Five independent States arise from the dismembered monarchy, which afterwards form the three kingdoms of Ahmednugur, Beejapoor, and Golcondah – The term Deccan as now used – Review of events during the sixteenth century – Forts garrisoned by Mahrattas – Portuguese appear on the Malabar coast – on the shores of Maharashtra – they take Goa – The King of Ahmednugur appoints a Bramin his Peishwa, or prime minister – The King of Beejapoor likewise shows a preference for the natives of Mahrashtra – Cavalry – Sillidars and Bargeers – Portuguese ravage the coast, and levy contributions – Batik of Telikotta – Beejanugur state subverted – The Kings of Beejapoor and Ahmednugur attack the Portuguese without success – Maharashtra, 1573, possessed, with some exceptions, by Beejapoor and Ahmednugur – Extent of the kingdoms of Beejapoor, Ahmednugur, and Golcondah – Internal administration – The Mahrattas under these states frequently opposed to each other – The principal Mahratta families under Beejapoor and Ahmednugur – some account of each family – particularly that of Bhonslay – The Moghul invasions, for the purpose of subjugating the Deccan states, had great influence on the rise of the Mahrattas – State of the Deccan when the Emperor Akber projected its conquest – at his death, 1605, in possession of a part of the territory of Nizam Shah – Mullik Umber – his Regency – Lookhjee Jadow Rao – Death of Mullik Umber, and of Ibrahim Adil Shah – Shahjee Bhonslay – Mahrattas fast rising into consequence – Accession of Mohummud Adil Shah – Futih Khan succeeds his father – Mullik Umber is confined by Mortiza Nizam Shah – Murder of Lookhjee Jadow Rao – Death of the Emperor Jehangeer, and accession of his son, Shah Jehan – Khan Jehan Lodi, his rebellion and death – Shahjee Bhonslay enters the Moghul service – Alliance betwixt Mortiza Nizam Shah and the King of Beejapoor – Army of Beejapoor defeated by the Moghuls – Futih Khan murders Mortiza Nizam Shah –
negotiates with the Emperor – obtains some districts previously promised to Shahjee – Shahjee in disgust joins the army of Beejapoor – Futih Khan treacherously breaks with the Moghuls – Siege and surrender of Doulutabad – Moghuls repulsed before Purinda, and compelled to retreat to Burhanpoor – Shahjee’s regency – Shah Jehan’s policy – War with Beejapoor – peace concluded – terms – Shahjee maintains a desultory warfare – is at last compelled to yield, and enter the service of Beejapoor – End of the Byheree dynasty.
By the distribution of the governments under the administration of Khajeh Jehan Gawan, Eusoof Adil Khan Sawee was, as we have mentioned in the foregoing chapter, appointed to Doulutabad; but upon the death of that minister, who had been his patron and intimate friend, Adil Khan was removed to the government of Beejapoor, where several circumstances combined to strengthen his power; till, in the year 1489, he assumed the ensigns of royalty.
Such was the origin of the kings of Beejapoor, well known by their Deccan appellation of the Edil Shahee dynasty70.
The first prince of Ahmednugur, the founder of the Nizam Shahee or Byheree71 dynasty, was Mullik Ahmed, the son of that Nizam Ool Moolk Byheree, stigmatized as the principal instigator in the murder of Khajeh Jehan Gawan.
Nizam Ool Moolk having succeeded to the office of the deceased minister, and having, by the will of Mohummud Shah, become prime minister to his son, Sultan Mahmood, obtained Bheer and other districts, in addition to his former extensive Jagheer; and Mullik Ahmed, who had been his father’s deputy in the lately acquired territory of Rajamundree and Oureah, being recalled thence, was sent to the northward, and appears to have held a general charge of the territory, comprehended in the districts of Doulutabad and Joonere by the arrangements of 1478.
When his father, Nizam Ool Moolk, was murdered, Mullik Ahmed rebelled; and, having assumed independence, defied all the efforts of Mahmood Shah Bahminee to reduce him.
Kootub Ool Moolk, Turufdar of Telingana, to which government he was appointed in the year 1495, styled himself sultan, and mounted the throne of Golcondah in 1512, under the title of Kootub Shah.
The founder of the Berar state was Futih Oolla Ummad Ool Moolk, governor of that province. The Ummad Shahee dynasty lasted till 1574, when Berar was conquered and annexed to the territory of Ahmednugur, by Mortiza Nizam Shah the first.
The Bureed Shahee dynasty lasted a still shorter period than the Ummad Shahee. The sovereignty was founded by Umeer Bureed, whose influence was obtained by his control over the king’s person; the territory he possessed never extended beyond Beder, Kulburga, and a few of the adjoining districts,
the greater part was afterwards annexed to Beejapoor.
The three states, therefore, more immediately connected with our subject, are those of Beejapoor, Ahmednugur, and Golcondah72.
But before proceeding further, it is fit to apprize the reader, that the term Deccan, as at present used by all classes, is different from the ancient Hindoo signification, which, we have seen, included the whole tract of the five grand divisions of the Indian peninsula. Europeans have adopted the Mahomedan definition; and the modern Deccan comprises most of Telingana, part of Gondwaneh, and that large portion of Maharashtra which is above the western range of Ghauts, and which extends from the Nerbuddah to the Kistna.
We shall now take a brief review of events during the sixteenth century, and of the state of the country and its inhabitants during that period.
On the appointment of Mullik Ahmed to his government of Doulutabad and Joonere, in the year 1485, he found the Mahrattas, who garrisoned the hill forts, in a state of revolt; and was obliged to besiege and take the whole of the forts about Poona, including Kondaneh73 and Loghur, and also many in the Concan, as far as Dhunda Rajepoor, which was about the southern extremity of the Ahmednugur territory.
The pretence set up by the Mahrattas for refusing to surrender the forts, was the minority of Mahmood Shah; but they were, perhaps, induced to hold out, at the instigation of some of the factions, which then agitated the court of Beder.
Early in the sixteenth century a new power appeared, which took some share in the events which followed.
The Portuguese, under the celebrated Vasco de Gama, had made their appearance in May 1498, at the town of Calicut in Kerala, or Malabar. In 1507, in an engagement fought at Choule74, by Lorenzo, the son of Francisco de Almeyda, against the fleet of the Soldan of Egypt, the Portuguese cannon were first heard on the shores of Maharashtra. Choule then belonged to Ahmednugur, and the country of Mullik Nizam Ool Moolk Byheree seems to have been the only one to which the ravages of Portuguese piracy did not extend. They maintained a friendly intercourse, for a good many years, with the king of Ahmednugur.
On the 30th December 1508, the Portuguese fleet entered the river of Dabul, and the viceroy, Francisco de Almeyda, who commanded in person, having landed his men, took, plundered, and burnt the town. But the first territory of which the Portuguese obtained possession in Maharashtra, was the important island on which stands the city of Goa, and which belonged to the territory of Beejapoor.
The attack on Goa was suggested to Alphonzo de Albuqerque, by the Hindoo pirate, Timmojee, a native of Toolava75. Goa was surprised, and surrendered on the 27th February 151076, but was retaken, a few months afterwards, by Eusoof Adil Shah in person77. It was, however, again attacked
in the fair season, and finally conquered by Albuqerque on the 25th November 151078, since which time it has remained in possession of the Portuguese.
About the year 1529, it is particularly deserving of notice, that Boorahan Nizam Shah bestowed the office of Peishwa, or prime minister, on a Bramin, whose name, according to Ferishta, was Kawerseen; and from that period Hindoos acquired great influence in the Nizam Shahee government. Ibrahim Adil Shah, upon his accession to the throne of Beejapoor, in 1555, likewise shewed a great preference for the natives of Maharashtra, both as men of business and as soldiers. He discontinued keeping the accounts in Persian, for which he substituted Mahratta, though deeds of importance were written in both languages79. This regulation, of course, tended to increase the power and consequence of Mahratta Bramins. Ibrahim Adil Shah likewise disbanded most of the foreign troops, and displaced many of the foreign nobility. He entertained thirty thousand Deccan cavalry, and introduced the practice of enlisting Bargeers80, men who are supplied with a horse by the state or by individuals, instead of Sillidars, who provide a horse at their own expense81.
In 1532, the Portuguese made a descent upon the coast, burnt the whole of the towns from Chicklee-Tarapoor to Bassein, destroyed
some fortifications newly erected there, and levied contributions from Tannah and Bombay. Two years afterwards, they took Damaun, and obliged Sultan Buhadur, of Guzerat, then hard pressed by the Emperor Humaioon, to cede Bassein in perpetuity; to grant permission to build a fort at Diu, and to invest them with the right of levying duties on the trade with the Red Sea, for which they promised to assist him against the Moghuls82.
