Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kingdom of Maurya

The Mauryan Empire was the first major empire in the history of India, ruled by Maurya dynasty from 321 BC to 185 BCE.

At that time, Magadh was ruled by the Nanda dynasty. Chanakya, also known as Kautilya was a pious, learned and determined brahman, who didn’t have a pleasant appearance but had an intelligent brain. He managed to terminate the existing King Mahapadm Nand and his eight sons and made Chandragupt the King of Magadh who was also the legitimate heir of the throne. Chandragupta founded the Mauryan Empire by overthrowing the Nanda dynasty with the help of Chanakya who was an important minister in the court of the Nanda rulers. Chanakya was ill treated by the Nanda king and he vowed to destroy their kingdom. He met the young Chandragupta in the Vindhya forest. Chanakya was well versed in politics and the affairs of the state. He groomed Chandragupta and helped him raise and organize an army. Thus, with the help of Chanakya, Chandragupta overthrew the last Nanda ruler and became the king and Chanakya became the chief minister in his court.

Important rulers of this dynasty were Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara, and King Ashoka. This empire reached its peak under King Ashoka. However, this mighty empire crumbled rapidly, under its own weight, soon after the death of Ashoka.

Maurya Empire was originated from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains which is currently a part of modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal (eastern side). It was ruled through the capital Patliputra (modern Patna).

Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the dynasty (322 BC) who had overthrown the Nanda Dynasty and rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India by taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great’s Greek and Persian armies. By 320 BC the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India, defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander.

It was one of the largest empires to rule the Indian subcontinent, stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas, and to the east stretching into what is now Assam. To the west, it reached beyond modern Pakistan, annexing Balochistan and much of what is now Afghanistan, including the modern Herat and Kandahar provinces.

Maurya Dynasty:
Magadh was the fourth dynasty after the Mahabharat war (3139 BC). Chandragupt Maurya was the first king and founder of the Maurya dynasty. His mother’s name was Mur, so he was called Maurya in Sanskrit which means the son of Mur, and thus, his dynasty was called Maurya dynasty.

Some bramhanical texts, like the ‘Puranas’ consider him from a lower (Shudra) caste, there are the Buddhist and Jain texts which speak of him as a member of the ‘Kshatriya’ (warrior)’ Moriya’ clan related to the ‘Shakyas’.

Another story known about Chandragupta was the son of king Mahanandin and Mura, and whose second wife Sunanda was the mother of the Nandas. Apparently with the help of a barber, Mahapadmananda she murdered her husband and Chandraguptas brothers and installed Mahapadmananda as the king. Mura escaped with her young son, who grew up and swore revenge.

Also another source calls Chandragupta’s father a commander to Mahapadmananda’s forces, whom Mahapadmananda had murdered by deceit.

Some texts have called Chandragupta a grandson of a headman of a village of peacock tanners, while some (‘Vishnu purana’ and the play ‘Mudrarakshasa’) refer to him as the illegitimate son of the woman named Mora and a Nanda prince (incidently the puranas also refer to the Nandas as offsprings of low birth).

However the most popular version holding fort is that, Chandragupta belonged to a ‘kshatriya’ (warrior) clan called ‘Moriya’, originally ruling, ‘Pipallivana’(Uttar Pradesh), a forest kingdom.

Most of our knowledge about the Mauryan period in general and the rule of Chandragupta in particular is obtained from two important literary sources: the Arthashastra, written by Chanakya, and Indica, written by the ancient Greek writer Megasthenes (who was an ambassador of Seleucus Nikator and had come to the court of Chandragupta).

Chandragupta's minister Kautilya Chanakya wrote the Arthashastra, one of the greatest treatises on economics, politics, foreign affairs, administration, military arts, war, and religion ever produced in the India. Archaeologically, the period of Mauryan rule in South Asia falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW). The Arthashastra and the Edicts of Ashoka are primary sources of written records of the Mauryan times. The Mauryan Empire is considered one of the most significant periods in Indian history. The Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath, is the emblem of India.

The Arthashastra talks about the principles of governance and lays down rules of administration. It also discusses in detail the role of the king, his duties, rate of taxation, use of espionage, and laws for governing the society. The Indica of Megasthenes, on the other hand, gives a vivid description of the Mauryan society under the rule of Chandragupta. Megasthenes described the glory of the Mauryan capital of Pataliputra. He also talked of the lifestyle in the cities and villages and the prosperity of the Mauryan cities.

Square silver coins issued between 321 and 181 BC in ancient India by the Mauryan Empire, which was created after the death of Alexander the Great
Chandragupta had united the whole of northern India under one rule. Mauryan Empire was the first large, powerful, centralized state in India. The Arthashastra laid the foundation of the centralized administration of Mauryan governance. The empire was divided into administrative districts or zones, each of which had a hierarchy of officials. The top most officers from these districts or zones directly reported to the Mauryan ruler. These officials were responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining the army, completing irrigational projects, and maintaining law and order.

During Chandragupta reign, the state regulated trade, levied taxes, and standardized weights and measures. Trade and commerce also flourished during this time. The state was responsible for providing irrigational facilities, succor, sanitation, and famine relief to its masses. Megasthenes, in his writings, has praised the efficient Mauryan administration.

Before the Kalinga war, the Mauryan administration under Ashoka was not different from that of his predecessors. Ashoka, like previous Mauryan kings, was at the head of the centralized administrative system. He was helped by a council of ministers that was in charge of different ministries like taxation, army, agriculture, justice, etc. The empire was divided into administrative zones, each one having its hierarchy of officials. The top most officers at the zonal level had to keep in touch with the king. These officers took care of all aspects of administration (social welfare, economy, law and order, military) in the different zones. The official ladder went down to the village level.

Emperor Chandragupta Maurya became the first major Indian monarch to initiate a religious transformation at the highest level when he embraced Jainism, a religious movement resented by orthodox Hin dupriests that usually attended the imperial court. At an older age, Chandragupta renounced his throne and material possessions to join a wandering group of Jain monks. However his successor, Emperor Bindusara preserved Hindu traditions and distanced himself from Jain and Buddhist movements.

But when Ashoka embraced Buddhism following the Kalinga War, he renounced expansionism and aggression, and the harsher injunctions of the Arthashastra on the employ of force, intensive policing and ruthless measures for tax collection and against rebels. Ashoka sent a mission led by his son and daughter to Sri Lanka, whose king Tissa was so charmed with Buddhist ideals that he adopted it himself and made it the state religion. Ashoka sent many Buddhist missions to West Asia, Greece and South East Asia, and commissioned the construction of monasteries, schools and publication of Buddhist literature across the empire. He is believed to have built as many as 84,000 stupas across India, and increased the popularity of Buddhism inAfghanistan. Ashoka helped convene the Third Buddhist Council near his capital, that undertook much work of reform and expansion of the Buddhist religion.

While himself a Buddhist, Ashoka retained the membership of Hindu priests and ministers in his court, and maintained religious freedom and tolerance, although the Buddhist faith grew in popularity with his patronage. Indian society began embracing the philosophy of ahimsa, and given the prosperity and law enforcement, crime and internal conflicts reduced dramatically. Also greatly discouraged was the caste system and orthodox discrimination, as Hinduism began inculcating the ideals and values of Jain and Buddhist teachings. Social freedom began expanding in an age of peace and prosperity.

Mauryans implemented a common economic system and enhanced trade and commerce, with increased agricultural productivity under the able guidance of Chanakya. Hundreds of earlier kingdoms, many small armies, powerful regional chieftains, and internecine warfare, gave way to this disciplined central authority. Like in Arthashastra (by Kautilya)said, the king was the supreme head of the state. His duty was mainly ensuring the welfare and happiness of his subjects. He was to work almost 18-19 hours a day and was to be at the service of his people, courtiers, and officers any time of the hour. The country prospered during Mauryan rule.

The Council of ministers consisted of 3-12 members, each being the head of a department. Then there was the State council which could have 12,16 or 20 members. Besides, there was the bureaucracy consisting of the ‘Sannidhata’ (treasury head), ‘Samaharta’ (chief revenue collector), ‘Purohita’ (head priest),’Senapati’(commander of the army),’ Pratihara’ (chief of the palace guards),’Antarvamisika’ (head of the harem guards),’Durgapala’(governor of the fort), ‘Antahala’ (governor of the frontier),’Paur’(governor of the capital),’Nyayadhisha’ (chief justice),’Prasasta’ (police chief). Then there were the ‘Tirthas’, ‘Amatyas’ i.e officers in charge of accounts (controlled by the chief minister‘Mahaamatya’) of the: treasury, records, mines, mints, commerce, excise agriculture, toll, public utility, armory etc.

The governors or viceroys of provinces were called ‘Mahamatras’ and if the designation was held by a prince then he was called ‘Kumara mahamatra’. Assisting them were the ‘Yutas’ (tax collectors), ‘Rajukas’(revenue collectors),’Sthanikas’ and’Gopas’(district officers). Then there was the local village head called’ Gramika’ under whom the village assembly operated.
The civil courts were called ‘Dharmasthiya’ and criminal courts were called ‘Kantakshodhana’.
An international network of trade expanded during Ashoka's reign under the Indo-Greek friendship treaty. Like the Khyber pass, on the boundary of Pakistan and Afghanistan became important port of trade and intercourse with the outside world. Greek states and Hellenic kingdoms in West Asia became important trade partners of India. Trade also extended through the Malay peninsula into Southeast Asia. India's exports included silk goods and textiles, spices and exotic foods. The Empire was enriched further with an exchange of scientific knowledge and technology with Europe and West Asia. Ashoka also sponsored the construction of thousands of roads, waterways, canals, hospitals, rest-houses and other public works. The easing of many overly-rigorous administrative practices, including those regarding taxation and crop collection, helped increase productivity and economic activity across the Empire. In many ways, the economic situation in the Maurya Empire is comparable to the Roman Empire several centuries later, which both had extensive trade connections and both had organizations similar to corporations.

