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Hyderabad was never Bhagyanagar; It was ‘Baghnagar’ city of gardens

Hyderabad was never Bhagyanagar; It was ‘Baghnagar’ city of gardens

No wonder ‘the city of Bagh’ has so many localities named Basheer Bagh, Jam Bagh, Bagh Lingampally, Moosa Ram Bagh, Kundan Bagh, Zeba Bagh, Ibrahim Bagh, Kanchan Bagh, Inder Bagh, Phool Bagh, Kishan Bagh, Sitaram Bagh, Karol Bagh, Rani Bagh, Khader Bagh, Moin Bagh, Shaheen Bagh, and so on.

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Hyderabad: BJP has time and again tried to push to rename Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar linking to a legend or a love story between Hyderabad’s founder Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah and a Hindu woman named Bhagmati.  Recently Yogi Adityanath has spun a new tale by attributing the name ‘Bhagyanagar’ to the Bhagyalaxmi temple, which is itself an illegal encroachment on the Charminar, which came up between or after the 1960s.

However, these claims of BJP have no historical evidence.

A twitter user Mohd Abdul Sattar while sharing a promotional video of a book on the history of Hyderabad written by Serish Nanisetti writes: “It was NEVER Bhagyanagar! Was in fact ‘Bagh Nagar’: City of Gardens – Kishan Bagh, Basheer Bagh, Anand Bagh, Jam Bagh, Bagh Lingampally, Moosa Ram Bagh, Kundan Bagh, Zeba Bagh, Ibrahim Bagh, Kanchan Bagh, Inder Bagh….”

No wonder ‘the city of Bagh’ has so many localities named Basheer Bagh, Jam Bagh, Bagh Lingampally, Moosa Ram Bagh, Kundan Bagh, Zeba Bagh, Ibrahim Bagh, Kanchan Bagh, Inder Bagh, Phool Bagh, Kishan Bagh, Sitaram Bagh, Karol Bagh, Rani Bagh, Khader Bagh, Moin Bagh, Shaheen Bagh, and so on.

The book Golconda/Bagnagar/Hyderabad_Rise and fall of a global metropolis in medieval India by Serish Nanisetti, traces the story of the Golconda Kingdom from the time it was born 500 years ago in 1518. The book using, continental archival material, trade maps, first person accounts, empirical evidence, epigraphic information, empirical research, cartographic evidence and extensive travels, brings alive the story of the fabulous Golconda/Bagnagar/Hyderabad.

 Author of the book Serish Nanisetti is a journalist at The Hindu. The book released in 2019 focuses on the key period in the history of city during the Qutub Shahi rule between 1518 and 1687.

Using archival information, the author challenges many of the set notions about the city. Siasat.com quoted Nanisetti as saying, “Many people in Hyderabad believe that the city was never called Bagnagar. But I have found dozens of maps drawn across the world that show the city’s name as Bagnagar. I also discovered that the older name of Golconda’s Fateh Darwaza was Bagnagar Darwaza.”

Rohini Swamy in her article, “Yogi is wrong. There’s not a shred of evidence to prove Hyderabad was called Bhagyanagar” published in The Print on 7 December, 2018 writes, “Historians dismiss the theory of dancing girl as a “figment of the imagination” that lacks a “shred of evidence”.” She quoted Hyderabad-based historian Capt. Panduranga Reddy (retd.) who studied the city’s origin as saying, “It is all fiction that Hyderabad was ever named Bhagyanagar or that it was named after the lover of Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah.”

The name Hyderabad means “Haydar’s city” or “lion city”, from haydar ‘lion’ and abad ‘city’, after the Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib, also known as Haydar because of his lion-like valour in battle.

The city was originally called Baghnagar “city of gardens”, and later acquired the name Hyderabad. Johan Norman Hollister in his book The Shi’a of India writes, “An embassy from Shah ‘Abbas of Persia came to the court in Hyderabad (built in 1589 by order of Muhammad Qui! and first called Baghnagar) in 1603, as an expression of the increasing friendship between the two rulers.” The European travelers von Poser and Thevenot found both names in use in the 17th century.