Their operations in Guzerat, and in other quarters, occupied the attention of the Portuguese for some years; but, in 1548, they committed great havoc on the coast of the Beejapoor dominions, having destroyed, with fire and sword, the whole of the towns from the neighbourhood of Goa to Bancoote83. They were invited to become parties in a plan for deposing Ibrahim Adil Shah, and placing upon the throne his brother Abdoollah, who was then residing at Goa, under their protection; but the attempt was abandoned84.
The decisive battle at Telikotta85, or, as it is termed in Mahratta manuscripts, Rakshitta Gundee, which subverted the Beejanugur state, was fought by the confederate Mahomedan powers of the Deccan, against the Hindoo army of the Carnatic, in the year 1564. Jealousy among the allied sultans prevented the kingdom of Canara from being totally annihilated.
The brother of Ram Raja was allowed to retain a considerable sovereignty; but the government never recovered itself, and the Deshmookhs, or Zumeendars, took advantage of its weakness to establish their own independence86.
In 1571 there was a combined attack made upon the Portuguese by the Beejapoor and Ahmednugur kings. Ali Adil Shah besieged Goa, and sustained a very mortifying repulse87; but the defence of Choule, which was besieged by Mortiza Nizam Shah, and was defended by Luis Ferara de Andrada, reflected particular credit on the Portuguese, and, as is generally the case where a native army is defeated, the Mahomedans attributed their want of success to treachery88.
Ferishta says, the officers of Nizam Shah were corrupted, principally by presents of wine. Both monarchs desisted from their attacks in August of the same year, when Ali Adil Shah’s arms were turned against some of the Rajas in the Carnatic, and in reducing them, he was more successful.
In 1573 Maharashtra was subject to the kings of Beejapoor and Ahmednugur with the exceptions of a part of Candeish, which was held as an independent principality by the Sultan of Burhanpoor; the northern Concan, belonging to Guzerat; and the possessions of the Portuguese. The power of Beejanugur had been for ever humbled; and Berar and Beder were annexed to the dominions of their more powerful neighbours.
The three great Mahomedan states which divided
the Deccan at this period, may be here briefly and generally defined.
Beejapoor extended from the Neera to the Toongbuddra. The district of Adonee, and probably89 Nundheal, south of that river, were in its possession. The coast from Bancoote to Cape Ramas, with the exception already adverted to, formed its western side; and on the east, the boundaries of its districts, Raichore, Eedgeer, Mulkair and Beder, divided it from the kingdom of Golcondah; Akulkote, Nuldroog, and Kallian became frontier provinces, and, like Sholapoor, situated between Ahmednugur and Beejapoor, were sometimes overrun by the troops of the one, and sometimes of the other.
Ahmednugur extended over the greater part of Berar, and the whole of what was afterwards comprehended in the Soobeh of Aurungabad. Galna, and some other districts in Candeish, and the district of Kaliannee, in the Concan, or from Bancoote to Bassein, were likewise subject to this state.
The kingdom of Golcondah extended from the territory of Beejapoor and Ahmednugur east as far as the opposite coast; but a part of the territory about Rajamundree, which had been originally conquered from the Raja of Orissa, continued to be governed by one of that Raja’s descendants, by whom tribute having been withheld,
Ibrahim Kootub Shah was employed in establishing due authority in that quarter, and in settling his lately acquired districts in the Carnatic, whilst the sultans of Ahmednugur and Beejapoor were acting against the Portuguese, or extending their respective possessions in Berar and the Carnatic.
Under these governments, the country was divided into Sirkars, though not, perhaps, so regularly as by the subsequent arrangements of the Moghuls. The next division to a Sirkar, was known by the various and synonymous names of Pergunna, Kuryat, Summut, Mahal, and Talooka, and also by the Hindoo appellations, Praunt and Desh. Khora, Moora, and Mawul have been already described, as lands comprehended in the Concan–Ghaut–Mahta, and such parts, from having been generally intrusted to Hindoo management, continued to be known by their ancient appellations.
The revenues under all the Mahomedan states, seem generally to have been farmed out in small portions; in some parts of the country, by single villages. Where they were not farmed, the management appears to have been generally intrusted to Hindoo agency90. To collect the revenues so farmed, there were Aumils or agents on the part of government, who regulated the police, and settled civil suits; these last, in disputes relating to hereditary office or landed property, were decided by Punchayet91.
In matters which regarded mere money transactions, it is probable that the aumils frequently gave decisions themselves. Under the Beejapoor state there was an aumildar who superintended the affairs of a considerable division, and to whom all other aumildars were subordinate. This officer was termed Mokassadar92; and it is conjectured that he had some percentage upon the revenues, but the amount is unknown. There are instances of mokassadars having held their situations for upwards of twenty years, and been succeeded by their sons93, but this was entirely optional with the Sultan. Some were removed in one year, and the mokassadar was not always a Mahomedan. There was frequently, but not always, an authority superior to the mokassadar, called a Soobeh: he did not reside constantly in the districts,
and took no share in the revenue management, although deeds, and formal writings of importance were made out in his name.
The condition of the Mahrattas, in the early part of those dynasties continued much the same as it had been under the Bahminee kings. The hill-forts seem generally to have been garrisoned by Mahrattas94: they were sometimes in the immediate pay of government, and sometimes in charge of the jagheerdars and district Deshmookhs: a few places of great strength were always reserved by the king, by whom the Killidars, or governors were appointed; but to this we shall again more particularly revert. A certain rank depending on the number of a body of horse under an individual’s command, and which rank is termed by Mahomedans munsub, was frequently conferred on Mahratta chiefs95, and military jagheers, or lands given for the purpose of maintaining a body of troops, were granted for their support. The quota of troops, so furnished, was very small in proportion
to the size of the jagheer. Phultun Desh, for which, in the time of the Mahratta Peishwas, three hundred and fifty horse were required, only furnished fifty to the Beejapoor government, at a very late period of that dynasty; but the Mahratta chiefs could procure horse at a short notice, and they were entertained or discharged at pleasure: a great convenience to a wasteful court, and an improvident government. Titles were conferred upon many of the Mahrattas, but under the Deccan dynasties, such titles were generally ancient Hindoo appellations. Raja, Naik, and Rao were the most common, and though bestowed by their Mahomedan conquerors, the distinction was always exceedingly gratifying to the Mahrattas, especially as they invariably obtained with the title, the means of supporting their new rank.
The Mahrattas are occasionally mentioned in Ferishta’s history of the Edil Shahee kings, under the name of Bergee, by which they are scarcely known to Europeans. Bergee, or Burgay, was more frequently applied by the Mahomedans to the Naiks of the Carnatic; many natives of which, who cannot speak their own language, call themselves Mahrattas; but all the troops of the Mahratta Munsubdars were called Bergee; and in many parts of India they are still known by that name: it was used like the term Baruh Bhaee96 of later
date, as a contemptuous appellation, and perhaps originated with the foreign cavalry, when disbanded, to make room for Deccanees in the army of Beejapoor. They were always found particularly serviceable in stopping roads, and intercepting supplies, in hanging on the rear of a flying enemy, and in plundering and devastating a country.
In the year 1578, Ferishta mentions that excesses were committed by some of the Bergee chiefs in their jagheers in the Carnatic; and a considerable force was detached for the purpose of suppressing them; but, after a year of constant skirmishing, the officer sent against them stated the impossibility of making any impression on the Bergee horse; and the Sultan, Ali Adil Shah, with that treachery for which the Deccan has always been notorious, formed a scheme for drawing them into his power, and putting their chiefs to death. His instrument for this detestable purpose was a Bramin, named Vasoojee Punt, who succeeded in betraying most of them.
The Bergees, however, afterwards attended the standard of the Sultan’s successor; and in the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah, we find them actively engaged in their usual mode of warfare, against the army of Nizam Shah.
The Mahrattas were naturally much more numerous in the armies of Beejapoor and Ahmednugur, as these kingdoms extended over almost the whole of Maharashtra, but some of them served in the army
of Golcondah. Neither national sentiment, nor unity of language and religion, prevented their fighting against each other. Not only did Mahratta subjects of these governments stand in array opposed to each other, but the most active enmity was frequently evinced between members of the same family. They fought with rancour wherever individual dispute, or hereditary feuds existed, and that spirit of rivalry in families, which was fomented by the kings of the Bahminee dynasty97, was one means of keeping the Mahrattas poised against each other in the dynasties which succeeded them.
Some of the principal Mahratta chiefs, under the Beejapoor state, were, 1st. Chunder Rao Moray; 2d. Rao Naik Nimbalkur, called also Phultun Rao; 3rd. Joojhar Rao Ghatgay; 4th. Rao Manay; 5th. Ghorepuray; 6th. Duflay; 7th. Sawunt Buhadur, Deshmookh of Waree, &c.
