|Town or city||Delhi|
|Painting of the Khooni Darwaza|
Coordinates: Khooni Darwaza (Hindi:खूनी दरवाज़ा, Urdu خونی دروازہliterally The Gate of Blood), also referred to as Lal Darwaza (Hindi:लाल दरवाज़ा, Red Gate), is located near Delhi Gate, on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi, India. It is one of the 13 surviving gates in Delhi. It was just south of the fortified Old Delhi constructed by Sher Shah Suri.
Khooni Darwaza was situated on an open tract of land before the rise of modern buildings around it. It lies today on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg opposite the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket ground, which lies to its east. To the west is the entrance to the Maulana Azad Medical College. It lies about half a kilometre to the south of the Delhi Gate of Old Delhi.
The Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate) earned its name after the three princes of the Mughal dynasty - Bahadur Shah Zafar's sons Mirza Mughal and Khizr Sultan and grandson Mirza Abu Bakr, were shot by a British Soldier, Captain William Hodson on September 22, 1857 during the Indian Rebellion (also known as the Indian Mutiny or the First War of Indian Independence). Hodson obtained the surrender of the Emperor, and the next day asked for an unconditional surrender from the three princes at Humayun's Tomb. Hudson arrested about 16 members of the Emperor's family and was transporting them from the fort in horse driven carriage accompanied by a platoon of 100 "Savars" or mounted soldiers. On reaching this gate, he was stopped and surrounded by thousands of Muslims, with white cloth tied on their foreheads (a symbol for the shroud) Jehais or Gazis. Hudson latter recalled, "I was surrounded on all side by Ghazis as far as my eyes could see.". According to Archaeological Survey of India's, board on the site/gate, it says Hudson, made them remove their "upper" garments) and using his service "sword" he "hacked"/cut the heads of all three sons, and entered the carriage and "slaughtered all men, women and children." Others assert that Hodson ordered the three to get down at the spot, stripped them naked and shot them dead at point blank range. The bodies were then taken away and put up for public display in front of a Kotwali.
The Khooni Darwaza was an archway during the revolt of 1857 and not a gate in its traditional sense. It is often mistaken for the original Kabul Gate of Old Delhi.
A lot of legends have since been woven around the place possibly as a result of the depressing name. A few legends attributed to the place, but are unlikely to have occurred at the location (it is probable that these incidents took place at the Kabul Gate):
- Emperor Jehangir who succeeded his father Akbar to the throne was resisted by some of Akbar's Navaratnas. He ordered two sons of Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, one of the Navratnas, be executed at this gate. Their bodies were left to rot at the gate.
- Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan's son) defeated his elder brother Dara Shikoh in the struggle for the throne and had his head displayed at the gate.
- The gate is supposed to have seen bloodshed in 1739 when Delhi was ransacked by Nadir Shah of Persia. However, this is also disputed - according to some sources, this massacre occurred at another gate of the same name located in the Dariba locality of Chandni Chowk.
- A few stories also refer to the place being called Khooni Darwaza during the Mughal reign but there is no record of any mention of the name before 1857.
During the riots of 1947, more bloodshed occurred near the gate when several refugees going to the camp established in Purana Qila were killed here.
Khooni Darwaza is today a protected monument under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India.
It gained more notoriety in December 2002, when a medical student was raped there by three youths. The incident sparked much uproar and was also discussed in the Parliament of India. Following the incident, the monument was sealed to the general public.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Khooni Darwaza.|
- "Hindu online". Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- "India Heritage". Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- "Yahoo news". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- "Mention in Rajya Sabha". Retrieved December 3, 2006.[dead link]
- The Last Mughal, by William Dalrymple, Viking Penguin, 2006, ISBN 0-670-99925-3