THE early history of Ahmadnagar centres in Paithan, or Pratishthan, on the left bank of the Godavari, in the Nizam's territory, about two miles east of the Ahmadnagar frontier and about fifty miles north-east of Ahmadnagar. The earliest reference to Paithan appears to be in the fourteenth rock edict of the great Mauryan emperor Ashok (B.C. 240) where mention is made of the Petenikas probably the people of Paithan. [Indian Antiquary, X. 272; Bhandarkar's Deccan Early History, 9.] Two inscriptions in the Pitalkhora caves in Khandesh, almost as old (B.C. 240) as Ashok's edicts, record gifts of two pillars built in the caves by two men from Paithan one of whom was a king's physician. [Archaeologicil Survey of Western India, Separate Pamphlet, X. 39, 40; Deccan Early History, 9.] Paithan is the scene of the miracles worked by Shalivahan the mythic founder of the Shak era which begins in A.D. 78. [Archaeological Survey of Western India, III. 55-56.] About A.D. 150 the Egyptian geographer Ptolemy notices Bathana the capital of Siri Polemios probably Shri Pulumayi the Shatakarni or Andhrabhritya king whose inscriptions have been found at Nasik and Karle in Poona. [Bertius' Ptolemy, 2-5; Arch. Sur. Sep. Pamph. X. 36; Bombay Gazetteer, XVI. 620-623.] About A.D. 247 the Greek author of the Periplus notes Plithana as one of the two chief trade marts in Dakhinabades or the Deccan, the other mart being the unidentified city of Tagar probably somewhere in the north-east of the Nizam's territories. [Mc Crindle's Periplus, 126.] The chief trade of Paithan was in onyx stones and fine muslins. To this day in the Bombay Presidency Paithan has preserved its name for silks, Paithani that is of Paithan being a common name for a rich silk robe and for the finest kind of turbans. The Andhrabhrityas, whose power is believed to have lasted from about B.C. 90 to about A.D 300, at one time ruled over the whole breadth of the Deccan from the mouth of the Krishna to Sopara in North Konkan. [Bombay Gazetteer. XIII. 412.] With their capital at Paithan they always appear to have held the Ahmadnagar district. Probably also during the four hundred years ending with 670 the district was held by an early Rashtrakuta dynasty (A.D. 400), whose coins have been found in Baglan in Nasik and by the early Chalukya and western Chalukya kings (550-670) who were in great power in the Karnatak. [Fleet's Kanarese Dynasties, 17-31.] The Brahmanical Dhokeshvar caves in Parner, which Dr. Burgess places in the middle of the sixth century,
fall in this period. [Fergusson and Burgess' Cave Temples of India, 403.] The Rashtrakuta kings (670-973) whose inscriptions have been found chiefly in the Bombay Karnatak and in smaller numbers in tho Konkan, Gujarat, Khandesh, and Nasik appear also to have held Ahmadnagar. Govind III. (785-810), perhaps tho mightiest Rashtrakuta king whose rule stretched from Marwar and Rajputana in the north to, at least, the Tungbhadra river in the south, in A.D. 808 from Morkhanda fort in Nasik granted the village of Ratajuna in Ahmadnagar. The village is mentioned as lying in the Rasiyana sub-division and is apparently the present village of Ratajan about twenty miles north of Rasin in Karjat. [Ind. Ant. VI. 71. The boundaries of the village as given in the grant leave no doubt that the village is Ratajan. To the east is the river Sinha the present Sina, to the south Vavulala the present Babhulgaon, to the west Miriyathan the present Mirajgaon, and to the north Vadaha probably a village in the Nizam's territories beyond the Sina.] Of the Western Chalukyas (973-1190) who followed the Rashtrakutas no trace appears in Ahmadnagar. To this period belong the caves and temple at Harishchandragad in Akola which from their style and from fragments of inscriptions, Dr. Burgess places in the tenth or eleventh century. [Cave Temples of India, 478.] After the Western Chalukyas, Ahmadnagar probably passed to the Devgiri Yadavs (1170-1310) who reigned for about a hundred years from Devgiri or Daulatabad about seventy-four miles north-east of Ahmadnagar. The twenty-six Hemadpanti temples and wells with their three undeciphered inscriptions which are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the district, belong chiefly to the Devgiri Yadavs whose ninth king Ramchandra's (1271-1310) minister was Hemadri the reputed builder of these temples. An interesting record of Ramchandra is preserved in the Dnyaneshvari a Marathi work on theogony and metaphysics written in 1290 by the great Alandi Brahman saint Dnyaneshvar ' at Nivas, in which there is a ruler of the earth Ramchandra, who is an ornament to the Yadav race, the abode of all arts and the supporter of justice.' [Ind. Ant. IV. 354; Deccan Early History, 90. Nivas is Nevasa thirty-five miles north of Ahmadnagar.]
The first Musalman invasion of the Deccan took place in 1294,
but the power of the Devgiri Yadavs was not crashed till 1318. [Briggs' Ferishta, I. 304. In 1294 Ramdev the ruling king of Devgad was surprised in his capital by Ala-ud-din Khilji the nephew of the Delhi emperor Jalal-ud-din Khilji, and forced to pay tribute. In 1297, Ramdev gave shelter to Rai Karan the refugee king of Gujarat, and neglected to pay tribute for three years (Ditto, I, 365). In 1306 Malik Kafur, Ala-ud-din's general, reduced the greater part of Maharashtra, distributed it among his officers, and confirmed Ramdev in his allegiance (Ditto, I. 369). In 1309 Malik Kafur on his way to Telingan was received with great hospitality at Devgad by Ramdev (Ditto, I. 371). In 1310 Ramdev was succeeded by his son Shankardev. As Shankardev was not well affected to the Musalmans Malik Kafur on his way to the Karnatak left some officers with part of the army at the town of Paithan on the left bank of the Godavari. (Ditto, I. 373). In 1312 Malik Kafur proceeded for the fourth time into the Deccan, seized and put Shankardev to death, laid waste Maharashtra, and fixed his residence at Devgad (Ditto, I. 379), where he remained till Ala-ud-din in his last illness ordered him to Delhi. During Malik Kafur's absence at Delhi, Harpaldev the son-in-law of Ramdev stirred the Deccan to arms, drove out many Musalman garrisons, and, with the aid of the other Deccan chiefs, recovered Maharashtra. In 1318 Mubarik Khilji, Ala-ud-din's son and successor, marched towards the Deccan to chastise Harpaldev who fled at the approach of the Musalmans, but was pursued, seized, and fayed alive, Mubarik
appointed Malik Beg Laki, one of his father's slaves, to govern the Deccan, and returned to Delhi. Ditto, I. 389.]
From 1318 Maharashtra began to be ruled by governors appointed
from Delhi and stationed at Devgiri. In 1338 Muhammad Tughlik
emperor of Delhi (1325-1351) made Devgiri his capital and changed
its name to Daulatabad or the Abode of Wealth. In 1341
Musalman exactions caused a general revolt in the Deccan, which,
according to Ferishta, was so successful that in 1344 Muhammad
had no part of his Deccan territories left him except Daulatabad. [Briggs' Ferishta, 1. 426-427. This statement seems exaggerated, as in 1346 there were Musalman governors at Raichur, Mudgal, Kulbarga, Bedar, Bijapur, Ganjauti, Baybag, Gilhari, Hukeri, and Berar. Ditto, 437.]
In 1346 there was widespread disorder, and the Delhi officers
plundered and wasted the land. [Briggs' Ferishta, I. 432-433.] These cruelties
led to the revolt of the Deccan nobles under the able leadership of an Afghan
soldier named Hasan Gangu. The nobles were successful and freed the Deccan from
dependence on Northern India. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 286-291. Hasan Gangu, the first Bahmani king, was an Afghan of the lowest rank and a native of Delhi He farmed a small plot of land belonging to a Brahman astrologer named Gangu, who was in favour with the king. Having accidentally found a treasure in his field, he had the honesty to give notice of it to his landlord. The astrologer was so struck with his integrity that he exerted his influence at court to advance his fortunes. Hasan rose to a great station in the Deccan, where his merit marked him out among his equals to be their leader in their revolt. He assumed the name of Gangu in gratitude to his benefactor, and from a similar motive added that of Bahmani or Brahmani by which his dynasty was afterwards distinguished. Briggs' Ferishta, II. 284-5; Elphinstone's History of India, 666. The dynasty consisted of the following eighteen kings, who were supreme for nearly 150 years (1347-1490) and continued to hold power for about thirty years more:
Hasan founded a dynasty, which in honour of his patron, a Brahman, he
called Bahmani that is Brahmani, and which held the command of
the Deccan for nearly 150 years. The Bahmani capital was first
fixed at Kulbarga about 185 miles south-east of Ahmadnagar, and
in 1426 was moved to Bedar or Ahmadabad-Bedar about 100 miles
further east. By 1351, Ala-ud-din Hasan Gangu Bahmani, by
treating the local chiefs and authorities in a liberal and friendly
spirit, had brought under his power every part of the Deccan which
had previously been subject to the throne of Delhi. [Briggs' Ferishta, IT. 291-292; Grant Duffs Marathas, 25.]
In the troubles which ended in the establishment of the Bahmani
dynasty the Kolis of the western Ahmadnagar hills gained a great measure of independence. One of them Papera Koli in 1346 was made chief of Jawhar in the North Konkan by the Bahmani king.
The Jawhar territories at first included a considerable part of the Ahmadnagar district. [the Jawhar
chief held Ratangad fort in Akola in 1760. Trans Bom. Geog. Soc. I. 244.] They had twenty-two forts and a yearly revenue of £90,000 (Rs. 9 lakhs). [Mackintosh in Trans, Bom. Geog. Soc. I. 240.] So long as they remained quiet the Bahmani kings seem to have left the Kolis practically independent under their own chiefs. Western Ahmadnagar and Poona were divided into Fifty-two Valleys or Bavan Mavals, each under an hereditary Koli chief or naik with the rank of a sardar or noble in the Bahmani kingdom. The head of the Fifty-two Valleys, with the title of Sar Naik or Chief Captain, was a Musalman whose head-quarters were at Junnar in Poona. [Mackintosh in Trans. Bom. Geog. Soc. I. 238. This arrangement was continued by the Ahmadnagar kings and by the Moghals. The last head captain at Junnar was Muhammad Latif about 1670. Ditto.]
In 1357, Ala-ud-din divided his kingdom into four provinces or tarafs, over each of which he set a provincial governor or tarafdar. Ahmadnagar formed part of the province of Maharashtra, of which Daulatabad was the oentre and which included the country between Junnar, Daulatabad, Bid, and Paithan on the north, and Poona and Cheul on the south. This was the chief province of the kingdom, and was entrusted to the charge of the king's nephew. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 295.]
In 1366, in the reign (1358-1375) of Ala-ud-din's son and successor Muhammad
Shah Bahmani a false report of the king's death got abroad, and led
several adventurers to cause disturbances. Among them was Bairam
Khan Mazindarani whom the king's father had honoured with the
title of Son. Finding the country empty of troops, he appropriated to his own use the Daulatabad treasures, gathered followers, and combined with Govindadev a Maratha chief to raise the standard of revolt Some of the Berar chiefs and also the Raja of Baglan in North Nasik secretly sent troops to aid him. Most of the towns and districts of Maharashtra fell into his hands, which he divided among his adherents, and in a short time gathered nearly ten thousand horse and foot. Muhammad Shah wrote to Bairam Khan, promising, if he returned to his allegiance, to pardon him and his adherents. Bairam Khan paid no attention to this offer of pardon and increased his
preparations for war. Muhammad Shah sent Masnad Ali and Khan Muhammad, with the bulk of his army, in advance, intending to follow shortly after. Bairam Khan and his colleagues moved to Paithan where a great host of needy adventurers gathered round him. Masnad Ali, a veteran of much experience, halted at Shevgaon about forty miles north-east of Ahmadnagar. Bairam Khan attempted to surprise his camp, but was forced to retreat without effecting his object. Taking advantage of this success Masnad Ali was m the act of engaging the rebels, when the king, who was on a hunting expedition with only three hundred men, joined him. At this crisis the Baglan chief deserted the insurgents, and they hurriedly Bought shelter in the fort of Daulatabad which next day was besieged by the king's troops. Bairam Khan and Govindadev made their escape, and the rebellion was at an end. Under the excellent rule of Muhammad Shah Bahmani the banditti
which for ages had harassed the trade of the Deccan were broken,
and the people enjoyed peace and good government. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 319-326.]
of prosperity was followed by the awful calamity of the Durga
Devi famine, when twelve rainless years (1396-1407) are said to
have reduced the country to a desert. In the first years of the
famine Mahmud Shah Bahmani (1378-1397) is said to have kept
ten thousand bullocks to bring grain from Gujarat to the Deccan,
and to have founded seven orphan schools in the leading towns in his
dominions. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 349, 350. These towns were Cheul, Dabhol, Elichpur, Daulatabad, Bedar, Kulbarga, and Kandhar.] No efforts of any rulers could preserve order or life
through so long a series of fatal years. Whole districts were left
without people, and the strong places fell from the Musalmans into
the hands of local chiefs. [Grant Duff's Marathis, 26.] Before the country could recover it was
again wasted by two rainless years in 1421 and 1422. Multitudes
of cattle died and the people broke into revolt. [Briggs' Ferishta, II 405-406.] In 1429 Malik-ul-Tujar the governor of Daulatabad, with the hereditary officers or
deshmukhs, went through the country restoring order. So entirely
had the country fallen waste that the old villages had disappeared
and fresh villages had to be formed which generally included the
lands of two or three of the old ones. Lands were given to all who
would till them, free of rent for the first year and for a horse-bag of
grain for the second year. This settlement was entrusted to Dadu
Narsu Kale, an experienced Brahman, and to a Turkish eunuch of
of the court. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 26.] In 1460 over the whole of Southern India a failure
of rain was followed by the famine known as Damajipant's famine. [Lieut. Colenel Etheridge's Report on Famines in the Bombay Presidency (1868.]
Twelve years later a two years' (1472 and 1473) failure of rain so
wasted the country, that, in 1474, when rain fell scarcely any one
was left to till the land. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 483, 493, 494.] The power and turbulence of their
provincial governors was a source of weakness and danger to
Bahmani rule. To remove this evil Mahmud Gawan, the very learned and able
minister of Muhammad Shah Bahmani II.
(1463-1483), framed a scheme under which the territories were
divided into eight instead of into four provinces; in each
province only one fort was left in the governor's hands; all others
were entrusted to captains and garrisons appointed and paid from
head-quarters; the pay of the captains was greatly increased and
they were strictly compelled to keep their garrisons at their full
strength. [Briggs' Ferishta, II. 503, 504.] This scheme for reducing their power brought on
Mahmud Gawan the hatred of the leading nobles. They made false
charges of disloyalty against him. The king was weak enough
to believe the charges and foolish enough to order the minister's
execution, a loss which Bahmani power never recovered (1481).
Mahmud Gawan was succeeded in the office of Bahmani minister by Nizam-ul-mulk Bhairi, [Nizam-ul-mulk Bhairi was the son of the Brahman kulkarni or village accountant of Pathri to the north of the Godavari. His original name was
Timapa the son of
Bhairu. He accompanied his father to the Karnatak during a famine in the North Deccan. While living in the Karnatak the Brahman boy was taken prisoner by the Muhammadan troops in one of Ahmad Shah Bahmani' expeditions (1422-1435) and brought
as a slave to that monarch by whom he was named Malik Hasan. The king was so struck with his abilities that he made him over to his eldest son prince Muhammad as a companion, with whom he was educated and became an excellent Arabic and Persian scholar. From his father's name, Hasan was called Bhairu, and this the prince changed to Bhairi, the Falcon, or according to some accounts, the Falconer, an office which he is said to have held. When Muhammad succeeded to the throne he made Hasan a commander of a thousand horse. Briggs' Ferishta, III. 189-180.] and about the year 1485 Bid
and other districts including Ahmadnagar were added to his estates. The management of part of these lands was made over to the minister's son Malik Ahmad, the future founder of the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmadnagar (1490-1636), who made Junnar in Poona his head-quarters. By the capture of Shivner the hill fort of Junnar, which contained five years' revenue of Maharashtra Malik Ahmad was able to secure all the places of the greatest strength in west and south-west Poona. Nizam-ul-mulk, to strengthen his party, also raised to high rank Malik Waji and Malik Ashraf, two brothers formerly dependents of Mahmud Gawan, appointing Malik Waji governor of Daulatabad and Malik Ashraf his deputy, at the same time exacting from them promises of attachment and fidelity to his son Malik Ahmad. [Briggs' Ferishta, II 529.] In 1486, Nizam-ul-mulk was assassinated at the Bedar court and Malik Ahmad assumed his father's titles under the name of Ahmad Nizam-ul-mulk Bhairi. When the time of mourning was over Ahmad Nizam devoted himself to improve the management of his country. Malik Ahmad's character as a general stood so high that no officer of the Bahmani government was willing to march against him though the court was anxious to reduce his power. The king sent repeated orders to Yusuf Adil Khan the governor of Bijapur to unite with Khwaja Jahan Dakhani and Zain-ud-din Ali Talish the governor of Chakan in Poona to march against Ahmad Nizam at Junnar. Yusuf Adil Khan, who like Ahmad Nizam had determined to assume independence, evaded the duty, and told Ahmad Nizam of his danger. Ahmad Nizam appointed Zarif-ul-mulk Afghan his Chief of the Nobles or Amir-ul-Omra and to Nasir-ul-mulk Gujarati he assigned the office of Mir Jumla or finance minister. Shaikh Movallid Arab one of the Bahmani generals volunteered to reduce Ahmad Nizam and reached Paranda on his way to Junnar. [Paranda is in the Nizam's country about seventy-five miles south-east of Ahmadnagar.] Ahmad Nizam left his family in the fort of Junnar and marched to meet the royal army, but feeling unequal to face so numerous a force in open battle, he hovered round the king's camp with his cavalry and out off their supplies. While the main body of the Bahmani troops continued their advance, Ahmad, by a sudden countermarch, took Chakan eighteen miles north of Poona. Meanwhile Nasir-ul-mulk, who. was left with the main army to watch the Bahmani troops, ventured to attack and was twice defeated. Hearing of these reverses Ahmad Nizam rejoined his army and made a night attack on the enemy. The Bahmani troops were routed, and Ahmad Nizam taking all the heavy baggage,
elephants, and tents returned to Junnar and devoted himself to the civil management of his territories. Another Bahmani army of 18,000 men was despatched, but Ahmad Nizam as before avoided a battle and moved to the hills close to the present town of Ahmadnagar. When the Bahmani troops reached the Muri pass, forty miles south-west of Ahmadnagar, Ahmad Nizam with 3000 horse pressed towards Bedar, and, seizing the women of all the officers who had marched to attack him, moved with them towards Paranda taking care to treat them with proper respect. The officers of the Bahmani army sent him word that as he had treated their families so well they would not fight against him. On this assurance Ahmad sent the families back to Bedar and marched to Paranda. As his officers complained against the Bahmani general, a distinguished officer Jahangir Khan the governor of Telingan was sent to take his place. Meanwhile Khwaja Jahan the governor of Paranda, unwilling to oppose Ahmad Nizam, sent his son Azim Khan to join him and himself retired into his fort. Ahmad Nizam applied for aid to Imad-ul-mulk Gavalli the ruler of Berar and fell back on Junnar. As Jahangir Khan the new Bahmani general occupied Paithan, Ahmad Nizam approached the Jeur pass where he was reinforced by Nasir-ul-mulk Gujarati. with a body of troops from Jalna and a convoy of provisions. He secured the Jeur pass and remained among the hills. Jahangir Khan, crossing the hills by the Devalgaon pass near Tisgaon, encamped at Bhingar about two miles north-east of the future site of Ahmadnagar, and both armies remained within twelve miles of each other inactive for nearly a month. This movement of Jahangir Khan effectually turned Ahmad Nizam's position and cut him off from any aid from Paranda. During the rains, fancying himself secure, Jahangir Khan gave himself to comforts and pleasures, an example which soon spread through his army. Ahmad Nizam, who had good intelligence of the state of the enemy, made a night attack on the 28th of May 1490, accompanied by Azim Khan of Paranda. They entered the enemy's camp as day broke and falling suddenly upon them completely routed the Bahmani troops. All officers of distinction were slain; others were taken prisoners and, mounted on buffaloes, were led about the camp and afterwards sent to Bedar. This victory was called the Victory of the Garden because on that spot Ahmad Nizam built a palace and laid out a garden. [This garden was improved by Ahmad's successor Burhan Nizam who walled it and called it Bagh Nizam.] Ahmad gave public thanks to God for his victory, granted a village near the spot as a residence for holy men, and returned victorious to Junnar. After this battle, by the advice of Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, who had already assumed independence (1489), [Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur was a Turk, a son of Amurath (1421 - 1451) Saltan of Constantinople. He founded the family of the Adil Shahi rulers of Bijapur consisting of nine sovereigns whose rule lasted nearly 200 years. See Bijapur Statistical Account At the same time the Kutb Shahi dynasty (1512-1609) was established under Sultan Kutb-ul-Mulk at Golkonda and the Berid Shahi (1492-1609) under Kasim Berid at Bedar. Though kings, nominally supreme, continued to rule as late as 1526, the supremacy of the Bahmanis may be said to have ceased from the time when the Ahmadnagar (1490) and Bijapur (1489) governors threw off their allegiance and established themselves as independent rulers. According to Colonel Meadows Taylor, except Humayun Shah (1457 -1461), the Bahmani kings protected their people and governed them justly and well. Among the Deccan Hindus all elements of social union and local government were preserved and strengthened by the Musalmans, who, without Interfering with or remodelling local institutions and hereditary offices, turned them to their own use. Persian and Arabic education was extended by village schools attached to mosques and endowed with lands. This tended to the spread of the literature and faith of the rulers, and the effects of this education can still be traoed through the Bahmani dominions. A large foreign commerce centred in Bedar, the capital of the Deccan, which was visited by merchants and travellers from all countries. The Bahmani kings made few public works. There were no water works, no roads or bridges, and no public inns or posts. Their chief works were huge castles which after 500 years are as perfect as when they were built. These forts nave glacis and counterscarps, covered ways, traverses, flanking bastions with curtains and intermediate towers, broad wet and dry ditches, and in all plain fortresses a faussebraye or rampart-mound with bastions and towers in addition to the main rampart. No forcible conversion of masses of Hindus seems to have taken place. A
constant stream of foreigners poured in from Persia, Arabia, Tartary, Afghanistan, and Abyssinia. These foreigners, who served chiefly as soldiers, married Hindus and created the new Muhammadan population of the Deccan. Architecture of Bijapur, 12-13. The names and dates of the Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, and Golkonda kings are:
Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, andGolkondaKings,1489-1487.
Ahmad inserted his name in the public prayers and assumed the white canopy of independent rule. Khwaja Jahan and other officers remonstrated, and Ahmad left his name out of the prayers and said the canopy was only to screen him from the sun. On this some of his officers began to use canopies and Ahmad allowed them, only insisting that no canopy but his should be lined with scarlet. Soon after his officers insisted that he should adopt the signs of a
king and have his name read in the public prayers. Ahmad agreed declaring it was only because they wished him.
In the same year (1490) after a long siege Ahmad Nizam Shah reduced Danda Rajapur the land fort of Janjira in the central Konkan. He thus secured unbroken communication between his Deccan territories and the coast which the Ahmadabad kings held as far south as Cheul and the Bijapur kings held as far north as Bankot, and possession of a large portion of that province. The two brothers Malik Waji and Malik Ashraf whom Ahmad Nizam's father had appointed to Daulatabad had kept on terms of friendship with Ahmad Nizam Shah. To make their alliance closer, after the victory of the Garden, Ahmad Nizam Shah gave his sister Bibi Zinat in marriage to Malik Waji. In due course a son was born. Malik Ashraf, who was anxious to found a kingdom for himself, assassinated both father and
son, and assumed independence at Daulatabad. Bibi Zinat sought her
brother's protection and he in 1493 marched against Daulatabad.
On his way he received letters from Kasim Berid, the minister of the
Bahmani king Mahmud II. praying for aid against Yusuf Adil Khan
who had besieged Bedar. Ahmad marched to Bedar, relieved it, and
returned to Daulatabad which for two months he blockaded without
success and then withdrew towards Junnar. On reaching Bhingar the
site of his great victory over Jahangir Khan, midway between Junnar
and Daulatabad, Ahmad resolved to found his capital there and from
it determined to send an army every year to lay waste the country
round Daulatabad till he reduced it.
