Bhopal was the second largest Muslim State of India in the British period. It saw four Muslim women rulers during the period from 1819 to 1926. As is expected, they faced a lot of opposition from both, male claimants and powerful neighbors. Even the British India Company was initially opposed to Bhopal being ruled by females. However, the Begums quoted Queen Victoria as their model and inspiration. This forced the British to finally give up their opposition. Each Begum left an indelible mark of her own personality on the role.

The population of Bhopal was mostly Hindu in those days. In a unique testimony to the Hindu-Muslim unity prevalent in those times, almost all the Begums had a Hindu Chief Minister to assist in their day-to-day administration.

The chronological list of the Nawabs who ruled over Bhopal is as follows. Kindly click on a name to know more details of the same.

S. No.NamePeriod
1 Nawab Qudsia Begum (Gohar Begum) 1819-1837
2 Nawab Sikandar Begum 1844-1868
3 Nawab Shajahan Begum 1868-1901
5 Nawab Sultan Jahan 1901-1926
6 Nawab Hamidullah Khan 1926-1960