Qutb Shahi Dynasty

1518 - 1687 : Qutb Shahi dynasty or Golconda or Golkonda Sultanate
Founder : Sultan Quli Khawas Khan Hamdani or Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk
Capitals : Golconda (1519 - 1591), Hyderabad (1591 - 1687)
Languages: Persian, Telugu, Deccani Urdu
Religion: Shia Islam

Qutb Shahis were descendants of Qara Yusuf from Qara Qoyunlu of Hamadan province of Persia, originally a Turkoman Muslim tribe.

The dynasty's founder, Sultan Quli Khawas Khan Hamdani was born in Hamadan Province, Iran.

1496 : He originally served the Bahmani sultan Mahmood Shah Bahmani II, and was awarded the title Qutb-ul-Mulk (Pillar of the Realm) as military chief and was made the tarafdar of Golconda in 1496.

After the collapse of Bahmani Sultanate, he eventually took control of Golconda and the Qutb Shahi dynasty was established in 1518 AD by Sultan-Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, better known though less correctly referred to in English as "Quli Qutb Shah".

1518 AD - 1543 AD : Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk
Sultan Quli Qutb Shah was a contemporary of Krishana Deva Raya and his younger brother Achyuta Deva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire. Sultan Quli extended his rule by capturing forts at Warangal, Kondapalli, Eluru, and Rajamundry, while Krishnadevaraya was fighting the ruler of Odisha. He defeated Sitapati Raju (known as Shitab Khan), the ruler of Khammam, and captured the fort.

In 1543, while he was offering his prayers, Sultan Quli Qutb Shah was assassinated by his second son, Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah. Jamsheed Quli also blinded Sultan Quli's eldest son and heir, Qutbuddin, and assumed the throne. His sixth son Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah fled to Vijayanagara. Jamsheed Quli also killed his brother (the third son of Sultan Quli), Abdul Quadeer, who had revolted after their father's death.

1543 AD - 1550 AD :  Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah
Little is known of Jamsheed's reign, but he is remembered as having been cruel.
He died in 1550 from cancer

1550 AD - 1550 AD : Subhan Quli Qutb Shah  (1543–1550) 
was 7 years old, when he became Sultan of Golconda, after the death of his father Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah, in 1550 was placed on the throne by Mustapha Khan. Jagadev Rao, Chief of the Naikwari, tried to place Jamsheed's brother Daulat Quli, who instead wanted Ibrahim to be the king, on the throne. This led to his imprisonment in Bala Hisar, the highest point of Golkonda fort. Some discontented elements within the kingdom summoned Ibrahim to end his exile and claim the throne for himself

Saif Khan, also known as Ainul Mulk, was sent from Ahmednagar for the performance of duties of regent during the boy's development. But Jamsheed's younger brother Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah returned from Vijayanagara to Golconda, and ascended the throne. Subhan was deposed, and died of illness or was murdered in the same year.

1550 AD - 1580 AD : Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah (1518 – 5 June 1580)
also known by his Telugu names Malki BhaRama and Ibharama Cakravarti, was the fourth monarch of the kingdom of Golconda in southern India. He was the first of the Qutb Shahi dynasty to use the title "Sultan". He lived for seven years in exile at the court of Vijayanagara as an honoured guest of Rama Raya. Ibrahim is known for patronizing Telugu extensively because he was moved by a genuine love for the language.

In 1565, Ibrahim took the advantage of internal conflicts in Vijayanagara, which had given him shelter in exile during 1543–1550. He became part of a cabal of Muslim rulers of small states which banded together to destroy the powerful Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara. He thus personally betrayed Rama Raya of Vijayanagara, who had given him shelter during his exile in 1543 to 1550. In the Battle of Talikota which ensued, Rama Raya was killed and the city where Ibrahim had spent seven happy and safe years was razed to the ground; the remnants of its former glory can be seen in the lfixl of Hampi today. Following the battle of Talikota in 1565, Ibrahim was able to expand his own kingdom by taking the important hill forts of Adoni and Udayagiri, which commanded an extensive territory and which had been prized possessions of his former host

1570 AD : The term Suratrana appears in a Warangal inscription dated to about 1570 CE, for Aravidu Dynasty king Tirumala I (1565–1572) , as Urigola Suratranah meaning the "Suratranah of Urigola" or "Suratranah of Warangal". Wagoner interprets it as "Sultan of Warangal"

In Vijayanagara, Ibrahim married Bagiradhi (correctly: "Bhagirathi"), a Hindu woman, according to Hindu rites and customs. Bagiradhi was also known as "Kaavya kanyaka" and she came from a family with a legacy in music and dance rooted in Hindu, south Indian traditions. The son born to Ibrahim and Bhagirathi, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, would succeed his father to become the 5th ruler of the dynasty.