In 1494 he laid the foundation of a city close to the Bagh Nizam upon the left bank of the Sina
river and called it after himself Ahmadnagar. In two years the city
is said to have rivalled Bagdad and Cairo in splendour After this
the Ahmadnagar army took the field twice a year at the time of the
early and the late harvests, to plunder the country near Daulatabad
in order if possible to reduce the fort by famine. In 1495, Ahmad
induced Khwaja Jahan of Paranda to march to the aid of Dastur
Dinar who held the country between the Bhima and Telingan and
was anxious to establish his independence. He afterwards himself
marched to join him, but hearing that peace was made between Dastur
Dinar and the Bahmani king he returned to Ahmadnagar. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 15 -17.] In 1498
as Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur had marched. against Dastur Dinar,
Ahmad Nizam again went to his aid and caused Yasuf to retire. In
the same year Ahmad Nizam Shah, Yusuf Adil Shah, and
Imad-ul-Mulk of Berar resolved that they should divide the Deccan
among them and that Ahmad Nizam should have Daulatabad, Antora,
Galna, and the country beyond those forts as far as the borders of
Gujarat. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 19.] In 1499 Malik Ashraf the governor of Daulatabad prayed
Mahmud Begada, the greatest of the Ahmadabad kings (1489-1511),
who was on his way to Khandesh, to come to his aid. At the same
time as Adil Khan Farukhi, the Khandesh king (1457-1503), [The Khandesh family was founded by Malik Raja Farukhi a distinguished
Arab officer in the Delhi army in 1399. Eleven successions lasted over nearly 200
years. The details are:
Malid Raja (Nasir Khan)
Miran Muhammad Shah
Miran Adil Khan
Miran Muhammad Khan
Adil Khan I.
Raja Ali Khan
Adil Khan II.
requested Ahmad Nizam to meet the Gujarat king, Ahmad Nizam
raised the siege of Daulatabad and repaired with 15,000 cavalry
to Burahanpur. Ahmad Nizam Shah's general Nasir-ul-Malk Gujarati was sent to the
Gujarat camp as ambassador. While he was there, at his master's instance, he
bribed the Gujarat elephant-keepers at a fixed time to let loose a mad elephant.
Ahmad Nizam Shah at the head of 5000 infantry and 5000 cavalry made a night
attack on the Gujarat camp, and as the mad elephant was set free at the same moment, a panic seized the Gujarat troops, and Mahmud Begada with a few attendants fled for six miles. Soon after Ahmad Nizam made peace with Mahmud Begada and returned and laid siege to Daulatabad. Ashraf Khan once more applied for aid to Mahmud Begada, promising, if he would relieve him, to read the public prayers in his name and pay him tribute. On Mahmud Begada's approach with a large army, Ahmad Nizam Shah raised the siege and retired to his capital. Ashraf Khan read prayers at Daulatabad in Mahmud Begada's name, went to his camp, and made him valuable presents, which he agreed to renew every year as his vassal. Mahmud Begada levied tribute from Khandesh and returned to Gujarat. No sooner had Mahmud left Khandesh than Ahmad Nizam Shah again marched to Daulatabad, where the Maratha garrison, indignant at becoming tributary to Gujarat, sent offers of submission to Ahmad who surrounded Daulatabad with 30,000 men. When Malik Ashraf heard that his troops had lost respect for him, he fell ill and died in five days, and the garrison handed the fort to Ahmad Nizam. Ahmad gave orders for the repair of the fort, established a garrison of his own, returned to Ahmadnagar, raised a wall round the Bagh Nizam
and in it built a palace of red stone. In the same year (1499) he reduced the
forts of Antur and other places in Khandesh and forced the chiefs of Baglan and Galna to pay him tribute. About 1502 Yusuf Adil Khan, having proclaimed the public profession of of the Shia creed in Bijapur, Ahmad Nizam entered into a religious league with Amir Berid and the king of Golkonda. Amir Berid took Ganjauti, and Ahmad Nizam sent ambassadors to Bijapur demanding the surrender of Naldurg. Yusuf sent back an angry answer and recovered Ganjauti. Amir Berid now sent his son Jahangir Khan to Ahmadnagar with such urgent remonstrances that Ahmad was induced to march with 10,000 horse and a train of artillery which, with the troops of the other allies, formed a large force. Yusuf to turn the war from his own territory marched north and wasted Ahmad Nizam's territory near Bid. Being pursued by the allies he passed into Berar, and by the advice of the Berar king. recalled his edict in favour of the Shia faith and Ahmad Nizam was persuaded to detach himself from the league. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 22 -29. After the close of the war Yusuf re-established the public profession of the Shia faith and from that date till his death in 1510 no attempt was made to disturb his religion. See Bijapur History.] In 1507 Ahmad Nizam Shah went with a large force to aid Alam Khan whose claim to the throne of Khandesh was disputed by his nephew Miran Adil Khan. At Thalner, twenty-eight miles north-east of Dhulia, hearing of the approach of Mahmud Begada with a large force to help Miran Adil Khan, with Alam Khan's consent he left 4000 cavalry with him and himself fell back on Gavalghar. The Ahmadnagar troops deserted Alam Khan and he shortly after joined Ahmad Nizam and craved his protection. Ahmad Nizam advanced to the Gujarat frontier and urged Mahmud Begada to grant Alam Khan a share of Khandesh. His ambassadors were treated with indignity, but Ahmad was not strong enough to
contend with the great Gujarat king, and returned quietly with Alam Khan to Ahmadnagar. He died in 1508 after naming as his successor his son Burhan, a child of seven years.
Among Ahmad's great qualities were continence and modesty. When any of his officers were backward on the day of battle it was his custom to reward instead of reproaching them. One of his courtiers asked the cause of this unusual conduct and Ahmad replied that princes like masters of the hunt alone know how to train for the chase. He was famous for his skill as a swordsman, and established schools for single stick and wrestling in all quarters of the city of Ahmadnagar. In all quarrels he who gave the first wound was considered the victor. In consequence of this encouragement, a crowd of young men assembled every day at the palace to show their skill as swordsmen, till at last a day seldom passed in which one or two combatants were not killed. This custom, so congenial to the Deccan Marathas, spread far and wide, and, according to Ferishta, in his time (1588) learned divines and philosophers, as well as nobles and princes, practised duelling. Those who showed any backwardness were considered wanting in spirit. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 208. Syeds Murtaza and Hasan, two old and respected courtiers, had a trifling dispute with three Dakhani brothers also men of age and position. The parties met in a street at Bijapur in Ferishta's presence and fought with fury. First the son of Syed Murtaza, a youth of twenty was killed by one of the Dakhanis. The father and uncle engaged the other two Dakhanis but they also were killed. Before their bodies were removed the three Dakhanis had died of the wounds they had received. Ditto.]
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 210- 236.] As Burhan Nizam Shah was a child of seven Mukamil Khan
Dakhani, an able statesman and general, was appointed Vakil or
Protector, and his son, under the title of Aziz-ul-Mulk, received the office of Sar Nobat or Commander of the Household Troops. So much attention was paid to the education of the young prince, that, in his tenth year, he read poetry With ease and with proper emphasis and wrote exceedingly well. [Ferishta mentions seeing in the royal library at Ahmadnagar a treatise on the duties of kings copied by Burhan Nizam at the age of ten.] During the next three years the pride of Aziz-ul-Mulk, who, with his father had gained complete control over all the affairs of government, grew so unbearable that the other nobles strove to overthrow his influence, depose Burhan the young king, and raise Raja-ju his younger brother to the throne. Bibi Aisha, who had been nurse to the young king's mother, dressed Raja-ju in girl's clothes, and took him in her litter towards the city. Before she reached the city she was overtaken by the palace servants and brought back. Her object was discovered and the princes were closely watched. Soon after this the protector's enemies were persuaded to quit Ahmadnagar with eight thousand followers. They entered the service of Ala-ud-din Imad-ul-Mulk, ruler of Berar, and excited him to attack Burhan Nizam's dominions. Imad-ul-Mulk marched with a large army. At Ranuri near the frontier he was met by the protector, aided by Khwaja Jahan Dakhani of Paranda, and totally defeated (1510). He fled without halting till
be reached Elichpur leaving his baggage, horses, and elephants. Through the intercession of the king of Khandesh he concluded a peace with Mukamil Khan. Burhan, who accompanied the forces, on account of his tender age, was seated on the same saddle with his tutor Ajdar Khan. Some time after this Burhan Nizam Shah's Hindu relations, the accountants of Pathri in Berar expressed a wish to recover their ancient rights in the village. Mukamil Khan wrote to Imad-ul-Mulk, requesting him as a favour to Burhan Nizam Shah to give up Pathri and receive another district in its stead. Imad-ul-Mulk refused the exchange and built a fort at Pathri. Some time after Mukamil Khan, going on a pleasure party to Elura, made a sudden march against Pathri, carried it by assault, and left the fort in charge of Mian Muhammad Ghuri who distinguished himself on the occasion, and was honoured with the title of Kamil Khan. When the young king reached manhood he married a dancing girl called Amina and placed her at the head of the palace. He also learnt to drink wine. Mukamil Khan the protector, aware that his influence was failing, approached the throne, laid the seals of office at the king's feet, and called upon the king as he was able to conduct state affairs to excuse him from interfering in public business. Burhan agreed to Mukamil's request, raised his sons to high rank, and from this time Mukamil led a retired life till his death.
Of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar in the early years of the sixteenth
century Barbosa the Portuguese traveller writes [Stanley's Barbosa, 69.]: On coming out
of Gujarat towards the south and in the inner parts of India is the kingdom of the Dakhani king. The king is a Moor and a large part of his people are Gentiles. He is a great lord and has many subjects and a large territory which stretches far inland. It has very good sea ports of great trade in the goods used on the mainland, the chief being Cheul in Kolaba about thirty miles south of Bombay.
In 1523, Bibi Mariam, the sister of Ismael Adil Shall of Bijapur, was given in marriage to Burhan and the nuptials were celebrated with great splendour. Asad Khan of Belgaum, the Bijapur envoy in his master's name had promised to give Sholapur as the princess' dowry. Ismael Adil Shall afterwards denied that he had authorised the cession of Sholapur, and Burhan was induced to drop the demand and to return to Ahmadnagar. As Amina the favourite queen, assumed superiority over her, the Bijapur princess complained to her brother of the affront offered to her. The Bijapur monarch remonstrated with the Ahmadnagar ambassador and the quarrel led to lasting ill feeling. In 1524 Burhan Nizim Shall, aided by Berid Shih of Bedar and Imad Shah of Berar, marched against Sholapur. Ismael Adil Shah moved with 9000 bowmen to defend the place. In the engagement that followed the Ahmadnagar troops were defeated by Asad Khan, Imad Shah fled to Gavalghar, and Burhan, overcome with the heat, was
conveyed by his troops to Ahmadnagar. In 1527,
Imad Shah of Berar led an army against and took Pathri, but it was soon after recovered by Burhan Nizam after a close siege of two months. On taking Pathri Burhan razed the works to the ground and gave the district in charity to his Brahman relations in whose hands it continued till the reign of the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605). After destroying Pathri, Burhan marched to Mahur, and from Mahur to Elichpur. Imad Shah fled to Burhanpur and with the Khandesh king marched back against Burhan. The allies were totally defeated, losing 300 elephants and all their baggage. In 1529, at the request of the allies, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat (1525-1585) marched to their aid. Alarmed at this addition to their strength Burhan sent letters of congratulation to Babar on his elevation to the throne of Delhi, and also addressed Ismael Adil Shah of Bijapur, Amir Berid Shah of Bedar, and Sultan Kuli Kutb Shah of Golkonda. Of these only Amir Berid Shah marched to join him with 6000 foreign horse. Bahadur Shah marched towards Burhan Nizam Shah's army and encamped near Bid, where he was completely cut off between Paithan and Bid by Amir Berid Shah. About 3000 men were killed and upwards of seventy camels laden with treasure fell into the assailants' hands. To avenge this disgrace Bahadur Shah sent 20,000 horse under Khudavand Khan, but this division was also defeated. As a third detachment under Imad Shah followed Burhan Nizam fell back first on Paranda and then on Junnar. Bahadur Shah marched on Ahmadnagar and lived for forty days in Burhan Nizam's palace. He then left Imad Shah to conduct the siege of the fort and marched to Daulatabad. Burhan Nizam Shah, who meanwhile hovered about the Gujaratis cutting off their supplies, wrote to Ismael Adil Shah praying him to march in person to his relief. Ismael, who was engaged with Yijaynagar, was unable to
come, but sent 500 chosen horse under his general Haidar-ul-Mulk Kazvini. Burhan Nizam Shah, disappointed in his hopes, deprived Shaikh Jafar, who had become very unpopular among all classes of people, of the office, of minister or Peshwa, and bestowed it on one
Kavar Sain a Brahman, a man endowed with wisdom, penetration, and integrity. By
Kavar Sain's advice Burhan marched with all the troops he could gather from Junnar to Ahmadnagar and shortly after suoceeded in gaining a position in the hills near Daulatabad and within eight miles of the Gujarat army. For three months he harassed the enemy by skirmishes and night attacks, but, being afterwards defeated in a general action, he sued for peace through the Khandesh and Berar kings, to whom he promised to return the forts and elephants he had taken in war. These two princes accordingly represented to Khudavand Khan that they had called in the Gujarat king only to recover Mahur and Pathri, but that he now seemed to have extended his views to the possession of their country. Khudavand remarked that this was their own fault, and they resolved to break the league. When the league was broken and representations made to the Gujarat king, Imad Shah agreed to pass provisions to Daulatabad and retired to Elichpur. Burhan acknowledged the Gujarat king's superiority by causing the public prayers to be read in his name and Bahadur Shah returned to Gujarat. The Khandesh king's elephants were restored to him, but when the forts of Mahur
and Pathri were demanded, Burhan sent an evasive answer and refused to give them up.
In the same year (1529) Burhan Nizam Shah sent Shah Tahir, a distinguished saint and scholar of the Shia faith, with presents of cloth elephants and horses to Bahadur Shah. Bahadur delayed giving him an audience, as Burhan had discontinued reading the public prayers in his name. At length through the mediation of the Khandesh king Bahadur received Shah Tahir. For some time he treated him with little consideration, but at length his great talents and learning won for him Bahadur's esteem, who at the end of three months dismissed him with honour. In 1530 Burhan again sent Shah Tahir with Narso Pandit to congratulate Bahadur Shah on his conquests in Malwa. They were introduced at Burhanpur to the Gujarat king by Miran Muhammad Khan of Khandesh. As about this time Humayun of Delhi was beginning to spread his conquests south towards Malwa and Gujarat, according to the Khandesh king, it was politic for Bahadur Shah to make a friend of Burhan Nizam. Bahadur Was a prince of great ambition and claiming equality with the sovereigns of Delhi conferred many favours on Shall Tahir, who was sent hurriedly to Ahmadnagar to induce his master to have an interview with Bahadur Shah at Burhanpur. Burhan Shah, though he at first declined, was induced by Shah Tahir and Kavar Sain to agree to the proposed meeting. He left prince Husain Nizam in charge of the government with 7000 horse and started for Burhanpur. Hearing on the way that all except holy men were required to stand before the throne of Bahadur, Burhan declined to move further, but at the intercession of Shah Tahir, who undertook that his honour should in no way suffer, agreed to accompany him to the Gujarat king's court. When the Ahmadnagar king arrived at the royal tents, Shah Tahir accompanied him carrying on his head a Kuran in the handwriting of the prophet Ali. The Gujarat king on learning this instantly descended from the throne, kissed the Koran, and with it touched his eyes and his forehead. He then received the compliments of Burhan and reascended the throne. He desired Shah Tahir, who was a holy man of the first rank, to be seated. Shah Tahir excused himself saying that he could not sit while his master was standing. Bahadur accordingly asked Burhan Nizam also to be seated. After compliments, Bahadur taking from his waist a sword and jewelled dagger girded them on Burhan, and gave him the title of Shah. He also presented him with the canopy or chhatra, which Bahadur had taken from the Malwa king, and ordered his minister and the Khandesh king to conduct him to the tent which was pitched for his reception. In an entertainment on the following day Bahadur seated the Ahmadnagar and Khandesh kings on chairs of gold in front of the throne, and presented Burhan with five horses, two elephants, and twelve fighting deer. The two kings then played together at chaugan or polo. Burhan Shah also made offerings to the Gujarat king, but he accepted only a Kuran, a sword, and four elephants and two horses. Bahadur then conferred all the Deccan country on Burhan. On his return Burhan visited Daulatabad, and, paying his
devotions at the shrines of the holy men who were buried there, encamped at the Hauzi Kutlu where he was met by his son and minister as well as by ambassadors from Bijapur and Golkonda, who had come to congratulate him. Khwaja Ibrahim and Sambhaji Chitnavis who had preceded the king to Burhanpur to arrange for his reception were honoured with the titles of Latif Khan and Pratap Ray and were henceforward admitted as confidential officers.
Burhan having now leisure to attend to the management of his dominions, by the wise policy of Kavar Sain, reduced thirty forts belonging to Maratha chiefs who had not paid allegiance since Ahmad Nizam Shah's death. In 1531, Amir Berid Shah having prayed for aid against Ismael Adil Shah who was planning the conquest of the forts of Kalliani and Kandhar, Burhan Nizam Shah wrote an imperious letter to Ismael Adil Shah requiring him at once to desist. Ismael reminded Burhan of his late condition at Ahmadnagar, and warned him not to pride himself on honours and titles conferred by a Gujarat king, since he himself derived his lineage from a race of sovereigns and had been styled a sovereign by the kings of Persia the descendants of the Prophet. Burhan Nizam Shah, though ashamed of his conduct, at once marched to Umrazpur, from which, after remaining some days to gather his forces, he crossed into Ismael Adil Shah's territory. In the battle which followed Burhan Nizam was totally defeated and retreated to Ahmadnagar with the loss of all his baggage and nearly 4000 men. In 1532 at a meeting of Burhan Nizam Shah and Ismael Adil Shah it was decided that Burhan should invade Berar and Ismael should invade Telingan and that they should divide the Deccan between them. This project came to nothing as Ismael Adil Shah died in 1534. In 1537, at the instigation of Shah Tahir who was a Shia, Burhan substituted the names of the Imams for those of the Sahibas [The three Kaliphas are Aba Bakar, Umar, and Othman the immediate successors of the prophet Mohammad.] or Kaliphas in the public prayers, and changed the colour of his canopy and standards to green. He also settled pensions on persons to revile and curse the three first Kaliphas and their followers in mosques and in the streets. This caused much discontent and a number of the disaffected under one Mulla Pir Muhammad, a furious Sunni, besieged the palace. The leader was imprisoned, and the tumult subsided. The kings of Gujarat, Bijapur, and Khandesh enraged at the insult offered to the Sunnis, combined and agreed to divide the Ahmadnagar dominions between them. Burhan offered his services to the Emperor Humayun to aid in an invasion of Gujarat but the rebellion of Shir Shah prevented his offer being accepted. Burhan found means to satisfy the Gujarat and Khandesh kings, and, engaging all the Shia foreigners disbanded by Ibrahim Adil Shah, marched against Bijapur, and captured one hundred elephants and some pieces of cannon. In 1542, Burhan Nizam Shah, taking advantage of the dissensions at
Bijapur between Ibrahim and his minister Asad Khan of Belgaum invited Amir Berid Shah of Bedar to join him. At the same time he caused a false report to be spread that Asad Khan, who was a staunch Shia, had invited the two monarchs to Bijapur and promised to give up Belgaum. Having thus poisoned the Bijapur king's mind against his minister, Burhan Nizam Shah marched on Sholapur, seized its five and a half districts, and made them over to Khwaja Jahan Dakhani. He then marched to Belgaum, took possession of the fort, and plundered the towns that did not submit. In spite of Asad Khan's prayers Ibrahim Adil Shah, who feared treachery, refused to march against Burhan. Asad Khan, seeing no security but by going over to the enemy joined the allies with 6000 troops and Burhan Nizam marched on Bijapur. Ibrahim Adil Shah deserted his capital and took shelter at Kulbarga. Though he had joined the enemy Asad Khan's sympathies were entirely with his master Ibrahim. He wrote to lmad Shah of Berar explaining his position, and, on the arrival of a reinforcement from Berar, he quitted Burhan's camp and joined the Berar troops. Burhan, who was no match for this combination, retreated towards Ahmadnagar pursued by the Berar and Bijapur army. Being forced to leave his capital a prey to the invaders, Burhan took post in the strong fortress of Daulatabad, where, as his ally Amir Berid Shah of Bedar died, he concluded a peace, and restored to Ibrahim Adil Shah the five and a half districts of Sholapur. Next year (1548) Burhan Nizam Shah sent Shah Tahir to the court of the king of Golkonda to congratulate him on his coming to the throne, and to make private overtures to join in a league with Ram Raja of Vijaynagar against Bijapur. In 1546, at the instigation of Ram Baja, Burhan Nizam Shah again moved to reduce Kulbarga, and Ibrahim Adil Shah marched from Bijapur to oppose him. Burhan took a strong position on the left bank of the Bhima, and Ibrahim, finding it impossible to cross the river during the rains, encamped on the right bank. Both armies lay inactive for three months in sight of each other, till, at last, tired of delay, Ibrahim Adil Shah crossed the river, attacked the Ahmadnagar troops, and totally defeated them with the loss of 250 elephants and 170 cannons and tumbrils. Burhan Nizam Shah now sent his trusty minister Shah Tahir to beg the aid of Ali Berid Shah of Bedar, but his mission failed, In consequence of this refusal of aid, Burhan next year marched with an army against Bedar. He began operations by laying siege to Ausa. The Bijapur troops joined the Bedar forces at Kalliani which was promised as a reward to Ibrahim Adil Shah. The allies raised the siege, but in an action which took place within four miles of Kalliani they were defeated with considerable loss and Ausa shortly afterwards fell to Burhan. Burhan then marched against Udgir which also he reduced, and from Udgir went against Kandhar. Here the allies made another effort to raise the siege and were a second time defeated with the loss of their heavy baggage. Kandhar shortly after fell, and Burhan Nizam Shah returned towards his capital (1548). On his way home he was met by deputies from a party in Bijapur, who, oppressed by the cruelty and bad government of Ibrahim, were anxious to set his younger brother on the throne. Burhan and the
king of Golkonda, who had also agreed to join the league, moved towards Bijapur. Burhan made an unsuccessful attempt to take Belgaum from Asad Khan and was compelled to retreat. Shortly after Shah Tahir died and Burhan fell back on his capital and made over the seals to Kasim Beg Hakim and Gopalrav a Brahman. As Asad Khan of Belgaum died about the same time (1549) Burhan Nizam resolved with the aid of Ram Raja of Vijaynagar, to make another attack on Bijapur. At Ram Raja's desire Burhan moved at once from Ahmadnagar and surrounding Kalliani effectually blocked all communication. Ibrahim Adil Shah marched to relieve it. Burhan fortified his lines, and was shortly after fortunate in surprising the Bijapur army so completely that Ibrahim had scarcely time to make his escape and fly towards Bid and Paranda, while his troops fled leaving their tents, baggage, and artillery in Burhan's hands. Kalliani surrendered without further opposition. As he fled through the enemy's country, Ibrahim came suddenly before Paranda, and taking possession of it, gave it in charge to one of his Dakhani officers. He laid waste the surrounding country and levied heavy contributions, but hearing of Burhan's approach retreated towards Bijapur. Before the Ahmadnagar troops had arrived within forty miles, Ibrahim's governor at Paranda, who mistook the buzzing of a gnat for the sound of Burhan's trumpets, fled, and, on the third day after his flight, the fortress was occupied by Ahmadnagar troops. Burhan restored Paranda fort to Khwaja Jahan Dakhani and marched back to Ahmadnagar. In the same year (1549) Burhan without opposition marched his army through great part of the Bijapur territory, and, as arranged with Ram Raja of Vijaynagar, he besieged Sholapur, and, after a blockade of three months, carried it by assault. He was about to advance to Kulbarga, when, hearing that Ram Raja after reducing Raichur and Mudgal had returned to Vijaynagar, he also returned to Ahmadnagar. In 1553 Burhan again formed an alliance with Ram Raja and marched towards Bijapur, and Ibrahim, unable to cope with him, retired to Panhala near Kolhapur. Bijapur was besieged. But Burhan fell suddenly sick, returned to his capital, and soon after died, at the age of fifty-four, after a reign of forty-seven years. His body was embalmed and entombed at Karbela in Persia, near the burial place of Hasan the son of Ali the Prophet. He left two sons Husain and Abdul Kadar by his favourite wife Amina, and two others Shah Ali and Miran Muhammad Bakar by Bibi Mariam the daughter of Yusuf Adil Shah. He had also another son Shall Haidar married to the daughter of Khwaja Jahan Dakhani. [According to the Portuguese chronicles of the time, Burhan Nizam was endowed with great national and political sagacity, and his court was a hospitable resort of the best men of the time. Among his courtiers he had a Portuguese Simao Peres, who had embraced Muhammadinism and waa held in such high esteem that the king appointed him minister and general of his army. Notwithstanding his change of faith, Peres was always friendly to
his countrymen and entertained no respect for those who imitated him in forsaking their own religion. The king on
his death-bed recommended his successor to the good offices of this faithful servant, and Peres executed with fidelity all the duties with which he was charged. Soon after the death of the king, the young prince had an unpleasant affray with Adil Khan in which the old minister lost his life and the new Nizam-ul-Mulk was left to his whims unguided alike by the advice of his sober minister and the example of his wise father. According to Diogo do Conto, the deceased king being affected by leprosy or St. Lazarus' malady as he calls it, and all medical efforts to cure him having failed, was recommended by one of his court physicians to try as a last resource the effect of bathing in children's blood. Large cisterns were filled with blood but the blood prescription was not successful. Da Cunha's Chaul, 44 - 45.]
