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Hyderabad (Telugu: హైదరాబాద్, Urdu: حیدر آباد)

Qutab Shahi Tomb

Hyderabad city, located in what is popularly known as Deccan Plateau has been ruled by many dynasties of Indian Central, in the past. The entire Deccan region was subjected to rise and fall of many great dynasties and rulers in medieval India. Hyderabad as we know it today emerged after the fall of Bahmani Kingdom in Deccan. It was time for Qutb Shahi's to rule with the break up of the dynasty in the year 1512 A.D. Quli Qutb Shahi who succeeded the same year established the famous Golconda Fort that marked the birth of Hyderabad city.

Qutb Shahi's ruled Deccan for continuos 171 years. It was during this period trade and commerce flourished in the region. The extraction and production of diamonds, pearls, steel and fabric earned a great reputation for the place. The material development was further complemented with the growth of the city as a learning center. Indo-Persian and Islamic literature was given a fillip. Wealth started accumulating and the citizens enjoyed great many facilities. This golden age, however, came to an abrupt end with the conquest of the place at the hands of Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The year was 1687 and after a siege that lasted about eight months Aurangzeb was victorious in capturing Golconda Fort. The last king of the defeated kingdom, Abul Hassan Tana Shah died in captivity twelve years later.

Hyderabad continued to be occupied by Mughals until the death of Aurangzeb. In 1707, Aurangzeb succumbed and the stronghold over Hyderabad weakened. The region at that point of time was administered by viceroys appointed by the Mughal. The year 1724 opened a new chapter in the history of Hyderabad. Mir Quamaruddin who bore the title of Nizam, declared independence and the city split from Mughal kingdom. This led to the establishment of Asif Jahi period. The seven Nizam's who followed ruled for a good 224 years.

During Asif Jahi period literature recieved a special attention. Persian, Urdu, Telegu and Marathi developed in the region. Trade and commerce slowly caught pace and the region once again came to limelight. The city continued to be ruled by the dynasty till 1948 when India got its independence. Asaf Jahi rulers had good relations with the East India Company and after signing the accord in 1798, the city ensured its individuality and independence.

 

History


Hyderabad was founded by the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golkonda. In 1686 the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb campaigned in the Deccan to overcome the Marathas and conquer the independent Deccan states. Before the campaign, the Mughals had controlled the northwestern Deccan, including Khandesh and Berar, but Mughal control ended at the Godavari River. Aurangzeb conquered Golconda and Bijapur in 1687, extending Mughal control south of the Krishna River.

The Mughal Empire began to weaken during the reign of Aurangzeb's grandson, Muhammad Shah. A Mughal official, Asif Jah, treacherously 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.

The Nizams patronized Islamic art, culture and literature 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 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. The last Nizam ruler was Mir Usman Ali Khan, who was very notorious for strengthening Feudalism in the Hyderabad state. Poor peasants of the Telangana region rebelled with arms against his cruel rule under the leadership of the Communist Party of India and its subsidiary people's organisations like the Andhra Mahasabha. This armed struggle waged by the Telangana people is historically called the Telangana Rebellion and forms the practical ideological base for the Indian Communist movement. It started in 1942 and lasted up to 1951.


After the British Raj (1947-48)

When India gained independence in 1947, the British left the choice of independence or unification up to the local rulers of the princely states. Razakars(some Muslim nobles under 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 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 forceful incorporation of the princely state of Hyderabad into the Indian Union.


Hyderabad today

In 1956 during the Reorganisation of the Indian States, the state of Hyderabad was split up between Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, died in 1967.

Administratively, Hyderabad State was made up of sixteen districts, grouped into four divisions. Aurangabad division included Aurangabad, Beed, Nanded, and Parbhani districts; Gulbargah (Gulbargah) division included Bidar District, Gulbarga, Osmanabad District, and Raichur District; Gulshanabad District or Medak division included Atraf-i-Baldah, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda (Nalgundah), and Nizamabad districts, and Warangal division included Adilabad, Karimnagar, and Warangal districts

Urdu (in particular, the unique Dakhani dialect), Telugu, English, Marathi and Kannada are among the important languages spoken in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh today.