Mirza Ghalib

Mirza Ghalib

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Category: Literature

Mirza Ghalib Profile

  • Name:
  • Mirza Ghalib
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Agra
  • Profession / Known For:
  • Poet
  • Spouse:
  • Umrao Begum

Mirza Ghalib Biography

Mirza Ghalib, known as Ghalib or Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan is one of the golden names of Urdu literature. He was a classical Urdu and Persian poet from the Mughal Empire during British colonial rule who used the pen name, Ghalib. His honorific was Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula. During his lifetime the Mughals were eclipsed and later empire came under British power with the year 1857. His ghazals are precious gems of Indian literature and all Hindi and Urdu poets see Ghalib as their true model and inspiring phenomenon. Majority of his ghazals were written during Mughal era and have been interpreted in different forms by common name. Doordarshan has made a popular television serial based on this great poet modern India has ever witnessed where Naseeruddin Shah played the lead role. Mirza Ghalib was the serial telecasted in 1988. In 1954, a film was made in Hindi with the same title where lead roles were played by Bharat Bhushan and Suraiya.


Mirza was born in Kala Mahal in Agra. His birth place has now converted to Indrabhan Girls' Inter College and birth room is preserved within the college. He was born on 27 December 1797 into a family descended from Aibak Turks who moved to Samarkand. He was married to Umrao Begum, daughter of Nawab Ilahi Bakhsh Khan of Loharu around 1810 and he lost all the seven children before he reached 30. The pain is well reflected in his poetry too. Ghalib started composing poetry at the age of 11.


In 1850, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II bestowed upon Mirza Ghalib the titles "Dabir-ul-Mulk", 'Mirza Nosha' and "Najm-ud-daula" thus incorporating him into the nobility of Delhi. Mirza Ghalib was appointed as his poet tutor in 1854 under whom Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza, eldest son of Bahadur Shah II learnt. He was also named the royal historian of Mughal Court by the emperor. He died in Delhi on 15 February 1869. The house where he lived in Old Delhi has been converted to ‘Ghalib Memorial' and houses a permanent Ghalib exhibition.  

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Updated: January 10, 2014

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