State of Rampur
Dar-Ul-Insha دارالانشا
Flag of Rampur
Coat of arms of Rampur
Coat of arms
Motto: "الحكم لله والملك لله" "Al Hukumu Lillah Wāl Mulk Lillah"
.Lā Fata ʾIllā ʿAlī; Lā Sayf ʾIllā Ḏū l-Fiqār.
“(Rulership And Sovereignty Belongs To God)”
(There Is No Conqueror Like Ali And No Sword Like The Zulfiqar)
Rampur State in yellow
Rampur State in yellow
Status15 gun-salute princely state
Official languages
Other languages
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
• 1774–1794
Faizullah Khan (First)
• 1794
Muhammad Ali Khan
• 1794
Ghulam Muhammad Khan
• 1794–1840
Ahmad Ali Khan
• 1930–1947/1966
Raza Ali Khan (Last)
7 October, 1774
15 August, 1947
• Total
2,447.54 km2 (945.00 sq mi) (1st; princely state)
• Water (%)
• Estimate
• Census
Time zoneUTC+5:30
Driving sideleft lane
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Rohilkhand
Oudh State
Uttar Pradesh
Today part ofUttar Pradesh, India
Khusru Bagh Palace of Rampur
Nawab Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur, r. 1865–87.
Imambara, Fort of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, c. 1911.
Sir Kalb Ali Khan, Nawab of Rampur (1832–1887).

Rampur State was a 15 gun-salute princely state of British India. It came into existence on 7 October 1774 as a result of a treaty with Oudh. Following independence in 1947, Rampur State and other princely states of the area, such as Benares and Tehri Garhwal were merged into the United Provinces.[citation needed] Rampur state had its capital in Rampur city and its total area was 945 sq miles.[1] Rampur state was founded by Ali Mohammad Khan's younger son Faizullah Khan.[2][3][4][5]

The Jama Masjid is one of the finest piece of architecture to be found in Rampur. It resembles the Jama Masjid in Delhi to some extent.[original research?] It was built by Nawab Faizullah Khan. It has a unique Mughal touch to it. There are several entry-exit gates to the masjid. It has three big domes and four tall minarets with gold pinnacles boasting of a royal touch. It has a main lofty entrance gate that has an inbuilt clock tower occupied by a big clock that was imported from Britain.

There are several entry-exit gates built by the Nawab. These gates are major entry-exit routes from the city. Examples are Shahabad Gate, Nawab Gate, Bilaspur Gate etc.


The Rohilla State of Rampur was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan on 7 October 1774 in the presence of British Commander Colonel Champion, and remained a pliant state under British protection thereafter. Faizullah Khan was a leader among the Rohillas and a member of the Rohilla dynasty. He was the son of Ali Mohammed Khan, who was a Jat boy of age eight when he was adopted by the chief of the Pashtun Barech tribe, Sardar Daud Khan Rohilla.[6][7][8][9] For Rohillas, Rampur State was one of the important princely states in Hindustan.

In the 19th century, the Nawabs of Rampur claimed that Ali Mohammed Khan was a Barha Sayyid and started using the title of Sayyid. However, they could not present any pedigree in the support of this claim.[8]


The Rohilla War of 1774–75 began when the Rohillas reneged on a debt they owed to the Nawab of Oudh for military assistance against the Maratha Empire in 1772. The Rohillas were defeated and driven from their former capital of Bareilly by the Nawab of Oudh with the assistance of the East India Company's troops lent by Warren Hastings.[10]

The first stone of the new Fort at Rampur was laid and the city of Rampur founded in 1775 by Nawab Faizullah Khan. Originally it was a group of four villages named Kather, the name of Raja Ram Singh. The first Nawab proposed to rename the city 'Faizabad'. But many other places were known by the name Faizabad so its name was changed to Mustafabad alias Rampur. Nawab Faizullah Khan ruled for 20 years. He was a great patron of scholarship, and began the collection of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu manuscripts which now make up the bulk of the Rampur Raza Library. After his death, his son Muhammad Ali Khan took over. He was killed by the Rohilla leaders after 24 days, and Ghulam Muhammad Khan – the brother of the deceased, was proclaimed Nawab. The East India Company took exception to this, and after a reign of just 3 months and 22 days Ghulam Muhammad Khan was defeated by its forces, and the Governor-General made Ahmad Ali Khan, son of the late Muhammad Ali Khan, the new Nawab. He ruled for 44 years. He did not have any sons, so Muhammad Sa'id Khan, son of Ghulam Muhammad Khan, took over as the new Nawab. He raised a regular Army, established Courts and carried out many works to improve the economic conditions of farmers. His son Muhammad Yusuf Ali Khan took over after his death. His son Kalb Ali Khan became the new Nawab after his death in 1865.

