It has been a great experience writing about Bidar, which I think am the only person in recent times to have written extensively. Even though tracing down the Bahmani kingdom through its inception in Gulbarga to its final days in Bidar was tedious, I feel extremely happy and honored to introduce the last living descendants.

DSC03155As you visit the Tomb of Ahmed Shah Wali Bahmani, you will find a simple looking man sitting guard inside. There is no such arrangement for the others. They are either locked or left open. I started talking to the person about the time and ages of the construction and I was taken aback. However, the pitiable conditions under which he is living, but he is still “His Royal Highness, Sultan Khaleel Shah Bahmani”, of the 12th generation.

I was awestruck knowing this. I am face to face with a descendent of one of the most famous dynasties of the Deccan. I started talking to him more and he offered to take me to his house. Behind the tombs is a narrow muddy road which leads to a DSC03185small village. Looking at his home, I wondered what Ahmed Shah Wali could have thought seeing the member of his family staying at such a pitiable place. It is a small four room brick building with tiled roof.

“Everything has gone away with time” he sadly noted. The house he is living was given by the government after his family was evicted from the tomb premises. His family consists of his wife, four daughters and a son. In all these years he gathered information about his ancestors and can recognize them through paintings. He has also preserved a few coins minted by his ancestorDSC03186s. He has a good collection of armory like swords and daggers. He is not the only one of the dynasty. His brothers visit the place some times and they too are in the same economically backward condition, he said. He had refused to return the armory and coins to ASI fearing that his identity with the dynasty will be lost forever.

With the Bahmani dynasty introduced, I bid good bye to the land of Bidar and move on.