Burhanpur is located in south-west of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. It is a historical town on the north bank of the Tapti River, barely 20 km from the Maharashtra border. Mostly it is visited by those tourists who are travelings from Ajanta-Ellora to Indore/Mandu/Maheshwar or vice-versa. Earlier is was in Khandwa district of state but later in 15th August 2003, Burhanpur detached off to the Khandwa district and became independent district in itself. This region also known as eastern Nimad. The town established in Mughal era, around 1400 AD by king Nasir Khan Farukhi, also known as Gateway of South (Dakkan ka Darwaza). In Mughal period it was to be the capital for a short span of time. Current tourist attractions are the monuments & buildings bearing Islamic architecture and their engineering skills during rule of Farukhi sultans and Mughals.
Even ‘Skannd Puran’ of Hindu religion, articulate some of incidents took place here in ultra-ancient history of india, but then Burhanpur was known as “Brahattpur”. Some Jain epics too mentioned burhanpur in brief way. The ornamentation & Development of Burhanpur executed by Farukhi dynasty, those were seemed too much keen to build places surround like – Seven stories Royal Palace, Daulatkhana, Farukhi mausoleums, Bibi ki maszid, Jainabad & Aadilpura ki sarae. The great Jama-Maszij (mosque) is situated at the centre of the city; the most admiring thing about this place is to the fulfilled presence of Indian medieval history, the place is stashed with many mausoleums, mosques and Mughal’s ruin.
Historical Fables and Folklores
i. Burhanpur is named after the Sufi saint Sheikh Burhanuddin Gharib. He was a disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. The saint had the name ‘Gharib’ as he was very poor. So he went to Hazrat Nizamuddin and narrated his misery and requested him to teach him chemistry, so that he could get rid of poverty.
The saint asked Burhanuddin to bring a piece of clay which could absorb water. Burhanuddin set out to the banks of the river Jamuna and started picking pieces of clay. But every piece of clay he picked instantly turned into gold. So he went back to the saint and informed him of the magic. Hazrat Nizamuddin replied to him, “What is the use of learning a science which cannot even give you a ‘istinja ka dhela’ (piece of clay)?”
This was an eye-opener for Burhanuddin, who then gave up the quest of wealth and devoted his life to spiritual quest.
ii. Burhanpur were known to be ‘the door of deccan’ at the time of Mughal period, it was to be the most sensitive place, as far as the concern of security & commanding over southern region of India. Considering its importance, only skilled rulers was being deployed here, who either happens to be the son of king of the Delhi or the close relatives. Mughal emperors like Shahjahan & Aurangzeb ruled this place. Jahangir’s (‘son of Akbar‘) son Khurram got the title of Shahjahan after his win in Burhanpur. In June 1931, Mumtajmahal died here, and then her corpse brought in Jainabad’s Aahukhana Baag for some time. At this same place Aurangzeb with her beloved Heerabai (‘Jainabadi begum‘) fell in love, later their story became famous. The 125 years of Mughal ruling time, transformed the art & culture of this place.
iii. Burhanpur was not only known as to be the door of deccan, but it was the prominent place of Mughals for the defense & Army concern as well as it had a great significance in order to trade and industry, this place was a broad manufacturer of cotton & silk, embroidery in clothes along with printings over them made this place a big trade hub, there were a paper factory, cannon factories, and coins molding factories. In the time of Aurangzeb a ‘hebtulmulk’ cannon was built here in the supervision of Mohammad Hussein, today which is kept in security in Nagpur. Here also were glass industry and earthen vessels were famous for its art and craft. During the period of Jahangir, a foreign tourist visited this place named Tomas row, he inspired with the art, culture & financial prosperity of this place.
Places Of Interest
It is a historical & strategically important fort about 14 miles far from Burhanpur, there is a historic, invincible fort at the top of a mound of satpura hills. This fort was considered very important in order to regulate southern part of India, as some historian addressed it with the name “the key of deccan” some author said that after conquering this fort, ways to seizing southern area or ‘Khandesh’ become more easier. It is about 259.1 meter high from its base and 701 meter high from sea level. There is a mosque, lord Shiva temple and one palace inside this fort to see. It is actually developed in 3 parts and each part have its own name. First part is called “Asirgarh“, second part is “Kamargarh” and thrid part is called “Malaygarh“.
