Yakut Khan

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Yakut Khan was a Siddi Naval Admiral and administrator of Janjira Fort who first served under Bijapur Sultanate and later under the Mughal Empire.[1] His real name was Siddi Qasim Khan but was given the title of Yakut Khan by Emperor Alamgir. During a Muhgal-English conflict he laid siege to the British-held Bombay in 1689.

The Siddis are a community of African ancestry that live in much of Karnataka and Kerala, India.[1] They were loyal to the Mughals and had earned a reputation as excellent sea-farers.[2]

In October, 1672, Khan entered the seven islands of Bombay and attacked the Marathas with whom they were at war with. Khan returned the following year, on 10 October 1673, after destroying the towns of Pen and Nagothane.[2]

Yakut Khan, along with Khariyat Khan, had earlier saved the Portuguese from the Marathas left by Sambhaji at Chaul. In return, they enjoyed a cordial relationship in the otherwise tense political climate.[2]

In 1689, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb ordered the Khan to attack Bombay for the third time after Indian vessels sailing to Surat were captured in 1686. In April 1689, the Siddis laid siege to the British fortification to the south. The British governor Sir John Child appealed to Aurangzeb. In February 1690, the Mughals agreed to halt the attack in return for 150,000 rupees (Over a billion USD at 2008 conversion rates) and Child's dismissal.[3] Child's untimely death in 1690 however, resulted in him escaping the ignominy of being sacked.[4]

Enraged at the agreement, Sakat[who?] withdrew his forces on 8 June 1690 after razing the Mazagaon Fort.[3]

Khan died in 1733.[2]


  1. ^ a b The African dispersal in the Deccan: from medieval to modern times, By Shanti Sadiq Ali, Published by Orient Blackswan, 1996,Public Domain, ISBN 81-250-0485-8, ISBN 978-81-250-0485-1
  2. ^ a b c d Yimene, Ababu Minda. An African Indian Community in Hyderabad: Siddi Identity, Its Maintenance and Change. Cuvillier Verlag. p. 204. ISBN 978-3-86537-206-2. 
  3. ^ a b Nandgaonkar, Satish (2003-03-22). "Mazgaon fort was blown to pieces – 313 years ago". Indian Express (Express Group). Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  4. ^ Prakash, Om (1987). European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-colonial India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-25758-9.