Burhanpur was plundered in 1685 by the Marathas, and repeated battles were fought in its neighborhood during the struggle between the Marathas and Mughals for supremacy in India. In 1739 the Mughals yielded to the demand of the Marathas for a fourth of the revenue, and in 1760 the Nizam of the Deccan ceded Burhanpur to the Peshwa, who in 1778 transferred it to Sindhia. In the Second Anglo-Maratha War the army led by General Arthur Wellesley, afterwards the Duke of Wellington, took Burhanpur (1803), but the treaty of the same year restored it to Sindhia. Burhanpur remained a portion of Sindhia's dominions until 1860, when, in consequence of certain territorial arrangements, the town and surrounding estates were ceded to the British government.
Under the Mughals, the city covered an area of about 5 mile² (13 km²), and was about 11 mile (18 km) in circumference. In the Ain-t-Akbari it is described as a large city, with many gardens, inhabited by all nations, and abounding with craftsmen. Sir Thomas Roe, who visited it in 1614, found that the houses in the town were only mud cottages, except the prince's house, the chans and some few others. In 1901 the city population was 33,343.
Burhanpur was celebrated for its muslins, flowered silks, and brocades, which, according to Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who visited it in 1668, were exported in great quantities to Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Russia and Poland. The gold and silver wires used in the manufacture of these fabrics were drawn with considerable care and skill; and in order to secure the purity of the metals employed for their composition, the wire-drawing under the native rule was done under government inspection. The town of Burhanpur and its manufactures were long on the decline, but in the early twentieth century they made a slight recovery.
The buildings of interest in the town are a palace, built by Akbar, called the Lal Kila or the Red Fort, and the Jama Masjid or Great Mosque, built by Ali Khan in 1588. A considerable number of Dawoodi Bohras, a class of Muslim merchants, reside here.
During this period they built forts, gardens, mosques, etc. which still depicts the architectural marvels of that time. Shahi Jama Masjid, Shahi Qila, Aasirgarh fort, Salem Shahi Eidgah, Bibi ki Masjid to name few of them. Farooqi's ruled from the fort of Aasirgarh, which remained unconquered during their time.
It is said that Hazrat Burhanuddin Gharib started his journey from Delhi to Daulatabad on summon from his Murshid Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dehlvi. His caravan reached amid dense forests at the bank of river Tapti where they stayed in a small village called Vasanna or Basanna. He was very much impressed by the tranquility and beauty of this place. In evening Hazrat Burhanuddin held prayers at this place and prayed to Allah to have a city at this place. Next morning his caravan took off towards Daulatabad and reached here on 720 Hijr. He spread his teachings and worked for the welfare of the people for rest of his life. He died in 1338 A.D. or 738 Hijr.
According to the historical extracts, Malik Raja Ibn Khan "wazir of Daulatabad" of Farooqi dynasty was the follower of Hazrat Sayed Zainuddin Daud Shirazi In the period of Firoze shah Togloqe he was appointed the governor of Khandesh. At the request of Malik Raja Ibn Khan Hazrat Sayyed Zainuddin Daud Shirazi gave permission to build a city of Zainabad on the other side of the river Tapti in the name of his pir-o-murshid. Unfortunately Malik Raja Ibn Khan could not start the work in his lifetime. He passed on this responsibility to his son Naseer khan. When Naseer khan Farooqi became the ruler of Khandesh, first he conquered Aasirgarh fort in 801 Hijr then according to the will of his father and desire of his pir-o-murshid he laid the foundation of the City of Burhanpur in 1407 A.D or 809 Hijr. The prayers of Hazrat shah Burhanuddin Gharib Khuladabadiwere answered.
Burhanpur is a historical place and have followers of all religion. And all the religions are equally respected. Thousands of Bohras from Bohra community live here. About 3 KM from Burhanpur There is a village called Lodhi which was founded by a king from Lodhi family. Here is the cemetery for Dawodi Bohra Muslims which is famous by the name Dargah-E-Hakimi. It is also a religious shrine for the community. It has a huge and beautiful gate. As we enter the gate, In the front is a beautiful garden surrounded by small and large rooms for the Pilgrims. It provides free food and accommodation to the Pilgrims. On the left is a small but beautiful gate which leads to the shrine. The campus is surrounded by the wall and the floor is white marble tiled. In the front is a small tomb which is beautifully made of marble. The Marble is engraved with flowers and leaves. In the middle of this tomb is the initial grave of Syedi Abdulqadir Hakimuddin (AQ). It is believed that there was a dispute regarding the burial of his body and three weeks later the grave was dug again. The crowd there at that time was surprised and amazed to see that the dead body was so live, fresh and tidy and there was nothing else but the body. They were ashamed for what they had done and he was reburied to the present place a few yards away in the same campus.
