On the 50th death anniversary of the last Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan on February 24, a photo exhibition of rare photographs was held at The Nizam’s Museum. Save for a few old timers, the museum at Purani Haveli where the museum is located wore a forlorn look.
The VII Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan and The Nizam's Museum
“You look anywhere from Osmania University, Osmania General Hospital, Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, Nayapul bridge, High Court building, Assembly building, Jubilee Hall or Nampally railway station these structures remind you of one man’s contribution to the city, but the state government has just forgotten his contribution, says historian Dr Mohammad Safiullah of Deccan Heritage Trust.
The museum has maps from the Kakatiya dynasty to the present and gold and silver models of important landmarks of the city such as Moazamjahi market, Aza Khana Zehra, Arts College among others and a gold bowel and trowel that was used for laying the foundation of Osmania University.
On the death of the VII Nizam more than 10 lakh people made it to the funeral, such was his popularity, says Dr D Bhaskara Rao, chief curator, The Nizam’s Museum.
During his lifetime, Mir Osman Ali Khan’s wish of opening a museum with the gifts he received when the Silver Jubilee celebrations took place in 1936 did not fructify.
Thanks to the initiative of Princess Durru Shevar, first daughter-in-law and wife of Azam Jah and her son Muffakam Jah who wanted to see the wish of the last nizam come true formed the Nizam’s Jubilee Pavilion Trust and on February 18, 2000 the Nizam’s Museum was opened.
The Deccan Heritage Trust is planning to release 100 rare photographs shortly in social media. Mohammad Safiullah says, “We also plan to hold an exhibition of rare photographs, firmans and material pertaining to Osmania University which would be completing 100 years.”
The Nizam State had its own railway and the economy was the size of Belgium. Post independence, the last nizam lived a quiet life helpless at the dramatic reversal of fortunes from being considered one of the richest men on earth to a former king in independent India.
50 years after his death, the architect of Hyderabad has been relegated to the pages in history