Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah (Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah) was the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi (Qutub Shahi) dynasty of Golkonda in south India. He founded the city of Hyderabad, India and built its architectural centerpiece, the Charminar. He was an able administrator and his reign is considered one of the high points of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Some say that he named the city in honour of Imam Ali (as), who was known as the Hyder.

He ascended to the throne in 1580 at the age of 15 and ruled for thirty-one years.

He modelled the well planned city of Hyderabad on the then legendary city of Esfahan of Persia, in his words "unparalleled in the world and a replica of heaven itself".


Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah was the third son of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. He founded the city of Hyderabad, India ,after shifting from his old capital, the fort of Golkonda. The city was built on the southern bank of the Muchkunda river later known as Musi River. Some say that Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah sent for architects from Iran to lay out the city, which was built on a grid plan. History mentions that he himself had studied many architectural plans and with consistent consultations with his wife Bhagamati and his Prime Minister Mir Muhammed Momin, he carried out roads and buildings etc., with his help. Sultan Muhammed Quli Qutub shah founded the city of Bhaganagar in 1591. Prince Muhammed Quli, fell in love with her so much that he wished to marry her;but the same was not possible at that time because of stiff objections by Muslims in general of that time. In 1578 AD, prince Muhammed Quli endangering his life, had physically crossed the river Musi, as he wished to explore the Southern territory of the river for finding suitable location for his new dream city. He found the province of Chichlam village sacredly suitable for establishment of his New city. On receipt of the news of the life danger to his son Prince Muhammed Quli, Ibrahim Qutubshah, ordered to construct a new bridge in place of the dilapidated ruinous old bridge. Accordingly a new bridge named "PUL-e-NARVA" now known as "Purana Pul" was constructed in 1579 AD facilitating the frequent meetings of the prince, with hisam village. As per one of the reference books, the date of construction is also inscribed on one of the pillars of this pul. Landmarks of the Deccan by Shri. Ali Asgar Bilgrami.Reference books like; 400 years of Hyderabad by Shri K. Chandraiah (1996) and Tarikh-e-Tufani (History of floods in Hyderabad) by Shri Pandit Kishan Rao of Mushir Decccan News paper, Sangayachay Mala, Marathi book,can be referred, used. It is important to note that in spite of the serious objection in the capital, Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah married in 1589 AD after waiting for 11 years of his first meeting with his beloved. After his marriage with Bhagyamati, he laid the foundation of charminar in 1589 AD before establishment of the City of Bhaganagar, located in chichlam village, after the Plague epidemic that had ravaged the 1591 AD. In 1605 AD,the name of the city Bhagyanagar,was changed to Hyderabad. After Bhagyamati was converted to Muslim religion,the name of Bhagamati was changed and was named as Begum Hyder Mahal The name of the city was named as, Hyderabad.after her. Some say that.. Hyderabad was named as the City of Hyder after the title of the Imam Ali (as). Many people though, commonly believe that the city of "Hyderabad" was named after the people as their residence as "City of the Brave" from the Persian words "Hyder/Haider" (Persian and Urdu meaning lion or brave and "Abad/Abaad" (Persian and Urdu meaning abode or populated.

In 1642 and 1652 a French traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernierwho visited the city of Bhaganagar , compared the city to Orléans, well built and opened out, and in 1672, Abbe Carre was much impressed by the city and termed it the center of all trade in the East'.Pleae refer to Wikipedia separate page titled "Chichlam and Bhagamati " for more information. French Traveller Mr. Travernier visited Hyderabad first in 1642 AD and he had mentioned the name of the city as Bhaganagar( Hyderabad.) The Friendship treaty was concluded in 1677 AD after which Chatrpathi Shivaji left the city to Karnataka expedition. Dad Mahal constructed by Md. Quli Qutub Shah was situated near the present A.P High Court building south of the river bank.

Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah constructed the 'Charminar' of Four Minarets. Charminar is the exact replica of tombs of Martyrs Hasan and Hussain at Karbala, known as Taboot, which is considered very sacred. While laying the foundation stone of Charminar, Md. Quli Qutub Shah and his wife, prayed for welfare of the people in their contemplated new city. The structure of Charminar comprises four tall and massive minarets connected to each other by four high arches and this resembles the archetypal triumphal arch. This beautiful colossus in granite, lime, mortar and, some say, pulverised marble, was at one time the heart of the city. Initially the wonderful monument with its four arches was so proportionately planned that the beautiful Charminar monument could be impressively seen from the top of Golcond fort. One could even catch a glimpse of the bustling Hyderabad city as these Charminar arches were facing the most active royal ancestral streets. Muhammad Quli built the Charminar to commemorate the start of building construction works for his new city of Bhaganagar. He is said to have prayed for the end of a plague epidemic that was ravaging his city and vowed to build a masjid at the very near place, where he was praying. The epidemic ended soon afterwards and Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah constructed Jami masjid in 1596. There is also a legend of an underground tunnel connecting the palace at Golkonda to Charminar, possibly intended as an escape route for the Qutub Shahi rulers in case of a siege, though the exact location of the tunnel is unknown.

Patronage of Literature

Sultan Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah was a scholar of Arabic and Persian. He wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. His poetry has been compiled into a dewan or volume entitled "Kulliyat-e-Quli Qutub Shah." Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah had the distinction of being the first Saheb-e-dewan Urdu poet and is credited with introducing a new sensibility into prevailing genres of Persian/Urdu poetry. It is said that the Urdu language acquired the status of a literary language due to his contributions.

His Dewan (collection of poems) was discovered in 1922 by Dr. Abdul Haq, in Hyderabad. Its discovery was a landmark in the history of Urdu literature for prior to it Vali Dakhni was regarded as the first Urdu poet with a collection to his credit.

Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah's Works:

Dewan- Kulliyat e Quli Qutub Shah (Collection of poems)

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