The Farukhi (Anwariyya) Dynasty


The Royal House of Arcot claim descent from the Caliph Umar, second successor of the Prophet Muhammad. Nawab Anwar ud-din Khan, the first of ruler of this line, entered the Deccan in the service of Nizam ul-Mulk. After serving under him in Hyderabad he was sent to the Carnatic as guardian to the infant Subadar Muhammad Said Khan of the Newayetah family. Anwar ud-din was appointed in his place in 1744, but was killed in battle against the French, five years later.

Originally Subadars, under the Nizam of Hyderabad, they renounced their former allegiances with the collapse of Mughal power, and received recognition as independent sovereigns by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. This status was recognised by the Mughal Emperor, two years later. The second ruler of this line entered into direct relations with the British government, receiving and exchanging Ambassadors with the British Sovereign, rather than the HEIC.

The close association of the family with the British, often resulted in the invasion of their territories by the French, then engaged in their struggle for control of India against the British. The struggle for power continued for half a century, with Nawabs of the Carnatic being made and unmade by either side. Towards the close of the struggle, the British authorities in Madras concluded that they could only secure their position by assuming direct control over the military and civil forces of the Nawabs. Consequently, in 1801, the reigning Nawab agreed to the transfer of the civil and military administration of the state. He retained a substantial percentage of the net revenues, direct control over his landed properties, and the right to make certain appointments and grant titles. The family established their principal place of residence in Madras, constructing a magnificent palace, mosques, colleges and mansions.

The British annexed the Carnatic territories outright in 1855 after the death of Nawab Muhammad Ghaus Khan. He left no direct male heirs, so the doctrine of lapse was applied and the state annexed by the Government of Madras. Many of the properties, palaces and mansions built by the Nawabs were either purchased from the heirs or sequestrated by the state. Amongst them the magnificient Chepauk Palace at Artillery Park, which became the Senate house of Madras University.

Nawab Muhammad 'Ali Khan, paternal uncle of the deceased Nawab and legitimate heir according to Islamic laws of inheritance, then launched a long legal and political challenge against the HEIC in England. His case was taken up by a number of influential people in there and was raised on his behalf in the House of Commons. After much wrangling, in which the government of India came under severe criticism, a compromise was reached in 1867. Certain rights and privileges, including a large pension, together with certain other marks of honour, were conceded to him and his male descendants. As head of the Carnatic family he also received recognition as the premier prince of the Madras presidency, with a new hereditary title as the Prince of Arcot. His direct descendant, and the eighth Prince of his line, Nawab Ghulam Muhammad 'Abdu'l 'Ali Khan retains these priviledges to this day. His status remains unaffected by the legislative devises and presidential decrees, employed by the government of Mrs Indira Gandhi, to "de-recognise" the Indian princes in 1971.

15-guns (until 1889).

White with a green border, a green cresent moon and five pointed star within.

The head of the princely family: 'Azim Jah, 'Umdat ul-Umara, Amir ul-Umara, Siraj ul-Umara, Madar ul-Mulk, 'Umdat ul-Mulk, Azim ud-Daula, Asad ud-Daulat ul-Ingliz, Nawab (personal name) Khan Bahadur, The Prince of Arcot, with the style of His Highness.
The consort of the head of the family: Nawab (personal name) Begum Sahiba, with the style of Her Highness.
The sons of the head of the family: Sahibzada (personal name) Khan Bahadur.
The daughters of the head of the family: Sahibzadi (personal name) Begum Sahiba.


Edward Balfour. Carnatic Stipendiaries of 1801. Orders of Government Granting and Regulating their Stipends. Madras, 1858. IOR (V/27/71/5). India Office Records, British Library, St Pancras, London.
Surgeon Edward Balfour. Memorandum on Statements in the Memorial from certain Carnatic Stipendiaries addressed to the Honourable the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India in 1855. Asylum Press, Madras, 1856. IOR (V/27/71/4). India Office Records, British Library, St Pancras, London.
S. Muhammad Husain Nainar (editor). Sources of the History of the Nawwabs of the Carnatic I. Tuzak-i-Walajahi by Burhan ibn Hasan, Part I. Madras University Islamic Series No. 1. University of Madras, 1934.
S. Muhammad Husain Nainar (editor). Sources of the History of the Nawwabs of the Carnatic II. Tuzak-i-Walajahi of Burhan ibn Hasan, Part II. Madras University Islamic Series No. 4. University of Madras, 1939.
S. Muhammad Husain Nainar (editor). Sources of the History of the Nawwabs of the Carnatic III. Sawanihat-i-Mumtaz by Muhammad Karim, Part I. Madras University Islamic Series No. 5. University of Madras, 1950.
S. Muhammad Husain Nainar (editor). Sources of the History of the Nawwabs of the Carnatic V. Bahar-i-A'zam-Jahi by Ghulam 'Abdu'l Kadir Nazir. Madras University Islamic Series No. 11. University of Madras, 1950.
N.S. Ramaswami, Political History of Carnatic under the Nawabs, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, 1984.

Dr. Morris Bierbrier, FSA.
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
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