Mughal Empire and Deccan




Mughal Empire and Deccan:

During the rule of Babur and Humayun boundaries of the Mughal empire had extended beyond North India. The main ruling powers to the South of river Narmada were Sultan of Khandesh, Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar, Adilshahi of Bijapur, and Qutubshahi of Golconda. Akbar led a campaign against Nizamshahi.

In 1595 C.E. Akbar seized the fort of Ahmednagar. During that time, Chand Sultana (Chandbibi), the daughter of Nizamshah, successfully resisted the attack with courage and intelligent strategies. When the Mughals arrived they were faced with a prepared and united army. Prince Murad’s strategy to take over the fort was to build five mines around it. It is said that to encourage her troops who were suffering from famine, and to safeguard her homeland, Chand Bibi herself with her generals dug out two of the five mines before they could explode. She also in an unprecedented moment ran out of the palace with a sword and armour worn with a veil to lead her troops against the Mughals. She devised a strategy that allowed them to continuously attack the Mughals exhausting them of their supplies. Prince Murad, worried of rebellion among his forces decided to negotiate, taking a small district in return for peace.

In this period of peace, Chand Bibi reached out to the other Deccan Sultanates, as her father had done to form a confederate against the Mughals. So the next time Prince Murad attempted to secretly annex outskirt towns of Ahmadnagar he was met with the joint force of all Deccan states. Though Prince Murad won this battle, he was called back by Akbar before he entered the city.

After her death, the Mughals conquered Ahmednagar, the capital of Nizamshahi. Akbar personally came down to the South and divided the conquered province into three Subhas namely- Ahmednagar, Varhad, and Khandesh. While Akbar was engaged in the southern campaign, Prince Salim rebelled against him and Akbar had to wind up his campaign hastily. During the period of Shahjahan, the Nizamshahi kingdom declined. However, the Adilshahi and Qutubshahi kingdoms manage to survive. Later, Aurangzeb was successful in uprooting them completely. The Maratha power in the Deccan put up a strong resistance to Aurangzeb’s advent.

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