Fourteen Rock Edicts found at eight different places which are. Shahbazgarhi (seventh edict engraved on a bowl ,Peshawar, Pakistan presently displayed in the Prince of Wales museum, Mumbai),Manshera (Hazara),Kalsi (Dehradun, Uttarakhand),Girnar (Junagadh, Gujrat),Sopara(Thana, Maharashtra), Dhauli and Jaugada(Orissa) and erragudi(Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh). Minor Rock Edicts found at thirteen different places which are. Roopnath(Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh), Bairat(Jaipur, Rajasthan), Sasaram(Shahbad district, Bihar), Maski (Raichur, Karnataka), Gavimath and Palkigundu(Mysore, Karnataka), Gujarra(Datia district , Madhya Pradesh), Ahraura (Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh), Rajulamandagiri (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh), Yerragudi and three neighbouring places in Chitaldurga district, Mysore. Seven Pillar Edicts found on a single pillar (Topra, presently displayed in Delhi).Rest were found in northern Bihar. The remaining inscriptions were engraved on rocks, pillars and cave walls.

The most important of these being the engravings on a pillar found at Rumindei (Nepal) which mentions Ashoka’s visit to the birthplace of Gautam Buddha at Lumbini. Two short inscriptions written in Aramaic have also been found at Taxilla and Jalalabad(Afghanistan). A bilingual inscription written in Greek and Aramaic has been found on a rock at Shar-i-Kuna(Kandahar, Afghanistan). Four edicts (one in Kharoshti script derived from Aramaic, used in Iran and others in perhaps, Prakrit, rest found in the country being in Brahmi) have been found in Shalatak and Qargha (Afghanistan).

The thirteenth rock edict gives a vivid account of Ashokas conquest of Kalinga (260 BC), after a prolonged war, in which 1,50,000 persons were captured, 1,00,000 killed and many times that number perished. Ashoka was said to have been filled with great remorse and guilt after witnessing the misery and bloodshed his war cost.

The reign of Ashoka was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. Brhadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, ruled territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of emperor Ashoka, but he was still upholding the Buddhist faith. He was assassinated in 185 BCE during a military parade by the commander-in-chief of his guard, the Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga, who then took over the empire.

Maurya Kings:
Chandragupt Maurya (322-298 BC)
Chandragupt Maurya ruled for 34 years. It is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucus's daughter, or a Greek Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war-elephants, a military asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 302 BC. In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, and later Deimakos to his son Bindusara, at the Mauryan court at Pataliputra (modern Patna in Bihar state). Later Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt and contemporary of Ashoka the Great, is also recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court.

Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern day Afghanistan, and the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandhahar in southern Afghanistan. The invasion of the northwestern part of India by Alexander in 326 BC and the subsequent establishment of the rule of Seleucus Nikator (one of Alexander's general) was a thorn in the eyes of Chandragupta. He first stabilized his power in Magadh and then began his campaign against Seleucus.

After a prolonged struggle, Chandragupta was able to defeat Seleucus in 305 BC and extended his territories extended from present day Afghanistan-Pakistan to the southern Indian state of Karnataka and right upto the east till Bengal and Assam. According to the peace treaty with Seleucus, Chandragupta also got Kabul, Gandhara, and parts of Persia and married his daughter. In this way, Chandragupta became the undisputed ruler of Northern India. His fame was so widespread that rulers from far off kingdoms send their envoys to his court. Chandragupta also conquered parts of Central India and united the whole of northern India under Mauryan rule. After ruling for about 25 years, he became a Jain ascetic and left his throne to his son Bindusara (296 BC-273 BC).

Chandragupta then, retired to the forests of Shravana Belgola (near Mysore city, Karnataka state) along with his religious guru Bhadrabahu and several followers, where he renounced his life after a fast unto death as per Jain traditions.

Bindusar (296 BC-273 BC)
Son of Chandragupta Maurya ruled 28 years. He inherited a vast empire that spanned parts of modern-day Afghanistan in the northwest, to parts of Bengal in the east. It also spread through large parts of central India.

Bindusara extended the Mauryan Empire southwards in the Indian peninsula as far as Mysore. He defeated and annexed 16 small kingdoms, thus extending his empire from sea to sea. The only regions that were left out on the Indian subcontinent were that of Kalinga (Orissa) and the kingdoms to the extreme south of the Indian peninsula. As these southern kingdoms were friendly, Bindusara did not annex them, but the Kingdom of Kalinga was a problem for the Mauryan Empire.

The administration under Bindusara functioned smoothly. During his reign, Mauryan Empire had good relation with Greeks, Syrians, and Egyptians.

Empire of Ashok Maurya

Ashokvardhan / Ashoka (273 BC-232 BC)
Bindusara was succeeded by his son Ashoka, the most famous of the Mauryan Kings. He ruled for 36 years. The Mauryan Empire reached its peak under the rule of Ashoka. He undertook military campaign against Kalinga and, after defeating it in a bloody war, extended it.
However, the sight of the large-scale carnage moved Ashoka, and he embraced Buddhism. The war of Kalinga was the turning point in the life of Ashoka to the extent that he shunned all forms of violence and became a strict vegetarian.

Ashoka believed in high ideals, which, according to him, could lead people to be virtuous, and peace loving. This he called Dhamma (which is a Prakrit form of the Sanskrit word Dharma). His rock edicts and pillar inscriptions propagated the true essence of Dhamma. Ashoka asked the different religious groups (Brahmins, Buddhist and Jain) to live in peace. His lofty ideals also included shunning violence and war, stopping animal sacrifice, respect for elders, respect of slaves by their masters, vegetarianism, etc. Above all, Ashoka wanted peace in his empire.
Ashoka sent edicts to different parts of the empire, where they engraved on rocks or pillars, for the common people to see and read them which were in different scripts. The language was generally Prakrit, as it was spoken by the common people, where as Sanskrit was spoken by educated upper caste people. Also they used Greek and Aramaic language for the inscription.
Ashoka sent his son Mahendra to Sri Lanka to preach Buddhism there. He propagated Buddhism to Chola and Pandya kingdoms, which were at the extreme southern part of the Indian peninsula then Buddhist missions to Burma and other Southeast Asian countries too.

The war with Kalinga transformed Ashoka both on a personal as well as public level. He made a number of changes in the administration. Ashoka introduced a new cadre of officials, by the name of Dhamma Mahamatta, who was sent across the empire to spread the message of Ashoka's Dhamma (dharma).

For the rest of his life, Ashoka preached the principles of Buddhism not only in his vast empire, but also sent missions abroad. Ashoka built a number of rock edicts and pillars to spread the gospel of Buddhism.

The great Mauryan Empire did not last long after the death of Ashoka and ended in 185 BC. Weak kings on one hand and the unmanageability of a vast empire on the other caused the rapid decline of the Mauryas. A number of small kingdoms emerged from the edifice of the Mauryan Empire.

Modern Indias national emblem is a gift from Ashokas heritage.
Ashoka visited the various places considered holy by the Buddhists. He is said to have begun the propogation of the Buddhist doctrines through his specially appointed officers called ‘Dharmamahamatras’. Ashokas ‘dhamma’ (in Prakrit) or ‘dharma’ (in Sanskrit) is still considered reflecting his character and philosophy.

Dasaratha Maurya (232 - 224 BCE)
Dasaratha Maurya was the Emperor of the Mauryan dynasty from 232 BCE to 224 BCE. According to the Matsya Purana, he succeeded his grandfather Ashoka the Great. He succeeded Ashoka after his uncle Kunala became blind, which made him unfit to rule.
Daśaratha was only about twenty years old, when he ascended to the throne with the help of ministers. According to the Puranas, he reigned for eight years.
Daśaratha dedicated three caves in the Nagarjuni Hills to the Ajivikas. Three inscriptions ordered by Devanampiya Daśaratha state that the caves were dedicated immediately on his succession.

Dasaratha's son did not succeed him, instead Kunala's son Samprati did.

Samprati (224 - 215 BCE)
He was the son of Ashoka's blind son, Kunala. He succeeded his cousin, Dasharatha as emperor of the Mauryan Empire and ruled almost the entire present-day Indian subcontinent. Kunala was the son of Ashoka's first queen, Padmavati (who was Jain), but was blinded in a conspiracy to remove his claim to the throne. Thus Kunal was replaced by Dasharatha as the heir to the throne. Ashoka had many wives: his premier wife was Jain and the others were Buddhist. Kunala lived in Ujjain with his "Dhai Maa". Samprati was brought up there. Years after being denied the throne, Kunala and Samprati approached Ashok's court in an attempt to claim the throne. Ashoka could not deliver the throne to his blind son, but was impressed by Samprati's skills as a warrior and administrator and declared Samprati the successor to Dasharatha. After Dasharatha's death, Samprati inherited the throne of the Mauryan empire.

According to the Puranas, Samprati reigned for nine years The Jaina text, Pariśiṣṭaparvan mentions that he ruled both from Pataliputra and Ujjain, but unfortunately, we have no inscriptional or other evidences to support these accounts. According to the Jaina tradition he ruled for 53 years. Samprati was influenced by the teachings of a Jain monk, Suhastin. He also sent Jain scholars abroad to spread Jainist teachings. But research is needed to learn where those scholars went and their influence. Until now, this has not been accomplished. According to the Puranas, he was succeeded by Śāliśuka, who according to the Yuga Purana was a cruel, wicked and unrighteous ruler.

