Malik Ambar was born in 1548 in Alhura, Ethiopia. He was sold by his parents as a slave, he became a warlord in the valley of the Deccan who stood up to the great Mughal emperors.
Who can believe that a slave, sold when he was still young, would become one of the most respected and fearest warlords of India.
He was first sold as a slave by his parent in Ethopia, second time sold to Yemen and end up in the slave market of Baghdad.
Arrived in India around 1570, Chengiz Khan takes him under his wing. With him, Malik Ambar learned military and administrative strategies. At the death of his master, he was freed by the wife of Chengiz Khan.
In the last decade of the 16th century, he took command of thousand men who like him, were Habshis slaves (from Ethiopia). In 1595, Malik Ambar harassed the supply lines of the Mughal empire largely adopting the guerrilla tactics. A skilled diplomat and administrator, he succeeded in uniting Habshis and Marathas in the same army against the Mughals.
Jehangir, the great Mughal, gave him such a fierce hatred that he asked an artist to paint him throwing arrows into the decapitated head of Malik Ambar. This fantasy will never happen because until the death of the latter the Mughals have failed to take control of the Deccan.
In 1610, Malik Ambar created the city of Khadki, later which became Aurangabad. He offered this city a modern and envied irrigation system throughout the world.
Before his death on May 14, 1628, he trained Shivaji’s grandfather, who was Maloji. Because of Malik Ambar´s legacy, the Marathas, led by Shivaji, fought Aurangzeb and imposed their rules on this part of the Deccan.
Ironically, the tomb of Malik Ambar is a few hundred meters from one of his sworn enemies, named Aurangzeb.