Those under Ahmednugur were, 1st. Rao Jadow; 2d. Raja Bhonslay, and many others of less note.
In regard to the chiefs under Beejapoor, a person named Moray, originally a naik in the Carnatic, was appointed in the reign of Eusoof Adil Shah to the command of a body of 12,000 Hindoo infantry, sent for the purpose of reducing that strong tract which is situated between the Neera and the Warna rivers. In this enterprize Moray was successful; he dispossessed the descendants of the raja Sirkay, and completely suppressed the depredations of their abettors; the principal of whom were families named Goozur, Mamoolkur, Mohitey, and Mahareek.
Moray, for this service, was dignified with the title of Chunder Rao; and his son Yeswunt Rao, having distinguished himself in a battle fought near Purinda with the troops of Boorahan Nizam Shah, in which he captured a green flag, was confirmed in succession to his father as Raja of Jowlee, and had permission to use the standard he had won. Their posterity ruled in the same tract of country for seven generations; and by their mild and useful administration, that inhospitable region became extremely populous. All the successors of the first Moray assumed the title of Chunder Rao. The invariable submission manifested by this raja, probably induced the government to exact little more than a nominal tribute from districts producing so little, and which had always been in disorder under Mahomedan management.
Another principal chief, under the Beejapoor government, was the Naik of Phultun, whose title was Rao Naik Nimbalkur, or Phultun Rao. The original name of this family is said to have been Powar; the name Nimbalkur is derived from the village of Nimbalik, now called Nimluk, where his ancestor resided. The origin of his Deshmookhee claims, on Phultun Desh, is unknown: the family is considered one of the most ancient in Maharashtra. Nimbalkur was made surdeshmookh of Phultun, before the middle of the seventeenth century, by the King of Beejapoor, as appears by original sunnuds of that date. The Deshmookh of Phultun is said to have become a Polygar, and to have withheld the revenues of the district repeatedly; but the exact periods are not ascertained.
Wungojee Naik, however, better known by the name of Jugpal, who lived in the early part of the seventeenth century, was notorious for his restless and predatory habits. The sister of Jugpal was the grandmother of the famous Sivajee. Nimbalkur never exchanged his ancient title of Naik98 for that of Raja.
Joojhar Rao Deshmookh of Mullaoree, was chief of a powerful family of Ghatgays; their native country is Kuttao Desh, and is separated from that of the Nimbalkurs by the Mahdeo range of hills. The Ghatgays were Deshmookhs and Surdeshmookhs of the Pergunna of Maun, and their chief had a munsub under the Bahminee dynasty: they did not obtain the title of Surdeshmookh till the year 1626, when it was given to Nagojee Ghatgay, as an unconditional favour by Ibrahim Adil Shah, together with the title of Joojhar Rao. The amount of revenue payable to a Surdeshmookh99 is not mentioned in any of the deeds of the Edil Shahee kings. The great ancestor of the family, Kam Raje Ghatgay, had a small munsub under the Bahminee dynasty. From that period till the present day, the Ghatgays have been notorious for their family feuds. They held Enam and Jagheer lands under the Beejapoor state, and served that government
with a body of horse. Their Jagheer was immediately subject to the control of the Mokassadar.
The head of the Manay family was Deshmookh of Muswar, adjoining the district of the Ghatgays. The Manays were distinguished Sillidars under the Beejapoor government, but nearly as notorious for their revengeful character as the Sirkays.
The Ghorepurays were originally named Bhonslay; and their ancestor acquired the present surname, according to their family legend, during the Bahminee dynasty, from having been the first to scale a fort in the Concan, which was deemed impregnable, by fastening a cord round the body of a ghorepur, or guana. They were Deshmookhs under the Beejapoor government, and divided into two distinct families, the one of Kapsee, near the Warna river, the other of Moodhole, near the Gutpurba100. The Ghorepurays appear to have signalized themselves at a very early period. The title of Umeer Ool Oomrah, was conferred on one of the members of the Kapsee family, by the Beejapoor kings.
The Duflays were Deshmookhs of the Pergunna of Jhutt, not far from Beejapoor; their original name was Chowan, and they acquired the surname of Duflay, from their village of Duflapoor, of which
they were hereditary Patells. They held a munsub, but no title from the Beejapoor kings.
The Sawunts were hereditary Deshmookhs of Waree, near Goa, and acquired the title of Buhadur from the kings of Beejapoor, during some of the wars against the Portuguese. Their original name was Bhonslay, and their chief is frequently, to this day, styled the Bhonslay. It is remarkable of their territory, that the ancient appellation of the family is preserved in our modern maps101. They were distinguished as commanders of infantry, a service best adapted to the country which they inhabited.
The principal Mahratta chief in the service of the Ahmednugur state was Jadow Rao, Deshmookh of Sindkheir, supposed with much probability to have been a descendant of the Raja of Deogurh. No Mahratta family was so powerful as the Jadows. Lookhjee Jadow Rao, in the end of the sixteenth century, held a Jagheer, under the Nizam Shahee government, for the support of ten thousand horse.
There was, likewise, a respectable Mahratta family, surnamed Bhonslay, particularly connected with the history contained in the following pages, which first rose into notice under the Ahmednugur government. They are said to have held several Patellships; but their principal residence was at the village of Verole102, near Doulutabad. Babjee
Bhonslay had two sons, the elder named Mallojee; and the younger Wittoojee. Mallojee was early married to Deepa Bye, the sister of Wungojee, or Jugpal Rao Naik Nimbalkur, Deshmookh of Phultun.
At the age of twenty-five, in the year 1577, by the interest of Lookhjee Jadow Rao, he was entertained in the service of Mortiza Nizam Shah, with a small party of horse, of which he was the proprietor. He had no children for many years, which is considered a great misfortune amongst Hindoos. He was a rigid votary of the deity Mahdeo, and the goddess Dewee Bhowanee, of Tooljapoor, was the Koolswamy of his family; but both deities had been invoked in vain to grant an heir. A celebrated Mahomedan saint or peer, named Shah Shureef, residing at Ahmednugur, was engaged to offer up prayers to this desirable end; and Mallojee’s wife having shortly after given birth to a son, in gratitude to the peer’s supposed benediction, the child was named after him, Shah, with the Mahratta adjunct of respect, jee; and in the ensuing year, a second son was in like manner named Shureefjee.
Shahjee was born in 1594.
Mallojee Bhonslay was an active Sillidar, and had acquitted himself so well, in various duties intrusted to him, that he began to attain distinction. He had, by some means, made an addition to his small body of horse, and was always much noticed by his first patron Jadow Rao.
His elder son Shahjee was a remarkably fine boy; and on the occasion of the celebration of the Hoolee festival in the year 1599, when Shahjee was five years old, he accompanied his father to
the house of Jadow Rao. It is usual for all casts of Hindoos to meet on that occasion, at the residence of some principal person, on the fifth day of the festival; and when there is any footing of intimacy, the children often accompany their fathers to the place of assembly. Shahjee, on this occasion, was noticed by Jadow Rao, who good naturedly called the boy towards him, and seated him beside his daughter named Jeejee, a pretty child of three or four years old. The children began to play together, when Jadow Rao, in the joy of his heart, thoughtlessly asked his daughter, “Well, girl, wilt thou take this boy as thy husband?” and turning round to the company, observed in the same strain, “they are a fine pair.” The children, at this time, happening to throw some of the red colour at each other, which is a common amusement on this festival, the circumstance occasioned a great deal of laughter in the assembly.
This mirth, however, was disturbed by Mallojee Bhonslay’s rising up and saying, “take notice, friends, Jadow has this day become a contracting party with me in marriage;” to which some of those present assented; but Jadow seemed astonished, and was mute. Affecting to treat what had passed as a mere joke, Jadow Rao, next day, asked Mallojee to a dinner, but he declined the invitation, unless Jadow would formally recognize Shahjee as his son-in-law. This Jadow Rao peremptorily refused; and his wife being a proud woman of high spirit, was very indignant at his having, even in jest, matched her daughter with such a person as the son of Mallojee Bhonslay. Mallojee appears, however, to have been crafty and persevering, little scrupulous about
the means employed, so that his end could be attained. He retired to his village, where it is pretended that the goddess Bhowanee, having appeared to him, discovered a large treasure; at all events he and his brother Wittoojee became possessed of money in some secret manner, which, in that troubled period of the Nizam Shahee government, during the first years of the seventeenth century, was probably by robbery. Their confidant, as to the fact of possessing the money, was a soucar or banker of Chumargoondee, named Seshao Naik Poonday, in whose hands the cash was deposited. But, according to Mahratta legend, the discovery of this treasure was merely a means which the goddess afforded to effect what she had, on first appearing, declared to Mallojee; namely, that “there shall be one of thy family who shall become a king: he shall be endowed with the qualities and attributes of Sambh103: he shall re-establish and preserve justice in Maharashtra, and remove all that molest Bramins, and violate the temples of the gods; his reign shall form an epoch, and his posterity shall mount the throne for twenty-seven generations.”
