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19th Century Tomb Complex of Malkajgiri

Mah Laqa Bai Tombs Complex is located near Moula Ali hamlet of Malkajgiri District.  Mah Laqa Bai, born Chand Bibi in the year 1768, was also called as Mah Laqa Chanda. She was an 18th century Urdu Poetess, courtesan and philanthropist based in Hyderabad.  She was considered influential in the court of the 2nd and 3rd Nizam of Hyderabad.

In 1824, she became the first female poet to have a diwan i.e. collection of poems of her work.  It was a compilation of Urdu Ghazals named Gulzar-e-Mah Laqa, which was published posthumously. She lived in an era, when the dialect of Dakhini (a version of Urdu) was making its transition into highly Persianized Urdu.  Some of her literary contributions provided an insight on such form of linguistic transformations in Southern India.

Mah Laqa constructed a walled compound where she frequently held mushairas. Inside this compound, she had built a Tomb for her mother in 1792.At that time, Mah Laqa was the only woman to be accorded public recognition in Hyderabad State.  She was also appointed to the omarah, the highest nobility.  Mah Laqa was frequently consulted by the rulers of the state regarding policy matters.  A battalion of 500 soldiers were assigned to march with her while she visits any official, which was considered a pride among the nobility in those times

She passed away in the year 1824 and a tomb was constructed in her remembrance at Moula Ali. She had bequeathed her properties that included valuable land, gold, silver and diamond-studded jewelry to many homeless women.After her death, Mah Laqa was buried next to her mother.

The Tomb was constructed in typical Mughal and Rajasthani architectural style in the Char Bagh pattern.  On a carved teak wood door of her Tomb an inscription in Urdu is inscribed.  Along with mausoleum, the complex contains a pavilion in centre that is decorated intricately with stucco work, the caravanserai, a mosque and two stepwells.

Mah Laqa Bai Tombs Complex is a great monument of heritage significance in Hyderabad. It represents the importance given to nobility during yesteryear’s and stands as a symbol of the historical glory of the Deccan region.

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