The Mughal emperor, Aurangazeb, appointed a Nawab as the governor for the provinces of North and South Arcot in Tamil Nadu. Thirteen years after Aurangazeb's death, the Nawab claimed to be an independent ruler and founded the dynasty of the Nawab of Arcot. The important Arcot Nawabs were Sadat-uulah Khan I, Muhammad Ali also known as Walajah and Umdat-ul Umara. In the 19th Century, the English captured their territory.The Nawabs issued many coins in copper and a few in gold and silver. The earliest coins were issued in the name of the Mughal emperor. Later, they issued coins in their own name.
Most of the coins bear inscriptions in Persian while a few are in Tamil. Various symbols and motifs such as the flower, horse, elephant, fish, and geometric designs have been featured. Although the Arcot Nawabs were Muslims, they often portrayed Hindu deities and symbols on their coins. These coins are preserved in several museums in south India.
Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot), ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1801. They initially had their capital at the town of Arcot near Chennai. Their rule is an important period in the history of Tamil Nadu, in which the Mughal Empire gave way to the rising influence of the European powers, eventually culminating in the British Raj.
The old province known as the Carnatic, in which Madras (Chennai) was situated, extended from the Krishna river to the Coleroon, and was bounded on the West by Cuddapah, Salem and Dindigul, all of which formed part of the State of Mysore. The Northern portion was known as the Mughal Carnatic, the Southern the Maharatta Carnatic with the Maharatta frontier fortress being Gingee. Carnatic, the name commonly given to the region of Southern India between the Eastern Ghats and the Coromandel Coast and the Western Ghats, extends from Palghat to Bidar and stretches from the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh in the North, to Cape Comorin at the Southern-most tip of Tamil Nadu State.
Mohamed Ali Khan Wallajah, (1717 - 1795)The Nawabs of the Carnatic trace their origin back to second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. The Nawabdom of the Carnatic was established by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who in 1692 appointed Zulfikar Ali Nawab of the Carnatic, with his seat at Arcot as a reward for his victory over the Marathas. With the Vijayanagara Empire in serious decline, the Nawabdom of the Carnatic controlled a vast territory south of the Krishna river. The Nawab Saadetullah of (1710-1732) moved his court from Gingee to Arcot. His successor Dost Ali (1732-1740) conquered and annexed Madurai in 1736.
Muhammad Ali Wallajah (1749 - 1795 ) was freed from his suzerainty and made the independent ruler of the Carnatic by the Mughal emperor in 1765. His rule was long and mostly peaceful. He donated generously to Churches, Temples and Mosques. The temple at Sri Rangam was one which benefited from his generosity.
The growing influences of the English and the French and their colonial wars had a huge impact on the Carnatic. Wallajah supported the English against the French and Hyder Ali, placing him heavily in debt. As a result he had to surrender much of his territory to the East India Company.
The thirteenth Nawab, Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan (1825–1855), died without issue and the British annexed the Carnatic Nawabdom applying the doctrine of lapse. Ghouse Khan's uncle Azim Jah was created the first Prince of Arcot (Amir-E-Arcot) in 1867 by Queen Victoria, and was given a tax free pension in perpetuity. This privilege continues to be honoured by the Government of India. This status is protected by the Indian Constitution and the family continues to retain its privileges and titles. The current Prince of Arcot Abdul Ali came to the title in July 1994.
List of rulers
Nawabs of the Carnatic
Nawab Muhammed Saadatullah Khan I (1710 - 1732)
Nawab Dost Ali Khan (1732 - 1740) (d.1740)
Nawab Safdar Ali Khan (1740 - 1742) (d.1742)
Nawab Muhammed Saadatullah Khan II (1742 - 1744) (d.1744)
Nawab Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan (1744 - 31 July 1749) (b.1672 - d. 1749)
Nawab Chanda Shahib (de-facto nawab between 1749 to 1752)
Nawab Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah (31 July 1749 - 16 October 1795)
Nawab Umdat Ul-Umra (1795 - 1801)
Nawab Azim-ud-Daula (1801 - 1819)
Nawab Azam Jah (1819 - 1825)
Nawab Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan (1825 - 1855)
Princes Of Arcot
Nawab Azim Jah (1867 - 1874)
Nawab Sir Zahir-ud-Daula Bahadur (1874 - 1879)
Nawab Intizam-ul-Mulk Muazzaluddaula Bahadur (1879 - 1889)
Nawab Sir Muhammad Munawar Khan Bahadur (1889 - 1903)
Sir Ghulam Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur (1903 - 1952)
Nawab Ghulam Mohiuddin Khan Bahadur (1952 - 1969)
Nawab Ghulam Mohammed Abdul Khader (1969 - 1993)
Nawab Muhammed Abdul Ali (1994 - current)