The story of the last Nawab of Awadh

21 Sep 2020  Mon

The history of Awadh depicts that in 1720, Muhammad Amin who was popularly known as Saadat Khan the Wazir of Mughal Empire was made the Subhedar of Awadh. His dominion expanded from the divisions of Lucknow and Faizabad and the district of Ghazipur, Banaras, and Gorakhpur.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was the last Nawab of Awadh, holding the position for 9 years from 1847 to 1856 AD. His kingdom, long protected by the British under treaty, was eventually annexed bloodlessly on 11 February 1856, two days before the ninth anniversary of his coronation. The Nawab was exiled to Garden Reach in Metiabruz, then a suburb of Kolkata, where he lived out the rest of his life on a generous pension.

He was a poet, playwright, dancer and great patron of the arts. He is widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical Indian dance. He issued coins in gold, silver and copper from Lucknow and Muhammadabad Banaras mint. These coins are found in various denominations viz. Rupee, Ashrafi, and Falus in various fractions.

Silver rupee of Wajid Ali Shah, struck at Lucknow in AH 1267 showing the Awadh coat of arms on the reverse. The two figures holding the pennants are intended to be fish, seen also on the Awadh flag.

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