Nawabs of Bhopal

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The Nawabs of Bhopal were the Muslim rulers of Bhopal, now part of Madhya Pradesh, India. The nawabs first ruled under the Mughal Empire from 1707 to 1737, under the Maratha Empire from 1737 to 1818, then under British rule from 1818 to 1947, and independently thereafter until it was acceded to the Union of India in 1949.[1][2] The female nawabs of Bhopal held the title Nawab Begum of Bhopal.[3]

File:Dost Mohammad Khan Bhopal (cropped).jpg
Dost Mohammad Khan Bhopal founder of the Dynasty

List of rulers of Bhopal[edit]

Nawabs of Bhopal[edit]

Nawabs of bhopal, c. 1630-1640
A Nawab of Bhopal, 17-18th century
Bhopal Royal Family: From left to right - Nawab Hamidullah Khan, his wife Maimoona Sultan, their daughters - Rabia Sultan, Abida Sultan, Sajida Sultan in London, 1932
  1. Nawab Dost Muhammad Khan (circa 1672-1728); founded the state of Bhopal in 1707 and ruled it until 1728. He also founded the city of Islamnagar, founded by Dost Mohammad Khan in 1716 and early 1720s.
  2. Nawab Sultan Muhammad (1720-?); ruled from 1728 to 1742.
    • Nawab Yar Muhammad Khan (1709-1742), Regent of Bhopal; 1728-1742.
  3. Nawab Faiz Mohammad Khan (1731-1777); ruled from 1742 to 1777.
  4. Nawab Hayat Muhammad Khan (1736-1807); ruled from 1777 to 1807.
  5. Nawab Ghaus Muhammad Khan (1767-1826); ruled from 1807 to 1826.
  6. Nawab Muiz Muhammad Khan (circa 1795-1869); ruled from 1826 to 1837.
  7. Nawab Jahangir Muhammad Khan (1816-1844); ruled from 1837 to 1844.

Nawab Begums of Bhopal[edit]

  1. Qudsia Begum, (ruler from 1819 to 1837) - In 1819, 18-year-old Qudsia Begum (also known as Gohar Begum) took over the reins after the assassination of her husband. She was the first female ruler of Bhopal. She declared that her 2-year old daughter Sikander will follow her as the ruler. None of the male family members dared to challenge her decision. She ruled till 1837 when she died having adequately prepared her daughter for ruling the state.
  2. Nawab Sikandar Begum (ruled from 1860 to 1868)
  3. Begum Sultan Shah Jehan (ruled from 1844 to 1860 and 1868 to 1901) - Shahjahan was the only surviving child of Sikandar Begum, sometime Nawab of Bhopal by correct title, and her husband Jahangir Mohammed Khan. She was recognised as ruler of Bhopal in 1844 at the age of six; her mother wielded power as regent during her minority. However, in 1860, her mother Sikandar Begum was recognised by the British as ruler of Bhopal in her own right, and Shahjahan was set aside. During her reign the first postage stamps of the Bhopal state were issued. In 1876 and 1878 there were issues of half and quarter anna stamps. Those of 1876 have text "HH Nawab Shahjahan Begam" in an octagonal frame; the 1878 stamps the same text in a round frame and the Urdu form of the Begum's title. The last stamps bearing her name were issued in 1902 with inscription: "H.H. Nawab Sultan Jahan Begam".[4]
  4. Begum Kaikhusrau Jahan (ruled from 1901 to 1926, died 1930)

Titular rulers[edit]

  1. Al-Haj Nawab Sir Hafiz Muhammad Hamidullah Khan Bahadur GCSI, GCIE, CVO (1894-1960); ruled from 1926-1947, serving as nominal ruler to his death in 1960. Last of the sovereign Nawabs of Bhopal.
  2. Sajida Sultan, Begum of Bhopal (1915 - 1995); ruled from (1960-1971), titular Begum of Bhopal until 1971 when India abolished royal entitlements through the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India.[5]

Family tree[edit]

The family tree of the ruling dynasty is given below:[citation needed]

1876 stamp issued during the reign of Nawab Begum Shahjahan
1908 one anna stamp of Bhopal State

See also[edit]


  1. Kumāra, Braja B. (1998). "Declaration of Sovereignty". Small States Syndrome in India. Concept Publishing Company. p. 42. ISBN 9788170226918.
  2. Śāha, Aśoka; Subherwal, Gita (2011). Vintage Bhopal. Bhopal: Archaeology, Archives, and Museums, Government of Madhya Pradesh. p. 188. ISBN 9788189660161.
  3. Birdwood, George (25 November 1876). "Kaisar-i-Hind". The Athenaeum. London: John Francis (2562): 723.
  4. Stanley Gibbons Ltd. Stanley Gibbons' Simplified Stamp Catalogue; 24th ed., 1959. London: Stanley Gibbons Ltd.' p. 153
  5. The 26th amendment of the Indian constitution

External links[edit]