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NAWABS OF AWADH – 1722-1856

Q1. Awadh region comprised of?
It comprised the following modern districts of UP districts of Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Balrampur, Barabanki, Faizabad, Gonda, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Lucknow, Pratapgarh, Rai Bareilly, Shravasti, Sitapur, Sultanpur and Unnao.
Q2. How was this Nawab dynasty rule formed in Awadh and when?
SAADAT KHAN BURHAN UL MULK - 1722-1739 - He was Governor of Awadh during Muhammad Shah, the emperor of Delhi. In 1722, he declared himself independent and founded this dynasty to rule the regions of Awadh for a century and 34 years. Capital was first Faizabad and later shifted to Lucknow.
Q3. Who were the rulers of AWADH?
SAADAT KHAN - 1722-1739 - By his revenue and military reforms, his attitude towards the other religions and citizens, specially the Hindus, his state became economically and politically strong. In 1739 he committed suicide for unknown reason.
SAFDAR JUNG - 1739-1754 - He was a Wazir of Mughals. He was granted the province of Allahabad and when he was made the Nawab of Awadh, he became Nawab and Wazir both and his successors also held the post in the same way. During his tenure, he fought against Rohillas, Jats and the Marathas and expanded his territory to some extent.
SHUJA UD DAULA - 1754-1775 - He was the son of Safdar Jung and succeeded as the Nawab of Awadh, while retaining the Wazirship of the Mughal empire. He was involved in the Battle of Buxar in 1764 as an ally of Mir Qasim, Nawab of Bengal and had to face defeat.
Upon defeat, concluded a defence pact with British Warren Hastings called Treaty of Benares in 1773, whereby he had to give Kara and Allahabad, and British troops were allowed to be stationed at Awadh on payment of subsidy. With the help of British he annexed Rohilkhand to Awadh from the Rohillas in 1774. When his state was unable to meet the subsidy for the British troops stationed there, he ceded Fort Chuna, Benares, Ghazipur and Allahabad to the British. The other notable incident of his tenure as that he supported Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghan in defeating the Marathas in the III Battle of Panipat in 1761, with Balaji Baji Rao.
ASAF UD DAULA - 1775-1797 - Immedialy after assuming as Nawab he had to enter into a Treaty with the British in 1775, on various defence issues. Later, the Treaty proved to be an expensive arrangement resulting in heavy revenue drain. He transferred his capital from Faizabad to Lucknow in 1775. During his reign the Begums of Awadh (mother and grand mother of Asaf) were humiliated and ill treated by Nawab Nazir with the help of Warren Hastings (1781-1782) and huge amount was extratcted from them.
WAZIR ALI - 1797-1798 - A brief period without any event.
SADAAT ALI KHAN -1798-1814 - He was the elder brother of Asaf and came to power with the help of British. He had to sign a treaty with Lord Wellesley in 1801 and lost half of the territory to the British, for the maintenance of the subsidiary troops stationed by the British.
GAZIUDDIN HAIDER - 1814-1827; NASIRUDDIN HAIDER -1827-1837; MUMMAD ALI SHAH - 1837-1842; AMJAD ALI KHAN - 1842-1847; and WAZID ALI SHAH - 1847-1856 - all these were also Nawabs of Awadh but were mostly decorative and puppets under the British, because by then British had completely established themselves in this region. The last of the Awadh ruler Wazid Ali Shah was pensioned off to Calcutta where he lived till his death.
Q4. What were the personal glory of the last Awadh ruler Wazid Ali Shah?
1. He was married 359 times during his lifetime. 2. He was widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical dance. He patronized all forms of arts and music. 3. He was a good poet and wrote a number of poems and Ghazals with the pen name of "Akhtar Priya". 4. One of his compositions is even today sung by professional singers - "Babul mora naihaar choto joy" set in Rag Bhairavi Tumri.