Founded by Dost Mohammed Khan, an Afghan-Pashtun soldier in the Mughal Army, Bhopal became a princely state in 1818 as a result of the Anglo-Bhopal treaty between East India Company and the Nawab of Bhopal.
Between 1819 and 1926, Bhopal had the distinction of being ruled by four begums. Bhopal Connections: Vignettes of Royal Rule takes us on a journey of dramatic events, the larger-than-life characters, scandals and social norms that are part of this princely state’s history and culture, fashioned particularly by the reign of these four successive women rulers. Some of these events were game changers, while others saw social change through family alliances.
From a peek into Bhopal’s political, cultural and familial history to contemporary anecdotes, Shaharyar Muhammed Khan, grandson of the last ruling Nawab of Bhopal, recreates life and times of the rulers of Bhopal.
A former diplomat and chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Shaharyar Muhammed Khan is from the royal family of former princely state of Bhopal. Born in Bhopal state in British India, he is the only son of Nawab Muhammad Sarwar Ali Khan, the ruler of former princely state of Kurwai (in Madhya Pradesh) and Princess Abida Sultan, the eldest daughter of last ruling Nawab of Bhopal Sir Muhammad Nawab Hamidulah Khan, who reigned over the state of Bhopal after a prolonged era of Begums’ rule. His many books include, The Begums of Bhopal, The Shallow Graves of Rwanda, Cricket – a Bridge of Peace, the biography of his mother Princess Abida Sultaan – Memoirs of a Rebel Princess, Shadows Across the Playing Field (co-authored with Shashi Tharoor) and with his son Ali Khan he wrote Cricket Cauldron: The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan.
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