Culture History Person

Allama Iqbal and Bhopal

Allama Iqbal visited Bhopal four times at different times. The first visit was on 10th May 1931 and stayed at Rahat Manzil. The second visit was from 31st January till 7th March 1935 when he stayed at Riyaz Manzil owned by his friend Sir Ras Masud. He came to Bhopal for the third time on 17th July 1935 till 28th August 1935 and stayed at the Sismahal. He visited Bhopal last on 3rd March 1936 till 28th April 1936 and stayed at Sismahal.
Allama Iqbal with his son Javed Iqbal in 1930 (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Although that totals to about six months of about total stay, Iqbal wrote many wonderful nazms while staying in Bhopal, recorded in Zarb-E-Kalim (Sorry no translations available). The government of Madhya Pradesh has renamed the Khirniwala Maidan to Iqbal Maidan, situated in front of the Sismahal. The ground has also been developed into a park by the Bhopal Development Authority. The length of park is about 150 meters and the width is about 40 meters. At one end of the ground a 18 meter long and 7.5 meter wide stage has been constructed. A path way using stone slabs has been layed between lawns. The ground has five gates, and the surronding boundary has been overlayed with red stone. The famous “Sare jahan se accha” from Iqbal has been engraved on the inner walls and stages. A monument by the name of Shahin Monumnet was built by the famous artist Jai Swaminatahan and Rewen David. The monument has four brass plates engraved with recitals from Iqbal about Shaheen.There is also the Iqbal library which was instituted by some youths of the city, in two rooms at the first floor of a house at Ibrahimpura. This library is a resource of all literatures of Iqbal apart from other magazines, books journals etc. The library was later shifted to the Sismahal, to the place where Iqbal stayed at one point of time. This library also organises the “Yome Iqbal” or the Iqbal festival traditionally on 21st April.

Government of Madhya Pradesh has also instituted an award for Urdu literature by the name of Iqbal samman worth Rs One Lakh, which is the biggest award of the Urdu literature.

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