Chronicling 400 years of Hyderabad's
history is not easy. Especially history as rich and diverse as
that of Hyderabad. For the ancient capital of the Nizams
empire is, today, a happening place. Explore the by lanes,
taste the roadside foodstuff and smell the entrepreneurial
excitement in the air, get a whiff of the nostalgia. Today
Hyderabad is a blend of the old and the new, the emerging
character unique and trend-setting in India.
Catch a glimpse of an era spanning the
glorious Qutub Shahi, the Asif Jahi and the Nizam dynasties
who left their indomitable stamp on the city. Take a stroll
down memory lane by browsing through a list of important dates
and significant events, the turning points in Deccani
The Heritage of the Qutb Shahis of
Golconda and Hyderabad/M.A. Nayeem. Hyderabad, Hyderabad
Pub., 2006, xxii, 385 p., figs., maps, plans, $85. ISBN
Contents: Preface. I.
Evolution, Rise and fall of the Qutb Shahi Kingdom: 1.
Political background - disintegration of the Bahmani Kingdom.
2. Rise and fall of the Qutb Shahi Kingdom (924 - 1099
/1518-1687). 3. The five phases of Qutb Shahi diplomatic
history. 4. Political institutions, administrative and
military organization. 5. Iran - Golconda - Hyderabad
relations and Iranian impact. II. Architecture: Golconda:
1. Characteristic features of Qutb Shahi architecture. 2.
Architecture of Golconda, Hyderabad and other regions of the
kingdom. 3. Golconda Fort (Muhammad Nagar). 4. Qutb Shahi
Tombs in Golconda. 5. Mosques within the fort and around
Golconda (upto Puranapul). 6. Subterranean summer palace. 7.
Pavilions. 8. Shaikhpet Sarai. 9. Karwan commercial centre.
10. Pul-i-Nauras (Puranapul). 11. Tombs / Dargahs of Sufi
saints. III. Architecture: Hyderabad: 1. Charminar. 2.
Charkaman. 3. Palaces and Pavilions. 4. Mosques and Idgah. 5.
Ashurkhanas. 6. Daru'shifa. 7. Tombs / Dargahs. 8. Sultan
Nagar Fort. IV. Architecture: Other Regions of the Kingdom:
1. Kovilkonda, Bhongir, Kondapalli, Penukonda and Cumbum. V.
Famous Golconda diamonds. VI. Paintings -- (A) Miniature and
large size, (B) Qalamkari. VII. Costumes and jewellery. VIII.
Arms and Armour. IX. Numismatics: 1. Qutb Shahi coins.
2. Coins current in Golconda. X. Miscellaneous Antiquities:
1. From subterranean palace excavation in Golconda and the
tombs. 2. Antiquities from Inner Golconda Fort. 3. Antiquities
from Outer Golconda Fort. 4. Antiquities from Kovilkonda Fort.
XI. Calligraphy and epigraphic heritage. XII. Archival and
literary heritage. Appendices: 1. Genealogy of the Qutb
Shahi Dynasty. 2. The Qutb Shahi Sultans. 3. Glossary.
"This is first comprehensive and
profusely illustrated book which brings under one cover almost
all the existing antiquities of heritage of the multi-faceted
Qutb Shahi culture of Golconda - Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahi
Kingdom was one of the five off-shoots of the Bahmani Kingdom
(1347-1518). Sultan - Quli Qutbul Mulk, an emigrant from
Hamadan (Iran), who was appointed governor of the Bahmani
province of "Telangana" in 1496, assumed autonomous rule, on
the disintegration of the Bahmani Kingdom. But he never
declared independence nor he assumed royal titles even when
the parent state had disappeared. At the time of appointment
as governor, Golconda was granted as Jagir (fief) to Sultan -
Quli by the Bahmani Sultan. He made Golconda "(Golla-Konda)"
his provincial capital and named in "Muhammadnagar", and form
it evolved, in course of time, the Golconda kingdom. Sultan
Quli built the first inner forts of Golconda. Ibrahim Qutb
Shah expanded it by building outer fort. Later, new fort
added. The fifth ruler Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah founded the new
city of Hyderabad, in 1591 and named it after the fourth
Caliph of Islam Hazrat Ali's title "Haider" (City of Haider).
