Asaf Jahi Dynasty - The Nizams

Asaf Jahis ( 1724 AD - 1948 AD) 

1724 A.D - I748 A.D: Asaf Jah I - Mir Kamar-ud-din / Nizam-ul-Mulk

Asaf Jah, the first Nizam, was born in 167I A.D., at Delhi, where he, at an early age, attracted the favourable notice of the emperor Aurangzeb. His original name was Kamar-ud-din, and the title of Asaf Jah was conferred upon him by the emperor Muhammud Shah when he obtained the keys of the fortress of Golconda. He was at that time engaged in re-conquering the posses- sions of the Delhi emperor in southern India, and about the year 1730 A.D. he was confirmed in his appointment as Viceroy of the Deccan by the emperor Muhammud Shah, who not only sent him the title of Asaf Jah, but also some jewels and an elephant,and told him to settle the country, repress the turbulent, punish the rebels, and cherish the people. In 1748 he died in camp, near Burhanpur, and his body was interred near the fort of Daulatabad, where his tomb may be seen to-day.

1748 A.D - 1750 A.D: Mir Ahmed Khan, Nasir Jung

He was succeeded by his second son, Nasir Jung, who had rebelled against him in 1740 A.D., and had then been made a prisoner and confined in the fortress of Kandahar, near Nander. During the reign of this Nizam, M. Dupleix, the governor of the French possessions in India, began to intrigue in Hyderabad, and Nasir Jung col- lected a large army and marched on Pondicherry. But he was killed by one of his own followers before he could accomplish his project

Minster: 1750-1752 : Raja Rajunath Das

1750 A.D -1751 A.D: Muzaffar Jung

In I750 A.D. he was succeeded by Muzaffar Jung, M. Dupleix's puppet. A very interesting account of Muzaffar Jung's visit to Pondicherry and his installation there by M. Dupleix as Subedar of the Carnatic may be found in the French Library at Pondicherry; and we learn that he tried to arrange a marriage between the emperor of Delhi and Mlle Chou-Chou, the step- daughter of M. Dupleix, and that that astute Frenchman had some difficulty in refusing the honour that the Delhi emperor desired to confer upon his family. Muzaffar Jung was murdered during his return journey.

Minster: 1750-1752 : Raja Rajunath Das

1751 A.D - 1761 A.D: Salabat Jung

M. Bussy, the commander of the French troops that had accompanied him, then persuaded the people of Hyderabad to place Salabat Jung upon the gadi. This was done in 1751, and afterwards the French gained much influence in Hyderabad, where territory was assigned to them for the support of their troops. But in 1755, when hostilities commenced in Europe between the French and the English, M. Bussy was obliged to return to Pondicherry, where the Count de Lally required his assistance; and after the departure of " the guardian angel of my life and fortune," as the Nizam called the gallant French captain, Salabat Jung was dethroned by his brother Nizam Ali Khan--the ally of the English- and confined in the fort of Bidar, where he died in 1762.

Minsters: Raja Rajunath Das (1750-1752), Nawab Lashka Khan(1752-I755),  Nawab Shah Nawaz Khan(1755-1758), Nawab Basalut Jung(1758-1760), Raja Partabwunt(1761-1763)

8 July 1762 A.D - 6 August 1803 A.D : Asaf Jah II - Ali Khan

Nizam Ali Khan was the first Nizam who made a treaty with the English. In 1766 he ceded to them the Northern Circars, on condition that he was to be furnished with a subsidiary force in time of war, and should receive six lakhs of rupees annually when no troops were required, he, on his part, promising to assist the British with his troops when called upon to do so. Further treaties were made between the Nizam and the British in 1768, in 1790, and in 1798, when the subsidiary troops were augmented and the Ceded Districts of Madras were made over to the English by the Nizam for the payment of the troops, including the famous Hyderabad Contingent, which had been formed in 1709 by Mir Alum. Nizam Ali Khan died in I803, and was succeeded by his son Sikandar Jah, who died in I829, and was succeeded by his son Nasir-ud-Daula.

