Sunday, 19 March 2017

Garden Reach: The Forgotten Kingdom of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah

My research into Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of the Kingdom of Oudh (Awadh) started as a simple question – where was he buried? I knew that he had come to Calcutta once the East India Company had dethroned him. But if he had come to Calcutta, would he have died in Calcutta and if he had died in Calcutta, wouldn’t he have been buried in Calcutta? Google threw up a name – Sibtainabad Imambara. But where was this? Further curiosity would lead me to this post on the Astounding Bengal blog. There were scattered newspaper articles on the Nawab as well, but there seemed to be no one place where I could get the complete information. That is when I knew that I would have to do this myself, and as a friend and collaborator, I found Shaikh Sohail, who has the twin advantages of being a resident of the area where the Nawab once stayed and being on good terms with his descendants. More than 100 years after he died, are there any vestiges of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah that still remain?