It all started with Emperor Aurangzeb’s vision of expanding the Mughal empire into farthest of south India. The man himself, the man who envisioned Hyderabad to be one of the greatest city this nation has ever seen.
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (1580–1611 CE) was the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and founded Hyderabad. Built its architectural centerpiece, the Charminar. He was an able administrator and his reign is considered one of the high points of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. He ascended to the throne in 1580 at the age of 15 and ruled for 31 years.
Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah was the third son of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah Wali. He was an accomplished poet and wrote his poetry in Persian, Telugu, and Urdu. As the first author in the Urdu language, he composed his verses in the Persian diwan style. His poems consisted of verses relating to gazal-i musalsal. Sarkar Muhammad Quli’s Kulliyat comprised 1800 pages, over half were gazals, qasidas on one hundred pages. While the rest contained over 300 pages of matnawi and martiyas. He Married Bhagmati A Hindu Woman And Later Bhagmati Changed Her Name To Hyder Mahal.
Muhammad Quli “built a city of Hyderabad on the southern bank of the Musi River in 1591. Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah called architects from all around the world to lay out the city. It was built on a grid plan and named it after Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Hyderabad.
In January 1687, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb led his forces to besiege the Qutb Shahi dynasty at Golconda Fort. Also known as the Diamond Capital. The only source of diamonds at that time and was home to the Kollur Mine. The ruler of Golconda was Abul Hasan Qutb Shah. Aurangzeb and the Mughal army had successfully conquered two Muslim kingdoms: Nizams of Ahmednagar and the Adilshahis of Bijapur. It was only a matter of time that the Mughal army arrived at Golconda Fort. The siege of Golconda lasted 8 months and on various occasions it had pushed the massive Mughal army to limits. In fact, the Golconda Fort was probably the most impregnable fort in South Asia.
Aurangzeb and the Mughals entered Golconda through a decisive victory but through the secret treachery of Sarandaz Khan. A military official in the army of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, who was bribed to open one gate and let the Mughals enter the fort. This battle was important for both sides, because of the place being the only source of diamonds. The fort had good defenses, having spikes on the front gate to defend themselves for the Mughal elephants. Having corners where the walls were cut like a diamond, whenever a guard will spot the enemies. He will clap and the voice will echo so that everyone hears it.
Aurangzeb would intensify the siege.
Although the Qutbshahi’s maintained impregnable efforts defending their walls, the siege had become unbearable for the officials in service of the Qutbshahi’s and finally Sarandaz Khan revealed a back door that led directly Golconda Fort, immediately after the Mughals stormed the fort, Sarandaz Khan opened the gates that allows the Aurangzeb’s army to enter.
The Mughal army led by Ghazi Ud-Din Khan Feroze Jung the son of the fallen Kilich Khan Khwaja Abid Siddiqi was among the first to enter the gates. He immediately charged towards the citadel of Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, eventually taking him prisoner by surprise. Firuz Jang and his forces occupied Kollur Mine and the Mughal reserves, disarmed the defenders of the fort and paved their way for the entry of victorious Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Golconda Fort was later repaired and armed with superior cannons. Shaista Khan is known to have spared the Qutbshahi servicemen, the ruler of Golconda, Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, however, was imprisoned in Daulatabad Fort by the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and his army managed to penetrate the walls by capturing a gate prompting the Qutbshahi’s of Golconda and the ruler Abul Hasan Qutb Shah to surrender peacefully and hand over the Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, Great Stone Diamond, Kara Diamond, Darya-e-Nur, The Hope Diamond, the Wittelsbach Diamond and The Regent Diamond making the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb the richest monarch in the world.
Enter The first Nizam
The first Nizam was six years old when Aurangzeb took his under wings, the four remains the most potent symbol of the wealthiest and most powerful state in all of India. In the 17th century, the fort boasted 8 gates 87 canons 42 escape tunnels and walls some 10kms in radius. Today the main road to Golconda is lined with half finished flats, service stations and billboards advertising latest Telugu blockbusters. Although in ruins the fort still makes an impression as it comes into view.
Qamaruddin would become the first Nizam of Hyderabad and one of the most successful rulers of the 18th century in India. His empire would fill the void left by the disintegration of the Mughal dynasty. For the young Qamaruddin, Aurangzeb’s Deccan obsession presented him with endless opportunities to raise through the ranks above. Qamaruddin added the fortress of Raigarh to his list of conquers and was rewarded with the bejeweled sword, a robe of honor and an elephant by the time he was 16.
In the early hours of Friday 3rd March 1707 Aurangzeb was dead. Nizam-ul-Mulk first priority was to secure the Deccan from the abominations of highway robbers and the rapacity of the Marathas. He then divided his newly acquired kingdom state into three parts. 1/3rd became his private estate know as the sharif-e-khas. 1/3 rd was allotted for the expenses of the government and was known as the diwan territory. Remaining was distributed to Muslim nobles. The most important of these worthy paigha estates.
What happens next we shall cover it in the next episode of Dastan-e-Hyderabad.