HISTORY OF INDIA
THE FIVE KINGDOMS OF THE DECCAN
When Kalimullah, the last of Bahman Shah’s line, fled from Bidar, Amir
Ali Barid, ‘the Fox of the Deccan’, who had never ventured to offend his
powerful neighbors by a formal assumption of independence, became independent
by the act of his victim, and
The history of these kingdoms is a record of almost continuous strife. Yusuf Adil Shah and Sultan Quli Qutb Shah had always been Shiahs; Burhan, the son and successor of Ahmad Nizam Shah, was converted to that faith, to which his successors adhered except during the brief reign of Ismail, and the small Sunni states of Berar and Bidar, the former absorbed by Ahmadnagar in 1574 and the latter by Bijapur in 1619, could not have disturbed the harmony which should have existed between them; but community of religion, community of interests, and frequent intermarriages were alike powerless to curb the ambition of the rulers of the three greater states, each of whom aspired to the hegemony of the Deccan. Common jealousies not only prolonged the existence of the smaller states, but saved each of the larger from annihilation, and the usual course of warfare was a campaign of two of the larger states against the third, the smaller states ranging themselves as the policy of the moment might dictate. The assistance given to an ally was so measured as to restrain him from overwhelming his adversary, and a decisive victory was often forestalled by a shameless change of sides, the perfidy of which bred a new casus belli. The bitterness thus engendered led to alliances between Muslims and 'misbelievers' against Muslims, but this policy, apparently suicidal, produced a situation which enabled the petty kingdoms to succeed where the Bahmanids had failed, and to crush for ever the hereditary enemy.
There was not wanting subject-matter of dispute. The subjection of the weaker governors in the four pairs of provinces into which the Bahmani dominions had been divided by Mahmud Gavan, who were often supported by their powerful neighbors; the mischievous grant to Ahmadnagar by Qasim Barid, acting in the name of Mahmud Bahmani, of Sholapur and the district surrounding it, claimed by Byapur; the refusal of the king of Berar to surrender peacefully Pathri, the ancestral home of the kings of Ahmadnagar, on whose border it lay; minor frontier disputes; and the occasional defection of members of the Adil Shahi dynasty from the Shiah faith, reviving the old feud between Deccanis and Foreigners, with its intrigues and bloodshed, combined to banish peace from the Deccan. Even the attacks on Ahmadnagar by the Mughul emperors produced but a semblance of unity. Help came from the other kingdoms, but none put forth its full strength to avert a danger common to all. In later years, when only Golconda and Bijapur remained to stem the tide of imperialism, sympathy between the doomed states was more cordial, but selfishness and cowardice so restricted the assistance given by the former to the latter that Aurangzib, instead of meeting an alliance, was enabled to crush his victims singly.
The condition of Bijapur at the time of the accession, at the age of thirteen, of Ismail Adil Shah was deplorable. All power was in the hands of the minister, Kamal Khan, a Deccani, who reestablished the Sunni religion and was preparing to cede the old province of Gulbarga to Amir Ali Barid in order that he might establish his own independence in the rest of the kingdom. The Portuguese captured Goa on March 5, 1510, and the young Ismail recovered it on May 20, but in November the Portuguese returned, recaptured it, and established themselves permanently in the port.
Kamal Khan was assassinated, his plot was frustrated, and the Foreigners expelled by him returned from the neighboring kingdoms in which they had taken refuge. Khusrav, a Turk of Lar, received the title of Asad Khan and the great fief of Belgaum, and a royal decree declared Deccanis, Africans, and even the children of Foreigners, born in India, to be incapable of holding office in the state.
Meanwhile events in Ahmadnagar followed a similar course. That state was in fact ruled by the minister, Mukammal Khan, a Deccani, and the Foreigners, having been foiled in an attempt to place Rajaji, Burhan Nizam Shah's brother, on the throne, fled to Berar and enlisted the aid of Ala-ud-din Imad Shah, who espoused their cause and invaded the kingdom of Ahmadnagar, but was defeated at Rahuri by Mukammal Khan, who drove him into Khandesh and laid waste his kingdom.
Pathri and Sholapur The campaign of 1511 between Ismail Adil Shah and Ali Barid Shah, in the course of which Mahmud Shah Bahmani fell into the hands of the former, has already been described. Shortly after this campaign Ismail was enabled to render to Shah Ismail Safavi of Persia a service which earned for him a much prized honor. A Persian ambassador had been unnecessarily detained and humiliated at Bidar by the Sunni bigot Amir Ali Barid, and obtained his dismissal by means of the representations of Ismail Adil Shah. In the letter acknowledging this courtesy the Persian monarch accorded to the ruler of Bijapur the royal title, thus exalting him above his rivals, none of whom had received independent recognition of his royalty.
A fresh quarrel broke out between Ahmadnagar and Berar. The town of Pathri, north of the Godavari and in the latter kingdom had been the home of the Brahman ancestors of Burhan Nizam Shah, and their descendants wished to enjoy the protection and patronage of their royal kinsman. Burhan therefore begged that the town might be ceded to him, offering a favourable exchange of territory, but Ala-ud-din Imad Shah rejected the offer and fortified the town, whereupon Burhan, in 1518, invaded his kingdom and captured Pathri.
On the death of Yusuf Adil Shah Krishnaraya of Vijayanagar had invaded the Bijapur kingdom at the instigation of Amir Ali Barid and annexed the Raichur Doab, and it was not until 1521 that Ismail Adil Shah was in a position to attempt to recover the province. He led a small army from Bijapur and encamped on the north bank of the Krishna, which he crossed one evening, in a fit of drunkenness, at the head of no more than 2,000 men. His followers were cut to pieces and he himself escaped with difficulty and retired to Bijapur, where he forswore the use of wine until he should have recovered the Doab.
Asad KJian Lari, who directed the policy of Bijapur, resolved to form an alliance with Ahmadnagar with the object of punishing Amir All Barid for his having incited the Hindu to attack a Muslim kingdom. The two kings met, in 1524, at Sholapur, and Bibi Mariyam, the sister of Ismail, was married to Burhan, but the alliance, instead of cementing friendship, bred enmity, for Ismail's ministers had promised that the fortress of Sholapur should be the dowry of the princess, but Ismail, when its cession was demanded, professed ignorance of the obligation and refused to fulfil it, whereupon Burhan returned to Ahmadnagar and invited Ala-ud-din Imad Shah and Amir Ali Barid to assist him in capturing the fortress. The three kings invaded Bijapur in 1525 at the head of 30,000 horse, but were met near the frontier and gave way before the attack of the foreign mounted archers of Bijapur. The day was decided by the collapse of Burhan, who, exhausted by heat and thirst, was borne fainting from the field, accompanied by his retreating army.
Ismail gave his younger sister in marriage to Ala-ud-din of Berar and persuaded Sultan Quli Qutb Shah to aid him in recovering Pathri, but Ala-ud-din was not strong enough to retain it and in 1527 Burhan again took it and, aided by Amir Ali Barid, captured the stronger fortress of Mahur and invaded Berar. Ala-ud-din and his ally, Muhammad I of Khandesh, were defeated and driven into Khandesh while the armies of Ahmadnagar and Bidar ravaged Berar. The fugitives appealed to Bahadur of Gujarat, who welcomed the opportunity of extending his influence in the Deccan and set out in 1528 for Ahmadnagar. The intervention of Gujarat temporarily united Bijapur and Ahmadnagar, and Burhan, who withdrew to Bir, was joined by contingents of 6000 horse from Bijapur and 3000 from Bidar. Bahadur occupied Ahmadnagar, though his advanced guard suffered two defeats on the way thither, and Burhan and Amir Ali Barid retired to Parenda and thence to Junnar, from which place their light horse was able to cut off the invaders' supplies. Bahadur, when provisions failed at Ahmadnagar, marched to Daulatabad and besieged the fortress, while the allies occupied the hilly country in the neighbourhood and repeated the tactics which had driven him from Ahmadnagar. It was evident by now that he was intent solely on his own aggrandisement, and Ala-ud-din of Berar and Muhammad of Khandesh readily agreed to desert him in consideration of Burhan's promise to restore all that he had taken from them. The approach of the rainy season of 1529 warned Bahadur of the necessity for retreating before the roads became impassable, and Burhan obtained peace on paying an indemnity and causing the khutba to be recited in Bahadur’s name. Burhan indemnified Muhammad of Khandesh for his losses, but made no reparation to Ala-ud-din, and even retained Pathri and Mahur.
Humiliation of Amir Ali Barid
The inveterate plotter Amir Ali Barid had endeavored to tamper with the
loyalty of the contingent sent from Bijapur to the assistance of Ahmadnagar,
and Burhan could not withhold his approval from Ismail's proposal to punish
him. Ismail marched
Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagar had recently died, and in the confusion which followed his death Ismail was able to reduce both Raichur and Mudgal within three months. The recovery of the Doab released him from his vow of abstinence and he celebrated the occasion by a select symposium, at which only Ala-ud-din and Asad Khan Lari at first sat with him, but both begged him to admit Amir Ali, and he consented, but when 'the Fox' entered quoted from the chapter 'The Cave' in the Koran the words, 'Their dog, the fourth of them'. Amir Ali did not understand Arabic, but a burst of laughter from Ala-ud-din apprised him that he was the victim of a jest, and he wept with humiliation and resentment, while the others laughed. Ismail pitied his distress and foolishly promised, in his cups, to restore Bidar to him. Disturbing rumours that Bahadur meditated another invasion of the Deccan postponed the joint expedition for the recovery of Mahur and Pathri, and Ala-ud-din hastily returned to Berar, while Ismail restored Bidar to Amir Ali on condition that he ceded Kaliyani and Kandhar, a condition which he never fulfilled.
