Created First Prince of Arcot
Azim-Jah (1867 - 1874)

Second Prince of Arcot
Sir Zahir-Ud-Daula Bahadur (1874-1879 )

Third Prince of Arcot
Intizam-Ul-Mulk Bahadur ( 1879 - 1889 )

Fourth Prince of Arcot
Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur
(1889 - 1903)

Fifth Prince of Arcot
Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan ( 1903 - 1952 )

Sixth Prince of Arcot -
Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur (1952 - 1969)

Seventh Prince of Arcot -
Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader (1969 - 1993 )

Eighth and present Prince of Arcot
Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali -1993 to present

Heir Apparent and Dewan to the Prince of Arcot - Nawabzada Mohammed Asif Ali

Created First Prince of Arcot
Azim Jah (1867 - 1874)

Prince Azim Jah was the brother of Nawab Azam Jah and held office as Regent during the minority of Nawab Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan from 1825 to 1842. After several negotiations with Queen Victoria, Azim Jah was made a political pensioner and the new title of "HIS HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF ARCOT" or "AMIR-E-ARCOT" in India was created in 1867 with several honours and privileges attached to the title in perpetuity. Close members of the family of Prince Azim Jah were also given perpetual political stipends known as the Carnatic Stipends. (Since 1911, in pursuance of Government Orders, the Collector of Chennai has been functioning as the Paymaster, Carnatic Stipends, to disburse the stipends of the family members of the Prince of Arcot to this day).

Azim Jah's litigious efforts and representations succeeded. For at 5.30 p.m. on the 12th April 1871, His Excellency the Governor of Madras, held a Durbar in the Banqueting Hall, Madras, for the purpose of presenting to His Highness Prince Azim Jah Bahadur, the Letters Patent issued by the command of Queen Victoria, investing His Highness and his successors with the title and dignity of "Prince of Arcot" or "Amir­e-Arcot" in India.

The Prince of Arcot was also recognised as "The First Noble Man in the Mohammedan Family of South India". He was also accorded a very high rank in the Warrant of Precedence.

Since the 'Kalas Mahal' (Chepauk Palace) had been taken over by the Government in 1859, Prince Azim Jah moved to the 'Shadi Mahal' on Triplicane High Road and the Government was paying a monthly rent of RS.1 ,000/- for his accommodation.

As part of the settlement with Azim Jah, the Government undertook to build a Palace, now known as "AMIR MAHAL' in Royapettah on lands belonging to the Nawabs.

Prince Azim Jah, the first Prince of Arcot, owing to personal reasons did not move to "Amir Mahal", but continued to live in "Shadi Mahal', where he died in 1874 and was buried with full state honours.

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Second Prince of Arcot
Sir Zahir-Ud-Daula Bahadur (1874-1879 )

Prince Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur, G.C.S.I. son of Prince Azim Jah Bahadur succeeded him in 1874. He shifted his residence to 'Amir Mahal', in 1876. Though the Government stopped the payment of rent for the Prince's residence, it began to allot funds in the budget for. the upkeep, maintenance and annual repairs of 'Amir Mahal'.

From 1876, Amir Mahal has been the official residence of the successive Princes of Arcot.

As per the representations made by the Prince, the Government agreed to maintain the building, carry on the repairs, replenish all the fittings, furniture etc., and pay all levies and taxes in respect of the property. The Government had also granted to Amir Mahal all privileges and formalities attached to Shadi Mahal.

The Prince of Arcot was invited to the Durbar held at Delhi in January 1877, on the occasion of the assumption of the title of Empress of India by Her Majesty Queen Victoria. He was knighted with the first class merit of the Order G.C.S.I., and enjoyed the honour of fifteen gun salute. He died in 1879 and was buried with full state honours.

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Third Prince of Arcot
Intizam-Ul-Mulk Bahadur ( 1879 - 1889 )

Intizam-u-Mulk Bahadur was the brother of Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur. He became the third Prince of Arcot in accordance with the desire of his late father, Prince Azim Jah Bahadur in 1879.

He was the last to be exempted from personal attendance in Civil Courts and enjoyed the title of "His Highness" and a 15 gun salute. He died in 1889 and was buried with full state honours.

 

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Fourth Prince of Arcot
Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur
(1889 - 1903)

Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur was the nephew of Intizam-ul-Mulk. He was the fourth Prince of Arcot and assumed office in 1889.

Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur was given the Award K.C.I.E., in the year 1879 when his uncle was the Prince of Arcot. He also was exempted from personal attendance at the Civil Court. He died in the year 1903 at Delhi, where he had gone to attend the Coronation Durbar of King Edward VII. He was buried with full state honours.

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Fifth Prince of Arcot
Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan ( 1903 - 1952 )

Ghulam Muhamed Ali Khan, the fifth Prince of Arcot succeeded his father in 1903.

He was born on 26th February 1882 and educated at the Newington Court of Wards Institution, Madras. English teachers like C. Morrison and C.H. Payne were his tutors. He received the title of Khan Bahadur in June 22, 1897 and was created a K.C.I.E., (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire) on January 1, 1909, and later a G.C.I.E., in 1917.

He was appointed Member of the Madras Legislative Council during 1904-06 and again in 1916 by nomination. Sir Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur was elected a Member of the Imperial Legislative Council by the Musalman electorate of the Presidency of Madras for the period 1910-13. He presided over the sessions of the Muslim League and was also the President of the South India Islamic League. He was conferred the title of "His Highness" in 1935. He was allowed to have a detachments of Body Guard and an Infantry Guard. He possessed guns to fire salutes on all important occasions including his birthday. His Highness the Prince of Arcot was entitled to an annual state visit from His Excellency, the Governor of Madras.

His Highness was adhering strictly to the principles of his ancestors throughout his life. He was the premier Mohammadan nobleman of South India and the acknowledged leader of the Muslims in the Madras Presidency. He died in 1952 and was buried with full state honours.

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Sixth Prince of Arcot -
Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur (1952 - 1969)

Prince Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bhadur succeeded his brother Prince Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur in the year 1952, as His Highness the Prince of Arcot.

He was honoured as Sheriff of Madras by the Madras Government in the year 1935. During his Princeship, he maintained the dignity of the title like his forefathers. He maintained cordial relationship with the dignitaries in the Central and the State Governments.

Highness had the honour of entertaining distinguished guests from time to time at his official ancestral residence, 'Amir Mahal', Madras. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India visited in 1956, Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955 and again in 1963, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Zakir Hussain and Vice Presidents, Mr.V.V. Giri, Mr. Sanjeeva Reddi, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed were a few among the eminent men who honoured the Prince with their visits to Amir Mahal. Also, the Prince had the privilege of inviting the State Governors and Chief Ministers annually.

The Prince performed Haj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) with his family and staff in the year 1966, and had the honour of being the guest of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He died in October 1969 after a brief illness. He was buried with full state honours.

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Seventh Prince of Arcot -
Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader (1969 - 1993 )

Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader succeeded his father, Prince Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur in 1969. The President of India recognised him officially as "His Highness The Prince of Arcot", by virtue of his inheritance.

He also continued to enjoy the privileges and courtesies allowed to him by the Government and had been accorded a very high rank in the Warrant of Precedence. (His rank in the State Warrant of Precedence was on par with the Cabinet Ministers).

He was connected with many social, religious and philanthropic institutions in the State. He also maintained cordial relationship with the Central and State Governments at all times. He was a non-political person like his forefathers.

Prince Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader was managing The Prince of Arcot Endowments, Trichy and Madras and also looking after the affairs of Arcot Wakf in the Holy Lands of Makkah and Madinah. These Endowments were created by his ancestor, Nawab Wallajah, about 250 years earlier. The Endowments maintain about Eight Mosques in the State today.

He performed the Haj twice, in the year 1966 and 1982. On both the occasions, he was the guest of the King of Saudi Arabia, regarded as a rare honour for an Indian Muslim.

On 30-8-1988, the President of India, Mr. R.Venkataraman
honoured the Prince by visiting his ancestral official residence, 'Amir Mahal', Madras.

The Prince also followed the tradition of the family by hosting receptions to the State Governors and Chief Ministers. He was married to Jeelani Begum saheba and blessed with three sons Mohammed Abdul Ali, Mohammed Khaleelullah and Mohammed Fazlullah and a daughter Sultana Begum, and grandchildren. The Prince died on 30-8-1993 after a brief illness. He was buried with full state honours and the funeral was carried on a Military Carriage.

 

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Eighth and present Prince of Arcot
Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali (1993 to present)

Born in the Royal House of Arcot, on the 9th August, 1951, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali is the eldest son of the Nawab Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader, the late Prince of Arcot and lives in the historic palace of his ancestors, 'Amir Mahal', in Royapettah in the city of Chennai (Madras), India.

