Anarkali (Urdu: اناركلى; "Anārkalī ") ("pomegranate blossom") was a legendary slave girl from Lahore (now Pakistan) during the Mughal period. She was supposedly ordered to be buried alive by Mughal emperor Akbar for having an illicit relationship with Prince Nuruddin Salim later to become Emperor Jahangir. Due to the lack of evidence and sources, the story of Anarkali is widely accepted to be either false or heavily embellished. Nevertheless, her story is cherished by many and has been adapted into literature, art and cinema.

The Story of Anarkali

The Great Mughal emperor Akbar and his wife, Jodha, were blessed with a son named Prince Saleem (later Emperor Jahangir). He was a spoiled and rude boy, and because of this, Akbar the Great sent his son away to the army for fourteen years to learn the discipline required to rule the empire. Finally, Akbar allowed this son to return to the main palace in Lahore (the then capital of the Mughals and in present-day Pakistan). Since this day was one of great celebration, the harem (court) of Akbar decided to hold a great Mujra (dance performance) by a beautiful girl named Nadeera D/O Noor Khan Argun. Since she was an exceptional beauty, "like a blossoming flower", Akbar named her as Anarkali (blossoming pomegranate). During her first and famous Mujra in Lahore, Prince Saleem fell in love with her and it later became apparent that she was also in love with him. Later, they both began to see each other although the matter was kept quiet. Later, however, Prince Saleem informed his father, Akbar, of his intention to marry Anarkali and make her the Empress of Hindustan (including present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh). The problem was that Anarkali, despite her fame in Lahore, was a dancer and a maid and not of noble blood. So Akbar forbade Saleem from seeing Anarkali again. Prince Saleem and Akbar had an argument that later became very serious after Akbar ordered the arrest of Anarkali and placed her in one of the jail dungeons in Lahore.

After many attempts, Saleem and one of his friends helped Anarkali escape and hid her near the outskirts of Lahore. Then, the furious Prince Saleem organized an army (from those loyal to him during his fourteen years there) and began an attack on the city; Akbar, being the emperor, had a much larger army and quickly defeated Prince Saleem's force. Akbar gave his son two choices: either to surrender Anarkali to them or to face the death penalty. Prince Saleem, in his true love for Anarkali, chose the death penalty and it became official. Anarkali, however, unable to allow Prince Saleem to die, came out of hiding and approached the Mughal emperor, Akbar. She asked him if she could be the one to give up her life in order to save Prince Saleem, and after Akbar agreed, she asked for just one wish, which was to spend just one pleasant night with Prince Saleem. Anarkali spent the beautiful night with Saleem.

She knew, however, that she had to keep her promise, and so, she made Saleem go to sleep by drugging him through drugs she had put in a pomegranate blossom. After a very tearful goodbye to the passed-out Saleem, she left the royal palace with guards. She was taken to the area near present-day Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore where a large ditch was made for her. She was strapped to a board of wood and lowered in it by soldiers belonging to Akbar. They closed the top of the large ditch with a brick wall and buried her alive.

A second version of the story says that the Emperor Akbar helped Anarkali escape from the ditch through a series of underground tunnels with her mother only with the promise of Anarkali to leave the Mughal empire and never return. Thus it is not known whether Anarkali survived or not.

Anarkali's tomb

A tomb, thought to be that of Anarkali, is situated on the premises of the Punjab Civil Secretariat (Lahore) and now houses the Punjab Records Office. Previously, it had been transformed into a Christian church by the invading British. A bazaar (market) located nearby on The Mall Road is named Anarkali bazaar after Anarkali. It is one of the oldest surviving markets in South Asia, dating back at least 200 years.

The mausoleum is an octagonal building covered with a dome. At each corner of the building is an octagonal turret surmounted with a kiosk. In olden times, this building was surrounded by a garden that had at its entrance a double-storeyed gateway but no trace of the garden survives. The building still enshrines a beautifully inscribed monolithic sarcophagus. On the sarcophagus are inscribed 99 names of Allah and the Persian couplet:

تا قیامت شکر گویم کردگار خویش را
آہ گر من باز بینم روئ یار خویش را
"tā qiyāmat shukr gūyam kardigāre khīsh rā"
"āh! gar man bāz bīnam rūī yār-e khīsh rā"
I would give thanks unto my God unto the day of resurrection
Ah! could I behold the face of my beloved once more

On the northern side of the sarcophagus are inscribed the words "مجنون سلیم اکبر" ("majnūn Salim akbar", "the profoundly enamoured Salim (son of) Akbar").

