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Dargah Quli Khan: Portrait of a City (Persian)

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Same-Sex Love in India
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Dargah Quli Khan belonged to a family of Persians who migrated to India in the first half of the seventeenth century. He was born in 1710 a.d. in Aurangabad and, at the age of fourteen, joined the service of Nawab Nizamul Mulk Asaf Jah I, autonomous Mughal governor of Dekkan Province. Later appointed official chronicler, Quli Khan was a part of the retinue of Asaf Jah I when he traveled to Delhi. They were in Delhi from June 1738 to July 1741 and witnessed the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1739.

This text has been re-edited three times and translated four times, once into English. This translation is from Muraqqa i Dehli, Persian text with Urdu translation, edited and translated by Khaliq Anjum (New Delhi: Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu [Hind], 1993). The page references are from this edition. This editor seems to have collated the largest number of extant manuscripts. The English translation, Muraqqa-e-Dehli: The Mughal Capital in Muhammad Shah’s Time, by Chander Sheichar and Shama Mitra Chenoy (Delhi: Deputy Publication, 1989), is rife with bowdlerizations.

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  1. For example Stephen Blake, Shahjahanabad: The Sovereign City in Mughal India 1639–1739 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), depends entirely on Dar-gah Quli Khan for re-creating the “popular culture” of the city; see 153–60.

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  2. Chigil: city in Turkestan famous for handsome men and expert archers. See F. Steingass, A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary (New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1992).

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Ruth Vanita Saleem Kidwai

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© 2000 Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai

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Kidwai, S. (2000). Dargah Quli Khan: Portrait of a City (Persian). In: Vanita, R., Kidwai, S. (eds) Same-Sex Love in India. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-62185-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-62183-5

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