Qutb Shahi Dynasty: History, Rulers, Architecture

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Qutb Shahi Dynasty

The political geography of Golconda experienced noteworthy changes with the end of the Bahamani kingdom. Hence, marking the onset of a new era in historical development with the Qutb Shahi Dynasty.  It was established by Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk. Additionally, the Dynasty ruled over the Medieval Deccan for 171 years from 1518 to 1687 AD. Over this period, eight rulers wielded their power, thus imprinting their different personalities on the region as well as its dwellers. Moreover, the Qutb Shahi Dynasty promoted the development of a unique Deccani culture and language whilst also promoting economic growth. 

What is the History of Qutb Shahi Dynasty?

In the year 1463, unrest erupted in the Telangana region within the Bahamani kingdom of Deccan. Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk, a Turk who had a prominent position as a military leader under Muhammad Shah Bahamani, was sent to subdue the unrest. In addition, his efforts were successful, hence leading to his appointment as the Subedar of Telangana in 1495, with Golconda designated as his headquarters.

After the collapse of the Bahamani Kingdom in the early 16th century, Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk gained independence. Consequently, this marked the beginning of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty.

Also Read: Hoysala Dynasty: History, List of Rulers, Administration & Decline

Qutb Shahi Tombs.

Who were the Rulers of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty? 

The major rulers of the Qtub Shahi Dynasty are discussed below: 

Rulers of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty
Rulers Years Ruled About the Ruler
Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk1512 to 1543Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk had an important part in improving the fortress of Golconda, the capital of the Qutb Shahi kingdom. 
1. Moreover, he undertook many beautification projects, hence adorning the fortress with mosques, palaces, and gardens. 
2. Sultan Quli laid the foundation for Muhammad Nagar, a city that swiftly gained fame as a major hub in the eastern region. In particular, it was known for its lucrative diamond and precious stone trade. 
3. Additionally, he earned the admiration of his people for his compassionate rule.
4. However, at the age of 99, he succumbed to betrayal at the hands of his son, Jamsheed Quli.
Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah1543 to 1550Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah was the third son who assumed control of the government with his hands tainted by his father’s blood. 
1. During the 7 years, the people held deep bitterness towards him due to his act of patricide. 
2. Moreover, despite his controversial rule, Jamsheed Quli was known for his passion for poetry and education. 
3. He passed away in 1550.
Subhan Quli Qutb Shah1550 to 1550At the age of 7, Subhan Quli Qutb Shah assumed the role of Sultan of Golconda after the passing of his father, Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah. 
1. Saif Khan, recognised as “Ainul Mulk,” was sent from Ahmednagar to oversee the regency during the young prince’s upbringing. 
2. Unfortunately, Subhan Quli passed away that very year.
3. Hence leading to the ascension of his paternal uncle, Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, to the throne.
Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah1550 to 1580Ibrahim Quli was the youngest son of Sultan Quli Qutb Shah and spent a substantial period in exile under the hospitality of the Raja of Vijayanagar.
1. During this time he learnt the Telugu language. 
2. Ibrahim actively encouraged the study and usage of Telugu. His court became a hub for poets from across the Deccan region.
3. Under Ibrahim’s rule, Golconda underwent considerable advancements. 
4. He encouraged construction projects within the city walls which included the erection of mosques, schools, and charitable institutions. 
5. Noteworthy among his achievements are the construction of the dams at Hussain Sagar, Budwel, and Ibrahimpatnam. 
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah1580 to 1612During the prosperous reign of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the Qutb Shahi Dynasty experienced its peak. 
1. He came to the thrown at the age of 15 and is famous for his visionary leadership and the establishment of Hyderabad
2. Muhammad Quli also promoted Telugu alongside Arabic and Persian.
3. Notably, he laid the groundwork for Deccani poetry.
4. Muhammad Quli ruled for 32 years until his demise at the age of 48 in 1612. 
5. Moreover, he was regarded as a just and compassionate ruler and left a legacy as a builder as well as an intellectual. 
6. His only daughter, Hayath Bakshi Begum, married his nephew and successor, Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah, hence ensuring the Dynasty’s continuation.

Fascinating Fable: Legend has it that his affection for a dancer named Bhagmati, hailing from the village of Chichelam, where Charminar now stands, inspired him to rename the city Hyderabad. 
Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah1612 to 1626Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah was known for his scholarly aptitude, religious nature as well as a deep appreciation for literature. 
1. Sultan Muhammad notably initiated the Mecca Masjid, in 1617.
2. Additionally, Sultan Nagar contributed to the urban development.
Abdullah Qutb Shah1626 to 1672Abdullah came to the throne at the age of 12, with his mother overseeing the kingdom until he reached adulthood. 
1. Moreover, his reign saw the kingdom expanding and he also faced pressure from the Mughal Empire in 1636. 
2. Golconda suffered an attack in 1656.
Abul Hasan Qutb Shah1672 to 1686Abul Hasan also famously referred to as Tana Shah, was the son-in-law of Abdullah Qutb Shah. 
1. He is known for his expert governance and determined resilience against the Mughals.
2. He was an inclusive monarch who believed in prioritising the welfare of his people above everything else. 
3. Tana Shah’s reign was the end of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty.
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in the year 1591, built the Charminar.
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in the year 1591, built the Charminar. 

Also Read: Yadava Dynasty: History, Rulers, Administration & Decline

Who Defeated the Qutb Shahi Dynasty?

During Abul Hasan’s reign, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb thought about capturing the fortress of Golconda. He maintained control over it for a continuous span of eight months. 

  • In the year 1687, Mughal forces successfully breached the fortress. It was done by the betrayal of a collaborator who opened the gates. 
  • Subsequently, Abul Hasan was captured and imprisoned. 
  • Initially held at Bidar, he was later transferred to Daulatabad (Aurangabad) where he succumbed to his captivity after 12 years. 
  • Jan Sapar Khan, a prominent noble in Aurangzeb’s court, was appointed as the governor of the Deccan region under Aurangzeb’s dominion.
Source: Time Traveller

The Architecture of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty

The details of the Architecture during the  Qutb Shahi Dynasty are as follows:

Architecture of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty
ArchitectureYear Qutb Shahi Dynasty Ruler
Golconda FortBuilt in 1143; fortified in 1518 Sultan Quli Qutb-ul Mulk
Charminar1591Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
Char Kaman1592Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
Qutb Shahi Tombs16th and 17th centuries
Khairtabad Mosque1626Khairunisa Begum (mother of Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah)
Toli Masjid1671Abdullah Qutb Shah
Hayat Bakshi Mosque1672Abdullah Qutb Shah
Mecca Masjid1693Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
Taramati Baradari1880sIbrahim Quli Qutb Shah

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Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in the year 1693 built the Mecca Masjid
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in the year 1693 built the Mecca Masjid

Thus, spanning 171 years in South Indian history, the dominance of 8 successive rulers characterised the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. They each left a lasting legacy with their formidable personas. Moreover, renowned as adept builders and patrons of scholarship, they encouraged both Persian and regional Deccan cultures. Thus, was demonstrated their support for the Telugu language and the emerging Deccani idiom.


Who were the Qutub Shahis of Golconda?

The Qutub Shahis of Golconda were a dynasty of rulers who governed the Golconda Sultanate in southern India during the 16th and 17th centuries. They were known for their patronage of arts and architecture, including the iconic Golconda Fort and the Charminar Monument.

Who was the Qutb Shahi Dynasty founder?

The founder of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty was Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk. He laid the foundation for the dynasty. 

Who was the last king of Qutb Shahi dynasty?

The last king of the Qutb Shahi dynasty was Abul Hasan Qutb Shah. He was also known as Tana Shah. 

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