Bahmani Sultanate

former South Asian country in South India

The Bahmani Sultanate (also called the Bahmanid Empire or Bahmani Kingdom) was a Muslim state of the Deccan in South India and one of the major medieval Indian kingdoms. Bahmanid Sultanate was the first independent Muslim kingdom in South India. The Kingdom later split into five offshoots that were collectively known as the Deccan sultanates.The last remnant of the Bahmani sultanate was defeated and destroyed in 1509 by Vijayanagar Empire.


  • “The Sultãn sent Khwãja-i-Jahãn to Gulbargã, Sikandar Khãn to Bîdar, Qîr Khãn to Kûtar, Safdar Khãn to Sakar which is called Sãgar, and Husain Garshãsp to Kotgîr. He appointed other chiefs to invade the kingdom of the infidels. ‘Aitmãdul Mulk and Mubãrak Khãn led raids upon the river Tãwî and laid waste the Hindu Kingdom. After having invaded the province of Dankurî and cutting off the head of Manãt, they attacked Janjwãl…”
    • Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Hasan Bahman Shãh (AD 1347-1358) Dankuri (Karnataka). Burhãn-i-Ma‘sir in S.A. A. Rizvi in Tughlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata. Aligarh, 1956, Vol. I, p. 370.
  • “The first Bhamani King, Alauddin Bahman Shah (1347-1358) despatched an expedition against the northern Canatic Hindu chieftains, and his booty included ‘1000 singing and dancing girls, Murlis, from Hindu temples’. In 1406 Sultan Tajuddin Firoz (1397-1422) fought a war with Vijayanagar and captured 60,000 youths and children from its territories. When peace was made Bukka gave, besides other things, 2,000 boys and girls skilled in dancing and music… His successor Ahmad Vali (1422-36) marched through Vijayanagar kingdom, ‘slaughtering men and enslaving women and children.” The captives were made Musalmans. Sultan Alauddin (1436-58) collected a thousand women in his harem. When it is noted that intermittent warfare between the Bahmani and Vijayanagar kingdoms continued for more than a century and half, the story of enslavement and conversions need not be carried on. Even ordinary soldiers used to get many slaves and, at the end of the Battle of Talikot (1565), ‘large number of captives consigned to slavery, enriched the whole of the Muslim armies, for the troops were permitted to retain the whole of the plunder.’ …”
    • Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6, quoting The Cambridge History of India
  • “Mujahid Shah, on this occasion, repaired mosques which had been built by the officers of Alla-ood-Deen Khiljy. He broke down many temples of the idolaters, and laid waste the country; after which he hastened to Beejanuggur… The King drove them before him, and gained the bank of a piece of water, which alone divided him from the citadel, where in the Ray resided. Near this spot was an eminence, on which stood a temple, covered with plates of gold and silver, set with jewels: it was much venerated by the Hindoos, and called, in the language of the country, Puttuk. The King, considering its destruction a religious obligation ascended the hill, and having razed the edifice, became possessed of the precious metals and jewels therein.”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Alãu’d-Dîn Mujãhid Shãh Bahmanî (AD 1375-1378) Vijayanagar (Karnataka)
  • “Ahmud Shah, without waiting to besiege the Hindoo capital, overran the open country; and wherever he went put to death men, women, and children, without mercy, contrary to the compact made between his uncle and predecessor, Mahomed Shah, and the Rays of Beejanuggur. Whenever the number of slain amounted to twenty thousand, he halted three days, and made a festival celebration of the bloody event. He broke down, also, the idolatrous temples, and destroyed the colleges of the bramins. During these operations, a body of five thousand Hindoos, urged by desperation at the destruction of their religious buildings, and at the insults offered to their deities, united in taking an oath to sacrifice their lives in an attempt to kill the King, as the author of all their sufferings…”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I Walî Bahmanî (AD 1422-1435) Vijayanagar (Karnataka)
  • “In the year AH 829 (AD 1425), Ahmud Shah marched to reduce a rebellious zemindar of Mahoor… During this campaign, the King obtained possession of a diamond mine at Kullum, a place dependent on Gondwana, in which territory he razed many idolatrous temples, and erecting mosques on their sites, appropriated to each some tracts of land to maintain holy men, and to supply lamps and oil for religious purposes…”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I Walî Bahmanî (AD 1422-1435) Kullum (Maharashtra)
