The first of the series of my blogs on my city, its history, people and culture. The first is on Hyderabad State and its history.

Before we all proceed into the blog, let me emphasize that what I am writing is all a collection of the historical facts and data available in the form of published literature like books, records and electronic data from online web portals, e-libraries etc. So if I am to be corrected on what I have presented and what I will be presenting, I stand corrected and apologies in advance.

Now sit back and enjoy reading about the one of the most happening and greatest cities in this part of the world …………..

Hyderābād state (Telugu: హైదరాబాదు, Urdu: حیدر آباد) located in the south-central region of the Indian subcontinent, and was ruled, from 1724 until 1948, by a hereditary Nizam. The capital city was Hyderabad.

The region became part of the Mughal Empire in the 1680s. When the empire began to weaken in the 18th century, a Mughal official, Asif Jah, defeated a rival Mughal governor to seize control of the empire’s southern provinces, declaring himself Nizam-al-Mulk of Hyderabad in 1724. The Mughal emperor, under renewed attack from the Marathas, was unable to prevent it.

From 1798 Hyderabad was one of the princely states of British India, but it retained control of its internal affairs. The Berar region of the state was merged with the Central Provinces of British India in 1903, to form the Central Provinces and Berar.

The Nizams patronized Islamic art, culture and literature which became central to Hyderabadi Muslim identity and developed railway network in Hyderabad. Islamic Sharia law was the guiding principle of the Nizams’ official machinery.

During the British Raj, the seniormost (21-gun) salute state during the period of British India, Hyderabad was an 82,000 square mile (212,000 km²) region in the Deccan ruled by the Asif Jahi dynasty, who had the title of Nizam and was bestowed the title of His Exalted Highness by the British. The Nizam set up numerous institutions in the name of the dynasty. He set up schools, colleges, madrasas and a university that imparted education in Urdu. Inspired by the elite and prestigious Indian Civil Service he founded the Hyderabad Civil Service. The pace with which he amassed wealth made him to be one of the world’s richest men in the 1930s, (Time cover story Feb. 22, 1937). Carrying a gift, called Nazrana, in accordance with one’s net worth while meeting Nizam was a de facto necessity.

After the British Raj (1947-48), when India gained independence in the year 1947, the British left the choice of independence or unification up to the local rulers of the princely states. Razakars (some Muslim nobles under the Nizam), wished to remain independent or consider joining Pakistan. In the case of Hyderabad however, this could not be applied as it was right in the middle of the new state of India. Being a Muslim-governed state, the Nizam wanted to join Pakistan but he was overruled by the viceroy Lord Mountbatten. As a result, the Indian Government carried out the so called “Hyderabad Police Action” against the Nizam. Code-named “Operation Polo” by the Indian military, this action by the Indian armed forces ended the rule of the Nizams of Hyderabad by the incorporation of the princely state of Hyderabad into the Indian Union led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Since this is the first of the series, I am not writing much. But I am presenting you a collage of pictures, a few unseen for may years….

The next in this series would be on the palaces and forts in Hyderabad. I will try to get pictures also……

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