The family traces its lineage from the second Caliph of Islam, Hazrath Omar Bin-Khattab. Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali succeeded his later father, and was recognised by His Excellency the President of India, as "HIS HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF ARCOT".

Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali continues to enjoy certain special privileges, honours and courtesies accorded to him by the Government to the Prince of Arcot since 1870. He was also been accorded a very high protocol by the Government in the Warrant of Precedence, under Article 15-A, and his rank is on par with State Cabinet Ministers.

He was the Sheriff of Madras for two separate terms, in the year 1984-85 and 1988. He is a well known committed social activist, involved in many social, cultural and religious institutions in the country. He is a non-political and non-communal person like his forefathers. The Prince is the Founder Secretary-General of 'Harmony India', a registered Association formed in 1990 to promote communal amity, secularism and national integration. He is the President of All India Muslim Educational Society (AIMES). The Prince is the head of the Carnatic Family Association.

The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India had nominated Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali as a Jury Member of the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, an organisation established by the Central Government, Ministry of Home Affairs, along with His Excellency the Vice-President of India, the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, the Chairman of the University Grant Commission (U.G.C.), and the Union Home Secretary.

The Prince administers his ancestral Endowments, known as "The Prince of Arcot Endowments", and maintains several mosques in the State of Tamil Nadu. The administration of these Endowments is governed by the Madras Act II of 1923. He also manages the Wakfs in the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, known as 'Arcot Wakf', which arranges the stay and arrangements of the pilgrims from our country, particularly the State of Tamil Nadu.

On many occasions, the Prince was the Royal Guest of His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia, during his visits to the Kingdom. He was nominated as the Deputy Leader of the Indian Goodwill Haj Delegation by the Hon'ble Prime Minister, in the years 1995, 1997 and 1998.

The State Governor and the Tamil Nadu Government have nominated Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali as a member in many high-level State committees. He is the Vice-Chairman, Tamil Nadu Government Urdu Academy. He is the State Chief Scout for Tamil Nadu Branch of the All India Boys Scouts Association and an active member of the Lions Club of Marina Beach, Lion's International District 324-AI. The Prince has been the recipient of many awards for this social service, including the National Unity Award from His Excellency the Governor of Tamil Nadu on many occasions. He was the recipient of "For the Sake of Honour" award from the Rotary Club.

Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot, is a patron of music, art and literature and his hobbies are photography, gardening and reading books. He is married to Sayeeda Begum and blessed with two sons, Nawabzada Mohammed Asif Ali and Nawabzada Mohammed Naser Ali and daughters-in-law, Nawabzadi Seema Ahmed and Nawabzadi Aasia Zainab respectively.


Government's Gazette

The following is a reproduction of a report contained in the then Government's Gazette of April 1871:

Political Department,
Fort S1. George,
Madras.

Notification
Fort St. George April 18, 1871

At 5.30 p.m., on the 12th April 1871, His Excellency the Governor held a Durbar in the Banqueting Hall, for the purpose of presenting to His Highness Prince Azim Jah Bahadur, the Letters Patent issued by Command of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, investing His Highness and his successors with the title and dignity of Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot, in India.

The Chief Justice of Madras, the Members of Council, the Provincial Commander-in-Chief, the principal Civil and Military officials of the Presidency, and a large number of residents of Madras were present on this occasion. One of the Governor's carriages, containing Aide-de-camp to His Excellency the Governor and the Under-Secretary started from Government House at 5 minutes to 5.00 p.m., for the purpose of conveying His Highness Prince Azim Jah from his residence, the Shadi Mahal, to the Durbar. A party of the Body Guard were in attendance. The sons and grandsons of His Highness and the gentleman of his suite followed in His Highness' own carriages in the rear of the Body Guard.

A Company from each of the corps in Garrison was present as a guard of honour.

On his Highness' arrival, a salute of 15 guns was fired and the guard of honour presented arms. On alighting, His Highness was received at the foot of the steps by the Chief Secretary to Government and by the Private Secretary to His Excellency who conducted him to the Hall. His Excellency the Governor met His Highness at the entrance of the Hall, and led him to a seat on the dais on His Excellency's right.

After His Highness' sons and grandson had been presented, His Excellency the Governor addressing Prince Azim Jah said:-

"Prince Azim Jah Bahadur,... I have the honour to deliver to your Highness the Letters Patent by which Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to invest you and your successors with the title of Prince of Arcot. In conferring this dignity upon your Highness, Her Majesty the Queen has borne in mind the ties which have united the fortunes of your family with the growth and ascendancy of British Power in the South of India. The name which you and your posterity will bear will serve to recall and commemorate the days when your ancestors and our predecessors cemented their alliance in triumphs over a common adversary, but Her Majesty the Queen blends with memory of the past gracious solicitude for the present and the future.

