(Last Updated on : 07/04/2009)
The seven Nizams of the Asaf Jahi dynasty ruled the Deccan for nearly 224 years, right up to 1948. During the Asaf Jahi period, Persian, Urdu, Telugu and Marathi developed simultaneously. The highest official positions were given to deserving persons irrespective of their religion.
The offical language was up to 1893 and then Urdu up to 1948. The rule of the seven Nizams saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Huge reservoirs like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabadhra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were built. Hyderabad, under the Nizams`, was the largest princely state in India. Areawise it was as big as England and Scotland put together. The state had its own currency, mint, railways, and postal system. There was no income tax. Soon after India gained independence, Hyderabad state merged with the Union of India. On November 1, 1956 the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states, and Hyderabad became the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
The dynasty that gave Hyderabad its unique significance was the Asaf Jahi emperire. Following the illustrious era of the Qutb Shahis, the city of Hyderabad came under the rule of the mighty Mughal Aurangazeb. Mir Qamaruddin, the son of an able officer of Aurangazeb was a favourite of the emperor. He served as a minister under the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah and was conferred with the title of Asaf Jah. Consequently he rose to the post of the Viceroy of Deccan at a very young age. In due course, he wielded such undisputed power that the enraged Aurangazeb ordered his assassination. The task was entrusted to Mubariz Khan, the local governor of Hyderabad. In the bargain, Mubariz Khan was killed inA.D. 1724.
Asaf Jah assumed the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk and conducted himself as an independent prince. This led to the establishment of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, named after the title of its founder. The Asaf Jahi dynasty traversed seven generations from A.D. 1724 to 1948, a period much longer than the preceding Qutb Shahis. The state covered an extensive 95,337 sq. miles -an area larger than Mysore or Gwalior. With the diversity of languages and peoples, sheer size and culture, Hyderabad gained a nationwide importance under this dynasty. Asif Jah passed away in 1748, at the ripe old age of 77. He is remembered as a resolute and able administrator, yet devoted to his family and friends. He laid the firm foundations of the Asaf Jahi dynasty in the Deccan.
The Rulers - Mir Qamaruddin (1724-1748)
Mir Qamaruddin was a brave heart, a courageous warrior and extremely loyal to the Mughal emperor. He was born on 11th August 1691. Aurangazeb called him Qamaruddin. At the age of six he came to the court with his father and was awarded the title of "Munsab". The emperor was highly impressed by him. At the age of 20 he received the title "Chin Qalich Khan" from Emperor Aurangazeb and was soon given the governorship of the Bijapur.
Nadir Shah`s invasion of Delhi took place in 1738. It was Mir Qamaruddin who intervened and negotiated a successful truce.
Nizam Ali Khan (1748-1803)
Nizam Ali Khan`s reign was one of the most important chapters in the history of the Asaf Jahi dynasty.The fourth son of the Nizam-ul-Mulk, Nizam Ali Khan was born on 24th February 1734. At the age of 28 years he assumed the Subedari of the Deccan and ruled it for almost 42 years - the longest period among the Nizams. Among his efforts to solidify the Nizam Empire was the shift of the Deccan capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad. He ruled the Deccan at a most critical period. He protected the Deccan from the attack of the Marathas and Tipu Sultan of Mysore by signing a mutual protection treaty with the British. He was brought under a subsidiary alliance of the British 1798.
Nizam Ali Khan died at at the age of 63 in 1803. His reign played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Nizam dynasty. He was buried at the Mecca Masjid alongside the tomb of his mother Umda Begum. Nizam Ali Khan was remembered as an efficient administrator and regent till his death.
Mir Akbar Ali Khan (1803-1829)
After the death of Nizam Ali Khan, Mir Akbar Ali Khan became the Subedar Jah and this was ratified by the Emperor Shah Alam Khan who also conferred all his father`s titles on Sikander Jah. Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah was born on 1 lth November 1768.
Mir Farkhunda Ali Khan (1829-1857)
The eldest son of Sikander Jah, Mir Farkhanda Ali Khan Nusir-ud-Daulu succeeded his father on 23rd may 1829. He was born in Bidar on 25th April 1794. During the reign of his father a number of British officers were employed in several civil services. He continued in the footsteps of his father.
Mir Tahniath Ali Khan (1857-1869)
The eldest son of Nawab Nasir-ud-daula, Mir Tahniath Ali Khan Afzal-ud-daula ascended the throne on 18th may 1857. He was born on 11th October 1827. The Indian Mutiny started on 17th July 1857 Rohilas attacked the residency but Sir Salar Jung put down the attack with a firm hand. Similarly trouble started in Sholapur and when the Maharaja of Sholapur was unable to control it, Sholapur was transferred to the Nizam by the English which yielded Rs. 21 lakh per annum but Berar was retained in trust by the British for the purpose specified in the treaty of 18 5 3.
Mir Mahboob Ali Khan (1866-1911)
Mir Mahboob Ali Khan was born on 17th August 1866. He was the only son of Nawab Afzal-ud-Daula. When his father died he was two years and seven months old. He was installed as the Munsab by Sir Salar Jung the Great, Nawab Rasheeduddin Khan, Shar-ul-Ummul and the Resident, who functioned as the Reyab. Shar-ul-Ummul passed away on 12th December, 1881 and Salar Jung became the sole regent. He was remembered as an efficient administrator and regent till his death.
Mir Osman Ali Khan (1911-1948)
Born in Hyderabad on 5th April 1886 at Purani Haveli Mir Osman Ali Khan was the heir-apparent. Great attention was paid to his education and eminent scholars were engaged to teach him English, Urdu, Persian. On 14th April 1906 he was married to Dulhan Pasha Begum, daughter of Nawab Jahangir Jung, at Eden Bagh at the age of 21.