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 237-249.] Husain Nizam Shah succeeded his father in the thirteenth year
of his age. Two parties were formed, the Abyssinians embracing
Husain Nizam Shah's cause, and the Dakhanis both Musalmans and
Hindus that of his brother Abdul Kadar, who at length being
deserted by his party took refuge with Imad-ul- Mulk of Berar. The
other brothers Shah Ali and Miran Muhammad Bakar fled to their uncle at Bijapur. Shah Haidar went to his father-in-law at Paranda
and laid claim to the throne. Husain marching against him, he with
his father-in-law the governor, fled to the Bijapur court, and Paranda
fell to the Nizam Shahi forces. Ibrahim Adil Shah openly espoused
the cause of the refugees, and marched against Sholapur which had
been taken during the last reign. Husain received from Imad Shah
of Berar a reinforcement of 7000 cavalry and moved to raise the siege.
Saif Ain-ul-Mulk, who had left the Nizam Shahi service and had gone
over to Bijapur, and who was known throughout the Deccan for his
courage and for the efficiency of his horsemen, being driven from the
Bijapur kingdom, was allowed to return to Ahmadnagar, and was
subsequently treacherously put to death. His family was conducted
in safety by one of his chief dependents Kabul Khan to Golkonda
where Kabul Khan was received into the service of Ibrahim Kutb
Shah. At this time Husain Nizam Shah, in concert with IbrAhim
Kutb Shah, marched to invade the Bijapur country. But as Kutb
Shall returned to his capital Husain Nizam Shah was compelled to
fall back on Ahmadnagar. In the same year Husain detached
Muhammad Wastad Nishapuri and Chulbi Rumi Khan [This officer cast the Malik-i-Maidan or Lord of the Plain the famous brass gun now at Bijapur. His tomb at Ahmadnagar has been lately converted into an English officer's residence. The mould in which the gun was cast may still be seen in the garden.] against
Revdanda, and the Portuguese who had built the fort promised not
to molest Ahmadnagar subjects. Husain also carried his arms into
Khandesh and took the fort of Galna. In 1559 Ali Adil Shah the
new king of Bijapur formed an alliance with Ram Raja and Ibrahim
Kutb Shah, while Husain Nizam Shah made fresh overtures to Imad-ul-Mulk of Berar who received Husain's daughter in marriage.
The allied sovereigns reached Ahmadnagar with an army of 900,000
infantry. Husain Shah fled to Paithan and asked the Berar,
Khandesh, and Bedar kings to march to his aid. Khan Jahan the
brother of the Bedar king, now in the Berar service instead of
rendering assistance, marched with 6000 horse to the Ahmadnagar
frontier to attack Husain Nizam Shah, but being defeated joined the
Bijapur troops. The allies laid siege to Ahmadnagar. But
Ibrahim Kutb Shah, jealous of the Bijapur king's power, connived
at supplies passing to the garrison, and one of his generals kept
communication both with Husain Nizam Shah at Paithan and with
the besieged. When Ram Raja demanded an explanation Kutb Shah marched during the night for Golkonda, while his general finding his way into the fort joined Husain Nizam Shah at Paithan. Imad-ul-Mulk by way of reparation for Khan Jahan's conduct sent a large force to join Husain. This division being employed to cut off the besiegers' supplies compelled the allies to raise the siege which they meant to renew after buying provisions from Paranda and Ausa. Meanwhile Husain Nizam Shah concluded a peace with Ram Raja. Under the terms of this treaty he ceded the fortress of Kalliani to Bijapur, put to death Jahangir Khan the Berar general who had been extremely active against the enemy, and paid Ram Raja a visit and acknowledged his superiority.
On his arrival at Ahmadnagar he caused the fort, which was originally built of mud, to be rebuilt with stone and to be surrounded by a deep ditch. In 1562, after the celebration in the neighbourhood of Kalliani of the marriage of Husain's daughter Bibi Jamalli with Ibrahim Kutb Shah, both princes laid siege to that fortress. They were attacked by Ram Raja and Ali Adil Shah aided by the Berar and Bedar kings. Sending his family into the fort of Ausa, Husain Nizam Shah accompanied by Kutb Shah marched with 700 guns and 500 elephants to within twelve miles of the enemy. A violent storm blew down his tents, and, in the heavy black clay in which he was encamped, the rain made his cattle and guns almost useless. Kutb Shah's army fled without resistance and Husain began his retreat taking with him only forty out of 700 guns. [The great gun at Bijapur weighing forty tons is supposed to have been captured on this occasion. It was made in the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah and is the largest piece of cast brass ordnance in the world. Details are given in the Bijapur Statistical Account.] On the third day Husain was forced to quit even these forty guns and to fly to Ahmadnagar. Attended only by a thousand horse he made
his way through 6000 of the enemy, still keeping the umbrella of state over his head. [Husain, who strictly kept the rules about prayers, one afternoon, when closely pursued, is said to have dismounted to pray. The enemy struck with his dauntless courage stopped at some distance. After finishing his prayers, observing that he had on a girdle of gold, he remembered it was unlawful to pray in gold, cast it off, and repeated his devotions.] The enemy, deeming it unnecessary to follow him further, gave over pursuit. Husain threw supplies into Ahmadnagar and retired to Junnar. The allies again laid siege to Ahmadnagar, Ram Raja's followers committing every species of cruelty. By Ali Adil Shah's advice Ram Raja raised the siege and pursued Husain Nizam to Junnar, who retired among the hills in the neighbourhood. Husain Rustam Khan Dakhani, Adham Khan Habshi, and Sabaji Koli so effectually laid waste the country as to prevent the enemy's advance. At Kanhur, Husain Rustam Khan, during the absence of Ali Adil Shah on a hunting party, fell suddenly on the Bijapur army. The uncle of Adil Shah was killed, but the Bijapur troops rallied and in the end slew Rustam Khan and two thousand of his followers. At the approach of the rainy season the allies returned to the siege of Ahmadnagar. Ram Raja's army encamped to the south of the fort on the bank of the Sina. Heavy rain fell in
the hills and the river rose so suddenly during the night that 300 of Earn Raja's horses and a vast number of carriage cattle were drowned; and twenty officers of rank and upwards of 25,000 men were swept away in the torrent. Ram Raja raised the siege and moved towards the Karnatak, and Ali Adil Shah followed his example. The Bijapur officers made frequent incursions into the Sholapur district belonging to Husain Nizam Shah who sent 1000 bullock-loads of grain under a strong escort to Sholapur to provision the fort for a siege. Murtaza Khan a Bijapur officer learning of this convoy marched and defeated the Nizam Shahi detachment between Paranda and Sholapur, and began to plunder and spread over the country. About 150 elephants were captured and sent to Bijapur. Meanwhile the Nizam Shahis collected about 2000 horse and pursuing the Bijapur troops came suddenly upon Murtaza Khan who had retired to Naldurg, took him prisoner, and sent him to Ahmadnagar. Husain marched in person at the head of his army and carried with him to Sholapur 30,000 loads of grain. In 1564 Husain entered into a league with the three Muhammadan kings of Bijapur, Bedar, and Golkonda against Ram Raja of Vijaynagar. The united, armies marching south crossed the Krishna and encamped on the Hukeri river, near which was Ram Raja at the head of 70,000 cavalry and 90,000 infantry chiefly matchlockmen, besides archers and artillerymen. The allied kings conceiving themselves unequal to cope with this formidable army made overtures for peace. But as Ram Raja refused to listen to their proposals, the Muhammadan kings resolved to fight till death. The Bijapur king was on the right, Husain Nizam Shah in the centre, and the Golkonda and Bedar kings on the left. Husain Nizam Shah's front was covered by 600 guns placed in three lines, heavy, middle-sized, and small, the whole commanded by the famous artillery officer Chulbi Rumi Khan. Two thousand foreign archers in front of the guns kept a heavy discharge on the enemy as he approached. The archers fell back as the Vijaynagar troops advanced till they were close to the heavy battery which opened on them with such effect that they retreated in confusion with dreadful loss. Chulbi Rumi Khan had provided bags of copper money to load with should the enemy close and these proved so destructive that upwards of 5000 Hindus were left dead close to the muzzles of the guns. Kishwar Khan, an officer of the Bijapur army, pursued the enemy with 5000 cavalry into the centre of Ram Raja's line, where, in attempting to make his escape on foot, Ram Raja was overtaken by one of the Nizam Shahi elephants which seized him in his trunk. On being brought to Husain, Ram Raja was beheaded and his army fled to Vijaynagar.
[Further and somewhat different details are given in the Bijapur Statistical
Account. The records seem to agree that the honour of winning this great battle
rests with Husain Nizam and the Ahmadnagar troops.] Husain returned to
Ahmadnagar where he died shortly after of a disorder brought on by excess. He
left four sons and four daughters.
Murtaza Nizam Shah, 1565-1588.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 250-270.] Murtaza Nizam Shah, Husain's son, commonly called the Divana
or madman, ascended the throne when he was a minor. His mother
Khunza Sultana for six years acted as regent. She raised her three brothers Ain-ul-Mulk, Taj Khan, and Etibar Khan to the first rank of nobility, and appointed Mulla Inayat Khan to the office of minister or Peshwa. She sat daily in court, transacting business behind a curtain.
Ram Raja's brother Venkatadri, pressed by the Bijapur troops, applied for relief to Khunza Sultana, who, marching against Bijapur at the head of an army accompanied by her young son Murtaza, forced Ali Adil Shah to retire from Vijaynagar to defend his own country. Peace was soon after concluded between the two powers and a league was subsequently formed against Tufal Khan who, as prime minister, had usurped authority in Berar. Both the Bijapur and Ahmadnagar troops entered that country, plundered it, and marched back before the rains. On their return Ali Adil Shah tried to seize the young king of Ahmadnagar, but his mother, the regent, being warned fled through the night and escaped to Ahmadnagar. In 1567, Ali Adil Shah invaded the Nizam Shahi dominions and took several places. Khunza Sultana, by the extreme honour she showed to her relations, gave offence to some of the nobles, who complained to the king. With the king's permission they gained over some of the chief nobles and attempted to overthrow the queen's authority. They some time after repaired to the palace, but the childish fears of the king made him conclude the secret was betrayed. To save himself he revealed the plot to his mother who instantly caused the principal conspirators to be secured. In 1569, the queen marched with her son to oppose the encroachments of Kishwar Khan the Bijapur general. At Dhamangaon, Murtaza gained over the principal nobles and sent Habash Khan to tell the queen that she should no longer take part in public
affairs. Enraged at this message she summoned her supporters and made a show of resistance, but was soon seized and her attendants fled. The king, assuming charge of the government, marched at the head of the army. On nearing the enemy's camp he received an insulting letter from the Bijapur general, and swore that he would not rest till he had entered the Dharur fort. He put on his armour and succeeded in reaching the gate, where amidst showers of shot, arrows, and rockets poured from the fort walls he escaped unhurt, though many of his men horses and elephants were killed. As the enemy's fire suddenly ceased the Ahmadnagar troops entered unopposed and found the fort empty. An arrow had pierced the heart of Kishwar Khan and the garrison had fled. Murtaza cut off Kishwar Khan's head and hung it over the battlements, and marched on to invade Bijapur. Ibrahim Kutb Shah of Golkonda, who at first acted in concert with him, was treated in an unfriendly way by Murtaza and was forced to make his escape, leaving his camp to be plundered by the Nizam Shahis. Murtaza concluding a treaty with the Bijapur king, returned to Ahmadnagar, and appointing Jalal-ud-din Husain his prime minister marched against the Portuguese fort of Revdanda in the Konkan. Owing to the bravery of the Portuguese, aided according to Musalman accounts by the treachery of Murtaza's officers who
were bribed by presents of Portuguese wine, he was obliged to raise the siege and return to Ahmadnagar. He displaced several of his ministers, and conferred the office of agent or vakil on Changiz Khan a nobleman of great abilities who restored public affairs. His address effected an alliance with the Bijapur king who agreed to allow Murtaza to take Berar and Bedar. In 1572, Murtaza marched to Berar, and by the gallantry and good conduct of his general Changiz Khan drove Tufal Khan and his son from Elichpur to the hills and took their heavy baggage and 200 elephants. Tufal Khan after wandering for six months in the hills fled to Burhanpur, where the Khandesh king for fear of Murtaza's anger refused to give him protection. Tufal returned to his fort of Narnala and applied for aid to the emperor Akbar who, pleased with the opportunity of mixing in Deccan affairs, required Murtaza at once to retire from Tufal's territory. Murtaza took no notice of Akbar's message. He captured Narnala and all the chief Berar forts, seized and placed in confinement Tufal Khan, his master Burhan Imad-ul-Mulk and his family, who shortly after died, it was said, by poison. [The Moghal historian writes: Mir Murtaza and Khudavand Khan, ruler of the country of Berar in the Deccan, marched to attack Ahmadnagar. They were defeated in battle by Salabat Khan, the vakil of Nizam-ul-Mulk and then came complaining to the Imperial court. Tabkat-i-Akbari in Elliot and DOWSON, V. 441.] Murtaza on Changiz Khan's advice marched to Bedar. But hearing that a force of 8000 horse and seven or eight thousand infantry, despatched by the Khandesh king Miran Muhammad to support a pretender to the throne, had driven out several of his posts and held a great portion
of the country, he returned with the greatest expedition and sent in advance Syed Murtaza one of his generals, before whom the pretender was forced to fly and his followers scattered. Murtaza Nizam Shah entered Khandesh by the Rohankheda pass and ravaged the country to Burhanpur, Miran Muhammad the Khandesh king retiring to the fort of Asir. Murtaza Nizam marched in person to Asir and from it sent parties who wasted the country round, so that Miran was obliged to purchase the retreat of the Ahmadnagar troops. Shortly after this Ibrahim Kutb Shah, through his ambassador, offered Changiz Khan a large sum to prevent the intended attack on Bedar. Changiz Khan refused the money with indignation, saying that the Nizam Shahi treasures were at his disposal. The ambassador now endeavoured to effect his purpose by bringing over to his design Sahib Khan, a favourite of the king, who had been ill-treated by Changiz Khan. Sahib Khan entered into the plot and informed the king that he heard that Changiz Khan intended to assume royal titles in Berar. The king did not believe the story, but as Sahib Khan persisted that it was true, he resolved to wait for proof. It happened soon after that Changiz Khan suggested that he ought to stay with an army in the conquered country in order to gain the goodwill of the people. The king thought this suggestion a striking confirmation of Sahib Khan's story and showed marked displeasure. Changiz Khan alarmed for his safety staid away from the court feigning sickness. This conduct satisfied the king that his suspicions were well rounded. He directed Changiz Khan s physician to administer a poisoned draught as medicine to Changiz Khan. Changiz Khan discovered what had happened, and quietly submitted to his fate, requesting the king to send his body to Karbela, to show favour to some officers whom he named, and to entertain his foreign servants among his guards. Murtaza too late convinced of the uprightness and the attachment of his minister, regretted his death with unfeigned sorrow. On his return to Ahmadnagar, disgusted with his folly, he appointed Mir Kazi Beg his representative in the government, and retired to an apartment in the palace of Ahmadnagar called Bagdad, where no one was admitted to his presence but Sahib Khan. In 1576, as the emperor Akbar advanced to the Deccan frontier to hunt, the king moved to the north with a few troops in a covered litter. He wished to march to attack the emperor, but at the request of his nobles, remained on the border till, after Akbar's return to his dominions, he again retired to his privacy in Ahmadnagar. In the rainy season while visiting the tombs of saints in Daulatabad, he was seized with religious enthusiasm. One day he was seen withdrawing from his apartment and going alone on foot towards the tomb of Imam Baza and was with difficulty prevailed on to return. After his return from Daulatabad he made his residence in the garden of Hasht-i-Behisht. [This garden remains under this name. See Places, Ahmadnagar.] At this time the favourite Sahib Khan and his associates, about 3000 scoundrel Dakhanis, committed the worst of crimes. Children were forced from their parents for evil purposes and among others Mir Mehdi was killed in defending the honour of his family. The regent was afraid of the favourite's influence, till at last he became so insolent as to order a nobleman to change his name, because it happened to be the same as his own. The nobleman refused and the favourite resolved to destroy him, but was prevented by Salabat Khan who informed the king. Sahib Khan was forced to quit the court, but the king, who missed his society, followed him to Bedar, and, agreeing to displace Salabat Khan from his office and taking for him the city of Bedar which he besieged, persuaded him to return. Burhan Nizam the king's brother, escaping at this time from the fort of Junnar and raising an insurrection, Murtaza was obliged to return suddenly to Ahmadnagar and to recall Salabat Khan. Burhan was defeated and fled to Bijapur. Sahib Khan leaving the king a second time was put to death by the nobles who were sent to effect a reconciliation. Salabat Khan became minister without a rival and continued in power for several years to the satisfaction of the people. Since the reign of Muhammad Shah Bahmani (1358-1375) the country had never been so well governed. In 1580,Salabat Khan taking advantage of the minority of the Bijapur king, sent an army under Behzad-ul-Mulk to invade his dominions, but it was defeated with the loss of all its elephants. In 1584, the marriage of the king's son Miran Husain with the Bijapur king's sister was arranged and the princess was brought to Ahmadnagar with great pomp. About this time several nobles combined to attempt to displace Salabat Khan but their attempt came
to nothing. Shortly after a discontented faction brought Burhan the king's brother to Ahmadnagar in the guise of a holy man with the object of placing him on the throne. On the day the attempt was to be made, Salabat Khan discovered the plot and Burhan fled to the Konkan, and thence to the court of the emperor Akbar from whom he some time after procured a force under Mirza Aziz Koka to attack his brother. An army of 20,000 men under Mirza Muhammad Taki marching on the frontier and acting in concert with Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh forced Mirza Aziz Koka to turn towards Berar where he was attacked and pursued and forced to return, to Malwa. [Burhan-ul-Mulk was the younger brother of Murtaza Nizam-ul-Mulk. When Husain Nizam-ul-Mulk died, the Nizam-ul-Mulki kingdom descended to his eldest son, but in reality the government fell into the hands of the young prince's mother. Murtaza like his father preferred Burhan to all his friends. In course of time designing persons stirred up strife between him and his relations, so that he seized and sent to a fortress both his mother and his brother. His ignorance and vicious propensities kept him aloof from the loyal and good and threw him into the company of evil persons whose bad advice perverted his mind. He raised a low fellow, a cockfighter named Husain to be his companion and foolishly gave him the title of Asaf Khan. This low-born fellow stirred a war against Bedar and a fierce struggle went on in Kandhar sixty miles north of Bedar. The news of these foolish proceedings soon spread abroad and Burhan having escaped from prison by the aid of his keeper, began to raise disturbances; but his mind was in fetters and his fortune asleep. He cast his eyes upon the wealth of others and began to oppress them. When Murtaza was informed of this outbreak, he hastened back and reached Ahmadnagar on the day he desired. Numbers of men deserted Burhan, and he was obliged to fly without fighting. He then went to Adil Khan at Bijapur. Not being able to effect anything there he went in the disguise of a jogi or mendicant to Ahmadnagar. There he lived in secret and endeavoured to raise a party among the evil-disposed. Being discovered he hastened to the governor of Baglan in Nasi and not being able to effect anything there he went to Kutb-ud-din Khan at Bedar. From thence he proceeded to the Imperial court where he met with a gracious reception. Abu-1-Fazl's Akbarnama in Elliot and Dowson, VI, 70.71.]
At this time one Fatteh Shah, a dancer who succeeded Sahib Khan in the king's favour began to abuse his power by obtaining large grants of land and gifts of royal jewels. At last as the king ordered the two most valuable necklaces taken from Ram Raja's plunder to be given to the favourite. Salabat Khan, unwilling that such priceless gems should be lost to the royal family, substituted two strings of mock jewels in their place. When the king heard of this he ordered all his jewels to be laid out for inspection, and seeing the two jewels were still missing threw them all into a large fire. From this time the king was considered mad. Taking into his head that his son had a design to dethrone him, he attempted to put him to death, but Salabat Khan watched over the safety of the young prince, Salabat Khan at this time having refused, unless the Sholapur fort was delivered, either to celebrate the Bijapur princess' marriage or to return her to her brother, Ibrahim Adil Shah declared war and laid siege to the fort of Ausa. Murtaza Nizam Shah, offended at the conduct of his minister, upbraided him with treachery and declared himself weary of his control. Salabat Khan begged the king to appoint any place for his confinement, and on his naming Danda Rajapur, in spite of the remonstrances of his friends, immediately submitted himself to the king's guards and was carried
to his prison. He was succeeded by Kasim Beg Hakim as regent and by Mirza Muhammad Taki as minister. Peace with Ibrahim Adil Shah being concluded at the king's command, the marriage of prince Miran Husain with the Bijapur princess was celebrated with great splendour. Not long after this the king again becoming suspicious of his son resolved to destroy him, and while the youth was sleeping in his chamber set fire to his bed clothes and fastened the door upon him. The prince's cries for help brought to his aid his father's favourite Fatteh Shah who secretly carried him off to Daulatabad. When the king heard of this he confined all his ministers and appointed others, and, as they also refused to kill the prince, they were displaced and the regency was given to Mirza Khan. Mirza Khan, seeing the disordered state of the king's intellect, pretended acquiescence with the king's commands, and wrote privately to Bijapur that if a detachment were sent to the borders he would make it a pretext for raising troops and would then openly espouse the prince's cause. The Bijapur regent complying with the request, Mirza Khan, by the king's order, collected troops and marched from Ahmadnagar and encamped near the town of Ranuri. Mirza Khan did not move onwards. Ferishta the historian was sent to enquire the cause. [Muhammad Kasim Ferishta was born at Astrabad on the border of the Caspian Sea. He was the son of Ghulam Ali Hindu Shah a learned man, who, quitting his native country travelled into India and eventually reached Ahmadnagar during the reign of Murtaza Nizam Shah. Ferishta had only attained his twelfth year when he reached Ahmadnagar and was a fellow-student with the young prince Miran Husain whom Ferishta's father, on account of his learning, was chosen to instruct in Persian. His father dying soon after his arrival Ferishta was left an orphan in his youth. But the introduction which his father's acquirements had procured him at court secured to the son the patronage and favour of the king, so that on the day his royal master was dethroned he held the office of captain of the guard. The new king was himself deposed and murdered in less than a year. Ferishta, then aged seventeen, appears to have taken no part in the revolutions which succeeded the death of his patron. His affection for the Shia faith prevented his having many friends among the stronger party at court and this made him anxious to avoid the scenes which were likely to follow, so that not long after (1589) he left Ahmadnagar and settled at the neighbouring court of Bijapur where he was kindly received by the minister and regent Dilawar Khan who introduced him to the king Ibrahim Adil Shah II. From the station Ferishta filled in Ahmadnagar it seems likely that he entered the Bijapur service in a military capacity. Afterwards in an engagement with Jamal Khan he was wounded and taken prisoner, but made his escape. At Bijapur he began and finished his famous history in furtherance of which he observes, that his patron Ibrahim Adil Shah spared no expense to procure the most ample materials. Briggs' Ferishta, I. xxxix.-xlviii.] Mirza Khan, knowing Ferishta's attachment to the king, bribed Fatteh Shah the king's favourite to obtain the king's order for his recall and for the immediate advance of the army. Ferishta getting timely notice of Mirza Khan's orders to prevent his return from the camp, made his escape in the night. Mirza Khan meanwhile marched to Daulatabad to bring the prince and seat him on the throne. The king being too ill to mount a horse, by Ferishta's advice sent orders to release Salabat Khan and prepared to go himself in a litter to meet him. But learning from Fatteh Shah that the guards would seize and imprison him, he resolved to wait in the palace for Salabat Khan's arrival. The troops perceiving the king's imbecility deserted in crowds to Daulatabad, whence Mirza Khan hastened to
the capital accompanied by the prince so that he might arrive before Salabat Khan. At the time he came Ferishta was head of the palace guard, but being deserted by his people, and as no one was left with the king but Fatteh Shah and a few domestics, opposition was vain. The prince and Mirza Khan rushed into the fort with 40,000 armed men and put to death all they found except Ferishta who as he had been the prince's school-fellow was spared. The prince both in word and action treated his father the king with every possible insult. Murtaza looked on him with silent contempt, and when his son drew his sword and passed the bare blade across his breast, threatening to kill him, the king only sighed. The prince caused the king to be put into a warm bathing room and closing the doors and windows lighted a great fire underneath, and the king was speedily suffocated (1588). The deceased king was buried with due ceremony in the Roza garden, and his bones were afterwards taken to Karbela and buried near those of his father and grandfather.
