There is a popular legend that is passed on through generations, that Sri Bhagyalakshmi is the “Grama Devi” or the goddess who offers protection and prosperity to the city that was named in her honour as Bhagyanagar. As per this local legend, the Tana Shah who once ruled the city of Bhagyanagar during the time of the Qutub Shah’s had managed to anger goddess Bhagyalakshmi. The temple of Bhagyalakshmi used to be on the borders of the city, from where the goddess would protect the city and its residents from all evil. Once, a foot soldier who was in charge of guarding the city borders happened to see an effulgent and beautifully divine lady dressed in all her finery, walk towards the city gates late into the night. The mysterious looking lady who was unaccompanied; demanded the guard in all authority to open the gates and make way for her to leave the city. Taken aback by the commanding voice and ethereal beauty of this mysterious maiden, the guard stopped her. The guard understood that the lady he was dealing with was not a normal citizen of the city and suspected that she was either of royal birth or a princess. His suspicion led him to ask her questions about her identity, to which the lady replied that she was Sri Bhagyalakshmi, the “Grama Devi” of the city and wanted to leave the town. The guard in all his honestly, requested the goddess to allow him to perform his duty as a royal guard of the Tana Shah and requested her to allow him to go seek Tana Shah’s permission to open the gates to the city in order to allow her to leave. The guard is then said to have made goddess Sri Mahalakshmi, promise him to stay until his return. As the legend has it, the guard went and informed the Tana Shah about Sri Bhagyalakshmi’s request to leave the city. Fearing that the city would befall the inauspiciousness caused by the exit of the revered goddess Sri Bhagyalakshmi, the guard is said to have sacrificed his life, knowing too well that Sri Bhagyalakshmi had given him Her word of waiting for him at the city gates until his return. It is still believed that Maa Bhagyalakshmi still remains in this city in honour of her word given to the foot soldier and that the city of Bhagyanagar owes its prosperity, wealth and success to the presence of Sri Bhagyalakshmi.

Another historical event that highlights the importance of Sri Bhagyalakshmi temple was during the 1908 Musi River Flooding. During the 1908 flooding, the 6th Nizam of Golkonda Region, Mir Mahboob Ali Pasha is said to have offered prayers at Sri Bhagyalakshmi temple and is also said to have donated generously to the temple, after his fervent prayers were answered and the Musi River calamity was overcome.

HISTORIC DISTORTION

A simple Google search into the history of Hyderabad city, will bring to light the story of a “Nautch” girl and “Tawaif” named Bagamathi, who caught the eye of the Muslim invader Quli Qutub Shah, how they fell in love, Bagamathi married him, converted to Islam, and adopted the Muslim name or rather given the title of “Hydari” or “Hyder Mahal”. Present day Bhagyanagar was named after this “Nautch” girl as Hyderabad.

Just the other day, the self-proclaimed heirs and illegitimate descendants of the Razakar’s were questioning the authenticity of the city’s original and rightful name – Bhagyanagar. This article is not just for those disowned sons but every resident of this city who are still reeling under or are unable to overcome the Nizami & Razakari hangover, since the past 400 years or more. A recent article in a popular newspaper quoted colonized versions of French travellers, Sufi trail leaders, Sherwani Centres and Muslim University professors, Farmans etc while conveniently ignoring the work of historians like Prof Dr Biruduraju Rama Raju or Sri Suravaram Pratap Reddy. But the newspaper article thankfully manages to debunk the “Bagmathi” nonsense.

It might not come as a major surprise to most locals who have been born and raised in Bhagyanagar or claim their ancestry to this land that once belonged to the erstwhile Kakatiya dynasty, that Bhagyanagar was named in honour of the local Goddess of wealth and prosperity “Sri Bhagyalakshmi”.

PRESENT DAY SCENARIO

Yes, the ancient Bhagyalakshmi Temple that shares a boundary with Charminar and is notorious throughout Bharat as the place where riots erupt not just historically but this is where Muslim-Hindu riots continue to start to this very day. Amidst 24/7 police bandobast, this small yet extremely significant temple of Sri Bhagyalakshmi continues to be a revered shrine for devout locals and Hindus throughout India. Despite its violent history and past, Sri Bhagyalakshmi temple continues to be one of the most prominent and most visited temples in the city, especially during significant Hindu festivals like Deepavali, Navaratri/Dasara, Dharnumasam, Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras etc. The temple of Bhagyalakshmi has been attacked, desecrated, and damaged in riots several times, the most disastrous one being the 1979 riots when a Muslim fanatic ran a government bus straight into the tiny temple, desecrating it completely. The temple was rebuilt several times and is now managed by endowments and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

Several fanatical leaders and `have claimed that Sri Bhagyalakshmi temple was never a part of Hyderabad and that the city was once named Bhagyanagar because of a local “Tawaif” dancer named “Bhagamati”. What is surprising is, for a Quli Qutub Shahi ruler with a harem full of wives and women at his disposal, why the name of a local Telangana Tawaif was chosen to rename an entire city? First to Bhagyanagar and then immediately to “Hyderabad” after she was renamed as “Hyder Bibi” after her conversion and subsequent “marriage/nikah” to the Quli Qutub Shah?

This cheap distortion of historical facts has been the great “Tehzeeb” and “legacy” of almost all the Muslim invaders. Great Sahitya Academy award-winning historians of the past like the late Sri Suravaram Pratap Reddy and litterateur Prof Dr Biruduraju Rama Raju have written about Sri Bhagyalakshmi temple as well. It is sad that none of the peaceful community members ever manage to read a book or peep into history and rather chose to exhibit their ignorance in public.

COMMUNAL DIS’HARMONY

The tiny Chilla that lies inside the Charminar is a Sufi shrine. Both Bhagyalakshmi temple and this Sufi Chilla lie few feet away from each other as a testimony to the “Communal Harmony” (if you are a pixie dust snorting libtard or non local) and “Bloody History” (if you are local resident who has witnessed or even heard about these gory riots) of Bhagyanagar. The reality and fact remain that Bhagyalakshmi temple is a true testimony to the Hindu heritage of this city and remains to be deeply rooted in the psyche of all the local Hindus. The Marwari population as well as the Telugu residents of Old City revere this small shrine of Sri Bhagyalakshmi as the beholder of auspiciousness and prosperity. Newlywed couples, businessmen, married women, students and devotees of all ages and walks of life throng this temple of Fridays and other festivals to offer their prayers. A freshly minted 1 Rupee or 2 Rupee coin is distributed each year on the holy occasion of Diwali, a tradition that has been continuing since time immemorial. Devotees stand in long queues and await their turn to have darshan of Sri Bhagyalakshmi and receive this coin each year, believing that it would bring them immense wealth and prosperity.


The questions that need a compelling answer are –

What does the city owe to the blood hungry and lust-ridden invaders who savaged the place and several other parts of the country, for this current name of the beautiful city of Bhagyanagar to be retained as Hyderabad?

Why should the invader’s voice be crowned in comparison with the voices of the children of the Saptarishis who belong in name-word-soul to this place and nation?

Bhagyanagar – May the name of auspiciousness, reign!

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