Adil Shahi dynasty

Eumenis Megalopoulos | Jan 21, 2023

Table of Content


Bijapur is one of the sultanates formed at the collapse of the Bahmanid state in 1490. One of the Deccan sultanates. It occupied a vast territory in the north of Karnatik and south of Maharashtra. It was ruled by the Adil Shah dynasty. The capital was the city of Bijapur.

By the end of the fifteenth century, the central authority in the Bahmanid sultanate had weakened to such an extent that provincial governors were naturally tempted to lock up power. The first "dissenter" was Ahmad Nizam al-Mulk, governor of Ahmadnagar province, who declared himself an independent ruler in 1490. A little later his example was followed by Yusuf Adil-Khan, the governor of Bijapur, who declared himself an independent sultan and got his hands on this former province of the Bahmanid state, despite the opposition of the governor of neighboring Bidar, Kasim Barid. First of all, Yusuf was concerned about strengthening the security of the citadel of Bijapur, and equipped the city with a complex system of water supply.

Sultan Yusuf spent almost all of his 20 years of independent rule in wars with his neighbors-Ahmadnagar, Bidar, Golconda, and the southern empire of Vijayanagar. By the time of his death in 1510 the territories of the Adil Shahs stretched from Bhima in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south. Inspired by Shah Ismail of Persia, who in 1502 proclaimed Shi'ism as the state religion, Yusuf did the same in Bijapur in 1503, introducing a Shi'a-style service in the sultanate's mosques. Yusuf was not an Islamic orthodox, he favored Hindus, allowing them to hold high office, and married a Maratha woman.

He was threatened by the Portuguese, who arrived in Goa shortly after these events. Yusuf allied with the Egyptian and Gujarati fleets and attempted to expel the Europeans by attacking Goa, but failed. Eventually the port was irretrievably lost to the Adil Shahs, and from 1510 the Portuguese finally settled on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Soon after, during the war with Krishnadevaraya, emperor of Vijayanagar, Yusuf died.

Yusuf's son Ismail Khan (1510-1534) ascended the throne at the age of 14. The regent Kamal Khan, who ruled on his behalf, was forced to make peace with the Portuguese. He then engaged in the internal affairs of the state: he abolished the Shiite order, restoring Sunnism and Sunni rites of worship in mosques, and suppressed the "afaqi" front, which dominated the Adil Shah's court.

Even during the Bahmanid period, the elite of the Sultanate was divided into two factions: the old aristocracy, which participated in the foundation of the state, was called "dahni" (i.e., decans, local), but soon Arabs, Turks and, especially, Persians who, having achieved financial and service success, formed a new faction "afaki" (or "garbians" - Westerners) poured into the Bahmanid Sultanate. The cultural difference and rivalry between them was intensified by the religious factor, since the former were predominantly Sunni and the latter mainly Shi'a. The quarrels between these two aristocratic groups played no small role in the fall of the Bahmanid sultanate. The struggle between them continued throughout the history of the Bijapur state, aided by the fact that the sultans who succeeded to the throne were very young, or even juvenile, and could not, by their authority and power, stop the intrigues of the two clans.

Regent Kamal Khan's ambition and insistence on power soon turned against him: in 1512 he was stabbed to death. In the civil unrest that followed, the Afaks regained power. The turmoil in Bijapur served as a pretext for Amir I (1504-1543) of the Barid dynasty (Bidar), to invade certain areas of the Adil Shahs. He was supported by Krishnadevaraya, the new and powerful emperor of the Tuluva dynasty that ruled in Vijayanagar: as a result, the Vijayanagar Empire regained some of the lands it had lost back in Bahmanid times. The arrival of the Gujarat army put an end to these claims, and with its help Bijapur was able to regain a large part of its possessions.

Unlike his regent Kamal Khan, Ismail did his best to strengthen ties with Iran. In 1519 he was rewarded: the Persian Shah Ismail I sent an embassy to him which addressed the Sultan "Shah". After this the rulers of Bijapur began to consider themselves superior to the other Deccan sultans. Ismail was so captivated by Persian culture and manners that he made his officers wear Shiite headgear, and included the name of the Safavid ruler in the Friday prayers recited in the sultanate's mosques. These new rules were only part of the policy against the Dahni faction. The sultan went further and ordered that only Afak officers be allowed into his army and court service.

