The death: 7 April 1879, Kathmandu, Nepal Work: Nabab Wajid Ali Shah’s wife, rebellion against the British East India Company in 1857
Begum Hazrat Mahal was the wife of Nabab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. He revolted against the British East India Company in 1857 in India’s first freedom struggle. When the officers of the British East India Company seized the kingdom of Awadh and sent her husband Nawab Wajid Ali Shah to Kolkata, Begum Hazrat Mahal took over the reins of Awadh and took over Lucknow. He placed his minor son Birjis Kadar on the throne and fought the English army himself. The organization had an unprecedented capacity in Hazrat Mahal due to which the zamindars, peasants and soldiers of Awadh province supported them and continued to lead under them. Though he fought and struggled against the British with great zeal, he eventually suffered defeat and fled and took refuge in Nepal where he died in 1879.
early life | Begum Hazrat Mahal Biography
Begum Hazrat Mahal was born in 1820 in Faizabad district of Awadh province. His childhood name was Muhammadi Khatoon. She was a courtesan by profession and when her parents sold her, she came to the royal harem as a khavasin. After this she was sold to the royal brokers, after which she was given the title of fairy and she came to be known as ‘fragrant angel’. She became the Begum when the Nabab of Awadh included her in his royal harem and she received the title of ‘Hazrat Mahal’ after the birth of her son Birjis Kadar.
She was the wife of Tajdar-e-Awadh Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. When the British captured Awadh and sent the Nawab to Kolkata in 1856, Begum Hazrat Mahal decided to take over the reins of Awadh. He placed his minor son Birjis Kadar on the throne and fought the English army himself.
First freedom struggle of 1857
During the First War of Independence of 1857–58, supporters of Begum Hazrat Mahal, led by Raja Jayalal Singh, revolted against the British East India Company army and captured Lucknow. After the capture of Lucknow, Hazrat Mahal placed his minor son Birjis Kadar on the throne of Awadh. After this, Begum Hazrat Mahal had to retreat when the Company’s army recaptured most of Lucknow and Awadh.
He then worked closely with Nana Saheb (Peshwa, who led the revolt against the British in Kanpur) and then with the Maulvi of Faizabad, carried out the Shahjahanpur invasion. He accused the British of interfering in the religion of Hindus and Muslims.
Begum Hazrat Mahal had to take refuge in Nepal after her defeat with the British. Initially, Rana Prime Minister Jung Bahadur of Nepal refused but later he was granted asylum. After this he spent his entire life in Nepal, where he died in 1879. He was buried in the grounds of Jama Masjid in Kathmandu.
The tomb of Begum Hazrat Mahal is located near the Jama Masjid (at Clock tower) in the middle of Kathmandu. This place is not far from the court route. The Jama Masjid Central Committee is looked after by it.
On 15 August 1962, the ‘Old Victoria Park’ at Hazratganj, Lucknow was renamed as ‘Begum Hazrat Mahal Park’ in honor of Begum Hazrat Mahal. Along with the name change, a marble memorial was also built here. Celebrations such as Ramlila, Dussehra and Lucknow Mahotsav are organized in Begum Hazrat Mahal Park.
On 10 May 1984, the Government of India issued a postage stamp in his honor.
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