Islamnagar to be known as Jagdishpur once again after 308 years, read how Mughal general Dost Mohammad Khan had changed the name
Madhya Pradesh renames Islamnagar to its original name Jagdishpur, 308 years after Dost Mohammad Khan had changed the name
The serene village of Islamnagar in Madhya Pradesh, which has historical significance, is located 14 kilometres from Bhopal. The local fort, built in the 17th century, attracts visitors from all over the world. The name of this historic village has been changed to Jagdishpur, its original name, following approval from the central government. The process to change the name back to the original name took 30 years due to administrative delays.
On Wednesday, a notification was published in the Madhya Pradesh Gazette by the state’s revenue department notifying the change of name of the village from Islamnagar to Jagdishpur. According to it, the state administration changed the name of the village of Islamnagar in the Bhopal district to Jagdishpur after receiving a written letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Central Government stating that it had no objections. On September 15, 2022, the Central Government released the aforementioned letter. In accordance with the directive of the Madhya Pradesh State Government, this notification has been issued by Additional Secretary Chandrasekhar Walimbe.
The tale of the transformation of Jagdishpur to Islamnagar is very bloody. Islamnagar was given that name 308 years ago by Dost Muhammad Khan, a deserter from Aurangzeb’s army.
Story of Islamnagar
Dost Mohammad’s life was full of cruelty towards others and killing even those who supported him and gave him shelter. He hailed from Tirah in the Afghan province of Khyber. From there, he came to Jalalabad in Uttar Pradesh around 1696. In Jalalabad, Dost Mohammad killed his benefactor Amir Jalal Khan’s son-in-law over a minor dispute and escaped from there. He first fled to Karnal and later to Delhi, where, he enlisted in the Mughal army.
During the Mughal-Maratha wars, Dost Mohammad arrived in Malwa in 1703. There, he killed Mohammad Farooq, the king of Vidisha, over a minor dispute. Following this, he was able to find shelter at Mangalgarh and began residing in the palace there with the King and Queen. After the King passed away, Dost Mohammad pillaged Mangalgarh as well and travelled to Berasia with all the loot. Keeping with his character, he took Berasia in possession, after deceiving local ruler Taj Mohammad.
The bloody capture of Jagdishpur
Stones and sculptures from a temple built during the Parmar era, in the 11th century, have been discovered in Jagdishpur. It’s probable that this location had a temple during the Parmar era. This region was one among the fifty-two strongholds of the Gond monarch Sangram Shah of Gadha-Mandla Jabalpur, after the Paramars, which accounts for the presence of a Gond palace. The fort remained under the control of the Deora Rajputs after the Gond reign.
Dost Mohammad Khan had made an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Jagdishpur in 1715. He turned to a conspiracy, in line with his nature, after failing to strike the Rajputs. To a dinner on the Bes River’s banks, he sent an invitation to Rajput ruler Deora Chauhan. The ropes of the tent were cut, and all of the Rajput guests, including Chauhan, were beheaded (halal), during the meal. According to legend, so much blood was spilled that the river’s water turned crimson, and as a result, the river came to be known as Halali. Dost Muhammad thus tricked his way into capturing Jagdishpur, which was then renamed Islamnagar.
This area has hosted numerous film shoots
Bollywood has ties to this village as well. Numerous short and large-scale films have been filmed here owing to the fort. ‘Durgamati,’ starring Bhumi Pednekar, is one among them. The actress is pictured seated in front of the main gate of the Gond Mahal, on the movie’s poster.
The queen resided in the fort, encircled by a defence wall
A defence wall encloses the Islam Nagar fort on all sides. Tourists must purchase a ticket from the counter created by the MP government, for 10 rupees per person, in order to view it. The Rani Mahal comes first. Here, was once the home of a queen in antiquity. The Chaman Mahal is close by. Beautiful gardens have been constructed between the two palaces. A river, whose water has turned black owing to pollution, is located behind the fort. The tombs of Dost Mohammad Khan’s sons, Yar Mohammad Khan and Hayat Mohammad Khan, are located behind Chaman Mahal.
Even today, the welcome board still features Jagdishpur
This village is close to Bhopal and is situated on the left side of the road that connects Berasia and Vidisha via Sukhi Sewania. On one of the two large signs that are on the street, which features an image of the MLA, it states, ‘Welcome to Jagdishpur.’ The distance to the place is indicated on the second board, which belongs to the Tourism Development Corporation. Two kilometres away from the village, a fort from the 17th century, that serves as the location of this settlement can be observed. It is currently managed by the Department of Archaeology.
Village people want the name change, no tensions over it
The name change is also being discussed in the village. Manohar Jain, a retired employee of the Forest Department, who owns a grocery store, said, that Jagdishpur is its real name. Everyone in the village longs to assume its original identity. Another member of the village, Amir stated, that the correct old name should be restored.
The village’s name change application has been pending with the government for 30 years. A proposal to change the name was approved by the Gram Panchayat, according to a government letter that Tehsildar mentioned in his report on August 19, 1993. The phrase ‘Changing the name of the village is accepted by the people’ was specifically written in the letter. People want a name change as soon as possible. There won’t be any conflict in the village if this is implemented.
Vishnu Khatri, a Berasia MLA, stated that, we sent a proposal in 2008 as well. State officials concurred, but the UPA administration at the time declined to provide the NOC (No Objection Certificate). 2014 saw another request for NOC from the federal government. In July 2021, Survey of India eventually released its NOC, and in September of the previous year, the Ministry of Home Affairs did the same. The state government has now been asked to publish a gazette notification of Islamnagar’s new name, Jagdishpur, so that it can be entered in the records of all other departments, including the revenue, postal, and telegraph offices.