Qutb-ud-Din Bahadur Shah, born Bahadur Khan was a sultan of the
Muzaffarid dynasty who reigned over the
Gujarat Sultanate, a late
medieval kingdom in
India from 1526 to 1535 and again from 1536 to
1537. He ascended to throne after competing with his brothers.
He expanded his kingdom and made expeditions to help neighbouring
kingdoms. In 1532,
Gujarat came under attack of the Mughal Emperor
Humayun and fell. Bahadur Shah regained the kingdom in 1536 but he was
killed by the Portuguese on board the ship when making a deal with
1 Early years
2.1 Expansion of Sultanate
2.2 Mughal Conquest of Gujarat
2.3 Engagement with the Portuguese and death
2.4 His Sultanate
Bahadur Shah's father was Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah II, who had
ascended to the throne of the
Gujarat Sultanate in 1511. Muzaffar
Shah II nominated Sikandar Shah (Bahadur Shah's elder brother) as the
heir apparent to the throne. Bahadur Khan's relationship with his
brother and father became tense as Sikandar Shah began to assume
greater administrative control. Fearing for his life, Bahadur Khan
fled Gujarat, first seeking refuge with Chittor, and then with Ibrahim
Lodi. He was present at the Battle of Panipat, though he did not
take part in fighting.
After death of
Muzaffar Shah II
Muzaffar Shah II in 1526, Sikandar Sháh succeeded.
After few weeks in power, he was murdered on the instructions of his
slave Imád-ul-Mulk Khush Kadam, who seated an infant brother of
Sikandar’s, named Násir Khán, on the throne with the title of
Mahmud Shah II and governed on his behalf. Three other princes were
poisoned. The only event of Sikandar’s reign was the destruction of
an army sent against his brother Latíf Khán who was helped by Rána
Bhím of Munga (now Chhota Udaipur). When Bhadur Khan received the
news of the death of his father, he returned to Gujarat. The nobles
deserted Imád-ul-Mulk’s cause, and prince Báhádur Khán, was
joined by many supporters prominent among whom was Táj Khán,
proprietor of Dhandhuka. Bahádur marched at once on Chámpáner,
captured and executed Imád-ul-Mulk and poisoning Násir Khán
ascended the throne in 1527 with the title of Bahádur Sháh.
His brother Latíf Khán, aided by Rája Bhím of the Kohistan or hill
land of Pál (Pal, Rajasthan), now asserted his claim to the throne.
He was defeated, and fell wounded into the hands of the Gujarát army
and died of his wounds and was buried at Halol. Rája Bhím was slain.
As Bhím’s successor Ráisingh plundered Dahod, a large force was
sent against him, commanded by Táj Khán, who laid waste
Ráisingh’s country and dismantled his forts. Only one of his
brother, Chand Khan survived, as he had refuge at the Malwa court and
Sultan Mahmud II of Malwa refused to surrender him.
A copper coin of Bahadur
During his reign,
Gujarat was under pressure from the expanding Mughal
Empire under emperors
Babur (died 1530) and
Humayun (1530–1540), and
from the Portuguese, who were establishing fortified settlements on
Gujarat coast to expand their power in
India from their base in
Expansion of Sultanate
Soon after Bahádur Sháh visited Cambay, and found that Malik Is-hák
the governor of Sorath and son of Malik Ayyaz, had, in the interests
of the Portuguese, attempted to seize Diu but had been repulsed by the
Gujarát admiral Mahmúd Áka. The Sultán entrusted Diu to
Kiwám-ul-Mulk and Junágaḍh to Mujáhid Khán Bhíkan and returned
to Áhmedábád. In 1527 he enforced tribute from Ídar and the
neighbouring country. During one of his numerous expeditions he went
to hunt in Nándod and received the homage of the Rája.
As the Portuguese were endeavouring to establish themselves on the
coast of Sorath, and, if possible, to obtain Diu, the king was
Cambay (now Khambhat), Diu and
Ghogha to frustrate their
attempts, and he now directed the construction of the fortress of
Bharuch. At this time Muhammad Khán, ruler of Asír and Burhánpur
(both of Khandesh), requested Bahádur’s aid on behalf of
Imád-ul-Mulk, ruler of Berar. Bahádur Sháh started at once and at
Nandurbár was joined by Muhammad Khán Asíri, and thence proceeded
to Burhánpur, where he was met by Imád Sháh from Gávalgad. After
certain successes he made peace between Burhán Nizám Sháh and Imád
Sháh Gávali, and returned to Gujarát.
Jám Fírúz the ruler of
Sindh now sought refuge with
Bahádur Sháh from the oppression either of the Ghoris or of the
Mughals and was hospitably received. In 1528 Bahádur made an
expedition into the Deccan which ended in a battle at Daulatabad.
Later he was forced to retire because of the stiff resistance put up
by the Ahmadnagar army. Next year (1529) at the request of Jaâfar or
Khizr Khán, son of Imád Sháh Gávali, who was sent to Gujarát to
solicit Bahádur’s help, he again marched for the Deccan. As he
passed through Muler Biharji the Rája of Báglán gave him his
daughter in marriage and in return received the title of Bahr Khán.
