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Reachout's  Newsmaker

Mukkaram Jah
The grandson of the last Nizam Of Hyderabad 

Hyderabad: Mukkaram Jah the grandson of the seventh and last Nizam Osman Ali Khan has be the city for a week. He has celebrated his Birthday here while his son has made his first public appearance in the city. Mukkaram Jah, 68, has been moving in and out of western Australia for 21 years. Jah, who has married five times, had moved to Turkey after the death of his Australian wife and mother of his two sons, Helen Simmons, in 1989.

It is said that Mukkaram Jah, grandson of a man who was once one of the world's wealthiest men, lost control over his west Perth mansion due to a financial crisis. He also reportedly lost control over a sprawling 202,000 hectares Murchison sheep station for the same reason. The value of the property went down further as it became subject to native title claims by local aborigines. 

Jah is reported to be the owner of seven palaces in India and has assets worth hundreds of million dollars, most of which are caught up in numerous legal battles being fought by him with other Nizam descendants and the Indian government. 

He moved to Australia after reportedly facing financial setbacks while fighting court battles for the Nizam's jewellery collection. 

After a series of legal wrangles, the Indian government took over the ownership of the massive collection after paying $ 47 million to the Nizam's heirs in 1995. But the amount has become a subject of more legal suits amongst the direct and indirect descendants of the Nizam, whose forefathers had ruled a large region of present day Andhra Pradesh. 

He now lives in Turkey with his fifth wife, Princess Orchedi. 

The Nizam's family had ruled Hyderabad since the early 18th century, and the Nizam was the only Maharajah in British India who enjoyed the title Exalted Highness - a reward for his generous 25m contribution to the British exchequer during the first world war.

This family was closely linked with the Moghul rulers of Delhi. They founded their rule in 1712. The state was one of the largest and the wealthiest state in all of India. Nazim Mahbub Ali Khan owned the famous 162 carat Jacob diamond. From about 1900 to the mid 1960's the Nizam of Hyderabad was reported by many as being the richest man in the world. In the 1930's the Nizam was said to have 100 million (GBP) worth of gold and silver and a further 400 million (GBP) worth of jewels. Despite this immense wealth the Nizam was not one to flaunt his wealth and he wore inexpensive clothes. On the formation of the Indian Union the Nizam chose to remain independent. 

Eventually his state of Hyderabad was annexed to the Indian union. The wealth of the family has diminished due to the thousands of people who claim to be members of the family.

The seven Nizams of Hyderabad

- October' 2001

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