Lost World – Khooni Darwaza or Red Gate, Delhi, India

Khuni Darwaza, Delhi India

Khooni Darwaza (The  Gate of Blood), also referred to as Lal Darwaza ( Red Gate), is located near Delhi Gate, on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi, India. It is one of the 13 surviving gates in Delhi. It was just south of the fortified Old Delhi constructed by Sher Shah Suri. Built by Sher Shah Suri in 1540 it is in the in the middle of the four-lane Bahadurshah Zafar Marg connecting New and Old Delhi. Khooni Darwaza was situated on an open tract of land before the rise of modern buildings around it. It lies today on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg opposite the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket ground, which lies to its east. To the west is the entrance to the Maulana Azad Medical College. It lies about half a kilometre to the south of the Delhi Gate of Old Delhi.


It was originally named Kabuli Darwaza, when Kabul-bound caravans left the city through its arched entrance. The gateway, 15.5 m high, took its present name after the Mughals started displaying the heads of executed criminals from its battlements. Soon it became a popular place to hang the body parts of unwanted princes.

Emperor Aurangzeb displayed his brother Dara Shikoh’s head at the gate. Prince Dara was to succeed Shahjahan as the ruler of Mughal India.

The Khooni Darwaza was an archway during the revolt of 1857 and not a gate in its traditional sense. It is usually mistaken for the original Kabul Gate of Old Delhi. A lot of legends have since been woven around the place a lot of them unverified and most likely a result of the depressing name. A few legends attributed to the place, but are unlikely to have occurred at the location (it is probable that these incidents took place at the Kabul Gate):


Emperor Jehangir who succeeded his father Akbar to the throne was resisted by some of Akbar’s Navaratnas. He ordered two sons of Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, one of the Navratnas, to death at this gate. Their bodies were left to rot at the gate.

Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan’s son) defeated his elder brother Dara Shikoh in the struggle for the throne and had his head displayed at the gate.

The gate is supposed to have seen bloodshed in 1739 when Delhi was ransacked by Nadir Shah of Persia. However, this is also disputed – according to some sources, this massacre occurred at another gate of the same name located in the Dariba locality of Chandni Chowk.

Leave a Reply