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The Bahmani Sultanate, also known as the Bahmanid Sultanate, is a prominent Muslim state in South India.
The Arabized 'Bahmanid' became popular during the reigns of Firuz, Ali Nadeem, and Ismail, so it will be used in the information pertaining to them.
Reign of Firuz (1397-1422)Title at death: Sultan of the Bahmanids, Malik of the Deccan, Khan of Khandesh and Malwa, Mirza of Sri Lanka, Khanzada of Kozhikode and Venad, Nawab of Cholamandalam, Sultan-al Mujahidin, Taj-ud-Din Firuz Shah.
Firuz Shah, with the possible exception of his grandson, was the single greatest leader the Bahmanids had ever known. In his twenty-five year reign, he tripled the territory under his command, transforming the Bahmanids from a minor kingdom in South India into the single greatest state the southern subcontinent had ever seen. Not just a mere warrior like his contemporary Timur, he also laid foundations for a permanent state, mainly through large public works and tolerance of Hinduism. Little happened during the first four years of his reign. In 1401, with the near- nnihilation of the Sultanate of Delhi by the armies of Timur, Firuz Shah made the Declaration of Gulbarga, which is often credited as the beginning of the Bahmanid's rise to greatness. With the decline of Delhi, it was the Bahmanid's sacred duty not only to match the accomplishments of the last great Muslim state in India, but exceed it. The next year, to test his enlarged military, he invaded the small Kingdom of Andhra, which swiftly fell. Vijayanagar, however, tried to steal the fruits of the Firuz's victory by invading both moribund Andhra and Odissa. Firuz saw these developments as an opportunity, and launched an invasion, penetrating to the heart of the Vijayanagar Empire, along with Odissa and Firuz's new ally, Mogadishu. Bukka Raya, the Vijayanagar emperor, was killed and his army annihilated. With the their oldest enemy crushed, the Bahmanid Empire became the power in South India. Soon afterward, the only other two independent states in the area, Kozhikode and Venad, were forced into vassalage, and conquered, respectively. Firuz, however, was no mere conqueror, but also gave a large amount of tolerance to Hindus within the empire, embarked on a grand series of public works, and opened a university at Gulbarga, including the largest observatory in India. Venad was turned into the key port of the empire, and was graced by the visit of the great Chinese admiral Zheng He. Soon afterward, the Shah led a grand Bahmanid-Mogadishan fleet and conquered the island of Sri Lanka. Nonetheless, the empire then faced the greatest crisis in its existence. The newly conquered areas erupted in revolt, and everything Firuz conquered was lost. Nobles, hoping to restore their old position, led, and the fiercely Hindu peasants followed them. Nonetheless, Firuz moved swiftly, noting that the rebels were not one unified force, but divided along the lines of the states he had conquered, their only center being the nobles attempting to restore the Vijayanagar empire. While portions of the Bahmanid army (with Mogadishan support) distracted the other centers of rebellion, the main Bahmanid army besieged and conquered the city of Vijayanagara. With that victory, the tide turned and the rebels began to lose hope, and were defeated. A road network was commissioned to connect the entire realm economically, as well a currency standardization. The nobles were rotated among their lands, preventing any from building a permanent power base. The 'cold war' with Majapahit was the only significant foreign policy failure of Firuz's reign. When the rebel 'kingdom' of Kotte fell, it was discovered that Majaphait was supporting the Hindu rebels, though little managed to arrive before the rebellion collapsed. In retaliation, Firuz supported Brunei's bid for independence from Majaphait. Majapahit, however, found evidence of the conspiracy, while Delhi and Bengal rapidly expanded in North India. Firuz felt that the Bruneian cause was lost and that the developments closer to home needed more attention. Those developments were the resurgence of Delhi under Umar Hamza Khan, and a similarly expansionist streak by Bengal. So he launched his last campaign northward, against the old Bahmanid enemy of Khandesh, and then taking Malwa in his final year. During the campaign, he became ill and died shortly thereafter.
Reign of Ali Nadeem (1423-1445)
Many both during and after his reign saw Ali Nadeem as a complete failure, but others, most notably Ismail Shah, saw him as a man who did the best he could in trying times, and stabilized the conquests of his father.
Reign of Ismail Shah (1445-1486)
A great ruler, who stabilized the Bahmanid position in India, and extended its power overseas.
