Rampur State

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Not to be confused with Ranpur State

Rampur State
Princely State of British India

7 October 1774–15 August 1947
Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Lā fata ʾillā ʿAlī; lā sayf ʾillā Ḏū l-Fiqār.
Location of Rampur
Rampur State in a Map of the United Provinces from The Imperial Gazetteer of India (1907–1909)
 •  Established 7 October 1774
 •  Independence of India 15 August 1947
 •  1941 2,310 km2 (892 sq mi)
 •  1941 477,042 
Density 206.5 /km2  (534.9 /sq mi)
Today part of Uttar Pradesh, India
Nawab Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur, r. 1865–87
Imambara, Fort of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, c. 1911
Sir Kalb Ali Khan, Nawab of Rampur (1832–1887)

Rampur State was a 15 gun-salute princely state of British India. It came into existence on 7 October 1774 as a result of a treaty with Oudh. Following independence in 1947, Rampur State and other princely states of the area, such as Benares and Tehri-Garwal were merged into the United Provinces.[1] Rampur state had its capital in Rampur town and its total area was 945 sq miles.[2]


The Rohilla War of 1774–5 began when the Rohillas reneged on a debt they owed to the Nawab of Oudh for military assistance against the Maratha Empire in 1772. The Rohillas were defeated and driven from their former capital of Bareilly by the Nawab of Oudh with the assistance of the East India Company's troops lent by Warren Hastings.[3] The Rohilla State of Rampur was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan on 7 October 1774 in the presence of British Commander Colonel Champion, and remained a pliant state under British protection thereafter.

Faizullah Khan was a leader among the pashtuns. His family migrated and settled in Hindustan (now India) during the Mughal Empire. The Pashtuns consisted of high-ranking soldiers and administrative elites of the Mughal Empire. For Rohilla's Rampur State was one of the important princely states in Hindustan.

The first stone of the new Fort at Rampur was laid and the city of Rampur founded in 1775 by Nawab Faizullah Khan. Originally it was a group of four villages named Kather, the name of Raja Ram Singh. The first Nawab proposed to rename the city 'Faizabad'. But many other places were known by the name Faizabad so its name was changed to Mustafabad alias Rampur. Nawab Faizullah Khan ruled for 20 years. He was a great patron of scholarship, and began the collection of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu manuscripts which now make up the bulk of the Rampur Raza Library. After his death, his son Muhammad Ali Khan took over. He was killed by the Rohilla leaders after 24 days, and Ghulam Muhammad Khan – the brother of the deceased, was proclaimed Nawab. The East India Company took exception to this, and after a reign of just 3 months and 22 days Ghulam Muhammad Khan was defeated by its forces, and the Governor-General made Ahmad Ali Khan, son of the late Muhammad Ali Khan, the new Nawab. He ruled for 44 years. He did not have any sons, so Muhammad Sa'id Khan, son of Ghulam Muhammad Khan, took over as the new Nawab. He raised a regular Army, established Courts and carried out many works to improve the economic conditions of farmers. His son Muhammad Yusuf Ali Khan took over after his death. His son Kalb Ali Khan became the new Nawab after his death in 1865.

Nawab Kalb Ali Khan was literate in Arabic and Persian. Under his rule the state did much work to uplift standards of education. He was also a Member of Council during the Viceroyalty of Lord John Lawrence. He built the Jama Masjid in Rampur at a cost of Rs. 300,000. He was also knighted in Agra by the Prince of Wales. He ruled for 22 years and 7 months. After his death his son Mushtaq Ali Khan took over. He appointed W. C. Wright as the Chief Engineer of the estate. He built many new buildings and canals. Nawab Hamid Ali became the new ruler in 1889 at the age of 14. Many new schools were opened during his reign, and lots of donations were provided to nearby colleges. He donated Rs. 50,000 to Lucknow Medical College. In 1905 he built the magnificent Darbar Hall within the Fort which now houses the great collection of Oriental manuscripts held by the Rampur Raza Library. His son Raza Ali Khan became the last ruling Nawab in 1930.Nawab Raza Ali Khan was a very progressive ruler who believed in the Inclusion of Hindus and so appointed Lt. Col. Horilal Varma – Bar At Law as his Prime Minister. On 1 July 1949 the State of Rampur was merged into the Republic of India. Rampur today presents a slightly decayed appearance: the palaces of the Nawabs are crumbling, as are the gates and walls of the fort. However, the Library remains a flourishing institution of immense value to scholars from all over the world.

The Nawabs of Rampur sided with the British during Indian Rebellion of 1857[3] and this enabled them to continue to play a role in the social, political and cultural life of Northern India in general and the Muslims of United Provinces in particular. They gave refuge to some of the literary figures from the Court of Bahadur Shah Zafar.


The Nawabs of Rampur gave patronage to traditional music in their court. Mehboob Khan was the chief khyal singer of the royal court of Rampur State, his tradition was followed by his son Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) and in turn by Inyat's brothers-in-law, Haider Khan (1857–1927), and Mushtaq Hussein Khan (d. 1964), which gave rise to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music, the latter being their ancestral place, Sahaswan, in present day Badaun district.[4]

Post independence

Important descendants of the Nawabs include Murad Mian, the first child of Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur.

