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The history of Hyderabad began with the establishment of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Towards the end of the 16th century, inadequacy of water compelled Mohammed Quli, of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, to move from the fortress city of Golconda and establish the new city of Hyderabad with the Charminar at its centre. In 1687 it was overrun by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Subsequent rulers of Hyderabad were viceroys, installed by the Mughal administration in Delhi. In 1724 the Hyderabad 16_Qutb_Shahi_Tombs.gif viceroy, Asif Jah, took advantage of waning Mughal power and declared Hyderabad an independent state with himself as leader.

The dynasty of the Nizams of Hyderabad began, and the traditions of Islam flourished. Hyderabad became a focus for arts, culture and learning and the centre of Islamic India. Its abundance of rare gems and minerals - the famed Jacob diamond is part of the NizamĀ“s collection - furnished the Nizams with enormous wealth. The seven Nizams of the Asif Jah dynasty ruled the Deccan for nearly 224 years, right up to 1948. The rule of the seven Nizams saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabadra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time. Hyderabad, under the Nizams, was the largest princely state in India. The State had its own currency, mint, railways, and postal system. There was no income tax.

Soon after India gained independence, Hyderabad State merged with the Union of India. On November 1, 1956 the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states, and Hyderabad became the capital of Andhra Pradesh.