Emperor Samprati is poorly highlighted in history. He is regarded as the "Jain Ashoka" for his patronage and efforts to spreading Jainism in east India. Samprati, according to Jain historians, is considered more powerful and famous than Ashoka himself. The historical authenticity of Samprati is proved because Samprati Vihär, after the name of Samprati, existed at Vadamänu in the Krishna Valley during the second century CE. Under the influence of Suhastin (the disciple of Acharya Sthulibhadra, the leading saint of the Jain community under Mahagiri, Samprati was again converted to Jainism, the Mauryas' ancestral religion. He spread Jainism by every means, working hard for Jainism as scriptures. He had decided to rinse his mouth in the morning, only after hearing that another new temple had been built. Besides, he got all the old and existing temples repaired and set up in all of them holy statues made of gold, stone, silver, brass and of a mixture of fine metals and performed their Anjankala ceremony: i.e., declared them fit for worship. It is said that Samprati built thousands of Jain Temples in India, many of which are still in use, such as the Jain temples at Viramgam and Palitana (Gujarat), Agar Malwa (Ujjain). Within three and a half years, he got one hundred and twenty-five thousand new temples built, thirty-six thousand repaired, twelve and a half million murtis, holy statues, consecrated and ninety-five thousand metal murtis prepared. Samprati is said to have erected Jain temples throughout his empire. He founded Jain monasteries even in non-Aryan territory, and almost all ancient Jain temples or monuments of unknown origin are popularly attributed to him. It may be noted that all the Jain monuments of Rajasthan and Gujarat, with unknown builders are also attributed to Emperor Samprati.

According to Jaina tradition, King Samprati had no children. He considered it the consequence of earlier Karma and observed the religious customs more scrupulously

Salisuka ( 215 - 202 BCE)
Salisuka Maurya was a ruler of the Indian Mauryan dynasty. He was the successor of Samprati Maurya. The Yuga Purana section of the Gargi Samhita mentions him as wicked, quarrelsome, unrighteous ruler, who cruelly oppressed his subjects. According to the Puranas he was succeeded by Devavarman.

Devavarman (202 - 195 BCE)
Devavarman Maurya was a king of the Mauryan empire. He was the successor of Salisuka Maurya.

Satadhanvan (195 - 187 BCE)
king of the Mauryan empire, ruled from 195-187 BCE. He was the successor of Devavarman Maurya.

Brihadratha (187 - 185 BCE)
He was the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty. He was killed by his senapati (commander-in-chief), Pusyamitra Sunga.

According to the Puranas, Brihadratha succeeded Śatadhanvan and he ruled for seven years. Mauryan territories, centered on the capital of Pataliputra, had shrunk considerably from the time of the great Emperor Ashoka when Brihadratha came to the throne. In 180 BCE, northwestern India (parts of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan) were attacked by the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius. He established his rule in the Kabul Valley and parts of the Punjab in modern-day Pakistan. The Yuga Purana section of the Gargi Samhita says that the Yavana (Greco-Bactrian) army led by King Dhamamita (Demetrius) invaded the Mauryan territories during Brihadratha's reign and after occupying Panchala region and the cities of Saketa and Mathura, they finally captured Pataliputra. But soon they had to leave to Bactria to fight a fierce battle (probably between Eucratides and Demetrius).

He was killed in 180 BCE and power usurped by his commander-in-chief, the Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga, who then took over the throne and established the Sunga dynasty. Banabhatta in his Harshacharita says, Pushyamitra, while parading the entire Mauryan army before Brihadratha on the pretext of showing him the strength of the army, crushed his master, Brihadratha Maurya, because he was too weak to keep his promise (probably to repulse the Yavanas).

The Ancient Sculpture of Maurya Empire

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kingdom of Kadambas

File:Hangal Tarakeshwara pillars.jpg
Hangal Tarakeshwara Temple

The Kadamba Dynasty (345 - 525 CE) was a primeval majestic dynasty of Karnataka that ruled from Vaijayanti or Banavasi in present day Uttara Kannada district. The decline of the Satavahana power in the Deccan was followed by the rule of many lesser dynasties like the Chutus, the Abhiras and the Ikshvakus during the third century A.D. the Karnataka area, however emerged out of this political confusion in the following century, when the Kadambas of Banavasi rose to prominence. The dynasty later continued to rule as a feudatory of larger Kannada empires, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta empires for over five hundred years, during which time they branched into Goa, Hanagal, and Chandavar. Mauryas, Satavahanas and Chutus were the pre Kadamba rulers where the ruling families were not natives of the region. Kadamba dynasty is important because it was the first indigenous dynasty to use Kannada at an administrative level. Kadambas kept paying nominal allegiance to other major power brokers of Deccan like Yadavas and Hoysalas of Dorasamudra and thus mantained their independence. Four different families of Kadambas ruled in southern India which was Kadamabas of Hangal, Kadambas of Goa, Kadambas of Belur and Kadambas of Banvasi.

Kadamba dynasty was founded by Mayurasharma in 345 AD. Their ancestors were said to have migrated from the foothills of the Himalayas. Kakusthavarma the successor of this dynasty was a powerful ruler. Gupta dynasty of northern India cultivated marital relationship with the family for their fair indication of the sovereign nature of this kingdom. Due to tiring endless battle and bloodshed, king Shivakoti, a descendent from this dynasty adopted Jainism. The Kadamba kings called themselves Dharmamaharajas and an absolute autonomy was formed by the Kadambas.
Kangavarma the successor of Mayurasharma was defeated by Vakataka Prithvisena who had to fight the Vakataka might to protect Kuntala. But he managed to maintain his freedom. His son Bhagiratha is said to have retrieved his father’s losses. His son Raghu who died fighting the Pallavas was succeeded by his brother Kakusthavarma who was the most ferocious and powerful ruler of the kingdom. He maintained marital relations with even the imperial Guptas of the north, according to the Talagunda inscription. One of his daughters was married to Kumara Gupta's son Skanda Gupta. His other daughter was married to a Vakataka king Narendrasena. He maintained similar relations with the Bhatari, the Alupas of South Canara and the Western Ganga Dynasty of Gangavadi according to the Talagunda inscription. The great poet Kalidasa had visited his court.

After Kakusthavarma only Ravivarma who came to the throne in 485 was able to build upon the kingdom. His rule was marked by a series of clashes within the family, and also against the Pallavas and the Gangas. He is also credited with a victory against the Vakatakas, which extended his Kingdom as far north as the river Narmada. The crux of their kingdom essentially consisted of most of Karnataka, Goa and southern areas of present day Maharashtra. After his death, the kingdom went into decline due to family feuds.

The Birur plates of Kadamba Vishnuvarman call Shantivarman "The master of the entire Karnataka region".

The Triparvatha branch that broke away in 455 ruled from Murod in Belgaum for some time and merged with the main Banavasi kingdom during rule of Harivarma. Finally the kingdom fell to the prowess of the Badami Chalukyas. The Kadambas thereafter became feudatories of the Badami Chalukyas and later the Rashtrakutas and Kalyani Chalukyas. The successors of Mayurasharma took to the name "varma" to indicate their Kshatriya status.

Prakrit had the status of an official language under the early Kadamba rulers. But by the time of Kakusthavarma, Sanskrit came to be increasingly adopted. Kannada too was assuming greater importance by the 5th century A.D. as evidenced by the Halmidi inscription.

Origin of Kadambas:
There are two theories to the origin of the Kadamba dynasty, a native Kannadiga origin and the other a north Indian origin. North Indian Origin of Kadambas was found only in the later records of their offshoot descendent dynasty and is considered legendary. Family name is derived from the Kadamba tree is commonly known about this Dynasty in South India region.

The historians claim that this kingdom was belong to Brahmin caste through Talagunda inscription or were of tribal of origin called Kadambu. The Kadambas promptly gave administrative and political importance to their language, Kannada, after coming to power. It is claimed that the family of the Kadambas were undoubtedly of Kanarese descent. The Naga descent of the Kadambas has been stated in early inscriptions of King Krishna Varma I too, which confirms the family was from Karnataka.

Gold coin with symbol of Lion at one side and die-striking to the other side

The Talagunda, Gundanur, Chandravalli, Halasi and Halmidi’s Sanskrit and Kannada inscription are some of the important inscriptions that throw light on Kadamba dynasty. They minted coins a large number of interesting coins with Nagari, Kannada and Grantha legends. The majority of these are of gold coins and some copper coins. Most of the coins were produced by the punching method. Each alphabet or symbol on the coins has been punched with a different punch. The main device or design is punched at the centre of the coin. Often, this is punched so deeply that the coin assumes the shape of a concave saucer or cup.

The Kadamba coins are generally known as padmatankas (lotus coins) as the central symbol on the obverse of most of them is the lotus (padmtt). The obverse of some Kadamba coins features the lion instead of the lotus.

The Talagunda inscription narrates in detail about how Mayurasarma proceeded to Kanchi, along with his guru, Virasarma to prosecute his Vedic studies at a Ghatika. There a quarrel arose between him and Pallava guard due to some misunderstanding, in which Mayurasarma was humiliated. In high rage, the Brahmana discontinued his studies, left Kanchi, swearing vengeance on the impudent Pallavas, and had recourse to arms. It was an open rebel against the Pallava authority and arrogance. Mayurasarma collected an army and routed the Pallava officers guarding the frontier and occupied the area of Sriparvata (Srisailam). He then subdued the Brihad-Bana and other kings and collected tributes from them. Unable to tame the power of Mayura, the Pallava rulers thought it wise to compromise with him and acknowledged his sway over the territory from the Western Ocean to Prehara. It also states that Mayurasharma was a native of Talagunda, (in present day Shimoga district) and his family got its name from the Kadamba tree that grew near his home.

Halmidi inscription of 450 is an evidence that Kadambas were the first rulers to use Kannada as an additional official administrative language. Three Kannada inscriptions from their early rule from Banavasi have been discovered, also several early Kadamba dynasty coins bearing the Kannada inscription Vira and Skandha was found in Satara collectorate. A gold coin of King Bhagiratha (390-415 CE) bearing the old Kannada legend Sri and Bhagi also exists. Recent discovery of 5th century Kadamba copper coin in Banavasi with Kannada script inscription Srimanaragi on it proves the usage of Kannada at the administrative level further.

The recently discovered Gudnapur inscription states that Mauryasharma's grandfather and preceptor was Virasarma and his father Bandhushena developed the character of a Kshatriya.

Administration of kingdom:
Dr. Mores has identified various cabinet and other positions in the kingdom from inscriptions. The prime minister (Pradhana), Steward (Manevergade), secretary of council (Tantrapala or Sabhakarya Sachiva), scholarly elders (Vidyavriddhas), physician (Deshamatya), private secretary (Rahasyadhikritha), chief secretary (Sarvakaryakarta), chief justice (Dharmadhyaksha) and other officials (Bhojaka and Ayukta).

