Telangana

All you need to know about Shitab Khan- Raja of Khammamet!

Shitab Khan was born to Sitapathi Raju in the state of Telangana. He belonged to a Hindu family of cow herders of the Boy’s community, then considered low caste. He was also called Chitapu Khan. He joined as a foot soldier in the army of Humayun Shah the Bahmani Sultan, and upgraded the ranks to acquire senior captaincy, his jagir, a land, and earned the title ‘Shitab Khan’. 

The great warrior Shitab Khan is described as the Raja of Khammamet, a fearless infidel. This description confuses colonel Briggs in 3rd volume of his history of the rise of the Muhammadan Power in India, makes Shitab Khan a Hindu and gave him the title of Seetaputty. The historian of the Qutub Shahi kings endorses the Telugu inscription in the Hanamkonda thousand pillar temple built in the 1503 century. 

When Sultan Quli returns to the Golconda fort after he campaigns against Ala Uddin Imad Shah, his army reported to him that Shitab Khan had come to the borders of the kingdom and he was preparing for the war. However, no attempt was made by Shitab Khan to hold Warangal which passed without a struggle into Sultan Quili’s hands while he marched on southwards to the siege of Bellamkonda. 

Shitab Khan- Raja of Khammamet
Shitab Khan- Raja of Khammamet

From the period of 1480 to 1485, for five years Shitab Khan was the governor of the Rachakonda, in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. People say, he was taken the advantage of the internal turmoils of the Bahmanis and declared his independence in 1503, ruling from the Rachakonda, Warangal, and Khammam forts from 1503 to 1512.

Also Read: Mettugutta Ramalingeshwara Temple – The Rock Step Temple, Manigiri

The evidence suggests that he had been indulged in many public works including repairing irrigation tanks and reinstating the ruined temples. He had repaired the Pakhala tank which serves many farmlands in the area and is now a picturesque tourist spot. He was also a supporter of literature and Telugu poetry continued to grow and in his time.

Furthermore, Quli Qutb Shah, the ruler of Golconda Fort was declared his authority or rule and Shitab Khan had to face assaults from Golconda which was just shaking off the dynasty of the Bahmanis. Warangal yielded to the Golconda ruler and Shitab Khan had to move from that place, in 1512. Then he joined the service of Prataparudra Gajapati, the King of Kalinga or now Orissa. When the legendary Vijayanagar Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya went on his Kalinga campaign in the year 1516 to 1517, his exultant progress was effectively obstructed by the archers of Shitab Khan at the mountain pass near Simhadri now Visakhapatnam district. And Shitab lost the battle and lost his life.

Also Visit: Kazipet Dargah – Hazrat Syed Shah Afzal Biabani, Hanamkonda, Warangal.

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