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Carnatic Sultanate

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The Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot) were the nawabs who ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1855. The Carnatic was a dependency of Hyderabad Deccan, and was under the legal purview of the Nizam of Hyderabad, until their demise. They initially had their capital at Arcot in the present-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Their rule is an important period in the history of the Carnatic and Coromandel Coast regions, in which the Mughal Empire gave way to the rising influence of the Maratha Empire, and later the emergence of the British Raj.


The old province known as the Carnatic, in which Madras (Chennai) was situated, extended from the Krishna river to the Kaveri river, and was bounded on the West by Mysore kingdom and Dindigul, (which formed part of the Sultanate of Mysore). The Northern portion was known as the 'Mughal Carnatic', the Southern the 'Maratha Carnatic' with the Maratha fortresses of Gingee and Ranjankudi. Carnatic thus was the name commonly given to the region of Southern India that stretches from the East Godavari of Andhra Pradesh in the North, to the Maratha fort of Ranjangudi in the south (including the Kaveri River delta) and Coromandal Coast in the east to Western Ghats in the west.


The Nawabs of the Carnatic trace their origin back to second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. The Nawab of the Carnatic was established by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who in 1692 appointed Zulfikhar Ali Khan as the first Nawab of the Carnatic, with his seat at Arcot as a reward for his victory over the Marathas led by Rajaram. With the decline of Vijayanagara Empire in 1646, the Hindu viceroys Nayaks, established in Madurai, Tanjore and Kanchi made themselves independent, only in their turn to become tributary to the kings of Golconda and Bijapur, who divided the Carnatic between them. The Nawabdom of the Carnatic controlled a vast territory south of the Krishna river. The Nawab Saadatullah Khan I (1710–1732) moved his court from Gingee to Arcot. His successor Dost Ali (1732–1740) conquered and annexed Madurai in 1736.
In 1740, the Maratha forces descended on Arcot. They attacked the Nawab, Dost Ali Khan, in the pass of Damalcherry. In the war that followed, Dost Ali, one of his sons Hasan Ali, and a number of prominent persons lost their lives. This initial success at once enhanced Maratha prestige in the south. From Damalcherry the Marathas proceeded to Arcot, which surrendered to them without much resistance. Chanda Sahib 69 and his son were arrested and sent to Niggpur.
Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah (1749–1795) became the ruler in 1765.
The growing influences of the English and the French and their colonial wars had a huge impact on the Carnatic. Wallajah supported the English against the French and Hyder Ali, placing him heavily in debt. As a result, he had to surrender much of his territory to the East India Company. Paul Benfield, an English business man, made one of his mayor loans to the Nawab for the purpose of enabling him, who with the aid of the English, had invaded and conquered the Mahratta state of Tanjore.
The thirteenth Nawab, Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan (1825–1855), died without issue, and the British annexed the Carnatic Nawabdom, applying the doctrine of lapse. Ghouse Khan's uncle Azim Jah was created the first Prince of Arcot (Amir-e-Arcot) in 1867 by Queen Victoria, and was given a tax free-pension in perpetuity.

List of rulers

Subedar Nawabs of the Carnatic

{ Lineage
! Amir
! Reign
Azim Jah 1867–1874
younger son of Azim-ud-Daula
The Chepauk Palace, the official residence of the princes of the Carnatic had been taken over by the British in 1859.
He constructed a new residence, the Amir Mahal, in Royapettah.
Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur 1874–1879
Son of Azim Jah
Intizam-ul-Mulk Muazzal ud-Daula Bahadur 1879–1889
younger son of Azim Jah
Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur 1889–1903
nephew of Intizam-ul-Mulk
Sir Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 1903–1952
Son of Muhammad Munawar Khan
Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur 1952–1969
younger son of Muhammad Munawar Khan
Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader 1969–1993
Son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan
Muhammed Abdul Ali 1993–
Son of Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader


Fort St. George, Chennai.jpgIn the year 1702, Nawab Daud Khan, the Mughal Empire's local Subedar of the Carnatic, besieged and blockaded Fort St. George for more than three months,{{cite book url= title=A miscellany of mutinies and massacres in India author=Terence R. Blackburn the governor of the fort, Thomas Pitt, was instructed by the British East India Company to vie for peace
Death of the Nabob of the Carnatic by Paul Philippoteaux.jpgDeath of the Nawab Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan in a battle against the French in 1749, by Paul Philipoteaux
WAR ELEPHANTS CHARGE THE GATES OF THE FORT AT ARCOT..gifThe Siege of Arcot was a major battle fought between Robert Clive and the combined forces of the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company
Wallajah2.jpgMuhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, (1717–1795)
Umdat ul-Umara.jpgUmdat ul-Umara the Nawab of the Carnatic was a covert ally of Tipu Sultan
Azim Jah.jpgAzim Jah, eleventh and penultimate Nawab of the Carnatic, 1867 to 1874.
Azim-ud-Daula, Nawab of the Carnatic and His Son Azam Jah.jpgAzim-ud-Daula, Nawab of the Carnatic and his son Azam Jah.

See also

  • Carnatic Wars
  • Amir Mahal
  • Nawab of Masulipatam
  • Nawab of Banganapalle
  • Nawab of Savanur
  • History of Tamil Nadu

External links

  • Indian Princely States on
  • The House of Arcot

Category:Muslim princely states of India
Category:Princely states of India

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