Hyderabad-Secunderabad - History

Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, along with its twin sister, Secunderabad, are endearingly called 'Twin Cities'. The 400-year-old metropolis, a mixing pot of varied cultures, magnificent monuments and mansions speak the language of glory of the past heritage.

The history of Hyderabad is inextricably bound with the rise and fall of various kingdoms, which flourished in the Deccan plateau region during the medieval and modern times.

It was the rule of the famous Qutub Shahis which opened a glorious chapter in the annals of Hyderabad. Quli Qutub Shah seized the reigns of power from the Bahamani dynasty in 1512 and established the Fortress City of Golconda. During the reign of the fifth descendant of this dynasty, Mohammed Quli, Hyderabad got its name.

The City of Hyderabad, or Bhagyanagar, was named after a local dancer named Bhagmati. Md.Quli Qutub Shah loved this lass who lived in a cottage in the village of Chichlam, where the great edifice of Charminar stands.

Legend has it that the young Sultan rode out from the Golconda Fort to meet his beloved, braving the flood waters of the river Musi. He then re-christened her Hyder Mahal, and thus the name Hyderabad came into being. The seed of cultural tolerance and cosmopolitanism too were seemingly sown at the inception itself.

During the early part of his reign, Golconda became famous for its diamonds, steel and printed cloth. Commercial activity drew merchants from Asia and Europe, Hyderabad's fame, strategic location and Golconda's legendary wealth attracted Mughal emperor Aurangazeb, who captured Golconda after a long siege.

In 1687, it was annexed into the Mughal empire, with Asaf Jah as part Prime Minister of the Deccan. As the Mughal empire began to disintegrate and decay, Asaf Jah proclaimed himself the master of Deccan. This marked the end of the medieval period in the history of Deccan. The end of Mughal hegemony also marked the definite establishment of the Asaf Jahi rule.

The State and Dynasty so founded by Asaf Jahi I witnessed many eventful things in the evolution of Hyderabad State. He instituted the title of Nizam, which had become since then dynasty title of successive rulers of the State. He thus became the founder of the House of the Nizams.

In 1798, a subsidiary alliance for military and political cooperation was signed between the Hyderabad Nizam and the British East India Company. Thereafter, an area north of what is now the Hussain Sagar Lake was established as a cantonment. After the Nizam Sikander Jah, the area was named as Secunderabad.

The Asaf Jahi dynasty, ruled by the Nizams, continued until the State was merged into the Indian Union in 1948, after the Police action against the then Nizam, who refused to merge with the Indian Union.

Hyderabad, significantly, was the largest Princely State in India, with its own flag, currency and coins, postal system, railways and even its own radio.

After the reorganization of States in 1956, Hyderabad city was merged with the new State of Andhra Pradesh, carved out of the composite State of Madras and the city became the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Though the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are twins, they are different in their layout of buildings, the style of life and the very atmosphere. The cities present different fusion of cultures one been the capital of princely state and the other under the direct rule of British till 1948.

People of the Twin Cities are proud of the history and heritage, their unique blend of cultures, the relaxed pace of life, and lifestyle, and their cuisine.