The eighth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mukarram Jah, one of the richest men in India, with a net worth of Rs 100 crore and owner of six palaces died on January 14. It is said that the Nizam possessed more jewelry than India’s royal kings. In fact, his grandfather and the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan was considered the richest man in the world.
He owned a fleet of Rolls-Royces—including a Silver Ghost Throne car. That’s not all, he also had a Rs 1,000-crore Jacob diamond that he used as a paperweight. Know more about him here
Mukarram Jah had six luxurious palaces – including Hyderabad’s historic Falaknuma and Chowmahalla palaces.
Mukarram Jah was crowned the eighth Nizam of Hyderabad in 1967. In 1971, the Indian government abolished the privy purse and his dizzying wealth started dwindling. A few years later, things only worsened after financial disputes with other grandchildren.
As per The Times Of India, Mukarram Jah was declared “asset rich, but cash poor”.
When he died, his net worth was estimated to be Rs 100 crore. Here’s a look at some of his prized possessions:
Born to Royalty
Mukarram Jah is the grandchild of Abdulmejid II, the last caliph of the Ottoman dynasty and the only Caliph of the Republic of Turkey. The family went into exile to Switzerland by Ataturk in 1924. When the news reached Mukarram Jah’s paternal grandfather Nizam Osman Ali Khan, he arranged for his son Azam to marry Sultan’s only daughter princess Durrushevar. Mukarram Jah was born on 6 October 1933.
He studied at The Doon School and then went to Harrow School where he had King Faisal of Iraq and his cousin King Hussein of Jordan as his classmates. That’s not all, he also attended Cambridge and finally The London School of Economics.
Six Historic Palaces
In 2012, the historic Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad was valued at £10 million by the British art auction house Christie. Built over nine years from 1884, Nawab Sir Viqar-ul-Umra, then Prime Minister of Hyderabad had spent Rs 2 crore (today’s valuation) on it.
The palace was sold by Viqar-ul-Umra to his brother-in-law, Mahboob Ali Khan—the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad. Thereon, the ownership of the palace was passed down with the title.
In 2000, the palace was leased to the Taj Group of hotels, and a decade later, the Taj Falaknuma Palace opened its doors to visitors. As per Times of India, the Taj Group was paying him an annual lease of Rs 1 crore.
Chowmahalla Palace, now a museum; Chiran Palace; Nazri Bagh Palace; and Purani Haveli in Hyderabad—as well as Naukhanda Palace in Aurangabad—were also passed down to Jah.
That’s not all, Mukarram Jah reportedly also inherited the largest minted gold coin in the world, a 12 kg gold mohur, The Times of India stated.
The Wire lists that, in 2002, he received a paltry sum of $22 million (Rs 2.2 crore) from the government for the inherited jewels.
Murchison House Station in Perth
The Wire report suggests that during his Cambridge days, he bought a “small” farm – Murchison House Station, which was spread across half a million acres but was later put on sale in 1996.
A Fleet of Almost 60 Cars
Mukarram Jah owned several cars – He would pass time by working on the 56 mostly broken-down cars in his grandfather’s garage. As per The Hindu, vintage car collector Mohammed Luqman Ali Khan traced a Bentley, a Jeep
Mukarram Jah married five times – His first wife Esra Birgin was a Turkish noblewoman from Istanbul. He then married Aysha Simmons in 1979, and after she died tragically in 1989, he married Manolya Onur, a former Miss Turkey (whom he later divorced in 1997) in 1992. He also married a Moroccan woman named Jameela Boulaarous and thenhis last wife was Ayesha Orchedi, whom he married in 1994.