In 1586, according to the Venetian traveller Caesar Frederick, the Moor king Zamalluco, that is Nizam-ul-Mulk, was of great power
with 200,000 men of war and a great etore, of artillery some of them made in pieces because the whole gun was too great to carry. Though they were made in pieces the guns worked marvellously well. Their shot was of stone and some of the stone shots had been sent to the king of Portugal for the rareness of the thing. The city where king Zamalluco had, his being was Abueqer,
that is Ahmadnagar seven or eight days inland of Cheul. [Hakluyt's Voyages, II. 345.]
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 270 - 275.] Miran Husain Nizam Shah, who was headstrong and cruel,
began his reign by tyranny and oppression. He appointed Mirza Khan prime minister but paid little regard to his advice. He
promoted several youths to high rank and made them the companions of his pleasures and excesses. He one day confined his minister on a suspicion of his having privately brought from Junnar and concealed in his house Shah Kasim the king's uncle. Next day finding he was mistaken he restored the minister and gave him his full confidence. To prevent future suspicions Mirza Khan advised the king to put to death the surviving males of the royal family, and fifteen princes were murdered in one day. As Mirza Khan's power became irksome to the king's companions they accused him of treachery, and the king in his drunken hours declared that he would behead Mirza Khan or have him trod to death by elephants. Mirza Khan resolved to ensure his safety by deposing the king who was trying every means in his power to ruin him. On the 15th of March 1588 in order to assassinate Mirza Khan the king sent for him to partake of a banquet in the house of his favourite Bangash Khan. Mirza Khan excused himself, on the plea of sudden illness, and sent his friend Agha Mir to make his excuse. When Agha Mir had eaten some of the dinner he pretended to be seized with violent pains, and declaring that he was poisoned left the house. Mirza Khan sent a message to the king that the Agha was dying and entreated to see him. The king went
with a few attendants and was seized by the minister and made prisoner. Mirza Khan sent for the king's cousins Ibrahim and Ismael who were confined at Lohogad in Poona, and meanwhile kept the king's imprisonment a secret. When the princes came from Lohogad Mirza Khan summoned several of the leading nobles into the fort, and declared to them that the king was deposed, and that Ismael Nizam, the younger of the two brothers then only in his twelfth year was appointed his successor. While the assembly was saluting the new king, Jamal Khan, a military leader, with several other officers and soldiers, chiefly Abyssinians and Dakhanis, assembled at the gates of the fort demanding to see Miran Husain their lawful sovereign. Jamal Khan sent persons to proclaim through the city what had been done by Mirza Khan and to warn the people that if Mirza Khan were allowed to act thus uncontrolled, the native nobles and people of the country would soon be slaves to foreign adventurers. The Dakhani troops and the inhabitants flew to arms and in a short time about 5000 horse and foot with a numerous mob joined Jamal Khan who was also supported by all the Abyssinians. Mirza Khan commanded the king's head to be cut off, and, placing it on a pole, planted it on one of the bastions of the citadel. At Jamal Khan's instance the mob heaped piles of wood and straw against the gates of the fort and set them on fire. The gates were burnt and Mirza Khan and his friends rushed from the fort. Numbers were slain but Mirza Khan made good his escape. The troops and the mob put to death every foreigner they found in the fort and in the city. Mirza Khan was seized near Junnar
and brought back to Ahmadnagar. He was first carried through the city on an ass and his body mangled. The massacre continued for seven days, and nearly a thousand foreigners were murdered, a few only escaping under the protection of Dakhani and Abyssinian officers. Miran Husain's reign lasted ten months and three days.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 276-281.] Jamal Khan now acknowledged Ismael Nizam Shah as king. Being of the Mehdvi [The Mehdvis or Mahadis are a sect of Muhammadans. They assert that in the year 1550 (H. 960) a person of the Hanefi school who styled himself Syed Muhammad was the promised Imam Mehdvi. The sect is fairly numerous in the Deccan, and is chiefly oonflned to the descendants of certain Afghan tribes. Further details are given in the Population Chapter.] sect he persuaded the king to embrace the same tenets and to commit the power of government into the hands of his followers. He seized the property of the few foreigners who had escaped the massacre and forced them to quit Ahmadnagar. Most of these, including the historian Ferishta, obtained service with the king of Bijapur. Among the discontented nobles was the chief of Berar, who, being at some distance from the capital, released Salabat Khan who had long been confined in the fort of Kehrla on the Berar frontier. Several discontented nobles joined his standard to oppose the Mehdvis, and, resolving to expel them from Ahmadnagar, Salabat
Khan marched towards the capital, while Dilawar Khan the Bijapur regent also approached from the south. Jamal Khan first moved against Salabat Khan whom he totally defeated at the town of Paithan and forced to retreat to Burhanpur. He then marched against the Bijapur army. For fifteen days the two armies halted at Ashta in Sholapur, without making any hostile movement. At length a peace was concluded. Chand Bibi the widow of the late Adil Shah of Bijapur and the aunt of the present Ahmadnagar king was to he sent to the Bijapur camp and the Nizam Shahi government were to pay £850,000 (270,000 huns) to defray the war expenses. [This is called nalbaha or the price of horse-shoes. Since then the tax has been frequently levied by the Marathas.] In 1589, Salabat Khan, who was now in his seventieth year, was allowed to retire to Talegaon, twenty miles north-west of Poona, a town which he had founded. He died before the close of the year and was buried in a tomb which he had built during his ministry on a hill six miles east of Ahmadnagar.[ Salabat Khan's tomb which is the most notable object near Ahmadnagar is now used as a health resort for Europeans stationed at Ahmadnagar. Details are given under Places, Ahmadnagar.]
Learning of the commotions at Ahmadnagar the emperor Akbar recalled Burhan Nizam from the estates which had been granted him in the north of India, allowed him to start for the Deccan, and allotted the frontier district of Hindia for his support till he should regain his authority from his son. He also wrote to Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh to support him. Having received overtures from many of the nobility, Burhan Nizam marched against his son, but was defeated. On renewing his attempt he was joined by a vast number of the Nizam Shahi troops as well as by an army from Bijapur. Jamal Khan, having ordered Syed Amjad-ul-Mulk of Berar to oppose Raja Ali and Burhan Nizam on the northern frontier, himself marched with his troops, among whom were 10,000 Mehdvis, against the Bijapur army. At Darasan where the two armies met, the Bijapur troops were defeated with the loss of 300 elephants. Soon after, learning that the Berar troops had gone over to Burhan Nizam, Jamal Khan marched his victorious army towards Berar, while the Bijapur king despatched the whole of his Maratha cavalry to follow Jamal Khan and cut off his supplies. Deserted by his other troops, Jamal Khan relied on the Mehavis whose existence was identified with his welfare. An action near the frontier, though his troops suffered from want of water, was nearly ending in his favour when Jamal Khan was killed by a chance shot. His death was the signal of the king's defeat. His army fled, accompanied by Ismael Nizam Shah, who was taken in a village and confined, by
his father after a reign of two years.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 282 - 287.] Burhan Nizam Shah II., who was advanced in years, on ascending the throne gave himself to pleasure. His first act was to annul the
orders in favour of the Mehdvi doctrines, and, by threatening with death those who persisted in the heresy, drove the sect out of his dominions. The Shia religion was restored, and many of the foreigners who had been driven out in consequence of Mirza Khan's
rebellion, returned. The Bijapur regent Dilawar Khan, who had been compelled to fly from Bijapur to Bedar, came to the Ahmadnagar court and was honourably received. Ibrahim Adil Shah remonstrated and Burhan sent an insulting letter which brought on war.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 170-172.] In 1592, at Dilawar's instigation Burhan marched towards the Bijapur frontier. On arriving at Mangalvedha, about thirteen miles south of Pandharpur, seeing that no army was sent to oppose him, he became suspicious of some stratagem to draw him into the heart of the enemy's territory, and would have retreated, had not Dilawar Khan prevailed on him to continue his advance as far as the Bhima. Here he halted, and, finding a ruined fortress, ordered it to be repaired. For some time the Bijapur king acted as if he was ignorant that an enemy was in his country. At length finding matters ripe for the execution of his design, he sent a messenger to Dilawar Khan, requesting him to return and again take the charge of his affairs. Dilawar, overjoyed at obtaining once more absolute power over the king, obtained his dismissal from Burhan Nizam Shah who in vain represented to him that he was hastening to his destruction. On reaching Bijapur Dilawar Khan was blinded and sent as a prisoner to the fortress of Satara. Then Ibrahim sent 10,000 horse under Rumi Khan Dakhani and 3000 of the household troops under Elias Khan. As the Bijapur Maratha cavalry defeated several of his detachments, Burhan Nizam Shall went against them in person and drove them across the Bhima, which shortly after became so flooded that the Ahmadnagar troops could not cross in pursuit. Famine and pestilence caused such loss in Burhan's camp, that he was forced to retire some marches towards Ahmadnagar, where, as he received supplies of provisions and as the pest had somewhat abated, he moved again towards Sholapur, but was defeated with the loss of 100 elephants and 400 horses. His troops wearied by the long and fatiguing campaign deserted him, and as he found out a conspiracy among his officers to place his son on the throne, he began his retreat towards Ahmadnagar. Being harassed on his march he was obliged to sue for peace. Ibrahim Adil Shah for nearly a month refused to listen to any proposals. But at last agreed to peace on condition that Burhan destroyed the fort which he had built in Bijapur territory. Burhan agreed and retired to Ahmadnagar mortified with the result of his campaign. In the same year Burhan marched against Revdanda, and, despatching a large force to Cheul, built the Korla fort to command the harbour. The Portuguese in Revdanda obtained reinforcements from many ports, and made two night attacks on the Muhammadans, killing on each occasion between three and four thousand Dakhanis. [The Portuguese historian states that 300 men
came from Bassein and 200 from Salsette, making in all, with the garrison, 1500 Europeans and as many native soldiers who attacked the Muhammadans and slew 10,000 men. Furhad Khan the governor and his family were taken prisoners. He and his daughters became Christians and went to Portugal. Seventy-five guns were captured on this occasion. Faria-e-Souza, III. Part I. Chapter 8 in Briggs' Ferishta, III. 285 foot.] Burhan sent a reinforcement of 4000
men under Furhad Khan to Korla. And as other Portuguese troops were expected from Daman and Bassein, he appointed Bahadur Gilani, at the head of all the foreign troops, governor of Korla, to blockade Revdanda. The Muhammadans being now on their guard, the Portuguese lost in an attack on Revdanda 100 Europeans and 200 native Portuguese. After this Revdanda was so closely besieged that no aid could reach it by sea. The Portuguese were on the point of capitulating, when the tyranny of the king at Ahmadnagar induced many of the officers to quit the camp and proceed to court. At this time a fleet of sixty vessels full of men and stores, passing close to Korla, under cover of the night, anchored in the harbour of Revdanda where they landed 4000 men, and on the following morning proceeded to attack Korla. Many of the Muhammadans fled in confusion to the fort, where being pursued they were massacred by the enemy. Upwards of 12,000 Muhammadans fell and the fort was reduced to ashes. The destruction of the Dakhanis enabled Burhan Nizam Shah to raise foreigners to the chief stations in the kingdom. In 1594, to assist Ismael in deposing his brother Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur, Burhan marched from Ahmadnagar to Belgaum. But at Paranda, hearing that Ismael had been taken and put to death, he returned to his capital where he shortly after fell dangerously ill. Ibrahim Adil Shah to punish Burhan for supporting Ismael ordered his army to lay waste the Ahmadnagar frontier. On this Burhan entered into an alliance with Venkatadri of Penkonda who agreed to invade Bijapur on the south, while from the north Burhan sent an army to reduce Sholapur. This expedition ended in disaster. Uzbak Bahadur the Ahmadnagar general was killed and his force defeated under the walls of Sholapur, This news increased Burhan Shah's disorder. Passing over Ismael, who was known to be an enemy of the Shias and a strict Mehdvi, he appointed Ibrahim his successor. In spite of this appointment a report spread that Ismael was to succeed his father, and all the foreigners fled to Bijapur. Yekhlas Khan Muvallid a partisan of Ismael raised a force and marched to Ahmadnagar. Burhan Shah though sick nearly to death was carried in a palanquin at the head of his troops to Humayunpur, and there defeated the prince who fled to Paranda. The march greatly weakened the king who died on the day after his return to Ahmadnagar (15th March 1594), after a reign of four years and sixteen days.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 288-291.] By his father's advice Ibrahim Nizam Shah appointed Mian
Manju Dakhani his tutor to be his prime minister. Yekhlas Khan was pardoned, but he no sooner arrived at Ahmadnagar than he
began to collect Abyssinians and Muvallids, and in a short time there were two parties, one headed by the minister and the other by Yekhlas Khan. Affairs fell into confusion and civil war seemed inevitable. As both parties behaved insolently towards Mir Safvi the Bijapur ambassador who had come to condole and congratulate, Ibrahim Adil Shah declared war and marched to Shahdurg to help the Ahmadnagar king who had now entirely lost his
authority. Yekhlas Khan was for war while Mian Manju proposed to conclude a peace with Bijapur that the whole forces of the Deccan might join to meet Akbar's intended invasion. Yekhlas Khan, notto be turned from his purpose of attacking Bijapur gained the king's consent and sent an army to the frontier. Ibrahim Adil Shah had yet made no attack on Ahmadnagar and Mian Manju again proposed to make overtures of peace. But the king would not hear of retreating, passed the frontier, and levied contributions on the Bijapur villages. Hamid Khan the Bijapur general opposed him, but, at Mian Manju's intercession, who represented the king's conduct as the result of his vicious habits and the evil practices of designing and wicked men, he avoided the Nizam Shahis and encamped at a distance of two miles. The king who was given to drinking, persisted in an attack on the Bijapur army, and was shot in the head in the action which followed. His troops fled to Ahmadnagar with his body. His reign lasted only four months.
[Briggs' Ferishta, III. 292-304.] On reaching the capital Mian Manju took possession of the treasury and the fortress and sent for Yekhlas Khan and other officers into the fort to consider the best means for conducting the government. Most of the Abyssinians proposed that the king's only son Bahadur an infant in arms should be proclaimed under the regency of Chand Bibi his father's aunt. As Mian Manju was opposed to this and instead under his advice it was agreed to bring Ahmad, the son of a certain Shah Tahir [When Husain Nizam Shah came to the throne (1553) his five brothers Muhammad Khudabanda, Shah All, Mahmud Bakar, Abdul Kadar, and Shah Haidar thinking they should fall victims to the jealousy of the king, fled from the kingdom. In the latter end of Murtaza Nizam Shah's reign a person calling himself Shah Tahir arrived at Daulatabad giving out that he was the son of Muhammad Khudabanda who had died in Bengal, and, that being reduced to distress, he had come into the Deccan. The facts were not then satisfactorily cleared owing to the distance of Bengal and the time which had passed. But as Shah Tahir claimed royal descent and might one day set up pretensions to the throne he was confined in a fortress. Burhan Nizam Shah II., who was for some time at Agra before he came to the throne, wrote refuting Shah Tahir's story by stating that Khudabanda his uncle died in his house and that his family were still living with him. Shah Tahir, not to give cause for future trouble, was imprisoned for life. He died some years afterwards leaving a son whose name was Ahmad.] who had claimed to be the nephew of Husain Nizam Shah, a boy twelve years of age who was imprisoned at Daulatabad, Ahmad was crowned on the 6th of August 1594 and the prayers were read in the name of the twelve Imams. The chiefs divided the kingdom among themselves, and removing Bahadur the late king Ibrahim's son from the charge of his aunt, sent him by force to the fortress of Chavand. Shortly after, as it was discovered that Ahmad Shah was not of the royal family, Yekhlas Khan, with the Muvallids and Abyssinians, deserted his cause. Mian Manju with the Dakhanis encamped in a large body on the plain of the Kala Chabutra near the fort. He despatched his son Mian Hasan with 700 horse to disperse the mob under Yekhlas Khan and himself accompanied by Ahmad went upon a raised ground from whence they could see the result. The two parties engaged and the struggle was long doubtful till a shot from the insurgents struck the king's canopy and caused great confusion in the fort. A report was spread that the king was dead, and
Mian Hasan took to flight and threw himself into the fort. Yekhlas Khan's party advanced and laid siege to the place both by a close blockade and regular approaches. Nehang Khan the Abyssinian and Habash Khan Muvallid, who had been in close confinement at Daulatabad ever since the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah II. were at once released by Yekhlas Khan's order, but the governor of Chavand refused to comply with his order for the delivery of Bahadur into his hands without the express command of Mian Manju. Yekhlas Khan in the meantime, procuring a child of the same age, proclaimed him as the descendant and lawful heir of the late Ibrahim Nizam Shah and by this means collected between ten and twelve thousand cavalry. Mian Manjn, in a fit of desperation, wrote a letter to Prince Murad Mirza, Akbar's son, who was then in Gujarat, to march to his assistance, promising to give him the Ahmadnagar revenues. Murad, who had been sent to Gujarat with the object of taking advantage of the first opportunity to invade the Deccan, promptly accepted this invitation. Before the letter reached Murad, the Abyssinian chiefs fell out about the distribution of places, and a mutiny took place in Yekhlas Khan's camp. A large body of the Dakhanis deserted him and joined Mian Manju in the fort, who, on the following day (18th September 1595), marched to the neighbourhood of the Idgah where he attacked and. completely routed the Abyssinians. Among the prisoners was the boy whom Yekhlas Khan had created king.
About a month after
(14th December) prince Murad, at the head of 30,000 Moghal and
Rajput horse, accompanied by Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh and Khan Khanan one of Akbar's
generals appeared to the north of Ahmadnagar. On reaching the Idgah a few shots passed between his line and the fort, and the Moghal army encamped in the Hasht-i-Behisht gardens about four miles to the north-west of the fort. Mian Manju, who was in a fair way of settling matters according to his own wishes, repenting of his overtures to Murad, prepared to resist any attempt on the capital.
Having supplied it with provisions for a long siege and leaving Ansar Khan one of his adherents to defend the place and Chand Bibi as regent of the kingdom, he, with the young king Ahmad Shah, took the route to Ausa to implore the assistance of the Bijapur and Golkonda sovereigns. Chand Bibi directed all the operations of the siege, and in a few days procured the assassination of Ansar Khan and proclaimed Bahadur Shah king of Ahmadnagar. Aided by Muhammad Khan, she took the whole management of affairs into her hands, and induced Shamshir Khan Habshi and Afzul Khan Borishi with many of their adherents to join her in the fort. Besides the government in the fort, the Nizam Shahis were divided into three other parties; Mian Manju and his nominee Ahmad Shah who were encamped on the Bijapur borders praying for aid to Ibrahim Adil Shah; Yekhlas Khan near Daulatabad, who had declared another child called Moti to be the rightful heir to the crown; and Nehang Khan the Abyssinian who went to the Bijapur territories induced Shah Ali the son of Burhan Nizam Shah I. then upwards of seventy years of age, to leave his retirement and assume the royal canopy. Prince Murad immediately Bent off a strong guard to protect the inhabitants of Burhanabad, which had been founded by Burhan Nizam Shah II. in the neighbourhood of Ahmadnagar, with directions to treat them
with lenity. The troops were also ordered to proclaim protection to all natives, so that they relied entirely on the good disposition of the Moghals towards them. On the second day the prince in person went out, and with the advice of his engineers marked out the ground for the trenches against the fort and allotted to each division of the army its separate post round the garrison. On the 27th Shahbaz Khan one of the Moghal generals, who was notorious for tyranny and cruelty, under pretence of hunting sallied forth towards Burhanabad,
and, in spite of the prince's orders, encouraged his men to plunder, himself
setting the example. In the course of an hour the towns of Ahmadnagar and Burhanabad were completely sacked. As soon as the prince heard of these disorders he hanged in front of the lines several men taken with plunder. But the people no longer trusted his promises and during the night both towns were deserted. Yekhlas Khan with a force of 12,000 men, was on his march to the capital, when Daulat Khan Lodi with a body of 6000 Moghal cavalry attacked and totally defeated him on the banks of the Godavari; and thence following up his success, arrived at the flourishing town of Paithan, and sacked it scarcely leaving the people enough to cover themselves.
Though she had proclaimed Bahadur Nizam Shah, yet as he was still in confinement at Chavand, and as Mian Manju with the present king was also in force on the Bijapur frontier, Chand Bibi thought it advisable to make overtures to Nehang Khan and Shah Ali to join her in the fort. Nehang Khan put his force of 7000 men in motion and arrived within twelve miles of Ahmadnagar. He was told that the east face of the fort was not invested and that it was the only road by which he could make his entry. He marched during the night, but when he came within about three miles of the place he found part of the Moghal camp on the direct road pointed out for his entry. This division consisted of a picket of 3000 men under Khan Khanan who had been set there only the morning before as the prince had noticed that this part of the fort was not invested. Nehang Khan resolved to force his way, and coming on the party unexpectedly cut off a number of the Moghals. The post was reinforced but with a few followers he dashed on into the fort. Shah Ali was less successful and in attempting to retreat 700 of his men were cut off by the Moghals under Daulat Khan Lodi. The Bijapur king hearing of this defeat despatched the eunuch Sohail Khan with 25,000 horse to Shahdurg on his frontier to await orders. Sohail Khan was here joined by Mian Manju and Ahmad Shah as well as by Yekhlas Khan, who for the present had laid aside every private consideration, in the hope of saving the government by forming a union. This army was soon after joined by Mehdi Kuli Sultan Turkoman with 6000 Golkonda horse sent express from Haidarabad. Prince Murad, hearing of the assemblage of this force at Shahdurg, called a council of war and resolved that the fort should be attacked before the allies could relieve it. In a few days five mines were carried under the bastions on one face of the fort. All were charged with powder and built with mortar and stones, excepting where the train was to be laid, and it was
resolved to fire them on the following morning (20th February 1596). During the night, Khwaja Muhammad Khan Shirazi, admiring the resolution of the besieged and unwilling that they should be sacrificed, made his way to the walls and informed them of their danger.
At the instance of Chand Bibi, who herself set the example,
the garrison immediately began to countermine. By daylight they had destroyed two of the mines and were searching for the others
when the prince, without communicating with Khan Khanan, ordered out the line and resolved to storm without him. The
besieged were in the act of removing the powder from the third and largest mine when the prince ordered them to be sprung. Many of the counterminers were killed and several yards of the wall fell. When the breach was made several of the leading officers of the garrison prepared for flight. But Chand Bibi, clad in armour and with a veil thrown over her face and a drawn sword in her hand, dashed forward to defend the breach. The fugitives to a man returned and joined her, and, as the storming party held back for the springing of the other mines, the besieged had time to throw rockets, powder, and other combustibles into the ditch, and to bring guns to bear on the breach. The Moghals at length advanced to storm. The defence of the foot of the breach was obstinate and the assailants suffered severely from the fire of the besieged. The ditch was nearly filled with dead bodies. From four in the evening till nightfall party after party forced their way into the breach but all were repulsed. Both camps were filled with admiration of the heroic leader of the defence whose title by common consent was raised from Lady Chand to Queen Chand. After midnight when the attack slackened, the queen in person superintended the repairs of the breach, and by dawn the wall was built seven or eight feet high. Next day she despatched letters to the allied armies at Bid to hasten their approach, representing the distress of the garrison for supplies. These despatches fell into the enemy's hand who forwarded them to their destination with a letter from prince Murad inviting them to hasten as he was anxious to meet them, the sooner the better. [Chand Bibi is the favourite heroine of the Deccan and is the subject of many legends. Even Khafi Khan mentions her having fired silver balls into the Moghal camp. The common tradition at Ahmadnagar is that when her shot was expended, she loaded her guns with copper, with silver, and with gold coin, and that it was not till she had begun to fire jewels that she agreed to make peace.
Elphinstone's History, 456. According to the late Colonel Meadows Taylor, C.S.I., the character and deeds of no Muhammadan princess of the Deccan live so brightly at Ahmadnagar and Bijapur as those of Chand Bibi. Of all their tales the people love none more than the story of the queen's defence of Ahmadnagar. She is one of several instances in Indian history of a lady of rank, at a crisis of extreme danger, showing great political wisdom, and the highest fortitude and self-reliance. A portrait of her at Bijapur, apparently painted by a Persian artist, a work of art and probably a true likeness, shows her in profile very fair, with blue or gray eyes, a thin aquiline nose and other refined features, a resolute womanly air, and a light graceful figure. Architecture of Bijapur, 36.] The allies marched by the Manikdaund hills to Ahmadnagar. The Moghal camp which was much distressed for provisions became still more straitened by the approach of the allies. The prince thought it advisable to make overtures to the fort, and agreed to quit the
country on condition of receiving a grant for the cession of Berar,
the sovereignty of which he required Ahmadnagar formally to
renounce. Chand Sultana at first refused these terms, but reflecting
that if the allies were defeated she might not obtain even these
conditions she signed the treaty in the name of Bahadur Shah. [Briggs'Ferishta, III. 303,304. After the annexation of Khandesh, the Khan Khanan set out on his expedition to the Deccan. His first step was to lay siege to Ahmadnagar. Chand Bibi who was at that time ruler of that province made peace under which the territory of Berar was surrendered to Akbar. Maasir-i-Rahimi in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 241. The fortress had long been defended by Chand Bibi the sister of Nizam-ul-Mulk and when besieged dissensions among the Imperial armies averted its capture. Faizi Sirhindi's Akbarnama in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 144.]