The army consisted of officers like Jagadala, Dandanayaka and Senapathi.

The kingdom was divided into Mandalas (provinces) or Desha. Under a Mandala was Vishayas (districts). A total of nine Vishaya have been identified. Under a Vishaya were Mahagramas (Taluk) and Dashagramas (Hobli). Mahagrama had more villages than Dashagramas. Total one sixth of land produce was collected as tax. Taxes were collected as Perjunka (levy on load), Vaddaravula (social security tax for royal family), Bilkoda (salex tax), Kirukula (land tax), Pannaya (betel tax) and other professional taxes on traders etc.

The Kadamba dynasty was followers of Vedic Hinduism. The founder of the kadamba kingdom, Mayurasharma was a Brahmin by birth but later his successors changed their surname to Varma to indicate their Kshatriya status. Some Kadamba kings like Krishna Varma performed the horse sacrifice (Ashwamedha).

Inscription of Talagunda starts with an invocation of Lord Shiva, while the Halmidi and Banavasi inscriptions start with an invocation of Lord Vishnu. Madhukesvara temple built by Kadambas is considered as their family deity. Many records like the Kudalur, Sirsi records speak of grants made by them to scholarly Brahmins as well as made to Buddhist viharas.

The Kadambas also patronised Jainism. Several of the latter Kadamba kings adopted the Jainism, and built numerous Jain Basadis (temples) that are scattered around Banavasi, Belgaum, Mangalore and Goa. Kadamba Kings and Queens supported the literature, arts and liberal grants to temples and educational institutions. Adikavi Pampa highly spoke of this kingdom in his writings.

“Kadambotsava” or “The festival of Kadamba” feted every year by the Karnataka Government in remembrance of Kadamba empire.

Tambdi Surla temple

The contribution of the Kadambas to the architectural heritage of Karnataka is certainly worthy of recognition. The Kadamba style can be identified, but has a few things in common with the Chalukyan and the Pallava styles and some architectural tradition of the Satavahanas. The most prominent feature of their architecture their Shikara called Kadamba Shikara. The Shikara is pyramid shaped and rises in steps without any decoration with a Stupika or Kalasha at the top. The architecture of Shikara is used several centuries later in the Doddagaddavalli Hoysala temple and the Mahakuta temples at Hampi. Temples use perforated screen windows which is pointed out in architecture and sculpture which Kadambas contributed to the foundation of the later Chalukya-Hoysala style.

The Madhukeshwara temple (temple of Shiva) still exists in Banavasi which is built by Kadambas in 10th century and renovated many times. It is a very good piece of art. The stone cot with wonderful carvings is one of the main tourist attractions in the temple.
Doddagaddavalli Hoysala temple, the Mahakuta temples in Hampi, the Madhukeshwara (Lord Shiva) temple in Banavasi are noteworthy.

Kadamba Kingdom of Banavasi (345-525)
Banavasi is an ancient temple town in Uttara Kannada District bordering Shivamogga district in the south Indian state of Karnataka having main attraction of Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva the supreme God in Shaivism which is known as a major branch of Hinduism.

Recently a 5th century copper coin was discovered here with an inscription in the Kannada script which is considered as a one of the oldest coin ever discovered. The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums said that the coin's inscription in archaic Kannada proves beyond doubt that Banavasi had a mint in the 5th century. The coin's discovery supports those seeking classical status for the Kannada language.

Adikavi Pampa, the first poet of Kannada, wrote his epic poems in Banavasi.
The town once was the capital of the Kadamba rulers, an ancient royal dynasty of Karnataka. They established themselves there in A.D. 345 and ruled for two centuries.

Mayurasharma/ Mayurasharman/ Mayuravarma) (345 - 365 C.E)
According to Talagunda inscription Mayurasharma was a Vaidika Brahmin scholar who belonged to an orthodox Brahmana family which derived its descent from Hariti and belonged to the Manavya Gotra. The family was deeply devoted to the Vedic studies and the performance of Vedic sacrifices. The Kadamba tree that grew near their house gave the family its name. He was the son of Bandhushena, grandson of his guru (teacher) Veerasharma and a student at the Agrahara (place of learning) in Talagunda(in modern Shimoga district). The Gudnapur inscription further confirms Mayurasharma's parentage and that he acquired the character of a Kshatriya. He was the founder of the Kadamba Kingdom of Banavasi. It was the earliest native kingdom to rule over state Karnataka.

Talagunda inscription also tells that Mayurasharma went to Kanchi the capital of the Pallavas to pursue his Vedic studies accompanied by his guru and grandfather Veerasharma. Kanchi was an important Ghatikasthana (centre of learning) at that time. There, having been humiliated by a Pallava guard (horseman), in a rage Mayurasharma gave up his Brahminic studies and took to the sword to avenge which can be concluded as a successful rebellion of Brahmins against the domination of the Kshatriya power as wielded by the Pallavas of Kanchi.

Mayurasharma first succeeded in establishing himself in the forests of Shriparvata (possibly modern Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh) by defeating the Antharapalas (guards) of the Pallavas and subduing the Banas of Kolar. The Pallavas under Skandavarman were unable to contain Mayurasharma and recognised him as a sovereign in the regions from the Amara Ocean (Western Ocean) to Prehara (Malaprabha River). Some historians feel that Mayurasharma was initially appointed as a commander (dandanayaka) in the army of the Pallavas, as the inscription uses such terms as Senani and calls Mayurasharma Shadanana (six-faced god of war). After a period of time, due of the confusion caused by the defeat of Pallava Vishnugopa by Samudragupta (Allahabad inscriptions), Mayurasharma formed his kingdom at Banavasi (near Talagunda) as his capital. It is also known that in other battles, Mayurasharma defeated the Traikutas, Abhiras, Sendrakas, Pallavas, Pariyathrakas, Shakasthana, the Maukharis and Punnatas.

To celebrate his successes, Mayurasharma performed many horse sacrifices and granted 144 villages (known as Brahmadeyas) to Brahmins of Talagunda. With an effort to rejuvenate the ancient Brahminic faith and to perform the royal rituals and the related functions of the empirical government, Mayurasharma invited many learned Vaidika Brahmins from Ahichchathra in northern India. The Havyaka Brahmins claim descent from these early Brahmin settlers of the 4th century.

Kangavarma (365 - 390)
Mayurasarma was succeeded by his son Kangavarma in C.365 A.D.He changed the family name from Sharma to Verma. He had to suffer the discomfiture of losing a portion of the Kuntala to the powerful Vakatakas.

Bagitarha (390 - 415)
He was Kangaverma’s son and successor of Kadambas. He is said to have retrieved the losses of the family, although the Vakataka inscriptions do not substantiate this proud claim.

Raghu (415 - 435)
Bagitarha’s son Raghu succeeded him, and after a hectic rule is said to have lost his life in a contest against the Pallavas. He died childless.

Kakusthavarma (435 - 455)
Raghu’s younger brother, Kakustha Varma succeeded him. He had functioned as a Yuvaraja, came to the throne. Dr. G. M. Moraes thinks that under him the "Kadamba Empire reached the acme of its greatness". The Talagunda inscription hails him as "the ornament of the Kadamba Family". He is described as a "formidable warrior" who defied every danger. His political influence is reflected in the fact that he was able to conclude matrimonial alliances with many prominent ruling families of the day. The Talagunda inscription states that he maintained such relationship with the imperial Guptas. It is possible that Kakusthavarma's daughter was married to Kumara Gupta's son, Skanda Gupta. His daughter Ajjhitabhattarika was married to the Vakataka ruler, Narendrasena. Similar alliances were concluded with the Bhatari chief, the Alupas and the Gangas. It extended the Kadamba influence among a number of ruling powers. The Halsi plates and the Hamidi inscription refer to the abilities, industry and magnanimity of Kakusthavarma, and tributes to his greatness.

After Kakusthavarma, the Kadamba Kingdom was divided between his two sons, Santivarma and Krishna Varma I, who commenced their independent rule simultaneously at Banavasi and Triparvata respectively.

Santivarma (455 -460)
Santivarma was associated with his father's administration, had a brief reign.

Mrigeshavarma (460 - 480)
He was the eldest son of Santivarm and the successor. . He crossed his sword against the Gangas and the Pallavas, married a princess from the Kekeyi family, and earned a reputation as impartial administrator of justice.

Shivamandhativarma (480 – 485)
After the death of Mrigeshavarma his brother Shivamandhativarma acted as a regent to the Mrigeshavarma’s son Ravivarma.

Ravivarma (485 – 519)
He was the son of Mrigeshavarma and the successor who came to the throne in C. 485 A. D. His rule was marked by a series of clashes against the Triparvata branch of the family, and also against the Pallavas and the Gangas. He is also credited with a victory against the Vakatakas, which extended his Kingdom as far north as the river Narmada and consisted of most of Karnataka, Goa and Southern areas of present day Maharashtra.

Harivarma (519 – 525)
After the death of Ravivarma in C. 519, he was succeeded by his son Harivarma. Harivarma’s brief, undistinguished rule was brought to an end by Krishnavarma II of the Triparvata line. But, by then, the Kadamba power had been considerably weakened by many political and economic forces, and was soon eclipsed by the growing power of the Chalukyas and the Pallavas. He was a contemporary of the Chalukyan king Pulakeshi who set up his kingdom at Badami.

kingdom of Triparvatha
Capital Triparvata founded by Krishna Varma is identified as Halebid by Dr. G. M. Moraes and as Murgod in Belgaum district by K. P. Pathak.

Krishnavarma I (455)
He was the son of Kakushtavarma. He was the founder of Triparvata branch of the Kadambas, who was an energetic and a successful ruler. He performed the Aswamedha sacrifice.

