Tuesday, December 05, 2006

O Quli: My Visit to Famed Poet-King Quli Qutb Shah's mausoleum in Hyderabad

The tomb of Quli Qutb Shah in Hyderabad, Deccan
I recently visited the tomb of poet-king Quli Qutub Shah, the first Sahab-e-Diwan Shaa'er of Urdu [first Urdu poet with a complete anthology].

Quli was the fifth king of Qutb Shahi dynasty and founded the city of Hyderabad besides constructing the Char Minar.

He married Bhagmati. Apart from Arabic, Persian and Urdu, Quli was also well-versed in Telugu.

Unfortunately, almost all of his Telugu writings got lost. Quli Qutab Shah rests in peace in this imposing tomb in Hyderabad. The Qutubshahi sultan also knew Sanskrit well. The kings of the dynasty and female members of the family are all buried on the premises here.

The simplicity of the 'mazaar' inside this majestic tomb is striking to any visitor. On a recent visit to Hyderabad and the 'Seven Tombs', a few couplets of Quli instinctively came to my lips. His 'munajat' is also famous.

It was then that I wondered how the Poet-King composed such beautiful verses almost 400 years ago in Urdu when as late as early twentieth century, we had the Hindi scholars debating whether it was possible to compose refined poetry in Khari Boli.

Alas, Quli's poetry finds no mention in Hindi text books in Northern India though it is undoubtedly the simplest form [and also most evolved poetry in either Hindi or Urdu, centuries ago]. Quli's Hyderabad is today one of the fastest growing urbal areas in the country.

And as far as Bhagmatis of 21st century Hyderabad are concerned, let us keep it for another post in future. After all, I have to keep this blog running.