Hyderabad (Nizam-ul-Mulk, also known as Asaf Jah) was a
monarch of the
Hyderabad State, now divided into
Hyderabad-Karnataka region of
Marathwada region of
Maharashtra. Nizam, shortened from Nizam-ul-Mulk, meaning
Administrator of the Realm, the title of the sovereigns of Hyderabad
State, was the premier Prince of India, since 1724, belonging to the
Asaf Jah dynasty.
The Asaf Jah Dynasty was founded by Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi, a
viceroy of the Deccan under the
Mughal Empire from 1713 to 1721. He
intermittently ruled after Aurangzeb's death in 1707. In 1724, Mughal
control lapsed, and Asaf Jah declared himself independent in
Following the decline of the Mughal power, the region of Deccan saw
the rise of Maratha Empire. The
Nizam himself saw many invasions by
the Marathas in the 1720s, which resulted in the
Nizam paying a
regular tax (Chauth) to the Marathas. The major battles fought between
the Marathas and the
Nizam include Palkhed, Bhopal, Rakshasbhuvan, and
Kharda, in all of which the
Nizam lost. Following the conquest
of Deccan by
Bajirao I and the imposition of chauth by him, Nizam
remained a tributary of the Marathas for all intent and purposes.
In 1805, after the British victory in the Second Anglo-Maratha War,
Hyderabad came under the protection of the British East India
In 1903 the Berar region of the state was separated and merged into
the Central Provinces of British India, to form the Central Provinces
In 1947, at the time of the partition of India, Britain offered the
565 princely states in the sub-continent the options of acceding to
India or Pakistan, or remaining independent.
Hyderabad was the largest and most prosperous state of all princely
states in India. It covered 82,698 square miles (214,190 km2) of
fairly homogeneous territory and had a population of roughly 16.34
million people (as per the 1941 census), of which a majority (85%) was
Hyderabad State had its own army, airline, telecommunication
system, railway network, postal system, currency and radio
broadcasting service. In spite of the overwhelming
Hindus were severely under-represented in government, police and the
military.  Of 1765 officers in the State Army, 1268 were Muslims,
421 were Hindus, and 121 others were Christians, Parsis and Sikhs. Of
the officials drawing a salary between Rs.600-1200 per month, 59 were
Muslims, 5 were Hindus and 38 were of other religions. The
his nobles, who were mostly Muslims, owned 40% of the total land in
Nizam decided to keep
Hyderabad independent, unlike the other
princely states, most of which acceded to
India or to Pakistan
voluntarily. The leaders of the new
Indian Union did not want an
independent - and possibly hostile - state in the heart of their new
country, and were determined to assimilate
Hyderabad into the Indian
Union, by force if necessary. In September 1948, in Operation Polo,
Indian Army marched into Hyderabad, deposed the Nizam, and annexed
the state into the Indian Union.
Seven Nizams ruled
Hyderabad for two centuries until 1947. The Asaf
Jahi rulers were great patrons of literature, art, architecture, and
culture, and rich food. The Nizams patronized aspects of a Persianate
society, copied from their Turco-Mongol Mughal overlords, and which
became central to the Hyderabadi Muslims
Hyderabad state, Osman Ali, had been the richest man
in the world in his time. The Nizams developed the railway,
introduced electricity, and developed roads, airways, irrigation and
reservoirs; in fact, all major public buildings in
Hyderabad City were
built during his reign under the British Raj. He pushed education,
science, and establishment of Osmania University.
3 List of Nizams of
4 Descendants of the last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII
5 Family tree
6 End of the dynasty and removal of the last Nizam
7 Places and things named after the Nizam
8 See also
10 External links
India in 1760. The area under
Nizam Domain is coloured green.
Nizam also spelled as Nezam, comes from
/nɪˈzɑːm/, which itself is derived from the ancient Arabic
language niẓām which means "order" or "arrangement".
