The minar in the name of the medieval thieves

We indeed have a monkey mind that sub consciously tries to co-relate everything that is happening around. Right now there is a protest between the ‘Right’ and the ‘Left’ in the country, and sometime back there was a protest about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next film Padmavati, which reportedly shows the fictional account of Delhi sultanate ruler, Alauddin Khilji’s, desire to possess Rani Padmini of Chittor as mentioned in the literary work of Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi.

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You also cannot miss, the recurring image of actor Ranveer Singh in beard, who perhaps plays Alauddin Khilji in the film, and all this combined together got me interested to explore on Alauddin Khilji.

My exploration began by visiting one of the Khilji-era monuments. Alauddin Khilji’s capital in Delhi used to be around the present day Siri Fort auditorium. The area of Shahpur Jat, Hauz Khas and Green Park is strewn with several worn out monuments belonging to that era. One such monument is Chor Minar, right at the centre of L block in Padmini Enclave. The plaque at the monument says it was probably built somewhere between 1290 and 1310, around the same time when Alauddin Khilji attacked Chittor in 1303.

It is a minaret with several holes, 225 exactly. An Internet search says that the purpose of the minaret was to place the severed heads of thieves to deter the public from stealing. It must have been a taller monument in the past; what remains today is the basic structure with stones and mortar. There is no visible entrance to the inner sanctum of the minaret, one can only view the exterior bit of the Chor Minar.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Certainly explains the name — fascinating!

    Like

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