After the death of Ismail Adil Shah, the throne was briefly occupied by his son Mallu (1534-1535) who, in the wake of turmoil and palace strife, was deposed with the help of General Asad Khan in favor of his teenage brother Ibrahim (1535-1558). Asad Khan was appointed prime minister under the young ruler. In all likelihood he belonged to the Sunnis, for he immediately reversed all pro-Shia policies of Ismail, and the Dahnis were again approved to hold military and court positions. Under the able command of Asad Khan, Bijapur's army successfully acted against Vijayanagar and Ahmadnagar, and in 1543 resisted the military ambitions of Sultan Jamshid, the ruler of Golconda. But soon there was a Portuguese attack on the western frontiers, and this forced Ibrahim I to ask for peace.

When Ali I (1558-1580) ascended the throne, the situation of Bijapur could not be called brilliant. The new sultan returned to Shi'ism, again favoring the Afak faction. Ali sought to conclude an agreement with Ramarayya, emperor of Vijayanagar, with whom he had waged a joint military campaign against Ahmadnagar in 1559-1561. Later, however, he abandoned this alliance for a coalition with Bidar, Ahmadnagar, and Golkonda against Vijayanagar. After the battle of Talikota (1565), in which this coalition defeated the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar, Bijapur won the most: it received considerable booty and seized lands beyond Tungabhadra.

Ali, like all Bijapur sultans, did not suffer from religious fanaticism; rather, he was a "freethinker. He took a cartload of books on his military expeditions and even invited Portuguese priests to Bijapur to give talks on Christianity. His successful reign contributed greatly to the expansion and strengthening of the state. In 1580 Ali I was assassinated by one of the two eunuchs he had taken from Bidar.

Since Ali had no children, the court clique proclaimed his nephew, the 9-year-old Ibrahim (Ibrahim Adil Shah II, 1580-1627), whose long reign is often called the golden age in Bijapur history, as heir. The young sultan's reign began under the patronage of the regent Kamal Khan and the government administration, headed by the officer-habshi Ikhlas Khan, who encouraged his hobbies for art and music more than for state affairs, so that he would not interfere with them to run their affairs. But he was patronized by Chand Bibi, the widow of Ali I, who, by virtue of her services to the state, had great weight at court. The reign of Ibrahim was marked by a war with Ahmadnagar and a number of difficulties caused by the disobedience of his superiors.

In 1591 the Mughal emperor Akbar sent a diplomatic mission to Bijapur to see if the Adil Shahs would accept Mughal suzerainty. Ibrahim refused, but to "sweeten the pill" he gave his sister as Akbar's wife (though not willingly). Nevertheless, the Mughals did not leave the idea of subjugating the sultanate.

Malik Ambar, an Ethiopian warlord who led the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, attempted to invade Bidar. Ibrahim took advantage of the situation to seize Bidar in 1619 and annex the possessions of the Barid dynasty that ruled there. This provoked the wrath of Malik Ambar, who invaded Bijapur unhindered, and stormed Ibrahim's new unfinished city, Nauraspur. Another minor incident of Ibrahim's reign was the loss of the island fortress of Janjir by his naval khabshi generals in 1618.

Ibrahim was a Sunni, but he encouraged religious tolerance toward his Hindu subjects, for which he received from them the honorable name "Jagat Guru" (Spiritual Leader of the World), of which he was very proud. In historical literature, Ibrahim II has a reputation as the greatest philanthropist of his era. His contemporaries praised the sultan as a skilful poet who preferred the Persian language to Dahni-Urdu, and as a musician, calligrapher, and connoisseur of painting. Ibrahim was no less significant as a builder. The mausoleum and accompanying prayer hall he built shortly before his death on the outskirts of the capital, known as Ibrahim Rauza - unsurpassed by its magnificent domes and masterful stone carvings.

