at his court. Mahmud Begarha was at this juncture reminded of his pledge to support his grandson's claim, and he too invaded Khandesh with the object of placing the other Alam Khan on the throne. Khandesh was divided into two factions, the one supporting the Gujarat claimant and the other the Ahmadnagar claimant. The adherents of the former, under Malik Husain the Mughul, established themselves in Burhanpur, where they were joined by Ahmad Nizam Shah and the king of Berar, while Malik Ladan, the leader of the Gujarat party, shut himself up in Asirgarh, where he was besieged. Meanwhile Mahmud Begarha, with his grandson, was marching on Thalner, and when news of his arrival reached Burhanpur Ahmad Nizam Shah and the king of Berar withdrew, leaving a force of 4000 to support the Ahmadnagar candidate and Malik Husain. When they heard that Mahmud had sent a force to attack them these troops fled from Burhanpur, carrying the pretender with them, and Malik Husain, thus deserted, was obliged to submit to Mahmud. All opposition being thus removed, the king of Gujarat held a court at Thalner and installed his candidate on the throne of Khandesh with the title of Adil Khan III. After Mahmud's return to Gujarat an envoy from Ahmud’s son and successor, Burhan Nizam Shah, waited on him and demanded that some provision should be made for Alam Khan, but was compelled to convey to his master the humiliating message that the sultan of Gujarat recognised no royalty in the rebellious slave of the kings of the Deccan, and that if Burhan dared again to address a king otherwise than as a humble suppliant he should repent it.
Adil Khan III of Khandesh cemented his alliance with Gujarat by marrying a daughter of Sultan Muzaffar, Mahmud's son, who afterwards succeeded his father as Muzaffar II. One of his first acts was to cause Malik Husain, who was again plotting with the king of Ahmadnagar, to be assassinated. The dispatch from Gujarat of a large force averted a danger which threatened the state from the direction of Ahmadnagar, and the reign of Adil Khan III was not marked by any noteworthy event. On his death, on August 25, 1520, he was succeeded by his son, Muhammad I, generally known as Muhammad Shah, from his having been summoned to the throne of Gujarat, which he never lived to occupy.
Death of Mahmud Begarha
From Thalner Mahmud returned to Champaner, where, in 1510, he was gratified by the arrival of a mission from Sikandar Lodi of Delhi, who tendered him his congratulations on his successes in Khandesh. A mission in the following year from Shah Ismail I Safavi, of Persia, was less favorably received. The envoy, Yadgar Beg Qizilbash, was commissioned to invite Mahmud to embrace the Shiah faith, but Mahmud, whose health was failing, had refreshed his orthodoxy by visits to the shrines of saints at Patan and Sarkhej, and sent a message to the heretics bidding them begone. He had already designated his son Muzaffar as his heir, and feeling the approach of death summoned him from Baroda. Muzaffar arrived only in time to assist in bearing his father's coffin from Ahmadabad to his tomb at Sarkhej, for Mahmud I, the greatest of the sultans of Gujarat, had breathed his last on November 23, 1511.
Mahmud Begarha was not only the greatest of the sultans of Gujarat. He holds a prominent place among the warrior princes of India. Succeeding to the throne at an age when even Akbar was under tutelage, he at once assumed the management of affairs, overcame an extensive conspiracy backed by armed force, and administered his kingdom with complete freedom, whether from the dictation of a minister or from the more pernicious influence of the harem. He was, in short, a prodigy of precocity. When he grew to manhood his appearance was striking. Tall and robust, with a beard which descended to his girdle and a heavy moustache which twisted and curled upwards, his mien struck awe into his courtiers. His elder brother, Qutbuddin Ahmad Shah, had died by poison, and wonderful fables are related of the means by which Mahmud protected himself from a like fate. He is said gradually to have absorbed poisons into his system until he was so impregnated with them that a fly settling on his hand instantly died, and he was immune from the effects of any poison which might be administered to him. It is to him that Samuel Butler refers in Hudibras, first published in 1664 :
The prince of Cambay's daily food
Is asp and basilisk and toad'.
Physicians will estimate the practicability and efficacy of such a course of prophylactic treatment, but whatever foundation there may be for these strange legends there is no reason to doubt that Mahmud profited from the general belief in his immunity from poison, and Butler's description of his diet is at least incomplete, for his voracious appetite demanded large supplies of more wholesome food. His daily allowance was between twenty and thirty pounds' weight, and before going to sleep he placed two pounds or more of boiled rice on either side of his couch, so that he might find something to eat on whichever side he awoke. When he rose in the morning he swallowed a cup of honey, a cup of butter, and from 100 to 150 bananas.
His martial exploits and the expansion of his dominions which they brought about have been recounted. He was mild and just to his own servants, and his fierce intolerance of Hinduism is counted to him by historians of his own religion as a merit. Of his nickname Begarha two explanations have been given, but there can be no doubt that the true interpretation is be garb, or 'two forts', and that it had reference to his capture of the two great Hindu strongholds of Girnar and Champaner.
The naval victory over the Portuguese at Chaul in 1508, which had so elated the Muslims, was without lasting results, for in the following year Almeida sailed up the west coast with his whole fleet to Diu, where he found the Egyptian fleet with its Indian auxiliaries lying between the island and the mainland. In the desperate battle which followed the Muslims were totally defeated and the Egyptian fleet almost entirely destroyed. No mention of this Portuguese victory is made by the Muslim historians, but it is alluded to by the Arabic historian of the Zamorins of Calicut. Full and circumstantial accounts are, however, to be found in the Portuguese chronicles. After this failure to drive the Portuguese from the Indian seas Mahmud Begarha ordered Malik Ayaz to make peace, and to return the prisoners taken at Chaul. In the following year the Portuguese first obtained possession of Goa and transferred their headquarters from Cochin to that city. Mahmud offered them a site for a factory at Diu, and almost immediately after the accession of Muzaffar II in 1511 a Portuguese mission arrived to seek permission for the construction of a fort to protect the factory. This request was not granted, and the mission left. Yadgar Beg, the ambassador from Shah Ismail Safavi whom Mahmud Begarha had refused to receive, was favorably received by Muzaffar, and was lodged at Ahmadabad, and afterwards at Champaner.
Events in Malwa
Mahmud II, who had ascended the throne of Malwa in 1510, was the younger son of his father, Nasiruddin, whom he had deposed, and the elder son, Sahib Khan, entitled Muhammad Shah, now sought refuge with Muzaffar and begged him to help him to expel his brother and gain his throne. He joined Muzaffar’s camp at Baroda, on the way from Ahmadabad to Champaner, and Muzaffar sent an agent into Malwa to investigate the situation and report upon it.
The agent, Qaisar Khan, returned with a report favorable to Sahib Khan's claim, and Sahib Khan was impatient for his host to take the field. Muzaffar bade him have patience and promised to invade Malwa at the end of the rainy season, but before the time came to redeem his promise Sahib Khan had left Gujarat in consequence of the gross misconduct of the Persian ambassador, who invited him to dinner and assaulted him. The prince's servants attacked the ambassador's suite and plundered his lodging, but the affair was noised abroad, and Sahib Khan was so overcome with shame that he fled from Gujarat and attempted to take refuge with Adil Khan III of Khandesh, but while be was travelling to that court the governor of a frontier district of the kingdom of Malwa attacked and defeated him, and he fled, with a following of 300 horse, to Alauddin Imad Shah of Berar, who would not offend the sultan of Malwa by offering the fugitive armed assistance, but assigned to him lands for his maintenance.
Nasiruddin of Malwa had employed in his army a large number of Rajputs from eastern Hindustan, who had become so powerful in the kingdom that Mahmud II was a puppet in their hands. Muzaffar II marched to Godhra with a view to invading Malwa and restoring Mahmud's authority by crushing the Rajputs, but at Godhra he received disturbing news from Idar. Ainul Mulk Fuladi, governor of Patan, was marching with his contingent to join him at Godhra, but on the way learned that Bhim Singh of Idar, taking advantage of Muzaffar's preoccupation with the affairs of Malwa, had raided the whole country to the east of the Sabarmati River. He turned aside to punish him, but the raja defeated him, slew his brother and 200 of his men, and compelled him to flee. Muzaffar, on receiving the news, marched in person to Modasa, drove Bhim Singh to the hills, and sacked his capital, destroying the temples and other buildings. Bhim Singh was fain to purchase peace, and permission to return to Idar by a payment of 800,000 rupees and the delivery of 100 horses.
Having thus settled affairs on his north-eastern frontier Muzaffar, in 1513, marched to Godhra, sent his son Sikandar to Champaner as governor, dispatched a force under Qaisar Khan to Deoli near the Mahi, and followed him with his army. He had now changed his intention of aiding Mahmud by crushing the Rajputs, and had formed the design of conquering and annexing Malwa. He sent a force to occupy Dhar, the governor of which offered no resistance on receiving an assurance that the city should not be sacked nor its inhabitants massacred.
Muzaffar now learnt that Mahmud was at Chanderi, endeavoring to crush a rebellion of the Rajput troops under their leader, Medeni Rai, and he once more changed his mind. For this second instance of vacillation two reasons are assigned. The first, more favorable to Muzaffar’s character, was the reflection that to attack a brother Muslim who was in straits owing to the misconduct of infidels would be both unlawful and ungenerous, and the second was the defeat of a detachment sent by him to Nalcha, which he regarded as an evil omen. The former reason may be accepted as the true one, first because it is conformable to the whole course of Muzaffar's behavior towards Mahmud Khalji, and secondly because the fact that his troops were defeated is not established. He retired to his own dominions and relieved the anxiety which oppressed Mahmud, beset on all sides by difficulties.