Reign of Muhammad Shah (1486-1512)
Reign of Nehal Shah (1512-)
Though the Sultan is a Muslim, most of his subjects are Hindus. Each of seven/eight recognized religious groups, (Sunni, Shia, and Ibadi Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Nesotarian Christianity, Judaism, and Gunturism in the Laccadives), have separate legal codes and courts adhering to their ideas.
The current flag of the Bahmani Sultanate was adopted by Firuz Shah after the defeat of Vijayangar. The left side is the symbol of the Bahmani Dynasty, a crescent an a star on a green field, and 'Allahu Akbar' (God is the Greatest) above it. The other side is saffron from the flag of Vijayanagar, celebrating Firuz Shah's victory over it. A keen observer, however, might note that the actual flag of Vijayanagar is yellow, not saffron, leading some to speculate that the color is actually a nod to Hinduism. (OOC: Actually, saffron just looked a lot better than yellow.)
In 1461, after a large famine in the Deccan, Ismail Shah reorganized the patchwork of overlapping feudal realms into nine subahs, though the feudal system remains in force, just under supervision. (More to come.)
1-Sindh, 2-Gujarat, 3-Bahmanistan, 4-Deccan, 5-Andhra, 6-Carnactic, 7-Sri Lanka, 8-Malabar, 9-Laccadives
(City in parentheses indicates OTL English name, if significantly different.)
|Sri Lanka||Kolon-thota (Colombo)|
Four of the subahdars also hold the title of Nizam-those of Bahmanistan, Deccan, Sri Lanka, and Gujarat (in descending order of rank at court.) Five hold the title of Nizam: Laccadives, Sindh, Andhra, Malabar, and Coromandel. (The Laccadive's high rank among the Nawabs come from the difficulty of managing the Gunturist population.)
This is almost always a few turns out of date.
- Swahili Sultanate: A key economic partner trading posts at Bombay and Kolon-thota, as well as an offensive/defensive military ally.
- Bengal Sultanate: Even though they sided against us in the Hindustan War, they later proved critical to our victories in the Andaman and Great Eastern Wars. They also provide a key link to Pegu.
- Delhi Sultanate: Though we have been enemies in the past, Ismail Shah has brought a new dawn in relations with them. Now in alliance.
- Gurkani Sultanate: Though our alliance was strained in the past, the Bahmani crown is still close to the sons of Timur. (The alliance was officially dropped, due to the 3-ally rule).
- China: A trade partner, who was recently granted the use of the port of Kolon-thota.
- Oman: They sided with Delhi during the Hindustan War, but relations improved when they agreed to give back Gujarat. Now, however, their anti-Shia stance and attacks on the Gurkanis ended that period of good feelings. Their new government, however, seems conciliatory and has massively improved relations.
- Taungoo: Ally of our vassal, Pegu.
- Most Muslim states.
- Khmer: Formerly Majapahit's ally, their switching sides during the Great Eastern War proved important to victory over Majapahit. Nonethess, many of the nobles do not trust them, feeling that they got most of the fruits of a war won by Indians.
- Korea: A strange and far-off nation, whose mariners suddenly appeared on our shores. Nonetheless, they seem friendly enough, and have a trade treaty with us.
- Tondo: Similar to the above, but without a trade treaty.
- Burgundy: Strange Christian foreigners. They seem friendly, but many view them with suspicion.
- Tibet: Their posturing, threatening of our ally Delhi, and oppression of Muslims, has led, despite the distance, to the Bahmani court having little patience with the mountain kingdom.
- Abbasid Caliphate: Although we have no direct conflict with them, they are hostile to the Shia. Furthermore, we do not forget their attempts to take over our Swahili allies.
- Japan: Some strange-seeming easterners with a passion for the obscene.
- Augsburg: From the same area as the Burgundians, but they prefer to trade with the Majapahit.
- Most Hindu states.
- Tsetseg Khanate:
- Majapahit: Not only a Hindu nation, but one that intended to support the rebellion of 1414-1416, and then invaded Pegu, not far from the Bahmani realms. Many believe that Majapahit secretly wants to restore the Hindu rule in India. Now they are trying to spread their evil Gunturism in our lands.
- Pegu: See its nation page for more details.
- Maldives: Joined us out of fear of Majapahit during the Great Eastern War. See its nation page for more details.