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The Nizams’ State of Hyderabad 1947-1948

The State of Hyderabad 1948 - 1956

The State of Andhra Pradesh 1956 - present





Hyderabad was founded at the beginning of the 18th century when Mir Qamr ud Din became viceroy of the Deccan. He became independent from Delhi in 1724. By Treaty of Marsulipatnam of 1778 the Nizam had to accept British protection. At the Mutiny of 1857 the Nizam was loyal to the British.

In Colonial India, Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually this region emerged as the Coastal Andhra region. Later the Nizam had ceded five territories to the British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the Princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy. Meanwhile, the French had occupied Yanam (Yanaon), in the Godavari Delta, and (save for periods of British control) would hold it until 1954.


India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, but the people of the region launched the movement to join the Indian Union. His state of Hyderabad was forced to become part of the Republic of India in 1948, after Indian Military operation known as Operation Polo within 5 days with popular support from people as Hyderabad State.

In an effort to gain an independent state, and protect the interests of the Telugu people of Madras State, Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu fasted until death. Public outcry and civil unrest after his death forced the government to announce the formation of a new state for Telugu speaking people. Andhra attained statehood in October 1953 with Kurnool as its capital.

On 1st November 1956, Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.



Mir Qamr ud-Din Asaf Sjah I


Salabat Jang


Ali Khan


Nasir ud-Daula


Afzal ud Daula


Nawab Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Baha­dur Asaf Sjah VI


Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Sjah VII





On the flag of the Nizam there was a white disc on a yellow field. Certainly a full moon is meant, a state symbol in Indian symbolism. It matches with the title Nizam-ul-Mulk (“governor of the country”) which was granted to Mir Qamr ud Din by the Moghul emperor Muhammad Shah. A legend relates that the white disc is called the “Chapati of Good Luck” [1]. This chapati is supposed to have been  given to Nizam Mir Qamr ud Din on his campaign in the Deccan by a sadhu as an amulet. He carried it with him on all his (succesful) campaigns and his successors charged their flags with this disc, called kulcha, after him.


Tughra as on early stamps of Hyderabad, dated 1283 (1869AD), the first year of the reign of Nizam Nawab Mir Mahbus Ali Khan Bahadur Asaf Shah VI (1869-1911). The tughra runs: Safia Sarkar Sanah (The reign of Asaf of the year...) and the date.
By the administration of the Nizam a tughra was used consisting of the name of the Nizam and the year of his reign.

At the Durbar of Delhi in 1877 the arms of the Nizam consisted of a shield decorated with flowers on a green field with the kulcha from the flag in the middle. The yellow of the flag was probably changed in green to be in accordance with European rules of heraldry which forbids the use of “metal on metal” i.e. of Argent on Or.

The error was corrected by Osman Ali who changed the colour of the field in yellow. Some specimina of these achievements can still be found in the royal palace at Hyderabad, in particular on the frames of royal portraits.

From the year that Osman Ali tried to establish a sovereign state, an achievement is known which continues the islamic tradition of the tughra as a personal princely device on the one hand and the European heraldic tradition on the other hand. This resulted in an elaborate, mainly written achievement of European stencil. In the written Nizams’ titles the title  “Faithfull Ally of the British Government” is striking. Maybe it was granted as a reward for the Nizams’ loyalty in 1857. The title “His Exalted Highness” was granted in 1918. The achievement can, amongst other intersting symbols, also be found on the back of the Royal Chair today at Purani Haveli Palace in Hyderabad.

Osman Ali wearing a royal headdres with sarpech or royal jewel

On this achievement and on the governments seal there is also a version of the royal crown, consisting of a pointed cap with a sarpech or royal jewel.


On the 17th of December 1948 the rule of the Nizam came to an end. Nevertheless  Osman Ali was a governor of the State of Hyderabad from 1952 until 1956. In that period the emblem or seal of the state consisted of the Asoka capital surrounded by the legend GOVERNMENT OF HYDERABAD.

On the 1st of November 1956 Hyderabad was split up and the state of Andhra Pradesh was formed out of the Telangadistricts of Hyderabad and the Telugu-speaking part of Madras. The main religion of its population is hinduism.

Contrary to the former emblems of state, the emblem of Andhra Pradesh is of  Hindu design.

