Odisha Under Shahajahan

After the accession of Shah Jahan to the Mughal throne in 1628 AD. Muhmmad Baqar Khan was appointed as the Governor of Odisha. In the meanwhile, Qutb Shahi soldiers had invaded Khurda. After assuming his charge as Governor, Baqar Khan marched with his soldiers to Khira Pahar, four miles from Chhattarduar on the frontier of the Mughal province of Odisha in the winter and invaded Qutb Shahi empire in 1629-30 AD. However, his plundering of the Qutb Shahi territory took a halt at the advent of the rainy season that compelled him to return Cuttack.

Baqar Khan’s occupation of Mansurgarh

With the end of rainy season, Baqar Khan again marched to the Deccan with his soldiers and reached the fort of Mansurgarh. The Qutb Shahi soldiers gave a toe fight but were defeated by the Mughal soldiers and the fort fell in the hands of Baqar Khan who returned to Cuttack with a smile. After his return, the Qutb Shahi soldiers reassembled themselves and tried to reassert their hold over the fort. This act forced an aggressive Baqar who returned with vengeance and defeated the Golkunda soldiers, thereby annexing some Qutb Shahi territories to the Mughal
empire of Odisha. For his act of bravery, he received a letter of appreciation from the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. However, his atrocities over the zamindars of Odisha was viewed adversely and the emperor recalled him from Odisha in 1632 AD. He was forced by the emperor to expiain about the realization of forty lakhs of rupees which he had collected forcibly from the zamindars of Odisha.

Mutaqad Khan as Governor

Baqar Khan was succeeded by Mutaqad Khan as Governor of Odisha in 1632 AD. He granted permission to Captain Ralph Cartwright to establish English factory at Hariharpur where there was a colony of weavers. From the accounts of William Burton, it is known that the British East India Company had its factories in Balasore and undivided Cuttack districts during this time. Mutaqad Khan constructed Lalbagh palace at Cuttack. His rule as Subahdar in Odisha was marked with peace and glory. He remained in this charge upto 1641 AD.

Other Governors of Odisha

After him, there were seven Governors of Odisha among whom’ the rule of Muhammad Zaman Teherani from 1642-1645 A.D. was significant. Prince Shuja had sent him as a Deputy to Odisha on his own behalf. During his governorship, the factories of the English East India Company were established in Odisha at Balasore. A notable achievement during his regime wasthat he dealt with Bhadur Khan, the Zamindar of Hijli who held power over an extensive coastal district stretching from Rupnarayan to the river Suvarnarekha of Odisha. He ruled like an independent Sultan as if his empire was “unsubdued and uncared for Subah of Odisha.” Muhammad Zaman led an expedition against Bahadur Khan who was defeated and imprisoned at Dacca in 1657 A.D., Shah Jahan fell ill and was imprisoned by Aurangzeb who ascended the Mughal throne in 1658 A.D. The period of Shah Jahan was remarkable in Odisha mainly for three reasons. Firstly, there was no invasion on Khurda on behalf of the Mughal Governor of Odisha. Secondly, the Mughal army never invaded the Jagannath temple at Puri. Lastly, factories were established by English in Odisha facilitating commercial prosperity of this land.


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