List of Nizams of Hyderabad (1724 – 1948)

Hyderabad is one of the most liveable and prosperous cities in India. Located in the southern region of India, Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana and has a booming economy, a flourishing IT industry and low crime rates.

But did you know that Hyderabad was also the capital of the princely state of Hyderabad for almost two hundred years? The state of Hyderabad, now comprising the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, was ruled by the Nizam for more than two centuries, from 1724 to 1948.

Read on to find out more about the rich heritage of Hyderabad and the list of Nizams of Hyderabad from 1724 to 1948.

Who were the Nizams of Hyderabad?

Hyderabad was formed as an independent successor state of the Mughal Empire and later came under the protection of the British East India Company. Hyderabad was the richest princely state during the reign of the British Empire and its Nizams were often touted as the richest men in the world. But who were the Nizams and how did they become rulers of Hyderabad?

Nizam, short for Nizam-ul-Mulk, and also called Asaf Jah, means “Administrator of the Kingdom”. The first Nizam of Hyderabad was Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi. Mir Qamaruddin was a general of the Mughal Empire and had friendly relations with Aurangzeb.

Mir Qamaruddin became viceroy of the Deccan after the death of Aurangzeb and ruled the Mughal provinces in southern India from 1714 to 1719. After rebelling against the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah, Mir Qamaruddin proclaimed himself Nizam of Hyderabad. He was conferred the title Asaf Jah by Muhammad Shah in 1925. The Nizam’s rule came to an end after the accession of Hyderabad to India in 1948.

Related: Mir Osman Ali Khan: India’s richest person of all time

List of Nizams of Hyderabad (1724-1948)

The Asaf Jahi dynasty produced 7 rulers or Nizams of Hyderabad. After the demise of Asaf Jah I, his sons, Nasir Jung and Salabat Jung, and his grandson Muzaffar Jung ruled for a few years each, but were not recognized as Nizam-ul-Mulk. Finally, Mir Nizam Ali Khan, son of Asaj Jah I, succeeded his father and received the title Asaf Jah II. Here is the list of officially recognized Nizams of Hyderabad of the Asaf Jahi dynasty.

Asaph Jah I

Asaph Jah I

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/royalark.net

Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi was a general of the Mughal empire and a friend of Aurangzeb. Mir Qamaruddin’s family traces its origins to modern-day Uzbekistan, and he was also a descendant of Abu Bakr, the first caliph of Islam. After Aurangzeb’s death, Mir Qamaruddin took advantage of the war of succession between Aurangzeb’s sons and maneuvered his position to become the permanent ruler of the Deccan. Later, Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah gave him the title Asaf Jah and thus began the Asaj Jahi dynasty.

Asaph Jah II

Asaph Jah II

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/royalark.net

Asaf Jah’s death in 1748 caused political upheaval in Hyderabad, and his sons Nasir Jung and Muzaffar Jung and his grandson Salabat Jung ruled for 14 years in his place. However, neither was officially recognized. Mir Qamaruddin’s fourth son, Mir Nizam Ali Khan Siddiqi, ascended the throne in 1962 after defeating Salabat Jung, and reigned for almost half a century until 1803. Asaf Jah II was known as a fierce military leader who won many battles against the Marathas. However, he was later defeated at the Battle of Rakshasbhuvan by Madhavrao I and Rughunathrao.

Asaph Jah III

Asaph Jah III

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/royalark.net

Nawab Mir Akbar Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Sikander Jah, was the second son of Asaj Jah II and succeeded his father as Asaf Jah III. He is known for his peaceful but financially lagging reign. Asaf Jah III also spread communal harmony among religions by commissioning a Sikh regiment in his army and building the Rambagh temple in Hyderabad.

