Did you know that the first ever Urdu book in the world was published
in Bidar? Did you know that a poem sung in praise of Prophet Mohammad
in the Masjid –E- Nabavi in Madina was written by a poet who lived in
Bidar in the 18th century? Has any one told you that Chalukya King
Someshwara the Third of Kalyana produced a Sanskrit encyclopedia a
thousand years before anyone attempted writing encyclopedias in the
The literary heritage of Bidar is as rich as its cultural history.
Sadly, the poetry emanating from the red soil here has not received as
much acclaim as the archeological monuments here.
Now for the answers. Fakhruddin Nizami’s `Masnavi Kadam Rao Padam Rao’
was written and published between 1325–1338 A D. That is considered
the first Urdu book ever published. Hazrath Ishqui who died in
Hyderabad in 1805 wrote the Naat Ya Shafi Ul Wara that is sung by
believers in Madina and around the world. Someshwara’s `Manasollasa’
is considered the first ever encyclopedia.
What we all need to be proud of is that fact that literature produced
in this land a thousand years ago gained international fame at that
time and that reputation stayed on for centuries.
In ancient times, Bhaskara Acharya developed the science of Algebra.
Born and brought up in Bidar, he had settled in Ujjain. Vigyaneshwara
of Masimad village wrote Mitakshara that went on to become the base of
modern Hindu law. Bilhana and Kalhana, the court poets of King
Vikramaditya produced immortal works. While Kalhana’s Raja Tarangini
is considered the first history work in India, Bilhana’s love poetry
titled Kaurapankashika has been translated over 20 times into English
and European languages. Brajishnu who hails from Hallikhed, wrote
Vaddaradhane, the first prose work in Kannada.
While emperors tried to conquer the world by fighting wars, a humble
saint- poet won over humanity just by meditating in the caves of
Basava Kalyan and practicing what he preached. Basaveshwara led a
social revolution in the 12th century that changed the way people of
different castes and classes treated each other around the world. He
wrote metaphysical poetry and motivated lakhs of ordinary men and
women to write and sing Vachana poetry that continues to inspire us
even to this day.
In medieval times, Mohammad Gawan built Bidar brick by brick and made
it a city that competed with Rome in fame. His seminal work `Manazir
Ul Insha’ describes poetics of Farsi language. His other work Riyaz Ul
Insha, a collection of letters to scholars, artists, Kings and heads
of state is the ultimate referral book on medieval history.
Another view of Bahmani rule is provided by the Poornananda Charitre of
Hanumadatmaja who hailed from the fort city.
The Bahmani and Baridshahi Kings were art lovers and promoted poets,
artists and craftsman. They not only provided a platform to local
poets, but also introduced global poetry to Bidar.
Among those who received their patronage are Abdul Quareem Hamdani,
Mulla Nizami, Syed Taheer, Mulla Dawood Bidri, Mulla Quashfi, Mahamood
and Qutbuddin Quadri. Bahmannama, is a historical work in verse that
was written in the 15th century.
Poet Feroze Bidri who lived during the transition period between
Bahmani and Baridshahi kings is credited to have brought out the first
poetry collection in Urdu. After spending his youth in Bidar which was
then called Mohammadabad- Bidar, Feroze settled in Golconda where he
Interestingly, a significant number of non-Muslims also wrote Urdu
poetry. Works of Hindus like Pandit Yashwantrao Korekal of Manik Nagar
and Pandit Damodar Pant ‘Zaki’ and Sikhs like Sardar Charan Singh
Charan of Bidar are popular even today.
Several writers prospered during the reign of the Hyderabad Nizams.
Works of writers like Hazrat Ghulam Mohinuddin Fitrat, Maqdoom
Mohinuddin, Hazrat Wafa, Sikandar Ali Wajd, Hazrat Kunj-E-Nasheen,
Syed Hussein Saifi and Hazrat Sajjad Basha Sajjad have brought fame to
Bidar. Similarly, the most famous poet in the recent times is Rashid
Ahmed Rashid. He is described as “Shayar-E-Hayat” or the Sun who
shines on the land of poetry. Abdul Jabbar Malkapuri is considered an
important historian of modern times.