In 1531 Bahadur annexed the kingdom of Malwa, and this accession of strength to Gujarat so alarmed Burhan that he sent Shah Tahir, a famous theologian, to arrange a meeting between himself and Bahadur. Shah Tahir, as the envoy of an inferior, was at first ill-received, but ample amends were made to him when his merit was discovered. Burhan was received in the neighborhood of Burhanpur, where Bahadur was visiting Muhammad, but it was only by means of Shah Tahir's ingenious trickery that he received permission to seat himself in Bahadur’s presence. At the cost of some humiliation he obtained from Bahadur recognition of his royal title and the insignia of royalty captured from Mahmud II of Malwa. Bahadur’s conciliatory attitude was adopted for the purpose of enlisting Burhan’s aid in a campaign against Delhi, but failed of its object, for Burhan ceased not secretly to urge Humayun of Delhi to attack Gujarat.
Ismail's attempt, later in the year, to enforce his demand for the surrender of Kaliyani and Kandhar drew from Burhan an insolent letter commanding him to abandon the enterprise. Ismail's reply is an interesting example of the jealousy of the Muslim rulers of the Deccan regarding the use of the royal title. He twitted Burhan with the use of a title conferred by the leader of a gang of Gujaratis and of the second-hand and soiled insignia of Malwa, and vaunted his own title, conferred by the Shah of Persia. War broke out and Burhan and Amir Ali marched to the Bijapur frontier, but Asad Khan Lari inflicted on them near Naldrug a defeat which sent Burhan, in headlong flight, to Ahmadnagar. In the autumn of 1532 commissioners from both kingdoms met, and framed a treaty which permitted Burhan to annex Berar and Ismail, who already claimed Bidar, to annex Golconda, so that the whole of the Deccan would be divided between Ahmadnagar and Bijapur, the latter receiving the lion's share.
In pursuance of this treaty Ismail and Amir Ali Barid in 1534 besieged Nalgunda, about sixty miles south of Golconda, and repulsed the relieving force sent by Sultan Quli Qutb Shah. The garrison was on the point of surrendering when Ismail fell sick and set out to recruit his health at Gulbarga, leaving Asad Khan Lari to prosecute the siege, but on August 27, as he was starting in a litter, he suddenly died. Asad Khan sent the body to Gogi for burial, raised the siege, and retired to Gulbarga, where, with many misgivings he gave effect to his late master's will by raising to the throne his eldest son, Mallu Khan, a worthless and debauched youth, and retired to Belgaum, leaving the young king’s grandmother, Punji Khatun, to manage the affairs of the kingdom as best she could. Mallu’s licentiousness, which did not spare the honor of the leading families of the kingdom, soon convinced her of the futility of the attempt and early in March, 1535, Mallu was deposed, with the approval of Asad Khan, and his next brother was raised to the throne as Ibrahim Adil Shah I.
Ibrahim Adil Shah I
Ibrahim had imbibed the Sunni doctrines, and on his accession established that religion in place of the Shiah faith, dismissed the Foreign officers and troops to make way for the less efficient but more orthodox Deccanis and Africans, and struck a further blow at foreign influence in the state by substituting the vernacular languages, Canarese and Marathi, for Persian as the official languages. This measure facilitated the employment of native Brahmans in the administration and excluded foreigners.
The first of Ibrahim’s many wars was a campaign against Vijayanagar, for
which the intestine affairs of that state furnished a pretext. For some years
past the actual rulers had been the ministers, and when Venkataraya, the
regent, attempted in 1530 to assume the style of royalty, public opinion
obliged him to enthrone a child of the royal house, and to appoint as his
guardian his maternal uncle, Hoj Narmal Raj. While the regent was engaged with
a refractory chieftain in a remote part of the kingdom the mob at Vijayanagar
rose in the interests of their young raja, and Hoj Narmal, intoxicated by the
prospect of power, put his nephew to death and usurped the throne. The people,
disgusted by this outrage, opened communications with Venkataraya and Hoj
Narmal sought aid of Ibrahim. Venkataraya, anxious to prevent, at all costs,
Muhammadan invasion, feigned submission to the usurper and reminded him of the
excesses committed in past times by their hereditary enemies. Hoj Narmal,
beguiled by the regent's professions and terrified by his warnings, assured
Ibrahim that he had no need of his services and bribed him with a large sum of
money to retire, and Venkataraya marched on Vijayanagar. Hoj Narmal’s fantastic
tyranny had rendered him odious to all, and when he discovered that he would
probably be surrendered and called to account for the murder of his nephew the
wretched maniac hamstrung the royal horses, blinded the elephants, ground the
jewels to powder, and plunged a dagger into his own breast. Venkataraya
ascended the throne of Vijayanagar without opposition, and Ibrahim,
In 1537 Burhan Nizam Shah was converted to the Shiah faith by Shah Tahir, who had taken advantage of his successful treatment of the dangerous illness of Abd-ul-Qadir, a favorite son, to influence a grateful father. The conversion did not improve Burhan’s relations with his Sunni neighbour, Ibrahim, and gave the enemies of Asad Khan Lari, one of the few Foreign Shiahs left in the kingdom of Bijapur, an opportunity of compassing his downfall by accusing him of being in treasonable correspondence with the Shiah Burhan. The accusation was false, but it suited Burhan to assert its truth and in 1540 he marched, with Amir Ali Barid, to Parenda, annexed Sholapur, and advanced towards Belgaum. His dexterous use of the false accusation paralyzed resistance, for Ibrahim saw in his advance confirmation of Asad Khan’s treason, and Asad Khan was not strong enough to meet him in the field and dared not, for fear of misconstruction, march to his master's assistance, and the only course left open to him was to join the invader with a view to using his influence in the direction of peace.
Ibrahim retired to Gulbarga, where he was joined by Darya Imad Shah, who had succeeded his father in Berar in 1529, and Burhan and Amir Ali occupied and burnt the city of Bijapur, but abandoned the siege of its citadel in order to pursue Ibrahim. As they approached Gulbarga, Asad Khan, with his 6000 horse, deserted them and joined his master, and Ibrahim and Darya thus reinforced, compelled Burhan and Amir All to retire towards Bir, and followed them closely. From Bir they were driven to the hills above Daulatabad where, in 1542, Amir Ali Barid died, and was succeeded in Bidar by his son Ali Barid Shah. Burhan purchased peace by the retrocession of Sholapur and a promise never again to molest Bijapur.
Sultan Quli Qutb Shah of Golconda had reached the great age of ninety-eight, and Jamshid, his second surviving son, who had grown grey in the expectation of succeeding him, caused him to be assassinated on September 3, 1543, and ascended the throne. Sultan Quli had been in alliance with Burhan, who, eager to avenge his recent defeat and humiliation, easily persuaded Jamshid to renew the treaty, and, by inviting the raja of Vijayanagar to join the alliance against Ibrahim, committed an act of treachery and folly which he afterwards had cause to repent bitterly.
Confederacy against Bijapur
In 1543 the kingdom of Bijapur was invaded by a Hindu army which besieged Raichur, by Jamshid, who occupied the Gulbarga district and besieged Hippargi, and by Burhan and Ali Barid Shah, who besieged Sholapur. Ibrahim, thus beset, knew not whither to turn, but by means of flattery and concessions eventually succeeded in persuading Burhan and Sadashivaraya of Vijayanagar to retreat, and left Asad Khan Lari free to attack Jamshid. He destroyed a fort which Jamshid had built at Kakni, twice defeated him in the field, and drove him almost to the gates of Golconda, where he again defeated him and in single combat, after the manner of the Deccan, wounded him severely in the face. After such victories it was easy to enforce satisfactory terms.
In the following year the confederacy was renewed, and Burhan, at the instance of Sadashivaraya, besieged Gulbarga, but was defeated by Ibrahim and driven from the kingdom. Burhan endeavored to reconstruct the confederacy, but Ali Barid Shah had come to the conclusion that it was his duty to support the Sunni rather than the Shiah, and insulted Shah Tahir, Burhan's envoy, who returned to Ahmadnagar breathing vengeance. Burhan then invaded the kingdom of Bidar and, in spite of the assistance which it received from Bijapur, captured the fortresses of Ansa, Udgir, and Kandhar.
Ibrahim attributed these defeats to the treachery of his own servants, and put to death without trial seventy Muslim and forty Brahman officials whom he suspected, so enraging his courtiers and officers that they entered into a conspiracy to depose him and raise to the throne his brother Abdullah. Asad Khan, who had fallen under suspicion and retired to Belgaum, opened communications with the Portuguese of Goa, Burhan, and Jamshid, with a view to enlisting their support. Ibrahim's discovery of the plot was followed by a number of ruthless executions, and Abdullah fled to Goa and was well received by the Portuguese, who prepared to espouse his cause in consideration of the cession of the Konkan, which had been promised to them as the price of their support.
When Burhan and Jamshid marched in person on Bijapur Asad Khan refused to join them, fearing lest they should divide the kingdom between themselves, and while they retired to their own dominions the Portuguese withdrew their support from the pretender, whose party, both in Bijapur and in Goa, dissolved, but the Konkan, disappointed of annexation by the Portuguese, revolted against Ibrahim, who crossed the Ghats with a large army and crushed the rebellion. The veteran Asad Khan was reconciled to his master, who visited him on his deathbed on March 4, 1546.