Vishnuvarma( 445-475), Simhavarma(475-510) and Krishna Varma II (510-540)
After Krishnavarma I, rulers like Vishnuvarma, Simhavarma and Krishnavarma II managed the affairs of the Triparvata branch. They fought wars against the Banavasi branch, which must have led to considerable exhaustion, and that in turn, led to the decline of the Kadamba power. Krishnavarma defeated Harivarma of the Kadambas and merged the families. He was killed by Pulakeshi.

Ajayvarma (540-550)
Ajayvarman had to submit to Chalukya king Pulakeshi. He was having two sons Bhogivarma and VishwavarmaII.

This was the end of Kadamba kingdom. Bhogivarma and Vishwavarma II however continued as individual chiefs, feudatories.

File:Hangal Tarakeshwara temple half (back).jpg
Hangal Tarakeshwara Temple

Kadambas of Hangal (980-1031)
Hangal was also called as Hanungal. It is a town in Haveri district in the state of Karnataka. It is on the left bank of the Dharma River, and has ruins of some fortification on the river bank. The town has a huge Tarakeshwara temple as well as other temples like Ganesha temple, Virabhadra, Billeshwara and Ramalinga are the important temples, and a famous Veerashaiva Kumaraswami matha.

Hangal was the capital of the Hangal Kadambas. It is mentioned as Panungal in early records and identified by tradition with Viratanagara of Mahabharata days.

Chattadeva was the founder of Kadambas of Hangal. He was a feudatory of the western Chalukyas. The Western Chalukyas (in 973) rose to power by defeating the Rashtrakutas with the help of Kadambas. Then Kadambas chief Chatta Deva was allowed by Taila II to rule Banavasi, he (during 980 - 1031 AD), consolidated his domain in the western Tungabhadra river basin under Chalukya shelter.

Chatta Deva’s successors enjoyed considerable independence and were almost sovereign rulers of Goa and Konkan till 14th century AD. The successors of Chatta Deva occupied both Banavasi and Hangal and are known as Kadambas of Hangal.

Hangal attained significance under the Kalyani Chalukyas who were the chief powers in the Deccan (10th - 12th century), and was later comes under the Hoysalas with the decline of the Chalukyas. Bileshwara temple at hangal is in the Hoysala style.

Kadambas started reigning the upper part of Tungabhadra basin from its capital in Banavasi soon after the Chutus were thrown out of power. Around 5th century, they had their capital at Dwarasmudra and had expanded the terriroty to Cauvery basin. Their northern frontier was bordered to the river Krishna. At around 530 AD, they lost part of their region to the feudatory Pulakesin –I, the Chalukya of Badami. It was during Ajayvarma Kadamba, they were made to acknowledge their suzerainty to the Chalukyas. In 607 AD, the Kadambas were extinguished by Pulakeshi II and thur earlier Kadamba dynasty ceased to exist once for all, either leaving no traces of their coinage or with the unattributed coins.

Kadambas of Hangals rulers:
Irivabedangadeva (967-980)
Irivabedangadeva was a feodary of Chalukyas. He distinguished himself against Rashtrakutas. He re-established Kadamba dynasty.

Chattadeva (980-1031)
Chattadeva was the son of Irivabedabgadeva. He distinguished himself against Cholas.

Jayasimha (1031-1037)
Jayasimha was the son of Chattadeva, married to Akkadevi from the Chalukya kings. He lost his life in one of the battles against the Cholas.

Mayurvarma II (1037-1048)
Mayurvarma II was the son of Jayasimha. Reigned peacedfully. Died Childless.

Toyimadeva or Taila I (1048-1075)
Brother of Mayurvarma. He helped to rule by his mother Akkadevi. He fought against the Cholas. During Toyimadeva's (Taila) reign, the capital was moved from Banavasi to Hangal. He issued first die struck gold coins. These coins are similar in weight and size to Kadambas of Goa. Compared to Goa Kadambas, coins of Kadambas of Hangal are relatively scarce and never been studied in greater details.

Son of Taila I. He was previously governor of Banavasi, and became the ruler of Banavasi. He fought against his uncle Santivarma, eventually reconciled for Banavasi. He fought and lost against combined might of Kadambas of Goa and Chalukyas, when he tried to extend his boundries and ended up becoming a feudatory of Chalukyas.

Shantivarma or Santivarma (1075-1094)
He was the youngest brother of Taila I at Hangal, had a dispute with his brother’s son Kirtivarma. However he continued as ruler of Hangal after intervention of the Goa Kadamba king Jayakeshi I. Kirtivarma was given Banavasi.

Taila II (1094-1116)
Son. After the death of Kirtivarma of Banavasi, Taila II remerged both the kingdoms of Hangal and Banavasi. He formed a alliance with Pandya's of Uchchangi through marital knot, which further empowered him to sustain his power against Hoysala's troubles atleast for some time. But later, Vishnuvardhana Hoysala battled with him and captured both Banavasi and Hangal. He assisted the Pandyas against Hossala, Pandyas lost and the Hoysala (Vishnuvardhana) ire fell on Kadambas. They captured Banavasi and late Hangal. Taila-II was put to death by Vishnuvardhana and Pandyas of Uchchangi ceased to exist anymore.

Taila III (1116-1130)
Son. Resistance against Hoysala continued.

Mayurvarma III (1130-1132)

Brother. Hoysala drove out the Hoysalas.

Tailama (1146-1151)

Kirtideva (1151-1180)

Kamadeva (1180-1217)
Son. There was a battle between Kalachuri and Hoysalas which was strong enough to deteriorate their powers, and Kamadeva was a opportunist to ascend the throne independently. Later, during Chalukya's restoration, he acknowledged the suzerainty to Chalukyas. But the subsequent fall of Chalukyas by the Yadavas made him to change over the acknowledgement of suzerainty to Yadavas. In 1310, the crushing defeat of Yadavas in the hand of Ala-al-din Mohammad Khilji, the Yadavas ceased to exist and so the Kadambas of Hangal. Kadamba family was still in picture by ruling ruins of the kingdom, as witnessed by the inscriptions which mentions the ruler Purandara of Hangal Kadamba family.

Mallideva (1217-1252)

Ramadeva (1252-1260)

Kavadeva (1260-1315)
Nephew. Son of Mallideva.

Purandara raya (1315-1347)

Kadambas of Goa:
It was a sub branch that ruled Goa for around 300 years during the reign of Kadambadynasty in early 11th century, minted one of the finest example of medieval Indian coinage. The rulers of this dynasty often took the title, Malava-rama-ri which means rulers/conquerors of Malava (perhaps Malvan region of Konkan).

During this time Goa took shape as a distinct political entity for the first time. There were fourteen rulers amongst the Kadambas of Goa, which were Guhaaldeva III, Jayakeshi II, Shivachitta, Vishnuchitta, Jayakeshi III.

Under Jayakeshi II the Kadamba rule reached its peak and this is testified by the gold coins that are stamped with their lion crest. Until 1310 Chandrapur was made their capital and after that it was shifted on the banks of the Zuari River to a new port city called Govepure or Gopakapattanam Today’s Goa Velha where the ruins of their port still exist. After the death of Jayakeshi III, the Kadambas of Goa became vassals of the Yadavas of Devagiri Yadavas appointed a puppet king in Goa by the name of Kamadeva who managed to survive till 1313 AD. Kadambas lost power in 1334 AD. For six years there was chaos until the Bahamani muslim rulers annexed Goa.

List of Kadambas of Goa
He was a Chalukyan feudatory

Nagavarma was son and successor of Kantakacharya. He was proficient in political science and Vedas.

Guhaladeva I
Son. He was a powerful king and was an ally of south Silharas.

Shasthadeva I or Chaturbhuja(996-980)
Son. Contemporary of Irivabedanga of Hangal Kadamba. He fought along with Chalukyas and the other Kadambas against Rashtrakutas. His capital was Chandrapura or Chandor.

Guhaladeva II (980-1005)
Son. He extended boundries towards the Western Ghats.

Shasthadeva II (1005-1050)
Son. Captured Konkan, Goa from the Northern Silhars and made them his vassals.

Jayakeshi I (1050-1080)
Son. Made Gopakapattana (Goa) his capital after killing the rebel N.Silhara king of Kapardidwipa. Defeated the Chandas and the Cholas. His daughter was married to Chalukya king Vikramaditya.

Guhaladeva III (1080-1100)

Vijayaditya I (1100-1104)

Jayakeshin II (1104-1147/8)
Son. Many conquests Kadamba Goa rule at its zenith.

Permadi (1147/8-1181)

Vijayaditya II (1147/8-1187/8)

Jayakeshin III (1187/8-1216)
Son. Vassals of Yadavas of Devagiri.


Shasthadeva III
Son. A daughter married to Kamadeva (1260-1310)
Son ? (1310/1-1328)
Son? (1328-1340)

Kadambas of Bayalnad

Kadamba Bayalnad emerged as a rule in the 11th century. The Cholas had just then subdued the Gangas of Talakad and brought their dynasty to an end. Kadambas under their chief Raviyammarasa seem to have formed for themselves an independent kingdom in Bayalnad. One of these kings made the city of Kirttipura in Punnad Ten thousand their capital as per one inscription. This province which lays claim to a well-known antiquity thus became the principality of the Kadmbas.

Kadambas of Bayalnad bore all the titles that usually accompany Kadamba rulers like mahamandalesvara rajadhiraja, means from royal dynasty. They were independent kings. Inscriptions attribute to them the lion seal, the monkey flag and the bull signet, the last of which was the dynastic symbol of Pallavas.

Their kings style himself “the boon lord of Dvaravatipura”. This city was the last capital of Hoysala Monarchs, known in the history as Dvarasmudra or Dorasamudra which was Triparvata.

He was the first ruler of the dynasty; the period was end of the tenth century and the beginning of the eleventh. We do not hear of any successors of Raviyammarasa for a period of seventy years. This long gap in their history is perhaps due to the fact that they were defeated and disposed of their kingdom by the Cholas.

With the fall of Cholas however the Kadambas of Bayalnad again appear as rulers of their old province. Ancient city of Kirttipura was the capital of the Kadambas of Bayalnad.

