So, here we go checking out the sights and sounds of Delhi.
Bathrooms are for bathing and not for ordering executions, is’nt it?
You are seeing a hamam , a mediavel era bathroom within the Red Fort in Delhi. Travelers to Delhi can’t miss the Red Fort but, what they do miss is the ghastly and at times, sensuous stories about hamams.
He was succeeded by his son Aurangzeb who came to power after killing and driving away his brothers. This gentleman imprisoned his father, Shahjehan away in Agra so he could rule in peace , from Delhi.
Coming back to this hamam- the Emperor did more than just take a bath here: he consulted his aides on matters of administration and military campaigns.
And he also gave orders for execution of his rivals from the hamam. It was a well guarded place and very few trusted people could come inside.
It was a rainy day in July, 1657,that the Emperor, semi clad in his bathing robes and pouring perfumed water over his body, took a decision- Finish Dara! Dara was his eldest brother and had lost out in the bitter battle of succession to the throne.
Such, were the uses of this hamam that you see above.
The Sensuous Affairs
Let’s now move to the more sensuous happenings of another hamam.
Back in the 1200s , the then Delhi Sultan, who was a successor to Iltutmish, was a licentious guy.
He used to make his harem women compete with each other for his affections: who would share the royal bed with him for the next few days!
Beautiful women, dressed to the minimum and each holding a lighted candle, used to cavort in the heavily perfumed waters of his harem. Those whose candles remained lighted after the orgies were over, were declared the winners and the Royal Bed was theirs!
No trace of this particular hamam is left today. It was most probably located in the southern part of Delhi, near Humayun,s Tomb.There used to be a village called Kilokri or Kilokhri near the river Yamuna that housed that hamam. Not much is known of the history Kilokri or Kilokhri .
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He had more than 700 ladies in his harem, but his lust was insatiable.They called him, “Emperor Colourful”.What is the story?
Delhi, the capital of India was the seat of power of the Mughals for for more than 150 years.
This powerful dynasty,which sprung from the genes of the Great Mongol, Ghenghis Khan and Tamerlame, had battled the ancient kingdoms of India, uprooted them, constructed the marvellous buildings like the Taj Mahal and Shahjahanabad, was now staring at decay during the beginning of the 18th century.
Relentless attacks by the Hindu armies belonging to Rajput,Jat,Maratha and Sikh groups over much of the 17th century had corroded away the vital innards of the Mughal empire. Aurangzeb, the son of Shahjahan had passed away in 1707 AD and was succeeded by his aged son, Bahadur Shah.This king passed away in 1712 AD.
The Marathas, Jats and Rajputs used to strike at will and the Mughal emperors could do nothing but compromise with the attackers.
It was more or less a tottering empire and this post is about the doddering emperors of that time.
It was under these circumstances that Jahandar Shah ascended the throne in Delhi on March 29, 1712 He was 51 years at that time.and was a lech in every sense of the term.His day started with endless pegs of liquor and expensive wine and ended with orgies with the countless beautiful ladies of his harem.It is estimated that there were more than 700 maids in his harem.The annual budget for the upkeep of these desirable beauties was more than 2 crore Indian Rupees!
The king wanted a new, virgin maiden every night for his carnal pleasures.His trusted men used to fan out in the nights and kidnap unsuspecting girls.It was terrifying for the common Delhi citizen to step out in the night with his wife or daughter.Such was Delhi, then, more than 300 years back.
One day, Jahandar called his minister and told him he was bored with his existing harem of women and wanted a fresh, virgin maiden.”One who has not been spoilt by either glance or touch by any man”, Jahandar explained.
The minister was filled with consternation as it was becoming difficult by the day to find such beauties.But,this was an order and had to be carried out else, the minister ran the risk of severe punishment.Where can I find such a woman of incomparable beauty, he wondered?He spread his spies all over Delhi a and very soon found success.
He found Lalkunwar, a courtesan and what a very beautiful woman she was!The lady, when told about the king’s intentions, was filled with ambition and thanked her stars for this golden opportunity.Of course, the minister was relieved.
Jahandar received his latest prized possession with a great show of pomp and the lady was accommodated in the best apartment of his harem.It is needless to say that his wives and other concubines were filled with misery on the arrival of Lalkunwar.
