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The 'garden' with a mistaken history

delhi Updated: Mar 03, 2013 00:19 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Bagh-e-Bedil-near-Matka-Peer-Sunil-Saxena-HT-Photo

A board at the entry describes it as a bagh (or garden). Of course, there are a few trees, but this can best be described as an open-air dargah, where one can hear the chirping of birds and honking of horns at the same time.

Driving or walking past Pragati Maidan on Mathura Road, most people miss the spot hidden behind trees called Bagh-e-Bedil, adjacent to the Sports Club of India, opposite the Matka Peer.

Several people believe that the green-and-white mazar is the tomb of Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil (1644-1720), a famous Persian poet, born in Patna.

In 2006, when Emomali Rahmanov, the President of Tajikistan, visited India, he wanted to pay tribute to the poet, still considered great in Central Asia. A tablet was put up and the place spruced up.

"But this is not the original mazar. This is actually Dargah Hazrat Khwaja Nooruddin Malak Yar-E-Parran," said Abdul Misbah, Nayab Muttawalli, whose family has been the caretaker of the place for at least 600 years.

"It was about 80 years ago when a relative of Nizam of Hyderabad told him that Bedil's grave has been discovered and took Rs 1 lakh from the Nizam to build this. But according to 'Nikat-e-Bedil' published by Attaullah, Bedil had died in his haveli. Six months later, mureedin (or followers) from Afghanistan took his body and buried it in Kabul."