The Khooni Darwaza is a bloody reminder to the violent past of Delhi. This haunted gate is just opposite to the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi.
Whenever I pass by the Khooni Darwaza, I feel as if I am being watched by some unseen spirits. Do you also get the same feeling?
There are many places in Delhi that give off weird vibes but the Khooni Darwaza takes the cake.
But what makes this ugly looking gate so weird and haunted? What’s the story?
What’s the story behind the haunted Khooni Darwaza?
Several hundred years ago, a king, Sher Shah Suri decided to build walls to defend Delhi. This wall had several gates to allow entry and exit of visitors. You can still see some of those gates even today.
By the way, I am still searching for direct evidence that connects this gate to Sher Shah.
One of those medieval gates still remains and it is named Khooni Darwaza. Probably, the name of this gate was something else during the days of Suri. Was it called the Sher Shah Suri Gate?
Anyways, let’s get back to the story.
Sher Shah Suri died sometime in the 1530s and it was the right time for his arch enemies, the Mughals, to capture Delhi.
The Mughals ruled Delhi and vast parts of India from 1526 until the 18th century and the more famous among them were Akbar and Shahjahan, the maker of Taj Mahal.
Khooni Darwaza- the Jahangir connection
Sandwiched between Akbar and Shahjahan was Jahangir, a person who is marked in history by his cruelty.
Jahangir did not get the Mughal throne easily. His father, Akbar, disliked him and favored Jahangir’s son, Khusrau as the next Mughal Emperor.
Things did not go as planned by Akbar, and ultimately Jahangir became the next Mughal king upon his father’s death.
The new Mughal king was a vindictive man. A few years into his reign and he decided to get back at all his enemies who had opposed him and sided Khusrau.
One of the powerful enemies of Jahangir was Abdur Rahim Khankhana, the son of Bairam Khan. Bairam was a very powerful figure in the early stages of the Mughal Empire and his son, Abdul, was one of the pillars of Akbar’s court.
Abdul was one of the most dangerous enemies of Jahangir and the new king had not forgotten this fact. He was just waiting for the right moment to strike at Abdul.
A time to kill
That moment came one day to Jahangir when some of his servants accused the sons of Abdul of stealing. I think the new king had been planning to trap Abdul’s sons for a long time. It wasn’t an easy job because Abdul was not only a brave man but also very cautious in approach.
Anyways, the two men were tried for this crime and after a few days, the sons of Abdul were sentenced to death by Emperor Jahangir. It was sham trial and everybody knew that the king was getting back at his enemy by cooking up false charges.
The rest, as they say, is history. One fine day, the two boys of Abdul Rahim Khankhana were executed at this Khooni Darwaza. I think they were strangled to death by their executioners. After their death, the two bodies were left to rot in the open; the Emperor had ordered that no one should cremate the bodies.
So this is how the gate of SherShah got its infamous name- Khooni Darwaza (Bloodied Gate).
These murders happened in the early 1600s.
History repeated itself in 1857 at the Khooni Darwaza and this time the victims were again members of the royalty.
That year, in the month of September, Captain Hodson of the East India Company executed the three sons of the last Mughal king at this gate.
The three sons were the thorns in the side of the English in Delhi. These young chaps were behind the murders of several English men and women in Delhi during the events of 1857. The East India Company was itching to get these princes.
It got its opportunity when Hodson managed the surrender of Bahadur Shah and his sons at Humayun Tomb.
When the captured men were being taken to Old Delhi, a mob attacked the party comprising the captives and their captors. It was then that the three Mughal princes were ordered to strip down to their waists and were later shot down in cold blood.
Some places like the Khooni Darwaza always live up to their reputation. Isn’t it?