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“My son, by all means desist from kicking the venerable and enlightened Vizier: for as a costly jewel retains its value even if hidden in a dung-hill, so old age and discretion are to be respected even in the vile persons of our subjects.
Desist therefore, and tell us what you desire and propose.”
(From “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis)
This is the entrance of the Hussainabad Picture Gallery in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
It was built by the third Nawab of Awadh, Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah in the year 1838 as a Royal summer house.
This place houses life-size portraits of all Nawabas of Awadh providing a good insight into the grand costumes and jewelry favored by the Nawabs.
Of all the Muslim states and dependencies of the Moghul empire, Awadh had the newest royal family.
They were descended from a Persian adventurer called Sadat Khan, originally from Khurasan in Persia.
In 1732, he was made governor of the province of Awadh.
His original title was Nazim, which means Governor, but soon he was made Nawab. In 1740, the Nawab was called Wazir or vizier, which means Chief Minister, and thereafter he was known as the Nawab Wazir.
In practice, from Sadat Khan onwards, the titles had been hereditary, though in theory they were in the gift of the Moghul emperor, to whom allegiance was paid.
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