Bhopal – 19 gun state

See Kulkarni & Agrawal (2007), Numismatic Digest, 31, 177-186; also Tabor (2008), JONS 195 pp24-31

Bhopal was the second most important Mohammedan state in India (following Hyderabad state) [1].



Dost Muhammad Khan                                      1722-1726

Sultan Muhammad Khan                                    1726-1742

Faiz Muhammad Khan                                       1742-1777

Hayat Muhammad Khan                                     1777-1808

Ghaus Muhammad                                            1808-

Wazir Muhammad Khan                                     1808-1816

Nazir Muhammad Khan                                      1816-1819

Munir Muhammad Khan

            Under regency of Gohur (Kudsia) Begum            1819-1835

Jehangir Muhammad

            Under regency of Kudsia Begum                        1835-1844

Shah Jahan Begam

            Under regency of Sikander Begam         1844-1861

Sikander Begam                                                1861-1868

Shah Jahan Begam                                           1868-1901

Sultan Jahan Begam                                          1901-



Bhopal was a large, important Muslim State in Central India, lying roughly between 22o 29’ and 23o54’ N. and 76o 28’ and 78o 51’ east, with an area approaching 7,000 square miles, bordered by Gwalior, Basoda, Korwai, Maksudangarh, Narsinghgarh, Tonk and Saugor.  On the south is the Narbada river and Hoshangabad.  To the east are Saugor and Nursingpur, and in the west are Gwalior and Narsinghgarh.  The name of the state is possibly derived from Bhojpal, meaning Bhoj’s dam, said to have been raised by one of  the ministers of  Raja Bhoj, Paramar of Dhar, but it may simply mean Bhupala, a king.


The founder of the state was Dost Muhammad, an Afghan immigrant of the Mirzai Khel of the Barakzai tribe, who came to Bahadur Shah’s court in 1708AD, looking for suitable employment.  In 1709 AD he was granted the lease of the Berasia pargana, and then proceeded to expand his holdings, and founding towns and arranging for the administration of his rapidly expanding territories.  He chose the newly built town of Bhopal as his capital, and declared his independence from Delhi and took the title of Nawab.  After offending the Nizam, in 1720 he came to terms, sending his son, Yar Muhammad Khan to Hyderabad as hostage.  He was reputed to be a very strong and courageous character.  On his death in 1740AD



other mint-towns in the Bhopal region known to me (which may or may not have been under Bhopal control) include:

1. Shujalpur: Rupees known in the name of Shah Alam II with marks similar to those of Bhopal, i.e. a horizontal fly-whisk on reverse. The obverse has a horizontal spear in the second line. Copper coins struck to the heavy 'Takka' standard are also known, with the mintname appearing at the top on reverse with the initial 'He' for Hayat Muhammad Khan of Bhopal added after 'Julus'.

2. Sharifganj: Copper coins of the recycled/countermarked variety known, having a small circular punch with the mint-name inscribed in it.

3. Farrukhnagar: Similar to above. I think Farrukhnagar was the fortress-capital of Bhopal State.

4. Bari: Silver rupees similar to Raisen are known.



[1] Luard C.E., Bhopal State Gazetteer, Vol. 3, Calcutta 1908, p 395-401