Qudsia Bagh: A Testament to Women’s Influence in Mughal Delhi

Qudsia Bagh: A Testament to Women’s Influence in Mughal Delhi

Delhi boasts renowned monuments primarily built by powerful men, yet it also hosts architectural marvels commissioned by prominent women of the Mughal era, showcasing their influence in the empire.

Qudsia Bagh:

Qudsia Bagh, built by Qudsia Begum, wife of Muhammad Shah Rangeela, stands as a testament to the role of influential women in Mughal history.

Location and Description:

Situated in North Delhi, near Kashmere Gate Metro Station, Qudsia Bagh once featured a pleasure garden with pavilions, water channels, and a mosque, set against the backdrop of the Yamuna River.

Historical Significance:

Qudsia Begum, originally Udham Bai, transitioned from a dancing girl to the powerful wife of Muhammad Shah Rangeela. Following her husband’s death, she assumed control of the empire, leaving her mark through architectural endeavors like Qudsia Bagh and the Sunehri Masjid.

Impact of 1857:

During the 1857 uprising, Qudsia Bagh suffered severe damage from the conflict between Indian and British troops. British modifications in the early 20th century and the receding Yamuna River further altered its landscape.

Present Condition:

Today, only the gateway, mosque, and remnants of pavilions remain. Despite its historical significance, many visitors are unaware of its past, viewing it solely as a recreational area.

Restoration Efforts:

Recent efforts by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) aim to revive the Bagh as part of the larger project to restore the Yamuna’s floodplains.


For historians like Swapna Liddle and heritage enthusiasts like Rameen Khan, Qudsia Bagh symbolizes the intertwined fortunes of its founder and the site itself, reflecting the dynamic history of Delhi.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Who commissioned the construction of Qudsia Bagh?
    • A) Shah Jahan
    • B) Aurangzeb
    • C) Qudsia Begum
    • D) Nur Jahan
    • Answer: C) Qudsia Begum
  2. What event led to the severe damage of Qudsia Bagh in 1857?
    • A) A natural disaster
    • B) A royal feud
    • C) A foreign invasion
    • D) A rebellion
    • Answer: D) A rebellion
  3. What is the current status of Qudsia Bagh’s architecture?
    • A) Intact and unchanged
    • B) Partially preserved with modifications
    • C) Completely demolished
    • D) Under restoration
    • Answer: B) Partially preserved with modifications