The Moghals retreated by the route of Daulatabad.
after the raising of the siege the allies arrived, Mian Manju
expected allegiance to be paid to Ahmad Shah. To this the nobles
in the fort would not agree; Nehang Khan, shut the gate of the fort
against him and sent a force to bring Bahadur Shah from his
confinement in Chavand. Chand Sultana now asked the aid of her
nephew, the Bijapur king, to quell the internal commotions of the
Ahmadnagar kingdom. Ibrahim Adil Shah sent Mustafa Khan with
a body of 4000 men to her aid, and wrote to Mian Manju requiring
him to desist from pressing the claims of Ahmad Shah and to repair
to Bijapur. On his arrival at Bijapur, Ibrahim Adil Shah having
clearly ascertained that Ahmad Shah was not a lineal descendant
of the Nizam Shahi family, gave him a handsome estate for life
and enrolled Mian Manju among the nobles of his own kingdom.
On his arrival at Ahmadnagar Bahadur Shah was proclaimed king,
and Muhammad Khan, Chand Sultana's friend and adviser, was
appointed Peshwa or minister. Shortly after establishing his authority
Muhammad Khan promoted his own adherents and relatives to the
chief offices of the state. Thinking that those who had distinguished
themselves in the war would not tamely submit to be passed over,
Muhammad seized and confined Nehang Khan and Shamshir Khan the
two Abyssinian generals, and the rest of the chiefs fearing a similar
fate, fled the kingdom. Muhammad Khan's influence at the capital
was unrestrained, and Queen Chand foresaw her approaching loss
of power. She wrote to her nephew, Ibrahim Adil Shah, begging
his interference, and asking that a considerable force might be
sent to reorganise the government, now usurped by Muhammad
Khan. Sohail Khan was again despatched for this purpose with an
army to Ahmadnagar with instructions to regulate his conduct
according to the wishes of Queen Chand. In the beginning of 1596,
Sohail Khan arrived, and, as Muhammad Khan opposed his entry, he
invested the fort, and blockaded it for four months. Muhammad Khan,
finding a strong party against him, wrote to Khan Khanan the
Moghal commander-in-chief in Berar, promising if he came to his
help that he would hold the country as a vassal of the Delhi emperor.
Hearing of this treachery the garrison seized Muhammad Khan
and delivered him to the queen. This change at once restored her
authority. She released Nehang Khan the Abyssinian and appointed
him minister. On his way to Bijapur Sohail Khan sent word to
Bijapur that the Moghals had laid hands on the town of Pathri
which had not been included in the Berar cessions. In reply he was ordered to march against the invaders. Muhammad Kuli Sultan, with a force from Golkonda, was directed to co-operate with Sohail Khan, who was also joined by 20,000 Nizam Shahi troops from Ahmadnagar. He marched towards Berar with an army of nearly 60,000 horse and camped at the town of Sonpat. Khan Khanan, the Moghal general, joined by Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh, Raja Jagannath and several other officers of distinction, halted on the banks of the Godavari, and, taking a position close to the enemy, intrenched his camp. For fourteen days beyond partial skirmishes no action took place. In a general action on the 26th of January 1597, though Raja Ali and Jagannath were both killed, Sohail Khan was compelled to retreat to Shahdurg, and the Nizam Shahis retired to Ahmadnagar. Nehang Khan, the minister, gaining unlimited power devised a scheme for seizing Queen Chand and taking on himself the management of the orphan king and the government. Learning his intentions the queen shut the gates against him, and, securing the person of the king, refused Nehang Khan admittance, saying that he might transact business in the town but not in the fort. Nehang Khan submitted quietly for some days. He then openly attacked the fort and several skirmishes took place. Ibrahim Adil Shah made overtures to effect a reconciliation, but both parties rejected his offers, as nothing less than complete submission of their rivals would satisfy either. Nehang Khan taking advantage of Khan Khanan's absence and of the rainy season, sent a detachment, and retook the town of Bid from the Moghals. The governor of Bid marched out twelve miles to meet the Ahmadnagar force, but being wounded and defeated, he with great difficulty reached Bid, which was soon invested. Akbar despatched prince Danyal Mirza and Khan Khanan (1599) to the governor's relief, when Nehang Khan immediately raised the siege and marched with 15,000 horse and foot to seize the Jaipur Kotli pass and there meet the Moghals. The prince learning of this movement marched round by the village of Manuri and avoided the pass. Nehang Khan finding himself outmanouvred and unable to withstand the Moghal force set fire to his heavy baggage and retreated to Ahmadnagar. He wished to compromise matters with the queen but she refused to listen to him and he fled to Junnar. The Moghal forces reached the fort without opposition and having laid siege to it began mining. The unfortunate Queen Chand placing no trust on those around her, applied for advice to Hamid Khan, an eunuch, and an officer of. rank in the fort. Hamid Khan recommended that they should fight and defend the place against the Moghals. The queen declared that after what she had seen of the conduct of officers she could place no trust in them. She thought it advisable to agree to give up the fort, if the safety of the garrison and of their property were secured and then to retire to Junnar with the young king.
Hearing this Hamid
Khan ran into the streets, declaring that Chand Sultana was in treaty
with the Moghals for the delivery of the fort. The shortsighted and ungrateful Dakhanis, headed by Hamid Khan, rushed into her
private rooms and put her to death. In the course of a few days the mines were sprung and several breaches made. The Moghals
stormed and carried the place, giving little or no quarter. Bahadur Shah and all the children of the royal family were taken prisoners, and the unfortunate king, with the regalia and jewels, was sent to the emperor Akbar at Burhanpur and afterwards confined in the fort of Gwalior. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 312. The following are Moghal accounts of the fall of Ahmadnagar. On the second occasion when Khan Khanan attacked Ahmadnagar Sohail the Abyssiuian was appointed by Adil Shah to the command of the army and the armies of Nizam-ul-Mulk, Adil Shah, Kutb-ul-Mulk, and the Berid Shahi chief being placed under his command. He came out in considerable strength and confidence. The Khanan with the small force at his command obtained a complete victory over Sohail. He then proceeded to the siege of Ahmadnagar which he reduced, and brought the whole province of the Deccan under the rule of the Delhi emperor, Maasir-i-Rahimi in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 241-2. The operations against Ahmadnagar were protracted, and the royal army was in difficulty about supplies. Evil-disposed persons in all parts began to move. So Mirza
Rustam was sent to Prince Danyal with a lakh of mohars. Nasik fell into the hands of the Imperial officers about this time. After the rains Akbar set his heart upon the reduction of Ahmadnagar. He sent directions for using every effort, and he himself proceeded to Burhanpur. Chand Bibi was for keeping the treaty which she had made with Abu-l-Fazl the writer of this work; but Abhang, that is Nehang Khan, at the head of a large force of Abyssinians and Dakhanis was fighting against her. On the 26th of Farwardin, the royal army arrived and suspicion seized upon the Dakhani forces. One man whispered to another that their leaders had made terms with the Imperial army; so this force of Abhang's lost heart and dispersed without making any resistance. On the 2nd
Urdibihisht the various intrenchments were assigned to the various amirs. Chand Bibi was for abiding by the treaty. Several of the leading men on the fortress then took matters into their own hands, and made several unsuccessful sorties. Under the direction of the Prince, great efforts were made to form a khak-rez that is to fill the ditch which was thirty to forty gaz broad and seven gaz deep (zarpha). The wall was of bluish stone and twenty-seven gaz high. Mines were formed from the trenches of the prince and Mirza Yusuf Khan; but the besieged broke into them and filled them. They even formed a countermine from the inside and exploded it; but it was smothered by the khak-rez, and did no damage. The shock split a bastion of the fortress. When this was discovered, efforts were made to clear out the chasm and this being effected, 180 mans of gunpowder were placed therein. On the sixth Shahryur it was exploded. The bastion and thirty gaz of the wall was blown into the air. The garrison suffered from the falling stones; but not a particle of stone fell on the besiegers. Through the breach rushed the assailants and another party made their way in from the intrenchments of Mirza Yusuf Khan. Fifteen hundred of the garrison were put to the sword; the rest were saved by the solicitations of their friends. Bahadur son of Ibrahim and grandson of Burhan who had been set up as Nizam-ul-Mulk was taken prisoner. Very valuable jewels, embossed arms, a splendid library, fine silks, and twenty-five elephants were among the booty. The guns and ammunition exceeded all commute. The siege was carried on during the rainy season, but by great good fortune there was no flooding to interrupt the construction of the khak-rez. The day after the victory heavy rain set in. The siege lasted four months and four days. Abu-l-Fazl's Akbarnama in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 99-101. Another description of the siege runs as follows: Prince Danyal aided by some of the great amirs took the fort of Ahmadnagar by assault. The siege had been carried on for nearly six months and constant fire had been kept up without effect. Khan Khanan thought that mining must be resorted to and as the other nobles agreed with him a mine was formed. It was charged with 180 mans of gunpowder and was exploded on the 20th Shahryur in the 45th year of Akbar's reign. A bastion was blown up with seventy or eighty gaz of the wall. Khan Khanan, Raja Jagannath, and the other amirs exerted themselves to incite their troops and gave order that the troops were to rush in and finish the work directly after the explosion. This order was duly executed; and in another
place a force under Yusuf Khan scaled the wall by means of a mound or khak-rez. The assailants pressed on and after a severe fight in which 1000 of the besiegers fell the fortress was captured. The grandson of Nizam-ul-Mulk was taken prisoner and carried to the emperor. Faizi Sirhindi's Akbarnama in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 144-5.]
His reign lasted for three years. As the great fort of Asirgad fell at the same time, Akbar made over Khandesh and the Ahmadnagar Deccan to prince Danyal.
The Ahmadnagar dominions extended over the greater part of Berar and the whole of what was afterwards included in the subha of Aurangabad, Galna, and some other districts in Nasik and Khandesh and the district of Kalyan in the Konkan from Bankot to Bassein. Under the Ahmadnagar kings, though perhaps less regularly than afterwards under the Moghals, the country was divided into districts or sarkars. The district was distributed among subdivisions which were generally known by Persian names, pargana,karyat,sammat,mahal, and taluka, and sometimes by the Hindu names of prant and desh. The hilly west, which was generally managed by Hindu officers, continued to be arranged by valleys with their Hindu names of khora,mura, and maval. The collection of the revenue was generally entrusted to farmers, the farms sometimes including only one village. Where the revenue was not farmed, its collection was generally entrusted to Hindu officers. Over the revenue farmers was a government agent or amil, who, besides collecting the revenue, managed the police and settled civil suits. Civil suits relating to land were generally referred to juries or panchayats. Though the chief power in the country was Muhammadan, large numbers of Hindus were employed in the service of the state. The garrisons of hill forts seem generally to have been Hindus, Marathas, Kolis, and Dhangars, a few places of special strength being reserved for Musalman commandants or killedars. Besides the hill forts some parts of the open country were left under loyal Maratha and Brahman officers with the title of estate-holder or jagirdar, and of district head or deshmukh. Estates were generally granted on military tenure, the value of the grant being in proportion to the number of troops which the grant-holder maintained. Family feuds or personal hate, and, in the case of those whose lands lay near the borders of two kingdoms, an intelligent regard for the chances of war, often divided Maratha families and led members of one family to take service under rival Musalman states. Hindus of distinguished service were rewarded with the Hindu titles of raja,naik, and rav. Numbers of Hindus were employed in the Ahmadnagar armies. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 36, 38.]
The Maratha chiefs under Ahmadnagar were Rav Jadhav, Raja Bhonsle, and many others of less note. Jadhavrav, Deshmukh of Sindkhed is supposed, with much probability, to have been a descendant of the Rajas of Devgad. Lukhji Jadhavrav in the end of the sixteenth century held an estate or jagir under the Nizam Shahi government for the support of 10,000 horse. The respectable family of the Bhonslas, which produced the great Shivaji, first rose to notice under the Ahmadnagar government. They are said to have held several patilships, but their principal residence was at the village of Verul or Elura near Daulatabad. Bhosaji who is said to have been the first of the family to settle in the Deccan, and from whom the name Bhonsla is sometimes derived, claimed descent from a younger or from an illegitimate son of the royal family of Udepur in Rajputana. Maloji Bhonsla married Dipabai the sister of
Jagpalrav Naik Nimbalkar the deshmukh of Phaltan. At the age of twenty-five, in the year 1577, by the interest of Lukhji Jadhavrav he was entertained in the service of Murtaza Nizam Shah with a small party of horse of which he was the proprietor. Maloji was an active shiledar or cavalier, and acquitted himself sotwell in various duties entrusted to him that he began to rise to distinction. He had by some means made an addition to his small body of horse and was always much noticed by his first patron Jadhavrav. The story told of his rise to power in the Ahmadnagar court is, that in 1599 at the time of the Holi festival in March-April, Maloji took his son Shahaji, a remarkably fine boy of five, to pay his respects to Lukhji Jadhavrav, Maloji's patron. Lukhji Jadhavrav, pleased with the boy, seated Shahaji near Jiji his daughter a child of three or four. The children began to play, and Lukhji joking said to the girl, 'How would you like him for a husband.' The guests laughed but Maloji rose and solemnly accepted Lukhji's offer of marriage. Lukhji and his wife were furious, but Maloji was unshaken.
He retired to his village, where, it is said, the goddess Bhavani appeared to him and discovered a large treasure. At all events he and his brother Vithoji became possessed of money in some secret manner, which Grant Duff suspects was by robbery. Their agent or their receiver was a banker of Chambhargonde or Shrigonde about thirty miles south of Ahmadnagar, named Shesho Naik Punde, in whose hands the cash was placed. [It is remarkable, as it bespeaks a connection maintained, that Shivaji's treasurer in 1669 was the grandson of Shesho Naik Punde. Grant Duffs Marathas, 106.] According to Maratha legends, the discovery of this treasure was the means provided by the goddess for carrying out her promise, that one of the clan would become a king and found a family which would reign for twenty-seven generations. Maloji spent his money in buying horses, and in the popular works of digging ponds and wells and endowing temples. He still clung to his favourite scheme of being connected with the family of JadhavraV.
Jagpalrav Naik Nimbalkar of Phaltan, the brother of Dipabai Maloji's wife, warmly interested himself to promote the proposed marriage of his nephew. Wealth and power at a falling court like that of Ahmadnagar could procure anything. As Jadhavrav's chief objection was Maloji's want of rank, this difficulty was removed by raising him to the command of 5000 horse with the title of Maloji Raja Bhonsle. The forts of Shivneri and Chakan in Poona with their dependent districts were likewise placed in his charge; and the sub-divisions of Poona and Supa were made over to him as estates. Jadhavrav had no longer any excuse for not performing what he was urged to by his sovereign (1604). The marriage of Shahaji to Jijibai was celebrated with great pomp, and was honoured by the presence of the Sultan. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 40, 42.]
On the fall of Ahmadnagar (1600) the emperor Akbar conferred the government of the country on Khwaja Beg Mirza Safawi a relation of Shah Tamasp of Persia and Mirza Muhammad Salih,
who lived in the country, and, according to the Moghal historian, conferred many kindnesses, obligations, and comforts on the people. [Anfa'u-l-Akhbar in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 247.]
The officers of the Ahmadnagar kingdom, refused to admit that the fall of the capital carried with it all hope of independence. They declared Murtaza the son of Shah Ali king and made Paranda about seventy-five miles south-east of Ahmadnagar their capital. Of these officers Malik Ambar an Abyssinian and Mian Raju Dakhani, [Of Malik Ambar's origin the stories vary. The most consistent of them is that in his youth he was a personal adherent of Changiz Khan, the too loyal minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah I. and from this able patron acquired the knowledge for which he was afterwards famous, Elphinstone's History of India. According to Grant Duff Mian Raju was a Hindu; according to Briggs he was a Musalman.] in spite of the Moghal forces, for more than twenty years held almost the whole of the Nizam Shahi dominions. Malik Ambar's rule extended from the Kutb Shahi and Adil Shahi borders within two miles of Bid and eight of Ahmadnagar, and from sixteen miles west of Daulatabad to within the same distance of the port of
Cheul. Mian Raju held Daulatabad and the country north and south from the Gujarat frontier to within twelve miles of Ahmadnagar. Both officers professed allegiance to Murtaza Nizam Shah II. whom they kept in the fort of Ausa about 130 miles south-east of Ahmadnagar and gave the revenues of a few surrounding villages for his subsistence. Malik Ambar and Mian Raju were bitter rivals and their rivalry often broke into open hostility. Khan Khanan, the Moghal governor of Ahmadnagar, learning of their rivalry, sent a party from Berar to take a small district belonging to Malik Ambar on the Telingan boundary. Malik Ambar started to relieve his district with a detachment of six to seven thousand horse and succeeded in defeating the Moghals and recovering the land. Mirza Airich, the son of Khan Khanan, was at once sent to attack him with a picked force of 5000 horse. In a severe battle at Nander about 200 miles east of Ahmadnagar many were slain on both sides and in the end the Dakhanis were beaten and Malik Ambar who lay wounded on the field was saved from falling into the enemy's hands only by the devoted gallantry of his attendants. [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 315.] Malik Ambar recovered from his wounds, and gathered fresh troops. Khan Khanan, fearing his popularity and enterprise, made overtures for peace. Malik Ambar, who suspected the late attack was due to Mian Raju's enmity, gladly accepted the offer, and a treaty was concluded under which Malik Ambar was confirmed in the possession of his territory. Ever after this Khan Khanan and Malik Ambar continued on the most friendly terms.
Not long after this Venkatrav Koli, Farhad Khan Movallid, Malik Sandal, and other officers deserted Malik Ambar and joined Murtaza Nizam Shah II. at Ausa. Malik Ambar marched against the malcontents and defeated them under the walls of the fort. Venkatrav was taken prisoner, but the other chiefs fled with the king into the fort and came to terms. As Malik Ambar
was anxious to gain Paranda he took the king with him to that fortress. The governor refused
to surrender to Malik Ambar, who, he said, belonged to the Moghal party. Malik protested that he was a true and loyal servant of the Nizam Shahi family and was ready to support his king with his last breath. Still the commandant refused to admit him into the fort, the garrison were strengthened by Farhad Khan and Malik Sandal, and, to prevent the king from joining the Paranda governor, Malik Ambar was forced to keep him a state prisoner. After a month's siege the people of the town rose and slew the governor's son who had been guilty of some cruelty and forced the father, Farhad Khan, and Malik Sandal to fly to Bijapur. The garrison still held out, but Malik Ambar, freeing Murtaza from restraint, was allowed to introduce the king into the fort while he himself remained encamped outside. [Briggs' Ferishta, III, 316.] In 1604 Prince Danyal, the Moghal governor of the Deccan, whose head-quarters were at Burhanpur on the eastern borders of Khandesh, came to Ahmadnagar to receive his bride the Bijapur king's daughter. The prince expected that, as Malik Ambar had done, Mian Raju would meet him and acknowledge his authority in the Deccan. Mian Raju was asked to the Moghal camp, but, instead of attending, so harassed Danyal's army with 8000 light cavalry, that Khan Khanan had to march against him with 5000 cavalry from Jalna. After the marriage which was celebrated at Paithan, the prince returned to Burhanpur and Khan Khanan to Jalna [Briggs' Ferishta, III. 317.].
The French traveller Francois Pyrard, who was in India between 1601 and 1608 writes: The reigning prince of Cheul is called Melique that is Malik and is a vassal of the great Moghal. The Malik, he adds, has a large number of elephants. When he dines he sends for many handsome women who sing and dance during the meal. Then some of them cut a piece of cloth called taffety into bits so minute that they have no other use than that of being carried away by the spectators, who stick them on to their breasts, as if they were so many medals. When the spectacle is over, the king remains alone in his palace, his mind absorbed in the contemplation of the vanity and uncertainty of life until he goes to sleep. [Da
Cunha's Chaul, 63.]
Meanwhile Murtaza complained to Mian Raju of the treatment he received from Malik Ambar. Mian Raju marched to Paranda without opposition, conferred with the king, and promised to reduce Malik Ambar. When Malik Ambar heard of Mian Raju's approach, he marched to meet him. For about a month the two forces were camped near Paranda. Several skirmishes ended so favourably for Mian Raju that Malik Ambar asked Khan Kahnan for help. Mirza Husain Ali Beg, the Moghal governor of Bid, was at once sent to Malik's aid, with 3000 cavalry. Mian Raju was defeated, and fled to Daulatabad. After this the death of Prince Danyal and the absence of Khan Khanan from Jalna gave Malik Ambar an opportunity of spreading his power. Gathering an army he marched to Daulatabad, and defeated Mian Raju, who applied to Khan Khanan for aid. [ Briggs' Ferishta, III. 318.] Khan Khanan came and for six months
prevented the rival chiefs from attacking each other; in the end Malik Ambar, perceiving that Khan Khanan was rather well disposed to Mian Raju, deemed it politic to yield to his wishes and make peace. On his return to Paranda, finding Murtaza constantly intriguing and raising factions against him, Malik thought of deposing him and choosing a less independent successor Before taking action Malik consulted Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur, and as he was strongly opposed to the scheme, Malik Ambar gave it up In 1607 Malik made Murtaza's position easier and more dignified, and mutual confidence was established. In the same
year at the head of 10,000, cavalry they marched together against Junnar and
made it the seat of Murtaza's government.
Malik Ambar's Regency, 1607-1626.
