Persian poet Abdul Qadir Bedil is revered in Central Asia

Abdul Qadir Bedil's garden is hidden near Pragati Maidan, opposite the Matka Peer Dargah, where a green structure peeps from behind the trees. A yellow board near the entrance reads 'Bagh-e-Bedil'.

Bedil's garden is a forlorn one. A celebrated Persian poet of the 17th century, his grave lies forgotten on the Mathura Road today.

Born in Azimabad (now Patna), Bedil (1644-1720) was attached to the court of Mughal prince Mohammad Azam. He was of Chagatai-Turk descent. Scholars believe that Bedil, who mostly wrote ghazals and rubayees, was in the same league as Ghalib. Bedil has apparently received more academic attention abroad than in India.

The poet still enjoys huge popularity in Central Asia, and particularly in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. "In Central Asia, even if you ask an illiterate person, he will refer to him as 'Bedil saheb'. That's the kind of respect he commands,"

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