In 1547 Burhan returned to the fatal policy of an alliance with Sadashivaraya and besieged Sholapur. By his ally's advice he determined to deal first with Ali Barid Shah, and, having raised the siege of Sholapur, opened that of Kaliyani. Ibrahim marched to its relief, but was surprised by Burhan on November 14, the festival which terminated the month of fasting, and his army, which had neglected every military precaution, fled in confusion. Kaliyani fell, but Ibrahim, reassembling his army, marched on Parenda. His troops, finding the gates open, occupied the fortress, slew some of the garrison and put the rest to flight, and Ibrahim, leaving a Deccani officer in command of the place, retired to Bijapur. Rumors of the approach of Burhan so terrified this officer that without awaiting an attack he fled precipitately, with the garrison, to Bijapur, and was executed on his arrival there. According to the facetious account of the foreigner Firishta, the valiant Deccani was disturbed in the night by the buzzing of a mosquito, imagined that he heard Burhan’s trumpets, and, mounting his horse, rode for his life.'
In 1552 Burhan joined Sadashivaraya in the Raichur Doab, which was conquered and annexed to Vijayanagar, and afterwards took the fortress of Sholapur. In the following year he and his ally besieged Bijapur, while Ibrahim withdrew to Panhala, but a severe illness with which Burhan was smitten compelled him to return to Ahmadnagar, where he died on December 30, his last moments being embittered by open strife between his sons, two of whom, Husain and Abd-ul-Qadir, contested the succession to the throne. The former, with the aid of the Foreign faction, was victorious, and the latter fled to Berar. Of his four other sons Haidar, with the aid of his father-in-law, Khvaja Jahan of Parenda, made an abortive attempt to seize the throne, and on its failure fled to Bijapur, whither he was followed by his brothers Ali and Muhammad Baqir, and Khudabanda, another son, fled to Bengal.
Jamshid Qutb Shah, after his defeat by Asad Khan Lari, fell sick in Golconda, and his malady so embittered his temper as to render him obnoxious to his courtiers, who conspired to raise to the throne his brother Haidar. The conspiracy was discovered, and Haidar fled to Bidar, while Ibrahim, the king’ youngest brother, fled to Vijayanagar and enjoyed the protection and hospitality of Sadashivaraya. Jamshid died in 1550, and the Foreign party enthroned his son, Subhan Quli, a child of two years of age, but discovering that without royal support, which a child could not give them, they were unable to cope with the Deccani faction, invited Ibrahim to return. He responded with alacrity, entered Golconda, and on October 28, 1550, deposed his young nephew and ascended the throne.
Rebellion of Saif Ain-ul-Mulk
Fresh strife was now brewing between Ahmadnagar and Bijapur. In 1554 Khvaja Jahan of Parenda, attacked by Husain Nizam Shah I, fled to Bijapur, and at the same time Saif Ain-ul-Mulk, a Turk who had espoused the cause of Abdul-Qadir, left Berar and took refuge with Ibrahim Adil Shah, who bestowed on him the fiefs of the late Asad Khan Lari, so that he became the richest and most powerful noble of Bijapur. The two refugees easily persuaded Ibrahim to espouse the cause of his nephew Ali, half-brother of Husain, who also had taken refuge at his court, and the prince was supplied with a small force and was sent to invade his half-brother’s kingdom, where he hoped to find many partisans, while Ibrahim besieged Sholapur, but Ali was disappointed and Husain marched with Darya Imad Shah to Sholapur. Ibrahim sent Saif Ain-ul-Mulk, with the advanced guard, to check the advance of Husain and Darya, and the Turk rashly attacked the whole of Husain's army. His small force was enveloped, and an officer, who fled panic-stricken, falsely reported to Ibrahim that he had seen Saif Ain-ul-Mulk dismount and do reverence to Husain, who had received him kindly.
Ibrahim, without attempting to verify this story, retreated towards Bijapur, his march being accelerated by a report that Saif Ain-ul-Mulk, who was attempting to rejoin him, was pursuing him with hostile intent. Husain, whose army had been severely handled, retired to Ahmadnagar, and Saif Ain-ul-Mulk sent a message to his master assuring him of his unwavering loyalty and asking for an advance from the treasury to enable him to equip his exhausted troops, but Ibrahim coldly replied that he had no longer any need of his services, and Ain-ul-Mulk, thus summarily dismissed, became a rebel and a free-lance, and in March, 1555, occupied the fertile Man district, in the north-western corner of the kingdom, where he supported his troops by levying taxes on the cultivators. He gained more than one victory over the royal troops, declared for Abdullah, who was still at Goa, and at length signally defeated the royal army, led by Ibrahim in person, followed the fugitives as far as Torwa, within four miles of Bijapur, and there proclaimed Abdullah king. Ibrahim, in his extremity, appealed to Sadashivaraya, who sent his brother Venkatadri, with 15,000 horse, to his assistance. Ain-ul-Mulk made a night attack on the Hindu army, but Venkatadri, accustomed to the tactics of Asad Khan Lari, was on the alert, and Ain-ul-Mulk’s force was nearly annihilated. Ibrahim captured Abdullah and imprisoned him, and Saif Ain-ul-Mulk and his nephew Salabat Khan fled to the borders of Ahmadnagar and begged to be readmitted to the service of that kingdom. Husain treacherously returned a favorable answer, and caused Ain-ul-Mulk to be assassinated as he made his obeisance. Some of his followers saved their lives by accepting service under Husain, but the rest, including Salabat Khan, were murdered. The ladies of the murdered man's harem found an asylum at Golconda through the interest of his principal wife, who was a sister of Ibrahim Qutb Shah.
During the last two years of his reign Ibrahim Adil Shah waged unsuccessful warfare against the Portuguese in the northern Konkan, and in 1558 died at Bijapur. It had been his intention to disinherit his eldest son Ali, who was a Shiah, in favor of the younger, Tahmasp, but on discovering that Tahmasp was even a more bigoted Shiah than Ali he let matters take their course. Ali Adil Shah I reestablished the Shiah religion and Foreigners were again encouraged to enter the service of the state, and regained their old ascendancy.
Ali immediately sought the assistance of Sadashivaraya for the recovery of Sholapur, and Husain Nizam Shah and Ibrahim Qutb Shah invaded his kingdom and besieged Gulbarga, but Ibrahim, urged by Sadashivaraya, who had claims on his gratitude, and suddenly doubtful of the wisdom of crushing Bijapur, now once more a Shiah state, in the interests of Ahmadnagar, deserted Husain, who was obliged to raise the siege and retire. In the following year Ali endeavored to persuade Husain to restore to him Sholapur and Kaliyani, but Husain, though embroiled at the time with the Portuguese and warned by his advisers that Ali was creating a powerful coalition against him, steadfastly refused to cede either fortress.
The Portuguese had sought permission to build a fort at Revdanda, near Chaul, but Husain detained their envoy and sent a force to build a fort on the site which they had chosen. Francisco Barreto, governor of Goa, caused the port to be blockaded until he could arrive with 4,000 Portuguese and a force of native troops, and Husain sued for peace, which was concluded on the condition that neither party fortified either Chaul or Revdanda.
Confederacy against Ahmadnagar
Ali Adil Shah had succeeded in drawing Golconda into the confederacy against Ahmadnagar, and Husain, who stood alone, looked round for an ally, but could find none better than his neighbor of Berar. He and Darya Imad Shah met at Sonpet on the Godavari, where he married Daulat Shah, Darya’s daughter.
Ali now addressed to Husain a more peremptory request for the surrender of Sholapur and Kaliyani, and on receiving an insulting reply prepared to enforce his demand. He marched northwards, accompanied by Sadashivaraya with a large army, and was joined on his frontier by Ibrahim Qutb Shah. As the allies advanced towards Ahmadnagar, Husain, leaving a garrison in the fortress, retired to Paithan, on the Godavari, and summoned to his aid Darya Imad Shah, who was, however, dissuaded from joining him by Khanjahan, brother of Ali Barid Shah of Bidar, who joined Ali Adil Shah, while Darya's minister, Jahangir Khan the Deccani, invaded Ahmadnagar with the army of Berar.
Meanwhile the invaders were laying waste the country which they occupied, and the Muslims of all the armies were scandalized by the insults offered by the Hindus to their religion. Mosques were used as stables, or destroyed, and Muslim women were violated and enslaved by misbelievers. Ibrahim Qutb Shah again began to tremble for the balance of power, and entered into correspondence both with the garrison of Ahmadnagar, which he aided with supplies, and with Husain, whom he assured of his goodwill. This correspondence was discovered, and Ali and Sadashivaraya bitterly upbraided Ibrahim, who deserted them by night and retired rapidly to Golconda, while one of his nobles joined the garrison of Ahmadnagar and eventually entered Husain's service.
