1912 - 1915

His Highness The Nizam's Army

Kalakriti Archives

This exhibit focuses on the evolution and dispersal of the Nizam's Army, the ruler of Hyderabad State.

Introduction
Compared to the other Princely States, the Princely State of Hyderabad under Asaf Jahis, also known under the title of Nizams, maintained a large army. The army mainly consisted of both Regular and Irregular Forces. The Regular Forces were brought up under organised discipline with modern equipments and comprised of Hyderabad Imperial Service Troops, the Regular Troops, Golconda Brigade and the Nizam Mahbub or Myseram Regiment. The Irregular Forces were comprised of many groups such as Arabs, Afghans, Turks, Rohillas, Sikhs, Rajputs, Rathores, and Beluchis and the recruitment had begun since the time of Nizam-ul-Mulk Mir Qamar-ud-Din Khan, the first Asaf Jah. Later, it was from irregular troops that many contingents and regular forces were formed. Hyderabad Imperial Service Troops was the outcome of Nizam's offer of 60 lakhs to the British in defence of the frontier due to fear of Russian invasion in 1886. Other Indian princes also followed the Nizam, then India Govt decided that princes should be allowed to raise a properly disciplined army with modern equipment to take to the field at any moment along with the British army instead of accepting monetary assistance. The Hyderabad imperial Lancer was consist of two regiments of cavalry, styled 1st and 2nd Lancers, each includes 400 troops and Nawab Afsar-ud-Daula was the chief commander of all the Regular Troops. The regiments were maintained based on Silladari system. According to Silladari, the horses would not be the property of the govt, but of private Individuals. So, Silladars or owners of the horses should not belong to the regiments. Later Nizam decided to form regiments, which was comprised of 200 men and horses taken from Lancers Regiments existed then. Besides the sword and Lancers, the regiments were also armed with Enfield pistols. And, the condition was the enrolled person must be a born subject of Nizam. The regular troops consisted of African Cavalry Guards; Two batteries of Artillery; 1st, 2nd, and 3rc Lancers; and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th infantry. Besides these, there was a subsidiary troops and Hyderabad contingents. The subsidiary troops were kept for protection to the throne when in time of any danger the Nizam can use the troops. This troops stationed at Secunderabad Cantonment lies to the north-east of Hyderabad  The coverage of Secunderabad Cantonment comprised the areas of Chilkalguda, Bowenpalli, Begampet, Tirumalgiri, and Bolaram. And, Hyderabad contingents could only employ when any war breaks out.The regular troops of Nizam were stationed within the city of Hyderabad, hence this exhibition focus on the dispersal of the Regular Troops of the Nizam and the regiments where they stationed.

African Cavalry Guards

A.C Guards, an old military Barracks, was a regiment part of Nizam Regular Troops. The name, standing for 'African Cavalry Guards', were part of Nizam's army, whose recruitment started during the 6th Asaf Jah Mir Mahbub Ali Khan.

Initially, these Africans were recruited by the Raja of Wunparti, through whom the Nizam got interested, and thence recruited due to their physique, and trained to be the bodyguards of the Nizam. These Africans were either Siddi or Habshi and were provided free housing. Afterward, they were trained in martial arts, made into a unit in Nizam's army, then renamed as African Cavalry Guards. Physical strength was the priority for the recruitment, with 6-month rigorous training provided and with a fixed number of 300, no more no less. The Barracks located in Khairiatabad.

Although the exact date of the construction of the Barracks is unknown, it is believed to have been 100 years old. And, around the Barracks, quarters of the veterinary surgeon and Jamadars (military officer) are identifiable on the map.

A portion of the regiment African Cavalry Guards.

The Cavalry Unit within the A.C Guards.

3rd Lancers

Depicts Barracks used for housing the soldiers of 3rd Lancers of Hyderabad Regular Troops, which includes a dispensary and a stable to house the horses along with a veterinary dispensary are visible on the map.

