The sultanate reached the peak of its power during the vizierate (1466–1481) of Mahmud Gawan. After 1518 the sultanate broke up into five states. Mahmud Gawan was, by common consent, the greatest of the Mohammadan administrators of the Deccan. He was a native of Qawan The most notable personality of the period was Maḥmūd Gāwān, who was a leading administrator during the reigns of Humāyūn and his son Aḥmad III
Mahmud Gawan,  a merchant by vocation, arrived in Bidar kingdom ruled by the Bahamani kings in 1453 A.D. He was well versed in Islamic lore, Persian language and mathematics. He was known for his profound scholarship in the Middle East before coming to India. Due to his perseverance, honesty, simplicity and learning he earned the goodwill of the Bahamani rulers and held important posts under three successive kings. Mahmud III (1462-82 A.D.) as a young boy studied under his tutorship, and became the grand Vazir or Prime Minister when Mahmud became the king and looked after the administration for nearly thirty years.