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In & Around The Qila


of Bilehra

The ancestors of the Mahmudabad family first settled in Bilehra during the time of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. The Qila, overlooking verdant fields, dates back to the 19th Century.

Rani Kaniz-e-Abid, inherited the Estate from her father in the early 20th Century. It is now home to her son — the Raja of Mahmudabad, whose family has kept her legacy alive. Bilehra continues to have its distinct identity and the Qila is one of the few examples of Georgian architecture in the region.

The Library

The Qila houses one of the best private libraries in India. Books in English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu, and an extensive collection of manuscripts have been painstakingly collected over generations. A large part of our Urdu collection has been digitised by the Rekhta foundation and is now available on their website.

The library can be accessed by appointment only.

The Shrines

Near the Qila of Mahmudabad are located three shrines dedicated to Imam Ali, Imam Hussain and Hazrat-e Abbas. These architectural replicas of the originals in Iraq were built by the family in the 19th century.

The Sangat

The family endowed three Sangats all of which house Hindu temples, and one of which was given to the Udasin sect founded by Guru Nanak's son Sri Chand. The 445 year old Sangat in Mahmudabad speaks volumes about the syncretic culture of Awadh.

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