After the death of Ibrahim II, the "dahni" court managed to place his second son, the 15-year-old Mohammed (1627-1656), on the throne. Muhammad's reign began under the regent Khawas Khan, who attempted an alliance with Ahmadnagar to deter the Mughal advance. This, however, did not prevent the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan from sending troops to Bijapur in 1631 at the suggestion of his father-in-law Asaf Khan. Although this expedition was repulsed, it paved the way for a more organized Mughal military campaign five years later, which forced Muhammad to sign an act of submission. Thus the Bijapur Sultanate lost its sovereignty and paid the Mughal emperor a tribute of 2 million rupees.

On the one hand, this was a great humiliation for Muhammad; on the other hand, he was able to free himself for a time from the Mughal threat and concentrate on expanding the borders of his sultanate, facilitated by his successful prime minister Ikhlas Khan. Eventually the state of the Adil Shahs reached its territorial limit, and this could no longer be prevented by its eternal Deccan rivals: neither Ahmadnagar, which by that time had been divided with the Mughals, nor Golconda. This was a time of Bijapur's most ambitious architectural achievements, exemplified by Muhammad's own mausoleum, the Gol-Gumbaz, the most technically advanced dome structure erected in the Deccan (reputedly the largest dome in the world after St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome).

The Muhammad-led hostilities were mainly directed toward the southern borders. Under the able leadership of Randaul Khan and the Maratha feudal commander Shahji, who arrived from Ahmadnagar, the troops of Bijapur moved into the Tamil lands, where they occupied the forts at Vellore and Gingei, overcoming the resistance of the Nayak kings of the Tanjavur dynasty. In addition, Muhammad attempted to ally with Dutch traders to deter the Portuguese, who had by then established their dominance in the Arabian Sea. Bijapur reached its zenith under this sultan, but in 1646 Muhammad became so seriously ill that he was incapable of ruling the state. For the last 10 years of his life, his eldest wife, Bari Sahiba, was in charge of affairs. It was during these 10 years that the events that eventually led to the fall of the sultanate took place.

The son of the warlord Shahji, Shivaji, who was entrusted with the administration of the province of Pune, then part of Bijapur, rebelled against the Sultan. Taking advantage of the fact that Muhammad was fighting in the south, Shivaji occupied the citadel of Thorn in 1646. Muhammad retaliated by arresting his father, Shahji, and released him only after Shivaji capitulated. Shortly thereafter, however, Shivaji became active again and in 1650 occupied the forts in the Purandhara and Rairi hills, which were destined to become his capital, Raigad. In the following years Shivaji seized a number of mountain strongholds on the Sahyadri ranges on the northwestern edge of the Adil Shahs' territories. Although his influence extended to the Konkan, Shivaji was unable to capture the island citadel of Janjiru. By 1655 he had a small principality under his control, which became the nucleus of the future Maratha state within the territory of the Bijapur Sultanate.

After Muhammad's death, he was succeeded by Ali II (1656-1672), who by that time was either 15 or 18 years old. Under him the war with the Mughals began. Prince Aurangzeb, who did not formally recognize the young sultan's right to the throne, led the Mughal army, which arrived in Aurangabad in 1657 and from there headed south. After capturing Bidar and Fort Kalyanadid, Aurangzeb sent troops to Bijapur. However, he was recalled to Delhi at the last moment by his father Shah Jahan, and was therefore forced to make a hasty peace with Ali II.

Both the Adil shahs and the Mughals were troubled by the raids which the Marathas, led by Shivaji, were making with great audacity. In 1665 these rebels were for a time suppressed by the Mughals, and as a result Shivaji was forced to sign a treaty with them whereby he agreed to assist the Mughals in their war with the Adil shahs. Nevertheless, this did not prevent Shivaji from tenaciously consolidating his influence in the western Deccan. In 1674 he was crowned as a traditional Hindu monarch, taking the title of "chhatrapati" - "king possessor of the (royal) umbrella.

The mutual pressure of the Marathas and the Mughals led Ali Adil Shah II to depression and a feeling that further resistance would be futile. He abandoned all affairs, retired to the harem, indulging in pleasures and drunkenness, from which he died in 1672.

