Shah Mir dynasty

The Shah Mir dynasty was a dynasty that ruled the region of Kashmir in the Indian subcontinent.[1] The dynasty is named after its founder, Shah Mir. During the rule of the dynasty from 1339 to 1561, Islam was firmly established in Kashmir.

Shah Mir Sultanate

Common languagesKashmiri,
Islam (Sunni)
GovernmentAbsolute Monarchy
• 1339 - 1342
• 1418 - 1419
1420 - 1470
• Established
• Disestablished
CurrencyGold Dinar,
Silver Dirham,
Copper coin.
Preceded by
Succeeded by
[[Lohara Dynasty]]
[[Mughal Empire]]


Swat, Pakistan

The dynasty was established by Shah Mir in 1339 CE, there are two theories regarding Shah Mir's origin. Historian A. Q. Rafiqi states that some Persian chronicles of Kashmir describe Shah Mir as a descendant of the rulers of Swat.[a] He thinks it more likely that he was a descendant of Turkish or Persian immigrants to Swat, who had intermarried with local indigenous peoples.[3] It has also been suggested that he belonged to a family which accompanied the sage Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, and who were associated to either the Kubrawiya، Sufi groups in Kashmir.[4]

On the other hand, the 15th century Kashmiri historian Jonaraja, writing in the court of Shah Mir's descendant Budshah, states that Shah Mir came to Kashmir along with his tribe from the country of Panchagahvara (identified as the Panjgabbar valley between Rajouri and Budhal). He was said to belong to the family of an ancestor called Partha, who was described as a second Partha (an allusion to the Mahabharata hero Arjuna).[5][6] Some scholars state that the Panjgabbar valley was peopled by Khasas and so ascribe a Khasa ethnicity to Shah Mir.[7][8][9]

Most modern historians accept the Swati origins of Shah Mir. Swati are Afghans came to Dir Malakand region in time of Ghaznavi. [4][10][11][12] Kashmiri scholar N. K. Zutshi, having critically examined the sources, reconciles the two versions by noting that the Persian chronicles mentions Swadgir rather than Swat, which he interprets as Swadgabar, meaning "suburbs of Gabar", which coincides with Jonaraja's description of Panchagahvara-Simani (on the borders of Panchagagvara).[13]

A. Q. Rafiqi states:

Shah Mir arrived in Kashmir in 1313 along with his family, during the reign of Suhadeva (1301–1320), whose service he entered. In subsequent years, through his tact and ability Shah Mir rose to prominence and became one of the most important personalities of his time.[14]


Shah MirEdit

Shah Mir worked to establish Islam in Kashmir and was aided by his descendant rulers, specially Sikandar Butshikan. He reigned for three years and five months from 1339–42. He was the ruler of Kashmir and the founder of the Shah Mir dynasty. He was followed by his two sons who became kings in succession.[15]


Sultan Shamsu'd-Din Shah was succeeded by his elder son Sultan Jamshid who ruled for a year and two months. In 1343, Sultan Jamshid suffered a defeat by his brother who ascended the throne as Sultan Alau'd-Din in 1347.[16]


Sultan Alau'd-Din, two sons became kings in succession, Sultan Shihabu'd-Din and Sultan Qutbu'd-Din.[17]


He was the only Shah Mir ruler to keep Hindu courtiers in his court. Prominent among them were Kota Bhat and Udyashri. Ruler of Kashgar (Central Asia) once attacked Kashmir with a large army. Sultan Shihabu’d-din did not have a large number of soldiers to battle against the Kashgar army. But with a small army, he fought and defeated the whole army of Kashgar. After this battle, the regions of Ladakh and Baltistan which were under the rule of Kashgar came under the rule of Shah Miris. It is believed that Sultan also marched towards Delhi and the army of Feroz Shah Tughlaq opposed him at the banks of River Satluj. Since the battle was motive-less for the Delhi Sultanate peace concluded between them on a condition that all the territories from Sirhind to Kashmir belong to the Shah Mir empire.[citation needed]

Shihabu’d-din was also a great administrator who governed his kingdom with firmness and justice. A town named Shihabu’d-dinpura aka Shadipur was founded by him. He was also called the Lalitaditya of Medieval Kashmir as he erected many mosques and monasteries.[citation needed]


He was the next Sultan of Kashmir. The only significance of his rule is that a Muslim traveler Syed Ali Hamdani arrived at Kashmir in his reign. In 1380 C.E. Qutbud’din died and was succeeded by his son Sultan Sikander also known as the Sikander Butshikand.[citation needed]


Sultan Sikandar (1389-1413 AD), the sixth ruler of the Shah Mir Dynasty, Sikandar ascended the throne at the age of 8 years. His rule is distinguished by the strong momentum the spread of Islam received in Kashmir. He is the first and only Muslim ruler of Kashmir who introduced Shariah in governance. In his private life, he abstained from wine and other intoxicants and, on religious grounds, did not listen to music. He was an able, generous and brave ruler and looked after the welfare of his subjects. He put an end to many oppressive taxes and quelled revolts following which a period of peace ensued. Sikandar was liberal in patronizing learning that drew scholars from various parts of Asia. He established schools for the education of boys, and founded hospitals where medicine and food were supplied for free. He had a passion for buildings and constructed many a mosque, hospice and madrasa. Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque), the Khanqah-i-Mualla (Glorious Hospice) and hospices at Tral, Wach and Mattan in south Kashmir are some of the buildings erected b him. He founded the town of Sikandarpur and built a magnificent palace there. He laid the foundation of Idgah at Srinagar. However he is not known in history for these contributions. Instead, he has been written about as a heartless ruler indulging, day in and day out in plunder of temples and oppression of his Hindu subjects. Sikandar's characterization as an anti-Hindu ruler, in reality, is in conflict with his tolerant behaviour towards his Hindu subjects. His first Minister was a Hindu, Rai Magre; he had a Hindu commander-in-chief, Achaladeva Achala; and he himself married a Hindu woman, Subhata, who subsequently converted to Islam. Contrary to his image painted by biased chroniclers, Sikandar was a brave and an exceedingly generous man.[18]