Mallojee employed his fortune in the purchase of horses, and in the popular works of digging tanks, building wells, and endowing various temples; but he was not diverted from his favourite scheme of being connected with the family of Jadow Rao. Jugpal Naik Nimbalkur of Phultun, the brother of Deepa Bye, Mallojee’s wife, warmly interested himself to promote the proposed marriage of his nephew. Wealth too, at a falling court, like that of Ahmednugur, could procure anything;
and as Jadow Rao’s objection was now confined merely to Mallojee’s rank, this was soon obviated, by his being raised to the command of five thousand horse, with the title of Mallojee Raja Bhonslay. The forts of Sewneree and Chakun, with their dependent districts, were likewise placed in his charge; and the Pergunnas of Poona and Sopa made over to him in Jagheer.
Thus, every obstacle being removed, Jadow Rao had no longer an excuse for not performing what he was urged to by his sovereign. The marriage of Shahjee to Jeejee Bye was celebrated with great pomp, and was honoured by the presence of the sultan104.
The Moghul invasions, for the purpose of reducing the kingdoms of Ahmednugur, Beejapoor, and Golcondah, had a great influence on the rise of the Mahrattas. The revolutions which took place in Hindoostan, and which placed the descendants of Timour on the imperial throne, gave the princes of the Bahminee dynasty an opportunity of firmly establishing their power; and had the Moghul emperors been in a condition to attempt the conquest of the Deccan, whilst the united kingdom existed, it probably would have been the means of preserving two rival Mahomedan empires in India, for a much longer period than either of them endured.
When the great but ambitious Akber projected the subversion of the Deccan monarchies, they were not only in a state of warfare with each other, but internal
dissensions paralyzed their individual efforts. The kingdom of Ahmednugur, in particular, was a prey to disorder, occasioned by the contests of two parties: the one headed by a Hindoo105, the other by Abyssinian nobles106.
The Hindoo faction, though they soon repented of the measure, were the first to invite the interference of the Moghuls; and the emperor Akber, at his death, in 1605, was not only in possession of Candeish, which he had wrested from the independent Mahomedan princes who had long governed it, but of a portion of the territory belonging to Nizam Shah, comprehending a great part of Berar, and the fort of Ahmednugur107, with some districts in its immediate vicinity. Ahmednugur fell to the Moghuls, during the minority of Buhadur Nizam Shah, whom they sent into
perpetual confinement in Gwalior. But the Nizam Shahee state, though its capital was reduced, and its lawful prince imprisoned, was still far from being subdued. The Abyssinian faction, headed by a man of uncommon genius, named Mullik Umber, attained the chief control; set up a new king, by the title of Mortiza Nizam Shah the II., hoisted the Byheree standard on the impregnable rock of Doulutabad, and soon became equally formidable and respectable.
Of the origin of Mullik Umber there are, various traditions: the most consistent of them is, that he was, in his youth, a personal adherent of Chungeze Khan108, the too loyal109 minister of Mortiza Nizam Shah the I., and from his able patron, it is probable he acquired some of that knowledge by which he, in a short time, regulated the country, improved the revenue, and on the threatened frontier of the Deccan, became, for upwards of twenty years, its bulwark of protection from foreign conquest.
The accession of Jehangeer, and the rebellion of his son Sultan Khosrou, afforded Mullik Umber some respite from Moghul invasion; he had leisure to commence his revenue arrangements, to establish his authority in those parts of the Ahmednugur territory, not occupied by the imperial troops, and to make his regency respected at home and abroad. The sultans of Beejapoor, and Golcondah, unfortunately for the stability of their own kingdoms,
did not view the rise of Mullik Umber favourably. Ibrahim Adil Shah bore him a personal enmity, and both kings were likely to disapprove of a usurpation, which might, from such an example, be speedily followed in their own courts.
Mullik Umber founded the city of Khirkee110, near Doulutabad, where he established his capital, and built several splendid palaces. He repeatedly defeated the Moghul armies, and for a time recovered the fort of Ahmednugur, and the districts in Berar. Though almost constantly engaged in war, this great man found leisure to cultivate the arts of peace, and to forward those arrangements in finance, which have left his name in every village of his country, far more venerated as a ruler, than renowned as a general. He abolished revenue farming, and committed the management to Bramin agents, under Mahomedan superintendence; he restored such parts of the village establishment as had fallen into decay; and he revived a mode of assessing the fields, by collecting a moderate proportion of the actual produce in kind, which, after the experience of several seasons, was commuted for a payment in money settled annually according to the cultivation111.
By such means his districts soon became thriving and populous;
and although his expenditure was great, his finances were abundant.
But Mullik Umber was not always prosperous; he frequently experienced severe reverses, and about the year 1621, some of the principal Mahrattas in his service were induced to quit his standard, and go over to the Moghuls.
The most important defection was that of Lookhjee Jadow Rao, Deshmookh of Sindkheir, whom we have already mentioned as a principal Mahratta chief under the Nizam Shahee government. The manner in which the Moghuls received and rewarded him, is, in itself, a proof of the great power and consequence which the Mahrattas had by that time attained. A munsub of 24,000, with 15,000 horse was conferred upon him, and such of his relations as accompanied him were all raised to high rank.
But the rebellion of the Prince Shah Jehan, again called off the attention of the imperial troops, and Mullik Umber, before his death, which happened in the beginning of 1626, once more triumphed in the Deccan. Ibrahim Adil Shah of Beejapoor did not survive Mullik Umber above a year. The memory of both is still preserved with much respect in the legends of the countries where they ruled. The mausoleum of the latter still stands, the most perfect and the most
beautiful of the many buildings which remain among the ruins of Beejapoor, to attest its former grandeur, and the magnificence of its nobles and kings.
During the wars of Mullik Umber, the Mahrattas in his service were frequently conspicuous. Shahjee Bhonslay, who had succeeded his father Mallojee in the Jagheer, particularly distinguished himself in a great battle with the Moghuls, fought in the year 1620, near the northern boundary of the Ahmednugur territory, in which, although Mullik Umber was defeated, no share of the blame was attached to the Mahrattas. In the account of the battle, Lookhjee Jadow Rao is mentioned as well as Shahjee, and one of the Naiks112 of Phultun was killed on the same occasion.
Up to this period, since the first conquest of the country, we find little trace of the Hindoo natives of Maharashtra in Mahomedan history113; their
leaders and their nation are almost nameless, but we shall now see them fast rising into consequence, and it therefore becomes necessary to enter a little
more fully into the detail of events which immediately preceded the rise of Sivajee.
Ibrahim Adil Shah, whose death we have just mentioned, was the second of that name who bad filled the throne of Beejapoor. He left to his son Mohummud Adil Shah, who succeeded him in the 15th or 16th year of his age, a large treasury, a country still flourishing, and an army, the strength of which appears exaggerated114 when stated at eighty thousand horse, with upwards of 200,000 infantry in pay, including his garrisons.
Mullik Umber left two sons, Futih Khan, and Chungeze Khan: he was succeeded as regent of the Nizam Shahee kingdom by his eldest son, Futih Khan. The new regent prosecuted the war against the Moghuls, but being entirely destitute of his father’s abilities, he would have been worsted, had not the Moghul general, Khan Jehan Lodi, granted him an armistice on very favourable terms.
The Sultan Mortiza Nizam Shah the II. on attaining man’s estate, was naturally desirous of circumscribing the power of the regent, and the violent and inconsistent conduct of Futih Khan, rendered this object a matter of easy accomplishment; otherwise it could never have been effected by this prince, who was vindictive, versatile, and totally unfit for the difficult conjuncture in which he had the misfortune to be placed.
Assisted by an officer named Tukurrib Khan, he succeeded in throwing Futih Khan into confinement; on which event, the Mahratta chief Lookhjee Jadow Rao immediately offered to return to his allegiance. But Mortiza Nizam Shah had conceived mortal offence at his desertion, and only pretended to listen to his overtures, until he had allured him to a conference within the fort of Doulutabad, where he treacherously murdered him with several of his relations. His widow, a person whom we have already had occasion to notice, on hearing what had happened, fled with the troops of her husband to Sindkheir, whence, accompanied by her brother-in-law, Jugdeo Rao Jadow, she repaired to the imperial camp, where, by her intercession, Jugdeo Rao was confirmed in
the Jagheer, and obtained the rank of five thousand horse; ever after which, the Jadows of Sindkheir, faithfully adhered to the Moghuls.
