the-south-asian Life & Times          October -December 2009



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Ottoman ‘Naginas’ of Hyderabad

-Princess Durru Shevar & Princess Niloufer

The seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, described them as his ‘Nagina’ (precious jewels). He was referring to his daughters-in-law - both Ottoman princesses - while welcoming them to Hyderabad – a city that would now be their home. Princess Durru Shevar, the only daughter of the last Caliph and former Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Majid Khan, had married Prince Azam Jah, the eldest son of the Nizam. Her first cousin Princess Niloufer had married Prince Moazzam Jah, the second son of the Nizam. The two brothers married the two cousins in a joint ceremony in Nice, France. The weddings, on November 12, 1931, were described as an "event of unparalleled interest and importance not only for Hyderabad but for the world at large." The Caliph, who had been forced to leave the Topkapi palace by Atatürk, and sent into exile in France, had nominated the Nizam's son as heir to the Caliphate. The simple religious ceremony, performed by the Caliph himself, was surprisingly devoid of any ostentation and grandeur.

Read the complete article in the print issue of SALT













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