Delhi’s famous Feroz Shah Kotla Fort is believed to be home to djinns, and is often flocked by visitors seeking blessings and solutions to their problems. By Tanvi Jain
Built in 1354 AD, by Mughal ruler Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq, this 14th century fort is one of the oldest structures in the capital. It is believed that the fort was built along the river Yamuna, to solve the problem of water scarcity in the former capital of Tughlaqabad. It housed madrasas, palaces, gardens and mosques.
The fort, believed to be home to djinns, is often visited by people seeking their blessings, and also in search of solutions to their problems. Apart from this, those believed to be under the spell of evil spirits, have not only undergone exorcism here, but have also claimed to have received positive results.
The followers of Islam believe that while light created angels and clay created humans, djinns were created by smokeless fire. They also believe that djinns are not ghosts or angels, but a parallel race created by Allah. Moreover, it is also said that Iblis who was once an angel created from fire, converted into a djinn after he was cast out of heaven as a punishment for not kneeling before God.
Similarly, the believers of supernatural powers write down their problems on a piece of paper, and leave it behind for them to take care of. A myth surrounding djinns says that they live for thousands of years, are capable of having a family, and even have the power to manipulate and control humans.
Minar-e-Zarreen, a 13.1-metre sandstone pillar which stands on a pyramid like structure near Jami Masjid, an ancient mosque inside Kotla, is believed to be home to the chief of djinns- Laat Waale Baba. People leave letters to him tied to the railing protecting the pillar, and often try to put their hand through the railing, believing that a wish asked for while touching the pillar will be granted.
There are many first-person accounts claiming the existence of djinns. Many Djinn walks are also conducted at Feroz Shah Kotla Fort. A popular book called City Of Djinns: A Year In Delhi, by William Dalrymple, also mentions about these fire-formed spirits.