The sarcophagus also bears two dates, given in both letters and in numerals: 1008 Hijri (AD 1599-1600) on the eastern side of the sarcophagus and 1024 Hijri (AD> 1615-16) on the western side.

Scholar Ahsan Quraishi mentions one more inscription in the tomb, that is said to have been destroyed by General Ventura, the French mercenary fighting for the Sikhs, who used the monument as his residence. The contents of this extinct Persian inscription can be translated as follows: "The innocent who is murdered mercilessly and who dies after enduring much pain, is a martyr. God considers him/her a martyr".

Anarkali's Legacy

Whether, Anarkali existed or not, her legend has mesmerised the people of South Asia. Her story has been used in the arts of South Asia for the past 100 years. Drama Writer Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj's version for the stage is considered a masterpiece. Abdur Rehman Chughtai's rendition of Anarkali, which was used as a cover for Taj's play is one of the most famous paintings of the courtesan.

She has also been the subject of films in South Asia. Bina Rai portrayed Anarkali in a 1953 Bollywood film. In neighbouring Pakistan, an Anarkali film was released in 1958 with the legendary Noor Jehan in the lead role. Later on in 1960, K. Asif's epic film Mughal-e-Azam was released in India based on the story of Anarkali and Prince Salim. Anarkali and Mughal-e-Azam were major hits in Pakistan and India. Originally, only parts of the film were in colour. Mughal-e-Azam was re-released in 2004 as a completely colour film. Iman Ali also portrayed Anarkali in Shoaib Mansoor's short music video series on the theme Ishq(love) in 2003.

Anarkali bazaar in Lahore was named after her and as mentioned earlier is one of the oldest markets in South Asia.

External links

Links to YouTube videos from movies on Anarkali
* [ Bina Rai as Anarkali]
* [ Noor Jahan as Anarkali]
* [ Madubhala as Anarkali]
* [ Iman Ali as Anarkali]
* [ Riddle of Anarkali and her tomb]
* [ Anarkali's Tomb]
* [ Anarkali @ Chapati Mystery]
* [ Anarkali Comes to Life]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anarkali bazaar — ( ur. اناركلى بازار) is a bazār (market) located on Mall Road in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is one of the oldest surviving markets in South Asia, dating back at least 200 years.The market derives its name from a nearby mausoleum thought to be… …   Wikipedia

  • Anarkali Bazar — is a famous and popular market in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. ANARKALI bazar is divided into two main categories: old anarkali and new anarkali. The old Anarkali Bazar is converted to Food Street and New Anarkali as Shopping Market. It was a hot… …   Wikipedia

  • Anarkali (disambiguation) — Anarkali can refer to * Anarkali, a legendary slave girl from the Mughal period * Anarkali s tomb, a tomb in Lahore, thought to be that of Anarkali * Anarkali bazaar, a market located near Anarkali s tomb on Mall Road in Lahore * Anarkali, a 1953 …   Wikipedia

  • Anarkali (1953 film) — Infobox Film | name = Anarkali caption = director = Nandlal Jaswantlal producer = writer = Nasir Hussain starring =Pradeep Kumar Bina Rai Noor Jehan music = C. Ramchandra cinematography = Marshall Braganza editing = Babu Lavande distributor =… …   Wikipedia

  • Anarkali (1955 Telugu film) — Infobox Film | name = Anarkali caption = director = Vedantam Raghavaiah producer = Anjali Devi writer = starring =Akkineni Nageswara Rao Anjali Devi music = Adinarayana Rao P. cinematography = Kamal Ghosh editing = distributor = released = 1955… …   Wikipedia

  • Mughal-e-Azam — For the 2008 comedy film, see Maan Gaye Mughal e Azam. Mughal e Azam Directed by K. Asif Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Mughal-E-Azam — est un film indien réalisé par Kamuddin Asif sorti en 1960 en Inde. C est l histoire légendaire de l amour impossible de Salim, prince héritier du trône moghol, et d Anarkali, esclave et danseuse à la cour. Les rôles principaux sont tenus par… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • C. Ramchandra — Birth name Ramchandra Narhar Chitalkar Born January 12, 1918 Puntamba, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India Died January 5, 1982 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India …   Wikipedia

  • Mughal-e-Azam — Filmdaten Originaltitel Mughal e Azam Produktionsland Indien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lahore — Urdu: لاہور Punjabi: لہور …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”