Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Occupying , along the banks of the Musi River, it has a population of and a metropolitan population of , making it the fourth most populous city and sixth most populous urban agglomeration in India. At an average altitude of , much of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain around artificial lakes, including Hussain Sagar—predating the city's founding—north of the city centre.
Established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad remained under the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty for nearly a century before the Mughals captured the region. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, also known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Hyderabad State ultimately became a princely state during British rule, and remained so for , with the city serving as its capital. The city continued as capital of a new Hyderabad State after joining the Indian Union in 1948 and before attaining its current status as the focal point of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Hyderabad is expected to be part of Telangana when the new state is carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
Relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizam rule remain visible today, with the Charminar—commissioned by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah himself—coming to symbolise Hyderabad. That legacy is also evident in the city's distinctive cuisine, which includes Hyderabadi biriyani and Hyderabadi haleem. The Qutb Shahis and Nizams established Hyderabad as a cultural hub, attracting men of letters from different parts of the world. Hyderabad emerged as the foremost centre of culture in India with the decline of the Mughal Empire in the mid-19th century, with artists migrating to the city from the rest of the Indian subcontinent. While Hyderabad is losing its cultural pre-eminence, it is today, due to the Telugu film industry, the country's second-largest producer of motion pictures.
Hyderabad was historically known as a pearl and diamond trading centre, and it continues to be known as the City of Pearls. Many of the city's traditional bazaars, including Laad Bazaar, Begum Bazaar and Sultan Bazaar, have remained open for centuries. However, industrialisation throughout the has also attracted major Indian manufacturing, research and financial institutions, including the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, National Geophysical Research Institute and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Special economic zones dedicated to information technology have encouraged companies from across India and around the world to set up operations and the emergence of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the 1990s led to the title of "Genome Valley". With an output of 74 billion, Hyderabad is the fifth-largest contributor to India's overall gross domestic product.
The name Hyderabad means "Hyder's abode" or "lion city", derived from the Persian/Urdu words "haydar" or "hyder" (lion) and "ābād" (city or abode). According to John Everett-Heath, the author of Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names, Hyderabad was named to honour the Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was also known as Hyder because of his lion-like valour in battles. One popular theory suggests that Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the city, named it "Bhaganagar" or "Bhāgnagar" after Bhagmati, a local nautch (dancing) girl with whom he had fallen in love. She converted to Islam and adopted the title Hyder Mahal. The city was renamed Hyderabad in her honour. According to another source, the city was named after Haidar, the son of Quli Qutb Shah. Andrew Petersen, a scholar of Islamic architecture, says the city was originally called Baghnagar (city of gardens).
Early and medieval history
Archaeologists excavating near the city have unearthed Iron Age sites that may date from 500 BCE. The region comprising modern Hyderabad and its surroundings was known as Golkonda ("shepherd's hill"), and was ruled by the Chalukya dynasty from 624 CE to 1075 CE. Following the dissolution of the Chalukya empire into four parts in the 11th century, Golkonda came under the control of the Kakatiya dynasty (1158–1310), whose seat of power was at Warangal, northeast of modern Hyderabad.
The Kakatiya dynasty was later reduced to a vassal of the Khilji dynasty (1310–1321) after its defeat by Sultan Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate. This lasted until 1321, when the Kakatiya dynasty was annexed by Malik Kafur, Allaudin Khilji's general. During this period, Alauddin Khilji took the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is said to have been mined from the Kollur Mines in Golkonda, to Delhi. Muhammad bin Tughluq succeeded to the Delhi sultanate in 1325, bringing Warangal under the rule of the Tughlaq dynasty until 1347 when Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, a governor under bin Tughluq, rebelled against the sultanate and established the Bahmani Sultanate in the Deccan Plateau, with Gulbarga, west of Hyderabad, as its capital. The Bahmani kings ruled the region until 1518 and were the first independent Muslim rulers of the Deccan.
