Last Nizam of Hyderabad dies in Istanbul

Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur Hyderabad

Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur of Hyderabad, with the birth name Mir Barkat Ali Khan, passed away at the age of 89 in Istanbul on 14 January, a statement from his office said on Sunday.

“We are deeply saddened to inform that Nawab Mir Barket Ali Khan Walashan Mukarram Jah Bahadur, H.E.H The Eighth Nizam of Hyderabad passed away peacefully in Istanbul, Turkey, late last night at 10:30 pm (IST),” the statement said.

As per the desire of the Prince of being laid to rest in his homeland, his children are scheduled to travel to Hyderabad with his mortal remains on January 17.

“On arrival, the body will be taken to The Chowmahalla Palace, and after completing the required rituals the burial will take place at the Asaf Jahi family tombs,” the statement said, adding the schedule and other details will be released in due course.

Mukarram Jah was born on October 6, 1933, to Mir Himayat Ali Khan alias Azam Jah Bahadur, the first son of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad before it was merged with the Indian Union in September 1948.

His mother, princess Durru Shewar, was the daughter of the last Sultan of Turkey (Ottoman Empire), Sultan Abdul Mejid II. She died at the beginning of the 2000s.

According to senior journalist and columnist Mir Ayub Ali Khan, Prince Mukarram Jah was designated as the titular head of the Asaf Jahi dynasty on June 14, 1954, by his grandfather.

“Since then, he has been identified as the eighth and the last Nizam of Hyderabad. His succession was recognised in principle by the Government of India. He was officially called the Prince of Hyderabad until 1971 when the titles and the privy purses were abolished by the Indian Union,” Khan said.

According to him, the Nizam made his grandson the successor to the “gaddi instead of his first son Prince Azam Jah Bahadur. Therefore, Mukarram Jah succeeded as the Eighth Nizam on the passing away of the last former reigning ruler of Hyderabad on February 24, 1967.”

Mukarram Jah first married Princess Esra of Turkey with whom he has two children—Prince Azmat Ali Khan and Princess Shehkyar. He later married Ms Helen Simmons of Australia, with whom he has one son Prince Alexander Azam Khan.

He, too, is said to be living in London. Still, later he married Manolya Onur, with whom he has a daughter Niloufer. His fourth wife is Jamila Boularous. Their daughter is Zairin Unnisa Begum.

“Mukarram Jah Bahadur owns property in Hyderabad, such as the Falaknuma Palace, Khilwat Palace, King Koti and Chiran Palace, which is located in the middle of KBR National Park in Jubilee Hills," Khan said.

The properties are looked after by his first former wife, Princess Esra, who occasionally visits and stays in Hyderabad at Falaknuma Palace, which has been turned into the Taj Falaknuma Palace,” added Khan.

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