Ministers: Raja Partabwunt(1761-1763), Nawab Rukum-ud-Daula (1765-1775),Nawab Vikar-ud- Daula Nawab Samsam-ul-Mulk, Aristo Jah

6 August 1803 A.D - 21 May 1829 A.D: Asaf Jah III - Sikandar Jah

His son Sikandar Jah succeeded Nizam Ali Khan

Ministers: Nawab Mir Alum (1804-1808) grand-father of Sir Salar Jung I, Munir-ul-Mulk (1809-1832)

21 May 1829 A.D - 16 May 1857 A.D: Asaf Jah IV - Nasir-ud-Daula

His son Nasir-ud-Daula  succeeded Sikandar Jah 

Nasir-ud-Daula was a humane and broad- minded ruler, and much beloved by his subjects. He was six feet three inches high, and possessed great bodily strength and a handsome appearance. But he was wanting in energy and ability, and towards the close of his reign he became very self-indulgent. In 1853, the payment of the Contingent troops having fallen into arrears, he made a treaty with the English by which the Districts of Berar, Osmanabad, and the Raichur Doab were ceded to the British, and he pawned his jewels, which were taken to England. In May 1857, just at the commencement of the Mutiny, he died; and on his death-bed he told his son and successor Afzul-ud-Daula, that as the British had always been friendly to the Nizams, so he should continue to be faithful to the English.

Minsters: Munir-ul-Mulk (1809-1832), Raja Chander Lal (1832-1843), Raja Ram Baksh (1843-1846), Nawab Siraj-ul-Mulk (1846-1848), Amjud-ul-Mulk (1848), Nawab Shams-ul-Umara (1848-1849), Raja Ram Baksh (1849-1851), Ganesh Rao (1851), Nawab Seraj-ul-Mulk (1851-1853), Sir Salar Jung I (1853-1858)

16 May 1857 A.D - 26 February 1869 A.D: Asaf Jah V - Afzul-ud-Daula

Nizam Afzul-ud-Daula followed his father's advice, and all through the terrible days of the Mutiny, he, and his minister, Sir Salar Jung I, stood by the English, thus preventing the Mutiny from spreading into southern India. In I858 " Our Faithful Ally " received the thanks of the British Government, and a new treaty was then made between the Nizam and the English by which Osmanabad and the Raichur Doab Districts were restored to the Nizam, the assigned District of Berar being taken in trust by the British Government for the purposes specified in the treaty of 1853. (In November 1902 the assigned District of Berar was leased in perpetuity to the British Government at an annual rental of twenty-five lakhs of rupees.) In 1869 Afzul-ud-Daula died.

Ministers: Sir Salar Jung I (1853-1858)

Mir Turab Ali Khan Bahadur, known as Sir Salar Jung I, was born in 1828, In I853 the Minister, Nawab Seraj-ul- Mulk, died; and his nephew, Nawab Salar Jung, who was then only twenty-five years old, was chosen by Nizam Nasir-ud-Daula to succeed him. Nizam Nasir-ud-Daula was then nearing the close of his reign, and, owing to self- indulgence, he was surrounded by flatterers and plunderers. He had crippled the finances of the State by ceding Berar, Osmanabad and the Raichur Doab to the English, and had even pawned his jewels, which had been taken by Mr. Dighton to England. Some of the institution changes are Central Treasury and a State Bank in Hyderabad city, a Board of Revenue for the purpose of supervising the revenue administration of the country, and a system of police for the districts. The following lands were then defined: Sarf-i-khas (crown) lands; Paigah (Paigah means " stable, " and these lands were originally given for the maintenance of a body of horse called His Highness' Household troops) lands; Jagiv (a form of land tenure common among Mahomedans and dating back to the earliest times) lands; and Khalsa or Government lands. In 1867 the State was divided into five Divisions and seventeen Districts, and Subedars, or Governors, were appointed for the five Divisions and talukdars and tehsildarsfor the districts. The Judicial, Public Works, Medical, Educational, Municipal, and Police Departments were re-organised. And in 1868 Sadr-ul-Mahams or Assistant Ministers were appointed for the Judicial, Revenue, Police, and Miscellaneous Departments. In I869 Nizam Afzul-ud-Daula died, and was succeeded by his infant son Mir Mahabub Ali Khan, and Sir Salar Jung I was then appointed co-regent with Nawab Shams-ul-Umara, an appointment he filled until the day of his death, acting for a portion of the time as sole Regent. 

He rose at 6 A.M., took a cup of tea and proceeded to hold a public durbar, at which the poorest of the people had opportunities to make their representations. The officers of the troops then made their reports and after- wards he went to his private rooms, where he inspected treasury receipts and attended to correspondence. The Nazim (Dispenser of Justice) then had an audience.

