Anarkali Tomb (Anarkali & Salim Love Story)

Anarkali Tomb

Tomb 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.

Anarkali & Salim

It is said that the son of Mughal King Akbar (Salim who is known as King Jehangir) fell in love of Anarkali. Therefore, Emperor Akbar buried Anarkali alive in the wall in 1599. It is also said that Prince Salim, who was later become emperor known as Emperor Jahangir. 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 the English era, it has been used as a Church. Since 1891, it is being used as Punjab Archives, which drew the 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.  The original creator of this story is an Indian Scholar Abdul Halim Sharar. He wrote on the first page of his book that it’s just a fascinating story.

It is imperative to mention here that Prince Salim (Emperor Jehangir) was the son of Emperor Akbar and Jodha. Akbar wished to teach him the affairs to run the government. For this purpose, he sent him to join the army. After keeping him away from the palace for fourteen years, King Akbar 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. Somehow, they arranged to meet with each other in separate time.

When Emperor Akbar knew about this, he asked Prince Salim to forget Anarkali. Prince Salim expressed his desire to marry her. The emperor said to him that he was a slave girl and does not belong to any noble family. But Prince Salim refused to obey the emperor, Akbar.

Eventually, the emperor Akbar captured Anarkali in Lahore.  After several attempts, with the help of his loyal friend, Prince Salim managed to escape her from custody and hide around in Lahore.

Images of Anarkali

Prince Salim, who had been retained 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 Emperor Akbar gave Prince Salim two options i.e. to handover Anarkali or get ready to die.

On this, Prince Salim preferred to sacrifice his life for love. When this came into the knowledge of Anarkali, 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. 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 already dug out and they buried her alive into the wall.

It is said that that Emperor Akbar had escaped him through this ditch because her mother had pleaded 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 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 facts or it is just a fascination.