The Emperor Jehangeer died in 1627, and, in the following year, was succeeded by his son Shah Jehan. The new Emperor bore a personal enmity to Khan Jehan Lodi, then governor of the Moghul conquests in the Deccan. He removed him from his government to that of Malwa, and invited him to court. Though at first received with much courtesy, he afterwards suspected treachery, fled into the Deccan, and sought refuge on the confines of Buglana, within the territory of Nizam Shah.
A force was immediately sent in pursuit of him; but the Zumeendars, or Deshmookhs of the country, rose in his defence, repulsed the Moghul troops, and could not be induced, by promises or threats, to give him up. Shah Jehan was so extremely jealous of Khan Jehan Lodi, that he deemed his submission of vital importance to the stability of his throne. He advanced towards the Deccan with a great army, threatening with destruction all who should afford protection to Lodi, or espouse his cause. Having had considerable experience in the desultory mode of warfare peculiar to the Deccan, he separated his army into three divisions, which he placed under the respective command of Azim Khan, Iradut Khan, and Shaisteh Khan. The division of Azim Khan penetrated by the western route, and he being a very active officer, soon compelled Khan Jehan Lodi to fly to the southward.
Shahjee Bhonslay was one of the supporters of
but on his flight, Shahjee, probably fearing the loss of his Jagheer, followed the example of his mother-in-law, the widow of Lookhjee Jadow Rao, and made a tender of his services to the Moghul Emperor through Azim Khan; promising, on condition of receiving a safe conduct and a letter of pardon, to repair to the imperial presence. The indulgence being granted, he came to court, accompanied by his immediate dependents, and a body of two thousand horse. Having paid his respects to Shah Jehan, he was promoted to the rank of 6000 with 5000 horse; many of his dependants were also raised to munsubs, and Shahjee was not only confirmed in his Jagheer, but received a grant for some other districts, the names of which no where appear; but Ahmednugur was probably115 one of them. Shahjee’s cousin, Kellojee Bhonslay, the son of Wittoojee, went over to the imperial service about the same time, and received a munsub116.
Khan Jehan Lodi, on being driven from the western quarter of the Nizam Shahee territory, repaired to Beejapoor, and endeavoured to rouse Mohummud Adil Shah to combine, with Mortiza Nizam Shah, in repelling Moghul encroachment.
His arguments had no immediate effect, and he was compelled to return to Doulutabad.
During the season of 1629–30 no rain fell in the Deccan, and a famine, accompanied by pestilence, ensued; but on its being ascertained that Khan Jehan had returned, notwithstanding the obstacles which disease, and the difficulty of procuring subsistence presented, Azim Khan marched towards Doulutabad. His army was opposed by that of Nizam Shah, which had taken up a strong position for the purpose, but was driven from it after a resolute defence.
This defeat, and the wretched state of the country, induced Khan Jehan to adopt the desperate resolution of endeavouring to make his way to the Afghans in Cabul. He set out, but was soon closely and perseveringly followed by the imperial troops; a party a last overtook him, when turning on his numerous pursuers, at the head of a few faithful adherents, he fell covered with wounds; but nobly fought on to his last breath, in a manner which obtained for him the admiration of the most obdurate of his enemies.
Azim Khan, in the meantime, pursued the advantages which his victory opened to him; he took possession of the districts, displaced the agents of the Nizam Shahee Jagheerdars and Munsubdars, and bestowed divisions of the country on his own adherents. Marching southward from Doulutabad, he reduced several places, and surprised the strong fort of Dharoor near Bheer. The troops of Nizam Shah appear to have been commanded by two officers, Bahlole Khan, an Afghan adherent of
Lodi, and Mukrib Khan, who maintained a desultory warfare, and though constantly put to flight, remained unsubdued.
Mortiza Nizam Shah found that disorder and ruin threatened him on all sides; but had neither discernment to discover the defects of his administration, nor talents to apply a remedy. Losing confidence in his minister, he turned his attention to his prisoner, Futih Khan, released him from confinement, and restored him to power. Tukurrib Khan, disgusted by this proceeding, and dreading the consequence to himself, went over to Azim Khan, and got the rank of 6000 horse in the imperial service. His defection, at this period, was useful to the Moghuls, as they were threatened with anew enemy in the person of Sultan Mohummud Adil Shah.
It appears that a secret partition treaty had been entered into betwixt Ibrahim Adil Shah, and the Moghul Emperor, at some period of the war with Mullik Umber, the conditions of which were, that the Beejapoor government, if it afforded active co-operation in reducing the Nizam Shahee territory, should receive the districts in the Concan belonging to that state, also the fort of Sholapoor, with five forts on the eastern side, communicating with the Edil Shahee districts near Beder, of which Dharoor was one. But Mohummud Adil Shah, though he appears to have recognized the agreement in the first instance, never entered heartily into the views of the Moghuls: he would gladly have seized for himself a portion of the Nizam Shahee territory; but he did not consider it politic
to share it with such a formidable power. On the present occasion, he had engaged in a secret negotiation with Mortiza Nizam Shah, but sent forward an army under his general Rendoollah Khan, giving out that they were auxiliaries proceeding to join the Moghuls. On arriving in the neighbourhood of Azim Khan’s army, Rendoollah Khan sent to request that the fort of Dharoor might be delivered up to the troops of Adil Shah, according to the treaty. Azim Khan reasonably objected, that as they had not assisted in its reduction, nor as yet fulfilled their part of the conditions, he could not comply with the demand; but, as there was still ample opportunity for proving their good faith, the present application might be a future consideration with the Emperor. Meanwhile Mortiza Nizam Shah having agreed to restore Sholapoor to the king of Beejapoor, an alliance was concluded between them, which had for its object mutual defence against the Moghuls.
Occasion of quarrel, however, arose between the armies of Azim Khan, and Rendoolah Khan, before the plans of the confederates were matured, and a battle was fought in which the army of Beejapoor was defeated.
The two states, in alliance, might still have recovered what they had lost; but Mortiza Nizam Shah, having put himself in the power of the ruffian whom he had injured, was, about this time, thrown into prison, and strangled by order of Futih Khan; by whom also, the whole of the nobility, attached to the unfortunate prince, were put to death.
To excuse these acts of revenge and violence Futih Khan sent a petition to Shah Jehan, representing that he had thus acted on purpose to testify his regard for the imperial service, and that he had raised the son of the deceased to the vacant throne, until the emperor’s pleasure should be known.
Shah Jehan, in reply, affected to believe this representation; and although he considered the remaining districts of the kingdom almost subdued, and about to be annexed to the empire, yet, as it would have been difficult to obtain possession of many of the forts by force, he pretended to grant them to the orphan, on condition of his sending the best elephants, and the most valuable of the jewels, belonging to the Nizam Shahee family, to the imperial court. Great honours were, at the same time, conferred on Futih Khan; considerable districts were promised to him in Jagheer, and amongst others, some of those formerly granted to Shahjee Bhonslay.
Upon the breaking out of hostilities with Beejapoor, large reinforcements were poured into the Deccan; and Asif Khan, as chief in command, passing through the Nizam Shahee territory, thus unexpectedly detached from the alliance, invaded the territory of Mohummud Adil Shah, laid it waste, and besieged his capital. But supplies having been cut off, and the operations artfully protracted, Asif Khan was obliged to desist; and after plundering and destroying the country, as far west as Merich, he returned with his army. Mohabet Khan, who had been appointed governor
of the Moghul territory in the Deccan, when Khan Jehan Lodi was removed to Malwa, now took upon himself the conduct of the war. It was intended to prosecute the reduction of the Beejapoor territory, but circumstances changed the scene of action.
Futih Khan at first shewed some reluctance to part with the elephants and jewels demanded of him, but compliance being enforced, he was confirmed as regent; and allowed to retain the promised districts: Shahjee Bhonslay, disgusted by this treatment, made overtures to the Beejapoor government, through Morar Punt, an able Bramin, and a principal minister of Mohummud Adil Shah.
A projected enterprise against Doulutabad formed a part of Shahjee’s proposals to Morar Punt; and he so strongly represented the unprepared state of the garrison, the general defection of the nobility, and the readiness with which all who had suffered in the late commotions would join against both Futih Khan and the Moghuls, that the king consented.
