Visit Qudsia Bagh about eight in the morning, when the trees are filled with barbets, green pigeons, grey hornbills, red-vented bulbuls and pied wagtails. When it’s green, peaceful, and probably as charming as in the 1700s.
Qudsia Begum, the patroness of these gardens, was born Udham Bai, and was a 18th century dancing girl. The Mughal Emperor Mohammad Shah `Rangeela’, smitten by her, married her- but himself died in 1748. He was succeeded by his son Ahmad Shah, in whose reign Udham Bai—now formally titled Qudsia Begum—came into her own. She became the power behind the throne, and began to make her presence felt. The gardens that bear her name were laid out in 1748, and have a turbulent history. ...Read More