Who said history is boring? Did you know that the vice-chancellor’s office in North Campus is the place where Bhagat Singh was held captive for a day? There are many such nuggets of history hidden in the monuments in and around the North Campus of Delhi University. Though K- Nags (Kamla Nagar) and Hudson Lane will pop up as popular hang out options during conversations; use the breaks between your classes to get acquainted with the hidden gems of history on campus and feel the old stone on your skin. Click a selfie or two at these places of historical importance as we provide you the trivia.
Located in the Northern Ridge, this heritage site was constructed in the 14th century. Many say that it was built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq — a prominent ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty. It’s name probably came from the four turrets that were once present around the main structure but now there’s only one. “We don’t call it the Chauburji Mosque. We just refer to it as ‘the monument’ whenever we talk about going there. We often hang out in the Northern Ridge and one day we spotted this monument. We tried to go inside and explore it but we found that it’s under restoration and it’s premises are usually locked. I wish it opens soon for the visitors because it looks amazing just from it’s exterior,” says Ankit Attree, II year student of Political Science at Ramjas College.
The hunting lodge of Feroz Shah Tughlaq is known as Pir Ghaib today. Wonder why this name? The popular folklore has the answer — once a pir (saint) was mediating inside this historical structure and never came out of it. Since then, the place is known as Pir Ghaib (read gayab) — which translates to ‘vanished saint’. Some believe that the saint’s spirit still haunts this monument, located inside the premises of Hindu Rao Hospital. If you are interested in haunted places, must find out the truth behind this one!
“My seniors told me about this place, and since I’m a student of history, I know for a fact that the Mutiny Memorial holds a special place in the 1857 revolt. It was on top of my to-do list since the day I joined DU and was excited when I finally got to visit the towering beauty from the British era,” says Palak Kapoor, II year History student from Hindu College. Built in 1863, the memorial is located in the lush greens of the Northern Ridge and the building can be spotted from far. In the panels placed around the base, there’s a record of more than two thousand officers and men who were killed, wounded or went missing during the mutiny. “It’s usually locked but there’s always a guard present. You just need to request him to open the gates and relive the history,” adds Kapoor.
Qudsia Bagh, a garden complex near Kashmere Gate, is near DU’s Indraprastha (IP) College for Women. This structure was built for Qudsia Begum, wife of emperor Muhammad Shah. As history has it, the river Yamuna used to flow near it. Today, one can just feast the eyes in the greenery of the place and the tweeting of the birds. In addition, the sound of prayers from the Qudsia Mosque within the complex make you laze around all day long. “This is the best place for us when we want to read a book or organise a quick selfie session. After college, if we have to hang out, it’s not always shopping that’s on our mind. That’s when this garden becomes our chilling zone,” says Pragya Priyadarshani, II year mass communication student of IP College.
Another place related to the 1857 Revolt is a water body called Khooni Jheel, also in The Ridge. The bodies of the rebels and soldiers, during the mutiny, were dumped here, and thus the place got such a name. Though it might look like a water body in the woods, a number of spooky and mysterious tales attached to this place make it another haunted spot.
Or may be not because the beauty of this place makes it difficult to believe that the place is haunted. Yet, one must try to know the story of the headless soldier, who protects bodies of the dead at the night. Excited?