At 10-30 A.M. he had breakfast, which lasted for about fifteen minutes. Afterwards he was engaged in miscellaneous business until 12-30 A.M., when he held a second public durbar and granted private interviews and attended to Residency business. After a short siesta and afternoon prayers he received the officers of the Government, bankers, local governors and others. At 5-30 P.M. he walked, rode, or drove and inspected his horses. After dinner and even- ing prayers he attended to his correspondence and at I0 P.M. he went to bed.

Sir Salar Jung I died on the 5th of February I883, and was buried in the family burial place, in the Daira Mir Momin Ceme- tery, in Hyderabad city, which place he is said to have called " the real home of ourrace." A simple stone grave, without name or inscription, marks his last resting place, and beside him lies his son and successor, Sir Salar Jung Il, and near by is the grave of his illustrious ancestor, Mir Alum. His Excellency the Minister, NaWAB MIR YOUSUF Ali KHaN BaHADUR.

26 February 1869 A.D - 29 August 1911 Asaf Jah VI - Mir Mahabub Ali Khan

He was succeeded by his son, Mir Mahabub Ali Khan, who was then only three years old. Sir Salar Jung I and Nawab Shams-ul- Umara were made co-regents, the advice of the British Resident being taken on all important matters, and the Regency continued until I884, when His Highness was invested with sovereign rights and the full enjoyment of an annual income of some ten millions of rupees derived from Sarf-i-khas (crown) lands, to say nothing of crown jewels and precious stones, that are said to be priceless. During the reign of H. H. Nizam Mir Mahabub Ali Khan many improvements were introduced into the State, and the changes brought about by Sir Salar Jung I were further developed. In 1893 the Cabinet and Legislative Councils were formed, and in the latter Council, for the first time in the annals of Hyderabad, the non-official element was allowed a voice in the work of administra- tion, a privilege that has not, so far, been appreciated or developed by His Highness's subjects. Education received much encourage- ment, the valuable State Library was opened, the Guaranteed State Railway became a paying concern, three large spinning and weaving mills and many small ginning and pressing factories came into existence, the Singareni coal fields were developed, and municipal government was fostered in the city and in the suburb of Chadarghat, and was introduced in the form of Local Boards and Local Funds into the Districts. changes made in the four Divisions and the sixteen Districts into which the State was re-divided in I905, the introduction of up-to-date machinery into the State Mint about the same time, and many kindred matters. His Highness Mir Mahabub Ali Khan died in I9II, and was buried in the Cathedral Mosque in Hyderabad city amid the lament- ations of his subjects. He was succeeded by H. H. Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, who, if he lives, will (I quote the words of one of his Ministers) do more for Hyderabad than any Nizam has done before him.

Minsters: Sir Salar Jung II (1884-1886), Sir Asman Jah (1887-1894), Sir Vikar-ul-Umara (1894-1901), Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad (1901-1912)

29 August 1911 A.D - 17 September 1948: Asaf Jah VII - Mir Osman Ali Khan

Minsters: Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad (1901-1912), Nawab Salar Jung III(1912)

Salar Jung Bahadur III, Prime Minister of Hyderabad, was born in June 1889, and he was only one month old when his father, Sir Salar Jung II, died.


The area of the Hyderabad State is 82,698 square miles, and the land is thus divided: 

Sarf-i-khas, or crown land, which is privately owned by H. H. the Nizam. Paigah land, belonging to the descen- dants of the late Sir Asman Jah, Sir Khurshed Jah, and Sir Vikar-ul-Umara, a sort of feudal tenure for the maintenance of troops for the Nizam's service.

Jagir land. Gifts of land made by former Nizams as royal gifts, or for the support of troops for the Nizam's use.

Khalsa, or government land. 

The Sarf-i-khas, Paigah, and Jagir lands make up one-third of the whole area of the State.


In I893 A.D. the consultative body known as the Cabinet Council was added to the institutions of the State. Its President is the Minister, and its members are the assistant ministers. This Council was formed chiefly to assist and advise the Minister in matters of State administration, and it lies in his discretion to refer to it for deliberation any proposal upon which he desires the Council's advice. Also, any assistant minister has the right of asking that any proposal of his may be laid before the Cabinet Council, though the Minister has the right of refusal, subject to His Highness's final commands.