Nizām-ul-mulk was a title first used in
Urdu around 1600 to mean
Governor of the realm or Deputy for the whole Empire. The word is
derived from the Arabic language, as in Abu Ali Hasan ibn Ali Tusi (11
April 1018 – 14 October 1092), better known by his honorific title
Nizam al-Mulk (Arabic: نظام الملک, "Order of the
According to Sir
Roper Lethbridge in "The Golden Book of
India"—( 1893); The Nizams belong to a family of the highest
antiquity and importance among Muslim rulers, being lineally descended
from the First khalif Abu Bakr, the successor of the Prophet
Muhammed. The family of Nizam's in
India is descended from Abid
Khan, a Turkoman from Samarkand, who's lineage is traced to Sufi
Shihab-ud-Din Suhrawardi ( 1154–91) of Central Asia. In early
1650s, on his way to hajj, Abid Khan stopped in Deccan, where the
young prince Aurangzeb, then Governor of Deccan, cultivated him. Abid
Khan returned to the service of
Aurangzeb to fight in the succession
wars of 1657–58. After Aurangzeb's enthronement, Abid Khan was
richly rewarded and became Aurangzeb's favourite nobleman. His son
Ghazi Uddin Khan received in marriage, Safiya Khanum, the daughter of
the former imperial prime minister Sa‘dullah Khan. Mir Qamaruddin
Khan, the founder of the line of Nizams, was born of the couple, thus
descending from two illustrious families of the Mughal court.
Ghazi Uddin Khan rose to become a General of the Emperor
played a vital role in conquering Bijapur and Golconda Sultanates of
India in 1686. He also played a key role in thwarting the
rebellion by Prince Akbar and alleged rebellion by Prince
Mu`azzam. Qamaruddin was personally cared by
Aurangzeb and he grew
up with deep reverence for the emperor. Both father and son remained
steadfast in their loyalty to emperor
Aurangzeb until his death in
After Aurangzeb's death and during the war of succession, Qamaruddin
and his father remained neutral by which they escaped the risk of
being on the losing side, they remained marginal players in the Mughal
court during the reigns of
Bahadur Shah I
Bahadur Shah I ( 1707–12) and
Jahandar Shah ( 1712–13). Their successor Farrukhsiyar
( 1713–19) appointed Qamaruddin the governor of Deccan in 1713,
awarding him the title Nizam-ul-Mulk. However, the governorship was
taken away two years later and Qamaruddin withdrew to his estate in
Moradabad. Under the next emperor,
Muhammad Shah ( 1719–48),
Qamaruddin accepted the governorship of Deccan for a second time in
1721. The next year, following the death of his uncle Muhammad Amin
Khan who had been a power-broker in the Mughal Court, Qamaruddin
returned to the Delhi and was made the wazir (prime minister).
According to historian Faruqui, his tenure as prime minister was
undermined by his opponents and a rebellion in Deccan was engineered
against him. In 1724, the
Nizam returned to Deccan to reclaim his
base, in the process making a transition to a semi-independent
In 1724, Asif Jah I defeated
Mubariz Khan to establish autonomy over
the Deccan Suba, named the region
Hyderabad Deccan, and started what
came to be known as the Asif Jahi dynasty. Subsequent rulers retained
Nizam ul-Mulk and were referred to as Asif Jahi Nizams, or
Nizams of Hyderabad.
Nizam I never formally declared
independence from the Mughals. He still flew the Mughal flag and was
loyal to them. He was never crowned or had his own throne or any sign
of sovereignty. In Friday prayers, the sermon would be conducted in
the name of Aurangzeb, and this tradition would continue until the end
Hyderabad State in 1948. The death of Asif Jah I in 1748 resulted
in a period of political unrest as his sons, backed by opportunistic
neighbouring states and colonial foreign forces, contended for the
throne. The accession of Asif Jah II, who reigned from 1762 to 1803,
ended the instability. In 1768 he signed the treaty of Machilipatnam,
surrendering the coastal region to the East
India Company in return
for a fixed annual rent.
Nizam ruled on behalf of the Mughal emperors. After the
death of Aurangzeb, the Nizams split from the Mughals to form an
independent kingdom. When the British achieved paramountcy over India,
the Nizams were allowed to continue to rule their princely states as
client kings. The Nizams retained internal power over
until 17 September 1948 when
Hyderabad was integrated into the new
Indian Union. The Asaf Jah dynasty had only seven rulers; however
there was a period of 13 years after the rule of the first
three of his sons (Nasir Jung, Muzafar Jung and Salabath Jung) ruled.
They were not officially recognised as the rulers. By tradition no
Nizam has ever left
India no matter how good a reason might exist for
doing so, as it was said,[by whom?] "the
Sovereign is too precious to
his people ever to leave India". After the
Nizam family, the next
group in the hierarchy was the Paigah family. The royal family had
matrimonial relations only with them and were the closest group of
nobles during the Nizam's period.
The Nizam's of
Hyderabad throne in Chowmahalla Palace
During the period of
Hyderabad State became the richest.
Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII
Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII and his family including Salar Jung I
were taught by Nawab Sarwar Ul Mulk and Agha Mirza Baig Bahadur, who
was his political advisor, and the senior-most salute state among
the Indian princely states. It was spread over 223,000 km2
(86,000 sq mi) in the Deccan, ruled by the Asaf Jahi
dynasty. The Nizams were conferred with the title of His Exalted
Highness, and "Faithful Ally of the British Government" by the
imperial-colonial British government for their collaborating role in
the wars against
Tipu Sultan of Mysore, the First war of Indian
Independence of 1857–1858, becoming the only Indian prince to be
given both these titles. The rule of the Nizams brought cultural
and economic growth for
Hyderabad city. One example of the wealth of
Nizam rule is the Jewels of the Nizams, which is an international
tourist attraction occasionally displayed in Salar Jung Museum. In
Hyderabad state had an estimated population of 17 million (1.7
crore), and it generated an estimated annual revenue of
£90,029,000. The state had its own currency known as the
Hyderabadi rupee, until 1951. The pace at which the last
Osman Ali Khan amassed wealth made him one of the world's richest men
in 1937 and he was also known for his miserliness. He was
estimated to be worth ₹660 crores (roughly US$2 billion by the then
exchange rates). According to the
Forbes All-Time Wealthiest List
Mir Osman Ali Khan
Mir Osman Ali Khan is the fifth richest man in recorded
history per the figures, with an estimated worth of US$210.8 billion
Forbes as per the growth of the US GDP since that period
and the present exchange-rate of the US dollar against the Indian
rupee. The Nizams set up numerous institutions in the name of the
dynasty including hospitals and schools, colleges, universities that
imparted education in Urdu. Inspired by the Indian Civil Service,
the Nizams established their own local
Hyderabad Civil Service. They
were great engineers: for example, they built large reservoirs. Survey
work on the
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was initiated during this time,
although the actual work was actually completed under the aegis of the
India in 1969.
The Asaf Jahis were prolific builders. Several palaces of the Nizams
Chowmahalla Palace-Official residence of early Nizams
King Kothi Palace
Hyderabad House, New Delhi.
Hill Fort Palace
Other landmarks include the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad,
City College, Public Gardens, also known as Bagh-e-aam, Jubilee Hall,
Asafia library, The Assembly building, Niloufer Hospital, the Osmania
Arts College and the Osmania Medical College.
The Nizams liked the European style of architecture and created a
fusion of European traditions with
Islamic forms and
List of Nizams of
Date of birth
Date of death
Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I
نظامالملک آصف جاہ
Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan
20 August 1671
31 July 1724
1 June 1748
Mir Ahmed Ali Khan
26 February 1712
1 June 1748
16 December 1750
Mir Hidayat Muhi-ud-din Sa'adullah Khan
16 December 1750
13 February 1751
Mir Sa'id Muhammad Khan
24 November 1718
13 February 1751
8 July 1762
16 September 1763
Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah II
نظامالملک آصف جاہ دوم
Nizam Ali Khan
7 March 1734
8 July 1762
6 August 1803
Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III
سکندر جاہ ،آصف جاہ تریہم
Mir Akbar Ali Khan
11 November 1768
6 August 1803
21 May 1829
Nasir-ud-Daula, Asaf Jah IV
ناصر الدولہ ،آصف جاہ چارہم
Mir Farqunda Ali Khan
25 April 1794
21 May 1829
16 May 1857
Afzal-ud-Daula, Asaf Jah V
افضال الدولہ ،آصف جاہ پنجم
Mir Tahniyath Ali Khan
11 October 1827
16 May 1857
26 February 1869
Asaf Jah VI
آصف جاہ شیشم
Mir Mahbub Ali Khan
17 August 1866
26 February 1869
29 August 1911
Asaf Jah VII
آصف جاہ ہفتم
Mir Osman Ali Khan
6 April 1886
29 August 1911
17 September 1948
24 February 1967
Descendants of the last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII
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On 22 February 1937 a cover story by
TIME called Osman Ali Khan, Asif
Jah VII as the wealthiest man in the world
The last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII, had 28 sons and 44
daughters. The Asaf Jah dynasty followed the Order of Precedence of
male primogeniture regardless of the mother's marital status or rank.
Among his children were Azam Jah, Prince of Berar (21 February 1907
– 9 October 1970) the eldest son.