  • “…He was averse from shedding human blood, though he destroyed many idolatrous temples, and erected mosques in their stead. He held conversation neither with Nazarenes nor with bramins; nor would he permit them to hold civil offices under his government.”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Ahmad Shãh II Bahmanî (AD 1436-1458)
  • “Mahomed Shah now sat down before Condapilly and Bhim Raj, after six months, being much distressed, sued for pardon; which being granted, at the intercession of some of the nobility, he surrendered the fort and town to the royal troops. The King having gone to view the fort, broke down an idolatrous temple, and killed some bramins, who officiated at it, with his own hands, as a point of religion. He then gave orders for a mosque to be erected on the foundation of the temple, and ascending a pulpit, repeated a few prayers, distributed alms, and commanded the Khootba to be read in his name. Khwaja Mahmood Gawan now represented, that as his Majesty had slain some infidels with his own hands, he might fairly assume the title of Ghazy, an appellation of which he was very proud. Mahmood Shah was the first of his race who had slain a bramin…”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Muhammad Shãh II Bahmanî (AD 1463-1482) Kondapalli (Andhra Pradesh)
  • “…On his arrival at Condapilly, he was informed by the country people, that at the distance of ten days’ journey was the temple of Kunchy the walls and roof of which were covered with plates of gold, and ornamented with precious stones; but that no Mahomedan monarch had as yet seen it, or even heard of its name. Mahomed Shah, accordingly, selected six thousand of his best cavalry, and leaving the rest of his army at Condapilly, proceeded by forced marches to Kunchy… Swarms of people, like bees, now issued from within, and ranged themselves under the walls to defend it. At length, the rest of the King’s force coming up, the temple was attacked and carried by storm, with great slaughter. An immense booty fell to the share of the victors, who took away nothing but gold, jewels, and silver, which were abundant…”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by Firishta . Sultãn Muhammad Shãh II Bahmanî (AD 1463-1482) Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu)
  • The independent Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga and Bidar in Central India ‘considered it meritorious to kill a hundred thousand Hindu men, women and children every year,’ noted Abdul Kadir Badaoni.It was a rule of the Bahmani sultans of the Deccan Sultanate ‘to slay a hundred thousand Hindoos in revenge of the death of single Mussulman,’ records Ferishtah. As a result, when King Dev Raya II captured two Muslim soldiers in a war, Sultan Alauddin Ahmad Shah Bahmani II (1436–58) swore that ‘should Dew Ray (Dev Raya II) take away the lives of the two captive officers, he would revenge the death of each by the slaughter of a hundred thousand Hindoos.’ Terrified Dev Raya not only released the Muslim prisoners, he also promised to pay tribute to the Sultan.
    • Farishtah, p. 267–68, Badaoni, as quoted in M.A. Khan Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery (2011)
  • He (Allãh) is Omniscient. Praise be to Allãh that by the decree of the Nourisher, a mosque has been converted out of a temple as a sign of religion, in the reign of the world-conquering emperor, the king who is asylum of the Faith and possessor of the crown, whose kingdom is young (i.e. flourishing), viz. Fîrûz Shãh Bahmanî, who is the cause of exuberant spring in the garden of religion, Abu’l-Fath the king who conquered (lit. on horseback). After the victory of the emperor, the chief of chiefs, Safdar (lit. the valiant commander) of the age, received (the charge of) the fort. The builder of this noble place of prayer is Muhammad ZaHîr Aqchî, the pivot of the Faith. He constructed in the year eight hundred and nine from the Migration of the Chosen (prophet Muhammad) this Ka‘ba like memento.
    • Inscription on mosque praising the Bahmani Sultan and its kingdom. Manvi. Persian. ca. 1406-07 CE. Masjid at Manvi in the Raichur District of Karnataka: Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1962, p. 58. also quoted in Hindu Temples, Shourie et al
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