Like most localities in the city, Sultan Shahi owes its origin to the Qutb Shahi era, more specifically to a minister of the day. The story goes that Mohammed Sayeed, an officer in the court of the last Qutb Shahi ruler, Abul Hasan Tanashah, was given the title of Mir Jumla. He constructed a pond in 1682 on the southeastern side of the city which he named as ‘Mir Jumla ka talaab’. It is also known as ‘Talaabkatta’ after the bund next to the pond.
During that period, many havelis and residences came up by the talaab. A Qutb Shahi minister, Syed Muzaffar who lived in one of the havelis developed a new colony close by and named it ‘Sultan Shahi.’ He gifted his beautiful haveli to Tanashah, who frequented the area to enjoy a boat ride in the pond.
Later Sultan Shahi was gifted by the second Nizam, Nawab Mir Nizam Ali Khan, to Prime Minister Arastu Jah, who constructed a beautiful garden called ‘Qudsia Bagh’ here. Unfortunately, his son Maali Miyan died here and a heartbroken Arastu Jah left this haveli which soon turned to ruins.
Much later, it would be used as the base for an army platoon under an English officer John Finglass. During the reign of second Nizam, many artists and painters from Solapur settled down here.
Among them were the famous Venkaiah and Abbaiah, who were employed by Salarjung the third to copy some rare paintings. They became so famous that the police post near their house is still called ‘Mussavar ka Naka’ (police post of the painter).
In 1803, the third Nizam, Nawab Sikandar Jah established a mint in Sultan Shahi, which was later shifted to Dar-Ul-Shifa. After Independence, former PM Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru inaugurated a housing society for the poor here, which was later occupied by others. The entrance to the society had a tiled arch called ‘Kavelu ki Kaman.’
The road to the west of Mir Jumla Talaab, leads to Jahandaar Jah Market and Moghulpura. Located a little away from this road is the large graveyard called ‘Mir Momin ka Daaera’. To the right of this place is Hari Bowli, another old locality. On the Eastern side of the talaab area, towards Eidi Bazaar locality is the shrine of Hafiz Shujauddin, adorned with a big dome. He translated the Quraan in Hindi.
The pond dried up about 125 years ago and was used as a recreation place for some time. Now the entire land has been converted into a thickly populated residential area and market. Today, only the name of Mir Jumla talaab and talaabkatta remains, without any talaab or katta.
Two temples of Sheetla Mata and Jagdamba Mata are also located here where Navratri and Dasara are celebrated with great reverence and pomp every year. They are said to be more than 100-years-old.
A prominent settlement in Sultan Shahi is the abode of scavengers who are called Mehtar in Hindi and Khaakroob in Urdu. As they are the devotees of Maharishi Valmiki, they are referred to as ‘Valmiki’ and the area is called Valmiki Nagar. Descendants of most of the original settlers have now become part of the mainstream society and no longer work as scavengers.