In 1515 Raja Bhim Singh of Idar died, and should have been succeeded by his son Bihari Mal, but his cousin german contested the succession, and Sangrama Singh, Rana of Mewar, the Sanga, or Sanka of Muslim historians, welcomed the opportunity of asserting his ill-founded claim to supremacy over all Rajput princes and supported the pretender, who was his brother-in-law. He invaded Idar and enthroned Rai Mal, expelling Bihari Mal, who took refuge with Muzaffar. Muzaffar would not brook this interference in a state which had for many years owned allegiance to Gujarat, and, marching to Ahmadnagar, sent Nizamul Mulk to Idar to expel Rai Mal and establish Bihari Mal as raja. The selection of Nizamul Mulk for the duty was not merely fortuitous, for he was the son of Raja Patai of Champaner, and had embraced Islam after the fall of that stronghold. He expelled Rai Mal from Idar and restored Bihari Mal. He then followed Rai Mal into the Bichabhera hills and attacked him. The battle was indecisive, many lives being lost to no purpose, and Muzaffar rebuked Nizamul Mulk for his inconsiderate rashness; and shortly afterwards Nizamul Mulk was stricken with paralysis and was relieved at his own request, Nusratul Mulk being sent to Idar in his place. Nizamul Mulk was so eager to return to Champaner that he started from Idar before Nusratul Mulk could arrive, leaving Zahirul Mulk with no more than a hundred men to hold Idar.
Rai Mal marched on Idar and Zahirul Mulk went forth with his small force to meet him, and was defeated with the loss of more than a quarter of his men. Nusratul Mulk, who was at Ahmadnagar, pressed on, drove off Rai Mal, and made Ahmadnagar his headquarters, maintaining order in the plains by harrying the brigands of the Vajinagar hills.
Defeat of the Rajputs
Mahmud II of Malwa was so weary of the dominance of his Rajput officers that he secretly left his capital and arrived at Bhagor, where he was received by the Gujarat noble, Qaisar Khan. As soon as Muzaffar heard of his arrival he sent him tents, treasure, and elephants, and shortly afterwards joined him with an army and entertained him at a banquet to celebrate the occasion. When Medeni Rai heard of these doings he set out for Chitor, in order to seek help from Rana Sangrama, leaving a garrison to protect Mandu, against which Mahmud and Muzaffar were marching. The Rajput garrison was twice defeated before the walls, and Muzaffar formed the siege of the fortress. Pithaura, who commanded the garrison, had heard from Medeni Rai that the Rana was coming to his aid, and strove by feigned negotiations, as well as by force of arms, to hold out as long as possible. Muzaffar II was now joined by his nephew and son-in-law, Adil Khan III of Khandesh, whom he sent with Qivamul Mulk to check the progress of the Rana and Medeni Rai, who had already reached Ujjain.
On February 23, 1518, the day of the Hindu festival of the Holi, Mandu was carried by escalade, the Rajput garrison performed the rite of jauhar, and Muzaffar, on entering the city, ordered a general massacre of the surviving Rajputs. Nineteen thousand were put to the sword, and the streets ran with blood, which streamed from the drains which carried rainwater into the ditch.
Muzaffar now prepared to march against the Rana and Medeni Rai, but learned that they had been so terror-stricken by the news of the massacre that they at once turned and fled, riding fifty-four miles on the first night of their flight. Muzaffar restored Mandu to Mahmud, who entertained him sumptuously and accompanied him on his homeward way as far as Deoli, and Asaf Khan with 10,000 horse was left in Malwa to aid Mahmud against his enemies. In connection with the siege of Mandu we first hear of Imadul Mulk, Khush Qadam, who played such an important part in the affairs of Gujarat at this time.
Muzaffar, after returning to Champaner, learned that Rai Mal had been ravaging the Patan district, and marched to punish him, remaining for some time in Idar while Rai Mal and his confederates were pursued in the hills.
In 1519, after his return to Champaner Muzaffar heard of the defeat and capture of Mahmud II by Rana Sangrama near Gagraun, and of the heavy losses suffered by his own contingent of 10,000 horses. He sent reinforcements into Malwa, but they were not required, for the Rana generously restored his vanquished foe to his throne.
Mubarizul Mulk was now sent to relieve Nusratul Mulk at Idar, where he was so annoyed by hearing the praise of the valor and generosity of the Rana that he named a dog Sangrama, and tied it up at one of the gates of the town. The Rana, on hearing of this insult, assembled his army and marched on Idar, where Mubarizul Mulk’s officers were so enraged with him for having by his contemptible act endangered them and the city that they dissuaded the king from sending assistance to him, and retired to Ahmadnagar, carrying him with them. The Rana occupied Idar and marched on to Ahmadnagar, where he defeated Mubarizul Mulk with heavy loss and compelled him to retreat to Ahmadabad. After plundering Ahmadnagar he marched to Vadnagar, the inhabitants of which town, being Brahmans, escaped molestation thence he marched to Visnagar, plundered the town after defeating Malik Hatim, who gallantly came forth to meet him with the small force at his disposal, and then returned to his own country.
After his departure Mubarizul Mulk returned with a small force to Ahmadnagar and buried the dead. Here he was attacked by the Kolis of Idar, whom he defeated.
In January, 1521, Muzaffar sent an army of 100,000 horse and 100 elephants under the command of Malik Ayaz, governor of Sorath, to chastise the Rana for his raid into Gujarat. Bakor, Galiakot, Dungarpur, Sagwara, and Banswara were ravaged and laid waste. At Banswara a large force of Hindus lying in ambush was attacked and put to flight after suffering losses. Malik Ayaz then marched to Mandasor, and besieged that town. Rana Sangrama marched to its relief, but would not venture within twenty miles of the Muslim camp, and sent agents to Malik Ayaz offering to pay tribute to Muzaffar II if he would raise the siege, but his prayers were unheeded. Mahmud II joined Malik Ayaz, and Mandasor might have been captured and Sangrama defeated, but for the jealousy of Malik Ayaz, who feared lest Qivamul Mulk, his principal lieutenant, should gain the credit for the victory. He therefore made peace with the Rana on his promising to pay tribute, to place a son at Muzaffar's court as a hostage, to wait in person on the king, and to be obedient to his orders. Qivamul Mulk was strongly opposed to this treaty and persuaded Mahmud Shah to join him in an attack on the Rana, but Malik Ayaz was informed of this design, used his authority over the army of Gujarat to prevent its execution and marched back to Ahmadabad. Muzaffar was so deeply disappointed by this termination of a promising campaign that he would not see Malik Ayaz, but sent him straight back to Sorath, where he died in the following year and was succeeded by his son Ishaq.
Muzaffar himself was preparing, in 1522, to march against the Rana, but before he could start from Ahmadabad Sangrama's son arrived with gifts from his father, and the expedition was abandoned.
Bahadur's flight from Gujarat
In 1524 Alam Khan, son of Buhlul Lodi of Delhi, who was a refugee at Muzaffar's court, informed him that according to information received by him from Delhi there was much dissatisfaction with his nephew, Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, and the chances of his obtaining his father's throne appeared to be good. Muzaffar accordingly supplied him with a sum of money and a small force and dismissed him.
Late in 1524 Muzaffar's second son, Bahadur, demanded equality of treatment with his eldest brother, Sikandar, but the king, who had designated Sikandar as his heir, feared to place more power in the hands of the ablest and most energetic of his sons, and put him off with fair words. Bahadur fled disgusted from his father's court, and repaired first to Udai Singh of Dungarpur, then to Sangrama Singh at Chitor, and next to Mewat, where the local Muhammadan ruler, Hasan, entertained him hospitably. He eventually proceeded to Delhi, but it is not quite clear at what precise date. In all probability it was at the beginning of 1526, for the people of Delhi were then expecting the approach of Babur with his invading army. Bahadur was well received by Ibrahim Lodi, who was doubtless glad to obtain the services of this young but experienced soldier. Ibrahim was encamped at Panipat when Bahadur joined him, and skirmishes had already begun with the advanced guard of the Mughul army. It was in one of these skirmishes that Bahadur so greatly distinguished himself that the jealousy of Ibrahim Lodi was roused, and Bahadur deemed it prudent to withdraw, and set out for Jaunpur, possibly selecting this town in response to an invitation received from the local nobles, who are said to have offered him the throne. The battle of Panipat, in which Babur defeated Ibrahim, was fought on April 18. Abu Turab, a contemporary writer, tells us that Bahadur was present at this battle, but took no part in the fighting. If this refers to the decisive action Bahadur must have left for Jaunpur as soon as the issue of the day had been decided. On April 7 his father Muzaffar died, and it was while he was on his way to Jaunpur that Bahadur received an invitation to return, and immediately turned back in the direction of Gujarat, travelling by way of Chitor.
The nobles of Gujarat were now divided into three factions, supporting the claims of Sikandar, Bahadur and Latif, the eldest, second, and third sons of Muzaffar. Sikandar, who had been designated heir by his father, was immediately proclaimed by Imadul Mulk Khush Qadam and Khudavand Khan al-Iji, and marched from Ahmadabad to Champaner. The new king was feeble and ill-advised. He alienated the old nobles of his father's reign by advancing his own personal servants beyond their merits, and by his untimely profusion. There was general dissatisfaction, and an impression prevailed that Bahadur would soon return to seize the throne, but the immediate danger was from Latif Khan, who was assembling his forces at Nandurbar. A force under Sharza Khan was sent against him, but he retired into Baglana and when Sharza Khan followed him thither he was attacked, defeated, and slain by the raja, and the Rajputs and Kolis followed the defeated army and slew 1700 of them. The superstition of the time regarded the termination of the first enterprise of the reign as an augury of the future fortune of the king. Another army, under Qaisar Khan, was assembled, but the choice was an indication either of the ignorance and folly of the king or of the treachery of the nobles, for Qaisar Khan was Latif's principal adherent; but before the expedition could start Imadul Mulk Khush Qadam had caused Sikandar to be assassinated during the midday slumbers, and had raised to the throne Mahmud, an infant son of Muzaffar II, whom on April 12, 1526, he caused to be proclaimed as Mahmud II.
