Arcot State

Nawabs of the Carnatic


Capital Arcotc
Languages English


Religion Islam
Government Nobility
Historical era Mughal rule in India

Company rule in India
British Raj
Indian Independence movement
Indian Independence

  Emergence of the Mughal Empire 1692
   Established 1692
  Battle of Arcot 23 June 1757
   Disestablished 1859
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Delhi Sultanate
Mughal Empire
Company rule in India
British Raj
Today part of  India

Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot) 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.


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 Vijayanagara Empire in serious decline, 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.

The Carnatic, shown here under Hyderabad.

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 busisness 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. Wikipedia Paul Benfield (1742-1810)

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. This privilege continues to be honoured by the Government of India. This status is protected by the Indian Constitution, and the family continues to retain its privileges and titles. The current Prince of Arcot, Abdul Ali, inherited the title in July 1994.

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

Name 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 Jah 1867–1874
Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur 1874–1879
Intizam-ul-Mulk Muazzal ud-Daula Bahadur 1879–1889
Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur 1889–1903
Sir Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 1903–1952
Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur 1952–1969
Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader 1969–1993
Muhammed Abdul Ali 1993-Current.


  1. ^ Terence R. Blackburn. A miscellany of mutinies and massacres in India. 

See also


  1. Publishing, Britannica Educational (2010-04-01). The History of India. Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 9781615302017.
  2. Ramaswami, N. S. (1984-01-01). Political History of Carnatic Under the Nawabs. Abhinav Publications. p. 104. ISBN 9780836412628.
  4. "Mughal Empire 1526-1707 by Sanderson Beck". Retrieved 2012-03-04.

External links

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