His son Sikandar (1672-1686) was placed on the throne as an infant when he was only four years old. Under these circumstances, the regent Khavas Khan, who had not lost his position at court, took over the leadership of the sultanate, but was overthrown by his rival kingsman Bhalol Khan. The resulting turmoil left the capital open to attack by Shivaji's forces, who then advanced as far south as Tanjavur, absorbing all the Adil Shahs' previous conquests in the Tamil lands. In 1679 Shivaji rejoined the Mughal army in an attempt to besiege the capital of the Adil Shahs. The campaign was unsuccessful, was curtailed, and soon afterwards Shivaji died in April 1680.

Freed from his most skillful adversary, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was able to concentrate on the war against the two remaining sultanates, Bijapur and Golconda. However, it was not until 1685 that the Mughal army reached the outer walls of Bijapur. It took about 18 months of siege to force Sultan Sikandar to surrender. In September 1686, the young sultan handed Aurangzeb the keys to the citadel and was sent into confinement at Daulatabad, where he spent the rest of his days. The flourishing capital of the sultanate, Bijapur, was destroyed and looted by Mughal troops, and the territory of the state became a province of the vast Mughal Empire.

The state structure of Bijapur was based on small administrative units, parganas, which comprised from 50 to 200 villages. The parganas were headed by the chiefs of the leading local caste, the Kunbi or Maratha. The position of the head of the pargana was called "deshmukhi" and it was usually hereditary. The scribes of the parganas, who kept all the records, were from the Brahman caste and their position was also hereditary.

In the center of the community there was usually a small fort near which there was a bazaar. All the personnel serving these institutions - the market manager, the market clerk, their assistants, the guards of the fortress - all held their positions according to the order of the district chief, "deshmukhi". The chiefs and clerks of each village in the pargana were also subordinate to him. All regular employees of the pargana were rewarded with allotments of land and deductions from the taxes collected in the territories under their control.

There were three different ways of state control over the Pargan. One part of the Pargan were under the direct control of the state officials, the hawaldars, who were paid a salary from the treasury and also received interest from the taxes collected. The district chiefs, the deshmukhs, were obliged to carry out all their orders. This form of government was especially relevant in the border areas where there was a threat of attacks.

The other part of the pargan was given to the military chiefs to maintain the army units (this form of administration was called "jagira"). The local district chiefs-deshmukhi were subordinated to the "jagirdar," the head of this "jagira.

However, there was also a large part of the territories where there were no superiors over the Dashmukhas. Officials with inspection came there only occasionally.

This administrative structure gave the state balance and stability, which contributed to economic prosperity.

The Sultanate's economic prosperity was also facilitated by its lively trade, the duties from which constituted an important part of the state's income. The traditional trade goods for Bijapur were rice, saltpetre, dyes, salt, horses, textiles, pepper, and other spices. Horses were the main import item, and textiles and pepper were the main export items. Trade was done by merchants who were members of guilds. There seems to have been a system of monopolies for the production and purchase of certain goods.

Domestic trade was done in the numerous bazaars that functioned in the villages and towns. In Bijapur alone there were at least a dozen bazaars, and about the same number in its suburbs. Everything from grain to diamonds could be bought there. The merchant guilds drove caravans of goods and there was a system of caravanserais for overnight stays on the way.

Foreign trade was carried on predominantly by sea, and the loss of the port of Goa has vexed the Adil Shahs throughout the history of the sultanate. Trade routes lay through the ports of the western and eastern coasts of Hindustan, where goods came from the interior of the country and from other regions. Bijapur was connected by trade routes with the ports of the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Java, the Moluccas Islands, as well as with Malabar, Gujarat and Sindh. Textiles and spices were sent through the west coast ports for export, and in return came horses, which were an important strategic commodity for the troops, raw materials for silk (it was supplied by districts in Iran and Afghanistan), metals, pearls, etc.

Despite the loss of the port of Goa in 1510, the Adil Shahs still had several ports, including Chaul and Dabhol. Tensions with the Portuguese softened over time, and by the end of the 16th century the sultanate was finding various forms of cooperation with them. During the reigns of Mohammed Adil Shah (1627-1656) and Ali Adil Shah II (1656-1672), the sultanate's territory expanded to include the eastern coast of Hindustan with its ports. This increased the circulation of goods and the collection of duties, but it did not last long, for from the 1660s access to ports on both coasts became difficult: many western ports fell under Shivaji control, and possession of eastern ports was contested by the entrenched Golconda, the Dutch, the English and the local nayaks.