Futih Khan, on hearing of the march of the Beejapoor army, reinforced by Shahjee, sensible of the general hatred towards himself throughout the country, proposed to place himself under the protection of the Moghul general, Mohabet Khan, and to give up the fort. Mohabet Khan, much pleased with an offer so advantageous, marched, as soon as possible, towards Doulutabad. The army of Beejapoor, however, arrived first, and, to prevent communication with the fort, threw themselves
between it and the Moghuls. A battle, of course, ensued; the ground was obstinately contested by the Beejapoor army, and Shahjee creditably supported the leading part he bore in the cause; but they were finally driven back, and forced to encamp sixteen miles on the opposite side of Doulutabad,
The Beejapoor chiefs, who, like all the Deccanees, were adepts at intrigue and negotiation where force was ineffectual, sent messages to Futih Khan, representing how much he should sacrifice by surrendering the fortress; and that if he would agree to remunerate Shahjee, and not deliver up Doulutabad to the emperor, they would support him, and maintain the former alliance. The proposal being acceded to, both in conjunction, without any previous declaration, opened a fire on the Moghuls, which so enraged Mohabet Khan, that he determined on regularly investing the place, and punishing this unparalleled breach of faith, on the part of Futih Khan. Having a fine army, with many experienced officers, he formed a part of it into three divisions: one to oppose the Beejapoor army; another to cover the supplies of his own camp; and the third to prevent any provisions or stores from being thrown into the fort. Each was to support the other as necessary, whilst the main body, under his own superintendence, was destined for active operations against the fortress.
The attack was maintained with vigour and perseverance, and was met by an equally vigorous defence; but the garrison, being indifferently provisioned, were obliged to
capitulate, after an eventful siege of fifty-eight days. Futih Khan was divested of all power, and became a pensioner of the Moghul government117. The child whom he had set up was placed in perpetual confinement in Gwalior, being the second prince of this house immured in that fortress.
Shahjee was one of the best partizans on the side of the Beejapoor army; and it became an object to check his activity by any means. Whilst the siege of Doulutabad was in progress, Mhaldar Khan, the Nizam Shahee governor of the fort of Trimbuck, offered his services to the emperor, through Mohabet Khan; by whom he was told, that if he would seize Shahjee’s wife and family, then residing near Byzapoor, he might have a still better opportunity of proving his zeal for the cause he had embraced, and of doing a very acceptable piece of service. The Killidar accordingly made the attempt, and succeeded in taking the wife of Shahjee, together with a great deal of property. The object, however, was not answered, from circumstances hereafter explained; and some of the relations having become security, obtained Jeejee Bye’s release, and conveyed her to the fort of Kondaneh118.
After the fall of Doulutabad, Mohabet Khan left Khan Dowran, to protect that neighbourhood, and marched in pursuit of the Beejapoor troops.
They retired before him, but maintained their usual desultory mode of warfare, and several sharp skirmishes took place, in one of which, Nagojee119, a Mahratta officer of distinction, was killed: some overtures for peace were made by Morar Punt; probably, with a view of throwing the Moghul general off his guard; for when Mohabet Khan had advanced a considerable distance into the Beejapoor territory, a large detachment set off secretly, and by forced marches endeavoured to surprise Doulutabad, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Towards the end of the year, Mohabet Khan was superseded by the appointment of sultan Shuja, the emperor’s second son, to the government of the Deccan. Mohabet Khan remained as his director in the management of affairs; but still he was only second in command, and the war, from that time, did not prosper under this administration.
Both Mohabet Khan and Sultan Shuja were recalled in the ensuing year, in consequence of their having failed to reduce the fortress of Purinda; where they were not only repulsed, but, after raising the siege, they were compelled to retreat to Burhanpoor. In the meantime Shahjee, after the surrender of Doulutabad, the removal of Futih Khan, and the confinement of the young prince, aspired to the regency, and, accordingly, proclaimed another prince as the lawful heir of Nizam Shah. By the assistance of some Bramins, he commenced regulating
the country, got possession of most of the forts, occupied the districts in the name of the new king, and collected troops from all quarters. The whole of that part of the Concan which had belonged to the kingdom of Ahmednugur, and the districts as far east as Ahmednugur, extending from the Neera river on the south, to the Chandore range on the north, with the exception of a few of the garrisoned places, were, for a time overrun by Shahjee120.
A small detachment from the army was at first considered sufficient for his suppression; but his party continued to gain strength, and on the defeat of the Moghuls at Purinda, he extended his power in the manner we have mentioned.
After the removal of Prince Shuja, Aurungzebe, the Emperor’s third son, being very young, and Shah Jehan considering the conquests in the Deccan too extensive to be placed under any one officer not of the royal family, resolved as a temporary measure, to separate them into two governments. To those districts of Candeish, which had been long in possession of the Moghuls, Galna was added; together with that part of Berar, termed Berar Payeen Ghaut, which lies to the north, below the range of hills. These constituted one of the new governments, and the lately acquired districts in the Nizam Shahee territory formed the other. Khan
Dowran and Khan Zuman were appointed to the charge of them, and directed to co-operate in the settlement of the western districts, and in the reduction of Shahjee. This last, however, was an operation of difficulty. Shahjee had collected a large army, was intimately connected with Morar Punt and Rendoollah Khan, and supported by the Sultan, their master.
The Emperor was exasperated at the opposition made, in a country which he had considered as subdued on the capture of Doulutabad, and being highly incensed against Mohummud Adil Shah, he prepared a great army, with the determination of bringing affairs in the Ahmednugur territory to a speedy settlement, even if it should involve the reduction of the other kingdoms in the Deccan; to which Shah Jehan, in his deliberate judgment was always averse. Whether this moderation proceeded from policy, or a sense of justice, it is difficult to determine; but his hostilities against both Beejapoor and Golcondah were always commenced in the spirit of personal anger. On the present occasion, he sent an ambassador to Beejapoor, directing him to demand the restitution of the forts lately belonging to the Nizam Shahee state, of which the Sultan of Beejapoor had obtained possession: their guns and military stores were likewise to be delivered up, particularly the large cannon called Mullik-i-Mydan121, which had been
conveyed from Purinda to Beejapoor. But above all, the envoy was directed to insist upon the Sultan’s renouncing Shahjee, and affording no countenance or protection to him, or to those persons by whom disturbances were excited. To induce a compliance with these demands, a promise of the fort and district of Sholapoor, together with the whole of the Nizam Shahee Concan, and a vaunting threat of annihilation in case of refusal were at once held out. Both proved ineffectual; and Shah Jehan, according to his usual practice of dividing his attacks, broke his army, of which forty eight thousand were select cavalry, into four divisions; two to act against Shahjee, and two against Mohummud Adil Shah. Of the two former, one under Shaisteh Khan and Aliverdy Khan, was destined to besiege Shahjee’s forts about Chandore, Sungumnere and Nassuck; and another, consisting of 20,000 horse, under Khan Zuman, was to drive him from the field, to pursue him, to take possession of his strong holds in the Concan, and to expel him from every quarter of the Nizam Shahee territory. Of the two latter, one under Khan Dowran was originally
ordered to take up a position near Nandere, owing to suspicions entertained of Sultan Abdoollah Kootub Shah of Golcondah; but on these doubts being removed, and his paying the arrears of tribute for which the Emperor’s envoy was then settling, and which he did before the campaign opened, Khan Dowran’s division became available both for the capture of the forts to the eastward, and for hostilities in the heart of the Beejapoor dominions.
The other detachment, which at first composed the reserve under Syud Khan Jehan, was also destined for Beejapoor.
A part of the besieging division of Shaisteh Khan, under Aliverdy Khan, speedily reduced twenty-five of the forts about Chandore and Nassuck, which, though places of strength, made little resistance122. Shaisteh Khan himself proceeded towards the borders of the Beejapoor dominions, where he reduced Nuldroog, and occupied the districts between Sholapoor and Beder; but the forts of Trimbuck, Sewneree, and Kondaneh above the Ghauts, with many in the Concan, were still in possession of Shahjee’s adherents.
Shahjee maintained a desultory warfare against
Khan Zuman for a considerable time, but was driven from the territory about Ahmednugur, Chumargoondee, and Baramuttee successively, and pursued across the Neera into the Beejapoor territory, towards Merich and Kolapoor. Assisted by the Edil Shahee troops, he there continued to harass by his attacks, or elude by his vigilance, the army in pursuit of him: and Khan Zuman was therefore, directed to give over a fruitless pursuit, and lay waste the country about Kolapoor, Merich, and Raeebagh. He accordingly took and destroyed the towns, carried off the inhabitants prisoners, and continued every species of depredation, until an armistice was concluded with Beejapoor, when he again resumed the pursuit of Shahjee.
Khan Dowran marched from Candeish towards Beejapoor, in the direction of Beder and Kulburga, surprised and took several forts; plundering the mercantile towns, and spreading ruin wherever he appeared. He was attacked by some divisions of the Beejapoor army, in their usual manner, but they did not prevent his advance. When he approached Beejapoor, Mohummud Adil Shah adopted the resolution of emptying the reservoirs of water beyond the walls of the fort, and collected or destroyed the whole of the grain and forage within a circuit of twenty miles123.
