The Nizams were the rulers of Hyderabad from 18th-through-20th-century. Nizam, shortened from Nizam-ul-Mulk, meaning Administrator of the Realm, was the title inherited by Asaf Jah I. He was the viceroy of the Great Mughal in the Deccan, the premier courtier in Mughal India in 1724, and the founding “Nizam of Hyderabad”.
When the East India Company achieved paramountcy over the Indian subcontinent, they allowed the Nizams to continue to rule their princely states as client kings. The Nizams retained internal power over Hyderabad State until 17 September 1948, when Hyderabad was integrated into the new Indian Union.
The Asaf Jah dynasty had only seven rulers; however there was a period of 13 unstable years after the rule of the first Nizam when three of his sons (Nasir Jung, Muzafar Jung and Salabath Jung) ruled. They were never officially recognized as rulers. The seventh and last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, fell from power when India annexed Hyderabad in 1948 in Operation Polo.