A BRIEF HISTORY AND ANCESTRY OF NIZAMS OF HYDERABAD- INCREDIBLE INDIA
In my last post on Hyderabad, I talked about the government run Heritage walk which starts from the iconic Charminar. In this blog, I will talk about the Nizams of Hyderabad and the cultural and food scene of Hyderabad. I have visited Hyderabad twice and have enjoyed it in different seasons and at a leisurely pace.
The Nizams of Hyderabad:
The Nizams who ruled the princely state of Hyderabad for over 224 years can be described as undeniably opulent and visibly extravagant. It was evident when I explored the protected royal palaces and public buildings which have stood the test of time. If you refer any book on Hyderabad’s culture and history, you will find that the Nizams had a major influence on the city. Hyderabad was ruled by seven famous Nizams, who were called the Asaf Jahis., with Asaf Jahi Mir Osman Bahadur being the last one to reign until 1948.
The Nizams were world renowned as great patrons of art, literature, food, and architecture. These rulers were amongst the wealthiest in the world with Asaf Jahi VII ranking 5th in the history of wealthy people during his time. As India gained independence in 1947, the Nizams refused to join the Indian Union. However, a year later, the rule of the final Nizam ended with the launch of Operation Polo by the Indian Army. After this, the Nizams only existed in name and not by power.
Brief ancestry of Nizams of Hyderabad:
Hailing from Samarkand in present-day Uzbekistan, Asaf Jahi initially belonged to the Turkic dynasty. The first Nizam’s grandfather, Khaja Abid was born in Aliabad. He visited the Indian subcontinent in 1655 during the rule of the Mughal empire en route Mecca. After being granted several favours by the emperor, he was given a position in the service of the Mughal emperor, which began the association between the Mughals and the Nizams.
On returning from his pilgrimage in 1657, Abid sided with Aurangzeb and helped defeat his brother. Khaja Abid was then made Ajmer’s governor and given the title of Qalich Khan. He later died in a battle against the Qu tub Shahi dynasty, which ruled the areas in and around the Golconda Fort. In 1687, after a 9-month battle, Aurangzeb re-claimed Golconda Fort after which Hyderabad was no longer of any historical importance. Its diamond trade diminished and the city went into ruins. The decline of the Mughals and the rise of the Asaf Jahis are inextricably linked. Same as the Mughals came and made Delhi their own, so did the AsafJahis with Hyderabad.
Culture & tradition of Hyderabad:
I suggest you hire a car rental in Hyderabad and experience the grandeur of this beautiful city. With a mix of both Hindu and Muslim traditions, the city has a Cosmo culture. All festivals, irrespective of religions and castes, are celebrated with pomp and enthusiasm. Ganesh Chaturthi and Id-Ul-Fitr are the popular events where tourists and locals enjoy the energy and the grand celebrations. Other than its rich diversity and history, Hyderabad is also known for its hint of modernism and advent into the IT sector. The seamless overlapping of tradition and modernity was visible as my local host drove me around the city.
Delicious food of Hyderabad:
The influence of the Nizams is seen even in the cuisine of this ancient city. Since the best places are scattered around Hyderabad, I suggest you hire cabs in Hyderabad and go on a gastronomic journey and surprise your taste buds with the delicious food. Biryani is the most popular and mouth-watering dish served here. I experienced the preparation and savoured the taste of this traditional meal made of rice and spices subtly fused into it. It shows the influence of the rule of the Nawabs of Bidar. Tahari is another popular lip-smacking dish that is the vegetarian version of the biryani. The city of the Nizams is ideal for every food lover to start their food journey on!
The view from my #SoulWindow is steeped in history!
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