Hauntingly Beautiful;The Ghosts of Delhi

Delhi is an amazing city, a city of contrasts. So, are the other world capitals like New York and London.

I say contrasts because modern technology rests cheek and jowl with legends and folklore.

In the heart of Delhi is a mediavel citadel, Firoz Shah Kotla. This is in ruinous state and is nestled between the magnificent building of The Times of India and a cricket stadium where cricket matches worth millions of US dollars are played. There is also a Metro track currently being laid in the vicinity.

This haunted citadel was constructed some 400 years ago by a Muslim King. This place used to be on the banks of river Yamuna. But, over the centuries, the river has shifted course and now flows 2 kilometres away from the citadel now.

The citadel is haunted by ghosts, according to people who live close by.

These ghosts are called “djinns” in Arabic and are pleased by the devout by lighting incense sticks and reading holy verses.

How, these djinns came to this god forsaken place is a mystery but you can see the believers worshipping them and making them happy by offering sweet meats , pieces of meat and cooked food.


In the evenings, the place indeed gives a haunted feeling, as if you are not welcome there.

There are good djinns and there are the bad ones too.

Generally, people come here for asking for help in begetting children, getting jobs, regaining health and sexual prowess, how to get rich quick, etc.

But, God forbid, if the malevolent ones get agitated then the life  of the worshipper is doomed, they say.

God knows if these wishes get fulfilled.

The youngsters are hardly bothered about these ghosts. When I last visited the ruined castle, I saw some kids playing cricket !

Several people claim to have seen ghosts appear in the form of cats, dogs etc.


This castle also houses a tower , called Ashoka’s Tower that bears the inscriptions of that famous Indian emperor who made Buddhism famous all over the world.

Close by is an abandoned water tank, known as Baoli , which is now closed to the public.

Just adjacent to the Tower is an old masjid or a mosque that was witness to the massacre of 100,000 Indians in Delhi on the orders of Tamerlame or Timur.

Delhi is such a marvellous place, is’nt it?

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