Grandson of the Last Nizam of Hyderabad Passes Away


Syed Ali Mujtaba l Clarion India

HYDERABAD – Mir Mukkaram Jah, the grandson of the last Nizam Osman Ali Khan, died on Saturday night at 10:30 pm in Istanbul, Turkey. He was 90 and died peacefully in sleep due to an old age-related illness.  

Mukkaram Jah who willed to be buried at his ancestral graveyard in Hyderabad will be laid to rest with his mortal remains on Tuesday, January 17. His large family that constitutes his children and grandchildren are scheduled to fly to Hyderabad in a charted plane for burial purposes, family sources confirmed.

The Namaz e Janaza of Mukarram Jah aka Asaf Jah VIII will be offered at the Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad.  He will be laid to rest at the royal graves of the Nizams near Charminar, where all the seven Nizams are buried.

Reacting to the demise of the 8th Nizam of Hyderabad, Congress leader and former minister Shabbir Ali has demanded a state funeral and a declaration of January 17 as an official holiday in Telangana.

“Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of 8th Nizam Mir Mukkaram Jah Bahadur,” Shabbir Ali tweeted through his Twitter handle on Sunday and demanded  the Chief Minister of Telangana should declare January 17, an official holiday and conduct his last rites with State honors’

Nizam Mir Barkat Ali Khan aka Mukarram Jah aka Asaf Jah VIII was crowned as the titular 8th Nizam of Hyderabad after the death of his grandfather in 1967. He was born in Hilafet, the grandson of the last Nizam Osman Ali Khan, died on Saturday night at 10:30 pm in Istanbul, Turkey. He was 90 and died peacefully in sleep due to an old age related illness.  

After completing his initial studies at the Doon School in Dehradun, he studied at Harrow and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He also studied at the London School of Economics and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Mukarram Jah’s full title is; “His Exalted Highness (HEH) Prince Rustam-i-Dauran, Arustu-i-Zaman, Wal Mamaluk, Asaf Jah VIII, Muzaffar ul-Mamalik, Nizam ul-Mulk, Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Barakat ‘Ali Khan Siddiqi Bahadur, Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar. His Military title is ‘Honorary Lieutenant-General.’

Mukarram Jah married five times. His first wife was a Turkish noblewoman, Esra Birgin who he married in 1959. Jah left his treasure trove in Hyderabad for a sheep station in the Australian outback and had to divorce his wife, as she did not want to move with him to Australia.

In 1979, Jah married a former air hostess and employee of the BBC, Helen Simmons. She converted to Islam and changed her name to Aysha. After her death, Mukarram Jah married Manolya Onur, a former Miss Turkey in 1992. He divorced her after a five-year marriage in 1997. He married Jameela Boularous former Miss Morocco, in 1992. In 1994, he married Princess Ayesha Orchedi who is from Turkey.

Mukarram Jah has a big family from all these marriages. Esra Birgin had one son and one daughter. Helen Simmons had two sons. With Manolya Onur he had a daughter. With Jameela Boularous he had a daughter.

Until the 1980s, Mukkaram Jah was the richest person in India. However, in the 1990s he lost some assets to divorce settlements. His net worth right now is estimated to be at $US1 billion.

Mukkaram Jah still owns a huge fortune in Hyderabad.  The palaces he owns are Chowmahalla Palace, Falaknuma Palace, Nazribagh Palace, (King Kothi), Chiraan Palace, Banjara Hills, Purani Haveli, and Naukhanda Palace in Aurangabad.

Currently, his two main palaces in Hyderabad, Chowmahalla and Falaknuma, have been restored and opened to the public, the former as a museum showcasing the era of the Nizams and the latter as a luxury hotel.

Mukarram Jah was the chairman of the H.E.H. Nizam’s Charitable Trust and Mukarram Jah Trust for Education & Learning (MJTEL) which is situated at the Purani Haveli, Hyderabad.

Mukkaram Jah inherited the richest fortune in the world when his grandfather, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, died in 1967. But lavish palaces, stunning jewels, his craving for a dazzling blue-blooded European princess for a wife, and his lavish lifestyle cost him dear as he lacked the will to manage his inheritance.

In a little over thirty years, his huge fortune at one point estimated to be worth more than Rs 25,000 crore, all got evaporated. The inheritor of the fabled wealth of Nizams spent his last living days in a two-bedroom apartment at the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.

With the passing away of Mir Mukkaram Jah, the legacy of the Nizam of Hyderabad has come to an end.  

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist. He can be contacted at


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