Meanwhile Jahangir Khan of Berar received orders from his master to change sides, and proceeded to intercept all grain and provisions coming from the south for the allies. The invaders, reduced to great straits, raised the siege of Ahmadnagar and marched to Ashti, whence an army was sent to besiege Parenda. Husain, with whom was his ally Darya, sued for peace, and Sadashivaraya, the dominant partner in the confederacy, insisted on three conditions, the surrender of Kaliyani to Ali, the death of Jahangir Khan, whose interception of convoys had caused famine and much distress in his camp, and the personal submission of Husain. The second of these, the execution of an ally for faithful and efficient service, was impossible of acceptance but by one dead to all sense of honor and of shame, but Husain accepted it and caused Jahangir Khan to be put to death, while his master, being to some extent in the murderer's power, could do nothing to save his servant, but retired sullenly to Berar. Husain's humiliation before Sadashivaraya was a fitting punishment for his turpitude. The haughty Hindu refused to acknowledge his salutation otherwise than by giving him his hand to kiss, and Husain in his wrath called for water and washed his hands. The insult was returned by the infuriated Sadashivaraya, who uttered the threat, in Canarese, that if Husain had not been his guest the largest part of him that would have been left whole would have been his fingertips. The quarrel was composed, and Husain was compelled to surrender the keys of Kaliyani.
Sadashivaraya, on his way back to Vijayanagar, treated Ali as his servant, and the result of this unfortunate campaign was an increase of the bitterness between the Muslim kings and the humiliation of all before the Hindu.
Husain's first thought on reaching his capital was revenge, and his first act was to dismantle the mud fort of Ahmadnagar and to build in its stead a stronger and more spacious structure of stone, known as the Bagh-i-Nizam. In 1561 he opened negotiations with Ibrahim Qutb Shah, who had earned his gratitude in the late campaign, and in 1562 the two kings met before Kaliyani, where Husain's daughter, Jamal Bibi, was married to Ibrahim and the siege of the fortress was opened. Ali and Sadashivaraya marched to its relief and the armies of Berar and Bidar set out to join them. Darya Imad Shah had died in 1561 and had been succeeded by his infant son, Burhan, but Berar was ruled by the minister, Tafaul or Tufal Khan, who acted as regent and was in this campaign unanimously supported by the nobles of Berar, who resented the murder of Jahangir Khan.
Husain and Ibrahim raised the siege of Kaliyani and marched to meet their enemies. The rainy season of 1562 was now past, but an unseasonable storm had filled the rivers and converted the country into a quagmire. Husain's wonderful train of 700 guns stuck fast in the mire, and he found it impossible to extricate more than forty of them, with which, abandoning his intention of attacking the enemy on that day, he returned to his camp. Ali’s advanced guard discovered the abandoned guns and waggons, and the armies of Bijapur and Vijayanagar, having secured them, attacked the camp of Ibrahim Qutb Shah, who fled.
Having lost nearly all his artillery and discovered Ibrahim to be a broken reed, Husain was constrained to retire. His camp and that of Ibrahim were plundered, and their armies were much harassed during their retreat. At Ansa Ibrahim took his leave, but left the greater part of his army, under Murtaza Khan Ardistani with Husain, who continued his retreat to Junnar, leaving a garrison in Ahmadnagar, which was besieged by Ali and Sadashivaraya. The Hindus repeated, on a more extensive scale, the outrages which they had committed during the former campaign. Mosques were desecrated, defiled, or destroyed, the palaces of Ahmadnagar were thrown down, and the wives and daughters of Muslims were violated. Ali, who was powerless to restrain his allies, persuaded Sadashivaraya to raise the siege and join him in pursuing Husain, who retired to the hills as they approached Junnar, but detached his light troops to harass them and cut off their supplies.
The rainy season of 1563 was now approaching, and as Husain was inaccessible in his retreat in the Western Ghats the allies returned to the siege of Ahmadnagar. Sadashivaraya foolishly permitted his army to encamp in the dry bed of the river, and when the rains suddenly broke a flood carried away large numbers of his army. He was already weary of the campaign, and returned to his own country, while Ali retired to Naldrug and rebuilt that fortress.
The Barid Shahi kings, who first committed the error of inviting the intervention of Vijayanagar in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, could plead their own weakness and the neighborhood of comparatively powerful states whose rulers they regarded as heretics; but the kings of Ahmadnagar and Bijapur, who followed their example, had no such excuse. The arrogance of Sadashivaraya had humiliated and disgusted both his allies and his enemies, the excesses of his troops had horrified all Muslims, and he now demanded the cession of extensive tracts of territory, from Bijapur as the price of his assistance to Ali, and from Golconda as the penalty of Ibrahim's duplicity and hostility.
It was apparent to all that unless prompt measures were taken to curb his ambition the end of Muslim rule in the Deccan was at hand; but nothing could be effected without co-operation, and Ali was loth to approach Husain. Ibrahim acted as mediator and the differences between Ahmadnagar and Bijapur were composed by two matrimonial alliances, Hadiyya Sultan, Ali’s sister, being given in marriage to Murtaza, Husain’s heir, and Chand Bibi, Husain's daughter, to Ali. By this latter alliance the vexed question of Sholapur was temporarily laid to rest, and the fortress constituted the dowry of Chand Bibi, ‘the Noble Queen’. Ali Barid Shah was drawn into the alliance and overtures were made to Berar, but the murder of Jahangir Khan was not yet forgotten, and Tufal Khan would join no confederacy which included the treacherous and ungrateful Husain.
The offensive alliance of the four kings was formed in the summer of 1564, on December 12 they assembled at Sholapur, and on December 24 marched thence to Talikota, on the Khon river, near the Krishna.
Sadashivaraya had been fully informed of what was going forward, and had not been idle. He sent his brothers, Tirumala and Venkatadri, with 32,000 horse, 300,000 foot, and 1,500 elephants, to hold the fords of the Krishna, and encamped with the rest of his army, which brought the strength of the Hindus up to 82,000 horse, 900,000 foot, and 2,000 elephants, at a distance of ten miles from that river.
Battle of Talikota
The allies, having discovered that there was no practicable ford for a great distance, other than that held in force by the Hindus, marched upstream and induced the enemy to follow them, leaving the ford unguarded. After three days' march they suddenly turned in their tracks, and not only covered, between sunrise and sunset, the whole distance, but sent their advanced guard across the river by the deserted ford. During the night the rest of the army crossed, and advanced towards Sadashivaraya’s camp. The armies were drawn up for battle on that day, but the Hindus failed to attack, and on the following day, January 5, 1565, the allies again drew up their forces. Their centre was commanded by Husain, their right by Ali, and their left by Ibrahim and Ali Barid Shah. The Hindu right, 20,000 horse, 200,000 foot, and 500 elephants, was commanded by Tirumala, their centre by Sadashivaraya in person, with 37,000 horse, 500,000 foot, and 1,000 elephants, and their left by Venkatadri, with 25,000 horse, 200,000 foot, and 500 elephants. The Muhammadan heavy field and light artillery, the arm in which they were strongest, was in the centre, under the command of Chalabi Rumi Khan, the master of Husain's ordnance.
Sadashivaraya indulged both his pride and his infirmities by being borne to the field in a magnificent litter, and when urged to mount a horse declared that a horse was not necessary against an enemy so contemptible. He ordered that Husain should be slain and beheaded, but that Ali and Ibrahim should be taken alive.
The Hindu infantry, in the first line, opened fire with rockets, matchlocks, and light guns, and their cavalry then charged the Muslims, and pressed them so hard that Ali, Ibrahim, and Ali Band turned to flee, and were only arrested by encouraging messages from Husain, who stood his ground. The first discharge of his artillery did great execution among the Hindus, and Sadashivaraya, perceiving that victory was to be contested, left his litter and ascended a magnificent throne, which had been erected for him beneath a rich canopy, behind the position of his army, and here, surrounded by piles of jewels and gold and silver money, he caused proclamation to be made that any notable success against the enemy would be rewarded by him on the spot.
Chalabi Rumi Khan caused the heavier guns to be loaded, for their second discharge, with copper coin, and this ammunition tore great gaps in the Hindu ranks, which were now at close quarters. Husain followed up the advantage with a general charge of his cavalry, which rode through the shattered ranks of the enemy, and Sadashivaraya, now in personal peril, quitted his throne for his litter, and though his guards offered a determined resistance they were thrown into confusion by the repeated charges of the Muslim horse, supported by the elephants. One of these, driven beyond the rest, came up with the litter, and the driver, remarking its rich and costly adornment, but not knowing whom it contained, drove the elephant against it and overturned it, intending to secure it as spoil. The raja fell to the ground, and an attendant Brahman cried to the driver, “This is Sadashivaraya. Save his life and he will make you the greatest man in his kingdom!”. The driver at once caused the elephant to pick the raja up in his trunk and carried him to Rumi Khan, who led him before Husain Nizam Shah. He was beheaded on the spot, and the spectacle of his head, raised on a spear, completed the rout of the Hindus, who fled, without striking another blow, pursued by the victors as far as Anagondi. The number slain in the battle and the pursuit was computed at 100,000, and the spoil, which included large numbers of captives consigned to slavery, enriched the whole of the Muslim armies, for the troops were permitted to retain the whole of the plunder except the elephants.
The victors destroyed Vijayanagar, which they occupied for six months, plundered the country, and completed the reconquest of the Doab, where Raichur and Mudgal held out for some time. Venkatadri retired to Penukonda, nearly 120 miles south of the former capital, and established himself beyond the reach of the victors, and Tirumala was permitted to establish himself in Anagondi as a vassal of Bijapur. The head of the Hindu king, stuffed with straw, was sent as a warning to Tufal Khan of Berar, who had not only stood aloof from the confederacy, but had, at the instigation of Sadashivaraya, plundered Husain's kingdom as far as Ahmadnagar.