I. Asaf Jah I, Yamin us-Sultanat, Rukn us-Sultanat, Jumlat ul-Mulk,
Nizam ud-Daula, Khan-i-Dauran, Nawab
Mir Ghazi ud-din Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, Fath Jang, Sipah Salar, Nawab
Subadar of the Deccan, 1st
Hyderabad (cr. 1720) (20 August
1671 – 1 June 1748). A senior governor and counsellor in the
Imperial government. Defeated the Imperial forces on 19 June 1720 at
Hasanpur and formed an independent state of his own. Confirmed in his
possessions by Imperial firman and crowned on 31 July. Named
Vice-Regent of the
Mughal Empire by the Emperor
Muhammad Shah on 8
February 1722, secured the province of Berar on 11 October 1724 and
Hyderabad City his new capital on 7 December 1724.
II. Humayun Jah,
Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Ahmad 'Ali Siddiqi, Khan
Bahadur, Nasir Jang, Nawab Subadar of the Deccan, 2nd
Hyderabad (26 February 1712 – k. by the Nawab of Kadapa 16 December
1750; r. 1 June 1748 – 16 December 1750).
Sahibzadi Khair un-nisa Begum. Married Nawab Talib Muhi ud-din
Mutasawwil Khan Bahadur, Muzaffar Jang:
III. Nawab Hidayat Muhi ud-din Sa'adu'llah Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur,
Muzaffar Jang, Nawab Subadar of the Deccan, 3rd
by the Nawab of Kurnool 13 February 1751; r. 16 December 1750 – 13
IV. Amir ul-Mamalik, Asaf ud-Daula, Nawab Said Muhammad Siddiqi, Khan
Bahadur, Zaffar Jang, Nawab Subadar of the Deccan, 4th
Hyderabad (November 1718 – 16 September 1763; r. 13 February 1751
– 8 July 1762). Deposed by his younger brother on 8 July 1762 and
killed in prison the following year, aged 44.
V. Asaf Jah II,
Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir
Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, Fath Jang, Sipah Salar, Nawab Subadar of the
Hyderabad (7 March 1734 – 6 August 1803; r. 8
July 1762 – 6 August 1803)
VI. Asaf Jah III, Muzaffar ul-Mamaluk,
Nawab Mir Akbar 'Ali Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, Fulad Jang, 6th
Hyderabad (11 November 1768 – 21 May 1829; r. 6 August 1803 – 21
May 1829). The first of the dynasty to be officially granted the title
VII. Rustam-i-Dauran, Aristu-i-Zaman, Asaf Jah IV, Muzaffar
Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Farkhanda 'Ali
Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur [Gufran Manzil], Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, Ayn
waffadar Fidvi-i-Senliena, Iqtidar-i-Kishwarsitan Muhammad Akbar Shah
Hyderabad (25 April 1794 – 16 May
1857; r. 21 May 1829 – 16 May 1857).
VIII. Asaf Jah V,
Nizam ul-Mulk, Afzal ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Tahniyat
'Ali Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, 8th
Nizam of Hyderabad,
GCSI (11 October
1827 – 26 February 1869; r. 16 May 1857 – 26 February 1869). The
first of the dynasty to come under British rule.
IX. Rustam-i-Dauran, Arustu-i-Zaman, Wal Mamaluk, Asaf Jah VI,
Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Mahbub
'Ali Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, 9th
GCSI (17 August 1866 – 31 August 1911; r. 26 February
1869 – 31 August 1911). Succeeded his father on 26 February 1869,
ruled under a regency until 5 February 1884, when he was invested with
full ruling powers by the
Viceroy of India.
X. Rustam-i-Dauran, Arustu-i-Zaman, Wal Mamaluk, Asaf Jah VII,
Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Osman
‘Ali Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, Faithful Ally of
the British Government, 10th
Hyderabad and of Berar GCSI,
GBE, Royal Victorian Chain, MP (6 April 1886 – 24 January 1967; r.
31 August 1911 – 26 January 1950). Granted the style of His Exalted
Highness (1 January 1918), the title of Faithful Ally of the British
Government (24 January 1918) and
Hyderabad and of Berar (13
November 1936). The last of the ruling Nizams; ruled absolutely from
his accession until 19 September 1948, when the state was formally
annexed to the Union of India. Maintained semi-ruling and
semi-autonomous status from then until 23 November 1949, when he
accepted the paramountcy of the new Indian government and Constitution
and acceded to the Union. Formally lost his sovereignty, ending 230
years of Asaf Jahi rule, upon the formal promulgation of the
Constitution on 26 January 1950. Served as
Rajpramukh of the new
Hyderabad State from 26 January 1950 until 31 October 1956, when the
post was abolished. Served as a titular monarch from 26 January 1950
until his death.
