Delhi, Did You Know About This Historic Hidden Gem in The City, Hijron Ka Khanqah?

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Image Source: The Delhi Walla

Luckily, we live in a city which has history and heritage written all over it. Be it numerous monuments, tombs, temples, or dargahs-Delhi is every history and culture lovers’ haven. And while we know of various such places in our city- Qutub Minar, Red Fort, India Gate, Humayun’s tomb etc., we have found this lesser-known historic spot whose story needs to be told. We are talking about the Sufi spiritual retreat for eunuchs, Hijron Ka Khanqah located in Mehrauli.

Hijron ka Khanqah is the shrine dedicated to the eunuchs of the Lodi Era, which reigned during 14th & 15th century. For the unaware, a Khanqah refers to a religious assembling place for the Muslims of Sufi sect to experience peace and moral growth. It now serves as a Sufi spiritual retreat for the eunuchs in Delhi. Taken care of by the Hijras of Turkman Gate, this monument is another one of Delhi’s hidden gem.

Image Source: Delhipedia

History Behind it:

According to history and legend, eunuchs were held with high regard in the past. They also held influential positions in the 16th-century Mughal empire. The Hijron ka Khanqah is a 15th-century monument, built in the Lodi Era. There are 50 eunuchs buried inside this shrine. While the identity of the 50 eunuchs buried here is unknown, the region’s eunuchs consider this graveyard sacred not just because its the oldest, but because they believe that the transgenders buried here had special powers. Which is why they still come here on special occasions to pay their respects, celebrate and give food to the poor.

Image Source: The Delhi Walla

What’s inside?

You enter the monument through a narrow green gate into a courtyard that holds 49 white tombs (weathered with age). There is also one larger more elaborate grave, beautifully decorated with green and white tiles. This is said to be of a eunuch called Miyan Saheb who was apparently close to the Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. According to historic tales, Qutbuddin was a favourite of the Lodi dynasty, which is why they gifted this place to Miyan Saheb and the eunuchs. The Western wall has seven niches, which are known as mihrabs, which indicate the direction of Mecca’s shrine. If you climb the stairs up to the roof, you will catch a beautiful view of the courtyard. The Khanqah has a very calm and peaceful aura, away from the hustle bustle of the city, with a sense of grave serenity.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Where is it Located?

Located in the heart of Mehrauli, South Delhi, the Khanqah is tricky to find. Only someone who lives in this area or knows the city at the back of their hands know about this place.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

How can you visit?

It is possible to visit the monument on a festive occasion to honour the eunuch community. However, on other days the entry to the tomb is said to be restricted.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you have been to this place, let us know about your experience in the comments.

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