November 13, 2015

The Legend of Bhagmati, Queen of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah


Who was Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah?

Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah (1580-1611) was the fifth ruler of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty of Golconda, which is one of the five Deccan Sultanates. He is better known as the founder of Hyderabad (in Telangana, India).

Update:

Evidences Supporting the Legend of Bhagmati and Bhagnagar as False:

There is no mention of Bhagmati or Bhagnagar in the Qutub Shahi chronicles: Tarikh-i-Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah, Hadiqat ul-Salatin, Hadaiqus Salatin or even in Kulliyat of the Sultan himself. In the Kulliyat, the Sultan gives the names of seventeen of his wives yet there is not one ode in favour of Bhagmati who was supposed to be the most favourite. According to records the new city was named Hyderabad from the very beginning.

Mohiuddin Qadri Zore* says that Bhagmati was given the title of Hyder Mahal on the occasion of her marriage with the Sultan and she was the mother of the Sultan's only daughter Hayat Bakhshi Begum (She was married to Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah's nephew, the future Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah). There are no evidences to support his claim. He also says that Bhagmati's grave is located in the mausoleum of Kulthum Begum near Golconda. But there is no trace of any female grave beside that of Kulthum Begum.


Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah

The History: It is also mentioned in some of the historical records that soon after his accession to the throne, the Sultan married the daughter of the Amir Joomla Shah Nizam Isfahany. Let's us go through the history of foundation of Hyderabad given by various historians. These are the only contemporary records regarding Bhagmati:

Khafí Khan: Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah was very fond of his wife Bhagmati. At her request he built a city two kilometers distant from the Golconda fortress and gave the name of Bhagnagar. Some time after the death of Bhagmati, the name was changed to Hyderabad. That woman had established many brothels and drinking shops in that place, and the rulers had always been addicted to pleasure and to all sorts of debauchery. 

Bhagmati

Ferishta: In the beginning of the reign of Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, he became enamoured of a public singer named Bhagmati, to whom he assigned one thousand cavalry as an escort for her attendance. As the air of Golconda had become impure and unhealthy, he built a magnificent city at the distance of eight miles, which he called Bhagnagar after his favourite mistress Bhagmati. but this city has since received the name of Hyderabad, although one part of it still retains the former name of Bhagnagar.

The Anonymous Author of 'The History of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah': In 1589, the King determined to remove the seat of his government, on account of the confined situation of Golconda, which from many causes, particularly the want of water, became extremely unhealthy. He accordingly fixed a spot situated at the distance of five coss from Golconda, on the banks of the river Musi, where he laid the foundation of a new city, which was called Bhagnagar (after his favourite mistress Bhagmati). But after her death he ordered it to be called Hyderabad, although for many years it retained its original name.


Tavernier: Bhagnagar is then the town which they commonly call Golconda, and it was commenced by the great grandfather of the King who reigns at present, at the request of one of his wives whom he loved passionately, and whose name was Nagar (Bhagmati). It was previously only a pleasure resort where the King had beautiful gardens, and his wife often telling him that, on account of the river, the spot was suitable for building a palace and a town, he at length caused the foundations to be laid, and desired that it should bear the name of his wife, calling it Bhagnagar, i.e. the Garden of Nagar.

Notes:

*Kulliyat-e-Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, edited and published with a preface by Syed Mohiuddin Qadri Zore, contains a number of poems written by the Sultan on the occasion of ceremonies and festivals such as Idd-ut-Fittar, Milad-un-Nabi, Mirag and Basant.

Reference:

Muhammad-Quli Qutb Shah founder of Hydarabad By Sherwani, H.K.
History of the Rise of Mahommedan Power in India By Ferishta, trans. by John Briggs
Muntakhabu-l Lubab by Khafí Khan

9 comments:

  1. How Bhagmati died I just need a story of her

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    1. Hi Naveen, right now I have this information only..

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    2. How did. Ibrahim quli qutub Shah arranged the marriage of Muhammad quli qutub shah with bhagmathi in 1589 where as Ibrahim quli Qutub shah died on 5th June, 1580.

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    3. Hi Khalid, thank you for pointing out the mistake. It's a part of the local folklore that Ibrahim Qutub Shah, at first objected to his son's relationship with Bhagmati, but seeing the prince's immense love for her, built the Purana Pul bridge across the Musi River, to make it easy for the prince to reach Chichlam to meet Bhagmati. Here's the full story: http://www.hyderabadplanet.com/hyderabad-history.html

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  2. I need complete story Anjana..

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  3. I need complete story Anjana..

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  4. I wish to know the complete account about this so called queen Bhagmati.. Can u plz give any reference about tht ?? Or where can I find abt it...

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  5. hi anjana this gowtham i am doing little research on quli qutub shah & bhagmati
    developing a script for theater festival i went through many authors and writers about this story i would like know little information about this & medival times
    # any mail id to contact
    mail: manubolugowtham@gmail.com

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