Khan Dowran, therefore, did not attack the capital, but continued his plan of plundering and devastating the country. The division of Syud Khan Jehan adopted the same system, and the march of the Moghuls was everywhere marked by flames and desolation.
The Beejapoor troops, however, frequently acted with great vigour. Syud Khan Jehan was repeatedly attacked by Rendoollah Khan with success, and forced, at last, to effect a junction with the division of Khan Dowran.
But the ruin spread throughout the country compelled Mohummud Adil Shah to sue for peace; and a treaty was concluded on terms more favourable than he had reason to expect. Though an enumeration of all the articles be unnecessary, the general terms of this pacification, and the partition of the Nizam Shahee territory, deserve the reader’s particular attention, being intimately connected with the rise of Sivajee. It was settled, that the forts of Purinda and Sholapoor, with their dependent districts, should be given up to Mohummud Adil Shah. He was, likewise, to retain undisturbed possession of the districts of Nuldroog, Kallianee, and Beder east of Sholapoor; and the huge piece of ordnance pertaining to Purinda was thus left on the works of Beejapoor, where it remains at this day. The
province of Kalliannee, in the Concan, which extended the Beejapoor possessions on the coast, as far north as the Bassein river, was also ceded; and the whole of the country lying between the Beema and the Neera, which had formerly belonged to the kingdom of Ahmednugur, as far north as Chakun, was now annexed to Beejapoor. The principal condition attached to this cession was, the payment of an annual tribute of twenty lacks of Pagodas. By an article of the treaty, the emperor promises to pardon Shahjee and his adherents, if he will deliver up the forts in his possession, together with all his artillery and warlike stores; but in case of non-compliance, he is to be expelled from the territory of Beejapoor, and declared the common enemy of both states.
Shahjee, as soon as the Beejapoor government began to treat, retired towards the Concan; and as he at first evaded the surrender of his forts, Khan Zuman continued to prosecute the war against him.
But in the course of a few months, Trimbuck, Sewneree, and most of his forts in the Concan being reduced, Shahjee solicited a pardon, and petitioned for admission into the emperor’s service.
In reply to this application he was told, that he might retire into the service of Mohummud Adil Shah, which he accordingly did, and Kondaneh124
was probably surrendered by Shahjee to Beejapoor.
The young prince whom, in imitation of Mullik Umber and Futih Khan, Shahjee had set up, was taken by Khan Zuman in one of the forts, and sent off to be confined with the others in the state prison at Gwalior.
This event completed the subjugation of the Ahmednugur state, and finally ended the Byheree dynasty125.
70. The Moghuls never acknowledged their title to Shah (that is, king); and, therefore, in all Moghul writings, the sovereigns of Beejapoor are only mentioned by the name of Adil Khan.
71. One of the situations by which Nizam Ool Moolk ascended to power, was that of having charge of the royal falconry; the Byheree being a species of hawk much used in the Deccan, he obtained the name of Byheree from that circumstance.
72. A list of the princes of each dynasty, with the dates of their reign up to end of the sixteenth century, is as follows:
|Beejapoor Edil Shahee||Ahmednugur Nizam Shahee, or Byheree Dynasty||Golcondah, or Kootub Shahee|
|1st. Sultan Eusoof Adil Shah, assumed independence in 1489. Died in 1510.||1st. Mullik Ahmed, under the title of Ahmed Nizam Ool Moolk Byheree assumed independence about 1987, and died in 1508.||1st. Sultan Kootub Ool Moolk assumed independence in 1512; and was assassinated in 1551.|
|2d. Sultan Ismael Adil Shah succeeded his father, and died in 1554.||2d. Sultan Boorahan Nizam Shah succeeded his father, and died in 1553.||2d. Sultan Jumsheed succeeded his father, and after a short reign of seven months was succeeded by his brother.|
|3d. Sultan Mulloo Adil Shah, succeeded his father, and was deposed in 1555.||3d. Sultan Hoossein Nizam Shah succeeded his father, and died in 1565.||3d. Sultan Ibrahim Kootub Shah, who died in the year 1581|
|4th. Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah, succeeded his brother, and died in 1557.||4th. Sultan Mortiza Nizam Shah, succeeded his father, and was put to put to death in 1587 by his son and successor.||4th. Sultan Mohummud Koolee Kootub Shah, succeeded his father, and was succeeded by his brother.|
|5th. Sultan Ali Adil Shah succeeded his father, and was murdered in 1580.||5th. Sultan Meeran Hoossein Nizam Shah, who was, after a reign of two months, put to death in 1587.||5th. Sultan Abdoollah Kootub Shah.|
|6th. Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah succeeded his father.||6th. Sultan Ismael Nizam Shah, the cousin of Meeran Hoossein, was raised to the throne, but deposed by his father.|
|7th. Sultan Boorahan Nizam Shah, (the second) who died in 1594.|
73. Or Singurh, as already noticed.
74. De Faria.
75. Commonly termed by Europeans, Canara.
76. De Faria.
78. De Faria.
79. Old deeds.
81. A Sillidar is much more respectable than a Bargeer; he is considered in the Mahratta country a sort of gentleman cavalier.
82. De Faria.
83. De Faria.
85. I follow the usual designation of that battle; but it was probably fought at some village opposite to Telikotta, across the Kistna, and consequently sixteen miles south of the modern Telikotta.
87. De Faria, Caesar Frederick.
88. De Faria.
89. I say probably, for the same reason that Colonel Wilks does, namely, that although included as one of the Moghul divisions of the Soobeh of Beejapoor, there is no positive evidence of its having been either taken or ceded to Beejapoor. Adonee was taken in 1567.
90. This is stated on the authority of many papers in possession of Deshpandyas, local inquiry amongst intelligent natives, and numerous circumstances throughout the country, as well as written documents in support of what the Deshpandyas adduce.
91. Under the Beejapoor state, in cases of hereditary property where the government was a party, there were about fifteen persons assembled on the Punchayet. By some old writings I have seen, two thirds of these appear to have been Mahomedans, and one third Hindoos. With regard to the Ahmednugur state, I have not had the same opportunities of gaining information; but, that claims to hereditary property were settled by punchayet, the old papers in every district will prove.
92. The origin of this name, as here used, is probably to be found in the Arabic word Moqaita, signifying the place of collecting the customs or revenue. The subsequent application of the word Mokassa by the Mahrattas, though, perhaps, taken from this source, is, like several of their revenue terms, more arbitrary than derivative.
93. There is one instance where the situation remained in the same family for three generations. Mokrib Khan, Mokassadar of Kuttao, Kurar, &c. was succeeded by his son and grandson – (Old written documents preserved by the Deshpandya’s family, who managed his affairs.)
94. This may be gleaned from various parts of Ferishta; and by old papers in the possession of some of the Deshmookhs, it appears they were frequently intrusted with the care of the king’s forts.
95. The munsubs of the Deccan states, exactly corresponded with the number of horse, from which they took their rank. In the Moghul service, munsubdars of 10,000 might only hold command of half that number of horse. The munsubs of Mahomedans rarely, if ever, exceeded 10,000, even under the Moghul government, but Mahrattas in the service of the emperor had much higher munsubs; in one instance, a Mahratta chief, as will be hereafter observed, had a munsub of 24,000 conferred on him.
96. Where anything is disorganized, in the hands of many, or in a state of confusion, the Mahrattas use this phrase. Europeans, in designating any one body of horse by this appellation, misunderstand both its point and its meaning. The Bramins invariably apply it to Mahratta affairs, of which they have not the sole management.
97. Papers respecting hereditary disputes in Mahratta families, Ghatgay’s Buker, &c.
98. Naikwaree, which is now used to denominate a particular officer, a sort of hereditary land measurer on the village establishment, was formerly a title of respect, like the present jee, or as we would say Mr. Mahratta officers in charge of forts under the Beejapoor government are frequently termed Naikwaree in Persian MSS. and deeds.
99. Aurungzebe allowed the old Surdeshmookhs 2 per cent., as appears by sunnuds of his time.
100. The Kapseekur and Moodholekur were known under the Beejapoor government, the former by the nowkus, the latter by the sathkus Ghorepurays:: a distinction which both families keep up, but for which they can give no satisfactory reason: the first Ghorepuray that joined Sivajee, was one of the former. The head of the latter is the Patell of a village near Satara.
101. The ancient name of their country is Koodhal Desh, a subdivision of Gohurasht.
102. It is the village close to the celebrated caves of Ellora, and from which they take their name.
103. A name of Mahdeo.
104. The above account of the ancient Mahratta families is from MSS., old deeds, and records in the possession of their descendants.
