The Five Kingdoms of the Bahmani Sultanate







A silver Tanka of about 11 grams [1 tola] from the treasury of Muhammad Shah III dated 1472.





The Sultanate and Vijaynagar were the two great South Indian kingdoms of the medieval age.


The Sultanate lasted 191 years in its full glory, 1347 – 1538. Its remnants were to survive another 150 years, before Aurangzeb, the sixth and mightiest of Mogul emperors, took over all of the Deccan.


For a detailed web history of the Sultanate, consult

Hameed Akhtar Siddiqui’s


As the power of the Bahmani Sultanate waned, its provincial governors increasingly took power and were the actual rulers of their provinces, even if in many cases they nominally deferred to the central authority rather than declare their independence. The five kingdoms and their dynasty names were [after R.C. Majumdar]


·         Nizam Shahis of Ahmadnagar

·         Adil Shahis of Bijapur

·         Imad Shahis of Berar

·         Barid Shahis of Bidar [nominal overlords]

·         Qutab Shahis of Glocunda


During the first part of its existence, the Bahmani Sultans ruled their kingdom from Gulbarga – 75 years; during the second part the kingdom was ruled from Bidar – 116 years.