Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Nizami Princesses

Established by Mir Qamaruddin Asaf Jah I, the Nizams of Hyderabad belonged to the Asaf Jahi Dynasty who ruled from 1724 until 1948, when the erstwhile Hyderabad State was incorporated in the Union of India.

Princess DurruShehvar

  • Princess DurruShehvar was born on 26th January 1914 in Turkey.
  • Her father, Abdulmajid II was the last Khalifa of Turkey and her mother was MehistiHanım.
  • In November 1931, she married Azam Jah Bahadur, the eldest son of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad .
  • Her eldest son, Nawab Mir Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah Bahadur, was born on the 6th of October, 1934. He is the present titular Nizam of Hyderabad.
  • Princess DurruShehvar was fluent in multiple languages like French, Turkish, English and also Urdu.
  • After arriving in Hyderabad she became a popular public figure.
  • She inaugurated the Osmania General Hospital and established DurruShehvar Children's & General Hospital, in Hyderabad.
  • She became the first woman to inaugurate an airport when she inaugurated Hyderabad airport in the 1940s (now known as Rajiv Gandhi International Airport).
  • She believed in the empowerment of women through education.
  • In 1939, she established the famous Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
  • Her last public appearance in Hyderabad was in 2000 at the opening ceremony of the Nizam’s Silver Jubilee Museum.
  • She passed away on 7 February 2006.

Princess Niloufer

  • Niloufer Khanum Sultana Farhat, popularly known as Princess Niloufer (4 January 1916 – 12 June 1989), was born in Istanbul, Turkey to DamadMoralizadaSalar-ud-din Bey and Adile Sultan.
  • She married Moazzam Jah, the second son of the last Nizam of Hyderabad on December 20, 1931, at Hilafet Palace in Nice, France.
  • In 1949, Princess Niloufer’s maid Rafat un-Nissa Begum died during childbirth due to inadequate medical amenities. This motivated Niloufer to establish a speciality hospital for Women and Children. It was named as Niloufer Hospital.
  • Between 1933 and 1948, Princess Niloufer became a fashion icon in and outside Hyderabad. Her sarees, jewellery and lifestyle made her stand out in society.
  • She was a prominent figure of the Lady Hydari Club (started in 1929 by Lady Amira Hydari).
  • Her sarees were custom made by Madhav Das in Mumbai.
  • Her wardrobe is still studied by students across the globe and the collection of sarees is at display at the New York Institute of Fashion Technology.
  • After separating from her Husband, Moazzam Jah, she moved to France and married Edward Pope, an American author and filmmaker.
  • She died in Paris on June 12, 1989.

Princess Esra

  • Princess Qhabl Begum SahibaEsraBirgen, was a princess belonging to the Asaf Jah dynasty of the Hyderabad state by her marriage to Prince Mukarram Jah in 1959.
  • Esra was married to Mukarram Jah for fifteen years and had two children named Azmet (1962) and Shekhya (1964).
  • Following separation with Mukarram Jah, Esra and the children resided in Turkey and London. In the year 2000, the Princess came back to India on the request of Mukarram Jah, in order to look into the cultural preservation of the Nizami heritage in Hyderabad.
  • The Princess also took up the monumental task of restoring the Falaknuma and Chowmahalla Palaces.
  • She returned to the city after a span of twenty years and took responsibility for the renovation efforts with support from the Taj Group and various leading architects such as Rahul Mehrotra. Falaknuma Palace was then leased to the Taj Group of hotels in 2010.
  • The Chowmahalla Palace has been converted into a museum today. The whole process of restoration has ensured that Hyderabad’s cultural heritage landmarks are restored to their former glory.
  • One of Esra's other initiatives was to retrieve an early 1900s Rolls Royce Silver Ghost used as a state limousine by the seventh Nizam and also two very rare 1906-model Napier L76 cars. These vintage cars were handed over to vintage car restorer Manvendra Singh and auto expert Chris Rodricks. They are currently housed in the Chowmahalla Palace which is now a Museum.