After a short illness, Ibrahim died in 1580

1580 AD - 1612 AD : Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (4 April 1565 - 11 January 1612) was the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golkonda. His contemporaries were Akbar the Great, Jagat Guru and Ibrahim Adil Shah. He faced minor rebellions on eastern and western fronts during the initial years of his rule. He lead the troops himself and defeated Ali Khan Loor and Yashwant Raj

1591 : The construction of Hyderabad was initiated in 1591, on the southern bank of the River Musi and built its architectural centerpiece, the Charminar. He was an able administrator and his reign is considered one of the high points of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. He ascended to the throne in 1580 at the age of 15 and ruled for 31 years.

Bhagamati (Hyder Mahal) was a queen of Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, in whose honor Hyderabad was supposedly named. She is also known by the name Bhagyawati

Muhammad Quli also planned several gardens throughout the city, which came to be known as "Garden City" and the same is mentioned in several travellers' accounts.

In 1592 further disturbance was created by Shah Saheb for ascending the throne. During this time he sent Aitbar Khan with a large troop and he defeated Shah Saheb.

1600 A.D : The Qutb Shahis were patrons of Persianate Shia culture.The official and court language of the Golconda sultanate during the first 90 years of its existence (c. 1512 – 1600) was also Persian. In 1600, however, the Telugu language was elevated to the status of the Persian language, while towards the end of the Qut Shahis' rule, it was the primary court language with Persian used occasionally in official documents. According to Indologist Richard Eaton, as Qutb Shahis adopted Telugu, they started seeing their polity as the Telugu speaking state, with the elites of the sultanate viewing their rulers as "Telugu Sultans"

Die 11 January 1612 (aged 46) Daulat Khan-e-Ali Palace, Hyderabad (now in Telangana, India)

1612 AD  - 1626 AD : Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah
He was the nephew and son-in-law of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, having married Muhammad's only daughter Hayat Bakshi Begum in 1607.

1626 AD - 1672 AD : Abdullah Qutb ShahAbdullah, son of Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah, was a polyglot (Multilingualism), and a lover of poetry and music. He invited to his court and respected Kshetrayya, a famous lyric writer. Kshetrayya is known for his romantic poetry

1633: His reign was full of sorrow and trouble. His only success was demolishing the decayed Vijayanagara Empire by capturing Vellore, last capital of it in 1633 with the help of his wazir Mir Jumla.

In 1636, Aurangzeb under the command from Shah Jahan took over Hyderabad by surprise and restricted Abdullah within the Golconda fort. Abdullah worked hard to negotiate reasonable terms of surrender but the Mughals forced him into accepting severe conditions. However, the severe terms were sweetened by a matrimonial alliance between the two families: Abdullah's second daughter, known as Padshah Bibi Sahiba, was married to Aurangzeb's eldest son, Muhammad Sultan Mirza.

This unhappy monarch died in 1672 and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Abul Hasan Qutb Shah.

1672 AD - 1686 AD : Abul Hasan Qutb Shah also known as Abul Hasan Tana Shah
Eighth and last ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.
Tana Shah is remembered as an inclusive ruler. Instead of appointing only Muslims as ministers, he appointed Brahmin Hindus such as Madanna and Akkanna brothers as ministers in charge of tax collection and exchequer. Towards the end of his reign, one of his Muslim generals defected to the Mughal Empire, who then complained to Aurangzeb about the rising power of the Hindus as ministers in his Golconda Sultanate. Aurangzeb sent a regiment led by his son, who beheaded Tana Shah's Hindu ministers and plundered the Sultanate.

Rock inscription found a few years ago in a remote village called Nagulavancha in Khammam district led to the discovery of a Dutch business hub that existed between 1669 and 1687. “The inscription looked like English and we later learned it was Dutch. The village here used to be a link between the Golconda Kingdom and Machilipatnam on the east coast. The Dutch company produced high-quality yarn here but had to leave in 1687 after the villagers led an uprising against it as they felt they were being exploited. This could be one of the earliest incidents of locals fighting foreigners in our country,” Srinivas said.

The dynasty came to an end in 1687 during the reign of its seventh sultan Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, when the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb arrested and jailed Abul Hasan for the rest of his life in Daulatabad, incorporating Golconda into the Mughal empire


The sultanate in 1670 comprised 21 sarkars (provinces) which in turn are divided into 355 parganas (districts). 

Administrative divisions of Golconda sultanate

  1. Muhammadnagar (Golconda) 22
  2. Medak 22
  3. Melangur 3
  4. Elangandel 21
  5. Warangal 16
  6. Khammamet 11
  7. Devarkonda 13
  8. Pangal 5
  9. Mustafanagar 24
  10. Bhongir 11
  11. Akarkara 6
  12. Kovilkonda 13
  13. Ghanpura 8
  14. Mutaza Nagar 39
  15. Machilipatnam 8
  16. Ellore 12
  17. Rajahmundry 24
  18. Chicacole
  19. Kaulas
  20. Karnataka taraf 16
  21. Arcot taraf 16