The founder of the Bahmani kingdom was Alauddin Bahman Shah also known as Hasan Gangu in 1347. Its capital was Gulbarga. There were a total of fourteen Sultans ruling over this kingdom. Among them, Alauddin Bahman Shah, Muhammad Shah I and Firoz Shah were important. Ahmad Wali Shah shifted the capital from Gulbarga to Bidar. The power of the Bahmani kingdom reached its peak under the rule of Muhammad Shah III. It extended from the Arabian sea to the Bay of Bengal. On the west it extended from Goat to Bombay. On the east, it extended from Kakinada to the mouth of the river Krishna. The success of Muhammad Shah was due to the advice and services of his minister Mahmud Gawan.
The Bahmani kingdom reached its peak under the guidance of Mahmud Gawan. He was a Persian merchant. He came to India at the age of forty two and joined the services of Bahmani kingdom. Slowly he became the chief minister due to his personal qualities. He remained loyal to the kingdom. He lived a simple life and was magnanimous. He was also a learned person. He possessed a great knowledge of mathematics. He made endowments to build a college at Bidar which was built in the Persian style of architecture. He was also a military genius. He waged successful wars against Vijayanagar, Orissa and the sea pirates on the Arabian sea. His conquests include Konkan, Goa and Krishna-Godavari delta. Thus he expanded the Bahmani Empire through his conquests.
His administrative reforms were also important. They were aimed to increase the control of Sultan over the nobles and provinces. Royal officers were appointed in each province for this purpose. Most of the forts were under the control of these officers. Allowances were reduced to the nobles who shirked their responsibility. This was disliked by the nobles. So, the Deccani nobles organised a plot against Gawan. They induced the Sultan to punish him with death sentence. After the execution of Gawan, the Bahmani kingdom began to decline. Muhammad Shah was succeeded by weak Sultans. During this period the provincial governors declared their independence. By the year 1526, the Bahmani kingdom had disintegrated into five independent sultanates. They were Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Berar, Golkonda and Bidar and known as Deccan Sultanates.
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