Iqbal-Ufer of Heidelberg

Posted on November 18, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, >Umar Marwat, History, People, Travel
Total Views: 57568

Owais Mughal and Umar Marwat

My firend Umar Marwat recently drove on Iqbal-Ufer in Heidelberg, Germany. He sends us following photos of signs and views along this road named after one of the greatest poets of the sub-continent, Allama Mohammad Iqbal.

Allama earned his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in philosophy. Germans have paid tribute to him by naming a road after him.

Clicking on photos below will take you to their large size images.

One website here describes the bank (ufer in German) of river Neckar has been named after Iqbal. It is said that many tourists, Pakistanis and others come to Heidelberg just looking for this road.

An excerpt from Dr Thomas Stemmer’s write up on Iqbal where, among other things, he tells about his experience of finding Iqbal-ufer in Heidelberg.

I came across the name Muhammad Iqbal in a very poetic way. The year was 1985 and I had just celebrated my 22nd birthday. My parents had driven me to Heidelberg so that I could start my studies at the South Asia Institute and at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg. I was new to the city, and therefore I enjoyed late evening walks through the streets trying to catch the atmosphere. While strolling through the dawn I developed the habit of reading the names of the streets trying to put them to memory. One evening I felt a strong attraction to the river Neckar. Readily I gave in to that urge, since walking alongside a river surely is an uplifting experience. It was there that I followed a noisy street at the river known as B 37. I already knew this B 37 as Vangerowstraße, but here, close to the city’s centre, the name was different: Iqbal-Ufer. That struck me as odd. Who was Iqbal? I pondered. While walking around I even discovered some sort of a memorial stone with the very same name on it: Iqbal.

I have always had a love for unknown things and I thought I’ve got to find out more about this… However, I might have forgotten about it, since my mind was absorbed in getting accustomed to university life. But the name Iqbal would show up a second time. While selecting the courses I came to know that at the South Asia Institute there was an Iqbal Chair, held by a visiting guest professor from Pakistan. Since the name Iqbal had now presented itself again, I quickly enrolled in the course on Sufi poetry offered by Prof. Malik, who held the Iqbal Chair in those days.

Clicking on photos below will take you to their large size images.

And here is a portion of Heidelberg map showing the location of Iqbal-Ufer.

Photo Credits: Photos are by Umar Marwat


(1) Iqbal-Ufer Heidelberg by Farood Ahmed Kiani, includes photos.
(2) Iqbal The Poet by Dr. Thomas Stemmer
(3) A century of Iqbal in Heidelberg
(4) Map of Heidelberg – showing Iqbal-ufer
(5) Iqbal-Ufer Google Map

16 responses to “Iqbal-Ufer of Heidelberg”

  1. DuFFeR says:

    i love Allama Muhammad AIqbal

  2. Asif says:

    I guess we still may have a place or 2 in Pakistan left that is in Iqbal’s name. Don’t know how long since Pakistan is rapidly being turned into “Bhuttistan”.

  3. Fawad Zakariya says:

    Sorry, hit the send button prematurely.

    Kuch aisa sakoot ka fasooN hai
    Neckar ka kharam bhi sakooN hai

    Khamosh haiN koh-o-dasht-o-darya
    Qudrat hai muraqbe meiN goya

    Aye dil! tu bhi kh’mosh ho ja
    Aaghosh meiN gham ko lay ke so ja

  4. Fawad Zakariya says:

    I am glad Mr. Marwat put these photos up and thanks for the post. I work for a German company headquartered near Heidelberg and travel there fairly frequently from here in the US. Iqbal Ufer is right opposite the Marriott in Heidelberg where I typically stay and I always look at that sign with a sense of pride and picture Iqbal walking around that area almost exactly a 100 years ago (he received his PhD in 1908). This area is very close to the University in Heidleberg. Marriott Hotel overlooks River Neckar which runs right through Heidelberg.

    Baang-e-Dara includes a nazm by Iqbal called “Ek Shaam” and in parentheses below the title it says “Darya-e-Neckar, Heidelberg ke kinare par”. I always reread it when I go to Heidelberg as it captures the environment of that area beautifully:
    Khamosh hai chandani qamar ki
    ShakheiN haiN Kh’mosh har shajar ki

    TaaroN ka Kh’mosh kaarwaN hai
    Yeh qafila be dara rawaN hai

    Khamosh haiN koh-o-dasht-o-darya

  5. Tina says:

    There’s a Jinnah (spelled Cinnah) street in Ankara, Turkey, as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *