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Urdu poetry in India goes back to hundreds of years. Read about the evolution, journey and genre of Urdu poetry in India.

Urdu Poetry In India

The Urdu language is a concoction of many languages and tongues. ‘Urdu’ is a Turkish word, which literally means ‘camp’. Delving into history, we see that when Delhi was ruled over by the Muslim sultanate in the late 12th century, the languages spoken around Delhi (mainly Brij Basha and Sauraseni) got heavily immersed with Persian, spoken by the Muslim rulers. At the same time, other languages such as Turkish and Arabic also arrived in India. While the basic grammar structure of the original Indian languages remained intact, the vocabulary encountered significant changes. During the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan, the flourishing language of the region was named Urdu. Subsequently, the language was introduced in the southern region of India, notably Hyderabad Deccan.

Urdu poetry in India took its final shape around the 17th century, after being declared the official language of the court. It was in the 18th century that a phenomenal rise on Urdu poetry was witnessed in India. Many conventions of the poetry came from the Persian, Turkish and Arabic languages. It got a fillip during the 18th century, as there were very few newspapers and means of information available to the people during that time. This made Urdu poetry a valued and rather, intimate form of communication, as regards the social and political tribulations of the time. The most common form of communication was the musha’era, an Arabic tradition where poets would gather and read poems. Read on to know more about Urdu poetry and its forms in India.

Marsiya is an Urdu-Persian poetry form that is recited normally on the death of a dear one. This art form was first originated in Iran, originally originated from Arabic and Persian language, where it was customary to recite Marsiya in order to commemorate and lament the death of Hazrat Hussein and 72 of his comrades during the siege of Karbala. Marsiya generally consists of six-line units, with a rhyming quatrain, and a couplet on a different

The Masnavi that is also sometimes written as Mesnavi in English is a poetic form in Persian, Ottoman and Urdu literature. This poetic form was born in Persia and had a patronage of Ottoman Sultans for centuries. This is evident by the fact that most of the Masnavi that are still available for research are either in Persian or in Persian lashed Urdu.

Qasida is a poetic form that was conceived and developed in pre-Islamic Arabia way before Islam was introduced. Nevertheless this art form was perpetuated in the world through the literary movement that accompanied Islam on its conquest of the world. Qasida is basically a laudatory and elegiac poem that is found in Arabic, Persian and Urdu literatures. An orthodox Qasida is an elaborately structured ode of 60 to 100 lines.

The Rubai that is also known as Rubaiyat in western literature is an Urdu-Persian poetic form. Each Rubai stanza is supposed to be a quatrain, in which lines 1, 2 and 4 all rhyme. Therefore the rhyme sounds as AABA. The general pattern of Rubai is such that the poet uses metaphor and similes in first 3 lines but has to all of a sudden conclude the meaning in the fourth one.

ne of the most dominant and outstanding forms of poetry is Urdu Shayari. Also known as Urdu Sher O Shayari, it is a varied field of poetry that has many different aspects and colors. Each and every "sher" is a short couplet and usually rhymes. It portrays the meaning and beauty of life in a very subtle yet lovely way. The origin of Urdu poetry can be traced to the ancient Arabic and Persian forms of poetry.

Urdu Ghazals
A Ghazal (pronounced "Ghuzzle") is a set of couplets or sher, which is sung as a short song. It is just a musical recitation of a poem. It said to have originated as early as in 10th century Persian poetry and is highly influenced by Arabic and Persian forms of literature. It was given a sense of mysticism in the Urdu language. Ghazals in Urdu language are an extraordinary way to express your innermost feelings of love and romance.

Urdu Nazm
To understand the beauty of Urdu nazm, one should make a comparative analysis of a ghazal and a nazm. Both are complimentary to each other and both have many similarities. Yet, both have their own qualities that make them stand out independently. Nazm in Urdu language is basically a form of poetry that has a smooth flow of rhyme and rhythm and is written in verses.

Urdu Doha
One of the most revered genres of poetry is Urdu Doha. It is a form of independent rhyming couplet in poetry. Used not just in Urdu language, dohas were written in Hindi as well. There are many such books that have been written by famous poets and writers in which big stories have been penned in the form of dohas. There have been many famous writers and poets who have