Kadavamma (1079/83)
Kadavamma ruled over a fairly extensive kingdom. It extended in the east as far as Budapadi which is probably Budikote in Betmangala Taluqua, Kolar District. In the north it included kikki-nad, with probably kikere in the Mysore district for its capital; in the west it seems to have embraced part of Kerala and in the south it stretched into the Tamil country, of which division Terumangala was the administrative headquarters.

The sudden emergence of the kadambas as rulers of this vast kingdom in the south is not at all strange; however Kandavamma gathered the scattered remnants of the old and fallen Chola Empire, and brought them under this royal scepter.

Kanthirava (1090)
He was the successor and son of kandavarmma. He has described as a ruling Chagi-Bayalnad. The vast kingdom was reduced in size by incessant encroachments pf the Hoysala chiefs.

He was the successor. He is associated with the government of Bira-Bayalnad, which was another part of the Bayalnad province.

Mahamandalesvara Mukkanna Kadamba was the last rule of this line with which history is acquainted.
Information later Kadambas of Bayalnad is not available after this for centuries until the name of a feudatory chieftain (Sangama Dynasty, Vijaynagar), by the name of Immadi Kadamba Raya Vodeyayya appears.

Kadambas of Belur
It was a branch of Kadamba dynasty that profited by the decline of the power of the Gangas in the beginning of the 11th century. This dynsty is generally known as the Dynasty of the Manjarabad Kadambas. The old Kadamba ruler of this province had their capital little westwards at a place now called Hale-Belur. Kadambasara was the first king of this line seems to have availed himself of the weakness of the central government to establish an independent kingdom to the east of the Ganga dominions. He was very likely a descendant of the old Kadamba line of the Dakshinapatha, Belur Kadambas were closely related to this branch.

The Kadambas of Belur were the ancestors of the Rajas of Coorg. The puranic account of the foundation of the state and Monarchy of Coorg, given in the kaveri-Mahatmya connects it with a prince named Chandravarmma the son of a king of the Matsya country, who was succeeded by his son Deva-kanta. Now Matsya has been identified with Hangal, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that Chandravarmma was a Kadamba prince. He was probably the son of Krishnavarmma II who after transferring his government to Banavasi, appointed Chandravarmma viceroy of the Dakshinapatha, of which Triparvata was the capital. During the weak rule of Ajavarmma, this Chandravarmma probably freed himself of the control of the Banavasi ruler and established heredity succession at Tripura.

The Kadambas of Belur had the usual titles of the Kadambas. They were called mahamandalesvaras, the boon-lords of Banavasipura. They were worshipper of Shiva. Their dynastic symbol seems to have been the peacock.

Kadambasara (1000 A.D.)
First king of Kadambas of Belur lineage.

Niti-maharaja (1015?-1035)
He was the successor of Kadambasara. He passed away on A.D.1035.

Changinripala (1035-1070)

Dudharasa (died in 1095)
He was the next successor of Belur. And can be concluded as an independent king by the inscriptions. He was having two queens. His first queen Chilkala-devi requested him to built a Chatram for the Brahmans and brought some uncultivated land under cultivation. His second wife was mother of his three sons, stthiga-nripa, Changi-maharaja, and Dayasimha. She was daughter of Banki-Balarita and Karavati Cheluveyarasi. He was succeeded by his youngest son Dayasimha.

He acknowledged the suzerainty of the Chalukyas, and bore the title of Tribhuvanamalla. This indicates that he was the feudatory of the latter.

No information about later kingdom is available. Probably the kingdom came under the Hoysala dynasty(under Vinayaditya).

Kadambas of Nagarkhanda
Nagarkhanda is the district to the north-east if Banavasi. It is described as a country surrounded with leafy woods like the ring round the eyes of a girl or noted for its betel vines, and the fruit of its areca palms and orange trees in the inscriptions.

Kadambas of Nagarkhanda claimes to be the descendents of Mayuravarmma. They have titled themselves “the boon lords of Banavasi-pura”. Their capital was Bandhavapura. Their family god was Shiva.

During the first few years the Kadambas of Hangal did not acknowledge the suzerainty o the Kalachuri kings, which led them into a war with the kadambas. So may be the reason Kalachuryas helped Soma-deva in declaring himself independent of his overlord. In an inscription of 1159 Soma-deva is mentioned as a immediate subordinate of the Kalachuryas. So may be in the course of war between the Kadambas and the Kalachuryas the latter conquered the Banavasi province and probably handed it over to Soyi-deva which was the year 1165 as per the inscription.

Kings of Kadambas of Nagarkhanda
He was the first king of this branch. He was related to the main branch of Kadambas by the records of his grandson Soyi-deva. He was enjoying the independent kingdom as the record describe him as a “the sole ruler of the world”. His wife Kalala-devi was described in the inscription as “an abode of learning” and “ to her dependents a cow of plenty”.

Boppa-deva/ Boppasara (1112-1138 A.D.)
Son and successor of Bammasara. The inscription mentioned him “as in great bravery like Arjun, in liberty like Karna, in purity like Bhimsa”. In his reign the Nagarkhanda Kadambas lost their independence. A record refers of him to Tailapa II of the Hangal Kadamba dynasty as his overlord. As per the inscriptions he was partly a contemporary of Tailapa and Boppasara’s son in A.D.. 1139 survived his overlord.

Soma-deva/ Soyi-deva
Soma-deva was the son of Boppasara and Sri-devi. He was the officer in charge of the Nagarkhanda Seventy under Madhukasara of the Hangal Kadamba kings. He soon freed himself of the control of his liege lords. In an inscription of 1159, Soma-deva is noted as subordinate of the Kalachuri kingdom. An inscription connect soyi-deva with the Kalachuryas by telling us that the whole Kadamba family sprang from a Kalachurya King named Soma. He proceeded against the Santara king Jaga-deva under the orders of his over-lord Bijjala. He challenged the Changalva king and put him into chains. For his bravery he acquired the titles of Kadamba Rudra, Gandaradavani, mandalika Bhairava, Nigalanka-malla, and Satya-pataka. Malla-deva’s queen Padumala-devi having become hostile to Soyi-devi. He was having two wives, one was Lichchala-devi , who bore a son named Boppan and other wife was Malala-devi, who bore a daughter called Lichchala-devi.

He was successor of Soma-deva. During his reign the Kadambas of Nagarkhanda transferred their allegiance to the Hoysalas. The inscription of Boppa refers to Ballala as the overlord of the former. It says that Sankama-deva, the general of Boppa forces marched away and joined the king Ballala.

He was the son of Boppa-deva and the successor. He was the feudatory of the Hoysala king Vira-Bailala II by the inscription of 1204.

From the inscription 1207 concluded that the kingdom was deprived of their territories at about this period. The Hoysala appointed a certain Malli-deva of the Kaysapa gotra as the governor of Nagarkhanda Seventy and he made the city of Bandhavapura his capital. The family of Nagarkhanda would have a long ceased to posses this province. A grant about 1235 mentions a king named Kadambaraya probably belong to this dynasty.
In 1412, there is a reference of Madhukanna (son of Kadamba Soyidevrasa of Bandalike),his son Baicharasa ,son in law Surappa being slain in a battle. Probably they were the last of the Nagarkhanda Kadambas.

Kadambas of Uchchangi
They were only titular kings of Banavasi, as the real power was with the Hangal Kadambas (who in turn were feudatories of the Chalukyas.

Ajavarmmarasa first king in this dynasty.987-1032 AD.
Manneya Ghatiyarrasa (1049)
Bancharasa deva (1110)
Between 1110-45 the kingdom was captured by Pandyas (Tribhuvanamalla Pandya).Kadambas of Uchchcangi became their vassals.Pandyas wered defeated by the Hoysalas. After the death of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana, Pandyas (Vijaya Pandya) reconquered the kingdom and once again made Kadambas of Uchchangi their representatives in that kingdom of Uchchangi.
Ketarasa (1146)
Nagatinripala (son)1171
Harirasa (brother)
Pandyas were again overthrown by Hoysala king Vir Ballala II, consequently eclipsing the rule of their feudatories , the Kadambas of Uchchcangi as well.

Kadambas of Kalinga
They began as small revenue officers of the Gangas but were later given large regions to administer. They ruled a small principality , Panchavishaya (region of five districts) under the overlordship of the Ganga kings of Kalinga. they also had matrimonial relations with the Gangas. They were also known as the Khedis.
Bhamakhedi AD 1054
Dharmakhedi (son)
Udayadityadeva (son)1181
Mahasamata Nagakhedi last known ruler.

Halmidi inscription with Buddhist wheel at the top.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bahamani Kingdom

Charminar of Hyderabad, a Bahamani architecture

Bahamani Kingdom (1347–1527)
The Bahmani Sultanate or Bahmanid Empire was a Muslim state of the Deccan in southern India and was one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms. It was North Deccan region to the river Krishna. According to some Muslim historian a rebel chieftain of Saulatabad (an area around Ellora), was under Muhammad Bin Tughalaq. The sultanate was founded on 3rd of August 1347 by the Turkish Governor Ala-ud-Din Hassan Bahman Shah/ Hasan Gangu/ Allauddin Hassan, possibly of Tajik-Persian descent, who revolted against the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq. Nazir uddin Ismail Shah who had revolted against the Delhi sultanate stepped down on that day in favour of Zafar Khan/ Hassan Gangu who ascended the throne with the title of Alauddin Bahman Shah. His revolt was successful, and he established an independent state on the Deccan, including parts of present day Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh within the Delhi Sultanate's southern provinces. The Bahmani contested the control of the Deccan with the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire to the south. The Bahmani capital was Ahsanabad (Gulbarga) between 1347 and 1425 when it was moved to Muhammadabad (Bidar). The sultanate reached the peak of its power during the vizierate (1466–1481) of Mahmud Gawan. About eighteen kings ruled during the nearly 200 years. After 1518 the kingdom got divided into four smaller ones like Barishahi (Bidar), Kutbshahi (of Golkonda), Adamshahi( of Ahmadnagar), and Adilshahi (of Bijapur), known collectively as the Deccan sultanates.

