Culture History

Mishti Khel Bhopal

The second (first family being the Bourbons) family that made a deep impact on Bhopal was that of Bakhshi Bahadur Mohammad Khan, the brave Commander-in-Chief of the Bhopal army during the siege. Bakhshi Bahadur was the descendant of Kilig Khan, son of Bayazid Khan, who belonged to the Mishti Khel clan of the Orakzai tribe and came to Bhopal from Tirah with Dost’s family. After Dost’s death, Kilg’s son, Umar Khan, loyally served Bhopal’s second Nawab, Yar Mohammad Khan, and Umar’s son Alif continued the family tradition and became Nawab Faiz Mohammad Khan’s force commander. Alif passed on the banner to his son, Mohammad Khan, who served Hayat during Chottey Khan’s administration. Mohammad Khan’s son, Bahadur, continued the long family tradition and became the outstanding military figure of the time. During Wazir’s rule, Bahadur Mohammad Khan earned his spurs for extreme bravery and became known as a legendary fighter and military strategist. Bahadur was given the title of Bakhshi – Commander-inchief of the Bhopal forces – and remained totally loyal to Qudsia Begum during her regency. Along with Shahzad Masih, he helped to scotch the revolts that were hatched by Qudsia’s male relatives. Eventually, having to choose between serving Nawab Jahangir Mohammad Khan and the Begums, ousted by British, he escorted the Begum’s palanquin to Islamnagar with his two teenage sons, Sadar and Baqi, walking with swords unseathed on each side.
On Bakshi Bahdur’s death in 1849, his elder son Sadar took over the command of the Bhopal forces. His younger brother Baqi was made Deputy. Sadar died relatively young in 1851 and was served Sikandar Begum as loyally as his father had Qudsia. Eventually, Sikandar rewarded generations of unstinting loyalty by the Mishti-Khel Pathans by ordering Baqi to marry her only daughter, Shahjehan, giving him the title of Umrao Doulah. Bakshi Bahadur’s family was brave, fearless fighters who gave their total loyalty to their leader. Typical of Bakshi Bahadur’s legendary bravery and loyalty was an incident during the siege when Wazir decided to hold a council of war and seek amnesty. Bakshi Bahadur turned to his ruler and said, “Young man, you can offer amnesty if you like, but every drop of blood is dedicated to defending these barren rocks of Bhopal. You go, I will stay.” They all stayed.
This form of total devotion seems a specialty of the Sub-Continent and of the princely states of India where loyal followers made the greatest personal sacrifices without demur, sometimes to the most capricious whims of their masters. Umrao Doulah died in 1867. His only surviving daughter from Shahjehan (he had several children from earlier marriages) was Bhopal’s last Begum, Sultan Jahan.

2 thoughts on “Mishti Khel Bhopal”

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  2. Sorry, but Dost did not come to Bhopal from Tirah, not directly at least…The Mishti Khel were a band of Orakzai and also other Pathan fighters that the first Nawab picked up along the way, during his stint at Jelalabad and also the Mughal Army…I have this on authority…Apart from Dost's family the only true Orakzai in Bhopal were the fighter that later came to Bhopal with Sardar Zile Khan (Feroze Khel) and of course the ruling Jelalbadi clan that later came to be known as the Jelal Khel of Bhopal – they descended from the founders of the Mirazi Khel dynasty that even Dost's descendents borrow to prove their check Bhopal @ Royal ark…this is hogwash propogated by the Bhopal 'Royals' that actually descended from a parallel line…one of the reasons why Sarkar Aalia and later HH HUK detested the Jalalabadi's, even though HH himself was sired by Sardar Ahmed Ali Khan of the Mirazi Khel….of Jelalabad….

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