Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bamrauli - Pargana Chail


Road towards Village Bamhrauli 
Alley
At the top once stood the "Mahal" the original abode of  Hashmis

House of Chaudhari Habban Marhoom
Turns in the village
The 7th Century Hijri Mosque as seen from a distance
Well maintained mosque from Inside
Inside the mosque
 Doorways 
Fields as seen from the Mosque
7th Century Pillars in the mosque
Wheat Crop
Exactly at the steps of Mosque

One fine morning at Bamhrauli - Sehar ka Waqt
Far you see the Ganges
The simple Mausoleum of Makhdoom Sahib
The encomapssing Neem Tree in Hashmi House
Fuzail Hashmi at Hashmi House
Marhoom Jb Abdul Hameed Hashmi - Middan Chaudhary

Mr.Fuzail Hashmi & Nufail Hashmi at Hashmi House Bamrauli
Fields !

Bamrauli is one of the most famous villages in Allahabad located on the right bank of River Ganga. It falls under Tehsil -Sadar , District - Allahabad today but It used to be a part of Pargana Chail in Dist Allahabad before the bifurcation of Allahabad into two parts creating a new district named Kaushambi. 

Similarly Bamrauli is also known to be into two parts, namely Bamrauli Uparhar and Bamrauli Kachhar. The propulation in 1951 is as follows , taken from a book compiled by Rajeshwari Prasad.ICS in 1951.


Name & Origin

Bamrauli appears to be one of the oldest inhabited villages in Pargana Chail. It is not surprising keeping in view its ideal location on the banks of Ganges and lying close to the Teerth Raj Prayag, the centuries old greatest pilgrimage centre of Hindus. It is arguably the first Muslim settlement in the environs of modern city of Allahabad. The village enjoys a huge in-habitation and has lands covering almost entirely right from the banks of Ganges to exterior of the Air Force Station and even across.Today the air force station and the only functional airport in Allahabad is known as Bamrauli Airport. All these areas were once owned by the zamindars of Bamhrauli.

Legend has it that centuries ago there was a local Rajput Chief named Rajah Brahmdeo  who held the village as well the environs under its sway. The village was known after him as Brahma-rauli.During the course of several hundred years the name changed to Bamhrauli and today it is simply Bamrauli however the correct spelling is & should be Bamhrauli.

Makhdoom Shah of Bamhrauli

Here lies a saint of a very high standing namely Makhdoom Shaikh Imaduddin Ismail who came here from Multan at the close of 7th Century Hijri and pitched his tents on a hillock near Ganges. He lived here peacefully keeping himself engaged in prayers and spiritual meditations.Soon his name & fame crossed the boundaries of the village and people from all directions started to pay a visit to him. (See Aaaine-i-Awadh). The local Rajah considering him to be a future threat for this estate & power,arrogantly asked the Saint to leave the place but was subdued miraculously by the events that followed on. Under the awe of the saint The Raja himself lad to leave the village with his family and the legend further says he established another Bamhrauli village several miles away from here on the Kanpur - Fatehpur Road which still bears the same name.

As far as my research goes Makhdoom Sahib of Bamhrauli should be the oldest saint to settle in Prayag (Modern Allahabad),  being a grand-son of Shaikh-ul-Islam Baha’uddin Zakaria Multani (Rah) ,he came here between 670-690 Hijri at a divine instance from Multan , erected a mosque on the banks of river Ganges close to his hermitage.One of his famous disciples is Shah Karak Majzoob of Kara (Sirathu) who is highly celebrated historial figure in the medieval history of India. The tomb of Makhdoom Sahib is within the courtyard of that mosque is still present being a place of great veneration. Though no rituals like Urs take place here yet the knowledgeable people of the environs do sometime come here to pay their respects to Makhdoom Sb. 

His wife is also buried in a small tomb a furlong away in the burial ground which is the largest cemetery in Pargana Chail covering an area of 99 Bighas marked for burial purposes only. The mazar of the wife is known as Barah Dari.
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The district Gazetteer of Allahabad 1911 confirms the arrival of  Makhdoom Sahib as follows;-

The Hashmis of Bamhrauli also known sometimes as Makhdoomzadas and Chaudharis of Bamhrauli are descended from the Makhdoom Shah Ismail.

The persona of Makhdoom Sahib of Bamhrauli is the fountainhead of the enviable reverence the Hashmis of Bamhrauli enojyed throughout the centuries. His descendants known as the Makhdoomzadas & later on Chaudharis were always held in high by the masses as well as the rulers and kings alike.