Her Majesty deshes to mark the esteem in which she holds your Highness personally as the representative of an ancient, friendly and loyal house. She desires to perpetuate her favour in your descendants, and to continue to them, in few forms of honour and with new guarantees of welfare, the means of serving their sovereign and their country. We are happy to see your Highness surrounded by two generations of your offspring, who will convey to after times the recollection of this auspicious day. Your Highness will know how to impress on them the duty of bearing themselves wisely and usefully in the high station in which they have been now confirmed.

Price of Arcot, - I deem myself fortunate in conveying to your Highness, in your venerable age these tokens of the goodwill of our august Sovereign. I trust that you may long live to enjoy the favour of the Queen, the regard of this Government, the affection of your family and the respect of the people of this Presidency."

 

Warrant of Precedence


Letters Patent

VICTORIA by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, to all Viceroys, Governors-General, Governors and all others of our officers, Ministers and subjects whatsoever to whom these presents shall come greeting - know ye that we of our especial grace certain knowledge and mere motion have advanced, preferred and created our right trusty and well beloved subject Azim Jah Ameer-ool-Omrah, Omdu-ool-Moolk, Seraj-ool-Omrah, Assud-ood-Oowlah, Zoolfakar Jung to the state degree dignity and honour of Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot in India and him the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot in India aforesaid do by these presents create advance and prefer and we have appointed given and granted and by these presents for us for heirs and successors do appoint give and grant unto him the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot for and during his natural life with remainder after his decease to his four sons Mohummud Baddee Collah styled Zaheer-ood-Dowlah Mohummed Buddee Oollah Khan Bahadur Titrut Jung, Ahmed Collah styled Moontuzun-ood-Dowlah Ahmed Collah Khan Bahadur Nubee Yar Jug Intizam-ool-Moolk, Noorullah Meyan styled Oomdut-ood-Oowlah Mohummad Noorullah Khan Bahadur Joorut Jung, Gholam Mohi-ood-Deen styled Monzu-ood-Dowlah Mohi-ood-Oeen Yar Khan Bahadur Haslnut Jung severally and successively one after the other for their respective natural lives in such order and succession as the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot shall by writing under his hand nominate and appoint and in default of such nomination and appointment or so far as the same shall not extend in such order and succession as we our heirs or successors, shall after the decease of the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot by warrant under the sign manual of us our heirs or our heirs or suggestors nominate and appoint with remainder from and after the deceased of the last surviving of them said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot and Mohummud Baddee Oollah, Ahmed Collah Bahadur, Noor Collah Meyan and Gholam Mohi-ood-Oeen to such out of the lawful grandsons in the male line of decent of the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot we our heirs or successors shall whether before or after the decease of such survivor by warrant under the Sign Manual of us or heirs or successors nominated and appoint and the heirs male of his body lawfully issued so as and in such manner that of Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot may devolve and descent as in an indivisable inheritance in a course of succession to the person who shall for the time being be the eldest lawful heir male in the line of the person last possessed of the said name, state, degree, style, dignity, title and honour who shall have left those existing lawful male issue in the male line so that an elder son and his issue male shall always be preferred to and take before a younger son and his issue male. Willing and by these presents granting for us our heirs and successors that the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot and his heirs male aforesaid and every of them successively as aforesaid may bear and have the name, state, degree, style, dignity, title and honour of Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot in India aforesaid and that they and every of them successively as aforesaid may be called and styled Ameer-i-Arcot or Prince of Arcot in India. Lastly we will and by these presents for us our heirs and successors do grant to the said Azim Jah Ameer-i-Arcot or Prince of Arcot that these our Letters Patent or the Inrolement thereof shall be sufficient and effectual in the law of dignifying, investing and ennobling of him the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot or Prince of Arcot, and his heirs male aforesaid with the title, state, dignity and honour of Ameer-i-Arcot or Prince of Arcot in India aforesaid and this without any investitute rites, ornaments or ceremonies to us we could not in due manner do and perform. We will also and do by these presents grant to the said Azim Jah Ameer-e-Arcot that he may and shall have these our Letters Patent duly made and sealed under our great seal of our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland without fine or fee great or small to be for the same in any manner rendered done or paid to us in our Hanaper or elsewhere to our use. In witness thereof we have caused these our Letters to be made patent.

