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Nawabs of Punjab

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Nawabs of Punjab (full title, Nawab Nizam of Lahore and Multan) were rulers of the then provinces of Lahore and Multan.[1] Between 1715 and 1752, they served as the independent Nawabs of Punjab. However, they were only nominally subordinate to the Mughal Empire. After their defeat in Battle of Lahore, real power transferred to Durrani Empire and Ahmad Shah Durrani made Nawab's viceroy Mir Mannu as Afghan's governor and they remained only nominal.[2] But however they held power among regional rulers.[3] After the capture of Lahore Fort by Sikh Misls, they sent into Jehanabad with the title of Nawab and little power under the suzerainty of Sikh Misls and then Ranjit Singh.[4]

Nawab Nazim of Lahore and Multan (1715–1799)a
Nawab Bahadur of Lahore and Multan (1799–1858)b

Nawabs of Punjab
Flag of Nawabs of Punjab
Seal of Nawab of Punjab
Coat of arms
Common languagesUrdu
Suni Islam
Nawabs of Punjab 
• 1715 - 1739
Bidar Dil Mirza
• 1846 - 1858
Hakim Shah Jahan
Historical eraMughal Era
Sikh Era
Company Era
• Emergence of the Mughal Empire
• Established
• Battle of Lahore
• Unification of Misls
• Indian Rebellion
• Title abolished under Government of India Act
• Disestablished
1750370,000 km2 (140,000 sq mi)
• 1750
18 million
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mughal Empire
Durrani Empire 20px
Sikh Confederacy
Sikh Empire
Company rule in India
  1. First era of Nawabs as Sovereign of Punjab. Afterthat, Ranjit Singh became Sovereign.
  2. Title of "Nawab of Punjab" abolished by British Empire under the Government of India Act 1858 after Indian War of Independence 1857.

During tenure of Farrukhsiyar, Bidar Dil Mirza gained much independence and signed a agreement with Mughal Emperor according to which two-system government was introduced. According to this, Abdus Samad Khan became governor of Lahore and he considered the viceroy of Mughal Emperor and Nawab at the same time. This tradition was also followed by Khan's son, Zakariya Khan Bahadur and until the Battle of Lahore.[5][6]


The term of Punjab (Land of five rivers)[7] is used for a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, comprising the today Indian States of Punjab, Haryana,[8] Himachal Pradesh[9] and Pakistani Province of Punjab.[10] In 1947, British Punjab was divided between Dominion of Pakistan and Union of India. Historic foreign invasions mainly targeted the most productive central region of the Punjab known as the Majha,[11] which is also the bedrock of Punjabi culture and traditions.[12] Nawab of Punjab sometimes also used title of Nizam (or Subahdar) with their name as they ruled Subahs of Lahore and Multan, comprising the Mughal Punjab. The majority of modern Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab is inhabited by Punjabis who speak the Punjabi language.[13]


After death of Aurangzeb, they were only nominally subordinate to Mughal Empire and ruled the Punjab region due to weakness and fragmentation of Muguhal empire.[14] During Indian campaign of Ahmad Shah Durrani and Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire, they lost Lahore and neighbouring areas to both empires, but they held the remaining areas of Punjab till last of 18th century.[15][16]

At last of 18th century, Sikhs were raised to central power of Punjab and occupied many areas of Punjab and in 1801, Ranjit Singh occupied the Lahore and then united the all Sikh Misls by establishing Sikh empire,[17] out of which 8 misls are under suzerainty of Nawabs.[18] But the Nawabs continuously held the title with the little power in Bari Doab region.

After the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the British East India Company occupied the all princely states of Punjab and make them principalities of British empire and also abloished the title and rule of Nawabs of Punjab.

List of Nawabs of Punjab[edit]

Title Personal name Reign
Bidar Dil Mirza, Subahdar of Lahore and Multan became independent and nominal connected to Mughal Emperor.[19]
Bidar Dil Mirza
بیدار دل مرزا
Humayun Bakht
ہمایوں بخت
Muhammad Ali I
محمد علی اول
Muhammad Ali II
محمد علی دوم‬


Nassur-u-ddin Khan
ناصر الدین خان

Hakim Shah Jahan
حاکم شاہ جہاں
Title of Nawab of Punjab abolished by British Raj after Indian War of Independence 1857.


  1. Humaira Faiz Dasti, Multan: a province of the Mughal Empire, 1525-1751, Royal Book organisation , 1998
  2. Mehta, Jaswant Lal. Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707–1813. Sterling Publishers. ISBN 9781932705546. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. Griffin, Sir Lepel Henry; Conran, W. L.; Craik, Sir Henry (1993). The Punjab Chiefs. Sang-e-Meel. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  4. Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, (Edition: Volume V22, Date: 1910–1911), Page 810-50.
  5. bahādur.), Muḥammad Laṭīf (Saiyid, khān (1891). History of the Panjáb from the Remotest Antiquity to the Present Time. Calcutta Central Press Company, limited. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. History of the Panjáb from the Remotest Antiquity to the Present Time. Calcutta Central Press Company, limited. 1891. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  7. H K Manmohan Siṅgh. "The Punjab". The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Editor-in-Chief Harbans Singh. Punjabi University, Patiala. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  8. Punjab reorganisation act, 1966 - Chief Secretary, Haryana (PDF)
  9. Verma, V. (1995). The Emergence of Himachal Pradesh: A Survey of Constitutional Developments. Himachal Pradesh (India): Indus Publishing. ISBN 81-7387-035-7. Retrieved 30 September 2018. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. The Punjab in 1920s – A Case study of Muslims, Zarina Salamat, Royal Book Company, Karachi, 1997. table 45, pp. 136. ISBN 969-407-230-1 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  11. Jatiinder Aulakh. Archaeological History of Majha: Research Book about Archaeology and Mythology with Rare Photograph. Createspace Independent Pub, 2014
  12. Arrain, Anabasis, V.22, p.115
  13. Kachru, Braj B.; Kachru, Yamuna; Sridhar, S. N. (27 March 2008). Language in South Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-139-46550-2. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2014. Sikhs often write Punjabi in Gurmukhi, Hindus in Devanagari, and Muslims in Perso-Arabic. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  14. Jaswant Lal Mehta, Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813, Sterling Publishers, p.5
  15. "A Concise History of Afghanistan in 25 Volumes, Volume 14". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  16. "Nadir Shah". Britannica.com.
  17. "Ranjit Singh: A Secular Sikh Sovereign by K.S. Duggal. ''(Date:1989. ISBN 8170172446'')". Exoticindiaart.com. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  18. Vidya Dhar Mahajan, Muslim Rule in India: The Great Nawabs, S. Chand Publications , 1965
  19. "List of Punjabian Monarchs". List of Punjabian Monarchs. Retrieved 2018-09-30.

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