Akbar had established his authority over Ahmednagar and thereby ousted the Nizam Shahi Dynasty. In the time of Jahangir, Malik Ambar, An Abyssinian Adventurer, was able to restore the dynasty. Malik Ambar has been regarded to be one of the Greatest Generals and Statesmen of Medieval India.

He was admired even by his enemies for the qualities of head and heart. He organised the Revenue System on the same lines as that of Todar Mai. He trained the Marathas in guerrilla warfare.

According to Mohamad Khan, “the Mughal Historian, In warfare, in command, in sound judgment and in administration, he had no rival or equal. He well understood the predatory warfare which in the language of the Deccan is called Bargi Giri. He kept down the turbulent spirits of the country and maintained his exalted position to the end of his life, and closed his career in honour.

History records no other instance of an Abyssinian Slave reaching such eminence,” Another writer pays the following tribute to Malik Ambar: “A born leader of men, he conciliated all parties, maintained order, and left a name for justice, vigour and benefit which have not been forgotten yet.”


Malik Ambar took advantage of the rebellion of Prince Khusrau and attacked the imperial force in the Deccan. With the help of his Maratha Troops, Malik Ambar defeated Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana and recaptured Ahmed Nagar in 1610. Khan-i-Khana was recalled and Khan Jahan succeeded him. As the mind of the Emperor was otherwise busy with the affairs of Nur Jahan, no action could be taken against Malik Ambar for the present.

However, in 1612, an army was sent from Gujarat to help Khan Jahan, but nothing substantial was achieved. The Maratha cavalry harassed the Mughal Troops of Khan Jahan Lodhi and Prince Parvez did not dare to attack Malik Ambar again. In 1616, Prince Khurram was entrusted with the command. He offered terms of peace to Malik Ambar and the latter accepted the same.

Adil Shah gave presents worth 15 lakhs to Prince Khurram and also promised to restore all the territory which had been seized by Malik Ambar. The treaty was ratified by Jahangir who also conferred the title of Farzand upon Adil Shah. Prince Khurram was given the title of Shah Jahan and his Mansab was raised to 30,000 Zat and 20,000 Sawar. There was a lot of rejoicing but the fact remains that Ahmednagar was not conquered and the power of Malik Ambar was not crushed. This state of affairs continued till 1629 when Malik Ambar died.