Rampur State

Rampur State
Flag of princely Rampur.

Rampur State was a princely state of India.



The Rohilla War of 1774-5 began when the Rohillas reneged on a debt they owed the Nawab of Oudh for military assistance against the Marathas in 1772. The Rohillas were defeated and driven from their former capital of Bareilly by the Nawab of Oudh with the assistance of the East India Company's troops. The Rohilla State of Rampur was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan on 7 October 1774 in the presence of British Commander Colonel Champion, and remained a pliant state under British protection thereafter.

The first stone of the new Fort at Rampur was laid in 1775 by Nawab Faizullah Khan. Originally it was a group of four villages named Kather, the name of Raja Ram Singh. The first Nawab proposed to rename the city 'Faizabad'. But many other places were known by the name Faizabad so its name was changed to Mustafabad alias RAMPUR. Nawwab Faizullah Khan ruled for 20 years. He was a great patron of scholarship, and began the collection of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu manuscripts which now make up the bulk of the Rampur Raza Library. After his death his son Muhammad Ali Khan took over, but he was killed by the Rohilla leaders after 24 days, and Ghulam Muhammad Khan, the brother of the deceased, was proclaimed Nawab. The East India Company took exception to this, and after a reign of just 3 months and 22 days Ghulam Muhammad Khan was defeated by its forces, and the Governor-General made Ahmad Ali Khan, son of the late Muhammad Ali Khan, the new Nawab. He ruled for 44 years. He did not have any sons, so Muhammad Sa'id Khan, son of Ghulam Muhammad Khan, took over as the new Nawab. He raised a regular Army, established Courts and carried out many works to improve the economic conditions of farmers. His son Muhammad Yusuf Ali Khan took over after his death. His son Kalb Ali Khan became the new Nawab after his death in 1865.

Imambara, Fort of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, ca.1911.
Sir Kalb Ali Khan, Nawab of Rampur (1832-1887)

Nawab Kalb Ali Khan was literate in Arabic and Persian. Under his rule the state did much work to uplift standards of education. He was also a Member of Council during the Viceroyalty of Lord John Lawrence. He built the Jama Masjid in Rampur at a cost of Rs. 3 Lakhs. He was also knighted in Agra by the Prince of Wales. He ruled for 22 years and 7 months. After his death his son Mushtaq Ali Khan took over. He appointed W. C. Wright as the Chief Engineer of the estate. He built many new buildings and canals. Nawab Hamid Ali became the new ruler in 1889 at the age of 14. Many new schools were opened during his reign, and lots of donations were provided to nearby colleges. He donated Rs. 50,000 to Lucknow Medical College. In 1905 he built the magnificent Darbar Hall within the Fort which now houses the great collection of Oriental manuscripts held by the Rampur Raza Library. His son Raza Ali Khan became the last ruling Nawab in 1930. On 1 July 1949 the State of Rampur was merged into the Republic of India. Rampur today presents a slightly decayed appearance: the palaces of the Nawabs are crumbling, as are the gates and walls of the fort. However, the Library remains a flourishing institution of immense value to scholars from all over the world.

The Nawabs of Rampur sided with the British during the India's First War of Independence in 1857[1] and this enabled them to continue to play a role in the social, political and cultural life of Northern India in general and the Muslims of United Provinces in particular. They gave refuge to some of the literary figures from the Court of Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Post independence

Important descendants of the Nawabs include Murad Mian the first child of Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur. Begum Noor Bano, the widow of the former Nawab, Zulfiquar Ali Khan of Rampur. Begum Noor Bano has become a politician and won the election from Rampur parliamentary constituency in 1999. She lost the elections in 2004 and 2009. Murtaza Ali Khan and Zulfiquar Ali Khan (aka Mikki Mia), who continued to use the title of Nawab as a token even after independence and abolition of royalty but never ruled Rampur, are now dead. Murtaza Ali contested an election from Rampur opposite his mother Rafat Jamani Begum in 1972 and won. Although the two brothers were always political rivals they never faced each other in elections. Subsequently, the family was also involved in smuggling scandals involving some smuggling from Pakistan, where one of the sons of Murtaza Ali is married. Raza Inter College, Hamid Inter College and Murtaza Inter College are three higher secondary schools named after three nawabs.

Former film actress from seventies and eighteens, Jaya Prada was elected Member of Parliament from Rampur in 2004 and 2009. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of Bhartiya Janata Party was elected to Lok Sabha in 1998 from Rampur. Prof. Ravindra Khattree, renowned academic statistician, spent some of his early years at Rampur and studied ar Murtaza Inter College and Raza Inter College. Film actor of past years, Raza Murad, hails from Rampur.

Mohammad Azam Khan was elected Member of Legislative Assembly 6 times from Rampur. He held Cabinet Minister positions for the UP Government in the years 1989, 1993 and 2003. Mohammad Azam Khan is a member of the regional party Samajwadi Party and has been a strong political rival of the erstwhile Nawab family of Rampur which owes its allegiance to the Congress party.[2]

Rulers of Rampur

Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Ali Muhammad Khan 1719 15 September 1748
2 Faizullah Khan 15 September 1748 24 July 1793
Hafiz Rahmat Khan - Regent 15 September 1748 23 April 1774
3 Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 July 1793 11 August 1793
4 Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur 11 August 1793 24 October 1794
5 Ahmad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 October 1794 5 July 1840
Nasrullah Khan - Regent 24 October 1794 1811
6 Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur 5 July 1840 1 April 1855
7 Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur 1 April 1855 21 April 1865
8 Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur 21 April 1865 23 March 1887
9 Muhammad Mushtaq Ali Khan Bahadur 23 March 1887 25 February 1889
10 Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur 25 February 1889 20 June 1930
Regency 25 February 1889 4 April 1894
11 Raza Ali Khan Bahadur 20 June 1930 6 March 1966
12 Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur - Nawabat abolished in 1971 6 March 1966 8 February 1982
13 Zulfikar Ali Khan Bahadur -Nawabat abolished in 1971 8 February 1982 5 April 1992
14 Muhammad Kazim Ali Khan -Nawabat abolished in 1971 5 April 1992 Till Date

italics-titulary reigns


  1. ^ Rampur  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
  2. ^ http://uplegassembly.nic.in/mohdazamkhan.html

See also

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