Muzaffar Ahmad Ansari
Muzaffar Ahmad Ansari (Kalley Bhai) is the only tourist guide in Chanderi licensed by the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. He was accredited by Madhya Pradesh Tourism in 2003 after he received Guide Training from Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
For more than 20 years, Muzaffar Ansari has been dedicated towards retracing the history of Chanderi and rediscovering its lost significance. He has been promoting it not just as a tourist destination but also as a place of historical and cultural importance.
He has also acquired vast knowledge in the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, paleography and numismatics. He has considerable expertise in the Persian and Sanskrit languages and is familiar with their scripts. He also has knowledge of ancient Indian languages Prakrit and Pali.
He was responsible for discovering caves with rock paintings including Raja ki Gufain, Chiroli ki Gufain, Aamkho ki Gufain, Bharkhi ki Gufain and Deokani ki Gufain. He was also associated with the discovery of the remains of a Wooly mammoth which were recovered from a field in Sangampur Chak and acknowledged by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
He is an active member of the Guna Ashoknagar Puratatva Sangh, an organization that is involved in the new archeological and historical discoveries that are made in the districts of Guna and Ashoknagar. He is the resident expert on all historical matters and is often asked to read and date any new coins that are recovered from the region.
He also contributed towards the setting up of the Chanderi Museum at Chanderi which was inaugurated on 14th September, 2008. Many of his findings including coins, stone tools, cannon balls, old locks, spearheads, inscribed copper plates etc. have been donated by him and are currently on display at the museum.
Chanderi is a town replete with historical monuments and remains and Mr. Ansari has painstakingly documented each and every one of these structures to provide a comprehensive data source with details such as who it was constructed by, when and for what purpose.
Another one of his achievements is the contribution he made to the study conducted by a French research group in Chanderi from 1990 to 2001. The research resulted in the publication of three volumes in the series Chanderi entitled “Birth and Decline of a Qasba. Chanderi from X to XVIIIth Century” by Prof. Gérard Fussman, Dr. Denis Matringe & Prof. K.L. Sharma.
He has also helped in the research conducted by several scholars who have been working to get their doctorate degrees (PHDs) from universities like Delhi University, Jiwaji University, Nagpur University, Vikram University and others.
He himself has written a book titled Chanderi: Itihas aur Virasat which was published in 2005 and also took out a tourist brochure for the Madhya Pradesh Tourism in 1996. He is also working on another book on Chanderi which is expected to be published soon.
Muzaffar Ansari is a member of the District Tourism Development Committee and member of the Standing Committee of Chanderi City Development Plan. He is also a member of the INTACH Chapter at Chanderi.