Begum Noor Bano, the widow of the former Nawab, Zulfiquar Ali Khan of Rampur became a politician and won the election from Rampur parliamentary constituency in 1999. She lost the elections in 2004 and 2009. Murtaza Ali Khan and Zulfiquar Ali Khan (aka Mikki Mia), who continued to use the title of Nawab as a token even after independence and abolition of royalty but never ruled Rampur, are now dead. Murtaza Ali contested an election from Rampur opposite his mother Rafat Jamani Begum in 1972 and won. Although the two brothers were always political rivals, they never faced each other in elections. Subsequently, the family was also involved in scandals concerning smuggling from Pakistan, where Murtaza Ali had married. Raza Inter College, Hamid Inter College and Murtaza Inter College are three higher secondary schools named after three Nawabs.

Rulers of Rampur

A portrait of Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash, not the Nawab of Rampur but the Nawab of Farrukhabad, ca 1730, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Faizullah Khan 15 September 1748 24 July 1793
Hafiz Rahmat KhanRegent 15 September 1748 23 April 1774
2 Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 July 1793 11 August 1793
3 Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur 11 August 1793 24 October 1794
4 Ahmad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 October 1794 5 July 1840
Nasrullah Khan – Regent 24 October 1794 1811
5 Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur 5 July 1840 1 April 1855
6 Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur 1 April 1855 21 April 1865
7 Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur 21 April 1865 23 March 1887
8 Muhammad Mushtaq Ali Khan Bahadur 23 March 1887 25 February 1889
9 Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur 25 February 1889 20 June 1930
Regency 25 February 1889 4 April 1894
10 Raza Ali Khan Bahadur 20 June 1930 6 March 1966
11 Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur – Nawabat abolished in 1971 6 March 1966 8 February 1982
12 Murad Ali Khan Bahadur – Nawabat abolished in 1971 8 February 1982 till date

italics-titulary reigns

Family tree

  • Simple silver crown.svg I. Sayyid Faizu’llah ‘Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1734–1794; Nawab of Rampur: 1734–1794)
    • Simple silver crown.svg II. Sayyid Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1751–1794; r. 1794)
      • Simple silver crown.svg IV. Sayyid Ahmad Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1787–1840; r. 1794–1840)
    • Simple silver crown.svg III. Hajji Sayyid Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1763–1823; r. 1794)
      • Simple silver crown.svg V. Sayyid Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1786–1855; r. 1840–1855)
        • Simple silver crown.svg VI. Sayyid Muhammad Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur KSI (1816–1865; r. 1855–1865)
          • Simple silver crown.svg VII. Hajji Sayyid Muhammad Kalb-i-Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur GCSI, CIE (1834–1887; r. 1865–1887)
            • Simple silver crown.svg VIII. Sayyid Muhammad Mushtaq Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1856–1889; r. 1887–1889)
              • Simple silver crown.svg IX. Sayyid Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur GCSI, GCIE, GCVO (1875–1930; r. 1889–1930)
                • Simple silver crown.svg X. Sayyid Muhammad Raza Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur GCIE, KCSI (1908–1966; r. 1930–1949; titular ruler 1949–1966)
                  • XI. Sayyid Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur MBE (1923–1982; titular ruler: 1966–1971; family head: 1971–1982)
                  • XII. Sayyid Murad Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur (1982–till date; family head:)



Dog breed

A palace attendant with a Rampur Hound in 1915

His Royal Highness Nawab Ahmad Ali Khan of Rampur is credited with developing the dog breed known as Rampur Hound. The Rampur Hound far exceeded his expectations. He endeavoured to breed these dogs by combining the Tazi ferocious Afghan dogs with the English Greyhound, more obedient but less resistant to the harsher local weather. He gave the name 'Rampur Hound' to the dogs he bred.[6]


The cuisine of the royal courts over the years gave rise to the Rampuri cuisine, developed by the chefs of the Nawabs. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the khansamas (chefs) from erstwhile Mughal imperial courts shifted to Rampur, bringing along with them the Mughal cuisine tradition.[7] Gradually people from other places also found a haven here, adding influences of Awadhi, Hyderabad and Kashmiri cuisine.[8] It is also known for its distinct flavours and dishes with recipes passed on from the royal kitchen, like Rampuri fish, Rampuri Korma, Rampuri mutton kebabs, Doodhiya biryani and adrak ka halwa.[9][10][11]


Mehboob Khan was the chief khyal singer of the royal court of Rampur State, his tradition was followed by his son Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) and in turn by Inyat's brothers-in-law, Haider Khan (1857–1927), and Mushtaq Hussein Khan (d. 1964), which gave rise to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music, the latter being their ancestral place, Sahaswan, in present Badaun district.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Rampur State - Royalark
  2. ^ Hunter, William Wilson (1881). The imperial gazetteer of India. India. pp. 544–546. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rampur". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 877.
  4. ^ Wade. p. 136
  5. ^ Rampur – family genealogy
  6. ^ Rampur Hound
  7. ^ "Kebabs, kings and other Rampuri tales". MiD DAY. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  8. ^ "The Rampuri flavour: The Rampuri food festival at Mascot Hotel takes you on a voyage of discovery". The Hindu. 30 August 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  9. ^ "The culinary cartographer". Mint. 22 January 2010.
  10. ^ "Sharp cuts from the Rampuri !". Business Standard. 7 January 2007.
  11. ^ "Mutton Korma in Rampur". Indian Express. 28 August 2005.
  12. ^ Wade. p. 136


  • Bonnie C Wade (1984). Khyāl: Creativity Within North India's Classical Music Tradition. Cambridge University Press Archive. ISBN 0521256593.

External links

  • Media related to Rampur State at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 28°48′N 79°00′E / 28.8°N 79.0°E / 28.8; 79.0

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