Talikota was one of the decisive battles of India, and broke for ever the power of the great kingdom of Vijayanagar, which had maintained for a century and a half an equal warfare with the Bahmani kingdom and threatened to devour piecemeal the smaller kingdoms into which it had been divided. The victory of the Muslims against such overwhelming odds has the appearance of a miracle, but the superiority of their artillery and of their troops, especially the Foreigners, helps to explain it. Their cavalry was better armed, better mounted, and excelled in horsemanship, and the mounted archers, of whom the Hindus seem to have had none remaining, were probably at least twice as efficient as cavalry equal to them in other respects but armed only with sword or lance. The main strength of the Hindu army was its infantry, ill-armed, ill-clad, ill-trained, and deficient in martial spirit. The capture of Sadashivaraya was fortuitous, but no oriental army would have stood before the sight of its lifeless leader's head, carried before an enemy.
Husain died on June 6, 1565, shortly after his return, from the effects of debauchery, and was succeeded by his son, Murtaza Nizam Shah I, a dissipated and self-indulgent young man who, for the first six years of his reign, left the management of all public business to his mother, Khanzada or Khunza Humayun, who caused much discontent by preferring the interests of her brothers, Ainul-Mulk and Taj Khan, on whom she bestowed vast estates, to those of the kingdom, but her power could not be broken without the aid of her son, who was too indolent to stir himself.
Bijapur and Ahmadnagar at War
In 1566 Ali Adil Shah joined Murtaza Nizam Shah with the object of punishing Tufal Khan for his treason to the cause of Islam and his depredations in Ahmadnagar. The two kings invaded Berar and advanced as far as Ellichpur, the capital, laying waste the country. Tufal Khan retired into the fortress of Gawil and opened negotiations with Ali, whose heart was not in the campaign, and who, in consideration of fifty elephants and the equivalent of £40,000 in cash, made the approach of the rainy season a pretext for returning to his own country and left Murtaza in the lurch.
In 1567 Ali, provoked by Murtaza’s persistent hostility, invaded his kingdom and captured the fortress of Kondhana, now Sinhgarh, and sent a force under Kishvar Khan towards Bir. Kishvar Khan defeated some of Murtaza’s troops at Kaij and built there the fortress of Dharur,
Ahmadnagar was ill-prepared for war. The great fiefs were in the possession of the brothers and favorites of the queen-mother, who failed to maintain their contingents, and the situation was so desperate that even the Africans combined with the Foreigners to destroy her power, and were frustrated only by the king's cowardice and treachery. The principal conspirators, among whom was Sayyid Murtaza Sabzavari, an able and energetic Persian, fled to Bijapur and Gujarat. A second attempt was, however, more successful than the first, and she was arrested and imprisoned in Shivner, and her brothers fled.
Murtaza, emancipated from his mother's control, exhibited unusual energy and spirit, and marched on Dharur with such speed that he arrived there without artillery. The suddenness of his appearance startled the garrison, but he would undoubtedly have been defeated had not one of his officers, Chingiz Khan, mortally wounded with an arrow Kishvar Khan, who was standing at a window or loophole. The death of the leader had the usual result, and the panic-stricken garrison evacuated the fortress and fled, pursued by the victors, who slaughtered many and took much booty.
Chingiz Khan was sent against Ain-ul-Mulk of Bijapur, who was marching with 10,000 horse to relieve Kishvar Khan, and defeated and dispersed his troops, thus enabling Murtaza to invade the kingdom of Bijapur. He was joined at Wakdari by Ibrahim Qutb Shah, but Bijapur was saved by a series of intrigues. Ibrahim, who was trimming as usual, sent a friendly letter to Ali Adil Shah. Ali suspected his minister. Shah Abul-Hasan, a son of Shah Tahir, of being in league with Murtaza, and of having instigated the invasion, and Ab-ul-Hasan, who was innocent, sent Murtaza Nizam Shah a message through Sayyid Murtaza Sabzavari, begged him to avert, by retiring, the danger in which his master's suspicions placed him, and supported the request by warning him that his ally intended to play him false and sending him a copy of Ibrahim's letter to Ali. Murtaza in his wrath made a night attack on his ally's camp, captured his elephants, and drove him in headlong flight to Golconda, whither a detachment pursued him, but after returning to Ahmadnagar repented of his hasty action and, fearing lest Ibrahim should ally himself with Ali, strove to conciliate him. He discovered that Ibrahim attributed the sudden and treacherous attack on his camp to the machinations of Mulla Husain Tabrizi, Khan Khanan, lieutenant of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar, and, as the Mulla's recent conduct supplied a pretext, Murtaza conciliated Ibrahim by dismissing and imprisoning him, and appointed in his stead, in 1569, Shah Haidar, a son of'Shah Tahir.
In the same year Ali, Murtaza, and the Zamorin of Calicut formed an alliance for the purpose of expelling the Portuguese from India and dividing their possessions. In January, 1570, the siege of Goa was opened by Ali and that of Chaul by Murtaza, each placing in the field all his available forces. The indomitable viceroy, Dom Luiz de Atayde, Conde de Atouguia, not only maintained himself in Goa, but, in spite of the pressure brought to bear on him by his more timorous compatriots, sent aid to Chaul.
The account of the operations resembles a mediaeval romance. At Chaul an army of 150,000 men, under the eye of their king, besieged for nine months a garrison which never exceeded 3000 and slew considerably more than its own number of the enemy, compelling him to raise the siege. At Goa, besieged by an army more numerous than that before Chaul, the heroic viceroy, with a force which at first numbered 1600 and never exceeded 4000, withstood the enemy for ten months and finally compelled him to retreat after he had lost 12,000 men, 300 elephants, 4000 horses and 6000 oxen.
These victories were due no less to the skill with which the Portuguese exploited the corruption and dissensions of their enemies than to their valor and discipline. At Chaul most of Murtaza’s nobles supplied the Portuguese not only with intelligence, but with provisions, and, despite the leniency with which such treachery was ordinarily regarded in the Deccan, even the foolish Murtaza was constrained to banish the highly respected Inju Sayyids. At Goa there were instances not only of information being sold to the Portuguese, but of a conspiracy headed by Nuri Khan, commanding the army of Bijapur, to assassinate Ali Adil Shah.
Through these mists of treachery, venality, and corruption the valor and steadfastness of Dom Luiz the Viceroy shone undimmed. He refused, in Goa's sorest straits, to abandon Chaul, and sent aid not only to that port, but to the southern settlements attacked by the Zamorin, to the Moluccas, and to Mozambique. He even refused to delay the sailing to Portugal of the annual fleet of merchantmen, whose crews would have formed a valuable addition to his garrison, and he carried the war into the enemy's country by a successful attack on Dabhol, led by Dom Fernando de Vasconcellos.
Ali, after his defeat, concluded on December 17, 1571, a new treaty with the Portuguese, and Murtaza, after losing 3000 men in one day before Chaul, entered into an offensive and defensive alliance with Dom Sebastiao, King of Portugal. Chingiz Khan, the only officer who had refrained, during the siege of Chaul, from treasonable correspondence with the Portuguese, became lieutenant of the Ahmadnagar kingdom, which received a further accession of strength by the return from Bijapur of the able and energetic Sayyid Murtaza of Sabzavar.
Invasion of Berar
Ali Adil Shah consoled himself for his defeat by capturing Adoni and annexing many other districts of the former kingdom of Vijayanagar, and Murtaza, alarmed by the increase of his rival's power and by an alliance which he had formed with Golconda, assumed a menacing attitude and advanced towards his frontier. Ali marched to meet him, but Chingiz Khan and Shah Abul-Hasan averted hostilities and concluded a treaty which permitted Ahmadnagar to annex Berar and Bidar and Bijapur to annex in the Carnatic the equivalent of those two kingdoms.
In pursuance of this treaty Murtaza sent an envoy to Tufal Khan, demanding that he should resign his power to Burhan Imad Shah, who was now of full age. His solicitude for the young king was rightly estimated by Tufal Khan, who dismissed the envoy without an answer and prepared to resist invasion. Murtaza was already at Pathri, on the frontier, when the envoy returned and reported the failure of his mission.
Tufal Khan first marched towards Bidar, hoping to secure the co-operation of Ali Barid Shah, who was threatened, equally with himself, by the recent treaty, but Ali Barid showed no inclination to assist him and after an indecisive action with Murtaza’s advanced guard he retired rapidly on Mahur, Murtaza, leaving a force at Kandhar to oppose an anticipated invasion from Golconda, started in pursuit of him and after another indecisive action he again retreated, and Murtaza, after masking the fortress of Mahur, advanced into Berar. He received an unexpected reinforcement. In November, 1572, Akbar had conquered Gujarat and captured its king, Muzaffar III, and had subsequently been compelled to attack his rebellious cousins, ‘the Mirzas’. They were defeated, and many of their followers ensured their safety by entering Murtaza's service.
Tufal Khan sought an asylum with Muhammad II of Khandesh, but was expelled by him and shut himself up, with Burhan Imad Shah, in Narnala, sending his son, Shamshir-ul-Mulk, to hold Gawil.
The siege of Narnala was protracted until the end of April, 1574, and during its course the troops of Ibrahim Qutb Shah invaded the kingdom of Ahmadnagar, but were defeated and expelled on May 11, 1573.
