Bagh e Bedil
Abdul Qadir Bedil (1642-1720) is considered as one of the prominent poets of Indian School of Poetry in Persian literature, and both Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal were influenced by his unique style.
The Bagh e Bedil is popularly believed to be the tomb of the famous poet and mystic Bedil. However, there have been doubts raised over it.
One fact that is mentioned by many scholars of Bedil is the absence of any mention of his tomb by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Asar-us-Sanadid as well as by Maulvi basheeruddin Ahmed in Waqeat-e Darul Hukumat Dehli. Though the poet’s urs was celebrated for many years after his passing away by the time Sir Syed was writing Asar, traces of the tomb must have vanished.
Some of it the oral history, regarding the present tomb was related to me in 2016-17 by Janab Mohammad Misbah the caretaker of the Dargah of Sheikh Nuruddin Malik Yaar e Parra’n.
Janab Mohammad Misbah saheb said that as per history Bedil was buried in a place chosen by him earlier in the haveli where he lived. This is proven by Urdu texts from that and later era.( ‘Nikat-e-Bedil’ published by Attaullah). This then led me to research and I found Dr. Abdul Ghani’s book ‘Life And Works Of Abdul Qadir Bedil’.
Dr. Abdul Ghani corroborates this in the book.
He says that the house of the poet Bedil was on the banks of the river Yamuna in Shahjahanabad, as stated by Hussain Quli Khan is Nishtar e Ishq. Khushgo, his disciple also confirms that it is outside the Delhi Gate and in its neighbourhood. The present tomb is at a distance of three km from the Delhi gate.
The present tomb is in the complex of Dargah of Sheikh Nuruddin Malik Yaar e Parra’n and opposite the dargah of Matka Shah, yet as Dr. Ghani says, Khushgo nor Husain Quli Khan make any reference to these two very popular 13th century saints.
Dr. Ghani goes on to write:
[Bedil] was down with typhoid fever towards the end of Muharram 1133 AH (Nov. 1720). After four or five days the fever disappeared, and, thinking that he had recovered, Bedil took a bath on the 2nd of Safar 1133 AH (December 3, 1720). On Wednesday the 3rd of Safar there was a relapse of fever, which remained for the whole of the night. Nawab Ghairat Khan Bahadur4 … was with him for the whole of the night. Sometimes Bedil swooned, and then came to himself. When he regained senses, he would burst into laughter involuntarily. The hopes of recovery waned at last, and at dawn the condition changed horribly. It was Thursday, 4th Safar 1133 AH (December 5, 1720) when six gharis had passed after sunrise, the Bedil’s soul winged its way to Heaven. His sacred remains were buried in the courtyard of his house, on the bank of the river Jamna, at the place specified by himself.5
Dr Ghani’s statement is based on Maarif, a book by Bindaban Das ‘Khushgo’, a most ardent admirer of Bedil who was living in Delhi at the same time Bedil.
Khushgo also says that the poet was buried in a grave dug into a chabutra that Bedil had got built for that very purpose ten years earlier.
Alas! Bedil concealed his face from this world!
That pure jewel sleeps under the earth
When Khushgo asked his intellect for the chronogram It said ‘Mirza Bedil departed from this world6
“Bedil don’t be a black spot for the mourner, a trouble for his parched throat, Die on the dust and in the same manner be carried by the winds. Your
death is light, don’t be a burden for any shoulder”
The present location was fixed upon by Khwaja Hasan Nizami who translated Dargah Quli Khan’s book Muraqqa e Dehli from Persian. Since Bedil’s tomb was mentioned in it but no one knew of its exact location he published a query in the magazine where the translation appeared. A Maulana Shah Sulaiman Sahib of Phulwari replied saying that the tomb was in front of e-Parra’n. Khwaja Hasan Nizami went visited the site and though he didn’t find any vestiges of the tomb he discovered the site. He requested Nizam Asif Jah VII for help and the latter sent Rs. 2,000 and the tomb with a marble tombstone and low enclosure of bricks was built. [Dr.Ghani]
I would like to say that finally it doesn’t matter for lovers of poetry as the master is in their hearts. As a documenter of monuments I have discussed this in my book
Forgotten Cities of Delhi
The painting of the tomb was presented by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi to President Emomali Rohmon