Monday, November 30, 2015

Tombs for ‘saintly’ parrots and ‘royal’ dogs in Bidar

Source: The Hindu  -


One of the two tombs fordogs in Bidar faces the threat of being gobbled up byland sharks.

If you thought tombs built for animals only existed in Egypt, you should consider making a trip to Bidar in the northern tip of Karnataka.

There are 96 monuments in the historic city, but four among them stand out. While two are Tota Kabr (parrots’ tombs), two are Kutte Ka Kabr(dog’s tombs). Unusual as they are, all four are in dilapidated condition and are facing threat of being gobbled up by land sharks.

People around Tota Kabr , in Gawan Chowk, have colourful stories to tell about the parrot that was “saintly”, said to be reared by a Sufi saint. The parrot was buried in front of the Madrassa of Mahamud Gawan in the old city. Kuchcha houses have come up all around the tomb and there is no proper access to the monument.

The other is called Hazrat Tota Shareef Mazar in Multani Colony. The colony is named after Kaji Ul Kajayat Hazrat Multani Pasha, the judge of the Behmani Empire in the 15th Century. The Parrot’s tomb is near the Multani Pasha dargah and sees several visitors. Even the Urs or death anniversary of “saintly bird” is observed every year.

However, little remains of the Kabr. Only a stone with a flower emblem remains at the place where the tomb was supposed to be. Local residents allege that the city municipal council member Javed Ahmed encroached upon land, while Mr. Javed says the land belongs to him.

The two Kutte Ka Kabr monuments are on the western side of the new city. The smaller one in Shiva Nagar remains unprotected and the cubical structure with a dome is crumbling. The bigger Kutte Ka Kabr is in Guru Nagar. It is believed to have been a “royal” dog a king of the Bahmani period was very fond of. It is an elaborate structure housing an unmarked tomb in a room with a compound wall around it. There is a small mosque beside it for the faithful to pray.

However, historian Abdul Samad Bharati wonders if the tombs of dogs are indeed those of animals. “They could even be of people who were victims of the king’s anger or envy,” he says. They could be rebels who died in civil wars or traitors who were killed by one king, only to be honoured by another, Mr. Bharati said.

Vinay Malge, coordinator of the NGO Team Yuva that is spearheading a movement for heritage conservation, said though there are no historical records, they are part of our heritage and need to be protected.


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