Sultan Quli, a governor of Golkonda, revolted against the Bahmani Sultanate and established the Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1518, he rebuilt the mud-fort of Golconda and named the city as "Muhammad nagar". The fifth sultan, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, established Hyderabad on the banks of the Musi River in 1591, to avoid the water shortages experienced at Golkonda. During his rule, he had the Charminar and Mecca Masjid built in the city. On 21 September 1687, the Golkonda Sultanate came under the rule of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after a year-long siege of the Golkonda fort. The annexed area was renamed Deccan Suba (Deccan province) and the capital was moved from Golkonda to Aurangabad, about northwest of Hyderabad.
In 1713 Farrukhsiyar, the later Mughal emperor, appointed Asif Jah I to be Viceroy of the Deccan, with the title Nizam-ul-Mulk (Administrator of the Realm). In 1724, Asif Jah I defeated Mubariz Khan to establish autonomy over the Deccan Suba, starting what came to be known as the Asif Jahi dynasty, and named the region Hyderabad Deccan. Subsequent rulers retained the title Nizam ul-Mulk and were referred to as Asif Jahi Nizams, or Nizams of Hyderabad. The death of Asif Jah I in 1748 resulted in a period of political unrest as his sons, backed by opportunistic neighbouring states and colonial foreign forces, contended for the throne. The accession of Asif Jah II, who reigned from 1762 to 1803, to the throne ended the instability. In 1768 he signed the treaty of Masulipatnam, surrendering the coastal region to the East India Company in return for a fixed annual rent.
In 1769 Hyderabad city became the formal capital of the Nizams. In response to regular threats from Hyder Ali, Dalwai of Mysore, Baji Rao I, Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, and Basalath Jung (Asif Jah II's elder brother, who was supported by the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau), the Nizam signed a subsidiary alliance with the East India Company in 1798, allowing the British Indian Army to occupy Bolarum (modern Secunderabad) to protect the state's borders, for which the Nizams paid an annual maintenance to the British. Until 1874 there were no modern industries in Hyderabad. With the introduction of railways in the 1880s, four factories were built to the south and east of Hussain Sagar Lake, and during the early 20th century, Hyderabad was transformed into a modern city with the establishment of transport services, underground drainage, running water, electricity, Begumpet Airport, telecommunications, universities and industries. The Nizams ruled the state from Hyderabad until 17 September 1948, a year after India's independence from Britain.
After India gained independence, the Nizam declared his intention to remain independent rather than become part of the Indian Union. The Hyderabad State Congress, with the support of the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India, began agitating against Nizam VII in 1948. On 17 September 1948, the Indian Army took control of Hyderabad State after an invasion codenamed Operation Polo. With the defeat of his forces, Nizam VII capitulated to the Indian Union by signing the Instrument of Accession, which made him the Rajpramukh (Princely Governor) of the state until 31 October 1956. Between 1946 and 1951, the Communist Party of India fomented the Telangana uprising against the feudal lords of the Telangana region and later against the princely state of Hyderabad. The Constitution of India, which became effective on 26 January 1950, made Hyderabad State one of the part B states of India, with Hyderabad City continuing to be the capital. In his 1955 report Thoughts on Linguistic States, B. R. Ambedkar, then chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution, proposed designating the city of Hyderabad as the second capital of India because of its amenities and strategic central location. Since 1956, the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad has been the second official residence and business office of the President of India.
On 1 November 1956 the states of India were reorganised by language. Hyderabad state was split into three parts, and they were merged with neighboring states to form the modern states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The nine Telugu- and Urdu-speaking districts of Hyderabad state that make up the Telangana region were merged with the Telugu-speaking Andhra State to create Andhra Pradesh, with Hyderabad as its capital. Several protests, known collectively as the Telangana movement, attempted to invalidate the merger and demanded the creation of a new Telangana state. Major actions took place in 1969 and 1972, and a third began in 2010. The city has suffered several explosions: one at Dilsukhnagar in 2002 claimed two lives; terrorist groups detonated a series of bombs in the city in May and August 2007, causing communal tension and riots; and two bombs were exploded in February 2013. On 30 July 2013 the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of India declared that part of Andhra Pradesh would be split off to form the new Telangana state, and that Hyderabad city would be part of Telangana but it will first serve as the shared capital of both the states for the ten years. On 3 October 2013 the Union Cabinet approved the proposed bifurcation and to make it official, this resolution needs to be passed into law by the Parliament of India.