His object in selecting an infant son was, of course, that the government of the kingdom might remain entirely in his hands, but it may be doubted whether he expected to maintain his puppet against Bahadur, or even against Latif. The adherents of the former had been writing to urge him to return without delay to Gujarat, and he had eagerly responded to their solicitations. The old nobles of the kingdom, disgusted with the rule of the freedman, Imadul Mulk, who was as lavish of titles and robes of honor as he was niggardly of more substantial favors, fled from Champaner, and Taj Khan Narpali led a force to escort Bahadur back to Gujarat.
Accession of Bahadur
Imadul Mulk in his terror sent large sums of money to Burhan Nizam Shah I of Ahmadnagar and Udai Singh, raja of Palanpur, to induce the former to invade Nandurbar and the latter to advance on Champaner in support of the infant king, and wrote also to Babur, requesting him to send a force to Diu with the same object, and promising him a gift of 10,000,000 tangas and the allegiance of Gujarat. This last promise was reported to Khudavand Khan and Taj Khan, and only served to increase the general detestation in which Imadul Mulk was held. Burhan Nizam Shah accepted the money sent to him, but did nothing in return. Udai Singh did indeed march to Champaner, but his aid alone was of little consequence, and he almost immediately transferred his allegiance to Bahadur.
Bahadur at once returned to Gujarat by way of Modasa and Patan and, as he advanced, was everywhere welcomed and joined by the nobles and officers of his father's court. On July 11 he ascended the throne at Ahmadabad, and immediately continued his journey to Champaner. The feeble efforts of Imadul Mulk to delay or hamper his advance were ineffectual; he entered Champaner without opposition and at once went about to punish those who had murdered his brother and prepared his own way to the throne. Imadul Mulk Khush Qadam, Saiful Mulk, and the actual assassins of Sikandar were immediately put to death. Latif Khan, who was lurking in the city in the hope of events taking a turn favorable to his pretensions, wisely accepted the advice of his friends and fled to Palanpur, and thence to Nandurbar, where he was joined by a number of his partisans. His adherents at Champaner were arrested, and their houses were plundered by the mob. Ghazi Khan, who was upholding Bahadur’s cause in the Nandurbar district, reported that Latif Khan had raised the standard of revolt, that he had defeated him and dispersed his followers, and that Latif was a wounded prisoner in his hands. He was ordered to see that his prisoner received proper treatment and to send him to court, but the prince died on his way thither and Bahadur was left without a competitor except his infant brother Mahmud, who was secretly put to death within the year. Another brother, Chand Khan, had taken refuge with Mahmud Khalji at Mandu, and Mahmud's refusal to surrender him dissolved the friendship which had once saved his kingdom for him. The murder of the child Mahmud II alienated Udai Singh of Palanpur, who sacked the town of Dohad, but Taj Khan Narpali led a punitive expedition against him and chastised him severely.
Malik Ishaq, who had succeeded his father, Malik Ayaz, in the important government of Sorath, lost his reason in 1527, and attacked without any justification the Hindu chief of Dwarka, who was an obedient vassal of Bahadur. After his return to Junagarh he became so violent that it was found necessary to put him in prison, where he died shortly afterwards. He was succeeded by his brother, Malik Tughan, famous for his stature and great bodily strength, who in order to watch the Portuguese made Diu his principal place of residence. The adventurers would not abandon their design to build at Diu a fort for the protection of their trade and merchandise, and sought to execute it at times by means of negotiations and at times by force, but for several years had no success. At length, on September 21, 1534, Bahadur permitted them by treaty to build a fort.
Towards the end of 1527 Bahadur received an appeal for help from Alauddin Imad Shah of Berar and Muhammad I of Khandesh. The kings of Ahmadnagar and Berar had quarreled over the possession of the town and district of Pathri on the Godavari, which belonged to the latter but were coveted and had been annexed by the former. Alauddin had enlisted the aid of Muhammad and had marched to recover the district, but Burhan Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar and his ally, Amir Ali Barid of Bidar, had attacked and defeated them, captured their artillery and elephants, pursued them through Berar, and expelled Alauddin from his kingdom, compelling him to take refuge in Khandesh. Bahadur marched to Nandurbar, where he was met by his cousin, Muhammad of Khandesh, and by the Rahtor raja of Baglana, who did homage to him and entertained him in his fortress of Salher. Bahadur gave his sister in marriage to Muhammad, upon whom he conferred the title of Shah, and after the rainy season of 1528 marched on Ahmadnagar by way of Berar, where he was joined by Alauddin Imad Shah, sending a force with the raja of Baglana, whom he ordered to advance on Ahmadnagar by the more direct route of his own principality.
Invasion of the Deccan
Burhan’s army, with a contingent of 6000 horse furnished by Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur and 3000 furnished by Amir Ali Barid, was in the hilly country about Bir, and Amir Ali Barid inflicted two defeats on detachments of Bahadur's army between Paithan and Bir, but the army of Gujarat continued to advance, and occupied Ahmadnagar for forty days, while Burham, Nizam Shah, who had first retired from Bir to Parenda, was pursued to Junnar. Meanwhile the army of Ahmadnagar had been engaged in cutting off Bahadur's supplies, and the invaders had already begun to suffer from famine when Bahadur marched to Daulatabad and opened the siege of the fortress, while Burhan and Amir Ali Barid occupied the neighboring hills. They attempted to relieve Daulatabad but were driven back into the hills, and then opened negotiations with Sultan Bahadur's allies, and found no difficulty in seducing Alauddin Imad Shah, who was beginning to suspect that Bahadur did not intend to leave the Deccan, and regretted having summoned him to his aid. He sent a quantity of supplies into the fortress and hurriedly retired into Berar, leaving his camp standing.
Bahadur's situation gave him some cause for anxiety. He had no prospect of capturing Daulatabad, one of his allies had deserted him, the other, Muhammad of Khandesh, desired peace, and the rainy season of 1529 was approaching. He therefore permitted Muhammad to open negotiations, and after some discussion agreed to peace on terms sufficiently humiliating to Burhan Nizam Shah. Both he and Alauddin Imad Shah were to cause the khutba to be recited in Bahadur's name in their dominions, and were to appear before him as vassals; all the elephants taken from Alauddin and Muhammad were to be restored, and Pathri and Mahur were to be ceded again to Berar. Burhan fulfilled the first condition by causing the khutba to be recited on one occasion in Bahadur's name, but it was only with great difficulty that Muhammad of Khandesh recovered his elephants, and those of Alauddin were never restored, nor were Pathri and Mahur ceded to him.
Bahadur returned to Gujarat in the spring of 1529, and his relative, the Jam Firuz of Sind, who had been expelled from his country by Shah Beg Arghun, took refuge at his court.
In 1530 the Portuguese, having already assembled at Bombay a great fleet, sailed for Daman and captured that town, and in February, 1531, arrived before Diu, which they attacked, but Bahadur had already visited the place in 1530, and had made all provision for its defence, and the Portuguese, having failed to take the town, sailed back to Goa, leaving a fleet in the Gulf of Cambay to harass the trade and shipping of Gujarat.
Bahadur returned from Diu to Champaner, where he received some of the nobles of the late Ibrahim Shah Lodi of Delhi, who had reached his court with 300 followers. From Champaner Bahadur marched to Modasa and thence led an expedition into Baker and Banswara. The Rana, Ratan Singh II, who had succeeded Sangrama after the battle of Sikri, interceded for the two chiefs, and Bahadur stayed his hand.
Mahmud II of Malwa was now pursuing a suicidal policy. He had sent a force to ravage the southern districts of the territories of the Rana, he had so alienated by his sinister and deceitful course of conduct the nobles of Malwa that some had taken refuge with the Rana and others with Bahadur, and he was harboring at his court a son of the late Sultan Muzaffar of Gujarat, Chand Khan, a pretender to Bahadur's throne, whose claims he was understood to favor.
The old friendship between Malwa and Gujarat was thus entirely dissolved. Bahadur, less bigoted than his father, and sensible of Ratan Singh's claims on his friendship, which were based on Sangrama's reception of him when he was a fugitive, was inclined to deprecate wanton attacks on his territories, was bitterly resentful of the harborage offered to Chand Khan, and was inclined to regard Mahmud, who owed his tenure of his throne to the capture of Mandu from rebellious Rajputs by Mahmud Begarha, as a vassal: Mahmud, on the other hand, was perturbed by Bahadur's harborage of malcontents from Malwa, and suggested a meeting at which differences could be settled. Bahadur haughtily replied that he had been awaiting a request for an interview at which Mahmud could appear before him and explain matters. This had not been Mahmud's intention, but he found it difficult to recede from his suggestion, and could hardly propose that Bahadur should wait upon him. He feigned to be eager to pay his respects to the sultan of Gujarat but always discovered a pretext for evading a meeting. Ratan Singh of Mewar marched as far as Sarangpur and threatened Ujjain, to which city Mahmud advanced.
