DARGĀHQOLĪ KHAN ḎU’L-QADR, also known as Moʿtaman-al-Dawla Moʿtaman-al-Molk Sālār-Jang Ḵān-e Dawrān Nawwāb (b. Sangamnēr, Deccan, 1122/1710, d. Awrangābād, 18 Jomādā I 1180/22 October 1766; Malkāpūrī, p. 398; cf. Āzād Belgrāmī, pp. 222-23), Persian official at Hyderabad and Awrangābād, best known for his description of Delhi. He was descended from Ḵāndānqolī Khan Ḏu’l-Qadr, a member of the Būrbūr line of Turkman chiefs in the region of Mašhad, who had emigrated to India in 1048/1638 (Āzād Belgrāmī, pp. 221-22; Kanbō, II, p. 246; cf. Malkāpūrī, pp. 397-98). Ḵāndānqolī Khan’s great-grandson, also named Ḵāndānqolī, was Dargāhqolī’s father and the first of the family to enter the service of the neẓāms (rulers) of Hyderabad. It was he who designed and constructed the township of Neẓāmābād for Ne ẓām-al-Molk Āṣaf-jāh (d. 1161/1748; Āzād Belgrāmī, p. 222; Malkāpūrī, p. 397-98).
Dargāhqolī Khan became one of the foremost nobles of Persian descent at the Hyderabad court and served with distinction under four neẓāms. He was fourteen years old when Neẓām-al-Molk bestowed on him his ancestral rank (manṣab)and estate(jāgīr); when he was twenty years old he was chosen for Neẓām-al-Molk’s suite. He accompanied his master to Delhi and remained with him during the invasion by the Persian Nāder Shah and its aftermath (1151-54/1738-41; Dargāhqolī, pp. 14-20). Neẓām-al-Molk’s successor, Neẓām Nāṣer-Jang (1161-64/1748-50), appointed him kōtvāl (commandant of the fortress)and fawjdār (garrison commander) of Awrangābād, and Ṣalābat-Jang (r. 1164-75/1751-62) elevated him to governor, a position that he held until 1179/1765. During that period he rose to the rank of haft-hazārī (commander of 7,000), and under Neẓām ʿAlī Khan (1175-1217/1762-1802) he was granted the extraordinary privilege of māhī-marāteb (Dargāhqolī, pp. 43-45, 48, 51; Qureshi, p. 105). He appears to have been an excellent administrator, as well as a generous patron of literature (Malkāpūrī, pp. 400-01, 403). He also built numerous monuments that still survive in Awrangābād (Malkāpurī, p. 401-04; Āzād Belgrāmī, p. 224; Dargāhqolī, pp. 53, 64-65; Rizvi, p. 258), including his own mausoleum.
Dargāhqolī Khan’s Moraqqaʿ-e Dehlī (Album of Delhi, a title given it by its first editor, Ḥ.-S. Moẓaffar Ḥosayn), also known as Resāla-ye Sālār-Jang and Ābādī-e Dehlī), is a collection of extracts from Dargāhqolī Khan’s personal diary of his stay in Delhi, in which he described the city, its monuments, its poets, its marṯīya-ḵᵛāns (reciters of threnodies), and its musicians on the eve of the conquest by Nāder Shah. Dargāhqolī Khan himself composed marṯīyas (threnodies) in Urdu.
Mīr Ḡolām-ʿAlīĀzād Belgrāmī, Ḵezāna-ye ʿāmera, Kanpur, 1288/1871.
Dargāhqolī Khan, Moraqqaʿ-e Dehlī, ed. Ḥ.-S. Moẓaffar Ḥosayn, Hyderabad (Deccan), n.d. (1926); ed. with Urdu tr. N. H. Anṣārī, Aligarh, 1981; tr. C. Shekhar and S. M. Chenoy as Muraqqaʿ-e-Dehli. The Mughal Capital in Muhammad Shah’s Time, Delhi, 1989.
Moḥammad-Ṣāleḥ Kanbō, ʿAmal-e Ṣāleh al mawsūm beh Šāh-jahān-nāmaá, ed. Ḡ. Yazdānī, 2nd ed., rev. W. Qorayšī, 3 vols., Lahore, 1967-72.
Abū Torāb Moḥammad ʿAbd-al-Jabbār Khan Malkāpūrī, Maḥbūb al-zamān men Taḏkera-yešoʿarāʾ-ye Dakkan, Hyderabad (Deccan), n.d.
I. H. Qureshi, The Administration of the Mughul Empire, Karachi, 1966.
Rieu, Persian Manuscripts II, p. 858.
A. A. Rizvi, A Socio-Intellectual History of the Isnā ʿAsharī Shīʿīs in India, Canberra, 1986.
Storey, I/2, pp. 1118-19.
(M. SALEEM AKHTAR)
(M. Saleem Akhtar)
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 17, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, pp. 32-33