It was planed by Iranians as Safahan-i-Nawi (New Isfahan)
Golconda and Hyderabad became the rendezvous of men of
learning and flourished as multi-national and multi-racial
cities, with people flocking to it from Iran, Turkey, Central
Asia, North India and other regions of the Deccan. The rulers
patronised learned men from these countries. Further, with
ethnic and Shiah ideological link between Iran and the Qutb
Shahs, there was a constant influx of Iranians and they had
profound impact on all walks of life and culture. During the
course of Qutb Shahi rule of 175 lunar years, Golconda,
Hyderabad became the cradle of cultures and a nucleus of
composite cultures with the unique architectural monuments of
distinct Qutb Shahi style which are the living heritage.
Around 1680, when the kingdom was at his height, it covered
not only the present boundaries of Andhra Pradesh, but it
extended beyond Chennai, St. Thome, ports of Orissa etc. This
magnum opus on the Qutb Shahis tries to recapture the sublime
spirit of the opulent oriental life and culture as rendered by
its aesthetic architecture, art, pulsating paintings,
costumes, jewellery, arms, Armour numerous other antiquities,
which are brought to light and published for the first time.
Being secular rulers they patronized Muslims, Hindus and
Christians alike the Hindus occupied top most positions, like
Prime Minister, commander-in-chief of the army etc. and were
recruited at all levels.
Europeans too were employed and they were
given extra-ordinary concessions to establish factories within
the kingdom. They patronized Persian, Telugu, Urdu and Arabic
languages. Most of the royal orders or farmans, were bilingual
in Persian and Telugu. It represented unity in diversity. The
composite civilization that evolved came to be known first as
"Deccani", and later became popular as the "Hyderabadi
Culture". A glance of the table of contents reveals the wide
variety of topics covered and documented by original
photographs (mostly taken by the author himself during his
field survey) of architecture, and that of antiquities
acquired from various museum, both Indian and foreign and from
the State Department of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of
India, Idare-I-Adabiyati Urdu, and personal collections. The
history of high level of grandeur and sophistication is
explored by Dr. Nayeem in this very vivid account
substantiated by nearly seven hundred photographs, all in
multi-colour, except a few. Another unique aspect of this
study is the detailed Historical Map of Golconda Fort,
prepared by the author map of the inner forts etc. Numerous
plans, and lay-out of various buildings, palaces complex in
Golconda Fort, etc. substantiate the study. This splendid
work, an outcome of several years' research, is a broad based
study that integrates diverse elements and present a
synthesized panoramic survey of the chief constituents of the
oriental culture. The author brilliantly treats the historical
frame work in chronological order, highlighting the salient
aspects of each ruler's reig,. Including also Iran's relations
with Golconda-Hyderabad, political institutions,
administrative and military organization etc. Then in the
following eleven chapters the author describes the different
Hyderabad is a heady mixture of
history,heritage, hospitality and a thriving hitech
Sultan Quli Qutb Shah laid the foundation of the new city and
named it "haiderabad"( city of haider) after the titile of the
fourth caliph of islam hazrat ali.
The new city was also called
bagh-nagar(city of gardens) as it was replete with gardens and
The State had its own currency, mint, railways, flag and
postal system. 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 history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the
Qutub Shahi dynasty. Quli Qutub Shah seized the reins of power
from the Bahamani kingdom in 1512 and established the fortress
city of Golconda. Inadequacy of water, and frequent epidemics
of plaque and cholera persuaded Mohammad, the fifth Quli Qutub
Shahi ruler to venture outward to establish the new city with
the Charminar as its center and with four great roads fanning
out in the four cardinal directions. Hyderabad's fame,
strategic location and Golconda's legendary wealth attracted
Aurangazeb who captured Golconda after a long siege in 1687.