Conquest of Malwa
Bahadur entered Malwa and awaited Mahmud’s arrival at his camp, but an envoy from Mahmud made his excuses by explaining that his master had broken his arm whilst out hunting. In private he informed Bahadur that Chand Khan was the real difficulty, as Mahmud did not wish to surrender him, but feared to refuse. Bahadur bade the envoy reassure his master on this point, and marched slowly towards Mandu, accompanied by Muhammad Shah of Khandesh, expecting Mahmud at each stage; but Mahmud had washed his hands of kingship, and had withdrawn into his seraglio at Mandu, meeting the remonstrances of his courtiers with the answer that he knew that his reign was drawing to its close, and that he intended to enjoy life while it lasted. He had thoughts of abdicating and installing his son Ghiyasuddin, but seemed to be unable to execute any plan. Meanwhile Bahadur marched to Nalcha and formed the siege of Mandu, being joined by many of the nobles and officers of Malwa. The sloth and carelessness of Mahmud infected his army, and on the night of March 17 the besiegers scaled an unguarded section of the wall and entered the city unopposed. Mahmud formed the intention of imitating the Rajputs and performing the rite of jauhar, but, on receiving a message from Bahadur that his life and honor were safe, abandoned it and waited on Bahadur with seven of his officers. The khutba was recited at Mandu in the name of Bahadur, Malwa was annexed to Gujarat, and Mahmud and his family were sent towards Champaner, where Bahadur proposed to imprison them, but on April 12, 1531, the camp of Asaf Khan, in whose custody the prisoners were, was attacked by Bhils and Kolis, and Mahmud's guards, fearing a rescue, put him to death, and he was buried near Dohad. His seven sons were sent to Champaner, where they were imprisoned.
Bahadur remained awhile at Mandu and marched in June to Burhanpur, where he was entertained by Muhammad Shah of Khandesh, who persuaded him, with some difficulty, to receive the learned and pious Shah Tahir, who had come as an envoy from Burhan Nizam Shah I of Ahmadnagar. Burhan had not fulfilled the conditions of the treaty of Daulatabad, and Bahadur was consequently ill-disposed towards him, but Shah Tahir undertook that his master should wait on him at Burhanpur and, returning to Ahmadnagar, persuaded Burhan to carry out this promise, which he had made at Daulatabad. The humiliating circumstances of the reception were somewhat alleviated by an artifice of Shah Mir, who bore a copy of the Koran for presentation to Bahadur, and thus obliged the latter to descend from his throne to do reverence to the holy book. Both Bahadur and Burhan remained for a short time at Burhanpur as the guests of Muhammad Shah, and before they parted Bahadur gratified Burhan's vanity by recognizing his title of Shah.
The Rajput Silahdi, who held the districts of Raisen, Bhilsa, and Sarangpur, nominally as fiefs of Malwa but actually as a small principality, had been permitted by Bahadur to visit Raisen after the fall of Mandu, but showed no disposition to fulfill his promise to return, and Nassau Khan, who was sent to Raisen and him to court, privately informed the king that he was disloyal, and if permitted again to leave the court would ally himself to the Rana. He was therefore arrested at Idar, his troops were plundered and dispersed, and his elephants were confiscated.
Early in January, 1532, Bahadur sent Imadul Mulk Malikji, son of Tawakkul, to arrest Silahdi’s son Bhopat, who had remained at Ujjain when his father came to court and had since occupied Sarangpur. Imadul Mulk reported that he had fled to Chitor to seek help of the Rana, and the king marched by Bhilsa, which he occupied, to Raisen, still held by Silahdi’s brother, Lakhman Singh. He was attacked as he approached the town on January 26, but drove the Rajputs into the fortress and formed the siege.
Bahadur’s artillery, under Mustafa Rumi Khan, who had succeeded Tughan as governor of Diu, did much execution, and Silahdi conciliated Bahadur by perfidiously feigning to accept Islam, and thus obtained permission to meet his brother, ostensibly with the object of arranging for the surrender of the fortress, but when he and Lakhman Singh met they agreed to await the relieving force expected from Chitor, and sent 2000 men under Silahdi's youngest son to hasten its arrival. This force, was, however, intercepted by the besiegers and defeated, Silahdi's son being slain, and Bahadur, on learning of Silahdi's perfidy, sent him in custody to Mandu and dispatched a force under Muhammad Shah of Khandesh and Imadul Mulk Malikji to meet the Rana and Bhopat. This force met and put to flight at Kamkera another force of 2000 Rajputs under Puran Mal, another of Silahdi's sons, and Bahadur, learning that the Rana was at the head of a large army left his officers to continue the siege and marched against him. Vikramaditya, who had succeeded his father Ratan Singh, would not face Bahadur in the field, but retired to Chitor, and Bahadur returned to Raisen. Lakhman Singh, despairing of relief, offered to surrender on condition that Silahdi was pardoned, but when Silahdi, having been recalled from Mandu, was again permitted to enter Raisen, he was persuaded to perform the rite of jauhar rather than incur the disgrace of being implicated in the surrender. Over 700 women were burnt, and the men sallied forth, according to custom, in garments died yellow, but exhibited little of the spirit of the Rajput, for though all were slain the losses of the Muslims amounted to no more than four or five.
Quarrel with Humayun
Muhammad Shah of Khandesh, who was sent to establish Bahadur's authority over the outlying districts of Malwa, captured Gagraun and Kanor, both of which had been treacherously surrendered by Medeni Rai, who had held them of the king of Malwa, to the Rana of Mewar, and Bahadur, having appointed as governor of Raisen Sultan Alam, chief of Kalpi, who had fled from his principality before Babur, overran part of Gondwana, captured many elephants, appointed Alp Khan governor of that region, and, turning westward, captured Islamabad and Hoshangabad, and met Muhammad Shah of Khandesh at Sarangpur, where the Rana's governor of Gagraun was presented to him. Then returning to Mandu' he sent Imadul Mulk Malikji and Ikhtiyar Khan to take Mandasor, formerly spared at the intercession of Sangrama Singh, whose successor's writ no longer ran either in Malwa or in Gujarat. The town and fortress were taken, the Rana's officer fled, and Bahadur dismissed Muhammad Shah to Khandesh, visited Diu, and on his return thence spent the rainy season at Champaner considering the punishment of the Rana. The occasion was opportune, for Vikramaditya was the Commodus of Rajputana, and disgusted his haughty nobles by his preference for the society of gladiators, wrestlers, and professional swashbucklers.
Bahadur, having been joined by Muhammad Shah of Khandesh, marched from Champaner on November 6, 1532, and on February 14, 1533, the two kings arrived before Chitor. Ten days later the queen-mother, the widow of Sangrama Singh, purchased peace with what remained of the plunder taken by her husband when he captured Mahmud Khalji II of Malwa, including the jeweled crown of Hushang, and Bahadur retired, but returned again in 1534.
On this occasion he received in his camp Muhammad Zaman Mirza, a prince of the house of Timur, whose pretensions had so incensed his kinsman, the emperor, that he had been sentenced to imprisonment in the fortress of Bayana and to the loss of his eyes, which he saved by flight. Humayun, whose relations with Bahadur had hitherto been perfectly friendly, took umbrage at his harboring the fugitive and his followers, and a correspondence ensued which led to a permanent rupture between the two monarchs. Two of the letters which passed between them have been preserved in their entirety and offer a striking picture of the diplomatic methods of that day. Humayun pointed out that although his ancestor Timur had desisted from attacking the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid while he was engaged in fighting the Franks he protested against Bayazid’s harboring princes who had rebelled against himself. He therefore demanded that the prince should be either surrended or expelled. To this Bahadur, who is said to have dictated his reply when in his cups, sent a most insulting answer, in which he ironically suggested that Humayun had boasted of the exploits of "his sire seven degrees removed" because he himself had achieved nothing worthy of record.
So shocked were Bahadur and his nobles when they considered the tone of this letter on the morrow that an effort was made to overtake the courier, but without success, and their only solace was the reflection that nothing more could be done, and that what was decreed must come to pass.
Bahadur gained an easy victory over Vikramaditya at Loicha, in the dominions of Surjan, Rao of Bundi, for the Rana was deserted by most of his vassals, who marched to the defence of Chitor, and Bahadur, after his success, turned in the same direction and formed the siege. Burhanul Mulk now held Ranthambhor, which he had captured for Bahadur when he had first appeared before Chitor in the preceding year, and Bahadur sent Tatar Khan Lodi, a grandson of Buhlul Lodi of Delhi who had entered his service, with a vast sum of money, in order that he and Burhanul Mulk might attack the Mughul Empire. Tatar Khan raised au army and captured the fortress of Bayana, but Humayun’s youngest brother immediately recovered it, and slew him. Meanwhile the siege of Chitor continued. According to Rajput legend Jawahir Bai the queen-mother, of Rahtor race, sent Humayun a bracelet, in accordance with the chivalrous custom of Rajasthan, adopting him as her champion against Bahadur, but the legend is inconsistent with the Muslim chronicles and with the conduct of Humayun, who, despite the gross provocation which he had received, would not attack a brother Muslim while he was engaged in fighting the misbelievers.
Bahadur was seriously perturbed by the news of the defeat and death of Tatar Khan Lodi and by apprehensions of being attacked by Humayun, and would have raised the siege but for the confident assurance of Sadr Khan, one of his officers, that Humayun would never attack him while he was besieging Chitor. After a lapse of three months an extensive breach was made in the rampart, which had never before been exposed to artillery fire. It was stoutly defended but with a terrible sacrifice of life, and the valiant Jawahir Bai led a sortie from the fortress and was slain at the head of her warriors. The garrison lost hope. The infant heir, Udai Singh, was conveyed by Surjan, prince of Bundi, to a place of safety, and the surviving Rajputs performed the rite of jauhar. Thirteen thousand women, so the legend says, headed by Karnavati, the mother of the young prince, voluntarily perished in an immense conflagration fed by combustibles, and the survivors of the slaughter in the breach, led by Baghji, prince of Deola, rushed on the Muslims and were exterminated. Chitor was for the moment a possession of the king of Gujarat, and received a Muslim governor.
