Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dost Muhammad Khan Orakzai , the first Nawab of Bhopal



                                   Portrait of a Princess Abida Sultan of Bhopal, 1921


The ruling family of Bhopal state were descendants of an Orakzai Pashtun from Tirah, Dost Muhammad Khan.

A farman of Emperor Farrukhsiyar shows that Dost Muhammad Khan belonged to the Mirzai Khel clan of the Wrakzis (Orakzis) of Tirah. He arrived to India in the final years of Aurangzeb's reign (some where between 1694 and 1703). The same farman shows that he first served in the vanguard of the Emperor personal troops under Aurangzeb.

In 1704 Dost Muhammad Khan Orakzai proved his talent by delivering the decapitated head Kishko Khan, the fearsome general of rebellious Tardi Beg, who commanded a large army in Bundelkhand, to Aurangzeb's keeper of arms. According to Dost Muhammad Khan's diary, his contingent (which comprised of his own clansmen) was summoned to the imperial audience who inspected the unit at Aurangabad. He observed that 'though wizened and bent, Aurangzeb had an awesome personality which made him (Dost Muhammad) tremble with trepidation. Aurangzeb asked him, 'You, the young Rohilla, come and present yourself to me'. The Emperor further exclaimed, "Thank God we have appointed you in the haraval (vanguard) in our army. Remain steadfast and loyal to us" (Reference: "The Rise of Dost Muhammad Khan, the first Nawab of Bhopal", by Zakir Hussain)