27 Mar 2024

Bhopal's Exclusive Tradition: Grand Iftar Celebrations Define City's Essence

Bhopal, nestled in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, stands out as the sole city where grand Iftar gatherings are meticulously orchestrated. Throughout the sacred month of Ramadan, these Iftar feasts symbolize the very essence of the City of Lakes. Rooted in tradition, the communal breaking of fasts, known as Roza Iftar, holds a revered place in the cultural tapestry of Bhopal.

With a heritage akin to Delhi, Hyderabad, and Lucknow, among other illustrious cities, Bhopal distinguishes itself as a hub for large-scale Iftar gatherings within Madhya Pradesh. These gatherings, reminiscent of joyous wedding festivities, unfold within the opulent halls and lush gardens of the city. Devout observers of Ramadan congregate to partake in collective prayers and indulge in delectable culinary delights.

In its nascent stages, these gatherings found their home in historic landmarks like Hameed Manzil, resonating with the echoes of bygone eras. However, as times evolved, the ambiance shifted to encompass the sprawling wedding venues and manicured gardens, enhancing the grandeur of the Iftar experience. Amidst the harmonious blend of social, familial, and religious fervor, Bhopal's Iftar feasts emerge as a spectacle to behold throughout the month of Ramadan.

A Revered Tradition: The Legacy of 'Sath Sath Roza Iftar...!'

Several years preceding the onset of the Covid era, a monumental event unfolded at the revered Iqbal Maidan in the capital. Dubbed as 'Sath Sath Roza Iftar...!' (Roza Iftar Together), this historic initiative bore testament to the collective vision of Bhopal's esteemed social activists, including Iqbal Baig, Zafar Alam Khan, and Javed Baig.

What commenced as a modest endeavor swiftly burgeoned into a colossal affair, drawing throngs of enthusiastic participants from across the city. The mission was clear—to extend the spirit of Iftar to individuals navigating Bhopal for various works, solitary students, professionals, and the kin of patients seeking solace in the city's myriad hospitals surrounding Iqbal Maidan.

For years, this noble tradition thrived, with dignitaries mingling seamlessly alongside those in need, transcending religious boundaries with Hindus also partaking in the festivities. However, owing to political constraints, the past two years witnessed a ban on public gatherings at Iqbal Maidan, marking a somber end to this illustrious event.

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