105. Of this Hindoo, whom Ferishta calls Mean Rajoo, I have obtained no satisfactory account, nor is any mention made of him in any Mahratta MSS. that I have ever seen.
106. Several of the Nizam Shahee kings had Abyssinian wives, and the nobles alluded to, are said to have been chiefly the connections of these wives.
107. It sustained two memorable sieges before it was finally taken; and its first defence, maintained by Chaund Beebee, the widow of Ali Adil Shah of Beejapoor, was perfectly heroic. The Chaund Beebee, who was assassinated, during the second siege, still lives in Deccan story, and Deccan song, a heroine unrivalled. This celebrated lady, the historian Khafee Khan calls the daughter of Boorahan Nizam Shah; but this is a mistake, she was the daughter of Hoossein Nizam Shah, and given in marriage, with the fort of Sholapoor, as her portion, to Ali Adil Shah in 1564, for the purpose of binding the alliance then formed against the Raja of the Carnatic. Some years after her husband’s death, she returned to Ahmednugur.
108. Mahratta MSS.
109. Aware of the contents of the cup, he swallowed the poison tendered by his ungrateful sovereign. (Ferishta.)
110. Frequently written Gurka by Mahomedan authors. Its name of Khirkee was afterwards, as we shall see, changed to Aurungabad.
111. This account of Mullik Umber’s famous revenue arrangements is principally upon the authority of Mahratta MSS., where it is stated that his assessment was two fifths of the produce of government lands. Tradition says his money commutation was about one third.
112. This is supposed by the present Jan Rao Naik Nimbalkur to have been his ancestor Jugpal, who was killed about this period. Though the Naiks of Phultun held their Jagheer from the Beejapoor government, this circumstance affords no satisfactory evidence of Ibrahim Adil Shah’s having assisted Mullik Umber, or that there was a general confederacy against the Moghuls. From the character of Jugpal, who, according to the family legends, was always present where there was hunting or fighting, he may have joined without the authority of his government.
113. Ferishta’s history, which is deservedly considered our best authority, ends about the beginning of the seventeenth century. From that period, for the ensuing forty years, or up to the final dismemberment of the kingdom of Ahmednugur, I have adopted the work of Khafee Khan as the most consistent and authentic source, respecting that obscure period of Deccan history. Khafee Khan was the assumed name of the author, his real name was Mohummud Hashem Khan. He was the son of Khwajeh Meer, also an historian, and an officer of high rank in the service of Moraud Bukhsh; but after that prince’s confinement and death, he came into the employment of Aurungzebe. Mohummud Hashem Khan was brought up in Aurungzebe’s service, and was employed by him both in political and military situations. His history has been frequently referred to, and large extracts from it have appeared in various works, particularly in the Seyr Mutuakhereen, but no English translation of the history has been published. Dow’s third volume would have been much more valuable, had lie adopted Khafee Khan as his only authority. The history was written after Aurungzebe’s death; the great blank in the Moghul history, which occurs from the tenth year of that Emperor’s reign, is very indifferently supplied, but after the twenty-third year of the reign, the account is full, and is frequently supported by other authorities, or rather, at that period, serves to corroborate them.
During repeated visits to the ancient city of Beejapoor, which was comprehended in a tract of territory for some time under my superintendence, I endeavoured to collect from the descendants of the persons in charge of the once splendid endowments of its mosques and mausoleums, all the manuscripts, deeds, and papers, in their possession. The following is a list of those which bore the smallest reference to my subject:
1st. Original memoranda for a history of Beejapoor, partly arranged by Abool Hoossein Qazee, who died a few years before the city was finally captured; the papers, said to be in his own handwriting, are in possession of a Peer-zaduh, styled Sahib Huzrut, son-in-law of Abdoollah Sahib, a very venerable and sensible old man, the most respectable person now in Beejapoor. He is full of legendary information, and on seeing and conversing with him, in the midst of lofty domes and falling palaces, one fancies himself in company with the last of the inhabitants of that wonderful place.
2d. A history of Beejapoor, by Meer Ibrahim, son of Meer Hoossein Lohr. This work, which the Deccan Mahomedans frequently quote without understanding it, is nothing more than a collection of names and dates, expressing the dates in letters, and something of the characters of each individual whose death is thus recorded.
3d. A history of Ali Adil Shah, the Second, written by Noor Ullah, the son of Syud Ali Mohummud Hoosseinee Qadree, in which there is some very useful information amongst a great deal of rubbish.
4th. The Ali Namu, an historical poem, of the reign of Ali Adil Shah, the Second. It is written by Nusserut the only poet of Beejapoor, excepting Hashimee, who translated Yusoof and Zuleikha into Hindoostanee verse. The works of Nusserut are, the Ali Namu, and Goolshun-i-eshq, a copy of the former was found in Tippoo’s library at Seringapatam, and is not uncommon.
5th. A history of Beejapoor, written by Syud Moideen Peerzaduh, suggested by numerous inquiries put to him by English officers, who have been much in the habit of visiting Beejapoor since the last Mahratta war. It was finished in January 1821; and although great pains have been taken, the author’s dates, by confusing the Soorsun and Heejree eras, are frequently much misplaced. His Industry, however, is very commendable.
114. Beejapoor MSS.
115. I say probably Ahmednugur, because Shahjee had no hereditary claim to the Deshmookhee of Ahmednugur, and it will hereafter appear that his son Sivajee set up such a pretension.
116. Original firman, from Shah Jehan, to Kellojee Bhonslay, found in possession of a Mahratta, who headed a petty insurrection near Vishalgurh, in 1820. Kellojee Bhonslay was put to death by Aurungzebe; the time and circumstances are not ascertained. Mahratta MSS.
117. He afterwards became mad, and died from the effects of an old wound in the head.
118. Beejapoor MSS. Khafee Khan mentions that the daughter of Shahjee was captured on this occasion, but I cannot find that he had a daughter.
119. Supposed to be Nagojee Ghatgay Joojhar Rao, who was killed in a battle with the Moghuls. (Buker of the Ghatgay family.)
120. There is evidence of these facts in Mahratta MSS. as well as in Khafee Khan. This is no doubt the regency of Shahjee, which we find mentioned in all the Mahratta MSS. as having taken place during a minority in the family of Nizam Shah.
121. “The sovereign of the plain.” The natives of Beejapoor insist on calling it moolk-i-mydan, which, they say, signifies “the lion of the plain.” This gun, of which the muzzle is four feet eight inches in diameter, and the caliber two feet four inches, was cast at Ahmednugur, 1549, by a native of Constantinople, named Hoosein Khan. Aurungzebe put an inscription upon it to commemorate the conquest of Beejapoor in 1685, which has led to the mistake of supposing it to have been cast at that time. It is alike curious from its dimensions and its history: the Bombay government in 1823, was particularly desirous of sending it to the King of England, and an engineer was sent to examine it for the purpose, but the present state of the roads renders the difficulty of transporting such a huge mass of metal to the coast, almost insuperable.
122. Khafee Khan mentions the capture of the son and family of Shahjee in one of these forts, of which I can find no confirmation, and consider it a mistake, connected with the report of the former capture of Jeejee Bye. The same author mentions Sivajee’s escape to a fort in the sea on this occasion; and this also may allude to the former circumstance. Jeejee Bye after her first capture seems to have been principally at Kondaneh, Sewneree, and perhaps, from the year 1633 to 1636, occasionally at Maholy in the Concan.
123. The neighbourhood of the capital of Beejapoor is very sterile on three sides, but four miles to the south of the city, there is a rich, deep, black soil, which in good seasons produces very extraordinary crops. The soil extends several miles on each side of the small river Dhone, the water of which is strongly impregnated with salt. The Mahrattas have a very expressive rhyme in regard to this small tract:–
Should the crop on Dhone grow, who can eat it?
Should it fail, who can eat?
124. Kondaneh came into Shahjee’s possession by his being at the head of the government. Kondaneh and Poorundhur were two of those forts, which under the Mahomedan governments, were reserved by the king, and not intrusted to the care of Jagheerdars.
125. Before quitting this chapter I have to acknowledge my obligations to Captain Alexander Gordon, first assistant to the resident at Nagpoor, and Mr. William Erskine late of Bombay: the former has translated Khafee Khan to the end of the reign of Jehangeer; and the latter has translated all such parts of the reign of Shah Jehan from the same author, as bear reference to Deccan history. Both these gentlemen allowed me the free use of their labours, and thus far materially shortened mine. I have had access to two or three copies of the original of Khafee Khan; the best is in the library of Moonshee Mohummud Huneef, late of the Poona residency.
This collection transcribed by Chris Gage