November, 2020July 15, 2022
Chor Minar New Delhi – A 13th century minaret where heads of thieves used to be displayed
This was one of the most disturbing stories I heard about a monument in Delhi. Several monuments have horror stories, stories of murders, ghosts, etc. but this one was both scary and disturbing. Chor Minar of New Delhi being a lesser-known monument has a dark history that is smeared in blood. The monument which is surrounded by the posh locality of South Delhi was once a monument of terror and was used to execute thieves.
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Delhi has lots of monuments that are ignored and dying the slow death of ignorance. There are monuments which I am sure must have been demolished due to no maintenance. However, Chor Minar being situated in the middle of a locality is well maintained. It is encircled by walls and fences. There is a gate to enter the monument.
You must have heard about Qutub Minar but have you heard about Chor Minar? Today, surrounded by hustle-bustle, Chor Minar was once a minaret of terror.
History of Delhi’s Chor Minar – Some interesting facts about Chor Mirar
Chor Minar of Delhi dates back to the 13th century when the Delhi sultanate was in power. The monument is said to have been built during the time of Alauddin Khalji somewhere from 1296 AD to 1316 AD. Alauddin Khalji was known as a cruel ruler and is associated with several massacres, loots, and terror activities. Not much is known about its history and background yet there are a few things mentioned about this monument.
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Chor Minar which translates to Tower of Thieves is now standing in a peaceful environment but back during the times of Alauddin Khalji, this minaret a symbol of terror among the people. Such monuments were built by cruel rulers all over the world with the same purpose.
Why was Chor Minar built? The reason behind its construction
Alauddin Khalji was appointed as Amir-i-Tuzuk. He captured the throne and became king by getting his uncle Jalaluddin Khalji killed. This is enough to know about his instincts. During his regime, Mongols were in trying to settle in India. They had occupied parts of the subcontinents and their invasions were threats. They even entered the outskirts of Delhi. The Delhi sultanate opposed and defeated the Mongol army. Alauddin had a massive army power to conquer the enemies and invaders.
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It is said that around 8000 Mongols were executed after the 1305’s battle of Amroha at Siri Fort which Alauddin built a few kilometers away from Chor Minar. It is also said that some of the people were executed here too. Their heads were displayed at the minaret. The ghostly story of their executive can send chills to anyone down the spine.
This minaret was constructed to scare the thieves, thugs, or invaders. The minaret had 225 holes and the severed heads of such people were displayed in those holes on the minaret. So, the main motive behind Chor minaret’s construction was to communicate terror among the people so that they wouldn’t think of doing anything wrong. The message was well served and sent to the public.
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Construction and architecture of Delhi’s Chor Minar
Built of rubble masonry with rough, uncut stones, Chor Minar stands at a platform measuring 30’ square. The stores are put in irregular order in the mortar. There are three arched recesses on all four sides of the minaret. The one in the center has a doorway with a spiral staircase, located in the East. The door is gated and locked so one can’t go up the minaret.
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The minaret represents a mixture of Indian and Persian architecture. It is set in the middle of a small nice garden where you can sit and think about the horrific background of this monument.
How to reach Chor Minar Hauz Khas?
Chor Minar is located in Hauz Khas, South Delhi. If you want to visit Chor Minar, you can come here by metro and get down at Hauz Khas metro station and exit from gate number 3 towards Mayfair Gardens. From the exit, you need to take a walk for around 400 meters and on your left, you need to spot a small signboard of the board where the main road cuts into the locality and you will see Chor Minar right at that road cut. It is located in the R block of Hauz Khas.
Tickets and timing of Chor Minar
Chor Minar is among the monuments where you can visit without any entry ticket in Delhi. So, you don’t have to buy a ticket. You can easily walk and enter the monument. There is a small gate at the entrance. Timings are from morning to night i.e. from sunrise to sunset.
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I am a food & travel enthusiast, a music aficionado, poet, artist, and someone who loves to explore unexplored/off-beat places. I started this blog to share my food and travel journey.