Deccan Sultanates: Five Dynasties – Their Contribution and Fall

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Deccan Sultanates emerged out of the collapse of the Bahmani Sultanate in the 1480s, housing both Muslims and non-Muslims.  Deccan Sultanes were the five Muslim-ruled kingdoms of the late medieval period that ruled in Golconda, Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmednagar, and Berar of South-Central India.

These Five Deccan Sultanates empires, which were positioned on the Deccan Plateau between the Vindhya Mountains and the Krishna River, later gained independence and become independent states. This article will address the various Deccan Sultanate kingdoms and their contributions that are crucial to the UPSC Exam.

Deccan Sultanates

Five kingdoms that split out from the Bahmani Sultanate to become independent were known as the Deccan Sultanates. The Vijayanagara Empire‘s Krishnadevaraya overthrew the last ruler of the Bahmani Kingdom in 1518, which marked the end of the Bahmani Sultanate. Founded by Hasan Gangu Bahmni in 1347 A.D., the Bahmani Sultanate was a Persianized Muslim state in south India.

The five states collectively known as the Deccan Sultanates were:

  1. Adil Shahi Dynasty of Bijapur (1490)
  2. Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar (1490)
  3. Imad Shahi Dynasty of Berar (1490)
  4. Qutb Shahi Dynasty of Golconda (1518)
  5. Barid Shahi of Bidar (1528)

Deccan Sultanates Notes

Five Deccan Sultanates

Deccan Sultanate is the combination of the five major kingdoms located between the Vindhya Range and Krishna river on the Deccan Plateau. The five Deccan sultanates frequently engaged in conflict with one another, yet they banded together against mutual rivals.

At the Talikota Battle of 1565, the Deccan Sultanate alliance overthrew the Vijayanagara empire.

Although the five Deccan sultanates’ founders were all Muslims, they came from different backgrounds and were frequently non-Muslims at first. These five Deccan Sultanates are explained below.

Ahmadnagar Sultanate Under Deccan Sultanate

On May 28, 1490, Malik Ahmed Shah Bahri established the Ahmednagar Sultanate after overpowering Jahangir Khan’s Bahmani Army. The Nizam Shahi dynasty is yet another name for the Ahmednagar Sultanate. Junnar served as the Nizam Shahi dynasty’s first capital, although Bahri later laid the foundation stone for a new city called Ahmednagar in the year 1494.

The Nizam Shahi dynasty had 14 rulers, and the kingdom lasted from 1490 to 1636. Aurangzeb conquered the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in 1636 AD.

The rulers of the Nizam Shahi dynasty were:

  • Malik Ahmad Shah I (1490-1510)
  • Burhan Shah I (1510-1553)
  • Hussain Shah I (1553-1565)
  • Murtaza Shah (1565-1588)
  • Miran Hussain (1588-1589)
  • Isma’il Shah (1589-1591)
  • Burhan Shah II (1591-1595)
  • Ibrahim Shah (1595-1596)
  • Ahmad Shah II (1596)
  • Bahadur Shah (1596-1600)
  • Murtaza Shah II (1600-1610)
  • Burhan Shah III (1610-1631)
  • Hussain Shah II (1631-1633)
  • Murtaza Shah III (1633-1636)

In 1596, Chand Bibi protected the Nizam Shahi dynasty from the Mughal assault. The Mughal expedition was once more successfully resisted after Chand Bibi’s death in 1599.

Bijapur Sultanate or Adil Shahi Dynasty

Bijapur Sultanate was in southwestern India, overlapping the Western Ghats range of southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. The founder of the Bijapur Sultanate was Yusuf Adil Shah, and the Adil Shahi dynasty ruled the Bijapur Sultanate from 1490 to 1686.

The Adil Shahi Dynasty resisted the Vijayanagar Empire for years and defeated them in 1565 during the battle of Talikota. Aurangzeb conquered the Bijapur Sultanate in 1686.

Bijapur Sultanate was ruled by nine kings from 1490 to 1686. The ruler of the Adil Shahi dynasty were-

  • Yusuf Adil Shah (1490-1510)
  • Ismail Adil Shah (1510-1534)
  • Mallu Adil Shah (1534-1535)
  • Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1535-1558)
  • Ali Adil Shah I (1558-1580)
  • Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1627)
  • Mohammed Adil Shah (1627-1656)
  • Ali Adil Shah II (1656-1672)
  • Sikandar Adil Shah (1672-1686)

Berar Sultanate

Fethullah Imad-ul-Mulk founded the Berar Sultanate. He also established the capitals of Achalpur, Gavilgad, and Narnala. His eldest son, Ala-ud-din, succeeded him after his death in 1504. Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, helped Ala-ud-din resist the capture of Ahmadnagar.

