Nawab of the Carnatic

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Emblem of the Nawab of the Carnatic
In the year 1702, Nawab Daud Khan the Mughal Empire's local Subedar of the Carnatic, besieged and blockaded Fort St. George for more than three months,[1] the governor of the fort Thomas Pitt was instructed by the British East India Company to vie for peace.
Death of the Nawab Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan in a battle against the French in 1749, by Paul Philipoteaux.
Siege of Arcot was a major battle fought between Robert Clive and the combined forces of the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company.
Mohamed Ali Khan Wallajah, (1717–1795)
Umdat ul-Umara the Nawab of the Carnatic was a covert ally of Tipu Sultan.

Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot), ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1801. 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 Tamil Nadu, 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 Coleroon, and was bounded on the West by Cuddapah, Salem and Dindigul, all of which formed part of the Sultanate of Mysore. The Northern portion was known as the Mughal Carnatic, the Southern the Maratha Carnatic with the Maharatta frontier fortress being Gingee. Carnatic, the name commonly given to the region of Southern India between the Eastern Ghats and the Coromandel Coast and the Western Ghats, extends from Palghat to Bidar and stretches from the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh in the North, to Cape Comorin at the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu State.[citation needed]


The Nawabs of the Carnatic trace their origin back to second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.[2] The Nawabdom 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.[3] 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.

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[edit]

Subedar Nawabs of the Carnatic[edit]

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[edit]

Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Anwaruddin Khan 1744 3 August 1749

Nawabs of Carnatic under European Influence[edit]

Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Chanda Shahib 1749 1752
1 Muhammad Ali Khan Wala-Jah 3 August 1749 16 October 1795
3 Umdat ul-Umara 1795 1801
4 Azim-ud-Daula 1801 1819
4 Azam Jah 1819 1825
4 Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan 1825 1855

Princes of Arcot[edit]

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.

See also[edit]