Daring exploits of Muslim woman ruler Chand Bibi - 02

 Chand Bibi www.goheritagerun.com

Chand  Bibi (1550-1594) queen of Bijapur.india-forums.com

 Above image: Chand  Bibi (1550-1594)Princess of Ahmednagar and queen of Bijapur  . Painted in 1585. Water colour - Bijapur Museum..............

Chand Bibi, the Queen of Bijapur and Princess of Ahmednagar, was a great woman warrior, who with sheer guts, political expediency  and military strategies  ran the kingdom partly as Regent and fought successfully several wars with the rebels within the two kingdoms and in the later stages of her life against the mighty Mogul rulers of Delhi. Unfortunately, while she was in the process of saving her country from disgrace, loss of death and pain, she herself became a victim of rumors spread by the people closer to her.   

The Mogul emperor Akbar of Delhi , upon knowing the non compliance of his supremacy by the four Deccani Sultans, was furious. In 1595 there was a war between the rulers of Ahmednagar and Bijapur in which  the former -  Ibrahim Nizam Shah was killed. Upon his death, his infant son was proclaimed the next successor  under the regency of Chand Bibi,the Queen of Bijapur and  his father's aunt. In the mean while the Deccani minister Miyan Manju's   attempt  to make 12 year old   son of Shah Tahir,  Ahmad Shah II, as the ruler on August 6, 1595,  met with  resistance by the   Habshi nobles of Ahmednagar, led by Ikhlas Khan.  Miyan Manju, now sought the help of Akbar's son Murrad, who was camping in Gujarat. Along with additional Mogul forces,  Murad marched towards Ahmednagar.  Ikhlas Khan, could not take on  the powerful Mogul army and  faced defeat.  With Ikhlas Khan, having been defeated in the battle,  Chand Bibi became the regent and  proclaimed Bahadur Shah the  king of Ahmednagar.

In 1595  Chand Bibi successfully defended Ahmednagar fort against the Mogul  army  of Prince Murad  who increased  the seige of her fort resulting in the  pain and death of troops. Later she struck  a  deal  with Akbar's  son Murad and as per the treaty,  the Moguls took over the control of Berur  and in return  for peace and lifting of   siege. Chand Bibi, who wanted to break up  the grip of Moguls on them, sought the armies of Golconda  and Bijapur rulers who happened to be  her nephews. It was a combined force of roughly 31,000 soldiers  under  the command of   Sohil Khan  to  fight  against  the Mogul army.  The battle that took place  on the banks of Godavari River at Sonepet   8–9, 1597 and finally the Delhi army came out victorious.

Soon after the victory, there were some skirmishes among the Mogul Commanders and in 1597 Akbar recalled the Army. Soon his son Murad died for unknown reasons. After some time Akbar sent his  fresh army led by his son   Daniyal Khan, later Akbar himself joined them. Changing Akbar's plan of attack and military strategy,   Daniyal Khan marched to Ahmednagar and laid a siege. Chand  Bibi, though  successfully  defended the siege,  at one stage wanted to make a peace treaty with the invading powerful army to avoid loss of lives and blood shed.  Some of the local sardars and nobles did not go along with her  plan to make a compromise and, on purpose, spread a false  rumor  that Chand Bibi was  making  a  secret deal with the  occupying enemy's troops  with ulterior motive.  The ungrateful Commander of the fort Hamid Khan, called it treason and betrayal of Dekhanis, forgetting queen Bibi's past good deeds.  The enraged mob, without realizing that it was a false provocation to tarnish Bibi's name,  entered her private apartment where Brave Chand Bibi was slain by Hamid Khan right before them. In the aftermath of her murder and mayhem that followed,  Ahmednagar was captured by the Mogul forces after a prolonged siege of roughly four months. 


Thus a courageous and  highly talented  woman who successfully defended the honor and dignity of rulers of Ahmednagar, at last felled by her own people closer to her  for whom she had fought tirelessly till her last breath. That was the poignant end of a beautiful young warrior who was mercilessly put to death right in the palace where she was born.  She  was buried  in the  Fort  of Ahmednagar. No tomb marks her grave.

Centuries have gone by since her death and the time and technology have taken us into a new world, but we are  still haunted by the legacy of Queen Chand Bibi, the beautiful warrior from Ahmednagar.