From Bhopal Islam Nagar is just a mere 11 km away. Dost Mohammed, an Afghan Soldier is the man who established Islam Nagar. Dost Mohammed was the commander of Mughal army in charge of Mangal garh in Bhopal.
It was during his reign of Mangal garh, Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal emperor breathed his last. The might Mughal army started breaking up and scattering immediately after the Emperor Aurangzeb was no more. In the prevalent chaos and uncertainties, this Afghan commander made his move and captured Mangal garh and Berasia.
Soon another great opportunity came his way. The nearby Gond state’s queen sought his help seeing him to be powerful enough to seek his patronage. Her kingdom had been usurped by those who had killed her husband. She wanted them removed and sought revenge. Dost Mohammed could immediately spot the inherent oppourtunity of increasing his power by helping her.
His help to her got him the queen’s unflinching loyalty, her perpetual gratitude. He restored her kingdom and defeated her adversaries. As a reward, the overwhelmed queen bestowed on him both; a large sum of money and a village as well. Not being impatient was one of the stellar qualities of Dost Mohammed. It was only a matter of time before the queen died.
On her death he usurped her kingdom and established his capital at Jagdishpur and named it Islam Nagar. Once in control, it was easy for him to establish his authority by commissioning construction of a Fort and palaces.
The lost glory of this flourishing city can be still seen in the designs of its buildings of past. As an example, Chaman Mahal or Garden Palace is a beauty in red sandstone. It is set amidst beautiful gardens with fountains. Immediate coolness engulfs you as you enter this pristine garden. The Palace has lovely columns and arches adorned with floral motifs.
The Mahal is reminiscent of Mughal palaces. Graced by a large baradari, many niches the palace is a delight. There is a hamam or royal bath and even a Sheesh Mahal or Palace of mirrors. Move into the Rani Mahal, the palace for queen’s and you get an idea of the luxurious lifestyle that these royal ladies led.
Scattered around are the dilapidated buildings built by the Gond rulers. The newer palaces look pristine in reference to the falling Gond Palace. This is a heritage that will no doubt be restored one day. Well, this is the hope.:-) We don’t want to see this part of our history vanish. Dost Mohammed move to Bhopal, made it his capital letting Islam Nagar slip into ruins.
Since it is so close to Bhopal Islam Nagar is easily reach by air, road, rail and Bhopal has numerous hotels for visitors to stay and at different price points.
Visit Taj Mahal and then continue your journey to Bhopal