After this defeat the importance of Hyderabad declined and the
city fell into partial ruin. As the Mughal Empire decayed and
began to disintegrate, the viceroy, Asaf Jah I proclaimed
himself the Nizam and established independent rule of the
Deccan. Hyderabad once again became a major capital city,
ruled by successive Nizams of the Asaf Jah dynasty until the
state was merged into the Indian Union in 1948.
Hyderabad was modeled after Isfaan in Iran and built under the
supervision of the prime minister Mir Momin, a poet, architect
and an aesthete-like his master. He tried to create a replica
of Paradise itself to suit Muhammad Quli’s status as the
greatest of the Qutb Shahi rulers. The city was completed in
1592. It has a grid plan of two broad intersecting streets
with the Charminar as a kind of triumphal arch at the center.
The French traveler, Tavernier in 1652, compared Hyderabad to
Orleans ‘well built and opened out’ and in 1672, Abbe Carr was
much impressed by the city as the center of all trade in the
Making Of The Twin City - Secunderabad
In 1798, a subsidiary alliance for military and political
cooperation was signed between the Nizam and the British East
India Company. Thereafter an area north of what is now the
Hussain Sagar Lake was established as a cantonment. The area
was named Secunderabad after the then Nizam, Sikander Jah.
Both Hyderabad and Secunderabad grew together and have now
merged. An imaginary line drawn across the Tank bund is still
used to distinguish the two cities.
THE NIZAMS OF HYDERABAD
Aurangzeb died in 1707, seven years after the death of the
last Qutb Shahi ruler, Abul Hasan Tana Shah in prison in 1700.
The Mughal governor of Hyderabad, Mir Kamruddin Khan, titled
Nizam-ul-Mulk, declared independence and started the Asaf Jahi
dynasty. The waning Mughal power found itself helpless against
forces of disintegration. But the Nizams were fabulously rich
and stories of their hordes of gold, diamonds and pearls
spread far and wide. Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam before
Hyderabad merged into the Union of India, was among the
world’s wealthiest individuals. Prior to their treaty with the
British, the Nizams had good relations with the French.
Monsieur Raymond, a French adventurer and commander of the
Nizam’s troops, earned great respect of the people. A
23-feet-high granite obelisk inscribed JR stands on a hill in
Saururnagar in memory of this trusted lieutenant of the Nizams,
who couldn’t stand the growth British influence.
Pre Nizam Era
After the fall of the Mauryan Empire, the history of the
Andhras, as a continuous account of political and cultural
events, commences with the rise of the Satavahanas as a
political power They ruled over the Andhradesa including
Deccan for about 400 years from the 2nd century B.C. to beyond
the 2nd century A.D. Satavahanas were also called Salivahanas
and Satakarnis. The Deccan, during this period, was an
emporium of inland and maritime trade. The region between the
rivers of Godavari and Krishna was full of ports and throbbing
with activity. There was plentiful currency to facilitate
trade and the Telugus entered upon a period of great
industrial, commercial and maritime activity. Buddhism
flourished throughout the period and at the same time the
rulers were devoted to Vedic ritualism. They constructed
several Buddhist Stupas, Chaityas and Viharas. The Stupa at
Amaravati is known for its architecture par excellence.
Satavahanas were not only the able rulers but were also lovers
of literacy and architecture. The decline and fall of the
Satavahana empire left the Andhra country in a political
chaos. Local rulers as well as invaders tried to carve out
small kingdoms for themselves and to establish dynasties.
