Hyderabad State facts for kids

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State of Hyderabad

حیدر آباد
Flag of Hyderabad
Hyderabad (dark green) and Berar (not a part of Hyderabad but also Nizam's Dominion) (light green) (Between 1853 and 1903)
Hyderabad (dark green) and Berar (not a part of Hyderabad but also Nizam's Dominion) (light green) (Between 1853 and 1903)
Capital Hyderabad
Government Principality
• 1720-48 (first)
Asaf Jah I
• 1911-48 (last)
Asaf Jah VII
• Established
• Annexed by India
September 18 1948
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mughal Empire
Union of India
Dominion of Pakistan

Hyderābād and Berar (Telugu: హైదరాబాదు, Urdu: حیدر آباد) under the Nizams, was the largest princely state in the erstwhile Indian Empire. The Berar region of present day Vidarbha in Maharashtra was merged with the Central Provinces in 1903, to form Central Provinces and Berar.

Hyderabad state was located in south-central Indian subcontinent from 1724 until 1948, ruled by a hereditary Nizam. During partition of India in 1947, the Nizam of Hyderabad declared his intentions of not joining either newly formed India or Pakistan. Sensing trouble, India launched Operation Polo which resulted in the absorption of Hyderabad into the Indian Union, in 1948.


The forebears of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty came to India from Samarkand, in Central Asia, but the family actually originated from Baghdad. In 1724, the Mughal Governor of the Deccan, Asaf Jah, Nizam ul-Mulk, Qamar ud-din Khan, established himself as an independent ruler of Deccan. Hyderabad became the capital and later lent its name to the state he had created. The first Nizam's successors became closely allied to the British colonialists, frequently assisting them in subduing their enemies, the Mahrathas, Tipu Sultan of Mysore, and the French. In later years, the Nizam's troops joined all the main campaigns undertaken by the British Indian Army. Large numbers of his troops took part in the First and Second World Wars. These contributions earned for the Nizam great titles and honours from a grateful Emperor. The state was foremost of all princely states within the British Indian Empire. After the Pakistani and Indian Independences, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII decided that the Princely state of Hyderabad would not join the New Dominion of India or Dominion of Pakistan. His decision found favour with Pakistan but not with India. The Nizam’s state was a prosperous one and had its own army, railway and airline network, postal system and radio network. On 15th August, 1947, India declared itself an independent nation. And so did Hyderabad.

At the time of the Independence movement of India, the State of Hyderabad was the largest of all princely states in India. The Nizam ruled over lands extending to cover 82,698 mi² (214,190 km²) of fairly homogenous territory and was bigger than Belarus but was smaller than the Guyana. It had a cosmopolitan population of roughly 16.34 million people (as per the 1941 census) of which a majority (83%) was Hindu. These advantages persuaded the Nizam to attempt an Independent existence, when the British withdrew from the sub-continent in 1947. He refused all pressure to join either a Hindu India or an ally Muslim Pakistan, preferring to form a separate Kingdom within the British Commonwealth of Nations. Hyderabad State had its own Army, Airline, Telecommunication system, railway network, postal system, currency and Radio broadcasting service.

Shocked by the idea of an Independent Sovereign state right in the heart of India, Deputy PM Sardar Patel consulted with Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and he suggested Patel to resolve the challenge without having to resort to force. India then decided to offer Hyderabad a Standstill Agreement, which assured that no military action will be taken against it. In June 1948, before leaving India, Mountbatten proposed the Heads of Agreement deal which gave Hyderabad the status of an Autonomous Dominion nation under India. The deal required the restriction of its armed forces and the adjourning of its voluntary forces. Hyderabad would be allowed to govern its territory, but its foreign affairs would be handled by the Indian Government. The deal was signed by India, but the Nizam refused.

While these negotiations were being carried out, communal riots between Hindus and Muslims had broken out in Hyderabad. The state was also busy arming itself and was receiving arms from Pakistan and the Portuguese administration in Goa. As soon as the Indian Government received information that Hyderabad was arming itself and planning to ally with Pakistan, India decided to forcibly annex Hyderabad by a so-called, police action. On the 4th September the Prime Minister of Hyderabad Mir Laiq Ali announced to the Hyderabad Legislative Assembly that a delegation was about to leave for Lake Success, New York, headed by Moin Nawaz Jung. The Nizam also appealed, without success, to the British Labour Government 1945–1951 and to the King of Pakistan for assistance, to fulfill their obligations and promises to Hyderabad by "immediate intervention". Hyderabad only had the support of Sir. Winston Churchill and the British Conservatives. The battle between India and Hyderabad began on 13th September 1948 and ended on 18th September after which the Nizam’s army surrendered to the Indian Army and Hyderabad became a part of India. This war which lasted five days resulted in casualties. 32 were killed and 97 injured on the Indian side and 490 killed and 122 wounded on the Hyderabadi side. On 6 October 1948, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Zafarullah, requested the President of the United Nations' Security Council that Pakistan be permitted to participate in the discussion of the Hyderabad question in accordance with Article 31 of the United Nations' Charter. The Government of Pakistan took the case to the United Nations security council, where it is still pending for Resloution; It states:

"Any state that is a member of the United Nations and feels its interests specially affected by a development or any state that is or is not a member of the United Nations and is party to a conflict under question may be invited to participate without vote in the debating of the question(s). respectively".

In Hyderabad, where no official Referendum was held and where the ruler did not accede, the forced accession to India brought about by military action, was presumed to have the tacit approval of the predominantly Hindu population. In each case of annexation there was a different rationale, but a similar goal, namely annexation.

State symbols of Hyderabad
State language Urdu حیدرآباد پاکستان دولت مشترکہ ریاست
State animal Blackbuck Blackbuck male female.jpg
State bird Indian roller Coracias benghalensis - Kaeng Krachan.jpg
State tree Neem tree Neem tree.JPG
State flower Blue Water lily Blue water lilly flower.jpg

Administrative divisions

These were the 4 Divisions and 17 Districts that combined which constituted most of the former Princely state were as following:

Constituent former administrative units Divisions
  • Ahmednagar
  • Aurangabad
  • Beed
  • Nanded
  • Parbhani
  • Bidar
  • Gulbarga
  • Osmanabad
  • Raichur
  • Hyderabad (Atraf-I-Baldah)
  • Mahbubnagar
  • Medak
  • Nalgonda
  • Nizamabad
  • Adilabad
  • Karimnagar
  • Warangal

After the states were reorganised in 1956, Aurangabad became part of Maharashtra, and Gulbarga became part of Karnataka, the remainder became Andhra Pradesh.

Images for kids

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