Newsletter, September’12 Issue.
Luxe “In the Know”
Khooni Darwaza

One of thirteen remaining gates of the Mughal city Shahajanabad (today known as Old Delhi); Khooni Darwaza literally translates to ‘Bloody Gate’. Gates of Old Delhi were often used to hang bodies, display beheaded skulls and spread fear amongst enemies. This particular gate however, is ruthlessly renowned for its blood-thirsty history starting from the Mughal era to the British Empire.

Located near Delhi Gate on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi, India, the only verified occurrence dates back to the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Often termed the first war of Independence, on September the 22nd, three Mughal Princely sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar were shot by William Hodson.

After a forced unconditional surrender at Humayun’s tomb, Hodson captured and led the three Princes to the Red Fort. On the way, he asked them to get down, stripped them naked, and shot them at point blank. Their bodies were displayed at the gate. Older tales from the Mughal era also contribute to the gate’s name. It is believed that following Akbar’s rule, his son Jahangir ordered some of Akbar’s Navaratnas (a term for the nine extraordinary people in the Emperor’s court) to death at Khooni Darwaza.

Luxe Destination
If you pass by it today, it is merely a dilapidated stone structure; but this is a predicament one tends to face in the historically rich nation of India. She often catches her visitors and inhabitants when they least expect it and unfolds upon them the grandeur, the depth and at times the brutal truth about the past. More often than not, such architectural structures overlap numerous Dynasties and Empires. This diverse overlapping of cultures through time is what makes Khooni Darwaza bizarre, but truly representative in all its dimensions of this Month’s theme.
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