Bahamani Dynesty of Deccan

History of Bahamani Kingdom :
Allauddin Hassan, a man of humble origin assumed the name of Gangu Bahamani in memory of his patron, a brahmin. Hasan Gangu declared the founder of the Bahamani Dynasty and ruled it under the title of Bahaman Shah. Bahamani was in constant war with south, kingdom of Vijaynagar.

Firuz Shah Bahamani left his remarkable foot prints over the Bahamani history. He was a learned man and having knowledge of many religions and natural science. He always wanted to develop the Deccan region as the cultural hub of India. He waged three battles against Vijaynagar Empire, and also extended his territories of Warangal. He gave up his kingdom and throne to his brother Ahmed shah I.

Agriculture was the main economic activity of Bahamani kingdom for earning the main revenue of the state.

The nobles in the Bahamani Kingdom were classified into two categories, Deccanis (old comers) and the Afaquis (new comers). They were always having problem of difference of opinion. Mahmud Gawan was a minister in Bahamani Empire who expanded and extended the Bahamani Kingdom rapidly. He was categorized as Afaqui and hence it was difficult for him to win the trust and confidence of the Deccanis. He was executed at the age of seventy by Muhammad Shah of Deccan in the year 1482 for his policy which made matters worse in Deccanis and Afaquis.

Culture of Bahamani :
The Bahamani kingdom flourished in architectural monuments. In the field of architecture, the Bahamanis paved way for the distinct style by inviting architects from Persia, Turkey, and Arabia and blended it with local styles. The culture that developed during this time was a blend of both north and south styles and also had its own distinct styles. Gumbaz (the largest dome in the world) and Charminar located at Hyderabad are the world famous examples of Bahamani architecture. The Bahanamis of Deccan left an important heritage of Indo-Islamic art, language, and spread of Islamic tradition in South India. Hazrat Banda Nawaz (1321 - 1422 CE) the great Sufi saint was patronized by the Bahamani kings and his Dargah of Gulbarga is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Muslims alike. Mahmud Gawan arrived in Bidarfrom Persia in 1453. A great scholar of Islamic lore, he founded the Madarassa (institution) from his own funds on the line of universities of Samarkhand and Khorasan. A selefless worker, he became a prime-minister of Bahamani king Mahmud III (1462- 82) whom he tutored in earlier days. But Gawan became a victim of the palace intrigue and was beheaded by the drunkern king. The later kings of the Bahamani dynasty were too weak to keep the kingdom in tact, and this led to the breakup

Golkonda Fort

List of Bahmani Sultans :
During the 191 years of Bahmani reign following rulers ruled with Gulbarga and Bidar as their capital:

Gulbarga Period ( 75 years )
*Aladdin Hassan Bahman Shah/ Abu'l Muzaffar/ Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah (August 3, 1347 – Feb 11, 1358 AD)
Hasan Gangu s/o Kaikaus s/o Muhammad s/o Ali (there are different opinions)
Capital: Gulbarga
Founder of Bahmani Dynasty of Deccan
Original name was Hasan Gangu or Hansan Kanku and also bore the title of Zafar Khan.

Nasir-ud-din Ismail Shah asked Zafar Khan to become the King with the title of ‘Sikandar- uth- thani Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahman Shah al-wali’. The new King was crowned on Friday Aug 3, 1347 in the mosque of Qtub-ud-din Mubarak Shah Khalji at Daulatabad. According to one historian, Hasan was the nephew of Malik Hizhbar-ud-din entitled Zafar Khan' Alai, who was killed in 1298 AD when Hasan was only 6 years old.

The first act of the new king was to transfer his title of Zafar Khan to prince Muhammad. King adopted the title of Bahman. He sent Qutbul Mulk who conquered Kotgir, Maram, Mahendri and Akkal Kot. Qir Khan was sent to conquer Kalyan. After the news of this great victory of Kalyan, King renamed Daulatabad to Fatahabad.

Sikandar was send to Malkher which was held by the Hindu Zamindars who opposed first but subdued later. Krishna Nayak of Tilangana entered into treaty and became friend of Sikandar and loyal to the King. Quir Khan revolted and was beheaded by the king. King renamed Gulbarga as Ahsanabad and made it the capital of Deccan.

The King died on Rabi-ul-awwal 1, Feb 11, 1358 at the age of 67.

Silver Coins struck in the name of Bahman Shah in 760 AH indicates that he might have died some time in 760 AH and hence Muhammad Shah I ascended the throne in 760 AH.

*Mohammed or Muhammed Shah I/ Zafar Khan (Feb 11, 1358 - April 21, 1375)
Son of Bahman Shah
Capital: Gulbarga.

Muhammad Shah ascended the throne. He is better known as organizer of Bahmani Kingdom and founder of its institutions. His Silver throne from his father was replaced by the magnificent ‘Takht-e-Firoza’ (Turquoise Throne) on March 23, 1363 presented to him by Raya of Tilangana. He constructed ‘Jama Masjid’ in Gulbarga Fort and Shah Bazaar Masjid in Gulbarga town. His father Alauddin Bahman Shah, Mohammed was involved in wars with Vijayanagar. However he also became embroiled in wars with Warangal. Sultan invaded Tilangana, Kanya Nayak offered Huns, elephants and horses along with Golkunda Town. Sultan died on Zi-qada April 21, 1375 AD from drinking too much.

Silver Coins struck in the name of Muhammad Shah I in, Silver coin of and a Gold coin is also known. No coin of his successor Mujahid Shah is known. Mujahid Shah's Gold coin is known. This indicates that Muhammad Shah I might have died in 1375 and issue may be a posthumously in his Mujahid Shah's reign.

*Aladdin Mujahid Shah (April 21, 1375 - April 16, 1378)
Son of Muhammad Shah
Capital: Gulbarga

Muhammad I was succeeded by his son Aladdin Mujahid Shah at the age of 19. Mujahid Shah was murdered by Masud Khan (son of Mubarak Khan) and Daud Khan.

*Da'ud Shah (April 16, 1378 - May 21, 1378)
Son of Mahmud Shah S/o Bahman Shah
Capital: Gulbarga.

Immediately on Mujahid's murder Daud Shah proclaimed king of Deccan and all those present paid homage to him. It is said that Ruh Parwar Agha (Mujahid's sister) got Daud murdered through a royal slave Bakah while he was attending Friday prayer of Muharram, in great mosque of Gulbarga Fort.

*Mohammed Shah II (May 21, 1378 - April 20, 1397 AD)
Son of Mahmud Shah S/o Bahman Shah
Capital: Gulbarga

Ruh Parwar after taking revenge of her brother's death, blinded Sanjar ( S/o Daud I ). She put Muhammad II brother of Daud I on throne. Muhammad Shah II's 19 year reign was one of the most peaceful period in the whole Bahmani history. Since he had no son so he adopted two sons Firoz Shah and Ahmad I of his uncle Ahmad Khan s/o Bahman Shah. But after the birth of Tahmatan Shah, Muhammad on his death bed wished that Ghiyasuddin Tahmatan Shah should succeed him and Firoz and Ahmad should pay homage to him.

Muhammad died of typhoid on. The next day died the grand old man of the Deccan Mallik Saif-ud-din Ghori who had lived through five reigns and who was the Prime Minister of Bahmani State in the time of storm and three of four rulers.

*Ghiyath ud-Din/ Ghiyas-Ud-Din-Tahmatan Shah (April 20, 1397 - June 14, 1397 AD)
S/o Muhammad Shah II
Capital : Gulbarga.

Muhammad's elder son Ghiyas-ud-din Tahmatan Shah succeeded to the throne without any trouble. Taghalchin (Turkish slave) who wanted to be the Prime Minister arranged a big feast at which king was also invited. Taghalchin blinded the king on Ramadan, and imprisoned him at Sagar and his step brother Shams-ud-din Daud II was put on the throne.

*Shams-ud-Din/ Shams- ud-Din Daud Shah II(June 14, 1397 AD - Nov 15, 1397 AD)
S/o Muhammad II
Capital: Gulbarga.

The first thing the boy king was made to do was to promote Taghalchin to be the Malik Naib and Mir Jumla of the kingdom. The manumitted slave girl who was Shamsuddin's mother was now raised to the rank and title of Makhduma-i-Jahan (Dowager Queen). Taghalchin tried to persuade Shamsuddin to imprison Firoz and Ahmad and asked king's mother to have them done to death. On hearing of the conspiracy the two brothers fled to Sagar. Firoz proclaimed himself king making his younger brother Ahmad Khan Amir-ul-umra, Mir Fazlil-lah Inju Wakil (Prime Minister). He had the blind boy Ghiyasuddin Tahmatan with him. He directly attacked into the Darbar Hall. Taghalchin and his son was killed Daud II was blinded and allowed to move Mecca with his mother. Shamsuddin Daud II died in 1414 AD at Mecca.

*Taj ud-Din Firuz Shah (Nov 16, 1397 - Sep 22, 1422 AD)
S/o Ahmad Khan s/o Bahman Shah
Capital: Gulbarga.

Firoz Shah was one of the most learned of Indian sovereigns. He was a good calligrapher and poet (poetic name Uruji or Firozi). Among other public works he under took the construction of an Observatory on the chain of hills near Daulatabad called Balaghat which could not be completed due to his death.

Hazrat Khwaja Syed Muhammad Gesu Draz’ was a Sufi (saint) and was deeply related with the Bahmani kings and the people of Gulbarga. He was the s/o Syed Yusuf who came to Daulatabad in the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq. Hazrat was born on Jan 30, 1331 and started living near ‘Gulbarga Jama Masjid’. He died on Nov 1, 1422 AD at the age of 105 years.

Firoz Shah paid tribute to him. He gave him many villages for his maintenance.
He knows and can carry translation in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and many other languages. He tamed prince Bukka and Harihara of Vijayanagar and Narasingha of Kherla in battle.

Firoz's army tried to kill Ahmad Khan (brother of Firoz) but defeated in battle fought cleverly by Ahmad. Gates of the city was opened for Ahmad and he was taken to dying king Firoz. Firoz died on Sep 28, 1422.

