This exhibit focuses on the evolution and dispersal of the Nizam's Army, the ruler of Hyderabad State.
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.
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
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.
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.
'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.
Maps from the collection of Prshant K. Lahoti, and Karen Leonard
Online curation: Fareeda Farsana