LAHORIS TRYING TO SAVE THE DOORWAY OF THE BAGH OF JAHAN ARA – WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT IT IS, A LITTLE RESEARCH REQUIRED.

LAHORIS TRYING TO SAVE THE DOORWAY OF THE BAGH OF JAHAN ARA,
WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT IT IS, A LITTLE RESEARCH REQUIRED.

16-Jahan-Ara-at-the-Taj-(Version-2)
16-Jahan-Ara-at-the-Taj-(Version-2)

The myth of Princess Zebun nisa attached to Chauburghi.
Princess Zebun nisa was an exceptional woman of her times. Whatever is known about her, points to her excellence in many directions. The most amazing thing was that she became a HAFIZUL QURAN at the mere age of seven years old and Aurangzeb was very pleased with her. The Diwan Makfi is touted as being her DIWAN, or collection of poetry but there is no proof of the same. In fact scholars have pointed out the Persian lady who came to Shah Jahan’s Court and had the nomenclature MAKFI attached to it. The attribution of Diwan of Makfi to Zebunnisa is only in 19th century. In fact history records the destruction of her own Diwan by a maid servant, when it fell into the well of the palace. These are known facts. Few portions of her poems survive in collections of that period.

Grave of Jahan Ara
Grave of Jahan Ara

Another amazing thing is that the touted MAUSOLEUM OF ZEBUN NISA in Nawan Kot is not hers at all. It is the mausoleum of an unknown courtier, for according to Mughal Architecture, it is a MALE BURIAL SITE and not that of a female at all. Dr Abdullah Chaghatai has researched it as being the Mausoleum of Haji Abdul Kareem (see his book Imkan Lahore). In fact the Mausoleum of Zebun nisa was in Delhi and when the Delhi Railway came into being, it was demolished by the British. Its inscription is in the Red Fort Museum and published by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in his monumental book ASAR SANADEED. In the same way the mention of a ZEBINDA BEGUM in the inscription of Chauburghi confuses people that it was the Bagh of Zebun nisa. It was not so.

Zebun nisa was born in 1047 AH (1638 AD), and the Bagh of Chauburghi was built in 1056 AH (1646 AD). That means Zebun nisa was only about seven to eight years old when the Bagh was built. That was certainly not possible. But we have clear evidence that the Bagh was that of Princess Jahan Ara and we have the testimony of people like Dara Shikoh, Chandar Brahman, and even Emperor Aurangzeb himself. The nomenclature of Jahan Ara was BEGUM SAHIBA and when she is referred as ZEBINDA BEGUM, it means that Begum Sahiba was responsible for giving ZEB and ZEENAT to the building.

Chauburghi Gateway 1870
Chauburghi Gateway 1870

The woman MIYAN BAI remains unidentified but she must have been a very important woman attached to Mughal Court. In fact MIYAN BAI built a small mosque in Ajmer in 1053 AH. But the story goes even further. When the Bagh was built, Jahan Ara asked the opinion of her Court lady on the Bagh itself. Miyan Bai replied that she could not conceive of it for it was beyond her capacity to have anything like that in real life. Jahan Ara was a woman of exceptional charity, and as an act of royalty, she BESTOWED THE BAGH OF JAHAN ARA TO THE LADY MAID. It means on the completion the Bagh, it was gifted to a maid servant by an exceptional lady and it says so on the gateway itself BESTOWED ON MIYAN BAI BY BEGUM SAHIBA (referred as Zebinda).

The British treated Mughal monuments as ruthlessly as the Sikhs. The Chauburghi gateway was a Post Office for a long time. It is a miracle that it survived, while the rest of the garden was razed to the ground by land grabbers of those days. Nothing has changed. Today’s bureaucracy is as ruthless as that of the past. The British went away, their arrogance stayed behind. Under this system protests does not matter. The system has to change by revolution itself. The civil society in Pakistan is too weak in its conception and can do nothing at all on its own.They would need man power and that man power is in one place only. That is the reality!

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