Rampur State

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Not to be confused with Ranpur State
Rampur State
Princely State of British India

Flag of Rampur


 -  Established 1774
 -  Independence of India 1949
 -  1941 2,310 km2 (892 sq mi)
 -  1941 477,042 
Density 206.5 /km2  (534.9 /sq mi)
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
Nawab Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur, r.1865-87

Rampur State was a 15 gun-salute princely state of British India. It came into existence on 7 October 1774 as a result of a treaty with Oudh. Following independence in 1947, Rampur State and other princely states of Banares and Tehri-Garwal were merged into the United Provinces.[1] Rampur state had its capital in Rampur town and its total area was 945 sq miles.[2]


The Rohilla War of 1774–5 began when the Rohillas reneged on a debt they owed the Nawab of Oudh for military assistance against the Marathas in 1772. The Rohillas were defeated and driven from their former capital of Bareilly by the Nawab of Oudh with the assistance of the East India Company's troops. The Rohilla State of Rampur was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan on 7 October 1774 in the presence of British Commander Colonel Champion, and remained a pliant state under British protection thereafter.

Faizullah Khan was ethnic Pashtun and belonged to the Bangash tribe of the Karlanri Pashtuns. His family migrated from Kurram (now Pakistan) and settled in Hidustan (now India) during the Mughal Empire. The Pashtuns consisted of high ranking soldiers and administrative elites of the Mughal Empire. Rampur State was one of the important princely states in Hindustan.

The first stone of the new Fort at Rampur was laid in 1775 by Nawab Faizullah Khan. Originally it was a group of four villages named Kather, the name of Raja Ram Singh. The first Nawab proposed to rename the city 'Faizabad'. But many other places were known by the name Faizabad so its name was changed to Mustafabad alias Rampur. Nawab Faizullah Khan ruled for 20 years. He was a great patron of scholarship, and began the collection of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu manuscripts which now make up the bulk of the Rampur Raza Library. After his death his son Muhammad Ali Khan took over, but he was killed by the Rohilla leaders after 24 days, and Ghulam Muhammad Khan, the brother of the deceased, was proclaimed Nawab. The East India Company took exception to this, and after a reign of just 3 months and 22 days Ghulam Muhammad Khan was defeated by its forces, and the Governor-General made Ahmad Ali Khan, son of the late Muhammad Ali Khan, the new Nawab. He ruled for 44 years. He did not have any sons, so Muhammad Sa'id Khan, son of Ghulam Muhammad Khan, took over as the new Nawab. He raised a regular Army, established Courts and carried out many works to improve the economic conditions of farmers. His son Muhammad Yusuf Ali Khan took over after his death. His son Kalb Ali Khan became the new Nawab after his death in 1865.

Imambara, Fort of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, ca.1911.
Sir Kalb Ali Khan, Nawab of Rampur (1832-1887)

Nawab Kalb Ali Khan was literate in Arabic and Persian. Under his rule the state did much work to uplift standards of education. He was also a Member of Council during the Viceroyalty of Lord John Lawrence. He built the Jama Masjid in Rampur at a cost of Rs. 300,000. He was also knighted in Agra by the Prince of Wales. He ruled for 22 years and 7 months. After his death his son Mushtaq Ali Khan took over. He appointed W. C. Wright as the Chief Engineer of the estate. He built many new buildings and canals. Nawab Hamid Ali became the new ruler in 1889 at the age of 14. Many new schools were opened during his reign, and lots of donations were provided to nearby colleges. He donated Rs. 50,000 to Lucknow Medical College. In 1905 he built the magnificent Darbar Hall within the Fort which now houses the great collection of Oriental manuscripts held by the Rampur Raza Library. His son Raza Ali Khan became the last ruling Nawab in 1930. On 1 July 1949 the State of Rampur was merged into the Republic of India. Rampur today presents a slightly decayed appearance: the palaces of the Nawabs are crumbling, as are the gates and walls of the fort. However, the Library remains a flourishing institution of immense value to scholars from all over the world.

