The history of Murshidabad represents the gradual rise and fall of the Mohammadan Subedars (later esignated as Nawab Nazim) who ruled as the Viceroys of the Mughal Emperors of Delhi in the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. When Aurangzeb (1658-1707 AD) became the Emperor of Delhi, he conferred two responsible officer-in-charge of each province to control the Nizamat and Diwani, known as Nazim (Governor/Viceroy of the province) and Diwan (Revenue Officer or Finance Minister, directly subordinate to the emperor) of the province. Following the dual administration system, Aurangzeb appointed his own grandson Prince of the indolent Nawab Ibrahim Khan and afterwards Murshid Quli Khan, thus with the permission of the Emperor Aurangzeb, transferred the headquarters of the Diwani from Dacca to Makshudabad or Mushidabad probably during 1703-04 AD owing to its strategic position (in the centre of the province), water route like the River Bhagirathi and developed important commercial depot (like thriving silk factories)etc. Unhesitatingly, Aurangzeb shifted Prince Azimush-Shan to Patna from Dacca and confirmed Murshid Quli Khan in the dual posts of Diwan of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and Deputy Nazim of Bengal and Orissa. Later, in 1713 AD, when Farrukshiyar, son of Azimush-Shan, acquired the throne of Delhi, Murshid Quli Khan with the support of the Imperial Banker of Murshidaad, Jagt Seth purchased the Nizamat on easy terms and became the viceroy of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in 1718 AD (O’Maley 1997: 30& 33).

Next Page >>