Flight of Bahadur
Bahadur had now to think of his return to his capital, and had reason to repent the folly which had prompted him to insult the emperor; for Humayun, though he had scrupulously abstained from attacking him while he was engaged with the misbelievers, had advanced to Mandasor, and was there awaiting him. Bahadur had already taken a step which proclaimed his despair by sending to Mecca, under the charge of a certain Asaf Khan, both the ladies of his harem and his treasury. His army, as it approached the emperor's position at Mandasor, was disheartened by the defeat of its advanced guard and by the defection of Sayyid Ali Khan Khurasani, who deserted to the emperor. Bahadur was beset by conflicting counsels. Sadr Khan urged that an immediate attack should be delivered, while the army was still flushed with its victory at Chitor, but Rumi Khan, who commanded the artillery, was of opinion that it should entrench itself and rely on its great superiority in guns. Unfortunately the advice of the artilleryman was followed. The light armed troops of Gujarat dared not face the Mughul archers in the field, and the imperial troops, beyond the range of the guns, were able to cut off the supplies of the entrenched camp. A reinforcement from Raisen only increased his difficulties by consuming his supplies, and after enduring a siege of two months, during which losses from famine were heavy, he basely deserted his army by night on April 25, 1535, and fled with Muhammad Shah of Khandesh, Mallu Qadir Khan, governor of Malwa, and three other nobles, to Mandu. His army dispersed, only a few of the principal officers being able to lead off their contingents.
Humayun pursued him and besieged him in Mandu. A division escaladed the walls of the fortress at night, and Bahadur, who was asleep at the time, escaped with difficulty to Champaner with no more than five or six followers. Sadr Khan and Sultan Alam, governor of Raisen, retired into the citadel, Songarh, but were forced to surrender after the lapse of two days, when the former entered the emperor's service and the latter, guilty of being a member of the Lodi clan, was mutilated by the amputation of his feet. Sadr Khan was not the only one who changed his allegiance. Mustafa Rumi Khan, to whom the government of Ranthambhor had been promised during its siege, so resented his master's failure to keep his word that he entered Humayun's service after the defeat at Mandasor.
After reducing the citadel of Mandu Humayun pursued Bahadur, who fled from Champaner to Cambay. Humayun followed him thither, but arrived at the port on the day on which he had taken ship for Diu. The remnant of the fugitive's army was staunch and made a night attack on the imperial camp, but a traitor had betrayed their design and the imperial troops, having vacated their tents, allowed the enemy to plunder them and then, falling on them, put them to the sword. They also slew, lest they should be rescued, Sadr Khan and Firuz, formerly Jam of Sind, who had fallen into their hands.
Bahadur induced Humayun to withdraw from Cambay by sending Mahmud Lari, Muhtaram Khan, to interview Mustafa Rumi Khan. Haji Dabir reports the interview as it was related to him by Muhtaram Khan, who conveyed such bitter reproaches from Bahadur that Rumi Khan sweated with shame, and added, "If this attack on Diu is your suggestion, then employ some device to deter him : if it is not your suggestion then try to shake his purpose". Rumi Khan, stung by these reproaches, went to Humayun, who happened to be suffering from the effects of the climate and advised him to postpone the attack on Diu, as the sea air was bad for his health. Humayun agreed, and at the same time news of disturbances in Ahmadabad was received, and he withdrew to Champaner.
Champaner was still held by Ikhtiyar Khan for Bahadur, and Humayun besieged the fortress. Selecting the most inaccessible part of the wall as likely to be the most lightly guarded he led the spot 300 men armed with steel spikes, by means of which, driven into the mortar between the stones, they escaladed the wall and, on August 9, 1535, opened the gates to the rest of the army. Ikhtiyar Khan fled to the citadel, but almost immediately surrendered, and Humayun was master of Champaner.
The treasure found at Champaner relieved the imperial troops of the duty of dispersing themselves throughout the country for the collection of revenue, and the fief-holders sent to Bahadur in Kathiawar a message expressing their unaltered loyalty and their readiness to pay the land tax, if officers could be sent to collect it. Bahadur selected Imadul Mulk Malikji for this duty, and he, assembling an army of 50,000 horses, encamped before Ahmadabad and sent out detachments to collect the revenue. Humayun, who would have been better employed in his own dominions, was intoxicated by his new conquest and bent on including it in his empire. He marched towards Ahmadabad and his advanced guard defeated Imadul Mulk between Nadiad and Mahmudabad. The victory encouraged him to distribute the fiefs of Gujarat among his officers, as though the conquests were complete and permanent, and the kingdom assumed for a short time the appearance of a settled province of the empire. Bahadur, at Diu, was trembling at the prospect of an attack by land on that port and wrote to Nunho da Cunha, governor of Portuguese India, imploring his aid. Da Cunha visited Diu and on October 25 concluded a treaty by which he undertook to assist Bahadur against his enemies by land and sea, and received in return confirmation of the cession of the port of Bassein to the king of Portugal and permission to build a fort at Diu, the customs dues of the port being retained, however, by Bahadur.
Retreat of Humayun
Humayun, fired with the lust of conquest, marched into Khandesh and visited Burhanpur. Muhammad Shah wrote, begging him to spare his small kingdom the horrors of an invasion, and at the same time wrote to Ibrahim Adil Shah I of Bijapur, Sultan Quli Qutb Shah of Golconda, and Darya Imad Shah of Berar, proposing a league for the defence of the Deccan, but Humayun's operations were confined to a military promenade through Khandesh, whence he returned to Mandu.
While he had been indulging in dreams of conquest Sher Khan Sur, the Afghan, had risen in rebellion in Bengal, the nobles of Gujarat, with the aid of the Portuguese, had recovered some posts from the Mughuls, and Askari Mirza, at Ahmadabad, was meditating his own proclamation as king of Gujarat. Tardi Beg, the Mughul governor of Champaner, refused to admit into the fortress the officers who, having been driven from their posts by Bahadur’s troops, desired to take refuge there, for he believed them to be partisans of Askari and disaffected towards Humayun. They accordingly besieged him in Champaner and Humayun hastily returned towards Agra, where his presence was urgently required, and was joined on the way by Askari and those who had besieged Champaner who now made their peace with him. His ill-timed expedition into Gujarat had lasted for thirteen months and thirteen days.
Bahadur had closely followed the retreating Mughuls, and as he approached Champaner Tardi Beg evacuated it and Bahadur reoccupied it on May 25, 1536. He apologized to his nobles for having at Mandasor followed the advice of Mustafa Rumi Khan, who had since deserted to Humayun, to which error all the subsequent misfortunes of Gujarat were to be traced. Mallu Qadir Khan returned to Mandu as governor of Malwa.
Bahadur, having regained his kingdom, repented of his bargain with the Portuguese, and sought to expel them from Diu. Manoel de Sousa, who commanded the fort, was aware of this design, and when the king visited Diu late in 1536 would not wait upon him, lest he should be treacherously assassinated. Nunho da Cunha, in response to an invitation from Bahadur, visited Diu towards the end of December, but having been warned by de Sousa that it was the king's intention to send him in a cage to the sultan of Turkey, feigned sickness and refused to land. He persisted in his refusal until the king lost patience and decided, on February 13, 1537, against the advice of all his counselors, to visit him on board his ship. He made his visit accompanied by thirteen officers of high rank, and after remaining a short time on board expressed a desire to return. The Portuguese attempted to detain him, ostensibly that he might inspect the gifts which they had brought for him from Goa, but doubtless with a view to obtaining a pledge that he would abandon his designs against them and to extorting further concessions from him. He is said to have cut down a priest who attempted to bar his way, and when he entered his barge the Portuguese boats closed round it and swords were drawn. Manoel de Sousa was killed, and the king and Khvaja Safar leaped into the water. A Portuguese friend drew the Khvaja aboard his boat, but the king was drowned and all his other companions were killed.
Bahadur was one of the greatest and may be reckoned the last of the kings of Gujarat, for his three actual successors were mere puppets in the hands of a turbulent and factious nobility. His one great error was committed at Mandasor, when he entrenched himself instead of falling at once on the imperial army. His disgraceful flight was almost a necessary consequence, for in it lay his only chance of saving his kingdom. If we except these two actions and his meditated treachery towards his Portuguese allies, which was not regarded as reprehensible in his faith and in that age, we shall be inclined to agree in the praise bestowed upon him by Haji Dabir, author of the Zafar-ul-Walih, who describes him as liberal, generous, and valiant, with a loftier spirit and wider ambitions than any of his line, and reckons as his conquests the places in which he caused the khutba to be recited in his name; Gujarat, the Deccan, Khandesh, Malwa, Ajmer, the Aravalli Hills, Jalor, Nagaur, Junagarh, Khankot, Raisen, Ranthambhor, Chitor, Kalpi, Baglana, Idar, Radhanpur, Ujjain, Mewat, Satwas, Abu, and Mandasor.
Decline of the Royal Power
Bahadur left no son, and Muhammad Zaman Mirza, the kinsman and brother-in-law of Humayun, impudently claimed the throne on the ground that Bahadur’s mother had adopted him as her son, but Imadul Mulk Malikji hastened from Diu to Ahmadabad and agreed to call to the throne Muhammad Shah of Khandesh, whose wife, mother, grandmother, and two more remote ancestresses had all been princesses of Gujarat. Descent in the female line seldom counts for much in questions of succession in Muslim states, but Muhammad had been for years the loyal vassal and faithful companion in arms of Bahadur, whose recognition of his title of Shah was understood to indicate a wish that he should succeed him. Muhammad Shah obeyed the summons and set out from Burhanpur to ascend the throne of Gujarat, but died on May 24, on his way to Champaner.
