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Bengal Sultanate

Sultanate of Bengal
বাংলা সালতানাত
Sultanate
1342–1538

1555–1576
The Bengal Sultanate at its peak
Capital Gaur
Pandua
Sonargaon
Languages Bengali (spoken)
Persian (court and diplomatic language)
Arabic (liturgical)
Religion Sunni Islam (official), Hinduism, Buddhism
Government Absolute monarchy, unitary state with federal structure
Sultan
 •  1342–1358 Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah (first)
 •  1572–1576 Daud Khan Karrani (last)
Historical era Late medieval
 •  Independence declared from Delhi 1352
 •  Battle of Raj Mahal 1576
Currency taka
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Bengal under the Delhi Sultanate
Sur Empire
Sur Empire
Kingdom of Mrauk U
Kingdom of Bhati
Bengal Subah
Today part of  Bangladesh
 India
 Myanmar
   Nepal

The Bengal Sultanate, officially the Sultanate of Bengal, was a Muslim state and empire based in the Indian subcontinent on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It was an important power in South and Southeast Asia. Its rulers carried the title of King of Kings in the East. The kingdom's heartland was in Bengal, which is today divided between Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, but its realm included large parts of North India and western Myanmar. Its bordering countries included the Delhi Sultanate, Tibet, Ahom and Burmese states.

The Bengal Sultanate seceded from the Delhi Sultanate under Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah in 1352 and had capitals in Gaur, Pandua and Sonargaon. Delhi recognised Bengal's independence after it was defeated by Ilyas Shah and his son, Sikandar Shah. The kingdom enjoyed a strategic relationship with Ming China. It reached the height of its power during the reigns of Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah and Alauddin Hussain Shah in the 15th and early 16th centuries, when it controlled most of the eastern subcontinent. Trade links were fostered with the Horn of Africa, the Maldives and Malacca. Its political economy featured the Taka as its standard currency. Bengali Muslim architecture flourished under the sultanate's distinct regional genre, incorporating Bengali and Persian elements. A cosmopolitan literary culture developed in the kingdom.


Mint Town Modern areas Notes
Lakhnauti Maldah District and Rajshahi District The oldest mint town and first capital of the Bengal Sultanate
Sonargaon Dhaka District and Narayanganj District Capital of several Bengal Sultans and administrative center of East Bengal
Satgaon Hooghly District and Calcutta District Flourishing port city
Chatgaon Chittagong District Bengal's largest seaport and administrative center of southeast Bengal
Mrauk U Sittwe District Administrative center of Arakan
Fatehabad Faridpur District
Khalifatabad Bagerhat District Includes Mosque City of Bagerhat
Ghiaspur Mymensingh District
Barbakaabad Dinajpur District
Sharifabad Birbhum District
Nusratabad Rangpur District and Bogra District
Chandrabad Murshidabad district
Rotaspur Located in Bihar state, India
Mahmudabad Nadia District and Jessore District
Jalalabad Sylhet District Named after Hazrat Shah Jalal
Muzaffarabad Maldah District Served as one of the longest capitals of the Bengal Sultanate
Husaynabad 24 Parganas
Tandah Maldah District Wartime capital of the last Sultan of Bengal
Name Reign Dynasty Notes
Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah 1352–1358
Sikandar Shah 1358–1390
Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah 1390–1411
Saifuddin Hamza Shah 1411–1413
Shihabuddin Bayazid Shah 1413–1414
Alauddin Firuz Shah I 1414
Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah 1414–1435
Shamsuddin Ahmad Shah 1433–1435
Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah I 1435–1459
Rukunuddin Barbak Shah 1459–1474
Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah 1474–1481
Sikandar Shah II 1481
Jalaluddin Fateh Shah 1481–1487
Shahzada Barbak 1487
Saifuddin Firuz Shah 1487–1489
Mahmud Shah II 1489–1490
Shamsuddin Muzaffar Shah 1490–1494
Alauddin Hussain Shah 1494–1518
Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah 1518–1533
Alauddin Firuz Shah II 1533
Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah 1533–1538
Khidr Khan 1539–1541
Qazi Fazilat 1541–1545
Muhammad Khan Sur 1545–1555
Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah II 1555–1561
Ghiyasuddin Jalal Shah 1561–1564
Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah III 1564
Taj Khan Karrani 1564–1566
Sulaiman Khan Karrani 1566–1572
Bayazid Khan Karrani 1572
Daud Khan Karrani 1572–1576

  • Ansari, H. H. and Qasemi, S. H. (1987). Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, pp. 137–143, Encyclopedia Iranica, Columbia University Press.
  • Banglapedia (1997), Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
  • David Lewis (31 October 2011). Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society. Cambridge University Press. .
  • Richard Maxwell Eaton (1996). The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204–1760. University of California Press
  • Hussain, Syed Ejaz (2003). The Bengal Sultanate: Politics, Economy and Coins, A.D. 1205–1576. Manohar. .
  • Perween Hasan (15 August 2007). Sultans and Mosques: The Early Muslim Architecture of Bangladesh. I.B.Tauris. pp. 73–. .
  • Richard, Arthus (2002). History of Rakhine. Boston, MD: Lexington Books. .
  • Barbara Watson Andaya; Leonard Y. Andaya (2015). A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia, 1400–1830. Cambridge University Press. .
  • Muhammad Mojlum Khan (2013). The Muslim Heritage of Bengal: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of Great Muslim Scholars, Writers and Reformers of Bangladesh and West Bengal. Kube Publishing Limited. .
  • Ray, Harprasad (1993). India-China relations:A study of Bengal in the 15th century. Radiant Publishers and University of Michigan. .
  • Dunn, Ross E. (1986). The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim Traveler of the Fourteenth Century. University of California Press. .
  • Mukherjee, Rila (2011). Pelagic Passageways: The Northern Bay of Bengal Before Colonialism. Primus Books. .
  • Moshe Yegar (2002). Between Integration and Secession: The Muslim Communities of the Southern Philippines, Southern Thailand, and Western Burma/Myanmar. Lexington Books. .
  • Boomgaard, P. (1 January 2008). "Linking Destinies: Trade, Towns and Kin in Asian History"
  • Sen, Sukumar (1991, reprint 2007). Bangala Sahityer Itihas, Vol.I, (Bengali), Kolkata: Ananda Publishers, ,
  • Nitish K. Sengupta (1 January 2011). Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib. Penguin Books India.
  • Nanda, J. N (2005). Bengal: The Unique State. Concept Publishing Company. .
  • Billah, AMMA (2012) The Development of Bengali Literature during Muslim Rule. Journal of South Asian Cultural Studies. Edge Hill University.
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