Lalkunwar was indeed the most beautiful of the king’s ladies.She had a sense of humour,sang well, had a good voice and could sense the mood of the king with an intuition that very few of us possess.Over a period of time,the king used to consult her on matters related to his “kingdom”.It was indeed a great promotion for an ordinary courtesan to being the confidante’ of the Mughal emperor of Delhi and India!
It was the month of July, the month when rain clouds come over Delhi and give respite to its people from the terrific heat, and the king and his girlfriend were cavorting.Countless pegs of the choicest wines over, the king rolled over his soft bed and soon enough was in a deep sleep.Lalkunwar too followed suit.Outside their apartment, a gentle moist breeze that wafted over from Yamuna created a sensual ambience.
As the clock struck 2 am, Lalkunwar woke up with a cold sweat.She was shivering and her breath was shallow.The king, too woke up after hearing this disturbance, and saw his beloved in a disturbed state.
“What is the matter, sweetheart?”, he enquired.
“Your majesty, I dreamt that a young handsome child was calling me Mama, and he was seated on your throne!I am pregnant, my lord!”
Jahandar gazed at her for a minute , collected himself and then said, “That is indeed good news, my lady, I have been longing to hear it! Let us go the mausoleum of the Saint Nasiruddin in Chirag and pay our obeisance there.”
Chirag is a suburb of Delhi and the mausoleum here was constructed in the year 1373 by another king, Firozshah.
My lord, we have not wed each other, how will the young one become the king, she asked.
Do not worry, we shall get married within no time , my love, but let us first go to the mausoleum of the saint.We will also take a bath in the pond, just you and me, and later, get married, the king said.
You may also read this post on the murderous Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb;
Lalkunwar, greatly relieved with the king’s intention, embraced her lover and the two naked bodies again went into a lovemaking session.
Next morning, the king and his lover prepared themselves for the short trip and the bath that was to follow it.A handsome elephant was brought to the palace courtyard bedecked in gold sequinned textiles, its howdah was made of gold and its chains glimmered in the sunlight.Both the lovers climbed over the royal elephant and thus began a short journey to the mausoleum of the saint.
Jahandar and his girlfriend made their obeisance to the long dead saint and gave away alms and money to the assembled beggars there.The beggars showered their blessings to the couple and left.Gradually, the day drew to a close.
As it became dark, the amorous duo made way to the pond adjoining the tomb.Filled with anticipation and lust, they became tearing away each other’s expensive clothes;clothes that were encrusted with ruby and emeralds and diamonds..
Completely disrobed, the two lovers entwined each other.Jahandar, carried his lover in his arms, showering her face and breasts with passionate kisses.She returned the affection promptly and the full moon covered itself with the monsoon laden dark clouds , too embarrassed to see this orgy.
The Mughal slowly and with great care led Lalkunwar to the deeper part of the pond.She was engrossed in the affections of the Mughal- the descendant of Akbar and the other great Mughals- so did not care.The king’s smiling face was all that she cared about.The frolics continued.
Suddenly, and without any warning, the Mughal grabbed her head and plunged it under water.Lalkunwar was caught completely offguard.Arms thrashing, she wanted to break free.What has happened to my lover, she wondered.The king did not give any quarter, his pressure on her head grew even more and more.She sank deeper and deeper, she wanted to cry out but could’nt.Her mouth gulped a lot of water and the lungs wanted to explode.She knew she was dying.
Lalkunwar, the chief girlfriend of the Mughal emperor of Delhi and India was now dead and there was no inheritor to the throne that could pose a threat to the royal heritage of the Mughals.An illegitimate child could not be tolerated as the Mughal emperor of India!
This alley is just one and half metres broad but has enough space to house at least a hundred jewellers.
Called , Kucha Mahajan, this gulley or alley is located on the Main Street of Chandni Chowk, Delhi.
It is amazing how so many of the jewellers sit comfortably in such a crammed place like this.
Amazing, is’nt it?
We in India believe in the principle of reincarnation. Humans are born each day and each day we die but, the soul remains and attains another body- so the core principle of Hinduism says. Is it any wonder that in the accompanying video, a monkey is seen worshipping in an Indian temple? Watch on! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qug1XLJrbn0 Courtesy; Vikatan newspaper