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HYDERABAD: The historical city of Hyderabad might just be on the verge of another churning: A familiar fate for the perpetual bride ever up for claimants. Through out its 420-year-old history, Hyderabad has been irresistible for those who coveted it, and they ended up either taking the city by force or fighting till end for control. The city of pearls is now going through yet another challenge that might well end up as a new chapter in its chequered history.
It was in 1591 that Hyderabad was founded by Mohd Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth king of the Quli Qutub Shah dynasty, based in Golconda fort. The Shah decided to build a new city on the banks of the Musi river because Golconda posed a problem of drinking water and raging epidemics. Over the next few decades, while Golconda continued to exist, Hyderabad, with Charminar as its centrepiece, became the new hub. It was 25km away from Golconda.
Mughal emperor Aurangzeb captured Hyderabad in 1687 and ended the reign of Quli Qutub Shah dynasty. His armies pitched tent at Fateh Maidan (now Lal Bahadur Stadium) near Golconda fort and laid siege to the city. Through a clever mix of courage and guile, Aurangzeb routed the enemy; but, only after a siege of nine months.
In full control now, Aurangzeb appointed Nizam-ul-Mulk as viceroy of the Deccan and left for Delhi. Soon thereafter, Aurangzeb died, and a fight for succession broke out in Delhi. Nizam-ul-Mulk left for Delhi as his presence was needed there. He returned nine years later and found one Mubariz Khan, appointed by Emperor Farukhsiyar, in control of Hyderabad. To regain control of Deccan, Nizam-ul-Mulk not only fought Mubariz Khan but also became ruler independent of Mughals in 1724. At that time, Aurangabad was Deccan capital and Hyderabad was part of the kingdom.
Nizam-ul-Mulk became Asaf Jah-I and established Asaf Jahi dynasty of the Nizams. But it was in 1769 that Hyderabad got preeminence after Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah-II, the second ruler of the dynasty, made it the capital of his kingdom instead of Aurangabad. By then, two bloody battles had been fought for Hyderabad.
And just when the city thought peace had settled in, came the 1948 accession. In British India, the Asaf Jahis continued to rule Hyderabad. After India got independence on August 15, 1947, the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, refused to merge with India, opting instead to remain independent or merge with Pakistan. Home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel got Indian Army to take control of Hyderabad. With the Indian Army having reaching Secunderabad, the Nizam saw it prudent to sign the instrument of accession.
Since then, Hyderabad has grown into a cosmopolitan city largely due to Central government and defence establishments. In its most recent phase of growth, the IT boom galvanised Hyderabad's outskirts into a major international hub. Apart from AP's two other regions, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra, many people from other parts of India and abroad, attracted by Hyderabad's resources, climate and peaceful environment, have made its home.