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Ganj Ali Khan

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Title: Ganj Ali Khan  
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Subject: Safavid governors of Kerman, Safavid governors of Qandahar, Safavid governors of Sistan, 1620s deaths, Mughal–Safavid War (1622–23)
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Ganj Ali Khan

Picture of the Ganjali Khan Complex, one of the many buildings that were made under Ganj Ali Khan.

Ganj Ali Khan (Persian: گنج علی خان or گنجعلیخان‎‎) was a military officer in Safavid Iran of Kurdish origin, who served as governor in various provinces and was known for his loyal service to king (shah) Abbas I. Ganj Ali Khan continuously aided the Shah on almost all of his military campaigns until his own death in 1624/5. He was also a great builder, the Ganjali Khan Complex being one of his finest achievements.


Ganj Ali Khan was born in Herat in Khorasan, where he grew up with Abbas I when the latter was still a prince. They both became close friends, and continued to do so when Abbas I ascended the Safavid throne in 1587.[1] In 1596, Abbas I, after having suppressed a rebellion in Kerman and put an end to Qizilbash governorship of the place, appointed Ganj Ali Khan as its governor. One year later, Ganj Ali Khan fought against the Uzbeks, and later took part in the Safavid campaign to capture Bukhara in 1602/3.[2] Furthermore, he also took part in the Ottoman–Safavid War of 1603–18.[3]

In the mid 1600s, the Zoroastrian community of Kerman protested against the hostile treatment by the local Islamic clergy, and also accused Ganj Ali Khan of seizing and destroying their homes to make space for his construction projects. This made Abbas travel to Kerman to investigate the matter in 1606, where he found that Ganj Ali Khan was not the real perpetrator. Abbas then returned to his capital, Isfahan, where he issued an edict that ordered protection for the Zoroastrians.[4]

In 1611, a rebellion in

Preceded by
Biktash Khan
Governor of Kerman
1596 – 1624/5
Succeeded by
Tahmasp Quli Khan
Preceded by
Governor of Sistan
1596 – 1624/5
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Office created
Governor of Qandahar
1622 – 1624/5
Succeeded by
Ali Mardan Khan
  • Matthee, Rudi (2014). "KERMAN vii. In the Safavid Period". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 
  • Matthee, Rudi (2010). "KANDAHAR iv. From The Mongol Invasion Through the Safavid Era". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XV, Fasc. 5. pp. 478–484. 
  • Parizi, Mohammad-Ebrahim Bastani (2000). "GANJ-ʿALĪ KHAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. X, Fasc. 3. pp. 284–285. 
  • Blow, David (2009). Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who became an Iranian Legend. London, UK: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.  
  • Matthee, Rudi (2011). Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–371.  
  • Babaie, Sussan (2004). Slaves of the Shah: New Elites of Safavid Iran. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–218.  
  • Newman, Andrew J. (2008). Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–281.  
  • Roemer, H.R. (1986). "The Safavid period". The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5: The Timurid and Safavid periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 189–351.  


  1. ^ Babaie 2004, p. 94.
  2. ^ Newman 2008, p. 184.
  3. ^ a b c Parizi 2000, pp. 284–285.
  4. ^ a b Matthee 2014.
  5. ^ Matthee 2010, pp. 478–484.


[4].Tahmasp Quli Khan and the governorship of Kerman to a certain [3]Ali Mardan Khan He later died in 1624/5, while the governorship of Qandahar went to his son [5].Qandahar of newly captured city In 1622, Ganj Ali Khan was appointed as the governor of the [3]

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