From Báglán Bahr Khán was told off to ravage
Chaul which by this
time had fallen into the hands of the Portuguese. Bahádur himself
advanced to Ahmednagar, took the fort and destroyed many of the
buildings. Purandhar also was sacked of its stores of gold. From
Ahmednagar, Bahádur Sháh passed to Burhánpur, and there his general
Kaisar Khán gained a victory over the united forces of Nizám Sháh,
Malik Beríd, and Ain-ul-Mulk. Finally, both the rulers of the
Ahmadnagar and Berar were forced to sign a humiliating treaty.
Bahádur returned to Gujarát and for some time refrained from
interfering in the affairs of the Deccan.
Between 1526 and 1530, certain Turks under one Mústafa came to
Gujarát, traders according to one account according to another part
of a Turkish fleet expected to act against the Portuguese. Diu was
assigned them as a place of residence and the command of the island
was granted to Malik Túghán, son of Malik Ayyáz, the former
Bahadur Shah had sent a delegation headed by ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Asaf
Ottoman Empire in 1530s.
In 1530 the king marched to Nágor, and gave an audience both to
Prathiráj Rája of Dungarpur] and to the ambassadors from Rána
Ratansi of Chittor. The Rána’s ambassadors complained of
Chittor by Mahmúd II of Malwa Sultanate. Mahmúd
promised to appear before Bahádur to explain the alleged
encroachments. Bahádur waited. At last as Mahmúd failed to attend
Bahádur said he would go and meet Mahmúd. He invested Mándu and
received with favour certain deserters from Mahmúd’s army. The
fortress fell and Sultán Mahmúd and his seven sons were captured
without any resistance on March 28, 1531 Mandu. Malwa was annexed into
After passing the rainy season at Mándu, Bahádur Sháh went to
Burhánpur to visit his nephew Mirán Muhammad Sháh. At Burhánpur,
Bahádur under the influence of the great priest-statesman Sháh
Táhir, was reconciled with Burhán Nizám and gave him the royal
canopy he had taken from Málwa. Bahádur offered Sháh Táhir the
post of minister. Sháh Táhir declined saying he must make a
pilgrimage to Mecca. He retired to
Ahmednagar and there converted
Burhán Nizám Sháh to the Shia Islam.
In the same year, hearing that Mánsingji, Rája of Halvad, had killed
the commandant of Dasada, Bahádur despatched Khán Khánán against
Viramgam and Mándal were taken over from the Jhála chieftains,
and ever after formed part of the crown dominions.
When Malwa's Sultán Mahmúd II and his sons were being conveyed to
the fortress of Champaner, Ráisingh, Rája of Pál, endeavoured to
rescue them. The attempt failed, and the prisoners were put to death
by their guards. In 1531, on Bahádur’s return from Burhánpur to
Dhár, hearing that Silehdi, the Rájput chief of Ráisin in east
Málwa kept in captivity certain women who had belonged to the harem
of Sultán Násir-ud-dín of Málwa, Bahádur marched against him and
forced him to surrender and embrace Islám. The chief secretly sent to
the Rána of Chitor for aid and delayed handing over Ráisin. On
learning this Bahádur dispatched a force to keep Chitor in check and
pressed the siege. At his own request, Silehdi was sent to persuade
the garrison to surrender. But their reproaches stung him so sharply,
that, joining with them, they sallied forth sword in hand and were all
slain. Ráisin fell into Bahádur’s hands, and this district
together with those of
Chanderi were entrusted to the
government of Sultán Alam Lodhi. The king now went to
hunt elephants, and, after capturing many, employed his army in
reducing Gagraon and other minor fortresses. In 1532, he advanced
against Chittor, but raised the siege on receiving an enormous ransom.
Shortly afterwards his troops took the strong fort of Ranthambhore.
About this time on receipt of news that the Portuguese were usurping
authority, the Sultán repaired to Diu. Before he arrived the
Portuguese had taken to flight, leaving behind them an enormous gun
which the Sultán ordered to be dragged to Chámpáner.
Mughal Conquest of Gujarat
Sultanate in 1537 (pink)
Mughal Emperor Humayun, fights Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, in the
Before 1532 was over, Bahádur Sháh quarrelled with Humayun, the
Mughal emperor of Delhi. The original ground of quarrel was that
Bahádur Sháh had sheltered Sultán Muhammad Zamán Mírza, the
grandson of a daughter of the emperor Babar (1482–1530).
Humáyún’s anger was increased by an insolent answer from Bahadur
Shah. Without considering that he had provoked a powerful enemy,
Bahádur Sháh again laid siege to Chittor, and though he heard that
Humáyún had arrived at Gwalior, he would not desist from the siege.
In March 1535
Chittor fell into the hands of the Gujarát king but
near Mandasúr his army was shortly afterwards routed by Humáyún.