From Junnar Malik despatched an army to Daulatabad Mian Raju was defeated and taken prisoner and his territory became part of Murtaza's dominions. In the following years Malik Ambar's power increased. He founded a new capital at Khadki, whose name Aurangzeb afterwards (1658-1707) changed [Grant Duffa Marathas, 483.] to Aurangabad, and profiting by dissensions between Khan Khanan and the other generals, repeatedly defeated the Moghal troops and invested the town of Ahmadnagar. Every effort was made to defend the place and Khan Khanan and the other Moghal nobles who were with Prince Parvez at Burhanpur marched to relieve it. Through the jealousies and dissensions of the leaders, and from want of supplies, the army was conducted by roads through mountains and difficult passes, and shortly became so disorganized and so badly supplied with food that it was forced to retreat [Elphinstone's India, 480.] In spite of the efforts of the commandant Khwaja Beg the Ahmadnagar garrison was so disheartened by the retreat of the relieving force that Khwaja Beg capitulated and retired to Burhanpur. As Khwaja Beg had acted with skill and bravery, he was promoted to the command of 5000. At the
same time he was removed and Khan Jahan Lodi was sent in his place [Wakiat-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 324.] In 1612 to restore success to their arms in the Deccan, Jahangir organised a combined attack on Malik Ambar. At the same moment Abdulla Khan, the viceroy of Gujarat was to advance form Gujarat and Prince Parvez and Khan Jahan Lodi, reinforced by Raja Mansing, were to advance from Khandesh and Berar Before the time agreed on, Abdulla Khan arrived from Gujarat and Malik Ambar hurried to attack him before the Khandesh and Bera armies could take the field. The neighbourhood of the European ports enabled Malik to have better artillery than the Moghals and his artillery afforded a rallying point on which he could always collect his army. But under ordinary circumstances, like the Marathas after him, Malik trusted more to his light cavalry than to his artillery. His light horsemen cut off the Moghal supplies and harassed their march, hovered round their army when they halted, alarmed them with false attacks and often made incursions into the camp, carrying off booty and causing constant disorder and alarm. These tactics were applied with unusual vigour
and success to prevent the advance of the Gujarat army. Abdulla Khan, the viceroy of Gujarat, who had advanced well into Khandesh was so worn by this warfare that he determined to retire. His rear-guard was cut to pieces, and his retreat had nearly become a flight before he found refuge in the hills and forests of Baglan, whence he passed in quiet to Gujarat. By this time the Khandesh and Berar armies had taken the field, but disheartened with the failure of the plan of the campaign they feared to risk a battle and centred their forces at Burhanpur. In spite of the success with which he guarded the Deccan from the advance of Moghal power Malik Ambar had the greatest difficulty in keeping his confederates and even his own officers loyal to him. In 1620, chiefly owing to the rivalry of other Musalman officers, Malik Ambar was defeated in a great battle with the Moghals near the northern boundary of Ahmadnagar. Though apparently no share of the shame for this defeat attached to the Marathas in Malik Ambar's service, for Shahaji Bhonsla who had succeeded his father Maloji, Lukhji Jadhavrav, and one of the Naiks of Phaltan all fought with distinguished bravery, the result of the battle so disheartened them, that in 1621 several Marathas went over to the Moghals. The most important of the chiefs who deserted Malik Ambar was Lukhji Jadhavrav Deshmukh of Sindkhed the chief Maratha estate-holder under the Nizam Shahi government. The very high importance which the Moghals attached to the Maratha leaders is shown by the fact that Lukhji Jadhavrav was given a command of 24,000 with 15,000 horse and that his relations were raised to high rank. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 43.] After the desertion of the Maratha chiefs Malik Ambar suffered a second defeat which so discouraged the allies, that Prince Shah Jahan who was sent to the Deccan found little difficulty in detaching the king of Bijapur from the confederacy. Malik Ambar, entirely deserted, was forced to tender Murtaza's submission and to restore the fort of Ahmadnagar and all the territory he had won back from the Moghals. Soon after Shah Jahan retired to Delhi. In his absence Malik Ambar renewed hostilities, overran the open country, and forced the Moghal commander into Burhanpur. Shah Jahan was ordered to march against him and was supplied with a powerful army and great treasures. Shah Jahan, who conducted this and his other Deccan campaigns with great ability, taking his brother Prince Khusru with him, started for the Deccan. Before he reached Malwa a detachment of Malik Ambar's had crossed the Narbada and burned the suburbs of Mandu, but they were driven back as the prince advanced. Malik Ambar as usual cut off supplies and detachments, hung on the line of march, and attempted by long and rapid marches to surprise the camp. He found Shah Jahan always on his guard and at last was forced to risk the fate of the campaign in a general action, in which he was defeated with considerable loss. King Murtaza moved to Daulatabad and the imperial forces destroyed Khadki, and advanced to Paithan on their way to relieve Ahmadnagar which was besieged by a force
of Malik Ambar's. Feeling further resistance hopeless Malik Ambat sent envoys to express repentance and ask forgiveness. He promised ever afterwards to remain loyal and to pay tribute, and in addition to furnish a war indemnity. A great scarcity of provisions in the imperial camp made Shah Jahan anxious to accept Malik Ambar's submission. [Elphinatone's History of India, 562, 563.] Khanjar Khan, the commandant of Ahmadnagar, was strengthened by fresh troops and treasure, and it was agreed that about thirty miles of territory near Ahmadnagar should be ceded to the Moghals and £500,000 (Rs. 50 lakhs) paid into the Imperial treasury. [Wakiat-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 380]
In 1624 in the hope of gaining the management of the Deccan, Malik Ambar who was then at war with Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur, sent an envoy to Mohabat Khan the Moghal commander-in-chief in the Deccan to express obedience and devotion. Ibrahim Adil Shah about the same time made similar offers and his offers were accepted. Malik Ambar, vexed and disappointed, sent his children with his wives and attendants to the fortress of Daulatabad [Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI, 411-412.] and marched with the king from Khadki to Kandhar on the borders of Golkonda to receive his fixed payments or zar-i-mukrari which were two years in arrear. After receiving the tribute and securing himself on that side by a treaty and oath Malik marched to Bedar, surprised and defeated Ibrahim Adil Shah's forces, and plundered Bedar. From Bedar he marched against Bijapur. As his best troops and officers were at Burhanpur, Ibrahim Adil Shah avoided a battle and took shelter in Bijapur. When they heard of Malik Ambar's success, Lashkar Khan and all the Deccan nobles, together with Muhammad Lari the commander of the Moghal troops, marched from Burhanpur towards Bijapur. Malik Ambar wrote to the Imperial officers stating that he was not less loyal to the Imperial throne than Ibrahim Adil Shah and asking that Nizam-ul-Mulk and Adil Shah might be allowed to settle their old standing differences without interference. To this remonstrance the Moghal officers paid no attention. As they continued to advance Malik Ambar was forced to raise the siege of Bijapur and retire into his own territories. Even here he was followed by the Moghal army, and, in spite of most humble offers, Muhammad Lari the Moghal commander persisted in hunting him down. At last, driven to desperation, and taking advantage of the carelessness which their belief in his powerlessness had brought on the Moghals, Malik suddenly fell on their camp ten miles from Ahmadnagar. At the first onset Muhammad Lari the Moghal commander was killed. His fall threw the Bijapur forces into confusion. Jadhavrav and Udaram fled without striking a blow, and the defeat ended in a rout. Ikhlas Khan and twenty-five of Adil Shah's leading officers were taken prisoners. Of these Farhad Khan who had sought Malik Ambar's death was executed and the others imprisoned. Lashkar Khan and other Imperial chiefs were also made prisoners. Khanjar Khan by great exertions escaped to 'Ahmadnagar and prepared the fortress for a siege, and Jan Sipar Khan
reached Bid and set the fort in order. Of the rest who escaped some fled to Ahmadnagar and some to Burhanpur. Malik Ambar, successful beyond his hopes, sent his prisoners to Daulatabad and marched to lay siege to Ahmadnagar. As, in spite of every effort, he made no impression on Ahmadnagar, Malik left part of his army to maintain the investment and himself marched against Bijapur. Ibrahim Adil Shah took refuge in the fortress and Malik Ambar occupied his territories as far as the frontiers of the Imperial dominions in the Balaghat. He collected an excellent army and laid siege to and took Sholapur. So complete was his success that the Moghal officers received strict orders from Delhi to keep within the forts they held and attempt no operations until reinforcements arrived. [Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 414,417.]
Malik Ambar's Death, 1626.
Malik Ambar died in 1626 in the eightieth year of his age. Great as was his success as a general, Malik Ambar is best known by his excellent land system. He stopped revenue-farming, and, under Musalman supervision, entrusted the collection of the revenues to Brahman agents. He renewed the broken village system, and, when several years of experiments had enabled him to ascertain the average yield of a field, took about two-fifths of the outturn in kind, and afterwards (1614) commuted the grain payment to a cash payment representing about one-third of the yield. Unlike Todar Mal, Akbar's (1556-1605) famous minister by whom the lands of North India were settled, Malik Ambar did not make his settlement permanent, but allowed the demand to vary in accordance with the harvest. This system was so successful that, in spite of his heavy war charges, his finances prospered and his country throve and grew rich. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 43; Elphinstone's History of India, 553. In warfare, in command, in sound judgment, and in administration Malik Ambar had no equal. He well understood the predatory or kazzaki warfare which in the language of the Deccan is called bargigiri. He kept down the unruly, maintained his high position to the end of his life, and closed his career in honour. History records no other instance of an Abyssinian slave rising to such greatness. Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 428-429.]
Malik Ambar left two sons Fatten Khan and Changiz Khan, of whom Fatteh Khan the eldest succeeded him as regent of the Nizam Shahi kingdom. As, after Malik Ambar's death, Nizam-ul-Mulk in concert with Fatteh Khan continued the war against the Moghals, Khan Jahan placed Lashkar Khan in charge of Burhanpur and marched to Khadki. Nizam-ul-Mulk, who was in the fortress of Daulatabad, made Hamid Khan an able Abyssinian slave his commander-in-chief, and delivered over to him the management of his state. According to the Moghal historians Nizam-ul-Mulk was kept under control out of doors by the Abyssinian and indoors by the Abyssinian's wife. [Hamid Khan the Abyssinian married a poor woman who served in Nizam-ul-Mulk's palace. She made herself so useful in supplying the king with wine and women that, she was as much mistress inside the palace as her husband was master outside. Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dawson, VI. 433,] When Khan Jahan drew near to Daulatabad, Hamid Khan took £75,000 (3 lakhs of huns) and went to meet him. The Abyssinian's wiles and a love of money led Khan Jahan astray. He took the £75,000
and agreed to restore to Nizam-ul-Mulk all the Balaghat as far as Ahmadnagar. He wrote to the commandants of the different posts ordering them to give up the places to the officers of Nizam-ul-Mulk and to return to court. Sipahdar Khan the commandant of Ahmadnagar received one of these letters, but when Nizam-ul-Mulk's officers reached Ahmadnagar the Khan said: Take the country; it is yours; but without the Emperor's order I will not surrender the fort. The representatives of Nizam-ul-Mulk did their utmost to persuade him, but in vain. Sipahdar Khan never swerved, and busied himself in laying in provisions, and putting the fortress in a state of defence. The other officers weakly surrendered at the command of Khan Jahan and repaired to Burhanpur. [Ikbal Nama-i-Jahangiri in Elliot and Dowson, VI. 433, 434, 437.] Khan Jahan was recalled and soon after made his escape to Gondvan.
In 1629 Murtaza Nizam Shah II. came of age. He was wanting
in ability, vindictive, flighty, and unfit to meet the difficulties by
which he was surrounded. His first care was to reduce the regent's
power a task which Fatteh Khan's violent and inconsistent conduct
made easy. With the help of an officer named Takkarib Khan
Murtaza seized Fatteh Khan and threw him into confinement. He
managed his state with so little ability that it became a scene of
faction offering every advantage to his foreign enemies. Shahaji
Bhonsla broke his connection with Murtaza and went to the Moghals
who confirmed him in his estates, gave him the command of 5000
horse and a dress of honour, and £20,000 (Rs. 2,00,000) in cash. [Badshah Nama in Elliot and Dowson, VII. 15. The details of Shahaji's command
or mansab vary from 5000 to 15,000 horse. Ditto and footnote.]
Judging the time suitable for a further advance of his power Shah
Jahan, now Emperor of Delhi, marched into the Deccan at the
head of a great army and took the field in person. By the time
Shah Jahan reached the Ahmadnagar country, the Moghal force
was aided by a movement from Gujarat. Khan Jahan, after
some unavailing attempts to make head against this great force,
retired to the south, and, by rapid movements, eluded the
Moghal detachments. Failing to persuade the Bijapur king to
take up his cause, he was once more obliged to enter the Ahmadnagar dominions. Murtaza Nizam Shah, in spite of the desertion of
Jadhavrav and Shahaji Bhonsla, had sufficient confidence to try a
decisive battle. He assembled his army at Daulatabad and took post
in strong ground among the neighbouring passes. But the strength
of the Imperial troops was too great for him, and he was forced to
seek safety in his forts and in desultory warfare. Khan Jahan, over
whelmed by the defeat of his allies, the destruction of their territory,
and the additional calamities of famine and pestilence, retired from
the country. The flight of Khan Jahan did not end the war with Nizam Shah.
At this time the Deccan was wasted by famine. The rains of 1629 failed and the sufferings were raised to a terrible pitch
by a second failure of rain in 1630. Vast numbers remained in their homes and died, and, of the thousands who left their homes, many perished before they passed beyond the limits of the famine-stricken country. Large tracts fell waste and some did not recover at the end of forty years. Besides of grain there was a total failure of forage and all the cattle died. To complete the miseries the famine was followed by a pestilence. [Elphinstone's History of India, 507. 'See also Badshah Nama in Elliot and Dowson, VII. 24-25.]
In the midst of these horrors Azam Khan, the most active of Shah Jahan's officers, continued to press Murtaza Nizam Shah, who, ascribing his disasters to the misconduct of his minister, removed him from his office, released Fatteh Khan from prison, and restored him to power. Foreseeing the ruin of the Nizam Shahi government and the consequent danger to himself the Bijapur king brought a reasonable relief to the weaker party by declaring war against the Moghals. This aid came too late to save Murtaza Nizam Shah from his own imprudence. Fatteh Khan, more mindful of former injuries than of recent favours and ambitious of recovering his father's authority, turned all his power to Murtaza's destruction.
Aided by Murtaza's weakness and unpopularity he was soon strong enough to put
him and his chief adherents to death and to take the government into his own hands (1631). At the same time he sent an offer of submission and a large contribution to the Moghals, and set an infant on the throne openly professing that he held his dignity from the Emperor. His terms were at once accepted and Shah Jahan turned his whole force against Bijapur. Fatteh Khan evaded the fulfilment of his promises, was again attacked by the Moghals, and once more joined his cause with that of the Bijapur king. He was afterwards reconciled to the Moghals, and during the progress of the war made several more faithless and shifty changes.
In 1632, Shah Jahan returned to Delhi, leaving Mohabat Khan
in command of the Deccan. After some time Mohabat Khan succeeded in shutting Fatteh Khan in Daulatabad where he defended himself with occasional aid from the king of Bijapur. The fate of the Nizam Shahi monarchy was at last decided by a general action in which the combined attempt of the Dakhanis to raise the siege was defeated. Fatteh Khan soon after surrendered and entered the Moghal service, while the king whom he had set up was sent prisoner to Gwalior. In 1634, Mohabat Khan was recalled and the Deccan was divided into two commands under Khani Dauran and Khani Zaman. This change weakened the Moghals. The Nizam Shahi monarchy, which, on the surrender of Fatteh Khan seemed to have come to an end, was revived by Shahaji Bhonsla, who, disgusted by the Moghals' treatment of him, had gone to Bijapur and had fought against them.
Shahaji BhonslaproclaimshimselfRegent, 1632.
After the fall of Daulatabad Shahaji aspired to the regency and
accordingly proclaimed another prince as the lawful heir of Nizam Shah. With the aid of some Brahmans he began to manage the
country, seized the forts, occupied the districts in the name of the
new king, and gathered troops from all quarters. Except a few forts he succeeded for a time in overrunning the whole of the Ahmadnagar Konkan and the country as far east as Ahmadnagar from the Nira river on the south to the Chandor range on the north. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 50.]
Shah Jahan marched from Agra and reached the Deccan in November 1635.
A force was at once sent to recover the kingdom of Ahmadnagar.
When he had driven Shahaji from the open country and reduced many
of his leading forts, Shah Jahan turned against the Bijapur king, who,
in 1636, after a long struggle agreed to pay Shah Jahan £700,000 (Pagodas 20 lakhs) a year, and in return received the south and south-east portions of the Nizam Shahi dominions. Shahaji held
out for some time. At length he submitted, gave up his pretended king, and with Shah Jahan's consent entered the Bijapur service. Shah Jahan returned to Agra and the kingdom of Ahmadnagar was at an end.
After the peace of 1636 Shah Jahan endeavoured to improve the
conquered territory. The two governments of Ahmadnagar and Khandesh were united, and prince Aurangzeb, who remained for only a short time, was appointed viceroy. The chief change which followed Shah Jahan's conquest of Ahmadnagar was the introduction of the revenue system of Akbar's great financier Todar Mal. Under Todar Mal's settlement the lands were first assessed with reference to their fertility, in a proportion varying from one-half to one-seventh of the gross produce, according to the cost of tillage and the kind of crop grown. The government share was then commuted for a money payment, and in time when the land was measured, classed, and registered the assessment was fixed at a fourth of the yearly produce of each, field. This system was introduced in the districts north of the Bhima under the superintendence of Murshed Kuli Khan an able officer who for nearly twenty years was engaged on the settlement. Murshed's system differed from Malik Ambar's chiefly in being a permanent settlement, while Malik Ambar's varied from year to year. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 56-57.] The Moghal system is known as the Tankha settlement a name taken from the silver coin which took the place of the old copper Takka. Another Moghal change was the introduction of the Fasli or harvest year into the Deccan. The Fasli or harvest year, which was started by Akbar (1556-1605), was a solar year and began from the mrig or opening of the south-west monsoon early in June. As no attempt was made to reconcile the Fasli or solar Musalman year with their lunar year, the Fasli differed from the regular lunar Musalman year more than three years every century. The measuring of their lands and the fixing of their rents proved very distasteful to the Kolis of West Ahmadnagar. Their head chief or sarnaik, Kheni, persuaded the chiefs to promise on the first chance to rise and free themselves from Moghal rule. The successes of the young Shivaji (1627-1680), son of Shahaji Bhonsla and the founder of the Maratha empire, seemed to the Kolis the chance they were waiting for. The whole country rose and the rising was not put down without extreme severities, among which the destruction of the whole of the Koli sarnaik's family and the pyramid of Koli heads at the Black Platform or kalachabutra in Junnar were still remembered by the Ahmadnagar Kolis in 1830. [Captain Mackintosh in Trans, Bom. Geog. Soc. I. 241-242.]
In 1650, Shivaji preferred a claim on the part of his father or of
himself to the deshmukh's dues in the Ahmadnagar districts to
which he alleged they had an hereditary right. As was probably
foreseen Shivaji's agent at Agra did not succeed in obtaining a promise of the deshmukh's share, but he brought back a letter from
Shah Jahan, promising that the claim should be taken into consideration if Shivaji came to court. In the same year (1650) prince Aurangzeb was appointed viceroy of the Deccan for the second time. For several years he devoted his talents to perfecting the revenue settlement and protecting and encouraging travellers and merchants. He established his seat of government at Malik Ambar's town of Khadki, which, after his own name, he called Aurangabad. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 68. Fatten Khan, son of Malik Ambar, had before changed the name to Fattehnagar.]
In 1657 Shivaji, who since 1650 had greatly increased his power, marched by unfrequented roads to Ahmadnagar in the hope of surprising the town. His attempt was partially successful. But while his men were plundering, he was attacked and several of his party were killed by a detachment from the fort. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 74.]
During the rains of 1662, under Moropant his minister or Peshwa Shivaji's infantry gained several strongholds north of Junnar, and as soon as the country was dry enough, his horse headed by Netaji Palkar ravaged the Moghal districts without mercy. Netaji was ordered to plunder the villages and levy contributions from the towns. Exceeding these orders he swept the country close to Aurangabad, moved rapidly from place to place, and spread terror in all directions. Shaiste Khan, who, with the title of Amir-ul-Umrah, had been appointed to succeed prince Muazzam as viceroy, was ordered to punish this daring raid. He marched from Aurangabad with a great force and took the route by Ahmadnagar and Pedgaon to Poona. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 86 - 87.] In 1663 while Shaiste Khan was in Poona, Netaji Palkar again appeared burning and plundering near Ahmadnagar. A party sent to cut him off succeeded in surprising and killing several of his men. The pursuit was hot and Netaji who was wounded would apparently have been taken had not Rustum Zaman the Bijapur general favoured his escape. At the beginning of the rains of 1664 and again of 1665 Netaji was most successful in plundering the country. In August 1665, Shivaji surprised and plundered the town of Ahmadnagar and raided near Aurangabad. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 87.]
In 1671 at the head of Shivaji's infantry the Peshwa Moropant took several forts, among them Aundha and Patta in Akola. Shortly after this the strength of the Moghals, which, for some time had been short, was increased by an army of 40,000 men tinder Mohabat Khan who began operations against Shivaji by endeavouring to reduce his forts. He took Aundha and Patta at the setting in of the rains and withdrew to cantonments. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 92.] The same year Khan Jahan, the new viceroy, occupied the Sahyadri passes and several parties of
Maratha horse appeared near Aurangabad and Ahmadnagar. The viceroy went in pursuit of them but without success, and at last cantoned for the rains at Pedgaon on the Bhima where he built a fort and gave it the name of Bahadurgad. [Grant Duff's Marathas 114. Pedgaon continued for upwards of forty years one of the principal stations of the Moghal army. Fryer when at Junnar (June 1673) notices that the head-quarters of the Moghal army were not at Junnar but at Pedgaon.] In 1675 some Moghal aggressions under Dilawar Khan gave Shivaji an excuse for breaking the terms of the Purandhar convention (1665). Moropant, who was ordered to act against the Moghals, attacked and retook Aundha and Patta, and Hambirrav the Maratha commander-in-chief plundered the country to Burhanpur. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 119.] On his return after crossing the Godavari Hambirrav was hotly pursued by Dilawar Khan and with difficulty brought off the valuable booty he had taken. At the opening of the season of 1675, Hambirrav again passed into the Moghal territory and did great" mischief. In the same year Shivaji entered into an agreement with Khan Jahan the Moghal general and for some time Ahmadnagar was free from Maratha inroads. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 123.] In 1679 Shivaji agreed to aid Shikandar Adil Shah (1672-1686) against Dilawar Khan who was then besieging Bijapur. He attempted to make the Moghals raise the siege but failed. As he found he could do nothing at Bijapur he turned to the north, rapidly crossed the Bhima, and attacked the Moghal possessions with fire and sword leaving the people houseless and the villages in ashes. He continued his depredations from the Bhima to the Godavari. As it was almost certain that Shivaji would attempt to carry his plunder to Raygad, a force of 10,000 men was collected under Ranmast Khan, who pursued, overtook, and attacked Shivaji near Sangamner on his way to Patta. Part of his troops were thrown into confusion, and Siddoji Nimbalkar one of his best officers was killed. Shivaji, seeing that it was a time for wreckless daring, led a desperate charge and by great personal exertions retrieved the day. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 129.] The Moghal troops were broken, and Shivaji continued his march. He had not gone far when he was again attacked by the Moghals who had been joined by a large force under Kishensing which cut him off from the pass to which he was marching. Shivaji's army was saved by his guide who led them by a short cut unknown to the Moghals, thus gaining several hours and enabling them to reach Patta to which Shivaji in thankfulness gave the name of Vishramgad or the Castle of Rest. The Moghal troops returned to Aurangabad and Shivaji judged the opportunity favourable for possessing himself of the twenty-seven forts near Patta. He ordered a body of infantry to join Moropant from the Konkan to reduce as many of them as possible and also placed a large detachment of cavalry at the Peshwa's disposal. Shivaji remained at Patta until he received an express from Masaud Khan of Bijapur to return south and make an effort to retrieve Bijapur. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 129.]
Aurangzeb March, 1684.
In 1684, Aurangzeb issued orders that thejizia or tax of £1 6s.
(Rs. 13) on every £200 (Rs. 2000) of property held by all except
Musalmans should be exacted as strictly in the Deccan as in North
India. At the opening of the fair season (1684) Aurangzeb moved
from Aurangabad with more than ordinary magnificence towards
Ahmadnagar. His cavalry, collected chiefly from Kabul, Multan,
Lahor, and Rajputana, presented an array of mighty men and horses
completely armed and accoutred. His numerous infantry included
well equipped musketeers, matchlockmen, and archers, besides bodies of hardy Bundelas and Mevatis, accustomed to hill-fighting and robbery, and well able to cope with the Maratha Mavlis. To these were afterwards added many thousand infantry raised in the Karnatak. Besides a number of field-pieces which accompanied the royal tents, several hundred pieces of cannon were manned by natives of Northern India and directed by European gunners, and a great number of miners were attached to the artillery, with craftsmen of every description. A long train of war elephants was followed by a number of the emperor's private elephants carrying the ladies of his palace or such of his tents as were too large for camels. Numerous magnificently harnessed horses were set apart for the emperor's riding. A menagerie accompanied the camp, from which the rarest animals in the world were frequently shown by their keepers before the emperor and his court. Hawks, hounds, hunting leopards, trained elephants, and every requirement for field sport swelled the pomp of his prodigious retinue. The canvas walls which encompassed the royal tents formed a circumference of 1200 yards and contained every description of apartment to be found in the most spacious palace. Halls of audience for public assemblies and privy councils, with all the courts and cabinets attached to them, each hall magnificently adorned and having within it a raised seat or throne for the emperor, surrounded by gilded pillars with canopies of velvet, richly fringed and superbly embroidered, separate tents as mosques and oratories, baths, and galleries for archery and gymnastic exercises; a seraglio as remarkable for luxury and privacy as that of Delhi; Persian carpets damasks and tapestries, European velvets satins and broadcloths, Chinese silks of every description, and Indian muslins and cloth of gold were employed in all the tents with the utmost profusion and the most brilliant effect. Gilded balls and cupolas surmounted the tops of the royal tents; the outside of which, and the canvas walls, were of a variety of lively colours, disposed in a manner which heightened the general splendour. The entrance into the royal enclosure was through a spacious portal, flanked by two elegant pavilions, from which extended on each side rows of cannon forming an avenue at the extremity of which was an immense tent containing the great state drums and imperial band. A little further in front was the post of the grand guard on duty commanded by a nobleman, who mounted with it daily. On the other sides, surrounding the great enclosures, were separate tents for the emperor's armoury and harness; a tent for water kept cool with saltpetre, another for fruit, a, third for sweetmeats, a fourth for betel and so on, with numerous kitchens and stables. Besides every tent had its exact duplicate
sent on in advance to be prepared against the emperor's arrival. His march was a procession and his entrance into his pavilion was announced by a salvo from fifty or sixty pieces of ordnance. The emperor assumed and maintained every form and ceremony observed at the established residences of the imperial court. The magnificence of these surroundings was in remarkable contrast to the austere plainness of the emperor's habits. The magnificence was intended to strengthen his power by the awe with which it impressed his subjects. As the emperor's state was imitated by his nobles, the grandeur proved a serious encumbrance to the movements of his army, while the devouring expense of such establishments pressed hard on his finances and soon crippled even the most necessary of his military and political arrangements. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 146. ]
During the last fifteen years of the seventeenth century the Marathas continued at intervals to plunder Ahmadnagar territories. In 1699 under Rajaram the combined Maratha troops entered Gangthadi claiming the chauth or one-fourth and the sardeshmukhi or extra tenth as their established right. All who submitted to these demands were protected, such of the Moghal garrisons who remained passive were not molested, and those who opposed were put to the sword. On this occasion the Maratha exactions were unusually systematic. Where they could not secure ready money they took promissory notes from the heads of villages according to the practice introduced by Shivaji. "When he had nearly completed his tour Rajaram left Haibatrav Nimbalkar in Gangthadi to collect what they termed the outstanding balances. Haibatrav when appointed to this duty was styled Sar Lashkar, and received the Jari Patka or golden streamer. After the death of Rajaram (1699) Dhanaji Jadhav spread his horse in every quarter and performed many signal exploits. In 1700 large bodies of Marathas levied tribute under the various heads of chauth,sardeshmukhi, and ghasdana. Besides the organized bands of Marathas, and still more destructive to the country, were the irregular assemblies of several thousand horsemen who having agreed to meet in some lonely part of the country, set off with little provision, no baggage except the blanket on their saddles, and no animals but led horses with empty bags for plunder. If they halted during the night they slept with their bridles in their hands; if by day while the horses were fed and refreshed the men slept with little or no shelter from the scorching heat except a bush or a tree. As they lay their swords were by their sides and their spears were generally at their horses' heads stuck in the ground. When halted on a plain groups of four or five might be seen stretched on the bare earth sound asleep, their bodies exposed to the sun, and their heads in a cluster, under the doubtful shade of a blanket or tattered horse-cloth stretched on spear points. The great object of this class of horsemen was plunder. They generally rendered a partial account to the head of the state but dissipated or embezzled the greater part of their gains. The Ghorpades at this time committed great devastations along the eastern borders south of the Godavari. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 176.]
