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Far East Kingdoms

South Asia


Golconda / Golkunda (Qutub Shahi Dynasty)
AD 1518 - 1687

Golconda was a kingdom which existed in central India in the sixteenth century, to the south of Rajasthan in modern Andhra Pradesh state. In 1321 the rule of Delhi passed to the Tughlaq dynasty. Mohammed Tughlaq, a descendant of that dynasty, later made Devagiri his capital.

The province of the Deccan (between the north of the River Godavari and the River Krishna), became an independent state during the time of the Bahamani sultanate. This sultanate soon disintegrated and split into five independent sultanates at Ahmednagar, Berar, Golconda, which was ruled by the Islamic Qutub Shahi sultans from 1518, and Bijapur and Bidar.

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)


Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk conquers Golconda from the Bahamani sultans and becomes the governor of Telangana in 1518. As the Bahamani sultanate disintegrates into independent Deccan sultanates, he declares independence and takes the title Qutub Shah, establishing the Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golconda.

1518 - 1543

Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk

Governor and later sultan. Assassinated.

Later in his reign he extends his kingdom, conquering Warangal, Kondapalli, Eluru, Rajamundry, Khammam, Eluru, and Machilipatnam. Finally defeated by Timmarusu, minister of King Krishnadevraya of Vijaynagar, he is assassinated by his own son, Jamsheed. Jamsheed's brother, Ibrahim, flees south to the Vijaynagar empire in fear of his own life.

1543 - 1550

Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah



Subhan Quli Qutb Shah

Infant son. Quickly deposed.


On Jamsheed's death, Ibrahim returns to the sultanate and quickly removes his infant nephew from the throne. He focuses on fortifying Golconda Fort and develops the Hussain Sagar lake and Ibrahim Bagh.

1550 - 1580

Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah

Brother of Jamsheed.


The Vijayanagar empire is defeated at the Battle of Talikota by an alliance of Deccan sultanates; Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda. The sultan of Bijapur takes the Raichur Doab as his prize.

The fort of Golconda
The fort of Golconda on an isolated granite hill, one hundred and twenty-two metres above the surrounding plain

1580 - 1611

Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah

Son. Founded the city of Hyderabad.

1596 - 1600

In 1596, the Moghul prince, Murad, attacks the sultanate of Ahmednagar with the intent of conquering and subjugating it in the name of Emperor Akbar. He is bravely repulsed by Chand Bibi. However, when she dies in 1600, Akbar succeeds in taking the Deccan plateau and the sultanates of Berar, Bijapur, Golconda, and Ahmednagar itself, along with the regions of Burhanpur and Khandesh.

1611 - 1626

Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah

Nephew and son-in-law. Compiled first history of the sultanate.

1626 - 1672

Abdullah Qutb Shah

1629 - 1636

The Moghul governor of the recently conquered Deccan territories, Khan Jahan Lodi, makes an alliance with the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar. He also garners support from Golconda and Bijapur. By 1636, the rebels in Ahmednagar have lost their war of independence, and the Nizamshahi is extinguished. Golconda and Bijapur also have to accept Moghul suzerainty.


Differences have arisen between the king of Golconda and the Moghul governor of the Deccan, Shah Jahan's son, Aurangzeb. Prince Muhammed, the son of Aurangzeb, is deputed to attack Golconda and the Moghuls first capture Hyderabad and then besiege the fort of Golconda. Qutub Shah surrenders to the Moghuls, and even marries one of his daughters to Prince Muhammed. In the same year, Golconda takes part in the successful destruction of the Vijaynagar empire in the south.

1658 - 1664

The Maratha empire under its founder, Shivaji, captures successive areas of Golconda from the Moghuls and the sultans of Golconda.

1672 - 1687

Abul Hasan Qutb Shah

Son-in-law. Tana Shah ('benevolent king').

1687 - 1720

Abul Hasan Qutb Shah is penalised by Moghul emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to acknowledge his suzerainty. He is attacked and defeated by Aurangzeb's army under the command of Chin Qilich Khan, and dies in prison. The Qutub Shahi dynasty is brought to an end, and the remnants of Golconda become a Moghul province. Nizams, or governors, are installed, and they control the region for the next thirty-three years until renewed independence beckons.

