Tomb and Story of Anarkali
The tomb of Anarkali is located inside the premises of Civil Secretariat, Lahore Punjab in Pakistan. Anarkali’s real name was Nadira Begum. She was an Iranian slave girl who migrated to Lahore, in the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great.
It is said that the son of Mughal King Akbar (Saleem who is known as King Jehangir) fell in love of Anarkali, therefore, the Emperor Akbar buried Anarkali alive in wall in 1599. It is also said that Prince Salim, who was later known as Emperor Jahangir, built this mausoleum in remembrance of his beloved of AnarKali.
The mausoleum of Anarkali had been used for different purposes in different periods. Sometimes it was surrounded by a garden which was called pomegranate (Anarkali) garden. In the Sikh era, this tomb remained under the control of Kharak Singh. It also remained residence of General Vinchora, who was an Italian and was recruited in the army of Ranjit Singh. During English era, it has been used as a Church. Since 1891, it is being used as Punjab Archives, which drew attention of people who are interested in the history of British Rule in Punjab.
So far it is difficult to say that either this is the factual or fascinating story. Original creator of this story is an Indian Scholar Abdul Halim Sharar, who wrote on the first page of his book that it’s just a fascinating story.
It is imperative to mention here that Prince Saleem (Emperor Jehangir) was the son of Emperor Akbar and Jodha. Akbar wished to teach him the affairs to run the government and for this purpose he sent him to join army. After keeping him away from the palace for fourteen years, King Akbar allowed allowed Salim to come back to the palace of Lahore.
King Akbar arranged a party on his arrival. Nadira Begum had to perform a dance on that event. She attained the title of Anarkali from King Akbar on account of her beauty. Prince Salim at first sight fell in love with her. And in the meantime, Anarkali too fell in love with him. They started meeting with each other in separation.
When the Emperor Akbar knew about this, he asked Prince Salim to forget Anarkali, but Prince Salim expressed his desire to marry her. On his reply the emperor said to him that he was a slave girl and did not belong to any famous family. But Prince Salim refused to obey the emperor Akbar.
Eventually, the emperor Akbar captured Ankarakali in Lahore. After several attempts, with the help of his loyal friend, Prince Salim managed to escape her from captivity and hid herself somewhere around Lahore.
Prince Salim, who had been remained with the army for 14 years, prepared a military force of his loyal companions and started a war against Emperor Akbar, but the forces of the Emperor defeated him. Then the Emperor Akbar gave Prince Salim two options i.e to handover Anarkali or get ready to die.
On this, Prince Salim preferred sacrifice his life for love. When Anarkali got knowledge of it, she became impatient for her love and handed over herself to the emperor. She expressed her wish that she would be allowed to spend a night with Prince Salim and the same was allowed by the emperor. On that night, Anarkali gifted a pomegranate flower (Anarkali) to his love Prince Salim, who smelt and become unconscious.
Although Anarkali did not have the courage to go in front of him, so she had got an alcoholic medicine which made him unconscious and she left her love in a state of extravagance. The Emperor’s forces took her to Anarkali Bazaar, where land was already dig out and they buried her alive into the wall.
It is said that that the Emperor Akbar had escaped him through this ditch because her mother
had pleaded with the Emperor that she would take her away from your empire and will never return.
That is why it is difficult to say whether the Emperor had buried her alive or managed to escape.
It is also said that Prince Salim after the death of Emperor Akbar, when he was became emperor as Jehangir, he called her back and got married and renamed her as a Noor Jehan.
However, the historians still fail to conclude whether this story is based on the fact or it is just a fascination.