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Nawabs of Bhopal : Nawab Sikander Begum

Nawab Sikander Begum

Sikandar Begum
Nawab Sikandar Begum
(1818 - 30 Oct 1868)

  • Sikander Begum, the only daughter of Qudsia Begum, became the Nawab of Bhopal in 1844.
  • Her husband's name was Jahangir Mohammed Khan, whom she married on 18th April 1835
  • True to her name, she was brave indeed. (in Arabic, her name means Alexander the Great)
  • Like her mother, she too was forward-looking and never observed purdah.
  • An expert in all the martial arts, she fought many battles.
  • When the Indian war of independence started in 1857, she sided with the British. She was instrumental in crushing a number of rebels.
  • Like her mother, she did a lot of public welfare.
  • Despite her bravery, she was very considerate towards her people.
  • She built roads and reconstructed the fort.
  • She also built her palace - the Moti Mahal, which in English means the Pearl Palace.
  • She built another important landmark of Bhopal - the Moti Masjid
    • The name literally means the Pearl Mosque.
    • It was built in 1860, inspired by the Jama Masjid of Delhi.
    • The Moti Masjid can still be seen in Bhopal.
    • Despite its age, it is still in a good condition
  • The Shaukat Mahal was another important building constructed during her tenure.

  • Shaukat Mahal in the olden days
    Shaukat Mahal in the Olden Days

    • It is a strange mixture of Indo-Islamic and European styles of architecture.
    • It was designed by a Frenchman, a descendant of the Bourbon Kings of France.
    • Post Renaissance and Gothic styles have been combined in an enchanting manner in the building.

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