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Hyderabad, State Of

HYDERABAD, STATE OF, or HAIDARABAD, also known as the Nizam's Dominions, the principal native state of India in extent, population and political importance; area, 82,698 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 11,141,142, showing a decrease of 3-4% in the decade; estimated revenue 4j crores of Hyderabad rupees (2,500,000). The state occupies a large portion of the eastern plateau of the Deccan. It is bounded on the north and north-east by Berar, on the south and south-east by Madras, and on the west by Bombay. The country presents much variety of surface and feature; but it may be broadly divided into two tracts, distinguished from one another geologically and ethnically, which are locally known from the languages spoken as Telingana and Marathwara. In some parts it is mountainous, wooded and picturesque, in others flat and undulating. The open country includes lands of all descriptions, including many rich and fertile plains, much good land not yet brought under cultivation, and numerous tracts too sterile ever to be cultivated. In the northwest the geological formations are volcanic, consisting principally of trap, but in some parts of basalt; in the middle, southern and south-western parts the country is overlaid with gneissic formations. The territory is well watered, rivers being numerous, and tanks or artificial pieces of water abundant, especially in Telingana. The principal rivers are the Godavari, with its tributaries the Dudna, Manjira and Pranhita; the Wardha, with its tributary the Penganga; and the Kistna, with its tributary the Tungabhadra. The climate may be considered in general good; and as there are no arid bare deserts, hot winds are little felt.

More than half the revenue of the state is derived from the land, and the development of the country by irrigation and railways has caused considerable expansion in this revenue, though the rate of increase in the decade 1891-1901 was retarded by a succession of unfavourable seasons. The soil is generally fertile, though in some parts it consists of chilka, a red and gritty mould little fitted for purposes of agriculture. The principal crops are millets of various kinds, rice, wheat, oil-seeds, cotton.

tobacco, sugar-cane, and fruits and garden produce in great variety. Silk, known as tussur, the produce of a wild species of worm, is utilized on a large scale. Lac, suitable for use as a resin or dye, gums and oils are found in great quantities. Hides, raw and tanned, are articles of some importance in commerce. The principal exports are cotton, oil-seeds, country-clothes and hides; the imports are salt, grain, timber, European piecegoods and hardware. The mineral wealth of the state consists of coal, copper, iron, diamonds and gold; but the development of these resources has not hitherto been very successful. The only coal mine now worked is the large one at Singareni, with an annual out-turn of nearly half a million tons. This coal has enabled the nizam's guaranteed state railway to be worked so cheaply that it now returns a handsome profit to the state. It also gives encouragement to much-needed schemes of railway extension, and to the erection of cotton presses and of spinning and weaving mills. The Hyderabad-Godavari railway (opened in 1901) traverses a rich cotton country, and cotton presses have been erected along the line. The currency of the state is based on the kali sikka, which contains approximately the same weight of silver as the British rupee, but its exchange value fell heavily after 1893, when free coinage ceased in the mint. In 1904, however, a new coin (the Mahbubia rupee) was minted; the supply was regulated, and the rate of exchange became about 115 = 100 British rupees. The state suffered from famine during 1000, the total number of persons in receipt of relief rising to nearly 50x3,000 in June of that year. The nizam met the demands for relief with great liberality.

The nizam of Hyderabad is the principal Mahommedan ruler in India. The family was founded by Asaf Jah, a distinguished Turkoman soldier of the emperor Aurangzeb, who in 1713 was appointed subahdar of the Deccan, with the title of nizamul-mulk (regulator of the state), but eventually threw off the control of the Delhi court. Azaf Jah's death in 1 748 was followed by an internecine struggle for the throne among his descendants, in which the British and the French took part. At one time the French nominee, Salabat Jang, established himself with the help of Bussy. But finally, in 1761, when the British had secured their predominance throughout southern India, Nizam Ali took his place and ruled till 1803. It was he who confirmed the grant of the Northern Circars in 1766, and joined in the two wars against Tippoo Sultan in 1792 and 1799. The additions of territory which he acquired by these wars was afterwards (1800) ceded to the British, as payment for the subsidiary force which he had undertaken to maintain. By a later treaty in 1853, the districts known as Berar were " assigned " to defray the cost of the Hyderabad contingent. In 1857 when the Mutiny broke out, the attitude of Hyderabad as the premier native state and the cynosure of the Mahommedans in India became a matter of extreme importance; but Afzul-ud-Dowla, the father of the present ruler, and his famous minister, Sir Salar Jang, remained loyal to the British. An attack on the residency was repulsed, and the Hyderabad contingent displayed their loyalty in the field against the rebels. In 1902 by a treaty made by Lord Curzon, Berar was leased in perpetuity to the British government, and the Hyderabad contingent was merged in the Indian army. The nizam Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Bahadur, Asaf Jah, a direct descendant of the famous nizam-ul-mulk, was born on the 18th of August 1866. On the death of his father in 1869 he succeeded to the throne as a minor, and was invested with full powers in 1884. He is notable as the originator of the Imperial Service Troops, which now form the contribution of the native chiefs to the defence of India. On the occasion of the Panjdeh incident in 1885 he made an offer of money and men, and subsequently on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 he offered 20 lakhs (130,000) annually for three years for the purpose of frontier defence. It was finally decided that the native chiefs should maintain small but well-equipped bodies of infantry and cavalry for imperial defence. For many years past the Hyderabad finances were in a very unhealthy condition; the expenditure consistently outran the revenue, and the nobles, who held their tenure under an obsolete feudal system, vied with each other in ostentatious extravagance. But in 1902, on the revision of the Berar agreement, the nizam received 25 lakhs (167,000) a year for the rent of Berar, thus substituting a fixed for a fluctuating source of income, and a British financial adviser was appointed for the purpose of reorganizing the resources of the state.

See S. H. Bilgrami and C. Willmott, Historical and Descriptive Sketch of the Nizam's Dominions (Bombay, 1883-1884).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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