There now remained only one possible successor, the last descendant of Muhammad Karim, Mahmud Khan, son of Bahadur’s brother Latif Khan, who, during his uncle’s reign, had been placed in the custody of Muhammad of Khandesh, and was a state prisoner in a fortress in that state. The nobles of Gujarat summoned him to the throne, but Mubarak II, who had succeeded his brother in Khandesh, and had almost certainly hoped to receive a summons to the throne of Gujarat, would not surrender him until a force led by Ikhtiyar Khan invaded Khandesh. Ikhtiyar Khan carried Mahmud with him to Ahmadabad, where he was enthroned on August 8, 1587, as Saduddin Mahmud Shah III.
The part which Ikhtiyar Khan Siddiqi had played in bringing the new king from Khandesh and placing him on the throne gained for him the regency, for Mahmud was but eleven years of age. Ikhtiyar Khan was learned and accomplished and his surname indicates descent from Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (the truthful), the first successor of the prophet Muhammad, but his father had held the comparatively humble post of qazi of Nadiad and his advancement was resented by many of the nobles, now divided into factions quarrelling over the part which each had borne in attempting to overcome the calamities which had recently fallen upon the kingdom and over the compensation due to each for his sufferings and his losses.
Two nobles of the second rank, Fattuji Muhafiz Khan and Darya Khan Husain, urged Imadul Mulk Malikji, son of Tawakkul, who had long taken a prominent part in the affairs of the kingdom and now found himself relegated to the third place, that of deputy minister, to remove Ikhtiyar Khan by assassination, and his jealousy and ambition succumbed to the temptation. He stepped into Ikhtiyar Khan's place and appropriated the title of Amirul Umara, but Abdul Latif Sadr Khan, the minister, grieved deeply for his old friend, and taxed Imadul Mulk with having been accessory to his death. The new regent's denial of his complicity was not believed, and Sadr Khan voluntarily resigned his post, and explained to the king the grounds for his action. He informed both the king and the regent that Darya Khan aspired to the first place in the kingdom, and privately warned Imadul Mulk that the life of none would be safe if ambitious subordinates were permitted to foment discord between the great officers of state and to persuade them to remove rivals by assassination. Darya Khan obtained the post vacated by Sadr Khan, but the latter's warning was not lost upon Imadul Mulk who regarded his late accomplice with suspicion, which was rewarded with secret intrigue and open hostility.
Siege of Diu Raised
In 1517 the last of the Mamluk Sultans had been overthrown, and Egypt became part of the Ottoman Empire, but it was not until 1538 that the new rulers of Egypt made any further attempt to drive the Portuguese from the Indian Ocean. In 1537, however, when news reached Egypt of the tragic death of Bahadur and the consequent strengthening of the Portuguese position in India, the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman I, grew apprehensive and ordered the equipment at Suez of a powerful fleet, which eventually set sail under Suleiman Pasha al-Khadim, governor of Cairo, and then an old man of eighty-two. His objective was Diu, which was now in the sole possession of the Portuguese. His public announcement that he was setting out on a holy war against the Franks did not prevent his behaving with the utmost treachery and cruelty towards his co-religionist at Aden, where he called on his way to India. News of his disgraceful behavior at Aden travelled quickly to India, and was doubtless the real cause of his failure against the Portuguese, for when he reached Muzaffarabad Khvaja Safar, Khudavand Khan, whom Mahmud III had placed in command of a large force intended to co-operate with the Pasha, and who was at first inclined to join him, was deterred by his friends, who reminded him of the fate of the governor of Aden, and although he sent many gifts to the Pasha he persistently evaded a personal interview. But though co-operation between the land and sea forces was thus incomplete the Portuguese were reduced to great straits. They were driven by Khvaja Safar from the city into the fort, which they held with their wonted determination. Garcia de Noronha, the newly arrived viceroy, either could not or would not understand the situation, and failed to send relief; the defences were almost destroyed, and of the original garrison of 600 only forty men remained fit to bear arms. Sulaiman Pasha, who had been attacking by sea, was unaware, owing to the army's failure to cooperate with him, of the desperate situation of the defence and was so discouraged by repeated failure and by his losses that when Khvaja Safar, disgusted by the arrogance of the Turks, which had convinced him that Gujarat had nothing to gain by their taking the place of the Portuguese at Diu, sent him a fabricated letter, announcing that the viceroy was about to arrive from Goa with a formidable fleet, he sailed away on November 5. Some of his officers remained behind and entered the service of Gujarat. Among these were Aqa Farahshad the Turk, afterwards entitled Fath Jang Khan, Nasir the African, afterwards entitled Habash Khan, and Mujahid Khan, who occupied Junagarh. Khvaja Safar, on Sulaiman Pasha’s departure, set fire to the town of Diu and retired.
Imadul Mulk was now to discover the wisdom of Sadr Khan’s warning. His relations with Darya Khan had been growing ever more strained and the latter's influence over the feeble king ever stronger. He accompanied the king on an excursion, ostensibly for the purpose of hunting, but when well beyond the city walls carried him off to Champaner, and sent to Imadul Mulk a royal letter directing him to retire to his fiefs in Kathiawar. Imadul Mulk assembled his troops and attempted to obtain possession of the king's person in order to re-establish his influence over him, but the proceeding so closely resembled rebellion that many of his officers deserted him for the royal camp, and he was obliged to return to Ahmadabad, whence he retired, with Sadr Khan, to Morvi, his principal fief. In 1540 Darya Khan, carrying with him the king, marched against Imadul Mulk, defeated him at Bajana, where Sadr Khan was slain, and drove him into Khandesh. Darya Khan followed him, and at Dangri, near the Tapti, met Mubarak II, who was prepared to oppose any attempt to enter his kingdom. Darya Khan was again victorious, and Imadul Mulk fled to Mandu, where Mallu Nasir Khan, appointed governor by Bahadur was now independent, styling himself Nasir Shah. At this point Darya Khan and Mahmud III abandoned the pursuit and returned to Gujarat.
Darya Khan was now absolute in the kingdom, but Mahmud had sufficient spirit to be sensible of the humiliation of his situation, and enlisted the aid of a humble attendant, one Chirji, a fowler, to escape from it. Chirji had horses ready one night under the city wall, and the king, leaving his palace at midnight, mounted and rode to Dhandhuka, the fief of Alam Khan Lodi, nearly sixty miles south-west of Ahmadabad.
Alam Khan received him with every demonstration of loyalty, and summoned to his aid his brother-in-law, Nasiruddin Ulugh Khan of Junagarh, Mujahid Khan of Palitana, and other fief-holders. Darya Khan, on discovering that the king had escaped him and found a powerful protector, renounced the struggle to maintain his ascendancy and sent to the king a mission with the royal insignia, elephants, horses, and his own letter of resignation; but his old accomplice, Fattuji Muhafiz Khan, coming into the city from his fief of Viramgam, met the mission at Sarkhej, turned it back, and persuaded Darya Khan to strike a blow for the recovery of his lost supremacy. It was necessary to oppose a puppet to the actual king, and a child of obscure origin was accordingly proclaimed and carried by Darya Khan with the army which he led against Mahmud III and his new protectors.
The armies met to the south-west of Ahmadabad, in a confused conflict which had a strange result. Alam Khan Lodi charged with great impetuosity, cut his way through the centre of Darya Khan's army, rode to Ahmadabad with only five or six of his men, and took possession of the city in the name of Mahmud III. Darya Khan, convinced that Alam Khan's small force had been cut to pieces, continued the action with apparent success until it was confidently reported that Alam Khan had entered the royal palace, proclaimed his victory over the rebels, and let loose a mob of plunderers into his house. He hesitated, and was lost. His army fled, and Mahmud marched on into the city, Muhafiz Khan and the child who had been proclaimed king fleeing before him. Darya Khan fled to Burhanpur and Muhafiz Khan, with his puppet, to Champaner, whither he was followed by Mahmud III and Alam Khan. He was glad to purchase life by a speedy surrender and disappeared from the kingdom.
Overthrow of Alam Khan
Mahmud III now returned to Ahmadabad to discover that he had but changed one master for another. He insisted, in his gratitude, on promoting Chirji the fowler to the rank lately held by Fattuji and conferred on him all Fattuji’s possessions, and his title of Muhafiz Khan, but the advancement profited the humble bird-catcher little, for when he took his seat among the nobles of the kingdom Alam Khan Lodi protested, and when Chirji, with the king's support, persisted in asserting his right, compassed his death. The manner in which the minister's decision was executed indicates the estimation in which the king and his wishes were held by his new master. Ashja Khan, Alam Khan's brother, entered the royal presence with a dagger in his hand, laid hold of the wretched Muhafiz Khan, dragged him forth, and as soon as he had crossed the threshold of the hall of audience stabbed him to death. Alam Khan became, of course, lieutenant of the kingdom, and Naruddin Burhanul Mulk Bambani was appointed minister. Imadul Mulk Malikji returned from Mandu and received Broach as his fief.
The domination of Alam Khan was even less tolerable than that of Darya Khan. The latter had, at least, observed some moderation in the pomp with which he surrounded himself, but the former encroached, in this respect, on the royal prerogative. A minister whose power was absolute might well have avoided this indiscretion and should have understood that a king deprived of his power will cling all the more jealously to its outward symbols. Nor was this his greatest error. The assassination of the recently ennobled fowler wounded the king's affections as well as his honor, and in crushing one presumptuous minister he had learned how to deal with another. By a private appeal to the loyalty of some, who, though nominally Alam Khan's followers were no less disgusted than the king with his arrogance and presumption, he succeeded in ridding himself of his new master. On a night when Mujahid Khan was on duty at the palace the king persuaded him to assemble his troops, and at break of day rode forth with the royal umbrella above his head and proclaimed by a crier that Alam Khan's palace might be sacked. The mob broke in, and Alam Khan, roused from a drunken slumber, fled in confusion and made the best of his way to Mandu, where he joined his former enemy, Darya Khan.