Asaph Jah IV

Asaph Jah IV

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/royalark.net

Mir Faqunda Ali Khan succeeded his father Asaf Jah III as Nizam of Hyderabad in 1829 and ruled until his death in 1857. Asaf Jah IV inherited a financially weak kingdom, but still developed Hyderabad thanks to loans from the Arabs, Rohillas and the British. . He finally ceded part of his territory to the British to settle all of his debts.

Asaf Jah V

Asaf Jah V

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/royalark.net

Afzal ad-Dawlah succeeded his father, Mir Faqunda, as Nizam of Hyderabad and Asaf Jah V. His reign was marked by widespread peace and little unrest. Asaf Jah V reformed the judicial systems, built the first railway and telegraph networks and established the Hyderabad Medical College, which later became the Osmania Medical College. He died at the age of 41 in 1869, just 12 years after becoming Nizam.

Asaph Jah VI

Asaph Jah VI

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi was the youngest Asaj Jahi Nizam and ascended the throne at just two years and seven months. He was the first nizam to receive Western education and governed his state with a modernized approach. Asaf Jah VI took serious measures to abolish the abominable practice of Sati in his kingdom. The Nizam also approved several administrative reforms and made important contributions to the development of Hyderabad railways. He died of a sudden stroke in 1911 at the age of 46.

Asaph Jah VII

Asaph Jah VII

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Mir Osman Ali Khan was the last official Nizam of Hyderabad and was deposed in 1948 after the incorporation of Hyderabad into independent India. Asaf Jah VII was the richest man in India at the time, with an estimated net worth of over $200 billion. He wanted to remain independent and rule Hyderabad, but was forced to abdicate the throne to him. Asaf Jah VII was appointed His Exalted Highness for his contributions of £25 million to the British during the First World War. Asaf Jah VII lived an extravagant life and used a 185-carat diamond as a paperweight. The Nizam was also a visionary: he established Osmania University in Hyderabad and was the first to separate the judiciary from the executive in 1921.

Asaph Jah VIII*

Asaph Jah VIII*

Image Source: India Today

After the accession of Hyderabad to India in 1948, the Nizam’s government was dissolved. However, the title of Nizam of Hyderabad passed to Mukarram Jah, grandson of the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali. Like his predecessors, Mukarram Jah was also the richest man in India, at least until the 1980s. Jah was a Nizam claimant and had no powers. He resided in Istanbul, Turkey, for most of his life and passed away on January 15, 2023.

Related: List of 10 Major Battles Won by Mughals

Officially recognized Nizams of Hyderabad of the Asaf Jah dynasty

Qualification

Name

Reign

Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I

Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan

July 31, 1724 to June 1, 1748

Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah II

Mir Nizam Ali Khan

July 8, 1762 to August 8, 1803

SikanderJah, Asaf Jah III

Mir Akbar Ali Khan

August 8, 1803 to May 21, 1829

Nasir-ud-Daula, Asaf Jah IV

Mir Farqunda Ali Khan

May 21, 1829 to May 16, 1857

Afzal-ud-Daula, Asaf Jah V

Mir Tahniyath Ali Khan

May 16, 1857 to February 26, 1869

Asaf Jah VI

Mir Mahboob Ali Khan

February 26, 1869 to August 29, 1911

Asaf Jah VII

Mir Osman Ali Khan

August 29, 1911 to September 17, 1948

Unofficial Nizams of Hyderabad

Qualification

Name

Reign

nasirjung

Mir Ahmed Ali Khan

June 1, 1748 to December 16, 1750

MuzaffarJung

Mir Hidayat Muhi-ud-din Sa’adullah Khan

December 16, 1750 to February 13, 1751

SalabatJung

MirSa’id Muhammad Khan

February 13, 1751 to July 8, 1762

Asaph Jah VIII

Mir Barkat Ali Khan Siddiqui Mukarram Jah

February 24, 1967 to January 15, 2023

Also Read: List of Peshwas: Loyal Minister of Marathas

Also Read: List of Mughal Emperors

Categories: Optical Illusion
Source: sef.edu.vn

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