Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 4-6 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 4-6]
Among historians of Islamic and Indian art, the Deccan is usually a neglected subject and only recently have some studies in the field of Deccani art been published. The southern part of the Indian subcontinent can boast a long and colourful Muslim history. During the reign of Muhammad ibn Tughluq in Delhi, Islam took firmer roots in the south. The most important reason for this development was that in 1327 Muhammad ibn Tughluq transferred a considerable number of the Delhi intelligentsia - Sufis, writers, and noblemen to Daulatabad, a part of the country which had been conquered by Alauddin Khalji shortly before 1300. The reigns of Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1627) of Bijapur and of his neighbour Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (1580-1612) of Golconda constitute the high point in the history of Deccani art and literature. While Bijapur fell almost into oblivion after the Mughal conquest of the Deccan in the 17th century, Hyderabad was to become the seat of the Asafiya dynasty. Under the Nizams, art, literature, and architecture continued to flourish for another 200 years.
Chronological Maps and Chart
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 7-13 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 7-13]
There are 3 maps of the Deccan area dating 1400, 1525, and 1675. The following chronological charts are listed in this article with the dynasty name and period, name of the ruler, and a brief description below each name: Khalji and Tughluq Dynasties; Bahmani Dynasty; Vijayanagara Dynasty; Portuguese, Mughals, and Marathas; Baridi Dynasty; Adil Shahi Dynasty; Nizam Shahi Dynasty; and Qutb Shahi Dynasty.
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 14-15 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 14-15]
Accompanying the Khalji and Tughluq invaders of the Deccan was the coinage current in the northern portion of the subcontinent. Within the Islamic world, the issuing of coins became one of the ruler's prerogatives. The coins themselves speak of the rise and fall of the Bahmani state, both through their aesthetics and through their metrology. This article further discusses the founders, the achievers, and the decline of the dynasty along with its corresponding coinage.
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 16-25 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 16-25]
Legends of the immense wealth of Devagiri reached as far as Delhi, and inspired Alauddin, the ambitious nephew of Jalaluddin Feroz Khalji, the reigning sultan, to invade the Deccan and approach Devagiri by forced marches. Alauddin took the reigning raja -- Ramachandra by surprise and forced him to surrender the fort. But it was only a few years later that Devagiri came into prominence, when a new Delhi sultan, Muhammad ibn Tughluq decided to establish a second capital more centrally located in his vast inheritance, and prepare for it a programme of propaganda for the social and religious culture of Islam. The full story of the move to Devagiri, given the new name of Daulatabad -- the Abode of Prosperity -- by Muhammad ibn Tughluq, has been distorted and over-dramatized by historians. The court and the religious, social, and commercial elite were transferred there. The move was by and large completed by 1329. This article also describes the transferring of the fort to other political powers and dynasties. The history, structure, and main monuments of the fort are also discussed under the following headings.
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 26-41 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 26-41]
Gulbarga became the seat of the Bahmani sultans of the Deccan in 1347 when the unwieldy Tughluq empire of Delhi disintegrated. It was to remain the capital of the Bahmanis until 1424, when the king, court, and army moved to Bidar. The first sultan to rule from Gulbarga was Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah, an able administrator and a zealous king dedicated to expanding the newly founded kingdom. This article discusses the different Bahmani sultans that ruled from Gulbarga. The history, structure, and main monuments of Gulbarga are further discussed in this article.
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 42-57 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 42-57]
Bidar was already a provincial headquarter of the Bahmani kingdom when the capital was transferred there in 1424 by Shihabuddin Ahmad I. The reasons for this shift are to be sought in the internal strife that racked Gulbarga as well as the external conflicts with Vijayanagara. The natural position of Bidar also offered several advantages over the earlier capital -- Gulbarga. Historical, political, social, and cultural details are discussed in this article as are, the structure and main monuments of Bidar.
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 58-75 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 58-75]
Bijapur lies in the arid tract of land between the Bhima and Krishna rivers, on a crossing of old routes. The town was an important holding of the Yadavas before it fell to the Muslims under Alauddin Khalji, who annexed it in 1294. Almost 200 years later, the governorship of the Bijapur province fell to an able officer, Yusuf Adil Khan, to whom Bijapur owes both the beginning of prosperity as the capital of a sovereign state, and the foundation of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Constant warfare in which Bijapur was involved (including against the Mughals) did not prevent the Adil Shahi sultans from patronizing the arts and literature, and many distinguished poets and painters found their homes there. Because of the intermingling of Hindu and Muslim cultures, it is not surprising that there was considerable Hindu influence in the state. Besides the political history, the structure and main monuments of Bijapur are discussed in this article.
Golconda and Hyderabad
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 76-85 [Also in Islamic Heritage of the Deccan edited by George Michell; Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1986; pp. 76-85]
While Golconda had been a well-known fort and a celebrated centre of trade and commerce since the 13th/14th centuries, it was not until the emergence of the Qutb Shahi sultans in the first half of the 16th century that the town became a dynastic centre. Ibrahim Qutb Shah ascended the throne in 1550 and for the next 30 years, the Golconda kingdom was at its height. During Muhammad Quli's reign it was decided to expand the congested Golconda capital. In 1591 the plans for the new capital to be called Hyderabad were ready; and over the next few decades the principal monuments, parks, and gardens were laid out. During the reign of the last sultan of the dynasty, Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, Maratha military power emerged as a threat to both the Mughals and the Qutb Shahi kingdom. After 1687, Golconda-Hyderabad became the residence of the Mughal governor of the Deccan. It was not until 1724, under the leadership of Nizam al-Mulk, that Golconda-Hyderabad once again became the capital of a new independent Deccan kingdom under the nizams of the Asafiya dynasty. The structure and main monuments of Golconda-Hyderabad are discussed.
Note: Firozabad: A Little Known Muslim Capital in the Deccan
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 86-87
There has been very little notice of Firozabad by historians, archaeologists, and art historians. Firozabad is a city on the Bhima river, about 25 km. south of Gulbarga. This royal site was established by Tajuddin Firoz Shah as the Bahmani capital in about 1400, and abandoned by the middle of the 15th century. Little is known about the circumstances surrounding the foundation of Firozabad. This short note is intended to bring the site to the general attention of a wider audience. It describes the architectural styles, the layout, and important monuments of Firozabad.
Vol. 37 No. 3, June 1984, pp. 88-89
Indian Islamic Architecture: The Deccan by Elizabeth Schotten-Merklinger, reviewed by John Burton.