Quli Qutb Mulk

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Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk
First Sultan of Qutb Shahi dynasty
1st Sultan of the Qutb Shahi Sultanate of Golconda
SuccessorJamsheed Quli Qutb Shah
Hamadan, Persia
Died2 September 1543(1543-09-02) (aged 72–73)
Hyderabad, Sultanate of Golconda
Qutb Shahi tombs, Hyderabad
Abdul Karim
HouseQutb Shahi dynasty
FatherUways Quli Beg
MotherMaryam Khanum
ReligionShia Islam

Quli Qutb Mulk (1470 – 1543), known by the regnal name Quli Qutb Shah (also transliterated in different ways), was the founder of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, which ruled the Sultanate of Golconda in southern India from 1518 to 1687.[1]


Originally named Sultan Quli, he was a Shi'i Turkmen from the city of Hamadan in Persia.[2][3] He was the son of Uways Quli Beg, of the Qara Qoyunlu dynasty, and Maryam Khanum, a daughter of the Hamadan noble Malik Saleh. Through his father, he was descended from the Turkmen ruler Qara Yusuf twice over; his grandparents, Pir Quli Beg and Khadija Begum, were grandchildren of Qara Yusuf's sons Qara Iskander and Jahan Shah respectively.[4][5]

Sultan Quli migrated to Delhi with some of his relatives and friends, including his uncle Allah Quli Beg, in the beginning of the 16th century. Later, he travelled south to Deccan and served the Bahmani sultan.[6] Due to his successful leadership in military conflicts, he received the title "Qutb-ul-Mulk".[7]

Establishing the Qutb Shahi Sultanate[edit]

Tomb of Sultan Quli Qutb Shah in Hyderabad

After the disintegration of the Bahmani Sultanate into the five Deccan sultanates, he declared independence and took the title of Qutb Shah, and established the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda.[8]

Extension of the Sultanate[edit]

Quli Qutb Shah was a contemporary of Krishana Deva Raya and his younger brother Achyuta Deva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire. 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. He forced Odisha's ruler Vishwanath Dev Gajapati to surrender all the territories between the mouths of Krishna and Godavari rivers.[9] He was able to occupy Eluru, Rajamundry and Machilipatnam extending his rule to Coastal Andhra. Quli's campaign against Krishnadevaraya continued until Timmarusu, the Prime Minister of Krishnadevaraya, defeated the Golconda army.

Death and succession[edit]

In 1543, while he was offering his prayers, Quli Qutb Shah was assassinated by his second son, Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah.[6] Jamsheed also blinded Quli's eldest son and heir, Kutbuddeen, and assumed the throne. His sixth son Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah fled to Vijayanagara. Jamsheed also killed his brother (the third son of Quli Qutb Shah), Abdul Quadeer, who had revolted after their father's death.


  1. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 118. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  2. ^ Siddiqi, Abdul Majeed (1956). History of Golcunda. Literary Publications. p. 7.
  3. ^ Cole, Juan R.I. (2011). Nikki R. Keddie; Rudi Matthee (eds.). Iranian Culture and South Asia, 1500-1900. Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-295-80024-0.
  4. ^ Minorsky, V. (1 January 1955). "The Qara-qoyunlu and the Qutb-shāhs (Turkmenica, 10)". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 17 (1): 50–73. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00106342. JSTOR 609229.
  5. ^ Ramanand Vidya Bhawan, The Indian Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, Issues 1-4, 1985, p.711
  6. ^ a b George Michell, Mark Zebrowski, The New Cambridge History of India: 1. The Portuguese in India, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 17.
  7. ^ Nayeem, M. A. (2006). The Heritage of the Qutb Shahis of Golconda and Hyderabad. Hyderabad: Hyderabad Publishers. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-85492-23-0.
  8. ^ Rao, P. Raghunadha (1988). History of Modern Andhra Pradesh. Sterling Publishers. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-207-0878-5.
  9. ^ KSB Singh 1939, p. 18.
Preceded by
Qutb Shahi dynasty
Succeeded by
Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah