The history of Ahmednagar Sultanate began with the downfall of the Bahmani or Deccan Sultanate. As the Bahmani Kingdom went into decline, it split up into five Sultanates, one of them being the Nizamshahi Sultanate of Ahmednagar. Founded in1490 CE, the Nizamshahi was one of the strongest sultanate to rise from the declining Bahmans. It was established by Malik Ahmad Shah Bahri, who had served as the governor of Junnar under Bahman rule. He initially established capital at Junnar, and later shifted to Ahmednagar. His successor, Burhan Nizam Shah, established an alliance with the Vijayanagara Empire. Hussain Shah, who succeeded Burhan Shah, however, joined the alliance that defeated Vijayanagara.
Chand Bibi, a well-known princess of the Sultanate, resisted invasions from the Mughal Empire to such an extent that the Mughals were able to capture Ahmednagar only after her death in 1600 CE.
Under the Nizamshahi rule, art and architecture flourished. Two fine examples of Nizamshahi architecture is Faria Bagh and Lakad Mahal. Many forts like Junnar and Lohagad were greatly improved and further fortified. Nizamshahi art was set along the lines of contemporary sultanates in Bijapur and Golconda. It developed a unique and refined stly that quite distinct from Mughal art.
The Nizams also issued coins, but only in Copper from a few mints in the kingdom. They are attributed based on the year it was issued in, combined with the mint it was issued from.
Continuous war between the Sultanates of Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golconda to rule the Deccan region showcases the political situation of the region. Berar and Bidar were smaller sultanates and formed matrimonial alliances with other kingdoms. Ahmednagar was under constant threat from the Mughals who were expanding their empire and Shah Jahan managed to annex the Ahmednagar Sultanate completely, only in 1636 CE when Aurangzeb, before his accession, defeated the last Nizam.