For administrative purposes, the State is divided into four divisions Aurangabad, Medak, Gulbarga, and Warangal and each division is under a revenue commissioner, called the " Subedar." The divisions are further divided into sixteen districts, includ- ing the Sarf-i-khas district, and each district is under a magistrate or collector, called a talukdar. The districts are sub-divided into talukas and tahsils, each under a sub- divisional officer, called second or third talukdar, according to his grade in the service; and two or three talukas are placed under a tahsildar. And each village has its patel or head man

Telingana: Percentage of total area cultivated 38.8. Ditto of cultivated area that is irrigated 130. Rice 10.3. Wheat 0.4. Pulses 5.5. Other crops 83.8. Normal rain-fall 327 inches.

The total population of Hyderabad State was, in I9II A.D., I3,374,676 people, and the distribution of the population as regards religion was then as follows

Hindus 11,626,I46

Mahomedans 1,380,990

Animists 285,722

Christians 54,296

Jains 21,026 

The Census says that during the last decade there has been a twenty per cent. increase of the total population, but the Hindu rate of increase has not kept pace with that of the population as a whole. It points out that the Christian missionaries have made many converts among the depressed classes during the past ten years, and esti- mates the Christian converts at 26,700 persons for that period. The missionaries would, no doubt, place the figures much higher, for they claim to make 7,000 converts each yearin the Hyderabad State at the present time. " No one, of course, returned himself as an animist, " says the Census," but all those who did not say that they professed any other religion, if they belonged to the Andh, Bhil, Erkula, Gond, and Lambada castes, have been classed in the Census of 1911 as animists"; and it goes on to explain that animism consists in the worship of inanimate objects, but the objects thus worshipped must not represent a higher power, because if so the worshippers could rightly be classed as Hindus. And as Hindus, no doubt, many of these so-called animists were entered in the Census of 1901.


Mr. John Holland was the first represent- ative of the Governor-General at the Court of the Nizam, and he arrived at Hyderabad in 1779. He was succeeded by Mr. J. Grant, who retired in 1784.

Mr. R. Johnson

Captain Kennaway

Captain J. A. Kirkpatrick

Captain W. A. Kirkpatrick

Mr. H. Russell

Captain T. Sydenham

Lieutenant C. Russell

Mr. H. Russell

Mr. C. T. Metcalfe

Captain H. S. Barnett

Mr. W. B. Martin

Mr. E. C. Ravenshaw

Colonel J. Stewart

Major J. Cameron

Brigadier J. Wahab, c.B.

Major G. Tomkyns

Colonel J. S. Fraser

Major C. Davidson

Colonel Low, c.B.

Major C. Davidson

Mr. G. A. Bushby

Captain A. R. Thornhill

Colonel C. Davidson

Major A. R. Thornhill

Sir J. U. Yule, k.c.s.I., C.B.

Sir R. Temple, k.c.s.I.

Mr. G. J. Cordery

Hon'ble A. A. Roberts, c.B., C.S.I.

Mr. C. B. Saunders, C.B.

Colonel E. C. Ross, c.S.I.

Mr. G. J. Cordery

Major D. Robertson

Mr. A. P. Howell

Sir D. Fitzpatrick, K.C.S.I.

Mr. T. W. Chichele Plowden, c.s.I., I.c.s. 1891

Hon'ble Lieutenant-Colonel Sir D. W.

K. Barr, k.c.s.I.

Hon'ble C. S. Bayley, c.s.I., I.C.s. ..

Hon'ble M. F. O'Dwyer, I.c.S.

Hon'ble C. S. Bayley, c.s.I., I.C.S. . .

Lieutenant-Colonel A. F. Pinhe

In the land of the Nizams, the Deshmukhs and Deshpandes who wielded enormous power, had large landholdings and wielded great clout over tenants and labourers. 
‘Deshmukh’ was a historical title given to a person who was granted a territory of land in the Nizam’s territory. The Deshmukhs were the head of all the Patils of a larger administrational unit called Pargana. The deshmukh was in effect the ruler of the territory, as he was entitled to a portion of the collected taxes. It was also his duty to maintain the basic services in the territory such as the police and judicial system. This was typically a hereditary system. The Deshmukh system was abolished after independence in 1947 when the government confiscated most of their land.

The Deshpande is the accountant and clerk to the Deshmukh. The Deshpande were the head of all the Kulkarnis under a Pargana and responsible for maintaining record of the revenue collected from an entire Pargana. 


Modern Hyderabad (Deccan) / by John Law [i.e. M. E. Harkness] .