Nawab Kalb Ali Khan was literate in Arabic and Persian. Under his rule the state did much work to uplift standards of education. He was also a Member of Council during the Viceroyalty of Lord John Lawrence. He built the Jama Masjid in Rampur at a cost of Rs. 300,000. He was also knighted in Agra by the Prince of Wales. He ruled for 22 years and 7 months. After his death his son Mushtaq Ali Khan took over. He appointed W. C. Wright as the Chief Engineer of the estate. He built many new buildings and canals. Nawab Hamid Ali became the new ruler in 1889 at the age of 14. Many new schools were opened during his reign, and many donations were provided to nearby colleges. He donated Rs. 50,000 to Lucknow Medical College. In 1905 he built the magnificent Darbar Hall within the Fort which now houses the great collection of Oriental manuscripts held by the Rampur Raza Library. His son Raza Ali Khan became the last ruling Nawab in 1930. Nawab Raza Ali Khan was a very progressive ruler who believed in the Inclusion of Hindus and so appointed Lt. Col. Horilal Varma – Bar At Law as his Prime Minister. On 1 July 1949 the State of Rampur was merged into the Republic of India. Rampur today presents a slightly decayed appearance: the palaces of the Nawabs are crumbling, as are the gates and walls of the fort. However, the Library remains a flourishing institution of immense value to scholars from all over the world.

The Nawabs of Rampur sided with the British during Indian Rebellion of 1857[10] and this enabled them to continue to play a role in the social, political and cultural life of Northern India in general and the Muslims of United Provinces in particular. They gave refuge to some of the literary figures from the Court of Bahadur Shah Zafar.


See also: Rampur-Sahaswan gharana

The Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music also has its origins in court musicians. Ustad Mehboob Khan, was a khayal singer and Veena player of the Rampur court; his son Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919), who trained and lived in the city, founded the gharana.

The Nawabs of Rampur gave patronage to traditional music in their court. Mehboob Khan was the chief khyal singer of the royal court of Rampur State, his tradition was followed by his son Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) and in turn by Inyat's brothers-in-law, Haider Khan (1857–1927), and Mushtaq Hussein Khan (d. 1964), which gave rise to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music, the latter being their ancestral place, Sahaswan, in present-day Badaun district.[11]

Rulers of Rampur

A portrait of Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash, not the Nawab of Rampur but the Nawab of Farrukhabad, ca 1730, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

The following is a table delineating the succession of rulers belonging to the Royal House of Rampur:

Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Faizullah Khan 15 September 1774 24 July 1793
Hafiz Rahmat KhanRegent 15 September 1748 23 April 1774
2 Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 July 1793 11 August 1793
3 Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur 11 August 1793 24 October 1794
4 Ahmad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 October 1794 5 July 1840
Nasrullah Khan – Regent 24 October 1794 1811
5 Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur 5 July 1840 1 April 1855
6 Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur 1 April 1855 21 April 1865
7 Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur 21 April 1865 23 March 1887
8 Muhammad Mushtaq Ali Khan Bahadur 23 March 1887 25 February 1889
9 Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur 25 February 1889 20 June 1930
Regency 25 February 1889 4 April 1894
10 Raza Ali Khan Bahadur 20 June 1930 6 March 1966
11 Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur – Titular 6 March 1966 8 February 1982
12 Zulfikar Ali Khan – Titular 8 February 1982 5 April 1992
13 Muhammad Kazim Ali Khan – Titular 5 April 1992 Present

Family tree

Orders of chivalry

The Royal House of Rampur awards two orders of chivalry; these knighthoods include:[12]

The majority of the recipients of the Nishan-e-Hamidiya are those of various royal families while honourees with the Nishan-e-Iqbal are those who have made significant contributions to academia, culture, humanitarian aid, research and society.[13]


Dog breed

Main article: Rampur Hound

A palace attendant with a Rampur Hound in 1915

His Royal Highness Nawab Ahmad Ali Khan of Rampur is credited with developing the dog breed known as Rampur Hound. The Rampur Hound far exceeded his expectations. He endeavoured to breed these dogs by combining the Tazi ferocious Afghan dogs with the English Greyhound, more obedient but less resistant to the harsher local weather. He gave the name 'Rampur Hound' to the dogs he bred.[15]