The Chaudharis of Bamhrauli and their Zamindari

Apart form the religious and faithful importance Bamhrauli,for the last few centuries,was best known as the seat of a large zamindari estate. The Chaudharis of Bamhrauli were known to be one of the most influential landholding families in Allahabad and they enjoyed this status for the fairly long period right from the Sultanate Era till our freedum struggle of 1857. Some people assert that Bamhrauli was the name of a big Taluqa under the Mughal & Awadh rulers.

Historically between the 7th and 10th Century Hijri, the makhdoomzadas were mostly involved in the religious and social activities by carrying on the tradition of learning and imparting education.They were regarded and quite well-placed but their responsibility and duties took a U turn when Mughals strengthened their grip over the Subah by replacing   Kara with Allahabad as the seat of the Governor-ate.Eventaully Akbar created the Subah of Ilahabas and thereafter he picked up the few local influential families to help him control the region.During 1580-1600 ,he chose a branch of Makhdoomzadas of Bamhrauli to take care of a vast territory after conferring upon them the title of Chaudhari.From that day on the learning part of the family got eclipsed under their social clout and policitial influence which increased exponentially year by year .They gradually moved from being religious guides to  social magnates of their time. Any socio-religious movement or a political struggle was not considered fruitful unless and until the Chaudharis of Bamhrauli seconded and supported it.Hence the descendents of Makhdoom sahib (The Hashmis of Bamhrauli) were known to be the most vibrant and influential family in Pargana Chail.

At the beginning of 20th century this family was the strongest family from Chail, as C.A Bayly in his master-piece “The local roots of Indian Politics” has rightly put up as follows:-

Book       :The local roots of Indian politics: Allahabad, 1880-1920
Author     :Christopher Alan Bayly

As for the land-holdings, since the Bamhrauli family always enjoyed the patronage of the emperors of Delhi over the centuries. They had already got large tracts of lands during the Tughlaq/lodhi era that kept on the numbers going up after each bandobast. When Akbar created Pargana Chail, Bamrauli was made a head-quarter of a taluqa of Pargana Chail and with the title of Chaudhary to one of the branch-head of this family they reached at the pinnacle of their supremacy. The Title and land-holdings continued throughout even in the Awadh kings era  till 1857 when they were charged with sedition and almost 3/4th of the Bamhrauli estate was confiscated.

Today's Bamrauli Airport and it adjoining villages were almost entirely owned by the Bamrauli family. The airport was constructed in 1919 and Allahabad was linked by air. Bamrauli was an international airport till 1935 and it had direct flights to London till then. See the excerpt from the book.


Book         :Town planning regeneration of cities
Author : Ashutosh Joshi
Publisher :New India Publishing, 2008


Famous Persons
Apart from Makhdoom Shah and his sons which call for a seperate chapter/book on these holy men, the following were the popular figures from the village:-

Shah Gada Sahib - a renowed religious saint of 15th Century

Shah Fida Sahib -  highly respected religious figure of 16th Century.
We find names from this family all along the history. In the 18th Century Chaudhary Shaikh Ibrahim Urf Tidi Shah was a powerful magnate of his time.

Chaudhary Shahab-ud-din was one the most important leaders of 1857 uprising and a very close aide of Maulvi Liaqat Ali of Mahgaon, His property was confiscated and he was hanged thereon. 

Chaudhari Mohammad Musa Mukhtar, Mohammad Isa , Chaudhary Mohammad Aala, Chaudhary Ummed Ali , Ahmad Ali, Chaudhary Paighambar Bakhsh, Chaudhary Mohammad Khalid, Chaudhary Ubaid-ur-Rahman, Shafee-ur-Rahman, Rafee'ud'deen ,Kabeer'ud'deen etc were the famous persons for the late century.

Chaudhari Jamaluddin  along with his brother Chaudhari Kamaluddin was one of the most popular figure among the elites of the early 20th century in Allahabad. He was a nominated member of the Municipal Board of Allahabad from Bamrauli. His son Chaudhari Hamid too, a honorary speical magistrate ,was a major land holder in the post partition era; 

Book       :The local roots of Indian politics: Allahabad, 1880-1920
Author     :Christopher Alan Bayly , Page 174

Then we have the popular ones like Chaudhari Middan Marhoom (Abdul Hameed Hashmi) , the elected Pradhan was an influential figure of the village was known throughout Chail.

After the partition, a son of Chaudhari Abdul Hameed Middan , namely Nadeem Shaheen Suharwardi made a mark with his political acumen and social service in Sindh ( Pakistan) .He is still regarded in Sindh area as a saint.