Its main symbol is a sun radiant charged with a treasure vase (kasala). The sun radiant was the symbol of the Mughal Empire to which the territory of Andhra Pradesh was a part for a long time. The Treasure Vase is a Buddhist symbol meaning longevity, wealth and prosperity and it can be considered as the motto of Andhra Pradesh.

The main symbol is surrounded by a bordure of ancient design. Below is the Asoka capital of the Republic, common for almost all symbols of the Indian federal states. The legend is in latin, devanagiri and telugu script.




Nawab Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Baha­dur Asaf Sjah VI



Drawing Hubert de Vries


Arms: Vert, semé of quatrefoils Argent, a plate (i.e. a roundle Argent).

Crest: On a helmet guardant, lambrequined Vert and Argent, a tiger issuant proper.

Supporters: Two lions.

Motto: alazmat ullah (Gods Omnipotence) in arabic.

(Taylor 1902/1877 n°  37)


* A similar achievement is on a crown today in the collection of the Maharaja of Mysore, showing a moon surrounded by 30 stars and supported by two two lions sejand guardant. Like this:



The origin and history of the crown are unknown but an acceptable theory may be that it was a part of the Mysore booty after a conflict between the two states in the 18th century and thus came into the possession of the wodeyars of Mysore.

The achievement may have been the source of inspiration for Robert Taylor when designing the achievement of  Hyderabad in 1877, replacing the stars by quatrefoils.


Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Sjah VII

1911 -1948


Arms: Or, strewn with quatrefoils Argent, a plate.

Crest: On a wreath of the colours a tiger issuant proper.

Supporters: Two lions proper.

Motto: alazmat ullah in golden lettering on a grey ribbon.


The Nizam’s achievement, 20th century


Arms: A plate inscribed surrounded by a crown of laurel

Crest: A shield charged wit a crescent and star, crested with the Nizam’s turban

Supporters: Two tigers or lions


1. h.e.m. rustum idowran arastui zaman.

2. sipah salar muzaffulmulk walmamalik faithful ally of the british government asif jah mir osman ali khan bahadur lieut. general fateh jung.

3. nizam ud dowla nizam ul mulk

4. hyderabad deccan


The Nizams’ State of Hyderabad 1947-1948


The Royal arms of Hyderabad State 1947 - 1948



Arms: The name and titles of the Nizam in arabic.

Crest: The motto alazmat ulla in arabic and the royal turban within a garland.

Supporters: Two tigers collared.


1. h.e.m. rustum idowran arastui zaman.

2. sipah salar muzaffulmulk walmamalik faithful ally of the british government asif jah mir osman ali khan bahadur lieut. general fateh jung.

3. nizamud dowla nizam ul mulk

4. hyderabad deccan

In between 3 and 4: GCSIGBE, OP

On a publication under the Nizams authority, 1947


State Emblem

The translation of "The Nizams Government" in arabic, surrounded by the legend: THE NIZAM'S GOVERNMENT HYDERABAD DECCAN. In chief the royal turban and the words HIS EXALTED HIGHNESS.

Jaipur, 1970


Federal State of Hyderabad 1948-1956


Seal: The crest of India with the motto and the legend government of hydera­bad.


On a government publication, 1953




Emblem: A sun radiant charged with a treasure vase, placed within an orna­men­ted circular frame. In base the crest of the Republic of India. L.: GOVERMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH, the name of the state repeated in Hindi en Telugu. In base the motto of India "SATYAMEVA JAYATE" in devanagi­ri.    


On government publications, < 1961- present


ð See illustration in the head of this article




Breschi, Roberto

Bandiere, Passato e Presente


Jaipur, H.H. the Maharadja of

A History of the Indian State Forces. Orient Longmans. Bombay/Cal­cutta/Madras/New Delhi, 1967.


Leithbridge, Sir Roper

The Golden Book of India. With an appendix for Ceylon. Sampson Low & Co.. London, 1900. XX & 366 pp.


Soszynski, Henry

Rulers of Indian Princely States


Taylor, Robert M.A. Cantab Bengal Civil Service.

The Princely Armory. Being a display of the arms of the ruling chiefs of India prepared for the Imperial Assembly held at Delhi on the 1st day of January 1877. Printed for the Government of India at the Government Central Printing Office, 8 Hastings Street, Calcutta 1902.



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© Hubert de Vries, 2009-07-28. Updated 2018-05-02




[1] Mentioned by Leithbridge, Sir Roper: op. cit 1900.  Chapati = thin circular bread, very common on the Indian table.