Odisha Under Shahajahan

Muhmmad Baqar Khan was appointed Governor of Odisha following Shah Jahan’s accession to the Mughal throne in 1628 AD. Meanwhile, Qutb Shahi troops invaded Khurda. Baqar Khan marched with his soldiers to Khira Pahar, four miles from Chhattarduar on the border of the Mughal province of Odisha, in the winter of 1629-30 AD, and invaded the Qutb Shahi empire. His plundering of the Qutb Shahi territory, however, came to a halt with the arrival of the rainy season, forcing him to return to Cuttack.

Mansurgarh’s occupation by Baqar Khan

Baqar Khan marched back to the Deccan with his soldiers after the rainy season ended and reached the fort of Mansurgarh. The Qutb Shahi soldiers fought valiantly but were defeated by the Mughal soldiers, and the fort fell to Baqar Khan, who smiled as he returned to Cuttack. Following his return, the Qutb Shahi soldiers regrouped and attempted to reassert their hold on the fort. This act compelled an aggressive Baqar to return with vengeance and defeat the Golkunda soldiers, effectively annexed some Qutb Shahi territories to the Mughal empire of Odisha. He received a letter of commendation from Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his bravery. His atrocities against the zamindars of Odisha, on the other hand, were viewed negatively, and the emperor recalled him from Odisha in 1632 AD. He was compelled by the emperor to account for forty lakhs of rupees he had extorted from Odisha’s zamindars.

Governor Mutaqad Khan

In 1632 AD, Mutaqad Khan succeeded Baqar Khan as Governor of Odisha. He granted Captain Ralph Cartwright permission to establish an English factory at Hariharpur, which was home to a colony of weavers. According to William Burton’s accounts, the British East India Company established factories in the Balasore and undivided Cuttack districts during this time period. Mutaqad Khan built Cuttack’s Lalbagh palace. His reign as Subahdar in Odisha was one of tranquillity and glory. He held this position until 1641 AD.

Other Odisha Governors

Following him, there were seven Governors of Odisha, the most notable of whom was Muhammad Zaman Teherani, who ruled from 1642 to 1645 A.D. Prince Shuja had sent him to Odisha on his own behalf as a Deputy. During his governorship, the English East India Company established its factories in Odisha at Balasore. During his reign, he dealt with Bhadur Khan, the Zamindar of Hijli, who ruled an expansive coastal district stretching from Rupnarayan to the Odisha river Suvarnarekha. He ruled independently, as if his empire were the “unsubdued and uncared for Subah of Odisha.” Muhammad Zaman led an expedition against Bahadur Khan in 1657 A.D., and Shah Jahan fell ill and was imprisoned by Aurangzeb, who ascended the Mughal throne in 1658 A.D. Shah Jahan’s reign was notable in Odisha for three reasons. To begin, there was no invasion of Khurda on behalf of Odisha’s Mughal Governor. Second, the Mughal army never attacked Puri’s Jagannath temple. Finally, the English established factories in Odisha, facilitating the land’s commercial prosperity.

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