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Provincial Kingdoms in the 15th &16th Centuries

Provincial Kingdoms in the 15th and 16th Centuries

The attack by Timur Lane in 1398 on Delhi and the flight of the Tughluq king from his capital exposed the weakness of the Delhi Sultanate and emboldened a number of provincial governors and autonomous principlalities to declare their independence setting the background for the emergence of various provincial dynasties in India in the 15th and 16th centuries.

In the west, Gujarat, Malwa and Mewar balanced each other’s power and in the east, Bengal was checked by the Gajapati rulers of Orissa as well as by the Sharqis of Jaunpur.


Muzaffar shah 1 (1407-11):

  • After Amir Timur’s invasion of Delhi in 1398, Gujarat became independent under its governor Zafar Khan who named himself Muzaffar Shah l.

Shihabuddin Ahmed (1411-42):

  • Followed Muzaffar Shah I.
  • He founded the city of Ahmedabad and shifted capital from Patan to Ahmedabad. He executed his own son-in-law in market place for murder.
  • Muslim historians say he was an idol breaker. He imposed Jaziya for the first time in Gujarat on Hindus. Hindu piligrimage centre Sidhpur was destroyed.
  • But, he also appointed Hindu officials such as Manikchand and Motichand into the government.

Mahmud Begada (1459 – 1511):

  • Considered the greatest Sultan of Gujarat and called as Begada because he captured forts of Girnar hills.
  • He sacked Dwarka because of problems of sea piracy affecting pilgrimage to Mecca. His Chief minister was Malik gopi and Udayraja was his court poet.
  • His biography known as ‘Rajvinod’ was written by some of his Hindu officers. He formed a naval alliance with Sultans of Turkey and Egypt and defeated the Portuguese in the Battle of Chaul in 1508.
  • Portuguese avenged this defeat by destroying the combined navies of the alliance in the Battle of Diu in 1509. This naval battle established the Portuguese supremacy in the Indian ocean for the next century.
  • Varthema, an Italian traveller said that Mahmud Begada had a very long beard and moustache.
  • Barbosa, a Portuguese traveller said that Mahmud Begada was given very small doses of poison since his childhood and that he was a glutton.

Muzaffar Shah 11 (1511-37):

  • He fought against Rana Sanga of Mewar as an ally of Mahmud Khalji II of Malwa.
  • He was considered by Babur to be one of the five great rulers of Hindustan.

Bahadur Shah (1526-37):

  • He annexed Malwa in 1531. In 1531, he defeated the Portuguese navy but Bahadur Shah’s navy was later destroyed by the Portuguese.
  • He imposed a humiliating treaty on Chittor, so Humayun attacked in 1534-35 whereupon Bahadur Shah sought help from Portuguese and had to cede Bassein and Diu to Portuguese.
  • He recaptured Gujarat from Humayun but was killed by Portuguese. Emperor Akbar finally captured Gujarat in 1572-73.


  • State of Malwa situated in the high plateau between the Narmada and Tapti rivers.

Dilawar Khan Ghori (1401-06):

  • Proclaimed independence in 1401.    Provincial Kingdoms in the 15th and 16th Centuries
  • Dhar was his capital but he began to fortify Mandu as a centre of defence.

Hoshang Shah (1406-35):

  • His original name was Alp Khan. He founded Hoshangabad. He made Mandu his capital. He was defeated by Muzaffar Shah I of Gujarat.
  • He was a liberal ruler and followed the policy of toleration. Inscription of Lalitpur temple says there was no restriction on temple construction. Nardeva soni was treasurer of Hoshang Shah.

Mohammed Shah (1435-36):

  • Hoshang Shah’s son Mohmmed Shah was overthrown by Mahmud Khilji I.

Mahmud Khilji 1(1436-69):

  • He was a contemporary of Rana Kumbha of Mewar. Both of them fought against each other and claimed victories over one another.
  • Rana Kumbha constructed victory tower in Chittor fort to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Khilji I of Malwa.

Giyas Shah (1469-1501):

  • Giyas Shah followed Mahmud Khilji I.

Mahmud Khilji II (1501-31):

  • He was a contemporary of Rana Sanga of Mewar. Mahmud Khilji II appointed Medini Rai, the Rajput chief of Chanderi as his wazir, whereupon Medini Rai became the defacto ruler of Malwa.
  • Medini Rai compelled Mahmud Khilji II to take the help of Muzaffar Shah II of Gujarat. Thereupon. the Medini Rai accepted the protection of Rana Sanga of Mewar.
  • The kingdom of Malwa was annexed by gujarati Sultan Bahadur Shah in 1531, Malwa became a part of Gujarat.
  • After Humayun defeated Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, Malwa came under his control for some time. When, Sher Shah became emperor of Hindustan. he controlled Malwa. After the reign of Sher Shah, Malwa became independent again.
  • In the time of Akbar, Baz Bahadur was ruling over Malwa. Baz Bahadur was a famous musician and invented many ragas. Baz Bahadur constructed many palaces, mosques, gardens at his capital Mandu. Important palaces in Mandu are Jahaz Mahal and Hindola Mahal.  Provincial Kingdoms in the 15th and 16th Centuries
  • Akbar sent forces in 1561-62 to capture Malwa, whereupon Baz Bahadur fled to safety while his queen Roopmati committed suicide. Later on, Baz Bahadur joined service under the Mughals.


Medieval History

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