Daud Shah Karrani as depicted in the 16th century Mughal paintings

Daud Shah Karrani
Detail from a 16th century illustration from Akbarnama showing Sultan Daud Shah Karrani (Pashtun) wearing the robe of honour given to him by Munim Khan (the Mughal general), after surrendering and signing treaty with the latter in 1575 . 1

Karrani Sultanate, which comprised of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand at its peak, was founded by Taj Khan Karrani. The latter was succeeded by his brother Suleiman Karrani. Both were previously high-ranking nobles of Sher Shah Sur and Islam Shah Sur.

Karranis (the proper word is Karlanri (کرلاڼي) in Pashto) are a group of Pashtun tribes who are mostly found in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They include Khattak, Dilazak, Bannuchi, Dawar, Bangash, Wazir, Mahsud, Afridi, Orakzai, Turi, Zazai, Utman Khel, Mangal and few other tribes. The exact tribal identity of the the Karrani Sultans within the larger Karrani identity is not known.

Portrait of Daud Karrani
Detail from a 16th century illustration of Akbarnama showing battle scene in which Daud Shah Karrani has been taken prisoner with his hands bound together, in 1576. 2

Khan Jahan (the Mughal general) chopped Daud Shah’s head off. The headless body of Daud Shah Karrani was left to decay in Tanda (the capital of the Karrani sultanate), while the head was sent off to Emperor Akbar as a token of Mughal victory.


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