In 1706, the grand Moghal army under Zulfikar Khan, on its way from Sinhgad ten miles south of Poona towards Ahmadnagar, was attacked by the Marathas. In spite of a gallant charge led by Khan Alam a great part of the Moghal army was defeated, and had the Marathas made the most of their advantage, Aurangzeb would have been a prisoner in their hands. On pitching his camp in Ahmadnagar, on the same spot which it had occupied in such splendour twenty-one years before, Aurangzeb said: I have ended my campaigning, my last earthly journey is over. He died at Ahmadnagar on the 21st of February 1707 in the eighty-ninth year of his age. Since his father Sambhaji's execution in 1690, when he was a boy of six years, Shahu had been brought up by Aurangzeb with care and kindness. In the hope that his influence might make the Marathas less hostile Aurangzeb before his death intending to set Shahu free, had presented him with Shivaji's sword Bhavani and also the sword of the Bijapur general Afzul Khan and given him the district of Nevasa as a marriage gift. Accordingly Shahu, on being released by Aurangzeb's son Prince Azam, marched south from the Narbada. At the Godavari he halted to dispel any suspicion that he was an impostor. His army increased to 15,000 men, and, by the advice of Parsoji Bhonsla, the head of the Maratha army in Khandesh and Berar, he moved, south without further delay. Dhanaji Jadhav and the Pratinidhi, in the interests of Tarabai, the widow of Rajaram Shahu's uncle advanced to oppose him. The people seemed inclined to the cause of Tarabai and one village fired on Shahu's troops. As several of his men were killed Shahu assaulted the place and made a severe example of the offenders. During the attack a woman, bearing a boy in her arms, rushed towards Shahu, and threw down the child, calling out that she devoted him to the Raja's service. Shahu took charge of the child, and, in commemoration of his first success, called him Fattehsing. He afterwards added his own surname of Bhonsla and always treated the child like his own son. This Fattehsing was the founder of the Akalkot family. In 1711, Shahu thought of moving his capital from Satara to Ahmadnagar but as it gave offence to Zulfikar Khan, Shahu gave up the intention. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 196.]
On Aurangzeb's death the dissensions among his sons soon reduced the Moghal power in the Deccan. In 1716 Daud Khan, the governor of the Deccan, revolted against the Syeds who then ruled at Delhi in the name of the Emperor Ferokshir, but was defeated and slain in a battle in Khandesh by Husain Ali Syed, Husain Ali then sent troops to open communications between Burhanpur and Surat which were stopped by Khanderav Dabhade a Maratha leader, and the Moghal force was surrounded and cut to pieces. A larger force was sent and a battle was fought near Ahmadnagar; the result was not decisive but the advantage remained with the Marathas. At last in 1720 after tedious negotiations, through the able management of Balaj'i Vishvanath the Peshwa, the Marathas obtained the grants of the chauth and sardeshmukhi of the six provinces of the Deccan including
Ahmadnagar. Shortly after this the fall of the Moghal power in the Deccan was completed by the revolt of Chin Kilich Khan, Nizam-ul-Mulk, the governor of Malwa. Ahmadnagar was one of the parts of the Deccan which became' subject to the Nizam and remained in his hands till his death in 1748. The Peshwa took advantage of the disturbances which followed the Nizam's death to attack his successor Salabat Jang. The Peshwa had miscalculated his power as Salabat had the valuable help of his French general Bussy. In 1751 the Nizam advanced from Burhanpur to Ahmadnagar. Bussy repelled the Maratha attacks, and surprised their camp at Bajapur on the Ghod river in Shrigonda. As it advanced the Nizam's army plundered Ranjangaon in Parner and destroyed Talegaon Dhamdhere in Poona. Here a severe action was fought and the Nizam's troops were nearly routed. Still they pressed on to Koregaon on the Bhima in Poona. News arrived that the fort of Trimbak near Nasik, had been surprised by the Marathas and Salabat Jang returned to Ahmadnagar. In 1752, he marched by Junnar to retake Trimbak, but being hard pressed by the Marathas he agreed to an armistice. Salabat Jang was specially anxious for peace because he was threatened by an attack from his elder brother Ghazi-ud-din who advanced with a large army to Aurangabad and promised to cede to the Marathas the country between the Tapti and the Godavari west of Berar. While at Aurangabad Ghazi-ud-din was poisoned, but his brother Salabat confirmed the cession and thus the Marathas obtained possession of the Gangthadi in Ahmadnagar, besides Nasik and Khandesh.
In 1759, the Nizam's commandant Kavi Jang for a sum of money
betrayed the fort of Ahmadnagar to the Peshwa. [The descendants of Kavi Jang still hold inam villages in the Karjat subdivision. Mr. Loch, C, S.] War followed between the Peshwa and the Nizam. The Marathas began by taking the fort of Pedgaon on the Bhima; they then attacked the Nizam at Udgir about 160 miles south-east of Ahmadnagar and forced him to come to terms (1760). Besides other concessions the Nizam confirmed the grant of Ahmadnagar and Daulatabad and also gave up the greater part of the province of Ahmadnagar. By this treaty the whole of the present district of Ahmadnagar was gained by the Marathas. Next year (1761), after the great Maratha disaster at Panipat, the Nizam advanced and burnt the temple of Toka at the meeting of the Pravara and the Godavari in Nevasa, and marching on Poona forced the Peshwa to restore some of the districts which had been ceded after the battle of Udgir. [Grant Duffs Marathas, 325.]
[Trans. Bom. Geog. Soc. I. 245] In 1760 the peace of Ahmadnagar was broken by a Koli rising. One of the Koli chiefs Hiraji Bomle whose family had held estates and rank from the time of the Bahmani kings died. Though Hiraji's son Javji held a post in the Peshwa's service the Peshwa's manager at Junnar refused to give Javji his father's estates and rank. Javji, who is described as of slight figure, middle-sized and fair, bold
restless and of irregular habits, gave up the Peshwa s service, withdrew to the hills, and organized a series of gang robberies. Javji was ordered to leave the hills and join an expedition which was starting for service in the Konkan. He feared treachery and fled to Khandesh. His family were seized and troops were sent against him.
a bitter enemy in Ramji Savant an officer at Junnar who persuaded the manager of Junnar that Javji was a man of hopelessly bad character. Ramji seized a party of seven Kolis, among them a brother and a cousin, whom Javji had sent to get some tidings about his family. Ramji obtained from the Junnar manager an order for the execution of the seven Kolis and they were hurled down the Shivner rock. In revenge Javji killed Ramji Savant's brother who was living on a lonely part of the hills with a Gosavi who was performing incantations which were to make Savant wound-proof. Ramji asked for a body of troops that he might hunt Javji. The troops were supplied and Javji broke his band in small parties and spread them all over the country. To have any hope of success against an enemy who were heard of from all quarters at once, Ramji had to follow their tactics and spread his men far and wide in small detachments. The party which he commanded was surprised by Javji, and Ramji and a young son of his were slain. Ramji's eldest son was put in command of the force but him too Javji surprised and killed in Junnar. The Poona government now formally declared Javji an outlaw. He joined Raghunathrav and did him good service, capturing Sidgad, Bhairugad, Kotta, and other Thana forts, Alang in Nasik, and Ratangad and Madangad in Ahmadnagar. Nana Fadnavis sent orders to Daji Kokata, who was then one of the leading Koli officers at Junnar to act against Javji, and warned him that if he failed to seize Javji he would be dismissed the Peshwa's service. Soon after Daji and Javji happened to meet in the forests in the Ghod valley. Daji represented himself as Javji's friend. They sat talking together and went to a river near to bathe. While they were bathing one of Javji's men opened Daji's bag and found in it an order signed by Nana Fadnavis for Javji's execution. On his return to camp this man told Javji what he had seen and Daji and his three sons had their throats cut during the night. After this the pursuit of Javji became hotter than ever. He asked help from Raghunathrav, but Raghunathrav's cause was now hopeless and he could do nothing. On the advice of his friend Dhondo Gopal, the Peshwa's governor at Nasik, Javji surrendered all his forts to Tukoji Holkar, and through Holkar's influence was pardoned and placed in military and police charge of a district or subha of sixty villages in Rajur with powers of life and death over Koli robbers and outlaws. Javji continued in a position of honour till in 1789 he died from a wound given by one of his own followers. [Mackintosh notices that of Javji's twelve wives one was a Shimpin and the other a Telin. Trans. Bom. Geog. Soc. I. 254.] He was succeeded by his son Hiraji Naik. During the latter years of his life Javji had taken part in quelling a serious rising among
the Kolis which, was headed by two Koli leaders Kokata and Shilkunda. One measure taken by the government to prevent the Kolis joining in this rising was to make the headmen of the different villages enter into a chain security or jaminsankhli each becoming surety for the other's good behaviour and the deshmukh or district head being security for all. After Javji was put in charge of the district these leaders remained quiet for more than four years. They again went out, were betrayed, and executed. In 1798 a fresh disturbance look place among the Kolis. The leaders of this outbreak were three Koli brothers Govindji, Manaji, and Valoji Bhangria, popular men round whom a large body of followers quickly gathered. Govindji was soon taken and Manaji fled and died. Valoji was more successful. He led a gang of over a thousand men and with drums and flags raided into the Deccan and Konkan and caused widespread terror and misery. He was at last taken by Hiraji Naik, Javji Bomle's son and was blown from the mouth of a cannon at Rajur. After Valoji's death his nephew Ramji, who was an abler and more daring leader even than Valoji succeeded in baffling all the efforts of the Government officers to seize him. As force seemed hopeless the Government offered Ramji
a pardon and gave him an important police post in which he did excellent
service. [Trans. Bom. Geog, Soc. I. 256-258.]
In 1762, to gain the Nizam's help in his quarrels with his nephew Madhavrav Peshwa, Raghunathrav agreed to restore the rest of the districts which had been ceded under the Udgir treaty in 1760. A treaty to this effect was passed at Pedgaon, but as the quarrels in the Peshwa's family were settled Raghunathrav's promise was not carried out. In revenge, in 1763, the Nizam marched on Poona and burnt it. As he retired he was overtaken by the Marathas, part of his army was attacked at Rakisbon on the Godavari and cut to pieces, and the Nizam was forced to come to terms and confirm the former cessions. In 1767 fresh quarrels broke out between Madhavrav and his uncle Raghunathrav who levied troops in the Gangthadi. The war ended in 1782 by the treaty of Salbai, and Raghunathrav retired to Kopargaon on the Godavari where he soon after died. His family remained at Kopargaon till 1792 when they were moved to Anandveli close to the west of Nasik town.
In 1795, in consequence of the Peshwa's exorbitant demands, war broke out between the Peshwa and the Nizam. Nana Fadnavis the minister at Poona collected a great army. Since Mahadji Sindia's death in 1794 Nana's power had greatly increased, and the prospect of sharing in the gains from a victory over the Nizam brought to his standard all the leading Maratha chiefs. Daulatrav Sindia and Tukoji Holkar were already in Poona; and the Raja of Berar had set out to join the army. Govindrav Gaikwar sent a detachment, the Patvardhans and Rastias from the Bombay Karnatak, the Brahman holders of Malegaon and Vinchur in Nasik, the Pratinidhi and the Pant Sachiv from Satara, the Maratha mankaris, Nimbalkar, Ghatge, Chavhan, Dane, Povar, Thorat, and Patankar, with many others of less note obeyed the summons.
For the last time the Maratha chiefs met under the authority of the Peshwa. Nizam Ali was first in the field and slowly advanced from Bedar, along the banks of the Manjra, towards the Maratha frontier. The Peshwa quitted Poona in January, and his army marched at the same time, but by different routes for the convenience of forage. The Maratha army contained over 130,000 horse and foot besides 10,000 Pendharis. Of this force more than one-half were either paid from the Peshwa's treasury, or were troops of jagirdars or estate-holders under his direct control. Though the greater part of his army was in North India and Malwa, Daulatrav Sindia's force was the largest and most efficient, including 25,000 men, of whom 10,000 were regular infantry under Perron, De Boigne's second-in-command;
Raghuji Bhonsla mustered 15,000 horse and foot; Tukoji Holkar had only 10,000, but of these 2000 were regulars under Dudrenec, and most of the Pendharis were followers of Holkar. Parashuram Bhau had 7000 men. Nana Fadnavis consulted the chief officers separately and appointed Parashuram Bhau commander-in-chief. The Pendharis and some other horse were ordered ahead to plunder round the Moghal camp, and spoil their forage. The heavy baggage, properly protected, remained one march in the rear, and the best of the horse with the regular infantry, supported by upwards of 150 pieces of cannon, were sent forward to attack Nizam Ali, who, with an army 110,000 strong, advanced towards Kharda in Jamkhed about fifty-five miles south-east of Ahmadnagar and descended the Mohori pass. A body of the Peshwa's household troops under Babarav, son of the deceased Haripant Phadke, attacked the Moghals when descending the pass. The Marathas were driven off with loss. And on the same evening Nizam Ali sat in state and received presents and congratulations on his victory, Next day, when the Moghals were on their march from Kharda to Paranda, the Marathas appeared in great force on their right, Nizam Ali halted his elephant, sent his baggage to the left, and directed Asad Ali Khan with the cavalry, supported by 17,000 regular infantry under Raymond, to attack the Marathas. Parashuram Bhau rode forward to reconnoitre, supported by Babarav Phadke and Kashirav, the son of Tukoji Holkar. He had advanced only a short distance when he was suddenly charged by a body of Pathans, under a Beluchi named Lal Khan, who cut down several men, and, with his own hand, unhorsed and wounded Parashuram Bhau. Haripant Patvardhan, the Bhau's eldest son, seeing his father fall, attacked the Beluchi and killed him on the spot. In spite of the loss of their leader the Pathans, supported by Alif Khan the son of the Nawab of Karnaul, and Salabat Khan the son of Ismael Khan, Nawab of Elichpur, pressed on till the advanced party of the Marathas gave way, and were driven back in such confusion that a large section of the army were panic-stricken and thousands fled. Even Babarav Phadke in charge of the Golden Streamer or JariPatka, was turning to fly when hewas stopped by Jivba Dada Bakhshi, who, upbraiding him for cowardice, told him if he wanted to be safe he might get behind Sindia's troops. By this time the regular battalions on both sides had approached within
musket-shot, and the Moghal cavalry were advancing to the support of their infantry with apparent steadiness, when Raghuji Bhonsla met them with a shower of rockets, and at the same moment they received the fire of thirty-five pieces of cannon which Perron had judiciously placed on a rising ground. In a few minutes the Moghal cavalry were routed. Still Raymond's infantry stood their ground and had even gained some advantage over Perron's battalions, when Raymond, by repeated and peremptory orders, was forced to follow Nizam Ali, who had already retreated towards Kharda. By the time the detached portions of the Moghal army learned their leader's intention, the sun had set, and darkness increased their confusion. After nightfall shots continued to be exchanged in different directions and few men, except those of Raymond's half-disciplined battalions, could find their own division. At last the multitude, worn by fatigue and clamour sunk to rest, or lay down to await the return of day. In the stillness, of night, a small patrol of Marathas in search of water came by chance to a rivulet where lay a party of Moghals, who, discovering that they were Marathas fired on them. Raymond's sentries who were near also fired. Then the whole line, who lay with their muskets loaded started from their sleep, and fired an irregular volley. In their perplexed state this volley drove the Moghal army into complete panic. Many of Raymond's sepoys, struck with the general fear quitted their ranks and mingled in the confusion. At last the moon rose and Nizam Ali, in utter consternation, sought refuge within the small badly placed fort of Kharda. Most of his troops fled, plundering the baggage of their own army as they went. They were not allowed to carry off this ill gotten spoil as Maratha Pendharis overtook them, and, without opposition, stripped the panic-struck fugitives of all their booty. Next morning the Marathas found the ground strewn with guns, stores, baggage, and the usual wreck of an army. Their surprise was still greater on perceiving Nizam Ali shut in Kharda and his army wasted to one-tenth of its former strength. No people are keener or prompter in seizing such an advantage than the Marathas. The joyful news flashed through the whole force; the furthest parties came swarming in to plunder the Moghals. In a few hours the Nizam's army was hemmed in, and next day batteries were opened from hills which commanded the fort as well as the army. Nizam Ali endured this hopeless exposure for two days. On the morning of the 15th March he asked for and obtained a cessation of arms. The preliminary demand made by the Marathas was the surrender of the minister Mushir-ul-Mulk, that amends might be made for the insult offered to the Peshwa in threatening to seize Nana Fadnavis. [When discussions about the payment of arrears were going on between the Peshwa's envoy Govindrav Kale and Mushir-ul-Mulk, the envoy was told in public darbar that Nana Fadnavis must himself attend at the court of Haidarabad, in order to afford an explanation of the different items of their intricate claims. The envoy replied 'Nana Fadnavis is much engaged; how can he come?' 'How can he come,' re-echoed Mushir-ul-Mulk, 'I will soon show how he shall be brought to the presence.' This menace was considered a sufficient declaration and although negotiations continued to the last both parties prepared to decide their differences by the sword. While at a
distance, the war was extremely popular among the Moghals. The grand army under Nizam Ali's personal command was assembled at Bedar and the camp was full of bustle and life. Vaunting threats were in the mouths of the ill-appointed disorderly soldiery. Poona was to be pillaged and burnt; the dancing girls already sung the triumphs of their army; and even the prime minister declared in a public assembly that the Moghala should now be freed from Maratha encroachments; that they should recover Bijapur and Khandesh, or they would never grant peace until they had despatched the Peshwa to Benares with a cloth about his loins and a pot of water in his hand, to mutter incantations on the banks of the Ganges. Grant Duff's Marathas,
514.] They next exacted
territorial cessions, stretching along the frontier from Paranda on the south to the Tapti on the north, including the fort of Daulatabad and the part of those districts conquered by Sadashivrav Bhau in 1760, which had been restored to Nizam Ali in 1761 and three millions sterling (Rs. 3 krors) were promised on account of arrears of revenue and war expenses. Besides this, by a separate agreement, in lieu of Raghuji Bhonsla's claims for ghas-dana in the Gangthadi, Nizam Ali ceded territory yielding £31,800 (Rs. 3,18,000) a year. Nizam Ali likewise promised to pay arrears due to Raghuji Bhonsla amounting to £290,000 (Rs. 29 lakhs) and to collect their respective shares of revenue in Berar, according to ancient usage, for all which the Peshwa afterwards became Raghuji's guarantee. Nizam Ali was extremely unwilling to surrender his minister. Mushir-ul-Mulk urged him to the measure, as he thought the other conditions more moderate than might have been expected. The minister was delivered to a party of 200 Marathas, by whom he was escorted to their camp. The Peshwa met him at the outskirts, and received him with distinction, but his person was carefully guarded. The Maratha delight at their triumph knew no bounds. A grievous sign of decay, said the young Peshwa, that Marathas should boast of a victory won without danger and without honour. In the battle both sides together scarcely lost 200 men, though a considerable number of Moghals were killed during the night of panic and the two days' exposure to the Maratha fire. For long, to have been present at the glorious field of Kharda, was one of the proudest boasts of old Maratha horsemen. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 514-517.]
With the death of Madhavrav II. in October 1795, a time of confusion and trouble began which lasted till the country
was conquered by the English in 1803. In 1797, as the price of his support of the claims of Bajirav to be Peshwa, Sindia, who had already obtained large grants of land in Ahmadnagar, had the fort of Ahmadnagar and some other lands ceded to him. At the end of the year Sindia seized and imprisoned Nana Fadnavis in the Ahmadnagar fort. In 1798 disputes broke out between Daulatrav Sindia and the two elder widows of his adoptive father Mahadji Sindia, which resulted in the war known as the war of the Ladies or Bais. The ladies' troops ravaged Sindia's parts of the Deccan and the country round Ahmadnagar suffered severely. From Ahmadnagar the ladies retreated north to Khandesh, and in 1800 were defeated by Yashvantrav Holkar and retired to Mewad. Nana Fadnavis was released in 1798 and died in 1800.
In the latter part of 1802 Yashvantrav Holkar, who was enraged
with Bajirav for the murder of his half-brother Vithoji, passed south to Poona laying the country waste.
After Holkar's victory
at Poona (25th October 1802) Bajirav fled to Mahad in Kolaba
and from Mahad to Bassein, where, on the 31st of December
1802, in return for cessions of territory, the British government
bound itself to defend the Peshwa from all attacks. Bajirav was escorted to Poona and restored to the throne on the 13th of May
1803. Soon after accounts reached the British government that Daulatrav Sindia had combined with Raghuji Bhonsla the Raja of Berar to make war on the British. [The contracting parties to the treaty of Bassein had a full right to enter into. the treaty which was purely defensive. It contained an express stipulation that the British troops should not be employed to attack the great Maratha Jagirdars unless they should first commit hostilities against the allies. Daulatrav Sindia had called upon the British government to give assistance to the Peshwa to recover his throne; subsequently when informed that the relations between the British and the Peshwa had been improved he had expressed his satisfaction at that event, and in his camp on the 2nd March had formally declared to the British
Resident that he had no intention of obstructing the treaty of Bassein or of committing hostilities against the British government or its allies. Wellington's Despatches, I. 291.] The treaty of Bassein was communicated to Daulatrav Sindia on the 27th of May and he was called on to state his objections if he had any. He was also desired to make known the object of his negotiations with the Raja of Berar and other chiefs, and if his designs were not hostile to the British government or its allies he was called on to retire with his troops to their usual stations. Daulatrav Sindia, in answer, declared to the British Resident that until he had a meeting with the Raja of Berar he could not decide whether there should be peace or war, but that the British Resident should be made acquainted with the determination of the united chiefs as soon as they met. On the 3rd of June Sindia and the Berar chief met near Malkapur in Shevgaon, and from that day, though they were shown that the treaty of Bassein was purely defensive, they evaded giving any answer till the 8th of July 1803. Both Sindia and the Raja of Berar then declared that they had no intentions to attack the British or their allies or to obstruct the execution of the treaty of Bassein, provided the British would not prevent the execution of the treaties subsisting between the Peshwa and themselves. At the same time they continued to advance towards the Nizam's frontier. On the 14th of July General Wellesley, who was in command of the British forces and in charge of the negotiations, told Sindia by letter that unless he separated his troops from those of the Raja of Berar, and both retired from the Nizam's borders, he could not consider their actions consistent with their declaration; when the united chiefs retired he promised that the British troops should also retire to their usual stations. If Sindia and the Raja of Berar kept their troops close to the Nizam's frontier, the British troops would attack Ahmadnagar. Sindia admitted the justice of General Wellesley's demand that their troops should retire. But instead of retiring they kept to their position on the Nizam's frontier and wrote to General Wellesley advising him to withdraw to Madras, Seringapatam, or Bombay. [Wellington's Despatches, I. 291.]