During the period from A.D.180 to A.D.624, Ikshvakus,
Brihatphalayanas, Salankayanas, Vishnukundins, Vakatakas,
Pallavas, Anandagotras, Kalingas and others ruled over the
Andhra area with their small kingdoms. Such instability
continued to prevail until the rise of the Eastern Chalukyas
The Qutb Shahi dynasty founded the Kingdom of Golconda, one of
the five kingdoms that emerged after the break up of the
Bahamani Kingdom. The Qutb Shahis ruled the Deccan for almost
171 years.All the seven rulers were patrons of learning and
were great builders. They contributed to the growth and
development of Indo-Persian and Indo-Islamic literature and
culture in Hyderabad. During the Qutb Shahi reign Golconda
became one of the leading markets in the world of diamonds,
pearls, steel for arms, and also printed fabric. The glory of
the Golconda kingdom ended in 1687, after a valiant struggle.
Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler, captured Golconda
after a siege that lasted eight months. Abul Hasan Tana Shah,
the last king of Golconda, was imprisoned at Daulatabad, where
he died after twelve years in captivity. With the conquest of
the Deccan and the South, Aurangzeb succeeded in expanding the
Mughal Empire to cover the entire sub-continent. However,
after his death in 1707, the Empire rapidly declined. At that
time , the Deccan was administered by a Subedar or viceroy of
the Mughal Emperor. Mir Quamaruddin, the Governor of the
Deccan, who bore the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk Feroze Jung Asif
Jah, declared his independence from Mughal rule in 1724. He
thus became the first Nizam and the founder of the Asif Jahi
dynasty. Asif Jah I continued to maintain Aruangabad, which
had been founded by the Mughal rulers as the capital of his
new state. In 1769, Nizam Ali Khan Asif Jah II, shifted the
capital to Hyderabad. The seven Nizam's of the Asif Jahi
dynasty ruled the Deccan for nearly 224 years, right up to
1948. During the Asif Jahi period, Persian, Urdu, Telgu and
Marathi developed simultaneously. The highest official
positions were given to deserving persons irrespective of
their religion. Persian was the official language up to 1893
and then Urdu up to 1948. When the British and the French
spread their hold over the country, the Nizam soon won their
friendship without bequeathing his power. The title "Faithful.
Ally of the British Government" was bestowed on Nizam VII. The
British stationed a Resident at Hyderabad, but the state
continued to be ruled by the Nizam. The rule of the seven
Nizam's saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and
economically. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar,
Tungabadra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were
built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during
this time. Hyderabad, under the Nizam's, was the largest
princely state in India. Area wise it was as big as England
and Scotland put together.
Hitech (IT Influence)
The e-world is already here. New economy is everywhere around
and city is buzzing the mantra of information technology. A
revolution that has already attracted Microsoft to set up its
only overseas base here. Hyderabad is called as the second
Silicon Valley in India after Bangalore. Hyderabad has a
Software Technology Park with leading industries like
Intergraph, UUNET, TCS, Wipro, Baan, Satyam, Park
International, etc. Despite the prevailing slowdown in the IT
sectors, construction activity is going on at full swing in
the exclusive high-tech district of Cyberabad. Builders
constructing technology parks are counting on the emergence of
demand for space within a year. The real estate market in
Hyderabad is inseparably linked to the fortunes of information
technology -land prices and rentals rise fall and rise in tune
with the boom and slump in the IT sector. But in Cyberabad,
the exclusive IT district on the city outskirts, the real
estate market has shaken off the prevailing IT slowdown, much
ahead of the IT companies themselves. Even casual visitors
will not miss the busy construction activity going on in the
area: three more technology parks are coming up in the area
which already boasts of HiTec City and multi-storeyed
buildings of Wipro and other IT giants.Besides, HSBC has
inaugurated its second global centre here. Construction is
completed at Cyber Gateway (i.e. phase two of HiTec City) by
L&T and the Techno park and E-park by SDE engineers. Both
E-park and Techno Park have space of 2.25 lakh sft (12 floors)
and 2.10 lakh sft (nine floors), respectively.