The Magazine ORIENT gave a detailed life sketch of Nadeem Shaheen Suharwardy from Bamrauli with excerpts as follows:-

Chaudhari Hidayat-ur Rahman S/o Habban Miyan Marhoom

Chaudhari Habeeb-ur-Rahman (Habban) was also a well known name from Bamrauli who held the sway in the post-partition era. His sons Hameed-ur-Rahman and Hidayat-ur-Rahman are there in Allahabad.

Today Bamhrauli is known for Fuzail Hashmi as well, a son of Chaudhari Abdul Hameed who is a prominent leader of Congress in Allahabad. His elder brother Zafar Saeed Hashmi is an advocate.

Marriages

Initially the Makhdoomzadas of Bamhrauli married only into the the family of Makhdoom Shaban al Millat Bayabani  and their off-shoots since these were the only two oldest families of Prayag and were known to each other with reference to Multan. Later on the marriages started into the top notch families of Kara - Manikpur. Since the Makhdoom-zadas of Bamrauli were highly regarded as one of the few blue blooded ones, they married particularly into the Khanwadas , the descendents of a saint and saintly figures.

From the beginning of 16th Century when a lot of noble Shaikh and Sayyid families started to populate Pargana Chail , the Bamrauli family gradually confined themselves to Pargana Chail only and this tradition carried on for the later centuries without any change.

After gaining a status as Chaudharis they obviously married into the families of the same status like the Chaudhries of Beur, Behka, Barethi, Makhaupur, Bisauna etc........

Other Makhdoomzadas (Non-Chaudharis) mostly married into the Sayyids of Kakrapurwa (across ganges) , Sayyids of Ujhini and Jhusi, Shaikhs of Pawan , Puraini  and Behka. THey had a selected number of villages to which they gave & accepted daughters.

The Off-shoots of Bamhrauli family

Migration from Bamhrauli is also striking feature. At every two hundred years a branch of the Hashmis of Bamhrauli would leave the village , chose and populated a new village for their abode. I could count seven (7) villages that were populated by the Hashmi off-shoots apart from Bamhrauli. The names of the villages are as follows
  • Peepal Gaon    .
  • Shaikhpur Ibrahimpur 
  • Muhiuddinpur  - 
  • Kurai  
  • Kuswan 
  • Neem Sarai 
  • Fatehpur 
It was the status at the begining of the 20th Century now today you may not see the original hashmis in all these villages except Shaikhpur,Muhiuddinpur and Neem Sarai yet the history of these villages is not complete without the mention of the Bamhrauli.

Bamrauli has got a large fertile are around it and it lies in the famed Guava belt of Allahabad.

For visiting Bamrauli you need to take an auto from Khusro Bagh and get down near Begum Bazar called Bamrauli Mod. Here you can continue on foot for 10 minutes to reach the village. You may like to give a try to see the Hashmi House (the residence of Hashmis ) that is the lone shining mansion worth seeing. Do not forget to pay a visit to Makhdoom Shah as well.

From the mosque you shall get a glimpse of river Ganges flowing eastward towards Allahabad city. If not a delicate one, you may like to run towards it and get a dip and wash off you sins altogether……….
Mr.Qamar Saeed Hashmi with his nephew Salman Hashmi

7 comments:

Jadoo said...

Thanks for this post, my maternal Grandmother, the first cousin of Chaudhry Habban was from Bamhrauli.. and I have many memories going back to my childhood and of course many relatives still living there....

Anonymous said...

Indeed Bamrauli has a rich past but alas...........

Chaudhari......Bamrauli

Anonymous said...

Very interesting , i know Bamrauli but this was an eye opener kind of thing. Great work !

Anonymous said...

Great Job ! Thanks ! Hassaan

Anonymous said...

dear khalid bhai kya ap salon gaye hai kabi Aur apko aisi jankari dene aur apki is mehnat ko bar-2 salam allah taala apko umr daraz kare

vijay mane said...

Khalid bhai,i accidently came across your Blog on bamhrauli and went nostalgic after reading it. Fuzail and his brothers kamaal and sohail were my very good friends. I was fortunate enough to visit their house when i had been to allahabad way back in 1995 or around that period. Actually i am from mumbai born and brought up in this City. I would like to convey my greetings to the hashmi family through this blog as i have no other source of contacting them.
My e-Mail ID is manevs_07@live.com.
Thanks,
Vijay.

Khalid Bin Umar said...

Dear Vijay ! I shall speak to them and convey your wishes. If you want to speak to them just let me know your no.(shall be kept private ).

Khalid Bin Umar