Delhi is a never-ending maze. It’s alive, writhing and growing, changing at every turn and metamorphosing into a new place every day. It’s progressing and contemporary at every turn, rising and dipping into something so unique, it can never be replicated. Like a game of Snake, it grows, feeding on the hopes, aspirations, and dreams of its citizens, and produces even higher aspirations. There is, however, another part of Delhi. The city of djinns, the abode of magic, and home of legends, where a large part of life is still associated with myths and rumours, with ghosts and supernatural activities. Tales, often told in a slow, gravelly voice of a old person, can be heard in the long-forgotten, and some newly discovered nooks and crannies of Delhi, particularly those in Purani Dilli, an place that feels forgotten in time.

Just below the walls of the citadel is the shrine of Bhure Mian, whose "jalal" was such that not even a bird could fly over his grave. If it did so, it just dropped dead. Old Delhiwallahs believe that every Thursday a procession, led by the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar and his queen, Zeenat Mahal, comes out of the Lahore Gate, and after going around the Red Fort, goes back inside silently. Many years ago, the caretaker of the fort, Asghar Ali Khan, disclosed that he had seen medieval spirits in the Diwan-i-Aam and the Diwan-i-Khas while on his nightly rounds.

Another story heard time and again in the lanes of Old Delhi is of the cemetery at Kashmiri Gate. While going towards Kashmiri Gate, there comes the Lothian Bridge. The road running along it leads to an old cemetery in Delhi, and has graves that date back to the time of the East India Company. This place is apparently haunted by spirits of white men and women buried here. Kashmiri Gate itself was believed to be haunted by a white lady who sat outside it smoking a cigarette and surprising travellers by suddenly appearing in front of them. Sadly, the gate has been closed and a new entrance to ISBT made by knocking off a part of the old city wall. So the white lady seems to be passing her nights alone, as nobody goes past her now. Just across the road is Nicholson's Cemetery, where the legendary Brigadier-General John Nicholson is buried. He died during the Mutiny and is believed to have a restless spirit. People try not going to the cemetery in the evening, but till recently, drug addicts found it a safe haven.

New Delhi, too, has its share of ghosts. The Khooni Darwaza is believed to be haunted by the three princes who were shot dead there by Lieutenant William Hodson in 1857. The grounds around a newspaper office near Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg are apparently haunted by an old man who annoys anyone found sleeping outside. There's a resident ghost in Connaught Circle too, who goes past Scindia House, but only those with a sixth sense can see the burly spectre.

All in all, Delhi is simply the most fascinating place to live in. Beyond the political intrigues, lies a world so mystical and enchanting, one can get lost in it without trying. At all.

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    The Antiquity 2013 Blog. The place where we discover, debate and discuss about myths, legends and all things interesting. Come join us.


    February 2013