The Bijapur Sultanate was founded on the ruins of the Bahmanid state, which, in turn, was created as a result of the arrival of the Muslim conquerors on Deccan territory, where before them there was a Chalukyu state with an autochthonous Hindu population. Since there were considerably fewer Muslims than natives, they were forced to be more tolerant of local traditions, so reports of the destruction of Hindu temples are quite rare.

The Sultanate's business and official documentation, however, was in Marathi, the language of the Sultanate's sultanate, and all the Sultanate's official documentation was in Marathi. However, all business and official documentation of the sultanate was in Marathi. Unlike the Persians, the Arabs and Turks, who had already lived in the Deccan for several generations, adhered more to local, Hindu traditions. The mixing of Muslim and local traditions resulted in the emergence of a new language, an offshoot of Urdu, "Dahni-Urdu," or "Deccan Urdu. Since the 16th century there have been writers and poets who wrote in Dahni-Urdu, and even Sultan Ibrahim II wrote poems in it.

Another group that played an important role in the state were the Brahmans. They were from the Telugu people, and from 1535 held administrative positions at all levels. From the beginning of the 17th century they were in the hands of the local courts, in which cases were adjudicated by Brahmanical councils in the Marathi language.

In addition to the native Hindus and the newcomers, Arabs, Persians and Turks, there was another ethnic community in the Sultanate, the Habshi. It was made up of slaves from Africa who were purchased to supplement the Bijapur army. Among them were major military leaders, and some, like Ikhlas Khan, reached the position of prime minister.

The Bijapur army also included many Telugu men, who were called Nayakwari. The most dangerous to the fate of the sultanate, however, was the Maratha people, in the formation and rise of which Bijapur took its part, enabling many Maratha clans to enrich themselves. They were valiant fighters and served in the Bijapur army, but, having found a leader in the person of Shivaji, they played a decisive role in the weakening of the state.

In the course of endless wars the borders of the state, the size of the territory and, accordingly, the number of its population were constantly changing, so there is no exact information on this subject. The extant evidence tells us that 984,000 inhabitants of Bijapur and its suburbs and 1,600 mosques existed there during the reign of Ibrahim II. If this information is correct, then in the reign of Mohammed, when the territory of the state reached its maximum, the Sultanate probably had several millions of inhabitants.

Bijapur maintained religious diversity. The ruling elite of the state consisted overwhelmingly of Muslims, divided into Shi'ites and Sunnis. The Adil Shah dynasty did not seek to adhere firmly to one Islamic sect, so some sultans were Shia (Yusuf, Ismail, Mallu, Ali I and Ali II) and others Sunni (Ibrahim I, Ibrahim II, Muhammad and Sikandar). Despite the constant opposition between Sunnis and Shi'ites, they celebrated Muslim holidays such as Ramadan or Bakrid together.

The autochthonous population of the sultanate adhered to their traditional Hindu beliefs - Shivaism and Vishnuism with its variants. Since the sultans of Bijapur were generally quite tolerant of their subjects' beliefs, they donated large sums not only to mosques but also to Hindu temples. There is evidence that one of Ibrahim II's generals, Sharif Malik, donated money to a temple in Gokarna in 1618, and Ibrahim II himself donated land to a temple in Chinchwad, not far from Pune. Sultan Mohammed made equally generous gifts to Hindu temples. In the prefaces of the state decrees (fermans), after the words "In the name of Allah the Most Gracious", sometimes there were lists of Hindu deities such as Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva, Parvati, Saraswati and others.

Among the non-Muslim population of the Sultanate the Krishna cult of Bhakti was widespread. It spread there from the 12th century, and had two main sects: one, the Varkari, was associated with the temple of Vithoba, the other with the hymns of the Vishnuite poets, Dnyaneshwar, Namdeva, Eknath and Tukaram. The population of the sultanate celebrated Hindu festivals, many of them established since the Chalukyas' time: the festive fairs of Jatra (Yatra), Ugadi, Holi, Deepavali, Dasara, etc.

