Indian history is notoriously elusive. Here, we are seeing a kingdom which started as a governorship under the Golconda, then seamlessly transitioned into Mughal rule in a period of stability and even then, we don’t know the names of the rulers properly. CP Brown writes some names, someone some other, confusing regents and field commanders from the ruling family with rulers. For example, take the case of Abdul Majid Khan and Abdul Nabi Khan. Who is the correct ruler? We know for sure that the Nawab of Cuddappah played a major part in the chaos of 1750 where both the claimants to the Nizam Throne are killed. What we know is, the Nawab of Kurnool is killed while the Nawab of Cuddappah is seriously injured. Some authorites say he is the regent for a boy king and some say he is the king but none knows his name.

Well, below is the table of the rulers of Cuddappah, obviously containing many mistakes. There are only two things known with confidence regarding this dynasty – the first one is under the title Neknam Khan and Hyder Ali conquered the kingdom in 1780 and the king deported to Kabaldurg where he died. Again, there is a theory that Neknam Khan is an eunuch and this makes the relation between Neknam Khan and the later Nawabs even unclear. My personal view of this article is that, it is very badly written and with scant information and should be seriously reworked upon.

Neknam Khan 1645 1672
Abdul Majid Khan 1711 1735
Abdul Muhammad Khan 1736 1747
Abdul Nabi Khan 1714 1732
Mahazid Khan 1732 1740
Abdul Nabi Khan 1740 1751
Majid Khan 1751 1756
Abdul Alam Khan 1756 1780

Riza Quli Beg, a Persian, migrated to India after his father was executed by the Shah of Iran, eventually becoming the commander-in-chief of Golconda along with gaining the title Neknam Khan. He established his base at Cuddappah, renamed as Neknamabad in his name. He passed away in 1672 and is buried in the QutbShahi Tombs. The British got the charter for Fort St. George from him, through Chinnapalli Mirza, the local governor operating from Tirupati. It looks like Neknam Khan’s line was tolerated by Aurangzeb after Golconda fell to Aurangzeb and they became prominent rulers. The story is partly clear from 1711, but again, is a chaos of fights between the Marathas, Nizam, Carnatic and the petty trio of Cuddappah, Kurnool and Savanur. A few of the main ones are the Maratha campaign of 1740 culminating in the Battle of Damalacheruvu Pass where the Nawab was first beaten, then joined forces with the Nawab of Carnatic Dost Ali and was decisively beaten again, with Dost Ali killed. The next one is the famous episode of 1750 referred above. The kingdom ended in 1780 when the kingdom is annexed to Mysore by Hyder Ali.

Neknam Khan