At the north of the town, where the king of the Farukhi dynasty buried down, a courtyard surrounded with couple of buildings called “Hazeerat-e-Farukhiya”. In that building there is two high spires, one mosque, and the spires of the building made by stone which is a great example of Mughal architecture and handicraft.
Close to the town at the bank of Utawli River, there is a fascinating mausoleum made by complete black stones, the inner side of this building along with spire colored beautifully.
In this mausoleum, Shahjahan’s Daughter-in-law, means, wife of Shahsuza buried down. The shape of its spire is like watermelon, the interior designs of this mausoleum are matching with Agra fort.
Abdul-raheem-khan-khana built it in the period of Jahangir, in this same sarai the ambassador of British’s first king, Sir Tomas Row stayed here at that time, an inscription at this Sarai describes it all. There is a bath place of Abdul-raheem-khan-khana at the west side of this Sarai.
It considers being the oldest mosque of this town, Naseer Kha, The first emperor of Farukhi Dynasty built it using black stone.
Burhanpur gurudwara is counted among important pilgrimage place for followers for Sikh religion followers. Founder of Sikh religion, Guru Nanakdev ji and their last guru (teacher)Guru Govind Singh Ji have visited this gurudwara. Most of the gurudwara are located on bank of Tapti river. Here you can see the Guru Granth Sahib (religious book) & weapons of Guru Govind Singh Ji. This Guruswara is about 400 years old.
This mosque was built by the order of Begum Rukayya, at the time of king of the Farukhi dynasty, Aajam Humayun. Biwi Rukayya was a daughter of the emperor of Gujrat, Mujjaffar shah. The construction year has given is 1453 AD.
This park is in front of Royal fort, at the next side of Tapti River. This was to be the Hunting area of Shahjahan Daniyal. Its courtyard is consists with one tank, a palace, which were built by Shahjahan. There is a big water container at the east side out to this courtyard. This park was planted in Iranian style, also known as Alam-aara, and Baag-e-Jainabad. Shahjahan’s beloved wife Mumtaj-mahal, buried down here for six months after her death. Once prince Aurangzeb was stayed here to his aunt, while heading south for a battle, during his stay he fell in love with Heerabai (Jainabadi begum) in this park (bag).
Karara or Gulara Palace Seven miles far from the town, Gulara Palace is famous for its natural beauty. Here is a water fall which makes this place beautiful at moon light; pond has two palaces both side. There is also a mausoleum of Hazrat Nizamuddin at a high place of Utaavli River, who was a religious mentor of Adil-khan.
Mughal engineers gifted exemplary water supply system to Burhanpur town which is still actively used in town. They made 8 water-supply system which provides sufficient water inflow for town in past. They are counted among some highly appreciated engineering works done during Mughal dynasty in India. Most of the work done during rule of Mughal emperors Shahjahan & Aurangzeb. Their are number of underground water flow channels in Satpura hills that avails water to Tapti river. Mughal engineers controlled those water channels at 3 points to develop water-reservoirs which are known by the names “Mool Bhandara“, “Sukha Bhandara” and “Chintaharan Bhandara“. They are located in north of Burhanpur town and are at a height of approx. 100 feet from town land. Taking advantage of this height engineers made small canal towards town. After independence, this water supply system is still active and used with some changes by government engineers. Canals were replaced by pipelines. There are many other places to see around Burhanpur except to above mentioned places like – Raja Jaisingh ki Chattri, Palace of RaoRatan, Jain temples of Sonbardi, Shri Shantinath Swetambari Jain Temple, Jama Mosque Royal Palace, Delhi Darwaza, statues of Shantinath, Parshwanath, God Shankheshwar.
Best time to Visit
October-March is best months to visit this place. Burhanpur basically showcases historical monument and buildings for visitors which can be visited throughout the year by tourists. It gets quite hot here during the summers, hence it would not be a preferable time to visit this place. Climate from October to March will be the best time to visit Burhanpur as during this time climate remain good and the journey can be enjoyed by tourists from India and other countries.
Winter (October – March)-: This is the most advisable time for a trip to “Konark”. The area turns pleasant, and the ambience cool. This also the peak season of travellers visiting this spiritual cum cultural destination.