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Bahmani Kingdom – Art and Architecture & Decline Stage

Art and Architecture

  • The Bahmanis constructed many buildings in cities such as Gulbarga, Bidar and Bijapur.
  • Numerous mosques, madrasas and libraries were built.
  • The Jami Masjid at Gulbarga, the Golconda fort at Hyderabad, Golgumbaz at Bijapur and the Chand Minar at Bidar are some of the best specimens of Bahmani architecture.
  • The Sultans developed Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.

Golkonda Fort:

The Raja Krishna Dev of the Kakatiya dynasty with Warangal as capital constructed the Golkonda Fort on a granite hill. During 1495–1496 the fort was handed over to Sultan Kali Kutub Khan as a Jagir (land grant). He reconstructed and rechristened the mud fort into a granite fort and called the place Muhammed Nagar. Later, the Golkonda fort came into the possession of the Bahmani dynasty. Still later, the Qutub Shahi dynasty took over and made Golkonda its capital. Golkonda fort owes much of its present grandeur to Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of Qutb Shahi dynasty. The subsequent generations saw Golkonda being fortified further with several additions and the formation of a beautiful city within. By the 17th century, Golkonda was famous as a diamond market. It gave the world some of the best-known diamonds, including the ‘Kohinoor’.

The Golkonda Fort is located about 11 kms from Hyderabad on a hill 120 meters hight. The Golkonda Fort is popular for its acoustic architecture. The highest point of the fort is Bala Hissar. There is said to be a secret underground tunnel which leads from the Durbar Hall to one of the palaces at the foot of the hills.

The Golkonda Fort also houses the tombs of the Qutub Shahis. There are two individual pavilions on the outer side of Golkonda which serve as major architectural attractions. The Fort comprises four other small forts within itself. It has cannons, draw bridges, royal chambers, halls, temples, mosques, stables, etc. The Fateh Darwaza or the Victory Gate is the entrance to the fort. Aurangzeb laid siege to this Golkonda fort in 1687 for about eight months but in vain. It was due to the treachery of an Afghan gate keeper, the fort finally fell.

Decline of the Bahmani Kingdom

  • After the death of Sultan Mohammed III five of his descendants succeeded him on the throne but they were kings only in name.
  • During this period the Sultanate gradually broke up into four independent kingdoms: Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar and Golkonda.
  • Bidar where the Bahmani Sultan ruled as a puppet became the fifth one.
  • Among these Bijapur became powerful by annexing Bidar and Berar in course of time.
  • Though Ahmadnagar and Golkonda acted independently they finally joined with Bijapur to fight with their common enemy, Vijayanagar.
  • Vijayanagar was utterly routed in the battle of Talikota or Rakshashi-Tangadi in 1565.
  • Thereafter, within a century, the Sultanates were vanquished one after another and taken over by the Mughal state.

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