Long before Narnala fell the vacillating Murtaza grew weary of the siege, and proposed to evacuate Berar and return to Ahmadnagar. His desire to return was shared, and perhaps prompted, by a new favorite, a boy named Husain, who had been a hawker of fowls in the camp and eventually received the title of Sahib Khan and rose to a high position in the state, but his pretext was his longing to see his own infant son, Husain, at Ahmadnagar. Chingiz Khan was despairing of success in combating his master's resolve when a stratagem enabled him to bring the protracted siege to a successful conclusion. In April, 1574, a merchant from Lahore arrived in the camp with horses and other merchandise for Tufal Khan, and was permitted to enter the fortress on agreeing to take with him Khvaja Muhammad Lari, Murtaza's agent. The agent, who was well supplied with money, did his work so well that many of Tufal Khan's officers deserted to the besiegers and the garrison lost heart. At the same time the artillery of Ahmadnagar was more vigorously served and a practicable breach encouraged Murtaza to order an assault. Tufal Khan displayed great valor, but his men had no stomach for the fight, the besiegers entered the fortress, and he was forced to flee. He was pursued and captured, and his son, on learning his fate, surrendered Gawil, and the conquest of Berar was complete. Both father and son, with Burhan Imad Shah and his family, were imprisoned in a fortress in the kingdom of Ahmadnagar, where all died shortly afterwards, not without suspicion of violence.
Ali Adil Shah had meanwhile been pursuing a career of conquest in the western Carnatic, and on returning to his capital in 1575, after an absence of more than three years, he left Sayyid Mustafa Ardistani at Chandraguni as governor of his southern conquests, which included, besides extensive tracts administered directly by his officers, the dominions of numerous petty rajas who enriched his treasury by the payment of tribute. After his return he besieged Balkonda, where Venkatadri had established himself. Venkatadri escaped to Chandragiri, but left a garrison to hold the fortress, and when, after a siege of three months, it was on the point of surrendering owing to the failure of its supplies, he saved the place from falling into the hands of the Muslims by bribing Ali's Maratha troops, 9000 in number, to change sides. The defection of this large force, which immediately harassed its former comrades by cutting off their supplies, rendered the maintenance of the siege impossible and Ali returned to Bijapur in 1578.
Invasion of Khandesh
Murtaza’s recent conquest aroused the hostility of Ibrahim Qutb Shah and Muhammad II of Khandesh, who regarded with apprehension the extension of his kingdom northward, its apparently imminent extension eastward, by the absorption of Bidar, and the immediate proximity of a neighbor so much more powerful than themselves. A revolt in which the governor recently appointed by Murtaza lost his life encouraged Muhammad to intervene, and he sent an army under the command of his minister Zain-ud-din into Berar to support the cause of a pretender, probably a genuine scion of the Imad Shahi family, who had taken refuge at his court. Zainuddin besieged Narnala, and the officers left by Murtaza in Berar fled to his camp, now at Mahur. He retraced his steps, and as he approached the Tapti Muhammad withdrew from Burhanpur to Asir, his fortress-capital, whither the army of Ahmadnagar followed him, and he purchased peace by the payment of an indemnity of 1,000,000 muzaffaris of Gujarat, of which 600,000 went into Murtaza's treasury and 400,000 to Chingiz Khan.
Ibrahim changed his policy at the same time, and with some reason began to regard Ali Adil Shah's southern conquests as a more real and present danger than the menace to Bidar. Sayyid Shah Mirza, his envoy, was authorized to conclude an alliance with Murtaza and to offer a subsidy of 20,000 huns daily for any army invading the kingdom of Bijapur, and an agent from Venkatadri promised a contribution of 900,000 huns towards the expenses of a war on Ali. Sayyid Shah Mirza found Chingiz Khan inaccessible to a bribe of 200,000 huns, to be paid for a guarantee that Murtaza should be restrained from attacking Bidar, and revenged himself by compassing his destruction. He found a willing confederate in Husain, the king's vile favorite, whom the minister had severely punished for some insolence, and who warned his master that Chingiz Khan was scheming to establish his independence in Berar, and, when the king scouted the malicious accusation, appealed for corroboration to Sayyid Shah Mirza. The envoy, by ingeniously marshalling some specious evidence, persuaded the king of his minister's guilt, and Murtaza caused his faithful servant to be poisoned. He died in 1575, leaving a letter protesting his innocence and commending to his ungrateful master the foreigners in his service. His innocence was established after his death, and his master, overcome with grief and shame, expelled the envoy from his court and withdrew from affairs, on the ground that God had withheld from him the faculty of discriminating between truth and falsehood, and of executing righteous judgement, but his infatuation for the worthless Husain remained unchanged. The administration of the kingdom fell into the hands of Salabat Khan the Circassian and Sayyid Murtaza of Sabzavar.
Another pretender, styling himself Firuz Imad Shah, arose in Berar, but was captured and put to death by Sayyid Murtaza, who was appointed to the government of the province. The Deccan was, however, almost immediately disturbed by Akbar's movements, which appeared to menace it. He left Agra in 1576 on his annual pilgrimage to Ajmer, and in February, 1577, sent a force into Khandesh to punish Raja Ali Khan, who, having succeeded his brother, Muhammad II, had withheld payment of tribute. Murtaza took the field and Berar was placed in a state of defence, one of the officers employed there being Akbar's rebellious kinsman, Muzaffar Husain Mirza, but Raja Ali Khan paid the tribute, the imperial troops were withdrawn, and the danger passed. The restless and turbulent Muzaffar Husain Mirza turned against those who had befriended him and attempted to make himself master of Berar, but Sayyid Murtaza defeated him at Anjangaon and he fled into Khandesh, where Raja Ali Khan seized him and surrendered him to Akbar.
The favorite Husain, who received the title of Sahib Khan, became involved in a bitter quarrel with Husain Khan Turshizi, one of the Foreign nobles in Berar, and shortly afterwards aroused the wrath of the whole of the Foreign party by his treatment of Mir Mahdi, a Sayyid of the family to which the Shahs of Persia belonged. After an unsuccessful attempt to abduct his daughter he attacked and captured his house and slew him. Dreading the vengeance of the Foreigners, he persuaded the king that they were conspiring to depose him, and to raise to the throne his son Husain, and many of the party, perceiving that they were suspected, left Ahmadnagar and retired to Golconda or Bijapur, or to Berar, where they entered the service of Sayyid Murtaza Sabzavari. A massacre of those who remained took place at Ahmadnagar, and the favourite endeavored to persuade the king to order a general massacre throughout the kingdom, and especially in Berar, the Foreigners' stronghold, but even Murtaza was able to understand that such a measure was beyond his power, and that if it were possible it would destroy the military strength of his kingdom, and Sahib Khan, resenting his master's refusal to comply with his wishes, fled by night, with 3000 horse, towards Parenda. He was pursued and overtaken, but the infatuated king refused to punish him, and he sulked, and would not be reconciled until his master promised to capture Bidar and appoint him to its government, and to cause Sayyid Murtaza and the Foreigners of Berar to be massacred when they joined the royal army.
Rebellion of Burhan
Murtaza, by some means, persuaded Ibrahim Qutb Shah to aid him in his design against Bidar, and to send a contingent to join the small army of 20,000 horse destined for the enterprise, but Ali Barid Shah succeeded in obtaining, on humiliating conditions, the assistance of Ali Adil Shah. He was the owner of two handsome eunuchs, the possession of whom Ali Adil Shah had long coveted in vain, but their surrender was now made a condition of assistance, and he was obliged to comply. The assistance given by Ali to Bidar was a violation of the treaty between Bijapur and Ahmadnagar, but Murtazawas compelled to raise the siege and endeavored in vain to allay his favourite’s resentment of the failure to fulfill the promise made to him. Sahib Khan left the royal army during its retreat and retired to his fief, plundering and slaying his master's subjects on his way. He issued decrees in the regal manner, but Murtaza, in his infatuation, would take no steps against him, and mourned, in seclusion, his estrangement, until it began to be rumored that the king was dead.
Burhan-ud-din, Murtaza’s brother, had been confined in the fortress of Lohogarh, where he had married the daughter of his gaoler, Jujar Khan, who released him and led him towards Ahmadnagar, with a view to placing him on the throne. The capital became the goal of a race, which was won by the king, who, on his arrival, mounted an elephant and rode through the streets to convince his subjects that he still lived, but his brother was no more than three leagues distant when he entered the city, and on June 7, 1579, he marched out and defeated him, and Burhan fled to Bijapur.
Murtaza would not take the field against his rebellious favorite, but ordered Sayyid Murtaza of Sabzavar to take him alive or expel him from the kingdom. The foreign officers joyfully accepted the task and, having induced Sahib Khan to receive them, stabbed him to death and reported to the king that he had attacked them and had been slain in the combat that ensued. Murtaza mourned his favorite, while his subjects rejoiced at his death.
Ali Adil Shah was engaged, after the failure of his attempt to capture Balkonda, in hostilities with the Maratha officers who had played him false, and were now settled in the neighborhood of Vijayanagar. Military operations against them were unsuccessful, and the king, not without difficulty, persuaded them to visit him at Bijapur, where he blinded one of their leaders and put the rest to death with torture.
In November, 1579, Ali Adil Shah, who was childless, made Ibrahim, the son of his brother Tahmasp, his heir, and on April 9, 1580, met his death. The two eunuchs from Bidar felt their dishonor deeply, and the unfortunate creature first selected for presentation resented, with a spirit which demands respect, the proposals made to him, and, drawing a dagger which he had concealed about his person, inflicted on the king a mortal wound. He and his fellow were, of course, murdered, and the monster who had so richly deserved his fate is bewailed by Muslim historians as a martyr.
