Meeting ghosts in Delhi, India (08/2018)

ancient gateway at Feroz Shah Kotla

ancient gateway at Feroz Shah Kotla

At the end of August, I traveled to India for an epic work trip. During the coming weeks, I would be part of a research team touring through the Indian Himalayas.

The journey started in Delhi where I had a free afternoon to visit an ancient fort with a very good friend of mine. Feroz Shah Kotla was built in the 14th century by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq, but has fallen into ruins since then. Today, the remaining buildings are situated in a large park and include an old mosque as well as a step well. Another important sight is a large Ashoka Pillar, which was originally erected by King Ashoka in the 3rd century BC and only moved to its present location by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq many centuries later. It is believed that ghosts or jinns ascend from heaven on thursdays and grant wishes to visitors entering the dark caves underneath the ruined fort. This draws many people who light candles in the otherwise pitchblack caverns which subsequently fill with smoke – nothing for claustrophobic people!

I had been to Delhi several times in the last few years, but never had the chance to see this ancient fortress. Luckily, I visited on a thursday which brought a very special atmosphere to the monuments.

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