Bidar Period ( 116 years )
*Ahmad Shah I Wali/ Ahmed Shah Al Wali Bahamani/ Shihab-Ud-Din Ahmad I (1422 – 1436)
S/o Ahmad Khan s/o Bahman Shah
Capital: Bidar

Portrait of Ahmed Shah Wali Bahamani

At the begening of his reign he suffered the shock of the death of ‘Hazrat Khwaja Syed Muhammad Gesu Draz’. He decided and shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar. He made Khalaf Hasan Basri as his Wakil-e-Saltanate (Prime Minister).

He constructed the Tomb of Gesu Daraz at Gulbarga any buidings at Bidar.

Ahmad Shah attacked Vijayanagar and over powered Vijayaraya I. In the last year of his reign he appointed his eldest son Ala-ud-din Zafar Khan to be his heir, giving him the full charge of kingdom. King died after a short illness.

He was a great patron of arts and culture. He brought artisans from Iran, including the metal-worker Abdulla-bin-Kaiser, who was the father of bidriware, the inlaying of zinc alloy with silver and gold.

Ahmed Shah's, and his empress's, tomb is located in Ashtur village, Bidar District, and is the subject of an annual ‘urs’, or anniversary of death festival.

*Aladdin Ahmad Shah II (Apr 17, 1436 - May 6, 1458 AD)
S/o Ahmad Shah I
Capital: Bidar.

Ahmad I had been very successful as a king and when he died he was popular even to the extent of being regarded as a saint. His son Zafar Khan who asumed the title of Ahmad on his accession. He gave preference to newcomers from outside over the old in his cabinet. This created a great cleavage between them and the Dakhnis (old comers). He married the daughter of Raja of Sangmeswar and gave her the title of Zeba Chehra apart from the daughter of Nasir Khan Faruqi of Khandesh ‘Agha Zainab’.

There became two party, aparently the old-comers and the new-comers. King died early due to his wound in his shin (front of lower leg).

Silver Coins struck in the name of Ahmad Shah II in 838 AH has been reported. No coin of Ahmad Shah I has been reported so for. This confirms that Ahmad Shah II ascended the throne in 838 AH when Ahmad I was alive

*Aladdin Humayun Zalim Shah (May 7, 1458 - Sep 4, 1461 AD)
S/o Ahmad Shah II
Capital: Bidar.

Ahmad Shah II had nominated his eldest son Humayun heir to his throne. King made Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, Malik-ut-tujjar, trafdar of Bijapur and Wakil-e-Sultunate giving him full control of military matters. Humayun was a very short tempered and cruel man. He made his own cousin Sikandar Khan as Sipahsalar. Sikandar became rebellion and was crushed to death with the help of Mahmud Gawan. Humayun died on Sep 4, 1461.

Coins were struck in the name of Humayun Shah indicates that he might have died some time in Sep 4, 1461. Hence Ahmad Shah III ascended the throne in 1461.

*Nizam Shah/ Nizam-Ud-Din Ahmad III (Sep 4, 1461 - Jul 30, 1463 AD)
S/o Humayun Shah
Capital: Bidar.

On Humayun's death his son Ahmad succeeded to the throne as Nizam-ud-din Ahmad III at the age of 8. He was escorted to the throne by Shah Muhib-ul-la and Syed-us-Sadat Syed Hanif. Late king had nominated a council of Regency constituting of Khwaja-e-Jahan Turk, Mahmud Gawan with the Dowager Queen Makhduma-e-Jahan Nargis Begum. Master mind which ruled the country during the short reign of Ahmad Shah III was that of the great queen. All the political prisoners of Humayun period were released. Ahmad III died on the very night of his marriage on and was succeeded by his younger brother Muhammad Khan as Shams-ud-din Muhammad Shah III.

*Mohammed Shah III Lashkari/ Shams-Ud-Din Muhammad Shah III (Jul 30, 1463 - Mar 26, 1482 AD)
S/o Humayun Shah
Capital: Bidar.

Shamsuddin Muhammad was between 9 and 10 years when he succeeded his elder brother. He was escorted to the Turquoise Throne by Shah Mohib-ul-lah (who was released by his captor Mahmud Khalji of Malwa) and Syed Hanif. Nizam-ul-mulk murdered Khwaja-e-Jahan Turk (one of the member of the three party committee of Regency after the death of Humayun ) ) at the instance of Queen in the presence of boy king in 870 AH.

Mohammad Shah III got married at the age of 14 years. Dowager Queen retired from active role. Malik-ut-tujjar Mahmud Gawan was made Prime Minister. The Prime Minister ship of Mahmud Gawan saw the Bahmani State attaining high unequalled in the whole of its history. During this period Parenda Fort, Great College of Bidar and Madarsa at Bidar. Kherla was besieged in 872 AH. Kapileswar of Orissa was defeated in 1470 AD. Goa was annexed on 20th of Shaban 876 AH. Queen Dowager died in 877 AH.

Boundaries of Bahmani Kingdom now touching the Bay of Bengal in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Mahmud Gawan was one of the first ministers in Medieval India to order a systematic measurement of land, fixing the boundaries of villages and towns and making a thorough enquiry into the assessment of revenue.

King annexed Kanchi on 1st Muharram, 886 AH. This was the southern most point ever reached by Bahmani. Nobles conspired against Khwaja Mahmud Gawan and prepared a false paper on behalf of Khwaja saying he wants Deccan to be partitioned between him and Purushottum of Orissa. King sentenced Khwaja to death on 5th Safar 886 AH at the age of 73. Later King came to know that Khwaja was innocent. He appointed his son Mahmud as his heir. He died on on 5th Safar 887 AH.

A silver Tanka of about 11 grams from the treasury of Muhammad Shah III dated 1472.

*Mohammed Shah IV/Mahmud Shah/ Shihab-Ud-Din Mahmud (Mar 26, 1482 - Dec 27, 1518 AD)
S/o Ahmad Shah III
Capital: Bidar.

The long reign of Mahmud Shah Bahmani, was a period of gradual weakening of the state. He ascended the throne at the age of 12 years, when new-comers had been over thrown. New Regency was formed with Queen as president. Qasim Barid was entitled with Barid-ul-mumalik.
King began to indulge in wine, women and song and spent so much money that he had to extract many jewels from the Turquoise throne at the instigation of Qasim Barid. Qasim Barid forced Mahmud to make Prime Minister of the kingdom. Malik Ahmad Nizamul-mulk revolted and made a beautiful palace making it the center of his newly created capital, which he named after himself, Ahmadnagar. Qutbul-Mulk was appointed as the Governor of Tilangana in 1495-96 AD who controlled over Warrangal, Rajakonda, Dewarkonda and Kovilkonda. Qasim Barid died and was succeeded by his son Amir Barid. Ahmad Nizam died and succeeded by his son Burhan. Sultan died on Dec 27, 1518 AD.

*Ahmad Shah III/ Ahmad Shah IV (Dec 27, 1518 - Dec 15, 1520)
S/o Mahmud Shah
Capital: Bidar.

Amir Barid was very clever, He put Mahmud's son Ahmad on throne. Amir Barid was careful that king should not leave the palace but he actually set about to spoil his life and morals. New Sultan was forced to breakup the ancient crown of the Bahmanis, worth 15 lakes of Rupees (Rs. 1,500,000), and sell the jewels in order to provide himself with the means of ease and pleasure. Sultan died on Muharram Dec 15, 1520.

After 1518 the sultanate broke up into five states, Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda, known collectively as the Deccan sultanates.

*Aladdin Shah (Dec 28, 1520 - Mar 5, 1523 AD)
S/o Ahmad Shah IV
Capital: Bidar.

Amir Barid's wish to become king was rekindled with Ahmad's death. He put the crown on Ahmad's son Ala-ud-din on Dec 28, 1520.The new Sultan was wise and courageous. Amir Barid conspired against him and Sultan was dethroned.

*Wali-Allah Shah/ Wali-Ul-Lah Shah (Mar 5, 1523 - 1526 AD)
S/o Mahmud Shah
Capital: Bidar.

Amir Barid put Waliullah son of Mahmud on throne. He was imprisoned in his own zanana (ladies room) and lived on bread and clothes provided to him by his master. Amir Barid married the pretty Bibi Sitti, Ahmad's widow who was just 22-23 yrs. Amir Barid was now a royal kinsman and was free to enter the zanana apartment of the palace. He began to make love with the queen. When Sultan resisted he was poisoned.

Coin of Waliullah and no coin of Alauddin Shah indicate that Alauddin Shah was dethroned and Waliullah ascended the throne.

Coins struck in the name of Kalimullah indicate that he ascended the throne and Wali-ullah died in 1526 AD.

*Kalim-Allah Shah/ Kalim-Ul-Lah Shah (1526 - 1527 AD)
S/o Mahmud Shah
Capital: Bidar

After 1538 Bahamani Empire gets converted in to 5 shahis. Kalimullah son of Mahmud Shah was the last king of the Bahmani Dynasty. He was closely guarded by Amir Barid. A new political force had now appeared on the Indian Horizon in the person of Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur. All the rulers of Deccan i.e. Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar, and Burhanpur sent their congratulations to the Mughal conqueror. Kalimulla also wrote letter to Babur to relieve him from Amir Barid. This news was leaked and out of fear of his life Kalimullah Shah fled to Bijapur in 1527 AD. He was not welcomed there. He left for Ahmadnagar. He was first received well by Burhan Nizamul Mulk, but never again called in open court. Kalimullah soon breathed his last in Ahmadnagar. The men of shahis rulers planned to murder him after he was got down from his post because they thought that he could regain the position. His coffin was brought to Bidar. His date of death could not be confirmed. After the death of Kalimullah his son Ilhamullah proceeded to Mecca and never returned.

Coins struck in his name in 951 and 952 AH say that the sultan must have stayed long at Ahmadnagar.

Coins struck in his name in 1527 AD, indicate that he ascended the throne in 1527 AD.