Mujahid Khan now became lieutenant of the kingdom, with Abdus Samad Afzal Khan as minister. Muharram bin Safar was entitled Rumi Khan, and others who afterwards became prominent in the state received titles. Abdul-Karim became Itimad Khan, Bilal Jhujhar Khan, and Abu Sulaiman Mahalldar Khan.
Darya Khan and Alam Khan now appeared at Radhanpur with Alauddin Fath Khan of the royal line of Sind, whose mother had been a princess of Gujarat, and proclaimed him king, but Mahmud attacked and defeated them, and they fled again to Mandu, while Fath Khan, who had merely been an instrument in their hands, made his excuses to Mahmud and was well received at his court.
Mahmud, now freed from the domination of ambitious ministers, turned his attention to the Portuguese. Khvaja Safar, Khudavand Khan, was governor of Cambay, and was ordered to construct a fort at Surat for the protection of the maritime trade, which had been much harassed by the Portuguese ever since their establishment at Diu. Though much hampered by the Portuguese, who attempted, first by force and afterwards by bribery, to prevent its construction, the fort was successfully completed according to the principles of fortification then obtaining in Europe, and was armed with many guns which had belonged to Sulaiman Pasha's fleet, and had been carried to Junagarh by Mujahid Khan.
Mahmud had not forgotten the death of his uncle, Bahadur, nor its authors, and his failure to expel the Portuguese from Diu in 1538 had not discouraged him. Khvaja Safar, who maintained an outwardly friendly correspondence with them, and was well acquainted with their affairs, encouraged his master to make another attempt to recover Diu, but before resorting to arms endeavored to gain possession of the fortress by treachery. The plot was discovered and Khvaja Safar opened the siege. The fort was small, and would accommodate only a small garrison, and Safar’s bombardment caused heavy losses, but the Portuguese fought with unflinching valor. They were encouraged by the death, on June 24, 1546, of Khvaja Safar, whose head was taken off by a gunshot. He was succeeded in the command by his son, Muharram
Khan, who made desperate efforts to take the place, one assault being repulsed with the loss of 2000 men and of Bilal Jhujhar Khan, his second in command, but the numbers of the Portuguese were reduced to 200, until a timely reinforcement of 400 men under Alvaro de Castro encouraged them to sally forth and attack the enemy. They were repulsed with heavy loss, but on November 7 a fleet of nearly 100 sail, under the command of Joao de Castro, governor of Portuguese India, appeared off Diu.
On November 10 the Portuguese attacked in force, and drove the Muslims into the city, where they massacred men, women, and children without discrimination. The Muslims rallied, but after a bloody fight were defeated with the loss of 1500 killed, 2000 wounded, and many prisoners. Muharram Rumi Khan and many other officers were among the slain and Jhujhar Khan was captured. The loss of the Portuguese was no more than 100, and their booty included many standards, forty heavy and a hundred and sixty field and light guns, and much ammunition.
Jahangir Khan fled from the field and carried the mournful news to the king, who wept with rage and mortification, and caused twenty-eight Portuguese prisoners to be torn to pieces in his presence.
Successes of the Portuguese
Joao de Castro celebrated his victory by a triumph at Goa, his prisoners following him in chains, in imitation of the Roman custom, which drew from Queen Catherine of Portugal the remark that he had conquered like a Christian and triumphed like a heathen.
The failure of the attack on Diu led to the dismissal, on February 21, 1547, of the minister, Afzal Khan, in whose place Abdul Halim Khudavand Khan was appointed.
In September, 1547, Jorge de Menezes landed at Broach, burned both the fortress and the city, destroyed such guns as he could not carry away, and put the inhabitants to the sword. Later in the year the governor, Joao de Castro, with 3000 men, formed the foolhardy resolve of landing near Broach and attacking Mahmud, who had assembled a force of 150,000 men and eighty guns either in order to renew the attack on Diu or to protect his ports from raids, but was dissuaded from the rash act. He sailed of and plundered and destroyed some ports on the coasts of Kathiawar and the Konkan, carrying much booty back to Goa; and Mahmud, unwilling at length to exasperate a power which could at all times descend with impunity on his coasts refrained from renewing the attacks on Diu, and in 1548 executed a treaty most advantageous to the Portuguese.
In the same year disputes between Mujahid Khan and Afzal Khan had given rise to internal troubles, and it was resolved to recall Asaf Khan, who had been in Mecca ever since 1535, when Bahadur had sent him away in charge of his harem and treasure. His first reform on assuming office was the formation of a powerful bodyguard recruited from the foreign legion and composed of Turks, Africans, Javanese, and others, numbering in all 12,000. By this means the king's authority was firmly established.
In 1549 the king made Mahmudabad on the Vatrak his ordinary place of residence. The town had been built by his ancestor, Mahmud Begarha, and he conceived a liking for its air and surroundings. He enlarged the existing royal palace and parceled out land among his nobles, bidding them build palaces and houses for themselves. Mallu Qadir Shah of Malwa, who had been expelled from his kingdom by Shujaat Khan, Sher Shah's governor, was now at his court, and described in detail the beauties of the deer-park of Mandu, inspiring Mahmud to lay out a replica of it. Here he lived in great splendor and luxury, indulging, besides the usual lusts of an oriental prince, his propensity for powerful and poisonous drugs, which he took not only for their intoxicating and stupefying effect, but also as aphrodisiacs.
The raja of Idar had, since Humayun’s invasion, behaved as an independent monarch, remitting no tribute, and when, in 1549, a small force was sent to demand the arrears due he opposed the royal troops and compelled them to retire, but a larger force under Imadul Mulk Aslan Rumi, who had been appointed to the command of the foreign legion, captured Idar and compelled the raja to pay tribute. Farahshad, one of the Turkish officers who had deserted Sulaiman Pasha, on his withdrawal, acted as Imadul Mulk's standard bearer and behaved with great gallantry, for which he was rewarded with the title of Fath Jung Khan. In the following year a similar expedition was dispatched to Sirohi, the country round about which was plundered; but there was no design, apparently, of reducing Sirohi to the condition of a vassal state paying regular tribute. In 1551 it was necessary to suppress the predatory Rajputs who infested the heart of the kingdom and had murdered a doctor of the law travelling from Palau to Ahmadabad. A massacre reduced the survivors to temporary obedience.
Death of Mahmud III
One of Mahmud’s immediate attendants, Burhanuddin, a man who made pretensions to piety, and one of whose duties it was to lead the prayers when the king was in the field, offended him one day by disrespectful behavior, and Mahmud in his wrath sentenced him to death by being bricked up in a wall. The barbarous sentence was put into execution, but Mahmud happened to pass while the wretch’s head yet protruded, took pity on him, and caused the structure to be pulled down. He was much lacerated and injured by the pressure of the mortar and rubble, but with care he recovered, and lived to resent his sufferings rather than to be grateful for his life. His resentment exhibited itself again in disrespect, and the king used language which left no doubt that he would not escape the punishment to which he had once been sentenced, but the celebration of the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, on February 15, 1554, temporarily diverted Mahmud’s attention from the matter. At the conclusion of the feast which marked the occasion Mahmud, stupefied with wine and drugs, withdrew to his bedroom, where he was attended by Daulat, the nephew and accomplice of Burhanuddin, who had also taken the precaution of corrupting the royal bodyguard, known as the Lion-slayers. It was an easy matter for Daulat to cut the king’s throat as he lay on his bed, and Burhanuddin issued summonses in the king’s name to all the chief officers of state. Most obeyed, and were assassinated by the royal guards, ten being slain in this manner, including the famous vazir, Asaf Khan, but Abdul Karim Itimad Khan suspected mischief, and remained at home. Burhanuddin then bestowed titles upon the soldiers of the guard and the menial servants of the palace, promised to promote them to the principal offices in the kingdom, and in the morning caused the royal umbrella to be raised over his head and proclaimed his accession.
The surviving nobles led their troops to the palace and attacked the usurper, who fell at their first onslaught, and then proceeded to determine the succession, which was no easy matter, for Mahmud, who had a nervous dread both of providing an heir who might be put forward as a competitor for the throne and of a disputed succession after his death, had taken the barbarous precaution of procuring an abortion whenever a woman of his harem became pregnant. Inquiries were made in the harem and it was reported that one child, Khalil Shah, had escaped the cruel law. After the burial of Mahmud the nobles demanded the delivery of Khalil Shah, that he might be enthroned, but were informed that a mistake had been made, and that there remained no heir to the throne. It would appear that some fraud had been intended, but that when the moment arrived the conspirators lost heart and abandoned their design.
Inquiries were made and a young prince entitled Raziul Mulk, the great-grandson of Shakar Khan, a younger son of Ahmad I was raised to the throne under the title of Ahmad Shah II.
The leaders of the nobles who placed Ahmad II on the throne were Itimad Khan and Sayyid Mubarak Bukhari, and it was the former who assumed the office of regent, while the latter retired to Mahmudabad, which he occupied as his fief. All the nobles of the kingdom were virtually independent, and each lived on his estate, leaving Itimad Khan to carry on a pretence of administering the whole country in the name of the youthful king.
The port of Daman was held by one Sayyid Abul Fath, who, as he neither paid taxes nor materially acknowledged the central government, could expect no support when, in 1559, the Portuguese viceroy, Constantino de Braganza, attacked him, drove him first from Daman and then from Pardi, and established the Portuguese firmly in Daman and Bulsar, securing native support by assigning the customs of the former port to the governor of the island of Salsette, which was within the dominions of Ahmadnagar.
