Hyderabad

Situated in the south-central region of Indian subcontinent, Hyderabad was the largest Princely State of the British Raj. Established in 1724 to 1948, it was the first state to come under the British paramount when they signed the subsidiary alliance agreement. A new standstill agreement was signed when India gained independence and Hyderabad became a part of the new India.

The Hyderabad state was founded by Mir Qamar ud din Khan, the governor of Deccan under the Mughals from 1713 to 1721. He held the grand titles of Asaf Jah, Nizam ul Mulk and Nizam of Hyderabad. When the Mughal rule was ending he established his own Asaf Jahi dynasty. Asaf was a descendant of the first Khalifa of Islam. They originally belonged to Baghdad but came to India in the 17th century.

The Nizam was coerced to sign the agreement which made Hyderabad fall under the protection of the British. In the Second and Third Maratha war, Hyderabad was a British ally. Even during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the state maintained solidarity with the British government.

When India gained independence in 1947 and Pakistan was formed, all the princely states had a choice to go with the country they wished to be associated with or stay independent. The Nizam did not wish to join India or Pakistan. India however, was keen to convey that most of the residents wished to be part of India. The Nizam was also not very powerful as he had only 24,000 men out of which approximately 6000 were fully trained.

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