Nizam of Hyderabad – the richest ruler in India (1671)

Nizam of Hyderabad – the richest ruler in India (1671)

Qamar-ud-din Khan, the first string from Hyderabad, was born on August 20, 1671. He is the founder of the dynasty that ruled Hyderabad from 1724 until 1948, ie for 224 years. Although the British, meanwhile, ruled much of India, the lowlands of Hyderabad were left with great autonomy, as were many other Maharajas, Nawabs and other local rulers. It was the strings of Hyderabad that were the richest among such autonomous rulers of India during British colonial rule. Their wealth reached mythical dimensions, especially thanks to diamonds and other types of precious stones that they owned, and by which they probably led the way all over the world.

Qamar-ud-din Khan, the first string from Hyderabad, was of Turkish descent. He was born at a time when much of India was ruled by the great mogul Aurangzeb, the son of Shah Jahan (the great mogul who had the famous Taj Mahal built). Qamar came from an influential family at the court of the great moguls, and he himself gradually rose in rank until he became the second man in the Mughal Empire. Qamar’s position was called Nizam ul-Mulk (governor of the kingdom), and he found his main stronghold on the Dean’s Peninsula. Interestingly, until the 19th century, the Nizam nominally ruled in the name of the great moguls, as their deputies, not appropriating supreme power (although in the meantime the great moguls completely lost real power due to British expansion in India).

Nizam Qamar ruled a country about the size of France on the Dean’s Peninsula. Nizam’s state was particularly rich in diamonds (it contained famous deposits in the Golkonda area). Even the British acknowledged that the Nizam’s state, based in Hyderabad, was the most important of all the successors to the Mughal Empire.

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