Ahmad II was virtually a prisoner in the hands of Itimad Khan, and after passing five years in this condition he reached an age at which he became sensible of the restraint to which he was subjected, and of the minister's usurpation of his rights. He fled and threw himself on the protection of Sayyid Mubarak Bukhari at Mahmudabad, where a number of nobles, influenced more by the Sayyid’s prestige and by hostility to Itimad Khan than by loyalty to a sovereign whom they hardly knew, assembled. Itimad Khan and his partisans marched against this confederacy, and the death of Sayyid Mubarak from an arrow involved the defeat and dispersal of the army assembled round the king. Ahmad wandered for some days a helpless fugitive in the jungles, until he was obliged to return to his master, who carried him back to Ahmadabad and imprisoned him in the palace.
Imadul Mulk Aslan and Tatar Khan Ghuri, disgusted with Itimad Khan's monopoly of power, dragged forth their guns and bombarded his house at Ahmadabad, and the regent fled to Halol, near Champaner, taking the young king with him. Here he began to assemble his army, and civil war was on the point of breaking out when peacemakers intervened and effected a composition whereby Itimad Khan retained the office of regent and the custody of the king and the other nobles parcelled out the kingdom among themselves, Imadul Mulk Aslan, Iimad Khan's principal opponent, receiving Broach, Champaner, Nandod, and other districts between the Mahi and Narbada rivers. To the king was assigned land sufficient for the maintenance of 1500 horse, but this was no more than a concession to his vanity, for he remained almost as closely guarded as before.
Itimad Khan could not, however, entirely seclude him, and he used to amuse himself by hatching, with those officers who gained access to him, boyish plots for the assassination of the regent, and by drawing his sword and severing the soft stem of a plantain tree, with the childish boast that he could thus cleave in two his tyrant. All this was reported to Itimad Khan, who, though he well knew that the boy was incapable of any desperate deed, began to fear lest some officer should earn the king's gratitude and the coveted post of regent by giving effect to wishes so unreservedly expressed. He therefore, in July, 1562, caused Ahmad to be assassinated, and his body to be flung out of the citadel into the open space between the river and the house of a noble entitled Vajihul Mulk Abuji Tank, and when it was discovered gave out that Ahmad Shah must have gone secretly to Vajih-ul-Mulk's house on some amorous adventure and have been slain by some injured person before he could be recognised.
The death of Ahmad II revived the question of the succession, now more complicated than ever, as no scion of the royal house was known to exist. Itimad Khan solved it by producing a child named Nathu and swearing that he was the son of Mahmud III by a concubine. He explained his birth by saying that Mahmud, when he discovered that the concubine was pregnant, handed her over to him with instructions to procure an abortion, but that he, discovering that the girl was in the sixth month of her pregnancy, could not find it in his heart to subject her to an operation which would almost certainly be fatal, and retained her in his house, concealing the birth of the child and bringing him up in secret. The story was in the last degree improbable, for greater facilities for carrying out Mahmud's unnatural orders must have existed in the royal harem than elsewhere, and no explanation of the preference shown for a collateral when Ahmad II was enthroned was offered, but an heir had to be found, for none of the nobles would have submitted to any one of their order, and Itimad Khan's oath was accepted and the child was enthroned as Muzaffar III.
The history of Muzaffar’s ten years’ reign is but a record of perpetual strife between the great nobles, each of whom was independent in his fief, while Itimad Khan retained the office of regent.
The whole of northern Gujarat, as far south as Kadi, was divided between Musa Khan and Sher Khan Fuladi, two Afghans, and Fath Khan, a Baluch; the country between the Sabarmati and the Mai was held by Itimad Khan, and Dholka and Dhandhuka by Sayyid Miran, son of Sayyid Mubarak Bukhari; Chingiz Khan, son of Itimad Khan's enemy, Imadul Mulk Aslan Rumi, held Surat, Nandod, and Champaner, and his brother-in-law, Rustam Khan, Broach; and Kathiawar was held by Amin Khan Ghuri.
A very brief sketch of the conflicts between these factious nobles will suffice.
In 1563 the Afghans Musa Khan and Sher Khan expelled Fath Khan from northern Gujarat, and drove him to take refuge with Itimad Khan, who attacked the Afghans but was defeated and driven back to Ahmadabad. The Afghans then marched to attack him, and he was defeated at Jotana and fled and sought aid of Chingiz Khan, who accompanied him to Jotana. No further fighting took place, a peace being arranged, but after the nobles had returned to their fiefs Chingiz Khan wrote to Itimad Khan, casting doubt on the king’s birth. The regent replied that his oath had been accepted, and that Chingiz Khan's father, had he been alive, would have corroborated it. Chingiz Khan then openly demanded more land for the support of his troops. Itimad Khan evaded the demand by advising him to recover the district of Nandurbar, which had formerly belonged to Gujarat and was now held by Muhammad II of Khandesh. Chingiz Khan fell into the trap and in 1566 marched to Nandurbar, which he occupied, and, encouraged by his success, advanced towards Thalner, but was attacked and defeated by Muhammad II and Tufal Khan of Berar, and compelled to flee to Broach, where he proceeded, in 1568, to reorganize his army, in which work he was assisted by the rebellious Mirzas, Akbar's kinsmen, who had fled from the empire and sought a refuge in Gujarat. He now resolved to avenge himself on Itimad Khan for the trick which he had played him, and marched on Ahmadabad, requesting the regent to withdraw to his fiefs, as he was coming to pay his respects to the king, and it was undesirable that they should meet in the capital. Itimad Khan and the king marched towards Nadiad, near which place the armies met. There was no battle, for Itimad Khan, who had heard much of the war-like disposition of the Mirzas, was smitten with sudden panic, and fled to Dungarpur, whence he sent a message to Akbar, who was then before Chitor, inviting him to invade Gujarat.
The rest of the army dispersed, the Sayyids of Bukhara going to Dholka, Ikhtiyarul Mulk to Mahmurabad, and Ulugh Khan and Marjan Jhujhar Khan with the young king to Virpur. Sher Khan Fuladi jealous of the power so suddenly acquired by Chingiz Khan, hinted that he required a share of the spoils, and Chingiz Khan, anxious to conciliate him, ceded to him all territory to the west of the Sabarmati.
Muhammad II of Khandesh profited by these disputes to assert his claim to the throne of Gujarat, which was certainly less open to suspicion than that of Muzaffar III, and invaded the kingdom with an army of 30,000 horse, but was defeated before Ahmadabad by Chingiz Khan and the Mirzas and driven back to his own country. Chingiz Khan rewarded the Mirzas with extensive fiefs in the Broach district, but in a short time it was discovered that they were encroaching on the land of their neighbors and had been guilty of cruelty and oppression on their estates. They defeated a force sent against them by Chingiz Khan, but retired into Khandesh.
Akbar invades Gujarat
Meanwhile Muhammad Ulugh Khan and Marjan Jhujhar Khan, who had been awaiting help from Itimad Khan or from Sher Khan Fuladi were disappointed and, joining Ikhtiyarul Mulk, marched with him to Ahmadabad to make their peace with Chingiz Khan. A redistribution of fiefs was agreed upon, and Chingiz Khan promised to treat the other nobles as his equals in all respects, but neither party trusted the other, and Ulugh Khan was warned that Chingiz Khan was meditating his assassination. He provided for his safety by inducing Jhujhar Khan to decapitate Chingiz Khan with his sword as the three were riding together to the polo ground, and he and his partisans took possession of the citadel while their troops plundered those of Chingiz Khan, and Rustam Khan rode off, with his brother-in-law's corpse, to Broach. (For this crime Akbar afterwards, on the complaint of Chingiz Khan's mother, caused Jhujhar Khan to be crushed to death by an elephant).
Ulugh Khan and Jhujhar Khan, who were joined by Sher Khan Fuladi, invited Itimad Khan to return to Gujarat, and he assumed the office of regent, but there was little confidence between the parties, and Itimad Khan refused to leave the capital when the other nobles marched to expel the Mirzas, who had returned to Broach and resumed possession of their former fiefs. His suspicions were so bitterly resented that those who had recalled him to power agreed to divide his fiefs among themselves, but they quarreled over the division of the spoil, and Itimad Khan succeeded in detaching Jhujhar Khan and inducing him to join him at Ahmadabad. Ulugh Khan joined Sher Khan Fuladi at Ghiyaspur, opposite to Sarkhej, on the Sabarmati, and the king, taking advantage of these dissensions, fled from Ahmadabad and joined the camp at Ghiyaspur. Itimad Khan wrote to Sher Khan, impudently repudiating his own solemn oath and asserting that Muzaffar III was not the son of Mahmud III, and that he had therefore deposed him and invited the Mirzas from Broach in order that one of them might ascend the throne. The Mirzas arrived, and when the quarrels between the two parties had continued for some time without any definite result Itimad Khan again invited Akbar to invade the country.
Sher Khan Math was besieging Ahmadabad when the imperial army reached Patan, and fled, carrying with him Muzaffar III, when he heard of its arrival. The Mirzas at the same time fled to Baroda and Broach, and on Akbar's arrival at Ahmadabad Itimad Khan, Ulugh Khan, Jhujhar Khan, and Ikhtiyarul Mulk submitted to him and entered his service.
In 1572 Muzaffar III fled from the camp of Sher Khan Fuladi, who had not treated him well, and on November 15 was found by two of the imperial officers lurking in the neighborhood of Akbar's camp at Jotana. On November 20 he appeared before Akbar, who detained him as a political prisoner, and Gujarat was formally annexed to the empire.
Some time after the annexation Muzaffar was permitted to live in retirement in Kathiawar, but in 1583 a rebellion appeared to offer him an opportunity of recovering his throne, and he joined the rebels. After ten years of hopeless adventure, during the greater part of which time he was a fugitive, he fell into the hands of the imperial troops in 1593, and committed suicide by cutting his throat.