Nizam of Hyderabad
|Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad|
|Coat of Arms|
|Osman Ali Khan|
|First monarch||Qamaruddin Khan|
|Last monarch||Osman Ali Khan|
|Style||His Exalted Highness|
|Official residence||Chowmahalla Palace|
|Monarchy started||c. 1720|
|Monarchy ended||17 September 1948|
|Current pretender||Mukarram Jah|
Nizam  was the title of the native sovereigns of Hyderabad State, India, since 1719. They belonged to the Asaf Jah dynasty. The dynasty was founded by Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi, a viceroy of the Deccan under the Mughal emperors from 1713 to 1721. After Aurangzeb's death in 1707, the Mughal Empire fell apart and the viceroy in Hyderabad said he was independent. From 1798 Hyderabad was one of the princely states of British India, but it kept local control.
Seven Nizams ruled Hyderabad for two centuries until Indian independence in 1947. The Asaf Jahi rulers used money to support much literature, art, architecture, culture, jewelry and rich food. The Nizams ruled the state until September 1948 after independence from the British.
Family origins[change | change source]
The Asaf Jahi dynasty began near Samarkand. The family came to India from Baghdad in the late 17th century. They were direct descendants of the first Khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Abu Baker Al-Siddiq (R.A).
Origin of the Nizam title[change | change source]
Rise of the Nizams[change | change source]
The first Nizam ruled in place of the Mughal emperors. After Aurangzeb died, the Nizams left the Mughals to make an independent kingdom. When the British got power over India, the Nizams were allowed to continue to rule for the British. The Nizams kept power in Hyderabad State until 17 September 1948. Hyderabad then became part of the new Indian Union.
The Asaf Jah dynasty had only seven rulers. However, for 13 years after the rule of the first Nizam, three of his sons (Nasir Jung, Muzafar Jung and Salabath Jung) ruled. They were not officially recognized as the rulers.
A legend about the first Nizam says that, on one of his hunting trips he was offered some kulchas (an Indian bread) by a holy man. He asked the Nizam to eat as many as he could. The Nizam ate seven kulchas and the holy man predicted that seven generations of his family would rule the state.
By tradition no Nizam has ever left India, even if there was good a reason.
Hyderabad did not join the first war of Indian Independence of 1857 against the British. Therefore its Royal Family had special, official status of Faithful Ally with Britain.
Palaces of the Nizams[change | change source]
The Asaf Jahis were built many palaces.
Other landmarks like the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Jubilee Hall, Asafia library, The Assembly building, the Osmania Arts College and the Osmania Medical College are some of their important buildings.
The last Nizam[change | change source]
After the British left India in 1947, the princely state of Hyderabad did not join either of the new dominions of India or Pakistan. The Nizam's rule ended on 17 September 1948. His soldiers surrendered to Indian soldiers.
All Nizams are buried in the royal graves at the Makkah Masjid near Charminar in Hyderabad. Only the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan is buried in a different place. His mausoleum is in the Judi Mosque facing King Kothi Palace.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Zubrzycki, John (2006). The Last Nizam: An Indian Prince in the Australian Outback. Australia: Pan Macmillan.
- Regani, Sarojini (1988) [First published 1963]. Nizam-British Relations, 1724-1857. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company.
- Hastings, Fraser (1865). Our Faithful Ally, the Nizam. London: Smith, Elder & Co.. http://books.google.com/books?id=FIBCAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb.
- Briggs, Henry George (1861). The Nizam: His History and Relations With the British Government, Volume 1. London: B. Quaritch. http://books.google.com/books?id=TXxDAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb.
- Lynton, Harriet Ronken; Rajan, Mohini (1974). The Days of the Beloved. University of California Press.
- University of Queensland feature
- The Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Robert Browning: "I eased in Asia the Nizam Of a monstrous brood of vampyre-bats"
- Mughal Administration of Deccan Under Nizamul Mulk Asaf Jah, 1720-48 A.D.By M. A. Nayeem, Indian Council of Historical Research, University of Poona, Dept. of History 
"The Days of the Beloved" Harriet Ronken Lynton and Mohini Rajan, Berkeley University Press
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Nizam of Hyderabad|
- historic city noted for its many monuments, temples, churches, mosques, and bazaars
- Asaf Jahi Dynasty with Genealogical Tree and Photos
- Photos on Columbia University website
- University of Queensland
- New York Times - A Graceful City of Two Cultures
- Detailed genealogy of the Nizams of Hyderabad
- Article on some aspects of life in erstwhile Hyderabad state
- History of Hyderabad state
- Narendra Luther, An authority on History of Hyderabad
- The lost world Article by historian William Dalrymple, from The Guardian
- Rare colour footage of accession ceremony of the 8th Nizam of Hyderabad in 1967 (Youtube)