Hyderabad (hĪˈdərəbădˌ) [key], former princely state, S central India. The former princedom of Hyderabad is now divided among the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The Mughal empire conquered Hyderabad in the late 17th cent. In 1724 the viceroy Nizam-al-Mulk, founder of the last royal line, became its independent ruler. Later nizams (rulers) sought to maintain their independence, but the dynasty was forced to accede to British protection in 1798. In 1903, Berar, then the northernmost section of the state, was transferred to British administration. When India was partitioned (1947), the nizam, one of India's most important Muslim princes, wished to remain independent. Some 80% of Hyderabad's inhabitants were Hindu, however. After a series of religious battles, allegedly staged by India, the Indian army invaded Hyderabad in 1948. The population, in a plebiscite, endorsed accession to India. Hyderabad became a state in 1950 but was partitioned among neighboring states in 1956. The nizam, forced to renounce nearly all of his fortune, was removed from power.

Hyderabad, city (1991 pop. 4,344,437), former capital of Hyderabad and now capital of Andhra Pradesh, was founded as a fort (named Bhagyanagar) in 1589 by the ruler of the Golconda kingdom. An administrative and commercial center and a transportation hub, the city has fine ancient structures, notably the Charminar (1591) and the Old Bridge (1593). Several scientific technical institutes have been set up, including the National Geophysical Institute and the Remote Sensing Agency, making Hyderabad a science and technology center. A number of information technology businesses and drug companies have offices there. It is also the seat of Osmania Univ. and of the Central Univ. of Hyderabad. The former British cantonment of Secunderabad is now a twin city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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