Bahmani Kingdom


Bahmani Kingdom
   It originated in a revolt of the nobles of the Delhi sultanate leading to the proclamation of Hasan Gangu (entitled 'Ala al-Din Hasan Shah Bahmani) as the sultan at Daulatabad in 1347. The Bahmani dynasty founded by Hasan Gangu survived for nearly two centuries; the last scion died in 1538. From their capital Gulbarga (shifted to Bidar by Ahmad Shah, 1422-1435), the Bahmanis controlled a vast territory in peninsular India that extended from Berar in the north to the Krishna River in the south. This territory was divided into four provinces (tarafs) governed by area commanders (tarafdars) invested with wide administrative jurisdictions. They were assisted by teams of military officers holding territorial-cum-revenue assignments. These powerful provincial commanders tended to become independent as the central authority grew weak toward the end of the 15th century. In addition to employing a large number of Iranians and other foreigners as nobles (Mahmud Gavan being the most illustrious among them), a large number of local notables, including many Brahmans, were appointed to important positions in the Bahmani administration. The association of many Brahmans with the Bahmani state was reflected in the popular tradition ascribing Hasan Gangu's rise to kingship to a prophesy by a Brahman.
   The central government in the Bahmani kingdom tended to be a replica of that in the Delhi sultanate with a few distinctive features; one of these was a more elaborate organization of the finance department, which was headed by an expert designated as amir-i jumla, and another was an overall functionary (wazir-i kul) and his assistant (peshwa), who together acted as a counterweight to the administrative-cum-military authority of the head of central government (wakil us-sultanate). Throughout its existence, the Bahmani kingdom was at war with the Vijayanagar Empire over the control of Raichur Doab, which often led to a display of religious frenzy on both sides.

Historical dictionary of Medieval India. . 2011.

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