In addition to Muslims and Hindus, the Sultanate was inhabited by Jainists, Christians, and Jews. The Christians and Jews lived mostly in the coastal towns (the Jews had lived in Goa even before the arrival of the Portuguese), so they had little or no influence on public life.

An essential role in the social life of the Sultanate was played by Sufis, Muslim mystic saints. They began to penetrate into the Deccan during the Delhi Sultanate with the first Islamic settlers. Sufi saints were believed to have spiritual authority that was superior to that of governors and sultans. Sayyid Muhammad Husayni Gesu Daraz (1321-1422), even today remains the most popular Sufi, whose tomb attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. Sufis like Gesu Daraz, who lived at a distance from royal palaces, had difficult relations with rulers who, on the one hand, needed their political support and, on the other, feared their great popularity among the people. Some Sufis even sanctified the Sultan's coronations, legitimizing the ruler as a true Muslim and his sovereign territory as truly Muslim.

Other Sufis, in search of direct and short ways to penetrate into divine reality, often fraternized with Yogis or some other non-Islamic mystics; this led to the interaction and interpenetration of spiritual ideas. The theme of communication between a Muslim and a Hindu mystic saint was repeatedly reflected in the Deccan miniatures.

Bijapur was quite a major center of education during the Chalukyas dynasty. There is an opinion that the word "Bijapur" comes from "Vidyapur," that is, "city of knowledge. The arrival of the Muslims changed little in this respect: under the Bahmanids the city retained its high status as a center of learning, it was even called "southern Benares. New schools were opened at the mosques, and Muslim scholars taught grammar, rhetoric, scholasticism, principles of law, etc. In elementary schools (maqtaba) Arabic and Persian were taught.

As power smoothly passed from the Bahmanids to the Adil Shahs, there were no major excesses in Bijapur that affected scholars and science. All the Bijapur sultans patronized scientists. Moreover, many of them were fond of various sciences and never parted with books. The Sultan's palace at Asar Mahal, for instance, had two madrasahs, one for Hadith and the other for theology and religion. Education and textbooks were free, and students were provided with meals and a small stipend. Students who passed their examinations with distinction were given high and honorable positions. As a result of the Sultan's patronage of the sciences, many works appeared in Arabic, Persian, and later in Dahni-Urdu. But literature was also written in Sankhskrit, Marathi and Kannada.

Bijapur had a medical science and hospitals (darush shafa). The doctors of the sultanate used a variety of sources of medical knowledge: Ayurveda, Unani, and the medical achievements of Persia and Europe. Ibrahim II, for example, had the European Farnalop Farangi and Hakim Gilani as doctors. A valuable treatise on medicine was compiled by Aitippa, a physician who practiced the traditions of Ayurveda. It contains advice on the examination of patients, symptoms, and treatment of diseases, as well as a brief dictionary with designations of body parts and medicinal plants. The practicing physician was also a major historian, Ferishta, thanks to whom many details of Bijapur's history are known today. He knew Sanskrit and thoroughly studied Ayurveda and compiled an extensive book on diseases, medicines, anatomy and physiology. Other medical scholars of Bijapur also wrote medical treatises, as the sultans encouraged their work with grants.

Culturally, Bijapur was a polyethnic cauldron in which various national traditions mixed together: Chalukyas, Timurids, Afaks, Dahnis, Marathas, Habshis, Nayakwari, Brahmans and Europeans. The traditions of all these cultures and nationalities influenced the court culture and art.

The capital of the sultanate was characterized by a variety of architecture. To protect the city from attacks Bijapur was surrounded by a fortress wall 9 meters high and 9 to 10 meters thick, in the center of the city there was a citadel, protected by two rows of walls. Another engineering and architectural achievement was the system of urban water supply. In Bijapur underground pipes were built, through which water from external sources and reservoirs reached the open city cisterns and from there was distributed all over the city. The inflow of water was regulated by tall stone water towers erected along the water network. The same water flowed into ornamental pools and fountains built in the city's gardens and parks.

In addition to the fortifications and waterworks that ensured security, the city was home to palaces, mosques, tombs, hundreds of Sufi shrines, and ornate spiritual centers that were called "darga" and "khanka.