The cuisine of the royal courts over the years gave rise to the Rampuri cuisine, developed by the chefs of the Nawabs. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the khansamas (chefs) from erstwhile Mughal imperial courts shifted to Rampur, bringing along with them the Mughal cuisine tradition.[16] Gradually people from other places also found a haven here, adding influences of Awadhi, Hyderabad and Kashmiri cuisine.[17] It is also known for its distinct flavours and dishes with recipes passed on from the royal kitchen, like Rampuri fish, Rampuri Korma, Rampuri mutton kebabs, Doodhiya Biryani and adrak ka halwa.[18][19][20]


Mehboob Khan was the chief khyal singer of the royal court of Rampur State, his tradition was followed by his son Inayat Hussain Khan (1849–1919) and in turn by Inyat's brothers-in-law, Haider Khan (1857–1927), and Mushtaq Hussein Khan (d. 1964), which gave rise to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music, the latter being their ancestral place, Sahaswan, in present Badaun district.[21]

See also


  1. ^ Hunter, William Wilson (1881). The imperial gazetteer of India. India: Trübner & Company. pp. 544–546. Retrieved 16 December 2013. Rampur state.
  2. ^ Wade, Bonnie C. (1984). Khyal: Creativity Within North India's Classical Music Tradition. CUP Archive. ISBN 978-0-521-25659-9.
  3. ^ The Indian Year Book. Bennett, Coleman & Company. 1945.
  4. ^ The Indian and Pakistan Year Book. Bennett, Coleman & Company. 1929.
  5. ^ Ashraf, Mujeeb (1982). Muslim Attitudes Towards British Rule and Western Culture in India in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century. Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli.
  6. ^ Irvine, W. (1971). Later Mughal. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. p. 118. Retrieved 30 July 2022. Once Daud was sent against the village of Bankauli, in pargana Chaumahla, with which his employer was at feud. Along with the plunder taken on this occasion Daud obtained possession of a Jat boy seven or eight years of age, whom he caused to be circumcised and then adopted under the name of Ali Muhammad Khan.
  7. ^ Ḥusain, M.; Pakistan Historical Society (1957). A History of the Freedom Movement: 1707-1831. A History of the Freedom Movement: Being the Story of Muslim Struggle for the Freedom of Hind-Pakistan, 1707-1947. Pakistan Historical Society. p. 304. Retrieved 30 July 2022. Amongst other prisoners he obtained a young Jat boy of eight years . Daud took a fancy to him and adopted him as his son and named him ' Ali Muhammad Khan.
  8. ^ a b Gommans, Jos J. L. (1995). The Rise of the Indo-Afghan Empire: C. 1710-1780. BRILL. p. 120. ISBN 978-90-04-10109-8. Most of the contemporary sources, however, call him a Jat or an Ahir.
  9. ^ Strachey, Sir John (1892). Hastings and the Rohilla War. Clarendon Press. p. 11. ...this remarkable chief was not an Afghan by birth, but a Hindu, a Jat by caste.
  10. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rampur" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 877.
  11. ^ Wade. p. 136
  12. ^ McClenaghan, Tony (1996). Indian Princely Medals: A Record of the Orders, Decorations, and Medals of the Indian Princely States. Lancer Publishers. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-897829-19-6.
  13. ^ a b Arora, Neha (17 January 2024). "Royal House of Rampur awards Nishan-i-Hamidiya and Nishan-i-Iqbal". APN News. Archived from the original on 17 January 2024. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  14. ^ Agarwal, Augustine (17 January 2024). "Royal House of Rampur awards knighthoods". Indica News. Archived from the original on 18 January 2024. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  15. ^ Rampur Hound
  16. ^ "Kebabs, kings and other Rampuri tales". MiD DAY. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  17. ^ "The Rampuri flavour: The Rampuri food festival at Mascot Hotel takes you on a voyage of discovery". The Hindu. 30 August 2004. Archived from the original on 22 December 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  18. ^ "The culinary cartographer". Mint. 22 January 2010.
  19. ^ "Sharp cuts from the Rampuri !". Business Standard. 7 January 2007.
  20. ^ "Mutton Korma in Rampur". Indian Express. 28 August 2005.
  21. ^ Wade. p. 136


28°48′N 79°00′E / 28.8°N 79.0°E / 28.8; 79.0