Delhi 101: #6 Making an example of thieves. Ouch! Chor Minar

Delhi 101: Chor Minar

If you were a thief during the reign of Alauddin Khilji (A.D. 1296-1316), good luck to you!

Things would be fine as long as one was not caught and convicted. If you were, chances are you would be sent off to the Chor Minar (Tower of Thieves) and hanged. If that was not bad enough, you would be then beheaded (of course, by this time you will not know what is happening to you) and your head put on a spear – and then put up for public display through one of the 225 holes on the Chor Minar. Ouch!

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.

But if you want to know what real agony is, ask the Mongols. They were a pain in the you-know-what for Khilji, attacking him in waves all through his reign. Eventually, the emperor got disgusted, defeated them comprehensively, beheaded 8,000 of them and spiked them in Chor Minar. Or at least that’s how the legend goes. Another version: There was already a settlement of Mongols in Delhi (in the present day area of Mongolpuri) when another wave of Mongols came – but this time in peace to join their brothers. But Khilji saw them as a threat for the future and marched them all to Chor Minar. Some guys never win!

While you are there, count the holes on the tower. But don’t let the creeps get to you!

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GETTING THERE: Chor Minar is in Hauz Khas Enclave in south Delhi. When on Aurobindo Marg and going from Yusuf Sarai in the direction of Qutab Minar, you have to take a left turn a little before the IIT crossing. The security guards sometimes act difficult, but tell them you want to visit the Chor Minar. They have no right to stop you.

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