Burhanpur - dotted with many historical monuments is a small town in Madhya Pradesh, barely 20 km away from the Maharashtra border. Situated on the north bank of the Tapti River, Burhanpur remains a city of architectural importance, but its fame rests largely as a pilgrimage for Bohra Muslims as well as for Sikhs.
Burhanpur was founded in 1388 by Malik Nasir Khan, the Faruqi dynastys Sultan of Khandesh who named it after the medieval Sufi saint, Burhan-ud-Din, and made it the capital of the Khandesh Sultanate. Burhanpur, also known as the Gateway of South, was separated from the Khanda district of the state and became an independent district in itself on August 15, 2003.
Historical monuments in Burhanpur date back to the Mughal era, specifically to the time of Shah Jahan, who was a regular visitor and made several additions to the Shahi Qila, the magnificent palace located on the eastern flank of the Tapti river. Although most of the palace is in ruins, the surviving structures still display exquisite carvings, sculptures and intricate paintings on the ceilings. Interestingly, one of these paintings depicts a monument, which is said to be the inspiration for the glorious Taj Mahal.
In 1600, the Mughal Emperor Akbar captured Burhanpur, and for a century thereafter, until Aurangzeb's death in 1707, it remained integral to Mughal ambitions in the Deccan.
Burhanpur is the land of diverse culture. The many fairs and festivals for every occasion reflect the diverse cultural heritage of the region. Celebration of festivals like Diwali, Navratri and Holi is marked by the coming together of the entire community. The other popular festivals of Burhanpur include fifteen-day Balalji Mela, Navratri Garba, Devi Utshav, Guru Govind Singhji Prakash Utsav, Moharrum, Mahaveer Jayanti Utsav, Kabir Saheb Beejak teaching classes for 21 days, Boharas-Urs-dargah-e-hakimi, Bhagwat recital Saptah, Akhaskhya Trithia and Baragadi. Since the 16th century, Burhanpur is engaged in the manufacturing and export of kalabattu-jari (gold-silver thread work on cloth) and malmal. Known for its fine cloth manufacturing, gold wire art and other crafts, it is rightly known as the commercial capital for the power loom textile industries.
Burhanpur is a historical town with many monuments, mausoleums and buildings built during the Farukhi dynasty and Mughal dynasty. The built heritage includes a number of mosques, tombs, gurudwaras, forts and gardens of which Shahi Jama Masjid, Shahi Qila and the imposing Asirgarh fort are the best known. Faurkhi Mausoleum, Akbari Mausoleum, Begum Shahsuza's Mausoleum, Shahanwaz Khan's Mausoleum and Black Mosque depict the Muslim architecture in design and pattern .The Lal Kila and the Dargah-e-Hakimi built by Akbar is a popular place of pilgrimage for Bohra Muslim. Burhanpur also houses the ingenious system of water supply system engineered by the Mughal, which is counted among some highly appreciated engineering works done during Mughal dynasty in India.
There are regular bus services that connect Burhanpur with Bhopal, Jalgoan, Indore, Omakareshwar, Khandwa, Khargone, Ujjain, Maheshwar and Dhar. Burhanpur has its very own railway station, which falls on Mumbai-Allahabad central rail route. There is direct train connectivity with important tourist destinations and cities like Agra, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal etc. The nearest airport is Devi Ahilya Bai International Airport at Indore. Indore has good flight connectivity with other major airports of the country.