Bijapur (Sultanate)

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flag coat of arms
Capital Bijapur
Form of government sultanate
founding 1490
resolution September 12, 1686
State religion: Islam
Dynasty: Adil Shahi
The sultanate under Ibrahim II around 1620
The sultanate under Ibrahim II around 1620
Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II. (R. 1580–1627), miniature painting in the Deccan style (17th century)
Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II. (R. 1580–1627), miniature painting in the Deccan style (17th century)
Dekkan Sultanates (around 1520)
Dekkan Sultanates (around 1520)

The Sultanate of Bijapur was one of the five central Indian Deccan sultanates that emerged from the Bahmani Sultanate . It was founded in 1490 and lasted until the Mughal Empire was subjugated in 1686. It is named after the capital Bijapur .


Yusuf Adil Shah , governor ( subahdar ) of the Bijapur province of the Bahmani Sultanate, took advantage of the weakness of Sultan Mahmud Shah IV in 1490 by appointing himself sultan and thus establishing the Adil Shahi dynasty. At the expense of the Bahmanids, he expanded his territory, which at his death in 1510 included the north of what is now Karnataka , the south-west of Maharashtra and Goa .

Under Yusuf's successor Ismail (r. 1510-1534), Bijapur had to accept the loss of Goa to the Portuguese (1510). At the same time, a long-running war began against the neighboring Hindu Empire Vijayanagar and the neighboring sultanate of Ahmadnagar to the north . Between 1515 and 1530 the neighboring empires expanded at the expense of Bijapur, but by 1543 Bijapur was able to regain most of the lost territories. Between around 1543 and 1557, the two enemies again gained the upper hand: The northeast was lost to Ahmadnagar, Raichur to Vijayanagar. From 1557 to 1564, Bijapur was under the rule of Vijayanagar. The enmity with Ahmadnagar continued until the two sultanates, together with Golkonda and Bidar, concluded an alliance against Vijayanagar in 1564 . In 1565 the Hindu state was defeated in the Battle of Talikota by the united Deccan sultanates led by Bijapur. By 1593, Bijapur extended its territory far south to large parts of the defeated enemy state. On the other hand, the attempt to regain Goa together with Ahmadnagar and the Zamorin of Calicut failed in 1570.

Its climax, also in cultural terms, reached Bijapur under Ibrahim Adil Shah II. (R. 1580-1627) and his successor Mohammed Adil Shah (r. 1627-1656). In 1619, the eastern neighboring sultanate of Bidar was subjugated. Architecture, painting, music and literature flourished. In 1621 there was another two-year war against Ahmadnagar after the two states had been allied against the northern Indian Mughals from 1615 to 1621.

In 1635 the army of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan invaded the empire. His position of power was so great that a year later Bijapur had to contractually bind himself to the Mughal empire and commit to paying tribute. Between 1638 and 1652 the sultanate expanded again considerably to the south. After the death of Muhammad in November 1656, Ali Adil Shah , who was still a child, ascended the throne. Rumors that Ali was not the biological son of Muhammad prompted the Mughal Empire to launch a new campaign under Aurangzeb and Mir Jumla against Bijapur in January 1657 , which had little to counter the invasion. Bidar fortress fell in March , and Kaliani in July . Only one intrigue saved the sultanate: Envoys negotiated with Shah Jahan's son Dara Shikoh , who was at odds with his brother Aurangzeb. To prevent Aurangzeb's triumph, he obtained a peace treaty against payment of a handsome severance payment.

With the Marathas , Bijapur arose in the second half of the 17th century, an additional strong rival on the Deccan. In 1666 they attacked the capital Bijapur. Weakened by the conflict with the Marathas, Bijapur could not withstand another invasion of Aurangzeb, meanwhile a great Mughal, in 1686. On December 12, 1686, the capital fell after a long siege. Bijapur was incorporated into the Mughal Empire.


  • Joseph E. Schwartzberg (Ed.): A historical atlas of South Asia (= Association for Asian Studies. Reference Series. 2). 2nd impression, with additional material. Oxford University Press, New York NY et al. 1992, ISBN 0-19-506869-6 .

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