According to one account, the failure of the Gujarát army was due to
Bahádur and his nobles being spell-bound by looking at a heap of salt
and some cloth soaked in indigo which were mysteriously left before
Bahádur’s tent by an unknown elephant. The usual and probably true
explanation is that Rúmi Khán the Turk, head of the Gujarát
artillery, betrayed Bahádur’s interest. Still though Rúmi
Khán’s treachery may have had a share in Bahádur’s defeat it
seems probable that in valour, discipline, and tactics the Gujarát
army was inferior to the Mughals. Bahádur Sháh, unaccustomed to
defeat, lost heart and fled to Mandu, which fortress was speedily
taken by Humáyún. From Mándu the king fled to Chámpáner, and
finally took refuge in Diu. Chámpáner fell to Humáyún, and the
whole of Gujarát, except Sorath, came under his rule.
At this time Sher Sháh Súr revolted, in
Bihar and Jaunpur, and
Humáyún returned to
Agra to oppose him leaving his brother Hindál
Mírza in Áhmedábád, Kásam Beg in Bharuch, and Yádgár Násir
Mírza in Pátan. As soon as Humáyún departed, the country rose
against the Mughals, and his old nobles requested the king to join
them. Bahádur joined them, and, defeating the Mughals at Kaníj
village near Mahmúdábád (now Mahemdavad), expelled them from
Engagement with the Portuguese and death
Death of Bahadur Shah in front of Diu during negotiations with the
Portuguese, in 1537. Akbar Nama, end of 16th century.
While, Bahadur was engaged in the siege of Mandu against the Mughal, a
strong Portuguese fleet sailed from Bombaim (now Mumbai), led by Nuno
da Cunha. On February 7, 1531 the fleet reached near Shiyal Bet
island, which they captured overcoming in spite of strong resistance.
On February 16, 1531 they started bombarding Diu but could not succeed
to inflict any appreciable damage to its fortification. On March 1,
Nuno da Cunha
Nuno da Cunha left for Goa, leaving a subordinate officer, who
systematically destroyed Mahuva, Ghogha, Valsad, Mahim, Kelva, Agashi
Gujarat fell to the Mughal Empire, Bahadur Shah was forced to court
the Portuguese. On 23 December 1534 while on board the galleon St.
Mattheus he signed the Treaty of Bassein. Based on the terms of the
Portuguese Empire gained control of the city of Bassein
(Vasai), as well as its territories, islands, and seas which included
Daman and Bombay islands too. He had granted them leave to erect a
factory in Diu. Instead of a factory the Portuguese built a Diu Fort.
When he recovered his kingdom, Bahádur, repenting of his alliance
with the Portuguese, went to Sorath to persuade an army of Portuguese,
whom he had asked to come to his assistance, to return to Goa. In
February 1537, when the Portuguese arrived at Diu, five or six
thousand strong, the Sultán hoping to get rid of them by stratagem,
went to Diu and endeavored to get the viceroy into his power. The
viceroy excused himself, and in return invited the king to visit his
ship anchored off the coast of Gujarat. Bahádur agreed, and on his
way back was attacked and killed the Portuguese and his body was
dumped into the Arabian Sea. He was then thirty one years old
and in the eleventh year of his reign. According to the author of the
Mirăt-i-Sikandari the reason of Bahádur’s assassination was that a
paper from him to the kings of the Deccan, inviting them to join him
in an alliance against the Portuguese, had fallen into the hands of
the Portuguese viceroy. Whatever may have been the provocation or the
intention, the result seems to show that while both sides had
treacherous designs neither party was able to carry out his original
plan, and the end was unpremeditated, hurried on by mutual
suspicions. These events were followed by the 1538 Siege of Diu
which resulted in the permamnent occupation of Diu by Portuguese which
lasted till 1961.
Up to the defeat of Sultán Bahádur by Humáyún, the power of
Gujarát was at its height. Cadets of noble Rájput houses,
Prithiráj, the nephew of Rána Sánga of Chitor, and Narsingh Deva
the cousin of the Rája of Gwálior, were proud to enroll themselves
as the Sultán’s vassals. The Rája of Baglán readily gave Bahádur
Sháh his daughter. Jám Fírúz of
Sindh and the sons of
Bahlúl Lodhi were suppliants at his court. Málwa was a dependency of
Gujarát and the Nizám Sháhis of
Ahmednagar and Nasírkhan of
Burhánpur acknowledged him as overlord, while the Fárúkis of
Khándesh were dependent on Bahádur’s constant help.
He built the mausoleum at
Halol in honour of his brothers and
predecessors, Sikandar Shah and Mahmud Shah II.
He was a great patron of the
Hindustani Classical music and its
artists, including Baiju Bawra.
Bahadur had no son, hence there was some uncertainty regarding
succession after his death. Muhammad Zaman Mirza, the fugitive Mughal
prince made his claim on the ground that Bahadur's mother adopted him
as her son. The nobles selected Bahadur's nephew Miran Muhammad Shah
of Khandesh as his successor, but he died on his way to Gujarat.
Finally, the nobles selected Mahmud Khan, the son of Bahadur's brother
Latif Khan as his successor and he ascended to the throne as Mahmud
Shah III on May 10, 1538.
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Shah (1511-26), an important ruler of the
Gujarat Sultanate ... In
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