DAULATABAD and AURANGABAD
The original name of Daulatabad Fort was Devagiri, and it was built in the 12th century by Yaduvamsi Kshatriyas, also known as Seunas. The kingdom of Devagiri covered much of modern day Maharashtra and had conflicts with its Hindu neighbors in the north like Malwa and Gujarat, and with the Kakatiya kingdom in the south-east. Towards the end of the 13th century Alauddin Khalji raided Devagiri, imposed tribute and made the Seuna rulers his allies. With the wealth of Devagiri, Alauddin financed his takeover of the Delhi Sultanate from his uncle Jalaluddin. Devagiri was the base for Turk expansion into southern India and was eventually annexed to the Delhi Sultanate when its ruler Singhana attempted a rebellion.
Devagiri was renamed Daulatabad (abode of wealth) by the Turks and much of the construction dates from this period. In 1327 Muhammad Tughluq made Daulatabad his new capital because of its central location, and because it gave him better control of the newly conquered territory in the south. But in doing so he forced much of the Delhi population to move south with him, and consequently in the words of a contemporary writer, "All around Deogir, which is infidel land, there sprang up graves of Musulmans."
Delhi was restored as capital in 1337. In 1345 many of Tughluq's nobles broke out in revolt and sought refuge in Daulatabad fort. Muhammad besieged the fort but had to retire for suppressing another rebellion in Gujarat, after which he died in 1351. The southern nobles founded the Bahmani Sultanate but chose a new capital city Gulbarga, located further south. Daulatabad remained an important fort in the sultanate; a Bahmani minister, Mahmud Gavan, started the construction of an observatory at Daulatabad, but after his murder the Bahmani Sultanate broke up. The fort of Daulatabad came under the new Sultanate of Ahmadnagar, which covered western Maharashtra, and recruited Maratha chieftains in its army.
The Islamic states in the south had direct contact with the outer Muslim world through ports like Dabhol, Goa, Chaul, and Rajapur. To these ports embarked the all-important horses and soldiers from Iran, Iraq, and Ethiopia who built the military strength of the sultanates. When a new danger rose with the formation of the Mughal Empire in the north, Ahmadnagar was defended by its Ethiopian general Malik Ambar. He founded a new capital called Khirki close to Daulatabad fort; this was burnt by the Mughal invaders. In 1636 the Ahmadnagar sultanate was extinguished, Golconda made to become a vassal state, and even Bijapur submitted. Maratha officers in Ahmadnagar, like Shahji Bhonsle and Kheloji Bhonsle, were also defeated.
Dualatabad became the capital of Mughal Deccan, but Aurangzeb chose to build a new capital at Khirki, which was now called Aurangabad. The sleepless aim of the Mughals was to extinguish the sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda and capture their rich territories. But closer to Daulatabad arose a new threat in the form of Shahji Bhonsle's son Shivaji. The latter took full advantage of the Mughal-Bijapur wars to tenaciously build up his kingdom until it was in a position to challenge both those powers. The Mughal wars with Shivaji did not affect either Daulatabad or Aurangabad; but the situation changed under Sambhaji Bhonsle.
From 1679 to 1681 Auranzeb had invaded the Rajput kingdoms of Jodhpur and Mewar, imposed jaziya
on the Hindu populace, and consequently all the resources of the Mughal Empire were concentrated in North India for the war against the Rajputs. Finding the field clear, Sambhaji launched a daring raid on the Aurangabad suburbs in 1681, after which the Mughal viceroy began constructing a wall around the city, which was completed in 1683. Aurangzeb's 25-year campaign in the Deccan saw the capture of Bijapur in 1686, and of Golconda in 1687. Sambhaji was captured and executed in 1688, and most of the Maratha forts fell to the Mughals. The captive kings of Bijapur and Golconda were housed in the Daulatabad fort till their deaths.
The Deccan Wars were extended further south into the Carnatic, the Marathas resorted to guerrilla warfare
, rebellions sprung up all across India, and Mughal nobles began to dream of setting up independent kingdoms, while the Mughal treasury was drained to exhaustion.
Daulatabad and Aurangabad passed to the control of the Nizams of Hyderabad. His French ally Bussy lodged his modern army at Aurangabad. In 1763 the Nizams shifted their capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad in the south-east. A British cantonment was established at Aurangabad but the city remained with Hyderabad state till Independence.