FeatureHyderabad / Haydarabad (Asaf Jah Dynasty)
AD 1720 - 1948

The city of Hyderabad had been founded during the reign of the sultan of Golconda, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (1580-1611). Situated within former Golconda territory, and with Moghul domination fast fading, in 1720 the city became the core of the new princely state of Hyderabad, under the rule of its former feudatory governors, the nizams (nizam al mulk, or administrator of the realm). Overall authority was held by the newly powerful British Raj in India from its headquarters in Calcutta, although the nizams did not admit this until 1926. Starting out with a relatively impoverished state, the last nizam had accumulated enough wealth to be considered the richest man in the world.

Chin Qilich Khan

Commander of the Moghul army under Aurangzeb in 1687.


Chin Qilich Khan is wounded during the fighting over Golconda, and soon dies of his wounds. His son, Nawab Ghaziuddin Khan, marries the daughter of Sadullah Khan, Aurangzeb's prime minister, and founds a dynasty which governs the region for over two hundred years.

Nawab Ghaziuddin Khan


1720 - 1748

Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I

Son. Viceroy at Bijapur, then Malwa, and later of the Deccan.


The son of Asaf Jah I, Nasir Jang, governs in his father's absence in 1737-1741, but then decides to seize the throne. Defeated by his father in battle on 23 July 1741, he is relegated to being the heir again.

1748 - 1750

Mir Ahmed Ali Khan Siddiqi, Nasir Jang


1750 - 1751

Sa'adu'llah Khan Bahadur, Muzaffar Jang

Nephew. m Sahibzadi Khair un-nisa Begum, dau of Asaf Jah I.

1750 - 1751

Muzaffar Jang grants territories and titles to the French in 1750, but shortly afterwards, on 13 February 1751, he is killed in battle against the princely state of Kurnool.

1751 - 1762

Amir ul Mulk, Salabat Jang

Son of Asaf Jah I.

1762 - 1803

Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Asaf Jah II



Janoji of Nagpur attempts to play power politics in the war between the Peshwa and Ali Khan. Betraying both of them in turn, they surprise him by uniting and destroying Nagpur.


A gun foundry is one of the several cannon and cannon-ball factories to be set up in by the French General Raymond in the service of the nawab. In time, the whole district comes to be known as the Gun Foundry, such is the local impact of this construction.

The gun foundry in Hyderabad
The gun foundry is now the only remaining building in Hyderabad which dates from the eighteenth century

1803 - 1829

Sikandar Jah Siddiqi, Asaf Jah III


With Hyderabad in financial difficulties under Asaf Jah III, the nizam does not prevent the British from establishing a cantonment in the capital city, although there is no special agreement between the two parties.

1829 - 1857

Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah IV


1857 - 1869

Afzal ud Daulah, Asaf Jah V

1869 - 1911

Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VI


1911 - 1948

Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VII

Son. Lost the state and maintained an Hereditary title.


British sovereignty over the state is finally acknowledged by the nizam.


Independence for India is granted with the withdrawal of the British. When the country is partitioned to allow a Muslim homeland in Pakistan, the Muslim nizam elects to go too, and the forcible annexation of Hyderabad by the dominion of India follows. The claim of Hereditary succession to Hyderabad is maintained by the nizams.

Hereditary Nizams of Hyderabad
AD 1948 - Present Day

The claim for the position of nizam of Hyderabad was maintained following the seizure of the state by the dominion of India in 1948, passed down through the eldest male descendent as was customary. Since the death of Asaf Jah VII, his vast number of descendants have been squabbling for a share in his legendary fortune. The current titular nizam lives in France.

1911 - 1967

Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VII

Last ruling nizam of Hyderabad (1911-1948).

1967 - Present

Barkat Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VIII

Son. Born 1933.

Azmet Jah

Son. Born 1960. Prince of Berar.

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