Azam Jah, Prince of Berar GCIE,
GBE (21 February 1907 – 9 October
1970). Granted the title of His Highness the Prince of Berar (13
November 1936). Passed over in the line of succession in 1967 in
favour of his elder son.
XI. Rustam-i-Dauran, Arustu-i-Zaman, Wal Mamaluk, Asaf Jah VIII,
Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Barakat
‘Ali Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur, Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, 11th
Hyderabad and Berar (b. 6 October 1933; 11th Nizam: 24 January 1967
– 28 December 1971; dynastic head and pretender since then).
Azmat Jah, Nawab Mir Muhammad Azmat ‘Ali Siddiqi, Khan Bahadur (b.
23 June 1960; appointed Prince of Berar and heir apparent: 2002)
The Nizam's daughters had been married traditionally to young men of
the Paigah family. This family belonged to the Sunni sect, and from
the second Nizam's time they had been personal bodyguards of the
italics – Considered pretenders by most historians; refrained from
exercising traditional authority during their reigns.
End of the dynasty and removal of the last Nizam
Hyderabad Campaign (1948)
Hyderabad State in 1909
General El Edroos
General El Edroos (at right) offers his surrender of the Hyderabad
State Forces to Major General (later General and Army Chief) Joyanto
Nath Chaudhuri at Secunderabad.
After the Independence of
India in 1947, the
Nizam of Hyderabad
initially chose to join neither
India nor Pakistan. He later declared
Hyderabad a free, self-governing independent state but the Government
of India, desirous of ending marginalization of the population under
Nizam, refused to accept his point of view citing as reasons:
Hyderabad being surrounded by
India on all sides and not having an
access to the sea. After extensive attempts by
India to persuade the
Nizam to accede to
India failed, the Indian government finally
launched a military operation named
Operation Polo to overthrow his
rule. When the
Indian Army invaded his princely State on 13 September
1948, his overwhelmingly untrained forces were unable to withstand the
Indian army and were defeated. The
Nizam capitulated in surrendering
his forces on 17 September 1948; that same afternoon he broadcast the
news over the State radio network. The
Nizam was forced to accept
accession to the new Republic of India. His abdication on 17 September
1948 marked the end of the dynasty's ambitions. Mir Osman Ali Khan,
the last Nizam, died on Friday 24 February 1967. All the Nizams are
buried in royal graves at the Makkah Masjid near
Hyderabad excepting the last, Mir Osman Ali Khan, who wished to be
buried beside his mother, in the graveyard of
Judi Mosque facing King
Kothi Palace opposite, befitting the rulers in time and
Places and things named after the Nizam
Nizamabad, a city and district in state of Telangana
Jamia Nizamia university
Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway
Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences
Jewels of the Nizams
HMAS Nizam, a Royal Australian Naval vessel named for the
who helped finance her construction
History of Telangana
History of Hyderabad, India
Salar Jung family
List of Sunni Muslim dynasties
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Australian Outback. Australia: Pan Macmillan.
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Asaf Jahi Dynasty
Asaf Jahi Dynasty with Genealogical Tree and Photos
Detailed genealogy of the Nizams of Hyderabad
Rare colour footage of accession ceremony of the 8th
Hyderabad in 1967 (YouTube)
University of Queensland feature
History of Hyderabad
Nizams of Hyderabad
Asaf Jahi Dynasty
Hyderabad Social Service League
Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
Hyderabad District Collectorate
Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority
Salar Jung Museum
Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
Nehru Zoological Park
Salar Jung Museum
Ramoji Film City
Jalagam Vengal Rao Park
List of institutions
List of schools
University of Hyderabad
Birla Institute of Technology & Science
Indian School of Business
Indian Institute of Technology
International Institute of Information Technology
Osmania Medical College
Nalsar University of Law
Deccan College of Medical Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University
Gandhi medical college
Maulana Azad National
Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology
MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences
List of hospitals in Hyderabad
Defence Research and Development Organisation
Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research
Nuclear Fuel Complex
Electronics Corporation of
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories
Industries in Hyderabad
Information technology industry in Hyderabad, Telangana
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
Hyderabad Multi-Modal Transport System
South Central Railway
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Outer Ring Road
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Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station
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List of mosques in Hyderabad
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Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
Mrugavani National Park
Famous people from Hyderabad
List of cities in India
List of cities by population