Anarkali (pomegranate blossom) is a famous character in Pakistan and India. She was a legend and so popular in these countries. She was bulwark alive in the era of 3rd Mughal King the Akbar. He objected on her love with a prince as she was a lady of the evening (concubine).
Mariam uz Zamani was the name of Prince Saleem’s mother. It is said that after the 14 long years Prince Saleem came back after the learning of battle’s skills and discipline. His father arranged a great function to celebrate that event. A lovely girl Nadira performed her dance in this event; she was the daughter of Noor Khan. She was so beautiful and touched the Prince’s heart. He called her with the name of blossoming pomegranate, the Anarkali. He explains his feeling about this girl to King Akbar. King disliked the choice of his son and refused her. This matter became a conflict between the son and the father. Prince made his own army to free her behind the bars and succeeded at last. Afterwards Akbar arranged a big attack on the army of his son and defeated them.
King gave 2 choices to his son 1st one was to surrender the Anarkali and 2nd one was die. Saleem chose the 2nd option of die and ask his father to kill him but that girl could not see this scene and asked King to kill her. In her last wish she asked to spend a whole night in the arms of her love, which was granted. Right after that night a large trench was waiting to receive her. A wood board was used to strap her and the royal soldiers put her down to that trench. At the end it was covered with the bricks and she was buried alive in it.
(On the other hands few authors say that King Akbar gave her a chance to escape with her mother from the secret tunnel of that trench. He ordered them to leave the premises of his empire). There is a big conflict among the authors regarding this matter.
She got the penalty of the death by following the crude customs of that time. She was sent behind the bar and at the end rampart alive. In the era of 4th Mughal King Jahangir, Prince Saleem asked him to build a tomb on that place where his love died. He was granted to build a tomb for the Anarkali in Lahore. This story is well known in the youth and children of India and Pakistan. It takes you to the valley of imaginations and thoughts.
In the history this character was used for many films, stages and dramas. Film “Mughal-e-Azam! (The great Mughal) is an example of it. It has done a very good business in the box office of India and Pakistan. It truly is an amazing character of the peoples of subcontinent. Another Indian movie “Anarkali” was also dedicated to her life and death. Both these movies were romantic.
It is said that Anarkali bazaar of Lahore was the place where King buried her. Her tomb cannot be visited by the tourists though because this building if performing few official functions for the provincial Government. British made a Church in it while Sikhs used it for the living purposes. It is the office of the Punjab Secretariat now days. The tomb of Anarkali contains a big dome and four small towers on its corner. 99 names of Allah Almighty with few Persian verses are written on its walls. Prince put his wish to put the face of his beloved for once more before the day of his death. Once this place was surrounded by the beautiful flowers but currently huge buildings are around it. Anarkali Bazaar is situated very next to this building which is also very popular from last 200 years.