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About Salar Jungs

In the The family of Salar Jung traces its descent from Shaikh Ovais-iQ arani of Madina in Arabia. About the middle of the 17th century the family of Nawab Saheb migrated from Madina to the Adil Shahi kingdom of Bijapur where he married into a noble family. After the fall of the kingdom, the members of the family took service under the Mughals. Later on they transferred their allegiance to the family of the Nizam and served them with great distinction. Nawab Dargah Quli Khan, Salar Jung Bahadur, was only 14 years old (1722) when Nizam-ul-Mulk gave him a military command and Jagir’. Six years later he became ADC to the Nizam-ul-Mulk. He rose to power under the successors of the first Nizam. Nasir Jung honoured Dargah Quli Khan and later Salabat Jung bestowed on him the titles of”Motaman-udD aula” and “Khan-e-Dauran”.

The famous Salar Jung family directly descended from Ali Zarnan Khan Ghayur Jung, the third son of the daughter of Dargah Quli Khan. Ghayur Jung was born in 1770 and given the titles of “Munir-ud-Daula”, “Munir-ul-Mulk” and “Amir-ul-Umara”. He was the “Diwan” of the Deccan Province and married the daughter of Mir Alam. After her death he married her younger sister. Ali Zaman Khan Ghayur Jung succeeded his father-in-law Mir Alam as Prime Minister of Hyderahad. Among the descendants of Shaikh Ovais of Madina and later of Bijapur, he was the first to occupy the high post. He died in 1882. By his second wife he had two sons, Mir Muhammad Ali Khan Shuja-ud-Daula Salar Jung and Alam Ali Khan Siraj-ul-Mulk Sher Jung. The family acquired so much importance that five members of it served as the Prime Ministers of Hyderabad Viz., Badi-uz-Zaman Khan Munir-ul-Mulk (1808-1832), Mir Alam Au Khan, Siraj-ul-Mulk (1846 1848 and 1851 1853), Mir Turab Ali Khan, Mukhtar-ul-Mulk Salar Jung 1(1853-1883), Mir Laiq Ali Khan Salar Jung 11(1884-1887), Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1912- 1914). They were the “Umra-i-Uzzam” or the leading nobles, and they played a key role in the administration of the State as well as the social and cultural life of Hyderabad. In hierarchy they were next to the Paigah family.

The first Salar Jung, Mir Turab Au Khan, was a great administrator and architect of modern Hyderabad. During his life-time Turab Ali Khan was recognised as a leading Indian statesman, but unfortunately today his name is remembered, if at all, only in relation to the museum which houses the art collection most of which is the collection of his grandson. The role that he played in shaping the contours of the history of Hyderabad during such an important transitional period is hardly known, let alone appreciated. The third Salar Jung, Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, became famous as a great connoisseur of art and he left a priceless bequest for posterity immortalising him and his family’s name in every respect

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