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Nawab of Oudh Shuja ud Daulah
Nawab Wazir of Oudh
Nawab Wazir al-Mamalik
Wazir ul-Hindustan (Prime Minister of India)
Subedar of Kashmir, Agra & Oudh
Khan Bhadur
Asad Jang
Arsh Manzil[nt 1]
Preceded by Safdarjung
Succeeded by Asaf-Ud-Daula
Personal details
Born (1732-01-19)January 19, 1732
Mansion of Dara Shikoh, Delhi
Died January 26, 1775(1775-01-26)
Spouse(s) Begum Unmatuzzohra Bano "Bahu Begum"
Religion Islam

Shuja-ud-Daula (Hindi language: शुजा उद दौला, Urdu language: شجاع الدولہ‎ ) (b. (1732-01-19)January 19, 1732 – d. January 26, 1775(1775-01-26)) was the Subedar Nawab of Oudh from 5 October 1754 to 26 January 1775,[1] Though a minor royal, he is best known for his key roles in two definitive battles in Indian history - the Third Battle of Panipat which halted Maratha domination of the northern regions of the Mughal Empire and overthrew Shah Jahan III and reaffirmed Shah Alam II as the rightful emperor of the Mughal Empire. He had allied himself with Mir Qasim and took part in the Battle of Buxar, which ended in defeat.[2]

Early life

Shuja-ud-Daula was the son of the Mughal Grand Vizier Safdarjung chosen by Ahmad Shah Bahadur. Unlike his father Shuja-ud-Daula was known from an early age for his abilities to synthesize his subordinates, this skill would eventually cause him to emerge as the chosen Grand Vizier by Shah Alam II.

Shuja-ud-Daula is also known to have assisted the famous Alivardi Khan on various occasions when the territories of the Nawab of Bengal, were being ravaged by Raghoji I Bhonsle and his Maratha renegades. Thus Shuja-ud-Daula is known to have been a very respected figure among the servicemen of Alivardi Khan.

Nawab of Awadh

Procession of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula at Faizabad. From an album of 18th century Indian watercolours.

After the death of his father the Mughal Grand Vizier Safdarjung in the year 1753, Shuja-ud-Daula was recognized as the next Nawab by the Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur.

Shuja-ud-Daula despised Imad-ul-Mulk an ally of the Marathas of the Maratha Empire whose regime emerged after the Battle of Sikandarabad with the support of the renegade Sadashivrao Bhau. Imad-ul-Mulk blinded Ahmad Shah Bahadur and placed Alamgir II on the Mughal imperial throne. Alamgir II and his son Prince Ali Gauhar, were often persecuted by Imad-ul-Mulk because they refused to abandon their peaceful terms with Ahmad Shah Durrani, they also demanded the resignation of Imad-ul-Mulk mainly due to his relations with the Marathas.

Grand Vizier of the Mughal Empire

Prince Ali Gauhar fled Delhi when he realized a conspiracy that would eventually lead to the murder of the Mughal Emperor Alamgir II. Shuj-ud-Daula welcomed and protected Prince Ali Gauhar, who then declared himself Shah Alam II and officially recognized Shuja-ud-Daula as the Grand Vizier of the Mughal Empire. Together they challenged the usurper Shah Jahan III, who was placed on the Mughal imperial throne by Sadashivrao Bhau and his forces, which plundered much of the Mughal Empire.

Shah Alam II was then advised to lead an expedition that would attempt to retake the eastern regions of the Mughal Empire from the British East India Company and Mir Jafar. While Shuja-ud-Daula, Najib-ul-Daula and Mirza Jawan Bakht allied themselves with Ahmad Shah Durrani and assisted his forces during the Second Battle of Sikandarabad in the year 1760 and later led a Mughal Army of 43,000 during the Third Battle of Panipat.

The Third Battle of Panipat

Palace of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula at Lucknow

After escaping from Delhi due to the murder of his father the Mughal Emperor Alamgir II, the young Prince Ali Gauhar was well received by Shuja-ud-Daula. The Nawab of Awadh and the newly appointed Mughal Grand Vizier Shuja-ud-Daula assured Prince Ali Gauhar that he and Najib-ud-Daula would initiate a struggle that would overthrow the Maratha if Prince Ali Gauhar would lead what remained of the Mughal Army against the expanding British East India Company in Bengal.[3]

Shuja's decision about whom to join as an ally in the Third Battle of Panipat was one of the decisive factors that determined the outcome of the war as lack of food due to the Afghans cutting the supply lines of Marathas was one of the reasons that Marathas could not sustain the day-long battle. Their forces were weak due to starvation and also fighting facing the sun.

Shuja was earlier not very sure about whose side should he take before the Third Battle of Panipat. Marathas were still further south then and it would have taken them considerable time to reach Shuja's province. Considering the risk he had with upsetting Abdali with his huge army on his soil he took (albeit hesitatingly) the decision to join the Afghans and Najib (Najib-ud-Daula). His mother was of the opinion that he should join the Marathas as they had helped his father previously on numerous occasions. Eventually he was forced to join the Afghans that were led by Ahmad Shah Durrani, whose troops crossed the flooded Ganges river into his province.

As the chosen Grand Vizier of the Mughal Empire, Shuja-ud-Daula commanded a sizeable army of Mughal troopers, who cut off the supplies of the Marathas and even defeated them in pitched confrontations during the Third Battle of Panipat and eliminated the Maratha leader Sadashivrao Bhau.

The Battle of Buxar

Shuja is also known for his role in the Battle of Buxar, a battle that was no less definite in Indian history. He along with the forces of Shah Alam II and Mir Qasim were defeated by the British forces in one of the key battles in the history of British rule in India.

Allahabad Treaty

Shuja-ud-Daula with his sons and relatives.

He again fought British with the help of Marathas at Kara Jahanabad and was defeated.On Aug 16, 1765 AD he signed the Treaty of Allahabad, which said that Kora and Allahabad district will go to Company and Company will get 50 lakh rupees from Oudh.[4] British will be allowed free trade in Oudh and will help each other in case of war with other powers, which was a very shrewd politics of the Company.[5]

To pay for the protection of British forces and assistance in war, Oudh gave up first the fort of Chunar, then districts of Benaras, Ghazipur and finally Allahabad.[2]

Reemergence of Shah Alam II

Shuja-ud-Daula served as the leading Grand Vizier of the Mughal Empire during the Third Battle of Panipat, he was also the Nawab of Awadh, and a loyal ally of Shah Alam II throughout his lifetime.

After the defeat in the battle of boxer Shah Alom 11 realised that he needed east India company help to retain his throne with respect rather than becoming puppet emperor dominated by Maratha's and he did so .

Death and burial

Gulab Bari, the tomb of Shuja-ud-Daula, in Faizabad.

Shuja ud Daula died on 26-01-1775 in Faizabad, the then capital of Awadh, and is buried in the same city. His burial place is a tomb and known as Gulab Bari (Rose Garden).

Preceded by
Abu´l Mansur Mohammad Moqim Khan
Subadar Nawab of Oudh
Oct 05 1754 – Feb 15 1762
Succeeded by
post abolished
Preceded by
new creation
Nawab Wazir al-Mamalik of Oudh
Feb 15 1762 – Jan 26 1775
Succeeded by
Asaf ad-Dowla Amani



  1. title after death

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