The Qutb Shahi Dynasty (1)



 

 

Andhra Pradesh- Contribution of Qutubshahis to Telugu language and Literature- Art-Architecture-Monuments:-

 

The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century. Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the dynasty, served the Bahmanis faithfully and was appointed governor of Telangana in A.D.1496. He declared independence after the death of his patron king, Mahmud Shah, in A.D.1518. During his 50-year rule, Sultan Quli extended his kingdom upto Machilipatnam. He was murdered by his third son, Jamsheed, who succeeded Sultan Quli. Jamsheed reigned for seven years till A.D.1550 but remained maligned by all for his patricidal crime. His youngest brother, Ibrahim, who was hardly thirteen at the time of his father’s assassination, fled to Vijayanagar and took refuge there. It afforded him a training ground and he learned the art of administration.

After Jamsheed’s death in A.D.1550, Ibrahim returned to Golconda and ascended the throne. Ibrahim Qutb Shah, who was known as Malkibharam in the Andhra country, was the real architect of the Golconda kingdom. He ruled the kingdom for 30 years from A.D.1550 to A.D.1580. He organised the central and provincial governments and brought them into close contact. He also introduced an efficient intelligence service which kept him informed on all affairs. The kingdom was made safe for travel and trade. Ibrahim had also many works of public utility to his credit. He dug lakes and tanks and laid out towns and gardens. He also encouraged local language Telugu and patronised Telugu scholars and poets like, Telaganarya and Gangadhara who dedicated their works to him.

The next period of forty years led by Ibrahim’s son and grandson was an era of peace and prosperity. Muhammad Quli, son of Ibrahim, was a great writer and a builder. The city of Hyderabad was laid in A.D.1591 with magnificent buildings, straight roads and other civic amenities.

The Deccani architecture, is a combination of Persian, Hindu and Pathan styles. They mostly borrowed heavily from Hindu style of architecture. The Bala Hissar gate of the Golconda fort is remarkable for the figures and emblems of Hindu mythology.

The citadel of Hyderabad, the Charminar is the most remarkable of all the Qutb Shahi monuments. It is one of the magnificent structures in India.

The socio-cultural life of the people during the rule of the Qutb Shahis was marked by a spirit of broad-mindedness and catholicity based on sharing and adopting of mutual traditions and customs.

Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar are the landmarks that symbolize the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. Golconda Fort lies 11 km to the west of city of Hyderabad, while the Qutb Shahi tombs are a further kilometre north-west of the Fort. Charminar is located in the heart of the old city of Hyderabad.

Even though not located within the same complex, these three monuments together represent the earliest Qutb Shahi layer of Hyderabad’s history and belong to the Qutb Shahi dynasty that ruled the region from 1518 A.D. to 1687 A.D. Qutb Shahi Islamic Sultanate was one of the five prominent dynasties that emerged in the Deccan following the downfall of the Bahmani Dynasty in 1518 A.D. Seven rulers of the Dynasty ruled for 170 years and successfully resisted the Mughal attack till 1687 A.D. It was the last kingdom to be absorbed in the expanding Mughal Empire.

The monuments of the Qutb Shahi period represent different building typologies; Golconda is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. It is an ensemble of military structures, ramparts, gates, bastions, armoury; religious structures such as mosques, temples; residential structures such as palaces; water systems such as canals, fountains and landscaped gardens. 

Tombs is the one that belongs to the Qutub Shahi dynasty founder, Sultan Quli Qutub-ul-Mulk. He built his tomb himself and was the longest overseer of the architectural project. The Qutub Shahi Tombs were planned and built by numerous monarchs who ruled the city and the state during the 18th century. Lying two kilometers from the Golconda Fort, the Qutub Shahi Tombs are built to Persian, Hindu and Pathani styles of architecture

The Charminar is a massive arch built by Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah, in 1591 to commemorate the end of the plague in the city. The symbol of the city, the Charminar, is an impressive square monument with four minaretsThe monument is a magnificent square edifice of granite, built upon four grand arches facing North, South, East and West. These arches support two floors of rooms and gallery of archways. At each corner of the square structure is a minaret rising to a height of 24 meters, making the building nearly 54 meters tall. It is these four (char) minarets (minar) that give the building, its name ‘Charminar’. Each minar stands on a lotus-leaf base, a special recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings.

 These monuments are a product of the same period; technology, skills and innovations, which developed during the rule of Qutb Shahi Dynasty. They are great markers of the grandeur of the Qutb Shahi Period (1518-1687 A.D.) and even today continue to dominate the cityscape of modern day Hyderabad


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