Ali Barid Shah died in 1579, immediately after the raising of the siege of Bidar, and was succeeded by his son, Ibrahim Barid Shah.
Ibrahim Adil Shah II was but nine years of age when he succeeded to the throne, and his education became the charge of Chand Bibi, the widow of Ali I and sister of Murtaza Nizam Shah, but the regency was assumed by Kamil Khan the Deccani, who slighted her and treated her with disrespect. Chand Bibi, a high-spirited woman, had recourse to another Deccani, Haji Kishvar Khan, son of that Kamal Khan who had perished in Ismail's reign. Kishvar Khan compelled Kamil Khan to flee from the citadel, and in attempting to make his escape from Bijapur he was intercepted and beheaded.
Troubles in Bijapur
Bijapur's troubles were Ahmadnagar’s opportunity, and Salabat Khan sent an army to besiege Naldrug and induced Ibrahim Qutb Shah to supply a contingent of 8000 horse, but committed a serious error in giving the command of the expedition to Bihzad-ul-Mulk, an inexperienced countryman of his own, to whom the veteran, Sayyid Murtaza, commanding the army of Berar, found himself subordinate. The interests of his king were, of course, sacrificed to his private resentment, and he not only connived at the discomfiture of the army of Ahmadnagar, but cherished ever after the bitterest animosity against Salabat Khan.
Haji Kishvar Khan sent from Bijapur a force which intercepted and put to flight the contingent coming from Golconda and Ain-ul-Mulk Kanani, commanding the army sent to Naldrug, fell on the enemy near Dharaseo just before dawn, when Bihzad-ul-Mulk was still drinking. He and his boon companions displayed personal courage, but the army was routed and fled towards the camp of Sayyid Murtaza, who rejoiced in his rival's discomfiture and ordered a retreat.
The success bred strife among the victors. Kishvar Khan demanded the 150 elephants taken, and the officers in the field resolved to compel him to relinquish the regency, but the Foreigners and the Africans quarrelled over the reversion of the post, the former demanding the reinstatement of Sayyid Mustafa Ardistani and the latter the appointment of one of their own number. They parted in anger, Ain-ul-Mulk and the Foreigners returning to their fiefs and the Africans marching to Bijapur.
Kishvar Khan removed Sayyid Mustafa by assassination and rendered himself odious to all parties in the state; and Salabat Khan again sent an army from Ahmadnagar to besiege Naldrug, but entrusted the command on this occasion to Sayyid Murtaza Sabzavari, to whose assistance Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, who had succeeded his father in Golconda on June 6, 1580, led a contingent of 20,000 horse.
No relief could be sent to Naldrug, but the fortress was strong and its garrison faithful, and the besiegers suffered heavy losses. The officer in command resisted all attempts to sap his fidelity and rejected with scorn offers of wealth and high rank at Ahmadnagar. Matters were going from bad to worse at Bijapur. None resented more than Chand Bibi the murder of the faithful Sayyid, and Kishvar Khan attempted to carry things with a high hand, and deported her to the fortress of Satara, but his unpopularity increased daily, and curses and abuse followed him as he rode through the streets. The African nobles, Ikhlas Khan, Dilavar Khan, and Hamid Khan assumed a menacing attitude and he left the city with the young king on the pretext of a hunting tour, but permitted him to return to the city and fled to Ahmadnagar, whence, being ill-received there, he continued his flight to Golconda, where he was slain by a native of Ardistan in revenge for his murder of Sayyid Mustafa.
Ikhlas Khan assumed the regency, but Chand Bibi returned from Satara, dismissed him, and appointed Afzal Khan Shirazi in his place. The Africans were, however, too strong for her, slew Afzal Khan, and expelled the leading Foreigners from the city. Ikhlas Khan summoned Ain-ul-Mulk from his fief with the object of imprisoning or removing him, but he brought his whole contingent to the capital, seized the African nobles when they came out to meet him, and led them as prisoners through the streets, but was stricken with sudden panic by a rumor that the royal guards were about to rise on their behalf, and fled with his troops to Belgaum, leaving his prisoners, who were released and restored to power.
These disorders encouraged the army besieging Naldrug to advance on Bijapur, and when it appeared before the walls no more than two or three thousand troops could be assembled for the defence of the city, but within a few days the Foreign nobles arrived from their fiefs with 60,000 men. Even in this extremity they would not make common cause with the Africans, but remained without the city, while Ain-ul-Mulk Kanani and Ankas Khan joined Sayyid Murtaza Sabzavari. This was not treachery according to the code of the Deccan, but merely a justifiable precaution on the part of the leaders to ensure the ascendency of their party. Their apparent defection convinced the people that the Africans could not save the city, and the Africans furnished the only example of self-denying patriotism to be found in the history of this strife of factions by tendering their resignation to Chand Bibi.
The Foreigners of Bijapur had, for the moment, gained their end. Maratha and Canarese troops, skilled in the guerrilla warfare of the Deccan, were summoned to the aid of the beleaguered city, and Ain-ul-Mulk easily persuaded the Foreigners of Ahmadnagar and Golconda to retire before their armies were starved. The army of Golconda, which occupied Gulbarga during its retreat, was pursued and defeated, but that of Ahmadnagar retired unmolested.
The retirement of the enemy revived the strife of factions. Ikhlas Khan attacked Dilavar Khan, the leader of the moderate party among the Africans, in the citadel, but was deserted by all his officers and captured and blinded by his rival, who became supreme in the state. Shah Abul-Hasan was blinded and shortly afterwards put to death, and the Shiah religion was suppressed and persecuted.
Return of Burhan
Dilavar Khan remained in power from 1582 to 1590, and though he established the Sunni religion in Bijapur he sought peace with the Shiah kingdoms, and endeavored to secure it by means of matrimonial alliances. Ibrahim II married a princess of Golconda, and his sister Khadija was given in marriage to Husain, son and heir of Murtaza Nizam Shah, but this alliance bred nothing but strife, and the princess of Bijapur was neglected until her brother, by invading Ahmadnagar and besieging the fortress of Ansa, compelled Murtaza to celebrate her marriage with Husain.
Murtaza, whose behaviour had always given indications of insanity, entirely lost his reason. He attempted the life of his son Husain by setting fire to his bedclothes, but the prince escaped, and shortly afterwards, on June 14, 1588, put his father to death by suffocating him in a heated bath. Ibrahim II, who was still before Ansa, upbraided the parricide, but retired to his own dominions in accordance with the treaty which he had made with Murtaza.
Husain II was a dissolute and bloodthirsty youth who had inherited his father's malady, and his deeds of violence and dark threats so alarmed his nobles that they deposed, imprisoned, and finally murdered him, and on April 1, 1589, raised to the throne his cousin Ismail, the younger son of Burhan-ud-din, who had fled from the wrath of his brother Murtaza and was now in the service of the emperor Akbar.
During the short reign of Ismail all power in Ahmadnagar was in the hands of Jamal Khan, a native Muslim who was followed by the Deccani party. He belonged to a sect which then, in the closing years of the tenth century of the era of the Hijra, had some vogue. These heretics were the Mahdavis, who confidently expected the manifestation, in the year 1000 of the Islamic era, of the Mahdi, the twelfth Imam, who was to establish Islam throughout the world. Jamal Khan disestablished the state religion and persecuted both orthodox Sunnis and heterodox Shiahs.
Ibrahim II, moved by these innovations, and by the desire of liberating his widowed sister, to intervene in Ahmadnagar, sent Dilavar Khan to invade that kingdom, and Jamal Khan purchased peace by the surrender of Khadija and the payment of 70,000 huns. The advancement of Ismail to the throne aroused his father, Burhan, to the assertion of his rights, and he sought and obtained Akbar's permission to make an attempt to gain his throne. Akbar indeed pressed upon him, to serve his own ends, the co-operation of an imperial army, but Burhan wisely declined assistance which would render him odious in the eyes of his subjects and of the other kings in the Deccan and would involve him in humiliating obligations. He believed that his subjects longed for his return, and that he had only to appear in order to be acclaimed, but a premature invasion of Berar with an insufficient force ended in his defeat and his flight into Khandesh. Here Raja Ali Khan assembled his army to assist him, and secured the co-operation of Ibrahim II, who sent an army under Dilavar Khan to invade Ahmadnagar from the south. Jamal Khan first faced this danger and, having inflicted a crushing defeat on Dilavar Khan at Dharaseo, turned northward to meet Raja Ali Khan and Burhan, who had invaded the kingdom from the north.
The armies met on May 7, 1591, at Rohankhed, and Jamal Khan, who had exhausted his troops by a long forced march through the burning heat, was defeated and slain. The young Ismail was captured, and Burhan marched on to Ahmadnagar and took possession of his kingdom under the title of Burhan Nizam Shah II. He reestablished the Shiah religion and recalled the Foreigners, who had been ruthlessly expelled.