The Nawabs of Rampur sided with the British during the India's First War of Independence in 1857[3] and this enabled them to continue to play a role in the social, political and cultural life of Northern India in general and the Muslims of United Provinces in particular. They gave refuge to some of the literary figures from the Court of Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Post independence[edit]

Important descendants of the Nawabs include Murad Mian the first child of Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur. Begum Noor Bano, the widow of the former Nawab, Zulfiquar Ali Khan of Rampur. Begum Noor Bano has become a politician and won the election from Rampur parliamentary constituency in 1999. She lost the elections in 2004 and 2009. Murtaza Ali Khan and Zulfiquar Ali Khan (aka Mikki Mia), who continued to use the title of Nawab as a token even after independence and abolition of royalty but never ruled Rampur, are now dead. Murtaza Ali contested an election from Rampur opposite his mother Rafat Jamani Begum in 1972 and won. Although the two brothers were always political rivals they never faced each other in elections. Subsequently, the family was also involved in smuggling scandals involving some smuggling from Pakistan, where one of the sons of Murtaza Ali is married. Raza Inter College, Hamid Inter College and Murtaza Inter College are three higher secondary schools named after three nawabs.

Rulers of Rampur[edit]

This portrait is of Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash, not the Nawab of Rampur but the Nawab of Farrukhabad, ca 1730, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Ali Muhammad Khan 1719 15 September 1748
2 Faizullah Khan 15 September 1748 24 July 1793
Hafiz Rahmat Khan - Regent 15 September 1748 23 April 1774
3 Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 July 1793 11 August 1793
4 Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur 11 August 1793 24 October 1794
5 Ahmad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 October 1794 5 July 1840
Nasrullah Khan - Regent 24 October 1794 1811
6 Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur 5 July 1840 1 April 1855
7 Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur 1 April 1855 21 April 1865
8 Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur 21 April 1865 23 March 1887
9 Muhammad Mushtaq Ali Khan Bahadur 23 March 1887 25 February 1889
10 Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur 25 February 1889 20 June 1930
Regency 25 February 1889 4 April 1894
11 Raza Ali Khan Bahadur 20 June 1930 6 March 1966
12 Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur - Nawabat abolished in 1971 6 March 1966 8 February 1982
13 Zulfikar Ali Khan Bahadur -Nawabat abolished in 1971 8 February 1982 5 April 1992
14 Syed Mehndi Ali Khan -Nawabat abolished in 1971 8 May 1998 Till Date

italics-titulary reigns


The cuisine of the royal courts over the years gave rise to the Rampuri cuisine, developed by the chefs of the Nawabs. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the chefs, khansama from erstwhile Mughal imperial courts shifted to Rampur, bringing along with them the Mughal cuisine tradition,[4] gradually people other places also found a safe haven here, adding influences of Awadhi, Hyderabad and Kashmiri cuisine,[5] It is also known for its distinct flavours and dishes with recipes passed on from the royal kitchen, like Rampuri fish, Rampuri Korma, Rampuri mutton kebabs, doodhiya biryani and adrak ka halwa.[6][7][8]


Mehboob Khan was the chief khyal singer the royal court of Rampur State, his tradition was followed by his son Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) and in turn by Inyat's brother-in-laws, Haider Khan (1857-1927), and Mushtaq Hussein Khan (d. 1964), which gave rise to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music, the latter being their ancestral place, Sahaswan, in present Badaun district.[9]

See also[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.royalark.net/India/rampur.htm
  2. ^ Hunter, William Wilson (1881). The imperial gazetteer of India. India. pp. 544–546. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Rampur Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
  4. ^ "Kebabs, kings and other Rampuri tales". MiD DAY. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Rampuri flavour: The Rampuri food festival at Mascot Hotel takes you on a voyage of discovery". The Hindu. 30 August 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "The culinary cartographer". Mint. 22 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Sharp cuts from the Rampuri !". Business Standard. 7 January 2007. 
  8. ^ "Mutton Korma in Rampur". Indian Express. 28 August 2005. 
  9. ^ Wade. p. 136


Coordinates: 28°48′N 79°00′E / 28.8°N 79.0°E / 28.8; 79.0