Eid and Bhopal’s history, some reflections

My father always maintains that Eid is the day of thanksgiving and happiness. However while collecting my thoughts to pen down this piece I realised that it would be better if the Eid’s connect with the history of Bhopal could be revisited even if in glimpses-here is an attempt.

Dissent on Eid and a foiled assassination bid

Najat Muhammad Khan chose the feast of Eid-Ul–Fitr when the Nawab always paid his respects to the Mamola Bibi. Stationing Kuli Khan outside with some Pathans he entered the palace, and after the usual greetings, seated himself beside the Nawab.

Najat Muhammad gradually brought the conversation round to Chhote Khan and his treatment of Pathans and intimated that it was wrong that a mere slave should thus be granted authority , urging  his dismissal or permission for him, the speaker, to kill him and remove this disgrace to the Afghan race.

This infuriated Nawab, he retorted that Chhote Khan was not a slave but his own adopted son whose conduct had always been excellent and loyal. On this Najat Muhammad drew his dagger and attacked the Nawab. Luckily the chobdar, Parasram, heard the noise and rushing in felled Najat Muhammad with a blow of his silver mace.


On the Ramzan 1253 AH (30th November 1837) the founder of new Bhopal Nawab Jehangeer Mohommad khan (1837-44) was duly invested with powers. Relations between the Nawab and Begum remained strained. However, and she and her mother retired to Islamnagar where a daughter was born to Sikander Begum on 6thJamadi-Ul-Awal 1254 (20th July 1838) and named Shahjehan.

Nawab Hamiddullah Khan’s Eid Durbar

On the first of Shawwal his Eid Durbar was held in Sadar Manzil to which were invited all prominent members of the public and state officials, in order to afford them an opportunity of meeting his highness Nawab Hamidullah Khan. The palace was delightfully decorated especially for the gathering in the evening, the time fixed for representations from the populace, when a display of varied coloured electric lights and shades rendered the turnout for the occasion particularly charming and effective.

As the weather was hot, his highness’s chair was placed upon a dais in the open air, to which access was effected by means of stairway and in the compound of the palace the representatives of the people were to gather for the presentation before his highness, who arrived just after Maghrib prayers with punctuality. His highness remained standing while being introduced to the representatives including pious and learned men, landholders, and the respectable gentry of the city.

These representatives then garlanded his highness and expressed their greetings during which separate companies of people were brought before his highness passing from right to left of dias as their respected representatives mounted their stairway and garlanded upon his highness amidst great cheering and rejoicing for a space of two hours and after his highnesses departure the guests were served with sheer khurma, fruits and cooling beverages tastefully arranged on table in the adjacent rooms of the palace.

As it was impossible for his highness to meet both the Hindu and Muslim communities on the same day at that season of the year, separate days were allotted, and the following morning the representatives of all the section of Hindu community came to meet his highness. This was an impressive and encouraging function and deeply impressed the Hindu subjects who showed up with great devotion and affection to greet their ruler on Eid.


On Eid day 1854 Nawab Sikander Jehan Begum Introduced silver coins in Bhopal.


Nawab Sultan Jehan reached Royal British durban 25th December 1902 on day of Eid-Ul-Fitr which coincided with Christmas day and greeted king on behalf of all the Muslims of India.

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