Dilavar Khan's defeat had led to his downfall, and he fled from Bijapur and entered the service of Burhan II. Ibrahim II protested against his employment by Burhan and demanded the restitution of 300 elephants taken at Dharaseo. Burhan's reply was a declaration of war, and on March 15, 1592, he invaded the kingdom of Bijapur and restored the old Hindu fort to the south of the Bhima. A force of Maratha cavalry sent against him cut off his supplies and compelled him to retire towards his own frontier to revictual his troops, and the army of Bijapur followed him and inflicted a severe defeat on him. Muhammad Quli Shah and Raja Ali Khan exerted themselves to restore peace, and Ibrahim accepted their conditions, which obliged Burhan to superintend in person the demolition of his works at Mangalvedha.
Burhan, in spite of his brother's treaty with the Portuguese, assembled, in April, 1592, an army which attacked the weakly garrisoned fortress of Chaul. The Portuguese were hard pressed, but defended themselves with great vigor until reinforcements arrived from their other settlements on the coast, when they assumed the offensive and carried, with a loss of only twenty-nine men, a fortress held by the Muslims on the opposite bank of the creek, slaying ten or twelve thousand of Burhan’s army. Farhad Khan, who commanded the Muslims, was captured, with his wife and daughter. His wife was ransomed, but he and his daughter were converted to Christianity and went to Portugal.
This disastrous defeat was attributed in great measure to the treachery of the officers, who, having learned that Burhan was engaged in intrigues with their wives and daughters at Ahmadnagar, betrayed their trust. They belonged to the Deccani faction and their master rejoiced in their defeat.
Civil War in Ahmadnagar
In 1594 Ismail, the elder brother of Ibrahim II, rose in rebellion, and Burhan, who had assembled an army of Foreigners to attack the Portuguese, marched to his aid, but Ismail was defeated and slain before Burhan had advanced beyond Parenda, and the army of Bijapur, freed from its preoccupation with the rebel, attacked him and once more defeated him. He was in weak health, and this fresh disaster threw him into a state of nervous irritability. He designated as his heir his elder son, Ibrahim, whose mother had been an African, on which account his younger brother, Ismail, had been preferred to him. Ismail was still attached to the Mahdavi faith and the Deccani faction, and when his father put him to death for these offences the Deccanis with the army in the field suspected the Foreigners of complicity in the crime, and began to devise a fresh massacre of their opponents, but the Foreigners left the army and joined the king, who had already reached Ahmadnagar. Ikhlas Khan led the Deccanis back to the capital with the object of dethroning Burhan, but the king attacked him and drove him back to Parenda. The exertion and the heat were too much for a frame enfeebled by excess, disease, and mental anxiety, and on April 28, 1595, Burhan died.
Miyan Manjhu the Deccani, who became minister on the accession of Ibrahim Nizam Shah, granted an amnesty to Ikhlas Khan and his faction, and Ikhlas Khan returned to the city and, although he was a member of the Deccani party and was under an obligation to the minister, arrayed himself against him. He persuaded the dissolute young king to declare war on Bijapur, and, despite Miyan Manjhu’s efforts to avoid actual hostilities, the armies met and Ibrahim was slain. His death was the signal for anarchy in the kingdom. Chand Bibi, who had returned to the home of her youth, stood forth as the champion of order and supported Ibrahim's infant son, Bahadur, but Ikhlas Khan produced a man named Ahmad, whom he put forward as the son of the sixth son of Burhan Nizam Shah I, Khudabanda, who had taken refuge in Bengal, and on August 16, 1595, proclaimed him king under the title of Ahmad Nizam Shah II. Inquiries proved him to be an impostor, but he was supported by Miyan Manjhu, and civil war broke out
The Africans and Deccanis who supported Ahmad soon quarrelled, and the former proclaimed as king, under the title of Moti Shah, a child of unknown origin, and Miyan Manjhu appealed for help to Sultan Murad, Akbar's second son, who was now governor of Gujarat.
Akbar, resenting the refusal of Burhan II to swear fealty to him, had already decided to attack the kingdom of Ahmadnagar, and the Khan Khanan in Malwa as well as the prince in Gujarat had been preparing for a campaign in the Deccan, and on receiving Miyan Manjhu's appeal both set their armies in motion. Fighting continued at Ahmadnagar and Miyan Manjhu, having gained a success over the Africans, repented too late of his appeal to the prince, who, with the Khan Khanan, arrived before the city on December 26.
There were now four parties in the kingdom. (1) Miyan Manjhu and the Deccanis, acknowledging the pretender Ahmad II, were on the Bijapur frontier, seeking help from Ibrahim II; (2) Ahang Khan and Habashi Khan, the Africans, acknowledging the third son of Burhan Nizam Shah I, the old prince Ali, whom they had summoned from Bijapur, were also on the southern frontier, with the same object; (3) Ikhlas Khan, at the head of another African faction, acknowledging the child Moti Shah, was in the neighborhood of Daulatabad; and (4) Chand Bibi with the infant king Bahadur was in Ahmadnagar. All sent envoys to Ibrahim II who, perturbed by a peril which menaced the whole of the Deccan, begged them to sink their differences and to present a united front to the invader, and assembled, under the command of the eunuch, Suhail Khan, an army of 26,000 horse, besides a contingent of 6000 horse contributed by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah.
Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh had been obliged to join the imperial army, but his sympathies lay with the kingdoms of the Deccan, and his secret messages to the defenders of Ahmadnagar encouraged them in their resistance.
For this reason, and also owing to the jealousy and the disputes of Sultan Murad and the Khan Khanan, the siege progressed but slowly. Ikhlas Khan marched from Daulatabad with 10,000 horse to relieve the city, but was defeated at Paithan, on the Godavari. Ahang Khan then marched from the southern frontier with 7,000 horse, accompanied by Prince Ali and his son. Prince Murtaza, but was so stoutly opposed by the Klian Khanan's troops that he and the younger prince led no more than 400 horsemen into the city, after cutting their way through the enemy. The rest of his force, with the aged Prince Ali, fled back to the frontier.
Cession of Berar
Sultan Murad was much perturbed by the menace of the armies of Bijapur and Golconda, which had reached Naldrug, and endeavored to hasten the fall of the city by mining the defences, but treachery was at work, and secret information enabled the defenders to remove the charges by countermining, and render the mines harmless. One, however, remained intact and this, when exploded, killed many of the garrison and destroyed fifty yards of the curtain between two bastions, but the breach was so gallantly defended by Chand Bibi in person that the assailants were repulsed and night permitted the defenders to repair the damage.
When Suhail Khan, responding to the urgent appeals of Chand Bibi and encouraged by a treacherous message from the Khan Khanan, whose chief concern was to deprive the prince of the credit of capturing the city, was within thirty miles. Sultan Murad sent an envoy to Chand Bibi, offering to raise the siege in return for the cession of Berar. The garrison was suffering from famine, but it was with difficulty that the noble queen could be induced to save the capital by the surrender of the province. After some hesitation, she consented, and early in April the imperial army withdrew to take possession of its new conquest.
On the retirement of the besiegers Bahadur Shah was proclaimed king. Miyan Manjhu attempted to renew the civil war, but was summoned, with Ahmad II, to Bijapur by Ibrahim, who took them both into his service.
The arrogance and oppressive behavior of the new minister, Muhammad Khan, so alienated the nobles and enfeebled the state that Chand Bibi was obliged to appeal for assistance to Ibrahim II, who sent a force under Suhail Khan, instructing him to place himself entirely at her disposal. Muhammad Khan, after being besieged for four months in Ahmadnagar, sent a message to the Khan Khanan, begging him to come to his aid, but the garrison, on discovering this act of treason, arrested him and delivered him to Chand Bibi, who appointed Ahang Khan lieutenant of the kingdom in his place.
War soon broke out again between the empire and Ahmadnagar. There were complaints on both sides. Gawil and Narnala, the great fortresses of Berar, were still held by officers of Ahmadnagar. On the other hand the imperial troops had occupied the Pathri district, which, they plausibly contended, was part of Berar.
Ahang Khan again appealed to Bijapur, and Suhail Khan was sent to his aid, but the armies of Bijapur and Golconda were utterly routed by the Khan Khanan in the neighborhood of Sonpet, on the Godavari, after a battle lasting for two days, on February 9, 1597.
Ahang Khan quarrelled with Chand Bibi and besieged her in the fort of Ahmadnagar. The disputes between Murad and the Khan Khanan continued until the latter was summoned to court and the former died of drink at Shahpur, near Balapur in Berar. Shaikh Abul-Fazi was sent to the Deccan, but could effect little, and Ahang Khan gained a success over the imperial officer who held Bir.
In 1599 Akbar's youngest son, Daniyal, and the Khan Khanan were appointed to the Deccan, and the emperor followed them and encamped at Burhanpur while his army besieged Asir. The prince and the Khan Khanan advanced towards Ahmadnagar, and Ahang Khan, raising the siege, marched to meet them at Jeur, but the sight of the imperial army approaching him overcame his resolution, and he fled in terror to Junnar, leaving Ahmadnagar to its fate.
Chand Bibi at length lost heart. Summoning Jita Khan, a eunuch who had been her confidant since Ahang Khan had turned against her, she sought his advice. He replied that it was for her to take a decision, and she confessed that she could suggest nothing but a surrender on terms. Jita Khan ran out crying that she had turned traitress, and wished to surrender the fortress to the Mughul, and a turbulent mob rushed into the inner apartments of the palace and slew her.
Daniyal and the Khan Khanan appeared before the city, and the mob who had found courage to murder their queen had little left for the defence of their homes. The defences were destroyed by mines and the place was carried by assault The young king, Bahadur, was sent as a state prisoner to Gwalior and Ahmadnagar was garrisoned by a force of imperial troops.