The Nizams (r.1724-1948) of Hyderabad (present capital of Andhra Pradesh) are well-known for their gems and jewellery collection (Bala Krishnan 2001a: 28-37). However, their contribution towards costumes is less known so far is equally important and significant. In the field of costumes, Nizams have the credit of popularizing achkan, serwani, dastar and the western costumes.
Under the influence of their Begums they patronized the traditional handloom also i.e. zari brocade pathani odhani and saree, ikat telia odhani and lot of embroidery decoration on the outfit (Morwanchikar 1993; Mittal 1962: 26-29). Besides traditional attire and western costumes Nizams promoted the gold embellishment on costumes and clothings, popularly known as masala-ka-kam. Among all the Nizams, the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan's contribution in the field of textiles is especially noteworthy. He was passionate for the good clothes, besides the jewels. To store his large collection of clothes, he built 72 m. (240 feet) long wardrobe at Purani Haveli, Hyderabad. The wardrobe was on either side of the hallway and had one hundred and thirty-three built in cupboards to accommodate his large collection of clothes, shoes, hats and accessories (Kumar 2006: 53). He was the first Nizam to wear western clothes and often wore western suit and English hunting gear, (Bala Krishnan 2001b: 15.
The archival materials and photographs housed in various collections are the main source of information to know about the...
This is a preview. To access all the essays on the Global InCH Journal a modest subscription cost is being levied to cover costs of hosting, editing, peer reviewing etc. To subscribe, Click Here.