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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.
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.