Arcot State

The Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot) were the nawabs who ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1801. The Carnatic was a dependency of Hyderabad Deccan, and was under the legal purview of the Nizam of Hyderabad, until their demise.[1][2] They initially had their capital at Arcot in the present-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Their rule is an important period in the history of Carnatic and Coromandel regions, in which the Mughal Empire gave way to the rising influence of the Maratha Empire, and later the emergence of the British Raj.

Nawab of the Carnatic
Nawab of Arcot
CapitalGingee (1692-1710),
Arcot (1710-1768),
Chepauk (1768-1855)c
Common languagesEnglish


Historical eraMughal rule in India

Company rule in India
British Raj
Indian Independence movement

Indian Independence
 Progenitor of family appointed governor
23 September – 14 November 1751
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mughal Empire
Company rule in India
Today part of India


The old province known as the Carnatic, in which Madras (Chennai) was situated, extended from the Krishna river to the Kaveri river, and was bounded on the West by Mysore kingdom and Dindigul, (which formed part of the Sultanate of Mysore). The Northern portion was known as the 'Mughal Carnatic', the Southern the 'Maratha Carnatic' with the Maratha fortresses of Gingee and Ranjana-gad. Carnatic thus was the name commonly given to the region of Southern India that stretches from the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in the North, to the Maratha fort of Ranjana-Gad in the south (including Kaveri delta) and Coromandal Coast in the east to Western Ghats in the west.


The Nawabs of the Carnatic trace their origin back to second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.[3] The Nawab of the Carnatic was established by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who in 1692 appointed Zulfikhar Ali Khan as the first Nawab of the Carnatic, with his seat at Arcot as a reward for his victory over the Marathas led by Rajaram.[4] With the decline of Vijayanagara Empire in 1646, the Hindu viceroys Nayaks, established in Madurai, Tanjore and Kanchi made themselves independent, only in their turn to become tributary to the kings of Golconda and Bijapur, who divided the Carnatic between them.The Nawabdom of the Carnatic controlled a vast territory south of the Krishna river. The Nawab Saadatullah Khan I (1710–1732) moved his court from Gingee to Arcot. His successor Dost Ali (1732–1740) conquered and annexed Madurai in 1736. In 1740, the Maratha forces descended on Arcot. They attacked the Nawab, Dost Ali Khan, in the pass of Damalcherry. In the war that followed, Dost Ali, one of his sons Hasan Ali, and a number of prominent persons lost their lives. This initial success at once enhanced Maratha prestige in the south. From Damalcherry the Marathas proceeded to Arcot, which surrendered to them without much resistance. Chanda Saheb and his son were arrested and sent to Nagpur.

Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah (1749–1795) became the ruler in 1765.

The growing influences of the English and the French and their colonial wars had a huge impact on the Carnatic. Wallajah supported the English against the French and Hyder Ali, placing him heavily in debt. As a result, he had to surrender much of his territory to the East India Company. Paul Benfield, an English business man, made one of his mayor loans to the Nawab for the purpose of enabling him, who with the aid of the English, had invaded and conquered the Mahratta state of Tanjore.

The thirteenth Nawab, Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan (1825–1855), died without issue, and the British annexed the Carnatic Nawabdom, applying the doctrine of lapse. Ghouse Khan's uncle Azim Jah was created the first Prince of Arcot (Amir-e-Arcot) in 1867 by Queen Victoria, and was given a tax free-pension in perpetuity.

List of rulers

Subedar Nawabs of the Carnatic

Name Reign began Reign ended
1 Zulfiqar Khan Nusrat Jung 1692 1703
2 Daud Khan Panni 1703 1710
3 Sa'adatullah Khan I 1710 1732
4 Dost Ali Khan 1732 1740
5 Safdar Ali Khan 1740 1742
6 Sa'adatullah Khan II 1742 1744
7 Anwaruddin Khan 1744 3 August 1749

Semi-independent Nawabs of Carnatic

Name Reign began Reign ended
1 Anwaruddin Khan 1744 3 August 1749

Nawabs of Carnatic under European influence

Names Reign began Reign ended
1 Chanda Shahib 1749 1752
2 Muhammad Ali Khan Wala-Jah 3 August 1749 16 October 1795
3 Umdat ul-Umara 1795 1801
4 Azim-ud-Daula* 1801 1819
5 Azam Jah 1819 1825
6 Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan 1825 1855

Princes of Arcot

Amir Reign
Azim Jah1867–1874
Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur1874–1879
Intizam-ul-Mulk Muazzal ud-Daula Bahadur1879–1889
Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur1889–1903
Sir Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur1903–1952
Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur1952–1969
Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader1969–1993
Muhammed Abdul Ali1993–

See also


  1. Publishing, Britannica Educational (1 April 2010). The History of India. Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 9781615302017.
  2. Ramaswami, N. S. (1 January 1984). Political History of Carnatic Under the Nawabs. Abhinav Publications. p. 104. ISBN 9780836412628.
  3. "The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Web site on Nawabs of the Carnatic". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  4. "Mughal Empire 1526-1707 by Sanderson Beck". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  5. Terence R. Blackburn. A miscellany of mutinies and massacres in India.

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