Nizam of Hyderabad

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Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad
Former Monarchy
Hyderabad Coat of Arms.jpg
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 [1] 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 Nizam of Hyderabad was of Turkic and Hadhrami Arab Descent. They are descendants of the first Khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Sayyadina Abu bakr Siddiq Razi Allahutaala Anha.

Origin of the Nizam title[change | change source]

Nizām-ul-mulk was a title first used in Urdu around 1600. It comes from the Arabic word, nizām (نظام), meaning order, arrangement. The Nizam was also called Ala Hadrat, Ala Hazrat, or Nizam Sarkar.

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.

A cover story by TIME on February 22, 1937 called the last Nizam as the wealthiest man in the world

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 Nizams liked the European style of architecture and created a fusion of European traditions with Hindu and Islamic forms and images.

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. But later he decided to merge with pakistan. Sardar Patel sent representations to the Nizam to join India as Hyderabad's majority citizens wanted to join India, but the Nizam refused. The Indian army entered hyderabad from four sides defeated Hyderabad nizams army men the razakaars. 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]

  1. Urdu: نظام‌‎), a shortened version of Nizam-ul-Mulk (Urdu: نظام‌الملک‎, meaning Administrator of the Realm

  • Zubrzycki, John (2006). The Last Nizam: An Indian Prince in the Australian Outback. Australia: Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-330-42321-2.
  • Regani, Sarojini (1988) [First published 1963]. Nizam-British Relations, 1724-1857. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-7022-195-1.
  • Hastings, Fraser (1865). Our Faithful Ally, the Nizam. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • Briggs, Henry George (1861). The Nizam: His History and Relations With the British Government, Volume 1. London: B. Quaritch.
  • Lynton, Harriet Ronken; Rajan, Mohini (1974). The Days of the Beloved. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02442-7.
  • 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 [1]

"The Days of the Beloved" Harriet Ronken Lynton and Mohini Rajan, Berkeley University Press

Other websites[change | change source]