The Berar Sultanate was seized by the Ahmadnagar kingdom in 1574. The rulers of the Berar Sultanate were-

  • Fath-ullah Imad-ul-Mulk (1490–1510)
  • Ala-ud-din Imad Shah (1510–1530)
  • Darya Imad Shah (1530–1561)
  • Burhan Imad Shah (1562–1574)
  • Tufal Khan (usurper) (1574)

Golconda Sultanate or Qutb Shahi Dynasty

The Qutb Shahi dynasty was the ruling family of the Golconda Sultanate. The founder, Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, migrated to Delhi from Persia along with his family. Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk captured Golconda and was made the Telangana region’s king after the Bahmani kingdom broke up in 1518. He quickly declared his independence and took the name, Qutb Shah, establishing the Qutb Shahi dynasty in the process.

The Qutb Shahi dynasty ruled for 171 years until Aurangzeb’s army defeated them in 1687. The famous rulers of the Golconda Sultanate include-

  • Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk (1518-1543)
  • Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah (1543-1550)
  • Subhan Quli Qutb Shah (1550)
  • Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah (1550-1580)
  • Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (1580-1611)
  • Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah (1611-1626)
  • Abdullah Qutb Shah (1626-1672)
  • Abul Hasan Qutb Shah (1672-1687)

Bidar Sultanate – Deccan Sultanate

Bidar sultanate was the minor kingdom of the Deccan Sultanates. In 1528, Qasim Barid I established the Bidar Sultanate. Since Qasim Barid served the Bahmani sultanate in 1492, the Barid shahi dynasty has been in power.

As the puppet sultans occupied the throne, the Barids rose to power and dominated the Bahmani sultanate. After Mahmud Shah Bahmani died in 1504, his son Amir Barid took over. Amir Baird’s son, Ali Barid, succeeded him.

The Bidar Sultanate was defeated in 1619. The rulers of the Bidar Sultanate are as follows-

  • Amir Barid Shah III (1609–1619)
  • Mirza Ali Barid Shah III (1600–1609)
  • Amir Barid Shah II (1591–1600)
  • Ali Barid Shah II (1591)
  • Qasim Barid Shah II (1587–1591)
  • Ibrahim Barid Shah (1580–1587)
  • Ali Barid Shah (1542–1580)
  • Amir Barid Shah I (1504–1543)
  • Qasim Barid I (1492–1504)

Contributions of the Deccan Sultanates

The five kingdoms of the Deccan Sultanate’s significant contributions are in the fields of architecture, literature, music, and fine arts. These include-

  • Under the Bahmani Kingdom’s rulers, there was a development of the Dakhani language.
  • It has constructed certain iconic monuments that speak out loud for the incredible architectural style of the period. These include monuments in Hyderabad, Bijapur, Bidar, and Gulbarga.
  • The miniature paintings of the Deccan art style in the courts of Golconda, Bijapur, and Ahmadnagar, along with the cultural monuments like Gol Gumbaz and Char Minar, have significantly contributed.

The famous forts and monuments belonging to the Deccan Sultanates are-

Forts and Monuments of Deccan Sultanates Location
Gulbarga Fort Gulbarga, Karnataka
Char Minar Hyderabad, Telangana
Golconda Fort Hyderabad, Telangana
Mahmud Gawan Madrasa Bidar, Karnataka
Bidar Fort Bijapur, Karnataka
Bahamani tombs of Ashtar Bijapur, Karnataka
Barid Shahi tombs Bijapur, Karnataka
Gol Gumbaz Bijapur, Karnataka
Ibrahim Rouza Bijapur, Karnataka

Fall of the Deccan Sultanate

In 1596, the Mughal Empire conquered the Deccan Sultanates by defeating Berar from Ahmadnagar. Later in a period from 1616 and 1636, the Ahmadnagar sultanate was destroyed by the Mughals. During 1686-1687, Aurangzeb got a hold of Bijapur and Golconda.

Later, the Mughals lost their region’s control to the Marathas in 1753. In 1687, the Mughals fought with Qutb Shah, leading to the fall of the dynasty of Golconda. Along with this, lastly, the Mughals fort gained the Bidar Fort, leading to the fall of the Bidar Sultanate.

Deccan Sultanate UPSC

For the IAS Exam, the Deccan Sultanate is a crucial period in history. It is a crucial component of the UPSC Civil Services examination‘s Medieval History section.

To study in depth the five Deccan Sultanate dynasties, students must first refer to the NCERT Books for UPSC and then make relevant notes

Deccan Sultanate UPSC Questions

Question: The real name of Afzal Khan, the commander of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur was:

  1. Abdullah Bhatari
  2. Samsuddin
  3. Sabar
  4. Muhammad Khan

Answer: Option 1

Question: Which among the following was not an Independent Kingdom?

  1. Vijayanagar Empire
  2. Madurai Sultanate
  3. Qutub Shahi of Golconda

Answer: Option 4

UPSC Notes
Quasi-Judicial Bodies in India Senari Massacre
Devadasi System Early Medieval Period in India
Dances of India Classical Languages of India
Desalination Plants In India Sattriya Dance of Assam
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium