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Yusuf Adil Shah

Yusuf Adil Shah
Adil Shahi
SuccessorIsmail Adil Shah
Gogi, Shahpur, Karnataka
SpouseBubuji Khanum
IssueIsmail Adil Shah
Mariam Sultan
Khadija Sultan
Bibi Sati
Full name
Abul Muzaffar Yusuf Adil Shah Sawi
DynastyAdil Shahi Empire
ReligionShia Islam

Yusuf Adil Shah (1450–1510[1]), referred as Adil Khan or Hidalcão by the Portuguese, was the founder of the Adil Shahi dynasty that ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur for nearly two centuries.[2] As the founder of the newly formed Bijapur dynasty (as the Adil Shahi dynasty is also known), Yusuf Adil Shah is credited with developing the town of Bijapur and elevating it to significant status.

Legend of origin

The founder of the dynasty, Yusuf Adil Shah, may have been a Georgian slave[3][4] who was purchased by Mahmud Gawan from Iran. Other historians mentioned him of Persian[5] or Turkmen[6][7] origin.

Some historians state Yusuf was a son of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II,[8][9] while another states he was a Turkman of the Aq-Quyunlu.[10]


Yusuf's bravery and personality raised him rapidly in the Bahmani sultan's favor, and resulted in his being appointed Governor of Bijapur.

In 1489, Yusuf took advantage of the decline of the Bahmani power to establish himself as an independent sultan at Bijapur. He waged war against the Vijayanagar empire, as also against Bijapur's Muslim neighbours. Yusuf invited Vijayanagara general Tuluva Narasa Nayaka for peace treaty and had him and his generals murdered.[citation needed]

Adil Shah is personally responsible for building the imposing Citadel or Arkilla[11] and the palace named Faroukh Mahal. Yusuf was a man of culture and invited poets and artisans from Persia, Turkey and Rome to his court. He was also an accomplished musician and scholar with deep religious tolerance that was reflected in art and architecture from this time.

Adil Shah died in 1509-10, engaged in an 'annual jihad', possibly a plundering expedition, against the Vijayanagara empire to the south. The practice was initiated by Sultan Mahmood Shah Bahmani II in 1501, in which all the Bahmani chieftains participated. However, in 1509 Krishnadevaraya ascended the throne of Vijayanagara. He countered the Bahmani expedition at a location called Dewani (unidenfied) and decisively defeated it. The Sultan was thrown off the horse and had to be carried away from the battlefield. Raya then pursued the retreating army of Bijapur. Adil Shah turned around to give him battle at Koilkonda, in which he was killed.[12][13][14]

His death occurred shortly after the loss of Goa to the Portuguese governor Afonso de Albuquerque.[citation needed] He was succeeded by his son Ismail Adil Shah, who being a minor, was aided in his rule by a certain Kamal Khan.[15]

Yusuf left behind a strong if small state, one which persisted through two relatively chaotic centuries in a region rife with political ferment. The Bijapur sultanate he founded was a formidable force for close to two centuries until it was finally defeated by Aurangzeb in 1686.[9]


Yusuf Adil Shah married Punji, the sister of a Maratha warrior, later renamed Bubuji Khanum.[9] She was the sister of Mukund Rao, the Maratha Raja of Idar whom he had defeated in battle. By this marriage he had a son and three daughters:[16][17]



  1. ^ a b Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011, p. 174.
  2. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 119. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  3. ^ Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (2002). History of Medieval India: From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. p. 101.
  4. ^ Subrahmanyam, Sanjay (2012). Courtly Encounters: Translating Courtliness and Violence in Early Modern Eurasia. p. 101.
  5. ^ Meri, Josef W. (January 2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization, Volume 1 An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-415-96691-7. In 1481, Yusuf ‘Adil Khan, a Persian slave who claimed to descend from the Ottoman sultan Murad III, became the governor of Bijapur.
  6. ^ Vernon O. Egger (2016). A History of the Muslim World since 1260: The Making of a Global Community.
  7. ^ Clifford Edmund Bosworth (2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. p. 55.
  8. ^ Nikki R. Keddie,Rudi Matthee (2011). Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics. University of Washington Press. p. 25.
  9. ^ a b c Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011, p. 174
  10. ^ Bolar, Varija R (2012). "Turks in Karnataka" (PDF). International Journal of Social Studies 4 (1): 423.
  11. ^ Ahammad, Mustak (2013). Military Architecture under the Adilshahis of Bijapur. p. 2.
  12. ^ Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India 1958, pp. 268–269.
  13. ^ Eaton, Richard M. (2005), A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives, Cambridge University Press, p. 88, ISBN 978-0-521-25484-7: "The string began in 1509, when at Koilkonda, sixty miles southwest of Hyderabad, Krishna Raya defeated the last remnant of Bahmani power, Sultan Mahmud, along with Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, who was killed in the engagement."
  14. ^ Sarma, P. Sree Rama (1992), A History of Vijayanagar Empire, Prabhakar Publications, p. 79: "The Bahmani army headed by Mahmood Shah II marched out off Bidar. It was accompanied by Malik Ahmed Bahri, Nuri Khan, Khwaja-i-jahan, the Adil Khan, Qutb-ul-Mulk, Dastur-i-Mamalik, Mirza Latf-ul-tab and others. The progress of Bahmani troops was checked by Vijayanagara troops at Diwani, which place tremains unidentified."
  15. ^ Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011, p. 175.
  16. ^ Hari Narain Verma, Amrit Verma, Indian Women Through the Ages (1976), p. 29
  17. ^ Abraham Eraly, Emperors Of The Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Moghuls (2007), chp. 11
  18. ^ K.K Basu, Career of Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, Indian Culture, Vol. III, Issue I (1937), p. 117


Further reading

  • India History
  • Wakiyate Mamlakate Bijapur by Basheeruddin Dehelvi.
  • Tareekhe Farishta by Kasim Farishta
  • External Relation of Bijapur Adil Shahis.
  • Devare, T. N. A short history of Persian literature; at the Bahmani, the Adilshahi, and the Qutbshahi courts. Poona: S. Devare, 1961.
  •  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bijawar s.v. History". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 928.
Preceded by
Founder of the Dynasty
Adil Shahi Rulers of Bijapur
Succeeded by
Ismail Adil Shah