ČANDŪ LAʿL (Lāl) ŠĀDĀN, Maharaja, states­man and poet in Persian and Urdu (b. 1175/1761-62, d. 7 Rabīʿ II 1261/15 April 1845 at Hyderabad). He was the son of Raey Narāen Dās, who came from Rai Bareilly (Nassāḵ, p. 237), and belonged to a famous family of Khatris (a Hindu caste) who served the Mughal court in India for a long time and included Rāja Todar Mal (d. 997/1589), the famous minister of Akbar the Great (Qāderī, p. 750; Monšī, p. 2). Šādān had a chequered career. He entered the government service as a clerk of the vegetable market. Later he served as kārpardāz (transactor of business, manager) and re­ceived the title of Rāja Bahādor from the court. He led a successful expedition against Sidat fort (district Kiryah) and Konji Kota. He was then appointed the commis­sioner, a post first held by his grandfather. Soon after Nawwāb Sekandarjāh, the Neẓām of Hyderabad (d. 1244/1829), selected him as pīškār (officer to write the accounts) of his army. Monīr-al-Molk (d. 1248/1832­-33), the prime minister of Hyderabad, assigned all the financial and judicial affairs of the state to him. In 1235/1819-20 Čandū Laʿl received the title of Mahārāja from Sekandarjāh, who, once witnessing his generosity, also awarded him one crore rupees. In 1237/1821-22 he became the head of seven thousand horsemen. He received the title of Rāja-ye Rājagān from Nawwāb Naṣīr-al-Dawla who used to visit his house. After the death of Monīr-al-Molk in 1248/1832-33, Čandū Laʿl succeeded him as prime minister, a post he held for over a decade and resigned from it in 1260/1844 to die the next year in 1261/1845 at the age of eighty-six (Ṯamīna, p. 205).

Čandū Laʿl, himself a good poet (Jawhar, p. 236; Saksena, p. 390), was a great patron of men of letters, and his generosity attracted a good number of Persian and Urdu poets and writers of the time to his court. He invited Ebrāhīm Khan Ḏawq (d. 1271/1854), a famous Urdu poet and guide of Bahādoršāh Ẓafar (d. 1862), the last Mughal ruler of India, to his court but the latter, preferring to be in Delhi, declined the offer (Āzād, p. 488). It was once suggested to Mīrzā Asad-Allāh Khan Ḡāleb (d. 1285/1869), the great Persian and Urdu poet, that he should contact Čandū Laʿl for financial help, but he declined because of Šādān’s relations with his adversaries Qatīl and Naṣīr (Motafarreqāt-a Ḡāleb, p. 102). He studied Persian poetry with Moḥammad-ʿAlī Qatīl (Sri Rām, p. 372) and Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ (d. 1247/1831-32) and Urdu poetry with Shah Naṣīr (d. 1254/1838-39; Nassāḵ, p. 237). Despite his heavy schedule of administrative affairs he found time to attend the assemblies of men of letters at his court and take part in their discussions. His own poetical work, characterized by sublimity of thought and simplicity of style by Ḥosaynī (p. 7) includes the following Persian works: a Kollīyāt (not yet published) consisting of the following works: Ešrat-­kada-ye āfāq, in prose, dealing with the Āṣafiya family and strange incidents (published in Hyderabad); a Maṯnawī-e maʿnawī in 4,025 couplets, composed in the style of Rūmī’s maṯnawī; three dīvāns of ḡazals: Dīvān-e ḡazalīyāt-e ūlā (compl. 1236/1820-21), Dīvān-e ḡazalīyāt-e ṯānī (compl. 1238/1822-23), and Dīvān-e ḡazalīyāt-e ṯāleṯ (date not known); 120 robāʿīs; nine qaṣīdas (three in praise of Sekandarjāh); a short maṯnawī in 34 couplets (in the style of Saʿdī’s Būstān; comp. 1803-29); and a number of moḵammas, tarjīʿbands, qeṭʿas, fards, and mostażāds.

Only one dīvān of his Urdu poetry has been published.



Sayyed ʿAbd-Allāh, Adabīyāt-e fārsī m e Henduõ kā ḥeṣṣa (in Urdu), Lahore, n.d., p. 230.

M.-Ḥ. Āzād, Āb-e ḥayāt (in Urdu), Lahore, n.d., p. 488.

C. Cample, Glimpses of the Nezam’s Domain, Bombay, 1899, p. 317.

Central Record Of­fice, The Chronology of Modern Hyderabad, Hyder­abad, 1954, p. 107, 144, 147.

Mīrzā Asad-Allāh Khan Ḡāleb, Motafarreqāt-e Ḡāleb, ed. M.-Ḥ. Rażawī, Rāmpur, 1947, p. 102.

Q. S. K. Husaini, “The Contribution of Hindu Poets and Writers of Hyderabad Deccan to Persian Literature,” in Proceedings of the All India Oriental Conference, Lucknow, 1952, p. 7.

Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Khan Jawhar, Golzār-e Āṣafīya, n.p. (Maṭbaʿ-e Moḥammadī), 1308/1890-91, p. 236.

Čandū Laʿl Šādān, Dīvān-e awwal-e Šādān (in Urdu), Hyderabad, n.d., preface by K. P. Šād, pp. 1­-24.

Idem, Kollīyāt-e fārsī, ms. no. 2502, Hyderabad Museum, Hyderabad. R. B. Saxena, History of Urdu Literature, Allahabad, 1927; Urdu tr. M. ʿAskari, Lucknow, p. 390.

Laʿlā Sri Rām, Ḵom-ḵāna-ye jāvīd (in Urdu) IV, Delhi, 1325 Š./1946, pp. 372.

ʿAbd-al­ Jabbār Khan Malkapūrī, Taḏkera-ye šoʿarāʾ-e Dakan. Maḥbūb al-Zamān I (Urdu), Hyderabad, n.d.

K. S. Modiraj, Pictorial Hyderabad II, Hyderabad, 1934, p. 130.

A. Monšī, Ḥayāt-e Todar Mal (in Urdu), Lahore, n.d., pp. 2-3.

ʿAbd-al-Ḡafūr Khan Nassāḵ, Soḵan-a šoʿarā, Nawal Kishore, 1291/1874, p. 237.

Fayż-Allāh Češtī Qāderī, Ḵazāna-ye gawhar-e sāhvār, ms. no. 442, Āṣafīya Library, Hyderabad.

Š. Ṯamīna, Mahārāja Čandū Laʿl Šādān. Ḥayāt-e-Karnamey (in Urdu), Hyderabad, 1983.

(Sharif Husain Qasemi)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 7, pp. 756-757