Some of the architectural projects commissioned by the dynasty in Kashmir include:

    Jamia Masjid of Srinagar
    Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Khanqah-e-Moulah in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Aali Masjid in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
    Tomb of the Mother of Zain-ul-Abidin in Srinagar
    Tomb of the Mother of Zain-ul-Abidin in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Amburiq Mosque in Shigar, Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Chaqchan Mosque in Khaplu, Gilgit-Baltistan

Reign and successionsEdit

Precedence Name AD
1 Shamsu'd-Din Shah 1339
2 Jamshed 1342
3 Ala'u'din 1343
4 Shihu'd-Din 1354
5 Qutub'd-Din 1373
6 Sikander 1389
7 Ali Shah 1413
8 Zainu'l'Abadin 1420
9 Hasan Shah 1472
10 Muhammad Shah (i) 1484
11 Fateh Shah (i) 1486
12 Muhammad Shah (ii) 1493
13 Fateh Shah (ii) 1505
14 Muhammad Shah (iii) 1514
15 Fateh Shah (ii1) 1515
16 Muhammad Shah (iv) 1517
17 Ibrahim Shah (i) 1528
18 Nazuk Shah (i) 1529
19 Muhammad Shah (v) 1530
20 Shamsu'd-Din (ii) 1537
21 Ismail Shah (i) 1540
17 Nazuk Shah (ii) (i) 1540
18 Ibrahim Shah (i) 1552
19 Ismail Shah (ii) (v) 1555
20 Habib Shah 1557–1561


Note: Muhammad Shah had five separate reigns from 1484 to 1537.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Unreliable Sources - The chronicles include those of Tahir, Haidar Malik, Rafiu'd Din Ahmad and Muhammad A'azam.[2]


  1. ^ Sharma, R. S. (1992), A Comprehensive History of India, Orient Longmans, p. 628, ISBN 978-81-7007-121-1
  2. ^ Gull, Surayia (2003), Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani And Kubraviya Sufi Order In Kashmir, Kanikshka Publishers, Distributors, p. 3, ISBN 978-81-7391-581-9
  3. ^ Baloch & Rafiq 1998, pp. 311-312.
  4. ^ a b Schimmel 1980, p. 44.
  5. ^ Sharma, R. S. (1992), A Comprehensive History of India, Orient Longmans, p. 628, ISBN 978-81-7007-121-1, Jonaraja records two events of Suhadeva's reign (1301-20), which were of far-reaching importance and virtually changed the course of the history of Kashmir. The first was the arrival of Shah Mir in 1313. He was a Muslim condottiere from the border of Panchagahvara, an area situated to the south of the Divasar pargana in the valley of river Ans, a tributary of the Chenab.
  6. ^ Zutshi, N. K. (1976), Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir: an age of enlightenment, Nupur Prakashan, pp. 6–7
  7. ^ Wani, Nizam-ud-Din (1987), Muslim rule in Kashmir, 1554 A.D. to 1586 A.D., Jay Kay Book House, p. 29, Shamir was a Khasa by birth and descended from the chiefs of Panchagahvara.
  8. ^ Saxena, Savitri (1995), Geographical Survey of the Purāṇas: The Purāṇas, a Geographical Survey, Nag Publishers, pp. 360–361, ISBN 978-81-7081-333-0, In the Rajatarangini, the rulers of Rajapuri (modern Rajauri) are called the lord of Khasas and their troops as Khasas. They occupied the valleys of Ans river, now called Panjagabhar (Pancagahvara of Srivara IV 213).
  9. ^ Zutshi, N. K. (1976), Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir: an age of enlightenment, Nupur Prakashan, p. 7, "This area in which Panchagahvara was situated is mentioned as having been the place of habitation of the Khasa tribe. Shah Mir was, therefore, a Khasa by birth. This conclusion is further strengthened by references to the part of the Khasas increasingly played in the politics of Kashmir with which their connections became intimate after the occupation of Kashmir.
  10. ^ Wink 2004, p. 140"The first Muslim dynasty of Kashmir was founded in 1324 by Shah Mìrzà, who was probably an Afghan warrior from Swat or a Qarauna Turk, possibly even a Tibetan..."
  11. ^ Gupta, Jyoti Bhusan Das (6 December 2012), Jammu and Kashmir, Springer, pp. 19–, ISBN 978-94-011-9231-6
  12. ^ Snedden, Christopher (2015), Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris, Oxford University Press, pp. 28–, ISBN 978-1-84904-342-7
  13. ^ Zutshi, N. K. (1976), Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir: an age of enlightenment, Nupur Prakashan, p. 7
  14. ^ Baloch & Rafiq 1998, p. 312.
  15. ^ Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 3 – EARLY SHAHMIRS
  16. ^ Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 3 – EARLY SHAHMIRS
  17. ^ Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 3 – EARLY SHAHMIRS
  18. ^
  19. ^ Hasan, Mohibbul (2005) [1959]. Kashmir Under the Sultans (Reprinted ed.). Delhi: Aakar Books. p. 325. ISBN 978-81-87879-49-7. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  20. ^

External linksEdit