Bahmanis were surrounded by powerful neighbours such as Vijayanagar, and Malwa who were anxious to annex their territory. It was, therefore, necessary even for their survival to keep to large and well-equipped army. Amir-ul-umara or the commander-in-chief was at the head of the military organization.
He had 1500 soldiers under his direct command besides other officers commanding 1000, 500, 300 and 100 soldiers. These officers were given fiefs or fixed amount of money to enable them to keep the required number of soldiers.
The central army consisted of 50,000 cavalry and 25,000 infantry in Sultan Hasan’s time. The number increased substantially during the reigns of later kings. Tarafdar or the governor headed the army in the provinces.
He was expected to maintain 10,000 soldiers. The Bahmani army was divided into ‘lashkars’ which was a self-sufficient unit having its own elephants and infantry. The Bahmanis kept a large store of fire-arms including guns. Mir Atish was in charge of the atish khana.