The Gate With A Gory History - Dilli's Khooni Darwaza

Photo of The Gate With A Gory History - Dilli's Khooni Darwaza 1/1 by Anjali Chawla

I've traversed past Khooni Darwaza (bloody gate, literally) many a times before but recently I discovered the bloody history behind it. This gate was built by Sher Shah Suri for the city bulit by him, Shergarh and was referred as Kabuli Darwaza as caravans to Afghanistan would pass through this gate. It's also called Lal Darwaza because of the red sandstone it is made of.

Rarely, the people who past by this gate know about the gory history attached to it (I was on of them few days back).

Backtracked to past, the 4th Mughal emperor Jahangir executed Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana's two sons after taking over the throne; Rahim was the chosen one of his late father, Akbar, and he presumably was antagonistic of Jahangir being delegated as Emperor. 

Rahim's sons bodies were hung on this gate and left to rot. Jahangir's grandson Aurangzeb coercively confiscated the rule from his father Shahjahan, murdered his elder brother Dara Shikoh and hung his head on this gate for public display.

Emperor Bahadurshah Zafar surrendered to the the British during Great Revolt of 1857 and while Captain Hodson was taking the Emperor’s sons Mirza Mughal and Mirza Khizr Sultan and grandson Mirza Abu Bekar from Humayun’s Tomb, huge crowd gathered at this gate.  Anticipating the attack upon himself and rescuing of princes, the captain shot the princes in cold blood and stripped them of precious jewels, bejewelled swords as a trophy and the bodies were eventually left to rot near kotwali in Chandani Chowk.

The gate saw havoc even during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947; numerous refugees were killed here by protesting hordes while traversing to Purana Qila (Old Fort) which was a designated safety camp during partition.

The gate has been locked since the student of Maulana Azad Medical College was raped here in 2002.

I never knew that a plain and docile looking gate has so many bloody stories to tell!

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