Last Coin-------------------Next Coin

Ruler: India - Malwa
Reigned: Mahmud II
Reigned: 1511 - 1531
Denomination: AR Half Tanka
Reference: MI 2964, Rg 3171
Weight: 5.5 gms
Diameter: 19 mm

Malwa - Mahmud II

Malwa became independent of the Dehli sultanate following Timur’s invasion at the end of 1398 AD. The governor of the province at that time was Dilavar Khan Ghuri. His precise date of appointment is not known but he was certainly there in 1392 AD. When the Dehli sultan, Mahmud bin Muhammad, fled from his capital, Dilavar Khan gave him asylum until he felt safe enough to return. Dilavar Khan never assumed the royal title nor struck coins in his own name but was independent in all but name. His son, Alp Khan, impatient to take over the reigns of power, had his father poisoned and, in 1405 AD (808 AH), ascended the throne under the title Husam al-Din Hushang Shah.

In 1510 AD, the son of Nasir Shah (ruler since 1500 AD), Shihab al-Din, whom he had made heir apparent, raised the standard of revolt. Nasir defeated him in battle but declined to pursue him, preferring to try to win him over. When this failed, he summoned his third son and made him heir apparent with the title Sultan Mahmud Shah. Shihab al-Din then seems to have moved into the territory of the Dehli sultan, Sikandar Lodi.

Nasir died in 1510 and Mahmud ascended the throne as Mahmud II. The succession was contested by Shihab al-Din who returned to Malwa but could not gain entry to the capital, and retired to Asir in Khandesh. Meanwhile, Mahmud's minister Basant Rai had been murdered and the governor of Mandu, Muhafiz Khan had driven two other leading nobles into rebellion. These sent for Shihab al-Din, who set out to join forces with them. Unfortunately, he died on route and the rebels proclaimed his son king with the title Hushang II. Hushang and the rebels marched on Malwa, but were defeated. Muhafiz Khan then proclaimed Mahmud's son, Sahib Khan, king with the title Muhammad II. This pretender was also defeated.

Muhmad believed himself threatened by his minister, Medini Rai, leader of the Purbiya Rajputs, and tried to have him and his son killed. When that failed, he sought the assistance of of Muzaffar II of Gujarat (1517 AD). Medini Rai fled, but still held sway in the northern and eastern parts of the sultanate, including Chanderi, Gagraun, Raisen, Bhilsa and Sarangpur.

Mahmud’s action in alienating the Rajputs, inviting the help of Muzaffar Shah, the result of which was the slaughter of much of Malwa’s fighting strength, and the subsequent withdrawal of Gujarat troops led to the break-up of the Malwa sultanate. By the end of 1519 AD (925 AH), the Mandasor area had passed to Rana Sangrama, Chanderi was occupied by Medini Rai, the land from Sarangpur to Bhilsa and Raisen was under the control of Silahdi Purbiya and, in the south-east, Sikandar Khan became independent in the territory of Satwas. Sarangpur was recovered in the following year and Mahmud reigned peacefully in his reduced realm until 1526 AD (932 AH). In that year, Muzaffar II of Gujarat died, and his successor, Sikandar Shah was assassinated after a very brief rule. Bahadur Shah ascended the throne but had to deal with a range of disaffected nobles. The battle of Panipat had also taken place, which had seen the end of the Lodi dynasty in Dehli and its replacement by the Mughals. By this time, both Medini Rai and Rana Samgrama had died. Mahmud may have thought his position secure as he allowed Mandu to become a centre of intrigue against Bahadur. This angered the Gujarat sultan, who decided to invade Malwa.

After various unsuccessful attempts at accommodation, Mahmud was obliged to shut himself up in the fortress of Mandu and Bahadur started the siege of the place. On 28th March 1531 (937AH), he succeeded in entering the fort and Mahmud was arrested. Mahmud and his sons were sent in chains to imprisonment in Champanir but, on the way, the convoy was attacked and Mahmud attempted were killed. Thus ended the Khalji dynasty of Malwa.

Back to main page