144 BHOPiL CITY
great wall was laid in ruins, and it was not till Nazar Muhammad's rule
in the nineteenth century that it commenced to recover. Times were,
however, still unsettled, and the houses erected even then were poor
structures with thatched roofs. Up to the end of Kudsia Begam's rule,
indeed, the population consisted mainly of Afghan adventurers seeking
military service, who had no intention of settling down. Nawab Jahàngir;
however, tried to induce people to settle permanently and build good
houses. As a preliminary step he himself removed the troops, a some-
what disturbing element, out of the city limits to Jahangirabad on
the south side of the lake. Sikandar Begam on her accession, with
the characteristic energy which distinguished her rule in every branch,
at once set to work to improve the city by making proper roads and
lighting them with lamps. Shah Jahan Begam added many buildings,.
of which the Taj Mahal and Bard Mahal palaces, the great Tâj-ul-Masajid
mosque as yet incomplete, the Làl Kothi, the new Central or Prince of
Wales's Hospital, the Lady Lansdowne Hospital for women, and the
new jail are the most important. Many buildings are being added
by the present chief, who is founding the new suburb of Ahmadabad
some distance west of the city.
There are no buildings of antiquarian interest and few of architectural
merit in the city. Many of the streets, however, are by no means
devoid of beauty, the irregularity of the houses which form them,
the sudden turns, and the great gateways which pierce the walls of
bigger dwellings adding much to the picturesqueness. Of individual
buildings, the great unfinished mosque of Shah Jahan Begam is the only
one with any pretensions to architectural merit, though the Jama Masjid
of Kudsia Begam, built of a fine purple-red sandstone, and the Mod
Masjid are not unpleasing. The palaces, an irregular pile of buildings
added to by each successive ruler and constructed without any definite
plan, have little to recommend them. The influence of European
architecture is noticeable everywhere, and markedly so in the buildings
now under construction.
The Fatehgarh fort, built in the usual style, can never have been
a very formidable stronghold as regards either its position or structure.
It now contains a State granary, an arsenal of old arms, and nine -
old guns on the ramparts. A finely illuminated copy of the Koran,
5 feet 2-Iff inches long, is also kept here.
Since the opening of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway line in 1885,
and the Bhopal-Ujjain branch in 1895, the trade of the city has expanded
rapidly and with it the population, which has been: (1881) 55,402,
(1891) 70,338, and (1901) 77,023. Hindus number 33,052, or 43 per
cent. ; Musalmans, 41,888, or 54 per cent. ; and Jains, 1,327.
The principal articles exported are grain, cotton, poppy seeds, til,
opium, ghi, hides, and horns; the imports are salt, sugar, hardware, and