(Last Updated on : 31/01/2009)
In the Bahmani period the education system had its unique style. At that time, the main learning centres were Nasik, Paithan, Gangapur and Salotgi. The main study matter used to be the Vedic learning and it was regarded as the highest stage of learning during the Bahmani period. The students used to go to the houses of the scholars and learned pundits to take teachings under their direct supervision.
The Bahmani education curriculum included the study of Amara Koslia, Rupavati, Samskara, Panchtantra, Hitopadesha, and the works of Kalidasa. One could also take lessons on advanced studies such as logic, philosophy and grammar. Many scholars and pundits flourished during the Bahmani period. Few of them are Trivikrama Barat, Rameshwara Bhatt, Kamalkar Bhatt, Keshava and Ganesh Daiwadnya.
During the Bahmani period, the Muslim schools were usually attached to mosques. Those who were interested to take higher studies went to the madrasas and also to the residences of the scholars. Here one could learn the Arabic grammar and language as well as the Quran and the Hadis. Calligraphy was also taught in these schools. The Muslim students used to go to the places like Gulbarga, Bidar, Kandhar, Elichpur, Daulatabad, Junnar, Chaul and Dabhol for taking teachings during Bahmana Kingdom. One of the main centres of Muslim learning was Mahmud Gawan's big madrasa at Bidar.
The biggest institute of the Muslim learning during the time of Bahmani was Dar-ul-ulum at Elichpur (Berar). This institute used to receive a grant of 3000 dinars annually. And the best thing was that all the Bahmani Sultans was literate and they promoted learning. One of them was Muhammad Shah II, who had done a lot to promote learning at that time. Many scholars including the great Persian poet Hafiz Shiraz got respected position in his court. This tradition was continued by Firuz Shah. Then many schools were established by Muhammad Shah III also and his minister Mahmud Gawan ably assisted him.
During the Bahmani period, Telugu literature also flourished a lot and the evidence of it can also be found. Many scholars, poets and philosophers enriched the Telugu literature by their compositions. Some of the great scholars and their great works of the Bahmani period include 'Srinagara Naishadha' by Srinatha, 'Bhagavatha Purana' by Bammera Potana (1400-75), 'Vikra-Mana-Charitra' by Perma Raja, 'Naicketopakhyana' by Daggupalli Duggaya, and 'Panchatantra' of Dubagunta Narayana.
But the Bahmani period did not have any centre for technical training. The common practice was to transfer the knowledge from generation to generation. The father used to pass his knowledge to the son. Architecture, sculpture, medicine, arts and crafts, weaving and many other arts continued to flourish this way.
Few of the significant Persian literary works under the patronage of the Bahmani Sultans include the 'Sir a jut Tawarikb' by Muhammad Lari, 'Tuhfatus Salatin' by Mulla Dawud of Bidar and 'Tarika-i-Muhammad Shahi' of Mulla Abdul Karim Hamadani.
The literature on Sufism and mysticism also developed during the Bahmani period. A number of works including Kitab-ul-Khatima, Jawami-ul-Kalim, and Amsarul Asrar were composed by the great saint Banda Nawaz. The other valuable works consist of the famous Manazirul-Insha and Riyaz-ul-Insha by Mahmud Gawan. The first one is written on the art of Persian epistolography while the second one is a collection of letters written by Gawan and the Bahmani Sultans of kings, scholars, poets and other eminent persons. Few of his letters contained Arabic verses. Even the translation of a Sanskrit work on veterinary science was done into Persian and was entitled 'Tarjma-I-Salbutar'.
The Arabic literature also got the patronage of the Bahmani kings. The kings were very knowledgeable e, g, Firuz Shah was a scholar of Arabic and used to give lectures on logic, mathematics, geometry, etc. The well-known scholars, who got the support of the Bahmani kings, include Sadrush Sharif Samarquandi, Muhammad Badakshi, Saikh Burhan-ud-din and Shaikh Siraj-ud-din Junadi. Banda Nawaz wrote a number of works in Arabic particularly a commentary on Quran, which achieved the title 'Unimul Maani', besides glosses on 'Tafsir Kashsbafznd Mashariqu-l-Anwar'. Shaikh Ala-ud-din also composed Fiqb Makhdutni, Tafsir-I-Mabaimi, Adillat-ul-Tawhid, etc.