Witness ourselves at Westminister the second day of August in the thirty fourth year of our Reign.

By Warrant under the Queen's Sign Manual.

Sd/-
O. Romilly.

His Highness the Prince of Arcot acknowledged the reception of the Letters Patent in these words:-

"My Lord, - I have the honour to accept, with the highest respect, and with sentiments of the most profound gratitude, the Letters Patent of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, investing me and my successors with the title of Prince of Arcot.

My Lord, I can scarcely find language sufficiently expressive to convey to your Lordship the feeling by which I am at present animated towards Her Most Gracious Majesty for this signal and special honour and dignity conferred on me and my successors. It is scarcely necessary for me, My Lord, to assure your Lordship that this most gracious act of condescension on the part of Her Majesty will, at all times, tend to strengthen the loyalty and allegiance of the Prince of Arcot to the British ascendancy; and endear Her Majesty to the Mussulman population; and induce them to feel a deep sense of gratitude for the honour and dignity conferred on them through me. I shall not, my Lord, refer on the present occasion to the actions performed by my ancestors and predecessors in the early struggles of the British power in Southern India. These have been more than acknowledged by the ancestors of Her Most Gracious Majesty and her predecessors; but I shall only add, my Lord, that I look upon the honour and dignity conferred on me this evening as the crowning act; and I desire through your Lordship to convey to our Gracious Sovereign my heartfelt gratitude and profound thanks and to assure Her Majesty of my loyalty and allegiance towards her, and my earnest prayers for Her Majesty and all the members of the Royal family. As regards myself, my Lord, I have only to add that it is grateful to my feelings to have been spared thus to realise, as I have done this evening, the honour and dignity conferred on me; and now, my Lord, permit me to observe that I am entirely indebted to your Lordship's kind sympathy for the dynasty of the late Nawabs of the Carnatic, and your sense of justice to the members of the family, for which we shall, at all times, entertain a grateful and lively recollection. I know earnestly beg your Lordship's acceptance of my hearty thanks and gratitude for the handsome and kind manner in which you have been pleased to give effect to the desire and pleasure of Her Majesty, whose increased favour we hope to deserve and to enjoy, and whom my God protect and preserve, and may every blessing attend your Lordship and Lady Napier."

The Governor took leave of the Prince at the same point which His Excellency had received His Highness, who was conducted to the foot of the steps by the Chief Secretary to Government. On His Highness' depature, a salute of 15 guns was fired. The deputation which escorted His Highness to the Durbar accompanied him to his residence in the Shadi Mahal, and there took leave. The party of the Body Guard was in attendance on the return.

R.S. Ellies, Chief Secretary.

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Heir Apparent and Dewan to the Prince of Arcot
Nawabzada Mohammed Asif Ali

Born in the Royal House of Arcot on the 14th of June, 1972, Nawabzada Mohammed Asif Ali is the eldest son His Highness the Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, and lives in the historic palace of his ancestors, ‘Amir Mahal’, in Royapettah in the city of Chennai (Madras), India. He is also the Dewan and Heir-Apparent to the present Prince. The family traces its lineage from the second Caliph of Islam, Hazrath Omar Bin-Khattab.

As the dewan to the Prince of Arcot the Heir-Apparent has several responsibilities to his title.

He is very active in several social and cultural activities in the city and also among the Arcot family members. He is also the deputy agent of the Prince of Arcot Endowments, and is working on several projects for the upkeep of the Endowment activities.

On many occasions, the Heir-Apparent was the Royal Guest of His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia, during his visits to the Kingdom, with the Prince of Arcot.

He is a patron member of the Carnatic Family Association. This association mainly works on helping the needy relatives of the Carnatic family, especially in the education sector.

As a businessman, he is the CEO of ‘Acorn Tech’, a concern for Web Development, and has completed many web development projects successfully.

He is a member of the Madras Gymkhana Club and the Madras Club and takes part actively in many social, sports and cultural activities at the clubs.

He is a patron of music, art and literature and himself is a good musician and a sketch artist. As a hobby he has scored music for several Indian Pop albums, and enjoys composing music in his own studio at the palace. He is also a very sportsman and plays the state league cricket, apart from tennis, snooker, horse riding, reading, photography and organizing quiz events for schools, colleges and other organizations. He is also the captain of the Madras Gymkhana Club cricket team.

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