The Nawabs of Bhopal were the Muslim rulers of the princely state of Bhopal, now part of the modern state of Madhya Pradesh, in India. The last Nawab was Hamidullah Khan, who acceded his state to India in 1947. The Nawabs of Bhopal ruled the princely state – Bhopal before the Indian independence. During the medieval period and during the British rule in India, the Nawabs were the supreme authority of Bhopal.
Contrary to the popular notion, the most illustrious Bhopal Nawabs were women. According to historical findings, the first among the Nawabs of Bhopal was “Nawab Dost Muhammed Khan” - the man who rebuilt the city founded by Raja Bhoj.
The female Nawabs were also known as the Begums, their official title being Nawab Begum of Bhopal. The terms “Begum of Bhopal” may in theory also refer to the wives of male Nawabs of Bhopal; however, in practice such ladies are only rarely referred to by that title. The era of female Nawabs started with Begum Nawab Qudsia Begum. Born in 1801, she married Nawab Nazar Mohammed Khan in the year 1817. Qudsia Begum took the 'scepter' in her hand when her husband was killed in 1819. She proved herself as an able ruler and at the same time groomed her daughter Sikander. Nawab Sikander Jahan Begum succeeded Qudsia and kept the good work intact. She was a woman with strong will power. She was generous and kind hearted. Nawab Shah Jahan Begum was the next ruler. She was an intellectual woman and did not hesitate to protest against British highhandedness.
  • Nawabs Rules in Bhopal

S. No.

Name of the Bhopal Nawabs

Ruled Time


Nawab Dost Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1723-1728


Nawab Sultan Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1728-1742.


Nawab Faiz Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1742-1777


Nawab Hayat Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1777-1807


Nawab Ghaus Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1807-1826


Nawab Muiz Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1826-1837.


Nawab Jahangir Muhammad Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1837-1844.


Al-Haj Nawab Sir Hafiz Muhammad Hamidullah Khan Bahadur

Ruled from 1926-1947

  • Nawab’s Begum Rules in Bhopal

S. No.

Name of the Bhopal Nawab’s Begum

Ruled Time


Qudsia Begum, Regent of Bhopal

Ruled from 1819-1837


Nawab Sikandar Begum

Ruled from 1860-1868


Begum Sultan Shah Jehan

Ruled from 1844-1860 and 1868-1901


Begum Kaikhusrau Jahan

Ruled from 1901-1926


Begum Sajida Sultan

Ruled from 1961-1995


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