Delhi 101: #5 Razia Sultan – Will the Queen rise from her real grave?

Delhi 101: The tomb of Razia Sultan
The tombs of Razia Sultan and her sister

Only two women have ‘ruled’ India from Delhi. The first was Razia Sultan who ruled from A.D. 1236 – 1240 as the chosen heir to her father Shamsuddin Illtutmish; she was preferred over her brothers. And the other was democratically elected Indira Gandhi, the prime minister for multiple terms between the 1960s and the 1980s.

What did they have in common? Both met violent deaths. The Queen was killed in battlefield when her own nobles and brother Bahram Shah rebelled against her. Indira Gandhi too was the victim of an inside job when she was assassinated on 31 October 1984 by her own bodyguards at her own residence. Indira Gandhi’s memorial is at her former residence, 1 Safdarjung Road in New Delhi.

Delhi 101: Cover image of book by Ajay JainThis post has been taken from Delhi 101, a book written by Ajay Jain. It is about 101 surprising ways to discover Delhi, one of the most amazing cities in the world for travelers. To know more about the book and to order one, click here.

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What happened to Razia Sultan?
Officially, she is buried deep in the bylanes of Bulbuli Khana in old Delhi. The unpretentious site has two simple graves, one supposedly of her sister Saziya. No one is sure which is whose. But the uncertainty does not end here. Her burial sites are also (unofficially) claimed to be in Siwan near Kaithal in Haryana, in Tonk in Rajasthan and at the mosque next to the Rajon ki Baoli in Mehrauli Archaeological Park in south Delhi.

If you solve the mystery, tell us. Though digging graves at midnight may not be a good idea.

GETTING THERE: Take the Metro to Chawri Bazaar. From here, walk till the end of Sitaram Bazaar and ask for Bulbuli Khana starting alongside a mosque. Enter the lane, and take the first left; at the next fork, turn right and keep walking till the dead end. Alternately, you can walk from Turkman Gate and reach the same place.

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