Hyderabad the capital of Andhra Pradesh, founded in the year 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of Qutb Shahi dynasty, offers a fascinating panorama of the past, with richly mixed cultural and historical tradition spanning over 400 years. It is one of the fastest growing cities of India and has emerged as a strong industrial, commercial, technology center, gives a picture of glimpses of past splenders and the legacy of its old history.The history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Quli Qutb Shah seized the reins of power from the Bahamani kingdom in 1512 and established the fortress city of Golconda. Inadequacy of water, and frequent epidemics of plague and cholera persuaded Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah to venture outward to establish new city with the Charminar at its centre and with four great roads fanning out four cardinal directions. Hyderabad's fame, strategic location and Golconda's legendary wealth attracted Aurangazeb who captured Golconda after a long seize in 1687.
After this defeat the importance of Hyderabad declined and the city fell into partial ruins. As the Moghul empire decayed and began to disintegrate, the viceroy, Asaf Jah I proclaimed himself the Nizam and established independence rule of the Deccan. Hyderabad once again became a major capital city, ruled by successive Nizams of the Asaf Jahi dynasty until the state was merged into Indian Union in 1948.
There after an area north of what is now the Hussain Sagar was established as a cantonment. The area was named Secunderabad after the then Nizam, Sikander Jah.
From nawabs and pearls to the world's hi-tech happening point, the city's journey is fascinating. The sprawling metropolis is coming to terms with itself at the start of the new millenium. The Qutb Shahi dynasty founded the Kingdom of Golconda, one of the five kingdoms that emerged after the break up of the Bahamani Kingdom. The Qutb Shahis ruled the Deccan for almost 171 years.All the seven rulers were patrons of learning and were great builders. They contributed to the growth and development of Indo-Persian and Indo-Islamic literature and culture in Hyderabad. During the Qutb Shahi reign Golconda became one of the leading markets in the world of diamonds, pearls, steel for arms, and also printed fabric. The glory of the Golconda kingdom ended in 1687, after a valiant struggle. Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler, captured Golconda after a siege that lasted eight months.
Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the last king of Golconda, was imprisoned at Daulatabad, where he died after twelve years in captivity. With the conquest of the Deccan and the South, Aurangzeb succeeded in expanding the Mughal Empire to cover the entire sub-continent. However, after his death in 1707, the Empire rapidly declined. At that time , the Deccan was administered by a Subedar or viceroy of the Mughal Emperor. Mir Quamaruddin, the Governor of the Deccan, who bore the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk Feroze Jung Asif Jah, declared his independence from Mughal rule in 1724.
He thus became the first Nizam and the founder of the Asif Jahi dynasty. Asif Jah I continued to maintain Aruangabad, which had been founded by the Mughal rulers as the capital of his new state. In 1769, Nizam Ali Khan Asif Jah II, shifted the capital to Hyderabad. The seven Nizam's of the Asif Jahi dynasty ruled the Deccan for nearly 224 years, right up to 1948. During the Asif Jahi period, Persian, Urdu, Telugu and Marathi developed simultaneously. The highest official positions were given to deserving persons irrespective of their religion.
Persian was the official language up to 1893 and then Urdu up to 1948. When the British and the French spread their hold over the country, the Nizam soon won their friendship without bequeathing his power. The title "Faithful. Ally of the British Government" was bestowed on Nizam VII. The British stationed a Resident at Hyderabad, but the state continued to be ruled by the Nizam.
The rule of the seven Nizam's saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabadra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time. Hyderabad, under the Nizam's, was the largest princely state in India. Area wise it was as big as England and Scotland put together. The State had its own currency, mint, railways, and postal system. There was no income tax. Soon after India gained independence, Hyderabad State merged with the Union of India. On November 1, 1956 the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states, and Hyderabad became the capital of Andhra Pradesh.