Typical architectural structures of Adil Shahs are three-part structures with domes, decorated with stucco and stone carvings. The most important monuments of architecture: the Friday Mosque (Jami Masjid), begun in 1576 under Ali I and contains a magnificent mihrab, created in 1636, the Anda Mosque (Anda - the egg, so they called the mosque because of the shape of its dome) and the Mihtar Mosque (Mihtar-e-masjid) built in the early 1600s under Ibrahim II. Two excellent tombs belong to the same period - that of Queen Taj Sultan and the tomb with the prayer house of her husband Ibrahim II, the complex known as Ibrahim Rose. Sultan Mohammed Adil Shah built for himself the most famous tomb of Bijapur - Gol Gumbaz ("Round Dome", 1656), with a grand dome with a diameter of 44 meters. He also built the Asar Mahal Palace in 1647, apparently in imitation of the Persian Chikhil Sutun Palace in Isfankhan, completed in 1646. The palace was decorated with murals. The last major architectural project was the tomb of Ali II, but it remained unfinished.

Bijapur paintings have survived only in the form of book miniatures and miniatures on separate sheets. The earliest specimens date back to the time of Ali Adil Shah I. These are miniatures of two manuscripts: the book on astrology and magic, Nujum al-Ulum (ca. 1570, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin), and a manual on music and dance, Jawahir al-muzikat-e-Muhammadi (British Library, London). In the first case the miniatures have similarities with Ahmadnagar painting, in the second - with simple Deccan painting.

The true flowering of the Bijapur miniature began during the reign of Ibrahim II. His court kithabhan worked with great masters who were able to combine diverse artistic elements into a mysterious fusion of aesthetics, mysticism and melancholy. Under him the influence of Mughal painting began to grow, which continued under his successor Mohammed, and was embodied in a more documentary rather than idealized portrait and in a more naturalistic portrayal of nature. The leading artist of the Bijapur workshop was Farrukh Bek, who later worked for the Mughal imperial kithabhan. Even the Dutch artist Cornelis Claes Heda worked at the court of the Adil Shahs for a time, but none of his works has survived.

In 1636 the Adil Shahs together with the Mughals captured and divided the sultanate of Ahmadnagar. This led to closer relations with the Mughals, which affected the entire material culture of Bijapur: instead of the long Deccan jama, the Bijapurites began to wear a shorter Mughal robe tied under one arm, and to acquire a Mughal-style dagger known as a katar. However, they still continued to wear their tall turban adorned with a beautiful wide ribbon (patta).

In Bijapur the music and dance culture successfully developed, which is evidenced not only by the preserved manuscripts with compositions on these subjects. Ibrahim II, for example, was a great musician himself and different miniatures show him with a tambourine, sitar and castanets. The musicians of the court orchestra "Lashkar-e Nauras" received a regular salary from the treasury and dwellings for singers, musicians and dancers were built in the new city of Nauraspur founded by Ibrahim II. Musical performances and concerts were often held at the Bijapur court.

Painting the Dean

For the article were used:


  1. Adil Shahi dynasty
  2. Биджапурский султанат
  3. ^ With help of Maratha general Ghorpade[20]
  4. Satish Chandra. Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals, Part II, (Har-Anand, 2009), 210.
  5. The Peacock Throne by Waldemar Hansen. ISBN 978-81-208-0225-4. Page 468.
  6. Cavendish, Marshall. "World and Its Peoples", p.335. Published 2007, Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 0-7614-7635-0
  7. ^ Sailendra Sen, A Textbook of Medieval Indian History, Primus Books, 2013, p. 119, ISBN 978-93-80607-34-4.
  8. ^ Waldemar Hansen, The Peacock Throne, 468 pp. ISBN 978-81-208-0225-4.

Please Disable Ddblocker

We are sorry, but it looks like you have an dblocker enabled.

Our only way to maintain this website is by serving a minimum ammount of ads

Please disable your adblocker in order to continue.

Dafato needs your help!

Dafato is a non-profit website that aims to record and present historical events without bias.

The continuous and uninterrupted operation of the site relies on donations from generous readers like you.

Your donation, no matter the size will help to continue providing articles to readers like you.

Will you consider making a donation today?