General Wellesley had offered an equal and honourable peace, the chiefs preferred war. [Wellington's Despatches, J. 291-92.] General Wellesley was stationed at Valki six miles south of Ahmadnagar. [The forces under the immediate command of Major-General Wellesley consisted of: Cavalry, H. M. 19th Light Dragoons, 384; 4th, 5th, and 7th Regiments native cavalry 1347, total 1731; artillery 173; infantry, H. M. 74th and 78th Regiments, 1368; 1st battalion 2nd Regiment native infantry, 1st and 2nd battalions 3rd regiment native infantry, 1st battalion 8th regiment native infantry, 2nd battalion 12th regiment native infantry, and 2nd battalion 18th regiment native infantry, 5631; total 6999; grand total 8903. Besids these there were European artillerymen and 693 Pioneers of the establishment of Port St. George, 2400 cavalry belonging to the Raja of Maisur and about 3000 Maratha horse. Two battalions of sepoys were detached in July with a large convoy of treasure, bullocks, and grain from the army under the command of Lieutenant-General Stuart to the division under Major General Wellesley. Wellington's Despatches, I. 293.] It was his intention to seize Ahmadnagar so soon as he heard that Sindia and the Berar chief refused to withdraw from the Nizam's border. A very heavy fall of rain defeated his plans. News that the chiefs refused to retire reached him on the 3rd of August. But from the third to the sixth such constant rain fell that the six miles between Valki and Ahmadnagar were impassable. On the 7th of August General Wellesley issued a proclamation declaring that he would make no war on the people and that all officers and others were required to remain in their stations and obey the orders they should receive; that if they did no harm to the British armies, no harm would be done to them; and that any one who either left his dwelling or did any harm to the British army or to their followers, would be treated as an enemy. On the seventh the country was still impassable, but the weather cleared and General Wellesley reached Ahmadnagar on the eighth. On the morning of the eighth General Wellesley sent a messenger to the commandant or killedar of Ahmadnagar requiring him to surrender the fort. On arriving near the town or petta he offered terms or kaul to the people. As the town was held by Arabs, supported by a battalion of Sindia's regular infantry and a body of horse encamped in an open space between the town and the fort, the terms were refused. General Wellesley immediately attacked the town in three places, in one place with the piquets of the infantry reinforced by the flank companies of the 78th Regiment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Harness, in a second with the 74th Regiment and the 1st battalion of the 8th under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, and in a third with the flank companies of the 74th and the 1st battalion of the 3rd Regiment under the command of Captain Vesey. The town wall was very lofty and was defended by towers. It had also no rampart, so that when the troops had climbed to the top they had no ground to stand on, and the Arabs who held the towers defended their posts with the utmost obstinacy. At length they were forced to quit the wall and fled to the houses, from which they continued to pour a destructive fire on the troops. Sindia's regular infantry also attacked the British troops after they entered the town. Still in a short time, after a brisk and gallant contest, the British were completely masters of the town with the loss of four officers. From the
nature of the contest the enemy's loss was much greater. On the 8th all the enemy's force which was not required for the defence of the fort, including all the Arabs who survived the contest in the town went north except a small number who attended one of their wounded chiefs who could not be moved from the fort. On the 9th General Wellesley reconnoitered the ground near the fort, and on that evening Colonel Wallace with five companies of the 74th Regiment and the 2nd battalion of the 12th Regiment, seized a position within 400 yards of the wall. On this spot in the course of the night, a four-gun battery was built to take off the defences from the side on which General Wellesley proposed to attack. The battery opened at daylight on the 10th. It was so well placed and fired with such effect that the commandant desired General Wellesley to cease firing that he might send a person to treat for his surrender. In reply General Wellesley told the commandant that he would not cease firing till either he had taken the fort or the commandant had surrendered it; still that he would listen to whatever the commandant wished to say. On the morning of the 11th the commander sent two agents to propose to surrender the fort on condition that he should be allowed to depart with his garrison and his private property.
General Wellesley agreed to this proposal, but it was five
in the evening before the hostages arrived in the camp without whose
presence, General Wellesley refused to stop the fire from the British
batteries. According to his engagement, the commandant marched out of the fort on the morning of the 12th with a garrison of 400
men, and the troops under General Wellesley's command took possession. The British loss since the 8th was trifling which General Wellesley attributed much to the spirit with which the British attacks on that day were made. [The losses were: Of Europeans, the 19thLight Dragoons, Artillery, and H.M. 74th and 78th Regiments, killed 2 Captains, 2
subalterns, 1 Serjeant, 1 drummer, and 12 rank and file; wounded 2 subalterns, 1 sergeant, and 58 rank and file. Of Natives, 5th Regiment Cavalry, 1st battalion 2nd Regiment, 1st battalion 3rd Regiment 1st battalion 8th Regiment, 2nd battalion 12th Regiment, 2nd battalion 18th Regiment, and 1st battalion Pioneers, killed, 1 havildar, 1 naik, and ten sepoys; wounded 1 subhedar, 9 havildars, 3 naiks, and 39 sepoys. Wellington's Despatches, I. 302.] Among the officers mentioned in General Wellesley's despatches were Lieutenant-Colonels Harness, Wallace, and Maxwell who commanded in the trenches, Captain Beauman commanding the artillery, Captain Johnson the engineer, and Captain Heitland of the Pioneers in the short subsequent siege. The fort of Ahmadnagar held an important position on the Nizam's frontier, covering Poona, and was a valuable point of support to all future operations of the British to the north. It was considered one of the strongest forts in the country and except Vellor in the Madras Karnatak was the strongest country fort General Wellesley had seen. It was in excellent repair, except in the part exposed to the British artillery. Inside it was in a sad dirty state and in the utmost confusion. The quantities of stores were astonishing and the powder was so good that General Wellesley replaced from the magazines that which he had consumed in the siege. General Wellesley thought the fort ought to be cleared of the old buildings with
which it was crowded. [Wellington's Despatches, I. 310.] General Wellesley proposed at once to cross the Godavari and intended to secure for the use of the British troops the resources of Sindia's possessions south of the Godavari depending on Ahmadnagar. [Wellington's Despatches, I. 299-301.]
General Wellesley appointed Captain Graham to take charge, for the use of the British government and the Peshwa, of all the territories belonging to
Daulatrav Sindia depending upon the Ahmadnagar fort, and he called on all officials and others to attend to and obey Captain Graham's orders and those of no other person. [General Wellesley's instructions to Captain Graham were: To keep the country quiet, to secure its resources and a free communication through it to Poona and Bombay- These were objects of far greater importance than to collect large revenue. Captain Graham was to refrain from pressing the country with a view to raising the collections. Wellington's Despatches, I. 303, 307.]
General Wellesley then crossed the Godavari and the war was brought to a close by the great victory of Assaye on the 23rd of September. By the treaty concluded with Sindia by General Wellesley, on the 30th of December 1803, the territories near Ahmadnagar, the ancient family lands of Sindia were restored to him, under a particular stipulation that no armed men were ever to be kept in them. [Wellington's Despatches, I. 569.] The fort of Ahmadnagar together with the district taken possession of at the time of the capture of the fort remained with the British by whom they were soon after given to the Peshwa. [Wellington's Despatches, I, 412.] At this time two freebooters, Malva Dada and Syed Sultan Ali, are mentioned as committing great depredations. Malva Dada took Shrigonda and defeated Captain Graham's peons sent against him [Wellington's Despatches, III. 356, 423, 466 and I. 464.] and it was a condition in Sindia's treaty that he should cause Malva Dada to withdraw with the banditti that were breaking daily from the district across the Godavari into Khandesh, Syed Ali was tried and found guilty and was sentenced accordingly. [Wellington's Despatches, III. 556.] The war against Holkar still continued and his districts in the Deccan were taken by the English. In 1805 he came to terms, when his Deccan possessions were restored to him except Shevgaon which also was given up within two years.
In 1804 to add to the miseries of the country which had been
ravaged by Holkar's troops in 1802 the late rains of 1803 failed
and a fearful famine followed. Whole districts were depopulated and the survivors sought refuge in the forts built in the larger villages. At Ahmadnagar more than 5000 persons were employed by General Wellesley in making a glacis or bank round the fort. [For details see Agriculture chapter.] In his march from Ahmadnagar to the Godavari (24th August 1803) General Wellesley trembled for the want of the common country grains for the followers and cattle. The country was completely exhausted and the villages empty and large tracts of rich land waste. [Wellington's Despatches, I. 335.]
The Bhils and other wild tribes taking advantage of the confusion
gathered in large bands and completed the ruin of the land. They
pillaged and murdered without mercy and no mercy was shown them in return. To put down the Bhil rising Bajirav invested Balaji Lakshman the Sarsubhedar or governor of Khandesh with full powers. At the instigation of Manohargir Gosavi one of his captains Balaji Lakshman invited a largo body of Bhils to a meeting at Kopargaon on the Godavari, treacherously seized them, and threw them down wells. This restored order for a time. But in 1806 disorder was as general as ever and Trimbakji Denglia who was then in charge of the district caused another massacre of Bhils at Ghevri-Chandgaon in Shevgaon. He commissioned Naroba Takit Patil of Karambha to clear the Gangthadi; and 5000 to 6000 horse and a large body of infantry were given him. Naroba butchered the Bhils and all who had any connection with them wherever he found them. During fifteen months 15,000 human beings are said to have been massacred.
After the transfer of Ahmadnagar to the Peshwa the land revenue was farmed to the highest bidder. The farmer had not only the right to collect the revenue, but to administer civil and criminal justice, and so long as he paid the required sum and bribed the court favourites no complaints were listened to. Justice was openly sold and the mamlatdar of a district was often a worse enemy to the husbandmen than the Bhils. In 1816, Trimbakji who had been imprisoned at Thana for the murder of Gangadhar Shastri the Gaikwar's ambassador, escaped and wandered about the hilly country of Sangamner, rousing the wild tribes, and, in concert with his master Bajirav, making preparations for war. The Pendharis also began to make raids into the district. In June 1817 under the treaty of Poona the Peshwa ceded the fort of Ahmadnagar to the English. [Grant Duff's Marthas, 635.]
After his defeat at the battle of Kirkee (5th November 1817) the Peshwa fled (17th November) past Junnar to Utur and then to
Brahmanvada about ten miles north in the Akola subdivision up the Lal pass, and thence to Lingdev about nine miles. Between these three places he spent the time from the 17th to the 27th of December. As the eastern passes were difficult for guns General Smith who had arrived at Sirur on the 17th of December moved to the Nimbedehera pass. He left Sirur on the 22nd and on the 25th reached Hanvantgaon nearly on the direct road from Ahmadnagar to Kopargaon. From Hanvantgaon he made a long march to Sangamner and on the 27th he marched further west to Thugaon. The Peshwa sent his tents to the Vasir pass on the 27th as if he intended to cross the valley of the Pravara near Akola and proceed by the great road to Nasik, but on hearing of General Smith's approach to Sangamner he changed his route and moved to Kotul on the more western side through Hajur. When General Smith reached Thugaon the Peshwa, thinking that he could not pass to the north without the risk of being entangled in the hills and overtaken by the British troops, retraced his steps on the 28th and arrived on the
same day at Utur a distance of nearly twenty miles through hills from whence he proceeded southwards. [Pendhari and Maratha Wars, 177-180.]
After his defeat at Ashti in Sholapur on the 20th of March 1818
Bajirav marched by Nevasa to Kopargaon, and proceeded north
towards Chandor in Nasik. Bat the approach of Sir Thomas Hislop
drove him back to Kopargaon whence he fled north-east towards
Dholkot near Asirgad where he finally surrendered on the 3rd of June
1818. Meantime Holkar and the Pendharis had been defeated, and
by the treaty of Mandeshvar in January 1818, Holkar surrendered
to the English all his possessions south of the Satpudas including
Shevgaon. The forts of Harishchandragad and Hunjilgad were
taken possession of between the 4th and the 8th of May 1818 by a
detachment under Captain Sykes despatched by Major Eldridge
from Chavand in Poona. [Pendhari and Maratha Wars, 274.]
On the 27th of April 1818 a body of horse entered Nevasa and excited considerable alarm. Within three days they were dispersed and returned to their villages. Dharmaji Prataprav committed great depredations and cruelties in Shevgaon. [Pendhari and Maratha Wars, 273.] Before General Smith's arrival a detachment, commanded by Major Macleod of the Auxiliary Horse, had marched from Ahmadnagar at the requisition of Captain Pottinger against Dharmaji Prataprav, the only individual who remained in arms on the south side of the Godavari. The insurgent dispersed his banditti, and disappeared; but General Smith sent out a sufficient reinforcement to Major Macleod, to enable him to reduce Dharmaji's forts and to cut off the means of renewing the rebellion. [Mr. Elphinstone, 24th May 1818: Pendhari and Maratha Wars, 343.] The whole of the dominions of the Peshwa and those of the Holkar in the Deccan were taken possession of by the British government. Sindia had held half of Shevgaon and the Shrigondapargana. The greater part of the Korti pargana, including the present sub-divisions of Karjat and part of Shrigonda was under Rav Rambha Nimbalkar till 1821 when it was given to the English. Ahmadnagar with' the country between the Chandor hills and the Bhima was placed under Captain Pottinger. Little difficulty was found in restoring order. The country was exhausted, and the people willingly obeyed any power that could protect them. The Peshwa's disbanded soldiers settled in their villages, the hill forts were dismantled, and their garrison gradually reduced. Near the Sahyadris the country was in the hands of the Koli Naiks. They and the Bhil Naiks were sent for, and allowances and villages which they already held were confirmed to them on the understanding that they should keep the neighbouring country quiet. Ahmadnagar very soon enjoyed more complete rest than it had known for years.
When the British government took possession of Ahmadnagar much of it was almost ruined. According to Mr. Elphinstone the east of Gangthadi, though open and fertile, was almost entirely uninhabited since the famine of 1803 and 1804 in which years out
of 180 villages in Nevasa only twenty-one were inhabited. The country between that and Ahmadnagar was better and the plains south of Ahmadnagar were for many marches one sheet of the richest cultivation. Still in 1819 more than half of the arable land was waste, and in Parner the sub-division next to Sirur in Poona the country was a wilderness.
On the 19th of August 1821 a desperate fight took place in the Ahmadnagar jail. The convicts overpowered the guard and seized
their weapons. Some of the convicts escaped and the rest shut themselves in the jail and held it until troops arrived with a gun. The door was blown open and the military charged the convicts who were not dispersed till twenty-nine were killed and sixty-two wounded. [Mr. T. C. Hamilton, C. S.]
On the 19th of October 1822, on the confession of Narsingrav a servant of Chintamanrav Purandhare of Sangli, a plot was discovered for collecting troops in Sindia's villages of Belapur, Sonai Bomni, and Jamgaon, and at Nandurbar in Khandesh. They were to meet at Lasur and were to be joined by others from Hindustan when a general attack was to be made on the British posts. [Mr. T.
C. Hamilton, C. S.]
Nearly twenty years of British rule passed before the warlike Kolis of the western hills were brought to order. The beginning o£ troubles
arose out of an unfortunate mistake. Ramji Bhangria, who in his youth had been a famous outlaw and during the latter years of Bajirav's reign had become a most useful police officer, on the establishment of British rule, waited on the Collector and was appointed chief constable or jamadar of one of the hill police posts. According to custom in addition to his pay, Ramji received as a yearly meeting or bhet present from every village a rupee, a fowl, and some rice, and a sheep from every flock that passed through his charge. Ramji did good service until an order came that no Government servant was to take any present in addition to his pay. This order was applied to Ramji and his chickens; he wrote to ask that an exception might be made in his favour, and as he got no answer to his letters he asked for his discharge. His discharge was refused and he was given six months' leave. At the end of the six months' leave as nothing was done to raise his salary or to make up for his loss of perquisites he went into outlawry. Ramji Bhangria's chief supporter was a Koli named Govindrav Khari. Govindrav had been commandant of the hill fort of Ratangad about twenty-two miles west of Akola under the Peshwa. On the Peshwa's fall he remained staunch to his master, and under the plea of age, refused employment under the British government. In the reductions of hill fort garrisons which followed the establishment of order, twelve of Govindrav's kinsmen, who had formed part of the Ratangad garrison, were thrown out of employment and were also deprived of the revenues of a village to which as commandants of the fort they had hereditary claims. Govindrav and his kinsmen and several other discontented people went to the hills and in the latter part of 1828 were joined
by Kamji Bhangria from the Konkan. In January 1829, in consequence of news that there were several hundred Kolis in the Akola hills and that the people were in great alarm, Captain Mackintosh went with a detachment of police to the Sahyadris. At first, though almost no village had not its two or three representatives in the gang, no information could be got. The Brahman kulkarnis, some of whom were abetting the rising, advised that troops should not be sent after the Kolis but that some arrangement should be made to redress their grievances. Captain Mackintosh for a time took little notice of the gang beyond sending them word that no letters or petitions could be attended to till they had laid down their arms. He busied himself in accustoming his men to the roughest tracts which the Kolis used, and gathered information regarding the strength of the outlaws, the names of their leaders, the people who were likely to help them, and the places where they were in the habit of meeting. He also took pains to gain the goodwill and co-operation of a number of the people. When his information was completed a detachment from Bhiwndi was stationed at the bottom of the passes leading into the Konkan, and other detachments from Malegaon,
Ahmadnagar, and Poona were posted in the most suitable places, and lightly equipped parties kept constantly searching the Kolis' haunts and lurking places. A few days before the troops came the insurgents had plundered three villages. The insurgents had soon to break into small parties. Many of the insurgents finding how all the ways were blocked and guarded, fled, and the rest were greatly perplexed by finding guards posted over their favourite ponds and drinking places. The people gave great help and officers and men worked with unceasing zeal. In two months the two chiefs and over eighty of their followers were marched into Ahmadnagar. Though the chiefs were secured the rising was not at an end. Rama Kirva, one of the leaders in the rising, a stout and powerful man with an extremely fine figure and good features noted for excelling all the Kolis in agility, had escaped south before the final success against the gang. In July 1830 he was joined by Bhils and he and his gang gave great trouble plundering both above and below the Sahyadris. The troops under Captain Luykin of the 17th Regiment N. I., Lieutenant Lloyd of the 11th Regiment, and Lieutenant Forbes of the 13th worked with the greatest energy. The people gave the troops important help and the thorough knowledge of the hills which two years' experience supplied enabled the troops to give the insurgents no rest. A number of prisoners were taken to Poona and Thana, and Rama Kirva and several other notorious leaders were taken to Ahmadnagar where Kirva was executed. [Capt. J. Mackintosh in Trans. Bom. Geog.
Soc. I. 257-263]
In 1845 the Kolis were again troublesome. One Koli outlaw whose name is still fresh in the district was Raghoji Bhangria of Nasik. He made a raid on some Marwari Vanis who applied to the police. During the investigation the police asked Raghoji's mother where her son was hiding; and when she refused to tell she was put
to torture. Enraged at this outrage Raghoji gathered a band of Kolis and wandering through the Nasik and Ahmadnagar districts cut the nose off of every Marwari he could lay hands on. Almost all village Marwaris fled in terror to the district towns and the pursuit of the police was so hot that Raghoji had to break his band and disappear. He avoided capture for many years. At last in 1847 he was caught at Pandharpur by Lieutenant afterwards General Gell. As some of his raids had been accompanied with murder, he was hanged and many of the leading men punished. [Details of Raghoji Bhangria's capture are given in the Thana Statistical Account.]
[Major H. Daniell, formerly Superintendent of Police, Ahmadnagar.] During the 1857 mutinies Ahmadnagar
was the scene of considerable disturbance. The rebels were about 7000 Bhils of South Nasik and North Ahmadnagar. Detachments of troops were stationed to guard the frontier against raids from the Nizam's dominions, and to save the large towns from the chance of Bhil attacks. The work of scattering the Bhil gatherings and hunting the rebels was left almost entirely to the police who were strengthened by the raising of a special Koli corps and by detachments of infantry and cavalry. The first gathering of Bhils was under the leadership of one Bhagoji Naik. This chief, who had been an officer in the Ahmadnagar police, in 1855 was convicted of rioting and obstructing the police and was sentenced to imprisonment. On his release he was required to find security for his good behaviour for a year. Shortly after the year was over, in consequence of the order for a general disarming, Bhagoji left his village of Nandur-Shingote in the Sinnar subdivision of Nasik, about five miles to the north of the Ahmadnagar boundary. Being a man of influence he was soon joined by some fifty of his tribe and took a position about a mile from his village, commanding the Poona-Nasik road. After a few days (4th October 1857) Lieutenant J. W. Henry, the Superintendent of Police, arrived at Nandur-Shingote and was joined by his assistant Lieutenant now Colonel T. Thatcher, and Mr. A. L. Taylor inspecting postmaster. The police force under Lieutenant Henry consisted of thirty constables and twenty revenue messengers armed with swords. Lieutenant Henry told the mamlatdars of Sangamner and Sinnar to send for Bhagoji and induce him to submit. Bhagoji refused unless he received two years' back pay and unless some arrangement was made for his maintenance. On receiving this message, the police were ordered to advance against his position. The first shot killed a man immediately behind Lieutenant Henry. The officers dismounted, but before they had advanced many yards were met by a volley, and Lieutenant Henry fell wounded. He regained his feet, and, pressing on, received a mortal wound in the chest. The attack was continued under Lieutenant Thatcher and the Bhils retreated. This unfortunate engagement excited the whole Bhil population. A fresh gang of about 100 Bhils was raised by Patharji Naik in the Rahuri sub-division, but it was soon dispersed by Major now Lieutenant General Montgomery, the new superintendent of police. On the 18th of October an engagement
took place in the hills of Shamsherpur in Akola, between Bhagoji's men and a detachment of troops and police under Colonel Macan of the 20th Native Infantry, in which Lieutenant Graham who was on special police duty and Mr. P. S, Chapman of the Civil Service who accompanied the force were wounded. As disorder was widespread, Captain now General Nuttall, who succeeded Lieutenant Graham, was ordered to raise a corps of Kolis, the hereditary rivals of the Bhils, who, in Maratha times, had been among the bravest of the Mavlis or West Deccan footmen. The corps was recruited chiefly in the hilly parts of Akola, of Junnar in Poona, and of Nasik. In December 1857 a hundred men armed with their own swords and muskets were fit for the field, and so useful did they prove, that in January and February 1S58 a second levy of 110 was ordered, and shortly after the strength of the corps was increased to 600 men with a commandant and adjutant. [Details are given in the Population Chapter.]
In raising the corps Captain Nuttall dealt with the heads of the different clans, promising them rank and position corresponding to
the number of recruits they brought to the corps. Javji Naik Bomla, the chief of the Bomla clan, was made the head of the corps and a brother of the famous outlaw Raghoji Bhangria and other leading men were chosen as officers. Drill masters were lent by the Ahmadnagar police, and, in spite of the want of leisure, the Kolis mastered their drill with the ease of born soldiers, and proved skilful skirmishers among hills and in rough ground. In 1858 the rebels were chiefly engaged in Nasik, Khandesh, and the Nizam's dominions and gave no trouble in Ahmadnagar. In the hot weather (April-May) of 1859, the Bhils under Bhagoji and Harji Naiks again appeared in the district. On the 5th of July after a forced march, Captain Nuttall came upon the Bhils near Ambhora Dara eight miles south-east of Sangamner. The Bhils took a strong position from which they were driven by twenty-five men of the Koli Corps with a loss of ten killed, including Yashvant Bhagoji's son, several wounded, and three prisoners among whom was Harji, Naik one of the leaders. In October 1859 parties of Bhils were reported to be gathering in the Nizam's territory with the intention of joining Bhagoji. In the British districts also they were again becoming uneasy and excited. Under these circumstances a detachment of Native Infantry was kept posted along the frontier which was constantly patrolled by strong parties of the Poona Irregular Horse. On the 26th of October, Bhagoji plundered the village of Korhala in Kopargaon and carried off property worth about £1800 (Rs. 18,000). He was closely pursued by Captain Nuttall for nearly a fortnight along the rough Sahyadri country, down to the Konkan, and up again into Ahmadnagar, but by very rapid and secret marches always succeeded in baulking his pursuers. At last on the 11th of November the rebels were pursued by Mr. now Sir Frank Souter, the newly appointed police superintendent of the district, and at Mithsagar, in the Sinnar sub-division of Nasik, in a hand to hand fight Bhagoji and most of his followers were killed and the rebellion
brought to an end. [Details ore given in the Nasik Statistical Account, 203-4.] The Nizam Bhils who were awaiting Bhagoji's arrival dispersed, and on the 20th, in falling back from the British frontier with a loss of forty killed were attacked and routed by a detachment of the Haidarabad contingent under Lieutenant Pedler. On the 12th of November a large party of Bhils, under an influential chief, a relative of Bhagoji's, left Sonai in Nevasa to join Bhagoji. On hearing of his death they turned towards Khandesh where they were caught. As they had committed no crimes they were pardoned and allowed to return to their homes. Though disturbances were at an end posts of regular troops were maintained till 1860. When the regular troops were withdrawn their places were taken by detachments of the Koli corps. The Koli Corps continued to perform this outpost duty till March 1861, when they were disbanded, and all, except a few who entered the police, returned to their former life of tillage and field labour. The wisdom of raising the corps had been proved. Instead of heading disturbances, as had often happened before and has happened since, the disciplined Kolis were a powerful element in repressing disorder. Under Captain Nuttall's patient and kindly care, and by the example of his dashing bravery and untiring energy, they proved a most orderly, well disciplined, active, and courageous force. They showed themselves superior to the Bhils in strength and spirit, and, in their two and a half years of active service five times earned the special thanks of Government.
In 1873, one Honya Bhagoji Kenglia, an influential Koli of Jamburi in Poona, at the head of a well trained gang began a
series of attacks on the moneylenders who habitually cheat and oppress the hill tribes and at intervals drive them into crime. Honya's robberies extended over the western parts of Poona Ahmadnagar and Nasik and the eastern sub-divisions of Thana.
They became so numerous and daring that in 1874 a special police
party of 175 armed men under Colonel Scott and Mr. W. F. Sinclair C. S. was detached for his arrest and proclamations were issued offering rewards of £100 (Rs. 1000) for Honya and £20 to £60 (Rs.200-600) for any of his followers. In spite of these measures Honya managed to evade pursuit till July 1876 when he was caught by Major H. Daniell then superintendent of police. In 1875 the spirit of disorder spread from the Kolis to the peace-loving Kunbis of the plain country and between May and July chiefly in Parner, Shrigonda, Nagar, and Karjat twenty-two cases of assaults on moneylenders by bands of villagers were committed. Troops were called to the aid of the police and the disturbance was put down.