Syedi Abdulqadir Hakimuddin (AQ) was born in Rampura on 14 Jamadil Awal 1077 Hijri. His father Bawa Khan Saheb sent him to Ahmedabad under the parental guidance of Syedna Abdul Tayyid Zakiuddin Saheb (AQ). Syedna Safiuddin Saheb, son of Syedna Abdul Tayyib Zakiuddin Saheb (AQ) took the responsibility of his education. He was a very intelligent and at a very young age learnt the Quranand committed it to memory. He came to Burhanpur in 1142 Hijri on his way of preaching Islam. He served the community up to his last breath. He was a great learned person in his time. He was a great writer in Urdu, Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic. He translated the contents of some Sanskrit books in to Arabic in a book called "Qalila Wadhima". He died at the age of 65 on 5 Shawal 1142 Hijri (1730). The 39th Dai (head) of Bohra community Syedna Ibrahim Vajihuddin Saheb (AQ ) is the son of Syedi Abdulquadir Hakimuddin Saheb (AQ). The present Dai Syedna Burhanuddin saheb is the 52nd dai in that line of succession.
Since independence, Burhanpur has been represented in the state and national assemblies by different political parties. In the last 10 years, it has been reprensented by independent candidates, Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. Current Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Mr Hamid Kazi represents Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Prior to him in 2003, Ms Manjushree Thakur (female) was elected MLA representing Indian National Congress. In 1998, her father Late Mr. Shiv Kumar Thakur fought elections. He tried hard to get an Indian National Congress ticket but was denied because of internal politics of Indian National Congress. Rather than support the Indian National Congress nominated candidate as a true Congressman, he chose to become a rebel and fight elections on his own. He openly vowed that neither he, nor anyone from his family, will ever fight on Indian National Congress ticket again. In keenly fought 1998 elections, Indian National Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party candidates cut into each other's votes and Mr. Shiv Kumar Thakur won unexpectedly as an independent candidate by a narrow margin. However when the results were declared, he suddenly died mysteriously. His death was considered a conspiracy by many, though officially the cause of death was claimed to be heart failure. The actual cause of death could not be established because his family members did not consent for post mortem examination. Many believe it was a deliberate act of poisoning by someone from within his own family. Because of his death, government declared the elections to be held again. His daughter Ms Manjushree Thakur, immediately after his death, approached Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi. She is said to have apologized for her father's rebellious behavior and sought Congress ticket to fight the re-elections required due to her father's sudden death in suspicious circumstances. Regardless of the conspiracy theory, his daughter was the chief beneficiary who rode the sympathy wave to win the elections by record margin in 1999. Being a thirty two year old woman just entering politics, people had great expectations from her. She however could not deliver the promises in her tenure from 1999 - 2003. No development projects were initiated, even the ongoing projects either got delayed or cancelled. And while the common man was suffering on the streets of Burhanpur, she went for vacation to spend time in many countries of Europe on Tax payer's money. It is believed that she misused her powers to gain illegal property and to harass innocent people. It is rumoured that she had many relationships outside her marriage. Because of her licentious behavior, her husband also abandoned her. But, in spite of widespread dissatisfaction, she was able to secure Indian National Congress ticket to fight the 2003 general elections. The Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi also addressed rally in Burhanpur since the party had information that Burhanpur seat was a weak one because of the past track record of the sitting MLA. Though she was able to get all government support because of the rule of Indian National Congress in the state, however she did not get any support from within her own family, even one of her uncles fought against her in elections. Also Manjushree Thakur did not get the benefit of sympathy vote she got earlier. Consequently, she lost elections in 2003 terribly and could come only third in the tally though she was able to save the deposit from being forfeited. In 2003, Mr Hamid Kazi was declared as winner. Mr Kazi has done remarkably well in the past five years given the fact that he is the only one representative from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The development work however still leaves a lot to be done. But the image of Mr Hamid Kazi has been clean and there are no rumors about his bad character. The 2008 elections will reveal the new twists and turns in the political history of Burhanpur.