Malik Ambar (1548-1626)

Malik Ambar (1548-1626)

Size: 19.3 x 14.3 in (49 x 36.3 cm)
Date of printing: 1880s-1890s

Malik Ambar was a Siddi military leader and prime minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in the Deccan region.

He was born in Ethiopia, sold as a child by his parents due to poverty and brought to India as a Habsi slave. Once his master died, Ambar was freed by his master’s wife. He got married, and briefly served the Sultan of Bijapur and gained the title “Malik” during this time. But Ambar quit this service citing insufficient support and enrolled in the Nizam Shahi Army.

He was the regent of the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmadnagar from 1607 to 1627. During this period he increased the strength and power of Murtaza Nizam Shah II and raised a large army. He defeated the Mughal General Khan Khanan many times and often attacked Ahmadnagar. Lakhuji Jadhavrao, Maloji Bhosale, Shahaji Bhosale, Ranoji Wable and other Maratha chiefs had gained great prominence during this period. With the help of these Maratha chiefs, he captured Ahmednagar Fort and town from the Mughals. However, in one of the battles he was defeated by the Mughals and had to surrender the fort of Ahmadnagar.

He died in 1626 at the age of 77. He had by his Siddi wife, Bibi Karima two sons; Fateh Khan and Changiz Khan and two daughters.