Initially, the 3rd Lancers were formed from the Cavalry of Raja Shevraj and known as 3rd Carbineers. Later in 1875, the regiment named as 3rd Regiments of Lancers with 3 European Officers, 263 men, and Musicians. Later the regiment armed with lances and the strength was 306 before the formation of Hyderabad Imperial Service Troops, thus known as Regular Troops Lancer Regiment. It was in 1897, the regiment named as 3rd Lancers by an order of Govt.

Hyderabad Imperial Service Troops was the outcome of Nizam's offer of 60 lakhs to the British in defence of the frontier due to fear of Russian invasion in 1886. Other Indian princes also followed the Nizam, then India Govt decided that princes should be allowed to raise a properly disciplined army with modern equipment to take to the field at any moment along with the British army instead of accepting monetary assistance. The Hyderabad imperial Lancer was consist of two regiments of cavalry, styled 1st and 2nd Lancers, each includes 400 troops and Nawab Afsar-ud-Daula was the chief commander of all the Regular Troops. The regiments were maintained based on Silladari system. According to Silladari, the horses would not be the property of the govt, but of private Individuals. So, Silladars or owners of the horses should not belong to the regiments. Later Nizam decided to form regiments, which was comprised of 200 men and horses taken from Lancers Regiments existed then

To the south of the Barracks lies a stable along with a veterinary dispensary.

The Saddle Rooms adjoining to the Barracks where soldiers of 3rd Lancers of Nizam's Rugular troops were housed.

Infantry Regiments

Infantry regiments were part of Nizam's Regular Tropps. Infantry Regiments formations were partly taken from the irregular troops and partly recruited from outside. Initially, there were five regiments, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 6th. Later, in 1897, the first regiment was disbanded and 6th regiment was renamed to 1st.

Second Infantry Regiment

The Second Infantry Regiment of Nizam. It was part of the Nizam's regular forces, which were in 5 regiments initially and each comprising a strength of 700, but later only the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th regiments remained in the service.

Seocond Infantry Regiment of Nizam.

Third Infantry Barracks

Third Infantry regiment was part of the Regular Forces of the Nizam. The Kopal Regiment with the strength of 448 combatants added to the Regular Troops and changed into the 3rd Infantry Regiment in 1864. This grew then to a fixed number of 700 in each Infantry Regiment, and thus came into existence as the Third Infantry Regiment. This regiment was exclusive of officers of European rank.

Adjacent to the Barracks, the quarters of the Jamadars army officer and Military Hospital are visible on the map.

The First Infantry Lines of the Nizam

First Infantry Lines was part of Nizam's Regular Troops which included an infantry regiment and a battery of artillery.

First Artillery Lines of the Nizam

Depicts the artillery Regiment, which was part of the Nizam's First Infantry Lines placed under the category of Nizam's Regular Troops.

Sarf-i-Khas

Sarf-i-Khas was the crown land, and every resource under this department would be for royalty including the Sarf-i-Khas army. Adjacent to the regiment, lies the Parade Ground, Bell of Arms, Jamadar's Quarters, Band Lines, etc.

Infantry Regiments under Sarf-i-Khas Department.

'Paigah Troops', or Household Troops of Nizam

The word Paigah means stable. The Jagir was assigned in lieu of the payment to look after the household troops of Nizam, which was mainly a body of horses. This Jagir was granted first to the Abul Khair Khan, the first Shams-ul-Umara by the Nizam Ali Khan Nizam-ul-Mulk. Later the jagir made this a hereditary service to the family of Abul Khair Khan.

This Cavalry regiment or Paigah troops maintained by the Shams-ul-umara were known as Jahan Numa Lancers and can be seen depicted on the map.

Large View of Jahan Numa Lancers.

From the collections of Prshant K. Lahoti, and Karen Leonard
Credits: Story

Maps from the collection of Prshant K. Lahoti, and Karen Leonard

Online curation: Fareeda Farsana

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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